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Subject: [ASP] alt.sex.prostitution FAQ (2/4)

This article was archived around: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 13:04:44 +0000 (GMT)

All FAQs in Directory: alt-sex/prostitution
All FAQs posted in: alt.sex.prostitution, alt.sex.services, alt.sex.brothels, alt.sex
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: alt-sex/prostitution/issues Posting-Frequency: bi-weekly (monthly to *.answers) Last-modified: 08/25/97
***** Welcome to Alt.Sex.Prostitution! ***** Welcome to the alt.sex.prostitution Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file. This is Part 2 of 4 parts. Part 1: General information about the newsgroup and the World Sex Guide. Part 2: Questions and information about prostitution in general, plus information on fighting spam. Part 3: List of organizations that support prostitution or prostitutes or are working to decriminalize prostitution. Part 4: Suggested reading list on prostitution and prostitutes' rights. ****** What about all of the Spam on A.S.P? This FAQ used to have a section about fighting Spam, but the situation has changed significantly, making it almost impossible for an individual to do anything about Spam. The new situation is: [1] Both the spammers and the spam fighters have gotten much better at it. [2] The spammers now punish those who complain. You may get thousands of emails, or even have the next spam look like it came from you! At this point, the best taht you can do is to sit back and watch: big changes in the War On Spam are coming soon. ***** Where Is Prostitution Legal? It is hard to summarize this because the legal status can be complicated. In regions where prostitution is "legal," it is often only a small portion of prostitution activities that are allowed, and much or even most of it may remain criminalized. In some countries prostitution itself may be technically legal, but virtually all forms of practicing it are not (such as Italy and England). In other countries it may be technically illegal, but widely tolerated (such as Thailand and Japan). Even in places where prostitution is "legal," the restrictions on it may be such that the majority of prostitution in that area still occurs illegally. The World Sex Guide gives some details where available, but the information is incomplete and knowledgeable reports are always welcome. In North America: Prostitution is illegal in all of the U.S.A. except in Nevada, where licensed brothels are legal in counties that do not include the major cities (it is not legal in Las Vegas itself). In Canada, prostitution itself is legal, set at the federal level. It is illegal, however, to communicate in public (i.e. solicit), to work for or own or patronize a brothel, or to live off the avails or procure for the purpose of prostitution. In short, this means that only independents who take calls at home (not on a cell phone), and then go on an outcall, are not breaking any laws. (For more information on the legal situation in Canada, check the web site for SWAV, the Sex Workerís Alliance of Vancouver, at <http://www.walnet.org/swav/law/index.html>.) In Mexico, prostitution is legal in special "zones of tolerance." Cab drivers always know where these are located. Elsewhere (a sampling): At least some forms of prostitution are legal in many continental European countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands (where they even have a union). In England it is technically legal but it is not legal to solicit or to advertise, nor is it legal to run a brothel. Itís legal in much of Australia, in Singapore, and in several South American countries including Brazil and Venezuela. If you are in an area where prostitution is illegal and you have any doubts as to whether the person you are dealing with might be a law enforcement officer, think with the big head instead of the little one and walk away from the situation. ***** What Is the Difference between "Legalizing" and "Decriminalizing" Prostitution? Although there is no official definition of legalized or decriminalized prostitution, most references use the term "legalization" to refer to any system that specifically allows some prostitution. Many (or most) societies that allow legal prostitution do so by giving the state control over the lives and businesses of those who work as prostitutes. Legalization often includes special taxes for prostitutes, restricting prostitutes to working in brothels or in certain zones, licenses, registration of prostitutes and government records of individual prostitutes, and health checks which have historically been used to control and stigmatize prostitutes. Prostitutes' rights organizations (e.g., COYOTE, North American Task Force on Prostitution) use the term "decriminalization" to mean the removal of laws against prostitution, in whole or in part. Decriminalization is usually used to refer to total decriminalization, that is, the total repeal of laws against consensual adult sexual activity, in both commercial and non-commercial contexts. In decriminalized systems, prostitution businesses would be regulated through civil codes (including business and labor codes, standard zoning regulations, occupational health and safety codes, etc.) just as they are applied to any other businesses, so that prostitutes and clients could conduct business either in brothels or through private arrangements if they choose. Existing criminal laws targeting abuse, coercion, etc., would also be applied in cases of violence or exploitation if associated with prostitution. A well-researched paper on the legal issues regarding prostitution can be found at <http://www.walnet.org/swav/law/sdavis.html>. Itís 200Kb in size and takes a few minutes to load. The World Charter of the International Committee for Prostitutesí Rights calls for decriminalization of all aspects of adult prostitution resulting from individual decision, stating that there should be no special law which implies systematic zoning of prostitution, and that prostitutes should have the freedom to choose their place of work and residence and provide their services under conditions determined by themselves and no one else. ***** What Is the Risk of Catching HIV from Prostitutes? A medical doctor who is a regular contributor to this newsgroup has compiled a review of the medical literature on this subject, entitled "Prevalence Of HIV In Sex Workers And Risk To Customers: A Brief Review." The entire report can be found on the World Sex Guide at <http://www.paranoia.com/faq/prostitution/hiv.txt.html>. The concluding paragraph is as follows: "The results of these studies are fairly consistent and indicate the following: Outside of East Africa, the prevalence of HIV in sex workers is generally only a few percent, and not significantly different than the HIV incidence in the population as a whole. While prostitution per se is not a significant risk factor for acquiring HIV infection, i.v. drug use is, and a significant proportion of sex workers are also i.v. drug users. Men who use prostitutes do have a higher risk of acquiring HIV, but only if they have other STDs, or engage in other high risk behaviors (e.g., anal sex without a condom). If you have no STDs, use a condom, and avoid sex workers with needle marks in the arms, your risk is probably no greater than your risk of getting AIDS from your girlfriend or mistress. If you have a history of STDs, don't use a condom, and use sex workers who are known i.v. drug users...good luck!" These conclusions there are consistent with those found in the other references on HIV in the bibliography in Part 4 of this FAQ. For information on safe sex see the Safer Sex Page at <http://www.cmpharm.ucsf.edu/~troyer/safesex.html>. ***** What Is the Risk of Catching Another STD from Prostitutes? Fairly small if you use a Condom. You should use a condom at all times, including when you recieve Oral Sex. You should avoid giving a prostitute Oral Sex. You may not like this advice, but you are taking a big risk if you go unprotected. In any case, if you frequent prostitutes, get regular checkups from a Doctor. Tell your doctor that you are engaging in behaviour that "puts you at risk for Sexually Transmitted Disease". You don't have to give him any more details, but he needs to know this much. ***** Isnít Prostitution a Degrading and Demeaning Activity? There is nothing inherently degrading about consensual (non-coerced) adult sexual activity just because money is exchanged. It would depend on the people and circumstances involved. "Degrading" is in the eye of the beholder. Some sex workers feel they are subjecting themselves to "voluntary rape," and some enjoy their work. For many it is probably "just a job," as many other jobs are. One particularly good answer to this question comes from Norma Jean Almodovar in her book "Cop to Call Girl: Why I Left the LAPD to Make an Honest Living as a Beverly Hills Prostitute": "That really depends on the individual involved or how one views sex. It was not degrading to me because I think that sex is a positive, nurturing act, and whether it is given out of love or rendered as a service, as long as it is consensual it is still positive. I cannot fathom how one could think that making another human being feel good for a fee could be degrading or demeaning unless it is degrading to make other people feel good." Sex worker and writer Veronica Monet wrote that "the popular feminist view that a woman is degraded by a paid sex act with a man is in itself inherently sexist. If a woman can be degraded by sex, then she is a piece of property which loses value with use. A human being never loses value by engaging in a productive, profitable, and pleasurable act." ***** Are There Any Organizations that Support Prostitution/Prostitutes or Are Working to Decriminalize Prostitution? Yes, there are many such organizations and groups around the world, and they are deserving of your support. A list of these organizations is in Part 3 of this FAQ so those without web access can obtain it. It can also be found at the excellent web site run by one of these organizations, COYOTE/Seattle (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics), located at: http://www.coyotesea.org Also check out the Prostitutesí Education Network web site located at: http://www.bayswan.org/penet.html At this highly recommended site you will find (among other things) the complete text of the Final Report (1996) of the government-sponsored San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution, which recommends that the city repeal all laws against prostitution and not enforce any state laws against prostitution. ***** Are There Any Suggested Readings on Prostitution and Prostitutes' Rights? Yes. These are listed in Part 4 of this FAQ (and also at the COYOTE/Seattle web site listed above). You will also find interesting readings at the other web sites mentioned in this FAQ. Remember, always treat your sex worker with respect! [ Via MailAnon Remail Service <infos@mailanon.com> ]