Paying For It

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A Turn Off The Red Light Campaign billboard

Paid-for consensual sex is currently legal in Northern Ireland, though activities such as soliciting, brothel keeping and pimping are against the law.

Now paying for sex is to be banned after Stormont assembly members backed the move last night.

Fluffy Biscuits writes:

“As a person who strongly believes in the rights of workers, this is a blow to those who are engaged in legitimate sex work where they are no coerced. Women, men and kids will be trafficked into this but NI’s decision to criminalise the purchase of sex will drive the sex workers underground. A robust approach like that of New Zealand or Switzerland where they have a union, full health check ups and access to services like counselling etc. would ensure a better situation for all involved.
“The other thing about this is it reflects the deep catholic guilt we have about sex and the hang ups about our own bodies. Branches of feminism would call sex work oppressive, I’m on the other side of that fence, I take the feminist view that it’s allowing women the choice what to do with their own bodies, a mantra feminists have rightly said is a cornerstone to fighting male oppression.”

TDs must act swiftly as NI approves sex buyer laws (Immigrant Council of Ireland)

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

51 thoughts on “Paying For It

      1. ahyeah

        Men invest a huge amount of unpaid labour to get their end off – listening sometimes for hours on end and pretending to be interested etc etc.

        1. Janet

          Men or boys ? If I was a man ( ie a mature adult ) that statement would really wind me up. It’s kind of a sweeping statement, sure it’s true sometimes but there’s ladies out there who just want the same thing, Isn’t that just the driving nature of the beast ? However to make the leap all sex is paid for in one way or another puts a line through lots of more genuine encounters. People with willys sometimes like people too , or am I getting your point all wrong ?

          1. ahyeah

            Absolutely true that there are women out there who just want the same thing. Some significant differences though – one, it’s the majority of men, but the minority of women; two, a woman who just wants sex only has to say so – she doesn’t have to listen to some eejit rabbit on for hours about his new shoes or how nasty his best friend has been behaving.

  1. figleaf

    A person who’s opinion I would respect to the enth has been watching RTE’s Connected programme (programme on several women and their lives in Ireland), she said her whole opinion on sex workers which would previously have been along the lines of the first Feminist line you state FB, has now completely changed because of her respect for Kate’s story, a sex worker in Cork (think she’s based in Cork?).
    I would have to say I’m still of the former feminist stance, that’s it’s nearly always women who are placed in the position of selling sex for money (and how much choice over this do they ‘really’ have), but then I don’t personally know any sex workers and would consider myself uneducated on their perspective.

      1. fluffybiscuits

        A system needs to be put in place to actually have sex workers who want to work as sex workers. Nanny stateism drives all the nasty things associated with it underground.

          1. Steph

            This is such a daft response. And so unoriginal too. What makes you think fluffy is a keyboard warrior and nothing else? Have you been stalking them? What’s to say this pile of mikados isn’t also a city councillor?

        1. scottser

          it won’t be as simple as that fluffy, as a proportion of sex workers are trafficked and forced into it. the one-size-fits-all approach could do more harm than good, methinks. but you’re right that there needs to be a break in the cycle of harm associated with this work and those workers must be protected in some way. prosecuting the purchasers is likely to be very difficult and as you say, likely to drive the industry further underground.

    1. rotide

      So you respect someone’s opinion whos mind is changed by a TV show rather than 4000 years of human social behaviour?

  2. Mr. T.

    Well up in Norn Iron, it’s also Presbyterians who have hang ups about sex and having fun in general.

    1. fluffybiscuits

      What about those that lack self esteem? Those who may be disabled? There are a few reasons why people do pay for sex. Sex in itself is a commodity, if it is between two consenting adults then who are you to say there is something wrong with it?

      1. Janet

        I’m with Fluffy, on a personal level I feel it’s sad for people to be in that place but I’d like to hold of judgement on others lives. It’s never going away so regulation is in everyone’s interests.

  3. yadayadayada

    Agreed with original poster on rights of sex workers and the myopia of religoulsy driven campaigns against the sex trade (e.g. Ruhama, the clue is in the name).

    However, we again are presented with a total image of prostitution, coerced or not, as a transcation where money is exchanged for the provision of sex to men by women. There are women who purchase sex also, from men and women, and there are also men (higher numbers than one may think) who sell sex to men (gay, straight and curious) and women.

      1. Kieran NYC

        As a side note, I know some rentboys here in NYC and they seem perfectly fine with their choice of side career. I know it’s not a directly comparable situation with the lives of many prostitutes, but as long as an adult makes their own choice to enter this business, then legalize, regulate and tax.

  4. Sinabhfuil

    There’s a simple solution. Make it simple and legal to buy sex, but only on a one-for-one basis; any man who wants to buy sex has to be willing also to have sex for money with any customer who demands it, one sale for each buy.

  5. Chris

    So it becomes illegal to buy sex.
    Maybe some enterprising girls will sell pencils for £100 each, but throw in a free ride…

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