Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Legalize Prostitution, Says Thomas Robert Stevens, Personal Freedom Party Candidate For NYC Public Advocate

Thomas Robert Stevens, the Personal Freedom Party candidate for New York City Public Advocate, has called for the immediate decriminalization of all sexual service contracts. In a statement issued June 11, 2013, Dr. Stevens said the following:

"Sexual and physical pleasure are desired by men and women alike. Many times consenting adults engage in activities that lead to acts creating that physical pleasure, such as dating, going to clubs, entering into a relationship or even marrying. However, there are times when individuals may seek to get right down to business without having to pay the ancillary transaction costs associated with obtaining that sexual and physical pleasure. If two consenting adults choose to enter into a written or oral contract for the provision of sexual services, they should be able to do so without their being identified as criminals, arrested, fined, jailed and possibly shamed all because some people might consider paying for sexual pleasure immoral. If no one is being harmed by the activity and the people involved seek the transaction, then it should not be any business of the government to try to stop it and tax money should certainly not be spent trying to eradicate this victimless crime.

Some people believe it is morally wrong to engage in sexual relations outside marriage, to pay someone for a no-strings attached sexual or physical interaction, to participate in group sex, lap dances, stripping, gay sex, non-traditional heterosexual sex and a host of other activities, and those individuals shouldn't engage in those acts if that is their belief. However, having laws that criminalize activities between consenting adults who are causing no harm to anyone, and, in fact, are engaging in behavior utilitarians would recognize as creating net pleasure for all the parties involved, should not be the subject of government scrutiny. Those consenting adults own their own bodies and can do with them as they see fit. It shouldn't be a crime to receive something of value in return for what most people give away for free.

Criminalizing this particular activity is a reflection of legislators trying to incorporate morality into the law and in this case, it is not justified. If the government is concerned about the spread of disease, it shouldn't be because that should be the concern of the individuals participating in the sexual encounter. Men and women who sleep with different partners every night are responsible for their own conduct. The exchange of money or other valuable consideration does not alter who is responsible for one's own activities and for engaging in safe sex. If a pimp takes a percentage of a sex worker's profit under the threat of force, that activity is illegal and the pimp can and should be prosecuted. If a customer assaults a sex worker, or vice-versa, the offender can file criminal charges and those charges will be taken seriously by law enforcement if sexual service contracts were legal. If the issue is human trafficking, forcing people to engage in prostitution against their will and with partners not of their choice is illegal and can be investigated and addressed. If the problem is street solicitation, then legalization will enable willing parties to meet online, or through any number of companies advertising sexual services when corporations are able to form for the newly legal purposes.

The seller of sexual services can charge a flat fee or can offer an itemized list of special services that are available for a fee. The contract can provide for the provider to dress up as a French Maid, a High School Cheerleader, a Fraternity Pledge Master, a Prep School Geek and can cater to whatever a person's fantasies and/or fetishes may be. The encounter may or may not involve sexual acts or physical pleasure but that is up to the parties to decide. New businesses will open, more people will be legally employed and the government will be able to get its nose out of where it doesn't belong.

Unfortunately, the legalization of sexual service contracts are increasingly being opposed for different reasons by both the political right and the political left. However, a correct analysis of the underlying philosophical principles leads to the definitive conclusion that contracts of this nature should not be viewed differently from any other contract involving a trade. The government should not be expending resources and using the law in an effort to suppress activity highly sought after by many individuals who have no moral problem with an explicit exchange of valuable consideration in return for sexual and physical pleasure. In the end, everyone pays for sexual and physical encounters, one way or the other. People should be free to make their own decisions how, and in what manner, they wish to obtain the release and pleasure they seek. The government should have no role in this area and government agents should not be put in the position of acting as Morality Police."

Thomas Robert Stevens obtained the nomination of the Personal Freedom Party to run for New York City Public Advocate at a convention held on May 11, 2013. At that convention, Sam Sloan was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Mayor and Kristin Davis was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Comptroller.

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