Sexygod

The Moral Question

28 posts in this topic

I've been reading some of the comments on the newspaper articles regarding the new law. There is one argument I find quite hard to argue with and wondered how everyone else will respond.

It goes as follows:

"If you are confident that the WG has not been forced or coerced then there is nothing to fear from the law. However if you do feel there is the smallest possibility of coercion, enough to worry you that you may be facing criminal charges, then morally you should not be visiting the WG."

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I think that is fair enough

Why would i want to have sex with someone who was coerced???

But the strict liability thing is so unfair cos you can never be 100% sure. There should be a defence that you had satisfied yourself that she was happy doing the service, and not just jumped in!

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Lets accept the logic... just for the sake of argument.

If you think there's the smallest possibility that when you get into your car that you might kill somebody then you are totally immoral to get into your car and drive. And if you do kill or injure somebody its absolutely your fault, there is no acceptable defence.

What?? You feel justified that the guy you ran into drunk and stumbled into the road?? Sorry... still your fault you got into the car and drove.

See... it really doesn't work in any other area of life. And.. in the long term... demonizing the average decent punter will do nothing to protect trafficked women. By all means punish those guys who don't take reasonable precautions to avoid coerced women. Leave the rest of us alone to punt in peace.

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Let's qualify the analogy a bit - if you have had a few to drink and think there is a small chance you might be over the limit, then it would be immoral to drive your car. If a drunk stumbles under your car it's him that's taken the risk by getting drunk and walking across the road - presuming you are driving with due care and attention and not exceeding the speed limit.

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Jackdaw - The response to that analogy would be that people need to drive. If they didn't the economy would collapse and our society would go massively backwards and the amount of bad would outweigh the good of no car accidents.

People don't need to have sex with prostitutes though. If by visiting a prostitute you don't feel 100% certain that you won't be committing an offence then by the same token you aren't 100% certain that the person you are visiting is not forced and that you are raping her.

So surely morally you should take the same care over the welfare of the woman involved as you would do for yourself.

But if you are 100% certain that you are breaking no laws then you have no need to worry.

(I'm posting this as a devil's advocate. I don't agree with it but at the same time I am struggling to articulately rebut it)

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If by visiting a prostitute you don't feel 100% certain that you won't be committing an offence then by the same token you aren't 100% certain that the person you are visiting is not forced and that you are raping her.

You can never be 100% certain because you can't prove a negative, all you can do is to say that no matter how hard you looked you could not find evidence of force etc. that however does not prove (100% certain) the absence of force etc. just that you can't find it. The implications of what you post are, to say the least, interesting.

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Yes

I've looked hard at the world, & read as much on both sides as I have been able to make time, and I never found any credible evidence for the existence of a God

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In some ways though, after thinking about the arguments maybe the new laws are actually good.

If someone turns up for a punt then, if they care about their criminal record, they will do everything in their power to check that the WG is not co-erced.

Now, of course all decent people would do that anyway, so the change will only effect those who would take a chance that they were raping someone. It's forcing punters to take the diligence and care that they should be taking anyway because if they are wrong it's not just the WG who suffers but the punter as well.

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can a church goer be confident that the priest does not abuse children?

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"If you are confident that the WG has not been forced or coerced then there is nothing to fear from the law. However if you do feel there is the smallest possibility of coercion, enough to worry you that you may be facing criminal charges, then morally you should not be visiting the WG."

There are different views of what coercion and trafficking mean. We think we know what they mean, but the law might mean something different.

Let's say you're with a woman and the police find that she owes some money to a drug dealer. She likes to have a bit of cocaine on a friday night. Police will say she's an addict and she is being coerced by her dealer.

Let's say a woman has come to this country from eastern Europe knowing that she will be a prostitute. She works in a brothel but is allowed to come and go as she pleases and spend her earnings in shops or send it home to her family. If she has accepted the help of the brothel owner to come to this country then they will say she's been trafficked.

Let's say a woman has a boyfriend. They can say that he's her pimp. If you think this is unlikely you should think that many men have been convicted of 'living off immoral earnings' over the years. Even if she hasn't given him a penny.

The police can arrest you and take you to a police station and keep you there for hours. They can take your fingerprints and your DNA. They can contact your employer or your family. That is punishment in itself. And if they know they can't convict you they will say that they will let you off with a caution. Cautions are more serious than most people realise. You're not being let off.

So I don't think it is true to say that if you have sex with a woman who is not coerced then you have nothing to worry about. People like Harriet Harman know what they are doing. They want to stop all prostitution and they know they can scare men off. Even if they don't get one single conviction they will get the result they want.

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In some ways though, after thinking about the arguments maybe the new laws are actually good.

If someone turns up for a punt then, if they care about their criminal record, they will do everything in their power to check that the WG is not co-erced.

Now, of course all decent people would do that anyway, so the change will only effect those who would take a chance that they were raping someone. It's forcing punters to take the diligence and care that they should be taking anyway because if they are wrong it's not just the WG who suffers but the punter as well.

But completely discarding any attempt to do so, not the best incentive IMHO.

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And of course most 'punters' don't know or understand the new laws - partly because of the badly worded reports in the press in the last 5 days.

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There are different views of what coercion and trafficking mean. We think we know what they mean, but the law might mean something different.

The courts will give the normal meaning to the word coercion. "Trafficking" is irrelevant to the new section 53A offence.

Let's say you're with a woman and the police find that she owes some money to a drug dealer. She likes to have a bit of cocaine on a friday night. Police will say she's an addict and she is being coerced by her dealer.

She might owe money to HMRC for unpaid tax, or owe money to HM Courts Service for unpaid court fines. Are the Police going to still say that she is coerced?

Let's say a woman has come to this country from eastern Europe knowing that she will be a prostitute. She works in a brothel but is allowed to come and go as she pleases and spend her earnings in shops or send it home to her family. If she has accepted the help of the brothel owner to come to this country then they will say she's been trafficked.

Then they should prosecute the traffickers -section 57 SOA2003. The word "trafficked" does not appear in the new section 53A.

Let's say a woman has a boyfriend. They can say that he's her pimp. If you think this is unlikely you should think that many men have been convicted of 'living off immoral earnings' over the years. Even if she hasn't given him a penny.

"Living off immoral earnings" is no longer an offence. Even if she is "controlled for gain" that doesn't mean that she is subject to "exploitative conduct".

The police can arrest you and take you to a police station and keep you there for hours. They can take your fingerprints and your DNA. They can contact your employer or your family. That is punishment in itself. And if they know they can't convict you they will say that they will let you off with a caution. Cautions are more serious than most people realise. You're not being let off.

The Police can only arrest you if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime is being committed or about to be committed - section 24 PACE1984. If they haven't then that is "unlawful arrest" and the Police are liable for damages.

So I don't think it is true to say that if you have sex with a woman who is not coerced then you have nothing to worry about. People like Harriet Harman know what they are doing. They want to stop all prostitution and they know they can scare men off. Even if they don't get one single conviction they will get the result they want.

It's not going to scare me off because I don't see coerced or forced girls. My chances of being arrested are minimal and my chances of going to Court are even less than that. So I've got nothing to worry about. I've got more chance of being killed or maimed by a drunk driver whilst on my way to the punt.

I can't say that I agree with much of what you had to say. I've added my comments in bold. I will continue to make my own risk assessment of the situation.

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Sexygod

The new law makes no distinction between a guy that made reasonable attempts to check whether woman was coerced, and a guy that made no attempt. That is patently unjust. You might argue that because it benefits more women than guys its unfair to, then its still overall a good law.

But... I think for that to be true... its necessary to show that other fairer laws could not have been just as effective. That has palpably not been done in this case. Its really would not have been all that difficult to make a law that guided punters in the checks that should make if they want to rely on a defence of "due diligence".

That would have been a fairer law. And in the long term more effective, because it would have demonstrated that government actually want to create an environment where both service providers and punters can enjoy themselves profitably and legally. We'd have been committed to making that work.

But when I say more "effective" I actually mean "more likely to help reduce number of coerced women". But no doubt new law is actually more effective in reducing overall level of punting... which I suspect is what its really designed to do. We can't have people enjoying paid sex....

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Debts to anyone do not construe 'forced' how ever a drug dealer or any other person which could be a debt collector, boyfriend, friend or anyone wishing to abuse their position who says "You must go sell yourself or I'll beat you up" then that is force.

Just because a woman - or anyone for that matter owes money to someone that doesn't mean they turn to prostitution to pay it off. In fact women work in a lot of other jobs to pay off debts, some for very long hours in poor conditions others in very nice jobs indeedy.

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Its really would not have been all that difficult to make a law that guided punters in the checks that should make if they want to rely on a defence of "due diligence".

Well I suppose the argument is that people showed be relying on making reasonable efforts to avoid raping someone. If you think there is any doubt whatsoever then you shouldn't do it and the only way to force that on you is to make you responsible.

If none of us sleep with forced women then nobody has anything to worry about.

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If I invite an indie or agency girl for dinner and to spend the night with me, and she is British, and she put on her makeup and dresses up in new stockings and high heels, and she smiles, and we converse about a wide range of subjects, and we walk hand in hand to my hotel, maybe having a nightcap in the bar, and after a night of frolics we have breakfast together in the morning then I can't see how coercion could ever be argued. We are two consenting adults.

Maybe I'm naive but I don't think that I have anything to fear from this law. I strongly object to it, as I object to all the efforts by this Labour government to curtail my freedoms and control my life.

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If I invite an indie or agency girl for dinner and to spend the night with me, and she is British, and she put on her makeup and dresses up in new stockings and high heels, and she smiles, and we converse about a wide range of subjects, and we walk hand in hand to my hotel, maybe having a nightcap in the bar, and after a night of frolics we have breakfast together in the morning then I can't see how coercion could ever be argued. We are two consenting adults.

Because it is possible that behind the scene is a person who is forcing, coercing, deceiving etc. the lady into prostitution for gain. The fact that you do not know that or be able to find that out, is irellevant.

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I've been reading some of the comments on the newspaper articles regarding the new law. There is one argument I find quite hard to argue with and wondered how everyone else will respond.

It goes as follows:

"If you are confident that the WG has not been forced or coerced then there is nothing to fear from the law. However if you do feel there is the smallest possibility of coercion, enough to worry you that you may be facing criminal charges, then morally you should not be visiting the WG."

But how much consideration do we give to this possibility before the law is introduced? Apparently not as much as we will give when it is. Why? Because there are implications for us concerning a criminal record, so where does morality come into it? As far as I'm concerned it does not.

Besides, morality differs from one person to the next. Many consider the act of paying for sex per se immoral, (though I'm not one of them of course).

For me the moral argument doesn't cut it and I see this as an appeal to the collective moral conscience on the grounds of what essentially is a desire to gain acceptance of the imminent law.

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Sexygod. You keep asking questions such as "if none of have sex with coerced women why do we need to worry?". Have you missed the point?

The point is that whatever precautions anybody takes... they can never be sure of that. You can make sure lady is a fluent English speaker, is only available reasonable hours, seems to enjoy meeting you, etc. Do all that... and its still not impossible she has an abusive "boyfriend" you've never met. In that case... all those precautions you took were for nothing... all that due diligence permits you no defence.

Do you really think that's equitable? Do you really think it makes sense to have a legal activity which actually nobody, however careful, can take part in without fear of finding out AFTERWARDS that they actually broke the law?

And apart from equity (pretty important I'd have thought in a law), I'd have thought that laws that would spell out those "paid for sex situations" that allowed for a defence... and those situations that didn't... would be far superior to the new law. Because it would drive money away from the unacceptable set-ups.

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In some ways though, after thinking about the arguments maybe the new laws are actually good.

If someone turns up for a punt then, if they care about their criminal record, they will do everything in their power to check that the WG is not co-erced.

Now, of course all decent people would do that anyway, so the change will only effect those who would take a chance that they were raping someone. It's forcing punters to take the diligence and care that they should be taking anyway because if they are wrong it's not just the WG who suffers but the punter as well.

No, as it stands, the new law has strict liability so as you cannot ever be 100% sure then you are a criminal if the Police suspect she is forced etc.

Its lousy law.

Debts to anyone do not construe 'forced' how ever a drug dealer or any other person which could be a debt collector, boyfriend, friend or anyone wishing to abuse their position who says "You must go sell yourself or I'll beat you up" then that is force.

Just because a woman - or anyone for that matter owes money to someone that doesn't mean they turn to prostitution to pay it off. In fact women work in a lot of other jobs to pay off debts, some for very long hours in poor conditions others in very nice jobs indeedy.

I think you will find under the current law then they can indeed mean forced because forced=trafficked=co-erced in this circumstance.

If the lady in question willingly works as a prostitute but has entered into debt to arrange travel to the UK or even between towns in the UK in order to ply her trade then you are having sex with a trafficked woman and so strictly liable.

Because it is possible that behind the scene is a person who is forcing, coercing, deceiving etc. the lady into prostitution for gain. The fact that you do not know that or be able to find that out, is irellevant.

Spot on, as has been said earlier by me, lousy law.

Much as I am awaiting a test case, I hope I am not the first defendant!!

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Because it is possible that behind the scene is a person who is forcing, coercing, deceiving etc. the lady into prostitution for gain. The fact that you do not know that or be able to find that out, is irellevant.

OK I accept that, and agree its a lousy law. But I maintain that if the lady appears to be on a proper date, is a well dressed, intelligent and cheerful companion, then anyone claiming that she is forced or coerced has an uphill struggle to evidence that.

I love women and would be horrified if there was any suggestion of abuse or disrespect in my punting activity.

But like Genghis says, I don't want to be the test case so for now will be sticking with trips to Europe and, in the UK, my regular ladies who I have known for 12 months and more and who I trust.

It is a poor law which should be targeting those who do abuse women. It brings shame on this government.

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This "strict liability" stuff is a total nightmare, you can take as many precautions as you like, it makes not one iota of difference in the eyes of this new law, if they can prove that the lady in question is trafficked, or coerced, in any way, then that is it! There is NO defence, you are GUILTY, qed.

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This "strict liability" stuff is a total nightmare, you can take as many precautions as you like, it makes not one iota of difference in the eyes of this new law, if they can prove that the lady in question is trafficked, or coerced, in any way, then that is it! There is NO defence, you are GUILTY, qed.

They don't even have to prove it, you have to prove she isn't

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They don't even have to prove it, you have to prove she isn't

Of course the prosecution have to prove that the girl was subject to "exploitative conduct" by a third party.

Don't the Mods read the posts in the " Legalities and Legislation" section ? :D

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