An Australian army captain, Sally Williamson, has reportedly called for sex workers to be sent to the front line of combat zones to help relive soldiers stress. The female captain, who is currently on deployment in the Middle East, shared this opinion in the form of a forum post on an official army website.
Williamson’s article, titled “Sex And War – A Conversation The Army Has To Have” was posted on the army’s Land Power blog in early November and was removed by officials only a few days later. The article claimed military officials were reluctant to discuss issues around sex after many recent sex scandals in the armed forces.
Similar to French mobile brothels used in the 1954 French Indochina War, Williamson discussed the moral, legal and ethical factors behind bringing sex workers to forward operating bases. The post acknowledged that there were many immoral practices and human rights issues to overcome before anything like this plan could be implemented.
She also argued that if it was considered too dangerous for sex workers to operate in war zones then the army should provide sex toys and masturbation facilities to soldiers.
Williamson stated a belief that the psychological effects of war such as PTSD could be combated by facilitating and promoting sexual intimacy. Williamson also said that if no facilitation of sexual relief could be possible then the army should be better at enforcing abstinence.
Williamson said that sexual activity was the best way for soldiers to be relieved from stresses associated with combat and being away from loved ones for long periods of time. She stated that combat veterans had the most to gain from intimate sexual activity while on deployment.
The article has since been met with a fiercely negative reaction from army officials and critics who have expressed that sexual activity should not be a priority for the army or its soldiers. This article has been added to a growing list of sexual controversies for the Australian army.
In 2011 an ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy) cadet secretly filmed himself engaging in intercourse with a female cadet and shared it on the video messaging service Skype. The vision was shared to serval colleagues around the academy. This scandal was referenced in criticisms of Williamsons’ post as it reinforced the need to keep sexual activity separate from military conduct.
Williamson’s post, while considered an extreme and inappropriate solution by many, highlights the unspoken issues around sex in the military.