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When Is Paying for Sex Acceptable?


Charlie
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Donald Sterling, an elderly married man, lavishes financial "gifts" on a beautiful young woman who everyone knows is his mistress; although he shows her off in public, no one, except his wife--and certainly not NBA officials!--complains that this is unacceptable behavior. The popular governor of New York is revealed to have hired expensive call girls, and his supporters hound him into resigning his office. Women who walk the streets of poor neighborhoods, offering sex in exchange for money, are arrested and charged with the crime of prostitution. Men advertise, with photos of their hard cocks, on public websites like Rentboy, offering "companionship" or "massage" in exchange for specific large sums of money, and clients review them on this site, describing explicit sex acts that took place during the appointments; these "escorts" are hardly ever arrested, and are treated as celebrities in the gay community. "Adult entertainment" (i.e., porn), in which actors are paid to have sex with one another, is legal and regulated by the government.

 

It's all very confusing.

 

We all know what is called "the oldest profession," and historically exchanging money for sex has been regarded differently according to the culture, era, social class, etc., of the participants, but under what circumstances is it TODAY acceptable, and not acceptable? Is it OK for an older man to keep a willing younger person as a financially supported sex partner? Does it make any difference whether the relationship is heterosexual or homosexual? Does it make a difference whether it is a stable relationship, or if there are multiple paid sex partners? Does it make a difference whether the payer is married/partnered, or not? Does it make a difference whether the payee is married/partnered, or not? Does it make any difference WHY the seller or the buyer engage in the exchange? Does it make any difference how the participants feel toward one another? Does the social class of the participants matter? Does the amount of money matter? Does the profession of the buyer matter? Does the amount or nature of publicity about the exchange matter? Is there any other consideration that I have overlooked which is important?

 

I grew up in an America in which the only sex that could be acknowledged as socially acceptable was activity in the privacy of their bedroom between one man and one woman (normally of the same race, unless the woman was Asian) who were legally married to one another, although it was quite acceptable--even legally required in some places--to openly regard certain certain racial, ethnic and religious groups as second class citizens. Obviously, American society has changed, mostly for the better IMHO, but I am trying to get a handle on exactly where we stand now on the sex/money relationship, or at least where you think we stand (and maybe where you think we should stand).

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Donald Sterling, an elderly married man, lavishes financial "gifts" on a beautiful young woman who everyone knows is his mistress; although he shows her off in public, no one, except his wife--and certainly not NBA officials!--complains that this is unacceptable behavior. The popular governor of New York is revealed to have hired expensive call girls, and his supporters hound him into resigning his office. Women who walk the streets of poor neighborhoods, offering sex in exchange for money, are arrested and charged with the crime of prostitution. Men advertise, with photos of their hard cocks, on public websites like Rentboy, offering "companionship" or "massage" in exchange for specific large sums of money, and clients review them on this site, describing explicit sex acts that took place during the appointments; these "escorts" are hardly ever arrested, and are treated as celebrities in the gay community. "Adult entertainment" (i.e., porn), in which actors are paid to have sex with one another, is legal and regulated by the government.

 

It's all very confusing.

 

We all know what is called "the oldest profession," and historically exchanging money for sex has been regarded differently according to the culture, era, social class, etc., of the participants, but under what circumstances is it TODAY acceptable, and not acceptable? Is it OK for an older man to keep a willing younger person as a financially supported sex partner? Does it make any difference whether the relationship is heterosexual or homosexual? Does it make a difference whether it is a stable relationship, or if there are multiple paid sex partners? Does it make a difference whether the payer is married/partnered, or not? Does it make a difference whether the payee is married/partnered, or not? Does it make any difference WHY the seller or the buyer engage in the exchange? Does it make any difference how the participants feel toward one another? Does the social class of the participants matter? Does the amount of money matter? Does the profession of the buyer matter? Does the amount or nature of publicity about the exchange matter? Is there any other consideration that I have overlooked which is important?

 

I grew up in an America in which the only sex that could be acknowledged as socially acceptable was activity in the privacy of their bedroom between one man and one woman (normally of the same race, unless the woman was Asian) who were legally married to one another, although it was quite acceptable--even legally required in some places--to openly regard certain racial, ethnic and religious groups as second class citizens. Obviously, American society has changed, mostly for the better IMHO, but I am trying to get a handle on exactly where we stand now on the sex/money relationship, or at least where you think we stand (and maybe where you think we should stand).

 

 

What an interesting collection of thoughts and questions - almost as though the writer were creating a soliloquy.

 

In essence, the thoughts/questions expressed in the message confirm that our society is comprised of a collection of contradictions that are either acceptable or unacceptable depending on "whose ox is being gored" at the time the thoughts are expressed or viewed.

 

I am curious, was the writing that of the OP or previously written by another person.

 

Good thoughts/questions!

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? ? ?

 

 

Another question: If you received that response to one of your posts, would you feel pleased or insulted?

 

 

I assume that you meant MY response to your post.

 

If that is so, I thought that you would have been pleased at my complimentary response.

 

I cannot imagine how any reasonable person would be "insulted" by what I wrote.

 

Based on your well-written and thoughtful initial post, I concluded that you would know that my response was a compliment.

 

I guess there is no pleasing some people.

 

Nonetheless, I still think your initial post was a good thought provoking piece of writing and I am pleased that you posted it.

 

Oh, and you did not say whether the initial post was your thoughts of those of another writer.

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i grew up in Las Vegas, where the lines were clearer, at least once upon a time. Everything having to do with gambling was fine as long as it was licensed and the right people were making the money and the power people, otherwise known as the authorities (who included Harry Reid at one point), were deferred to. Everything having to do with prostitution had another set of lines -- the county line. A few miles north and you were in Nye County, which had licensed and supervised prostitution, but legal only, as with gambling in Clark County, if the right people were making the money and the right people were deferred to in regard to the legalities.

 

Of course there was plenty of prostitution going on in Clark County too. As part of high school civics our class was invited to meet the District Attorney, who I recall was a first class jerk. As I reflect on it, he was a jerk in part because he told the truth about something that mattered. One of the students asked him why were there so many laws and how could his people possibly keep up with everyone who was breaking all those laws. Without hardly pausing for thought, though it is possible that a brief moment was in fact sufficient to thoroughly canvass his intellectual resources, Ted Marshall said, in effect, The reason we have all those laws is to get the people we think we need to get. Give some thought to the "we" in that sentence, and the description of purpose of the legal system's activity as to "get", and I think you have all you need to understand the OP's questions.

 

It isn't rational. It exists in a chaotic state because that chaos, backed up by laws against virtually everything anyone could possibly want to do except maybe sit down to a home cooked meal with your legal spouse and your biological offspring, that chaos promotes the interest "we" have in "getting" what "we" want.

 

I suppose if you are part of the "we", that's just fine. You are one of the designated beneficiaries and/or people with power over other people. If you aren't, then too bad for you. Every time you turn around and blink, especially at someone you are attracted to and willing to pay, you are a potential snack for the system. Elliott Spitzer was especially tasty, since he himself was one of the power people feasting off of other people's transgressions. Schadenfreude, as they say. Getting the goods on a man with his pants down gives lots of opportunities for money and power, and always has. Prostitution is a time-honored path to public scorn and a powerful weapon for people who wish you no good, whether it is wielded for what passes for the political righteousness of the moment (David Vitter) or is a scurrilous manipulation of a person in an unguarded moment (Hugh Grant).

 

At least in Vegas it was out in the open and was actually once defended for what it really is! It's not about freedom to do what you want. It's about directing the revenues to the "right" people and about giving power over yourself to other people who wanrt that power and want to use it. It is NOT about enabling people to do what they want to do with what they have, and certainly not about entering into mutually beneficial relationships when money and power embedded in those relationships are supposed to be directed to our betters to enable their lives and goals. Certainly not to make any of the rest of us happy and content and looking forward with a clear conscience to the next time with that lovely, likely lad or lass.

 

End of rant. Harrumph!

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Guest countryboywny

Excellent post Charlie.. "When is paying for sex acceptable?" I would say when it occurs privately between two freely consenting adults. It shouldn't have anything to do with cultural and social acceptance because it's PRIVATE.

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Another consideration ...

 

Trophy (from Urban dictionary)

"His role in the relationship is to be her sugar daddy and provide her with power and material wealth. Hers, beyond providing sex, is to remind others that he is powerful or rich enough to be desirable to such a woman despite his age and thus to serve as a marker of this status -- hence the "trophy" part."

 

An interesting post, Charlie, that gives food for thought on so many different levels... where to start?

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That was what I found insulting.

 

 

Insulting!

 

Inconsistently, the portion you just quoted was posted AFTER my initial response! Therefore, you got insulted in advance.

 

Whether you wrote the post or someone else wrote it is not important. It was the thought provoking message that mattered. Apparently you missed that part of my response.

 

All I can say, at this point, is that you must have a lot of emotional bruises if you take a compliment and twist it into an insult.

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At least in Vegas it was out in the open and was actually once defended for what it really is! It's not about freedom to do what you want. It's about directing the revenues to the "right" people and about giving power over yourself to other people who wanrt that power and want to use it. It is NOT about enabling people to do what they want to do with what they have, and certainly not about entering into mutually beneficial relationships when money and power embedded in those relationships are supposed to be directed to our betters to enable their lives and goals. Certainly not to make any of the rest of us happy and content and looking forward with a clear conscience to the next time with that lovely, likely lad or lass.

As a current, long-time resident of Las Vegas, I have to disagree with your take as to when & where prostitution is acceptable. First, a little background information: prostitution is legal in most of the counties in Nevada (something like 13 of 16 counties, not sure of exact numbers); however, it is illegal in the two big population centers, Las Vegas and Reno. I don't know about Reno, but I know that in Las Vegas, both the police and the casinos hate prostitution. In the city that probably needs police the most, we have the fewest police officers per thousand population of any big city (1 million+) in the country. Because Metro (what everyone calls the local police here) is woefully understaffed, they have to pick & choose their priorities. One month they'll focus on running red lights, the next stolen car stings, then prostitution. When they shift focus away from prostitution, they find that drug trafficking increases substantially. The prevailing theory is that vices go hand in hand, hookers & blow. If demand/activity for prostitution is high, demand/activity for drugs increases in lockstep. And drug trafficking in Las Vegas isn't your friendly high school senior selling some weed; it's more in the form of scary Mexican drug cartels. Casinos hate prostitution because of the all too common trick rolls. Hey, it's not the Bellagio's fault that working girl made off with your wallet/watch/laptop/smartphone, but you'll always have a negative association with the hotel and Vegas in general. So in sum, the powers-that-be (and there's no one more powerful in this town than the big casino-hotels) simply hate prostitution and do everything they can to discourage it.

 

The small towns where prostitution is legal apparently love it. It's a nice little source of income for the small towns (outside of the the Las Vegas and Reno greater metropolitan areas, there are only very small towns in Nevada) plus they can keep an eye on everything, in particular drug trafficking. I never hear about trick rolls at the ranches (the legal brothels seem to be some kind of ranch: Chicken Ranch, Bunny Ranch, Sheri's Ranch). Hey, they have their good reputations to protect!

 

Finally, the number one reason I think prostitution will never be legalized outside of small localities like Pahrump NV is that wives feel very threatened by it. This little hobby of ours ain't cheap, and it's a lot more expensive for straight guys. An hour with a working guy is usually $200-300 whereas an hour with a working girl is more like $500. How many households in America can afford an expenditure like that on a regular basis? or even a very occasional basis? And while I can't imagine a working girl suing one particular client for child support, there's something very worrisome to women about their husbands depositing their sperm into another woman, no matter how irrational this fear/anxiety might be.

 

All that said, I think it's ridiculous that sex-for-money on a per-hour or per-evening basis is illegal while sex-for-money in an indefinite time period is perfectly legal. I can't imagine that Donald Sterling hands over a fistful of hundreds to his 31-year-old girlfriend every time they're together (eeewwwww! that visual!!), but there's no way she'd be with him if she weren't getting plenty of financial reward. One could say the same for almost every wealthy (but unattractive) man with a much younger, hotter girlfriend/boyfriend. So it's legal to pay for sex, just not by the hour. Granted, it'll never change, but sheesh, how ridiculous.

Edited by BSR

My ignore list:  marylander1940, MiamiLooker, stevenkesslar

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Thanks, BSR. I am sure you are accurate and up to date. I was writing about the era of my adolescence, circa 1964 or so. Vegas is a MUCH bigger and more complex place now.

 

I wrote what I did because it seemed a good idea in the context of the original post to raise the usefulness of prostitution as an instrument of social control.

 

P.S. Reading over my post, I think I see where you are going. In the last paragraph I alluded to "it" being out in the open. In that paragraph I was not clear... The "it" in question is not prostitution, as in prostitution was out in the open and approved of. It was not, as you say. With the "it" in the last paragraph I meant to refer to the open admission of the purpose of law enforcement, including vice laws, as ways with which the system had leverage over people who broke the law. My writing wasn't clear. Apologies.

 

Sorry if I seemed to say that prostitution was legal in Vegas. It wasn't, but of course it went on all the time, and that the DA found it and other lawbreaking convenient for the purpose of "getting" people was what was open and approved of.

 

I should really edit better!

Edited by BgMstr4u
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I am curious, was the writing that of the OP or previously written by another person.

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imrthr, all that flowery stuff before this line could be considered total bullshit after reading this one line by many people. I agree with Charlie, the compliments became a backhanded slap with the question, "did you write this or commit plagiary?"

“The most progressive thing about Joe Biden is his dementia” - Braeden Sorbo

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Upon reconsideration, I realize that I gave a term paper assignment when it should have been a short essay response. I ought to have noticed the students in the back row rolling their eyes as I kept elaborating. Sorry.

 

I'd still like to hear your ideas about any part of the question.

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imrthr, all that flowery stuff before this line could be considered total bullshit after reading this one line by many people. I agree with Charlie, the compliments became a backhanded slap with the question, "did you write this or commit plagiary?"

 

 

1. A compliment becomes an insult.

 

2. A valid question becomes something “out of the blue.”

 

3. A valid question is incredibly transformed into a supposed accusation of plagiarism.

 

By the way, you used a quotation mark when you wrote plagiary. You quoted something that was never said. In other words, you made up that quote, yourself.

 

For those, who misinterpreted my response, let me suggest that you go back and read my initial post and subsequent responses and rethink your malicious remarks.

 

Although this may be difficult for some, try to realize that I was impressed with the post in question. I thought (apparently incorrectly), that the original poster might have read something similar to what he had posted and had paraphrased what he had read. Had he done so, is not plagiarism.

 

I asked the question solely to learn if the post were written by the poster or by another author.

 

Much of what was written in the initial post reflects my own view of the subject matter. If the post was inspired by another person, I had hoped to learn the name of the author so that I could obtain additional works written by the same man. There was nothing nefarious intended by my question.

 

The responses made by a few are disappointing. Such responses would be expected from a group of immature and unhappy teenagers, rather than by adults who wish to exchange ideas.

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Edited by imrthr
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That was my reaction, too. I winced when I read that. I thought "Why would anyone question if he wrote it?"

imrthr, all that flowery stuff before this line could be considered total bullshit after reading this one line by many people. I agree with Charlie, the compliments became a backhanded slap with the question, "did you write this or commit plagiary?"
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1. A compliment becomes an insult.

 

2. A valid question becomes something “out of the blue.”

 

3. A valid question is incredibly transformed into a supposed accusation of plagiarism.

 

By the way, you used a quotation mark when you wrote plagiary. You quoted something that was never said. In other words, you made up that quote, yourself.

 

For those, who misinterpreted my response, let me suggest that you go back and read my initial post and subsequent responses and rethink your malicious remarks.

 

Although this may be difficult for some, try to realize that I was impressed with the post in question. I thought (apparently incorrectly), that the original poster might have read something similar to what he had posted and had paraphrased what he had read. Had he done so, is not plagiarism.

 

I asked the question solely to learn if the post were written by the poster or by another author.

 

Much of what was written in the initial post reflects my own view of the subject matter. If the post was inspired by another person, I had hoped to learn the name of the author so that I could obtain additional works written by the same man. There was nothing nefarious intended by my question.

 

The responses made by a few are disappointing. Such responses would be expected from a group of immature and unhappy teenagers.

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The first sign of intelligence is recognizing that someone could possibly read what you wrote and have a different interpretation of what it means.

 

The second sign of intelligence is re-reading what you wrote before defending yourself against that mis-interpretation - telling others to go back and read what you wrote isn't going to change their minds about it.

 

Understanding how others mis-interpreted what was written could be educational for the writer who has been mis-interpreted. Many times I've posted here only to have my figurative head handed back to me for the inexactitude of my writings.

 

Moving from a paragraph of complimentary commentary to the very next paragraph asking the author the source of his post is at least a slanted way of communicating your curiosity that others may interpret as a slam against the writer for plagiarism. We all know you don't see it that way, but Charlie, others and I have that interpretation.

 

Plagiarism is defined at dictionary.com as "an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author."

Therefore, paraphrasing without attribution is plagiarism, too. Exactly the reasoning you gave in this post for asking Charlie the source of the writing.

 

The GREATEST IGNORANCE is failing to comprehend that others may interpret your written words in a manner differently than your intent due to your inexact use of the language, and the construct of your question. The First Sign of Intelligence is the ability to accept that fact that others can be at times smarter than you.

 

The GREATEST SIGN OF IGNORANCE is stooping to name-calling. Whether we are or are not immature and unhappy teenagers, your inexact use of the language is what got you in this mess. You failed to understand that complimenting someone's writing followed by questioning the writer's ownership is insulting, even now after others have agreed with Charlie's response.

 

While I haven't seen my teen years for nearly 40 years now, I can still comprehend what you wrote in the manner I and several others understood it to mean. My first post to you was to explain how I understood what you wrote. Speaking desultory things about me to put me down regarding my perfectly valid comprehension of your post does not change the fact that you wrote a post that could be and was interpreted by several as an insult to Charlie.

 

So go ahead, call me another name!

“The most progressive thing about Joe Biden is his dementia” - Braeden Sorbo

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And while I can't imagine a working girl suing one particular client for child support, there's something very worrisome to women about their husbands depositing their sperm into another woman, no matter how irrational this fear/anxiety might be.

 

I think it' s perfectly rational to be worried about that if the husband is mongering. Plenty of men are willing to pay extra for condom free sex. If the father's income is high enough, child support can support the mother comfortably too. Many women take full advantage of that, so why shouldn't a working girl do so?

 

All that said, I think it's ridiculous that sex-for-money on a per-hour or per-evening basis is illegal while sex-for-money in an indefinite time period is perfectly legal. I can't imagine that Donald Sterling hands over a fistful of hundreds to his 31-year-old girlfriend every time they're together (eeewwwww! that visual!!), but there's no way she'd be with him if she weren't getting plenty of financial reward. One could say the same for almost every wealthy (but unattractive) man with a much younger, hotter girlfriend/boyfriend. So it's legal to pay for sex, just not by the hour. Granted, it'll never change, but sheesh, how ridiculous.

 

Yeah, it's a slippery slope. You'd be surprised at the number of men who take a woman shopping not to keep her, but simply because they enjoy it. So is that still prostitution? I can imagine arguments both ways.

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

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Donald Sterling, an elderly married man, lavishes financial "gifts" on a beautiful young woman who everyone knows is his mistress; although he shows her off in public, no one, except his wife--and certainly not NBA officials!--complains that this is unacceptable behavior. The popular governor of New York is revealed to have hired expensive call girls, and his supporters hound him into resigning his office.

 

But remember that Spitzer had busted prostitution rings, so hypocrisy was an issue there.

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

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The first sign of intelligence is recognizing that someone could possibly read what you wrote and have a different interpretation of what it means.

 

The second sign of intelligence is re-reading what you wrote before defending yourself against that mis-interpretation - telling others to go back and read what you wrote isn't going to change their minds about it.

 

Understanding how others mis-interpreted what was written could be educational for the writer who has been mis-interpreted. Many times I've posted here only to have my figurative head handed back to me for the inexactitude of my writings.

 

Moving from a paragraph of complimentary commentary to the very next paragraph asking the author the source of his post is at least a slanted way of communicating your curiosity that others may interpret as a slam against the writer for plagiarism. We all know you don't see it that way, but Charlie, others and I have that interpretation.

 

Plagiarism is defined at dictionary.com as "an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author."

Therefore, paraphrasing without attribution is plagiarism, too. Exactly the reasoning you gave in this post for asking Charlie the source of the writing.

 

The GREATEST IGNORANCE is failing to comprehend that others may interpret your written words in a manner differently than your intent due to your inexact use of the language, and the construct of your question. The First Sign of Intelligence is the ability to accept that fact that others can be at times smarter than you.

 

The GREATEST SIGN OF IGNORANCE is stooping to name-calling. Whether we are or are not immature and unhappy teenagers, your inexact use of the language is what got you in this mess. You failed to understand that complimenting someone's writing followed by questioning the writer's ownership is insulting, even now after others have agreed with Charlie's response.

 

While I haven't seen my teen years for nearly 40 years now, I can still comprehend what you wrote in the manner I and several others understood it to mean. My first post to you was to explain how I understood what you wrote. Speaking desultory things about me to put me down regarding my perfectly valid comprehension of your post does not change the fact that you wrote a post that could be and was interpreted by several as an insult to Charlie.

 

So go ahead, call me another name!

 

 

For reason that mystify me, you took it upon yourself to post two diatribes in response to my well intended reply to the subject of this thread.

 

Your first malicious diatribe was:

 

 

imrthr, all that flowery stuff before this line could be considered total bullshit after reading this one line by many people. I agree with Charlie, the compliments became a backhanded slap with the question, "did you write this or commit plagiary?"

 

 

 

Then you wrote a longer diatribe (shown above) that contains errors and which indicates that you have difficulty understanding written words or at least difficulty in “connecting the dots” while composing and/or reading a written document.

 

For example, your second diatribe continues with a lecture from you indicating that you know the rules of “learning” and what you consider to be “ignorant” plus several other misinterpretations of fact.

 

You ended your diatribe by stating that I am guilty of “stooping to name calling.”

 

In response to your accusation of my supposed "name calling," your attention is invited to what I wrote in my post, which was -

 

“The responses made by a few are disappointing. Such responses would be expected from a group of immature and unhappy teenagers. “

 

This is not “name calling.” What I wrote expressed my opinion of the behavior of a few (you being the greatest offender) who wrote that my compliment was an insult to the originator of the thread. No one was called a name.

 

Therefore, before you make another installment of your writings, let me suggest that you have someone proofread your next diatribe so that you do not continue to post inaccurate information.

 

One has to wonder what would motivate someone to come to this forum and write malicious and inappropriate responses and to attack the well meaning of others. There are civil ways to disagree. I don’t believe that your method can or would be considered civil.

 

Among other things, this forum is supposed to be an exchange of ideas. It is not intended to be a vehicle to inflict hostile accusations against other posters.

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I think on this board the answer to when is paying for sex acceptable is ANYTIME you feel like it. But, unfortunately, in the broader society paying for sex is still viewed by the overwhelming majority as almost some sort of crime (and is, of course, still illegal). It seems acceptance of gay marriage is coming faster than legalized prostitution. Go figure.

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Guest boiworship08
But remember that Spitzer had busted prostitution rings, so hypocrisy was an issue there.

 

I don't know about the "beautiful young woman" part.

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Donald Sterling, an elderly married man, lavishes financial "gifts" on a beautiful young woman who everyone knows is his mistress;

 

Just for clarity, the strum^H^H^H^H young woman in this news cycle's lawyer released a press release yesterday clarifying that 1) she's veryveryveryvery sorry and 2) she is NOT his mistress, she's his archivist.

 

(The press release would read exactly the same if it ended with "I swear I am not making this up.")

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