Sex Work

Sheri's Ranch Versus Sugar Babies: Why 'Legalizing' Prostitution Doesn't Work

Brothel wants state to screw everybody over equally instead of getting a little less grabby with everyone.

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Sheri's Ranch/Facebook

One of the most frustrating stories to hit my inbox this week involves Sheri's Ranch, a legal Nevada brothel, and Seeking Arrangement.com, a "sugar dating" website that connects wealthier paramours with sexier ones. The brothel is calling for law enforcement to crack down on sites like Seeking Arrangement, which it calls "the next phase in the evolution of illegal online prostitution." 

"The courtesans and staff of Sheri's Ranch are prostitution experts, so we know prostitution when we see it," said Sheri's Ranch spokesman Jeremy Lemur in a press release. "We're concerned that sugar dating websites, platforms promoting prostitution and operating without interference from law enforcement, may one day negatively impact our legal prostitution business." 

In other words, he's rent-seeking. Like taxi cartels that oppose Uber and dentists who want to ward off unliscenced teeth whiteners, Sheri's Ranch wants to use government coercion and force to see that it retains it's prized economic footing. It's not that Lemur & Co. oppose prostitution per se, only illegal prostitution. And it just so happens that they've cornered the market on the legal kind. 

On the one hand, it's understandable: in places like Nevada where prostitution has been "legalized"— but not decriminalized—the government sets strict parameters for who can operate a sex business and how. Sheri's Ranch and its employees surely have to jump through all sorts of regulatory hoops and pay regular fees to retain their government permission slip to operate. And it's got to be frustrating to see other people profiting from prostitution without giving their proper cut to the state.

However, I have no sympathy for people whose reaction is to insist that the state screw everybody over equally, instead of maybe getting a little less grabby with everyone.

Lemur says "the attempt to 'sugar coat' illegal prostitution through sugar baby dating sites is nothing more than a callous action taken by opportunistic, morally compromised entrepreneurs who appear to have found a loophole." Pot, meet kettle. It's easy to see why brothel owners are pleased with the legal sex-trade monopoly they've got going in certain places. It's not so easy to see how this benefits sex workers or their clients.

Sure, brothels provide certain advantages, and I know there are many sex workers who are happy working at them. But there are also many who are happy (and more profitable) working independently. Under a system of prostitution decriminalization, neither would face police harassment and jail time.

Total decriminalization is where many people get lost on legalizing the sex trade—they can see how allowing consenting adults to exchange money for sex isn't all that bad, yet they think this should only be permitted under certain narrow, state-approved circumstances. Maybe it all has to happen in designated brothels, or sex workers must be licensed and undergo regular state testing. This, say many, is for sex workers' and clients' own well-being.

But under a system of total decriminalization, brothels could still exist, medical paperwork proving clean health could still be used by sex workers as a selling point, and an optional credentialing system could still be employed. The only difference is that police couldn't throw a sex worker in jail for working from her own home, or arrest a client and post his picture online for receiving a blowjob from someone with expired paperwork. The difference is we wouldn't be wasting law enforcement resources trying to determine the precise line where dating websites cross over into prostitution, nor ruining people's lives for stepping over this line.

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64 responses to “Sheri's Ranch Versus Sugar Babies: Why 'Legalizing' Prostitution Doesn't Work

  1. Is Sheri’s Ranch funding the college feminists trying to prevent guys from getting some for free on campus/?

  2. nor ruining people’s lives for stepping over this line

    That’s absurd, ENB. This doesn’t leave state agents nearly enough fun things to do.

  3. yet they think this should only be permitted under certain narrow, state-approved circumstances.

    And those circumstances are the government getting a cut of the money and a fee for the license and new government compliance jobs for their idiot sons and brothers-in-law.

  4. Courtesans. Heh.

  5. they can see how allowing consenting adults to exchange money for sex isn’t all that bad, yet they think this should only be permitted under certain narrow, state-approved circumstances.

    So a lot like how people view marriage.

  6. ENB delivers. Dem asses…

    1. This stuffy motherfucking site needs more bikinis and cute asses… and of both sexes- to please the 2.3 girls, 4 gay dudes, and 12.5 bisexuals on here.

      1. Women tend to be less visual. For equality, we demand erotica.

        1. Good erotica or Channing Tatum/Paul Walker slashfic?

          1. Also in this collection is ‘Ravished by a Triceratops’. If it doesn’t ravish at least three women at once I will be disappointed.

            1. The author didn’t get as successful as she is by not giving her audience what they want.

              1. Fucking living fossils is a thought-provoking fetish.

                1. Its not thoughts that I want my fetishes to provoke.

      2. How do you have a third of a girl and half a bisexual posting here? Are the remains of Warty’s conquests allowed computer privileges?

        1. Floating points are king or queen for covering all sorts of overlap and the mysterious and wanton.

  7. Like taxi cartels that oppose Uber and dentists who want to ward off unliscenced teeth whiteners,

    Don’t forget medpot suppliers opposing legalizing marijuana. Liquor distributors opposing microbreweries selling their own beer.

    Etc. ad fricking infinitum.

    I hate people. Well, not some of you people, but just about everybody else.

    1. I hate people

      HEY! That’s my line!

      *glares hatefully – well, lovingly, but hatefully – at RC Dean*

    2. I hate people. Well, not some of you people, but just about everybody else.

      What do you mean, “you people”?

      1. I meant the limo company.

    3. Don’t forget medpot suppliers opposing legalizing marijuana.

      You mean the growers? I don’t think the medical thing had much to do with them opposing legalization. They didn’t want to lose the black market premium they could get.

    4. Government-run lotteries opposing gambling.

  8. What is technically ‘legal’ in the world of so-called vice these days seems to be more about the state cordoning off markets unto itself while utilizing the managerial and financial expertise of its corporation partnerships.

    Decriminalizing ‘carnal’ activities tends to advance individual independence which is anathema to power derived through the draining of citizen wallets.

    Sheri’s Ranch can fuck its own collective starfish with a temple of pharisees.

    1. Sheri’s Ranch can fuck its own collective starfish with a temple of pharisees.

      That is fuckin’ POETRY right there! Agile Cyborg – I salute you!

      1. But it didn’t rhyme!

      2. You, sir, are chock full of all sorts of sugary rubbish. 😉

      3. Agile Cyborg is the voice of a generation of weird libertarians and anarchists. Does Reason have a poet laureate position to fill?

  9. So Sheri would be the bootlegger in this bootleggers and Baptists arrangement?

    1. *gets super confused….gives up*

  10. Nevada didn’t legalize prostitution, it recognized that some women can charge money for sex!

    All that’s going to happen is that bakers will be sued for refusing to make WHORE CAKES! Which are CAKES FOR WHORES!

    1. You know what other Whore liked cake?

      1. Marie Antoinette?

      2. Jerri Blank?

      3. Cake vodka? How much time you have?

          1. seconded

      4. Tom Carvel’s wife?

  11. most regulation is to benefit one group of people at the expense of others – a prime example of this in action.
    This is also why we must resist the notion that regulation makes society better and “fairer”- it does not -an almost always favors the better connected and wealthy over the interests of the less wealthy and larger population

  12. Keep in mind that there are lawyers involved here and if prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, lawyering is the world’s…. well, it’s the world’s oldest profession.

    1. As soon as God crapped out the third caveman, a conspiracy was hatched by the other two.

    2. Seems to me, both professions do the same thing.

      1. Nah – lawyers never let you cum.

  13. “sugar dating” website that connects wealthier paramours with sexier ones.

    Isn’t that just called “life”?

  14. “The courtesans and staff of Sheri’s Ranch are prostitution experts, so we know prostitution when we see it,”

    You know who else knew it when they saw it?

    Also, prositution is like drugs. The people who want it are already doing it. Look at any dating site and notice how many women are looking for ‘business men’.

    1. Look at any dating site and notice how many women are looking for ‘business men’.

      I believe the politically correct phrasing in the text is “man with ambition”.

      1. Is it? It was pointed out to me a while back that business women or women looking for businessmen were just straight up hookers.

        Every single one are looking for man with ambition.

        Oooooooooh. ok.

    2. Which brings us to another point: putting the government in charge of deciding which dating sites are allowed is a really stupid idea.

      1. Then I am sure they will run with it.

      2. I had a european tell me that letting the government decide how much cinnamon can go on your roll was an excellent idea. Tell my why this isn’t also?

  15. The trouble is, action that’s decriminalized can still be illegal?subject to injunction and civil penalties. “Legalized” means made legal, i.e. not illegal. What you mean is completely deregulated.

    1. I was confused by the title too.

      1. People abbr. & use synechdoche ambiguously sometimes. They’ll refer to legalizing a category of something when they really mean legalizing a subcategory of it.

        “Decriminalize” has an unambiguous meaning, but some people forget that not all legal restrictions are in the criminal code.

        They also confuse invalidity with illegality. So there are illegal fair catch signals and then there are just invalid fair catch signals.

  16. Legalized prostitution will look no different than legalized gambling; a state enforced monopoly run by cronies. I guess it is somewhat of an improvement, but not a very big one.

    1. No, it’s a huge improvement. That’s because for consumer services, the number of people interested in being customers far exceeds the no. interested in going into the biz. The difference between zeropoly & monopoly is a lot bigger than it may seem at 1st glance. How many people want to gamble legally, compared to how many want to operate a casino (or brothel) legally?

      1. Plus, it’s a type of propaganda by deed via the teaching function of the law. You legalize something, people get the idea it’s acceptable behavior. The more people accept a behavior, the less likely they are to outlaw it, and the more likely they are to liberalize the laws on it.

  17. In other words, he’s rent-seeking. Like taxi cartels that oppose Uber and dentists who want to ward off unliscenced teeth whiteners, doctors who want to ward off unlicensed butt enhancers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2oglbjeyN4

  18. We’re concerned that sugar dating websites, platforms promoting prostitution and operating without interference from law enforcement, may one day negatively impact our legal prostitution business. (emphasis added)

    Okay, say what you want, but I’ve got to give them credit for honesty. Unlike the dentists or cabbies, the prostitutes don’t make any pretense that their motivation is anything other than rent-seeking.

  19. First step. Ban police from pretending to be prostitutes or pretending to be drug dealers.

    It’s their job to prevent and stop crime, not to cause it. I’ve no problem with police pretending to *buy* drugs or pretending to be engaging the services of a prostitute. Those people are already clearly in the process of engaging in criminal acts.

    If the police want to set up a sell sting operation to catch buyers of drugs or other illegal goods, they should be required to provide evidence that the customers to be targeted have already done other criminal acts or have damn solid evidence of their prior intent to commit criminal acts including the purchase of illegal goods.

    That *doesn’t* include random Joe looking for some Blow, unless they have something like video of the guy robbing a store to get the cash to buy the drugs.

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