Ten years after getting busted for pandering, Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss lays it on the line in Legal Affairs:
Prostitution should be legalized throughout the United States. The laws are currently written by and for men. I've been out of the business for 10 years, but I still hear stories of men who hit women, walk out without paying, or write checks to hookers and then stop payment. It's outrageous. Here's a woman who has performed a service to the best of her abilities and to her client's satisfaction. But nothing will happen to that client because he knows he won't be prosecuted for refusing to pay for sex. They go after the women in those cases, not the men.
There is no downside to legalizing prostitution. The government would benefit by collecting taxes on the industry. And regulation would clean up a lot of crime and help to protect women. Now, there are hotshot guys who beat up prostitutes and smack them around because they know they can get away with it. I remember some girls who approached me after working for illegal sex houses, "pussy factories." You wouldn't believe what went on in these places. A girl would stay at the factory and have sex with 5 to 10 guys every day for anywhere from $300 to $700 a pop. Some of the people running the factories would threaten the hookers and force them to stay. One girl told me that some guy gave her crack every morning so that she wouldn't make a fuss.
[Link via Arts & Letters Daily]