Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Scarlet Road

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Scarlet Road is a documentary about an Australian sex worker, Rachel. She has been in the sex industry for years and has now even established her own business. I have always heard that prostituting oneself eventually wears a person down, both emotionally and physically. However, Rachel is proud of her work. She feels very passionate about being a sex worker and wants to continue this lifestyle for herself. Her area of expertise is helping the disabled to sexually express themselves. She wants to help her disabled clients experience any of their wildest, intimate dreams; therefore, for a price, Rachel will sell her time to go out on a date with a client, have sex with a client, or anything in between.

Observing Rachel throughout the movie helped me to gain a sense of respect for her. She values education and wants to keep studying and learning more. She has a passion for something and she chases after it. She’s sure of what she wants in life and she’s a determined business woman. Rachel also genuinely cares about her clients and their happiness. She serves as somewhat of a caretaker for them- a caretaker first, then a sex worker. She’s friendly, caring, and her eyes see no disability in her disabled clients. She views everyone as an individual with similar wants and needs. She simply wants to make others happy.

As much as I respect Rachel and as much as I tried to keep an open mind during this movie, I just can’t seem to justify her way of making people happy. I don’t understand why sexual pleasure has to be the answer. This documentary belittles the act of sex. It’s not something that should be taken lightly and it certainly isn’t something that should  be done with whoever gives you the most money. Intimacy should be a real thing felt between two people who love each other very much. Rachel wants to see her clients happy but she charges them a lot of money for her services. Obviously Rachel isn’t in love with all these men she’s sexually pleasing, and I wonder if these men get the full effect of intimacy when they realize that she’s just a sex worker- she isn’t there to stay. I guess my main concern is why sex has to be such a big deal. There are other ways to please people, other ways to make someone happy that don’t involve sexual activity. Why focus so much on that, especially if the other person isn’t your significant other? Why give yourself away to so many people? There are too many other things to focus on in the world besides sexual pleasure.

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