Category Archives: Legal

Here are the Reasons Why I Think Prostitution Should Be Legalized


Photo Source: Unsplash.com/Darius Soodmand

Photo Source: Unsplash.com/Darius Soodmand

 

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?)

prostiution2Another 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?

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Filed under Law, Legal, Life, Morality, Musings, Politics, Real Life, Sex, Writing

not so bad as you think


As a veteran of repeated interactions with the dreaded Florida DHSMV, I viewed my upcoming appointment (which was yesterday) with no little trepidation.

During one experience shortly after I moved back to South Florida from Texas, the glowering representative threatened to call Security when I dared to question a procedure I didn’t understand – why people unfortunate enough to have a driver’s license from the great state of Texas had to not only produce said driver’s license, but also their birth certificate, another photo ID, validation of a job and proof of residence, and a pint of blood (I’m exaggerating…about the blood).

He didn’t like it when I asked why he couldn’t verify my identity through my previous Florida driver’s license. And still being five or so years away from the confidently assertive person I am now, I shrank a few inches (no mean feat for me!) beneath his severe gaze and made no other protests. Not even when he incorrectly listed my maiden name as my middle name, started my license number off with a “B” (my married name was Brown) instead of a “G” and forgot to list me as an organ donor, necessitating the adherence of an “Organ Donor” sticker to my DL. I’m still not sure whether the gentleman was a complete incompetent, deliberately making an unsavory process more traumatic, or just having a bad day.

So all this week, my OCD was working overtime, prompting me to check several times a day to be sure all the necessary documents were in my purse and that my passport and voter’s registration hadn’t slipped away in the night. As Thursday morning ticked away, I found myself checking the time every 10 minutes or so, dreading appearing late and having to reschedule, which would take me several days passed the expiration date: my birthday, February 14, or worse, needing to take a day off work to stand in a miserably long line for hours, just to get a replacement plastic rectangle that doesn’t even come with a line of credit!

I left the office at 2:00 for my 2:30 appointment, and raced as fast as I dared (while maintaining a reasonable adherence to the suggested speed limit), arriving with about 8 minutes to spare. No serpentine lines wrapped around the outside of the building. A plus. I walked into the large storefront and took a moment to get my bearings, gazing at the lines of wall-to-wall people a few hundred feet in front of me. First things first. I joined the line of people just inside the door. They moved at a steady clip, helped by two amiable looking females sitting behind a long counter.

My turn. Yes, I have an appointment. I’m here for a renewal, address and name change. Here’s my Passport, my utility bill and Voter’s Registration, all in my current legal name, the last two with my current physical address.

I need your Social Security card. I don’t have the new one. I just had the name change done last week. Here’s the notice from the S.S.A. office and here’s my S.S. card with my previous last name.

Okay, that’s fine. Current Driver’s License? I handed that over too.

Okay, this is all just fine. Here’s your number. Take a seat over there until you’re called. Thank you.

About 10 minutes later, “A046.” That’s me! Here’s my number and my paperwork. Her fingers raced over the keyboard as she typed the information, returning each document to me as she finished. Except for the old D.L. of course.

Stand in front of the blue backdrop, please.

I’m dazed. This is going much quicker than I anticipated. Wait. Did I blink? It doesn’t look like a mugshot does it? Nervous; joke. No. I think it looks better than your last one. Well, that one wasn’t so bad. All done. Just wait over there. Thanks.

15 minutes later. “Wendy Garfinkle.” Please check the information on your driver’s license ma’am. And there it was. My shiny new Driver’s License. With the correct name and address. The photo more candid than the last one. My face a bit washed out. My nose looks cuter than it usually does in photos and no double chin. Thank you God! Not half bad.

As I walk out of the building, I check my watch. Not quite 3:15. Less than 45 minutes to get my new Driver’s License. And not traumatic at all. Thank you ladies at the front counter, who shall remain nameless (because I didn’t ask your names and you didn’t wear name tags – probably very wise). You’ve helped me thaw toward the Florida DHSMV.

I’m good for another 8 years. Unless I move again. Which I probably will. If my brother ever gets married. Or I get married and have to change my name again. I’ll almost certainly move again. Probably within the next couple of years. Change my name again? Nah. It’d take a real prince of a man to talk me into it. And the only prince of a man I can think of that’s close to my age is getting married in April. To some other lucky wench.

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