Determining Your Position – A breakdown of viewpoints on prostitution

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With just a few days left for Canadians to comment on our prostitution laws, if you are a procrastinator* like me, it may be time to sit down and really think about what you want to see happen with regards to prostitution laws. Critically evaluating your own position on prostitution may help you better answer the questions posed by the Canadian government regarding our law reform.

But first, there are several ways you can comment:

You can send a letter to your MP, you can sign one of many petitions floating around the internet, or you can answer 6 questions to offer your input to the government, and you need to do this before March 17. (Oops sorry, I am posting this with little time left to comment!)

Today’s post is meant to help you establish your own position by looking at the more ‘black and white’ perspectives on prostitution.

So what are the six questions you need to answer for Canada?

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Now you have the questions in mind, here are some important points to consider as you develop your stance in the prostitution conversation. If you can align yourself with the view points presented below that you most agree with, it may help you formulate your answers to the questions posed above.

Your personal view on a violation of a human right:

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Option 1 is the premise of the Nordic Model, or in more clear terms (since not every Nordic country has adopted the same legal structure for addressing prostitution), the Swedish Model whereby the selling of sex is decriminalised and the buying of sex is criminalised. The idea behind this is to protect those whose human rights are being violated (the seller), and to criminally prosecute the violator of the human right (the buyer). Prostitutes are free to solicit sex but Johns can be charged for purchasing sex.

This is motivated by the belief that prostitution is a gender injustice, as women are grossly over represented  within the sex industry and that prostitution is violence against women. 

Option 2 is the premise of decriminalisation or legalisation of prostitution.

Decriminalisation; for example in New Zealand, where soliciting, living off the proceeds of someone else’s prostitution and brothel-keeping have all been decriminalised, and while locally by-laws can be created regarding zoning (for brothels) and advertising, sex work can not be prohibited.

Legalisation; for example in the Netherlands, where prostitution is legal and regulated. Individuals can work in prostitution so long as they meet specific requirements designed to prevent exploitation and criminal activity. Sex work can be prohibited if the conditions do not meet legal standards. Most famous are women working in window prostitution, but there are other forms of regulated prostitution. Originally there was no ban on pimping, which was amended, and recently stricter regulations have come into place due to high levels of human trafficking and exploitation.

Do you think there is a difference between human trafficking and prostitution? Or in other words, can an individual make a choice to sell their body?

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Do you think the legalisation of prostitution leads to an increase in human trafficking?

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Okay, if you have made it this far you are doing really well since that was a whole lot of reading.
I have to be honest in saying there is no way I can cover all of the nuances and opinions surrounding prostitution. I would encourage you to think critically through your own opinion on what a violation of a human right is, what is (if any) the difference between human trafficking and prostitution, and if legalisation lead to an increase in human trafficking. If you have a strong opinion that aligns with anyone of the statements above, I trust that you have taken the time to carefully consider your answers and why.
*For months now I have received a lot of emails and messages regarding Canada’s prostitution laws. I have procrastinated on saying anything, or doing anything, because I don’t know if I can say what the majority of people in my network are hoping to hear… that I don’t think we should be telling people what to say, but we should help educate them to understand why they need to say something about our laws.


Tomorrow I will write a breakdown of the main models up for discussion – decriminalisation, legalisation, or the Nordic Model. Which you can now read here: Determining Your Position – A breakdown of legal structures surrounding prostitution


4 Responses to “Determining Your Position – A breakdown of viewpoints on prostitution”
  1. Having participated in the sex-trade for close to 25 years first hand, I strongly oppose it in any way… shape or even form. We need to take a closer look at the one’s being used to procure the sexual pleasures and escape through & by and see if they are not carrying far too heavy a burden within themselves – sometimes for far too long. The whole idea of paying for sex of any type is not only demeaning but also very controlling and shameful, for both parties involved. Unfortunately, perversion is winning-out on this one. Everywhere you turn on TV you seem to be inundated with sex and the very misguided notion that it will take care of a momentary laps of reason which can always be either discarded later if full satisfaction was not provided. We are, sorry we have become a society of drive-through’s and convenience – I want this, I get that, I need this, I must buy that. Quick fixes for everything even the seven minute tan. But have we really considered the scares, the burn left behind once we’ve taken care of our moment of ‘brat-ish’ whinny self-entitlement? Loneliness first drove me to have sex, thinking that I was going to answer all my needs through someone else’s own emptiness. Drugs and the memories of childhood repeated rape would drive me to the streets and hustling in gay villages across North America for over 17 years. 2 estranged kids, one failed marriage and 100’s if not thousands of partners both male and female later I find myself still seeking to be happy, still looking for that someone who will laugh at what I say and finish sentences for me out of love and respect. For the moment, I’m in healing mode some say leaning on religion for comfort because of all my screw-ups. I say “been there done that, over and over got the hoodie t-shirts are for kids.” In any case I’m sure glad someone somewhere thought-up forgiveness & redemption because without it I’d be carrying a whole load of guilt and shame because of what the sex-trade business means to me.

    • justsaskia says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Ken. I am sorry to read about many of your heartbreaking experiences, but am also thankful for forgiveness & redemption. Love covers a multitude doesn’t it?

      Glad you are on the healing path, and glad you felt moved to share a bit of your journey here.

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  1. […] Yesterday’s post was meant to help you establish your own position by looking at the more ‘black and white’ perspectives on prostitution. Today is a breakdown of the different legal options up for conversation in Canada. […]

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