Sex Work

Maybe Freaking Out Over Secret Service Agents and Sex Isn't the Way To Go

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Sorry, ladies. We're going back to our room to engage in self-denial instead.

Shocked, shocked we are to hear that there's gambling … err … patronizing of prostitutes to be found among the loyal and true ranks of Secret Service agents and military personnel whiling away their off hours while preparing to protect the president in Cartagena. After all, armed Americans on the Uncle Sam vacation plan have never been known to belly up to the world's various sexual buffets. Well … almost never. Oh, OK. It's part of the deal, even if officially discouraged. Part of the deal it may be, but Americans still make an awfully big ruckus about two consenting adults doing what comes naturally, and one paying the other for what just transpired. Maybe, just maybe, we could stop pretending that exchanging money for sex is such a terrible thing.

As it is, politicians and headline writers are having a field day with commercial copulation in Cartagena. President Obama promising a "rigorous probe" in the case (isn't that how all this kerfuffle started?). And Rep. Darrell Issa raises the dread specter of "blackmail five, 10, 20 years from now…. If you look at how you get somebody to do something wrong, you do it incrementally — something small, something bigger, something bigger." Growing … throbbing … exploding into further scandal!

Now, let's step back for a moment and admit that employers have a right to set certain parameters of behavior for employees who are on the job. If the Secret Service and the military don't want their employees engaging in some types of recreational activity as a condition of their employment — especially while they're on the clock — so be it. But why is commercial sex — a perfectly legal offering in Cartagena, Colombia — so scandalous?

Let's emphasize that legal part. The protective-detail types sent home in shame may have violated their employers' rules, but they hadn't broken any laws in Colombia. Just what were they to be blackmailed with? Stepping out on their spouses? But torpedoing your own marriage is a well-respected tradition around the world; is anybody really going to put the president's life in danger to avoid, at most, divorce court? That's why the Christian Science Monitor responded to Rep. Issa's provocative musings by noting, "[i]n today's relatively permissive society, it may be hard to believe that a limited peccadillo could lead to treason decades hence." Likewise, former Secret Service agent Dan Emmet dismisses blackmail concerns as "espionage novel stuff."

The fact is, Americans are really weird about sex. We may patronize strip clubs to the tune of $3.1 billion per year, and we may support an adult film industry worth $13 billion, but many of us still cherish a national image of righteous frigidity. Raising a national fuss because a few public employees chose sex over reading good books in their off-hours is an American pastime.

There's a better way, though. Maybe … we could just learn to shrug our shoulders. As noted above, prostitution is a legal business in Cartagena. It's legal, though heavily regulated, in the state of Nevada. Sex work existed under a similar regime in New Zealand until 2003, when it was decriminalized — read that as "deregulated" — and allowed to function in largely free-market conditions. A 2008 government report (PDF) on the results of the legal change concluded that "the vast majority of people involved in the sex industry are better off." A 2010 Toronto Star article found that most New Zealand sex workers very much liked the deregulated regime, and that they were now far more willing and able to protect their rights through the legal system than before.

All of which is to say that treating the sex trade as normal and not freaking out over money for sex would be a good thing.

Yeah, employers have the right to say "no fun allowed" when their minions are on the clock, But let's not treat a mere employee-handbook violation as a national scandal if all they're doing is … screwing around.

NEXT: Civil Libertarians Launch Campaign Against CISPA

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  1. is anybody really going to put the president’s life in danger to avoid, at most, divorce court

    Err, I might.

    Frankly, some unplanned turnover in that job would have a lot less effect on me than (another) divorce.

    1. “is anybody really going to put the president’s life in danger to avoid, at most, divorce court”

      Speaking like someone who has never been through divorce court.

  2. IT’s a one-two blow, I mean punch.

    The White House apparently sees this as a Tailhook-like scandal that will outrage women.

    The So-cons, meanwhile, are pulling out their bibles and denouncing the fornicators.

    Meanwhile the poor bastards who risk taking a bullet for Barack are going to get the George Zimmerman treatment. Swell.

    1. Wait, are they white hispanics too?

      1. I bet some of the girls were – but they’d also hate the word hispanic so don’t listen to the women’s voices.

    2. Sex is a no-no. It doesn’t matter what political party you’re in, the other side get’s all Holier Than Thou. Just ask Herman Cain.

    3. They’re going to be charged with Second-Degree Murder and “profiling?”

      (not to mention that profiling is part of the Sec. Serv’s job)

  3. ah, that Puritanism streak still manages to surface in good ol’ America.

    1. I love the Bot AI that has to parse these posts and come up with relevant ads.

      “LatinAmericanCupid,com” BROWSE PHOTOS NOW.

  4. Rule #1 of Business Trips: Thou Shalt Not Embarrass the Company.

    Obviously, Federal employees are getting an object lesson over the last couple of weeks.

    If the dude had just passed over the $50, this would have been a nonstory. I hope each of the other 20 agents took $50 worth of their time kicking his cheap ass.

    1. I was thinking that too. That’s one sorry fool who wishes he’d forked up th $47.

    2. Maybe the take-away is that Secret Service agents aren’t being paid enough.

      1. Federal per diem is more than $47/day I’ll bet.

  5. I’m kind of doubtful that this story has any legs, though I guess Team Red will try to invigorate it.

  6. Did NONE of you see In the Line of Fire?

    1. Are you suggesting the agents should have engaged with smoldering love affairs with each other?

      1. The fanfic… it’s writing itself!!

      2. Are you assuming that they are not engaged in smoldering affairs with each other? Here is the issue: they behave as if ‘poised for distraction’ all of the time, I have never been to an event where they are posted that one of them has not propositioned me. They do not take their jobs seriously, at all ever. Once they get that little pin with the three red rectangles they figure that they can do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it, carte blanch, they justify it by virtue of the fact that they are standing between the president and a bullet, but usually they are standing behind a flower pot getting a blow job. Sorry about the typos, I’m on the phone and I typed this with my nose.

  7. I don’t think those women in Cartagena have ever worked a day in their lives.

  8. Well, just thinking this over, it seems the only possible solution to this scandal is to provide the Secret Service with a traveling squad of American whores.

    1. Boy, we really would be Europe then, wouldn’t we? NTTAWWT.

      1. Might as well go whole hog. Besides, Spitzer needs a job, and I think head of the Whoring Agency is right down his alley.

    2. The Secret Service that accompanied Bush II down to my neck of the woods were assholes. But they looked like normal assholes. And yes they were cheap. Now the ones I ran into during Michelle Obama’s trip to New Orleans last year . . . those were some hard people. My remember thinking, “Mercenaries”.

      1. We classicists prefer the term Praetorian Guard.

  9. I wonder if any of these agents are going through divorce proceedings as a result of this.

  10. Jesus X….another non-story to distract us while Rome burns. At least this one almost relevant as it has actual fucking in it, just not the kind we are taking from the political class.

    BTW, what is with this $50 business? Bolivian hookers only charge $10. I cant see that columbians are 5x better than bolivians.
    Actually, on second thought….

    1. In-calls are a little bit more expensive, aren’t they?

    2. Only the best for our Public Servants.

    3. I cant see that columbians are 5x better than bolivians.

      The extra $40 is for the ones with a low viral load.

    4. Jesus X…Is that like the Jason reboot? Jesus in space?

  11. Yeah, employers have the right to say “no fun allowed” when their minions are on the clock, But let’s not treat a mere employee-handbook violation as a national scandal if all they’re doing is … screwing around.

    With the possibility looming of: “Introducing the 45th POTUS, Joseph Robinette Biden…” yeah, those dopes are indirectly on my dime and they agreed to look out for POTUS’ safety 24/7. I don’t care about whether or not these agents are doing the mattress mambo, or with whom, but given their employment status, I do care about when. Just because one can, doesn’t always mean one should.

    1. “Introducing the 45th POTUS, Joseph Robinette Biden…”

      Thanks Doc….I got cold chills and nausea just from reading that.
      Yep, as far as I know choosing a VP has always been about life insurance.

      1. C’mon, why wouldn’t you take Biden right now over Obama? More entertaining and way less likely to get anything bad through the House. And, even with sympathy factor, do you think Biden could win in November??

      2. Robinette? Really? Wonder if he’s read Gateway?

  12. Why does Black Jesus need protection anyway? Won’t the auora of heavenly righteousness permeate his surroundings and repel all manner of unpleasant or hazardous substances or fumes, such as farts, .50 BMGs, and shuriken?

    1. Depends on which ninja clan made the suriken.

      1. Hopefully, not Ryu. Did you see how he kicked the crap outta Sagat?

  13. Maybe, just maybe, we could stop pretending that exchanging money for sex is such a terrible thing.

    What about when we exchange goods, money, dinner and movies for sex, and the sex never gets delivered? That’s a scandal. There oughtta be an FTC investigation on that one.

    1. What about when we exchange goods, money, dinner and movies for sex, and the sex never gets delivered? That’s a scandal.

      How long have you been married?

  14. Mallory: ISIS isn’t your own personal travel agency. It doesn’t exist just so you can jet off to Whore Island. Are you listening to me? Sterling?

    Archer: What? Sorry, I was just picturing Whore Island.

  15. Apparently the media-political establishment would have had no problem if the agents had simply taken advantage of local girls with middling looks and unresolved father issues.

    1. Apparently the media-political establishment would have had no problem if the agents had simply taken advantage of local girls with middling looks and unresolved father issues.

      If the difference between a girl with middling looks and unresolved father issues and a smoking hot Columbian prostitute is $47, the choice seems easy.

      For instance, in this country $500 gets you a prostitute with middling looks and unresolved father issues.

      1. Cost difference is even smaller after a few rounds of overpriced drinks at a hotel bar patronized by diplomats and expats.

        And it probably flips to a deficit with the time value of several hours of conversation.

  16. great, an article in which the intern informs us that Americans have sometimes contridictory views about sex. Never heard that before.

  17. The unreported story here is what did Barack do to so enrage the Columbians that they decided to go public with this chickenshit sex scandal?

    1. That’s a very good question, Tim.

    2. His refusal to even think about making pot legal?

    3. Nah, the Columbian tourism board just decided they could use a boost in their industry. But since none of the American papers will carry their ads showing what you can get for just $47, they decided to go this route instead.

  18. Colombia should be happy that this story has been so widely reported without undue reliance on clumsy and forced references to cocaine or coffee.

    Though really, no American knows this girl’s name, yet Ms. $47 Escort is today the third most recognizable Colombian to Americans, after Juan Valdez and Pablo Escobar.

  19. Agent… 47… this all sounds familiar.

  20. I’m just waiting for the cell phone video of Secret Service Agents Gone Wild.

  21. I support the troops…not having to waste their time with their partner back home, phony politics back home and yellow ribbons back home. I have to imagine the Secret Service package is one of the perks of the job.

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