Why Aren't Porn Performers Arrested for Prostitution?

If getting paid to have sex is considered prostitution, why aren’t porn stars routinely arrested? Don’t they get paid to have sex?


Tim
“My hovercraft is full of eels.”

Because they are not paying the people with whom they are having sex, they are being paid to have consensual voluntary sex with someone (or something) else.

Uh… that did not come out right.
What I meant to say was they are not being paid by the person or persons or (other) they are engaging in sex with. (Presumably) both actors are being paid by a third party to have voluntary sex on-camera (or live, damn this stuff get complicated!).

Sounds really close to pimping.

Enright3

In many places, Torgo, they are – that’s one of the reasons why they don’t use their own names. In my state, prostitution is defined as follows:

So “prostitution” = “having sex for money,” and that would include in the movies. The problem, of course, is that if you only have a film of two anonymous people having sex, how do you prosecute the crime? You don’t even know if the act took place in your jurisdiction, or whether the actors were paid (though we all know they probably were, they can deny it), or who they are (assuming the use of aliases). So it’s tough to catch 'em in the act, so to speak, but they ARE committing the offense of prostitution nonetheless – at least they are in my jurisdiction.

Although working in a porn movie for pay probably DOES qualify as prostitution under most state and local laws, as a practical matter, very few police departments have any interest in shutting down this sort of operation. Cops don’t really want to be in the morality business- they just want to keep the civic peace.

What most police and most citizens object to is not so much the act of providing sex for money as the act of solicitation. Prostitutes who take over a city street and aggressively solicit business are both a nuisance to passersby and bad for the legitimate businesses in that part of town.
For instance, if ordinary citizens are uncomfortable going to a movie/play/restaurant downtown because of aggressive street prostitutes, those businesses are going to lean on the police to crack down on the hookers, if only to get them off the street.

You rarely hear about police going after high-priced call girls for this very reason. In general, most people don’t care that much if sex-for-sale is going on. They just don’t want to see it or know about it. A prostitute throwing herself at passersby is a menace or nuisance in a way that a call girl in her own apartment or a porn star in a closed studio is not.

Well gee, I guess that blew me right out of the water, eh?

Psst! You mean “Buffy St. Cloud” isn’t her real name?

One important thing to realize is that virtually all the professional pornography is this country is made in only two lacations: Los Angeles and New York City (and the majority is from L.A.). So while the production of a porno video would probably be illegal in many jurisdictions, in actually the producers only have to worry about the laws and community standards of two cities.

There have been occasions in which local law enforcement officials have attempted to prosecute porno producers and performers on prostitution charges. Most of these instances have been when a local politician is attempting to make a name for himself as an enforcer of “family values”. But usually the cases are of dubious enough legal merit that, after the prosecuter gets sufficient publicity, the charges are dropped or a plea bargain is made. I have never heard of any porno performer actually being imprisoned on prostitution charges.

Um, the obvious answer is that if they were arested then there would be no porn!

Seriouly. You guys are really missing the point. The reason porn isn’t illegal under most laws is because as a legal matter of speaking the couple is having concentual sex as adults and are being paid as actors. This is to say they aren’t getting paid to have sex, or strip, but they are getting paid in order for the filmmaker to use their image, and performance to make a profit. This distinction is very important.

Speaking to the comment about local laws and porn being made in LA or NY, you haven’t been online much have you? Fact is there are local obscenity laws usually stating that questionable businesses (bars, liquor stores, porn shops, sex toy shops, adult arcades, and porn studios) can not be run within certain defined proximities to schools, and neighborhoods. Occasionaly you’ll hear about porn being made in someones home, and that since at some point they cross the line from being a private homeowner and become a commercial porn business they must now come to abide by the local laws. This recently happened in the “Vouyer Dorm” in Florida. The residents found out that it existed in a house in a typical suburban neighborhood, and the town proceeded to bastardize the obsenity laws to attempt to force them to move or close down. Last I heard it was in litigation and the gray area is based on the percentage of the business that is adult related, and on a larger scale what is considered “porn”.

Is it really porn if you simply watch a persons day to day life, and happen to see them naked occasionally?

While in reality I think most of the country could care less about porn and prostitution occuring behind closed doors, there are enough relgious zealots and conservative politicians tring to get some PR that the “what they don’t see doesn’t hurt them” arguement doesn’t really work. Fact is there is a very specific precedent in legal matters that define the difference betwen porn and prostitution. Now the invention of the internet is raising new questions that have never been approached, specifically “What is public domain?”, “What is porn?”, What local laws apply?" and so on.

Get used to this type of nit picking in the future. Luckily most of the Religious zealots, radical conservatives, and people who generally push censorship are old fogeys, and usually fear or hate technology. this is a big asset to the internet, most preachers and republicans have never even been online.


The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is
yours to draw…

Omniscient; BAG

One day on MTV there was a special called “My life as a porn star” or something like that and at the beginning they said that sex for money is legal when it is recorded and made public for anyone to view (I think that’s how it was worded)


Formerly known as Nec3f on the AOL SDMB

I went to see a 3-D porn movie down in LA about a year ago. Before the feature, the star/director of the film was answering questions. On being asked about “Boogie Nights” he said it was really close to the truth, but the one thing it missed was the “danger” involved in making the movies. Apparently, it was illegal in the 70s, and the vice cops were constantly on his and the entire porn industry’s tail. He said laws had been changed so it was no longer illegal, not much more explanation was given.

My favorite quote from the guy:
“We didn’t do it (porn) for the money, because there wasn’t much.
We didn’t do it for the sex, because that was mechanical.
We did it for immortality”.
pat

Suppose the customer is into watching…say, two women go at it and masturbate during the show. Would he, or they, be violating any laws?

Forget prostitution–I want to know when they have porn involving animals why aren’t they prosecuted for cruelty to animals? People do it willingly, with understanding. Animals are USED!

Maybe the animals enjoy it?

Anyway, I asked about why porn is legal and prostitution is not before. Might still be around on the board.

It just seems as long as a camera is there, it’s legal.

Although Nick says that as long as you don’t pay the person doing it to you, it’s legal, I have a feeling this isn’t so. It’s too easy to pay the pimp intead to make it think that it’s legal, when of course, that too is not legal.

The legality of porn has to do with the fact that once you’ve put something on camera and made it available for public viewing, you’re communicating, and so the First Amendment becomes an issue. There is a theoretical grey area here (i.e. if a prostitute records her, uh, sessions and sells the tapes), but in most cases the distinction between prostitution and porn is clear enough.


Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

Are you sure about that, ruadh? It seems to me that you’re talking about two different issues. You’re implying that anything is legal as long as you film it because of the first amendment. You know that’s not true.

enright3

Omni, what the hell makes you think, “most preachers and republicans have never even been online”? You lost me on that one, especially since it has been shown exhaustively that the vast majority of internet users are white male conservatives. check your facts before slinging perjoratives around at anyone you may have a beef with.

Nor did I say it was.

The actors in a porn movie are not being paid to have sex. They’re being paid to have sex ON CAMERA. That’s a big difference. They wouldn’t be paid for going and having sex in a closet where nobody could film them. The sex itself isn’t illegal; the actors are hired to make a film which includes the legal act of sex. The First Amendment protects the right to make films of legal acts. That you’re being paid to make these films doesn’t strip you of that right.


Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

So I’m watching “COPS” the other night, and they have a hidden camera set up in a motel room. A female officer posing as a hooker enters with a prospective john and asks him what he wants. He says, “a spanking”, so she tells him a spanking costs fifty bucks. After he pays up, the vice squad jumps out and arrests the guy for soliciting prostitution. Seems to me a consensual spanking is no more prostitution than a massage, or a haircut, fer chrissakes!!! Granted the poor bewildered guy looked like a pathetic loser, but that’s no justification for expending law enforcement resources and the time of our overcrowded courts on private, personal conduct. Will this insane obsession with what goes on in America’s bedrooms ever stop???


TT

“Cheating is a gift a man gives to himself”
–C. Montgomery Burns

Omniscient:

ruadh:

Actors? You haven’t actually seen a porn movie, have you?