Re: Sex drives/Prostitution/Rape/Reproduction

Elizabeth Childs (
Mon, 05 Jul 1999 11:14:49 -0700

> If I were a woman who *really* enjoyed sex, and one could find
> "safe" environments (like old style brothels), I think it would
> be difficult to find a better job than being a prostitute.

Well, you have to really enjoy sex not just with one partner (as many women do) but with most men (which far fewer women do). Nonetheless, I know of prostitutes who appear to fit the latter criteria. (Norma Jean Almodovar, former Libertarian Party Lt. Governor candidate is one. See "From Cop to Call Girl".)

> Will Japanese style domination and
> torture of young girls be illegal in VR environments in America
> or Europe?

Whether it's legal or not, it will be easily accessible from here. However, in the present time, American porn sites have all this stuff, too. (Well, it depends on what you mean by "young girls," I suppose, as virtually all aboveground American sites show models who are eighteen and over.)

> Prostitution was never viewed negatively until Columbus brought
> back syphillis from America. It spread across Europe through the
> liasons of the royalty and the military camp followers. As
> the epidemic spread, prostitution became an unsafe profession
> and the town fathers that had organized the public baths
> and/or bordellos (as outlets for the youthful male sex drive) were
> forced to close them down. This led to the rise of the middle
> class and the emphasis on the "good" (faithful) wife or husband
> we currently have in our culture. This perspective was promoted
> by the religious community as it gave them increased power
> (by having the monopolies on relieving you of the sin of
> infidelity or a really bad marriage).
> [There is a good discussion of this in "The Fourth Horseman"]

Prostitutes have been stigmatized since Biblical times, before the introduction of syphilis:

This is because syphilis was not the first deadly venereal disease in Europe; gonorrhea predates it.

It is true that there were periods in Ancient History where prostitution was not stigmatized at all. In the ancient Near East, there were several cultures where every woman was expected to be a temple prostitute at least once. (Temples of Astarte and Inana in Phoenicia and Sumeria.) There were both men and women who worked professionally as temple prostitutes their whole lives. As far as we can determine, this was as respectable a profession as any other.

>From a history of prostitution: (I don't know how accurate it is, but it matches with what I know from other sources.)

I read a translation of some Sumerian myths about Inana. (It's excellent, and quite readable - "Inana, Queen of Heaven and Earth" by Wolkstein). There is a core concept of "me," the sacred knowledge. The sacred knowledge includes dozens of things, but it includes the throne of kingship, the art of forthright speech, the art of travel, the art of the plundering of cities, the craft of the copper worker, and the arts of prostitution and fellatio. The first time I read it I really started to understand that the customs of my tribe are not the laws of nature.

Celtic women had sex with whomever they felt like (often a military hero) and their offspring would be raised by their brothers. But this system may have died out in part due to the arrival of gonorrhea. (Even under this system, however, sex would not be freely available to all men, any more than it is in San Francisco - see below.)

> Question for the hard core libertarians -- would you be willing
> to pay "taxes" for the community to support of your collective
> offspring in exchange for complete sexual freedom? [I.e.
> most women and men viewed each other as equally "doable".]

What's in it for me?

With the advent of birth control and legal abortion, sex is no longer particularly tied to reproduction, and hasn't been for decades. Women are still pickier than men. Where I live (San Francisco Bay Area), women usually have (safe) sex whenever the heck they feel like it. There's certainly no social stigma against it - in this town, politicians go out of their way to appeal to the "leather" vote, and a former prostitute is on the Board of Supervisors. But most women are still highly selective about their partners.

Even if the government was giving me tons of money to have babies, I would still have to invest years of personal effort in raising those children.

Giving out money to support children is a great way to get birth rates to outstrip resource growth rates. China is desperately trying to control birth rates coercively while financially supporting the children that are born.

> - Should we legalize prostitution and provide government managed
> brothels to create an outlet for that "horrible" male sex drive?
> [This might be one way to reduce the tax burden...!]

For a while, the IRS was running a brothel in Nevada that had been repossessed for tax problems. As I recall, they were losing money...

Why on earth should the taxpayer subsidize prostitution? If it were legal, it would become much more socially acceptable, and prices would start to drop. (In interviews I've read with prostitutes, they say the worst part of their job is the social stigma.)

Imagine a brothel run by the government. You'd have to stand in line for hours. Your real name would be recorded in a central registry somewhere. All the women, no matter what their appearance or special talents, would have to charge the same amount, and you wouldn't be able to pick which one you wanted. Gay men would be allowed to work as prostitutes, but only under a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. Which particular fetish activities were to be covered would become a matter of national debate.

To use a tired old libertarian analogy, "Imagine if going to a brothel was like going to the DMV."

> A question (for the female readers only) -- (given a, b & c above)
> would you "do" a man that you weren't particularly attracted to
> but who was rated 7-10 as a sex partner by an independent panel
> and who had a "biocompatible" immune system for the phase your
> hormone cycle was in at the time you were in the man's proximity?
> [We know the male answer, so there is no point in responding... :-)]

Well, if you're asking, "Would you have recreational sex with someone because a panel told you to?" of course not. If you're asking, "If you wanted to have a baby without a male partner, would you choose a sperm donor on the basis of what a panel thought?" I might take it into consideration, but I'd be more likely to ask a male friend who I knew well and respected, and preferably, found attractive. (I, personally, would never have a baby without a committed partner, but I can see this as a somewhat reasonable course of action.)

I don't think science has discovered everything there is to know about attraction yet. My instincts about people tend to be very accurate. If I wasn't attracted to someone at all, I would think that there might be a reason.

If I was able to genetically engineer my child using the DNA from several sources, such a recommendation would bear more weight. But at that point, I would probably have far more knowledge about what the genes I was using really did, and I wouldn't have to take them all-or-nothing as we do today.

> The Japanese already have a personal digital assistant/bot-variant
> that broadcasts & receives self-qualities & desires and provides
> notification of proximity matches for those nites out on the town.
> It seems someone is missing a business opportunity for providing
> the "independent review" combined with the MHC (immune system)
> genotyping. The development of such a database might begin to
> "normalize" the "doability" desire between the sexes.

Do you have an URL about this Japanese pda/bot?

> - Should we require (by law) vaccinations against STDs (when they
> become available)?
> [There is a balance between the risk you present to society
> as an unvaccinated potential carrier vs. the minimal costs/risks
> (small but finite) that vaccines may pose to you as an individual.]

This seems unnecessary. A person who has the vaccine can prove it via a privately issued ID card, registration in a privately owned central database, etc. A person who isn't sexually active or who is in a monogamous relationship shouldn't have to take the risk.

Anyone who chooses to be sexually active can assess the risks of a new partner for themselves. It's not as though you can catch an STD by walking down the street; being sexually active is a voluntary behavior.

> We are approaching the carrying capacity of the planet (w/o
> nanotech) [and and will eventually approach the carrying capacity
> of the solar system]. Unfettered reproduction reduces the resources
> available to us all and/or reduces our quality of life by secondary
> effects when we as indivduals don't pay for damage we cause (such as
> global warming caused by fossil fuel consumption).

Again, read Julian Simon:

PJ O'Rourke covers some of the same stuff in "All the Trouble in the World".

> Increases in human longevity will make these problems much worse.
> So ---
> - Is reproduction a "fundamental inalienable right" or should it
> be a privilege?
> - Should we require (mandatory by law) 100% effective birth control
> at the onset of puberty?
> - What should be the criteria for the reversal of a mandatory
> non-reproductive status?

Bureaucracies virtually never produce anything useful. The minute you give them the right to do *anything*, even something that seems desirable (preserving wetlands and endangered species, for example), they immediately use that power to stomp on the rights of individuals. I am loathe to give them any more power than they have, especially without far more convincing proof that overpopulation is a problem.

A few facts: