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Porn has come under extensive criticism from feminists as well. I find this scary. Accusations vary from porn resulting in rape to porn being born from an exploitation of women. I disagree with a lot of these accusations and agree with a few, but do not see blocking of porn as an answer. More importantly, I find it alarming that feminism can selectively abdicate interest in the agency of women.

Who decides whether and what porn should be banned?

A large part of the feminist view is that men deciding what harms women is a problem. A sizeable chunk of feminists also thinks porn should be banned because it harms women. Very few people actually ask porn watching women or performers. In my view, people who don't want to watch porn are not required to watch it, just like people not interested in cricket are not forced to follow scores on cricket websites. Thus, there is little question of porn being imposed on people and the primary stakeholders would be producers, performers and viewers - mostly not consulted in deliberations on bans. Other stakeholders could be law enforcement, social workers and doctors working with the industry and so on. Few, if any women enjoy porn that is violent, but there are women viewers as well as performers who like rough sex porn. Our efforts to figure out a way to reduce the harms of porn don't consult them. In my view not only is this authoritarian, bypassing stakeholders is unlikely to result in effective ways of dealing with the issue.

Can porn cause harm?

There is harm related to porn including addiction, unhealthy expectations about sex and violent or non-consensual sex. On the darker side is a sordid saga of drug abuse among porn performers, sexual abuse and allegedly, trafficking women to make porn, blackmail and more. Extreme and hardcore acts or object insertions can result in people injuring themselves. Those added to a rape can result in serious injury and worse. They can give men all sorts of misconceptions about what women like during sex. And this is "legal" porn (as in not depicting criminal acts) - not even necessarily violent porn. There is also little doubt that a lot of mainstream porn is too aggressive and disrespectful of women for women's tastes.

So are many Bollywood films. I'd argue songs like "Khambe jaisi khadi hain" starring the conscience of the nation, Aamir Khan, with "heroes" pursuing reluctant actresses, heartily idolized by cheering and jeering mob of sidekicks have inspired more non-consensual  sexual pursuit of women than porn films ever will. Catcalls and whistles from the balcony during rape/molestation/erotic scenes are embarrassing cinema traditions. When the heroine can slap the hero for harassing her, and discover at the end of the film that she was wrong for misjudging him. I would argue that public figures and people in positions of authority that excuse rape and hold victims responsible for "asking for it" do more harm than porn. Because these are cultural influences, rather than private activities.

What are the things already being done about "bad" porn?

Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection, Internet Watch Foundation and FBI track and seize servers that run child pornography. Google does not want revenge porn to appear in search results. There are other initiatives by ordinary netizens like Anonymous who are relentless in their efforts in their pursuit of child abusers and child porn. Efforts like feminist porn, Porna porn or sex-positive porn are growing rapidly as more and more people turn toward more "real" depictions of sex rather than aggressive porn that "gets off" on humiliating women. Bishakha Datta puts it well in her fine article on the porn ban, "If we applied the free speech argument to porn, we wouldn’t ban porn. We’d fight porn with more porn, make more porn for women." She is planning to create a porn-o-meter service to rate porn for being child, women and law friendly that depicts women enjoying and controlling the sexual action as well. Top rated videos of most popular sites are increasingly of the kind where women participate and enjoy the sex.

Above prejudices and ethics is hard business

A part of the problem is also the "quality", as a pragmatic porn performer who does not want to be named, told me. If a director fails to convey pleasure and emotional connect it can look alarmingly indifferent to a woman's pleasure. A woman's pleasure can be more subtle to portray and capture than a man's very visible orgasm. It is also no coincidence that most films with good production values and acting and direction also have sex that looks enjoyable for all participants.

While the audience was mostly men, this did not matter so much, but with the rise in viewership by women, this has started mattering. If women friendly porn has demand, it will be created. And it should be, because as Pu La Deshpande had said in his speech celebrating the 75th show of the outrageous Sangeet Vastraharan, "There is only one answer to inappropriate things and that is doing what is appropriate in an excellent manner."

Here is Erika Lust, who makes porn videos talking about the need for porn to change.

Porn is hardly a new concern. Other countries already have laws that the biggest sites have to comply with to remain accessible to viewers in order to profit. Any porn site with noticeable viewership already explicitly requires performers to be of adult age and to sign consent forms. They remove reported criminal porn - because they are here to do business from the desires of people, not protect criminals at the cost of their own business and reputation. The question of why aggression with woman turns men on - whether as a fantasy or in real life is a question beyond the scope of this piece.

Does porn symbolize crimes against women?

Meena Kandasamy, a feminist has published an article in which she argues against the porn ban, yet declares porn to be against women's rights (then why should it not be banned?)

I do think that the pornographic industry overwhelmingly represents NOT freedom but its opposite, the enslavement of women's bodies, the casualisation of paedophilia, the trivialisation of rape, the culture of trophy videos of rape, and all this, on top of being one of the most exploitative global sex industries that has trafficking, forced prostitution, abuse and near-slavery ingrained in it.

I invite anyone to check out the top porn sites to see if pedophilia or rape is present at all (whether casualized, trivialized or in another form) let alone "overwhelmingly represents". Women who participate willingly in BDSM cannot be considered to be "enslaved" beyond the sexual role play. I dare say that if the top visited sites don't carry it, most porn viewers never come across it. If you specifically search for child or rape porn, you will find it regardless of blocks, because if there is something you can find on the internet, you can find it around a block as well.

Conditions of porn performers

There are porn performers who reach the top of name and fame as performers and go on to produce their own content and there are those that do a brief stint and reach a dead end - like the bulk of acting and modeling work. There are plenty of "stars" speaking candidly about the profession, including their sex lives on and off screen when their partner is also a co-star; interacting with fans in an extremely candid manner, including doing Reddit IAmAs, where anyone can ask them anything and answering questions on Quora. There are candid Reddit IAmAs of partners of porn performers who speak of dedication to their work and career; the "work" of porn and sex being different things and even being committed to monogamy off screen.

Technology is killing mainstream porn but empowering the talent. It cuts out the middle man and let's almost anyone work from home. ~ Tory Lane

It is a career choice with its occupational hazards. Not all that different from a film star talking about how it isn't all about glamour but days of slogging doing retakes after retakes.

A construction worker abuses her body for far less money and comfort. Do we call for bans on construction work or coal mines because workers fall to their die, get health problems or abuse their body beyond endurance for a pittance? Is it not supremely ironic that feminists who would otherwise object to a woman being measured by her vagina end up condemning entire professions chosen by women because the part of the body overworked is the vagina? Is being a woman all about being a vagina then, that breaking your back ferrying gravel and cement is no reason for a ban but a far less brutal life as a sex performer is? Or is it that there is nothing to be outraged about a woman's sexuality unless she happens to earn from it?

This is not to say there is no ugly side. There are sex performers who get exploited, who face rude costars and suffer unpleasant sex from both the physical stress of postures for camera rather than comfort as well as brutal partners with usually larger than average penises. They speak of the abuse and humiliation of derogatory co-stars, being penetrated roughly, of drugs and exploiters. Why does the "victim" return to do another film? Performers make compromises they later regret because of the lure of money, like any of us. Women have had sex in ways that strips them of dignity for all kinds of reasons ranging from promotions to desperate attempts at preventing husbands from straying.

Defining the whole by a part

But more importantly, it is not so different from the million other people who "bitch" about their jobs, even as they continue to do them. Go to a corporate office, there will be bitter sense of victimization by colleagues and seniors considered to be manipulative, exploitative or otherwise unfair. Of bosses who will push employees beyond endurance to get the "work" done. Of work pressures that lead to suicides. Students commit suicide from exam pressures. Farmers commit suicide because they cannot afford to live. Bigggest common factor in cases of marital rape is marriage. Ban marriage? Every profession, occupation has a terrible side, but porn and prostitution appear to be two where a professional cannot talk about a bad day at work or problems they face without it becoming the "truth" of the industry.

What about the agency of women?

Whatever happened of the power of women to make choices including their own mistakes? If a woman chooses to wear skimpy clothes and walk on the streets of Delhi at midnight and gets raped, do we ask for roads to be closed to public after dark? If a porn performer faces abuse, why is it that instead of insisting that criminals be brought to book, we act like the ministers we condemn and condemn porn instead of the specific criminals? There is some preference within people to prevent porn, just like there is a preference to prevent women out on the streets among those who would deny them agency.

Concerns about Indian porn performers

That said, while I have no data, my perception is that the Indian porn performers do much worse than those in countries where it can be produced legally. I believe this is because performing contracts, mandatory health checks, legal status allow legal porn performers to build proper fan followings and improve  working conditions in ways that they find safe in ways Indian performers cannot. Indeed a lot of Indian porn I have seen appears to be little more than a shoot of a sexual encounter with a prostitute with little production values or direction beyond showing sex. If porn performing were legal in India, many prostitutes would be able to move out of prostitution and dictate who they would have sex with for an income and on what terms. They would be able to create and sell their own porn instead of being videotaped by profiteers who exploited them for their own profit. They would be able to choose producers who offered working conditions that did not exploit them.

What can the government do?

If we really want to do something about porn, in order to prevent exploitation of women, the need is not to ban it, but to legalize porn production so that working standards may be enforced, production companies can be formed and held accountable for the age and consent of performers in videos they produce and more. So that a porn performer may be able to file a case for rape just like any model can, if she gets forced to do things she has not agreed to do. I have often argued that instead of prudish bans on sex related activities like prostitution or porn, India needs to encourage a thriving sex industry that allows the government to crack down on exploitation and crime, because professionals will be interested in maintaining their licences to operate. Instead of fighting a token war against a tide of people interested in sex and profiteers thriving on exploiting women to provide it, the government can turn the bulk of consumers and providers on their side and really create conditions that deter crimes and exploitation.

[tweetthis]The only answer to inappropriate things is doing what is appropriate well. ~ PuLa[/tweetthis]

If porn is legal, it will become easier to monitor human trafficking, because the larger production houses that earn the most will have a vested interest in remaining legal and focusing on the money and they will have a way to be legal. Smaller operators in turn will not be able to earn enough from meager revenues from marginalized visibility to make the risks of crime worthwhile. It may not stop crimes altogether, but it will most definitely help to make them unnecessary as well as serve as strong deterrent for the vast majority.

One strength the government has, is the same one it exploits when it profits from FDI. The size of India's population is an asset when it comes to being a market. If the government can identify porn that encourages unhealthy attitudes about women and consent, it can pass a law requiring such content to carry disclaimers For example:

  • The following material is a fictional depiction of activities that are illegal in civilized countries - for enacted rape porn or "forced sex" etc
  • The actions depicted in this video can cause injury and are performed by practiced professionals. Don't try them at home - for extreme insertion porn.
  • The women in this video have consented to participate in a fictional depiction of dominance over women. Such actions without consent are illegal worldwide. - for rough sex, domination, BDSM, etc

Given the size of India's population, if sites that don't comply are blocked, it will result in a competition for the market share and allow the government to actively combat harmful messages potentially conveyed by porn.

The need is to not measure porn by the ethical standards of prudes with malice toward the industry, but by the standards of those engaging with it.


The porn debate is hitting public consciousness (read browsers) with a vengeance. Even as the Chief Justice of India's refusal to pass an interim order banning porn made reassuring headlines, reports of porn sites being inaccessible started hitting social media.

Chief Justice of India HL Dattu had said in early July, "Such interim orders cannot be passed by this court. Somebody can come to the court and say ‘Look, I am an adult and how can you stop me from watching it within the four walls of my room? It is a violation of Article 21 (right to personal liberty) of the Constitution.’ Yes the issue is serious and some steps need to be taken… the Centre has to take a stand... let us see what stand the Centre will take.”

There is no official stand from the government, yet several porn sites are reportedly becoming inaccessible for some users over some networks like MTNL, BSNL, Vodafone, Spectranet and ACT with users getting a blank page or a message saying "The site has been blocked as per the instructions of Competent Authority." Legally India and The Mint have independently verified, citing anonymous sources, with one and three ISPs respectively that the blocks on an unprecedented 857 websites were notified on Friday by the government and should be implemented Monday onwards.

This is problematic on several levels.

Lack of transparency in governance

The secret bans of websites are a non-transparent and undemocratic undermining of the rights of citizens of a democracy, with rules about what is allowed and what is not allowed decided and implemented in secrecy and with no opportunity for citizens to be notified or to have a dialgue on the subject. It is yet another mark of a "Pvt Ltd" government's contempt for democracy that fits in with a pattern of arbitrary restrictions imposed on people, ordinances replacing laws voted on by representatives of the people and serious and unscientific fudging of national data to create perceptions favorable to he government's image.

Violation of citizen rights

As pointed out by Chief Justice Dattu, such blocks are a violation of a citizen's right to personal liberty as enshrined in Article 21 of the constitution. That the government not only violates the rights of citizens, but does so in a manner that leaves citizens no opportunity to object is an alarming indication of authoritarian and arbitrary impositions of morality as defined by undisclosed persons.

Encouraging a culture of sexual repression

I have pointed out in another piece that a society that represses sexual expression ends up encouraging stress, frustration and aggression among citizens. Sex is a fundamental urge and a culture of taboos around sex is detrimental to self actualization and contentment among citizens.

The need to mitigate harms of certain kinds of porn without violating the freedoms of citizens

It is true that certain kinds of porn can influence people into seeing harm to another as acceptable entertainment. Rape porn, revenge porn or child porn in particular comes to mind. Porn with unusual object insertions can result in self harm as well as additional injury during rape. A person's freedom ends at another person's nose. However, there is also plenty of porn that is little more than harmless eroticism and even more that can enhance the sexual lives of people by providing them with ideas to pleasure their partners - something a sex-phobic culture of ours never allows dialogue about, even as they teach young adults about how to be a good husband or wife. Well, sex does make or break marriages very often, and perhaps regressive sex-phobic orthodox leaders can take comfort in knowing that their sacrifice may help keep the marriages they so revere, happier.

If something has the "potential for causing harm" and should be banned merely on the basis of that potential, we'd probably need to ban driving and elections altogether. They have both got way more potential to harm people than porn.

The need is to mitigate the influence of porn that can lead to potential crimes, while respecting the right of people to privately engage in whatever activity they will, as long as it harms no other. It isn't as impossible as it sounds, but it will take more effort than a lazy dismissal of citizen rights.

Can something be done to prevent harm of porn without banning it?

I think it can. Here are some suggestions.

Porn is a personal matter and not government business for the most part. Porn does play a constructive role in the sex lives/education of many people. However, there are harmful types of porn that can and should be regulated – not necessarily banned, but mandatory warnings added, etc. “The following actions are illegal in most countries” is not unreasonable to expect before rape or child porn in a country where smoking depicted in a film requires absurd disclaimers.

Ads like “single moms want sex” should not be allowed – they create an extremely dangerous perception about single moms at large – for example – ads should explicitly advertise either sex workers or sex products/services and not identities as a whole that may not be associated with a default of public sexual permissiveness.

A country the size of India has tremendous clout – if we legislate that porn depicting acts of violence or pedophilia must carry mandatory legal warnings or that extreme insertions type porn carries “don't try this at home” type warning, it helps viewers in a country with next to no dialogue on sex get a more realistic understanding of what the acts mean beyond jerking off. If we legislate that failing to provide such warnings, the site will get blocked, all sites doing business will not want to lose it to competition. It will be more effective than banning porn at large, as the availability of healthy porn and appropriate caution with violent porn will help shape public perception toward a more consensual view of sexuality as a whole.

The nation will be encouraged to have a far healthier view of sexuality if, instead of panicking over every instance of sex, we can encourage a healthy Sex Industry that educates, affirms rights of all, and protects from exploitation.


Where is the National Commission of Women that was so critical of Somnath Bharti's raid in Khirki? The women supposedly assaulted in the raid, whom they were so concerned about who filed a complaint over being mistreated by the crowd have filed a far graver complaint. That of being entrapped and exploited for prostitution. Harish Salve, their humanitarian protector has vanished. Because of course, giving urine samples is an atrocity. Entrapping women in a foreign country and forcing them into prostitution cannot really be called abuse. Hain na?

The NCW, that had time to comment on Kejriwal's protests causing inconvenience and being "childish" are now so busy with the Birbhum Gang Rape, that the Ugandan women under their magnanimous protection complaining of such a grave crime against them has gone unnoticed. The Ministry of External Affairs, so determined to fight for the rights of those women assaulted by government representatives no longer think it relevant to their office if officials from the Ugandan High Commission in Delhi are being accused of running a prostitution racket - which is probably a polite way of saying human trafficking for prostitution, if the women's passports were taken away and they were left with little choice but to prostitute themselves to survive.

I have said this before, and I am saying it again. The Women's Commissions are useless bodies eating public funds and serving their political masters rather than actively working for women. Women with strong motivations to shield people on one side of the political spectrum, or those they deem should be shielded have no business being responsible for the rights of all women regardless of who harms them.

How is it that there is no serious action after allegation of collusion between High Commission officials and Delhi Police in running prostitution and drug trafficking cartels? It is still understandable that this cronyism means that Somnath Bharti's complaints must be ignored, by order or some such nonsense, but what about the women who have filed complaints? Are they going to make news as victims and left to service Delhi's elites again, or is the NCW going to eventually get around to rescuing them and sending them home safely?

The real question here is why the plight of the Ugandan women was known to workers of the Aam Aadmi Party, who supposedly assaulted them, instead of the National Women's Commission? Where was their lawyer? Sannata. Media is engrossed in picking lint from their collective navel. Same media that hounded Tarun Tejpal over allegations of what was, until recently sexual harassment. Same media that found the compassion in them to "sensitively" report the lives of the Delhi Gang Rape accused, interview parents claiming innocence, wife pleading for mercy for husband find it outrageous that Tejpal or anyone affiliated with him can claim his innocence. But it isn't outrageous if police and High Commission officials engaging in trafficking.

On a side note, notice the lack of media outrage. Apparently the "crime" of "accosting" those women in the presence of women constables and forcing them to undergo tests in a hospital is larger than the crime of taking away their passports and forcing them into a life of prostitution.

National Commission for Women is now seeking an extension of tenure from 3 years to 5 years for queen bee Mamta Sharma, more funds to do more for women, and "punitive powers" over governments for not complying with their recommendations. It is ironic that the party that laughed at the idea of a Lokpal with power over CMs hold the strings of these jokers demanding this. The only reason this isn't unconstitutional while the Lokpal supposedly was is that the punishments aren't likely to do any real damage to the profiteering politicians.

In the meanwhile, no one really has any idea what the National Commission for Women does at all, in a country with rapidly deteriorating rights of women, rising crime against them, and exactly zero efforts to get any public messages out. There are no serious efforts of any sort to bring accountability to public figures making derogatory comments about women. The utter casualness of the correspondence revealed through RTI between this Mamta Sharma and the Prime Minister after Jaiswal said while addressing a women's college "As time passes, the joy of the victory fades, just like a wife". It verged on the "be careful" and "ok" with no serious actions seeked.

On the contrary, Nirmala Vyankatesh was fired after blaming the Manglore pub attack victims. Alka Lamba leaked the name of the victim of the Guwahati Gang rape. Mamta Sharma, who is currently asking for her tenure to be increased from 3 years to 5 years advocated women dress properly to prevent rape. Not only have her own actions been beyond casual in the face of the gravity of crimes that come to her attention, she failed to keep others in the commission sensitive to victims of those crimes. Now they want more tenure, more money, more power to punish governments it seems. Kaha kaha se chale aate hain.

Why should this joker earn any more payment on public salary? What has she done that India deserves to be inflicted with a leech like this?

I predict it will be two days before media starts to cover the "lavish lifestyles" of foreign prostitutes or something rather than report the serious developments that embarrass the central government and their precious Delhi Police that are part of Delhi's crime problem. One week later, the debate will turn to how they weren't doing it unwillingly, and it is wrong to risk international row over human trafficking unless their name is Khobragade.


The collective sexuality of the nation is still very Victorian, and now moving toward worse Victorian. Moral judgments around sex are such that sex is near dead beyond the instinctive "itch" that gets tittered about by frustrated women or blustered about by equally frustrated men.

I think we need to accept that sex exists, lots of people enjoy it and that it is not all that evil. In the next budget the government could have more alternatives to fleece the population than raising taxes on cigarettes alone. We need a legitimate sex industry. Give people loads of jobs, earn money in taxes, and so on. Win. Win.

  • Legitimize everything to do with prostitution. Enforce policing against child prostitution and other exploitative practices - you will now have the budget for it as well as legal businesses interested in maintaining legal status.
  • This means everyone from pimps to brothel owners are legal. Regulate them on how services should be advertized, living standards to be maintained where applicable, consent of sex workers to be paramount.
  • Enforce police protections for prostitutes. If a person can be arrested for assaulting a prostitute, that goes a far longer way to making lives of prostitutes better and reducing exploitation than hiding prostitutes under some socio-political carpet.
  • Encourage sex related services beyond prostitution - education services for safe sex, coaching for better sexual skills, etc
  • Legalize production of porn and sex toys and accessories and adult-only sex shops. Will give jobs to countless people. People buy their sex toys covertly anyway. Make their sale taxable. Let quality control reach an area of intimate use. I dare say many people may move away from prostitution services if they have other interesting things they can do with themselves.

Exit the British Raj, make the country sex-positive.


I came across a blogpost rebutting a comment made on a previous blogpost on legitimizing prostitution, and I found that I disagree strongly enough to write this:

Go read that post first, because this one will be free flowing and not quote that post here. Then you might as well read my reply to a post by Taslima Nasreen that presents an argument similar to this one.

My main issue with debates on prostitution are the seeking of a universal stand on them - to legitimize or ban? I fail to see how in a world with such diversity, it is at all possible to make one rule that applies to all. The "ban prostitution" debate is going the "ban dance bars" debate and risks ruining countless lives through moral superciliousness.

Just to blow the theory that all prostitutes are forced, I know several who work as prostitutes by choice. Personally. Prostitutes actually also have unions and all. But let us assume that each and every prostitute in India is forced. Even then, if you look at the number of women in forced sex in the country, prostitutes wouldn't be the majority. Married women would be. It is no joke that we are the fourth worst country in the world to be a woman in. It is most certainly not limited to prostitutes.

If secure alternatives were available for women seeking divorce, divorce rates would skyrocket. They already are in cities and states where women are socially powerful - like Kerala. That prostitutes are exploited could be turned into a witch hunt of prostitution, but the face is that innocent victims of rape were blamed for inviting the rape just as surely as prostitutes get abused. I differ that society drives women to prostitution. I think it is crippling poverty. Those prostitutes are also wives, mothers. They feed mouths. And we have no alternative employment to offer.

But that is also a secondary thing.

The main thing is personal autonomy. Force to sell sex and force to not sell sex, in my view are equal and opposite evils. For the woman's rights to be upheld, she should have the choice. Will it be always enjoyable? Likely not. Just like each day at office isn't enjoyable to those working in it. To ban prostitution on the basis of that is about as bizarre as banning you from a job because you don't like it. You need money, you have skills, you contract to do a certain job. The reall question here is asked by frighteningly very few people. Who made the choice? It is terrifying about the state of human rights in our country that we have no concept of respecting choice, and even rescues involve moral judgments and imposed regimentation.

A bonded labourer at a construction site is no less exploited than a prostitute forced into sex. The author of the blogpost ought to do a survey with actual prostitutes offering them job as domestic workers or anything else suited to their skill levels in exchange for giving up prostitution. The results would be eye-opening. The fact of the matter is that most prostitutes are doing a job.

There are prostitutes working in good conditions who are not only well to do, but also enjoy the freedom of determining their work timings. On the contrary, many married women cannot escape sex and will get nothing for their efforts at home or in bed.

Does that mean all is well? No. Trafficking exists. It needs stopped. Human rights abuses exist. They need stopped. There needs to be human dignity promoted on all fronts. Be it tribals or prostitutes, farmers or school kids. Pushing prostitutes under a carpet will not fix that. There needs to be solid upholding of human rights in general.

If you uphold fundamental rights impeccably, that is most of what is needed. If your cops beat up a pregnant prostitute till she miscarries and opines that "Sex Workers cannot be mothers", then the fault could be written off as an evil of prostitution, but the fact of the matter is that it is a crime allowed freely in the name of having a problem with prostitution. It is the same with many other things they face trouble with.

Why not address the social illegitimacy they face? Last month, a prostitute fell three floors while escaping with the client when his wife returned home unexpectedly. Few would hire a prostitute for other work anyway. Banning prositution would only turn her into a loose woman who could be forced into "free" [without money] sex. Surely it would help save more prostitutes from forced sex if they could openly say that their previous job was sex work and they are now looking to do something else? Without that, banning prostitution would only lead to starving women.

What happens with the millions of men who use the services of prostitutes, many of whom, according to the author [and all concerned] have very rough sex? What happens when they cannot buy the sexual services they want? Should a gullible innocent become their prey to save someone who does it willingly for money?

If prostitutes are free to choose, and if all were exploited, prostitution would die out anyway. No? So why object to choice? The power to choose own actions when they don't harm another is the most intimate freedom we have. In my view, banning prostitution is about the same violation as forcing prostitution. The person matters. What does she want?

Note: There are also male prostitutes, but since a majority of them are female, this article uses "she", "her", etc