A text from 28th September 2017 about a man who was addicted to porn and prostitution, published on Trauma & Prostitution; in the following translated from German into English by „Abolition de l´industrie du sexe Canada“. The interview was conducted by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus.
In front of the biggest furniture store in Karlsruhe (remark: a city in the south-west of Germany) two advertisements are standing side by side near a road: one for a brothel and one for marriages. Do you want to buy non-binding sex or start a love attachment and swear mutual loyalty? Apparently, in Germany both things are standing equally side by side and it doesn’t seem to shock anyone anymore. However, prostitution doesn’t only have devastating consequences for the women in it, but also for the betrayed women of punters.
In this interview a former punter speaks about the consequences of his actions for his wife and demands a ban on buying sex. Pornography meant entry into prostitution. When his wife discovered his double life, she said he “had reduced their common life to ashes”. She had broken down completely. “She was harshly and immediately deprived of the base of trust on which she believed her marriage to be safe”, according to the ex-punter’s statement nowadays. “For a long time she suffered heavy posttraumatic stress disorders – like otherwise victims of torture do it – and has developed cardiac arrhythmia which still aren’t over. For a long time, my wife has been unable to work.”
These tragic „collateral damages“ of prostitution haven’t moved into the focus until nowadays. Supposed that of course the number of 1,2 million punters doesn’t reflect exactly the same ones who go to prostitutes each day and supposed that a huge amount of married men or men living in stable relationships are punters, the number of betrayed and, after discovery, psychically injured women is unexaggerated in an area of two-digit millions. We have to conclude that Germany is a country of betrayed women.
For six and a half year you were a punter, how did you get to become one? How did the course take place?
„Already years before I have consumed printed porn. In most of the cases these were tatty magazines purchasable at petrol stations. I haven’t felt affected by those ones and did it only occasionally. But I have always felt a kind of dissatisfaction, because masturbation with porn wasn’t the real thing. The apparent solution which I looked for were stronger stimuli, at first more explicit pictures, after that pictures on the internet, then soft porn videos, later hardcore and then the step to contact a real woman for getting the kick. Then things took their course.”
You say that pornography was a decisive reason for your purchase of sex. What did it do with you? How did it change you?
“For a long time I didn’t understand the effects of pornography. There was a raise in my threshold and simultaneous with it the impulse to consume more pictures and more explicit ones. Until a long time after revelation I didn’t know that during consumption of porn even binding-hormones were spilled out. This means the consumer of porn gets into an emotional connection with the setting when he spends time with it instead of caring about his partnership. Pornography has absorbed me. In the course of handling it, I was spending more and more time with it. In the time of consumption of prostitution, this has even increased. Nearly every day I was spending hours with searching in catalogues of online platforms and imagining how it will be in real.”
What kind of understanding of sexuality did you have at this time?
“I had the right to satisfaction of my needs. I thought everything ranging from “It is all absolutely normal and human” to “Shell I sweat it out of my rips?”. I didn’t have self-confidence. I didn’t trust speaking about wishes with a woman due to my fear of being hurt, this means fear that I would be rejected with my wishes. Furthermore, in daily life I noticed her as not being sensual, as a kind of repellent. Several times I told my wife directly that she gave me the feeling of not desiring me. In this situation the catalogue-like world of prostitution was exactly the right one for me. There I didn’t need to show myself from the real side, there I didn’t need to take a risk. There I lived out my narcissism subversively.”
You bought women for living out your sexuality. How did you look at them? In retrospection, what did you fade out? How do you consider prostitution today?
“I made illusions about the circumstances of life of these women. I was mainly in private apartments where the women, mainly German ones, lived most of their times. I faded out all things which could be called civilisation. A sad climax was visiting a prostitute on Christmas Eve. For this, the woman left her children alone with her partner and drove to the apartment rented for such purposes. After that I moved on, visited my critically ill dad in a nursing home and then drove home and cooked like nothing had happened. Nothing was holy to me anymore. And I had a good opinion about myself as a punter. I was the gentleman who would never do anything with a forced prostitute. But in spite of this I visited prostitutes in Hong Kong and also had a few experiences in Germany which I have to interpret in relation to forced prostitution now in retrospection. There were discrepancies between presentation and reality with nearly all prostitutes which I visited. I know from my regular prostitute – at least she told me so – that she was abused by her dad when she was a young girl. In spite of this, she allowed her puberty-reaching daughter who was 11 or 12 years old to live at her parent’s house. Another woman who advertised her exclusivity already spoke to the next punter two minutes after our date when I was still putting my clothes on. An alleged successful interim manager was obviously suffering anorexia. And another one who also advertised her exclusivity posted on a platform her “special offer for furniture exposition”. Very often there was a discrepancy between alleged exclusivity and the frequency with which her telephone number was occupied or the telephone responder answered.
Another issue was that I made completely false imaginations about my alleged qualities as a lover. I felt great like a glamour boy who satisfied all women who I had visited.
And finally I faded out basic rights of my wife. Sometimes I had unprotected sex, only in a few cases vaginal, but nearly always oral. I simply neglected all risks. Finally, I infected my wife with herpes.”
What kind of effects did your behaviour have on your partnership? What did it do with your wife?
“During my double life, from time to time my wife said that everything was so boring. She felt a certain deadening, she lacked of authenticity and liveliness not only in daily life, but also on celebrations like Christmas which were driven by innocent euphoria in former times. But maybe this was an age-based effect, she said. Later, during discovery of this very painstakingly planned and lived out double life, she broke down completely. She was harshly and immediately deprived of the base of trust on which she believed her marriage to be safe by the person to who she had unlimited trust. Probably she had an acute broken heart syndrome. This which sounds so harmless is medically a symptom similar to heart attacks which can cause death in special circumstances. Well, you can really die of a broken heart. Mortality rate is at more than 3%.
For a long time she suffered heavy posttraumatic stress disorders – like otherwise victims of torture do it – and has developed cardiac arrhythmia which still aren’t over. For a long time, my wife has been unable to work. Her ability to concentrate has suffered enormously and hasn’t been completely recovered since clear more than two years after discovery of the incident. She separates her life chronologically into before and after. And with this, she is not alone. A lot of concerned women, this means women who have been cheated by their husbands with prostitutes, feel like this. My wife says I had reduced our common life to ashes. Anyway, these tragic collateral damages of prostitution haven’t moved into the focus until nowadays.”
You made a therapy. What important insights did you get due to it?
“It took a long time until I had really distanced myself from this time. When I was still in a session of a relationship counselling, I said “But I had lustful sex!” I have glorified this time in my memory, I was building up a holy shrine around it. I have considered myself being in the role of a victim and thought I couldn’t do it another way. In the course of the therapy I recognised how less my consumption of prostitution had in common with sex, but how much with basic holes which I felt and pain which I wanted to numb. I grew up in a partly dysfunctional family and always had a feeling of getting a raw deal. These were feelings from my childhood which didn’t have anything to do with my actual life. Inside of me I had a monstrous greed caused by old psychical pain. For a short time, my double life which I lived out like an addict, let me forget these pain and insecurities, the fear of being rejected and to be worthless. I had to admit to myself that prostitution is anything else than really satisfying. There was always a less or more heavy intoxication, but directly after also a stale feeling and the attempt to numb this feeling with intoxication again as soon as possible.”
What would you do in a different way in your relationship today with this experience? What would you advise other men?
“I consider it very important to make you aware that there’s no right to sexuality, that instead it is free of choice. You don’t only need to get aware about needs which you have, but also speak about them, discuss what is possible and accept that not always everything is possible and something only sometimes. A marriage or partnership isn’t an automatism for fulfilling your wishes. Of course sexuality isn’t arbitrary and between the partners there is a difference in desire, but this is something which you can work out. The way as a punter into prostitution causes huge damage to a relation and is absolutely incompatible with the promise of loyalty.”
What attitude to sex buyers do you have today?
“Buying sex is an abuse of power, always, without exception. If sexual actions only take place because there was an exchange of money, there is an asymmetry of participating people which can’t be denied. After the exchange of money the customer has a right to fulfilment of the contract. Then the prostitute doesn’t have the right to cancel the action or not to include negotiated catalogue-services. The prostitute disclaims basic human rights of self-determination. The medially discussed and partly as a service of health insurances declared sex-assistance is finally prostitution, too, socially disguised, like the Trojan Horse of prostitution industry.”
Do you think that a ban of buying sex should be introduced by legislation?
“Definitely yes! Prostitution becoming gentrified causes damages for all concerned persons. Damages for the prostitutes themselves who are forced to work or who force themselves, who are dissociating during their actions for standing the strain, having to take drugs to get along in daily life, getting old earlier than other persons, are just one group of concerned persons. Betrayed wives who suffer heavy traumata and who didn’t choose this fraud are another heavily damaged group. Supposed that of course the number of 1,2 million punters doesn’t reflect exactly the same ones who go to prostitutes each day and supposed that a huge amount of married men or men living in stable relationships are punters, the number of betrayed and, after discovery, psychically injured women is unexaggerated in an area of two-digit millions. In addition, I also consider punters as aggrieved persons and not only as culprits, because as a punter you’re numbing yourself. Your inner life is brutalised. Empathy vanishes. Narcissism raises. Simultaneously, shelters for battered women are bursting at the seams, because it’s normal that women are treated this way. The whole society suffers such aggrieved and psychically injured people. A society which permits misery for so many people is, frankly spoken, ill.
In this context and looking back at my own experiences I can only consider prostitution – without regard to the immense damages for all concerned women (prostitutes and betrayed partners) also for punters as a dangerous and malicious contamination of your own soul. Asymmetry of actions in context of payment spoils sensitivity for a real lovingly relation in which sexuality between equal-righted partners is lived as a willing choice in recognition of the other one’s limits and in responsibility for yourself and the other one. In my opinion, this concerns every man, of course singles, too, and not only men living in a monogamous relation or marriage.
With the legislation which is sadly still valid and advertisements for brothels to be found everywhere we signalise to our children that it is absolutely ok to buy a woman every time for satisfying our sexual needs and with this permission we communicate and manifest a general ranking system in which the man is in the powerful positions and the one who determines actions. Currently, every thief who steals a package of chewing gum in a shop is punished – and the action of a man who contributes to traumatising a human being is tolerated. Should it really be like this? Do we want to keep on tolerating such an abuse? Where is the scream of protest of all social groups, from alleged Christian parties to humanistic enlightened liberals? Is our constitution so worthless for us?
A ban on buying sex signalises unmistakably: that’s not just a bit tatty, no, it’s unacceptable and not legal. We don’t want such an injured and damaged society and injuring and damaging actions! A ban on buying sex is a step out of objectification of women as sex objects, a step towards a healthier and luckier society.”
Thank you very much!
Dr. Ingeborg Kraus
 Research link: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress-Kardiomyopathie