Prostitution: Never A Victimless Crime?

Eliot Spitzer’s downfall spotlights a recurring question of crime policy: whether prostitution, the simple agreement to exchange compensation for sex, is a victimless crime that does not merit prosecution. In two columns this week, Nicholas Kristof assures us that Spitzer’s date, Kristen, is “dangerously unrepresentative” of American prostitutes. Surely at $1,000 per hour, Kristen is in the elite company of high end sex providers, but she is not alone in that league, as an article in today’s local section of Kristof’s newspaper demonstrates. Perhaps it would be dangerous to think of Kristen as “representing” any other prostitute, but it equally dangerous to logic to dismiss Kristen and other sex workers who freely choose their work, simply because they belie the belief that an act of prostitution always has a victim.

A provider quoted in the Times article provides a counterpoint to Kristof’s concern about viewing prostitution as a victimless crime:

Ms. Anderson complained that news coverage of the Spitzer scandal had made prostitutes seem like damaged, depraved rag dolls. “Sex workers are people like you and me,” she said. “I’m against trafficking, but in all the years I’ve worked in the business, I’ve never met a woman who was coerced.”

Kristof’s focus on the trading of women as sexual servants highlights a crime that clearly victimizes women. So does his discussion of pimps who abuse women. Kidnapping, physical coercion and abuse are never acceptable, and society has a genuine interest in protecting potential victims from those crimes. That does not mean society should pretend that an uncoerced sex act between two consenting adults, if criminalized simply because something of tangible value is exchanged for the sex, is anything other than a victimless crime. [more...]

Kristof’s argument that some women turn to prostitution in response to economic coercion – they need to pay the bills – is undoubtedly true, just as it is true that some people respond to economic coercion by robbing liquor stores. Society (Republicans notwithstanding) should try to help everyone escape the victimization of poverty, and we should try to muster the compassion to understand that crime (not just prostitution) is a frequent consequence of economic injustice. That understanding does not excuse crime, and it does not mean (as Kristof’s logic dictates) that a person who chooses to make money illegally (whether by robbing liquor stores or selling sex) becomes a victim of that crime.

Kristof’s observation that some prostitutes were sexually abused as children is also true, just as it is true that many sex offenders were sexually abused as children. Perhaps society should treat sex offenders as “victims” if they were themselves abused, but rare is the judge who will do so. Prostitutes, like child molesters, may be victims of their past, but they are not commonly regarded as victims of their own decisions to violate the law.

It’s important to draw a distinction between sexual transactions that are genuinely coerced and those that are not. Kristof opposes the decriminalization of prostitution because he fears that coerced sex won’t become a law enforcement priority unless all exchanges of sex for money are illegal. At the same time, he acknowledges that “reasonable people can disagree about whether the police should devote resources” to “young women who voluntarily sell sex,” and he notes that “the great majority” of the “100,000 prostitution-related arrests each year … are of women and girls.” If some or most of those women and girls are victims, as Kristof suggests, it makes little sense to arrest them. If they are adults being paid for a voluntary, uncoerced sex act that they could legally provide for free, it is equally irrational to arrest them for taking the money.

Kristof is concerned that decriminalization might encourage more prostitution and spread the surrounding environment of exploitation and abuse. A regulatory environment that actively assisted and protected providers, while offering them resources and encouragement to find alternative employment, would meet those concerns more usefully than the criminal justice system, which simply isn’t suited to address the underlying cause or morality of an individual’s decision to buy or sell sex.

Go after traffickers who enslave women and children. Go after pimps who abuse women. But spare the men and women who enter into sexual unions for money from the wrath of the criminal justice system. The world’s oldest profession isn’t going away, and there are better ways to respond to it than to punish prostitutes or their customers.

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    Hollow "victims" rationality (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by MagnificoGiganticus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:24:46 AM EST
    The two biggest arguments for why prostitution is not a victimless crime are human trafficking and the scorned wives and girlfriends of married or "attached" johns. Both of these are vialed attempted to justify why some Americans should have the right to impose their morals on other Americans. The truth is that there are countless examples of double standards as to why both of these fail as plausible reasons to keep prostitution criminal.

    Human trafficing happens for many dozens of reasons. Every year, 1000s of men, women and children are smuggled across boarders, and cajoled into indentured servitude bordering on slavery to perform both legitimate and illegal activities. From farm labor, to factory and cheap mine labor, the list goes on; and yes, prostitution is one of these activities. But the primary reason why human trafficing and prostitution are interconnected is because of its illegality. The exploitation of cheap labor (in this case sex workers), is the real crime. A large percentage of this activity would be reduced if prostitution was legal. Moreover, why not make mining illegal, or agricultural work and textile mills illegal? Because there is nothing "morally wrong" with these activities, just the nefarious exploitation of cheap labor. It is hypocritical to say prostitution causes suffering because of this activity, while claiming that any of these other activities do not.

    My heart goes out to any one, man or woman, that has been the victim of an unfaithful spouse. I myself, am the product of a broken family when my father ran off with a women 25 years his junior. My mother was devastated, our family was destroyed, and myself and all my siblings are barely on speaking terms with our father. Why isn't my father in jail? Are not the effects of marital infidelity the same whether a prostitute is involved or not. If prostitution should be illegal because of the damage done to spouses and families, then so should everyday adultery. How does the exchange of money between the outside woman and the unfaithful husband have any baring on how painful the betrayal is for the wronged wife? In my father's case, it was obvious that his new squeeze was a gold digger (to everyone but him), and he lavished her with thousands of dollars worth of jewelery, gifts and trips to exotic locations. Does that make her a prostitute? Why isn't she arrested for the pain she has caused my family? The simple fact is that in our society adultery (and all the associated pain) is not a crime. The technicality of what is or is not a payment is irrelevant. Prostitution has nothing to do with it; rather the adulterous husband's actions are what cause this pain and suffering. Going a step further, ask yourselves, why should prostitution be illegal for single men, who are not engaging in an adulterous affair when employing a prostitute's services? No harm, no foul, right? So why throw the baby out with the bath water? The answer, as always, is morality, and those who wish to impose theirs on others.

    Perhaps the biggest hypocrisy when it comes to keeping prostitution illegal, deals with those individuals who are also pro-choice with regards to the whole abortion debate. The mantra of the Pro-Choice camp has always been that a woman's body is hers, and it's her right to choose what to do with it. Does this right suddenly stop with the right to sell its use as part of a service? Every year thousands of women "sell their bodies" to marketing, media, and other companies. Not only models and actresses, but also voice actors, child care, nursing, and massage therapists. The list is limitless. All vocations where women are either preferred (by men), or are deemed to be necessary for some reason. Does the simple act of inducing physical pleasure in the client suddenly make the activity immoral? Or perhaps its the penetration involved in coitus? Must all theatrical productions once more be cast with young boys instead of women, so as to forsake the pleasure of a woman's voice? What is it exactly? What is so different between a female masseuse, an exotic dancer, an adult model? All give "pleasure." So does a female vocalist, or the realistic drama only a female actor can bring to stage and screen. The answer, yet again, is morality. The simple fact is this: Anyone who is pro-choice must by definition be pro-legalized prostitution. It's her body, her choice. And anyone who is against legal prostitution, but claims to be pro-choice is a self-admitted lier and hypocrite; and is no different then the Pro-Life supporters who attempt to force their morality on them.

    In summation, prostitution, like many other legitimate activities, has its share of victims. Victims not of prostitution itself, but of the vile and debase practices of those who would exploit and their fellow human beings for their own gains. Why not make all diamonds, not just "blood diamonds" illegal? Why not make any and all broken agreements illegal? And as for violent pimps, the other, less used excuse: isn't physical and metal abuse illegal in every professional and domestic relationship? Why not outlaw every job that has incidences of abusive bosses. Why not make marriage itself illegal, after all, think of all the suffering it causes because of all those abusive husbands. Why stop there, why not make having children illegal -- so many cases of child abuse, and of elderly parents abused by their adult children in the winter of their lives.

    These and every other excuse why prostitution should remain illegal simply do not hold water. The truth is, prostitution is a VICTIMLESS CRIME, and in a country who professes to value freedom above all else, no innocuous activity should be made illegal.  

    I've represented (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:42:21 AM EST
     people involved in several roles over the years, including johns, prostitutes and on one occasion the owner of a "massage parlor."

       Starting with the latter, the woman working for him were controlled by a "network" that provided women to local entrepreneurs located across a broad region. For various reasons it was believed it was good business not to keep the women in one location for long periods of time and they were more or less "circuit riders." These operations occupy sort of a middle ground between the "high end" (no comment) as labeled by Jeralyn and the streetwalker type. It was certainly my impression that these women were not "free" as I would define the term, and while the "coercion" may not have been overtly violent it did seem the manner of operation circumscribed the women's free will.

      The prostitutes I represented were many years ago and they were "typical" streetwalkers who qualified for appointed counsel. They  were poor, had drug habits and all came from deprived circumstances and/or abusive situations. These cases are bottom of the rung stuff usually handled with a single very brief court appearance so I did not learn a great deal about them in terms of whether they had pimps who used direct  physical or psychological coercion but clearly these were woman who felt coerced by circumstances at the least and were not doing it because it was a good job. Typically, the cases would either be dismissed (after they had spent a night or 2 in jail) because the cops were totally lacking actual evidence or where the evidence existed subject to a quick nolo plea and a time served sentence with an admonition from the judge he'd treat them harsher next time(but they never did, because there's only so much room at the inn and the limited space in the local jail was needed for more serious offenders).

      I still represent johns now and then. Almost all caught by undercover stings where decoy police girls play dress up. I  always get dismissals or acquittals because these operations are not designed to assure convictions but merely arrests. The convictions they get are almost always the result of people deciding not to hire a lawyer and simply pay the fine and get it over with. And, a dismissal or acquittal is really of little comfort after you've been tossed in jail for the night and had your picture in the local news identified as a john. The goal of the cops is to shame them not to build cases.

      In sum, they were all rather sad people  in one way or another. It did not seem to me that any of them (even the massage parlor guy who made good money) felt good about what they were doing and didn't wish they were doing something else. For reasons of perhaps varying  nature and strength, all felt compelled to engage in the business to satisfy one need or deisre or another.

       Does the criminalization really accomplish anything worthwhile? Probably not. There is little or  no deterrence (and the deterrence such as it is is in my opinion based solely on the "shame" factor with johns and not the legal proceedings themselves). There is no rehabilitation or correction. The "clean up the streets" aspect is illusory because if you clean up 10th street, your city isn't really clean it just pops up on 24th Street until you case them out of there and then it circles around until it eventually ends up back on 10th again. One could certainly argue that the illegality itself increases rather than decreases the risk of violent behavior and disease transimission. I tend toward the belief the prohibition just makes a bad scene worse.

      On the other hand, it is a bad scene and legalizing it would not make it a good one.

    A good, fair post, Decon. I'd add (4.00 / 0) (#24)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:53:37 AM EST
    that the only clear thing about selling sex for money is that every individual case involved is more or less sui generis, though they do break out into the many general categories the coverage of the last week have brought to the attention of pretty much everyone.  

    And, as such, the question posed by the main post's title is incapable of being answered in one word, sentence or paragraph.  Nor should anyone even try to answer it that way.  Frankly, the Times article linked in the main post plays into the stereotypes everyone holds while giving only the barest thumbnail of goings-on. Beginning from the classic-to-fiction story of the woman-with-a-heart-of-gold in prostitution but doing it to pay for a relative's operation (how many times have we heard that story?) to the cheerful entrepreneur, to the activist, we've all seen those stereotypes before.

    What would do everyone (especially those who condescend to judge the sex workers) a lot of good would be to spend a good amount of time looking around, reading from the abundance of material on-line about (and by) people in the sex profession (a lot of it is definitely NSFW, so beware), and then recognizing there are only a few things pretty much everyone can agree on:
    (1) this is not for kids and kids should not be involved in this;
    (2) physical, emotional or similar coercion to keep people in sex work is similarly unacceptable;
    (3) economic coercion is, in a phrase, the coin of the realm in all businesses and in everyday life for pretty much everyone.  So let's all get over the idea that poorer people "forced" into the sex business by (relative) poverty - there are plenty of jobs out there, depending on what one is willing to put up with pay-wise and conditions-of-employment-wise.  

    As to criminalizing paying for sex or being paid for it, put me in the camp of saying the transactions should not be criminalized, but allowing others (pimps, agencies, etc.) to profit from it is (and should be) legally dubious at best, and no kids or unwilling people.

    In other words, pretty close to what I understand the British model to be.


    it's not called (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:03:45 AM EST
    "the world's oldest profession" for nothing. pretty much all the arguments made for criminalizing prostitution can be made for any other occupation. again, the difference between slaving over a hot grill at mcd's and doing play-for-pay is the play part.

    one could easily prove there are "victims" in just about any industry; to single out the sex industry as somehow more prone to victimhood than the sweatshop is a flight of moralistic fancy.

    make it legal, require proof of age, regulate it like any other business activity. if the "public health" argument is legitimate, this should resolve that as an issue.

    a very wide spectrum you folks aren't seeing (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:55:21 AM EST
    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that you folks are missing the very wide spectrum that exists within what you are calling prostitution.

    The spectrum of "prostitution" is so wide that those of you who are categorizing it are certainly wrong.  There are certainly happy "prostitutes" and there are certain happy erotic massage practitioners, and there are unhappy ones.  In America, note, the vast majority of such people are doing what they do because they have chosen it.  (And, there are people happy to manage a McDonalds and those unhappy to manage one.)

    There are lots of massage practitioners in every state.  I've seen massage practitioners in Washington, California and Nevada.  In those states--and perhaps every state in the USA--a % of the massage practitioners include some genital teasing and/or stimulation as part of their practice.  Some charge extra for it; some don't.  Some do it for nearly all clients; some do it for a fraction of their clients they trust; some do it for only a few.  Some practitioners, for moral or legal reasons, abstain for all or nearly all.

    Here in Southern California, of a dozen practitioners, you'd probably have to go looking for a massage practitioner who doesn't do erotic massage with some (or all) clients.

    There are dozens of practitioners whose practice is outwardly "legitimate," in advertising and general conduct, and for whom there is sexual conduct with a small fraction of their clients.

    There are heterosexual massage practitioners who have willingly and happily given erotic massage to someone of the same sex as them.

    The vast majority of massage practitioners have been to massage school.  There is a small fraction in a few states which are perhaps untrained foreign imports in some massage parlors.

    Those practitioners (whether of massage or escort) who work "independently," at home or outcall have a freedom to choose that those who work for an agency may lack.  

    I am in favor of legalization.  I think that the law against prostitution generally harms many people who are doing little or no harm.  If people wanted to create some rules or regulations to minimize society's concern, that might be reasonable.

    It is not a victimless crime (3.00 / 2) (#3)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 11:27:12 PM EST
    People make choices and that's fine.  However, the "Happy Hooker" is not all it's cracked up to be.

    I think you need to do some substantial research other than Kristof.

    The Happy Hooker (1.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 04:51:36 AM EST
    didn't end up being so happy after all.

    There is a reason AIDS jumped so rapidly into the straight world.  Prostitution was the main conveyer.

    I have a real problem with glamorizing call girls.  I've met them, I've worked with them and while some of them freely admitted they chose to enter the sex trade, none of them felt like they could ever get out of it.  Most of them assumed they would die before they hit the age of 30.

    Also, Spitzer paid upwards to 5K for the service.  The woman got around 1,000 of that.  Where did the 4,000 go to?  Other victimless criminals?


    Hogwash (none / 0) (#18)
    by MagnificoGiganticus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:54:31 AM EST
    So, by your rational, gay men had sex with hookers, and those hookers had sex with straight men...and thus prostitution spread from gays to straights. Do  you even realize how silly this argument is? AIDS spreads because aids is a sexually transmitted disease. Any unprotected sexual activity with multiple partners (gay or straight, paid or unpaid) will cause it to spread. If I recall, AIDS was originally witnessed in a type of primate. How do you explain the jump to humans? Is prostitution the cause of that too?

    While, there is no doubt that many sex workers are trapped in their current existance due to abusive relationships (pimps and human traffickers for example), many of them leave the sex trade just fine. Every week dozens of independent escorts suddenly stop providing their services, and meld back into the anonymity of society.

    As for what percentage escorts get for pay, by your rational, we should outlaw any job where the boss or company keeps the lion's share of the profits. Its just plain silly.

    Lets make plumbing illegal because Joe plumber only earns $25 per hour, when his boss hires him out for $55 per hour.

    Lets make music illegal because the record labels make millions off the talent and work of some new wet-behind-the-ears singer.

    Lets make inventing new technology illegal because Bob was awarded $10,000 for inventing a patent-worthy new tech, which will earn his company millions or even billions of dollars over the next decade.

    Are these cases immoral? Probably, depending on who's morals you go by... are they illegal, nope. But I guess to you they're all victims and criminals.


    Substantial Research? (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:33:26 AM EST
    Thanks for the tip, but obviously you have not read the post or know anything about Kristof.

    I've reconsidered in recent years (3.00 / 2) (#14)
    by miked on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:13:12 AM EST
    I always thought it was obvious that prostitution was a voluntary contract between two people and that it was ridiculous to ban it. In recent years though I've had to reconsider that position.

    I was chuckling over the ill-informed comment above - that "sweatshop" jobs are "just as dangerous" as prostitution. That fact is, prostitution is an extremely dangerous job, especially for the huge majority of them who are not super high priced call girls. We would never tolerate the existence of working conditions remotely as dangerous in a legal job in this country, whether in manufacturing or something else.

    I see it as maybe more of an OSHA type problem rather than "legislating morality". Is there any way to make prostitution safe? By the very nature of it it looks like it would be very difficult or impossible.

    The Bunny Ranch.... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:25:20 AM EST
    out in Nevada looks pretty safe for the prostitutes and johns alike.

    I believe it is the illegality of prostitution that puts prostitutes at risk to rape and abuse.  Just as drug prohibition makes it a lot more dangerous to sell drugs.  You have no where to turn for protection when you are victimized...except organized crime figures.  


    Or to quote George Carlin... (none / 0) (#1)
    by jerry on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 10:50:34 PM EST
    Selling is legal.  F*ing is legal.  Why isn't selling f*ing legal?

    The man is a genius ain't he?...n/t (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 01:10:54 PM EST
    This is trying to have it both ways (none / 0) (#2)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 11:14:01 PM EST
    Don't arrest johns and hookers at the high price level, but don't decriminalize prostitution?

    That doesn't make for a very compelling argument.  

    More to the point, men who believe high-priced prostitution is a "victimless" crime are in serious denial and looking for a way to defend engaging in it. Families are destroyed! How is that "victimless"? And the prostitutes themselves do not generally stay in the business for more than about a year. A high-priced call girl was interviewed on ABC last week explaining that she chose to get out after a year because, in fact, it was too stressful having to hide her life from her family and friends. She was always "on call", and leading a double life made it impossible to have a normal relationship.

    Victimless crime my a**.

    Idiotic Comment (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 11:57:43 PM EST
    The crime is not what creates the broken families, it is the adultery. And do you think that unhappy marriages should stay intact so as not to create victims? Would that make prostitution a victimless crime for you, as long as everyone stayed together and happy?

    Not To Mention (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 12:00:40 AM EST
    How about if a happily married couple hired a male prostitute to mix things up?

    if that's what they choose to do, (none / 0) (#9)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 12:15:34 AM EST
    who am i, you or the state to say otherwise?

    why dontcha go and (none / 0) (#28)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:38:13 AM EST
    ask the McGreeveys how that worked out, though the third man in was his driver.

    They've managed to knock Spitzer off the front pages with the disclosure of a deposition from his divorce case.  Mrs. McG, who protested so strenuously that she had no idea he was gay, subpoenaed his driver.

    The driver testified that she was hardly as naive as she's portrayed herself - because he, she and the gov shared a bed.  Every Friday night.

    I remember when one could get arrested for publishing a headline like the one in the NYP.


    A New Twist (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 12:40:36 PM EST
    On things coming back to bite you on the a$$. Hilarious, sad too, but still funny.

    I wouldn't be surprised (none / 0) (#33)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:07:47 PM EST
    if getting bitten in the a$$ was part of the drill, but I'm not sure I want to find out for sure.

    Better them than me.


    commenters should read the about page (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 11:57:45 PM EST
    of TalkLeft. This is a criminal defense site, not a victims' rights site.

    TChris' post is spot on.

    I guess I was confused (none / 0) (#7)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 12:12:45 AM EST
    since the title of the post was;

    Prostiution: Never a Victimless Crime?


    The Title Confused Me Too (none / 0) (#26)
    by flashman on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:29:49 AM EST
    some women turn to working at (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 12:13:37 AM EST
    mcdonald's, due to economic coercion. personal service is personal service, regardless of the industry. last time i checked, sweatshops were still in operation, paying far less than even the average prostitute earns, and in just as dangerous conditions.

    anyone forced, against their will, to engage in any act, whether it be prostitution, working at mcdonalds or a sweatshop, is a victim. all should be treated accordingly.

    those, of the age to legally enter into a valid, binding contract, should be treated as business people, providing a personal service for their clients.

    anything else is merely a doomed attempt to legislate morality. not that it's ever stopped anyone mind you, but it's never been successful either.

    with regards to the families of those using the services, that's pretty much the client's responsibility, just as it would be if we were discussing alcohol. the only difference, what makes it newsworthy at all, is that it involves sex.

    certainly i feel some sympathy for the spouse and children, but that isn't the state's business.

    Prostitution and drugs (none / 0) (#15)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:06:48 AM EST
    Legalize them and regulate the hell out of them.  Want drugs?  Go get a prescription for them - recreational or therapeutic.  Want to get laid?  Go to a brothel that has just as many rules and regs as your average hospital.  Even the cleaning crew at a hospital gets drilled on Universal Precautions and hazards of exposure to various bodily fluids and excretions.  Why shouldn't a prostitute?

    just a notion that I had read the other day (none / 0) (#10)
    by white n az on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 12:40:50 AM EST
    If one person is paying and the other is getting paid, and it's done in private, it's a crime.

    If both people are getting paid and it's done in front of a camera, it's commerce.

    Just sayin'

    I'm not sure that this is either an argument against the notion of it being a victim less crime or for it. I used to do the web site for a local 'escort' who managed herself at $400 per hour and she didn't seem victimized to me.

    I think in the end, it's not absolutely a crime that has victims.

    what if the person is 12? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 04:52:57 AM EST
    Then that's child abuse (none / 0) (#21)
    by MagnificoGiganticus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:24:36 AM EST
    ...and is a crime with a victim, which again, has nothing to do with prostitution.

    Again, by your rational, Selling ANY cigarettes or alcohol to anyone should be illegal because some idiot is going to sell some to a 12 year old.

    Punish the idiot, not the legitimate sellers and customers who do nothing wrong.


    realistic (none / 0) (#11)
    by ak007 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:49:38 AM EST
    well  ..no matter who finally stand on the top .the most important thing is whether can we live better than before!-------said by a man on a senior dating sit called SENIORWOO.COM who suffered the second world war. that is truth ! I agree with him 100%!

    No, it's not (none / 0) (#20)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:17:00 AM EST
    to deny that the sex industry is more prone to victim hood than most other industries id foolish denial of reality.

      If MacDonalds and streetwalkig were equally available and provided the same hours and the same pay, do you think many would choose to give old men of questionable hygiene oral pleasure in an alley?

    Even if.... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:37:29 AM EST
    a legalized sex industry is more prone to victimhood than the fast-food industry...that is not enough of a reason to deny the people the liberty to enter a pay for play arrangement if they so choose.

    The default position must always be freedom and liberty.  I see no reason to waver from the default position in the case of prostitution.


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#29)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 12:38:12 PM EST
     I tend to base my opinion in favor of legalization on a  mundane cost:benefit analysis or balancing approach, but I don't believe the answer to every social ill is a criminal statute. i just think it's silly not to acknowledge that the "ills" do exist and they are not reradily comparable to the miserty of burger- flipping

    Agreed.... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 01:37:32 PM EST
    it is silly to ignore the obvious ills of the sex industry.

    What drives me nuts is the prohibition advocate who fails to see that some of the ills are a direct result of the prohibition.  Not all, but some.  We could greatly improve the working conditions of sex workers by ending the prohibition, imo.


    I have no first hand experience (none / 0) (#34)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:30:21 PM EST
    with hookers, but do have a couple friends who've been tempted to sample such pleasures.

    One guy in Newark, NJ, paid the girl and agreed to meet at a certain time and place, and she, surprise, surprise, never showed up for the "date."

    The second guy once paid a bunch of dough for a girl in Vegas, and then her pimp called and she got up and left before he was, erm, "done," and another time he paid a girl in LA who, he noticed after-the-fact, had an Adam's Apple.

    These are not, I'm sure, anywhere near approaching the typical transaction, and I'm pretty sure the second guy has had a bunch of other experiences that went more typically and thus weren't so entertaining and worthy of repeating to friends over beers, but still...

    After the fact..... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 02:44:50 PM EST
    ouch, adams apple, that's a bad beat:)

    Good one sarc...


    he found his "date" - Highland and Santa Monica in LA. Short skirts and adam's apples are pretty much par for the course there.

    Your friend who got cheated out of (none / 0) (#37)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 05:08:28 PM EST
    his money in Newark should be glad that's all he got.

    SITE VIOLATOR! (none / 0) (#39)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:37:54 PM EST