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SergeantQueen's avatar

[NSFW] Should we decriminalize sex work?

Asked by SergeantQueen (7883points) 1 week ago

I want to say yes because women should be able to do what they want with their bodies but then I’d also say no because that might make it harder to do something when people are being forced against their will to do it (human trafficking) BUT another counter would be, should we make it illegal, we may be possibly punishing those who are forced, which is isn’t right either.

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35 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, absolutely. Get it out of the darkness and make it a well regulated, safe (emphasis on SAFE), and disease-free occupation.

Let women (and for that matter) men do something that they are good at.

One side benefit of decriminalization, by the way, is getting pimps and other predators out of the picture.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@elbanditoroso How does that get rid of pimps though? This is the thing that confuses me. If it is legalized, wouldn’t that make people more likely to force others?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m also torn, but leaning towards de-criminalize.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s one of those things that would require a ton of planning, thinking through everything and having an answer, not allowing for loopholes or anything

hmmmmmm's avatar

Absolutely!

@SergeantQueen: “but then I’d also say no because that might make it harder to do something when people are being forced against their will to do it (human trafficking)”

There is no evidence that driving it underground reduces trafficking. In fact, FOSTA/SESTA ended up making sex workers less safe, reducing their independence, bringing back the abusive pimp, and reducing our ability to identify and combat human trafficking.

johnpowell's avatar

99% of sex work is consensual. I’m making that number up but I am 99% sure it is close.

Again.. We don’t have to wax hypothetical about this shit. It works in other countries so it isn’t like we are sticking our legislation in slippery slopes.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@johnpowell Ok. I wasn’t trying to be super hypothetical I just don’t know if it would affect that or not. I will do a little more research.

Brian1946's avatar

Fuck yeah!

I tried sex work, but I was badly beaten at BDSM; I sucked at fellatio; I fucked up intercourse, and I was the least cunning linguist, so my pimp (Kosmo Kramer) kicked me to the curb. ;-(

If it was legal, then I could work at a Kramer-free cat house. ;-p

SEKA's avatar

I think it was Nevada that made prostitution legal at one point. The girls had to have a business license, they were checked by a doctor for STD’s every few weeks, they didn’t need a pimp because they worked at specific locations, they paid taxes on their services. It was about as safe as they could be.

I lean toward legalizing. With the requirement to be licensed in order to work, that should help cut down on some if not most of the human trafficking

JLeslie's avatar

Either decriminalize it, or make the men buying the sex the ones who are doing something illegal. That’s how it is in other countries, the John’s get arrested, the girls go free.

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, because making it legal gets rid of the need for pimps, and it also decreases other health risks.

gorillapaws's avatar

Yes. It will also make human traffickers easier to catch. Rhode Island accidentally legalized prostitution for 6 years and they saw a 31 percent decrease in the number of rapes as well as a 39 percent decrease in the number of cases of female gonorrhea (source).

ragingloli's avatar

Yes.
With the condition that unemployment agencies can not force you to work in that milieu, or punish you if you refuse

Darth_Algar's avatar

@SergeantQueen “How does that get rid of pimps though? This is the thing that confuses me. If it is legalized, wouldn’t that make people more likely to force others?”

Look at Nevada. They have legal brothels. It’s a heavily regulated industry there, but it’s safe and above ground.

ucme's avatar

Yes, but Rudy Giuliani pays extra to hump his mom!

jca2's avatar

There would still be pimps, though. There are pimps in Nevada on the legal prostitute ranches. Look at Denis Hoff, who was the owner of the famous ranch on the TV reality show, and who ran for office in Nevada and recently died.

The prostitutes would pay income taxes, too.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes, every business has its pimp.

LostInParadise's avatar

Yes. If done properly, it reduces health risks for both workers and patrons.

zenvelo's avatar

@jca2 They wouldn’t be pimps, they would become managers. But pimps operate under a threat of violence and through supplying drugs. That would no longer occur if sex work was legal.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It would get rid of pimps because the workers would now have the law on their side. They could call the police on them.
Can’t do that where it’s illegal because they’ll BOTH get arrested.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar You can say that again, so right.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL

Yep. And we all sell ourselves. It’s only the particular service we offer in the exchange that differs.

jca2's avatar

@zenvelo and @Dutchess_III: When you read about the legalized sex trade in Nevada, you will see that there are still pimps and there is still illegal sex trade taking place (more illegal sex trade than legal sex trade), in Nevada. So no, pimps would not be gotten rid of.

gorillapaws's avatar

@jca2 I don’t think the argument is that there would be 0 pimps. It’s that there would be many fewer pimps.

People still produce illegal moonshine today. Do you think the volume of illegal moonshine is higher or lower than it was during prohibition? Do you think the number of illegal moonshine distributors are greater or smaller than during prohibition? Do you think someone interested in learning about distilling spirits and getting into that industry is more or less likely to do it through legal channels than before? Are people generally safer because of the regulations and standards as a result?

jca2's avatar

@gorillapaws: @zenvelo wrote “there wouldn’t be pimps” ”......that would no longer occur if sex work was legal.” and @Dutchess_III wrote “it would get rid of pimps.”

hmmmmmm's avatar

FOSTA-SESTA just happened, and there is a reason sex workers fought so hard against it. There are plenty of resources on how it’s hurting sex workers and making them more vulnerable.

The more we drive sex work underground, the more room there is for exploitation and abuse. Sex workers are workers, and need to be able to organize to keep themselves safe. Killing online communities designed by and for sex workers to keep themselves safe has had the expected consequences.

It’s not a theoretical “I wonder what would happen” exercise. The more illegal it is, the worse it is for everyone.

zenvelo's avatar

@jca2 But prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas or in Reno, the two large cities that also have the big casinos and lots of partying tourists. Pimps aren’t a problem in the rest of the state.

jca2's avatar

@zenvelo: Brothel owners are pimps. I gave the example above of Dennis Hoff.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, when I think of “pimp,” I think of some seedy druggy guy standing on a street corner monitoring “his girls,” fully prepared to use extreme force at some real or imagined offense. THAT kind of pimp would be gone. We might give him another name.

BTW, came across these stats. Girls who worked “outdoors” vs indoor girls.

…............Out….........In
Robbed 37% 10%
Beaten 27% 1%
Slapped, punched, kicked 47% 14%
Raped 22% 2%
Kidnapped 20% 2%

jca2's avatar

There would definitely be more security indoors than outdoors.

Cupcake's avatar

I absolutely do not believe 99% of sex work is consentual.

Decriminalization is a no-brainer. The johns should be arrested, not the sex workers (if it is illegal).

To decide whether to make sex work a legitimate, legal form of work, we should be paying close attention to who would be keeping the money. Also, since almost all sex workers have experienced trauma (usually sexual or physical violence) early in life, they should receive access to mental health care, as well as sexual health care, frequent STI tests and contraception.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree with cupcake 100%.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Prostitution is going to happen whether it’s legal or not. Legalization is the path to less harm.

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