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Sex work: Legalize it?
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pollyperverse
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject: Sex work: Legalize it? Reply with quote

Sex work in Canada: decriminalize? legalize? regulate?

I'll go first: I think it should be completely legalized and regulated. So, sex workers would have to pay taxes, but I kinda believe in taxes. And total legalization would send a clear message that sex work is okay, opening up the door to "whores are people too" (and can be sexually assaulted, have less

Annie Sprinkle's 40 REASONS WHY WHORES ARE MY HEROES

Quote:
1. Whores have the ability to share their most private and sensitive body parts with total strangers.
2. Whores have good senses of humor.
3. Whores challenge sexual mores.
4. Whores are playful.
5. Whores are tough.
6. Whores have careers based on giving pleasure...


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Debra
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legalize and regulate.

At least safety issues and health issues could be addressed.

Lets face it the profession is not going away, it's time those involved got some respect, decent pay and safe working conditions. after politicians screw thousands of people everyday and no one is arresting them for it.
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Carter
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legalize it. Trying to "help" people by putting them in jail is one of the more bizarre ideas of our age. And trying to "help" them by putting their customers in jail is no better.
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chcmd
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legalize and regulate - hopefully that would squeeze out the pimps.
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lagatta
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is important not to overlook the global plague of trafficking in human beings (for sexual and other forms of slavery). This is a growing problem even in countries where prostitution is legal - lots of trafficked people in Amsterdam and Hamburg.

I certainly don't think people in prostitution should be jailed, harassed or stigmatised (not to mention assaulted and murdered) but I do not think it is a job like any other, as it is a matter of buying and selling human beings. In a sexually-liberated society free of class oppression, there would be no prostitution.

I certainly favour decriminalisation of prostitution, if only for reasons of harm reduction, but don't think it can ever function overall as a non-exploitative trade.
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shaolin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, lagatta.
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Mandos
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweden has apparently dealt with the trafficking issue by decriminalizing prostitution but criminalizing paying for a prostitute plus other harm reduction methods. Apparently trafficking rates have plummeted. I lack a source.
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No Yards
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
decriminalizing prostitution but criminalizing paying for a prostitute


I don't understand ... giving it away for free would not be prostitution anyway. Decriminalizing "providing free sex" would be like decriminalizing "providing free lunch" ... duhhh!

Anyway, legalizing and regulating would go a long way to stopping sex slavery if part of the licensing would include training in safety and sex workers rights issues ... want to be a sex worker, then go to this short course outlining safety measures, your rights and responsibilities, and how not to be exploited by pimps and johns .... you can't serve alcohol, or serve food in Ontario without taking a course, so I don't see a sex workers course to qualify for licensing as being a big deal.
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Infosaturated
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Yards wrote:
Quote:
decriminalizing prostitution but criminalizing paying for a prostitute


I don't understand ... giving it away for free would not be prostitution anyway. Decriminalizing "providing free sex" would be like decriminalizing "providing free lunch" ... duhhh!

Anyway, legalizing and regulating would go a long way to stopping sex slavery if part of the licensing would include training in safety and sex workers rights issues ... want to be a sex worker, then go to this short course outlining safety measures, your rights and responsibilities, and how not to be exploited by pimps and johns .... you can't serve alcohol, or serve food in Ontario without taking a course, so I don't see a sex workers course to qualify for licensing as being a big deal.


You don't understand. The prostitute is not breaking the law, the john is. I've wavered on this issue but I don't think full legalization is the solution. It's harmful to women.

Many strippers were against the legalization of lap-dancing. Because it is no longer illegal clubs forced strippers to participate or lose their jobs. Many movies glamorize prostitution (Pretty Woman) and the "real prostitutes" who promote legalization are often the big money ones who "date for cash" and feel empowered by their profession. I don't have statistics available, but from what I have read in the past most men and women who turn to prostitution were sexually abused in their youth, or are addicted to drugs or are so poor and under-educated they turn to it for survival.

People who support it often think that would make it "out of sight and out of mind". They want the streets cleaned up. They don't care what happens to the women, they just want them stored elsewhere. Then there are those who want to use their services and would like assurances that they won't get beat up or robbed and that the women are clean, readily accessable and not too expensive.

Some people struggle with the idea of a woman's right to do as she wishes with her body verses the damage to women as a whole from the commodification of their bodies, but most aren't modivated by that.
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sweden has apparently dealt with the trafficking issue by decriminalizing prostitution but criminalizing paying for a prostitute


That sounds remarkably contradictory, and maybe a little bit moralistic, too.

Why not just criminalize trafficking?? Is that too obvious? Doesn't punish those depraved Johns sufficiently?
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Norse of 60
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confused

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The JF
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legalize and regulate, and I could go in more details on how I would like to see this done, but a friend of mine wrote an article for his student newspaper (The Gauntlet, University of Calgary) on this, here it is:

Quote:
Propping up the budget with bedposts

February 16, 2006
by Jon Roe, Gauntlet Opinions


Cities lack the funding they need to build expensive infrastructure. A creeping sprawl like Calgary needs increasing amounts of pipes, roads, electrical wires and sewers as it continues to grow. The obvious shortfall in funding was one of the issues addressed in the recent federal elections. Layton, Harper, and Martin debated giving back gasoline tax money and initiating transfer payments as some of the many options to assist dwindling city reserves. What the leaders missed, however, is the option walking the municipalities' streets and servicing its businessmen: prostitutes.

Numerous attempts across the world have been made to legalize prostitution with varying levels of success. Countries like the Netherlands, Germany and Australia failed to create support for the prostitutes once the laws were loosened. Just legalizing prostitution is not the end of the issue. The sex trade industry would have to be heavily monitored and have resources available to deal with the problems that would occur. If prostitution was legalized in Canada, part of the new tax revenue generated by the industry would have to go towards the protection of its workers.

From 1995 until his arrest in early 2002, BC pig farmer Robert Pickton allegedly murdered over 30 women, most of them sex-trade workers from Vancouver's East Side. Despite the frequency of disappearances over seven years, no heavy investigation was launched until shortly before Pickton's arrest. Prostitutes live a very high-risk life style, susceptible not only to abductions and murder, but also to STIs and drug addictions. A regulated industry through a system of registration, scheduled check-ups and examinations, though by no means eliminating all the risk, would greatly reduce the daily threats a prostitute would face.

Prostitution remains an issue of moral contempt with legislators and certain advocacy groups. Women, forced with the choice of starvation or making their living as a sex-trade worker, are subverted to a lifestyle that they do not want. Though a legalized sex industry would face the same problem, the women would be under much better conditions than they would be with the current system. Allowing them to operate out of licensed bordellos instead of on the street, presents a much better option. As a society, Canada shouldn't ignore that some people are forced into subverting their personal morals just to eat. Along with legalizing prostitution, Canada should take other steps towards reducing the number of women who are forced to make this choice by offering education programs--funded by the money the sex trade industry would generate.

At its core, prostitution is a problem that exists for cities. Cities have to fund the police to enforce anti-prostitution laws, cities have to deal with the unattractive sight of working girls walking seedy looking neighbourhoods, and cities have to deal with complaints from its citizens. Prostitution needs to be under municipal authority. Not only to choose whether or not to allow prostitution to occur at all, but to enforce the regulations of the industry and to benefit from the generated revenues. Though some cities would be inclined to maintain the status quo, they would lose out on the money created and continue to face the same problems.

Prostitution exists, has always existed and will continue to exist in society whether it is regulated or not. It is up to society to choose whether or not we should allow prostitution to be marginalized and kept in the seedy under belly of the worst sections of cities, or legitimized as an actual form of employment. If women have a choice, they must be protected if they make that choice, and since there is a visible benefit to society, there should be no problem with turning the oldest profession into a regulated industry. Growing cities need extra revenue, and it doesn't seem to be forthcoming from anywhere else.

http://gauntlet.ucalgary.ca/story/9860
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Infosaturated
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Women, forced with the choice of starvation or making their living as a sex-trade worker, are subverted to a lifestyle that they do not want. Though a legalized sex industry would face the same problem, the women would be under much better conditions than they would be with the current system.


And while we are at it, lets put the homeless in workcamps!

Quote:
At its core, prostitution is a problem that exists for cities. Cities have to fund the police to enforce anti-prostitution laws, cities have to deal with the unattractive sight of working girls walking seedy looking neighbourhoods, and cities have to deal with complaints from its citizens.


No, at its core prostitution is a problem for women who are exploited. To suggest that the core issue is sparing cities from witnessing it is evidence of the blind sense of entitlement of the rich.
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The JF
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he meant in terms of jurisdiction, not in terms of who suffers from it.

And he's not exactly rich, not poor either, but he works in a laundromat while studying, I don't think he has any "blind sense of entitlement of the rich"
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CMOT Dibbler
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I certainly don't think people in prostitution should be jailed, harassed or stigmatised (not to mention assaulted and murdered) but I do not think it is a job like any other, as it is a matter of buying and selling human beings.

But if it's not treated just like any other job how can you possibly guarantee that they WON'T be jailed, harassed or stigmatised? It seems contradictory.
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Infosaturated
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The JF wrote:
I think he meant in terms of jurisdiction, not in terms of who suffers from it.

And he's not exactly rich, not poor either, but he works in a laundromat while studying, I don't think he has any "blind sense of entitlement of the rich"


To many people, that is still rich, but I wasn't referring to him specifically. Also from the article:

Quote:
Cities lack the funding they need to build expensive infrastructure. A creeping sprawl like Calgary needs increasing amounts of pipes, roads, electrical wires and sewers as it continues to grow. The obvious shortfall in funding was one of the issues addressed in the recent federal elections. Layton, Harper, and Martin debated giving back gasoline tax money and initiating transfer payments as some of the many options to assist dwindling city reserves. What the leaders missed, however, is the option walking the municipalities' streets and servicing its businessmen: prostitutes.


Quote:
Growing cities need extra revenue, and it doesn't seem to be forthcoming from anywhere else.


It's pretty clear to me that the primary motivation is addressing the needs of the city, financial and social. The argument boils down to, as long as women are going to be exploited anyway, we would be nicer pimps and the profits could go to city improvements and nice people wouldn't have to see it.
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deBeauxOs
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decriminalization and self-regulation.

Decriminalization, so that all women, youth and children now held captive by those who exploit them against their will, can escape to a safe environment without fear of reprisals. This would include those who have no legal status as permanent residents or refugees, transported or lured to a country by sex-traffickers.

Self-regulation, so that the work is validated and controlled by those who choose to practice this profession. It would be a daunting process, but with the goodwill and support of other professionals, especially in health care, possible - one would hope.


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Infosaturated
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My problem with this is that if what I have heard is true, that the grand majority of sex-workers were abused prior to getting into the trade, or are doing it because they are addicted to drugs and can't pay for them any other way, then full legalization is legitimizing their suffering.

What we should be doing is offering support services so women don't feel the need to do this in the first place.

I recall a program where johns were required to attend group discussions with former prostitutes who shared how they really felt when servicing a john. Of course they have to pretend to like it.
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Corey
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decriminalize, regulate or self-regulate more or less to the extent the relevant workers seem to want such regulation, and provide strong social supports to mitigate as much as possible any compulsion to sex work.

I have to admit that deep down I'm still kind of agnostic on anti-john-only measures, perhaps because I think I can identify personally with sex workers on some abstract level, on which I can't so much with their clients.

lagatta wrote:
In a sexually-liberated society free of class oppression, there would be no prostitution.

I'd like to believe this, but... *sigh* I'm not sure it sits entirely right.

...Would there be pornography?

(And - perhaps beyond a certain level of, umm, single-party artistic-nude erotica Embarassed - what's the material difference?)

lagatta wrote:
I certainly favour decriminalisation of prostitution, if only for reasons of harm reduction, but don't think it can ever function overall as a non-exploitative trade.

But what to say to prostitutes who'd respectfully disagree?

Infosaturated wrote:
My problem with this is that if what I have heard is true, that the grand majority of sex-workers were abused prior to getting into the trade, or are doing it because they are addicted to drugs and can't pay for them any other way, then full legalization is legitimizing their suffering.

But you could say exactly the same about allowing street panhandling. (And many do. Confused )
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Infosaturated
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey wrote:
lagatta wrote:
I certainly favour decriminalisation of prostitution, if only for reasons of harm reduction, but don't think it can ever function overall as a non-exploitative trade.

But what to say to prostitutes who'd respectfully disagree?

Infosaturated wrote:
My problem with this is that if what I have heard is true, that the grand majority of sex-workers were abused prior to getting into the trade, or are doing it because they are addicted to drugs and can't pay for them any other way, then full legalization is legitimizing their suffering.

But you could say exactly the same about allowing street panhandling. (And many do. Confused )


And I would say the solution remains the same, social justice in society so that street-panhandling is no longer needed.

Individual prostitutes may be in favor of prostitution and individual soldiers may want to go to war but we don't make decisions based on individual wants on topics that affect all of society, not just the individuals concerned.

If you could show me a study that indicated that the vast majority of prostitutes were not on drugs and wouldn't prefer to have a different career then I might reconsider my stance, but so far I am not seeing that.

Strippers were against the legalization of lap-dancing because it forced them into it on penality of losing their jobs. I don't think you can get a job as a stripper anymore if you aren't willing to do lap-dances. If prostitution were legalized, how long would it take for strippers to be pressured into doing that too?

That women strip, and have sex for money, and that billboards and advertisments are covered with naked or barely covered women affects my life directly. It affects the way that I see myself, judge myself, it affects my daughter in the same way, it conditions men to think a certain way about women, reinforces double standards between males and females and between good girls and bad girls.

Very few men would marry a prostitute or even a former prostitute, particularly those who use their services.

There is a shortage of strippers in Canada, I guess because they can't find enough Canadian women to subject themselves to it, so strippers can get expedited temporary work permits. If prostitution were legalized we'd be important them in the hundreds if not thousands because you wouldn't find enough young attractive Canadian women willing to do the job.

Legalizing prostitution isn't about women's rights, its about men's wants.
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Corey
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infosaturated wrote:
That women strip, and have sex for money, and that billboards and advertisments are covered with naked or barely covered women affects my life directly. It affects the way that I see myself, judge myself, it affects my daughter in the same way, it conditions men to think a certain way about women, reinforces double standards between males and females and between good girls and bad girls.

Here I agree entirely.

Infosaturated wrote:
Very few men would marry a prostitute or even a former prostitute, particularly those who use their services.

Shocked

That's an absolutely terrible argument on the issue of allowing a consenting woman to do something now. Thank God the future-husband rationale ran out of steam against first and second-wave feminism...

Besides, my awfully strong impression from pop culture is that marrying a stripper or even a porn star carries a certain cachet. Give it a few years... And again: assuming no "porn star" ever got that way just from posing nude, what exactly's the difference? If anything, having sex for money, recorded for distribution to a further paying audience, should be quite a bit more transgressive than just doing the same thing in private.

(Nota bene: I had a friend whose partner had performed in porn; friend found no shame in this. But they were both gay men, whose place in this we all seem to have forgotten. And then my female friends who say they've enjoyed pornography, male strippers targetting female audiences, etc.)

Infosaturated wrote:
Legalizing prostitution isn't about women's rights, its about men's wants.

I just can't take this on faith this having read, and heard and seen with my own eyes and ears at discussions on the issue, confident and assertive female prostitutes, denying they had been abused or used drugs, say otherwise.
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey wrote:

That's an absolutely terrible argument on the issue of allowing a consenting woman to do something now. Thank God the future-husband rationale ran out of steam against first and second-wave feminism...

I didn't mean women need husbands, I meant that it is evidence that men look down on women who are prostitutes. People have a double standard. I doubt many former prostitutes could get elected to public office when even visiting one could get you into political hot water. In my opinion this impacts all women because it also reinforces the legitimacy of sex as a service performed by women.

Corey wrote:

And again: assuming no "porn star" ever got that way just from posing nude, what exactly's the difference? If anything, having sex for money, recorded for distribution to a further paying audience, should be quite a bit more transgressive than just doing the same thing in private.


I agree, and I am on board with stepping up the battle on porn. I don't see it as justification for prostitution.

Quote:

(Nota bene: I had a friend whose partner had performed in porn; friend found no shame in this. But they were both gay men, whose place in this we all seem to have forgotten. And then my female friends who say they've enjoyed pornography, male strippers targetting female audiences, etc.)


Anecdotal evidence is nice, but no substitute for broader statistics. I am more concerned with the impact on women. I don't know if the statistics on men are the same or not. That some women enjoy watching pornography doesn't mitigate the harm done through sexual objectification of women. That's a very subjective statement but I believe it to be true none the less. If you want to argue that sexual objectification of women is not harmful, or that porn doesn't sexually objectify women, that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Quote:
I just can't take this on faith this having read, and heard and seen with my own eyes and ears at discussions on the issue, confident and assertive female prostitutes, denying they had been abused or used drugs, say otherwise


I didn't say 100%. I don't have a link to back myself up, but any statistics I've seen support the assertion that a large percentage have been sexually abused or do use drugs. Not, all, but a good majority. I don't think being confident and assertive has anything to do with it. It's a tough profession, I would imagine it's a requirement for survival.
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deBeauxOs
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infosaturated wrote:
... Very few men would marry a prostitute or even a former prostitute, particularly those who use their services.
Men who use prostitutes or pay for their services often do so because they enjoy sex as a commodity, the power it gives them, as well as the illicit nature of the exchange. Those men would probably be against legalizing prostitution, because they would lose control.
Quote:
... Legalizing prostitution isn't about women's rights, its about men's wants.
Thus the reason for decriminalizing it. See my arguments above. For women who honestly choose this work - and remember, sex surrogates are paid to have sex with clients, too - the self-regulation route would validate it as a legitimate profession. Why are wages for sexual interaction demeaning when health care practitioners also have to tend to their patients' not-so-pleasant physical needs? If you place the providers of sexual services in control of the work, then the men who require it are needy.
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Corey
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infosaturated wrote:
I didn't mean women need husbands, I meant that it is evidence that men look down on women who are prostitutes.


And deeming them criminal digs them further into that hole, while it obviously hasn't driven anyone who's a prostitute now out of the trade.

The consequences of living in such a gray market social and legal underclass are far more serious than presentability at cocktail parties - imagine a prostitute trying to work out whether or how they even could report a rape in the context of her work. Or his.
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Corey
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Millions of people who have been abused have consensual sexual relationships hurtful to themselves in which no money is exchanged at all. And a few, comparatively, where money is. Besides the case that the second is a little bit less disempowering - at the end of the night the money and the agency it brings is theirs, all theirs - I can't accept that the answer is on the end of restrict these people's consensual sexual freedom of action (...if the abuse was sexual, again). The answer should be to build their confidence and choices so that they'll at least not feel compelled to prostitution.

Further - and it breaks my heart to speak this out loud - but how many people enter, or stay against their true selves and honest wishes, in relationships with sexual components in whole or in part for material reasons that are not an immediate cash transfer? For housing when no other choice was available? See Slaves of New York, talk to my friend the struggling artist, etc... For health insurance? In the United States, you might be surprised. For material or (some imagined) psychosocial advantage for their children? I'm sadly afraid most of us can probably make our own lists on this count. On the other side of the tracks - or not - for access to drugs directly, without the intermediate step of money? See for instance the offhand passage on "coke groupies" in this profile of a coke dealer in the April 17 New York magazine.

I don't think I'll be convinced that the answer to people having sex for troubling reasons - and they really, really do trouble me - should be to drive one group of such people - who've maybe even gained some relative power and independence compared to some other distressingly common arrangements - into a sublegal underground where abuse and exploitation can even more easily take hold.

[Edited for a slip: Millions of people who have abused -> who have been abused. Edited much much later to complete an incomplete sentence.]


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Corey
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infosaturated wrote:
or are so poor and under-educated they turn to it for survival.


Sorry, I can't read this without the following internal dialogue:

*in a great rhetorical flourish* "So like what - should we ban the Army too?"

"...Yes."

*silence*

I know, I know! Plenty of wonderful smart and good people in the military. I just can't help thinking this.

</thread drift>
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey wrote:
And deeming them criminal digs them further into that hole, while it obviously hasn't driven anyone who's a prostitute now out of the trade.
..........
- imagine a prostitute trying to work out whether or how they even could report a rape in the context of her work. Or his.


In Quebec prostitutes are not criminals. Solicitation and living off the avails is illegal, hence the popularity of "Escort Services".

However, full legalization and taxation etc. legitimizes it and turns the state into the equivalent of a pimp. It would even legitimize bringing in immigrants to serve as prostitudes like they do strippers and lap-dancers.

I know there are some prostitutes who claim to love their jobs and claim they chose it freely. I could be misinformed because I don't have a link, but I believe that the majority of women in the profession got there because of drugs or poverty or were runaway teens, or foster home teens or victims of early sexual abuse. I'm not comfortable legalizing further exploitation of them as a means of improving their lot in life.
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deBeauxOs
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey wrote:
... Further - and it breaks my heart to speak this out loud - but how many people enter, or stay against their true selves and honest wishes, in relationships with sexual components in whole or in part for material reasons that are not an immediate cash transfer?


Keeping prostitution criminal will not change the current attitude towards sex as a commodity. However, decriminalizing, along with other social reforms, will remove some barriers that prevent some prostitutes from leaving the sex trade.

Charging and prosecuting men who beat their wives has not stopped all men who assault their wives and girlfriends from doing so. It takes sustained efforts and constant vigilence and actions on many fronts to turn things around.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infosaturated wrote:
In Quebec prostitutes are not criminals. Solicitation and living off the avails is illegal, hence the popularity of "Escort Services".


If a prostitute meets one or more clients in the same place just two times - just two - that's "regular," and they can be charged with and convicted of "keeping a common bawdy house." "Incall" prostitution is thereby - unless they kept switching the points of incall? - criminal in Canada. "Outcall" prostitution, if all the other is are dotted and ts crossed, may not be. It's also obviously a hell of a lot more dangerous. The legally careful prostitute may not meet clients in their own home or a place under their own control. This isn't a dead letter law but a serious problem, as I have heard from a prostitute, and read in this legal guide for Canadian sex workers.

There's more: If a prostitute's partner or family member so much as knows what they do for a living, and share in or benefit in any way from their family's finances, they may be charged of living off the avails, carrying up to ten years in jail.

Then of course there are the "communicating for the purposes" charges used against street solicitors, etc... And in the really problematic relationship between prostitutes and police, perhaps entrapment is only the tip of the iceberg:

Trials of the Sex Trade wrote:
A cop does not have to tell the truth to a prostitute if she or he asks him if he is a cop. He can show you ID, show you his dick, touch you sexually, or even take full service and then arrest you. He can lie in order to get you to break this law and it will not be held against him in court.

Known prostitutes are sometimes threatened by police with communicating charges, whether they are working or not, when cops want information from them.


Or how about the surreal news stories wherein "Sex Slaves" are saved! rescued! freed! from the clutches of their pimps! - then immediately hauled off to jail charged with being "inmates" of a common bawdy house, maybe other solicitation or indecency crimes, maybe immigration stuff.

Infosaturated wrote:
I'm not comfortable legalizing further exploitation of them as a means of improving their lot in life.


But the current laws entrench certain serious dangers and forms of exploitation that legalization would directly and specifically alleviate.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Keeping prostitution criminal will not change the current attitude towards sex as a commodity. However, decriminalizing, along with other social reforms, will remove some barriers that prevent some prostitutes from leaving the sex trade.

Charging and prosecuting men who beat their wives has not stopped all men who assault their wives and girlfriends from doing so. It takes sustained efforts and constant vigilence and actions on many fronts to turn things around.


So you would legalize domestic abuse because laws don't prevent it 100%?

I don't believe that laws against prostitution prevent prostitutes from leaving the sex trade nor does it prevent other social reforms.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey wrote:


Infosaturated wrote:
I'm not comfortable legalizing further exploitation of them as a means of improving their lot in life.


But the current laws entrench certain serious dangers and forms of exploitation that legalization would directly and specifically alleviate.


While creating a new set of problems such as exploding the number of women in the sex trade including women imported from other countries.

I would not be adverse to changing the laws so that the users are prosecuted not the prostitutes.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote:
Charging and prosecuting men who beat their wives has not stopped all men who assault their wives and girlfriends from doing so. It takes sustained efforts and constant vigilence and actions on many fronts to turn things around.
infosaturated wrote:
So you would legalize domestic abuse because laws don't prevent it 100%?
How did you manage to read into what I wrote something that I did not say? I used the example of spousal violence to make the point that promoting the criminal justice system approach to solve a complex social problem is not a silver bullet. It takes sustained efforts and constant vigilence and actions on many fronts to turn things around, not just legal proceedings. Intervention for families at risk, shelters, prevention programs, etc. etc.

I wrote:
Keeping prostitution criminal will not change the current attitude towards sex as a commodity. However, decriminalizing, along with other social reforms, will remove some barriers that prevent some prostitutes from leaving the sex trade.
infosaturated wrote:
I don't believe that laws against prostitution prevent prostitutes from leaving the sex trade nor does it prevent other social reforms.

Well, you are entitled to your beliefs, whatever the mythology, or erroneous and fallacious ideology it is based upon. BTW, legalization is not the same as decriminalization. Look it up. Or perhaps take the time to read the posts above.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey wrote:
Infosaturated wrote:
or are so poor and under-educated they turn to it for survival.


Sorry, I can't read this without the following internal dialogue:

*in a great rhetorical flourish* "So like what - should we ban the Army too?"

"...Yes."

*silence*

I know, I know! Plenty of wonderful smart and good people in the military. I just can't help thinking this.

</thread drift>


In my opinion all soldiers should have the right to refuse to fight for any reason. I believe that if Canada were under attack there would be no shortage of people willing to defend the country. As I noted in another thread I don't believe the military should be allowed to recruit people under the age of at least 21 unless they are allowed to quit without penalty.

I don't believe the solution to poverty is further exploitation. However, having said that, I could be wrong, but I don't think that Canada targets poverty stricken areas. The only people I have known that serve in the military are well-educated and from the middle-class. Apparently our military is top heavy, more officers than enlisted. Also, our reserves only serve overseas on a volunteer basis.

It cannot be claimed that prostitutes are required to protect the nation whereas having at least a defense force is required to protect the country.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey raises a good point. If a woman has sex with me in exchange for a roof over her head and a meal, she's my sex partner and I'm hers. If she has sex with me for money with which to pay for her own roof over her head and choose her own meal, she's a whore and I'm a john.

Would anyone support extending the illegality of the sex trade to the first case as well as the second?
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deBeauxOs wrote:
How did you manage to read into what I wrote something that I did not say? I used the example of spousal violence to make the point that promoting the criminal justice system approach to solve a complex social problem is not a silver bullet. It takes sustained efforts and constant vigilence and actions on many fronts to turn things around, not just legal proceedings. Intervention for families at risk, shelters, prevention programs, etc. etc. .


I couldn't agree more. Corey is promoting full legalization, I didn't realize you were promoting just decriminalizing the prostitutes themselves (if that is what you are saying).

I never suggested that "promoting the criminal justice system approach is some sort of silver bullet". In fact I specifically stated that I think the solution lies in social justice so where you got the idea I thought laws was all that was needed I don't know. Maybe you need to read a little more carefully too.

I wrote:
Keeping prostitution criminal will not change the current attitude towards sex as a commodity. However, decriminalizing, along with other social reforms, will remove some barriers that prevent some prostitutes from leaving the sex trade.


I'd like to start with the other social reforms and barriers that prevent some prostitutes from leaving the sex trade. But, I absolutely agree that prostitutes themselves should not be further victimized by the legal system. That doesn't mean the behavior of pimps and johns needs to be decriminalized.

Quote:
Well, you are entitled to your beliefs, whatever the mythology, or erroneous and fallacious ideology it is based upon. BTW, legalization is not the same as decriminalization. Look it up. Or perhaps take the time to read the posts above.


I may have not realized that you and Corey are arguing for different approaches, but it seems that you did not realize that I am arguing against full legalization, official red light districts and taxation of the proceeds of prostitution. So maybe you could take your own advice and read my posts a little more carefully before misrepresenting my position.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Waving her hand enthusiastically] I know! I know the answer! The first example is an implicit transaction and the second one is an illicit transaction.

Senor Magoo wrote:
Corey raises a good point. If a woman has sex with me in exchange for a roof over her head and a meal, she's my sex partner and I'm hers. If she has sex with me for money with which to pay for her own roof over her head and choose her own meal, she's a whore and I'm a john.

Would anyone support extending the illegality of the sex trade to the first case as well as the second?
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
Corey raises a good point. If a woman has sex with me in exchange for a roof over her head and a meal, she's my sex partner and I'm hers. If she has sex with me for money with which to pay for her own roof over her head and choose her own meal, she's a whore and I'm a john.

Would anyone support extending the illegality of the sex trade to the first case as well as the second?


I don't see how you would prove the first example but I agree that it is wrong and exploitative. People should never have to have sex with anyone in order to have a roof over their head. I have no respect for someone who extracts sex from another human being in exchange for food and shelter. If you want to help someone in that position you don't use them for sex.

P.S. It doesn't make you "sex partners" as that implies an equal power relationship.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In a sexually-liberated society free of class oppression, there would be no prostitution.


I've often noticed men usually older, or with some kind of deformity, or sometimes obese, a bit unkempt, etc., etc. and thought to myself that they probably don't have a sex partner and probably haven't for a long time.

I'm not suggesting that anyone owes them sex or anything. But let's be realistic here... it doesn't really matter how sexually open society becomes, and it wouldn't matter if we demolished class structure. These guys are CWAGA material (citizens who aren't getting any).

As long as they're desperate for sex at the same time that someone else is desperate for quick cash, I think we'll have prostitution.

And I'm not sure I'm ready to see these guys as sufficiently evil that their behaviour needs to be criminalized. What, exactly, is it about paying someone for sex that needs to be criminalized?
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't see how you would prove the first example but I agree that it is wrong and exploitative. People should never have to have sex with anyone in order to have a roof over their head. I have no respect for someone who extracts sex from another human being in exchange for food and shelter. If you want to help someone in that position you don't use them for sex.


But it is currently legal for a woman to have no job and live entirely free with a man with whom she has sex.

My question was, should this be made illegal? If you support criminalization of sex for money, would you support the criminalization of sex for goods?

Quote:
P.S. It doesn't make you "sex partners" as that implies an equal power relationship.


But we'd be allowed to call ourselves whatever we want, no?

I'm not talking here about someone who's so desperate for food or shelter that they'll serve as sex-slave to a stranger.

I'm talking about the not-unheardof situation where a woman lives with a man, and the man pays the bills. We'd call them sex partners, no? And probably equals too, of a sort. Mind you, if she suddenly says "no sex ever again", then the arrangement is likely to be terminated (that's my guess) and so while the exchange isn't quite as crass as "sex for money", it's still "sex for something".
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:

I've often noticed men usually older, or with some kind of deformity, or sometimes obese, a bit unkempt, etc., etc. and thought to myself that they probably don't have a sex partner and probably haven't for a long time.


What's wrong with women who have some kind of deformity or are obese, or a bit unkempt as partners? Oh, that's right, men need young nubile women to have sex with.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow I doubt that they're holding out for Hillary Duff to come of age.

Your remark seems a wee bit cynical though. You really think it's just a matter of these men "needing" nubile youngsters? I think it's a lot more complex than that.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then you have Paris Hilton, who has consciously or unconsciously glamourized sex as a commodity. Perhaps she does it on such a public and grandiose scale, and since she was born into wealth and privilege, she appears to be above and beyond the title of courtesan to the rich, famous or notorious. The deliberate commodification of her self - body and personality - defies definition.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
Quote:
I don't see how you would prove the first example but I agree that it is wrong and exploitative. People should never have to have sex with anyone in order to have a roof over their head. I have no respect for someone who extracts sex from another human being in exchange for food and shelter. If you want to help someone in that position you don't use them for sex.


But it is currently legal for a woman to have no job and live entirely free with a man with whom she has sex.

My question was, should this be made illegal? If you support criminalization of sex for money, would you support the criminalization of sex for goods?

Quote:
P.S. It doesn't make you "sex partners" as that implies an equal power relationship.


But we'd be allowed to call ourselves whatever we want, no?

I'm not talking here about someone who's so desperate for food or shelter that they'll serve as sex-slave to a stranger.

I'm talking about the not-unheardof situation where a woman lives with a man, and the man pays the bills. We'd call them sex partners, no? And probably equals too, of a sort. Mind you, if she suddenly says "no sex ever again", then the arrangement is likely to be terminated (that's my guess) and so while the exchange isn't quite as crass as "sex for money", it's still "sex for something".


Holy fuck!

Tell me this isn't revisiting the whole stay at home mother/wife being a prosititute arguement again?
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
I'm talking about the not-unheardof situation where a woman lives with a man, and the man pays the bills. We'd call them sex partners, no? And probably equals too, of a sort. Mind you, if she suddenly says "no sex ever again", then the arrangement is likely to be terminated (that's my guess) and so while the exchange isn't quite as crass as "sex for money", it's still "sex for something".


So you are saying if the woman is working outside the home, and she says "no sex ever again" they would stay together anyway because she is paying her share of the bills? How about if they are stricken with some infirmary that prevents them from having sex? Time to ditch them because they can't do their "job" anymore?

Financially supporting a spouse/partner does not mean the supporter is paying for sex therefore is entitled to it in a way that they wouldn't be if the spouse/partner were working outside the home. In fact that attitude is one of the reasons it is so risky for a woman to allow a man to support her. All too many men think that transforms the woman into an employee who owes them sex and maid service.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
Somehow I doubt that they're holding out for Hillary Duff to come of age.

Your remark seems a wee bit cynical though. You really think it's just a matter of these men "needing" nubile youngsters? I think it's a lot more complex than that.


Well you seem to be suggesting that men like that can't get partners due to their appearance/condition. Are you suggesting there are no women in an equivalent situation? Or that men and women like that aren't interested in having sex with each other therefore need access to prostitutes?
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debra wrote:
Holy fuck!

Tell me this isn't revisiting the whole stay at home mother/wife being a prosititute arguement again?


Apparently so. I wonder if we are going to hear the "rape reduction" argument next.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infosaturated wrote:
What's wrong with women who have some kind of deformity or are obese, or a bit unkempt as partners? Oh, that's right, men need young nubile women to have sex with.


Infosaturated wrote:
Well you seem to be suggesting that men like that can't get partners due to their appearance/condition. Are you suggesting there are no women in an equivalent situation? Or that men and women like that aren't interested in having sex with each other therefore need access to prostitutes?


You seem to be projecting your cynical and jaded interpretation into the observations posted to this thread. In fact, in an *ideal world* or *feminist utopia* every human being would be valued and cherished for her or his intrinsic beauty, regardless of physical or social inequities. Thus, sexual interaction could be provided as a service for someone in need. It could even be a widow or a widower needing a re-affirmation of life, physically yearning for a sexual embrace for therapeutic reasons.

Good grief, get a sense of humour .... perhaps you could purchase one on ebay? How about renting one from someone when you post on this board?

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Tell me this isn't revisiting the whole stay at home mother/wife being a prosititute arguement again?


I'm not suggesting that stay-at-home wives are prostitutes, nor do I, personally, think of them as such. But I think Corey had a good point in wondering why sex for cash is one thing and sex for anything else seems to be another. And the comparison of a stay-home wife (who presumably has sex with her husband, and presumably benefits materially from their arrangement) with prostitution is hardly unique to me.

Is it possible to consider this, for the sake of argument, without backs going up?

Quote:
So you are saying if the woman is working outside the home, and she says "no sex ever again" they would stay together anyway because she is paying her share of the bills?


I can envision a situation where a man and woman live together platonically and split the bills. I can't envision a situation where a man and a woman live together, he pays the bills, and it's still platonic. All I'm suggesting is that sex is definitely a part of such a situation.

Quote:
Financially supporting a spouse/partner does not mean the supporter is paying for sex therefore is entitled to it in a way that they wouldn't be if the spouse/partner were working outside the home.


I'm certainly not suggesting that if you pay the bills you have any kind of entitlement whatsoever to sex. Again, I'm only pointing out (as Corey also pointed out) that people have sex with someone else for other reasons besides romantic love, or sex-for-cash, and yet we only ever talk of those two.

Quote:
Well you seem to be suggesting that men like that can't get partners due to their appearance/condition. Are you suggesting there are no women in an equivalent situation? Or that men and women like that aren't interested in having sex with each other therefore need access to prostitutes?


I watched a very interesting documentary a while back that discussed sex surrogates in Holland. For people who are disabled, shut-ins, etc., the government will actually FUND a certain number of visits from a sex surrogate per month. The subject they spoke with was a woman who (if I recall correctly) suffered from Cerebral Palsy, and they also spoke to her surrogate, a man who basically did what he did as a job, and saw it as not unlike a very specialized form of social work.

Anyway, I don't know if she could have maybe hit the web and found someone else who, like her, couldn't really find a partner. I don't know if I'd be the one to tell her she had to, nor suggest that if she maybe hung out near the rehab centre she might find someone deformed enough to overlook her condition.

All I'm suggesting is that there's more to a guy hiring a prostitute than just greedlust and the desire to humiliate a woman, or whatever. And presumably more to a woman using the services of a sex surrogate too.

I don't think a discussion like this benefits from picking convenient stereotypes to represent a pretty big range of humans and their attitudes and activities.

Quote:
Apparently so. I wonder if we are going to hear the "rape reduction" argument next.


I'm sorry if my postings have upset you, but do you think that baiting me is a good idea?
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deBeauxOs wrote:
Infosaturated wrote:
What's wrong with women who have some kind of deformity or are obese, or a bit unkempt as partners? Oh, that's right, men need young nubile women to have sex with.


Infosaturated wrote:
Well you seem to be suggesting that men like that can't get partners due to their appearance/condition. Are you suggesting there are no women in an equivalent situation? Or that men and women like that aren't interested in having sex with each other therefore need access to prostitutes?


You seem to be projecting your cynical and jaded interpretation into the observations posted to this thread.


Well please do reinterpret it for me. It seems to me he was suggesting that men like that can't get sexual partners without paying therefore hiring prostitutes is their only option, as though that somehow justifies the sexual exploitation of women. Is there some other interpretation?

Quote:

In fact, in an *ideal world* or *feminist utopia* every human being would be valued and cherished for her or his intrinsic beauty, regardless of physical or social inequities. Thus, sexual interaction could be provided as a service for someone in need. It could even be a widow or a widower needing a re-affirmation of life, physically yearning for a sexual embrace for therapeutic reasons.


Well this isn't an ideal utopian world at the moment so your argument is moot for the present. Even so, I don't think widows and widowers are currently suffering from the lack of legal prostitution services. I know my 75 year old mother is having sex with her boyfriend and the seniors clubs she tells me about are veritable Peyton Places of sexual intrigue. Who knew line-dancing was the place to go for a walk on the wild side if you so desire one? I also see lots of unkempt couples and obese couples out and about and I have no reason to believe they aren't having sex together. They hold hands and everything just like regular people.

I would accept prostitution as legitimate employment without reaching utopia if I believed that most prostitutes were "happy hookers". As long as most prostitutes are in the profession as a direct result of social inequities and abuse I don't give a shit about the "problems" of customers.

Quote:

Good grief, get a sense of humour .... perhaps you could purchase one on ebay? How about renting one from someone when you post on this board?
Twisted Evil Razz


It's very hard to figure out how to answer that appropriately. This is a topic I take very seriously. I'm not impressed by the arguments of "ugly men need it" and "married women are glorified prostitutes" to justify prostitution in a feminist area on a progressive messageboard.

As long as most prostitutes are recruited from runaways, drug addicts, abuse victims and desperate poverty-stricken women you won't find me taking on a blase amused tone on the topic.
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about the idea that sex work is a generally unenviable but high-paid way to make ends meet without a lot of entrance qualifications?
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