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July 27, 2010 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Three hokey lingerie shots on my bed would take all of five minutes to shoot and upload to Erotic Services, and whenever I had enough business, I could take the ad down. It would be like I—or “Sarah,” the kinky temp who loved to blow off work early and meet men for anonymous “encounters”—had never existed. (NSFW)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 (100 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, Craigslist: where almost everyone has advertised at least once, and nearly no one wants to admit. From the girls like me paying for hair bands with hundreds, to the “straight-looking” boys a cab ride from every downtown office, to the “pretty, passable” (oh, for the love of ad copy) transwomen that business travelers fancy, we’ve all been there.

I got rid of an unwanted pool table!
posted by Artw at 7:33 AM on July 27, 2010 [38 favorites]


The weird thing about advertising on Craigslist is you never know who's playing with your balls next.
posted by mannequito at 7:35 AM on July 27, 2010 [8 favorites]


I got rid of an unwanted pool table!

Is that what the kids are calling it these days?
posted by XMLicious at 7:36 AM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Did you hire someone to help you lift it, along with your luggage?
posted by hermitosis at 7:40 AM on July 27, 2010 [8 favorites]


(“*~$~*+*~$~*”)
posted by box at 7:42 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The internet, in other words, is ours. Let’s take pride in the fact that there are few places people can go online without the opportunity to buy some form of sexual experience.

I must really not pay attention, because somehow I have not noticed that my list of bookmarked sites, New York Times, Metafilter, LibraryThing, Lolcats, some random blogs, are not offering me the opportunity to buy some form of sexual experience.
posted by aetg at 7:47 AM on July 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


first ehow, now this. I just don't know anymore.
posted by boo_radley at 7:52 AM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


are not offering me the opportunity to buy some form of sexual experience.

I... I thought that's what memail was for...
posted by slimepuppy at 7:52 AM on July 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


aetg: you just aren't using your imagination!
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 7:53 AM on July 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


HURF DURF SEX WORKER

This piece really clarified for me what a boon Craigslist is for one of the most brutally exploited classes of laborer. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:57 AM on July 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, to be 14 again. Of course when I was 14 porn on the internet meant waiting overnight for a grainy scan to take all night to download. And then it ended up being a scan of the Playboy under my bed.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:59 AM on July 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


You know, my wife and I posted an ad on Craigslist together, and just a few days later our desires were fulfilled when a handsome, strong, muscular man arrived at our home... and took away the old treadmill we didn't want anymore.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:59 AM on July 27, 2010 [20 favorites]


You know, my wife and I posted an ad on Craigslist together, and just a few days later our desires were fulfilled when a handsome, strong, muscular man arrived at our home... and took away the old treadmill we didn't want anymore.

You guys are kinky.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:00 AM on July 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Cjorgensen - the pr0n is coming from inside the house!
posted by Artw at 8:01 AM on July 27, 2010 [17 favorites]


Oh, to be 14 again. Of course when I was 14 porn on the internet meant waiting a few decades for the internet to be invented.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:06 AM on July 27, 2010 [85 favorites]


The thing is, many people actually fantasize about having a pool table, but the drab reality of it is actually quite mundane and not always entirely desirable.

(they weigh a lot and take up a bunch of space)
posted by Artw at 8:08 AM on July 27, 2010 [17 favorites]


aetg: I must really not pay attention, because somehow I have not noticed that my list of bookmarked sites, New York Times, Metafilter, LibraryThing, Lolcats, some random blogs, are not offering me the opportunity to buy some form of sexual experience.

You're just doing those sites wrong.

(<-- also doing it wrong.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:10 AM on July 27, 2010


The thing is, many people actually fantasize about having a pool table, but the drab reality of it is actually quite mundane and not always entirely desirable.

Yeah, kinda like the space program. People got sorta bored with another man on the moon, hopping around in slow motion.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:10 AM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, to be 14 again. Of course when I was 14 porn on the internet meant waiting a few decades for the internet to be invented.

My kingdom for the ability to favorite that more than once.
posted by tommasz at 8:14 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's funny. Back when I was a kid the only people who masterbated at a desk were probably workaholics or sexaholics. Now the desk is the normal place to masturbate.
posted by I Foody at 8:15 AM on July 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


I once had sex with an astronaut on a pool table and posted the photos to Craigslist.

Not really, but I wanted to tie this thread together.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:18 AM on July 27, 2010 [8 favorites]


I just don't know.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:21 AM on July 27, 2010


If sex workers brought broadband to the masses, then Japan and South Korea must have a lot of sex-hungry people...

Net speeds 2010 places USA 18 on the list from akamai internet speeds around the world
posted by dabitch at 8:24 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Count me among those who are not "everyone". My internet seems to be undersexed in general. I could probably pay a psychiatrist to fix this or I could uninstall AdBlock.
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, Craigslist: where almost everyone has advertised at least once, and nearly no one wants to admit. From the girls like me paying for hair bands with hundreds, to the “straight-looking” boys a cab ride from every downtown office, to the “pretty, passable” (oh, for the love of ad copy) transwomen that business travelers fancy, we’ve all been there.

Somebody's kidding herself...
posted by amro at 8:31 AM on July 27, 2010


Sort of a strange excerpt from the column to frame the FPP with, isn't it? She doesn't end up talking in any depth about her experience setting herself up as a prostitute. The writer is angry because she sees the connecticut AG trying to destroy her livelihood in an attempt to make himself look tough on crime. It seems to me like she's probably right. And although the risks of prostitution via craigslist are obvious, I wouldn't be surprised if it was substantially safer than being a streetwalker with a pimp.
posted by kavasa at 8:32 AM on July 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


are not offering me the opportunity to buy some form of sexual experience.

I... I thought that's what memail was for...,


My memail must be broken or something.
posted by dilettante at 8:35 AM on July 27, 2010


We can deal with this with the same skills we turn towards making money, as sex workers are the consummate early adopters of new technologies. Back to truly ancient days, long before Craig Newmark supposedly killed print by offering space for free sex ads, sex workers were some of the first innovators on the media’s bleeding edge. It was stories about us that were first committed to clay, by early women writers in Sumer and Babylon. It was Greek prostitutes who pioneered guerilla marketing, by scoring the words “follow me” into the bottoms of their sandals, leaving a trail for customers that conveniently led right back to their doors.

Reading this piece has been a real workout for my eye-rolling muscles.
posted by Ratio at 8:36 AM on July 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


I must be the only one who had no idea there was an "Erotic Services" section on Craigslist.
posted by naju at 8:37 AM on July 27, 2010


Yep.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:39 AM on July 27, 2010


I must be the only one who had no idea there was an "Erotic Services" section on Craigslist.

Nope.
posted by amro at 8:40 AM on July 27, 2010


Actually I was under the impression they had gotten rid of it, on account of all the murders. Guess not.
posted by Artw at 8:42 AM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


have not noticed that my list of bookmarked sites, New York Times, Metafilter, LibraryThing, Lolcats, some random blogs, are not offering me the opportunity to buy some form of sexual experience.

Look harder. :D

It was a semi-interesting (if delusional) op-ed, and I'm generally in favor of anything that helps safe, consenting, adult sex workers, but it's not always simple.

Craigslist Makes it Too Easy to Pimp Homeless Child Prostitutes

Craigslist used to sell sex with teens

Craigslist's official take on the matter:

"Misuse of craigslist for criminal purposes is utterly unacceptable"
posted by mrgrimm at 8:46 AM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Reading this piece has been a real workout for my eye-rolling muscles.

Be careful with that--you'll go hand-less.
posted by DU at 8:48 AM on July 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oh, Craigslist: where almost everyone has advertised at least once, and nearly no one wants to admit. From the girls like me paying for hair bands with hundreds, to the “straight-looking” boys a cab ride from every downtown office, to the “pretty, passable” (oh, for the love of ad copy) transwomen that business travelers fancy, we’ve all been there.

I read that quote before I read the article, and so, for a few wonderful minutes, I thought this woman was dropping Benjamins on crazy Craigslist sexual encounters with, like, Def Leppard and Poison and Cinderella.
posted by box at 8:49 AM on July 27, 2010 [22 favorites]


I can't masturbate at a desk, it's unnatural and not very relaxing.
posted by Mister_A at 8:54 AM on July 27, 2010


I can't masturbate at a desk, it's unnatural and not very relaxing.
You need a new desk.
posted by Floydd at 8:55 AM on July 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


It seems to me that if the CT AG were really concerned about the safety of prostitutes (if that is in fact the point he is trying to make by bringing up the CL Killer), then maybe he should face the fact that prostitution has existed since civilization has existed and that it doesn't appear to be going anywhere, and probably shouldn't since there seems to be a need for it.

Legalizing and regulating it might be the better tack to take.
posted by newpotato at 8:55 AM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


aetg, You've gotta mefi mail mathowie to ask for access to erotic.metafilter.com, the crew here isn't nearly so free flying as craigslist. ;)
posted by jeffburdges at 9:00 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not really, but I wanted to tie this thread together.

I think you can hire someone on Craigslist that will do that for you.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:00 AM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]




That something has existed is not an argument that it should continue to exist.
posted by aramaic at 9:04 AM on July 27, 2010


In his defense, Blumenthal was sickened by the murders of sex workers that he saw in Vietnam, so his moral outrage is entirely genuine and unfabricated.
posted by Bromius at 9:05 AM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

I bought a CNC milling machine.

Of course I refer to my giant stack of tool catalogs as porn so maybe I'm part of the problem.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:06 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course I refer to my giant stack of tool catalogs stack of giant tool "catalogs" as porn so maybe I'm part of the problem.

FTFY
posted by The Bellman at 9:11 AM on July 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


Back when I was a kid the only people who masterbated at a desk were probably workaholics or sexaholics. Now the desk is the normal place to masturbate.

I knew I was ahead of my time.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:17 AM on July 27, 2010


I can't masturbate at a desk, it's unnatural and not very relaxing.

Just as long as you don't try to sell on Craig's List that desk you're masturbating at .
posted by digsrus at 9:20 AM on July 27, 2010


The 10th Regiment of Foot: "http://www.erotic.metafilter.com/"

I didn't click on this because I knew that it just linked to the top of this post or the front page...

And I read some comments.

Then I clicked on it. And I was right. And now I'm sad.
posted by Splunge at 9:22 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will neither pay for nor take money for porn or sexual exploits. Love and/or sex wants to be free!
posted by Eideteker at 9:28 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]




I have visited erotic.metafilter.com before, but I've never commented there. I'm more of a sex lurker.
posted by Eideteker at 9:31 AM on July 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


"It was Greek prostitutes who pioneered guerrilla marketing, by scoring the words “follow me” into the bottoms of their sandals, leaving a trail for customers that conveniently led right back to their doors."

Just try doing a sexy walk while attempting to show a passer by something written in Greek on the soles of your shoes. Those girls must have had a tough life.
posted by rongorongo at 9:34 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


One Desk. $20.00 obo. Walnut veneer. Natural and relaxing to masturbate at.
posted by Trochanter at 9:38 AM on July 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: I was under the impression they had gotten rid of it, on account of all the murders.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:42 AM on July 27, 2010 [14 favorites]


Something written backwards and inverted in Greek, even.
posted by XMLicious at 9:43 AM on July 27, 2010


What I found most interesting of this was the evidence it provides of the way that people from certain walks of life just assume that other people live like they do. "Everybody does this. This is just how the world is."

Which is as unsettling to see from a prostitute or a drug addict as it is from, say, a family member who mutters about all those lazy people on unemployment because they had no trouble finding work therefore nobody has trouble. Or an upper-class friend who marvels about why there's anybody who doesn't own a smartphone because "it's not like they're expensive".

We definitely have a lot of bias in the way we look at the world and how we think other people live. 'Cuz, yeah, I'm still not selling myself on Craigslist.
posted by gracedissolved at 9:48 AM on July 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh, Craigslist: where almost everyone has advertised at least once, and nearly no one wants to admit. From the girls like me paying for hair bands with hundreds, to the “straight-looking” boys a cab ride from every downtown office, to the “pretty, passable” (oh, for the love of ad copy) transwomen that business travelers fancy, we’ve all been there.

Somebody's kidding herself...


Well... this is a site for sex workers, so she's likely correct.

I just bought an awesome Mid-Century Modern teak magazine rack off Craigslist! So excited! Does anyone want to give me a ride to North Delta to pick it up? Hello?
posted by jokeefe at 9:51 AM on July 27, 2010


erotic.metafilter.com, an idea who's time has come.
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


The writer implies that lots of women have given this kind of work a fling, if you will...is that true? Has it always been true? Or is that just what those who have done it say, to feel normal?
posted by softjeans at 9:53 AM on July 27, 2010



Just try doing a sexy walk while attempting to show a passer by something written in Greek on the soles of your shoes.


They had to do everything that Fred Astaire did but backwards and in sandals.
posted by Babblesort at 9:54 AM on July 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


For fuck's sake, everyone, this is a piece published in what describes itself as "a quarterly magazine by and for sex workers," to which workers the pronoun "we" is clearly referring.
posted by enn at 9:55 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


jeffburdges: "aetg, You've gotta mefi mail mathowie to ask for access to erotic.metafilter.com, the crew here isn't nearly so free flying as craigslist. ;)"

Meh. Just a bunch of pony pictures.
posted by QIbHom at 9:56 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I must be the only one who had no idea there was an "Erotic Services" section on Craigslist.

Well, if you're looking in the USA part, there isn't, and hasn't been since May (20?) 2009, as part of the deal worked out with the 42 AGs. It's been replaced with "Adult Services" -- you know: tax preparation, assisted living care, that sort of thing..
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 9:57 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]



In his defense, Blumenthal was sickened by the murders of sex workers that he saw in Vietnam, so his moral outrage is entirely genuine and unfabricated.


That's nice but his outrage is misdirected. You want to stop prostitutes from being murdered? Legalize, regulate it and give these people safe, legal environments to work from and in. Being outraged and then trying to ban advertising does nothing but drive the predators back to the street which further complicates investigation of a homicide.
posted by spicynuts at 9:58 AM on July 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


It's funny. Back when I was a kid the only people who masterbated at a desk were probably workaholics or sexaholics. Now the desk is the normal place to masturbate.

*eyes cubicle mates warily*...
posted by lumpenprole at 10:02 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


That something has existed is not an argument that it should continue to exist.


Maybe. Or maybe thats precisely why it should continue existing. Moralizing against it hasn't made it go away. Neither has criminalizing it. All that either have done is to provide a venue to further degrade women who are involved in it Lopsided and hypocritical prosecutions of prostitutes but not their johns are a constant.

I am pro-choice. I believe that what a woman does with her body is her business. This includes her using her body to provide sexual release with another person for money. It may not be something I would ever want to do, but it's certainly not my place to condemn them or to cast down judgements on them.

I don't know, moralizing human sexuality never seems to be a good idea in the long run. Homosexuality, polyamory, bdsm, fetishes, etc., all seem to be making headway into the realm of what is considered acceptable. I just don't understand why there should be such an issue with prostitution.

The problem is that by denying that prostitution has always existed, and will likely always exist, by having this goal of removing what appears to be our need for it and making us more "pure" or "good" (cripes, I don't even know what purpose eliminating it would serve), you are leaving it open for the worst elements of it to continue to thrive.
Legalize and regulate, and stop denying what human sexuality seems to be indicating it needs, and stop making pariahs out of those who chose to do it.
posted by newpotato at 10:04 AM on July 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


Yeah, agreeing with everyone that her audience is people reading a magazine about the sex industry and that's probably where the "everyone does it" comment is coming from. There are certainly more glamorous-looking sites out there advertising prostitutes, and it appears to me that sites dedicated to sex work would filter the clients somewhat better than Craigslist (some actually require one or more referrals to be able to get any contact information), so maybe posting to Craigslist is regarded as a bit déclassé.
posted by XMLicious at 10:05 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


while attempting to show a passer by something written in Greek on the soles of your shoes.

That bit left me with the impression that the soles left tracks or impressions of "Follow Me" in the dirt and dust on the street.
posted by Back to you, Jim. at 10:11 AM on July 27, 2010


Well, if you're looking in the USA part, there isn't, and hasn't been since May (20?) 2009, as part of the deal worked out with the 42 AGs. It's been replaced with "Adult Services" -- you know: tax preparation, assisted living care, that sort of thing..

I'm honestly amazed that swapping "erotic services" for "adult services" still lives up to the deal. That's...impressive.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:21 AM on July 27, 2010


somehow I have not noticed that my list of bookmarked sites, New York Times, Metafilter, LibraryThing, Lolcats, some random blogs, are not offering me the opportunity to buy some form of sexual experience.

Pony request, aisle nine.

many people actually fantasize about having a pool table, but the drab reality of it is actually quite mundane and not always entirely desirable.

You are so, so wrong.

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who own pool tables, and people who are friends with people who own pool tables. Until recently, I had been in the latter category. I would use any and every excuse to come over and play. That all changed when my wonderful, also-pool-playing wife agreed to buying a used pool table (on Craigslist, amusingly enough). It is the motherfucking bomb.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:28 AM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


it's unnatural and not very relaxing.

Huh. Those are the exact reasons why I masturbate.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:34 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


That bit left me with the impression that the soles left tracks or impressions of "Follow Me" in the dirt and dust on the street.

Yeah, that's pretty clearly what was meant.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:36 AM on July 27, 2010


In his defense, Blumenthal was sickened by the murders of sex workers that he saw in Vietnam, so his moral outrage is entirely genuine and unfabricated.

That's nice but his outrage is misdirected. You want to stop prostitutes from being murdered? Legalize, regulate it and give these people safe, legal environments to work from and in. Being outraged and then trying to ban advertising does nothing but drive the predators back to the street which further complicates investigation of a homicide.


I'm pretty sure the original comment was facetious and referencing this.
posted by kmz at 10:40 AM on July 27, 2010


A friend of a friend is a prostitute who lives on Nob Hill and does outcall from her erotic web page listings. She's active in both COYOTE and St. James Infirmary. She's been a sex worker for ages, loves her work, and has many friends who care for her because she cares for others, and not strictly on some financial reward, pimping basis (Gee, hard to believe huh? The whores watch out for each other!)

Locally, there are also services both to help people out of prostitution, such as the SAGE Project, for those exploited or wanting out of the "career". I don't think anyone would say that being a sex-worker doesn't entail its own special career-maintaining and career-changing difficulties. There has to be some clear, legal sense of wrong in human trafficking and child prostitution, of course. But the adult who was sexually abused as a child and can only express personally warmth through a sexual act, and thinks, "I'm a natural!" when it comes to prostitution? Someone who can't make the rent, or afford their addiction, or buy food, so they make the "independent" decision to turn a trick? You know they're fooling themselves, but what do you do with that knowledge? Criminalize their lack of shame because they don't see themselves as a victim?

I personally lead more to the SAGE philosophy of leading people out of sex work, but you can't convince someone who maintains that they're in the driver's seat of their choices in life that really at heart, they're a victim. We all sell ourselves somehow: labor, body, mind, soul.

Rather than having the correct ideology, it's about caring for actual people, both the exploited victims and the sex-positive worker, and seeing there's a difference between the two. Sometimes not much, but be kind the whores, really. It's what Jesus did.
posted by eegphalanges at 11:04 AM on July 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


Checking out the sandal story a little more:
Pornai is the ancient Greek word for prostitute. From the Greek word pornai we get our English word Pornography. Pornai were generally the common whore or streetwalker type of prostitute rather than one of the elite courtesans or hetairai. Some pornai wore special shoes that imprinted a message saying "follow me" (akolouthei) in the sand.
So specifically you would be looking for a trail saying "ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΙ...ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΙ...ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΙ"

A bit like using ASCII really.
posted by rongorongo at 12:23 PM on July 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dear Erotic Metafilter,

I never thought it would happen to me, but the other day I was walking by my local pool hall when I spotted her...
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:40 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


That is a marketing idea, rongorongo. Those shoes would sell.
posted by eegphalanges at 12:41 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


the other day I was walking by my local pool hall when I spotted her...

.. and I could tell by the protractor in her hand that she knew all the angles. "You're acute one" she said, "I hope you're circumscribed. Wanna rhombus?"......
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:55 PM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pornai were generally the common whore or streetwalker type of prostitute rather than one of the elite courtesans or hetairai.

New theory: the internet is just one big Firefly thread. Some of the derails are just a little harder to follow, is all.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:04 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


One Desk. $20.00 obo. Walnut veneer. Natural and relaxing to masturbate at.

For sale: sticky desk. Barely worn.

[NOT HEMINGWAY-IST]
posted by Shepherd at 1:07 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm honestly amazed that swapping "erotic services" for "adult services" still lives up to the deal.

They also agreed that a Craigslist employee would review all ads before posting, and doubled the cost to post from $5 to $10. IIRC, it had been free to post, but after considerable pressure, they changed it to $5 which had to be paid with a CC. [1] (via Previous FFP)

I expected they'd just shut it down, but yesterday I read of a woman caught in a "large" (for values of large approaching 1 dozen) sting operation sentenced to 4 years for prostitution + "possession of obscene materials" (could be anything, really) + 1st degree possession of marijuana (either possession for other than personal use, or (this seems much more likely) a second possession for personal use), so I'm all GARR, and now suspect the AGs had an interest in keeping it around as an source for harvesting easy arrests/convictions..
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 2:13 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


"That something has existed is not an argument that it should continue to exist.


Maybe. Or maybe thats precisely why it should continue existing. Moralizing against it hasn't made it go away. Neither has criminalizing it.
"

The same could be said for bigotry, misogyny, war crimes and lots of other things. So, you know, that argument isn't really a game winner for you.
posted by oddman at 2:13 PM on July 27, 2010


ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΙ
posted by jeffburdges at 2:32 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The same could be said for bigotry, misogyny, war crimes and lots of other things. So, you know, that argument isn't really a game winner for you.

Except that all those things inflict harmful/odius acts onto others. Prostitution does not. So, you know, it's not really the same thing at all, is it?
posted by newpotato at 2:54 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm in the midst of a terrific book titled Prostitution and Pornography: A Philosophical Debate. It helps underline how complex the issue is. I'm pretty pro-legalization myself, but it's not as simple as legalizing marijuana. Even in places where prostitution is legal and regulated, there are still problems with pimps and human trafficking. It's easy for both sides of the argument to forget that street prostitutes - who often begin at age 14, with histories of abuse and addiction - coexist alongside the independent sex workers who engage in a perfectly consensual business practice.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:07 PM on July 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Except that all those things inflict harmful/odius acts onto others. Prostitution does not. So, you know, it's not really the same thing at all, is it?

Oddman was clearly responding to the argument from nature, not the harm reduction argument.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:21 PM on July 27, 2010


newpotato, I was merely commenting that your attempt to refute aramaic's suggestion of an is/ought fallacy simply was not successful. That some practice has been around for a long time is neither an argument for nor against it.

Your claim that prostitution is unlike misogyny because the latter is harmful while the former is not is not an argument. It's a conclusion, that needs to be argued for. Many people, Christians and liberal Feminists amongst them, would simply disagree with your claim.
posted by oddman at 4:34 PM on July 27, 2010


You need a new desk.

You sure will if you keep jerking off on it.
posted by Forktine at 5:27 PM on July 27, 2010


Radical feminism is anti-prostitution in all cases. Liberal feminism is supportive of a woman's choice to be a prostitute if it is an non-coerced adult. Christians would see the act as sin, but wouldn't judge or condemn the sinner. You don't win many willing converts to Jesus that way. There are many who say they are Christian who do not practice what Jesus preached. That's a long thread, though, and really not within classical logic bounds.

Mary Magdelene, anyone?
posted by eegphalanges at 6:09 PM on July 27, 2010


Sorry, I got off track by responding to the condescending tone of oddmans statement, rather than trying to clarify what it is I'm trying to say.

I guess my point, or more accurately, my question, is this...If throughout history there has always been some form of prostitution, and no form of ostracization or criminalization has been able to eradicate it, and if it is done between two consenting adults, bringing no harm to either why should there be a continual effort to end it?

I do understand and agree somewhat with stitcherbeasts point, that even in the best of circumstances there will be problems of abuse and human trafficking, but wouldn't everyone be better served if the focus were on eradicating that aspect of it rather than casting the wide net of every case of sex for sale?

By maintaining this gray area where prostitution is not legal, yet everyone knows it's occurring, it's leaving the door wide open for all kinds of abuses from every angle. Take it out of the shadows, shine some light on it, make it an acceptable profession for women to pursue, if that's what they choose to do. I don't think that there are many that would choose it, but for some it would be an easy decision, and for others I think it would give them a sense of empowerment.
posted by newpotato at 6:18 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Radical feminism is anti-prostitution in all cases.

I think we have different ideas about what is meant by "radical feminism." Even second wave feminism had it's "sex positive" and pro-sex work theorists, and by the time you get to fourth wave feminism it is a really strong tendency within feminism.
posted by Forktine at 6:27 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty pro-legalization myself, but it's not as simple as legalizing marijuana. Even in places where prostitution is legal and regulated, there are still problems with pimps and human trafficking.

But what has that to do with the legalization argument? Even in places where driving is legal you have problems with people speeding. Even in places where financial investment is legal you still have people running pyramid schemes. Even in places where owning a hammer is legal you still have problems with people going around braining folks.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:58 PM on July 27, 2010


I got my current job through Craigslist. I've sold a bunch of junk as well. And I bought a nice flat-screen TV. No sexy-time though.

I'm such a square.
posted by bardic at 8:32 PM on July 27, 2010


There are two kinds of people in this world: people who own pool tables, and people who are friends with people who own pool tables. Until recently, I had been in the latter category. I would use any and every excuse to come over and play. That all changed when my wonderful, also-pool-playing wife agreed to buying a used pool table (on Craigslist, amusingly enough). It is the motherfucking bomb.

It is true. Owning a pool table is the true path to nirvana.
posted by Neale at 11:56 PM on July 27, 2010


You've gotta mefi mail mathowie to ask for access to erotic.metafilter.com, the crew here isn't nearly so free flying as craigslist

The anticipation of making my first "money post" on FuckMe is killing me. I hope it's special.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:28 AM on July 28, 2010


One Desk. $20.00

Same as in town.
posted by klausness at 7:41 AM on July 28, 2010


Trafficking and child abuse are arguments for legalization. Not against it.

Netflix has a great documentary called Very Young Girls which is about underage street prostitution.

The thing that struck me about it the most was the way that they were classified as criminals--not as abused children, not as victims of statutory rape, not as endangered runaways--but as criminals. The same thing happens to trafficking victims.

With very few exceptions, sex worker = criminal.

What incentive do we have to report criminal behavior or abuse? Sex workers fear arrest, fines, criminal records, imprisonment, loss of custody of children, deportation, and rape/abuse by the police. Even if the sex worker isn't punished, what is the likelihood that their attacker will be punished? Enforcement is a fucking joke. Even when johns are arrested for buying sex from underage prostitutes, they aren't charged with statutory rape. You can't rape a prostitute, right? Even if she's 14.

The complete lack of legal and societal protection for sex workers gives pimps, traffickers, police, and equal-opportunity sadists free reign to abuse, rob, rape and murder anyone who does sex work.

Any moral objection to the act of prostitution itself is relatively inconsequential in the face of a system that makes an entire class of person fair game for violent abuse.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:45 AM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


A bit of reading incomprehension here, probably by people who are unfamiliar with Spread and its intended audience.

When the author says "we've all done it", she doesn't mean women or young people or internet users, she means sex workers.

A lot of sex workers are reluctant to use Craigslist because it is full of flakes, lurkers and people who aren't serious about spending money and making the deal, not to mention the occasional sting operation. It's also full of people who put up fake posts because they get off on the responses, which means it's harder to be taken seriously.

Craigslist is big business and I would wager that most people are aware of it (and that most of the people are aware of it are aware of the erotic services section, I'm surprised that a few people here weren't). It is the first place a lot of people will go to, looking for their first prostitute/dominatrix/whatever and they're a lot less savvy than the people who go through intermediaries like a dungeon or an escort agency.

At the same time, it's there and people use it, so it's a good place to put up an ad if it's a slow month and your traditional revenue streams aren't going to be enough, so it's kind of an open secret that no one really talks about.
posted by elr at 12:23 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Even when johns are arrested for buying sex from underage prostitutes, they aren't charged with statutory rape.

You're not wrong, but there are good signs.

"[he] victimized the children, whether they were prostitutes or not, a judge ruled in sentencing him to 11 years in prison."
In January, the BC courts upheld the law - it had been challenged on the grounds that the gov't didn't have the jurisdiction.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:19 PM on July 28, 2010


"Meh. Just a bunch of pony pictures."

And a chicken.
posted by Mitheral at 12:39 AM on July 29, 2010


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