The Johns

The Johns

Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It

Book - 2009
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Following up on his scathing indictment of the international sexual enslavement of women in The Natashas , investigative journalist Victor Malarek lays bare the other side of the crisis--the men who fuel the demand. Each year more than 800,000 women and children are lured, tricked or forced into prostitution to meet an apparently insatiable demand, joining an estimated 10 million women already ensnared in the $20 billion worldwide sex trade. To date, most research on the subject has focused on the various issues that propel these women into the trade, but little has been investigated, or written, about those who trigger the demand--the "Johns." In this hard-hitting exposé, Malarek unmasks the kind ofmen--and organizations--that foster and drive the sex trade, from America to Europe, Brazil to Thailand, Phnom Penh to St. Petersburg and Costa Rica. The Johns is a chilling look into a dark corner of the world that these men have created at the expense of countless women and children. Praise for The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade : " The Natashas is a hard-hitting, well-researched account of the global sex trade, and Malarek is clearly a journalist with a mission."-- The National Post "Required reading."--New York Post "Impassioned…. An intensely affecting read…. He exposes the corruption and disinterest that runs up the law-enforcement ladder, and the racism that allows it to persist."-- Chicago Sun-Times "Visceral…. A must-read…. Heartbreaking."-- Detroit Free Press "Graphic…. A scathing indictment."-- Kirkus Reviews "Wrenching…. A powerful and compelling work."-- Florida Sun-Sentinel Excerpt from The Johns : Without man, there would be no demand. There would be no supply. It would not be profitable for pimps and criminals to stay in this business if never-ending platoons of men weren't prowling the side streets in search of purchased sex. Male sex buyers who are willing to close their eyes and shell out $50 or $100 for a few minutes of physical bliss while deepening the misery of countless women and children. The stark reality is that little will be done to stop this insanity until men start taking responsibility for their actions, until men realize that they are the problem, and that this global sex-slave calamity exists solely because of their insatiable demand and duplicitous behaviour. Yet invisible in most discussions, reports, and research are the men who use and abuse these women. They are the ultimate consumers of prostituted women. They are the crucial missing link.
Publisher: Toronto : Key Porter Books, c2009.
ISBN: 9781554701575
Characteristics: xv, 310 p. ;,24 cm.


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Jan 28, 2011

While I find Malarek's sourcing, using commentary from johns found on bulletin boards, somewhat dubious, I'm more persuaded than DavidB. Although the BB commentary could mostly be bragging, it's still evident that men use prostitutes because it's easier than trying to form a relationship: the men are in charge because they are paying and they don't have to expend any effort.

Anyone who has read some of the recent news stories in the Times and PI has to be able to see that the only sure way to stop men from patronizing prostitutes is by making the penalty too high for them to tolerate. Pimps don't care, the girls are desperate, and the only ones in the transaction with real choice are the johns.

This book combined with "The Natashas" and a book from 10 or so years ago about the Mustang Ranch in Nevada have continued to convince me that prostitution is bad news for everyone involved. Owning slaves never improves anyone and the same goes for pimps; no woman's life is made better by providing sexual services for money; and no man who patronizes prostitutes is going to expend effort to improve his character or personality to attract a real girl who can tell him no.

Jul 23, 2009

The issue of prostitution is contentious already but with this book Victor Malarek tries to explore the “other side of the equation”: If prostitution and Human Trafficking is about supply and demand. An exploration of the desire side is needed to solve the problem.
Unfortunately this book falls short. Malarek uses their own words for the basis of this book but the musings of self professed “mongers” gathered from websites have little depth. These die-hard “Johns” have misguided beliefs and little true insights into themselves, their psychology and their motivations let alone the actual social, political or economic status of the world. Malarek can barely contain his disdain when writing about these men and doesn’t much rely on the analysis experts (unless it facts and figures about prostitution). The book is a first person’s investigation into why some men use prostitutes that only offers their own narrow-minded reasoning as facts. To counterpoint their beliefs, Malarek uses other first person accounts of how horrifying the lives of prostitutes really are. The men who use prostitutes already fear looking too deeply into themselves and to guilt and shame them risk their taking the defensive and further aversion to understanding their behaviour.
Malarek seems to be more concerned with catching and prosecuting offenders rather than a holistic approach to solving the roots of crime. According to the book (Chapter 16 pg. 265) what’s needed is to re-school men’s beliefs for the best results in recidivism and thus negating the demand side of the equation. More needs to be done to look at why men pay to have sex with women. Understanding one’s psychology and motivations will enable men to look at the consequence of their actions—how it hurts themselves as well as others. For that more books will need to be written and then read.


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Oct 02, 2009

It’s trying to get the guys to realize the harm they’re causing, develop empathy for the women,” he says. This, he believes, can be a motivation for change. “Part of the problem is that these guys are jerks. They’re knuckle-dragging, bone-headed bad guys, and they don’t care if their actions hurt the women or their community,” he says. “It’s just that they have stupid ideas about what sex is, what intimacy is. They truly believe that prostitution is a victimless crime. When you grow up as a male in this culture, it isn’t hard to end up with a screwed-up belief system about women and intimacy[.]

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