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July 16, 2005 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Do Not Remove This Condom Under Penalty Of Law A New Zealand man who removed a condom during sex with a prostitute has been fined for putting her life at risk.
posted by halekon (70 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
If he's having sex with a hooker, isn't he putting HIMSELF at risk even more?
posted by clevershark at 3:31 PM on July 16, 2005


Morgan reportedly told the court he had removed the condom because he knew the prostitute would not have consented to have sex with him otherwise.
Wait, there are hookers out there who demand that their clients remove their condoms? What are they, devout Catholic? :)
posted by kaemaril at 3:36 PM on July 16, 2005


A New Zealand man who removed a condom during sex with a prostitute has been fined for putting her life at risk.

Good. Is this supposed to sound outrgeously wrong?
posted by scarabic at 3:38 PM on July 16, 2005


Amazing, a country that passes laws that actually protect sex workers rather than laws with the stated purpose of protecting women that get them into all sorts of trouble instead.
posted by grouse at 3:41 PM on July 16, 2005


Sounds exactly right to me.
posted by teece at 3:42 PM on July 16, 2005


Excellent.

The fact of the matter is, there is NO practical societal upshot to making prostitution illegal and a huge host of down sides.

The rest of us should be calling upon our respective republic-style representative to follow New Zealand's lead in this.
posted by InnocentBystander at 3:57 PM on July 16, 2005


Christchurch District Court and New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective:

Working together to save lives!
posted by HyperBlue at 4:01 PM on July 16, 2005


"Christchurch District Court and New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective:

Working together to save lives!"


WWJD

Who would Jesus do?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:06 PM on July 16, 2005


Clevershark, some risks, like warts, herpes, gonorrhea and syphilis, are about evenly shared; a man catching HIV from vaginally "barebacking" a woman is pretty rare, at least in the US. Increased risk factors for men include menstruation and/or open sores on the penis, and (some say) a foreskin.

The upshot is most of those American married men who claim they get HIV from female prostitutes are probably lying.
posted by davy at 4:29 PM on July 16, 2005


davy--

Er, female-to-male transmission is harder, but by no means difficult. According to this source, guys are maybe half to a third as vulnerable as girls -- not 1/1000th as vulnerable, and nowhere near unimaginable / implying dishonesty.

Just in case someone buys what you're selling, this data comes from:

8 Mastro T, Satten Glen, Naopkesorn T, et at. Probability of female-to-male transmission of HIV-1 in Thailand. Lancet 1994:343:204-207
9 Nicolosi A, Correa Leite ML, Musicco M, et al. The efficiency of male-to-female and female-to-male sexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus: a study of 730 stable couples. Italian Study Group on HIV Heterosexual Transmission. Epidemiology. 1994; 5 (6):565-7
10 Padian NS, Shiboski SC, Jewell NP. Female-to-male transmission of human immunodeficiency virus. JAMA 1991; 266(12):1664-7.
11 European Study Group on Heterosexual Transmission of HIV. Camparison of female to male and male to female transmission of HIV in 563 stable couples. BMJ 1992; 304:809-13

Got something better? Maybe you think Thai / European penises are somehow more vulnerable?
posted by effugas at 4:45 PM on July 16, 2005


It only sounds weird if you don't understand the basis of NZ law, or you live in parts of the US where you don't get educated much on other countries. Not to be a jerk, but it's true. When people say America is a bunch of dumb people its like any other stereotype: Mostly false but a glimmer of truth.
posted by Dean Keaton at 4:57 PM on July 16, 2005


Metafilter: Mostly false but a glimmer of truth.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:03 PM on July 16, 2005


This is excellant. Stuff working the way it should.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:13 PM on July 16, 2005


If the guy claims he removed it at her request, now did he get caught? Seems pretty odd, to me.
posted by delmoi at 6:08 PM on July 16, 2005


The guy was a bastard and got his just desserts. His so called excuse really boggles the mind. It basically boils down to "I am so rad no chick would want my member covered in rubber, they want the real me." Yeah, right.
posted by caddis at 6:16 PM on July 16, 2005


effugas: While davy may have been mistaken about the likelihood of a man contract HIV from a woman via unprotected vaginal intercourse, I wonder how common it is for that type of infection to occur as a percentage of all other ways people become infected. The case may be that most men who claim to have contracted HIV from a prositute are still liars.

Also - what is the likelihood of a woman being infected via unprotected vaginal sex? If it is something like 30% implying that a man's likelihood is about 10%, then maybe davy's point still holds up?
posted by mullacc at 6:22 PM on July 16, 2005


What caddis (and others) have said. And good on NZ for legalizing prostitution.
posted by deborah at 6:26 PM on July 16, 2005


And if he wants, Mr. Morgan can pay his fine online. New Zealand is certainly admirable in many ways.
posted by birdsquared at 6:37 PM on July 16, 2005


And if he wants, Mr. Morgan can pay his fine online. New Zealand is certainly admirable in many ways.

It would sure beat having to go to some counter and, at the front of the queue, have to give the clerk the information needed to indentify the fine you wanted to pay :)

"Oh - you're that guy!"
posted by -harlequin- at 6:47 PM on July 16, 2005


HIV female-to-male: as mentioned above, some other factors greatly change the risk, especially the presence of other STDs. STD rates are very high in Africa, there is a cultural preference for unlubricated females, and other factors weaken the immune system. As a result, female-to-male transmission is very common. The possibility of other unaccounted for transmission vectors, like needle-sharing, also skews the results.

The bottom line is that under ideal conditions, it is much less likely to contract HIV female-to-male. As those conditions vary from the ideal, the risk increases. You can't really evaluate what the real risk is unless you account for the socioeconomic factors that are deeply influential.

As to this post, this is exactly the way it should be. Bravo.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:50 PM on July 16, 2005


I think it's good that the law protects sex workers, and if the law does that, I think it's good that this guy has to pay. There's nothing in the article about his HIV status, though. At most it seems like he may have put her life at risk, which is very different from what he seems to be fined for.
posted by OmieWise at 7:01 PM on July 16, 2005


STD rates are very high in Africa, there is a cultural preference for unlubricated females
1 - "Africa" is not a country or a region, but a continent twice as large as the United States, with dramatically differing cultural conditions across countries.

2 - Following on 1, could you kindly stop spewing this nonsensical urban legend about "Africans" having a thing for "dry sex?" The continent has a bad enough image as it is* without a smear like this one being added unto it; just because people in some corner of Africa might indulge in certain practices doesn't mean it's true of the whole.

*Thanks in large part to the Bob Geldofs who help perpetuate the impression that war and starvation are the lot of most Africans, when the truth is that famine is localized to certain areas, and is a direct result of stupid political choices, e.g. Mugabe, the Dergue.
posted by Goedel at 7:08 PM on July 16, 2005


3 - Oh, and by the way, it would be nice if you could provide some hard evidence to back your assertion that STD rates are particularly high in "Africa", rather than proceeding on the assumption that all those poor black people must be promiscuous as hell ...
posted by Goedel at 7:12 PM on July 16, 2005


You've got to be fucking kidding me. Fuck off. And, you know, read something. Maybe the CDCs HIV newsletter. Anything. Christ, what a fuckwit you are.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:19 PM on July 16, 2005


can someone please tell me how the guy put the life of the woman at risk? i'm all for legalizing prostitution and giving the sex workers more rights and protections but i'm clearly missing something on this story. also, when i was in new zealand on vacation a couple of years ago i got a bad cold. i went to the drug store to buy cough medicine only to find out i needed a prescription to buy cough medicine. i thought this to be rather odd and overbearing. the overlords were involved no doubt.
posted by brandz at 7:22 PM on July 16, 2005


"...rather than proceeding on the assumption that all those poor black people must be promiscuous as hell"

I don't know why I care, but think about what you write there. About your assumption about my supposed assumption. This says way, way more about you than it does me. Because "promiscuity" was not in my mind in any way. And, um, yeah I know that Africa is a continent. There's a bunch of people who live on that continent. Some things are true for a majority of them that are not true (or as true) for the peoples of other continents. Deal with it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:22 PM on July 16, 2005


For those who want to be less ignorant than Goedel (note my bolding):

From this page at the Population Resource Center:From amfAR's page titled Women: The New Face of AIDS:

"Social conventions and cultural traditions further exacerbate women's vulnerability to HIV. Traditional practices such as polygamy, widow inheritance (which requires women to wed their late husband's brother), and a preference for unlubricated or "dry sex" increase the likelihood that women will become HIV-infected."

From PATH's Reproductive Health Outlook site, a page on "Harmful Traditional Health Practices", subsection on "Dry Sex and Vaginal Drying Agents":posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:50 PM on July 16, 2005


Ethereal Bligh - don't forget the post on the Blue
posted by nathan_teske at 8:06 PM on July 16, 2005


Wow, I don't think I've ever seen someone get so fact-spanked as Goedel has been upon this day.

I agree, by the way, that the law seems to be working. I'm particularly glad the prosecutors don't have to prove that the man had a life threatening STD, in order to convict him for putting her at risk.
posted by Jezztek at 8:25 PM on July 16, 2005


i went to the drug store to buy cough medicine only to find out i needed a prescription to buy cough medicine.

That's odd. There are plenty of non-perscription cough medicines. In fact, I'd go as far to say that if it's prescription, it doesn't even count as "cough medicine" :-) What was in the stuff you wanted?

There will naturally be differences as to what is availible with and without a presciption - (eg some things require a prescription in the US that do not in NZ. (Is the morning after pill availible without a doctor in NZ?)). But cough medicine? Sounds like potent stuff :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 8:44 PM on July 16, 2005


Jezztek: The legislation, which by the way, isn't up everyone's alley, states:

9.Sex workers and clients must adopt safer sex practices- (1)A person must not provide or receive commercial sexual services unless he or she has taken all reasonable steps to ensure a prophylactic sheath or other appropriate barrier is used if those services involve vaginal, anal, or oral penetration or another activity with a similar or greater risk of acquiring or transmitting sexually transmissible infections.

No need to prove any STD, let alone a life threatening one.
(The whole statute is here.)

EB - thank you. I now consider myself less ignorant than Goedel. I was aware of the high incidence of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, but I wasn't aware of the prevalence of "dry sex" (ugh).
posted by birdsquared at 9:08 PM on July 16, 2005


Morning after pill is available here in NZ from pharmacies without prescription.
Brandz may not have been able to get certain cough medicines over the counter due to fuss about Bad Eggs obtaining pseudoephedrine that way. P-P-P P Panic
posted by Catch at 9:27 PM on July 16, 2005


just ordinary robitussin or the like. nothing intense. that's what was so strange.
posted by brandz at 9:33 PM on July 16, 2005


See Goedel.

See Goedel run.

Run, Goedel! Run!
posted by InnocentBystander at 9:41 PM on July 16, 2005


Looking for a 'candy' fix, right, brandz?

/joke
posted by birdsquared at 9:43 PM on July 16, 2005


yes, Catch. the P-P-P P Panic sets the overlords into action.
posted by brandz at 10:16 PM on July 16, 2005


Go New Zealand! They are also (as far as I know) the only country that seriously practices Restorative Justice, which I can say from experience is amazingly powerful stuff.

The RJ solution to this would be for the offender, the sex worker, and at least a couple family and/or friends of each party to gather in a moderated conference, which wouldn't end until they satisfactorily answer three questions:

1) What happened,
2) How was everyone affected by what happened, and
3) What are we going to do about it to make things right (this is sentencing!).

Man I'd love to be a fly on the wall on that conference! A fine doesn't really strike me as a just solution to this at all.

posted by 31d1 at 10:21 PM on July 16, 2005


31d1:
I think by becoming a national example, a married man having this affair become part of the public record and all over the media, he has probably done more to ensure it never happens again than any man in history. While that doesn't address the sex worker's weeks of waiting for the test results, in a way, it's kinda restorative for sex workers in general :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 10:43 PM on July 16, 2005


Ethereal Bligh: The fact is that the point about your phrasing treating Africa as a monolithic entity still stands.

As far as I can see the studies you reference all refer to Southern Africa. Any that refer to Cote d'Ivorie, Somalia, Mali?

The point that says that Africa does not have an HIV problem clearly lies smoking and broken.
posted by lerrup at 11:09 PM on July 16, 2005


If you review my phrasing, I think you'll see that it connotes something that is not "all of" or "every country of". Each of the continents, assuming we don't use Eurasia but Europe and Asia, are justifiable social groupings. While George Bush may think that a continent is a country, I assume that most of the people I'm conversing with here know better and are quite cognizant of the caution that any generalization about an entire continent in a social matter will have a good number of exceptions. Culturally and historically, sub-Saharan Africa is more similar than not if placed in comparison with other regions, especially with regard to post-colonialist issues, (which include) poverty and famine. Most people I know are quite conscious that such generalizations about "Africa" do not include the north, just as most people are aware that such generalizations about "North America" don't include Central America although it's assuredly a part of North America. If you have a principled objection to these sorts of generalizations, then I would hope you'd also become averse to such generalizations about "North America", "The US", or "Europe". Or "Christians". Or whatever.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:18 AM on July 17, 2005


Morgan reportedly told the court he had removed the condom because he knew the prostitute would not have consented to have sex with him otherwise.

I know that this is the BBC, but I'm betting that this sentence should have read:

Morgan reportedly told the court he had removed the condom during sex because he knew the prostitute would not have consented to have sex with him if he had not been wearing one when they started.
posted by Chasuk at 1:19 AM on July 17, 2005


Chasuk - sounds right - Kiwi news sources.
stuff.co.nz
tvnz
posted by Catch at 1:48 AM on July 17, 2005


It only sounds weird if you don't understand the basis of NZ law, or you live in parts of the US where you don't get educated much on other countries. Not to be a jerk, but it's true. When people say America is a bunch of dumb people its like any other stereotype: Mostly false but a glimmer of truth.

This comment is total bullshit, considering that there has not been a single comment from an American here espousing your strawman.

When people say that America-haters are a bunch of ignorami, it's like any other stereotype: mostly false, but with a glimmer of truth. Keyser Soze, why do you hate America?
posted by grouse at 2:57 AM on July 17, 2005


The penalty for rape is a $153 fine?
posted by lunkfish at 4:12 AM on July 17, 2005


You've got to be fucking kidding me. Fuck off. And, you know, read something. Maybe the CDCs HIV newsletter. Anything. Christ, what a fuckwit you are.
Ooh, how eloquent! I'm bowled over by your overpowering intellect.
For those who want to be less ignorant than Goedel
Yes, I'm "ignorant": I'm only from Africa and have lived there, so why should I know anything about the place? No, having actually lived in and visited places like Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria confers absolutely no greater insight on me whatsoever, nor does being able to speak native languages like Hausa and Yoruba: if you say Africans all engage in dry sex, then it must be true!

As for your screendump, how does this disprove in any way my statement that you're overgeneralizing about the sexual practices of an entire continent? South Africa is a single country at the southernmost tip of the continent, not the entire place, and I was talking about your idiotic remarks about "dry sex", not whether HIV has a higher incidence on the continent than elsewhere. Maybe you ought to learn to actually read properly before engaging in more red-herring dumping?
Run, Goedel! Run!
A childish remark coming from an individual with the intellect of a child.
The point that says that Africa does not have an HIV problem clearly lies smoking and broken.
The thing is, though, that I've never denied that it does, which is why I back circumcision; what does not follow from this is that STD rates in general are higher in "Africa" than they are in other regions of the world, and in fact the epidemiology of AIDS in Southern Africa is easily explained by noting that the lentivirus originated somewhere in central Africa, and has had a lot more time to grow; under a model of exponential growth, even a small lead time translates into far high HIV rates, without any differences in sexual behavior or prevalence of diseases like syphillis and gonorrhea.
"Culturally and historically, sub-Saharan Africa is more similar than not if placed in comparison with other regions, especially with regard to post-colonialist issues, (which include) poverty and famine."
This remark shows why you are a complete and utter idiot, as absolutely nothing could be further from the truth! Nigeria alone has more cultural and linguistic diversity than all of Europe, or even India (see, e.g. the Easterly and Levine World Bank datasets from 1997). Pick up a history book or two before providing yet more evidence of your imbecility and ignorance to the world: I recommend the UNESCO series, or anything by Basil Davidson.

Oh, and hey, Ethereal Bligh, old Africa hand that you are, I suggest you translate the following for your moronic admirers once you're done dispensing your wisdom: Dan buro ubanka shege, ko ni da fun iya la iya re, otu nnegi. Tani ode bi iwo n ro kpe o n ba soro naa?
posted by Goedel at 5:32 AM on July 17, 2005


Hmm, why am I not surprised to discover that "Ethereal Bligh" is actually the blowhard called Keith M. Ellis, the textbook definition of a pseudo-intellectual poseur? Your goal in life seems to be to spread ignorance: when you aren't busy bloviating nonsensically about Gödel's incompleteness theorem on Crooked Timber to an actual mathematician, your thing to do is to make idiotic generalizations about a continent I'll always know far more intimately than a cretin like you ever will (see, you aren't the only one who knows how to fling insults about or call people names; the rest of us just don't mistake this sort of thing for an actual argument).
posted by Goedel at 5:42 AM on July 17, 2005


i'm still trying to figure out how the woman's life was put at risk.
posted by brandz at 6:06 AM on July 17, 2005


Gee, Goedel, sounds like somebody touched a nerve...now that you've impressed us all with what an old Africa hand you are, and how pissed at EB you are, maybe you'd like to, you know, add something factual to the conversation?

what does not follow from this is that STD rates in general are higher in "Africa" than they are in other regions of the world

So now you're raising the ante? A little while ago it was

it would be nice if you could provide some hard evidence to back your assertion that STD rates are particularly high in "Africa"

which EB did rather well. Or are you going to come up with some statistics of your own to refute the ones he posted? (As opposed to name-calling?)
posted by alumshubby at 6:58 AM on July 17, 2005


i'm still trying to figure out how the woman's life was put at risk.

The man's HIV status is unknown. If he is positive, he is putting her life at risk by removing the condom. It's unlikely that the man knows his HIV status. The last time I checked there was a time lag between infection with HIV and a positive test with conventional test. Even if he believes himself to be HIV negative because he was tested that day there is still no guarantee that he is HIV negative. There are tests with a shorter lag time but given that the man is obviously a fuck-wit I doubt that he is relying on results from those types of tests.


An analogous situation would be if he aimed a gun at her that he was "pretty sure" was unloaded and pulled the trigger.
posted by rdr at 7:09 AM on July 17, 2005


Abiola is not a mathematician. And if you think I was wrong in that comment on CT, you're not one either. And if you're Abiola, go away. Also, that thread was largely about the philosophy of science, in which I have considerable expertise. (Incidentally, it's hard to take anyone seriously who would be such a poseur as to call themselves "Goedel". Maybe you switch to "Einstein".)

You said that Africa doesn't have an unusually severe HIV problem. You're wrong. You said that "dry sex" was an urban legend. You're wrong. The fact that you've lived in Africa is almost completely irrelevant in a discussion of those two simple, easily verifiable facts. Sub-Saharan Africa is discussed as a unit in a variety of contexts, for good reason. Deal with it.

There are quite a few misconceptions about Africa (oh, sorry, I referred to "Africa" again) and certainly many of them arise from bigotry. You probably have good reason to be sensitive. But you're oversensitive almost to the point of paranoia, and your weird inferrence from my words that I was claiming the "promiscuity" of "Africans" is a perfect example of how nutty you can be in your zeal.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:20 AM on July 17, 2005


Just to underscore the point:

"...if you say Africans all engage in dry sex, then it must be true!"

I didn't. I said:

"STD rates are very high in Africa, there is a cultural preference for unlubricated females..."

In the US, there is a cultural preference for fried foods. Does that imply that all Americans prefer fried foods? Of course it doesn't. Get your hypersensitivity under control and start reading more carefully.

Also notice that I wrote "rates"--the plural--and consider what that implied, especially in the context of your accusations.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:24 AM on July 17, 2005


I'm only from Africa and have lived there, so why should I know anything about the place?

One would think that you would, but your comments indicate otherwise.
posted by grouse at 12:04 PM on July 17, 2005


And if you're Abiola, go away.

seriously, who or what is Abiola?

___

MetaFilter: Dan buro ubanka shege, ko ni da fun iya la iya re, otu nnegi.
posted by matteo at 1:15 PM on July 17, 2005


By removing his condom, this twit wasn't only potentially exposing the prostitute to HIV. There are other sexually transmitted diseases, such as some forms of hepatitis, that are even nastier. Also, any sexually transmitted disease would have made her unable to practise her profession (I'm assuming that NZ law includes tests for STDs on working girls).
posted by QIbHom at 3:14 PM on July 17, 2005


brandz and rdr - the BBC is probably the source of what appears to me to be an error - the man likely wasn't convicted for putting her life at risk, rather for not taking reasonable steps to use a condom. That's my guess from reading the act - I haven't found the transcript of the court proceedings.

I opine that the "putting her life at risk" stuff is hyperbole from the news sources, especially given the quotes from the sex worker herself.
posted by birdsquared at 3:20 PM on July 17, 2005


again, i still don't see how the man put the women's life at risk. it appears that many posters (and the NZ government) are jumping to conclusions. we do NOT know the HIV status of the man OR the woman. even if one or the other was positive it does NOT mean either will necessarily seroconvert. we don't know what STDs either person has been exposed to and could possibly transmit to the other. no doubt a scary situation but people are making alot of assumptions. seems to me to be all FEAR based.
posted by brandz at 3:32 PM on July 17, 2005


Abiola is slightly larger than abiolin.

and brandz: I am sitting here with a bottle of duro-tuss, an expectorant that I bought over the counter at a pharmacy in NZ, plus a packet of Codral cold and flu that I had to show my driver's licence for (on account of its speedy pseudoephedrine). Neither required a prescription. Possibly the pharmacist you saw was confused, but it's certainly not SOP.

On preview: A sex worker having sex without a condom is presumed to have their life at risk (the govt has released a guide to Occupational Safety and Health for sex workers. It's a fun read, though possibly NSFW) regardless of whether the client is a vector or not. This is not fear-based, but a largely precautionary blanket description owing to the nature of the industry. When you make this sort of thing legal in a secular, rationalist society, you need to cover all the bases.

(Full disclosure: I am not a covert operative for the NZ government)
posted by Sparx at 3:58 PM on July 17, 2005


i still don't see how the man put the women's life at risk. we do NOT know the HIV status of the man OR the woman.

I don't see what hasn't already been answered here. You don't need to know if someone has STDs for their to be a risk - the word "risk" means that it might turn out to have been all ok, or it might not. As a general rule, you do not have the right to take risks with someone else's wellbeing without their consent.

The best argument that can be made for there being a low risk to his behaviour is if the man just had a full STD checkup, but as has been pointed out, this in no way means there are no STDs or no risk to the partner.

Like what rdr said, someone points a gun they think is unloaded at your head, pulls the trigger, they sure as hell are taking risks with your life - regardless of whether the gun turns out to be unloaded, due to the potential for mistakes. I knew someone that was killed that way ("unloaded" gun to the head as a joke), so even if it turns out in our case that the gun was indeed unloaded and thus "safe", that doesn't change the fact that this behaviour kills people, and thus this behaviour puts people's lives at risk, by the very definition of the word.

I'm guessing you're fixating over a theoretical objectively unloaded gun being safe, and extrapolating from that that it's safe to point that gun at people and pull triggers. The guy was not fined for the state of his gun (ahem), or for the degree of knowledge he had about the gun, he was (at worst) fined for behaviour that put someone at risk. The state of the gun is separate from the genuine riskiness of the behaviour, especially (as in this case) when the man couldn't know the state of the gun.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:15 PM on July 17, 2005


thanks for the clarification, sparx. if you go to the very top of this original post you will see stated the man was fined for putting the life of the woman at risk. this is an inflammatory statement. in fact, this is not the case at all. the man broke some other law. and as far as the cough medicine, i went to many a pharmacy in queenstown and aukland and no one would sell me cough medicine with pseudoephedrine. they all told me it was banned. i did find fortacold with manuka honey though. i still hacked my way home. good luck with your cold.
posted by brandz at 4:16 PM on July 17, 2005


I'm not assuming that the guy is HIV-positive. I'm just saying that his status is an unknown. Consequently, removing the condom exposes the prostitute to an unknown risk. One of the outcomes MIGHT be that she becomes HIV positive. From there she might develop AIDS and she might in turn die of AIDS. I'm not saying this a likely scenario but it is possible. Who knows what the actual chances of something like that happening are but they are non-zero. He doesn't have the right to force that risk on someone else without their consent. From his actions we can infer that he does believe that he has does have that right and that is why he's scum.
posted by rdr at 4:32 PM on July 17, 2005


On preview, what they said....
posted by rdr at 4:36 PM on July 17, 2005


Brandz: wrt the cough medicine, maybe you just looked like a dodgy, methamphetamine chef kind of guy. Though why they didn't offer you non-pseudoephadrine alternatives in the first place is beyond me. Oh well.
posted by Sparx at 4:49 PM on July 17, 2005


-harlequin- writes "You don't need to know if someone has STDs for their to be a risk - the word 'risk' means that it might turn out to have been all ok, or it might not. As a general rule, you do not have the right to take risks with someone else's wellbeing without their consent."

Sorry, I don't buy this set-up. The headline is indeed inflamatory, and if he was fined for "putting her life at risk," that makes no sense. Especially with STDs. We know that although condoms work very very well, they are not fool-proof. They sometimes break, they sometimes slip off. If we accept the definition of risk you put forward, that risk is any possiblity of harm, then any sex would be risky, including with a condom. If using a condom absolves you from this kind of charge, then it also follows that you would actually have to have an STD that you might infect the prostitute with in order to be putting the woman's life at risk.
posted by OmieWise at 5:15 PM on July 17, 2005


"i went to many a pharmacy in queenstown and aukland and no one would sell me cough medicine with pseudoephedrine"
Queenstown & Auckland! That explains it, you weren't actually in New Zealand at the time. /snark
posted by Catch at 11:28 PM on July 17, 2005


OmieWise:
If using a condom absolves you from this kind of charge, then it also follows that you would actually have to have an STD that you might infect the prostitute with in order to be putting the woman's life at risk.

er, no, that doesn't follow from that at all.

If putting on the safety-catch of the gun is a sufficient safety precaution, it doesn't follow that flipping it off and firing the gun without checking the chamber is equally sufficiently low risk, and as it happens, it's not.

The safety-catch (condom) is a level of safety over and above the unknown state of the gun.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:34 AM on July 18, 2005


OmieWise:

Also, even if it were equal risk, it's not equivalent risk. If the woman's life is put at risk by safe sex with clients wearing condoms - a risk she has chosen to accept - that does not mean that putting her life at risk in ways she has not consented to somehow ceases to constitute putting her life at risk.

I agree the headline was inflamatory, but I really think this "risky behaviour can be retroactivity deemed non-risky if disaster fails to strike" idea is garbage, against the very meaning of the word "risk".
posted by -harlequin- at 12:43 AM on July 18, 2005


-harlequin- writes "I agree the headline was inflamatory, but I really think this 'risky behaviour can be retroactivity deemed non-risky if disaster fails to strike' idea is garbage, against the very meaning of the word 'risk'."

Agreed, so we may just be talking about semantics here, but the issue is not whether or not the behavior is retroactively deemed non-risky, but whether we know enough about it to call it "putting her life at risk" in the first place. I hope I've been clear that I think the guy should be punished and the that law is generally a good thing. My problem with the phrasing, and even with your explanation of why the phrasing is acceptable, is that it occludes the rights of the prostitute to safe consensual sex by shifting the argument for choice from her worth to whether or not her life is at risk. I understand your distinction between equal and equivalent though.
posted by OmieWise at 4:13 AM on July 18, 2005


what OmieWise said. the whole question boils down to the word 'risk' and we as a society do a dismal job of assessing risk and risky behaviors. too much 'risk' today is based in flat-out fear. we take risks every single day, we put other people at risk every single day...and we don't even think about it. the list is endless. be afraid, be very afraid. forgetaboutit.
posted by brandz at 4:47 PM on July 18, 2005


It's not that we as a society do a horrible job of accessing risk Society just doesn't access risk the way you apparently want them to. Life is random, culture is weird, and people are irrational. The meaning of any human action will be assigned by other humans and what the objective facts surrounding that action are is only one part of how we build meaning.

Let me put another analogy out here. Suppose I went out to a bar tonight and got blazing drunk. It's possible that I could get in my car and drive home without hurting anyone. It's also possible I could cause an accident and kill someone. Most people would understand that I put other people's life at risk by driving drunk. Driving sober carries a risk of injury or death but it's the additional risk introduced by my hypothetical inebriation that we identify as putting other people's life at risk.

Now the client imposed an additional risk on the prostitute in the same way that I would impose an additional risk on anyone on the road by driving drunk. That incremental risk is recognized by society and codified into New Zealand law.

If you think the difference between fucking strangers who like to bareback hookers with a condom and fucking strangers without a condom is just a matter of semantics, then maybe it's you who should re-examine how you model risk.
posted by rdr at 6:19 PM on July 18, 2005


people fuck strangers without condoms all the time, day and night. this is a reality. of course condoms are safer. this too is a reality. but to have a headline read the woman's life was put at risk because the guy took the condom off is really a stretch. total sensationalism. we just don't know all the facts. as the very first post says, maybe he put his own life at risk, fucking a prostitute without a condom.
posted by brandz at 6:10 PM on July 22, 2005


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