G. True Nelson: Former Deputy Sheriff, Military Officer, FBI Special Agent, and Security Consultant / Private Investigator. He currently resides in the Portland, Oregon Metro area. He is a writer on crime and judicial process; as well as discussing his personal observations on American culture and social mores.
Prostitution: Everyone Has an Opinion, Everyone is Wrong (Final Comments)
When I was in corporate security with a major company, I was
having dinner with one of the company’s facility managers. Nice guy.
He was asking me about my previous experience in the FBI; and the topic
of Margo St. James and prostitution came up.
He said that he wanted to ask me something – kind of personal.
He went on to say that his wife had, for the
most part, lost interest in sex – and, in fact, she never had much interest,
although they had conceived two children together. He said that about every six months he and
his wife would drive to Nevada and visit the casinos. In addition, they would usually take a drive to
one of the adjacent counties where prostitution is legal; and visit a business like
the Mustang Ranch. While his wife read a
book in the car, he would go inside and hire a prostitute. He asked me if I thought this was weird. Although at the time I did think that our conversation
had taken an odd turn, and that it was really more than I cared to know about
his personal life, I responded: “No, not
at all.” And, I was being truthful. If that arrangement was fine with his wife,
why would or should anyone else care?
And, why is most of the public, apparently, against
prostitution (sex exchanged for money), when it’s all around us in various
guises? I’m really not quite sure. Let’s be clear. I’m not referring to pimping, violence or exploiting
minors. I’m talking about two consenting
Oregon law reads as follows:
A person commits the
crime of prostitution if the person engages in, or offers or agrees to engage
in, sexual conduct or sexual contact in return for a fee.
A person commits the
crime of patronizing a prostitute if the person pays, or offers or agrees to
pay, a fee to engage in sexual conduct or sexual contact.
Both are misdemeanors under Oregon law.
Pretty straightforward description of what constitutes the
crime of ‘prostitution’ and ‘patronizing a prostitute,’ isn’t it? And, I might add, it’s very cleverly
worded. If, for example, you were to
remove the word ‘fee’ and replace it with the word ‘money’ or ‘gratuity’: well,
you can see the problems that might jump out.
You would have opened Pandora’s Box.
This could then apply to many marriages, cohabitating couples, girlfriends
and ‘one-night-stands.’ Unless the woman,
in such a relationship, could prove that she was self-supporting or did not actually
have sex with her partner, paramour or date; and if the more intimate
circumstances were to become known, than we might have a prima facie case for prostitution.
Said law, ambiguous at best, victimless perhaps, begs the
question; don’t our law enforcement agencies have something better to occupy
The folks in Tigard should pose that question to the Chief