Why Is There A Need For An Alternative Model To A Brothel?

Posted on Sunday, December 15th, 2013 – Category Uncategorized

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.

In 1995 an undercover operation conducted 24/7 for over a period of 3 months by the British vice squad, found that Mal’s Tantric Temple model was a non-profit establishment, clean, safe and a secure establishment for both clients and therapists who worked on voluntary basis with no force, with no drugs, alcohol or underage men or women in the premises. Authorities also further discovered, at any given time only two females worked together, one being the therapist and the other a temple keeper who kept the temple tidy and safe. Documentary evidence was also found by the authorities that the therapists were under contract stating not to provide penetrative sex to clients.

Having heard the evidence from vice squad offices, the English Court of Law declared that Tantric genital massage is prostitution and receiving any money from a prostitute was Immoral, irrespective of the fact that the establishment was non-profit making.

Authorities also found a waiting list, with over 100 women wanting to work as a Tantrika, on a voluntary basis at this establishment where Mal was providing excellent training on sexual healing and treating the Tantrika’s as well to help release their own negative emotions as well as what they pick up from clients during their daily practice. A much needed and sadly misunderstood therapy, because it seems that Britain doesn’t want to accept the need for emotional release, trauma release and sexual healing and cannot differentiate the difference between healing and prostitution.

In 1995 English Courts found Mal guilty of “Immoral Earnings” and he was sentenced for 2 years. Sentenced to the maximum term imprisonment by a judge (who did not know the difference between Tantric Healing and Prostitution) who summarized, “if ever UK legalize prostitution, this is the model one should follow”.  Whilst this is a back-handed compliment at least it recognized the model Mal was using had many merits. So if this was a model for brothels to aspire to why was Mal given the maximum penal sentence? Police could not find any evidence of Mal making  money from the Tantric Temple model and the police and courts could not comprehend the idea of a business of this ‘type’ not making money for the owner, they thought Mal was too clever and had hidden the income or that the police had missed something. The reality is that the system had again acted on their misconceptions confusing sensuality and healing with sex workers.  The police investigation was thorough and invasive, but failed to provide evidence of profiting, because there was none. After a three month undercover operation in 1995, involving 27 vice squad officers covering 24/7 shifts at a cost to the tax payer of over £60,000 there was none of the usual evidence associated with the running of a brothel: i.e, no profit, no penetrative sex offered, no prostitutes. Instead a not-for profit center for sexual healing where highly trained sexual healers worked without fear, addiction and on a voluntary basis. Mal was released from prison after one year for good behavior, the rumors and legacy of his sentence, however, continue to haunt him and his work to this day.

In 2004 English authorities abolished “Immoral Earnings”. Today there are over 150 Tantra Temples, Tantra Teachers and Therapists providing sexual healing, teaching and helping men, women and couples.  Mal said ‘’the temple was used to help people in need—a place that combined spirituality and sexuality’’.  Mal hopes that in time his work will become recognized and that the merits of his research will become widely accepted. In the meantime he explains that spent his time in prison researching, interviewing fellow prisoners that were sex offenders and finding out what motivated them and why they committed the crimes they had. He says ‘’this was a unique opportunity. No one else in the country has the knowledge and understanding of this matter like I do. I have gained unique insight into what motivates sex offenders and this coupled with my training and academic research has given me vast knowledge about this subject’’.

His strength in the face of adversity and resolve to continue talking about the subject of Tantric Healing is to be admired, he is a truly remarkable healer, who like so many pioneers has been wrongly victimized. His Tantric Temple Model was an honest attempt to remove blockages from men that stand in the way of them forming loving connections and to educate modern minds on the subjects of why abuse occurs and how to treat the causes and effects.

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