21 Jan It Is Just A Job: The Real Deal About Modern Day Geishas
JUAN SAYS: A series of bad choices. That’s how we would like to view it. To be in a position where your choice is to sink or sink some more is not exactly the position that any of us would want to get ourselves into. That is how it is when you are dealt with the option of selling yourself for a meal. In many cases of prostitution, it is said that many have gone into it by force. Some were sold to slavery, others found it as the easiest way out of poverty.
Truth be told, we do not know how it feels to be entrapped in this situation, much less go on a day without eating, unless it is by choice. We will never understand what it is to be pushed to sell yourself for a buck because all of us looking at their situation have never experienced what it is to be pushed to the wall. Yet we judge by our eyes tainted by religion, culture and family values that are, to the view of the world, the ideal, the moral, and the ethical.
There have been many who have clamored and asking for a way out of this life. There are others who have reached out to us and sought help because they do not want to be in this situation anymore. But there will be others who choose to be here, and this article is about them.
Prostitution by definition means the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment. But for argument’s sake, we’d like to expand the definition by including those who engage in the unworthy or corrupt use of one’s talents for the sake of personal or financial gain. Usery, be it sexual, love, flirtations and the like. Using feelings for the sake of personal or financial gain. Making a buck out of other people’s lack of common sense. That to us, and maybe by expanded definition, is prostitution.
Where do we even begin?
The usage of people for one’s advancement is not uncommon. In fact, it is the lifeblood of many industries. Using sexual favors for one’s advancement is actually a talent that many possess which they use wisely in their chosen craft. If the four walls of any office could talk, there have been exchanges of body fluids for the sake of promotion or a hefty sale. We may frown upon that, we may judge people because of that, but truth be told, it is just in a day’s job.
It takes a lot of talent you know to fake an orgasm, much less do someone who you do not have feelings for. It takes an actress, an award-winning performance, to swallow everything you know is moral and right for the sake whatever it is that you have to gain. And it takes a lot of gall to pull that off without hurting yourself in the process. That to us is talent at its finest.
We understand how many of us could frown upon these people. If anything, we’d feel that they are not playing a fair game. But who says life was fair? We would like to believe that they are using themselves, their bodies and their talents because, in their eyes, this is the only way. Sadly, people can be sucked in by situations without thinking, without considering the final outcome of their actions just because they don’t know any better.
It is not to say that they are stupid. In fact, they are smart as hell. But it is to say that they are just doing something because this is the only thing that they are good at – using people, and sexual favors. Sadly, many have grown accustomed to this types of exchanges that it becomes a norm, an industry develops it as a culture, a part of the days “kalakaran.” It is, again, all in a day’s work.
But if you look at it from a different perspective, people do have a choice. Yet again, there will be people who wouldn’t choose the “right,” for the simple reason that “better” is always harder, and “worse” is just the easiest way out. Just like our first statement in this article, choices are born out of a series of bad choices. It becomes a habit, one wrong move made many years ago has already snowballed. And as heartbreaking as it may seem, this has already become the way they live their lives. It becomes their supposed “truth,” their reality, as tainted as it is.
The clamor to get out of poverty, the drive to succeed or earn money is innate to everyone. We always want a better life, financially that is. But the parameters of the games we play when we set sail to find that elusive “better life” is dictated by the norms that we live with. Immersing yourself in a culture of successive wrongs, no matter how grounded your values are, will always influence you to make bad decisions. To fake your documents for the sake of a better life abroad, to peddle your vagina to the next producer who would build your career, to be the mistress of a tycoon just to live in a big house with a pool. Those things, are not brought about by wise decisions. Well, some would argue, it really depends on your definition of what is a wise decision, of what is a better life. To some, money is always better, to live in a shithole now is better, to trade your sanity for what you need today is better. Better has become relative.
To live a life of integrity takes a back seat when worldly goals take precedence. To live a life within the bounds of ethics and morals may oftentimes mean giving up a hefty amount of cash, and surely this must be the wrong way to go. Follow the money, that is their creed. But can we blame them? Can we honestly say that none of us want money? The rich still wants more. Tayo pa kaya?
But where does the vicious cycle end? Where does the need for more material wealth end? Is it the only thing that is important to us? Is it really us? Is it all that we live for? Asan ang purpose? And where does this vicious cycle end?
It ends, where your conscience begins. We at JUAN would like to believe that no amount of money can pay for a good night’s sleep. We believe that there is freedom in knowing that you are walking on the right path… yung wala kang tinatapakan, yung wala kang sinasaktan, yung buhay na tahimik, yung buhay na hindi ka inuusig ng konsensya mo. In the end, the lives we live, the choices we make lead us to a life of misery or joy. In the end, it is about looking ourselves in the mirror and knowing that we still like what we see. In the end, it is always about peace of mind and peace of heart. Because in the end, no matter what excuses we give ourselves, we know the truth and we know what is right, what is better and what it should be.