Why are there "Massage Parlors" in the Unites States?

I’m saying they would have to work long and hard to make a case come together.

If you hear someone in Ohio say “massage”, then hear someone in the UK say “massage”, you’ll think they’re talking about two very different things.

I apologize for my bratty reply. I was a lil dronque. And I honestly felt like the distinction is so obvious and fundamental that to explain it would seem patronizing. My Socratic instincts kicked in, and my response wasn’t meant as a slapfest so much as pedagogical. Which of course was the more impolite choice.

Where the confusion lies is that in one situation, the word “sell” is literal: you are relinquishing ownership of a physical object. In the other, you’re referring to a behavior, not an object. The word “sell” is being used metaphorically; even ironically.

So to refer to two adults’ agreeing to exchange compensation for a behavior as “selling their body” is to literally objectify the person performing the behavior. It’s inaccurate, to the point that it completely obfuscates any productive discussion on the subject, and it’s intentionally demeaning. And since it’s usually in reference to women, misogynist.

It’s a behavior: a choice. The issue with anti-sexwork laws is that they suggest that a person, usually a woman, does not have the fundamental right to make her own choices about her own body. (Sound familiar?) Why do we consider one person’s right to impose their subjective moralism on another to be a more basic right than the right of a person to make their own choices about their own body?

This is just absolutely incorrect. “Sell” means to exchange something for money. It does not have to be a tangible object. You can sell an idea. You can sell your labor. You can sell access. You can sell subscriptions. You can sell noble titles. You can sell absolution from sin. In none of these cases is “sell” meant metaphorically, much less ironically. The problematic aspects of the phrase, “selling your body” aside, sex work should be treated like any other contract for services. And I’m not aware of any specific constitutional bar to outlawing contracting for a specific kind of service. (Barring conflict with another constitutional right, of course. You cannot implement a backdoor abortion ban by banning the profession of abortion provider, for example.)

While I’m generally in agreement with legalizing sex work under a “let people do what they want with their own bodies” philosophy, I’m leery of stating this as an absolute right. I want sex work legalized in a regulatory framework, which necessarily means passing laws limiting what a person is allowed to do with their body for money. If we can make a law that says, “You can’t sell sex without a condom,” or “You can’t sell sex unless you get a monthly VD test,” we can also make a law that says, “You can’t sell sex.”

Your only argument is that you can use the same verb in both situations. That’s purely idiomatic. It’s a limitation of the language, not of reality. You’re insisting that a colloquial usage negates the actual fact that one usage is literal, and the other usage is metaphoric.

“Getting high in an airplane is legal, therefore getting high on drugs should be legal.” Colloquial metaphors do not dictate reality. You are discussing only terminology, and ignoring actual meaning.

This argument over the meaning of “sell” reminds me of the arguments over the meaning of “theft” that arise when people discuss things like music/software piracy.

Personally, I think prostitution/sex work is a category unto itself. There’s room for debate over what the legal or moral status should be, but I don’t think the issue can be settled by analogy to other kinds of sales or services.

That’s certainly not my only argument, but yes, part of my argument is that the word “sell” applies to both goods and services. I’m not entirely sure what distinction you’re trying to make between “usage” and “actual fact.” Language doesn’t have an “actual” meaning - meaning is defined entirely by usage. In the English language, the word “sell” properly applies to any transaction that involves the exchange of goods or services. That’s how the term is used, therefore, that is what the term means. It’s not a “metaphorical” meaning, it’s the literal definition of the word.

This isn’t the same thing at all, though. You’re using two distinct definitions of the word “high.” “I sold him my car,” and “I sold him the rights to my life story,” are both using the exact same definition of “sell.”

And yet neither of those are analogous to sex work.

Good thing I’m not analogizing them to sex work, then.

Wtf? Dude that is the literal totality of what you are are doing.

At this point You are either conceding the argument or are being baldly dishonest.

I’m… lying about whether I’m making an analogy?

Okay, sure. I think this has pretty much run it’s course. Thanks for the attempt at an explanation.

If “lying” is the word you want . . . alternatives are “disingenuous” and “oblivious.” You are defending your conflation of “behavior” and “object” by comparing it to your conflation of “publication rights” and “car,” neither of which is a behavior. The distinction is clear enough that, though i would avoid such language myself, I’ll accept your characterization of “lying.”

I have honestly no idea what you’re talking about at this point. Your description of my argument bears almost no resemblance to what I’m actually saying. I think at this point, we should probably just chalk this up to an irreconcilable communications impasse.

a while ago I was reading about the effects of legalized prostitution in germany … and it was pretty grim for the most part

the street girls still complained about illegal foreign girls coming in and under cutting them and the like they spoke of a homeless teen they called “ms big mac” becuase the only payment she required was a big mac meal from mcd’s

but what was interesting is the fact there were all day/night brothels …where for starting about 200 us you basically could rent a girl with a room for 12- 24 hours with food and drink of some sort provided

the girl interviewed mentioned that it wasn’t much difference between working in an illegal brothel and an legal one except once a month someone would walk buy and shove a wad of money in her hand and they didn’t pressure you into making more money since the clientele came to them ,

What was sad and amusing at the same time is the political party who had legalizing it as one of their major platform for years when it came time to reform some of the original laws pertaining it said "oh while were proud of our accomplishments in the industry thats ancient history and weve moved on "

As a wild generalisation, it’s seemed to me that every attempt at changing the law in the UK over the decades to deal with a troublesome aspect of prostitution has caused some other problem to emerge.

They tightened up the law to get them off the streets, then as the trade shifted more indoors they tightened up the law to define an illegal brothel as two or more working in the same premises. Easy to foresee that if you created some exemption for, say, two or three to share premises and watch out for each other, organised crime could move into providing premises as a “legitimate” landlord (who just happens to send a couple of heavies round to collect excessive rents on their evening walk with the pit-bull).

And then one wonders how they’d planning permission for that sort of business (though, to be fair, licensing “adult” shops seems to have been generally accepted).

And so the wheel turns.

They’ve been married that long have they?