I’ve started reading The Economist during my travels. Fairly regularly but not like I’m a subscriber or something. Imagine the rush when I discovered they were holding an open debate on legalizing prostitution!* It has long closed, but the comments are open reading for all. I hope they include this in an upcoming issue.

Gotta say that I’m still grinning over the public trouncing Melissa Farley got. Her moral-panic shit plays fairly well in the US but internationally — does not hold water. Thank you, rational people, for showing up.

Given that this is The Economist, I sort of figured the comments would be good. And I was right. I haven’t read all of them but two from the closing arguments struck my fancy (the first one is flippin’ brilliant).

The oldest profession know to mankind followed by sailors — fisherman (food and souls) and politicians. Of these only politicians should be required to register with law enforcement as to their purpose, integrity and honesty — I already know what a prostitute does.

Why should prostitution be considered “a demeaning activity?” It is only demeaning if you come from a religious perspective or you hold to some romanticized notion of sexuality. It is only demeaning if you care what other prudes think about you. Healthy self-respect comes from within, not from without.

*Those of us who were informed argued for decriminalization instead of legalization. This is simply how The Economist chose to phrase the question, in common vernacular.

6 thoughts on “the economist debate

  1. It is great to see this issue getting mainstream attention and discussion.

    I love the comments that you quoted though. Registering politicians (rather than prostitutes) sounds like a real step forward.

    As for prostitution being “demeaning”, I get a laugh out of that. I find it far less demeaning than many of the other jobs that I have done in my life. In fact, I don’t find it demeaning at all.

    What is really demeaning is working your entire life to make other people rich at the expense of the environment and all of our futures. Compared to that, being paid to share a few hours of pleasure with a patron doesn’t even rate a mention.


  2. John,

    I thought it was great. Doesn’t make up for the antis’ Craigslist victory in the US though. Anyhow…

    The quote about “demeaning” is so right. I agree with you too. “Demeaning” to me would be a soul-sucking job that benefits no one. Sharing orgasms is hardly demeaning. I believe George Carlin said in his prostitution bit that giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing you can do them. I’ll add: same with getting one.

    In “The Ethical Slut” the authors state that they’ve never met a person who had low self-esteem at the moment of orgasm (with a partner). There’s a lot of truth in that too.


  3. “In “The Ethical Slut” the authors state that they’ve never met a person who had low self-esteem at the moment of orgasm (with a partner). There’s a lot of truth in that too.”

    I agree entirely. It is a genuine pleasure to me to see a patron who is shy, or fearful, or nervous cast off all of that worry and become (for a little while at least before and after their orgasm) a happy fulfilled person.

    A lot of women contact me and we only ever chat by email. It seems that even that little bit of non-judgemental human interaction can be of real value to people too.


  4. Decriminalisation is must be (and a reform of the Anglo-Commonwealth definition of “brothel” to allow two ladies to share a flat), but NOT legalisation! Once filles de joie are legalised, they’ll be licenced, and the hard copy record will tell anyone who has the skills that she was, once, a whore, which will always, I fear, make for some difficulty!

    BTW the Economist is well worth the discounted subscription rate, which allows download of the current week’s issue as MP3, to listen to while driving or whatever!

  5. Richard,

    Exactly! This is why we argue for decrimn.

    Didn’t know that about the MP3 thing, though I really input much better with reading info. My brain just processes that way. I’ll have to look into a PDF download though, I bet it’s an option.


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