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  1. #1
    BigGreen's Avatar
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    BG Roundtable #3: Why is Prostitution Illegal?

    To quote George Carlin, 'selling is legal, sex is legal, why is selling sex illegal?' With the notable exception of portions of Nevada, why is one allowed to have sex in the privacy of their own home or temporary place of dwelling for literally ANY other reason than the exchange of financial considerations? No other motivation for sexual relations (revenge, physical satisfaction, emotional necessity, unadulterated fun) is illegal as far as I know...only the EXPLICITLY financial. Furthermore, why is acting in pornography legal while prostitution is not? Is not appearing in a porn nothing more than prostitution with a camera? If an individual brings his camcorder and image release form along with him to the hourly rate hotel, is he now engaging in the legal activity of creating a film as opposed to prostitution?

    And finally, though somewhat of a tangent, if one supports abortion, how can one than decry prostitution? Both essentially are reduced, legally speaking, to the right of a woman to choose what domain to have over her body. Is this purely an unnecessary puritanical holdover (like sodomy laws) that serve no real purpose other than to allow us to feel righteous as a society, or is there a legitimate reason for prostitution to be illegal in your estimation. As always, elaborate any positions for the sake of discussion, por favor.

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    good post, and legitiment argument, i agree that porn is basically prostitution behind a camera, but the difference is that porn is very controlled in states! i know there is many amateur videos going around the internet but actual porn companies do follow rules and regulations and both legal and health precautions. Doing a legal porno requires many steps and legal and health procedures before it can be filmed wich makes it very controlled, therefore easier for the government to watch and screen.

    As for prostitution the fear fo legalizing it is many young teens doing it for money, spread of crime due to drug selling+prostitution being a hand in hand combo, Increased abuse of prostitutes, human rights violation when it comes to services abusing their 'workers', also illegal types of prostitution....the list goes on and on

    In order for it to be legal there needs to be a way to 'monitor+control' it which is gonna be real difficult in a country as large as the USA.
    In holland its legalized in red light districts, and has been for so long that the peoples general look at it has changed and its very accepted and also the government has enforced disease screening and it gives the women working there a union and full benefits of any worker. I dont know about statistics but there has never been anything publicly on the news about soaring numbers of diseases or serious problems with hollands prostitution scene.

  3. #3
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    Legalized prostitution could lead to an increase in STDS and unwanted pregnancies

  4. #4
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    Not if it was legalized AND regulated.
    I understand that in Nevada cathouses, the working girls there have to get regular checkups, and get lots of training in things like how to avoid getting diseases. Dunno how effective that training is, but it's gotta be lots better than what the girls selling on streetcorners practice . . .

    -Tock

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    yeah, prostees are probably cleaner than your regular slut because they tend to protect themselves more.

    But thats not the reason its ilegal. Its becuase it is against core values of most of us, even the ones that buy into it. Nobody wants there daughter or sister to be a prostitute. It violates core human, moral values. But every guy wants to lay a hot chick. So there are contradictory feelings: our animal instinct craves the sex, our family and religious values tell us that its wrong to want just sex, with no strings. It's the constant struggle of our mind vs our inhate animal instinct.
    And when we are making the laws, we are far from our sexual instincts, laws are created from a clear, intelectual mind. Then once at ease, look at how politicians/law makers (and all of us for this matter)slip all the time. (clinton, that gay guy from nj or ny that just resigned, clarence thomas, etc)

    this is the reasoning. i bet most of us would approve legalizing it, as long as it is in the next closest town.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAEW44
    In order for it to be legal there needs to be a way to 'monitor+control' it which is gonna be real difficult in a country as large as the USA.
    All of what you say to this effect makes sense, though I wonder if the consistent cry for that monitor and control aspect (not by you, but by society at large) is really a thinly veiled attempt to keep the sex trade illegal while pretending to have the best intentions of the 'oh-so-ignorant victims' at heart. Certainly there exist SEVERAL industries here in America in desperate need of closer monitoring and regulation, or any kind of legitimately enforced regulation at all. Yet it only becomes a valid concern of the public at large when it's a means to keep an idea from emerging, not when it's an already existing problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tock
    Not if it was legalized AND regulated.
    I understand that in Nevada cathouses, the working girls there have to get regular checkups, and get lots of training in things like how to avoid getting diseases. Dunno how effective that training is, but it's gotta be lots better than what the girls selling on streetcorners practice . . .

    -Tock
    Exactly. I do not suspect many of the 'legalize it' proponents in this regard advocate street walking as being legal any more than they advocate the selling of televisions out of the back of a van as legal. Yet, selling televisions out of a regulated electronics store is fine and dandy. Likewise, i think most proponents of legalized prostitution would draw the distinction of legality at the same regulated and monitored point exemplified by the TV sales analogy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marka

    But thats not the reason its ilegal. Its becuase it is against core values of most of us, even the ones that buy into it. Nobody wants there daughter or sister to be a prostitute.
    This is very likely true. However, I do not imagine many fathers and brothers would like their daughters or sisters to become strippers, clean toilets for a living, work the graveyard shift as 7-11 clerks, and so on and so on. Yet these jobs, some of which may be far more demeaning and debilitating than regulated work as a prostitute, are allowed to continue without much objection at all.

    If a girl is able to earn, say 75,000 a year based on her looks and ability in the sack versus 16,000 a year based on her lack of intellect and general intelligence, many would argue that it is absurd for us as a society to deny her that right and force upon her a life of comparative poverty simply so we can sleep better tonight as a righteous society provided that her actions are not harmful. Of course we can not allow her to earn that 75K dealing drugs or weapons, as they result in clear and definitive harm on easily traceable levels, but consensual sex is victimless, or, at least, no less victimless than similar services.
    Last edited by BigGreen; 12-01-2004 at 11:35 PM.

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    man, your good with words. must be one of them college grads. Just kidding. No, but serious, you write very well. Congrats.


  10. #10
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    On one hand, you say:

    Quote Originally Posted by marka
    But thats not the reason its ilegal. Its becuase it is against core values of most of us, even the ones that buy into it.
    and on the other you maintain:

    Quote Originally Posted by marka
    But every guy wants to lay a hot chick.
    Prostitution can't be both against most people's core values, AND be something that "every guy" craves.




    Quote Originally Posted by marka
    So there are contradictory feelings: our animal instinct craves the sex, our family and religious values tell us that its wrong to want just sex, with no strings.
    I think you have something there . . .
    There is a strange philosophy called "asceticism" running through several different religious traditions defined as:

    as·cet·i·cism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-st-szm) n.
    1) The principles and practices of an ascetic; extreme self-denial and austerity.
    2) The doctrine that the ascetic life releases the soul from bondage to the body and permits union with the divine.

    Ya, some of the Christian traditions mix a lot of this BS into their theology, telling people that enjoying the flesh is sinful, and to abstain from all lusts will make you more spiritual, and eventually get you a better seat in Heaven. You see this same thing in Islam, where people march in groups and whip their backs until they bleed. This is supposed to be a spiritual benefit of some sort. It's unadulterated BS, IMHO.

    Anyway, thanks to relentless preaching of the holier-than-thou Calvanists starting with the very first settlers in 1620 Massachusetts and Virginia, laws were passed to make things difficult for people who wanted to go out and enjoy themselves, and to make sure people suffered while in church. Thanks to freethinkers and secularists and atheists, the worst of 'em have been removed. But the Jerry Falwells and the Pat Robertsons of America are working very hard to bring all that stuff back, and lots more to boot. They figure that if everyone can be made to deny themselves pleasure, they'll be better off spiritually.

    It's nonsense, but for some reason, people like to think that if they endure trials and tribulations in this life, then they'll be compensated for their extra trouble in the next. I suppose they'd rise up against the status quo if they thought otherwise, so it's probably in the best interest of the ruling class that they keep beliving that little fiction . . .




    Quote Originally Posted by marka
    i bet most of us would approve legalizing it, as long as it is in the next closest town.
    No reason not to. It's in the best interest of sex workers AND of their clients. Regulated prostitution brings cleaner, healthier providers, no problem with law enforcement. Brings in tax money, too.
    It's not a legitimate function of government to tell an unmarried person they can't pay someone else for a lay. If a couple's marriage contract specifies sexual fidelity, well, then the person who breaks that contract ought to be liable for damages, and the state should enforce those sorts of things. Otherwise, it's really nobody's business.
    The problem is that prostitution is banned by a religious text, and that unhappy fact makes sex workers easy targets for Sunday Morning sermons and TV preachers. Ah, yes, can't have people out indulging their natural inclinations, can we?

    So, sex outside of wedlock is officially discouraged, but the only people who don't have extramarital sex are those who can't but wish they could -- the "involuntary virgins."

    I say screw 'em.

    Live your own **** lives, but do so intelligently -- after all, there are some unfriendly diseases out there, and as football players do, play with your personal protective equipment on. And when the Calvanists come to get ya, screw them, too, because they're the ones who really need a good screwing the most . . .

    --Tock

    Gee, and I used to teach Sunday School for the Salvation Army . . . lol . . .

  11. #11
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    Its because of the "moral" issue... I thing its all ilegal to keep the churches calm, can you mimagine if they made it legal what the churches would do? But escorts are legal and its the same thing, going a little off topic, but that guy that appears on maury, what a jerk, doesnt he have anything better to do then ruin peoples lives? He says he does it to clean the neighborhoods but he is doind it for money, selling the videos online.

  12. #12
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    Last edited by sin; 01-21-2007 at 06:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGreen
    To quote George Carlin, 'selling is legal, sex is legal, why is selling sex illegal?' With the notable exception of portions of Nevada, why is one allowed to have sex in the privacy of their own home or temporary place of dwelling for literally ANY other reason than the exchange of financial considerations? No other motivation for sexual relations (revenge, physical satisfaction, emotional necessity, unadulterated fun) is illegal as far as I know...only the EXPLICITLY financial. Furthermore, why is acting in pornography legal while prostitution is not? Is not appearing in a porn nothing more than prostitution with a camera? If an individual brings his camcorder and image release form along with him to the hourly rate hotel, is he now engaging in the legal activity of creating a film as opposed to prostitution?

    And finally, though somewhat of a tangent, if one supports abortion, how can one than decry prostitution? Both essentially are reduced, legally speaking, to the right of a woman to choose what domain to have over her body. Is this purely an unnecessary puritanical holdover (like sodomy laws) that serve no real purpose other than to allow us to feel righteous as a society, or is there a legitimate reason for prostitution to be illegal in your estimation. As always, elaborate any positions for the sake of discussion, por favor.
    my reasons are

    1. how can you tax a hooker and who would pay that tax? it is a service you know??

    2. spread of disease

    3. to many right wing nut jobs around and bible pushers imo!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sin
    just to elaborate on the whores in nevada (where im from). they are not necessarily cleaner than whores in the street and there have been repeated instances of hiv+ whores around the state, along with countless violations (not using condoms, drug abuse etc). i think prostitution is a great way to spread disease regardless of so called "regulations" that they put on whores.


    True, true.

    But with effective regulation and inspection, the sex industry could be much cleaner, much safer.

    Here in Texas, barbers were not regulated at all until 1921. Anyone could open up a shop, and lots of people did. There were no sanitation rules, no one had to wash hands between customers, or wash shaving brushes, or even launder towels. Consequently, barbers spread bacteria and fungi between clients, the most notable one being "barber's itch," a fungus that lived in shaving brushes, and anyone touched by an infected brush would end up with a skin infection. Scalp infections could be, and were, spread as well, through unsanitary combs and brushes.
    Well, sanitation standards and enforcement have largely changed all that, at least in shops that comply with sanitation rules (watch and see if your haircutter washes their hands between clients--if not, you're in trouble). The same progress could be made in the sex industry. No, it won't fix all the problems, but the public would be much better off if prostitutes were licensed, regulated, and inspected.

    JMHO,

    -Tock

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    Quote Originally Posted by hung-solo
    my reasons are

    1. how can you tax a hooker and who would pay that tax? it is a service you know??
    Most states require all barbers and cosmetologists to be licensed, and then to work only in licensed shops. No reason why the same couldn't be done with hookers, and for the gov't to tax their sales the same as they do everything else.
    -Tock

  16. #16
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    This is how it really is when you strip away all exterior moralistic views from the issue.

    I have never been able to understand what gives an individual the idea that she should be able to project her moral values onto a voluntary transaction which she not a part of so long as there is at least a basic legal framework in place. In this case there should simply be workplace regulations and a taxation scheme to create a relatively safe transaction environment and mitigate costs to society. Some people seem to feel that anything they don't agree with on moral grounds ought to be illegal. I say shame on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGreen
    If a girl is able to earn, say 75,000 a year based on her looks and ability in the sack versus 16,000 a year based on her lack of intellect and general intelligence, many would argue that it is absurd for us as a society to deny her that right and force upon her a life of comparative poverty simply so we can sleep better tonight as a righteous society provided that her actions are not harmful. Of course we can not allow her to earn that 75K dealing drugs or weapons, as they result in clear and definitive harm on easily traceable levels, but consensual sex is victimless, or, at least, no less victimless than similar services.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marka
    yeah, prostees are probably cleaner than your regular slut because they tend to protect themselves more.

    But thats not the reason its ilegal. Its becuase it is against core values of most of us, even the ones that buy into it. Nobody wants there daughter or sister to be a prostitute. It violates core human, moral values. But every guy wants to lay a hot chick. So there are contradictory feelings: our animal instinct craves the sex, our family and religious values tell us that its wrong to want just sex, with no strings. It's the constant struggle of our mind vs our inhate animal instinct.
    And when we are making the laws, we are far from our sexual instincts, laws are created from a clear, intelectual mind. Then once at ease, look at how politicians/law makers (and all of us for this matter)slip all the time. (clinton, that gay guy from nj or ny that just resigned, clarence thomas, etc)

    this is the reasoning. i bet most of us would approve legalizing it, as long as it is in the next closest town.
    legal moralism is one of the most ignorant ways to create laws. There is absolutley no basis for it. It is a slap in the face to our rights as humans (like homosexuality...i cant believe there were people in 11 stats that banned gay marriage last election. What an unbelieveable feat of tearing the rights away from humans)

  18. #18
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    Prostitution is not something that i would say is a good thing. However, many of you seem to be looking at the consequences of a law that has to do with people individual rights. If it is our right to do something, then it should not matter how bad the consequences could be. If it can be proven that freedom of speech in fact hurts more that it helps, would you still not feel strongly that it is your natural right.

    Basically, individual autonomy is very important. What one wants to do with their own body is up to them as long as it does not violate the rights of others. I think that both parties involved in the sex sale (as long as it is with complete informed voluntary consent) are making a decision about their own selves. They have that right to make that choice and it is not the role of the government to make decisions about what someone can do to their own selves. Basically, these are many of the reasons why ephedra and steroid laws are abosolutely ridiculous (and really all drugs, though there is a little more complicated of problems)

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