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I need some help from this community getting thoughts and forming an opinion about this. The question is whether it is inherently immoral to visit a sex worker  for sex (e.g., prostitute).
Yes, I know that it is illegal except in a few places in Nevada.
Yes, I know that it is risky and probably a bad idea.
And yes, I know that most prostitutes are in fact coerced and trafficked into their situation.
My question is- assuming that the sex worker is there of her own free will, is not coerced or trafficked, is there anything inherently wrong about it?

Once all of these other factors are taken into consideration, I have generally in the past believed that it was not inherently immoral.

For example, let's say, you have a middle class young woman from NYC who's going to college or has another career and is making money on the side. She gets to pick and choose which clients she goes to, set her own rules, and is treated well by her clients. You will find plenty of sex workers in this situation who will testify that they found their work worthwhile and satisfying, and not traumatic or exploitative, although they are a minority.

And on the other hand, you have clients, who might have legitimate reasons for going to a sex worker. You might have a person who is disabled or handicapped, or suffers from severe social anxiety disorder, or some other fault such that they cannot acquire non-transactional sex. I have even heard of one who claimed to be diagnosed with cancer, probably six months to live, and wanted to have sex once in his life, but he was very concerned about the feminist implications of his actions and did not want to hurt anybody. So it is possible to have seemingly respectful clients.

However, I have recently heard an argument (from some in feminist circles), which goes like this: That sex is inherently about mutual sexual attraction and pleasure. It is such an intimate thing, such a personal thing, that it should never be used as a commodity, or object to be traded in a capitalistic marketplace. Therefore, male clients who buy sex feel entitled to sex because they think they deserve to get sex for money without being able to offer sexual gratification to the woman. That key word, 'entitled' keeps coming up over and over. In effect what this argument to me feels like is that the money is qualitatively inferior to the intimacy in question, no matter how much.

The agency of the sex worker or prostitute in question, however, is effectively discarded, and she becomes a 'victim', regardless of how she chooses to frame her own experiences.

So, what do you all think? I am interested in hearing from a feminist perspective. My previous position was that there is nothing inherently wrong about visiting a sex worker for sex, but this new argument also rings true. Although it only seems to go so far.

More broadly, what do you think of the dilemma of disabled or extremely unattractive people who face major barriers to accessing non-transactional sex? If you are against prostitution, what are these people supposed to do? Or is it not a big deal?

Originally posted to papermoon on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:47 PM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would like to hear that feminist perspective (6+ / 0-)

    on the matter of women paying men for consensual sex (yes, it happens), or men paying men for consensual sex.

    But just for curiosity's sake.  As a male homosexual I doubt I'd find their answer any more relevant or valid to my own situation than that of, say, Holy Mother Church.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:56:38 PM PST

    •  which, by the way, it resembles (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Willinois

      to a striking degree.  Fancy that.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:02:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure (11+ / 0-)

    but I wonder where they'll find room to advertise between the rock crushers and offers of $72 an hour working on the internet...

    Politics means controlling the balance of economic and institutional power. Everything else is naming post offices.

    by happymisanthropy on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:00:38 PM PST

  •  In other words, (13+ / 0-)
    However, I have recently heard an argument (from some in feminist circles), which goes like this: That sex is inherently about mutual sexual attraction and pleasure. It is such an intimate thing, such a personal thing, that it should never be used as a commodity, or object to be traded in a capitalistic marketplace
    those feminists are telling other women that there are things they ought not do with their bodies.  You left that part out. Otherwise the argument you quote is so full of assumptions that demand to be taken on faith that I find it hard to take seriously, e.g.,
    That sex is inherently about mutual sexual attraction and pleasure.
    This assumes that sex is inherently about anything.  Why assume this?
    It is such an intimate thing, such a personal thing
    Well, yes, if you want it to be . .  
    that it should never be used as a commodity, or object to be traded in a capitalistic marketplace
    How does this follow?

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:01:47 PM PST

    •  Thanks for your response (3+ / 0-)

      Let me try to clarify, where I think this is coming from.

      This assumes that sex is inherently about anything.  Why assume this?
      Well, it is an act with a definition, so it has some inherent properties attached to it. Is not sexual attraction and pleasure is one of those inherent properties? The feminist critique is that when sexual attraction is removed as a requirement, usually it's women's sexual desire that gets sacrificed as extraneous-- for instance in the case of sex work. Or more broadly, for instance of trophy wives who do the same exchange on a broader and more implicit level-- of sex for status. That is, women offer sex, whereas men offer status.
      It is such an intimate thing, such a personal thing
      Well, yes, if you want it to be . .
      No, always. I mean at the physical level. Someone is literally penetrating into your body. An analogy used is, why is rape considered a more serious crime than simple assault? Because we believe that a person's sexual identity is more intimate and personal, and so is a violation thereof.
      that it should never be used as a commodity, or object to be traded in a capitalistic marketplace
      How does this follow?
      Because capitalism is inherently exploitative, and dehumanizing. It exchanges human labor for our economic survival. We tolerate it for regular labor only because there is no better alternative. And since sex is inherently more intimate and personal than other forms of labor, it ought not to be subject to the same capitalistic exploitation; as the dehumanizing effects can go much deeper on the individual.
      •  responses (6+ / 0-)
        Well, it is an act with a definition, so it has some inherent properties attached to it. Is not sexual attraction and pleasure is one of those inherent properties?
        Depends on the culture.  There are cultures in which "sexual attaction and pleasure" are not particularly valued in the act of choosing a mate.   But thanks for the Eurocentrism!
        No, always. I mean at the physical level. Someone is literally penetrating into your body.
        You're still avoiding the question: What about the woman who wants to be penetrated?  Is she allowed her reasons for desiring this, or should they be dictated to her by the authoritarian matriarchy?
        Because capitalism is inherently exploitative, and dehumanizing.
        Even assuming this to be true, the exchange of money for sex preceded the advent of capitalism by a couple of millennia.  So you're combining moral authoritarianism with ignorance of elementary economic systems.  Try again.
        And since sex is inherently more intimate and personal than other forms of labor,
        Repeating the claims of "inherency" makes them no more true.  The degree of intimacy is something for the participants to decide.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:34:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmmmm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme
          Depends on the culture.  There are cultures in which "sexual attaction and pleasure" are not particularly valued in the act of choosing a mate.   But thanks for the Eurocentrism!
          That's true, but we're living in the U.S. which is dominated by modern (Western) culture [which has spread through most the world already]. And those cultures that for instance, demand arranged marriages tend to be patriarchal. Going back to that isn't going to work. The new norm acknowledges womens' sexual desire, not just family alliances or economic considerations.
          You're still avoiding the question: What about the woman who wants to be penetrated?  Is she allowed her reasons for desiring this, or should they be dictated to her by the authoritarian matriarchy?
          Right, that's a good point and why I'm still undecided about this. The reason I'm leaning towards changing my view though is that (a) the critique comes from someone who I really respect, and I don't think is an "authoritarian matriarch" [she's actually in favor of legalization; this argument though is about morality]. (b) you'll find some people in any profession or lifestyle who'll say they're happy in it. You could probably find some sweatshop child laborers who say they're happy working in sweatshops or adults who say they worked in sweatshops as children and had no problem with it. If the existence of people who say they "want it" is a sufficient argument for the justification of any act then we're stuck with a crude sort of libertarianism.

          But yeah, I'm still undecided because it's definitely a minority position among generally well meaning progressives.

          Even assuming this to be true, the exchange of money for sex preceded the advent of capitalism by a couple of millennia.  So you're combining moral authoritarianism with ignorance of elementary economic systems.  Try again.
          It's the same principle of market exchange for "labor."
          •  so I guess you've never met a woman (5+ / 0-)
            Going back to that isn't going to work. The new norm acknowledges womens' sexual desire, not just family alliances or economic considerations
            who wanted a good husband more than a hot one?
            If the existence of people who say they "want it" is a sufficient argument for the justification of any act then we're stuck with a crude sort of libertarianism.
            And telling people that they really don't want what they claim what they want, and therefore should not have it, is a crude form of authoritarianism.
            It's the same principle of market exchange for "labor."
            So all exchanges of labor for money are inherently exploitative.  Fine; where does that leave us?

            I believe you've made up your mind on all this already and are just being coy, especially considering your refusal to question all of your "inherent" assumptions.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:51:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The core question (12+ / 0-)

    At its core, this is about whether it is immoral to exchange goods or services for sexual congress. Ultimately, why should it be? Is there anything harmful about it?

  •  I go to an ice cream shop ... (0+ / 0-)

    for a double scoop of Butter Pecan on a waffle cone. The only intimate fact that I end up revealing about myself to the employee is my fetish for Butter Pecan. I still feel rather safe, and quite satisfied at the same time.


    A mirror is facial recognition hardware. Your narcissism is the software.

    by glb3 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:08:31 PM PST

  •  There have been multiple diaries here calling for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow, petral

    equality and dignity and all sorts of worker protections for legitimate sex workers--as well as making prostitution legal.

    People stereotype the "pimp", but in reality the person who runs an escort service, or the madam of a house is the same thing only with a more PC name.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:10:37 PM PST

    •  I don't agree at all. The "Pimp" is often a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OHdog

      person who has picked up a vulnerable and abused minor, sexually assaulted them, run head games on them and beaten them until they've been left with no functioning sense of self, and rendered them emotionally dependant.

      The person who runs an escort service, if they are honest about their pay package, pay their employees promptly, and simply offer a job is not comparable.

      It's like saying that agricultural slavery is the same thing as tenant farming.  I have no particular love for capitalism as a system, but these are not the same thing.

      My views of the two are based on being friends with an elderly woman who was the retired 30+ year manager of a brothel (mostly in the Republic of Korea), being friends with two former sex workers (a couple) who were both members of COYOTE, and having been in group therapy sessions with several women who had been "streetwalkers" all of whom wound up there as a result of being trafficked as children.

      "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:19:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  oh goddess, this just keeps on giving . . . (7+ / 0-)
    Therefore, male clients who buy sex feel entitled to sex because they think they deserve to get sex for money without being able to offer sexual gratification to the woman.
    I've seen enough straight porn (sometimes the guys are good looking, you know) to know that some men get off on the thought that they might be giving the woman sexual gratification.  I can't imagine why some men wouldn't want to feel the same way when consorting with a prostitute.

    The whole argument is patriarchal authoritarianism with the "p" replaced by an "m" -- otherwise there's no meaningful difference.  It's even coated in the same layer of faux-moral treacle.  

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:14:46 PM PST

  •  Yes, it is absolutely immoral. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FoodChillinMFr

    Ideally such engagements should be within marriages only, but at very least there should be an established loving relationship.  Casual sex is fraught with too many risks and adding a monetary element to the transaction only cheapens it even if completely consensual.  Sex is not enough of a necessity for me to really be concerned about the disabled or unattractive, though I know plenty of both kinds who have found fulfilling relationships without resorting to prostitution.

        •  I don't find it much more offensive (5+ / 0-)

          than the diary, quite frankly.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:42:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Its mostly like the comment on sex only with marri (0+ / 0-)

            marriage, ie, that could be contrued as a tad homophobic, which I have no idea if that's what Willinois was getting to, but if might be safe to assume, and I just repsonded to vadem down further in more detail on this.

        •  HR? (6+ / 0-)

          Why?  The diarist asked for our opinions and I gave mine.  I did not insult or call names in the process.

          •  I couldn't disagree more with your comment, (8+ / 0-)

            but to HR you would have been clear ratings abuse.

            •  Which is why... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MHB

              ...I really wish DK would adopt a voting/rating system that allows us to downrate as a quick expression of disargeement and move on.  I too have come across comments I'd like to do that to, but are not offensive and worthy of hiderating and other blogs I've been on do have such a system.

              •  The four-point rating system (0+ / 0-)

                allowed one to do that.  As you probably recall given your ID#, under that system, a "2" was considered a shot across the bow to warn the commenter that he/she was pushing the envelope. The "3" was rarely used and should have gone away; but going to a 3-point rating instead of the 2-point system we have now would have been preferable for that very reason.

              •  I sometimes reply to comments like that with (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MHB

                1

                in the comment line and nothing else. It gets the point across.



                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:44:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The community is going to have to find (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Wee Mama

                  creative ways to deal with the creeping nastiness in some of these threads and of the small but growing minority of provocative and nasty commenters. A stock response such as the one you cited or a small set of stock responses would be a good start; but that should develop organically, as most other good ideas on this site (e.g., the mostly-abandoned practice of posting cat pics and recipes in response to trolls) have developed.

                •  It's such a shame no one will just hand you a (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  priceman, Nada Lemming, FrankRose

                  ruler and let you rap knuckles.

                  With your innate sense of evenhanded justice and the amazing bias free way you dole out your "1"s this place would just be cleaned up all spiffy in a jiffy!

                  "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                  by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:24:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  If you disagree, explain why. It's not hard to (7+ / 0-)

                use your words.

                A "You're WRONG" button isn't communication.  

                "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:20:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not a "you're wrong" button: (0+ / 0-)

                  No one is suggesting that. I think that all of us, at one time or another, have found ourselves in an exchange with someone whose comments never quite rise to HR levels, but are rude, combative, and unproductive. Ultimately you are faced with the choice of allowing yourself to be drawn further into an unproductive argument, or just backing down and reinforcing the behavior. It would be useful under those circumstances to have another option, a symbolic slap on the hand as well as a warning to others who might be prone to uprate that person that hey, this is not passion that you're witnessing here, this is not spirit, it's just plain rudeness, and should not be rewarded.

                  •  Suck it up. We all have to deal with people (12+ / 0-)

                    whose behavior is simply unacceptable in our cultural context.

                    For instance, people who frequent this site are very disproportionately privileged college graduates who engage in frequent smarmy passive-aggressive efforts to school-marm everyone they encounter.  

                    They've been raised to believe that the blunt language and direct manner of the "lower classes" is unacceptable and must be "disciplined out of them".

                    It's disgusting behavior that would get the promptly ejected from the home of anyone in my family, while a forthright "fuck you" would be seen as far more respectful.

                    But this isn't either of our houses, no one here is our children, and the very notion that any of us posses the right to fucking "slap hands" here is so fucking patronizing, arrogant, and authoritarian that it deserves not a smarmy purse-lipped cowardly "1" (tee hee, didn't I show that low-class serf not to get above their station) but rather a deep throated and hearty

                    fuck that shit

                    "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                    by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:43:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

                      Didn't think it'd happen this quickly:

                      1

                      •  Ah, if only the world could be made in my image (10+ / 0-)

                        But I do want to make a serious comment.  Rudeness is most certainly in the eye of the beholder.  I have seen some of those in this very thread uprate some outrageously attacking, spiteful comments shortly before lecturing on etiquette.  The problem is that virtually everyone believes their mortal enemies deserve what they get.  If a person truly thinks another person is a racist then they don't consider it rude to call that person out as a racist.  Problem is, humans are frequently wrong.  Not to mention there are liars and operatives deliberately gaming the system, which is another layer of complexity which renders even more delusional the notion that smooth sailing and respectful discourse would be possible if only people were like me.

                        Science has shown definitively that, for those who do not want to see cogent discussion of some topics, rudeness works.  It just does.  It raises the emotional level, and when people are emotional, they no longer think rationally.  Even fair-minded, rational people who are offended by rudeness and see its destructiveness are nonetheless influenced to be less likely to accept the argument which prompted the rudeness.  Not to mention the useful aspect of sidetracking discussion into mutual ad hominem, which is a win/win for those who don't wish to see honest discussion of Obama's lies, to take the recent example.

                        Given this fact, and given that there are people who will go to great lengths to prevent formation of a consensus unfavorable to their view (such as people who claim climate change is not real and people who don't want to see Obama exposed as a liar), it then follows that there are those who will consciously take advantage of this method of opinion control.  I merely consider these manipulations to be an extension of the propaganda surrounding us everywhere.  Of course there are people who are intentionally rude, insulting, and combative when the discussion is trending in a direction they don't like. I think etiquette and upbringing have little to do with it, although the general atmosphere of polarization and fear, an atmosphere consciously nourished by TPTB, certainly contribute to unconscious participation in what has become too unpleasant for me to spend much time participating in.

                        And that's MY lecture on the matter.

                        Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                        by geomoo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:16:46 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I agree with the premise (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AaronInSanDiego

                          of what you are saying, even though I sense that you have some disdain for my approach. Polarization and fear do indeed have a strong role in the proliferation of that type of discourse, but rudeness does play a large part as well. And the above comment is a prime example. I really did not expect the commenter to go from 0-60 that suddenly, and his/her effort to paint me as some kind of privileged elitist is laughable, as I will go toe-to-toe with him/her on the "humble beginnings" point any time.

                          My parents worked their butts off so that I and my siblings could reap the benefits of higher education, and I still had to pay off 20 years' worth of student loans to finish the job. They wanted me to be an "elitist," to know things that they did not know and to see and interact with the world in ways that were not accessible to them as children or adults. They also taught me manners, and stressed to me that etiquette was something that I could always have and fall back on even if my clothing was frayed and my stomach was grumbling and I had 5 bucks to get me through to payday. They taught me how to present myself properly to the world, how to speak to others with respect, and how to disagree without being disagreeable. We didn't have much, but a "hearty fuck-you," or whatever that commenter was trumpeting, would have never been tolerated in our house.

                          And the sad thing is, the commenter doesn't have to behave that way. He/she is intelligent enough to present a cogent argument, as evidenced by his/her comments on another diary I was reading today, several of which I actually uprated. But sadly, there is no shortage of that on this site or in society in general: people who wear bluster like a badge of honor and believe that it is some kind of match for civil discourse, when they are really doing is falling right into the low-class stereotype that the true "elitists" out there want them to inhabit.

                          But guess what: I'm from the wrong side of the tracks too, and I see through that "salt of the earth" shit like it's dollar-store chicken soup. It will get you a little mojo from like-minded people, but that's about all. At the end of the day, you're just another ill-mannered crank with nothing of note to contribute.

                          •  Just to be clear, geomoo, (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            geomoo, Be Skeptical, poligirl

                            I wasn't talking about you. I appreciate the time that you took to comment intelligently and civilly.

                          •  Thanks for the response (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Be Skeptical, triv33, MHB, denise b, poligirl

                            I used to care a lot about the state of discourse on dkos and work quite hard to reach across to enemies, to build bridges, and to analyze what is wrong.  I don't do that any more.  Perhaps it's simply human nature, but I fear the effort is made even more hopeless by operatives who intentionally work to marginalize certain voices, or at least to keep the discourse heated and ill-defined.  Solidarity is the enemy of some forces.  I can say without hesitation that my experience was that from the time of the 2008 primary, the Obama people brought a level of ruthless attack and personalization not present on the site before, harsh as it could be some time.  It is more than I can bear to seem these same people lecture about civility.

                            But you seem earnest and honest, so I'll respond here.  JesseCW can indeed be quite harsh and quite direct, but his very point is that one person's harshness is another's fair fight.  Please don't think I'm trying to paint you in a certain way or making a remark about your character or intent, but I want to tell you frankly that I find this statement to be as offensive as anything JesseCW said:

                            you're just another ill-mannered crank with nothing of note to contribute.
                            I grew up in the South, where people are expert at heaping sugar on their insults--it doesn't change anything for me, an insult is an insult.

                            I read JesseCW as speaking generally, but he may well have been accusing you of elitism.  If he was, my objection is that we should stick to what people write and stop pretending we can know who they are.  I read your brief bio with interest, and I appreciate your laying it out there.  I can see how you would want to make some things clear, given the turn the discussion took.  But I will also tell you that, in a perfect world, my opinion of what you think and say should be independent of who you are.  After all, isn't this what racism is about?

                            I find one aspect of JesseCW's comments to be helpful--there is a problem of culture clashes creating serious misunderstanding.  That is one of the problems with people lecturing about how their mother raised them.  Not to defend completely his tone, and not to ignore that he seems to turn the tables and declare his way as the more correct one, but I think this is a significant aspect here, apart from the outright lying, manipulation, and willful assholishness.

                            At the risk of coming under serious assault for even expressing an opinion, I will say that I think, to the extent that it is honest, one of the fault lines on dkos is between AA culture and white liberal culture, with different affects being interpreted as having meanings other than the speaker intends.  I have a lot I could say on this topic--I have given it a lot of thought and think I have some insight into these fault lines.  I have written up diaries on the matter, which I never published. thinking there might come a time for working some of these things out.  But over time, I have seen enough that  I would never in a million years dream of trying to have such a conversation here.  It is crystal clear that rational discourse is not possible with some of those who claim to be most concerned about civility and respect in discourse.

                            This is all I will say on the matter.  I appreciate this interaction.  Thanks.

                            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                            by geomoo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 03:18:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks again. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            geomoo, poligirl

                            I completely reject the notion that anything I wrote was remotely as offensive as his diatribe, and I fail to see how one's opinions can be independent of one's life experience; but I appreciate your response and hope you have a good evening.

                          •  Wait, I do have a question: (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            geomoo, poligirl

                            You made a couple of references to race in your comment. I'm not sure how to say this but to say it: is there a race issue here that I'm not aware of? Just for the sake of disclosure, I'm white.

                          •  Not at you, but that question made me lol. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            poligirl, MHB, Nada Lemming, triv33

                            Yeah, I would say there's an enormous race issue here.  Sadly, the election of Obama did not turn out to be a catalyst for honest, painful, soul-searching, hopeful, committed compassionate discussion of race among the left.  No offense, and I'm sorry, but I'm not going to talk about it more than to say it was persistent, often vicious, association of criticism of Obama with racism that caused me to withdraw from strong identification with this so-called community.

                            As to your not seeing the offensiveness of your remark, that's my point.  I tend to agree with the outlook of JesseCW, so I am a lot less likely to see his remarks as unacceptably offensive than I am to see the remarks of someone with whom I usually disagree (not you).  That's just the way it is.  Dishonesty aside (and there is much dishonesty), it has become obvious to me that people simply cannot see the horrible insults coming from people they generally consider as allies, and certainly seem never to notice their own horrendous behavior.  I guess people think they are merely saying what is true.  This seems to be universally true, no matter the clique.  It is discouraging.  I believe it is an honest product of human nature.  Fwiw, I'm telling you as a neutral observer who accepts you as a well-meaning, self-aware commentor, that your comment seems equally offensive to me as does JesseCW's.

                            I haven't enjoyed a good conversation like this here in a long time.  I appreciate it.  I hope I haven't offended you, just trying to give honest feedback.  I don't claim to always be right.

                            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                            by geomoo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 05:47:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not at all: (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            geomoo, Oh Mary Oh

                            It's the best conversation I've had around here in a while too. It seems like every time I've commented lately - no matter how mild the wording or innocuous the topic - someone has wanted to pick a fight. It gets old. And you're right: the discourse did get considerably nastier around here after 2008.

                            I'm guessing from your ID# that you came here sometime around 2007. Wish you had been here in the mid-2000s, when we argued with each other AND had fun. You would have fit right in.

                            See you around.

                          •  Here's the thing ... (0+ / 0-)
                            even though I sense that you have some disdain for my approach
                            People can disagree with some or all of a position without feeling disdain for it. So it may be disagreement with some or all of your position that you are sensing.

                            The low bandwidth nature of text discussion is one reason that increasing the emotional charge and engaging in polarization are so effective in disrupting the solidarity that a site like dkos is in danger of engendering in pursuit of challenges like breaking the grip on power of the climate suicide pact. These are longstanding tactics in disrupting solidarity, but they have been found to be especially effective in disrupting solidarity in blogs such as this.

                            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                            by BruceMcF on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 10:58:11 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, there may be some confusion about (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AaronInSanDiego

                      how I use the "1" comment. I only use it for things close to hide ratable but not over the line, so in practice it gets used for insults mostly. I don't use it much: 13 times in the past two months. I used it for an insult directed at Deadhead and another at Ted Rall. I used it several times for vermin references.

                      I never use it just for scatalogical/profane/obscene language. I don't use it for disagreements.

                      I am actually rather surprised that something used a couple of times a week against insults can generate so much warmth. I find it very hard to believe that this small practice of mine has any effect on the overall tone of a place as large as Daily Kos.

                      It's not intended to be a slap with a ruler - trust me, I can deliver those and once in a rare while I do. The "1" is more along the lines of an internet equivalent of the quick look and raised eyebrow across the table that conveys, "Dude! Listen to yourself. Do you really mean that?"



                      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                      by Wee Mama on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 06:46:10 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  It might have something to do with this: (0+ / 0-)
            Ideally such engagements should be within marriages only
            If you meant sex and not just prostitutuion, yes, that statement hurts and stings to anyone here gay, bi etc.

            This is the exact arguement conservatives use for opposing gay rights as a whole, and given only in 16 states can gay couples coupualte under legal terms of marriage, this is kind of an offensive thing to say. Even as a prude, you should not profess "abstinence only"  view on a "left-leaning" (I often can't say that with a straight face) for a myriad of reason, not the least of which is alot of people who might want to be married can't be, and still have sex.

        •  I wouldn't go that far. (0+ / 0-)

          Especially since I don't much like this horrible system of moderation that Kos keeps coming up with when I guess he's needs to pay for full-time moderators.

          Though I could see how you'd might want to think this way, and I see not too many people coaught on or aren't exactly as "progressive" a sthey seem to think they are on the issue of gay rights and marriage.

      •  Not in the least. (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, I tend to be a prude, and I stand by every word.

      •  I thought so too at first (0+ / 0-)

        But seeing the comments going on down thread... yikes... some people here are damn scary and though there views on human sexuality is definately "uniquely American".

    •  That's great (12+ / 0-)
      Casual sex is fraught with too many risks and adding a monetary element to the transaction only cheapens it even if completely consensual.
      So don't be a prostitute or go see one.

      What does this have to do with the rest of us? What gives you the power to dictate to the rest of us how we should and should not behave?

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:43:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In this case... (3+ / 0-)

        ...we were asked specifically whether we thought it were moral, rather than to make a legal argument.  Ordinarily I'm sympathetic to the idea that we shouldn't legislate morality (I'm prochoice on issues of reproductive rights.), but the factors the diarist cites and then puts aside for the sake of asking the moral question are in this matter enough for me to favor keeping it illegal as well.

        •  To a lawyer, *everything* is a legal argument (0+ / 0-)

          and DK is full of lawyers.

          My belief is that the model for social policy should be more like public health / epidemiology. The interim goals would be harm reduction for sex workers, their economic empowerment (and economic opportunities) for more choices of work -- while simultaneously prosecuting rapists and taking a zero-tolerance policy toward rape.

          These "discussions" on DK present the point of view of wannabe rapists (as "progressives"), and rationalize it as Freedumbz for Women. They don't propose anything that would be of benefit to the sex workers because they aren't the real topic, just the chattel. The real topic is me, me, me. Am I "inherently evil" for exploiting women as sex objects?

          The answer, in that so-called "moral" framework, is yes -- you are a pig if you treat other humans as objects. (Not that the Susidae are "inherently evil".)

          •  I wouldn't go as far... (0+ / 0-)

            ...as calling everyone who thinks prostitution should be legal a wannabe rapist, just as I understand that not everyone who believes marijuana should be legalized is a wannabe stoner even though I also would disagree with them on the merits of that issue as well.

    •  lame (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2

      I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

      by jbou on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:04:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What engagements should be in marriages only? (0+ / 0-)

      Protstitution or sex?

      If prostitution... I'm not sure I follow you on that one, being it would be recommended for anyone seeking sexual services to be single lest you risk hurting that relationship... unless you have an open one.

      If sex at all... you might want to tread lightly on that view as to appear to be a possible homophobic commnet, as it wasn't until recently that 16 states recognize marriage equality, and that leaves a huge chunkc of the nation where "having sex with your spouse" is not even possible if your wanted spouse is of the same sex, or even transexual as these marriages aren't recognized in the fly over states, either.

      Casual sex is fraught with too many risks
      I primarily only see two sets of risks, pregnancies and STDs, and that first one doesn't apply to gay/same-sex sex, or at all to heterosexuals who have their tubes tied or just are "barren" through biology, not to mention there are contraceptions out there, and the pill, while perhaps not being 100% effective, is a s close to it as possible.

      The STDs... just like so many of the diseases of the modern world would have found cures by now if we weren't still living under a "for-profit" healthcare system that only seeks to treat illnesss as that's how they rake the money in, a one time "cure" taken for these illnesses for of course be bad for business.

      and adding a monetary element to the transaction only cheapens it even if completely consensual.
      Well, of course it might cheapen it for you, I wouldn't begin to argue with how someone would feel about that, what you feel is what you feel and that's why you don't engage in that kind of sex yourself, I understand that, but for many, it doesn't cheapen it at all, and that's where we'd leave it as "different strokes for different folks".
      Sex is not enough of a necessity for me to really be concerned about the disabled or unattractive, though I know plenty of both kinds who have found fulfilling relationships without resorting to prostitution.
      Not really sure why this has any bearing on anything, plenty of things are provided for the disabled that might not be considered "necessity" and well, the unattactive, well, what are ya going to do, heh.
  •  I would like to fully answer your question, (8+ / 0-)

    but I find that I keep writing a diary length comment every time I try to reply.  What I will say is that I know a young woman who is a prostitute, she chose to do it of her own volition and against the wishes of everyone who knows what she does.  She doesn't have a pimp, although when she started out she did.  She was his pet and was treated differently than the other girls who were truly abused, IMO.  He's in jail now for other crimes.  But she had other options at the time and she made the conscious choice to do it.  She took pride in it.  I don't know why.

    Many of us have tried to help her and get her to stop but she won't, she can do anything she wants to do but she chooses to be a prostitute.  She has sugar daddies who pay her ridiculous amounts of money for her services and she will tell one and all that she enjoys this.  She went to college for a while and she's had long-term employment in the past but nothing appeals to her the way prostitution does.  

    I believe that her appeal to men is that she is tiny and looks very much like a little girl, which adds all kinds of disturbing layers to what she does.  There will eventually come a day when she no longer looks like a little girl and she will no longer be desirable in the way she is now.  I don't know what she will do when that day comes.  So far nothing any of us has done has changed her mind, but age will eventually force her to change.

    She has some serious mental issues, and she makes poor choices on a variety of fronts besides this.  She was once a heroin addict but with a lot of help from many people she managed to turn that around after some really scary situations.  Some of those situations make the prostitution look like a hell of a good idea, that's how bad they were.

    I've always considered myself a powerful person, I have a powerful personality and I'm stubborn as hell.  I believe in feminism.  Watching this young woman is confusing, as she feels she's empowered while the rest of us feel she's throwing her life away.  But if she has no shame in what she does, why should the rest of us?  

    It makes me sad.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:18:27 PM PST

  •  It seems very self righteous (8+ / 0-)

    to assume what is okay for another adult to choose to do with their own body, be that to have an abortion, ingest mind altering substances, to have sex with who they choose to for whatever reason, and so on. The key is are you harming someone who has no choice.
    I find much "feminist" rhetoric to be full of toxic shame and bullying. I am so grateful for the bookstore owner characters on Portlandia. I loathe that type of mentality as much as I do Tea Party insanity.

    •  "feminist" is a big category. No one (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, Be Skeptical

      can speak for feminists; they are as monolithic as Democrats. I've just been reading about a lot of the inside conflicts and the attempts to get everyone to agree on even one article within MS Magazine.

      I am interested in hearing from a feminist perspective.
      There are so many feminist perspectives — as many as there are feminists. Some feel that we need to accept that many women who are prostitutes are entitled to run their own lives but are, as are all women, deserving of protection against abuse. I imagine some think no one would choose that kind of work freely. But that says more about the person speaking than the subject of the words.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:18:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's true ... but feminists with few exceptions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk

        are "pro-Sexworker" in the way that Evangelicals are "pro-Jew:"   "We love you so much we want to save you from who and what you are."

        That said: the leadership cadre in PONY and COYOTE would also call themselves Feminists ... and I have yet to figure out if these organizations actually HAVE a "rank and file" ...

        Now, the Powers Which Be have always had it in their power to elevate sexwork to something more like other personal service trades and professions.

        The PONY position was essentially:  decriminalize sexwork per se  but prosecute pimps ...  give the workers the same police protection that any other worker gets -- and of course provide the necessary public health services to keep the trade from becoming a health menace.

        But here's the problem:  we HAVE a patriarchal, judgmental, sex-negative culture.  Sexual "service" can never be regarded in the same light as "The Grove" in the time before Thesius,   King of Athens.

        It has taken a generation to establish "co habitation before marriage" as almost-but-not-quite as socially acceptable as "civil union" which in turn is almost-but-not-quite equal to "traditional marriage."  And STILL  how many of us can spend the holidays at our parents' homes with our Significant Other -- without the SO sleeping in a separate room.

        SEX IS THE PRIVILEGE OF THE LAWFULLY MARRIED, AND DON'T YOU EVER FORGET IT, NORMA JEAN !!!

        And, in that context, sex outside lawful marriage is "a commodity."  It is also a commodity (as Betty Dodson observed) which women provide and men consume -- which may explain why the Wages of Sin are as meager as they are.

        So ... whever each of us may privately believe, or wish were the case the consensus reality is that Soldiering is a dangerous, but not degrading profession.  We "thank" soldiers "for their service" -- whether or not we think the military adventure in which they served was actually in "our" interest, or even morally defensible.

        By contrast, Sex Work IS inherently dangerous, and assumed to be degrading as well.  We give neither thanks nor respect to people who REDACTED on demand ... regardless of how large their compensation package is -- or even if there IS one.

        Therefore ... self-respecting, self-actualizing people do not make a profession of sex work and so sex work is left to the desperate, the damaged,  the coerced and the addict.

        Knowing that makes it damned difficult to accept a gift certificate to the Chicken Ranch in quite the same spirit as one for the Holistic Lotus Massage Spa.

  •  Depends upon "morality". (6+ / 0-)

    I'm male, so maybe not your target audience.

    I think it depends upon how you and society define morality.

    But since our society currently condemns transactional sex, and has a de facto system of subjugation and criminalization for sex workers, then I'd say that someone who participates in that system from the demand side is a participant in the subjugation of the sex worker.

    If our society did not condemn sex workers in a way that kept them vulnerable and underground, then I might feel differently. (And I don't think that Nevada is any different, they just tolerate it in a different way.)

    •  when I was a kid (6+ / 0-)
      But since our society currently condemns transactional sex, and has a de facto system of subjugation and criminalization for sex workers, then I'd say that someone who participates in that system from the demand side is a participant in the subjugation of the sex worker
      this same argument was applied to homosexuality.  "You may not have sex with even someone who wants to," I was told; "you will only contribute to his further moral demise."

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:38:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree with your comparison. (4+ / 0-)

        Politely. ;-)

        The purpose of my comment was to reflect my ambivalence. I'm not a fan of the concept of "morality" - I think that's a group-defined concept and a person has to reach deeper inside themselves to find their own concept or right and wrong.

        But I believe that, today, the vast majority of transactional sex in this country is exploitive. Should it be? No.

        Sex is a hot-button topic for so many, because it's framed in terms of "morality", so that it becomes difficult to hold a meaningful conversation. I believe that's unfortunate and should change.

        I'm glad that the diarist wrote this diary.

        To quote one of our resident commenters - Peace?

        •  I'm not defending exploitative (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike Kahlow, Sparhawk, JesseCW

          prostitution.  I'm defending anyone's right to do with their bodies what they choose, an it harm none.  So I guess you're saying that because most prostitutes work for pimps, that prostitution is now and always will be exploitative?  I don't understand your prescience or, for that matter, your lack of faith in women's ability to make meaningful lives for themselves.

          Disagreeing with my comparison, you strangely chose not to mention what you find in it that's worthy of disagreement.  Which I find especially curious, because it wasn't so long ago that everyone, including most homosexuals (Mattachine Society, anyone?), were convinced that homosexual relations were almost universally wrong and, yes, usually exploitative as well.  We know better now.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:57:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think we're more in agreement than disagreement. (0+ / 0-)

            Seriously.

          •  The problem with "non exploitative" prostitution (0+ / 0-)

            is that our laws and customs put all the power in the hands of exploiters and  little or none in the hands of sex workers - ... COYOTE and PONY notwithstanding.

            And it does not help that the Old Old Left anathematized "prostitution" with even more revulsion  than was directed at other lumpen proletarian forms of social parasitism..

            It's worth noting that none of the legal brothels in Nevada's "local option counties" is a Workers' CoOperative -- and that all 20-something of them are poor pathetic things when compared to casinos or three star restaurants.

            And ... FWIW ... one of the newer Nevada brothels had the bright idea to offer male service to female clients ... encountered a world of obstruction from the licensing authority -- but in the end it didn't matter because "the market" didn't support even one Manly Stud at even one location.

  •  Loneliness... (6+ / 0-)

    Loneliness is a devastating feeling.  So, who knows?  In a different age, what describe could be considered therapy.  Is it evil to unload your personal faults and problems onto a therapist?  Is it immoral to go to a massage therapist for non-penetrative touch?  Go further.  Is it immoral to marry someone that you don't love because you are weak and lonely?  The answer is "it depends".

  •  It all depends (7+ / 0-)

    If the prostitute acts freely, which is to say, she is not compelled or coerced, not even from economic necessity, then it is not immoral for her to sell sex or for you to buy.

    If, on the other hand, she does not act freely, but rather is compelled or coerced, or is driven to it from economic necessity, then she is a victim, and it would be wrong for you to contribute to her degradation.

    •  Lots of people are... (3+ / 0-)

      ..."coerced by economic necessity"

      As I write this there are thousands of workers at Target and Walmart doing what they do because they have no other options.

      Why should this be any different? Why would a person not choose to do this rather than ring a cash register at Walmart?

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:47:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm pretty much a libertarian on this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        but the hazards of the trade are much greater for prostitutes than for Walmart "associates."  Asbestos mining would be a somewhat better comparison.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:52:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's only hazardous because it's illegal (0+ / 0-)

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:57:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, sorry. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eyesbright, vadem165

            Even when it's legal, condoms break.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:57:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re (0+ / 0-)

              And mines collapse, people slip and fall on floors, are occasionally exposed to dangerous chemicals, etc etc even in the course of 'normal' employment. The fact that accidents happen from time to time doesn't make a job, in general, "hazardous".

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:16:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  A job properly performed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW

                in a methodical, prescribed manner in, say, a Walmart, is probably not really high on a statistically comparative list of hazardous work environments.  That's why I preferred the analogy with asbestos (or coal, or gold) mining.

                That, and I doubt many customers of prostitutes want to pay for methodical sex.  That, and if I had to choose between, say, slicing my finger with a box cutter and having a john's condom break inside me, I'd probably choose the former, based on the potential consequences.  

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:26:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Corvo, you were doing so go in this thread until (0+ / 0-)

                  here, Sparhawk is pretty much right on the money, here, and you almost sound like someone who has never worked a day in any "low wage" job,

                  A job properly performed in a methodical, prescribed manner in, say, a Walmart, is probably not really high on a statistically comparative list of hazardous work environments.
                  , yeah, they seldomly ever go that way, especially on a dialy basis, and in manufactoring, if you are methodical and to the book in doing yuo job judicially, guess what, and I know this from personal expeience and well as many family members, you can develope repetitive strain injuries, like carpal tunnel, tendanitits, severed neves, sciatica, this are life long injuries and most of the time life altering, and I'd trade STDs for relief of nerve pain if I could.

                  But why are we getting in a pissing match over who's health shit is worse, this is a ridiculous arguement to make, they all suck and yet they are all things you can devleop as an "occupational" hazzard.

                  There are also plenty of "non-methodical" jobs out there, though some are certainly of higher fair, like Hollywood, many people get hurt filimg all the time, actors, and stunt workers, and sometimes the stage hands, as a result of stunts going wrong, and we know how well Hollywood is unionized, SAG, the teamsters, etc.

                  Also, it's kinda of funny/ironic that you take this position, which is the same postion that OSHA takes on why they must force condom use on all participants in porn making (another form of sex work), but you make the exact opposite arguments they make for doing so, the demand forced condom use as a "work-relaed saftey issue", you point out that condoms break, they see sex work as being nothing but methodical, right done to drawing up guidleines for any fliuds avoided any touching including banning the famous money shot, and sometimes wearing hazmat suits and goggles, you argue that legal sex work is dangerous because its not methodcial, and it makes me LOL really out loud to see the same position being propped up by the eact opposite reasons... there must be flawed logic somewheres here.

          •  Not true, It was legal and regulated (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cordgrass, Wee Mama

            in the netherlands but i got to listen to a woman who had been in the trade and didn't want to go back to it — because you get some really crazy guys some off whom get off on hurting you or want to try to humiliate you. They got off on it. It isn't easy to tell up front whether a guy has some crazy ideas.

            She had gotten beaten up several times. That's why she got out.

            I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

            by samddobermann on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:34:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No .. it's dangerous because men can't be trusted (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alexandra Lynch

            ... and the Western cultural assumptions DESIGNATE sex workers as people who "will not be missed".

            Then there's the whole "disease" issue ... once horrific ... then for one brief decade "trivial" -- then horrific again.

            (Condoms, although somewhat helpful,  are NOT so awfully good at preventing syphilis and herpes.)

            •  Legal prostitutes... (0+ / 0-)

              ...could require recent negative test results to have anything to do with you.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:29:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes ... Indeed in the 19th century, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alexandra Lynch

                the better brothels DID (to the best of their ability) examine both clients  and staff on a regular basis ... and they DID have "bully boys" who made roughing up a working girl a hazardous mistake, indeed.

                But only slightly down the socioeconomic scale ... they didn't, and it wasn't.

                I think you're saying that legalizing prostitution would SO empower sex workers that they could demand whatever working conditions they needed -- and for a favored few, it surely would.

                But sex work has always had a large element of  "race to the bottom" (sic).  And in that race, the well-being and safety of any particular working girl was of no importance whatever -- if the literature is to be trusted.

                And, of course, it's not only,  or even "so much" the disease issue --  which CAN be dealt with

                It's the ever-present potential for violence when strangers go "behind closed doors"   that is most problematic.

              •  Recent negative tests (0+ / 0-)

                won't catch everything.

            •  All those excuses are the case... (0+ / 0-)

              because it's illegal, you may not know it, but you are making the reason to decriminilize it. (Much like on other issues, I prefer just decriminalizing as opposed to keeping the prison industrial complex going.)

              Then there's the whole "disease" issue ... once horrific ... then for one brief decade "trivial" -- then horrific again.
              The "disease" issue is an issue for casual sex, hell any sex whether money changes hand or not, why is being sexually promiscuis with a high chance of getting a disease deemed legal, and add money to the mix, its not, all for the sake of "saving people" ... if this is your arguement, you should be against allowed sex with mulitple patners legal, hell sex out of marriage illegal... you're only dealing with a tiny part of the problem if you seek to have this view based on the risk someone could get diseases.
              (Condoms, although somewhat helpful,  are NOT so awfully good at preventing syphilis and herpes.)
              Might want to tell the voters of Measure B and Cal-OSHA that when they advocate for forced condom use in porn filming.
              •  "Decriminalize" IS the Libertarian solution for (0+ / 0-)

                EVERYTHING ...  but it's not that simple, and "the market" alone certainly doesn't solve the problems of human trafficking or economic coercion.

                But I think the Dutch experience with selective non-enforcement of vice laws teaches a valuable lesson: organized criminals are a good deal better at what they do than well-meaning entrepreneurs are at what they do.

                (Ever ask yourself where and how the hippy-dippy Cannabis Coffee Houses GET the product they're allowed to sell -- "no harm done" ?)  

                Even the German Model ...  , under which the State assumes somewhat more responsibility for the safety and well being of the workers  than the Dutch do ... it goes so far as to take legislative notice that "prostitution is not immoral." ...  well ...  
                 "read the article"  http://en.wikipedia.org/... ...  Germany is  not Workers' Paradise for Hookers in any way shape or form -- though THEIR sex workers are not killed by their clients with anything like the frequency OUR's are.  

                Holland?  Well the nice thing about a "blind eye" policy is that it sees nothing. If nothing is seen, nothing need be done.  (And such was the case in Thailand, as well.)

                So ... even where decriminalized, and even fully legalized,  the sex trade remains dangerous and often non-consensual -- but the violence and coercion takes place "off-premises."   Presumably the Dutch police would be more responsive to complaints of abuse and trafficking   than let's say the NYPD ... but so far, I haven't seen/read any evidence that they are.

                There's probably a significant difference in the health risk of  "dozens of partners in a lifetime" and "dozens (or scores) of partners in a week --  but this is essentially a red-herring., The disease issue is the millennium-old Western/Christian  rationale  for closing brothels and ostracizing sex workers.  Unfortunately, it is also the "compelling State interest" that prevents Lawrence v. Texas from being applied to sex work.   So, for the foreseeable future ... those jurisdictions that want their moralistic oppressive laws -- have a strong Constitutional foundation with which to justify them.

                As  for condoms in the California porn  trade ...
                arguably they're like helmets and seat belts in Formula I racing or body armor on police officers  ...  they're not the whole answer ... but without them, would all the less-visible precautions be quite as effective ?

                OK ...l summing up:  sex work is dangerous and demanding at best.  Historically, it was even worse in those eras ... the Victorian for example ... when it was tolerated by the Law  ... but the Biblical and patriarchal attitudes about "harlots" were operative and unquestioned.  

                And this is likely to remain the case as long as sex workers are considered "disposable persons of bad character" . ... "non persons, as the Soviets used to say.

                And to change that, pretty much calls for a radical revision of our thinking about patriarchy and property ... and coming to terms with the Dworkinite  (Take Back the Night) Feminists -- who although strident and  uncompromising ,  aren't entirely wrong about the nature or the extent of this problem.

                •  Bullshit Stop using libertarian as the new (0+ / 0-)

                  "firebagger", many liberals/progressives believed in the smae for decades until Clinton's "Sista Soulja" moment that set the party back ideoloigcal rightward. Again.

                  Sorry, Willy Nelson is now a "libertarian" because he believes in decriminalization?

                  Again quoting Princess Bride :

                  You keep using that word but I don't think it means what you think it means.

                  And sorry, don't agree with you on Dutch "enforecement,"either"

                  I gave views on Germany's prostitution laws in the Ted Rall diary.

                  So ... even where decriminalized, and even fully legalized,  the sex trade remains dangerous and often non-consensual -- but the violence and coercion takes place "off-premises."   Presumably the Dutch police would be more responsive to complaints of abuse and trafficking   than let's say the NYPD ... but so far, I haven't seen/read any evidence that they are.
                  How so? You didn't actually build up that case here...

                  Where is your proof of this accusation? You're pulling it out of your backside, don't made statements of fact that can't be backed up as fact.

                  There's probably a significant difference in the health risk of  "dozens of partners in a lifetime" and "dozens (or scores) of partners in a week --  but this is essentially a red-herring.,
                  No red herring, you misuderstand me, I meant dozens of sex partners within a week for both casual sex and being payed, despite how uptight people like you are on the subject of sex, some of us do actually have that much sex in a week without being compensated for our time. Yes, some of us are proud to be "sluts" ... would you like to shame us for it?
                  The disease issue is the millennium-old Western/Christian  rationale  for closing brothels and ostracizing sex workers.
                  And? I think you make my case when you point that out. Christians and Americans are fucked up.
                  Unfortunately, it is also the "compelling State interest" that prevents Lawrence v. Texas from being applied to sex work.   So, for the foreseeable future ... those jurisdictions that want their moralistic oppressive laws -- have a strong Constitutional foundation with which to justify them.
                  Where are you getting that from? I'm aware of no such case ever having be heard, I think there would be a good case for standing if anyone had the courage to take sex-work to the higher courts and argue L vs T... though with our current make up of SCOTUS, that last court would still be a toughie, because of the subject matter, though SCOTUS has struck down laws on vitual porn in the last decade, so, who knows.
                  As  for condoms in the California porn  trade ...
                  arguably they're like helmets and seat belts in Formula I racing or body armor on police officers  ...  they're not the whole answer ... but without them, would all the less-visible precautions be quite as effective ?
                  Um... no, they really are not, and I already gave my best arguements in the diary about that topic already, either go and read it or... don't make me copy and paste here, I've been doing that to much lately because you people keep circle arguing and keep the same points over and over... and forced condom use could be considered rape being that you are being forced to commit a sex act against your will, something that I didn't get into too much in the other diary, but see, its all about choice, and its both pro-choice to allow access to condoms if people so choose and its also pro-choice to allow to not force people to use them against their will.
                  And to change that, pretty much calls for a radical revision of our thinking about patriarchy and property ... and coming to terms with the Dworkinite  (Take Back the Night) Feminists -- who although strident and  uncompromising ,  aren't entirely wrong about the nature or the extent of this problem.
                  pfftttt.... MUHAHAHAHAHA!!! Corvo and others have ripped to shreds with great explanation of how the  Dworkinite "philosophy is crap, so, no there is no "coming to terms" with that... maybe people like you should come to terms with the sex positive way of life and looking at things. Also, you compleltely ignore to posts where I and others includingCorvo point out that "femisim" isn't a complete monolithic blcok, and that ideology is just as split and just as much at each others necks as the who leftist perspective is right now, that I'm assuimng you are completely ignoring.
      •  It IS different (3+ / 0-)

        Fundamentally.  As a feminist, I feel comfortable with the idea of prostitution, but only in a society where good jobs are plentiful.  Prostitution is only moral when a person can easily find a middle-class job in another field.  

        •  I would think... (0+ / 0-)

          ...situations where there are no good jobs would be where you'd want it more.

          At present, a given person with certain skills has one option, say, working at Walmart or Target for $9/hr.

          With legal prostitution, that person could be making $40/hr!

          So they have an extra option they would not otherwise have had. Right now under present law they are stuck in a $9/hr job, permanently, with little hope of escape.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:14:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll bet you see nothing wrong with college-age (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Oh Mary Oh

            women selling their eggs. Why not? It's a "free choice" and a way to finance college.

            Libertarians are pathogens.

          •  Is that sarcasm? (0+ / 0-)

            Thought experiment--let's say you were forced by poverty to find that the only middle class income you could earn was by sucking men's cocks and letting them fuck you in the ass.  Sure, you weren't forced against your will to do it, but it meant the difference between grinding poverty and maybe earning enough income to pay for a college degree.

            Do you see a difference between your hypothetical situation (assuming you are heterosexual) and the choice of a gay male prostitute choosing prostitution because he enjoys the lifestyle?

  •  I think the one thing it should come down to is (10+ / 0-)

    consent.

    Many of us here fight for women to have control over their reproductive rights (i.e. abortion).

    Many of us here also fight for stronger protections for women against rape and sexual assault.

    Both of these, in essence, are about a woman's consent. So long as a woman is making the choice of her own free will, minus coercive factors, who has a right to stand in her way? If however, that consent is not established, that is another story.

    So if a woman is fully willing to participate in sexual intercourse, the exchange of money does not make it any less inherently moral. One could argue that the money may represent a coercive force, but that is the very nature of money; how is the money used to pay for sex any less coercive than a guy on a date who buys the woman an expensive gift, with the expectation that they will have sex?

    If anything, prostitution, to me, is less inherently immoral than pornography; with the former, you are making a direct, private transaction with the client, with the latter, it is with all sorts of strangers with which you have not had any personal contact.

    •  Poverty is a coercive factor (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cordgrass, Wee Mama, SouthernLeveller

      A woman who consents to be raped for pay is still being raped.

      •  Poverty is indeed coercive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samddobermann, JesseCW

        but what if the woman is not poor? Maybe she is well off and doing it just to pass the time. Is it still rape then?

        I'm not trying to be snarky.

        •  And you think that, statistically, such women (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cordgrass, Wee Mama

          are a large percentage of sex workers?

          •  Don't change the subject. (5+ / 0-)

            Is the well-off call girl being raped or not when she trades sex for cash?

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:22:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't change the subject. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cordgrass

              Are these male fantasies of ultraweathly prostitutes, eager for your cocks, statistically relevant to anything?

              •  You seem to be in the wrong diary. (4+ / 0-)

                This one asks: "Is it inherently immoral to visit a sex worker for penetrative sex?"

                Not: "Is it usually immoral to visit a sex worker for penetrative sex?"

                It may well be usually immoral to do so, if the usual situation involves someone who is more or less a slave.

                But that's not the question of the diary.

                Oh, and for your information, I'm a Kinsey 6.  My "cocks" are not eager for ultrawealthy prostitutes, certainly not of your sex at least.

                Oh, and diarist! DIARIST!  Why do you qualify your title question with the word "penetrative"?  Is soliciting a prostitute for a hand job any less "immoral"?

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:29:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I'm speaking hypothetically (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW

                Even if, statistically, realistically, the percentage of "ultrawealthy prostitutes" is 0 percent, your answer to my question is still relevant for understanding the logical reasoning and justifications and, ultimately, the validity of your positions. This is called critical analysis.

                Of course, passive-aggressive deflection can also serve the same purpose.

                So choose whatever percentage of "ultrawealthy prostitutes" that you want. 99%. Or even 0.000001%.

                Do you still consider their prostitution rape?

                •  Thankful, rational policies are not based on (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cordgrass

                  "critical analysis". Imagine if medical procedures were established this way, rather than by epidemiology!

                  Rational policy is based on what normally happens, not on rare hypothetical corner cases.

                    •  We have rational policies for dealing with disease (0+ / 0-)

                      because they are based on statistics and evidence about what works.

                      We have irrational policies for dealing with poverty, racism, sexism, abuse etc - because we don't base them on statistics and evidence. We base them on logic-chopping moral argumentation.

                      •  actually, many of our disease-related policies (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        JesseCW, churchylafemme

                        are anything but rational and are in fact morality-based.  In some jurisdictions, for instance, there are legal requirements to disclose identities of sexual partners when one is diagnosed with certain STDs (most commonly gonorrhea and syphilis), thus forcing some carriers underground.  Some folks aren't eager to get HIV tested because they don't want to be entered into a government database.  Go figure!

                        Shall we discuss medical marijuana?

                        Shall we discuss the morality-based assumptions underlying your Dworkinist approach to prostitution?

                        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                        by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:50:08 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  HIV policy was completely irrational for a long (0+ / 0-)

                          time, because Reagan. And I don't doubt it still is in red states.

                          And now that NSA has all your records and can violate HIPAA whenever it fantasizes a terrorist, nobody is safe.

                          Yes, there are deeply entrenched religious and authoritarian lobbies who distort health policy in this country. But they are anti-science lobbies. Scientific health advocates have opposed them, and offered instead ideas like making sterile hypodermics legal and available, legalizing (but regulating) marijuana and some other drugs.  These are rational, harm-reduction approaches.

                          And I want harm-reduction approach for sex workers, too.

                          But I do not want a pure harm-reduction approach for johns and pimps. They are abusers and exploiters of women and we don't want laws enabling their abuse and exploitation.

                          However, in these discussions in male-dominated treehouses such as DKos, the goal is always to "liberate" the exploitative johns. The "rights" and "agency" of sex workers are merely rationalizations to that end.

                  •  atana, you are a sucker if you think (0+ / 0-)

                    that medical procedures were established by epidemiology. fewer than 10% have rational scientific evidence behind them.

                    with your constant silly comments and the pro Hillary tag line you just tie her with your irritating pleasures.

                    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

                    by samddobermann on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:56:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh god... did not notice the Hilary tagline (0+ / 0-)

                      I think that speaks volumes of where "atana" is coming from, the make believe land of the Clintonista... oh, the irony, bringing back a known adulterer to the White House... this opens up so many questions, like does "atana" feel Monica Lewinsky was a "victim" and was she "raped" by Bill? Haven't acussations been made of Bill having hired prostitutes? Oh, the hypocracy is delish!!!!!

              •  your sneering hyperbolic comment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical

                demonstrates the techniques used by absolutists everywhere particularly by the right wing.

                It doesn't add to anything and sinks your argument by showing you as someone over the top who can be written off.

                I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

                by samddobermann on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:48:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Wow... such language... coming from a prude... (0+ / 0-)

                LOL!!!! Uh-oh... someone sounds cranky they got busted for holding a really dispicable arguement.

          •  I make no such presumption (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            Does your answer depend on this statistic?

            I'm just trying to understand your position better. Isn't that what you want?

            •  So you want to make a policy based on a few (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cordgrass

              hypothetical cases -- ultrarich women who are slumming after DKos posters -- rather than on the vast majority of cases?

              •  If that same policy continues to forbid (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk, JesseCW

                sexual exploitation, then why not?

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:40:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  To make a policy concerning sexual exploitation, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cordgrass

                  you look at actual sexual exploitation -- not at hypothetical cases.

                  •  And then you make a policy about (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sparhawk, JesseCW

                    the exploitation, not about genuinely consensual behavior.

                    Unless you're opposed to that too.

                    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                    by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:47:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You have offered no evidence that US sex work (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cordgrass

                      is "genuinely consensual behavior".

                      That is a factual claim, and it is one that is overwhelmingly false.

                      •  Even you admit (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Sparhawk, JesseCW, MrAnon

                        when you say "overwhelmingly" that it is not always false.

                        One more time: What do you have against the agency of actual women?  What do you have against the creation and enforcement of a climate in which women can practice the sex trade without exploitation if they should so choose?

                        And for that matter, what about gay sex workers?

                        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                        by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:12:14 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Again: policy isn't based on rare corner cases (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          cordgrass

                          The overwhelming evidence is that most US sex workers are abused, exploited, and driven to this work because they have no alternatives.

                          Would you argue against minimum wage laws because somewhere there might be a Walmart worker who "really wants" to work for less than the minimum wage?

                          If the 13th Amendment were up for ratification today, the right wing would produce examples of slaves who claimed to be happy as slaves. Can we deny them their right to be slaves?

                          •  You keep saying this (4+ / 0-)
                            policy isn't based on rare corner cases
                            as if it were relevant to your argument, and it isn't, as long as there's policy that forbids and punishes exploitation.

                            That's what you forbid.  Everything else you allow.

                            Your Walmart example is irrelevant because it's about regulating payment for work, not forbidding a kind of work a priori; and your 13th Amendment argument is not only irrelevant but offensive because slaves do not by definition have agency.  Women do, don't they?  And those who don't, don't you want them to have it?  Punish today's slaveowners and liberate their slaves; let free women do what they will.

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:28:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't agree with the concept "has agency" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cordgrass

                            Agency comes in degrees, and when there is a large inequality in power the person with less power has less agency.

                            The women in sex work have very little "agency".

                          •  Precisely because of the climate that (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW, MrAnon

                            repressive patriarchal religions -- and repressive Dworkinian solutions like yours -- create for prostitutes.  They work underground; they have no legal protections; they're left to the tender ministrations of pimp-slaveowners and the whims of their customers.

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:37:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My Dworkinian solution (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cordgrass

                            Would be to give everyone a livable minimum income. Then I suspect this problem would become moot.

                          •  but you want to make sure women (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk, JesseCW

                            are forbidden to engage in such an activity even until such time as a world should arise in which you assume the problem would become moot?

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:42:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I want rapists to be prosecuted (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cordgrass

                            And cops who have nothing better to do than harass prostitutes to be gainfully employed in some other line of work.

                          •  Then legalize prostitution (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk, gramofsam1, JesseCW

                            and regulate it wisely.

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:53:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You mean commodify women (0+ / 0-)

                            for the enrichment and delectation of men.

                          •  no, *you* mean (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk, JesseCW

                            repress women so they can't make the choice.

                            If no woman decides to be a prostitute, that would be their choice, and not only would I respect that, but it's no skin off my "cocks" -- I'm gay, remember?

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:12:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I can't really believe that *you* believe that (0+ / 0-)

                            all prostitutes are women.

                            "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                            by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:39:57 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well (4+ / 0-)

                            That's never going to happen for a variety of reasons.

                            In the meantime, a large number of people are making $9/hr at Walmart instead of $40 (or whatever). You are denying them the choice to make more money and impoverishing them under the guise of protecting them.

                            I guess that's the end game of your position: denying people the ability to make more money by making free choices.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:00:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  oh, and you're still not addressing (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk, JesseCW

                            the matter of gay male prostitution.

                            I can't say I'm surprised it doesn't seem to merit your attention.

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:29:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Because I haven't seen any data about it. (0+ / 0-)
                          •  You know, if you're going to advocate (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            buddabelly, Sparhawk, gramofsam1, JesseCW

                            legalized sexual repression, you might want to consider which sexes should be covered by it, and under what circumstances.

                            And certainly you don't need to see any data in order to determine whether or not rent boys have "agency," now do you?

                            You just haven't found the matter worthy of "seeing data about it."

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:39:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Since when has that stopped you ranting? (0+ / 0-)

                            ZING!!!

                      •   (0+ / 0-)

                        Of course it's not, and neither is any other kind of job.

                        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

                        by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 06:35:40 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  That's not entirely true (0+ / 0-)

                          There are people who love what they do. I've know many scientists -- especially those with tenure at universities -- who love what they do. I would love to spend the rest of my life working on RNA world, for example. It would never get boring.

                          But most people do not get to do what they love. Their work is alienated, to use Marx's term. It has been commodified and it does not belong to them. It belongs to some Owner. This -- capitalism -- is a transmutation of feudal serfdom to the industrial world.

                          •  I know a massues who lives in a lovely home on (0+ / 0-)

                            the beach in Southern California who considers herself a tantric practitioner.

                            She's a great person, although I personally find her belief in "energy fields" and what not to be kind of goofy.

                            She engages in non-penetrative sex acts with some of her clients, who are both male and female.  

                            She's got a trust fund and  could easily survive without ever working another day in her life, although I'd assume not in the same style.  She says she does "tantric work" because she feels that it's her calling, and that she works a sliding scale for clients.  She does not take clients she feels have "bad energy", and she stops seeing any who she feels are disrespectful of her or her space.

                            Do you feel that she's a serf?  If you told her that, she'd smile at you very warmly and offer you hot tea  and ask you to sit down.

                            If you believe what she does should be illegal, who is it you want to punish?  Do you feel that the men who pay her should be caged and raped as punishment?

                            How about the women?

                            "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                            by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:51:17 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The road to hell is paved with anecdotes (0+ / 0-)

                            and Uncle Tom figures prominently in many of them.

                          •  Why is the question impossible for you to answer? (0+ / 0-)

                            "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                            by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:28:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Because I don't accept the framing you are pushing (0+ / 0-)

                            It's the same framing that was used to derail the ERA.

                            "See! We found a woman (Phylis Schlafly) who doesn't support the ERA! So we don't have to ratify it after all!"

                            Or as my father told me at the time when Schlafly appeared, "See, women don't really want the ERA".

                          •  Sorry. Not a "framing". A reality you (0+ / 0-)

                            don't want to recognize.

                            You're the one desperate to limit rights in this discussion.  

                            You're holding yourself up as an example that some women don't believe women are adults capable of making choices about who they wish to have sex with and under what circumstances.

                            Do you believe that it's possible for a man and a woman to have consensual sex in our society under any circumstances?

                            "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                            by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:06:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If the woman needs nothing from the man (0+ / 0-)

                            economically, then it's possible.

              •  All I did was ask a question on your statement (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MHB

                I am not saying the policy should be based on the hypothetical existence of "ultrarich women" who do not represent the majority of cases of prostitutes. Nothing I posted in the original comment requires such a supposition. I made it only as a hypothetical to your response. I have been unable to do anything else because you refuse to provide an answer.

                What I am doing is trying to understand the extent of the position you yourself are taking.

                I have answered all your questions as plainly as I possibly could.

                Are you unwilling to do the same?

                •  This is about power in sexual relations (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cordgrass, SouthernLeveller

                  If there is a significant inequality of power, it's reasonable to presume that a sexual relation is abuse of the less powerful person.

                  This is why sex between an adult and a child is abusive, why sex between a boss and an employes is commonly abusive, etc.

                    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cordgrass

                      At least that should be the presumption, because inequality of power means that coercion is possible. And we know that coercion happens in such cases very, very frequently.

                      •  so when Bill was President and (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        JesseCW

                        Hillary was an unpaid assistant? What their sex life coercive?

                        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

                        by samddobermann on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:43:31 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If Hillary had taken Chelsea and left the WH (0+ / 0-)

                          I doubt Bill would have survived politically.

                          She was never powerless. She saved Bill from himself more than once. All she had to do to destroy him at those times was to walk away. And he knew/knows that; he's not stupid.

                          •  Teflon Bill? Slick Willy? (0+ / 0-)
                            I doubt Bill would have survived politically.
                            Yes, I guess your right, they just gave him those nicknames for the hell of it. /snark

                            Having his wife leave him certainly did not seem to stop Mark Sanford and his Appalchain trail from gaining office once again.

                            But its not the point what you think Hilary could do to Bill, its that it doesn't seem to phase you that while he's an embodiment of everything you loathe, you're more than happy to let him back into the White House all so you can bring the DLC-apocolypse known as Hilary upon us once agian.

                            In other words, you are all to easy to drop your prinicples at the drop of the hat for the sake of "winning" as in Hilary winning.

                  •  so... now you're against a myriad of sex acts (0+ / 0-)

                    not just prostitution, but now, as it seems especially downthread further, BDSM, dominatrixes, S&M, etc.

                    Its quite clear you have sever hang ups.

                    This is why sex between an adult and a child is abusive
                    No, its not because of "inequality of power", its because a child is not yet old enough to make decisions for themselves and have been educated and informed enough to take seriously the decisions they would make if given that choice, unless you want to argue that other age restrictions liek not leting children drive until an age like 16 is somehow "prevention of inequality"... alcohol, cigarettes... yeah, I don't see where any other age restriction has "power inequality" come into play, and its no different here.
                  •  Wasn't Monica lewinsky an intern working for Bill? (0+ / 0-)

                    And yet despite this :

                    sex between a boss and an employes is commonly abusive,
                    you'd let him back into the White House?
        •  or for that matter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          what if the prostitute's MO involves domination, pain, and/or -- yes, this happens too -- anal penetration of the john with a strap-on?  How is the prostitute being "raped"?

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:20:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And why is this issue relegated to women in this (0+ / 0-)

          thread.

          Directed at "atana", whom is aready on shaky ground claiming one can conset to rape, aka Todd Akin.

          Last I checked there was a healthy number of men with either male or female clients in the business, though more often male, and its why I keep getting homophobic vibes by the anti-sex people in this thread trying to make it all seem one gendered/one-sided.

      •  Re (4+ / 0-)
        A woman who consents to be raped for pay is still being raped.
        There's no such thing as rape you consent to.

        If a person says yes, whatever their reasons, they had consensual sex that is not rape.

        That's like saying that people who work at Walmart are literally enslaved. They are not.

        People have sex for lots of reasons, not just reasons you in your infinite wisdom find acceptable. Sometimes it's a good idea, sometimes not, but it's not for p/maternalistic third parties to make that decision for them.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:55:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So the law says (0+ / 0-)

          The law that works for the powerful who use it to abuse the weak.

          The law is still predominately a patriarchal construction; one of the many reasons we are overdue for a woman in the Oval Office.

          •  Um no... logic says that... Todd Akin agrees with (0+ / 0-)

            your take.

            Rape is rape. As was the answer we all gaqve to Todd Akin's dumbass statment (I guess sans you) and Consent is consent, it isn't even a matter of law, its oa matter of word usage, and that you wanting to bend that to try to fit your arguement instead of a dmitting you were wrong and simply coming up with a different arguement.

      •  This is nearly HR able (0+ / 0-)

        This is the most disgusting comment I've seen especially from someone trying to "pretend" to be a feminist,  this is your Todd Akin moment, RAPE is NEVER consenual, that is why it is rape, and rape is not about sex, but power.

        Also, if "Poverty is a coercive factor", then all jobs would be illegal as that's the purpose of a job, you work, you get paid, you can support your self, you don't work, you don't get paid, and thusly can't support yourself. That is the way when you have a capitaslist society as this one. Yeah, it sucks, but you can't make that arguement without glossing voer that noone would have a job if they didn't need to support themselves finacially.

    •  An acquaintance of mine is a porn actor. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, JesseCW

      I can assure you that he is fully aware of what his job is and gives his full consent. Of course, people can be and often are coerced into making porn. But for paid actors it's simply a job.

    •  Yes. But the problem is "you never know." (0+ / 0-)

      Very few "Johns" really want to be confronted with even the possibility that the woman servicing them is a victim of an exploiter, or circumsances -- or even is less than thrilled to be serving THEM, personally.

      So ... "girls" who want to earn ...  and not suffer the consequences of not earning ...  learn to SMILE -- as well simulate a wide range of vocal and facial happiness cues.

      It's the hardest part of the job, I'm told.

      So ... there probably ARE some "Happy Hookers" -- somewhere.   Ex-Governor Elliot Spitzer tried SO hard to confine his business  to them -- whatever the price premium.

      Look how well that worked out!

      •  You could say that about a myriad of things (0+ / 0-)

        as it was brought up in Ted Rall's diary on Measure B that I have beaten this talking point to death, and maybe I'll not make as great or any arguement here without coping and pasting myself, but it was even pointed out a few posts downthread...

        Very few "Johns" really want to be confronted with even the possibility that the woman servicing them is a victim of an exploiter, or circumsances -- or even is less than thrilled to be serving THEM, personally.
        You, the "customer"  or consumer of any product or service, can not for the most part ever know what goes into the "sauage making" of your favorite product, and likewise, you can't expect someone who uses sex serices, or if they purchased porn, if people are being coereced behind the scenes, as we are not cops, all we can do is make the best informed decision we can make, and as JesseCW down below makes a good arguement about this slave labor or child labor for making of clothes, and we know alot of the major brands have had contraversy ovet this, from Kathy Gifford's clothing during the 90s, to alot of what Wal-mart sells... I can go even further than that.

        What, AdamSelene, are you posting this message from... using an iphone, ipad, or mac/apple computer or product in anyway? Using any smart phone in any way? If you are, congratulations, you have been explotating slave labor!!!

        Don't make me pull out all the media stories that should have been follwing on this for several years, if you never heard of FoxxComm, might I suggest you start a search immediately about it.

        And yet, knowing slave labor is involved, doesn't sem to stop the zombified masses of loyal lap dog Apple fanboys, and yet you grumble that "johns" should be more proactive in doing detective work in figureing out if possible and at risk of their own safety that no slave labor is being used? Do I even need to go on...?

        You are making the arguement why this line of work needs to be made legal and out in the open... sunlight is the best diseffectant.

        So ... there probably ARE some "Happy Hookers" -- somewhere.   Ex-Governor Elliot Spitzer tried SO hard to confine his business  to them -- whatever the price premium.

        Look how well that worked out!

        Worked out for who? Again, an arguemnt could be made here that only reason he was caught was because he was using these... "happy hookers" as you put them over the more seedier of choices of prostitutes, and that him getting caught is all the catalyst customers need to seek less profiled and seedeier choices for sex workers where the chance of coercision is higher, in other words, you are pushing customer(and there will always will be) back in the dark and the depths, the exact opposite of what you want to be accomplished.

        Also, it seems to be working out okay for the prostitute, she did get busniess deals out of the scandal and even ran for office, and if she ran again I'd support her.

        •  The thing is: (0+ / 0-)

          I know that most of the smiles I get from service personnel are phony.  I know that most of the compassion I get from nursing staff in a hospital is calculated.

          But I also know that these people can go to the family Thanksgiving dinner and talk about the amusing or touching things that happen to them at work.  

          They can sue their employers for violation of state labor laws ...

          And if they wind up dead in a dumpster ... no cop will say "Well, no humans involved ..."

          "Is penetrative sex for money" PER SE "immoral"?

          Me, I say "not necessarily, and "morality" is not always even relevant."

          Do I think prostitution ought to be illegal:  Well NO, I don't.

          But, I see any number of issues around patriarchy and propriety that would keep me from advising anyone whose best interests I had at heart from going into The Life ... and these same issues make me more than a little squeamish about ordering Ring and Bring For Girl.

          •  Did this word salad actually have any meaning and (0+ / 0-)

            any pertanance to what specifically I just said and you are replying to?

            If it does, could you actually point that out, because otherwise all I have is a great big... "huh?"

    •  What I would like to do for money is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Throw The Bums Out

      classed as prostitution and may be prosecuted as such in this state.

      People would pay me $300 to get spanked. To have me tell them what a bad boy they are. To have me dress them up as a woman. For more extreme things, if I'm willing to do them, I can charge more. I would happily urinate on someone for $1000.  That would pay a large chunk of my bills for a month.

      I don't view sex as being this deep amazing connection every time. It CAN be, certainly.  Mostly it's a fun and pleasurable athletic activity.

      And no, I've never been molested. Sex just isn't this great reverent activity to me, and never has been. I can see that had my life gone differently, I could have been very happy working as a prostitute; the problems would have been with protection, law, and the occasional troublesome client, not with the job itself.

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 03:00:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not as currently exists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    papermoon, churchylafemme, gramofsam1

    I think it OUGHT to be okay.

    But it generally isn't, at least in the US.

    Too much coercion exists.

    I think if it were big-gubminted up some, with safe working conditions in place, I'd probably be okay with it.

    As is, too much potential for abuse, including human trafficking.

    Clean that up and it becomes a matter of bodily autonomy.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    by Skipbidder on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:42:18 PM PST

  •  Well (9+ / 0-)

    Instead of vaguely asking bloggers, you could go read what actual sex workers have to say about their jobs.

    There's Melissa Gira Grant.

    There's Charlotte Shane.

    There's this whole blog.

    So,

  •  In the minds of a lot of people (7+ / 0-)

    sex work is inherently abusive and non-consensual. Indeed, a high proportion of sex workers are forced into that livelihood out of poverty and desperation and endure degrading working conditions, e.g., violence from johns and pimps.

    But I argue that the exchange of sex for money doesn't inherently degrade the person taking the money. We need sex work brought out into the open and legitimized. We need legal protections around it.

    Thanks for starting this discussion.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:57:19 PM PST

  •  Sex where there is great inequality of power (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, churchylafemme, cordgrass

    is rape. The reason is that the person with less power is not really free to say no: hence is being raped.

    A woman who needs the money so badly she "consents" to be raped for it is still raped. And the guy who does it is a rapist, even if he pays.

    •  I do not dispute any of this, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, gramofsam1

      does this mean that you think all prostitution is rape, no matter the circumstances?

    •  Abuse (5+ / 0-)

      of paid sex workers, grows out of an authoritarian, anti-sex mentality that needs to die. For that matter, extreme economic inequality, which causes the desperation that forces people into degrading work, grows out of a very similar mentality.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:13:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seems pretty thin (7+ / 0-)

      So, hypothetically a prostitute solicits me because she can make more money as a whore than working as say a paralegal - and I willingly pay her for her services, which she is happy to provide.  And, I'm a rapist?

      Immoral arguably, but rape......no way.

    •  Work where there is a great inequality of power (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana, pierre9045, JesseCW

      is slavery. The reason is that the person with less power is not really free to say no: hence is being enslaved.

      A woman who needs to money so badly she "consents" to work for it is still a slave. And the guy who does it is a slaver, even if he pays.

      (That is a pretty good argument against capitalism in general, actually. I've used it a few times myself.)

      Believe nothing. Question everything.

      by Selphinea on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:51:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, Be Skeptical
      Sex where there is great inequality of power (2+ / 0-)
      is rape. The reason is that the person with less power is not really free to say no: hence is being raped.
      This is BULL SHIT.

      By your ridiculous standards, every single person who works at any job for economic necessity is enslaved, and you could bring suits against all employers for coercively employing people who are also "not really free to say no".

      You might not like it, but in the real world all people have to produce something of value, or live off the labors of people who do.

      In any case, good luck charging every single rich person with a poorer spouse with rape (or anyone you suspect of being a "trophy spouse") which is where your obnoxious logic would force you to go.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:08:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is your opinion (0+ / 0-)

      About a man being hired by a woman as a prostitute?

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:24:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He has a superhuman capacity for self-control. (0+ / 0-)

        He also has superhuman stamina and an astonishing gift of gab. He would make more money in politics.

        In other words, he is a rhetorical fiction.

        Gigolos don't count. Their duties are far more extensive than a prostitute's.

        Besides, why would a woman pay for what is on offer for free?

        The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

        by bubbajim on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 03:02:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What is this supposed to mean? (0+ / 0-)
          Besides, why would a woman pay for what is on offer for free?

          Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

          by MrAnon on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 03:56:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Meaning that there is more than enough supply (0+ / 0-)

            of men willing to have casual sex to meet the demand from women who want casual sex at a price of zero.

            I thought that needed no explanation.  I stand corrected.

            The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

            by bubbajim on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 04:10:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I thought that male prostitution, either straight (0+ / 0-)

              or gay wouldn't needed to be expalined, I stand corrected by this comment by "bubba"jim... yeah, that's real red-blodoed "Aemrica Fuck yeah" username right there.

              Those who do not know the subject matter shoudl nto speak it, you clearly know nothing of male prostitution.

              But I think you agree with that, and just don't give a fuck.

              Your arguemetn holds no merit, no waight, there's no substance there other than to deny what actually exists, exists.

              Now "Jesus" now he is a rhetorical fiction

              uh-oh... naughty, naughty of me....

              •  I will be honest, I didn't consider male (0+ / 0-)

                prostitution, as in male-on-male, in my comment. No, I have no personal experience with prostitution.

                I have worked in the hotel business (many years ago) with persons who have work as prostitutes. Two women and one man of whom I am aware.

                The man and one of the women used it as a secondary source of income. One woman lived in a resort town and worked primarily as a call girl. None of them would ever consider returning to it except as an alternative to starvation.

                I am sorry that I offended you, particularly so deeply. Do not assume that because I am a Southern, white, straight (mostly) male that I am the enemy.

                My user name is an old nickname given to me by a friend who considers me to be "the brother he never had." Bubba just means brother in the South.

                The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

                by bubbajim on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:58:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  sigh... (0+ / 0-)
                  I will be honest, I didn't consider male prostitution, as in male-on-male, in my comment. No, I have no personal experience with prostitution.
                  Maybe you haven't, and that's still a problem within its own right, espically in threads like this on a supposedly "left-leaning" website, if you are not acknowleding homosexuality or bisexuality or the LBGT community in any discussion of sex or hell any issue at all on asite like this, then yeah, there is a problem here, and I'm not saying it homphobia all the time, but it certainly isn't "progressive" to exclude one of most underaprreciated groups of the left from even your thoughts on any matter including matters such as this, people here should be thinking about this all the time, escially if you consider yourself an advocate for gay rights (and I have no idea if you do or not, I'm just saying), then it does strike me as a problem that when a discussion is discussed here about sex, that the kneejerking of the anti-sex crowds goes for all this "faux femism" crap, and deos not bother to try to see this argument from any other side as they have already closed there minds, and if minds are closed, what's even the point of taking this up as a topic anymore on the website?

                  DailyKos is more and more loosing its purpose because instead of discussing, debating and philosophizing about topics, people get locked in the positions they have taken for years and will not here the other side of the arguement out.

                  And even discussion of male-on-male prostitution does nottake away from that you are as equally wrong on women seeking male prostitiues, as I know many that do, also, while your rhetoric is coming from specualtion of how you think sexuality works in all cases for all straight men and all straight women, and that's not the case.

                  I have worked in the hotel business (many years ago) with persons who have work as prostitutes. Two women and one man of whom I am aware.

                  The man and one of the women used it as a secondary source of income. One woman lived in a resort town and worked primarily as a call girl. None of them would ever consider returning to it except as an alternative to starvation.

                  And ? That is relevant to allowing others to choose to do so out of there own free will and mind how? IF epople dind't like it, if people had issues or worse with prostitution, that only makes the arguement for them that it wasn't for them, this is no way is a valid reason to not allow others to make the same decisions on their own.
    •  No, this is not exactly correct. (0+ / 0-)

      Jeez, there was a diary just days or weeks ago about BDSM, perhaps you should give it a good read.

      Also,

      A woman who needs the money so badly she "consents" to be raped for it is still raped.
      This is still a disgusting right-wing view of what consent and rape is, rape is rape and conset is consent, why is this such a hard concept for you to get, and why do you feel the people you are trying to make agree with you on this are ogoing to finally agree on the 50th you've said it as opposed to the first time?
  •  Yes, it should be legal AND regulated (8+ / 0-)

    If ever there was a case for a legally regulated industry, this is it.

    1.  It has continuously existed since the dawn of time and efforts to outlaw it have failed.

    2.  Both the workers and the customers can present health hazards  

    3.  Many of the workers are underage, addicted or brought from overseas and are effectively slaves.

    4.  The transaction is typically in cash and unlikely to be subject to taxation.

    5.  Where there are legal abuses they will not be reported because the of the reasons listed above.

    Seems to me that getting the underage, addicted and enslaved out of coerced prositution is admirable.  And, if an adult freely decides they want to make some money from another adult doing something that wouldn't be illegal, but for the fact that it is sex, well that doesn't really cut it.

    •  Our current set-up sounds comparable to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, wayoutinthestix, JesseCW

      Prohibition or 'the War on Drugs' in those terms.  Making the act illegal creates more associated criminality and increases the danger to all involved, as well as the occasional bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      •  The difference between the sex industry and drugs (0+ / 0-)

        is that in the case of drugs, you have a criminal underground responsible for providing some very dangerous drugs, and they actively try to addict people to them. Then, conflated in with that, you have recreational drugs that are no more harmful than alcohol and less harmful than cigarettes, which used to be provided mainly be local growers.

        In the case of the sex industry, you have a large number of perps responsible for the exploitation -- namely all the johns. And they sit on Judges' benches and legislative benches and in law offices. They don't believe there is anything wrong with exploiting women. We have a pervasive rape culture, and they are a significant part of the reason for it.

        The sex workers, who are their victims, correspond to the drug users of harmful drugs, who have fallen into the clutches of the criminal underground of the drug world. They don't correspond to the users of recreational drugs -- those women are found at singles bars.

        •  So...the kid selling meth to pay the rent so that (0+ / 0-)

          he and his siblings don't get thrown out on the street is a predator.

          Weird worldview.

          "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

          by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:57:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, you fix the social safety to get rid (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bubbajim

            of that.

            I'm in favor of drug legalization/decriminalization. I'm not in favor of giving men a carte blanche to exploit women. There are far, far more perps in the latter case, and they aren't motivated by poverty.

            We need to protect the victims -- the sex workers -- and punish their exploiters: the johns and pimps.

            •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              atana

              Power is so unequally distributed within our society as to make us, its members, almost incapable of judging this question.

              I would guess that exchanging sex for money would not be inherently immoral in an ideal world, but never having lived in one, I will admit that it is a guess. Why not fix the economic system that renders a vast swath of our population vulnerable to the temptation to sell themselves in this way first?

              The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

              by bubbajim on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 03:10:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why not stop sending people for prison for (0+ / 0-)

                long periods of time, and having there lifves taken away from them even if that "fix" comes, in the meantime?

                And how long have you been waiting for this "fix" ... who are you kidding its never going to come, and certainly not by the "help" of centrist or coservative Democrats, not the Blue Dogs or the DLC, which atana is strongly for... her rhetoric does not match her voting .

                Clinton, both of them is the furthest thing from Marx you can possibly get.

                This is why these now "scocialist" arguemtns being used by your side on this issue is pure shit, and you know it,, when you stop voting for capital cronies, and vote for actually marxists, or the closest thing in America, you might see change, but that ain't coming with the doom Hillary will be bringing in 2016. Or any vote for A Democrat at this point.

                •  I agree that it should not be a crime. (0+ / 0-)

                  I am not so sure that it can be moral.

                  The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

                  by bubbajim on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 06:31:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, damn, I guess we found agreement some (0+ / 0-)

                    where.

                    I won't espouse on the whole, "moral" issue, as not only have I and others already discussed this, but to also not ruin the moment of agreement, as little as it might mean to that big ol' world out there, at least this occured.

          •  "Weird worldview." (0+ / 0-)

            I know, right?

            I was going to post a lengthy response to atana over this, but I think that sums it up nicely.

      •  It is all about propping up the prison state indus (0+ / 0-)

        industrial complex.

        Its about for profit prisons, all prohibitions...  and yet the arguement or socialism and not privitization shows up on the other side in the thread.

        They want to talk socialism, then stop making laws to lock up people doing things you disaggrre with andshut down privately owned prisions.

    •  "Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't (0+ / 0-)

      selling fucking fucking legal?" G. Carlin.

      "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:56:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about sex surrogates? n/t (4+ / 0-)

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:16:29 PM PST

    •  ^^^ yeah, I wasn't expecting anyone (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      to address this. :-)

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:05:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do you mean by sex surrogate? (0+ / 0-)

        Does it involve the exchange of money for sex? If not, it is probably not relevant to the current moral dilemma.

        •  (*facepalm*) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, SouthernLeveller

          This is a kind of sex worker who, if female, is likely to be on the receiving end of penetrative sex.  And who knows, since it's part of at least one form of sex therapy, your insurance might even pay for it, horribile dictu.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:16:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There really is such a thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dougymi

          In some locations they have a therapist's license, but primarily they work with therapists who treat sexual disorders such as impotence and can and do have "penetrative" sex with patients, to use the term of the day there.  

          Are you familiar with Annie Sprinkle, the porn star?  She has a Ph.D. in this subject area and performs workshops.  she has written several books on the subject.  One of her previous workshops was the "Sluts and Goddesses" class.  She encourages angry sex-negative people to experiment with what are considered slutty dress and makeup.  

          That name will sure raise the hackles of the sex negative feminists among us, as will Susie Bright, Ducky Doolittle, and others.  Lindsy Van Gelder, a feminist writer for Ms. in the past who was later the makeup editor for Mirabella, said the two types of feminsts are "porn women" and "prune women".

          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

          by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:11:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Or even porn. Or any other "sex work." (0+ / 0-)

        Though those were addressed in a porn diary recently that then turned into an "debate" on prostitution  much like here, and if the opponents did addrees these, yes they would describe these services as being just as "evil" as they are trying to make anything that mmets there definition of sex in exchange for something else, again they are most likely hypcrits when it comes to having to pay for dinner and dates, etc.

  •  Depends on whos morals you are using... (6+ / 0-)

    But from a non dogmatic point of view there is nothing immoral about it as long as both are adults and fully consenting.

    Is it immoral to buy a woman dinner and a movie for sex? Is it immoral to do drugs with a woman for sex?

    My non dogmatic morals are based on honesty and respecting others which comes down to dont lie, cheat, steal or hurt others.

    When all are consenting pretty much anything agreed to is moral by my standard.

    The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:20:48 PM PST

  •  properly compensated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    papermoon

    sex work with proper regulatory circumstances e.g. NV or certain EU countries seems to be no different than other entertainment transactions.

    Everything else as you describe it seems to have exploitative elements with murky information: self-exploitation, misadventure, criminal or health safety, or the more abstract sexist elements of sexual colonialism/imperialism (perhaps your interest in getting a Dworkin-like opinion on penetration specifically). OTOH, consensual relationships and marriage are no different. None of these are legitimate sex therapy as cited in that recent movie.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:25:54 PM PST

  •  I Lived Through an Experiment: Debut of The Pill. (10+ / 0-)

    When I started high school, dating culture as well as most of commercial dating pop culture [watch 60's movies before around 65] portrayed premarital gender relations as defense of the female realm against male exploiters who would consequently destroy the woman's "reputation," and schemes by the female realm to snare an appropriate husband. In dating as in pop culture, preserving the virgin reputation of the girl and woman were paramount.

    By the time I reached college I had young middle class midwest women pulling me into bed, casual semi nudity at body painting parties; and even then streaking was years into the future.

    I never met a woman before I was married who'd encountered any feminist education or theory. But the differences in American young women's sexual behavior that I experienced on the ground between 1960-64 and 1968-9 was almost as great as the differences between men and women in any era.

    The main thing that changed was that the women got to freely choose whatever sexual behavior they wished.

    So I'm going to side with "not INHERENTLY immoral." It's clear from my experience which was far from any cutting edge or fringe of my time, that women will choose to have sex for any reason regularly without coercion, if they don't need to fear pregnancy.

    On the other hand western society equally as obviously retains a gender based power imbalance, so we need to have progressive brakes against exploitation and coercion of the weaker by those who are stronger in whatever ways.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:42:36 PM PST

  •  Saying someone shouldn't do something because (6+ / 0-)

    "omg that's immoral and disgusting!" despite having no victims, and then disregarding and overriding their personal agency because it's some sort of abstract social threat?

    Sounds curiously like homophobia.

    Believe nothing. Question everything.

    by Selphinea on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:44:55 PM PST

    •  I'd first be tempted to say androphobia, (5+ / 0-)

      except that since the Dworkinist agenda denies agency to women, it's ultimately, and more pertinently, gynophobic.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:48:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tosh. (0+ / 0-)

        "Agency" is metaphysics. Human have neural networks in their heads. Inputs come in; neural computation ensues; outputs go out.

        •  Then "consent" is metaphysics too. (4+ / 0-)

          Where does that leave you, besides in the smoking ruins of your own argument?

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:03:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can ask someone for their consent (0+ / 0-)

            You can't ask them for their "agency".

            •  You need to hit the books some more. (5+ / 0-)

              Agency is that which allows someone to consent.   It's not something you ask for.  Kids don't have it.  Slaves don't have it.  Grown women at least should . . . except in your book, it seems.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:14:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Folk psychology is still pseudoscience (0+ / 0-)

                no matter how many legal beagles believe in it.

                •  Then I'm happy you don't want to rely on law (0+ / 0-)

                  for a solution to the prostitution problem . . . right?

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:27:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If the law is based on bad science (0+ / 0-)

                    it needs to be updated.

                    Agency is just another word for free will, which is an active area of research in neuroscience. Generally speaking, most researchers in this area doubt that free will actually exists, though there may be brain processes that produce the illusion of free will.

                    •  The law is rarely based on science at all; (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      penguins4peace, JesseCW

                      it's based on a mishmash of moral, ethical, and logical assumptions.  

                      And science is a pretty poor basis for law, because the only moral principle science recognizes is . . . the freedom of scientific inquiry.  Otherwise it's a tool equally useful in the hands of a golden rule humanist -- or a genocidalist.

                      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:40:16 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The law is based on folk psychology and capitalist (0+ / 0-)

                        fairytales.

                        •  You got that right. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Selphinea, JesseCW

                          Science, however, offers no moral direction whatsoever.  It is simply not the nature of science to do so.

                          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                          by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:36:32 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Maybe "morality" is a product of evolution (0+ / 0-)

                            It looks as though children have a hardwired ability to detect the difference between "fair" and "unfair". In fact, chimps may have similar abilities.

                          •  maybe belief in God is a product of evolution. (0+ / 0-)

                            maybe xenophobia is a product of evolution.

                            Yeah, it's all good.

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:47:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I doubt the "god" gene. (0+ / 0-)

                            Not all religions are focused on "god" or "gods".
                            Xenophobia is a possibility.

                          •  So much for your argument (0+ / 0-)

                            that biology is morality.

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:51:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't even know what that means (0+ / 0-)

                            But law based on fairy tales is unlikely to work well.

                            Hence, the problem with the biosphere shedding it off.

                          •  It's pretty much all we've got. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW

                            Problem is that you have nothing to replace it with, and no apparent desire to improve it.

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:05:41 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think the best way to improve it is to learn (0+ / 0-)

                            more about the brain.

                          •  Now I'm sure you're thinking of something witty (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW

                            to offer as a response, so I'll save you the trouble.

                            All you've said is that maybe -- maybe -- kids have "fair/unfair" hardwired into them.  And so do chimps, an uncommonly violent species, so you should start rethinking your "morality" claim right now.

                            But wait, there's more.  Then you admit that xenophobia might be too.  Is that "moral"?

                            You don't know what morality is, except that it's unscientific.  Indeed it is.  It cannot be otherwise, because biology fails us in the world we live in now.  For morality is a way of coming up with a way to cope satisfactorily with the world.  Our world just happens to be a bit more complex than the one we were evolved to live in . . . haven't you noticed?  So maybe xenophobia just isn't as "moral" now as it was in, say, 8000 BC.  Good luck finding a recent universal genetic mutation to correspond.

                            And besides, given the overwhelming number of societies in which males dominate females, you're going to have to either write that off as a near-universal aberration -- or as the natural product of biological destiny and/or environmental adaptation.   And therefore "moral."  Do you as a feminist really want to go there?

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:04:30 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There might be specific neural adaptations (0+ / 0-)

                            involved in "moral" reasoning. In fact, it's pretty likely that there are. It would probably be a good idea to know something about them. As you say, they might not be adaptive today - just in the environments in which they originally evolved. Or, conversely, some of them might be a better guide than the "morality" we have developed under capitalism, in the last few centuries.

                            The evidence that concepts of "fairness" are hardwired should be encouraging -- because we live in a culture that care nothing for "fairness", only for wealth and power. But we didn't come from such a world, evolutionarily.

                          •  "Do you as a feminist really want to go there?" (0+ / 0-)

                            - Corvo

                            Apparently, she does.

                            To quote Princess Bride:

                            "morality"

                            You keep using that word. I think you think it means what it doesn't mean. - Inigo Montoya.

                            "Inconceivable!!!!"

                          •  Or maybe its a simple human construct (0+ / 0-)

                            for humans to place control over other humans, fordbidding their own free will.

                            Never the mind that the temr "morality" is completely subjective ayways, and that if that issue is to be discussed, definitions are needed and a setting on whose morals are supposedly the right ones.

                    •  So what you're saying is that the real solution to (0+ / 0-)

                      rape is to figure out a way to make her want it.

                      Sure, you might have to drug her or otherwise manipulate her to do it, but she didn't have agency in the first place, so it's not like you can rob her of it, right?

                      Believe nothing. Question everything.

                      by Selphinea on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:40:05 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The real solution to rape is to prosecute rapists (0+ / 0-)

                        until guys start to get the message.

                        •  Actually, I'd call that a stopgap. (0+ / 0-)

                          Until guys actually believe women to be their equals.

                          Until all of us stop valuing human beings accord to the amount of power a given human can wield. Until the inequality between humans is leveled out to something workable. Until people find a way to validate themselves without harming other's psyches and bodies.

                          The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

                          by bubbajim on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 03:20:26 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

              •  You are correct (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW

                Often the pro-choice argument is framed as respecting the moral agency of women.

                The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

                by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 06:58:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Agency" is diminished by inequality of power (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bubbajim, joegoldstein

                  That should not be a difficult concept on a purportedly "progressive" website.

                  The concept of "agency" needs to be continually reexamined as brain science advances. It's pretty obviously a left over from dualism and Christian beliefs about the soul and free will.

                  •  Possibly so (0+ / 0-)

                    You read "the Dialectic of Sex" by Shulamith Firestone?

                    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

                    by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:44:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Pins...angels...inevitable BS. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    You stipulate the woman's right to choose. I thought that was 'settled law'.

    •  There is a way to reconcile the positions. (4+ / 0-)

      Women have the unlimited right to be whatever they want, including prostitutes.  Men, however, have no right to engage the services of female prostitutes.

      How's that?

      Only problem is that I find it kind of absurd.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:00:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course you do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bubbajim

        But that is an incomplete description of the harm reduction approach. You want to (de-facto) decriminalize the sex-workers (including male sex workers). But I'm not saying that some particular change in the law is the best way to reduce harm; I'm talking mainly about changes in enforcement, changes in the police. And what was missing in your suggestion was the need for viable economic alternatives for the sex workers. That would come from a combination of and improved social safety net, education, and economic development.

        And finally, crack down on rape culture. This is where the boys get unhappy. But tough apples.

        •  These are mutually exclusive points, except (0+ / 0-)

          to people who thing concept for money is "rape", which is right in line of Tood Akins, as said, the real answer of what is rape is ... "rape is rape". There is no disputing this, and yet you continue to do so.

  •  although prostitution exploits women, (10+ / 0-)

    attempts to ban prostitution or criminalize it infringe upon a woman's right to make her own choices.  The one moral imperative here is to improve the economic environment through greatly enhanced entitlement programs, education availability and employment opportunities, so that a woman does not feel that the choice of prostitution is her only opportunity for financial advancement. Let there be a day where only individuals who truly enjoy the profession adapt it as their lifestyle and all will be well with the world.

    •  ^^^ this, exactly, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      with of course appropriate punishment for slave traders and the like (but I'm sure you meant this too).

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:03:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If those who use prostitutes are rapists (0+ / 0-)

      then they are the criminals, not the prostitutes.

      •  Don't assume that which is to be demonstrated n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:54:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's the Approach Sweden is Using (0+ / 0-)

        They decriminalized prostitution as a crime by the prostitute, but not solicitation of prostitution.  So they arrest the johns but not the prostitutes, when they're caught.  I'm considerably skeptical but people who are advocates for women and children are excited about it.  

        BTW, for a while, maybe still, the St. Paul (MN) police was daily posting mug shots of prostitutes and johns arrested on their website.  Most are arrested in an apparently marginal section of the city called Frogtown.  None of them look like very happy people, but the prostitutes less so than the johns.

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

        by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 06:51:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then it techinallcy is still a crime. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kangaroo

          I don't get why people "cheer" this... excpet for that ist is just one step in the direction they want ot go, against prostitution... I don't see how the anti-prostittuion people try to use this as a reason for those on the other side of the arguement to celebrate... people are still going to jail over a consentual act... if its not consetual, then its rape or trafficin, and there's laws on the books for theose countries for those situations, but sorty, this doesn't sway me at all, I don't want to see anyone going to jail, and secondly, it still hurts the choice of the prostitutes, be they man or woman, for offering there services if there customers don't want to be busted.

          This is directly analogous to this being done in the war on drugs, except worst, if you ask me, it would be like allowing pot dealers, or hell even meth dealers, to sell there wares, but bust the buyers... its complete inconstistancy to make the anti-traffic vigilantes feel like they accomplished something, when if you think about it logicgally, its rather insane.

      •  Doesn't it get old, saying the same talking point (0+ / 0-)

        over and over and expecting different results?

        Sigh.

  •  The logic of the men here who believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cordgrass

    that prostitutes just love their patronage is exactly the same as that of slave owners of the past who maintained that their slaves liked being slaves. They are happy! Listen to them singing!

    Or of the Walmart family toward their part-time workers.

    •  So why not (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, MHB, gramofsam1, JesseCW

      reply to one of those comments directly? I only noticed one.

      The more frequent comment I've seen is that some people may choose sex work over other ways of making money without being personally coerced into the decision. Most people take jobs they don't like because they have to keep themselves indoors and fed. That's not unique to prostitution.
      You believe it's rape if someone chooses sex work instead of flipping burgers? The implication of that argument is that there's something inherently damaging or evil about sex.

      •  It's rape when a man rapes a woman who is paid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cordgrass

        to be raped because she can't make as much money flipping burgers.

        •  But when someone is coerced (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          into a job they don't like flipping burgers there's nothing wrong with that, in your view?

          •  Yes, there is something wrong with that, in my (0+ / 0-)

            view.

            •  Ok, so all wage work is exploitative slavery, (6+ / 0-)

              smash capitalism, etc.
              At least that avoids the logical inconsistency of you suggesting there's something more evil or damaging about the act of sex as opposed to other ways people exchange their time and services for money. Capitalism forces people into all sorts of jobs that harm themselves and others, but I'm still not comfortable with your implication that sex must necessarily be a harmful act to a woman if she decides sex work is preferable to other jobs.

              Much consensual sex includes a power dynamic. Lysistrata is about women using the power dynamic of sex to get peace. I lean toward the view that banning prostitution denies women the option of choosing to use the power dynamic of sex to get money if they find that beneficial to themselves.

            •  But our response is not to outlaw flipping burgers (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MrFlibble

              but to advocate for living wages and worker protections.  We can better compensate "shit workers," such as sanitation workers, those who empty hospital bedpans, etc., we can try to give them more dignity and respect--but we can't eliminate them. Further, the jobs will go to the less educated or otherwise marginalized.  Our answer is not and cannot be to eliminate those jobs.

              So, what is different about sex work? According to you, it is inherently degrading--in fact, you think it MUST be rape.  But just as flipping burgers, contra Marx, is not slavery if we pay well, give adequate days off, vacation, healthcare and other benefits, worker protections, etc., I can't think of an argument that sex work is inherently degrading that doesn't beg the question.  One may still be convinced on religious or a particular kind of feminist/Marxist grounds that it is, but a free society, pluralistic, can't dictate the "ground-of-meaning" basic tenets FROM WHICH citizens make moral judgments.

              Thus, we tend to legalize things over which there is moral dispute.

              Legalized sex work will always be controversial, no matter how regulated and how many protections given to the worker.  But so will legalized abortion, legalized cannabis, civil marriage for same sex couples,  etc. The solution in each case, for a democratic society, has to be to legalize and regulate while allowing those who object to simply boycott.

              This discussion has helped me work through the case for legalization (in favor), but I remain uncertain about whether or not sex work is inherently immoral. I may always be uncertain.

              "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. http://www.kynect.ky.gov/ for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

              by SouthernLeveller on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 05:20:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  circular definition. pitiful. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, JesseCW

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:04:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You are saying -- why can't we men commodify women (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cordgrass

        just as we do everything else?

    •  I think everyone here agrees (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, SouthernLeveller

      that most prostitutes -- especially in societies that force prostitution underground and thus actively facilitate climates in which prostitutes have no access to social support or legal protection against victimization by their customers and their "protectors" -- would much rather be doing something else.  To put it mildly.

      But have fun with your straw men.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:35:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, but I am hurt by this characterization (4+ / 0-)

      as a man who genuinely tries to be on the right side for feminism and women's rights.  

      Are we really so horrible for thinking there are instances when prostitution is not pure exploitation of the prostitute? Are we really so horrible for asking if there are ways to make it not so exploitative? Does that make us disturbingly detached?

      When it comes to a woman's right to have an abortion, I think it comes down to their consent.

      When it comes to sexual assault and what constitutes rape, again, I think it comes down to consent.

      When it comes to sex in general and marriage in general, it should come down to whether or not all parties involved have given their full consent.

      But on prostitution, consent is no longer the relevant standard? Now, power inequality is? Forgive me for finding it hard to wrap my head around but I'm certainly trying to, and not trying to be willfully condescending, self-serving, or anything like that.

      I think most of us here are arguing based on a similar stance. We're not consciously trying to maintain some patriarchal slavery on just this one issue. Are you satisfied with thinking this about us?

      •  Feminist have been talking about power inequality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cordgrass

        since the early 1970s. If you haven't heard of it by now... I can only conclude you weren't paying attention.

        Fancy that.

        •  Some of us have noticed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          that not all feminists agree with the Dworkinist diagnosis and prescription.

          Fancy that.

          Time for a true Scotsman?

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:55:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You and Rush (0+ / 0-)

            Protecting women against the feminazis.

            •  Wow, real nice shot... how long did that take you? (0+ / 0-)

              You seriously don't know or realize that like any other political party or politcal ideology, femism knows no single one view, and there are many having a civil war or sorts, an intra-ideology fight, as with the left is as we see on this site on a daily basis, and the right, which is theonly thing the media will report, there is a real fight between the sex positives and sex negatisves, not just in femism, but on the left as whole, and lot of what pushes the sex negative's viewpoints are their upbringing, espcially catholics, and this whole matter of "morality" that you keep trying to act you know anything about when you use that over and over.

              Pretty much is this... if you can't create a secular arguement on this subject in your favor, then don't bother trying, I don't play this "morality" game.

              I believe in science and established facts, not religion, spirituality, morality or "values".

        •  You keep talking about how policy (0+ / 0-)

          should reflect actual statistics.

          So how realistic is it to expect to live in a world where prostitutes don't exist, where women being forced to have sex for money isn't a problem?

          If we currently live in a world where prostitutes exist, and they are being exploited and victimized and forced to experience all sorts of hardships, isn't it realistic to try to minimize the pain and suffering prostitutes face, however we can go about it?

          Or does that just make us just as guilty as the clients themselves?

    •  I don't know that I have seen anyone propound (0+ / 0-)

      such, barring one commenter who openly stated he felt the woman in question possibly had mental health issues.

      The vast majority of comments are speaking about sex-work as simply one job among many, one potential way to trade the use of one's body for monetary compensation.  Most people probably don't enjoy their jobs, much less 'love' them.  

      As was mentioned upthread, in such terms, 99% of Americans are economic slaves to the plutocrats.  I can't think of a single person who ever got up and said 'I want to spend my life in a Walmart, stocking shelves until my body is destroyed and I'm forced to retire on disability and food stamps!'

      Certainly, a socialist utopia, in which no one ever had to do anything they didn't enjoy would be preferable to our capitalist system, but we're not there yet.

  •  Time to sign off, folks, so (6+ / 0-)

    let's examine the fundamental problem with the Dworkinian attitude toward, well, sex:

    Sex between men and women entails an inherently unequal power relationship, since men almost always have more money and more power.  We can ignore the statistically insignificant number of cases in which this seems not to be the case; after all, we ignore the statistically insignificant number of cases of female prostitution in which the women think they're in control.

    Sex in an unequal power relationship is rape.  

    Therefore men are rapists.  

    Except maybe the gays, but we don't bother looking at the data on them, so who cares about them.

    That's pretty much what I gather from tonight's discussion and (although she would hotly deny it) from my reading of Andrea Dworkin.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:02:25 PM PST

    •  oh, and I forgot: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, JesseCW, MrAnon

      And we [the Dworkin folks] decide what's statistically insignificant because, well, we base all of our thought on science.  We may or may not have, however, actually gathered statistics.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:06:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I admire Andrea Dworkin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cordgrass

      The woman who gave us the recognition of rape in marriage is still generating profound hate among men, even after her death.

      I can't imagine why :-)

      •  So I got her argument right after all! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, MrAnon, Be Skeptical

        You could hardly have paid me a higher compliment.

        Except it isn't hate, I'm afraid -- entertainment is much more like it.

        Oh, and do learn some history.  Although the realization that rape can occur within marriage is of distressingly recent vintage (i.e., it should've been recognized universally aeons ago), several countries had criminalized it long before Dworkin's first published writings.  

        The first American state to abolish the marital rape exception was Nebraska, in 1976.  I doubt the Nebraska State Legislature was much moved by Andrea Dworkin.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:32:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dworkin was amazing but hardly admirable (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        penguins4peace, MHB

        She was a brilliant theorist.  I have her "Right-Wing Women" book right here on my desk.  But as a policy advocate, not so much.  Her alliance with the protofascist lawyer Katherine MacKinnon to seek to outlaw pornography as a civili rights violation was an inherently evil act on her part especially her political alliance with religious right figures in doing the same.  

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

        by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 06:40:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  DK is still deeply invested in rape culture (0+ / 0-)

          It's not ready for a discussion about objectification and pornography.

          This place is likely to become sexism central against Hillary (again) over the next few years -- unless its demographics change considerably. It arrived at its current demographics by ejecting women during the Pie Fight Ad and then later forcing Hillary people to leave en mass.

          •  The fact that you support Hillary for no reason (0+ / 0-)

            other than her sex, and do not care at all what policies she proposes or what harm she seeks to do to the poor and working people of this county does not mean that those who oppose your effort to drive the Democratic Party as far right as possible care about her genitals.

            "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

            by JesseCW on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:25:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That was McCain's reasoning when he picked Palin (0+ / 0-)

              But you premise is wrong. Hillary is well to the left of both Obama and Bill. Obama won in 2008 by running far to his own left, for the sake of the gullible. Hillary ran to her own right, out of fear she would not carry enough of the male vote otherwise.

              •  i don't know. (0+ / 0-)

                Of HRC, Bill, and Bamz, I'd have to say that sequence there is the correct right-to-left ranking.  That's based on where they came from.  Of course, I'm more moderate on economics so HRC's positions are fine with me.  

                The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

                by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:38:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Basing it on "where they came from" (0+ / 0-)

                  is fine if it includes things like reading Hillary's writings.

                  But if is just based on the fact that her parents were Republicans, that's about as useful as basing your judgment of Obama on his banker grandmother.

                  •  look at the time period (0+ / 0-)

                    when she wrote that.   Bill and HRC are about six years older than me.  I think they're good people.  But at the time they were college students they were in the midst of a narcissistic campus atmosphere.  As you might be able to tell, I'm not a fan of the campus radicals of the day (though I loved Molly Ivins' response to someone who said Bill and Al Gore were "the best of their generation:"  "No, they weren't;  they were the guys from student government.").  I absolutely despised Marge Piercey's "Vida" despite her many talents and the greatness of the rest of her writings, because it was about a narcissistic campus radical who happened to be female and feminist.  I'm not a great fan of the Baby Boom Generation a whole despite being part of it.  I'd just as soon we skip having another Boomer President.  I think HRC wrote some great things, but never committed to them over the years.  Why did they, like Obama, make Healthcare reform a corporatist venture?  Why did she not run to Obama's left in 2008?  Why did she during a speech at Syracuse University spark a near riot by stating opposition to same sex marriage?  So I'm not quite so impressed with her youthful writings though I loved those striped pants she had on in a picture that was in the news.  i had a pair like that.  

                    Don't get me wrong, I love her death, but she ain't no great left hope. Just her being elected wil change a lot but her policies, not so much.    

                    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

                    by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:55:18 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Much of the Obama campaign against Hillary (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bubbajim

                      was based on generational hostility against boomers. The whole "don't tell Mama" thing. I do want to see a woman boomer president from the left.

                      I was probably part of that so-called "narcissistic campus radicalism".

                      As to why she didn't run left -- McCain was already sneering at her as "General Hillary". The biggest hurdle for her to overcome (prior to the economic meltdown in Oct 2008) was male fear she would be "too soft" to be a CinC.  

                      After the economic meltdown, she would have won of course, had she been the candidate. But no one knew that during the primaries.

                      •  Hillary was the only one I heard arguing for (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        atana, Jeremimi

                        support for those trapped in bad mortgages BEFORE the collapse. Imagine if her peers had listened.

                        I didn't agree with her vote on Iraq, but she didn't want to die on that hill. I think it would have been a good one to die on, but I can respect her decision not to.

                        The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

                        by bubbajim on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 03:39:34 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  That's exactly right. It would have been political (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Jeremimi

                          suicide for either senator from New York to vote against the AUMF. Of course, Hillary's haters wish she had committed political suicide at that time, and want to penalize her for not doing it.

                          Obama wasn't in the Senate at that time, but he voted for continuing the AUMF once he was in the Senate.

                      •  I'm not familiar (0+ / 0-)

                        with this "don't tell mama" thing.  Your points about HRc are reasonable but the Boomers' time has passed, in no small part because that generation gave us bth campus unrest and Ronald Reagan.

                        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

                        by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 08:31:23 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  pftt.... HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (0+ / 0-)
                Hillary is well to the left of both Obama and Bill.
                She was not only right-wingy during 20087, she had been that far much longer.

                Noone can say that with a straight face.

                Apprarently you never lived in NY, where her carpetbagging left alot of devastation in her wake.

                Ironically, her replacement, Sen Gillibrand was orinally a Blue Dog in the House, but has been kicking butt in many progressive ways as a sentor. You want to talk about "patriarchial" ... Gillibrand has been putting up a good fight against the patriacrcial Sen. MacCaskill... and MacCaskill sounds like the type of woman Democrat you'd support.

          •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

            Are you talking about 2008?  What is the "pie fight ad"?

            The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

            by Kangaroo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:34:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  This married man (0+ / 0-)

        recognizes the reality of marital rape. I worked to get it classified as a crime in my state, though enforcement is really tricky.

        Where I find Dworkin not only wrong, but REALLY offensive, is her view that nearly ALL marital sex is rape. For Dworkin, it is not enough that "no, means no." It is not enough that a man ALWAYS respects that "no." For Dworkin, any attempt at persuasion (talking into "yes," just as we attempt to persuade on any number of other subjects) is still rape unless there is absolutely zero power inequality in the relationship (something which approaches zero in reality). Thus, for her,  almost all marriages are legal serial rapes.  

        I resent the idea that, unless my wife initiates, I'm raping her. I resent the idea that she can persuade me, but if I don't immediately go do something else, I'm not believing that "no,  means no" and am thus, once more, a rapist.

        And, in most intimate relationships, power inequality changes CONSTANTLY.  For instance, my wife makes more money than I do and has a more prestigious job title, but I have one more educational degree than her.  Who has more power? And doesn't the partner with the lower libido have more power?

        Dworkin is too two-dimensional for me.  I consider myself a male feminist, but not her kind.

        "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. http://www.kynect.ky.gov/ for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

        by SouthernLeveller on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 05:37:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Do YOU mind having your daughter work as a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bubbajim, denise b

    prostitute? If you can truthfully say that you don't mind your daughter, wife, mother, or sister working as a prostitute, and that it is just a day job like any other. If you (and society) has progressed to such a stage that sex work is normalized like any other work, then I say- go right ahead and patronize prostitutes.

    Until then you would be a hypocrite to patronize a prostitute, while despising her and her occupation. Granted we are all hypocrites to one degree or another. So go ahead and do what you gotta do. Just keep that guilt in mind. Just like when you eat meat- keep that guilt in mind. You gotta do what you gotta do. Just don't have any illusions about what you are doing.

    •  Didn't someone like you post the same sentiment in (0+ / 0-)

      the Ted Rall diary?

      And this is an inherinatly sexist and homophobic strawman you are setting up, nowheres are you also asking "Do YOU mind having your son, father, brother work as a prostitute?"

      And my answer would be simply... and what does their choices in life have to do with how I feel about them or this topic?

      How many of us have right-wingers as realitives... sure we argue and fight over topics, but in the end we still love each other, I'm sure seeing as this diary was written on Thanksgiving Day, we  all might have just had those expiriences... but I couldn't look at a relative negatively about this without throwing the first stone, anyways.

  •  Morals are tribal customs, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1

    every one seems to be taking a very personal and narrow take on the question asked by the diarist. Ethically I see no problem with a fair rate transaction between equals for services. Such a transaction does not have any appeal however. My own peculiar sexual kink requires affection and respect. Sounds boring, I know, but I have never found it to be so.

    “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.” ― Philip K. Dick

    by Wood Gas on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:02:25 AM PST

  •  What the argument for making a distinction (6+ / 0-)

    between 'penetrative' and 'non-penetrative' sex in terms of morality?

    And for that matter, apart from semantics, and the difference between paying directly in cash versus paying in 'trade items' (jewelry, entertainment, food, clothing, shelter, etc) what's the difference between paying a sex worker and simply 'hooking up' at bars, night clubs, for one night stands?

    By your hypothetical, we're talking about women (or men) who are free to choose whether or not to accept any given client, which basically means they could simply sit in those same bars, and tell people who hit on them, 'Skip buying me drinks, skip buying me dinner, and just give me the cash and we'll go straight to the main event.'

    One way or another, we all sell our time and bodies in exchange for the necessities of life.

  •  And congratulations, btw. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, penguins4peace, JesseCW, MrAnon, liberte

    You found a topic guaranteed to draw in our resident 'Men suck!' commenter, and allow her to go around the threads accusing everyone of all sorts of horrible behaviour and beliefs.

  •  whether its inherently immoral is up to the person (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace

    There is no "inherently moral." Inherently moral is a subjective judgement based upon the viewer's own personal morals.
    Nothing is officially moral or not any more, it all about whether its legal or not.
    My personal take is that prostitution should be  legal and regulated. I never was all that officially moral a person.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 04:27:58 AM PST

    •  And "legal" means "lucrative" (0+ / 0-)

      to the right people.

      This the end stage of patriarchal capitalism. It looks like it is going to be a terminal illness for the human race. That pretty much depends on how much methane is released from the arctic as it warm up.

      •  Legal means legal. (0+ / 0-)

        Why do you have such trouble understanding the english language, was it not your fisrt language, if not, then at least that would explain some things.

        And a vote for Hillary isa vote for capitlaism, you keep trying to tell yourself differently.

  •  Is sex always (0+ / 0-)

    a deeply 'intimate" thing, or is it more often conducted without intimacy? If it is something that ought not to commoditized, how do we explain that its commoditization is constant and omnipresent in our society?

    Is penetration of the body by another somehow a threat to the integrity of personality or identity of the penetrated? Does it threaten us with "ego loss"? Or is this a relic of the gnostic temperament?

    Is sex a "beautiful, magical" thing of high seriousness, or is it most often ludicrous? Do we set ourselves up for conflict or disappointment by investing too much value in sex?

    Is sex democratic or is one of the most stressful sources of inequality in modern life the absence of equality in access to sex?

  •  The only thing IMMORAL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB

    regarding the subject matter of this diary is NOT TIPPING!

    The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

    by micsimov on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 08:37:45 AM PST

  •  Does morality matter? (0+ / 0-)

    Probably for some it does and for some it doesn't. It seems to me that before you could answer this question, you'd want to at least ponder the question of what follows from something being considered moral vs immoral.

    For me, something being immoral shouldn't have any legal consequences: things shouldn't be legal or illegal because they are moral or immoral.

    For some, what follows from the answer to this question would be more personal: they might lose respect for someone who engaged in immoral activities, for example, or fire them from their job or out them on the Internet. Figuring out what would follow from the answer is important.

    Furthermore, there are many other, less loaded scales one could apply: Is sex with prostitutes optimal? Dangerous? Expensive? Unsatisfying? Does it spread disease? Harm the prostitute? Increase organized crime?

    To me, those are the kinds of questions one should start with, as one decides whether or not to engage in this kind of activity (or many other activities, for that matter).

    The question of morality is more of an emotional reaction rather than a considered opinion.

  •  I'm divided (0+ / 0-)

    I have certain religious perspectives on sexuality that preclude prostitution, but I don't presume to impose them on others.  There is an argument that sex is supposed to involve an "appropriate mutual vulnerability" and that this is violated by the mind/body detachment necessary for transactional sex (or even much casual sex), but I know of no way to prove this.

    Legally, just as I'm for the legalization of pot (though I've never partaken, do not like smoking ANYTHING, and have no plans to change), I'd like to be for the legalization of prostitution with more protections for sex workers, the ability to unionize, etc.  On the other hand, in teaching social ethics, I've often used the illegality of prostitution to demonstrate that every society removes SOMETHING from the marketplace, that market distribution shouldn't cover everything.  

    So, I don't know where I come out on this.  It deserves more public debate.

    "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. http://www.kynect.ky.gov/ for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

    by SouthernLeveller on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 04:47:55 PM PST

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