July 3, 2006

"For most people, it's just too complicated."

Said prostitute/prostitute's rights activist Stephanie Klee, trying to explain why the World Cup competition hasn't done much for the prostitution business in Germany. Keep in mind, the prostitution in Germany is legal. The guys all go to bars together, she theorizes, and "It's difficult to say to your friends, 'I'm going to leave you now and go to a brothel for 20 minutes.' That's not normal behavior."

So much for sex. It's just too complicated. It keeps you from hanging out with the guys at the bar. You know, the normal behavior.


Dave said...

When I was in Montreal, where prostitution is tolerated, if not explicitly legal, I had an opportunity to talk to a very intelligent prostitute who was studying molecular biology at McGill University.

She told me that because of its quasi-legality, she was eligible for routine STD screening, and, as well, could request that the police come help her if she ever felt threatened.

A far cry from the isolation with which America treats its prostitutes.

Quite interesting.

(And no, I was not a john.)

Oddly enough, the word verification: orgypiq. The orgy piqued my interest?

Jake said...

World Cup fans are drunk 24/7. That's why they aren't interested in prostitutes and that is why they can stand to watch the most boring game in the world.

the pooka said...

"The customers remain passionate about soccer, however, as do the women. Whenever a game is on, Luna said, they stop what they are doing to watch it."

Now there's a mental image for ya...

PatCA said...

I guess if it's not forbidden it's not much fun anymore.

Palladian said...

This is why Germany has the second lowest birth rate in the entire world. Sex is too complicated for a people who can hand build a Mercedes.

The only people having sex in Germany are the Muslims, and they do it for free.

RogerA said...

Why in the world do we criminalize prostitution--It seems to me we could eliminate pimps, do a fair amount of damage to the drug trade--or at least that part that ensnares sex workers, reduce the spread of STDs, protect sex workers, etc etc...In fact, is there any downside to decriminalizing prostitution? (Full disclosure: I work in public health)

Tim said...

"Why in the world do we criminalize prostitution"

Indeed. Everyone's daughter should aspire to be a prostitute.

Let's start with your"s, Roger.

Eli Blake said...

As a matter of fact, prostitution is legal in some parts of Nevada. Not in Clark county (Las Vegas), but most of the rest of the state.

And I would agree with what most of you are saying here, in that keeping it illegal creates more problems than it solves. For one thing, all the business owners who complain about prostitutes trolling up and down the streets in front of their businesses wouldn't have that complaint if they were allowed to set up shop in some centralized location so that the rest of society could go on unaffected.

As far as soccer, the fanaticism for it in other countries is just something that Americans don't understand. Some examples: soccer riots are well documented, and in some cases fans have even followed referees home and beaten them senseless after they made a bad call. And the ultimate measure of fanaticism: in 1968, Honduras and El Salvador fought the 'futbol' war, in which several thousand people died, over a disputed call in a soccer game (so much for the idea that sports are supposed to be a non-violent alternative to war).

I don't advocate any of this (including I don't advocate having relations with a prostitute) but as soon as Ann put up her post I could understand where it is coming from.

And incidentally, if you are worried about undocumented immigrants from Mexico coming and taking away your job because they work harder, the answer is to put up a TV that is showing a match involving Mexico. None of them will be working. Booze won't do it. Sex won't do it. A wild party (minus soccer) won't do it. But turn on a soccer game, they quit working.

RogerA said...

Tim--I dont have a daughter; and if I did, would I be happy were she to choose a life of prostitution--Nope, sure wouldn't. But if she did make that choice, I am only arguing she would be far safer where it legal than were it criminalized. You aparently don't agree. Your privilege.

Joe said...

Why not legalize prostitution? Lowers the tone.
Ann: more foot pics please (just kidding).

Ricardo said...

A guy gives something of value to a woman, and she gives him sex. Isn't this done pretty frequently in a variety of settings (even marital), and isn't "prostitution" just the label we give to certain categories of this behavior, so we'll feel better (or holier) about the rest? Isn't it all just an issue of semantics? Shouldn't we be throwing diamond rings, bracelets, trips to Bermuda, and even flowers into this equation?

Blair said...

"World Cup fans are drunk 24/7. That's why they aren't interested in prostitutes and that is why they can stand to watch the most boring game in the world.

It fascinates me how Americans can label sports like soccer and cricket "boring" when they watch American football, surely the most boring game ever invented. Whose bright idea was it to play a form of rugby broken down into five second segments where you stop and reset play every time someone gets tackled?! And all this in enough padding to kit out a whole psychiatric ward?!

As for the prostitutes, nobody is interested precisely because it is legal. Half the fun is in breaking the law, and if there is no law, well... you're just paying for sex really, aren't you?

Dave said...

Blair--consider this an American who thinks American football to be boring and soccer to be interesting.

I don't know anything about cricket other than it seems to be a kind of baseball...and I find baseball (usually) interesting.

But yeah, if there's one area in which the rest of the world is far smarter than Americans, it's in their passion for soccer.

tcd said...

Are you married? And is your wife a prostitute?

SteveR said...

At some stage in life and under certain circumstances a male will forego friends (and all that that entails) for sex, given a choice but I wouldn't expect this to be one of them.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to Germany to watch football and only have so much money, would you spend it on fake love or real beer?

Dave said...

Fake love is often better than real love.

Freeman Hunt said...

A little jaded, Dave?

Telecomedian said...

Because the rest of the world thinks soccer is a great sport, and America doesn't - that's somehow a sign of this country's failure, Dave? Not lousy foreign policy, rising cost of living, out of control urban housing markets, or spiraling health care costs, but a game?

As obsessed as America is with sports, especially at the youth levels, there is not the level of violence associated with big US sports as there is for soccer matches.

I am certainly including the rioting at the University of Maryland after the NCAA basketball tournament a few years ago, the rioting in Boston after the World Series in 2004, and the mess in Denver a few years before that. Even the snowball fights in Giants Stadium, the boorish behavior so well documented in Philadelphia and the fights in Oakland. Those are indeed sad events.

But nothing compares to the lives lost in soccer riots, not to mention the hundreds of unreported crimes. The hooliganism is still rampant in Europe, where some fans of teams actually travel to incite violence in other towns and countries, all in the name of "fanaticism." The European police agencies have done a good job in quieting such instances as merely violent crime as opposed to the dirty label of "hooliganism." They may be called "firms," but they're thugs.

Soccer is a great game, but my life isn't on the line when I watch the Baltimore Ravens at the stadium. For that, I hope America continues to ignore soccer and the bizarre violent fanaticism associated with it.

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seven Machos said...

There's a certain moral aspect here. "Guys, I know we are middle-class blokes who are great friends, and we spent a good chunk of money to be here together watching soccer. What I'm going to do now is go pay to get laid instead of being with you."

It's not so much the morality of prostitution angle, though that is a subtext. It's bailing on your friends angle, and in such a crass way.

And on more thing. Come on people, do YOUR thing and wail with it. YOu like football, soccer, cricket, tennis, whatever. Man, that's awesome. You go. But why criticize others for their harmless intersts and joys when there is so much else to criticize that does cause harm, like the entire New York Times editorial board? This goes for the soccer people and the football people.

P. Froward said...

There is nothing on this Earth more boring than sports. Nothing.

Eli Blake,

They'd all be in one place if it were legal? Yeah, and if we made cigarettes and alcohol legal, they'd quit selling 'em in convenience stores on every block.


Your point about marriage etc. has been a commonplace platitude for a couple centuries now, at least.

The problem with it is that marriage is an arrangement with open-ended and fundamentally different obligations; only by ignoring essential aspects of marriage can you pretend that the two differ only in scale. There's also the fact that it's not like buying a pack of cigarettes, because cigarettes are not where babies come from. For some odd reason, some people seem to attach importance to that. When you're done being offended by them, go yell at the law of gravity.

It's just a massively unserious observation.

chisoxfaninla said...

Seven Machos said: It's not so much the morality of prostitution angle, though that is a subtext. It's bailing on your friends angle, and in such a crass way.

You're kidding, right? No group of guys out in a bar would have the slightest problem with a friend bailing on the group for so much as a chance with someone he met at the bar. If there's any difference here, it's the prostitution part, period. With exceptions made for prudes and the strictly religious (who probably would not be hanging out in a bar in the first place), this is universally understood and accepted behavior among guys, at least if the guy is single.

I mean, this is one of the foremost unwritten rules of being a guy. I'm trying to imagine a friend saying, "Well that's really rude, don't you think?" when another friend hooks up, but I cannot. It would never happen. I mean, it's practically a sin (with its own widely understood, though vulgar, term) to so much as interrupt a male friend when he's 'pursuing an opportunity'.

If you don't like that, continue drinking decaf with your Salt Lake City pals in your garage. You're obviously not ready to hit the bars with some friends.

Seven Machos said...

You are right, White Sox fan. What I mean to say is, if you have a chance to get laid while you are with your friends on vacation, of course it is to your credit. "What I'm going to do is go get laid BY A PROFESSIONAL instead of being with you."

I guess it is primarily the prostitutuion angle after all. You would bail on your friends for a girl you meet in a bar. That is understood. We've all seen it, or done it.

Jeff said...

This reminds me of a quote from a great episode of Strangers WIth Candy, where a popular jock expresses his conflicting feelings about dating:

Laird: "I dunno, Jerri, hanging out with the guys is cool, and having a girlfriend is so gay, you know?"

Eli Blake said...

P. Froward:

With legality comes the possibility of regulation.

To cite your example, they no longer sell cigarettes from vending machines, because that is now illegal (except in bars.) They only sell alcohol in restuarants that have a liquor license. In fact, without regulation saying where alcohol could be sold(prohibition), illegal alcohol sales popped up in a whole lot of places (including in the back of schools and some regular businesses) that you wouldn't think of selling it out of now.

In Nevada (those places where it is legal) you don't have prostitutes standing on every street corner because the bordello has an address, so customers go there if that's what they are looking for, without bothering the rest of society.

Internet Ronin said...

In Nevada (those places where it is legal) you don't have prostitutes standing on every street corner because the bordello has an address...

Have you ever been to Nevada?

You don't have prostitutes standing on every street corner because there aren't any street corners, it's hotter than Hell, and the vast majority of them are too busy working hard in the two places where it is illegal (Reno and Las Vegas).

Just kidding, Eli.

ignacio said...

Escort services have their own websites, showing softcore pictures of who they have to offer as well as listing in great detail their rates.

I think this is where ex-Penthouse Pets eventually end up. They list such credits as Miss Nude Puma Beach. $350/hr seemed to be the high end rate, with a discount for a longer "date."

It still strikes me as arduous work. But I guess in a lot of ways it's like being in sales.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Why in the world do we criminalize prostitution--It seems to me we could eliminate pimps

So only women and gay men can profit from prostitution? That's sex discrimination.

Troy said...


Don't kid yourself, Las Vegas Metro PD has plenty of prostitution problems. Also look at the Yellow Pages under "Entertainment". It seems Huggy Bear delivers.

It seems the outlying cathouses are tourist destinations, etc. Last fall as my family were eating lunch on a THURSDAY across the 15 from the Strip a transaction took place -- looked to be a local. Hookers are like roaches (not existentially) -- where there's one there are many others

Synova said...

Legalizing a vice is not a declaration that it's healthy!

Some blog or other had coverage of a college "sex workers" event (sort of an extention of vagina monologs or something) where the professional sex workers talked about how empowering, etc., it all was. The idea being that this wasn't dangerous or unhealthy or bad for you. I guess it's just the patriarchy getting all bent for nothing.

So because it's "not bad for you" it should be legal.

Oh, balony. We'd all be better off if people got past the idea that everything bad should be illegal and everything good should be compelled. Legality is not a government guarentee of safety.

Some things that are *very* bad for you should be legal. There are practical reasons prostitution should be legal. But *nothing* is going to make prostitution safe or healthy.

Troy said...

I meant to say as my family and I were eating lunch at a Burger King... we saw the transaction take place -- thje exchange of info and money , not bodily fluids.

Legalizing prostitution might slow down human trafficking, but it's legal in Germany and the human slave trade is just as bad there as it ever was. As long as there are Thai gangs, a Russian mafia, and Chinese triads who will kidnap, ship, and "sponsor" "sex workers" as well as sick f*** European, Japanese, and American men who want to go "exotic", there will be illegal prostitution.

For every dave who talks to a "pretty woman" who actually showers and has an education and perhaps prospects (assuming she wasn't BS'ing him) there are scores who are afraid, abused, etc. And used up like old shoes by 30 -- legalization won't change that.

Eli Blake said...

Internet Ronin and Troy:

It IS illegal in Las Vegas, so not surprisingly Las Vegas has the same problem with prostitutes that any other large city has.

But if you go to one of the 'cow counties' (and yes, I've lived in the west all my life so I've been to Nevada quite a few times) you won't see any.

(and yes, it's hotter than heck but that doesn't stop them from working street corners in Phoenix.)

I just know that if I owned a small business I'd much rather be down the block (or even next door) to a legal bordello where they would stay and remain out of sight than have to keep chasing prostitutes out of my parking lot.

Internet Ronin said...

Eli- Just a note to repeat that my comment was entirely in jest and not meant to be taken seriously, but thanks for your thoughtful response (with which I basically agree, BTW).

Marghlar said...

As obsessed as America is with sports, especially at the youth levels, there is not the level of violence associated with big US sports as there is for soccer matches.

Apparently you weren't in Chicago when the Bulls were winning and winning in the 90s. That got pretty scary, with the riots and whatnot.

PFroward -- I agree absolutely (about sports being dull).

Tibore said...

Yeah, but Marghlar, I only remember those things happening after the Finals, not during most of the regular season games. No, that doesn't excuse it one whit, but the point is that the level of violence, if you measured by frequency, was still far less.

Unless you happened to see some fights or riots I'm unaware of. No, I don't live in Chicago, so I'm not being sarcastic. I honestly admit I may have missed some episodes of violence simply by not living there. But still... I'd think that would make the news, right?