Pimponomics 101: Why Is the Sex Industry Thriving?

Posted: November 10, 2015 in Human Trafficking Is...
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The topic of pimps and their popularity ignited an interesting debate between my husband and me. We wondered: Why is the sex industry thriving like it is?

  • Is greed driving the pimp to push young women to sell their bodies day after day for his profit?
  • Is there is not enough law enforcement to keep up with the overwhelming number of traffickers?
  • Is the sex industry’s growth due to the johns’ buying sex in the first place? (If there was no demand, there would be no need to supply.)
  • Or is poverty the real root behind all this?

We concluded that there is no one group or person to blame. We are all called to help stop prostitution, pornography, and sexual exploitation.

The Victim

Most women* prostituted by traffickers feel they have no choice. They continue to sell their bodies out of fear of punishment from their pimp or necessity, as they have no other way to earn a living. Poverty, lack of education, and homelessness all play a factor in the force that drives a woman to be manipulated into prostitution and pornography.

Though drugs and guns can only be purchased once, human beings can be sold over and over. People are also easier to hide from law enforcement because fear can cause victims to lie about their situation or they may not even realize they are a victim.

The Buyer

Johns who purchase sex may not know the women are being forced and are not willing participants. Men addicted to pornography may feel the need to take it to the next level and “purchase the real thing.”

They feel a sense of anonymity, hiding behind their computer monitor, cell phone or laptop while they “shop” for women or meeting under cover of darkness at random motels. Many johns believe pornography and prostitution are victimless crimes.

The Pimp

Pimps─whether they are independent operators or members of a gang/mafia─pimp for money. As of 2015, human trafficking is second only to drugs in profitable crime. That ranking may soon change as human trafficking is the fastest growing crime worldwide.

Many pimps come from a background of abuse and lack the empathy needed to be aware of the damage they are inflicting on their victims. They don’t see the victims as anything but property.

Law Enforcement

With 2200 children reported missing every day, more than 400 ads a month on backpage.com advertising potentially underage sex, and countless sting operations occurring across the country, law enforcement is kept busy arresting criminals involved in human trafficking.

If every officer worked on a trafficking task force 24 hours a day 7 days a week, they still wouldn’t make a dent in the problem.

Traffickers are constantly using resources to stay ahead of law enforcement. They will change names, phone numbers, web addresses, and the location of their victim to elude the police.

So What Do We Do?

“Prostitution is decreasing on the street, but thriving online.

Advertisements on social media and sites like Craigslist.com and Backpage.com entice potential workers and customers. Those determined to be in the business, but who find their local resources drying up, often go online to solicit business or take advantage of opportunities in other cities,” states Polaris.

“There are two primary factors driving the spread of human trafficking: high profits and low risk. Like drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Every year, traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, including here in the United States.” –Polaris

The root of prostitution is a tangled web of cause and effect. There is no real culprit to blame for this blight on humanity. All we can do is chip away at each instigator until the problem is eradicated.

  • Notify Craigslist and Backpage that you refuse to use their sites until they stop selling people for sex.
  • Say “No!” to pornography by supporting hotel chains that refuse to provide on-demand pornography such as Hilton and Hyatt. Pornography is not only damaging to the victims exploited in the videos but also those watching the videos. Pornography is NOT a victimless crime! Learn more at www.fightthenewdrug.org
  • Refuse to purchase sex. That’s pretty self-explanatory.
  • Do not glorify or emulate pimps. For example, be aware of not using the words “porn” or “pimp” in casual conversation. They get overused as in “foodporn” for a hashtag when people snap a picture of food in social media or as in “pimping out” a car or outfit. They are criminals and sexual deviants, and should be treated as such.

*Editors note: While I use the term “women” to describe the victims of forced prostitution, young men and boys are also victimized. In a report published by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, 50% of the 100,000 children trafficked for sex is boys. There have also been sexual exploitation cases involving young children, toddlers, and infants.



Greg’s Story

The life of a porn star is not all it’s cracked up to be.

video courtesy of Fight the New Drug


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