Ezekiel Gilbert,30, was acquitted of murder this week when his defense team argued that Lenora Ivie Frago, 23, was not a prostitute but actually a thief. Gilbert argued that he met Frago on Craigslist and paid her $150 for sex, but she left without having sex and gave the money to her driver. They argued that he didn’t intend to kill her when he shot her in the neck in 2009.
April 2013 – CARTAGENA, Colombia. President Obama’s secret service advance team agreed to pay for, and received, services from prostitutes available at Pley Club, where prostitution is legal and the women live on the premises, who charge upwards of $200. The men paid for the sexual services in advance but in the morning when it came time to settle the bill, there was a dispute over the charges; the agent became belligerent and refused to pay the prostitute and that caused her to call police.
The reason I have decided to highlight these two stories first is because when prostitution is legal there are legal recourse available to both prostitute and Jon (the guy paying for the service) not only would Ezekiel have had the opportunity to call the authorities but perhaps not have chosen a gun to solve the issue. We can all agree that when you shoot someone you intend to kill them but today violence has only a small part to do with my conversation about prostitution in America – it happens and it is happening and the laws are also making the women victims.
Deborah Jeane Palfrey, you might remember her as the DC Madam who ran Pamela Martin and Associates, an escort agency which provided services in the DC and surrounding area. What was most unfortunate about this instance was that Deborah was charged and convicted on April 15, 2008 of racketeering, using the mail for illegal purposes, and money laundering not prostitution but exposed other women, along with herself, to humiliation. Her client list and phone records were later made public and correspondents like ABC’s Brian Ross started to toss out little treats to ensnare the public;
“Also on Palfrey’s list of customers who could be potential witnesses are a Bush administration economist,
the head of a conservative think tank, a prominent CEO, several lobbyists and a handful of military officials.”
Please enter Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Dickinson a now (forcibly) retired Naval Officer that testified working for Palfrey as a prostitute while she was an officer. She does not lend a glamorous view into the life and work as a prostitute in DC. “I needed the money, yes I did,” said Commander Dickinson, a divorced mother of three, who worked with the name Renee and charged $275 an appointment, keeping $130 for herself and sending $145 to Ms. Palfrey by money order.
The New York Times posted a couple of names from Palfrey’s list;
“The client list included Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana;
Randall L. Tobias, who stepped down as deputy secretary of state after his links to the ring were exposed;
and Harlan K. Ullman, the military affairs scholar who created the Pentagon’s concept known as “shock and awe.”
Not so strange is that not all the names were released and none of the men on the list were called to testify or ever charged with breaking any laws; including paying someone for sex but several women who had previously been in Palfrey’s employ, no longer working as prostitutes, were brought out in to the light and exposed as having had sex for money in the past: some of these women were now married and with kids.
My personal and most reviled man on the planet: The self righteous Governor Eliot ‘9’ Spitzer. In 2oo3, then attorney general Spitzer, with the support of the feminist group Equality Now commenced a campaign of legal harassment against Big Apple Oriental Tours, which was linked to child underage prostitution, obtained a civil injunction prohibiting the company from advertising, which effectively put it out of business. A Queens-based travel agency with an angle: it marketed vacations for men to destinations such as Angeles City, Philippines, a jurisdiction in which adult prostitution is nominally illegal but is condoned and regulated by the government because of the money it brings in. Spitzer then brought criminal proceedings against owner Barabash and co-owner Douglas Allen.
The attorney general who was responsible and made his political focus as run for governor to stop prostitution in 2008 was “caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel […] an affidavit in the federal investigation into a prostitution ring said that a wiretap recording captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a hotel room. The person briefed on the case identified Spitzer as Client 9”
This was not your run of the mill local hook up The Emperor’s Club was an international prostitution and money-laundering ring. “Court papers indicate the business garnered more than $1 million by arranging trysts between its more than 50 prostitutes and “wealthy male clients” in London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris and Washington. The customers are said to pay $1,000 to $5,500 per hour for the services of the ring’s “Spokes Models” [sic]. Spitzer was allegedly among those clients.”
Mr 9 is also alleged to have tipped off the Manhattan Madam Kristin M. Davis in 2005, who was in court on prostitution charges, about an impending crackdown on brothels in the city in 2005. Number 9 was never charged with anything, not even the tip off, and was later socially forgiven and rewarded as a political pundit in his own TV show as a host on CNN!
Rose Laws aka Gold Cost Madam said she was “just a little surprised she didn’t get advance warning — as she had before a 1988 Chicago police raid and during a 1975 federal investigation” when six FBI and IRS agents awoke her at 6:05 a.m. on a muggy Monday in August 2002. Near the Sun-Times building, Laws ran a lucrative “Circuit,” an upscale prostitution ring that flourished in Chicago and 10 other U.S. cities between 1995 and 2002. The prostitutes, who charged $350 to $1,000 an hour, stayed in each city a week or two, in swank apartments maintained by madams such as Laws. The Circuit’s midtown Manhattan penthouse was a romper room of cocaine and Viagra, courtesans in slinky eveningwear and pay-for-sex pathos. Laws directed the agents to a desk in her living room, and they began leafing through her client telephone book, the list of prostitutes she used and her scheduling calendars. These were “the most complete records” law enforcement officials had ever seized from her, she remarked, according to the FBI report.
Those names of her clients and employees have not been released to this day. Why? Perhaps it depends on the people who are running the investigation and how involved they want to become but Rose did her time silently, never sold her client list to a news agency and no women who worked for her were forced to testify. This can seem rather arbitrary when contrasted with Number 9 – who made it a personal mission to publicly humiliate others – but in both cases these women obviously had notice from the very government office that sought to stop them.
Then we must accept the reality of human trafficking, forced prostitution and the link to drugs.
” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
announced the arrest of 17 people involved in a money laundering prostitution ring that allegedly grossed $7 million in two and a half years,
and utilized an advertising firm to place ads on cable access TV, Craigslist, Backpage.com, and the Village Voice.”
I do not make any distinction between a whore that gets paid $130.00 dollars and one that gets paid $2,000.00 dollars – they are both getting paid for a service they are providing. We would like to believe that our body parts would get the higher price but the reality is, if you look hard enough, these women are not just doing sexual acts and leaving – you certainly get what you pay for. I have been witness to the more ‘exotic’ girls bringing party favours with them, spending the night, so the cost includes above and beyond just sex. Most of the time the news agencies fail to report how much of the girl gets to take home – so the charge might have been $2,000.oo dollars but that was with travel, an over night stay, several acts of sex, other costs and the Madam’s cut. Do not get me wrong it is not out the realm of reality to get paid $65,000.00 for a month in Dubai but then … you are in Dubai.
As a woman I say none of this lightly, it is a strange thing growing up with a pussy and knowing that if ever you needed too you could or might end up fucking for food I am not sure men can say the same thing. In April of 2012 a 47-year-old Florida woman was arrested after she informed an undercover detective she’d have sex with him in exchange for two double cheeseburgers selected from the dollar menu, or $2.75 worth of food. How fucking sad is that she was just hungry, why didnt the cop just buy her a fucking McDonald’s meal and tell her to go on her way?
However it is an awkward feeling of ownership but without all the rights to it – yes it is my body but it is also what might end up allowing me to live or die by the hand of man, his laws and his money; I am talking about buying power here, certainly there are male whores for hire but women seem to be less inclined to pay for the service outright because of a market value for pussy. It’s a bit raw but I think you can understand what i mean whereas men (the number of) do pay for it women seem to be aware they have a commodity but are not able to take full advantage of it. I would like to believe that if ever it came to me fucking for food my government would have my back.
Amsterdam and Canada both have laws on the books for ‘working women’ and if we look at Amsterdam first you will see that prostitutes are required to be residents and registered – all other women must acquire a permit. When I was there in 2009 it was obvious there was a supply of ‘foreign’ girls from around Europe being put to work and the local ladies that had lived and worked there for years were forced to compete with not only lower prices but a darker shade of clientele. Some of them were rightly pissed off and the government made a statement of support by enforcing and creating new regulation for ‘visiting’ working girls. From first hand account I can assure you that the ‘other’ European imports were always escorted by a man, who on several nights stood outside the studio, while the resident girls negotiated their own price and chose who they would work with.
Back in Canada, it’s not illegal but it’s not illegal either. As a woman that does attend the strip clubs and have friends that work both as dancers and whore after hours – there was an influx of ‘foreign’ dancers outnumbering local girls – they rarely spoke English and you could negotiate to ‘meet’ them afterwards and they too were usually accompanied by a ‘brother’ or ‘family friend’ of the male gender. I am going to tell you the truth, it made me feel guilty, because it was obvious these girls did not want to be there and some of them were clearly not in their right mind. Even my guy friends felt uncomfortable watching someone that obviously had a lack of interest in what they were doing. Local dancers began to complain, someone would show up with eight girls to work for the night and this led less work and tips for the local girls – after Ottawa ruled that foreign strippers no longer qualify for temporary foreign work visas – to cut down on the number of women brought in to dance. I believe this too has an impact on the larger picture of human trafficking with prostitution.
Porn has taken the same hit as well. Do not get me wrong, I like porn, I enjoy violent sex, we need porn and it should be free, but I think we can all bring up a memory of watching a video that shows a girl who is obviously fucking a bunch of guys to feed her family. The whole ‘Russian Rape’ feel type vidoes has long surpassed my interest because when I was working in Europe – not all of those girls are acting. I think it is wonderful that you can buy a camera and make your own movie and publish it but in other parts of the world we women of the west must realize that women do live in abject poverty, and i am not talking about some third world shit hole, and they are doing these things for little to no pay. Some guys bought a camera, girls need money and agree… it gets posted on the internet and we all sit and watch it under a false idea that like a Vivid Girl these girls are treated well – Vivid Girls negotiate a percentage of the market earnings, my little Russian example got paid the equivalent of $30.00 USD if she was lucky before the video was ever released online and there are no residual cheques coming in for her afterwards. Often these ‘directors’ partake in non consensual acts or numbers of participants and sad to say often unsafe: the girls and guys are by no means under rigorous sexual testing.
So right up front I am going to say it: not all women who take money for sex are forced to do it, by others or circumstance, but we have to accept that also some of them are. I think it should be the responsibility of the State, as in the country and its peoples, to provide safety for all its citizens. Though we can understand that prostitution does make victims, preys on victims, it also creates them by keeping sex for hire illegal.
It is no coincidence that predators often take advantage of hookers, all you need do is look for a serial killer and chances are good that one of his victims or more were ladies working alone at night. By this illegal act women are often out in places that are not safe, alone, or taking clients they do not know both of which are high risk – I’m saying if we made prostitution legal it would make being a prostitute lower risk. Prostitutes are raped and just because she was out trying to do business does not mean she was ‘deserving’ of the offense. The DOJ constantly provides statistics about rape but what is lacking are the numbers of ‘working women’ who are also victims or rape. However the National Institute for Justice does look into the killers of dead hookers.
I truly believe that by forcing prostitution underground to be kept a dirty illegal secret is what helps create the job title: pimp.
Yes, male or female, some people force other people to have sex in order to make a profit. I don’t think I should need a pimp and I do not look highly on them in general. I should be able to negotiate with someone face to face what price, where and what is going to transpire. I should feel safe to conduct my business in daylight, create my own list of good clients and do so with social and legal support if something should go amiss. Hiring someone to negotiate for me, interview them or with me for muscle again requires that I pay them a cut of my earnings and in a way admitting that what I am doing is wrong simply by risk but worse is the Pimp is often the one forcing/encouraging a woman to whore herself out: am I less likely to be the victim of violence if I had the social support of quick police response and my client was aware of this? Was the Jon who committed a violent act against a prostitute aware that she is less likely to report it and that it might be less likely to be aggressively investigated and she is already a social outcast and more than likely to go unnoticed?
Would Miss Frago have tried to steal money from Gilbert if she knew he could call the police that he was ripped off by a hooker? She might not have been a hooker and just looking for a quick cash grab but used hooker as the element to discourage a call for help. Would he have used a gun to settle the dark alley transaction and gotten off because stealing is crime and in Texas it is legal for you to shoot someone who is stealing from you?
Look at the money the government has spent to bust up these rings – just as much as the rings themselves are accused of making – but often the prostitution ring has EARNED more! Tax evasion is one of the most common charges but how do you get money from someone you just threw in jail? Would it not be in the interest to tax the earnings as they are made?
Police enforcement has a cost and we seriously undermines social order when we make Jon’s and whores enemy #1, bad people, and subject them to public humiliation that can alter their job, marriage and every aspect of their lives. I would rather my police officers investigating other social crimes that impact my safety. If we do not allow Jon the protection from being ripped off or harmed and we deny Jane the safety in which to conduct her business and perhaps falling victim to violence they both end up losing. Imagine how easier it would be for a p0lice officer to do his work if he got a call from a hooker saying ‘so and so was just here and beat me up’ vs the countless of hours that are spent having women officers run undercover to catch a few guys willing to pay: which I still think is entrapment. The paper work and the lock up facilities filled with working girls and court costs. Everyone now has a record that is public and sometimes published in the local news and this can have long term impact on their options in the future including the ability to earn.
A lot of these stories are sexy, Americans love a sex scandal; the high rolling sexy Madam running girls who could pass for super models for congressmen and rock stars but what is often not exposed is who is providing these girls. Some girls are free lance, they are working for themselves and negotiate a fee to be available to a Madam’s Client list and could very well not be exclusive but working for more than one Madam. The other side of the coin is the Madam is the front person, dealing with the people, and the girls are provided by an international handler that brings them in to the country work and sometimes it is a family business: We chose to be ignorant if we do not believe that in some locations in North America is the draw of sex for sale.
There has always been whores and always will be – so how best to deal with that?
I know I am talking about involving government, some people might think – its my body I should decide and get to keep all the money and there should be no regulation on sex – but with that argument would come the non regulation in regards to sex trafficking: i want to stop that while giving women who want to work as prostitutes some rights.
I would like my whores to have social support networks that provide them with the ability to do their business safely including the safety of the client. I do not care if there was a National Commerce Committee for Cooch that allowed girls a permit to work, taxable, and required they too provide some legitimate steps to be a contributing member of the very social network all others are free to use: tax payers, they can volunteers as knowledgeable people, charitable and or activists and they should have to have some access to health care coverage.
If the National Commerce Committee for Cooch gave you a permit to sell sex at $200.00 dollars a pop, for x amount of hours a week – the IRS could use that math as a basis for your taxable income, it would encourage to you to keep good records, honestly, not names and such but hours worked, because some weeks are going to be slower than others and some are going to be busier and that should be taken into account; It would not do you any good to work under the table, though I imagine some would, but it’s a working idea not perfect (but then what gov’t programme is). Those women caught working without a permit are fined thus.
I want them to be able to call the Police, as any other citizen can, when a crime is committed and be assured of the same response time by law enforcement – and I believe Jon’s have this right too – providing an open knowledge relationship between citizens and enforcement agents: the police might know who the working girls are in their county and have a good working relationship with them as they would any other shop keeper; they would know who is working with or without a permit.
I also believe that if there were places of business, limited of course in distance and or area, would decrease the number of women having to walk the streets and possibly help in lowering violent sex crimes on hookers though my number one priority would be that a woman or man choosing to sell sex would be able to host, in their home, clients – providing them both with a safe environment and less obvious in respect to others social propriety. I like the idea of a red light district and I think Evangelic people who stand outside such an establishment (like they do with some Adult Theatres) taking video should be prosecuted for violation of privacy.
I believe it if were legal there would be better discourse amongst those who provide and use the services: want a clean woman that has proof she has been tested? Go see Sally, she is great! Online reviews!!! And I believe that in a capitalist society the market would reward her for that, hell she can charge someone more for being able to provide evidence she is free and clear. She can give men a discount for their paper work as well. Men wouldn’t bring STI’s to their unknowing family members. What a wonderful world it would be to have a place where a man or woman with HIV could also offer their services to others with HIV.
Economic difficulties aside, not just for the state but personal, having a pussy is not a talent, but if a woman chose to accept pay for her time would she not be in a better position to provide for herself and her family? We seem to loathe people on welfare but hate whores more. The idea of saving money, hell even having money to spend, is a foreign concept these days. I am going to point a finger at anyone who wants to tell me that a girl is stripping to pay for college because I have yet to meet one as a prof and someone who has gone to plenty of clubs but no one is going to fuck forever either – not everyone can live working 3 shit jobs for shit pay.
The social stigma associated with paying for sex and selling it I think would alleviate some other social issues as well. Look I am not saying that when a guy takes you out to dinner he is paying for sex, no he paying for dinner and hoping for sex, but in it’s own way this is a monetary transaction that does impact sexual outcomes. Men and women should not be ashamed they buy or pay for it – even if it is for a green card, a new iPad, drinks all night at the bar or because they are into fucking girls that are covered in baked beans. If my husband were into something I would not have anything to do with, I would like to think there might be a girl out there who is clean, safe and willing to provide the service – at a reasonable cost – saving me from having to wear baked beans during sex and potentially saving my marriage.
The truth is some of us ladies do use sex to our advantage, we get stuff for it, free oil changes, dinners, homework, a night at the movies, gutters cleaned and I dont think guys should always have to go through all of that for sex: and I shouldn’t have to deal with the expectation of sex after a steak dinner. There is nothing wrong with one night stands, there is nothing wrong with bartering, but I am saying there is nothing wrong exchanging money for it either.
I wonder how much money it could bring in for any given state if they were to legalize it … though I’m sure the Butter Festival in Indiana may not be a working girls deep well but Super Bowl a few years back surely was!
This would also move into social discourse about how to treat a whore – she is providing a service – you pay her her price and don’t fuck it up for the rest of the secret service you douchecanoe.