Why Is There A Need For An Alternative Model To A Brothel?
In 1994 Mal Weeraratne founded the first Tantra Temple model in the UK, this was a center where sexually wounded and disenfranchised could seek healing. This was a place where issues such as childhood abuse, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, sexual trauma, and intimacy issues could all be addressed and healed. This was a not-for-profit business and one that was founded to address the issue of sexual healing. However, it was branded a brothel and forced to shut down by the English Authorities.
What Mal had set up was a Tantric Temple Model that offered men the opportunity to be healed and was an alternative to visiting a prostitute.It is currently estimated that 80,000 people working on the streets that are involved in prostitution in the UK (Kinnell 1999 -many experts believe the number to be far higher now and Mal believes there are over 500,000 prostitutes working in the UK, on the street, working from home, brothels, massage parlous and in Escort agencies). Worryingly statistics tell us that up to 5,000 children may be involved in prostitution at any one time, with a female to male ratio of four to one. [Home Office (2004), Paying the price]. These figures are from official statistics and it is probable that the true figures of those involved in prostitution are far higher.
In London alone, there are 2,000 brothels, all of which employ immigrant labour – as much as 80 per cent in some cases and with much of it being illegal. There are many issues that surround prostitution including abuse, sexually transmitted disease, trafficking, drugs, underage girls and poor working conditions. Women and children abused in prostitution experience severe and long lasting physical and mental health problems. Prostitution is harmful to the prostitute as constantly submitting to unwanted sex is very damaging to women’s mental health, self-esteem and sexuality and often leads to the need to disassociate – through taking drugs and/or alcohol. Whatever the reason for women entering prostitution, her drug and alcohol dependency is likely to increase. Prostitution also has an impact on family life, for families where women become involved, and also families of the men who buy sex including health risks and loss of income. It is fair to conclude that the model of prostitution that currently exists in the UK is far from ideal and whilst it is an industry in demand it is one that does not protect its workers or resolve the issues of the men that seek their services.
According to research nearly 1 in 10 UK men visit prostitutes (university College London and Home Office), however, due to the secretive and illegal nature of visiting prostitutes and brothels, it is difficult to gain accurate statistics and it is thought that most men visit or seek the services of a sex worker at some stage in their life. Mal explains that many men visiting prostitutes need healing and are searching for solutions to their emotional pain and sexual dysfunction, he goes on to explain that they will not find these answers at a brothel as they need deep healing work. Indeed the research from PRE concluded many men got nothing but a ‘bad feeling’ from visiting prostitutes.
Mal explains that if‘damaged’ men, i.e. men that have been abused, sexually traumatized or have been emotionally deprived are likely to experience sexual blockages. Mal explains that emotional deprivation including the absence of breast feeding or sufficient breast feeding as a baby can cause men to experience emotional difficulties in adulthood. Therapist Kimberly Moffit confirmed that breastfeeding has psychological benefits, including increased cognitive development. Studies also demonstrate that breastfed children are less likely to have behavioral problems, and more likely to have higher IQs. According to widely accepted research, the bond babies develop with their mothers due to breastfeeding leads to better emotional development and stability.(1)The act of breastfeeding and the skin-to-skin contact involved releases the hormones serotonin and Oxycontin in both the mom and baby, which encourages a strong emotional bond between them. (2) furthermore, breastfed children are protected against mental health problems (3,4) and addictions.(5) They tend to be higher in intelligence (6,7) and more emotionally secure than children who were not breastfed.(8)
It follows that boys who are rejected by their mother’s or are deprived of touch from their family go onto lack security, confidence, love and intimacy. The importance of touch and the power of touch should not be dismissed or underestimated. We begin receiving tactile signals whilst still in the womb, with the vibration of a mother’s heartbeat being amplified by amniotic fluid. Professor Peter Andersen, author of ‘Nonverbal Communication: Forms and Functions, explains that touch is important in the relationship between children and caregivers, he says, “It’s an essential channel of communication with caregivers for a child,”. The skill of non-verbal communication through touch is essential for bonding and if this is not learned at an early then it can cause problems in the forming of relationships and in expressing emotion.
Similarly, the lack of a father in the family unit or parental abandonment has serious consequences on the development of a boy. Boys that don’t have a father figure actively involved in their life are more likely to suffer from depression, withdrawal, feelings of social and physical inadequacy and to get bullied.
Boys who don’t receive enough attention, time, acceptance, encouragement, tenderness, discipline, stability, security, guidance, love or wisdom from their parents and caregivers as children are more likely to suffer from mental health issues including anxiety, aggression, withdrawal and impulse control and mood disorders. Research also shows that these boys will often encounter difficulties forming peer relationship will have a higher risk of depression and suicide risk. Furthermore they will go on to have problems establishing loving relationships with girls and are more likely to form addictions, serve prison sentences or get in trouble with the law. In short these boys can grow up to be violent with stagnant anger emotions stored. If these blockages are not treated they can go on to pose a threat to society, by becoming child abusers, committing domestic violence, raping etc., indeed the study by PRE supports this view with the study recording nearly one-half of the sex buyers stating that rape happens because men get sexually carried away (47%) or their sex drive gets “out of control” (48%). Sixteen per cent stating that they would rape a woman if they could be assured that they would not be caught. Acknowledging their sexually coercive behaviors with non-prostitute women, 37% told us that they had tricked non-prostituting women into having sex by lying to them.
It seems that the old myth that brothels stop rape is not true and that in the wake of The Savile scandal that shocked the nation, and a rise in reports of sexual abuse that is consistent with sharp jumps in reports of physical attacks on children and the statistics of domestic violence failing to fall coupled with the fact that statistics only tell the story of those cases reported; it seems more important than ever that we need a way of stopping men from committing these terrible crimes and creating more victims that continue the cycle of abuse. Mal strongly believes that Tantric healing is the solution to breaking this cycle of abuse. However his views and beliefs have seen him encounter a prison cell whilst serving a sentence for living off immoral earnings, despite the fact he never took a penny profit.