The most recent Fabcast was one of our liveliest and most polarized one yet. Of course we ended up laughing and still friends; I think we’re all mature enough so that even if we disagree, we do not to take things too personally.
After the record button was switched off, Tony mentioned something which surprised me. He even blogged about it: “Migs’ reaction wasn't a surprise to me, knowing his tendencies and background when it came to such a multi-leveled and morally polarizing question. What did come as a surprise to me was McVie’s stand. I truly thought that he would have resonated more with Migs’ thoughts on the matter since I knew McVie has reservations about personally paying for sex.”
Yes I do have reservations about personally paying for sex, but my reservations are not of a moral nature. I never had a problem paying for sex before. And when I say “before” I mean back in the 80s. I first started exploring the joys of gay sex in dimly-lit movie houses. Then as I made more gay friends, they introduced me to massage parlors. Lakan was the parlor of choice (we found Datu a bit more expensive).
What weaned me out of sex-for-pay was my discovery of the bathhouses. There I would just pay for the entrance; after that, I can have all the sex that I want. The currency wasn’t money; it was face-value (or body-value or both). What thrilled me more was not the power my money wielded, but the desirability of my physical looks. I wanted to know: in an environment where “ganda lang ang puhunan,” how would I fare?
As I quickly found out, my desirability level fell squarely on the middle of the Bell Curve of Pinoy Male Physical Beauty. There were even days when my desirability level fell dangerously near the lower-tier of the curve; times like those, my ego took a hit. But soon enough I learned to accept things and adjust my expectations. And eventually I discovered that there were good days and there were bad days; most days fell somewhere in between.
So when I say that I now have reservations about paying for sex, it’s simply this: I’d prefer someone who will have sex with me because he wants to, and not because he was paid. I am turned on more when I know that I turn him on too; if someone is paid, he need not be turned on by me for sex to happen. For someone who voluntarily chooses me, the sex is most likely consensual; for someone paid, the sex is most likely a duty or a chore. (Of course, there are exceptions. Maybe for someone like Boy Shiatsu, some really hot, hunky clients may be more like perks of the job instead of just being a job!)
As I’ve stated in the Fabcast, I don’t have a problem with having a sex worker for a boyfriend. Of course there are other factors to consider before choosing someone to be a partner, but for me the equation is simple: I know I am capable of being in an open relationship. And in my mind it is only a thin monetary line that separates a boyfriend-in-an-open-relationship from a boyfriend-who-is-a-sex-worker.
That is why I called out Migs for his condescending tone when he said, “Congrats!” and, earlier, when he called Gibbs “plastic” and the two of us as, “kayo na ang mabait, kayo na ang kumakalinga sa sex workers.” My capacity to consider a sex worker as boyfriend material does not make me a “better” person from someone who can’t; it just means I see sex workers in a different way from Migs. I didn’t question Migs’ different point of view; why couldn’t he accept mine?