Should "Proper" Reasons For Having Sex Be Legislated For Consenting Adults?
While reading an article on Alternet, 9 Ways to Halt the Right Wing Culture Wars and Bring Sanity to Sexual Policy by David Rosen, I came upon a reactionary comment to the article that focused on prostitution, which wasn't even the main point of the article. This caused me to respond more to the comment than the article itself. Below follows the original comment, plus my response.
The original comment:
Do we really want to make pornography and prostitution more acceptable?
In a world where everyone had a fair share of resources, prostitution would not exist--it is the result of inequality and poverty. I'd much rather see a guaranteed minimum income, not decriminalization.
Sex (especially with someone you know and like) is great. But buying and selling it is sad.
Selling's Legal. Screwing is Legal. Why Isn't Selling Screwing Legal? -- George Carlin
Why do you think it's the government's place to legislate "proper" reasons for having sex? I'm guessing that you think the only "proper" reason to have sex is to express love for one's partner and that throwing laws at people having sex for other reasons is an effective way to handle it.
This is not only staggeringly naive, but it's an improper use of government power, plus a waste of their time and resources.
People have sex for all sorts of reasons -- to procreate, to express love, because they're horny, to relieve stress, and so on. And there's nothing wrong with any of those reasons.
There's also nothing inherently wrong with seeking sex from a paid sex worker, which is done for a variety of reasons as well: those who are unable to find a free partner because of unattractiveness, disability or whatever, those out of town away from their regular partners, those who are horny but don't want to or don't have the time to invest in a more serious relationship and don't care for the bar scene, those who want to try certain sex acts but their regular partner isn't interested, and so on.
Needless to say, sex workers should also have the right to use their bodies however they wish, even for profit.
The only interest the government has in the sex acts of private citizens is to ensure that any sex act that occurs is between fully CONSENTING ADULTS. As long at those conditions are met: consenting and adult, then the government needs to butt out. No consenting adult should have to have a "proper" reason to have sex.
I chose to address one of the two main reasons why people oppose legal prostitution. The most common reason is that opponents believe that all prostitutes are exploited and are forced to be prostitutes. While this is undoubtedly true in many case, it's obviously not true in all cases. Plus they ignore the fact that it's the abuse itself that is the problem, not the selling of sex per se, and that there are already laws a-plenty to address the root causes without prostitution itself having to be illegal to prosecute.
When the existence of high-class call girls and escort services are pointed out them, where it's obvious the choice of occupation was freely made and no exploitation is occurring, most opponents will shift to the second reason for their opposition, which is the reason I address here, that I believe is the core, though often unconscious, reason for their opposition.
That is, many opponents believe that there are strictly defined "proper" reasons for engaging in sex and those having sex for what they deem "improper" reasons, should be legally prohibited from doing so, even if those involved are fully consenting adults.
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