Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Prostitute's Ikigai

One of the points raised by the cruel commenters of Reddit when my article on why Singaporeans do not matter became a top read on this blog was that I have a a very narrow circle of friends who are gamers. I wanted to use this opportunity to show that my choice of social circle can lead to better insights compared to just hanging out with Singaporeans who want to take Instagrams of food or talk about their children's PSLE preparations.

Consider this scenario :

Someone wants to hire a Singaporean prostitute for a night of fun. When the time came to meet up with her, she did not show up, saying that she does not know whether she can get off her day job as a PA on time. The second time round, the person tried to make another appointment with her, but she was fussy and refused to service her client in a hotel room, instead she insisted that the client should do her outside (as in the open wilderness).

I felt that this is a teachable moment for my blog readers - maybe the prostitute really was in this line of work to attain self-actualisation.

Prostitution is a good threshold example when we look at different frameworks on career and life satisfaction.

The Western model of career planning we learn about in TED talks and self-help books is that we look for three things when deciding on a career :

  • Choose a career you are passionate about.
  • Choose a career that pays well.
  • Choose a career you are good at.

If we adopt the Western model, we can say that it is definitely possible for a prostitute to find that her job is a calling. In this case, the freelancer already has a day job and takes on clients because she enjoys the work, the work pays well and she is quite good at her job role ( Maybe she gives good GFE vibes and is always fully booked, who knows ?).

What's interesting is when you adopt the Eastern model and decide whether prostitution work will allow someone to find his / her "reason for being" or what the Japanese say Ikigai.

The Eastern model introduces a fourth element.

Prostitution must be the kind of work that the world needs.

At this stage, it is arguable as to whether Prostitution work can be someone's Ikigai.

A judgmental prude can argue that the world does not need Prostitution because it destroys families and introduces more negatives than positives to society. A more liberal interpretation can be that Prostitution can curb other sexual crimes by creating an outlet for men without conventional forms of sexual access.

Something that is acceptable by a society that emphasises individualism can be frowned upon when we assess it through the lens of a more communitarian society.

One thing is clear - Readers can benefit when they ask themselves whether their current vocation is their Ikigai.

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