We asked a bunch of Londoners if selling state-sanctioned sex services was OK.
Welcome to Question of the Day. It gives interns something to do!
Everybody knows there is no business like ho business. Selling pussy is the world’s oldest profession. So it’s kind of crazy to us that it's still not recognized as a respectable occupation. We’d rather break bread with the working girls of the world than even be in the same room as the criminals who thrive on Wall Street. Of course selling sex isn’t all cum and games, some people think it leads to abusive pimps, lower property values, drug usage, and STDs. But then again, maybe legalization and regulation enable people to get their rocks off in a safe environment and offer the ladies of the night the respect that they deserve. We were torn on the topic, so we asked a bunch of Londoners if they thought it should be legal to sell sex.
Byron, 25, stage builder: Yes. It’s been going on since the 18th century. If you make it legal, you remove a lot of the worst aspects of it, which are female slavery, underage sex, and human trafficking. If you legalized it you wouldn’t necessarily make it morally OK to go with a prostitute, but you would remove a lot of the negative connotations that surrounds the profession.
So you don’t have anything against prostitutes?
No, if a woman wants to sell herself that’s up to her.
Or a man, I guess. Do you think escorts and prostitutes are in the same category?
No, an escort has probably got very strict guidelines about what they won't tolerate, most escorts, I should think, have good security... like strippers.
Milly, 17, student: Yeah, it should be legal because people need money, and if a woman wants to do that, it’s her own choice.
Have you ever met a prostitute?
Well actually I know someone who sells their body. [Nearby friends screams "WHOOOO"?] Oh, just [name withheld].
Is [name withheld] a nice person?
She’s nice to me.
If another friendly prostitute came along, would you be friends with her?
If you ended up hanging out with a gang of prostitutes, would you be OK with that?
That’s a bit too far, man.
Would you ever use the services of a male escort?
No, I don’t think I need it.
Gina, 22: No, it devalues women.
Michael, 21: I agree. You can't buy a person, can you?
In some countries you can. Have you ever met a prostitute?
Sheryl, 28: Does an escort count?
It’s a fine line, but I'm gonna go with "yes."
Sheryl: Yeah, it’s a tough one. When you think of a prostitute, you think someone skanky on the street. But then you think of an escort, and you say, "Hey, she’s hot and she’s making some serious money to please an old guy who can’t get it any other way."
Does the clientele make a difference to the human rights of prostitutes? Surely escorts and streetwalkers should be considered with the same basic respect?
[Didn't listen to the question] Or maybe it’s a disabled person?
Michael: One sounds more classy and the other doesn’t, that’s it!
Maybe it's the "Pretty Woman-effect." Would you sleep with a high-class escort?
Sheryl: [to Michael] She cost like six hundred pounds, she’s got the perfect body, perfect hair, and she was slamming. You would definitely tap that!
As a girl would you approach a male escort?
Sheryl: We were talking about this the other day, actually. We were like, "When we're rich, we’ll just smoke weed all day and get escorts." That would be really funny.
Gina: It would be, wouldn’t it!
Would you be friends with a prostitute?
Sheryl: Yeah, I knew some chicks in Australia who were escorts, they were making serious money. One chick made £3000 for an overnight stay with this rich guy. And that’s UK money.
Rolina, 23, retail assistant: Oh, you have caught me by surprise! Personally I don’t really have an opinion on it. I’m not really for it, because of how badly it's handled. Maybe legalization would make it safer and less grimy, I don't know.
Would you ever be friends with a prostitute?
Yeah, I wouldn’t let it put me off.
Have you ever met a prostitute?
[muttering] Probably. I mean, I’ve never met one who curtseyed and was like "Hey! I’m a PROSTITUUUTE!!!"
That's a shame, those are the best kinds of prostitutes.
Alize, 26, student: It would be safer for the women and for the men. They wouldn't be worried about getting busted by the feds or STDs. And it can be taxed, because the amount they're making tax-free is not fair... plus most of it is probably going on drugs, anyway.
And making it legal would help that, you think?
Alize: You know what, it might even help lower teenage pregnancy. I think a lot of kids get pregnant because sex is still a taboo subject and parents aren't open with their kids about it. If you look at other countries where they're more liberal with sex, they have less problems with pregnancy and prostitution because everything is out in the open and regulated. We all know when someone tells you not to do something, you naturally want to do it.
Would you use the services of a prostitute?
James: I haven’t used their services yet, but some of my friends have. If someone wants to sell their stuff, or if a woman has a high-quality sexual service to offer and guys are willing to pay for that, fair enough. Why not make a market out of it? But it's one I personally wouldn’t use.
Alize: On my 21st I used an escort, which is supposed to be more classy. But at the end of the day, she's still a hooker. But she was clean. It's regulated a lot more than conventional prostitution.
Previously - Would You Make a Deal with the Devil?