Should politicians legalize the sex trade?

I have mixed feelings about the sex trade.  I feel men and women enter the sex trade as a result of many complex social issues such as drug addiction, poverty, and a history of sexual abuse.


The idea of selling your body for money brings forward profound ethical and moral issues.  It can do permanent damage to your self-esteem, self confidence, and your spirit.  You may feel guilty for your actions for years and need forgiveness to move forward.  Not to mention, prostitution may lead to the development of sexual addiction problems.  If you are involved in the sex trade, there is a very high chance that you will get addicted to drugs, get HIV or an STD, or be killed.  It is not exactly as glamorous a lifestyle as portrayed by Julia Roberts in the film Pretty Woman


Some people say that entering the sex trade is a choice.  Perhaps for some people it is a choice.  As for others, it is one of the few careers or life options for transgendered women.  How else are they going to get the thousands of dollars they need for their sex re-assignment surgery when it is not covered by the BC medical insurance plan.  This kind of regressive health policy essentially leads to legislated prostitution for many transgendered women. 


On the other hand, persons with specific disabilities should have the services of a sex trade worker covered under MSP. Sex is a normal and natural part of the human condition and should not be deprived for anyone.  A healthy sex life should be part of an overall health and wellness plan. 


On the issue of the sex trade, I am essentially a realist.  I do not feel it will disappear so I feel the federal and provincial politicians need to develop practical policies, health and safety standards, and regulations on the matter.  This is for everyone’s benefit especially the men and women in the sex trade that are among the most marginalized and oppressed in our society. 


I feel it is time for the political leaders to stand up for people involved in the sex trade.  The men and women in the sex trade business have been ignored for thousands of years by most people in positions of power.  I wonder what Christy Clark and Adrian Dix have to say about this.  I have a feeling I know what Stephen Harper will say being a social conservative.   


Below I describe ten reasons why the political leaders need to take steps to  legalize the sex trade.


  • Technology - Street prostitution is slowly becoming extinct.  The internet and mobile phones are creating a huge online market for erotic massage, escorts, phone sex, and even live shows via web cam.  As the economy tanks, more and more people are turning to prostitution to make some money.  If the government is serious about abolishing prostitution it should adopt a policy of low unemployment and high wages.  This will reduce the numbers of men and women entering the sex trade. 


  • Health - A professional association for sex trade workers will reduce overall health care costs for society.  The association can require all sex trade workers to be free of STD’s or disclose their condition to their client in order to obtain a license to practice.  This will encourage everyone in the sex trade industry to practice safe sex and less diseases will be spread throughout the larger society.


  • Business - A red light district would provide a safe harbour from serial killers and violent clients.   The sex trade workers can set up cooperatives and safe, secure, and clean brothels.  The red light district in Amsterdam is a popular tourist attraction despite its problems with trafficking which would need to be addressed in Vancouver. 


  • Crime - Regulation would provide incentives for sex trade workers to report underage workers since they would be taking business away from legal, adult, licensed workers. 


  • Physical – Pimps can be banned.  This will give more control to sex trade workers over who they sleep with and free them from the forced taking of drugs, rape, and violence.


  • Legal - The legal system does not need to spend money on prosecuting sex trade workers or their clients.  Sex between consenting adults should not be a crime whether it’s paid or not paid.  The prisons should be left for hard core criminals.


  • Social - A professional association for sex trade workers can provide various health and wellness, family oriented, and practical social services such as free counseling, STD checks, career and vocational options, and support for those who have children. 


  • Police - If the sex trade were legalized then sex trade workers could turn to the police and not be afraid of police harassment.


  • Human Rights -  I feel the major reason the sex trade is not legalized is because it is dominated by women.  The huge black market that has been created has lead to the victimization, oppression, discrimination, and murder of many innocent women.  Another reason is the moral high ground that comes from segments of society often due to religious views.  


  • Taxes -  Most people do not complain that alcohol, tobacco, and casino gambling are legalized.  In fact they bring in billions of tax revenue for the government which supports health, education, social services, and hundreds of charities throughout the province.  The legalization of the sex trade will also start to bring in increased tax revenue for the government and reduce legal, court, and police related costs.


Last, many people prostitute themselves to some degree whether it is for a job promotion, money, or sex.  How many older men have you seen with beautiful young women?  Is this sugar daddy or sometimes even sugar mamma relationship a type of prostitution? 


I have said my peace.  Should the politicians legalize the sex trade?  Perhaps they should think about the option since a lot of them seem to get caught up in sex scandals.  I'd love to hear your side on this controversial and heated issue. 

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