Sex Surrogates Can Legally Have Sex For Money — So Why Do We Jail Prostitutes?

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In high school, I remember using my free read in language arts to read novels like Belle de Jour: Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl and the like.

The subject has always fascinated me, especially upon finding out it didn't have to be this horrible thing that happened to you, but instead a lifestyle you chose.

I've found that prostitution can be the most pitiful thing or the most powerful thing, depending on what the person behind the verb makes of it. 

I've never knocked or even disagreed with prostitution.

I've asked myself time and time again if it would be something I'd be willing to do in my life, and the truth is yes. I'm just not that ethically tied down, and if I ever lost out on this awful check-to-check cycle with my $90,000 bachelor's degree, then hey! Sign me up!

Fortunately, I've yet to reach that level of desperation or frustration.

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But my outlook doesn't change the many other negative opinions surrounding prostitution, which is the blur of ethical versus unethical when it comes to the sex industry and those who participate in it legally, — like porn stars — and illegally, like prostitutes.  

Seriously, porn is legal, but prostitution is not?

And oddly enough, a form of therapy known as sex surrogacy, which is basically a form of prostitution, is not only legal but often encouraged by sex counselors. The fact that it's been labeled anything other than prostitution is mind blowing.

According to the Independent, these "sex surrogates" are available to treat everything from autism, anxiety, and PTSD to vaginal spasms and erectile dysfunction through sexual intercourse and intimacy.

Now, I have no issue with the fact that these surrogates perform these tasks, but the problem is that we as a society pick and chose what we want to vilify and what it is that we'd like to use to our advantage. This ultimately creates deluded and illogical bias. Porn workers? Okay. Prostitutes? Dirty.

And, I'm not blaming the therapist who practices sex surrogacy or saying this bias has anything to do with them, but the fact that the Independent wrote about it and presented it as an alternative or "very different scenario" from prostitution is disturbing.

Let's go ahead and call it what it is: prostitution.

They help patients who are inexperienced (perhaps for the aforementioned reasons) overcome fears or ailments through sex. And they are paid for doing it.


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Call a spade a spade, my friends.

By definition, prostitution is the exchange of sex for money — so these therapists are little different than high-end, call-girl style prostitutes who are making a killing.

Specifically, they make upward of $2,000 for this particular sex service. 

The only real difference lies in their ethical boundaries and oaths, and perhaps the presence of a degree. But that's a big leap to assume that every run-of-the-mill prostitute (especially the high-end ones) don't hold some sort of degree. 

As certified Sexpert Cheryl Cohen told CNN, the "intention" is different, but as an outsider, that's not quite enough to embrace these types of "specialists" while simultaneously reducing prostitutes to social lepers.


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Not to mention that surrogates get safe work conditions!

As sex therapists who practice surrogacy must use protection and be tested along with the patient, there is clearly a system in place that could be enforced through legal prostitution as well and already is in place in some areas of the world where prostitution is legal.

Prostitution will always happen — even in areas where it's illegal — so why not have protection in place for these workers to help stop the spread of STDs and STIs and prevent pregnancy?

This would greatly reduce so much of the faux outrage and drawbacks that concerned citizens have when it comes to the legalization of prostitution. Not to mention, history has proven time and time again that prohibitions lead to higher instances of insubordination. 

Although the Independent article mentions that people are still critical of this form of therapy, I am still certain that people will run to embrace this type of sex work before they rally to legalize prostitution — even if they're the ones leaving the stack of twenties on the table. 

Because of our personal qualms with sex and the historical stigma attached to prostitution, we don't protect the women and men in this industry; we treat them like a dirty little secret that should be left to our spouses after hours, and then cry "help" when sex workers are viciously attacked, or our tax dollars are going toward locking harmless prostitutes up instead of using resources on actual criminals. 

These are all things that could be fixed if we looked at prostitution with the same understanding attitude that most people have for the idea of sex surrogates.

But for now, one type will continue to be categorized as therapeutic unicorns who help people, while the other will be considered home-wrecking whores, incapable of moral redemption.

And the difference between them will always be the same: prostitutes will continue to aim toward low-income people who will be punished or even arrested for their decision to engage in sex for money, and sex surrogates will be praised by many rich people as "wonderful" while they rake in $2000 a session and receive medical treatment for the same deed. 

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