This is the first of our new series publishing opinions of the residents of Santa Ramona Valley. We welcome responses and will publish the best ones. Articles published under the heading of 'Opinion' do not necessarily represent the views and opinion of the Chronicles.
Britannica.com defines prostitution as "the practice of engaging in relatively indiscriminate sexual activity, in general with someone who is not a spouse or a friend, in exchange for immediate payment in money or other valuables."
It is considered the oldest profession. While prostitutes can be male, female or transgender and can include heterosexual and homosexual activities, it is predominantly female prostitutes with male "customers." According to the Santa Ramona Sheriff's Department, prostitution is difficult to convict so the majority of prostitutes are given a fine of $2000. The "customers" are cited for solicitation and fined $1000. The stiffer penalty is for those who are called "pimps" or those engaging in a prostitution ring. Running a prostitution ring gets you a $3000 fine.
It seems that prostitutes are being punished more severely than those who solicit sex from a prostitute. Most prostitutes engage in this activity because they don't have the resources to support themselves via other more reputable endeavors. Bagging groceries earns you $13 an hour. Working eight hours in a day you'd earn a measly $104. Whereas a sex worker can give a couple twenty minute blow jobs and make more. Both are providing a service to the community but one is considered reputable while the other is considered illegal.
The regulation of sex for money has mostly been a moral endeavor. The idea that women and men should not engage in sexual behavior with anyone but a spouse has long been an accepted norm. Indeed, these morals are still alive and well today. According to Undersheriff Brentt, "Sex is something that should be shared intimately between people who are bonded together not sold like a commodity."
Given that society has moved away from strict adherence to abstinence outside of marriage, why is it that prostitution is still illegal? Many people, especially in the 18-40 age bracket engage in sex before marriage, live with a partner before marriage and even engage in having multiple partners outside the bonds of holy matrimony. More and more people place a higher value on the pleasure of sexual activity. Sex should be embraced and enjoyed. It should not be hidden away, frowned upon and controlled by others with outdated values.
It is time for Santa Ramona Valley to make prostitution legal. We should stop punishing those who wish to use their bodies to provide a service to others. We need to get the city out of the sex lives of its citizens and spend our policing powers on the real crimes happening in the city, such as the violence that has plagued us for years.
Do you agree or disagree with this? If you have an opinion about this article, or any other article published in the Chronicles, please send your response to the editor, VenusMari Zapedzki. We will publish the best ones.