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Cardul
So, I was reading someone's take on the Corps in the Blindness thread, and that got me thinking:

How far will the corps really go? I know way back, in Greece, Semer, and a few other ancient civilizations, they had temple prostitutes, where all or most of the money they made from plying the worlds oldest profession went straight to the temple...

But, do the Corps, in an effort to keep their employees happy, have a "Sex Services" division, with prostitutes for their happy workers, where the prostitutes get paid either a fixed rate, or, a fixed rate, plus a comission(thus encouraging the Corp Hookers to be more productive, and make more money for the corp!)

Or..do people think this would be probably where the cirps do draw the line at?(I mean..they gotta draw a line SOMEWHERE, right?)
Floyd
Would you like to see the menu?
Fuchs
Well, first, only the americans really have such a hang-up with regards to sex. The rest of the world doesn't freak out over it as much as the US. In a global economy, with most megacorp cultures not following current US mainstream, I don't see anything that would make most employees blink at this.

Second, corps are efficient. Anything that hurts the bottomline has a short life expectancy. And sex can be a security risk. Expecting your high-level execs not to indulge in sex is too stupid to work, so the corps will make sure that such activitis will not hurt them - so even those corps who are a bit pruder might bite the bullet and offer such services in-house, to avoid information leaks. (Of course, some execs might still seek such services elsewhere, to avoid blackmail opportunities by the internal security division.)

Third, if you can imagine corps killing people for profit - and not just "letting them die due to unsafe waste disposal/products", but actually hiring assassins, and having zero zones like Mitsuhama, then sex is really small fry.
Synner667
Companies and organisations have prostitutes on call now [media stars, business executives, politicians, military]...
...Why would this change in the future ??

As now, their existence might not be public knowledge...
...But sex is too important and useful a reward, to stop.
MYST1C
QUOTE (Cardul @ Oct 14 2008, 08:48 AM) *
(I mean..they gotta draw a line SOMEWHERE, right?)

What exactly do you not understand about "dystopic dark future cyberpunk world"?
knasser
QUOTE (Cardul @ Oct 14 2008, 07:48 AM) *
So, I was reading someone's take on the Corps in the Blindness thread, and that got me thinking:

How far will the corps really go? I know way back, in Greece, Semer, and a few other ancient civilizations, they had temple prostitutes, where all or most of the money they made from plying the worlds oldest profession went straight to the temple...

But, do the Corps, in an effort to keep their employees happy, have a "Sex Services" division, with prostitutes for their happy workers, where the prostitutes get paid either a fixed rate, or, a fixed rate, plus a comission(thus encouraging the Corp Hookers to be more productive, and make more money for the corp!)

Or..do people think this would be probably where the cirps do draw the line at?(I mean..they gotta draw a line SOMEWHERE, right?)


I can answer my take on it with a sample corporate enclave I drew up. I think it's out there somewhere. The advertising blurb ran as follows:
QUOTE (From the 'Darren Villier's Corporate Business Park @ ' Corporate Brochure)
“Nestled in parkland a little ways off from Route 7 in Seattle and
 cosily sandwiched by the nearby military territories of the Fort Lewis district, this s
mall but valuable  enclave is a safe home to a few hundred of NeoNET's employees and their families.  Here, the employee feels part of the welcoming community that is NeoN
ET.

Though conveniently located close to the city, the enclave has everyth
ing you and your family would want in a secure and wholesome environm
ent. For less family orientated employees, the enclave also has a smal
l but vigorous singles scene and 
friendly, welcoming staff.

Containing three habitation rings, a lake, a night club, sports facili
ties, five bars, a boutique, an extensive SIM games league, well­equi
pped medical facilities and gene­cultured gardens, we're hard put to think of anything you might want that isn't here

Of course, it's not all rest and relaxation. Our employees here constitute a sm
all but important part of NeoNET's growing business empire and the enclave was opened by Richard V
illiers himself in 2068. You can be sure that the upper�
�management of NeoNET knows we're here and values us highly. Nothing says this better than the 
beautiful Darren Villiers Cowry Building, a gleaming glass structure des
igned by 
noted Tir architect Georgina Allinson and base of operations for Rache
l Perez, one of NeoNETs VPs of Strategic Forecasting. More than one m
ember of the��NeoNET family has found the start they needed to the
ir career at the Darren
 Villiers Business Park, Seattle.

The Darren Villiers Business Park, Seattle – where you'll feel at home, at work.?


Sorry, long winded, but that little bolded part was corp-speak for on staff prostitutes. The hab rings also contain "discretion rooms" which is where an employee nips off to when it's not convenient to go elsewhere.

I certainly think that corps would keep such matters "in-house." Large ones, anyway. Which would they prefer? One of their busy executives calling up "Male Order Ltd." when she needs to relax and getting some unverified, unvetted stranger turn up on the compound (or else she goes to some unsecured location), or the approved corporate specialist who they can trust.

For me, one of the dystopian aspects of SR2070, is the trivialisation and mundanification of sex. Everyone has the "I'm entitled to do whatever I want" attitude that pervades the USA today, but taken even further. Anything goes except love. An intolerance of one's partner's affairs might be considered a psychological weakness ("he just can't deal with it."). Love is the greatest barrier that the corp world faces in truly subverting those employed by them. The more that sex can be separated from intimacy, the better for them.

I certainly see no reason why the moral climate of SR2070 would make a corp look bad for running in-house prostitution, and given what they would perceive as the advantages, I could well see them adding it as one of their quiet pluses in recruiting literature.

But I also think the corps would keep a tight record of such activities. I can well see it being brought up in an employees psyche evaluation, and I can well see someone bagging a recording of a colleague's sexual escapades with one of the company specialists to show as a joke at the winter party.

As to the employees themselves, I see semi-routine visits to Whole New You for a change of look, along with accent chips or (even low-level p-fix chips voluntarily used and never mentioned) to create a semblance of variety. After all, they don't want intimacy developing. (Or maybe some corps do and use that).

My thoughts,

Khadim.
Floyd
As long as they also run an In-house day care service, I see the whole thing balancing out.
knasser
QUOTE (Fuchs @ Oct 14 2008, 08:10 AM) *
Well, first, only the americans really have such a hang-up with regards to sex.


I invite you to come to Egypt sometime. But without triggering some of the usual misconceptions about sex in Islamic countries, the US does have an idiosyncratic hang-up about sex. Certainly compared to Europe. There was a line in the original London sourcebook for Shadowrun which went something like: "The difference with sex between Americans and the British, is primarily an oral one - the Americans talk more about it, before, during and after." The British just considered it something you do. And Europe certainly has more gender-equality than the US in this area. British and European women are much more free to make choice and initiate things without consequence than those in the US. The US has severe issues about it. The Middle East doesn't have issues with it in the same way that the US does - the idea of a loving marriage is still very much held up as an ideal. The US seems to be plunging into an objectification of sex that separates it out from all notion of intimacy. Certainly there's hypocrisy and prostitution in Egypt (for example), but in embracing greater sexual freedom, America seems to have renounced genuine love and sacrifice as well. The Europeans have, despite all the sexual marketing they are blitzed with, managed to embrace sexual freedom without as much giving up the notions of intimacy.

I'm talking in generalities. Absolutely no criticism is meant of any specific individuals and obviously dumpshockers are all excluded from the above comments being enlightened and sexy one and all. But American culture has always had this notion of being entitled to having it all. And I think when it comes to sex, this has led the US to a kind of greed that makes the idea of sacrificing for love somehow wrong. But it's been a while since I visited the USA, so forgive me if I see things wrong. The biggest issue I see in the USA that affects this area, and believe me, it's something I would notice, is the division between people based on gender roles. And that's the biggest difference between Europe and the USA in this area, I think: A woman or a man in the USA is a "woman" or a "man" first, whereas in Europe, they are an individual person first. Am I talking in absolutes? No, of course not, but the labelling of someone is definitely much more marked in the USA. Without question. So many questions in the USA of what it means to be a "man" or a "woman" or whatever. There is much less of that in Europe. And I think that affects attitudes to sex a great deal.
DocTaotsu
"Comfort Women"

Why would the corps let you go out on town, waste their good nuyen, and possibly get a disease that they'll have to pay for? There's also a matter of security. Having your workers scurry off to areas of ill repute to get their kicks opens a whole bag full of security breaches. Social engineering through prostitutes is probably a science at this point and all the major corps and orgs have a finger in the pie (or in you).

I'm sure that the officialness of prostitution varies from corps to corps but at some levels there's some amount of corps subsidized prostitution. It might be massage parlors for Ares, Stress Managers for Horizon, or straight up comfort women for a Japanacorps. And of course it all varies by how high up the corporate ladder you are. Execs probably do get a sexual menu with their morning commpad while low level workers look forward to hitting the special clubs after a 14 hour day. I envision that they don't have brothels as much as they have Hooters+, the plus indicating that if you slip a few cred to the right person you can get an hour with one of the waitresses. I also see institutionalized "By Me Drink Me Girls", kinda like half rate geishas that specialize in entertaining stressed out single men. They're not exactly prostitutes but you pay for their company and if you "tip" heavily they might take you in the a private room for some special attention. The house is of course getting it's cut, the drinks are watered down, and the girls know what's really going on.

But yeah...
I Was a Corporate Prostitute!: Confessions of a Shiawase Call Girl... trideo at 11.


@knasser: I certainly would charge that you are making a gross generalization but for terms of extracting useful for story telling I'll agree with you. It is insightful that you talk about the commoditization of sexuality and how that would drive certain corporate policies.

And I would be a fool for not admitting that Americans can have some bizarre ideas about sex and intimacy. The fact that we (well sections of "we") spazz out over nakedness is something that bothers me all the time. I'm not sure I agree with your assertions that Americans care little for love... In fact I would argue that we care too much for love (or lust as it usually is) and do not take into consideration the sound moral and financial agreements "successfully" married people must take into consideration. I don't know if we've gone so far as to renounce genuine love as embrace some systemically generated parody of it. I'd also say that a cultures concept of love is very rare if ever universal.



To spread some of the pain around let's hit on a few other cultures I'm familiar with:

Japan: If America has some odd hangups Japan is goddamn neurotic. I reflect longingly at a time when I could go into a porn store and see some light to moderate S&M as the height of sexual depravity. In contrast I can walk into a streetside magazine shop here and instantly get assaulted by sexual fantasies revolving around sexual violence, rape, abuse, incest, and pedophilia. These are all perfectly legal and acceptable themes provided, god help me, all the dangling bits are blurred out.
I will certainly miss some bits of Japanese/Okinawa culture, I will miss the food, the politeness (to me, who's Japanese. Not the petty rudeness my non-Japanese friends endure). But I am going to be glad to be done with the bizarre pent up sexual aggression of Japanese sexual fantasy.

India: Having had some very close contact with the Indian subcontinent over the years I've developed a profile of another society with some odd sexual mores and concepts about marriage. For the most part I'm struck by how marriage is very much a matter of finance and status and less to do with a union between to individuals. Arranged marriages might be a vanishing breed but the concept of your parents moderating who you meet and who you marry is still alive and well. Caste based marriages are also disappearing (at least in America) but that's in favor of looking at a person earnings and ranking. Are they a doctor? Do they make over X amount? etc etc. Truth be told it's something families of all cultures concern themselves with but the amount of judgment that rides upon these values is boggling to an American such as myself.
I find it amusing and sad that I've finally understood why arranged marriages can call upon such low divorce rates. It has nothing to do with your parents being better at picking mates for you (after all what do they know? It's not like they chose their love either.) It's everything to do with the massive social pressure to conform and pay respects to your families needs.
And their sex is wacky. Men can run around and whore themselves around for years as long as they finally settle on a nice educated Indian girl. Women can do the same but must maintain a lower profile and of course not get pregnant or... heavens! Fall in love with a non-Indian.


I suppose balance in all things... but I've once again strayed far far off the original topic smile.gif
Floyd
And what of the business women.....
Cardul
QUOTE (Floyd @ Oct 14 2008, 02:49 AM) *
And what of the business women.....



You mean what he said could not count for the business women, too? wink.gif

But, seriously...I would expect that there would be both Comfort Men and Comfort Women, and, on their resumes, they probably even need to include their sexual preferences. And, of course, their on-duty AR displays probably say "Bi, Straight, Gay/Lesbian," their rates, they might even have women who go as a team and have a joint AR advert buy the time of one, buy the time of both type things...
DocTaotsu
Ah yeah i'm being terribly American and being gender specific. If my time in the military has taught me anything it's that the genders are more similar than we usually like to admit.

Fine! Comfort People. Are you happy now?! wink.gif

I think what's available to you is largely dependent on what corps you work for. A place like S-K probably doesn't give a goddamn what you do on your off time while a corps like MCT (ostensibly run by stuffy old Japanese men) might consider such things (or even having sex with metas) a sign of sexual deviancy and something to pop on a psych exam.

But hypocrisy undoubtedly prevails as everyone lies about sex. Low level workers might be discouraged from having "deviant" sex while execs are catered to hand and foot. Enter some truly fucked up sexual dynamics (I only have sex with ork's because it's demeaning to them and proof that I'm superior to them.)
Fuchs
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 14 2008, 09:40 AM) *
I invite you to come to Egypt sometime.


Yeah, I forgot about North Africa and Arabia - they don't come up as any significant corporate culture theme in Shadowrun, contrary to Europe, the US and Asia.
Ryu
QUOTE (MYST1C @ Oct 14 2008, 09:16 AM) *
What exactly do you not understand about "dystopic dark future cyberpunk world"?

You are right. No corp-provided hookers for you. wink.gif
Wanderer
One single thing by which this is NOT a dystopic dark future is the way the social conservative religious freaks utterly lost the culture wars... biggrin.gif nyahnyah.gif
Blade
I think it will probably depend on the corporate culture (and maybe the country's culture too, where the corporate culture hasn't taken over). In some places it will be there, advertised as is and known to everyone, in other places it will be there but hidden or more subtle and in other places there won't be any.

I can also imagine some corps (Horizon?) having a far subtler approach:
"Citizen U124-74 records shows a lack of affection that threatens productivity, look if there are any compatible citizen according to its sexual preferences and arrange a meeting.
- Sorry sir, but we couldn't find any match. Should we send a professional? The benefits should outweigh the cost for the first 3 months, but there is a risk of a major depression at the end of the relationship.
- Perfect! The project will be completed in 2 months and U124-74 won't be of any use to us afterwards. How high are the suicide probabilities?"
d1ng0d0g
And they would still outsource these services to another company, as no self-respecting corp is going to publicly admit to these things (except those that have entertainment as their core industry). Secondly, the Corp are still required to obey the law, and in many countries around the world prostitution is illegal, and it would like still be so.

If it wasn't there would not be any use for the Syndicates.

The risk of security in these cases is actually fairly neglectable as well. The only thing you need to watch out for is that the Escort Service itself is not becoming too greedy. If it does, you terminate business with them.
Jürgen Hubert
They probably exist, but they will be kept quiet and known only to the higher management levels. To the great unwashed masses, the company will prefer to be seen as a "family friendly" environment.
Coldhand Jake
QUOTE (Blade @ Oct 14 2008, 04:27 AM) *
I think it will probably depend on the corporate culture (and maybe the country's culture too, where the corporate culture hasn't taken over). In some places it will be there, advertised as is and known to everyone, in other places it will be there but hidden or more subtle and in other places there won't be any.

I can also imagine some corps (Horizon?) having a far subtler approach:
"Citizen U124-74 records shows a lack of affection that threatens productivity, look if there are any compatible citizen according to its sexual preferences and arrange a meeting.
- Sorry sir, but we couldn't find any match. Should we send a professional? The benefits should outweigh the cost for the first 3 months, but there is a risk of a major depression at the end of the relationship.
- Perfect! The project will be completed in 2 months and U124-74 won't be of any use to us afterwards. How high are the suicide probabilities?"


Hilariously likely.
hyzmarca
Experienced Public Relations Executive

Education - MBA from Harvard
_ BS in Sexology from Cambridge


Experience - 2051-2054 Acolyte at the Temple of Ishtar in Lexington Virginia
_ 2055-2056 Wandered the world like Kwai Chang Caine.
_ 2057-2058 Studied Tantric philosophy and technique in Shambala, Tibet.
_ 2059-2060 Intern at Wuxing Public Relations Department
_ 2061-2063 Wuxing Public Relations Specialist
_ 2064-2067 Wuxing Advanced Public Relations Specialist
_ 2067-2071 Chief of Wuxing Public Relations Department, Seattle Branch


Special Qualifications - Adept follower of Ishtar
Grinder
QUOTE (Blade @ Oct 14 2008, 11:27 AM) *
I think it will probably depend on the corporate culture (and maybe the country's culture too, where the corporate culture hasn't taken over). In some places it will be there, advertised as is and known to everyone, in other places it will be there but hidden or more subtle and in other places there won't be any.

I can also imagine some corps (Horizon?) having a far subtler approach:
"Citizen U124-74 records shows a lack of affection that threatens productivity, look if there are any compatible citizen according to its sexual preferences and arrange a meeting.
- Sorry sir, but we couldn't find any match. Should we send a professional? The benefits should outweigh the cost for the first 3 months, but there is a risk of a major depression at the end of the relationship.
- Perfect! The project will be completed in 2 months and U124-74 won't be of any use to us afterwards. How high are the suicide probabilities?"


I doubt that any corp would bring an employee to suicide after a project is finished. Waste of ressources.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Grinder @ Oct 14 2008, 07:06 AM) *
I doubt that any corp would bring an employee to suicide after a project is finished. Waste of ressources.


Bring, no, but you can still examine his lifestyle, history, and personality profile to calculate the probabilities and invest accordingly.
Grinder
Well, yeah. As long as "invest" includes the possiblity of preventing suicide too.
Fuchs
If his P2.0 rating sinks below a certain level he is no employee of Horizon anymore anyway.
Grinder
Ah yeah, that drek too. grinbig.gif
Jürgen Hubert
QUOTE (Grinder @ Oct 14 2008, 01:06 PM) *
I doubt that any corp would bring an employee to suicide after a project is finished. Waste of ressources.


Well...

Maybe that employee is assigned to a specific project for a limited amount of time, and after this period is over he gets transferred back to another department run by a hated rival of the manager of the project.

Remember, even corporations consist of individuals with their own agendas. And very often, the agendas of the individuals overshadow the goals of the corporation as a whole.
Fuchs
I think there's an important difference too, in corporate cultures: Do you see your employes as assets of the corporation, or as sort of hired freelancers? A corp, like many japan megacorps, might promote the "family" aspect, treating workers as assets (owned and catered for by the corp). Any investment in the workers like educating them, teaching them new skills, etc. is an investment in the corp.

Others might see employes as hired help, which are used, and fired once they are not needed anymore. Any investment in their education is either needed for a job, or considered incentive to hire the workers, but not a real investment in the corp, since they will be leaving for other pastures in the future.
Jürgen Hubert
QUOTE (Fuchs @ Oct 14 2008, 01:42 PM) *
I think there's an important difference too, in corporate cultures: Do you see your employes as assets of the corporation, or as sort of hired freelancers? A corp, like many japan megacorps, might promote the "family" aspect, treating workers as assets (owned and catered for by the corp). Any investment in the workers like educating them, teaching them new skills, etc. is an investment in the corp.


This might be the overall "business statement" of the company, but in the end, this all depends on how managers are promoted - which in turn influences how they make their decisions regarding daily work practices.

In most cases, managers want to get promoted to better positions as fast as possible. This means that they have to get results as fast as possible, too - or else how can they demonstrate that they deserve such quick promotions? But educating ones subordinates is something that won't give any immediate payoff - by the time the employee has learned enough new skills to make a difference in the way he works, the manager hopes to have gotten a new position. And in the meantime, all this education takes away time which the employee could spend working for him, and thus boost the performance rating of the managed business unit.


So providing education to one's employees, while good for the corporation as a whole, will be resisted by the managers at lower-level positions who actually are in charge of said employees. And even if high-level management manages to boost education within the corporation (by making periodic "education periods" mandatory after a certain amount of time of ordinary work), it's always frustrating to see top talent being headhunted by other corporation, often with the help of shadowrunners.

So at least as the Sixth World is concerned, most corporations will prefer to bring in outside assets rather than boosting the education of their employees to large degrees.
cryptoknight
QUOTE (d1ng0d0g @ Oct 14 2008, 05:23 AM) *
Secondly, the Corp are still required to obey the law,


No they aren't

From BBB,

In the end, the Supreme Court in its supreme wisdom granted multinational corporations the same rights and privileges as foreign governments, establishing corporate extraterritoriality in what came to be known as “The Shiawase Decision.?

After the Shiawase decision, corporate territory is it's own nationality. If they want to legalize prostitution and other things illegal outside of their zones, they are perfectly within their rights to do so.
Blade
Yes but not all corporate property is on corporate territory.
For a territory to be an extraterritorial area, the corporation needs to own it and there must be an agreement with the country (for this specific area).
Fuchs
Prostitution is legal in many western countries.
cryptoknight
QUOTE (Blade @ Oct 14 2008, 09:46 AM) *
Yes but not all corporate property is on corporate territory.
For a territory to be an extraterritorial area, the corporation needs to own it and there must be an agreement with the country (for this specific area).



Where is that in the rules?
Blade
Mostly Corporate Download (mostly page 11)

The exact conditions are :
1. The corporation must have been given AA (or AAA) status by the Corporate Court.
2. The Nation-State must have an agreement with the corporation, or a law that accepts extraterritoriality. (If the Nation State refuses corporate extraterritoriality, the corporation can't have an extraterritorial territory. On the opposite, the Nation State can decide that any corporate buildings is automatically granted extraterritoriality)
3. The corporation must own or rent the area, according to national law. The area extends up to 1200m above and under ground.
4. The extraterritorial area must be closed or at least clearly delimited.

Some states can have more restrictions according to the agreement.
Daddy's Little Ninja
They can also be spies for the corp getting secrets from others.

Beyond the sex worker aspect, God I hate the term "Comfort Women," and American problems with sex, remember a large part of the AAA corps are Japanese or Asian based. There is a great concept of the professional hostess who will greet the traveller and help him relax and feel at home, make him feel special.

At the higher levels sex is not a part of it. At the lower levels. It is. Are you gonig to tell me that with the rise of Japanese power in the world Renraku or MTC would not have corporate Geishas? Maybe in traditional cloths in Tokyo and adapting to the forign shores maybe the Geisha in the Toronto office is a mammery enhanced blond. The Cairo office has that culture's ideal. That pace having been set by the Japanese, would Ares or SK want to fall behind the ball? Maybe even an AA corp like EBM2.

RL my father and grandfather refuse to answer questions about Geishas. A friend of my husband's who went to Japan on business tells an amusing story about being taken to an geisha house full of women in their 50's.
MJBurrage
It is basically the same as a country owning land in another country today.

England could buy a piece of property in the US, but unless it is recognized as an embassy (or something similar) it is not granted extraterritoriality status.

I.E. the nation-state does decide the status. However if they do not grant what a Megacorp wants, the Megacorp could use its economic muscle against them, so only the more powerful (or authoritarian) nation-states are likely to contest extraterritoriality status for any property publicly owned by a Megacorp.

I could see Japan and the Tirs all limiting such status to only the large main complexes of foreign Megacorps.

I could see functional democracies only granting such status to facilities that are specifically registered with the government, and marked as such at the perimeter.

And there are many many weak states, where the Megacorps could easily arrange such status after-the-fact if they desire.
DocTaotsu
I think we had a very long thread on this some months back (extraterritoriality) I can't remember what the consensus was but YMMV seems logical.

I've always figured that most corps would demand extraterritoriality standings for their enclaves and housing projects. How else can they happily abuse their workers? By making their housing quarters effectively their own nation states it also prevents non-corp affiliated security or services "accidentally" raiding their facilities. Oops! We were just serving a warrant and must have gotten the wrong address... No we have no idea where the commlink is...

The concept of a comfort woman is certainly a despicable mindset but I'd expect it to be one of the first things to come back in a dystopian future.
MJBurrage
The whole background behind Comfort Women (as they existed under Japan in WWII) was despicable, but I am not sure if the original user here meant it that way.

I.E. forced prostitution is slavery, and is as vile as a crime can get. Voluntary prostitution on the other hand is a another matter, and arguably more germane to the original question.

I have no doubt that all of the megacorps have employees who's job is to keep other employees happy (and productive). At the lower levels this would suggest brothels, at the mid levels "escorts" (call girls/guys), and at the high levels geishas and courtesans. Me I want the promotion that grants time with Inara Serra wink.gif

Edit: I would be surprised if any of the megacorps had more stereotypical "hookers" (i.e. streetwalkers)
DocTaotsu
My thought is that a corps can force a wageslave to endure unsafe, harsh, or demanding working conditions they can certainly demand that they perform other functions as well. With all the other terrible things we envision corps doing I don't find it hard to believe that they have some amount of coerced (perhaps not forced in the traditional sense) prostitution. Perhaps your parents went into horrific debt and passed away before they could pay it off, perhaps a corps HR director didn't like you and decided that you were better off in the "Service" department.

Like I said in the Blindness thread, working for a corps might be terrible but it beats the alternative. A corps prostitute at least has some guarantee for safety (regular testing of clients and corps sec for what it's worth) and a regular paycheck. The casual violence a street prostitute might endure is something they can avoid. Hell, they might even have a chance for promotion or advancement, either in their current job or by testing into other programs (I'm just doing this to pay for college...) The alternative of being a hooker in the Barrens makes corps prostitution a pretty damn good deal really.
paws2sky
Couple other things to consider

First, the cross-training angle. A corporate "companion" might also have training in therapeutic areas, such as massage, acupressure, etc. The entire experience is good for the client, potentially reducing long term medical costs, which is good for the bottom line.

Also, being an on-call companion might not even be a full time job. After all, most (certainly not all) of that business would likely happen after hours. You could conceivably work a full day, go home to freshen up, then head out to diner with your client(s). Just another form of overtime, ya?

It could even be a selling point for the corp. Why bother dating and risk accidentally becoming attached to someone when all you really feel you need is a good roll in the sheets?

Heck, even the skillwired workforce could get in on the act, if there's a market for companions who are little rougher around the edges. Again, cosmetic surgery is cheap and heals quickly. Instead of getting the cash though, the cash these folks earn probably goes toward paying off their "debt" to the corp. Lower demand for such people, probably, but in terms of profit, its a win-win.

Plus, they have the advantage of skillwires. That means that Bob, the ork mechanical tech from Level 2, could slot a p-fix/skill chip and become Roger, the dashing ork Don Juan. Bob is young and pretty inexperienced, but Roger is trained in multiple techniques... And so on.

-paws

EDIT: added a couple things
knasser
QUOTE (Fuchs @ Oct 14 2008, 03:58 PM) *
Prostitution is legal in many western countries.


Prostitution is legal in the UK. However, there are strict laws on "managing" prostitution, the gist of which is that someone operating as a prostitute on their own is legal and fine, subject to a few prohibitions on where and how they can advertise, but someone offering the services of someone else or taking a cut of their earnings is subject to any number of legal punishments. Related to this are some laws about several prostitutes operating out of a single premises, again based around the prevention of prostitution that isn't initiated and managed by the prostitute themself. The preceding slightly simplified. The UK laws on prostitution seem relatively sensible to me, though I don't know enough about enforcement in practice across the nation.

Regardless of legality however, the notion of people who cheerfully go into prostitution voluntarily is one that is widespread and mostly wrong.

@DocTaotsu:

Yes, sorry. I did clarify I was making generalisations, but in practice, I probably didn't come off sounding that way. Apologies to American residents of the board that took offense. What I should have said is that what I see is something that is easily found in the USA, rather than talking about what the general state may or may not be. I can't name any country that I can say has a consistently healthy attitude to sex. I find some countries overly discreet on the subject, much of the West frequently celebrating the availability and purely carnal aspects at the cost of real intimacy, and all too few trying to find both freedom and intimacy. I think Western Europe has the best balance I've seen so far, in general, but no country can be said to "get it right," imo. And of course I'm only talking about what I feel is important, others will differ. The freedom to live as one wishes much come first, because everyone desires slightly different things. But for Shadowrun I stop things there and focus on the self-gratification, materialism and objectification because it is dystopian. In reality, there is so much more that can go on from there, imo.

Anyway, wandering dangerously off-topic, now. It seems there's a general consensus that yes, the corps will at least tolerate this and quite likely keep things in house or with trusted sub-contractors.
knasser
QUOTE (paws2sky @ Oct 14 2008, 07:03 PM) *
Plus, they have the advantage of skillwires. That means that Bob, the ork mechanical tech from Level 2, could slot a p-fix/skill chip and become Roger, the dashing ork Don Juan. Bob is young and pretty inexperienced, but Roger is trained in multiple techniques... And so on.


If I hadn't suppressed all knowledge of it, that would remind me of a certain film starring Jude Law and Haley Joel-Osment. *shudder*
ludomastro
QUOTE (Wanderer @ Oct 14 2008, 03:16 AM) *
One single thing by which this is NOT a dystopic dark future is the way the social conservative religious freaks utterly lost the culture wars... biggrin.gif nyahnyah.gif


???

-----

RE: Original Topic

I don't see why not. Afterall, the corps own you in every other way, why not try to own your sex life as well? The impression I get from reading the source material is pretty straightforward - life is not a nice place in 2070. My games are usually a little too cherry but it is easier for me to think about it that way.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 14 2008, 05:41 PM) *
Regardless of legality however, the notion of people who cheerfully go into prostitution voluntarily is one that is widespread and mostly wrong.


It depends on how one defines "voluntarily" does it not? It's a job. Like most jobs, most people doing it wouldn't be doing it if they were rich. In this way, it is no different from working the register at Mickey D's. In a capitalist society, one must exclude economic necessity when defining what is involuntary or else the vast majority of citizens would be considered slaves of one sort or another. Rather, the ultimate question of voluntarity must be decided by the question of if there is any other reasonable means by which a person can survive, whether that be choosing another job, living the life of a woodsperson, or stealing a yacht and becoming a pirate on the high seas (surprisingly viable in Miami due to the large number of rich people with poorly guarded luxury vessels).
BookWyrm
I wouldn't put it past the corps that any or all of them would have a 'stable' of "entertainment hostesses"/"hosts" for on retainer.....all the better to keep their employees happy & secure where they are. Let's not forget some choice scenes from the movie Rising Sun, where the American businessmen provided 'hostesses' for their Japanese counterparts after the negotiations were concluded.

It also brings up some possible Contacts (Professional Corporate Hostess/Host, Corp Joyboy/Joygirl) that could help with legwork on corporate extractions & data-smuggling ("How did you know she was that project leader?" "She talks in her sleep.")
paws2sky
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 14 2008, 04:43 PM) *
If I hadn't suppressed all knowledge of it, that would remind me of a certain film starring Jude Law and Haley Joel-Osment. *shudder*


For once, I'm glad I have no idea what someone on Dumpshock is talking about.

BTW, please don't feel the need to enlighten me. wink.gif

-paws
Daddy's Little Ninja
QUOTE (BookWyrm @ Oct 14 2008, 08:35 PM) *
I wouldn't put it past the corps that any or all of them would have a 'stable' of "entertainment hostesses"/"hosts" for on retainer.....all the better to keep their employees happy & secure where they are. Let's not forget some choice scenes from the movie Rising Sun, where the American businessmen provided 'hostesses' for their Japanese counterparts after the negotiations were concluded.

It also brings up some possible Contacts (Professional Corporate Hostess/Host, Corp Joyboy/Joygirl) that could help with legwork on corporate extractions & data-smuggling ("How did you know she was that project leader?" "She talks in her sleep.")
That is what I thought. It would not be a case of forcing people into an unpleasant lifestyle by the evil corp but a possible career path. The very best top fligth being the Geishas who do not have sex, so a young woman with little job skills but willing to take this on for a chance at a SIN (let the irony puns roll) knows if she applies herself can rise above the more menial levels to the better skilled/valued levels or maybe even into managment/training/HR.

In return the corps have 'hostesses' (or hosts) who can work the company image.
BookWyrm
Agreed, DLN.
hobgoblin
corp escorts (lets be gender neutrals here, im sure there are some high ranking female exec to), able to protect you both in and outside the bedroom...

this kinda reminds me of the ocp exec toilets btw...
knasser
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Oct 14 2008, 11:42 PM) *
It depends on how one defines "voluntarily" does it not? It's a job. Like most jobs, most people doing it wouldn't be doing it if they were rich. In this way, it is no different from working the register at Mickey D's. In a capitalist society, one must exclude economic necessity when defining what is involuntary r else the vast majority of citizens would be considered slaves of one sort or another. Rather, the ultimate question of voluntarity must be decided by the question of if there is any other reasonable means by which a person can survive, whether that be choosing another job, living the life of a woodsperson, or stealing a yacht and becoming a pirate on the high seas (surprisingly viable in Miami due to the large number of rich people with poorly guarded luxury vessels).


"Voluntary" must be defined on the basis of excluding "necessity," I agree. But you already explained how to apply a control variable by which to judge this. Having a job might be considered a necessity in our society, but unless prostitution is the only job paying the base line to get by, then we can consider those choosing it to be doing so to some degree of choice. (Let's not get deeply into psychological issues), If prostitution is the only viable option to a person, then the issue of voluntary or not becomes moot, there is only tolerance to a situation or lack of. What I would say are two things. The first is that if it is the only option, then this is a serious fault on the part of society. I do not consider being forced to offer one's body to another to be the same league as being "forced" to hold down a job in retail, for example. The differences are very basic. The second thing I would say is that where there are multiple options, the people choosing prostitution are in a tiny minority and that this is no basis for general statements about prostitution being voluntary or not. As I say, I think the UK laws are fairly well thought out in principle, being based around allowing prostitution but doing whatever can be done to protect people against involuntary participation in this field. As ever, a lot depends on the enforcement of such laws.

Back on Shadowrun, this whole topic touches on an equally significant area... that of what was once known as droigt de seigneur. Or to put it in more modern terms, sexual harassment in the workplace. There have always been liaisons between those in charge and those in service. And they've been initiated from both sides. But it's those where the person in charge uses their position to make the other comply that are serious problems. There are a lot of laws against that in the modern world (for what good or ill they do), but I somehow can't quite see them existing or being applied in the dystopian, extra-territorial world of SR2070 business. The megacorps are probably rife with middle managers or higher who take their pick of those employees that strike their fancy, and when that manager can have their intendee's partner / parent / child / sibling fired or demoted, it really makes things difficult for those around the victim to protect her or him.

So something else to consider...

-K.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 15 2008, 12:38 PM) *
As I say, I think the UK laws are fairly well thought out in principle, being based around allowing prostitution but doing whatever can be done to protect people against involuntary participation in this field. As ever, a lot depends on the enforcement of such laws.


I don't think they are, actually. While the laws make sense from that perspective, the sheer logistical nightmare of enforcing them is insurmountable.

It is far easier to closely regulate a small handful of registered brothels than it is to regulate dozens of unregistered freelancers. Regular inspection and strict rules pretty well prevents gross abuses far more easily than a more hands-off approach can. It also protects the public health by ensuring safe practices, greatly reduces the probability of violence by providing hefty security, and feeds the public coffers by allowing heavy taxation.


QUOTE
Back on Shadowrun, this whole topic touches on an equally significant area... that of what was once known as droigt de seigneur. Or to put it in more modern terms, sexual harassment in the workplace. There have always been liaisons between those in charge and those in service. And they've been initiated from both sides. But it's those where the person in charge uses their position to make the other comply that are serious problems. There are a lot of laws against that in the modern world (for what good or ill they do), but I somehow can't quite see them existing or being applied in the dystopian, extra-territorial world of SR2070 business. The megacorps are probably rife with middle managers or higher who take their pick of those employees that strike their fancy, and when that manager can have their intendee's partner / parent / child / sibling fired or demoted, it really makes things difficult for those around the victim to protect her or him.


In Shadowrun, you can hire a team of criminals to off your boss for a reasonable fee, and are almost expected to do so if you are ambitious. Sexual harrasment becomes substantially more dangerous in that context.
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