…is of course technical support. Such as:”Damn it, how do I get this axe working?” Or: “The sunlight keeps going away every day, what’s the story?” Or: “I rubbed the stupid sticks on the stupid rock for an hour but still no spark. What? I rub the sticks together? Oh.”
But people will also insist on informing us that prostitution is in fact the oldest profession. And while this depends on your definition of “profession” I suppose they may be right, in that the actual service provided has changed so little over the millennia.
In Sweden in 1907 prostitution was legalised. And then in 1999 the act of buying sex was made a crime. So in Sweden prostitution is sort of half-legal. This means that the seller of the service will not be charged or fined, only the buyer, which is a bit odd.
Now it happens that San Francisco might be about to fully decriminalize prostitution, using the Swedish situation as an example of when it can work. Well the thing is that it doesn’t really “work” here at all. It is the usual Swedish compromise of appearing to take a stand while in reality wimping out.
Now in New Zealand they have actually legalised prostitution, since 2003. So perhaps this would be a better guide for the San Francisco attempt that lukewarm Sweden.
According to the Freakonomics blog, “the Swedish law decreased street prostitution by two-thirds between 1999 and 2003”. And in new Zealand the legalization has led to increased taxes, better protection for sex workers and has not incresaed the overall number of people on the game.
So the question is – should Sweden de-criminalise prostitution properly? Is it rational that a considerable workforce should be excluded from the tax and pension systems – and are officially considered to be unemployed – because they have a job that is frowned upon as “immoral”?
I can’t see many downsides to fully legalised prostitution, as I am not religious and don’t have a pre-masticated moral agenda to force upon others.
And the other advantages, aside form the economic ones, include: taking power out of the hands of criminals; making it easier for the police to keep tabs on the business; giving the women the proper protection of the law in case they are beaten up, threatened or raped, which happens a great deal in black-market prostitution and is rarely reported.
And, once this can be taxed like any other service, you might be able to get a tax deduction for “Sexual services”, as you now can in Sweden for “Household services” like cleaning.
You cannot expect something to go anyway by simply moaning about it and by applying your own standards of morality. There are certain men out there who will pay for sex, and there are certain women who are willing to provide it, and that’s the reality. And it’s up to us as a society to decide how we should deal with this situation: ignore it, forbid it, or treat it like a legitimate business and give people who add value to our economy the same advantages that we all have.
And it sure does bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “shagged after a hard day at the office”.