There is really nothing glamorous about prostitution. Although I believe it should be legal, controlled and heavily regulated, this is not to suggest that it would not have its costs if this were the case. However, I think the costs of illegal prostitution are far greater than if it were legal. Think about it: by driving prostitution underground, you only increase what those who try to suppress prostitution claim they are trying to prevent: disease, crime and illegal human trafficking. Not that these problems would magically go away if prostitution were legal, they would not, but I believe they would be diminished if prostitution were a regulated industry rather than a clandestine one.
The photographs in this post show the darker side of prostitution: they all are of women arrested in a recent prostitution sting in Florida. Many of their male clients as well as pimps were also arrested, around 80 in total. But such police stings seem to raise more questions for me than they solve. First of all, I wonder, why in the hell would anyone pay anything for any kind of sexual encounter with these people? These women appear completely destroyed as human beings. There is nothing attractive, beautiful or remotely erotic conveyed here. The desperation in their clients paying for sex with them must be quite intense. This is not to condemn these women for what they are doing, rather, I wonder what is going through the minds of the men who are patronizing them. If someone is that desperate to get off, then just MASTURBATE! It is totally free and legal. What I see in these photos is much sadness, desperation and human tragedy.
Still, if they are both adults engaging freely in an adult transaction, why is this illegal? When I read some news story about people getting arrested in a hotel by a police sting operation, two adults freely agreeing to an adult transaction, I wonder why we as a society are committing such increasingly scarce state resources to such trivial matters. There are plenty of real criminals out there who are much more in need of being jailed and put through the legal system.
It is only since the late nineteenth century that prostitution in this country has been universally illegal (except for certain counties in Nevada). Before that, prostitution was tolerated by all societies as something unavoidable, and even somewhat desirable, as a place for men to channel their often unruly sexual appetites. The criminalization of prostitution is related to the temperance movement, and other, usually religiously driven crusades to cleanse the world of all morally questionable activities, usually organized by clergy, ministers and early, proto feminists. And yet despite their best efforts and the support of the entire legal system prostitution is just as prevalent today as it has ever been.
The real sexual crimes, such as rape, human trafficking, child abuse or porn, ect, should be what police focus on; not the willing monetary transaction that two adults makes for sex.
And also, imagine the tax revenue that the state could generate from legal prostitution. Just think of the lottery: gambling was once considered a terrible vice, and was illegal in most places; now, it is universally accepted and a major source of revenue for all state governments today. I am sure the legalization of pot will also generate lots of new tax revenue. Legalized prostitution would do the same thing.
So why does this continue to remain illegal? Why are people arrested and jailed for this? It seems ridiculous to me. We see pot is now legal in some states; prostitution should be next. It should be heavily controlled and regulated and even taxed, but still legal. Sex work is a part of life that the crusading religious and feminist types will never rid of the world of, no matter how hard they try. The adult women who freely choose this as a means of financial support deserve better than what these photos portray.