Whether “Your Choice, Your Vote 2016” results in a Republican or Democrat president, one piece of new legislation that I would like to see on his or her agenda is the legalization of prostitution.
To all those in my “conservative” circle of friends, family and acquaintances, please don’t beat a path to my door to tar and feather me. I’m addressing legalities, NOT moralities. I have valid reasons for wanting to see prostitution legalized. Prostitution has been called a “victimless” crime. Many people disagree. I’m not one of those people.
You may ask:
- What about the families of the men (and women, because prostitution isn’t solely a female occupation) who avail themselves of this service?
- And what about the customers/clients who come away with a sexually transmitted disease of some kind? Aren’t they victims of prostitution?
I submit to you that they are not. There are no “victims” of the act of prostitution itself. The “victimization” occurs when a client assaults the professional – rape, battery, etc., robs them of their fee, drugs them, frames them for murder (clearly I’ve been reading too many crime thrillers and watching too many police procedural shows on TV), or numerous other crimes, including sex trafficking and child prostitution. These crimes may likewise be perpetrated upon the client by the prostitute. Those are the ONLY instances in which a simple transaction becomes a crime…just like any other simple transaction involving two or more individuals.
While adultery (and yes, having sex with someone other than your spouse is adultery, just in case you were wondering) is (morally) grounds for divorce, it is NOT a crime in the USA. Therefore, when one’s spouse has sex with a prostitute in the USA, it should not be a crime. Ergo, there is NO VICTIM – victimLESS “crime.” And if prostitution were legal, the word “crime” wouldn’t even appear in this paragraph.
If a customer/client’s sexual interaction results in a STD, that MIGHT be a crime, if the service provider knew they carried a potentially life-threatening or health-threatening disease and didn’t take steps to either inform their client, and/or use protection (usually termed “negligence”). The client and sex worker should use protection in any case, because probably neither one practices monogamy. There’s a reason it’s called “safe sex.”
Prostitution should be legalized and called something less derogatory, such as “Sex Worker” or “Licensed Companions” (a moniker borrowed from J.D. Robb IN DEATH mysteries).
Here’s my reasoning:
- Prostitution is one of the oldest occupations known to man. It’s been around at least since the days of Lot (read your Bible, book of Genesis) and will be around until the Second Coming.
- Prostitution is, at its core, a simple transaction – a trade of money for a service. As long as all parties are of legal age and ability to consent, according to the laws of the land in which it occurs, since when is a simple transaction a crime?
- Here’s the important one: the government could tax and regulate the occupation of prostitution.
- If prostitution was legalized and regulated, then it would be an insurable and licensed occupation; yearly health exams for sex workers.
- If prostitution ceased to be a crime, then law enforcement would be able to stop wasting time trying to clear the streets of sex workers or setting up sting operations to catch clients.
- People (and the media) wouldn’t care so much about who/where/when government officials and employees sleep with on their own time.
- Clients could be assured of legal protection from unlicensed sex workers or those who haven’t kept up with their yearly medical exams.
- Sex workers would have greater legal protection from unsavory clients.
- Prostitution is legal in Nevada. (Why are they so much more progressive than the rest of the USA?)
Another good reason for prostitution to be legalized: pornography (such as adult films) is legal in the USA, for the most part (with some qualifications, like no images/videos of minors, no sales to minors, etc.). And I can guarantee that adult film stars are better treated than prostitutes. Why is that? There’s really no difference in their occupations. Adult film stars have sex on camera for money. Prostitutes have sex …where ever… for money. How are these two things different?
We have a political policy of separation of church and state in the US. Yet, laws against prostitution are “morality” laws, which is a close cousin to “religion.” That’s a mighty fine line. So much so that it’s almost an invisible line. There are so many other things to worry about in our world – feeding and housing the homeless, ending child abuse, ending domestic abuse, ending rape and murder…why do we care if consenting adults want to charge and pay for sex with other consenting adults?
I was interested to see what others have to say about this topic, and found a lot of opinion pieces. Because this is a blog post and not a book, I’ll leave you with just a few of those pieces, just in case you’re interested.
What do you think? Should prostitution be legal nationwide in the USA? Or should we keep the “morality” law in place and continue to waste valuable law enforcement resources – and fire Secret Service members who solicit – enforcing morality instead of focusing on safety and chasing the real bad dudes and dudettes?