Prostitution: Should it be Legalized in the United States? (Part 1)

Last week, while lunching with three other attorneys and the best assistant anyone could hope to have working with them, the topic of "victimless crimes" came up … particularly, prostitution.  We tossed around the idea of legalization and some of the pros and cons to that.  We talked about the double-standards that seem to be in place and how we, as criminal defense attorneys, see the women who often get repeatedly arrested for offering oral sex for $10 and more for $20.  We pondered the points of how this could be "fixed" if that is possible at all.

For purposes of this article (and any others I write on this topic), I am going to use the feminine gender when referring to prostitutes, though, I will be the first to admit that there are male prostitutes, and that this is by no means a phenomenon unique to the heterosexual world, as there are also gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered prostitutes, too.  Likewise, this article is not intended to be a put-down of women or of prostitution in general, in fact, I am here to advocate that prostitution be legalized and regulated, much like it is in Germany, other European countries, or even here in the United States, in Nevada.

When a woman is taken to an upscale Manhattan apartment, or even called and invited to one of the hi-rise downtown Austin condos, she is considered "an escort" and this largely goes un-prosecuted.  However, when a woman gives some guy oral sex in an alley, or they decide to park a car and engage in other sexual acts, or even if they rent a room at a cheap local motel and go "trick" there, that woman is a prostitute, a whore, a slut by the double-standards that are propigated by our society.  Why is that? What’s the difference? Is this right? What can be done about it?

The simple answer regarding the difference is money… like so many other points, it all comes back to the dollar.  I believe there are two groups:  those who can afford to hire escorts + those women beautiful enough to work through an agency vs. men who cannot afford the high-end, expensive escort + the woman who is struggling to survive and trying to make anything she can.  

Most escort agencies attempt to claim that they are dispatching models to provide a social or conversational service, since prostitution laws often forbid taking payment for sex or for the purpose of arranging a contract for sexual services.  Law enforcement generally knows about these escort agencies but neither they nor the political powers typically act against them, instead, the focus is more towards the visible, street prostitution.This clearly sounds like a double-standard, or as hipocrisy.  And these are differences that I want to discuss, but am recognizing as I write this entry that this topic alone could branch into multiple posts, as it is too much information for any one entry.

In writing this article and after the lunchtime conversation, I began doing a little research and found some very interesting articles.  The best I found is from a former escort, Amber, and she runs a blog on the topic.  I have not read all her posts as they seem to be very detailed and quite lengthy, but it is definitely on my must read list, as I think it will provide much insight into this line of blog entries I plan to complete over the coming weeks.  Until then, I would really appreciate any feedback that could be provided by anyone reading this posting.  I very much want to know your opinions, regardless of perspective, on the topics of prostitution, and whether or not it should be legal in the United States.

more to come….