“I knew that my profession had been invented by men; men force women to sell their bodies at a price, and that the lowest paid body is that of a wife. All women are prostitutes of one kind or another.” – Nawal el Saadawi’s “Woman at Point Zero”.

Re/Post of Article by CiSi Eze Ballanaija

Prostitution is “engaging in sexual activity with another person in exchange for money or other valuable goods.” Prostitution is sex trade. It is between two parties. Why do we denigrate only one party?

If there were no buyer, would there have been a seller? This goes both ways.
Society grooms girls to see romantic relationships as a source of income while teaching men to see income as a source of romantic relationships. We should not pretend an AVERAGE Nigerian girl does not go into romantic relationships for money.

Some guy once tweeted about a girl he asked on a date. It turned out the girl asked for “hair money” before the date.
“I’m broke,” a girl says.
“Don’t you have a boyfriend?” her friend asks and goes on to say, “My boyfriend does not miss it. He sends me 40k every month.”
How did having a boyfriend become an occupation? As I often say, Prostitution, like blue, has several hues.
Having sex with my boyfriend, a man that pays for my weaves and all that, does not make me different from that woman that sleeps with different men to get money to pay for her weaves and all that. Is it because she sleeps with different men? (Are humans naturally monogamous? If you are bringing in religion into this, aren’t we all fornicating? Is it not the same eternal damnation? People that claimed they went to school still believe “the vagina gets loose” after “too much sex”. Really, they should read and re-educate themselves.)
Most men believe it is their duty to cater to their ADULT girlfriends and wives. I am yet to understand why a physically fit adult has to cater to another physically fit adult. I could easily decide to get married this year – I’d call any of the men that think they are in love with me and I’d say I’m now interested in getting married and become a trophy wife. Does a boy, my age mate, have the same choice? Would he not face ridicule for being a trophy husband? I live in a society where a girl tweets, “What is your role as a boyfriend if you can’t provide everything your girl wants?” Do we hold girls to the same standard?
One of the foci of gender equality, a.k.a feminism, is getting rid of double standards in all aspects of human life. People, regardless of their sexes, should be held to the same standards in ALL aspects of life. Until we get rid of the double standards in respect to how the sexes view romantic relationships, I am afraid female sexuality would remain a currency.
Women should stop feeling entitled to men’s money – we should stop viewing romantic relationships as moneymaking ventures.
Men should stop feeling responsible for women. They should stop seeing money as a way to “find love”.
There is no point getting sanctimonious in the presence of sex workers if we believe men are obligated to cater to women while women are to be catered to. That would make us hypocrites.

P.S.I love you but you are a prostitute if your main aim in that romantic relationship is to make money off your “bae”. You enable prostitution if you feel you NEED money to get love, affection, and sex from a woman in the guise of “romantic relationship”. “I need money to impress her…” Bro, swerve!

P.P.S.The Functionalist School of Thought in sociology believes prostitution is beneficial to society. You could read that up on your own. Often, I ask myself what makes prostitution different from plumbing. They both render services. Is it because of sex? What is this thing about sex?

P.P.P. S. Do you look down on sex workers because “it is morally and spiritually wrong”? Do you realise you have a habit that is “morally and spiritually wrong”? It could be that you’re signing into the office at the wrong time. A lie is a lie even when coated with white. So, calm down. If sex workers want to go to hell, let them go to hell in peace. Are they affecting you negatively in any way?

P.P.P.P.S. I am in awe of women that have put a price on themselves – they have not let people put a price on them. Cheers to every woman that has understood society has made our sexuality a currency. Do you think it is easy sharing yourself with people? All that courage! At times, I wish I could bend myself in a way I would not mind trading my sexuality with a man for money. Men seem to have more money. Cher Dieu, mais pourquoi! Those of us not trading our sexuality for money should start asking ourselves if we lack business acumen.

About Cisi Eze: freelance writer and 2D animator. To kill boredom, she reads anything and everything in sight. Cisi wants to bring positive social change in Nigeria by provoking people to rethink and reconsider certain beliefs they have clutched to their chests like it were a medal. She aims to do this through every form of art at her disposal.

 Cisi lives in Lagos, Nigeria.