It’s illegal for girls to become a prostitute in Bhutan but it seems it’s socially acceptable to be their customers. So many girls have been arrested by the police for their involvement in such businesses in the past but we have not heard of any man being charged for availing the service. If this trade is to be ever considered illegal, I feel both the prostitute and her customers must be charged equally for indulging in such an offence. No matter what the authorities are doing to curb this practice in the country, we still seem to have secret commercial sex workers operating especially in urban centers. It seems they use a network of customers/friends and social media to reach out to their new customers. I have been told that there are some young girls who offer sex at rates ranging from Nu.2000 per encounter to Nu.5000 per night. So why are people taking risks to venture into this business despite knowing that it’s illegal in the country?
From the men’s perspective, I feel they normally find visiting a prostitute is the easiest way of achieving sexual gratification and satisfaction without having to physically win the heart of the woman: no emotional attachment/relationship required and most importantly, it’s available whenever they want. It also provides them an easier way of proving their dominance/power over women and boosts their ego. It’s mostly to do with their manliness. So, this could be the main reason why some men don’t hesitate to pay for sex.
On the other hand, women find it as an easy trade: no investments and initial capital resources required. They can start the business without a single penny at hand. Yet as it comes at a huge cost of their personal and family’s reputations and respect, they cannot get into it without some compelling forces behind. I know that many girls who are into this business have been forced by so many socio-economic challenges to make such a decision. As depicted in the Bhutanese movie ‘The Perfect Girl’, there could be numerous factors that could lead women to choose such a profession like broken families, financial difficulties, sexual abuse, etc. So they would find no other option but to get into such a filthy business to earn their living. In either case, I feel we the men should be guilty of creating such a miserable situation for women in the society.
However, if there are girls who are genuinely interested in such a business, I also feel that the government should provide them necessary support and help instead of pushing them further to the edge of the society. I feel that it would be safe for them as well as their customers if it’s legalized and well taken care of by the government. As of now, it’s illegal and hence, the authorities are out of the picture of how sex workers operate and how healthy and safe are they for their customers. Since it’s a secret business, there is a huge risk that many people might get sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS without being detected on the public health radar. I also feel that legalized prostitution might help reduce social crimes such as rapes and sexual harassments because men would have alternatives to quench their sexual lust. However, no girls should be ever forced to sell herself at any cost and anybody guilty of doing so must never be forgiven before the law. If it’s a personal choice of the girl, then we should respect it. But they are also human beings like us and deserve our love and respect. Having paid for sex does not mean that you totally own them as your sex objects. So if you meet one such a girl, please treat her with respect and love.