When I came to this city, there were so many things new to me. 24 hour delis, bagels, ethnic foods other than Italian, tall buildings, subways, men who were openly gay, pizza by the slice, egg creams, Macy's and all the other icons I had seen on TV now come to life.
And prostitutes. This was a big curiosity for me and other friends. That women would openly flaunt their bodies and market their wares on the streets for all to behold. In the desolate area around the Lincoln Tunnel (shown in the photo), street walkers could be seen any evening, openly soliciting and discussing specifics and pricing.
Sex for money has now moved off the streets of the city. Targeted by the Guiliani administration and contained by Bloomberg, little can be found on the streets. I have been told there is some activity in Hunt's Point, Bronx, and recently there has also been trafficking in child prostitution. But most activity has gone online to places like the erotic services on Craigslist, escort services websites, Facebook and Twitter.
In spite of having lived in a city where such services were readily available, I have never sought out the services of a prostitute. Even though New York City is extremely liberal and permissive, the idea of being with a woman, even a consenting adult, in such an act of intimacy for money has always been disturbing and not right to me and everyone I know. I never have forgotten the one scene in the film Klute where Jane Fonda plays a prostitute. While faking an orgasm, unbeknownst to the man she is with, she looks at her watch - the ultimate graphic depiction of the harsh reality of prostitution and the business of sex.
On the streets or online - neither arena has been a temptation. Nor have the transgressions of former New York governor Eliot Spitzer with Kristen served as any fuel for justifying this behavior. None for me, please ...