Friday, October 27, 2006

Sex, gays and prostitution

Over on, Professor Eugene Volokh is asking how someone reconciles (a) believing in full marriage rights for gays and lesbians can also (b) support prohibitions on prostitution.

Here's my comment:

My reason is that sex should be fun, but although gays and lesbians enjoy sex as much as -- and usually more than -- straight folk, no prostitutes I know enjoy having transactional sex with their johns. Indeed, becoming a prostitute radically transforms, and often destroys, a prostitute's ability to enjoy sex with anyone ever again. As a result, their initial "choice" to engage in prostitution erodes the sexual freedom that I think is somewhat critical to enjoying a healthy and free life. In other words, I'm less concerned about sexual autonomy rights, and more concerned about the normative outcomes of sexual public policy. Fostering gay relationships enhances sexual autonomy. But so does banning prostitution.

In response to this comment, someone named "Toby" asked:

Many kitchen workers find their relationship to food to be radically changed by the expereince (and many don't). SHould we generalize?

Toby, you ignorant slut. Do you think "kitchen workers" have the same relationship with food that prostitutes do with sex, i.e., they feel an intense self-loathing and desperation every time they eat lunch?


Blogger Johnbai3030 said...

You speak with authority about the emotions of prostitutes. I'm not saying you're wrong, but where does that come from?

PS. I like the homage to Dan Acroyd

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing. smile Mama

2:02 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I knew someone would ask. I interviewed prostitutes for my radio show in law school, "Law Talk," and I also did research for an economics paper I wrote in college. But it would have been more accurate to write "My deep suspicion is . . ." rather than suggesting, er, I know a bunch of whores.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was that college paper the "myth of rape" one that generated so much controversy, my dear brother?

1:55 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

"The Rape Myth" was an article that challenged the prevailing view that one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime -- a notion I still think is absurd, unless you define "assault" so broadly as to be meaningless in practical terms. No, I wrote an essay about the price curve for prostitutes, from high end to street level.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Johnbai3030 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Johnbai3030 said...

From my own experience in dating women, I've found that at least one in four women have suffered a sexual assault... and they have all had some pretty deep scars from the experience, which would indicate that their definition was not "so broad as to be meaningless."

11:44 AM  

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