Sex. It’s been around since the beginning of time. If it weren’t for sex, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Whether you’re in Japan, South Africa, Thailand, or North Korea sex is everywhere. Yet here in America, there is a stigma about sex. One of the most telling examples of this is America’s movie rating system. For instance, if there is nudity in a sex scene it automatically gets an “R” rating. Forget the blood, cursing, and violence, we need to protect our kids from seeing two consenting adults having sex! Can you imagine how detrimental it would be for a 13 year old to see that kind of stuff? No thanks. I would rather them stick to guns, explosions, and fighting. That logic sounds a bit ridiculous, huh? But just look at some of the PG-13 movies out there: Taken, The Dark Knight, Live Free or Die Hard, Sucker Punch, etc. Meanwhile, movies like Love Actually, Match Point, Casanova, Lost in Translation all got slapped with the R rating because of brief nudity or sex scenes. But since sex in movies is bad, there is even a special “X” category for movies with too much of it. Is there a special category for too much violence? Nope. Saw, being the grisly, horrifying, and gory movie that it is only got an R rating; the same rating as The King’s Speech. In places like Europe, it is quite the opposite. They would rather have their kids watch two adults making love than someone’s brains getting blown out. But this isn’t a rant about the MPAA rating system. This is about America’s negative connotation of the idea of sex, and more importantly, why prostitution should be legalized.
Wow. Where did that come from?? To be fair, I did state it bluntly after ranting about a movie rating system, but regardless of how I bring it up in conversations, it always seems to spark and debate and make people look at me funny. So instead of arguing for legalized prostitution, I’m going to start arguing it from an angle no Americans would refute: Freedom. And as an American, I believe it is a fundamental right for everyone to have the freedom of sex.
So let me get this straight. Having sex for money is illegal… unless of course you record it and distribute it on the internet under the name of “porn”. Seriously?? Please, someone tell me the difference. If you’re watching porn, you are literally watching people who are being paid to have sex. So it is hypocritical to say that prostitution should be illegal unless you also advocate for the nationwide ban of pornography. I find it quite funny when I use this argument when explaining my opinions to someone, because they never have an answer for it. When I said this to a friend once, he just couldn’t swallow his pride and accept that he was wrong, so he actually tried arguing that porn should be illegal as well (even though I know damn well he watches it). The reason this enlightenment of hypocrisy often takes people by surprise is because of the culture of the US they grew up in. From a young age they were shunned away from the idea of sex. Maybe if their family was watching a movie and a sex scene came on, their mother would cover their eyes or tell them to leave the room until it was over. And it wasn’t until middle school that they had sex-ed, where they learned how bad sex can be and why abstinence is the best answer. It is factors like these that make a lot of young people develop an unhealthy understanding of sex, and leads them to believe that it is a bigger deal than it really is. Now wait one second. I’m not trying to say that sex isn’t a big deal, but I am trying to explain where this culture of people being adamantly against even the idea of legalized prostitution comes from.
Another thing about the freedom of sex is that it would make the practice safer for the women. We all know that prostitution being illegal hasn’t stopped everyone from partaking in it. Go figure. But if the prostitution industry were to be legalized, regulated, and taxed just like any other business, it would be marginally safer. In places like Germany where prostitution was legalized in 2002, brothels are run like any other business. There are plenty of rules for the employees as well as the customers (not to mention the women involved can finally earn labor rights, as well as health care provided by the company they work for). I think we can all agree this is much safer than prostitutes in America who stand on a corner and have to trust that the person paying for sex isn’t going to kidnap or kill them. Since it is an illegal underground business, there are no rules. Even worse, illegal prostitutes aren’t very inclined to go to the police if they are having a problem with their pimp/client, because then they might get in trouble too. This is why sex crimes run so rampant in places that disallow the freedom of sex. Not only this, but countries that have a sex suppressed society and a culture where sex is considered “dirty” have the highest sexual violence rates. In my opinion, a country’s sex culture has the biggest impact on their sexual violence rate. Places like the Middle East that shun premarital sex to the point that kids are doing anal to “save their virginities” are often the countries that see the most amount of rapes. Who would have thought that forbidding sex and not properly teaching kids about it leads to an unhealthy understanding of human intercourse, which ultimately leads to higher sexual violence rates? Places that grant the freedom of sex see lower rates of rape because the sex culture is more opened and relaxed, whereas some places in the Middle East still punish women for having sex out of wedlock. Besides, think about it. If there was a brothel down the street where you could just pay for sex, you wouldn’t be as inclined to rape someone to meet your “desires”. Unfortunately, rape still does exist in countries that have endorsed the freedom of sex, but at least it is helping to stop this violence against women.
Speaking of women, where are my women? Primarily, where are the promoters of women’s rights? Abortion is often argued on the basis that it is a woman’s body and she has the right to do with it as she pleases. So why is this argument not as prominent in debating the freedom of sex? With prostitution, the same case can be made. It is a woman’s body and she is the one that has ultimate control of it. If she wants to have sex, she should be allowed to. Similarly, if she wants to have sex but with money involved, she should be allowed to. Oh is that where the line is drawn? So consensual sex is a-ok but if you want to make money from it then all of the sudden it’s “wrong”? I just personally don’t see the big deal. As long as it is safe and consensual, why should it matter if someone is profiting? And why are the women who go out and openly show their support for pro-choice when it comes to abortions not showing their support for pro-choice when it comes to the freedom of sex? I guess prostitution just isn’t a very popular thing to debate in America…
Another interesting argument that is often overlooked is the money aspect of it all. Who profits with prostitution? Well if it’s in America where it is illegal, then it’s only the woman and maybe her pimp. But in places that recognize this freedom, not only do the women involved profit, but everyone does. You see, with any regulated business, there are taxes that must be paid. With legalized prostitution, you open the door to a whole industry that can provide enormous amounts of tax revenues to the government. Which in turn (at least in theory) comes right back to the people. And you know what, I’m all for taking the money out of the hands of pimps and the underground sex rings. Maybe that’s just me…
When I was younger, I used to think that prostitution should be kept illegal because I personally thought it was wrong to have sex for money. Now, I can see how ignorant and unhealthy that thinking was. Just because you may personally disagree with something, doesn’t mean it should be illegal for everyone else. I would never hire a prostitute, but that’s just me. If people want to pay for sex, then so be it. It doesn’t affect me in any way shape or form. If you vow to never have sex with a prostitute based on moral grounds, how will it being legal or illegal affect that? Even if prostitution were to be legalized, I wouldn’t partake in it. No law will change that mindset. The whole ideal of being a GDI is the beauty of being independent and understanding that people will not always agree with you. And that’s okay. See, if prostitution were legal, you might continue to disagree with the practice and abstain from it. No harm done to you. But if prostitution continues to stay illegal, that’s suppressing a freedom. And freedom is something that affects all of us. Only choosing how to act upon that freedom is up to you.