The Republicans Are Really a Mess
Does Biden Have Any Influence on the World Stage? Don't Ask Karine Jean-Pierre.
Police Provide Update on Man Who Lit Himself on Fire Outside Trump Trial
'Low-Grade Propaganda': Bill Introduced to Defund Liberal NPR
Colbert Takes His Democratic Party Road Show to the Convention, and Jesse Watters...
The Power of Forgiveness
MSNBC Claims Russia, Saudi Arabia Is Plotting to Help Trump Get Elected
State Department Employees Pushed for Israel to be Punished in Private Meetings
New Report Confirms Trump Won't Receive a Fair Trial
Karine Jean-Pierre References Charlottesville When Confronted About Pro-Hamas Chants
Biden's Title IX Rewrite Is Here
It's Been Almost a Week Since Iran Attacked Israel, Yet These Democrats Stayed...
Following England’s Lead, Another Country Will Stop Prescribing Puberty Blockers
The Five Stone Strategy of Defeating the Islamic Regime in Iran
Another Republican Signs on to Oust Johnson

Sex Positivity Should Not Equate to Exploiting Others

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

In what can only be described as a tired campaign ploy, a New York Congressional candidate has resorted to posting a sex tape he made with a prostituted person to Pornhub in order to promote his “sex positive” campaign.


While he has garnered some attention for doing this amid a heated campaign, the reality is that he is yet another man who is normalizing and fueling the demand for sex from prostituted persons and attempting to characterize his actions as good and just.

This is wrong and needs to be called out.

Prostitution is inherently harmful and inevitably leads to physical, emotional, and psychological trauma for the person who is prostituted. It is the most extreme form of exploitation.

This candidate believes that “sex positivity” means supporting the full decriminalization or legalization of prostitution. He wants to legalize sex buying, pimping, and brothel keeping. He perpetuates the myth that decriminalizing prostitution is a way to make prostitution somehow “safer.”

What he wants is the right to pay for sex with impunity. That’s the very definition of toxic sexual entitlement.

There is no way to make the exploitation of people “safer.” Prostitution is not a job like any other, and it is impossible to regulate away its harms. 

All legalizing or fully decriminalizing prostitution does is give a green light to sex buyers - who are overwhelmingly male - like this candidate. By removing any legal constraints, the demand for prostituted persons will increase, resulting in an increase of sex trafficked people to keep up with that demand.


Ironically, the candidate’s sex video was created with a pornography performer, who appears to have consented to the video. But many women have not been able to consent to sex, and instead are forced or coerced into prostitution. Coercion, force, fraud, and deeply rooted social injustices are necessary to make prostitution possible. In contrast to how it is presented in the mainstream media, or by Congressional candidates, prostitution typically involves payment for unwanted and degrading sex acts and other kinds of sexual violence.

Proponents of “sex work” ultimately want an unregulated prostitution marketplace, where those who seek to exploit others cannot be held accountable. 

Our country’s leaders should work together to construct off-ramps to prostitution, rather than building on-ramps to sexual exploitation by increasing the demand for prostitution.

There is a better way. Often called the “abolitionist model,” the law should penalize those who pay to use the bodies of other people for sex and those who seek to traffic or pimp them, rather than targeting prostituted individuals. This decriminalizes victimization while retaining prohibitions on purchasing sex or facilitating prostitution.

Research has found abolitionist models (also called Nordic or equality models) to be far more effective in reducing harm to prostituted persons than fully decriminalizing or legalizing prostitution. An analysis comparing the legal frameworks of Sweden and two other countries that permit legal prostitution (Australia and The Netherlands) concluded that legalization was the least effective in reducing illegal street prostitution and human trafficking. If that wasn’t reason enough, legalization of prostitution expanded commercial sex markets in Australia, and closer to home, in Nevada and Rhode Island.


Full decriminalization of prostitution does – quite literally – nothing to promote the safety of those bought and sold for sex. 

The New York Congressional candidate, by posting his video to Pornhub, has aligned his interests with an online pornography company that has profited from sex trafficking, child sexual abuse, filmed rape, and non-consensually  recorded/shared content. That couldn’t be further from sex positive.

Normalizing sex buying will not lead to a utopian sex positive society, quite the opposite. It’s time that candidates for any elected office to understand that.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member


Trending on Townhall Videos