Scotland considering criminalising the people who pay for sex

I have mixed feelings about this Scotsman article.

Edinburgh has always turned a blind eye to brothels (operating as “saunas” and “massage parlours”) on the understanding that it’s easier to ensure children and trafficked workers aren’t being forced to work in brothels than it is to try do the same for street prostitution, and the police have been less heavy-handed with the street workers on the understanding that the street workers let them know about children working as prostitutes. Part of me thinks that’s a sensible approach, on the understanding that prostitution has always existed and will always exist, and I think that’s borne out when you look at Glasgow, which has taken the opposite approach and has a much bigger problem with street prostitution, trafficked women and rape and abuse of prostituted women.

But on the other hand, I do not accept the idea that “men have urges that have to be satisfied by women no matter what.” I wouldn’t deny that men have urges, but I believe they can satisfy those urges independently or with an inflatable doll if necessary. And I’m more and more coming round to the views as written about here  http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2012/02/16/porn-part-10-the-rutting-dogs-of-capitalism/ and here http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2012/03/15/porn-part-11-the-difference-between-huffing-dong-and-flipping-burgers/ , particularly If someone has to be paid to consent to something, they have not actually consented to it but have rather agreed not to make their non-consent an issue in exchange for money.

I do not know if any of the men of my aquaintance have ever used prostitutes. I’d rather not know, because I’d find it very difficult to have any respect for them if I knew they had. I don’t understand how someone can pay someone for sex, knowing that that person might have been trafficked, raped, abused and forced into doing it. I don’t understand how people can think it’s ok to do that to someone else, no matter how much money they hand over. And yes, I think that if anyone involved in prostitution should be criminalised, it should be the paying punter, rather than the prostituted person. The more I think about it, the more I hope the laws are passed, but I think it should go along with a massive public education campaign, explaining why coercion isn’t the same as consent.

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2 thoughts on “Scotland considering criminalising the people who pay for sex

  1. The Swedish approach is to make the buying of sex illegal, not the selling so it’s the punter who’s automatically “wrong” not the woman.

    I, as a man have a real issue that I am supposedly subject to biological urges that I can’t control, this is rubbish, boys and men should be taught that the can of course control their supposed urges.

    I think there are lots of things on a continuum where we trade our cooperation or even consent for money which aren’t about sex. I am sure that some women do choose to commodify their behaviours/sex but they are predominantly disenfranchised members of society who’ve had very few opportunities, most prostitutes are trapped into a cycle of drug dependence which is hardly an independent position from which to make a decision. I do loath the whole “high class” whore myth of women supporting themselves through university, they are very few atypical examples and I question whether they escape without long term costs? Is paying for sex a form of coercion, I am not sure because money coerces people to do all sorts of things and sometimes they are quite content with the transaction.

  2. The other things money coerces people to do are generally not things like being fucked up the arse and then sucking the penetrating cock though. Or having someone ejaculate all over your face. Or choke you nearly to death while they fuck you.

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