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Calls for paying for sex to be outlawed Watch

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    (Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
    You make most of your money by paying for sex? I think not. I suggest a reread.
    You expect me to read through all that?
    I think not.
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    (Original post by RhaegoTarg)
    You expect me to read through all that?
    I think not.
    Get in the habit of reading right the way through what someone's said before replying to it, and you won't say silly, irrelevant, misinformed or inane things nearly so often; that said, I can't force you and this is only advice.
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    (Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
    It doesn't make me dishonest or disingenuous to like the prospect of a new law for different reasons than those for which it is actually being enacted.
    It does make you dishonest if the basis of your argument is false. You claimed that this law meant the buyer could no longer threaten the prostitute by saying he would go to the police. That couldn't have happened anyway because selling sex wasn't illegal in France prior to the enactment of this law.

    Furthermore, it is dishonest in that your argument that this suddenly puts power in the hands of the sex worker to have the client imprisoned as a form of leverage. This is obviously contrary to common sense and to morality; a sex worker is unlikely to be able to deter a rapist by saying she'll go to the police because he's already not deterred by the much longer prison sentence of rape. And in fact she has no leverage anyway because what you are describing is actually blackmail which is a crime and she would go to prison for threatening it.

    It's also obviously immoral and lacking in common sense to claim that you are going to improve the lives of sex workers by allowing them to blackmail clients at will. If anything, that will put their lives in danger. Overall, your argument was bizarre

    It occurs to me that there are also worse ways. I can like the prospect of a new law while simultaneously acknowledging that there are probably more effective ways to accomplish the goals I want to see done - I'm allowed to praise steps in the right direction without denouncing them for not being giant leaps.
    Except that this law is going in the wrong direction. The evidence from Sweden is that this law makes the lives of prostitutes worse by pressing down on demand. The same number of sex workers chasing fewer clients, which they've said pushed down the price they were able to get and also made them feel more compelled to accept condomless sex due to the increasing relative supply of sex workers making clients feel they were in a much better bargaining position.

    So yes, your position is dishonest if you are claiming that your support for the law is based on it improving the lives of prostitutes when it does the opposite
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    (Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
    Get in the habit of reading right the way through what someone's said before replying to it, and you won't say silly, irrelevant, misinformed or inane things nearly so often; that said, I can't force you and this is only advice.
    I wasn't paying attention. I was at work when I posted that comment.
    You're correct though. I misread
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    (Original post by Zarek)
    So, some laws can provide a message and deterrent even if enforcement is not straight forward or common. And yes, you are right, there does appear to be questionable activity behind a lot of pornography, about which society might also take a view.
    Passing a law that is in practice difficult to enforce (i.e. few or no buyers are actually prosecuted) while worsening the lives and working conditions of prostitutes has no logical or moral justification.

    Sex workers in Sweden say that it reduced the number of clients, particularly the sort of clients who tended to be law abiding. That left a more disreputable sort of client. They said it reduced the number of clients while the number of sex workers stayed the same, so the price they could get went down. It gave the clients more leverage and the sex workers said they felt more compelled to accept condomless sex as the clients knew they had more bargaining power than before.

    If the wellbeing of sex workers is the justification for your law, it is illogical if the law itself is injurious to their wellbeing and makes their lives more precarious than before
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    (Original post by Stiff Little Fingers)
    Do we? The thought process behind it (easier to track and regulate if it's not forced underground) sounds reasonable, but if you (quite rightly) want to have evidence based policy, the evidence is needed first.
    Actually, it is for those proposing the law to cite evidence. It is incumbent on those proposing the change, not those defending the status quo, to cite evidence.

    And the evidence from Sweden is that this law worsens the lives of sex workers, makes their lives more precarious. What Swedish sex workers have said is that it reduced the number of clients, particularly the better sort of client (law-abiding ones) and left the nastier ones who aren't afraid of breaking the law.

    And because it reduced the number of clients while leaving the same number of sex workers, they had to accept lower prices for their work. They also said they felt more compelled to accept condomless sex as the clients knew that their relative bargaining power had increased (less clients, same number of sex workers) and thus the johns knew they could simply go elsewhere for it.

    If the law in question will worsen the lives of sex workers, then I don't think it can be justified. This particular law also attracts some rather strange justifications (one TSRian claimed it meant that a prostitute would have more leverage because now she could threaten the client with prison; leaving aside the obvious immorality of that and the common sense that allowing prostitutes to blackmail their clients is unlikely to bring about good outcomes, it's also bizarre in that blackmail is a crime so now the sex worker is committing a crime herself in trying to blackmail the client).

    I think most people intuitively understand the unfair asymmetry of this law, and that it brings about undesirable outcomes. It also means that sex workers do not have any recourse to law; to give an English example, at present sex work contracts are enforceable in the courts. If this law were passed, a sex worker would not be in a position to sue for breach of contract if the client defrauds her. My own view is that we should be empowering sex workers and protecting their rights, not making them one party to an illegal transaction and thus driving their work underground and making their lives more precarious
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    It does make you dishonest if the basis of your argument is false. You claimed that this law meant the buyer could no longer threaten the prostitute by saying he would go to the police. That couldn't have happened because selling sex wasn't illegal in France prior to the enactment of this law.

    Furthermore, it is dishonest in that your argument that this suddenly puts power in the hands of the sex worker to have the client imprisoned as a form of leverage. This is obviously contrary to common sense and to morality; a sex worker is unlikely to be able to deter a rapist by saying she'll go to the police because he's already not deterred by the much longer prison sentence of rape. And in fact she has no leverage anyway because what you are describing is actually blackmail which is a crime and she would go to prison for threatening it.

    It's also obviously immoral and lacking in common sense to claim that you are going to improve the lives of sex workers by allowing them to blackmail clients at will. If anything, that will put their lives in danger. Overall, your argument was bizarre



    Except that this law is going in the wrong direction. The evidence from Sweden is that this law makes the lives of prostitutes worse by pressing down on demand. The same number of sex workers chasing fewer clients, which they've said pushed down the price they were able to get and also made them feel more compelled to accept condomless sex due to the increasing relative supply of sex workers making clients feel they were in a much better bargaining position.

    So yes, your position is dishonest if you are claiming that your support for the law is based on it improving the lives of prostitutes when it does the opposite
    Blargh, I am slain. You are right and I was wrong.

    I think probably my mistake was in comparing the proposed situation (buying illegal, selling legal) to an alternative in which everything, both buying and selling, is illegal - an alternative that, as you point out, does not exist in the countries in question. In that scenario, the buyer has the power of blackmail over the sex worker, which is a bad situation. Making selling sex legal works towards abolishing that situation because it means a prospective rapist would be far more likely to serve a prison term and doesn't have the power of blackmail - but as you've said, that abolition already seems to have been accomplished.
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    (Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
    Blargh, I am slain. You are right and I was wrong.
    I'm almost stunned speechless to see someone say that on an internet forum. Fair play, I'm genuinely impressed mate.

    I think probably my mistake was in comparing the proposed situation (buying illegal, selling legal) to an alternative in which everything, both buying and selling, is illegal - an alternative that, as you point out, does not exist in the countries in question. In that scenario, the buyer has the power of blackmail over the sex worker, which is a bad situation. Making selling sex legal works towards abolishing that situation because it means a prospective rapist would be far more likely to serve a prison term and doesn't have the power of blackmail - but as you've said, that abolition already seems to have been accomplished.
    Absolutely. I think it's better if neither party can blackmail. As I mentioned above, making it illegal to buy sex also takes sex work out of the realm of contract law (as the courts will not enforce an illegal contract as a matter of public policy). Thus if a client defrauds a sex worker, in England where selling sex is legal they can recover that money (and this isn't as strange as you might think; if we're talking about a sex worker who charges high fees then he/she might well be in a position that it is worth it to go to court to recoup the money if the client tries to defraud her, having sex with her then legging it).

    But if the transaction is an illegal one (even if the seller is not punished), the provisions of contract law cannot go into effect to protect the sex worker.

    I know that sex work is not ideal, but there are many who do the work quite willingly. There are middle-aged sex workers who work in the bondage area, for example. As I understand they are often well paid and there's one English dominatrix who got her masters degree and paid for it doing that work, and now she writes on the subject and does academic research. I suspect it's the same on the gay side. I also know there are sex workers who simply prefer doing that work, enduring maybe an hour or two with someone they wouldn't necessarily want to be with, rather than working ten or twenty hours at a checkout.

    And naturally, people trafficking, pimping and underage prostitution should be very harshly punished. But overall, I think that this trade is never going to go away, so the best thing to do is to bring it into the light to give the sex worker (and the clients) the protection of the law. Also, I read some very interesting articles online by disabled people in wheelchairs who said that being able to pay a sex worker was a very important experience for them, the first time they'd been able to enjoy intimacy. It's a complex situation.

    But as I said, I'm pretty impressed by your last response
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    I'm always reticent to support making things like this illegal.

    I suspect that there are multiple knock-on effects, many of which would be undesirable. Given that the vast, vast, vast majority of UK sex workers are doing so of their own free will (to make a better living than they could otherwise or even just to fund a holiday), I fear that making the sex trade illegal would make legitimate sex workers/buyers stop doing what they do and allow the more degenerate criminal element to dominate both the sale and purchase of sex in this country, ultimately making things worse for everyone involved.
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    (Original post by dairychocolate)
    I'm always reticent to support making things like this illegal.

    I suspect that there are multiple knock-on effects, many of which would be undesirable. Given that the vast, vast, vast majority of UK sex workers are doing so of their own free will (to make a better living than they could otherwise or even just to fund a holiday), I fear that making the sex trade illegal would make legitimate sex workers/buyers stop doing what they do and allow the more degenerate criminal element to dominate both the sale and purchase of sex in this country, ultimately making things worse for everyone involved.
    That's exactly what Swedish sex workers said happened after the sex buyer law came in.

    They said that it reduced the number of clients (particularly the law-abiding ones) leaving the nastier element who don't really care what the law is. In reducing the number of clients while the number of sex workers stayed the same, the law of supply and demand meant they had to accept lower prices.

    They also said they felt more compelled to do condomless sex as the clients had more bargaining power than before and they knew if they refused the client would say, "Fine, there's another ten girls who are happy to get the work at the moment"
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    (Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
    X
    Oh and just so you don't think I'm exaggerating about disabled people using prostitutes, here is a really affecting article about a gay guy who had muscular dsytrophy (or something like that.. he was in a wheelchair anyway) about his experience of paying for sex.

    http://www.out.com/lifestyle/2016/2/...red-sex-worker

    I've just attached the kind-of adorable picture from the article below. I can't bring myself to think that should be illegal. Here's also an article from the Indy

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/...o-8461537.html

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    'Criminalise the client' is just "I wouldn't, therefore you mustn't" gesture politics of the worst kind.

    One of the leaders of one of the organisations behind such moves, Rights of Women, is on record as it is "not interested in protecting" women who choose to work in the sex industry and this is typical. It also ignores the substantial number of prostitutes who aren't women.

    It's a sick kind of feminism that can go 'no means no' while not accepting that other people can also say 'yes' and mean 'yes'.
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    Place in England where it is legal and controlled by Police, prostitutes are safer, looked after and given condoms. There is a time cap can't recall where

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    (Original post by Davij038)
    (just to clarify I'm a militant atheist)


    I'm in two minds on this. I'm against it on principle- it dehumanise people into a commodity (I'm also against porn for this reason) and I worry when this trend will stop. I think society is overly sexualised and this trend needs to stop. Watching MTV music videos is essentially soft core pornography these days and it's only getting worse.
    I do certainly see what you're saying, and there are far too many university libertarians on here who write off public policy as an instrument of human flourishing. At least some basic minimum of human dignity in law is hardly a huge amount to ask.

    I'm also in two minds. My liberalism will probably win out, but ultimately it's another one of those things I'd really like to see the back of. I do, however, worry about even the consequences of that - a certain amount of blind-eye-turning to vice tends to have a venting effect for societies.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    And naturally, people trafficking, pimping and underage prostitution should be very harshly punished. But overall, I think that this trade is never going to go away, so the best thing to do is to bring it into the light to give the sex worker (and the clients) the protection of the law.
    Isn't it a touch inconsistent to argue that punishment won't make prostitution go away, yet advocate tough punishments to try to make people trafficking, pimping and underage prostitution go away?

    Yes, perhaps there's always going to be some - but there are certainly societies where the law has been used to effectively stamp out prostitution.

    I'm not saying it's the way to go. I'm not saying from a harm-reduction perspective it would be positive. I am only going as far as to say that I don't buy arguments that we couldn't go a huge way toward eradicating prostitution in this country if we actually had the will to do so.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    I do certainly see what you're saying, and there are far too many university libertarians on here who write off public policy as an instrument of human flourishing. At least some basic minimum of human dignity in law is hardly a huge amount to ask.

    I'm also in two minds. My liberalism will probably win out, but ultimately it's another one of those things I'd really like to see the back of. I do, however, worry about even the consequences of that - a certain amount of blind-eye-turning to vice tends to have a venting effect for societies.
    Completely agree with all your points.

    I think the key here is getting some sort of population control. Overpopulation is the biggest problem, it makes life harder and devalues everyone. We need liberal eugenics now!
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    As I mentioned above, making it illegal to buy sex also takes sex work out of the realm of contract law (as the courts will not enforce an illegal contract as a matter of public policy). Thus if a client defrauds a sex worker, in England where selling sex is legal they can recover that money (and this isn't as strange as you might think; if we're talking about a sex worker who charges high fees then he/she might well be in a position that it is worth it to go to court to recoup the money if the client tries to defraud her, having sex with her then legging it).
    You're right that prostitution is not illegal in England and Wales, but courts will refuse to enforce contracts involving sex, just as until the recent Gambling Act they would not enforce any gambling debts.

    The classic example is when a man sold a car to a woman for so much money plus having sex with her so many times. After the first one or two times, she decided that she didn't want to do it again, and he sued. When the court stopped laughing, they told him to get lost.

    Hence the first words of the sex work bible: Get The Money First.
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    stupid nanny-statist victorian-age law
    it's 2016. newer values to sex are not frigidity or prudishness.
    and liberty should never be restricted to stop offence/dissatisfaction
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    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    Place in England where it is legal and controlled by Police, prostitutes are safer, looked after and given condoms.
    Prostitution is legal. You're thinking about soliciting: offering sex for money on the street or in a similar public place.

    Yes, there are several places where the police pointedly don't enforce the law against soliciting (or kerb-crawling). Somewhere in Leeds is the one that has been in the news recently.
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    (Original post by unprinted)
    You're right that prostitution is not illegal in England and Wales, but courts will refuse to enforce contracts involving sex, just as until the recent Gambling Act they would not enforce any gambling debts.

    The classic example is when a man sold a car to a woman for so much money plus having sex with her so many times. After the first one or two times, she decided that she didn't want to do it again, and he sued. When the court stopped laughing, they told him to get lost.

    Hence the first words of the sex work bible: Get The Money First.
    Courts generally don't enforce any kind of contract not made with legal tender, it's not just about sex as payment. Courts have rules on contracts about sex before - they've found men who refused to pay sex workers after having sex with them guilty of fraud.

    Theoretically a court could convict a sex worker of fraud if she refused to have sex after being paid for it (assuming the client abided by obvious or explicit terms), but the way it's generally framed in the UK that would be a minefield, as most will have stated somewhere (usually online nowadays) that you're partially paying for the room as well, among other legal loopholes.
 
 
 
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