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Craigslist Removes Its Controversial Adult Section 522

Posted by timothy
from the can't-we-at-least-play-at-being-adults? dept.
Cyrus writes "The online classified website Craigslist has removed its controversial Adult Services portion of its website. Technology blog TechCrunch was the first to report the section had been blacked out with the word 'Censored.'"
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Craigslist Removes Its Controversial Adult Section

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  • oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ravenspear (756059) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:40AM (#33473162)
    now all the prostitutes will post in casual encounters
    • Re:oh darn (Score:4, Interesting)

      by odies (1869886) * on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:07AM (#33473250)

      And what's wrong with prostitution anyway? In the end all girls cost money, many times much more than if you just get to the point right away. I'm in Thailand currently and it's all very casual - you go to a bar or gogo bar (not clubs), girls come to talk with you and you order them a few drinks and maybe play a round of billiard and just have good time. If you want to, you can take them to the nearest hotel or take them to your hotel with you for a night. Girls don't mind and sometimes they might even end up dating with you (happens easily as western guys are considered a huge score for a girl here).

      In the end its nothing else than again some religious or "I define what people should be allowed to do!" persons trying to limit the fun people can have. If the girl herself wants to do it, there's no "victims". Hell, there are girls who love having a lot of sex and it's even better for them because they get paid for what they love. Other people really have to start living their own lives and stop thinking "I don't do this, so no one else can do it either!".

      • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ravenspear (756059) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:12AM (#33473258)
        I agree completely and have nothing against prostitution, it's just that this will clog up the casual encounters section for people that aren't looking to pay money for sex. That's why it made much more sense to have a separate section for it.
        • Re:oh darn (Score:4, Informative)

          by jewishbaconzombies (1861376) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @05:28AM (#33473846)
          There's plenty of other sites. Backpage.com is just one of many that comes to mind. Is Facebook is another.
          • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

            by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @06:18AM (#33473996) Homepage

            We could also ask porn sites to move to the .xxx TLD, ask spammers to mark their mails with "[SPAM]" and ask black hat hackers to set an evil bit in all their packets.
            The prostitutes will post where their posts will be read the most.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by TheLink (130905)
              But did they clutter up "casual encounters" that much when the adult section was around? If they didn't then it sure shows that the section worked.

              I don't see the problem with having an adult section.

              If it bothers people, those people just should stop going there.

              As for kids, just install some nanny software or a proxy and let them learn to use their brains to think of clever ways of getting at porn or find other things to do :).
        • Blurring the line (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lullabud (679893)

          What this is doing is blurring the line between casual sex and prostitution. It will make it more difficult legally and personally. Not good.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        If the girl herself wants to do it, there's no "victims".

        Oh, that old argument. [umbc.edu]

        Look, there are many good arguments for the legalisation of prostitution per se (even for minors, although the person paying for services would then likely be breaking some statutory rape law).

        But it's without foundation to bring up the "lots of women want to do it" argument. And "want to do it", whatever the tedious capitalist he-may-be-interned-in-a-factory-but-at-least-he's-not-dying-in-the-fields armchair philosophers will tell you, must not be confused with "is desperate for mone

        • Re:oh darn (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:24AM (#33473300)

          Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

          I have not read any evidence that a majority of prostitutes^Wfast-food workers work because they enjoy being prostitutes^Wfast-food workers. Have you?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I've read through your post 3 or 4 times to try to work out what point you're trying to make. Possibly:

            1. The initial hypothesis was that people may be prostitutes because they enjoy it, perhaps a specific case of the general "all jobs are voluntary so people surely do them because they enjoy them" nonsense. You've given another example of a job which people don't necessarily do because they enjoy, so I guess you're attempting to provide evidence against that hypothesis.
            2. Fast-food work is as physically dangerou
            • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:44AM (#33473378)

              the point was, that people do all kinds of things when they are desperate for money, and they aren't illegal. so why single out prostitution as being somehow worse than the other ones? whether or not they *want* to, they are *willing* to in order to make a lot of money in a very short period of time.

              • Re:oh darn (Score:4, Insightful)

                by AmiMoJo (196126) <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @06:44AM (#33474092) Homepage

                You can't equate prostitution with serving fast food. The former carries all sorts of risks, even when it's a licensed and regulated brothel. You think every customer is going to have a HIV and STD test first? Condoms are 100% effective? Sleeping with some disgusting old lard-arse who could never get a real date because you need the money has no psychological ramifications?

                Sure, there are high class places where conditions are better, but unless the girl happens to be pretty good looking and lucky enough to land that kind of job they are not going to deal with all that stuff. It is far far different to working in MacDonalds.

                • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Jawnn (445279) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @07:51AM (#33474336)
                  By your logic, lots of dangerous occupations should be made illegal because they are dangerous or psychologically stressful. Of course, this is complete rubbish and we're left again with nothing but the puritanical notion that sex is "dirty" and that sex for money is especially dirty, which also, of course, is complete rubbish.
                • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by HungryHobo (1314109) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @07:59AM (#33474384)

                  It's a dirty job.
                  So?
                  There are people in this world who as part of their jobs have to spend all day surounded by human faeces working sewer maintainance with all the dangers of infections that entails.
                  There are people who work jobs where they can lose a limb to a saw blade.
                  Or be crushed in an industrial accident.
                  I know a girl who had a job where one of her duties was to put down the animals at a lab which used animal testing, think that has no psychological ramifications?
                  My father at one point worked in a slaughterhouse cleaning the grizzle, blood and brains off the walls and equipment. any psychological ramifications there?

                  There are high class office jobs where conditions are better, but unless the person happens to be skilled and lucky enough to land that kind of job they're not going to get those.

                  But sure, if sex is in any way involved then its special and it can't be considered in a reasonable adult manner.

                • Re:oh darn (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by mangu (126918) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:24AM (#33474502)

                  Sleeping with some disgusting old lard-arse who could never get a real date because you need the money has no psychological ramifications?

                  How is that different from feeding some disgusting old lard-arse who could never get a real meal because you need the money?

                • Re:oh darn (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by Posting=!Working (197779) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:53AM (#33474638)

                  There are plenty of jobs that have a similar list of risks. Some are worse.

                  For example, welding at a shipyard - Do you think they like getting burned everyday? Climbing up a 30 foot ladder to find it's not tied off at the top and one side is a half inch from freefall? Do you think the riggers have actually double checked every single time the crane picks up a huge sheet of steel that passes over your head? Crawling through a disgusting, stinking crawlspace under the floor of a barge while someone might start welding on the same piece of steel that your entire backside is pressed against? Having my safety depending on some dumb ass who couldn't get a job that required knowing how to read or do math? I think your chances are better with the condom.

                  I'll give you that working at most McDonalds is not nearly as bad, but all McDonalds are not the same.

                  Crappy McDonalds in crime ridden area- Ever had a gun shoved in your face while getting robbed? Ever been sprayed with mace for just working the drivethrough window? Had a smelly crazy homeless guy cough on you while ordering and try to pee on you when done? Been badly burned by fry grease?

                  I'm not saying prostitution isn't a crappy way to have to make a living. I'm just saying there are legal jobs that people take that carry a similar level risks and discomforts, and many people have no other choice but to take them.

                  I'm only talking about those who prostitute themselves for economic reasons. I am not including physically forced prostitution in any of this, that's slavery, and horrible.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by TheLink (130905)
                  Uh that's why it pays a lot more than serving fast food. A lot more. Higher risk, higher pay. It might even be safer than doing night-shift in 7-11 or similar places, and it sure as hell pays a lot better.

                  And if you don't want to sleep with a disgusting old lard, don't. Who's forcing you? It's the illegal prostitution rings that really force women to do what they don't want to do - they lock the women up in rooms etc. So if prostitution was legal and well regulated it'll be a lot better for the prostitute (
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Hatta (162192)

                  You can't equate prostitution with serving fast food. The former carries all sorts of risks, even when it's a licensed and regulated brothel. You think every customer is going to have a HIV and STD test first?

                  Ok, compare prostitution to steel workers, coal miners, or fishermen. There are lots of dangerous jobs. Either ban them AND prostituion, ban neither, or accept that prostitution is illegal for reasons of sexual morality and not safety.

          • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

            by migla (1099771) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:49AM (#33473390)

            You're kind of right. Being able to hire people who need the money to do a shitty job is exploitation. But there's a big difference in being fucked by the exploiter figuratively and literally. Sex is intimate and can screw with you worse than the boredom and aching feet (or whatever) that flipping burgers entails. There are similarites between prostitution and other kinds of "wage slavery", but the two are generally in different leagues of fuckeduppedness.

            • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:59AM (#33473426)

              It'll be interesting to see you justify a single assertion in that post without resorting to religious arguments, or without projecting your own personal moral hangups on the rest of humanity as a whole.

              The truth is, prostitution is not a particularly dangerous job when it's kept above-board and regulated by health authorities. This move on Craigslist;s part will instead drive the trade farther underground than it already was.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by noname444 (1182107)

                Are you saying that sex being more intimate than flipping burgers is a religious argument?

            • Re:oh darn (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Klinky (636952) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:10AM (#33473462)

              Fastfood work can be just as mentally straining & bad for your body, especially if you're eating where you work because it's cheaper due to your employee discount than fixing food for yourself. If you have anyone else to support or you have flaky hours, you might need another job. Combine the physical nature of the job, the unhealthy environment & food then the mental stress of incompetent or power tripping management, aggressive and selfish customers, anxiety over working so hard yet not having enough money to pay for basic needs & the stigma attached to being a fast-food worker, I could see how it's not a lot better than being a prostitute.

              Ultimately it does take a certain mindset to be a prostitute & not all prostitution is equal. Turning tricks under a bridge for $20 so you can go feed your addiction is not the same as someone earning $200 or $300 per visit & does not have an addiction. Also on the outside people will have no clue you're a prostitute, unless you're outed somehow. People will know you work in fast-food and that some how makes you a loser so will be nasty to you while you man the register or they'll heckle you while you're standing at the bus stop after your shift.

              In conclusion neither job is healthy.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Wizard Drongo (712526)

                I don't see where you show that prostitution is unhealthy. Sure, street-workers, usually heroin addicts or trafficking victims, that's obviously unhealthy.
                But how are the higher class escorts unhealthy? They have sex, for money. Nothing unhealthy in and of itself with that. They almost always use protection, which is a lot more than you can say for a lot of girls you can pickup in a bar for a one-night stand. Escorts are professional, tend to work with security people to ensure their safety, get medica

            • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

              by PietjeJantje (917584) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:59AM (#33473600)
              It is an urban legend that these women have no other options than prostitution. At most locations, this is false, they have. The other options don't pay as well though. These girls prefer relatively well-paid prostitution over working 10 hour shifts at a factory or selling food stuff on markets. If there are no other options, all the ugly girls and lowly educated men would die of starvation. Yes they are exploited, but how did they get there? All the high-profile stories about human trafficking and prostitution slavery, in the end it's only a small minority.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                If there are no other options, all the ugly girls and lowly educated men would die of starvation.

                (1) Prostitutes aren't necessarily "pretty" - don't get your ideas on the sex industry from Western porn sites;
                (2) Men have far more employment opportunities. Most societies still overtly discriminate against women, sometimes because they're physically weaker and sometimes just because.

                . Yes they are exploited, but how did they get there?

                Are they OK now? Just because some uneducated kid is fooled into thinking that prostitution is a lucrative way out of poverty it doesn't mean you get to judge them any differently when they're physically and emotionally broke

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by drinkypoo (153816)

                All the high-profile stories about human trafficking and prostitution slavery, in the end it's only a small minority.

                Small comfort if it's your daughter on the milk carton. I don't think we need to stamp out prostitution, but I do think we need to stamp out all forms of slavery. This country probably has relatively little slavery prostitution. Some nations, on the other hand, are known to be quite full of it.

            • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Interesting)

              by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @06:52AM (#33474124) Journal

              Actually I've known hookers and burger flippers (having actually lived in an apt building everyone called a "house of ill repute" due to the amount of hookers in it) and I'd have to say I felt MUCH sorrier for the burger flippers. The hookers had a nice place to work with good security, could refuse any patron that didn't want, and at the end of the week had plenty of money in their pockets after paying the bills.

              Contrast this with the burger flippers who were always in pain from the constant overwork, stank horribly (because you really can't get that stench out of your skin even after multiple baths), usually had burns from grease pops and looked awful from all the oil buildup, and most needed state assistance because of the incredibly shitty pay.

              So if you want the most abusive job, excluding pimps which are a product of prohibition, I'm gonna have to go with burger flipper. At least the hooker gets paid well for their job, whereas the burger flipper is lucky to be able to keep a roof over their head for MUCH longer hours and more hard physical labor.

        • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

          by fredmosby (545378) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:45AM (#33473382)
          When people were working in factories under horrible conditions for little pay they didn't solve the problem by making working in factories illegal, the workers unionized and the government passed minimum wage and safety laws. If we banned all the jobs that people only do for money there wouldn't be very many legal jobs.
        • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe AT jwsmythe DOT com> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:52AM (#33473402) Homepage Journal

              Have you talked to many escorts to come to this conclusion? It really doesn't sound like it.

              Have you talked to your average worker in a fast food restaurant or big box store? Unless they're just out of high school, they're miserable.

              Stop forcing YOUR morality on others. It's a choice, both by the service provider, and by the customer. One way or another, we're all in the same business. We want something, and we give something for it. So your morality may say that you need to spend money on fancy dinners and expensive trinkets, coming to a climax where a lavish party is thrown because you put a multi-carat diamond on some poor girls finger. It's all down hill from there. Will you cheat on her? Will she divorce you and take half of what you have?

              Prostitution, under it's various names, is far more honest. You negotiate the fee for services rendered, and then you each get what you wanted. Simple. The same concerns apply in the interaction with her, or a girl you met elsewhere. Wear a condom, and keep track of your wallet.

              They made the choice to go into the industry. Their customers made the choice to get services from the industry. It's simple. I've known a few women who work in the industry, and they refuse the option of taking a "normal" job, for a fraction of the pay and losing flexibility with their life. Those of us who work in an office don't get the choice of saying "I have a headache, I don't want to work today", or "I have other things to do, pay me for Saturday night instead." None of them were forced to do it. Very few look back at a "regular" job with any sort of passion for it.

              I won't say that there aren't bad elements in the industry, but if you look at how many corporations work you'll see worse behavior. You have overworked, underpaid disgruntled people wondering if they have a job tomorrow. Will I get fired? Will the company be downsizing? Will the company fold? I've seen a lot of good hard working 9 to 5 people suddenly find themselves without an income, because they came into work, just to find that they didn't have a job any more. Maybe you're independently wealthy, and don't have to worry about such things, but for the rest of the world, we have bills to pay.

              Because of people like you, who have forced your morality on others, it's put these working women in danger. Legalization and acceptance of the industry is the only way to remove the bad elements of the industry.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by phantomfive (622387)

            So your morality may say that you need to spend money on fancy dinners and expensive trinkets, coming to a climax where a lavish party is thrown because you put a multi-carat diamond on some poor girls finger. It's all down hill from there. Will you cheat on her? Will she divorce you and take half of what you have?

            Of course, some people mature from their early 20s sex-insanity, realize that sex isn't everything, and then actually love the person they get married to, and have a nice life after that. Not everything in life is a direct result of sex.

            This really should be obvious on Slashdot, where half of us would rather code than have sex :)

          • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

            by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:27AM (#33473510) Journal

            Have you talked to many escorts to come to this conclusion? It really doesn't sound like it.

            The "escorts" you're probably thinking of are not representative of the global prostitution industry. I know this is /. and an awful lot of lonely men have paid $200+ for an escort and assume that "talking to an escort" (who you are paying to say what you want to hear) is somehow singular for "data", but it isn't.

            Stop forcing YOUR morality on others.

            Knee-jerk. Arguing that funding the prostitution industry may be immoral is not forcing anything.

            It's a choice, both by the service provider, and by the customer.

            All work is free choice to the extent that you also have the options to lie down on the streets and starve or jump off a cliff and die more quickly.

            So your morality may say that you need to spend money on fancy dinners and expensive trinkets, coming to a climax where a lavish party is thrown because you put a multi-carat diamond on some poor girls finger. It's all down hill from there. Will you cheat on her? Will she divorce you and take half of what you have?

            You are bitter and angry, and it's showing. Not that your bitterness and anger detract from the worth of your argument, but you're not presenting a decent argument anyway. Healthy human relationships are continually symbiotic, not about paying to seduce a woman and then crying because she doesn't give you what you want.

            Because of people like you, who have forced your morality on others, it's put these working women in danger. Legalization and acceptance of the industry is the only way to remove the bad elements of the industry.

            You're about the 5th poster to assume that I was arguing for the banning of prostitution, even though I started the argument by acknowledging that there are good arguments for legalisation and making clear that "moral" is not the same as "legal".

            Prostitution should be legal and well regulated. "Acceptance" is another matter. For example, let's say you're in an evil socialist European state and there's a job opening for a prostitute - should you lose unemployment benefits if you don't take the position? Geeks are so accepting of the scientific method except when it comes to studying humans themselves - in this particular case, no psychologist will argue that the effect of fucking 50 strangers a day is generally as benign as serving 50 burgers a day. But are you arguing that, and what is your extraordinary evidence?

          • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

            by DerekLyons (302214) <(fairwater) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:14AM (#33474732) Homepage

            Have you talked to many escorts to come to this conclusion? It really doesn't sound like it.

            Talking to escorts about the world of prostitution is like talking to McDonalds CEO about the world of fast food workers. Try talking to the girls down on the low track instead.
             

            They made the choice to go into the industry.

            Yeah, the same way someone who can't find a job making a living wage and with a future 'chooses' to go to work with McDonalds or Best Buy.
             
            You, and many others answering here, have a seriously rosy view of the world.

        • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Interesting)

          by dissy (172727) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:56AM (#33473414)

          But it's without foundation to bring up the "lots of women want to do it" argument. And "want to do it", whatever the tedious capitalist he-may-be-interned-in-a-factory-but-at-least-he's-not-dying-in-the-fields armchair philosophers will tell you, must not be confused with "is desperate for money and willing to do it because there is no viable alternative".

          So instead of a situation of a desperate woman being a prostitute to pay the bills, you instead would rather that desperate woman be a prostitute to pay the bills AND be a criminal.
          That's rather nice of you :/

          Look, we both know the problem is desperation, and that is what needs to be solved.
          Clearly neither of us have that solution, nor do the women doing this.

          Why make them criminals just because they are already in a fucked up situation?
          Because outlawing something does not stop it, especially when you are that desperate already.

          If it was simply taxed and regulated like any other legal job, we wouldn't have any of the Other problems we get today with prostitution, and will be making the exact same dent in the desperation problem as now (read None)

          Then a lot of those desperate women will not be criminals as well, and might have a better chance of improving their situation without a police record to follow them forever.

          Right now it's very hard to help improve any of those peoples lives, as with a criminal record they can't easily do quite a lot of things we take for granted, such as getting a job.

          Remove that one little barrier and it becomes that much easier to provide some real help.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pitchpipe (708843)

          But it's without foundation to bring up the "lots of women want to do it" argument. And "want to do it", whatever the tedious capitalist he-may-be-interned-in-a-factory-but-at-least-he's-not-dying-in-the-fields armchair philosophers will tell you, must not be confused with "is desperate for money and willing to do it because there is no viable alternative".

          Why do you think that I go to my job everyday. Take call-outs in the middle of the fucking night when there is two feet of snow on the ground on Christmas (I work in an open pit mine)? It's the money, duh!

          I have not read any evidence that a majority of prostitutes work because they enjoy being prostitutes. Have you?

          I'm betting that you probably haven't researched it far enough to find out. After ten seconds with Google. [dearcupid.org] Maybe not a majority, but there sure are a LOT of shit jobs out there that pay a lot less!

        • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

          by snowgirl (978879) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:20AM (#33473494) Journal

          I speak from anecdotal evidence, so I know this does not apply to everyone in the field. There certainly are women who don't really want to do the job, and these people certainly deserve a path out of their professional field, but there are a number of people like that in almost all careers.

          You'd be surprised that it doesn't take a big stretch for a woman to get to the 6 figure mark, or at least what would be a 6 figure income if their pay is used as "take home", and we extrapolate what they would be earning if they were paying their proper taxes, etc.

          I know one particular former call girl who willingly and knowingly entered into the field of her own free will, and felt more honest about her earnings than when she was working as a computer programmer.

          Most people object to prostitution on two grounds: human trafficking, which should be wrong anyways, mistreatment by their pimps, or the dangers presented by clients. Most people who are against prostitution are not against the prostitutes themselves. They see them as "trapped" in a position where they have a high likelihood of harm. Yet, if we legalized it, then human trafficking would still be wrong, mistreatment by their pimps could be handled by police and other governmental authorities, and protection against clients is guaranteed the same way.

          In Sweden, prostitution is not illegal, but being a pimp and frequenting a prostitute are illegal. Imagine the wonderful nature of your transaction of: "if you stiff me, I can call the cops, and they'll arrest you, and I walk away." Clients won't screw their prostitutes in this case. The same with pimps. "Go ahead, slap me... I'll call the cops, and they'll haul you away, and I can admit openly that I'm a prostitute, and I won't get taken away."

          How about making prostitution a SAFE profession, rather than demanding it be illegal to stop people from doing it? If you're concerned about their health from the sex alone, either physical and/or mental, then when shall we expect an intent to make promiscuity itself illegal?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by makomk (752139)

            Most people object to prostitution on two grounds: human trafficking, which should be wrong anyways, mistreatment by their pimps, or the dangers presented by clients. Most people who are against prostitution are not against the prostitutes themselves.

            Nope. Sure, they like to argue that they are, but if you actually pay attention to what they're saying they think all prostitution should be destroyed to "stop trafficking and are pushing for laws that make their lives more dangerous.

            For example, here in the UK the anti-trafficking groups pushed for a law criminalising sex with women who were "controlled for gain". Sounds good, right? Except it means no more agencies to screen out harassing calls, and no more working with a maid or other person who can call

        • Re:oh darn (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Dhalka226 (559740) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:20AM (#33473496)

          Stop being a "prostitution is no initiation of force therefore it should be legal therefore it is OK" libertard and instead ask "Is it moral in general to pay for prostitutes?"

          Gee, I wonder if you've made up your mind in advance at all? "Stop being a retard who disagrees with me and instead ask a question that I will only allow you to conclude the same as I do without being insulted!" Hey, thanks! If you think that position is wrong, then the onus is on you to explain why.

          If your hypothesis that most women are only prostitutes because they are desperate for money and there is no viable alternative is correct, then all you have done is criminalize what even you describe as their only choice to make money. At best, in your world, you stop them from doing the only thing they can do to survive. At worst they do it anyway and are criminals in addition to paupers, with all of the stigma and danger associated with any criminal activity. At least if it were legalized, there could be some protections in place both for the prostitutes and for the Johns. When "hope you don't get beaten and robbed" or "hope your pimp is a nice guy" are your only protections, there's something wrong.

          So, the six-figure-a-year celebrity hookers probably want to do it and they're making money hand-over-fist, so I don't see an argument to prevent it from that extreme. The opposite extreme (buying into your argument) is that the women don't really want to do it but have no other choice to survive, making legalizing it a slightly better alternative to a terrible situation that actually has very little to do with prostitution and more to do with hopeless economic conditions. Somewhere in the middle are women who aren't sexual millionaires but either want to do it, don't care either way or don't particularly want to do it and don't need to but consider it easier or faster money than the available alternatives. I'm seeing an entire spectrum where not a single data point would lead me to the conclusion that prostitution should be illegal.

          In fact, the only reason I can think of is the one supposed by your question: Imposing my set of morality on other people. My answer to your question about whether or not it is moral to pay for sex is "why the hell should I care?" If it doesn't involve me I don't find it to be any more my business than whether or not your wife or girlfriend (or boyfriend) is kinky in the sack. If it does, then I can exercise my own morality to my own actions and relations -- exactly as it should be. I wouldn't date a hooker, whether it was legal or not. I don't respect the behavior. It doesn't mean I need it to be criminal to prove my moral superiority.

          Now, legalizing prostitution isn't simple; it's something that would need to be done carefully to achieve any of the potential benefits and avoid a clusterfuck of potential problems. Very probably other laws would need to be created or changed. But all in all, if "I don't approve of what you're doing with your body" is the best I can come up with to stop you... fuck me. No pun intended.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kitkoan (1719118)

          ask "Is it moral in general to pay for prostitutes?"

          How about asking "Is it moral for me to tell others how to live and what they can and cannot do?" What ever happened to freedom? Freedom of choice and to chose? Just because you don't approve of it doesn't magically make it wrong. Consider that some things you do are no doubt considered morally wrong to others.

          Yes, there have been cases of woman being abused/forced into prostitution, but if you look, every job has cases were people have been abused, with a much higher degree of these problems when the job/s

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by khallow (566160)

          "Is it moral in general to pay for prostitutes?"

          Yes, because not paying for prostitutes is theft of their services. Second, the real question is, "Should it be legal to engage in prostitution and pay for the services of the prostitution." That's clearly yes, since as has been pointed out before, there is no harm committed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kilrah_il (1692978)

          My opinion is that the concept of prostitution is not bad. A woman (or man) that chooses to go this way as a job is free to do it. Some of them prefer it to work at McDonald's. I know law students that work at prostitution because it's a very high-paying job and the hours are flexible. The problem starts when the prostitutes are not doing it out of their own free will. Many of them are exploited and most of the money is taken by pimps who leave them with petty cash* or hook them on drugs to keep them workin

        • Guess what? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770)

          When things are illegal, people are pushed in to them that don't want to be. The activity has to exist at the sidelines and those involved can't get help from the authorities if they need it. The problems, the abuses, happen because it is illegal and thus they have to turn to people like pimps for promotion and protection.

          However when it is legal? Not such a problem. Have a look in to the brothels in Nevada some time (you can look at documentaries rather than going there). You find that when it is legal, th

  • by DrugCheese (266151) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:46AM (#33473184)

    How are all us slashdotters supposed to find nude modelling gigs now?

  • Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueCoder (223005) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:50AM (#33473204)

    Some politician says ban this section and it will all go away...

    Now the personals section is going to get even more polluted.

    Casual Encounters will become the new adult section but it will spill over into the normal sections. Strictly platonic will probably become the "normal" area. If this is the intelligence of state attorney generals then we must have a lot of innocent people in jail.

    • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

      by snowgirl (978879) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:08AM (#33473458) Journal

      There is a lot of belief in politics that if we make something illegal, people will stop doing it.

      This idea is retarded, and recognizably inconsistent with reality.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DaveGod (703167)

        There is a lot of belief in politics that if we make something illegal, people will stop doing it.

        They are fully aware that this is not true; but stopping people doing it isn't the objective. That's not even close to being foremost on their minds. Politicians are driven by personal power and political motives. They want to be seen to be "doing something", "being tough" and "sending a strong message".

        Due to recent well covered events it's easier to demonstrate my point when discussing drugs. Whilst it obvio

  • :rolleyes: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingAlanI (1270538) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:12AM (#33473260) Homepage Journal

    Prostitution control is about as effective as drug control and gun control.

    • you're just mistaken about the purpose. One of the key benefits to drug and prostitution control is segregation. It keeps the wealthy and the poor separate, because if you're poor and you drive up to a wealthy neighborhood to use their (very nice) parks and schools chances are you or one of you're friends has drugs/is a prostitute. Our 'zero tolerance' property seizure laws make you guilty by association.
  • There, I fixed it! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Auckerman (223266) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:13AM (#33473266)

    This is the future of the Internet. Corporate censorship at the demand of the loudest group. One by one, sites are going to filter user areas. Then content. Starting with obvious things that few will care about, like prostitution. Slowly, everything is going to be so pasteurized that sites with no filters will be considered criminal organizations.

    Look, whatever you think of it is irrelevant, abused or not, the racier parts of the internet are a necessary part of freedom. Draw the line of allowed hosted content straight through what most people find offensive and leave it there.

    It may not happen in our lifetime, but if we don't demand full neutrality (for host and carriers), it's going to happen.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Spiked_Three (626260)
      Well crap, I typed a big long reply, and as I spent time polishing my thoughts, I realized you pretty well had it covered.

      Mod parent up.
  • Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Fanta Menace (607612) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:07AM (#33473454) Homepage

    Someone's not thinking outside the box. They should have just spun off that part of the company and run it from another country with sensible attitudes towards sex (eg, The Netherlands or Belgium), where the US can't touch them.

  • by Pilum99 (1860924) <pilum99@hot[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:38AM (#33473538)
    Since those ads are no longer easily viewed by the general public, some politicians will now consider it a victory against the evil sex trade. So now, instead of the sex trade of teenagers easily tracked by authorities and gov't officials, it has now gone back underground where it is harder to track and deal with those issues. Prohibition was supposed to improve society, but instead the booze went underground, organized crime developed, and more social problems arose as a result. Just as people like to imbibe, people also like to have sex (gasp! shock!). The allegory continues, just substitute "booze" for "sex trade".
  • by vorlich (972710) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:18AM (#33474472) Homepage Journal
    where prostitution is legal and regulated I have some sympathy for those of you living in less enlightened parts of the world. However do try to remember that while many architects (for example!) use the services of prostitutes, few, if any prostitutes are clients of architects.
    If your simplistic model of the sex industry is that of a cosy contract between customer and vendor you probably haven't been to edge of the world and looked over.
    Otherwise you would be perfectly happy for your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers to pursue a glittering career in the opportunity-filled world of the sex industry. Perhaps put in a few shifts yourself, to balance your budget in these straitened times.
    Or perhaps there is another reason why clients are called "tricks" or "Gingers" in the industry patois.
  • FINALLY (Score:3, Funny)

    by /dev/trash (182850) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:30AM (#33475178) Homepage Journal

    Sex for sale is now gone and will never come back.

  • by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:09PM (#33476192)

    It seems unlikely that closing off this route of advertising will do much to discourage prostitution. On the other hand, it will make it harder for women to offer sexual services as independent operators, and will tend to force more of them into exploitive arrangements in which much of their income is taken by "management." So it is a lose for the women, but a big win for the pimps.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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