Why I visit prostitutes

Just as sex workers are shamed by society, so are the clients who see them. It's time to tell my side of the story

By Tony Calvin
Published October 20, 2014 12:00AM (EDT)
   (<a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/profile/km6064'>KM6064</a> via <a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/'>iStock</a>)
(KM6064 via iStock)

I am a man who regularly visits prostitutes. There are quite a few of us — according to a Business Insider article, as many as one in seven American men will visit a prostitute at some point in their lives. That’s 14 percent, only slightly lower than the percentage of women over 18 who smoke cigarettes (15.8 percent).

You don’t usually hear from us, though. As much shame as society casts on sex workers, the stigma of the regular client is also strong. Recently, trusted online services were shut down in investigations for alleged child trafficking, so I decided it was time to speak up and tell my story.

Twenty years ago, my girlfriend died. At the same time, my career was taking off, demanding more time and energy.  When I came out of mourning, I was an engineer in Silicon Valley entering the first dot-com boom, and the odds of finding love were long. Santa Clara County was known for having the highest ratio of single men to single women in the country. And let’s face it, tech workers are not the mo...

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Tony Calvin

Tony Calvin is the pen name for an engineer living in Silicon Valley.

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