What's the line between pornography and prostitution?

Pornographic actors aren’t liable for proscution because they’re actors playing a part right? Now in 49 states one can’t legally operate a brothel, but what about a make-your-own porn studio? Clients would be supplied with camera equipment, props, etc and studio employees would be available “to act in” the video the client was making. Clients would be free to star themselves. Is any of that illegal? Does it matter if the video distibuted commercially or only intended for the client’s own private amusement?

Pornography is expression, thus protected by the First Amendment.

Well sure, but that doesn’t address the OP’s question. The OP is asking how flimsy the “she’s being paid to act in a video, not to have sex with me” line can be before it’s no longer a defense against prostitution charges.

There have been a number of threads over the years in which this very question has been asked and answered.

WAG: A prostitute is paid to have sex with someone who isn’t receiving payment for their involvement. A pornstar is paid to have sex with someone who is also receiving payment for their involvement. The day a pornstar requires her co-star to pay her is the day she crosses the line into prostitution.

I hope I haven’t just shown a fundamental misunderstanding of either profession.

WhyNot provided links to a bunch of them in this thread.

*That *username, in this thread. Snerk!

Sorry, nothing of value to add.

Well, unless it’s not. The United States Supreme Court has quite explicitly ruled that the sale and distribution of pornography (as opposed to merely possessing it) isn’t necessarily protected by the First Amednment. Miller v. California, 1973.

At least in the US, the law frequently does not have detailed, bright-line tests, but rather uses a rule of reason. Pornography is making sexually explicit works for public distribution, while prostitution is paying someone to have sex. Though each has elements of the other, the basic intent is different.

So you set up your “pornography” studio, and you get busted. If you can show the court that your customers were using your equipment to actually make pornographic materials that were publicly distributed, you should be able to show the court you were in the pornography business. On the other hand, if the video cameras were rarely or never used and the “producers” didn’t distribute any films of their “productions” with the “actresses”, you’re going to have a hard time showing the court it wasn’t prostitution, despite the set-up.

By your definition, all gonzo porn is prostitution, since the camera operator is a participant and pays the partner for sexual performance.

I don’t know the answer to the OP.

You can purchase pornography, and use it many times at no extra charge. This is not generally true of prostitutes.

You might want to reference one if that’s the case.

So technically, a pimp could film his employee’s “interactions” and give the guy $1 and the woman $20, and then collect $25 at the end of the session and call t legit? (Of course, the male participant could wear a disguise or something to protect his identity).

No. Flatly no.

If I recall previous discussions correctly, most jurisdictions in the US don’t make a distinction, and both prostitution and production of pornography are illegal. Most of the porn made in the US is made in those few jurisdictions where it is legal.

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I would need a cite for that. The person who championed that particular theory most vociferously was handy, who repeatedly claimed that there were special “porn permits” that local governments would issue to allow for the filming of pornography. When asked to back up this nonsense, he did not.

Wisconsin does not to the best of my knowledge have any statutory ban on the production of pornography within its borders and such a statute would seem unlikely to stand under either the Wisconsin or the federal constitutional guarantees of free speech.

Would a man who seeks (illegal) sex with a prostitute really want a production crew present and watching, and have the event recorded on film/tape? I would think you’d be worried about the director yelling, “Cut! You’re under arrest!”

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Ah, I didn’t recall that part. In that case, I retract my statement.

Attention, CookingWithGas. I assume you mean Jewish American Princess here. Even though I have used the term myself in a thread, it’s probably a term better left out of a post on this board.

samclem GQ moderator