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Should prostitution be illegal?

I feel that our society's disdain of prostitution is derived from irrational religious morality so I'm curious to learn what you heavens think about this topic.

Here's what I think-
The exchange of sexual services for money between consenting adults is not immoral and should not be illegal. Porn actors are paid to have sex and that is legal but if a sex worker is paid to have sex he/she has committed a crime. How does that make sense?

Legal prostitution is safer/healthier because it can be regulated and is not pushed into back alleys and seedy places. Currently, prostitutes work under the thumb of often brutal and manipulative pimps who take advantage of them. They can not go to the police for help so they must rely on a pimp for protection. If it were legal, they would work in regulated brothels and would be protected by the law rather than persecuted by it. They would also be tested regularly for std's which would help control the spread of disease.

Regardless of how you feel about prostitution personally, the freedom of others to make their own life decisions should not be infringed upon if those choices do not cause harm to others.

Prostitution is as old as civilization itself. People always have and always will exchange things for sexually services and attempting to end it is folly. The prohibition of it causes much more harm than prostitution itself.

Prostitution prohibition is a result of a paranoid society sexually repressed by irrational religious beliefs. I see no detriment to allowing prostitution to operate freely and in fact I think it can be beneficial for people to have the choice of gaining sexual release without a need for commitment to a relationship. There have been lots of societies throughout history that allowed and even encouraged it without issue.

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RoboGraham 7 Dec 30

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During the golden age of Ancient Rome Pompeii, a Roman city of about 6,000 had 40 brothels. The Romans obviously did not have all the modern convenences we had but they certainly had other ways of amusing themselves. Hell they may we’ll have been living better than us with all of our idiotic religous constraints. @Lancer, @SpikeTalon

They most likely did experience a higher quality of living than we do nowadays.

Australia has legalised prostitution and it's safer for both prostitutes and customers.

@Lancer That’s the way it should be.

@SpikeTalon Are you joking or just ignorant of living conditions for ancient people?

@RoboGraham Neither. While the ancient Romans may not have had the modern conveniences we enjoy today, I think life was easier to live back then, not as many distractions.

@SpikeTalon no life in general wasn’t better however the Patricians were the wealthy and controlled almost all life

@Trajan61 dear Emperor you are abso right


I feel that prostitution is exploitative, whether it is legal or not. There are but few women who would chose it as a profession if they had any viable alternative and I find it immensely sad that there are women who feel they do not have those alternatives. That said, I am very much in favour of protective and regulatory legislation so that vulnerable sex workers can maximise their safety and limit their exposure to opportunistic pimps and predators.

Thank you. It depresses me that your voice belongs to the minority. It dismays me to hear people defend, what is in essence, the commodification of women's bodies

@Ellatynemouth Just curious. Is manual labor not basically the same thing, the commodification of a persons body for the use of it as basically a tool? Removing the cultural and religious components what is wrong with two consenting or three or six exchanging money or other services for sex as long as it is agreeable to all parties? As opposed to people spending their lives in heavy manual labor, or other professions? Much like the drug war if we legalized it and applied the same labor protections other professions have and a clear framework for the safety of both the worker and the customer as well as allowed for its advertising to be open and honest in society I think it would very quickly destroy much of the criminal element to . The biggest hurdle I see is how we as a society negatively view and treat the subject of sex as purely for pleasure. That needs to change.




Keeping prostitution illegal serves no public interest. It's a moralist agenda residual from a puritan founded society. What people do with their bodies is their business.



No, I don't think it should be illegal. Makes no sense. Who's it hurting? When it comes down to consenting adults making informed decisions, it is infringing on my right to use my body as I please, whether it be giver or receiver.



The government has no business interferring with our bodies. Regulation & states rights yes. But an outright ban has no place in a free society. What someone wishes to do with their body without harming others should be regulated for disease & violence prevention, regarding consenting adults with cognative abilities intact.


Prostitution itself is not a crime its the lead up ,solicoting for sexual business that is the crime.
this was put in place by so called religious moralists who were afraid of being caug'ht by their wives and others and being judged in the same way that they judged others


Wow. I expected to come to the discussion and leave a smart-ass comment to throw a little silly into the mix, but this is actually quite a fascinating topic discussion. Thank you all for your insightful perspectives. It is again clear to me why I wanted to join this group.


It is already legal in some parts of this country. It is widespread in much of the rest. It should become legal to reduce the influence of the criminal element.


I have heard - I don't know this, but have heard - that Criminal Sexual Conduct goes down in states and countries where prostitution is legal. Do some research, anyone?

SKH78 Level 8 Jan 1, 2018

There seems to be an opinion that the only ones or at least the vast majority of people that would become prostitutes are "damaged" people who have suffered some sort of abuse or that they are victims of human trafficking and have no choice.
Have you looked at the majority of dating sites lately?
They are SMOTHERED with women looking for "sugar daddies". There are even sites DEDICATED to women looking to trade "companionship" in exchange for help with their college bills. And that isn't even including ESCORT sites.

Decriminalize it.
Buyer beware.


As with marijuana, I prefer that it be legalised and made safe, rather than hidden and risk all sorts of bad practices.


totally as all drugs should be as it protects people far more ad it's going to be done anyway.


The reason I voted "Other" is I don't want the state involved in it at all. I would like to see it DECRIMINALIZED for the same reasons I wish the same for drugs and all other victimless crimes.
Besides, the government has already shown that they have no clue how to run a brothel. Look what happened when they took over one of the brothels just outside Las Vegas for failure to pay taxes.
By law they were supposed to keep it running until it was auctioned off. All they had to do was keep the booze flowing and the clientele otherwise happy. They ran it into the ground!


I would like to know how it would be determined that the prostitute really wanted to do this. Spend years talking to people that are victims of childhood sexual abuse or other forms of systemized violence and you will understand the question. If it is illegal the penalty should be on the person procuring sex, not the prostitute

I agree. In my indirect dealings with survivors of human sexual trafficking, I would say it’s a way of life with which they are familiar, and have not explored or aware of other vocational skills they possess. They only know they get paid, and it some indifferent detached way, they find comfort or nurturing in this profession.

It is true that many have been abused in the past and therefore technically it is not a free choice but the majority of free choice is based on past experiences and people react to those in different ways. Maybe the abuse has drawn then to that career but there are more people who are abused who don't take that path so I would argue there is still a choice and they shouldn't be criminalised

Well how do we ascertain whether or not someone wants to truly be a message therapist, or a teacher or solder or any profession for that matter? If prostitutes have the option to work in clean regulated brothels or I suppose some could be self employed, they will be free to choose if they want to get into it and free to choose if they would like to get out of it.

Legalization would fill the need for prostitutes with those who do freely chose to do it in safe clean environments and would put the illegitimate parts of the industry and human trafficking out of business. It's similar to how we very rarely come across illegal unregulated booze these days. During prohibition it was the only option but now it's simple enough to just go to a bar or liquor store. There aren't many unregulated breweries and distilleries operating outside of the rules established by government because it's simply makes more sense to operate within the limits of the law. The same will be true for prostitution. And drugs for that matter. Just look at countries that have legal options for prostitution and you will see that their prostitutes live safer better lives and are free and protected by law while ours find themselves in horrible conditions with little freedom to get out if they want to because the people they work for are operating outside the law and care little for the freedom and feelings of their sex workers.

legal or not I would say most prostitution is a perpetuation of sexual abuse. If it is not legal the punishment should go to the purchaser of the services.@robograham the careers you cited are not illegal.They do not involve the exploitation or abuse of power (thinking especially of teacher) that sexual involvement automatically opens one to.ANd to anyone that has had those conversations where they think the person is happy about doing it, there are other conversations from another point of view you may not have had.Alcohol is legal but you can not tell me that society does not suffer negative consequences of its use, legal or not

@Dave92 the puchaser should be criminalized

@SamMcGlone talk to them in 10 years. If what you are saying is that it is a great business opportunity then there should be no problem guiding your children or other loved ones to this choice

Let's determine why men crave sex. To get around monogamy?

@SamMcGlone I would rather have a clear opinion than be ignorant. Your experience in sales would not correlate to mine in psychiatry. and I stick with what I said


It already is in most of Nevada though to be legal you have the usual legal loopholes (and some not so, of course!) as any business.

Those operating legally appear to be doing quite well, much more so than those who do so illegally here in "Sin City" itself!


This is a tough one for me, because it involves so much more than "person sells sex for money" in so many cases.

I believe that a person should never be prosecuted for being a prostitute, under any conditions, unless they are not disclosing std information, which I have always though should be illegal for anyone to do.

I believe that legalizing prostitution without addressing issues of exploitation and trafficking is tricky business. someone mentioned that it works in countries that have done it, but several of those countries actually have problems with women, and sometimes girls, "imported" for the work that are being exploited. And the stigma will remain for quite some time, so that the legitimate supply will likely never reach the demand, you will not get as many truly willing prostitutes working as you have men who want the service, which is where criminal traffickers come in.

and exploitation comes in many forms. to say a woman "willingly" became a prostitute when she thought that was the only way to feed her newborn is a weird use of "willingly" in my ears. prostitution to keep her drug dealer happy...another example. just because a woman made the choice to work in the sex industry doesn't make her a willing prostitute.

the last issue is abuse. sexual abuse among sex workers, even in legal areas such as the adult film industry and legalized prostitution, have a much harder time with sexual assault, and a much harder time getting the courts to take it seriously when they do report it. and that will likely remain a problem until we as a society start taking all such claims seriously.

all that said, prostitution is going to happen whether we legalize it or not, and leaving it completely illegal leaves it in the hands of criminals alone, so I'm in favor of at least partial legalization.

As I said, first and foremost I don't believe that the prostitute should ever be the one up for legal harassment. I think pimps, traffickers, and exploitive clients (the drug dealer) should be prosecuted, and the people in those situations given aid to help them get out of that life.


It's not illegal if you own a film company!


It’s not prostitution if you film it with intent to publish.


I wonder how many of the people who say it is exploitation, or most are doing it against their will, know any sex workers?
Have you talked to a big cross section of sex workers?
Or are you just guessing that it must be that way? Or are you just retyping the government's or religion's moral compass.

As an 18 year old, I worked as a bouncer in a legal brothel. None of the ladies were there against their will. A few were desperate for money and the most enjoyed the service they gave their clients and the lifestyle that the job gave them. Some, were college students working their way through school. They were really happy that they would graduate without big debts.

Fast forward to 2018. I know many sex workers. Again, some are not happy. Some are very happy. But, they are not trafficked, forced or desperate.

Are there ladies that are addicted, desperate, trafficked, abused? Of course there are, but that is not all of them. There are many ladies who are good partners, mothers and friends.

I think sex work should be decriminalized. Then the ones who need help, will be able to get help and the ones who are happy and successful , could live their lives without being treated like criminals.

If you don't like sex work, don't be a sex worker or see one.


I live in Nv. And it’s legal in most counties except in LV and Reno. The women are medically followed and the environments are very clean as I’ve been told . I’ve never used their services as I’m fortunate but more importantly while I have some difficulty due to exploitation of women but you can’t legislate morality successfully


Buying sex should be illegal.

Why? Do you feel the same way about selling sex?


Prostitution is not sex. It's the hiring of a body for sexual gratification by another. It's glorified masturbation.

This in turn debases the prostitute to an object which is degrading.

Prostitution also commodifies sex which is extremely toxic for society. On a fundamental, philosophical level, there are some things that money can never buy, and these are love, intimacy, romance and sex.

Let people have consensual sex and enjoy it. Make it free and free from money. That's the answer.

I actually wonder if men enjoy using prostitutes because deep down they know how each transaction debases women.

A man once told me that he'd love to hire a prostitute so that he could know how it feels to own another human being for a few hours.

Personally, I'd like to see every man who endorses prostitution hire themselves out to men - to be used for cash. I'm guessing they wouldn't be able to go ahead with it - because for them it wouldn't be sex - which is the essence of prostitution.

This link exposes the reality. It's as far away from Pretty Woman as you can get...


Definition of sexual intercourse: "Involving the penetration of the vagina by the penis."
Regardless of the circumstances that led to the penetration, sex is still sex. Masturbation by definition is the act of achieving sexual gratification without the aid of another person. Prostitution cannot be masturbation because it inherently involves at least two people. I agree that money can never buy love, intimacy and romance but it most definitely can, and does, buy sex.

Porn, movies, advertisements, magazines... also commodify sex. should they be banned as well?

Consensual sex already is free for those who are able to find willing partners. How can that be the answer if it already is the case? Are you suggesting that prostitutes ought to work for free?

Definition of debase: "To lower the value of something or the moral character of someone." The use of a prostitute does not inherently lower the prostitutes moral character. It is a matter of perception. Because society views prostitution as dirty, evil, immoral, etc... the moral character of prostitutes are lowered but that wouldn't be so if people weren't conditioned to perceive them that way.

If I hire a masseuse I do not own her for a few hours. She agreed to provide a service and she is free to renege on that agreement at any time she chooses. The same ought to be true for prostitutes. The only reason it is not is because prostitutes operate outside of the law and therefore have little to no choice in the matter of how their bodies are used. If it were legal, the prostitute would be able to choose what she is willing to do and what she is not. And she could make it stop at any time that she feels uncomfortable without fear of abuse from a pimp.

Yes of course the vast majority of men who agree with prostitution would not agree to prostitute themselves to other men. The vast majority of them are not homosexual so it would be an utterly disgusting experience for them. The fact that most men would turn down an offer of homosexual sex for money does not prove that prostitution is immoral and the fact that you would like to see them do it makes me a bit concerned about your morality.

As for the article you provided, it seems rather sensationalized. I would wager that the horror stories presented in the article are the exception rather than the rule. I don't doubt that some men are violent and treat the women like shit and that some prostitutes work in poor conditions but that doesn't mean that the entire industry is pure evil. The solution is to regulate the industry more tightly, prosecute Johns who step out of line and punish employers who do not provide safe working conditions for their prostitutes.

I think the only way to know for sure if the act of trading sex for money is actually detrimental to a person is through scientific study. Until science confirms that, prostitutes working in safe conditions where they are free to refuse services that they are not comfortable performing without fear of punishment, actually experience detrimental effects, I will continue to believe that there is no harming in selling sex.

I think we have a concensus of sorts as most of us women and men note an exploitive quality to ( legalized) prostitution but we as non- conformists abhor legal intervention into morality as it rarely works. But I see many valid points made by you all


If I rent out my body to a man for two hours.

If I find him repulsive, but I need the cash because I'm behind with the rent.

If I have to act out enjoyment, and make fake groaning noises because I want to keep him as a future client.

If I have to develop coping strategies, so I can mentally cut off from what's happening and imagine it is happening to someone else instead - just to get through it.

If I focus intently on the good things in my life.. Children, friends, pets. And that helps me cope, because I know that when it's over with I'll feel empty and used.

But the cash.

If I'm worrying that he might be violent or that he won't pay what he's supposed to - so try to feign pleasure even more.

If I sometimes feel nauseated for a few seconds because I hate what's happening, and my first instinct when he has left is to get in the shower and to scrub all traces of him away. I would ask...

Is that 'sex'?

@Ellatynemouth It's certainly not love making but yes it is sex.


No it's not. It's glorified masturbation.

@Ellatynemouth Call it what you will. It doesn't change the fact that prostitution in a legal regulated environment is safer, cleaner, more respectable and less degrading than it is under our current irrational illegal system in which prostitution operates in the black market.


Says a man who's never sold his body for cash. Has never been trafficked or threatened by a pimp. All things that have increased in Germany since legalisation.

@Ellatynemouth Incorrect. Those negative aspects of the industry have not increased since legalization. What has increased is reports of those bad things occurring. That's one of the greatest parts about legalization. Prostitutes are not persecuted by the police so they feel safe reporting those things. I assure you, all that bad stuff happens more often in an illegal unregulated system and almost all of it goes unreported because prostitutes know that no good will come of admitting to police that they are breaking the law.

Also, you do not know what has happened to me so don't make assumptions.

One more thing, try googling glorified masturbation. See what comes up.


Try reading this link.

I've had my fill of listening to men defend prostitution, and in turn the commodification of women's bodies. You disgust me.


Well, paid work debases human dignity. Whether the income is generated by hiring out one's hands, one's brain or any other organs is really irrelevant.

@Ellatynemouth There are plenty of women defending it too. I still don't see how having the option of commodifying ones body is a bad thing. And if attempting to improve living and working conditions of prostitutes by legalizing their profession disgusts you then I am proud to be disgusting.

Also, just because legal prostitution in Germany is not going well does not mean that it can't work. There are many other places where it is legal and functioning safely. The Germany system is just one example out of many.

@Ellatynemouth, @PontifexMarximus So are you saying that self employed prostitutes are not debased?

@RoboGraham any unpleasant task is debasing. Collecting rubbish is as is working in coal mine.

@RoboGraham correct: actors, models etc are commodifying their bodies and so are bricklayers, garbage collectors etc.

@PontifexMarximus So are you saying that people should just stop performing unpleasant tasks?


I once read an article about a woman, who although being married, felt lonely. With her husband's agreement she hired a man to cuddle her.

There were photos in the article of this man sat on her sofa with his arms around her, cuddling her. She was smiling.

At the end of the day he was an employee.

But what if they could, what if they wanted too? Are you assuming every one who may make that choice is mentally ill? In denial? I am curious. How can we really answer the question of its veracity as a job if the only base line we have is mired in cultural stigma, illegality and questionable practices?


OF COURSE it should be legal!

Seriously....when did it become illegal? WHEN CHURCHES HELD MORE INFLUENCE THAN THEY DO NOW! I've always been mystified about poor Mary Magdalene. Now, the bibble never says she's a prostitute...but she's been rumored to have been one. Why's that? Because the people who wrote the bibble (MEN) also demonstrated great hatred toward strong women. Even poor Mary (mother of Jebus) was only revered because she was a virgin. This is the sort of attitude which causes prejudice against women who own their own bodies and use them as they see fit.

Anyone who's traveled in the world has seen countries where prostitution is legal, protected and regulated.




Regulate it to increase standards for sex workers and reduce exploitation

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