What is the difference between a porn star and a prostitute?

It sounds like the beginning of a crude joke but I’m serious. A porn star performs sex acts for money in front of a camera. A prostitute performs sex acts for money in private. One is legal and the other isn’t. One has protections by law, the other is an outlaw, meaning outside the law, unprotected. Both professions don’t necessarily require their workers to accept the money and perform. It’s up to the practitioner. You don’t expect a porn star to have to perform for you if you pay them. And you don’t expect a prostitute to either. They can say no to your offer. Well, the porn star can because they are protected by the law. If someone attempts to force them to sell their services, they have legal recourse. A prostitute doesn’t really. The only thing I can see that makes them different and one more dangerous than the other is that one is legal and one is not. Making prostitution illegal has created new dangers.

Why is prostitution illegal? I can understand why you would not want to be a prostitute, especially from my Christian point of view, but I don’t understand why the state would become involved. Unless the state believes it is something so bad that you can be trusted to make the right choice for yourself. Is the state making life safe for you by taking away a bad choice? But then being a porn star is essentially the same thing, isn’t it? The only difference is the film industry. So if the state made prostitution illegal because you need to be protected from making an unhealthy choice, why wouldn’t being a porn star be illegal too?

Personally, we’re all adults and are capable of making decisions for ourselves. We do not need the state to protect us from ourselves. If my religion and ethics do not forbid me to perform sex acts outside of marriage, who’s business is it if I choose to sell my services? What if we encouraged people to take responsibility for their own lives, make their own choices and then use the legal system to protect their right to do so. For instance, if prostitution were legal (and unregulated, dammit), if one person put out their board “Sex for Sale – $100” and “We reserve the right to refuse customers.”, then the state would be responsible for helping them defend their right to be paid for services rendered, protect them from those who would do them harm, and help them to be compensated for damages.

Wouldn’t our legal system be a lot more simple and efficient if the state just left people alone to take care of themselves and was there as a third party arbitrator?

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2 thoughts on “What is the difference between a porn star and a prostitute?

  1. When something is made legal, there is always more of that something. Don’t take my word for it – you can verify that for yourself.

    The question could be: Do we want more prostitution or less in society? Making it legal will mean there will be more of it.

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    1. I’m going to right off admit that I’m all a-twitter that I have a comment! So thank you! And I’ve been thinking about how to reply all evening. Yes. I’m that excited about it. So here it goes.
      First off, we are operating from two different premises. I don’t believe people should be controlled by others by a third party’s use of force. I believe a third party (read: a state/government) should be used only to protect the rights of the individual. It translates to this, I don’t have the right to control what you do unless it directly harms (for lack of a better word at the moment) me or my property.
      I don’t think that there “is always more of something, when you make it legal.” That may be true for a time but over the long run styles, consumption, services, all change over time due to a multitude of things. A perfect example of this is cigarettes. They have never been illegal and practically everyone used to smoke. Now, most people don’t and it isn’t because of the taxes on them. People that want something will pay or do anything to get it. The difference is the attitude to and knowledge about the effect of cigarettes. We have learned and things have changed.
      The question “Do we want more prostitution or less in society?” isn’t relevant because who is the we? And why do they have the right to control what people do voluntarily? I’m a “born-again”, Bible reading, Christ following Christian and I believe that selling sex, that intimate bond between husband and wife, is morally wrong and harmful to individuals, but I don’t believe that someone else doing it harms me, my children, or my property directly. Making it illegal does cause harm. It forces what some people want to do underground and away from the light. People hide it. People use force and violence to get it. It raises the price of the product, not just monetarily but risk-wise. A prostitute living next to door does not harm me. But one unprotected by the law and hiding the activity, its buyers, and the desperation the surrounds a human activity driven underground, does harm me and my neighborhood.
      Prostitution is legal in Nevada and (although I’ve not researched it thoroughly) my family lives in the neighborhood of brothels and there is little crime associated with it.
      In my opinion, the bottom line is control. I do not think we should be controlling others with the use of force. It is not God’s way. It is not what Jesus told us to do.
      Thanks for commenting! You’ve sparked a great conversation at this house and we’ve grown by thinking about it. I wish I could spend more time researching and discussing though! Little bits, though!

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