Years ago I was in Latvia for business. I met an engaging Russian woman and over the course of a couple of weeks we got to know each other quite well. One morning she clearly had something on her mind, so I asked her to tell me what it was. “In the past,” she said, “I’ve had sex for money. It was the only way I could buy food.”

Clearly she’d told other men before me about her secret, and equally clearly she expected me to react adversely.

I leaned forward and held her hand. I told her I’d gone days without food in my own life and understood how terrible it is to fear starvation. And then I said, “I think sex work is a positive thing. It’s far more moral than being an investment banker, a politician, or an over-paid pop celebrity. I can’t understand why most people don’t see things in this way.”

I haven’t changed my opinion in the intervening years, except to add a few more dishonorable professions to the list alongside investment banker, etc.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.