Prostitution is present in Mauritius and it has been so since decades, or maybe even centuries (knowing that the Island’s documented history deals with no more than 5-6 centuries). Is it a crime? Must it be legal? It’s precisely what we’ll be talking about in this article which is a revamped version of an old article about the same topic dating back to 2009.
This time Jason brings forward some new arguments and as usual in his funny ways but with a broader perspective at analyzing why the oldest job in the world must be legal (or not). We’ve kept the comments dating since 2009 further below so that even new readers can still continue the off-article discussions.
Prostitution: It’s been called the “oldest profession.” It’s also been a source of near-constant debate, for millennia. The question of whether or not prostitution should be illegal has echoed through the halls of legislature, worldwide, since before the days of Ancient Rome.
It’s also been said that the secret to success and happiness is to find something you’re good at – that you enjoy doing – and figure out how to make a living at it. So the main point of contention is this:
If you’re good in bed, and enjoy it, why not make a living at it?
P0rn stars get paid to have sex, but both parties are compensated. Webcam operators make excellent money, stripping, talking dirty, masturbating, playing with sex toys, and even having intercourse, in front of millions of faceless voyeurs. Here, only one person is receiving money for sex, and technically from the other participant. With prostitution, only one person is receiving payment, and for some reason, that is illegal.
The morality breast-beaters have stood up for generations, preaching about the evils of this “victimless crime,” and will probably continue to do so for as long as there is a cause to take up. Their biggest complaints on the issues are all subjective – based on opinions, religious doctrine, and propaganda. They continue to ignore the age-old claim that you cannot legislate morality.
If it’s a crime, more will try to do it – It’s the human nature
It hasn’t stopped them from trying, though. Anti-prostitution lobbyists claim that this occupation not only undermines morals, but spreads diseases like HIV, and contributes to the propagation of other types of crime, like drug use. Others in Mauritius will even say that it’s a holy crime involving punishments like an eternal holiday in hell!
What they fail to realize is that, in places where prostitution has been legalized, the government regulates the profession, removing the pimps from the equation, and promoting a safer environment for workers and clients alike. In the United States for example, prostitution is legal only in the state of Nevada, and hookers are only allowed to ply their trade outside city limits. Las Vegas and Reno have hundreds of prostitutes, who are tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases and, to date, not a single ‘legal’ prostitute in Nevada has tested positive for HIV. Few, if any, professional sex workers in Nevada are reported to have drug problems, and acts of violence against prostitutes are virtually unheard of.
For the little knowledge organic: the prohibition of alcohol in the USA during the 1920’s was unsuccessful in curtailing the flow of booze to the people who most wanted it, and the law actually gave organized crime a stepping stone to achieving a stronger grip on American society during that era. The law did not stop the alcohol consumption, and accidentally promoted lawlessness.
Today, prostitution stands in virtually the same light. Whether it is legal or not doesn’t seem to matter to its providers or consumers. People are doing it – literally. And they’re doing it for money: EVERYWHERE. Unfortunately, in most of the civilized world, diseases, drug use, and violent crimes against sex workers are still prevalent, due to the unsavory environments these prostitutes (and gigolos) find themselves working in, to avoid law enforcement. Have a walk in the obscure zones of Grand Bay, Mauritius at night, you’ll understand what we’re talking about.
Of course, in many parts of the world, law enforcement officials don’t exactly abide by the law either. Extortion, drugs and violence against sex workers are sometimes provided by the local constabulary, as well as the pimps and gangs.
Born into the trade
In India, where prostitution is illegal, not only do you find women performing sex acts for money, but bordellos are commonplace, and women are often born into the trade, the children sometimes beginning their careers as young as nine years of age. In the United States, there is an epidemic of missing children, and some experts believe that a human trafficking issue is to blame. Teen girls from America may be finding their way into Mexico, where unscrupulous men get them hooked on addictive drugs like heroin, then sell them into sex slavery. Similar issues may be to blame in other countries where abductions are prevalent.
Young boys seem to be the sport of choice in Southeast Asia. Thailand is a common “sex tourism” destination for many Westerners, and homosexuals and pedophiles flock here for boys as young as 11. Southeast Asia also holds a decisive position in the charts for sexual diseases, and the running joke among tourists is that unprotected sex with a Thai hooker is practically suicide.
And where it’s legal?
Sex-for-hire is legal in many western countries, including parts of Central and South America. Argentina is another common sex tourism destination for Americans and there has been some recent controversy involving American tourists and sex with underage girls. Canada now has laws regulating prostitution, and the state of Nevada has proven to its country that legalizing it does work. Other states in America still have laws on the books regarding adultery, fornication, and sodomy, proving that the hyper-religious busybodies so common in that country, still have a firm hold on the laws, regardless of their so-called separation of church and state. Much like the legalization of marijuana in the United States, the regulation of prostitution will probably be a slow, state-by-state crawl, lasting another 25 years.
How about for Mauritius? Well, we’ll probably be having to wait for some more decades to see prostitution being legalised and that’s with the assumption that people will start to see things from a less religious perspective and by tackling the problem arising from illegal prostitution in a more realistic way.
The So Obvious Example
Imagine for a moment, that a man and woman go out to dinner. The man pays for the meal. They have enjoyed each other’s company, and done something they both like to do – and the man has, in essence, compensated her for the pleasure of her company. Her meal was free, and sustenance is a necessity for humans. This happens all over the world, every day, and no one has ever considered passing laws against it. But why not? This scenario is no different than sex-for-hire. Two people, voluntarily spend time together, doing something they both enjoy, and one receives compensation. What two consenting adults do in private is their own damn business.
What two consenting adults do for money, in front of a video camera, is perfectly legal. What adults do in front of a web cam, alone or with a partner, for payment or for free, is also completely within the law. Where (or more appropriately, why) do we draw a line in front of prostitution, and say that that cannot be allowed?