It's so blatant that for a while there was a sort of Drive-thru prostitute service available outside the Sheraton, Which Muscati and Wife blogged about brilliantly here.
I've been meaning to write about the prostitution here for a while. The thing that finally motivated me to write a little bit on the issue today was reading yesterday's HI! magazine. In it, here was a letter from a British expatriate, regarding last week's article on massage in Muscat. The guy pretty much pointed out the obvious, that a lot of massage parlours are a front for prostitution, or at the very least that a client can expect to have more than his back massaged as part of the service.
The Brilliant folks editing HI! thought is best to edit the word prostitute, among others, out of his letter. For a start, the editing was so butchered and incoherent me want to slap the editors across the face with a heavy thesaurus and ask them just what exactly the English language ever did to them to be treated with such brazen carelessness. Second, one would either have to be insanely naive or exceptionally pious or more likely both to not be aware of the amount of prostitution here in Oman.
There are prostitutes all over Oman. There are lots of men who are happy to pay them for sex. A lot of the men refuse to use protection, raising the chances of becoming infected with STI's or HIV. They can then transmit whatever they have acquired to other prostitutes, current or future wives and possibly unborn children. You only get one set of genitals, and you should be careful where you (or the person you are married to) go and stick them.
Regardless of how You or I might feel, there will come a point in time when the government, the media, and families are going to need to have some pretty uncomfortable conversations. Conversations about Protection from STI's, Human trafficking, Contraception. Conversations about the morality of prostitution and a man's commitment to his wife. Conversations about the government's decision to cover it's eyes and then claim not to see anything.
I'll leave you with a statement from a guy, Jack* whom I occasionally see in bars. Jack has a post graduate degree, and is employed somewhere rather high ranking in the government. Jack visits Prostitutes here occasionally, and really enjoys his "family" holidays to Thailand and Malaysia. I said I hope he's using a condom, because you've gotta be carefull out there. Jack said...
"don't be stupid, I don't go for the dirty girls. You can tell by looking carefully
if they are clean and taking care of themselves."
OK bud.... whatever you say.
More on this issue after Ramadhan, including a guide to the brothels of the city, and a few stories from the working girls themselves, as told to me.