Let’s start with a clarification. The term “prostitution” has been deemed pejorative in recent years and people prefer the term “sex work”, which, considering, isn’t such a bad name. However, for the sake of this text, I shall use the word prostitution, which is defined by webster’s dictionary as “offer for sexual intercourse in exchange for pay”. No need to add to this definition, it’s quite clear and simple.
I remember as a teenager, when I was old enough to understand certain social concepts, people talking about prostitution. The two words that kept coming back were “immoral” and “illegal”. To this day, I do not understand why prostitution is illegal. Perhaps, it stems from my naturally liberal mind. I mean if you think about it, one party has a product to offer, and the other party is seeking that product.
The economist in me sees a simple case of supply and demand. Let’s face it; there is always a demand for sex and there is always a supply for sex, always, no matter when you are on the globe. And guess what? That demand and supply will always exist as they have always existed! I know, facts are sometimes hard to hear and even harder to accept. One could always try to equivocate, but the facts remain the same. Moreover, if this exchange of supply and demand is regulated and if it’s happening between two consenting adults, with clear guidelines and parameters, then prostitution shouldn’t be illegal at all! Once again, my liberal mind is talking out loud! That was for the illegal part.
As for the “immoral” connotation, I must salute whoever came up with this smart qualification because, let’s face it, when we hear the word “immoral”, our collective minds go to words like sinful, wicked, evil almost, depraved, dishonorable, vile, impure, and so many other negative sounding words. Kudos to whoever came up with that adjective.
Whether we care to admit it or not, our entire view of sexuality, is immensely, if not entirely influenced by religion. Our world has always been regulated by some sort of religion since time immemorial. The values of any society, until the renaissance, were religious values. Therefore, our minds were programmed to see sex through a religious prism, a deeply conservative and constricted prism. Those values were forced on us, so to speak, by centuries, thousands of years of religious dominance.
I get it though. People and society need guidance, otherwise all hell would break loose. However, things are changing, slowly but surely. If you look around nowadays, you’d realize those who still call sex “immoral”, tend to be heavily religious and conservative people. It is their right after all. It’s how they see and define the world; through those religious values they adhere to so strongly. Far be it from me to tell people what or how to think.
After pushing religion to the private sphere, the 20th and 21st centuries successfully brought a certain sexual liberation to society and sex has been largely demystified, and if you ask me, it was about damn time. Studies in biology, psychology and anthropology have concluded, rightly so, that sex is a biological imperative and a biological need, the same way as eating, sleep, air, water, shelter, and clothes especially according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Basically, wanting sex and having sex isn’t sinful anymore; it’s normal behavior. Some conservative individuals still want sex to be viewed as immoral but only a minority sees the world that way and it’s for the better. They would say sex is immoral because its sole purpose should be procreation. Well, anyone who has ever had an orgasm will strongly disagree with that theory. Sex is fun, it alleviates stress and pain, releases endorphins, puts anyone in a good mood and you certainly have seen yourself smile from ear to ear after an orgasm, so let’s not play dumb here! Yet, as we all know, sex is also a powerful act, filled with even more powerful and intense feelings and emotions. Perhaps, that’s why the old dudes who made the rules thousands of years ago, because it’s always dudes who make up the rules, tried to call it “immoral”. Perhaps they saw the power that lies within sex, or they simply wanted to keep all the fun to themselves, who the fuck knows!
Studies done in countries where prostitution has been decriminalized and legalized, show that there hasn’t been any chaos as many people expected but it’s fair to say we still don’t know all the consequences of such legalization. The other thing we tend to put aside, is how prostitution, when illegal especially, is dangerous for women. There are always risks of sexual assault, forced drug addiction, physical abuse, human trafficking, and death. If a man picks up a prostitute in a street, they get into his car, he can do pretty much anything to her, no matter how horrible and leave her in the middle of nowhere. That’s the thing we forget; when prostitution is illegal, it overwhelmingly hurts women. And there are also the dangers of human trafficking to supply all that demand since sex never sleeps and never goes off the market.
I personally see the legalization of prostitution or sex work, as a way to help the women who choose this profession. I don’t believe any woman dreams of being a sex worker but sometimes, life, circumstances and other personal traumas, push some women to prostitute themselves. They are in danger when they do that, so why not do our best, as a society, to protect them and to offer them a legal ground to earn a living and be safe? I am not a legal scholar or an anthropologist and certainly not a psychiatrist, but those ladies, are people, right? They have the right to be safe and be cared for. They need that. They must be treated as people first and foremost!
Society unfortunately has done a superb job in ignoring sex workers, as they are doing “dirty work”. Their disappearances don’t get any news coverage and they are somehow the forgotten people of most developed countries. They are looked down upon by other people, as if they were lesser people. Nothing infuriates me more than this despicable mentality. I know legalizing prostitution doesn’t solve all the problems, but it might be a start.
As for the alleged immorality clause, it’s time to give it a rest. Ain’t nothing immoral about sex! Furthermore, the government or any other entity, whether elected or not, should never, ever, ever have any type of say about what happens between two consenting adults in a closed space. So, legalize that shit and let’s do our part to keeping women safe!
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day!