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The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It

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Following up on his scathing indictment of the international sexual enslavement of women in The Natashas, investigative journalist Victor Malarek lays bare the other side of the crisis?the men who fuel the demand. Each year more than 800,000 women and children are lured, tricked or forced into prostitution to meet an apparently insatiable demand, joining an estimated 10 mi Following up on his scathing indictment of the international sexual enslavement of women in The Natashas, investigative journalist Victor Malarek lays bare the other side of the crisis?the men who fuel the demand. Each year more than 800,000 women and children are lured, tricked or forced into prostitution to meet an apparently insatiable demand, joining an estimated 10 million women already ensnared in the $20 billion worldwide sex trade. To date, most research on the subject has focused on the various issues that propel these women into the trade, but little has been investigated, or written, about those who trigger the demand?the “Johns.” In this hard-hitting expos?, Malarek unmasks the kind ofmen?and organizations?that foster and drive the sex trade, from America to Europe, Brazil to Thailand, Phnom Penh to St. Petersburg and Costa Rica. The Johns is a chilling look into a dark corner of the world that these men have created at the expense of countless women and children.


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Following up on his scathing indictment of the international sexual enslavement of women in The Natashas, investigative journalist Victor Malarek lays bare the other side of the crisis?the men who fuel the demand. Each year more than 800,000 women and children are lured, tricked or forced into prostitution to meet an apparently insatiable demand, joining an estimated 10 mi Following up on his scathing indictment of the international sexual enslavement of women in The Natashas, investigative journalist Victor Malarek lays bare the other side of the crisis?the men who fuel the demand. Each year more than 800,000 women and children are lured, tricked or forced into prostitution to meet an apparently insatiable demand, joining an estimated 10 million women already ensnared in the $20 billion worldwide sex trade. To date, most research on the subject has focused on the various issues that propel these women into the trade, but little has been investigated, or written, about those who trigger the demand?the “Johns.” In this hard-hitting expos?, Malarek unmasks the kind ofmen?and organizations?that foster and drive the sex trade, from America to Europe, Brazil to Thailand, Phnom Penh to St. Petersburg and Costa Rica. The Johns is a chilling look into a dark corner of the world that these men have created at the expense of countless women and children.

30 review for The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    The book suffers repetitive prose, excessive quotes and an almost paradoxical glorification of the opinions of what, we must admit, is a staggering amount of our populace. However, these functional, craft-oriented realities can easily be used by the defensive or the frightened to push off what Malorek's fundamentally vital point is: these opinions are lurking in a majority setting. These repetitive statements are repetitive because a majority of Americans agree to them. These johns are married. The book suffers repetitive prose, excessive quotes and an almost paradoxical glorification of the opinions of what, we must admit, is a staggering amount of our populace. However, these functional, craft-oriented realities can easily be used by the defensive or the frightened to push off what Malorek's fundamentally vital point is: these opinions are lurking in a majority setting. These repetitive statements are repetitive because a majority of Americans agree to them. These johns are married. They have girlfriends/boyfriends. They maintain normal lives but are allowed, and are raised to, examine themselves as sexually dominate, driven beings. I'm disappointed that he didn't explore the world of pornography and its connection to Prostitution further, and felt that he should have introduced the book with the idea that legalization of this disgusting trade is not a solution. Further, he does little to allow those who are staunchly pro-legalization (happy hooker-theorists) to feel welcomed to a new idea, and his prose isn't necessarily persuasive as it is demanding. I prefer demanding, but I doubt there will be many five-stars for that reason and for craft concerns... but I'd rather this book be reviewed at the top of the pile so people know of its existence then continue to turn blind eyes against those who hurt so many women so regularly.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    A very disturbing but necessary book. The stories of frequenters of prostitutes. The thing that stuck out to me was the sense of entitlement these men thought they had. They are very unevolved and self-righteous about taking advantage of trafficked women. They hate the idea of feminism (like, you know, women should have rights) and call feminists feminazis. The most disgusting part are the stories of men who take sex vacations where they take advantage of prostituted women. 14-year-olds forced to A very disturbing but necessary book. The stories of frequenters of prostitutes. The thing that stuck out to me was the sense of entitlement these men thought they had. They are very unevolved and self-righteous about taking advantage of trafficked women. They hate the idea of feminism (like, you know, women should have rights) and call feminists feminazis. The most disgusting part are the stories of men who take sex vacations where they take advantage of prostituted women. 14-year-olds forced to hold hands and be buddies with middle-aged men who are either seeking "yum yum," oral sex, or "boom boom," sexual intercourse. Makes you want to hate all men just based on these few jerks. Some hopeful news: Norway and Sweden are now arresting johns instead of prostituted women, and the women are considered victims. It's greatly cut down on sex work in those countries. It's an important book in that it reveals the large number of retrograde men that unself-consciously pursue their lusts and are rather proud of it. Awful to think of the prostituted women in third-world countries who can make an income no other way. No mentions of Anthony Wiener.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Millicent

    Nobody writes about the flesh trade as in-depth and with as much principled honesty as Victor Malarek. In his previous book 'The Natashas' he brought the scourge of human trafficking to mainstream readers. This time around he analyses those behind the demand in paid sex. He looks at the different forms of paid sex, the justification and mentality of johns, and the different effectiveness of legislation around the world in tackling violence against women and children. Because I read so much on th Nobody writes about the flesh trade as in-depth and with as much principled honesty as Victor Malarek. In his previous book 'The Natashas' he brought the scourge of human trafficking to mainstream readers. This time around he analyses those behind the demand in paid sex. He looks at the different forms of paid sex, the justification and mentality of johns, and the different effectiveness of legislation around the world in tackling violence against women and children. Because I read so much on the subject, there was little that was news to me, but I still recommend this book because Malarek's writing is so accessible and honest. He reproduces the arguments of the pro-prostitution lobby and demolishes them with sound rebuttals. I have never read any tracts by the pro-prostitution lobby that was as sober and honest about the reality of sex work. When I first heard of this book many years ago, I believed prostitution could exist without violence towards women and children. After years of research, I no longer do.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Seeley

    This was a tough book to read and I'd have rated it higher were it not for the far-too-extensive quotes from men who post on bulletin boards about their experiences buying sex and 'the girlfriend experience' (extra charges may apply). It would have benefited from fewer quotes and more summary/analysis. Still, this is an important book. I particularly liked Malarek's challenge to those ex sex-workers who claim they don't get any respect and fight for the rights of prostitutes. His point: all wome This was a tough book to read and I'd have rated it higher were it not for the far-too-extensive quotes from men who post on bulletin boards about their experiences buying sex and 'the girlfriend experience' (extra charges may apply). It would have benefited from fewer quotes and more summary/analysis. Still, this is an important book. I particularly liked Malarek's challenge to those ex sex-workers who claim they don't get any respect and fight for the rights of prostitutes. His point: all women should have equal rights and equal opportunities, and if they actually did, there isn't a single one who'd willingly become a prostitute, Pretty Woman fantasy notwithstanding.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    What a difficult book for me to rate simply on stars. On one hand, I couldn't put this book down, engrossed within the first few pages. I've read a few books written on the subject of the women (and children) involved, but no book I've read so far has done so much to analyze the demand side of sex trafficking. This was a very thorough bit of research into the world of prostitution from the standpoint of the buyers that fuel the "trade" in human flesh, domestically and globally. I poured through What a difficult book for me to rate simply on stars. On one hand, I couldn't put this book down, engrossed within the first few pages. I've read a few books written on the subject of the women (and children) involved, but no book I've read so far has done so much to analyze the demand side of sex trafficking. This was a very thorough bit of research into the world of prostitution from the standpoint of the buyers that fuel the "trade" in human flesh, domestically and globally. I poured through it in two days. With that said, on the other hand I couldn't read more than a chapter WITHOUT putting it down, to process what I had just absorbed and to calm the anxieties and absolute RAGE that I was feeling! I quipped to a friend as I was reading this that "I may never date again," but joking aside this book was disturbingly eye opening for me, an insight into the world of the men who pay for sex - their thought processes, the rationale they use to justify their choices, the support systems and networks in place to keep the behavior going. It also covered a wide range of topics pertinent to the enabling of "paying for play": pornography, sex tourism, corruption in foreign governments and "good old boys" clubs helping each other out to avoid problems. I found myself so disgusted with what I was reading, depressed not only for the women and children involved but for the men, most beyond redemption for their heinous choices. The author offered plenty of solutions to how keep the fight going - against the excuse of it being "the world's oldest profession" and thus not a worthy cause - as well as a very detailed dissection against the "legalize prostitution" camp's arguments. Sure, it's easy to stick your head in the sand and ignore the problem, or shrug it off as something that is happening "somewhere else." But an issue as serious as the one discussed in this book (yet as one that is given very little coverage in relation to many other societal problems) has no chance of being taken seriously without impassioned advocates such as this author making it known and shoving it in our faces whether we want to hear about it or not. So, although I conclude this review utterly disturbed, I'm grateful to have read this book. As you will be too. Know your world. This is a very sad part of it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Probably the best book you can read on human trafficking and prostitution, where the focus is on the perpetrators instead of the victims. This is important because without these men buying sex, there would be no prostitution and human traffickers wouldn't sell people. Prostitutes usually don't have a choice to be prostitutes, men who pay for sex do have a choice and there lies the difference. This book shows how the inequality of the sexes in society leads to the idea of men that sex can be bough Probably the best book you can read on human trafficking and prostitution, where the focus is on the perpetrators instead of the victims. This is important because without these men buying sex, there would be no prostitution and human traffickers wouldn't sell people. Prostitutes usually don't have a choice to be prostitutes, men who pay for sex do have a choice and there lies the difference. This book shows how the inequality of the sexes in society leads to the idea of men that sex can be bought or sold and that they 'need' or 'deserve' it. I like that legal prostitution is being criticized in this book as well, because in the Netherlands (where I live) it also has been made clear that it didn't solve anything since women in prostitution still face lots of violence and dehumanization. I'd like to see in a couple of years that organizations picked up the goals written at the end of this book and see how they have worked and to be improved further from there.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    This book is a change from the usual telling about the women involved in prostitution and focuses on the Johns who indulge, why they do and why many think its a better bet than marrying, and some who do both.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Book

    The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It by Victor Malarek “The Johns” is a difficult discussion about the world’s oldest profession or as the author would conclude oppression, prostitution. Award-winning journalist Victor Malarek takes the reader on an uncomfortable journey into the world of the sex trade as one of the most overlooked human rights abuses of the planet. This unpleasant 328-page book includes seventeen chapters covering a spectrum of topics on the sex trade with a focus on The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It by Victor Malarek “The Johns” is a difficult discussion about the world’s oldest profession or as the author would conclude oppression, prostitution. Award-winning journalist Victor Malarek takes the reader on an uncomfortable journey into the world of the sex trade as one of the most overlooked human rights abuses of the planet. This unpleasant 328-page book includes seventeen chapters covering a spectrum of topics on the sex trade with a focus on its users. Positives: 1. Generally well-written, well-researched book. 2. The fascinating but difficult topic of the sex trade. 3. Malarek has great command of the topic and covers it from many angles. 4. The book doesn’t waste time in disclosing the central argument of this book. “What we are witnessing today is nothing less than international sexual terrorism against women and children at the hands of men, and little is being done to stop the carnage”. 5. Discusses the causes of the global plight of women. “Poverty, chronic unemployment, domestic violence, and drug addiction top the list of root causes.” 6. Provocative conclusions. “I have come to this unwavering realization: prostitution — all prostitution — is not about choice. If anything, for the overwhelming majority of women ensnared in the trade, it is the ultimate act of desperation. It is survival sex.” 7. Does a very good job of describing the johns. “What this brotherhood reveals is that, when it comes to sexuality and prostitution, johns’ attitudes are remarkably consistent throughout the world. On these forums — whether in the U.S., Canada, Australia, or Europe — it quickly becomes apparent that the search for paid sex is all about entitlement, power, and control.” 8. Some high-profiled cases revisited. ““Norma Ramos, co-executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, based in New York, said: “The contradiction and hypocrisy of Governor Spitzer being a supporter of the recently passed New York State antitrafficking legislation, while he himself is part of the demand that fuels sex trafficking, constitutes an enormous betrayal of the human rights and women's rights movement that works to end human trafficking.”” 9. Discusses why johns do it. “Pay for play — which some johns shorten to P4P — may be easier, cheaper, and more of a sure thing. But even more important for many single johns, as the previous examples show, is that it is also hassle-free.” 10. The danger for women in prostitution. “Research has shown, time and time again, that for women in prostitution there is no such thing as a safe place.” 11. Some quotes are indelible. ““Shame only afflicts people with morals. I have no morals.” 12. Traveling johns and why they travel. “Thailand is the sex destination for prostitution tourists. Airlines from all over the world land daily at Bangkok International Airport and disgorge herds of johns in search of paid sex. Not one of these men seems the least bit concerned that he is actually breaking the law.” 13. Probably the most difficult topic to get through, predator johns. “The refuge, near the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, was home to thirty girls, aged ten to sixteen. All had been robbed of their innocence, forced to service men, most from abroad.” Sickening just reading that. 14. The impact of the porn industry. “Research on the effects of repeated exposure to hard-core is virtually unanimous in its findings: men soon lose respect for women and develop an increased sexual callousness toward them. As they progress to more deviant, bizarre, or violent porn, they begin to trivialize rape and form distorted views of women, sexuality, dating, and marriage.” 15. An interesting look at the legalization of prostitution. “The negatives of legalization far outweigh the positives. Given the inherent violence in prostitution and the degradation and humiliation visited daily on vast numbers of prostituted women and girls, it is difficult to fathom why anyone — indeed any government — would support legalizing a trade for the few who purportedly choose it when the overwhelming majority never chose it, definitely don't want it, and desperately want out of it.” “Legalization sends a message that it's okay to purchase women for sex, to impose their sexual will via the almighty dollar.” 16. Conclusions backed by research. “After years of research, study, and sometimes acrimonious debate, the Swedish government flatly rejected the notion that prostitution is a choice, that it is legitimate work and that it is something women, girls, and boys want to do. It concluded that the majority of people caught up in the flesh trade are victims who are economically, racially, or ethnically marginalized and oppressed.” 17. Discusses how to get rid of prostitution or the most appalling aspects of it. “The United States is the only real sheriff on the world stage actively pursuing child-sex tourists and prosecuting American offenders at home.” 18. An excellent epilogue that lists things we can do. “THE TRUTH IS SIMPLE: if there were no demand, prostitution would not exist. Prostitution is not about women's sexuality. It's about men.” Negatives: 1. A very difficult and uneasy topic to get through. Some of the contents is very disturbing and even feels gratuitous. 2. Repetitive. 3. Lack of supplementary material to complement the narrative. No graphics, no charts, and formal bibliography. 4. Limited amount of information that I didn’t already know. 5. Can there be a world where men and women can purchase sex in a safe and respectable manner? Not according to Malarek, but I just wonder… In summary, this was a very difficult book to get through because of the graphic nature and harm it has caused and continues to cause to countless women and children. In general, I agree with most of the conclusions of the author, prostitution is a human rights abuse. The book could have used supplementary material to complement the narrative and at times I felt it was tedious and gratuitous but overall Malarek reaches compelling conclusions and does so while considering both sides of the ledger. Unpleasant but a necessary read, I recommend it. Further suggestions: “The Natashas” by the same author, “Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave-Trade and How We Can Fight It” by David Batstone, “The Slave Next Door” by Kevin Bales, “Sex Trafficking” by Siddharth Kara, “Somebody’s Daughter” by Julian Sher, and “Girls Like Us” by Rachel Lloyd, “Renting Lacy” by Linda Smith, and “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Idiosyncratic

    Nothing you wouldn't expect here, except one revealing little observation from a john who developed a conscience about the women. He said that, if you have any conscience whatsoever, don't just look at the woman's body or face - look into her eyes. You will see that, for all her laughing and smiling and gushing over you, her eyes will tell how she really feels about you and the situation. (He had to quit after that.) Nothing you wouldn't expect here, except one revealing little observation from a john who developed a conscience about the women. He said that, if you have any conscience whatsoever, don't just look at the woman's body or face - look into her eyes. You will see that, for all her laughing and smiling and gushing over you, her eyes will tell how she really feels about you and the situation. (He had to quit after that.)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Thompson

    An eye opening explanation the prostitution. If you think you understand this issue, think again. Legalizing!prostitution is no more the answer than criminalizing the co Tim ia. This book will make you see the issue in a whole new r

  11. 5 out of 5

    Harvey Smith

    I started this book feeling almost weird to reading about men who buy sex. It didn't take me long to have my eyes opened very wide. It's a deal where a "john" is feeling entitled and looking for power and control. It's men who see themselves as as better than women essentially. There is a lot of rationalization that goes on in the mans mind in the process, about how he's helping the poor downtrodden woman earn a living. It is a rationalization. Most of the children and women are being victimized I started this book feeling almost weird to reading about men who buy sex. It didn't take me long to have my eyes opened very wide. It's a deal where a "john" is feeling entitled and looking for power and control. It's men who see themselves as as better than women essentially. There is a lot of rationalization that goes on in the mans mind in the process, about how he's helping the poor downtrodden woman earn a living. It is a rationalization. Most of the children and women are being victimized, trafficked by pimps, and in essence being held in slavery. Trafficking in humans and prostitution are very entwined. The U.S. State Department estimates that 800,000 people are trafficked around the world at any one time. It is a huge illegal industry that is driven by demand, which far outstrips the supply of women available in a given market, which then brings kidnapping and literal human trafficking and enslavement into the picture, often with underage girls and children. In the Western world studies show that as many as 80% of women in prostitution entered the trade before they turned 18. So, how about legalizing prostitution? Not a great idea. It almost conveniently gives it an air or respectability. In addition, the legal sex trade is given rules and regulations. In reality, in areas where the sex trade is legal, the illegal market is up to four times larger than the legal market. In essence, legalization is in fact a gift to "johns". The root cause of prostitution is that men buy. A progressive way to bring the prostitution industry under control is to look at the approach Sweden has taken. Instead of criminalizing and blaming the women involved (most often against their choice), they instead made BUYING sex a crime, thereby holding "johns" criminally responsible. Sex tourism is alive and very well in the world, the "john' again rationalizing that he's entitled to buy and use prostitutes for what ever purpose he wants, including torture and violence. Oh, and rationalizing that they are helping the woman or child's family escape economic hardship by exchanging money for sex. It has been called the world's oldest profession, and that the sex trade is inevitable. The fact that it exists at all is damaged masculinity has, and still is the root cause.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dallas

    As a book on human trafficking and sex slavery, I didn't have much of an issue with it - except that it didn't focus on this topic nearly as much as I was led to believe by the synopsis. As a book on prostitution, there's a lot I take issue with. I didn't go into this expecting to come out with my feminist hackles up, but for some reason I have a major problem with a self-righteous white dude preaching at me about sex and female bodies. There was a very kink-shamey air to a lot of what he said, an As a book on human trafficking and sex slavery, I didn't have much of an issue with it - except that it didn't focus on this topic nearly as much as I was led to believe by the synopsis. As a book on prostitution, there's a lot I take issue with. I didn't go into this expecting to come out with my feminist hackles up, but for some reason I have a major problem with a self-righteous white dude preaching at me about sex and female bodies. There was a very kink-shamey air to a lot of what he said, and he wants all sex work abolished because that's easier than putting in the work to fight the actual issue, which is trafficking. I finished this book purely because I felt obligated to absorb and attempt to understand a viewpoint so different from my own on a subject I consider myself to be particularly interested in.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I didn't give this book 5 stars because of the subject matter, which, in itself, takes off that last star.. It's a fascinating book that delves into one of the halves that make up the sex trade and trafficking industry, the "Johns". It was harsh to read, because it's so much more comfortable to close our eyes to the reality of what, on average 2.5 - 3 MILLION people (the majority of which are women and children) suffer every year in this 43 billion dollar industry. Victor Malarek strives to crac I didn't give this book 5 stars because of the subject matter, which, in itself, takes off that last star.. It's a fascinating book that delves into one of the halves that make up the sex trade and trafficking industry, the "Johns". It was harsh to read, because it's so much more comfortable to close our eyes to the reality of what, on average 2.5 - 3 MILLION people (the majority of which are women and children) suffer every year in this 43 billion dollar industry. Victor Malarek strives to crack open what is, by its very nature, a secret and anonymous relation between traffickers, the Natashas (his first book) and "the Johns". A real eye-opener, easy to read, and a book I recommend to anyone who's ready to face the harsh reality.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Birgit

    very insightful read about a very disconcerting issue in our society today. I recommend this book to educate people about the dangers of modern sex trade (pornography and prostitution), and hopefully, get more people forcing legislation to change in their societies - Swedish model is currently the best - , and to abolish modern day slavery (for women, girls and boys). "The entire social tragedy boils down to one word: dignity - the dignity of women and girls worldwide. In prostitution there is n very insightful read about a very disconcerting issue in our society today. I recommend this book to educate people about the dangers of modern sex trade (pornography and prostitution), and hopefully, get more people forcing legislation to change in their societies - Swedish model is currently the best - , and to abolish modern day slavery (for women, girls and boys). "The entire social tragedy boils down to one word: dignity - the dignity of women and girls worldwide. In prostitution there is no dignity, no empowerment, no equality in any form. True equality between men and women will always be beyond reach as long as men feel they have a right to rent a woman's body. It is not a right, and it never should be. WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO ABOLISH PROSTITUTION." - Victor Malarek

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    This is a must read for anyone who thinks prostitution is a victimless crime. Through investigating the motives and beliefs behind Johns, or mongers as they refer to themselves, the author makes a very clear case for holding johns responsible for their crimes and for making the buying of sex a crime. Interestingly, those countries that have legalized prostitution have not solved the many problems with prostitution in their countries, and in most cases legalization has made matters worse. Prostit This is a must read for anyone who thinks prostitution is a victimless crime. Through investigating the motives and beliefs behind Johns, or mongers as they refer to themselves, the author makes a very clear case for holding johns responsible for their crimes and for making the buying of sex a crime. Interestingly, those countries that have legalized prostitution have not solved the many problems with prostitution in their countries, and in most cases legalization has made matters worse. Prostitution is exploitation, plain and simple, and should not be tolerated by any society that respects human rights.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    Informative reading on a side of prostitution that many people don't focus on, the men. Informative reading on a side of prostitution that many people don't focus on, the men.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Good companion to Malarek's previous books. Interesting. Good companion to Malarek's previous books. Interesting.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Sadly, this was not the unbiased read I was hoping for. It starts out with an opinion and proceeds to illustrate it. Almost naive in its onesidedness and sense of outrage.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    The topic is intriguing and needed to be addressed, but I was pretty disappointed with this book. I felt that it was very repetitive and was made up of mostly disgusting quotes from nasty guys that I could have easily found myself in any online chat room. The repetition and over-use of quotes made this book longer than needed to get the author’s main points across. I further felt that it was unnecessarily graphic. Of course we are dealing with a dark, gruesome and stomach-turning topic, but the The topic is intriguing and needed to be addressed, but I was pretty disappointed with this book. I felt that it was very repetitive and was made up of mostly disgusting quotes from nasty guys that I could have easily found myself in any online chat room. The repetition and over-use of quotes made this book longer than needed to get the author’s main points across. I further felt that it was unnecessarily graphic. Of course we are dealing with a dark, gruesome and stomach-turning topic, but the overly descriptive explanations of various sex acts being required of trafficked women and children by johns was borderline pornographic in itself. I already know what johns do, I wanted to better understand WHY they do it. The book addressed that a little bit but not as much as I was expecting from the title and tag line of the book. Overall, I applaud the author for trying to get this important conversation going but felt that it could have and should have been done in a more sensitive manner.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Haradon

    This book is somewhat interesting and informative, but it seems like the majority of the author's research was from simply reading message boards frequented by johns. This seems like half-assed reporting to me. I found it misleading that the back of the book has great reviews on it, but they are not for "The Johns," but for his previous book "The Natashas." Based on those reviews, it seems like he did his homework on that book (on global sex-trafficking) but somewhat phoned this one in. Still, h This book is somewhat interesting and informative, but it seems like the majority of the author's research was from simply reading message boards frequented by johns. This seems like half-assed reporting to me. I found it misleading that the back of the book has great reviews on it, but they are not for "The Johns," but for his previous book "The Natashas." Based on those reviews, it seems like he did his homework on that book (on global sex-trafficking) but somewhat phoned this one in. Still, he offers interesting insights into the men who frequent prostitutes, so I'm glad I read it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bookchick

    An incredibly difficult book to read. I read it to prepare for a program we are facilitating at our church on pornography and sex trafficking. I learned more than I was prepared to hear about some men's base attitudes and actions and about the women who are trafficked to suffer through _any_ perverse act of sex and/or violence. Don't know that I could recommend anyone read this, but it was thorough, and some of the successes that several countries and American cities have had with educating and An incredibly difficult book to read. I read it to prepare for a program we are facilitating at our church on pornography and sex trafficking. I learned more than I was prepared to hear about some men's base attitudes and actions and about the women who are trafficked to suffer through _any_ perverse act of sex and/or violence. Don't know that I could recommend anyone read this, but it was thorough, and some of the successes that several countries and American cities have had with educating and prosecuting "johns" are hopeful.

  22. 4 out of 5

    K.D. McQuain

    This book is full of profiles of the types of men who frequent prostitutes and information about the effect that this "hobby" has on them, their "service providers", and society as a whole. It was pretty dry and could have benefited from a less statistical, more personal approach. In all, a good source of information but a tough read. This book is full of profiles of the types of men who frequent prostitutes and information about the effect that this "hobby" has on them, their "service providers", and society as a whole. It was pretty dry and could have benefited from a less statistical, more personal approach. In all, a good source of information but a tough read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This book offers an exhaustive investigation into prostitution from the buyer's POV and, most importantly, gives ideas about how to change the current norm. I thought it was well done but it was hard to read--I found some of the attitudes utterly repugnant. I do think education is key in changing perspectives about sex work and this book offers good information. This book offers an exhaustive investigation into prostitution from the buyer's POV and, most importantly, gives ideas about how to change the current norm. I thought it was well done but it was hard to read--I found some of the attitudes utterly repugnant. I do think education is key in changing perspectives about sex work and this book offers good information.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gorgas

    kind of weak compared to "The Natashas" but def an area of the sex trade that needs more light shone on it. Why do the men get to hide in anonymity and the girls/women get punished for being victims? The rehab program section was wonderful kind of weak compared to "The Natashas" but def an area of the sex trade that needs more light shone on it. Why do the men get to hide in anonymity and the girls/women get punished for being victims? The rehab program section was wonderful

  25. 4 out of 5

    Roger G.

    Ok, people put your forks and torches down for a moment. Generalization is not good, and this is exactly what I feared that would happen in here. I had in my life had sex with many prostitutes and in fact I'm still friends with some of them. Many different reasons can lead a man to paid for sex and most of them is not because they hate or don't respect women. In my case, if you need to know, its because I suffer from severe social anxiety and was never able to do it otherwise, it was this or noth Ok, people put your forks and torches down for a moment. Generalization is not good, and this is exactly what I feared that would happen in here. I had in my life had sex with many prostitutes and in fact I'm still friends with some of them. Many different reasons can lead a man to paid for sex and most of them is not because they hate or don't respect women. In my case, if you need to know, its because I suffer from severe social anxiety and was never able to do it otherwise, it was this or nothing. The point is, every one of those women I had sex with, were in this life because they wanted to. Many see clients in their own places, live comfortably and in luxury. Because yes, this profession is very lucrative and that is the reason they do it. Every prostitute I even did had more money than me and lived better than I do. Many of them are graduated or paying for their studies with this sex money. (they had told me that in "normal jobs" they would never had raise enough money for it) If a guy goes to a shady place where women are being explored, he is accomplice to a horrible crime I agree this far. But sex work itself is not the evil here. The demand will always exist and there will always be women apt to do it. Human trafficking must be punished and eradicated, but sex work had and will always exist. Maybe its because I live in a country where prostitution is legal that I had such experience. I don't know how things are where it is illegal. Maybe forbidden it and forcing it to the dark is the biggest problem.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Wow. I'll be totally honest, I came at this book from a curious but opposing perspective to that of the author. I've always believed in the legalization of prostitution, that it would allow for improvements in the health, safety, and finances of women working in the sex industry. But Malarek took every pro-prostitution argument in my arsenal and crushed it. Taking the quoted words of the "johns" really forced me to see that no matter how much a woman might enjoy sex, the kind of men who purchase Wow. I'll be totally honest, I came at this book from a curious but opposing perspective to that of the author. I've always believed in the legalization of prostitution, that it would allow for improvements in the health, safety, and finances of women working in the sex industry. But Malarek took every pro-prostitution argument in my arsenal and crushed it. Taking the quoted words of the "johns" really forced me to see that no matter how much a woman might enjoy sex, the kind of men who purchase sex are misogynists - really messed up individuals who are dangerous to women. And regardless of what a libertine a woman might be, she probably wouldn't choose the men she's paid to have sex with if she didn't have to. There's just so much here. I'm conflicted about so many things that I was once certain about. I devoured this book in a day because it's so well written, so easy to follow, and so compelling that I couldn't put it down. It's very disheartening much of the time, but I believe it's a very important read for everyone. Especially those, like myself, who have gotten so carried away with sex-positivism that we forget to watch out for those who would take advantage and abuse it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book was well-written in the sense that it flowed well and used correct punctuation, grammar, spelling and syntax. It had a good balance of demographic statistics with personal anecdotes to give the stats a human face. Most importantly, I feel I learned something from it. On the other hand, I consider myself politically and philosophically liberal, but I also like to think of myself as rational and a realist. There were times I felt this book didn’t meet those last two tests. While I know th This book was well-written in the sense that it flowed well and used correct punctuation, grammar, spelling and syntax. It had a good balance of demographic statistics with personal anecdotes to give the stats a human face. Most importantly, I feel I learned something from it. On the other hand, I consider myself politically and philosophically liberal, but I also like to think of myself as rational and a realist. There were times I felt this book didn’t meet those last two tests. While I know there are many good arguments against legalization of prostitution, I got the impression that the author was so committed to his cause that he either glossed over or ignored many of the also convincing arguments in favor of legalization, choosing instead to only focus on stats or examples that supported his case. I read this book to learn about the subject as a whole—the good, the bad, and the ugly—not to learn talking points for a sermon. And that was the biggest problem for me: The book leaned more and more towards sermonizing the closer I got to the end. Truthfully, I agree with most of the author’s points. So it is especially sad that I feel he lost some credibility by abandoning the more academic tone he started with in order to end with moralizing.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Lee

    Well this was an incredibly depressive albeit informative read. Mr. Malarek thoroughly has done his research in trying to track down the various mentalities behind johns around the world and the mental gymnastics men from all backgrounds go into justifying paying for sex. The main thesis (which sold me) was that the act of paying rather than selling should be criminalized in order to curb prostitution because it's the demand that keeps allowing prostitution and especially the criminals behind it Well this was an incredibly depressive albeit informative read. Mr. Malarek thoroughly has done his research in trying to track down the various mentalities behind johns around the world and the mental gymnastics men from all backgrounds go into justifying paying for sex. The main thesis (which sold me) was that the act of paying rather than selling should be criminalized in order to curb prostitution because it's the demand that keeps allowing prostitution and especially the criminals behind it to continue to grow. Although he kind of equates all prostitution with trafficking he makes a convincing argument that systematic demand will always cause certain criminal elements to fester including in states where it is legalized. This is because so much of the rationality johns have seek to dehumanize the prostitutes that invariably leads to horrible treatment. Again, the mentality behind many of the johns was so horrifying, depressing, disgusting, pathetic, pitiful, or a sad combination of all of these that it left me pretty depressed about the state of men in general. Nonetheless it's an informative read and a warning of some of the horrors that are only slightly beneath the surface of society.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adam Irving

    This book presents a harrowing look at prostitution from the viewpoint of the men who do the buying, one that is almost always overlooked. The first two-thirds of the book offer a variety of perspectives of the types of men who pay for sex and some of the various outlooks that motivate them. The author gets out of his own way here, letting the posts from internet sites and interviews largely speak for themselves. The final third punches hardest, offering a powerful argument about how and why pro This book presents a harrowing look at prostitution from the viewpoint of the men who do the buying, one that is almost always overlooked. The first two-thirds of the book offer a variety of perspectives of the types of men who pay for sex and some of the various outlooks that motivate them. The author gets out of his own way here, letting the posts from internet sites and interviews largely speak for themselves. The final third punches hardest, offering a powerful argument about how and why prostitution is so damaging, to the women and children who are its victims but also to the johns themselves. Data, surveys and reports are referenced but are not used to deluge. An exceptionally crafted persuasive document that is surprisingly cohesive and consistent. This book is not for the faint of heart but can make a profound and powerful impact.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Terri Harper

    This was one of the most difficult books I have ever read, which is why it actually took me 4 years to get through it. Yet, it is an incredibly important book to read if you want to understand what prostitution truly is. The book is brutally honest and brought me to tears more than once, feeling disgusted and angry at such atrocities, wanting to help each victim gain some self worth. As society decays, it feels this grows worse. But solutions are offered in this book as well. If you pick up this This was one of the most difficult books I have ever read, which is why it actually took me 4 years to get through it. Yet, it is an incredibly important book to read if you want to understand what prostitution truly is. The book is brutally honest and brought me to tears more than once, feeling disgusted and angry at such atrocities, wanting to help each victim gain some self worth. As society decays, it feels this grows worse. But solutions are offered in this book as well. If you pick up this book, be prepared, but get through it no matter how it tears you apart to read it. The truth needs to be known.

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