Sex Work

Legalize Sex Work

Who owns your body?

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Who owns our bodies? I think that we do.

Therefore, once we're, say, 18, we ought to have the right to rent our bodies to someone else.

But we don't. Women who do that get arrested. So do their customers.

I refer to prostitution, of course. Sex work is a better term. Under any name, it's illegal in America, except in eight counties in Nevada.

Some feminists say sex work must be outlawed because prostitutes are exploited. Julie Bindel of Justice for Women says, "I've interviewed a lot of sex buyers, and they talk about women like they're human toilets or spittoons for men's semen."

Maybe some men do.

But does that mean women should not be allowed to rent their bodies?

"No!" says sex worker Christina Parreira: "I feel more exploited by these supposedly liberal women telling me that I'm being exploited."

Parreira is a University of Nevada Ph.D. student who, to study prostitutes, became one. She told me, "We don't need protection. We're consenting, adult women."

For this week's YouTube video, I confront her about sex for money being "shameful, degrading, disgusting."

"I used to waitress," replies Parreira, "get hit on and provide conversation. That's what I do now, except I'm serving sex, not food."

She says the 60 sex workers she's interviewed do not say their customers treat them as "spittoons for semen."

The men "want conversation, companionship… texting in between their appointments," she says. "They want the girlfriend experience without the girlfriend hassle… and maybe 20 minutes having sex."

But Bindel says that sex workers like Christina, who speak to reporters, are atypical.

"They're so unrepresentative of the majority… Prostitutes are victims," Bindel says, held captive by pimps. "All women on the streets are there because they have no other choice."

But "they have a choice," I said. "They could work at McDonald's, they…" She replied, "Many say, 'McDonald's is a rubbish job. I'd rather be in the sex trade!'"

But isn't that the point? No job is perfect, but we let people make choices.

Some customers and pimps are violent. Some women are forced into the sex trade. But prostitutes who want that trade legalized say legality would reduce violence and sex trafficking by bringing victims out of the shadows.

"If, God forbid, somebody's going to assault you, (in legal brothels) you can call the cops. You can hit the panic button," Parreira told me. "If you're an illegal worker, you're not going to call the cops because they're going to arrest you!"

Some of you readers believe it's immoral to rent bodies or body parts, to, as Bindel puts it, treat them as "part of a marketplace."

But why? Boxers, in effect, rent their bodies to sports promoters. So do football players, dancers, models, etc.

We let people do dangerous things with their bodies all the time, like driving race cars and climbing mountains.

Recently, a California appeals court ruled that legalization advocates have a right to challenge California's prostitution ban. During the legal arguments, a judge asked the state's lawyers, "Why should it be illegal to sell something that's legal to give away?"

That was a good question. The state has no good answer.

Legalization has already been tried in places like New Zealand. It doesn't make the business perfect, but it helps.

Sociologist Ronald Weitzer of George Washington University writes, "Statutory regulations vary by country, but a common objective is harm reduction. New Zealand's 2003 law, for instance, gives workers a litany of rights, provides for the licensing and taxing of brothels, and empowers local governments to… vet the owners, ban offensive signage, and impose safe-sex and other health requirements."

Studies in the U.S. and Australia show reduced violence and fewer health risks among prostitutes where sex work is legal.

Economists Lena Edlund and Evelyn Korn add, "Prostitution has an unusual feature: It is well-paid despite being low-skill, labor-intensive, and, one might add, female-dominated."

We don't have to cheer for prostitution, or think it's nice, to keep government out of it and let participants make up their own minds.

It's wrong to ban sex workers' options just to make ourselves feel better.

COPYRIGHT 2017 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

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  1. Didn’t Reason post this Stossel article yesterday? The thing I like about John is how he breathlessly writes about things everyone else understood 25 years ago.

    But that’s not why I’m here. I’m leaving this as a placeholder for Sevo so he can continue to fucking dither about the desirability of voting for a pedophile. I’ve made my call. You there General Sevo, sir?

    1. They usually post the video, and then the article later. Also, an awful lot of women are being arrested over something that is apparently understood for the last 25 years.

      1. Isn’t that a libertarian buzz line, that the government is always 25 years behind the public? Maybe that means legislators will do something about this any day now.

        1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.netcash10.com

    2. You should add Mugabe to your handle, troll, it’s a perfect fit.

  2. “Some of you readers believe it’s immoral to rent bodies or body parts, to, as Bindel puts it, treat them as ‘part of a marketplace.'”

    Annnd there it is.

    1. Selling’s legal, Fucking’s Legal.
      Why isn’t selling fucking legal??

      1. If they had their way, “selling” in general wouldn’t be legal either.

  3. Pimps are a function of a black market. Without prohibition, there is no need for pimps and women can just go to the police if someone tries to set themselves up as a pimp.

    1. Violent pimps are a function of the black market, but I can see the logic of having a nonviolent pimp. Pimps might still exist even in a legal market. I work for a temp agency at warehouses and construction sites. Sure, the agency takes a cut, but the back office saves me the trouble of finding gigs myself and advocates for me on the rare occasions when a client is being unfair. If I was a prostitute, I might want to have a pimp.

      1. Nonviolent pimps are called “madams”.

        Joking aside, there’s definitely room for a “manages the talent, brings in clients and providers a venue” role, but because of the associations with the term they would probably use a different one to improve their branding.

    2. Not if the pimps call themselves a “union”.

  4. Therefore, once we’re, say, 18, we ought to have the right to rent our bodies to someone else.

    So 17-year-old me didn’t own my body? Yeah, at 17 I was old enough to fight in one of their wars, so if the state owned my body they sure missed the boat not sending me over on a boat to fight in the ‘Nam or wherever we were fighting back then.

      1. I wish. Heartbreak Ridge was a young me’s Marine recruitment film.

        1. Swede Swede Swede Swede

    1. hmmm, It’s common to allow teens aged 16 to 18 to work in safe industries such as retail but not more dangerous occupations like replacing roofs. I guess the age of consent should be 18 for becoming a sex worker, working in porn, or patronizing sex workers and porn producers, but that number is debatable. Maybe the age of consent for being a sex worker and hiring a sex worker should be different.

      Oregon sets the age of consent for medical procedures at 15. That means a 15 year-old with a penis can hire someone to surgically remove it as part of gender reassignment surgery, and the state will pay for the procedure. Personally, I think we should raise the age of consent for gender reassignment surgery to 18. However, anyone who thinks that it should be legal for a 15 year-old to pay someone to surgically remove her penis will have trouble convincing me that a 15 year-old does not have the right to pay someone to suck his penis.

      1. Wait. I can get paid for getting head?

    2. Let’s make it legal at 18 then we can quibble about the number.

    3. So 17-year-old me didn’t own my body?

      In many ways, that is correct.

  5. “They’re so unrepresentative of the majority… Prostitutes are victims,” Bindel says, held captive by pimps. “All women on the streets are there because they have no other choice.”

    Not always true. My mom started hooking up with my dad in exchange for help with the rent so that she could make room in her budget to go on cruises.

    1. That’s quite the How I Met Your Mother story.

  6. No, we do not own our bodies. Our bodies belong to society, because it is society that picks up the tab when we abuse them. That’s one of the many evils of socialism. Once something is socialized, like health care for example, then it ceases to be our own. We lose a say in what we do, because others bear responsibility for our actions. We become slaves to the government that claims to execute the will of the people.

  7. “There’s just too much money in it.” ~ Hillary Clinton.

    There’s nothing about financially independent women and males set free from a captured market for sex that appeals to control freak societies.

  8. The government’s job is to not protect people from their own decisions.

    If a woman or man wants to directly sell sex, so be it. It’s not appreciably different than dating — you’re not frequently getting your dick sucked when dating somebody for free — and it treats adults like adults.

    I wouldn’t do it. I’ve never even seen somebody I knew to be a hooker in person. But if that is their decision, that’s fine with me. Even if they don’t want to do it…I’ve had plenty of jobs I’ve disliked as well.

    1. Except that government picks of the tab if these decisions result in disease or pregnancy. That gives government a direct say in the actions of individuals, since it is financially responsible for the outcome.

  9. I hope for sex work to be legalized. I cant wait to see progs force a prostitute to be raped because he/she didnt want to have sex with someone of the same sex.

    1. That…..is both absurd and an interesting thought exercise.

      1. … fuck it, I’ll go Google “do non-discrimination laws supply to Nevada’s legal prostitutes”

        No useful results.

        I do remember when Nevada finally allowed male prostitutes a few years back, he said he wouldn’t do dudes.

        Broadly speaking though, I suspect that the “private” services from a legal brothel wouldn’t be considered a public -accommodation, and so hookers would n be allowed to refuse a customer for being Asian, Mormon, French, pregnant, a veteran, disabled, etc and so-on.

        But as I said, I didn’t see any guts in a quick search, so I think it probably hasn’t been addressed in courts.

        1. I’m not so sure. After all, then bakeries could just make themselves operate “by appointment only” to make a run around the anti-free-association statists. Can’t have that!

          1. Yeah, they *can* do that. That’s exactly what Sweet Cakes by Melissa did to avoid baking for gays in Oregon.

            1. This is essentially how brothels in NV get away with what they do. The brothel essentially acts in a manner similar to sporting arenas where they have a preferred team of private contractors/free agents but no customer is ever guaranteed as to which private contractor or free agent will be throwing the winning touchdown pass at that particular event.

        2. Another interesting aspect is: would it then be ok for men to ask women for sex in exchange for movie roles/promotions/etc…and would it also be ok (strictly legally) for women to use sex in the workplace to further their career.

          I am not sure I see much difference between a women having sex for money and one having sex in order to get a movie role. Put another way, a sizable bit of what HW put women through would seem to be ok (legally) if we allowed prostitution.

          Or would it ? Perhaps thats still workplace harassment somehow.

  10. Historians and such have – for the most part – decided that the ‘white slavery’ panic of the Victorian and Edwardian eras was founded in part on middle class women who wanted to control men trough withholding sex, and couldn’t if sex was available for sale.

    And here we are again. The Feminists know damned well that their silly demands and attitudes will never get any respect unless they can dictate when men gat sex. And they can’t do that unless men have nowhere to get sex that doesn’t involve playing stupid Feminist games.

    Is being a sex worker demeaning? Sure. So is being a man on a moonlit infested college campus, or working for pretty much any mall store during Christmas, or any one of thousands of other things people do routinely.

    1. a moonlit infested college campus

      The Schumer University Fighting Moonbeams?

    2. The Feminists know damned well that their silly demands and attitudes will never get any respect unless they can dictate when men gat sex. And they can’t do that unless men have nowhere to get sex that doesn’t involve playing stupid Feminist games.

      This is also why the Church inserted itself into marriage hundreds of years ago, and why women in more patriarchal cultures (including some subcultures in America) feel threatened by gay men (they have no power to control is).

      Anyway, my point is that easy yeah, some feminists works sex as a weapon to control men, but it’s not unique to feminists.

      1. The only commandments in the Torah regarding prostitution are a ban on the Temple using prostitution as a fund raiser and a ban on the daughters of a Levite becoming a prostitute. This cannot be interpreted as a reason to outlaw all prostitution, because the Torah also bans the sons of a Levite from marrying a divorced woman or a widow, two things that other Israeli men were allowed to do.

        Heck, a Jewish man was commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and some Jewish men were very busy trying to get rid of the Romans. They didn’t have time to court wives. Why do you think Jesus hired Mary of Magdalene? Polyandry was a logical choice for Jesus and the apostles, but Judas engineered the world’s worst cock-block.

      2. How could it be unique to Feminists. It’s a basic need, hardwired. Of course individuals, groups, and societies have used it as a weapon, essentially forever.

        I think the issue with Gays is something else. A number of heavily Patriarchal societies have had little or no problem with male homosexuality. Japan and Ancient Greece spring to mind.

  11. My body your choice. I think that’s how it goes.

    And as to prohibition on selling something that you can give away, I give you kidney donations. Everyone wins but we can’t allow that.

    1. Same issue; control freaks.

  12. “Legalization has already been tried in places like New Zealand”? Places “like” New Zealand? You mean, being like New Zealand in the sense of being places on Planet Earth?

    Because pretty much the only place on Planet Earth where a woman who can legally have sex for free can be arrested for selling sex is the good old USA.

    There are places where a woman can simply sell sex legally — strange exotic places like Mexico and England and Germany and all of South America.

    There are places where a woman can sell sex without fear of prosecution but the buyer is in jeopardy — a system that makes zero sense to me but is in force in Canada, France, Norway, and a few other countries.

    There are places where a woman can sell sex and get away with it because the law is laxly enforced — many of them are ironically famous for prostitution, like Cuba and Thailand.

    But an outright and enforced ban is almost entirely an American thing.

    1. I’m almost certain there are few other countries where a woman is banned from selling her body for sex, and many are in Europe–in fact most european countries ban it. Meanwhile in the big bad mean oppressive icky USA there is a state where it’s legal. P.S. you’re an ignorant sexist because even in Nevada a man is legally able to sell his body for sex. That is NOT the case in most of those precious free nations where sex-for-sale is legal. I hate people like you.

      1. Prostitution has been legal in what was West Germany since WW2; it was legal in Japan prior to the American military governorship following WW2.

  13. Some people say that anyone who works for a wage is exploited. We call them Marxists.

  14. Legalize sex work? But we must impose OUR morals on others. We can’t let women lose their most precious bargaining chip in a relationship! I mean her man might just get sex somewhere else if she denies him. Don’t expect legalized sex work anytime soon.

  15. I wrote an English essay in the 9th grade supporting the legalization of prostitution, for men and women. My teacher, who was already so disgruntled he called us all apes regularly, praised my composition and wanted to submit it for some reward. This was in the 1980s. Can you imagine what would happen to the poor kid who wrote such an essay today?

  16. “Who owns your body?”

    Well, John, it seems from the news reports that if you are a woman, any man in power owns your body.
    Except that after a few decades you get to sell your story and have your 15 minutes of fame.

    It for damn sure ain’t you that owns your body, because there are so many local, state, and federal laws dictating what you can and cannot do to your body that they cannot be counted.
    There are laws for what you must do to your body because ‘health’ (vaccinations etc)
    There are laws for what you cannot do with your body (show it off, rent it for sex, take it to right wing events, etc)
    There are laws for allowing the government to literally take your body (selective service)
    There are laws for where your body must be (school attendance, curfews)
    There are laws determining how fast you must grow up (age limits on movies, video games, smoking, drinking)

  17. Wish I could find the piece I wrote a while back about the consequences of legalizing prostitution. That’s _full_ legalization, not just decriminalization. If it’s legal, you can make binding contracts. If the customer doesn’t pay, the sex-worker can sue for payment. If the sex-worker refuses to provide the agreed-upon service, the courts can apply the same sort of coercion they use for movie actors, professional athletes, etc. who don’t honor their contracts: they are forbidden to work at their trade until they complete the original contract.

    Sexual harassment (in the workplace) would no longer be actionable. “Will provide sexual services upon request” can be a part of the employment contract, and the employee can either provide the services or be fired for cause. And even if not part of the original contract, new “duties” can be assigned at any time for at-will employees (which is almost all of them).

    Of course, that might energize a whole lot of employees to join or create unions…

    Or perhaps some regulations might be enacted. One of the objections to streetwalking in particular is that it leads to women who *aren’t* sexworkers being propositioned, often crudely. So a state might require sexworkers to wear some distinctive article of clothing, like the green sleeves of England in the time of Henry VIII. As long as it doesn’t make the sexworker look ridiculous or unattractive — or cost a lot of money — I don’t think it’s unreasonable.

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  19. I think that the root of the problem is not analyzing the people who are anti sex-worker advocates, and seeing what else they’ve been up to, and expose their entire worldview

    Julie Bindel, the short haired anti-sex advocate, is a self admitted man-hating feminist:

    [quote]
    “I mean, I would actually put them all (men) in some kind of camp where they can all drive around in quad bikes, or bicycles, or white vans,” said Bindel. “I would give them a choice of vehicles to drive around with, give them no porn, they wouldn’t be able to fight ? we would have wardens, of course! Women who want to see their sons or male loved ones would be able to go and visit, or take them out like a library book, and then bring them back.”
    I hope heterosexuality doesn’t survive, actually. I would like to see a truce on heterosexuality. I would like an amnesty on heterosexuality until we have sorted ourselves out. Because under patriarchy it’s shit.

    And I am sick of hearing from individual women that their men are all right. Those men have been shored up by the advantages of patriarchy and they are complacent, they are not stopping other men from being shit.

    I would love to see a women’s liberation that results in women turning away from men and saying: “when you come back as human beings, then we might look again.”

    [/quote]

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