Daily Archives: September 13, 2008

Prostitution or Capitalism? Virginity on the Auction Block

This week, a 22 year old student in San Diego is auctioning her virginity. Predictably, it has sparked a firestorm on teh intarweb regarding morality.

“Maybe this is the conservative in me coming out, but this seems so wrong,” wrote one blogger, Mike. “Isn’t this prostitution?”

“I must say I feel sad for the future of our society,” said Mike from Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Is it prostitution? Yes. Yes, it is. Rather predictably, it doesn’t bother me. Here’s the thing: prostitution should never have been a crime. Women (and men) are offering services for money. Some people are willing to pay for those services. The fact of the matter is….it’s their bodies. They’re the only ones who should have a say as to whether they sell it or not. I do wonder if there would be quite the black market trade for sex slaves were prostitution legal.

Let’s look at Nevada. Those women (and men)* have health insurance, are clean, are not mistreated, are in many cases earning money to put themselves through school….all legally.

Prostitution law is essentially legislating morality. Now…don’t get me wrong. Prostitution is not something I want my daughter to see as the best way of putting one’s self through school. But we’re not doing ourselves or those women any favors by criminalizing it. And from what I can tell, it hasn’t reduced the numbers significantly. Making the fines stiffer, imposing tougher sentences….hell, even the guy renowned for prosecuting hookers frequented them. And yet we continue to pretend that an adult willingly selling their body^ is somehow a criminal. I realize this may be a bit abstract, but … isn’t there a point where we all end up trading sex for something we want? If we were really honest with ourselves, I’m not sure how many people would be able to say they didn’t trade sex for something or something for sex. Security, marriage, a car, hell… I’ve even heard coworkers talk about giving their husbands blowjobs to get them to do various things around the house. How is that NOT trading sex for a payoff?

We like to pretend that sex is always (or should be) some pure thing, some high emotional transaction, a mingling of souls. When the fact of the matter is….we are human beings. Mammals. Animals. And we are at our most animalistic during sex. An orgasm isn’t a holy union. It’s a biological function. That happens to feel good. And I do not say this to denigrate it. I say this because I think people have turned sex into a false idol. We’ve put it on a pedestal and changed it into a mold it doesn’t fit. Hence all the neurosis. Sex is sex. It feels good, and we like it. But like most things, it’s been totally mangled and demonized by both religion and society.

Let the girl do whatever the hell she wants with her body. If someone finds worth in what she has to sell and she’s examined her innermost self and is okay with the repercussions….so be it. This is America. Where we believe we are free to live our lives as we like. Leave her the hell alone already.

*sorry I keep putting (and men) in parenthases. But I don’t see men prostituting themselves in nearly the numbers that women do. Not sure why that is. On the other hand…I’ve seen the business world. We’re all someone’s whore at the end of the day….

^ I am not talking about those who are forced into the sex slave industry or underaged or coerced people. Obviously, that’s another kettle of fish. I’m only addressing those who choose to do so of their own volition.

Waiting on Ike

As a new Dallas resident, Ike is my first hurricane.

The darling man has reassured me that, as we’re to the west of the trajectory, we shouldn’t have to worry about much more than heavy rain and some lightning; the majority of the tornadoes centering to the east of the storm.

This is rather a new experience for me; I’m from San Francisco. When the earth gets pissed off there, it moves a few feet north or south, it’s over in 12 seconds or so, and then we clean up any glass shards. I’m not used to sitting around waiting to see what happens. That’s the major difference, I think, between then and now. You don’t anticipate earthquakes. They pretty much happen whenever pressure decides it’s time to happen, and your warning is the slight nauseous feeling that hits about two seconds before the first roll of the earth. Then it’s find a doorway if you’re close enough, or just relax and let it pass if it’s small enough (to a jaded Barbary Coast girl like me, anything less than a 5 isn’t even worth pulling off the road for).

I’ve tried not to act anxiously, but I cannot close the tab I’ve had opened at accuweather.com for the past hour. I’m not sure “knowing it’s coming” is all it’s cracked up to be.

I am interested in finding out if people react to hurricane threats the way they react to “possible earthquake activity” warnings in California. Water, toilet paper, candles and batteries seem to magically disappear from stores.

Thus far, the video and pictures from Galveston are not comforting. Many who should have fled did not, and will now require rescue. The projected numbers from authorities in four coastal counties put the estimate at 140,000. I can only hope for the sake of their families that they’re still alive and well, but much like landslide & flood victims, I have never been able to fathom why anyone would stay in the path of such destruction.

I had been hoping to be on a  plane this morning; obviously that isn’t happening anytime soon. Later I’ll round up the fam and head out to Costco to see if we can’t whip up some appropriate hysteria. In the mean time, I’ll stick to accuweather, hitting refresh and thinking for the thousandth time about how much better I had it with earthquakes. At least the bed shook in the middle of the night occasionally.