Yesterday evening, I listened to a great debate on Intelligence Squared Youtube’s channel entitled “Its Wrong to Pay for Sex”.
The debate included an economist, a former madam (the owner of a US escort agency who spent some time in jail for providing working women to clients), a researcher into prostitution, An anthropologist and an author.
My own view is that it is not wrong to pay for sex provided that the person receiving payment, who is usually (but not always a woman), is of legal age and has not been coerced into providing sexual services.
As always, I would be interested in the views of my readers. You can find “Its Wrong to Pay for Sex Below”,
It is wrong to pay for sex if the person has been trafficked or given drugs to make them addicted so they need the drug, and selling sex means they will get it or are underage.
However, I think that the idea that it’s wrong comes from the idea that sex is wrong. Premarital sex was, for centuries, considered wrong. I don’t mean adultery, which is sex with someone other than your married partner ( or otherwise committed person). Within living memory, unmarried mothers were sent to places where they were treated abominably
Sex is one of the major driving forces in nature. I don’t think that it is wrong, and should never have been demonised, mainly by the Christian Church, as I understand it. If you are a Christian, why would you think God would make sex a sin yet such a powerful thing?
Prostitution, although not a pleasant way to earn a living, does do a service for people who have no other way of releasing sexual tensions. I won’t say it reduces rape, because I don’t think rape is primarily about sex, but more about power, but it might for some men.
Anyway, the simple answer to your question is No. I don’t think it’s wrong on principle, but care must be taken to avoid disease. Here brothels might be the way to go, and have licensed ones whose workers are regularly tested. (As you might remember in The Wolf Pack, with Madame Dopari’s Emporium.)
Many thanks for contributing to the debate, Vivienne. I agree with you that there is a case for looking at the establishment of licensed brothels. There is much hypocrisy surrounding the issue of prostitution. Escort agencies operate legally in the UK and most such companies state they provide company/companionship only. However, in practice it is well known that the overwhelming majority of escort agencies provide women who will furnish sexual services to clients. I don’t see a problem with the provision of such services by escorts. I just wish that people would call a spade a spade rather than an earth moving implement. I do remember the mention of the brothel in the Wolf Pack, and was reminded of it during the debate. Best wishes. Kevin