Douglas Whaley. Law professor, gay rights advocate, atheist, heart transplant recipient, actor, director, novelist, playwright, bridge player, husband, father, cat owner, storyteller. Much humor and, since the writer is a teacher, advice on many topics.
I’m in Favor of Prostitution
Recently New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged
with a misdemeanor for two counts of soliciting prostitutes when he visited the
“Orchids of Asia” massage parlor in Florida.This is a big scandal!How dare
this man seek out sex with prostitutes, actually paying money for sex!
wife died eight years ago.He’s 77.He has sexual urges.What is the man to do?Masturbate for the rest of his life?Try sleeping around with friends in Palm
Beach?That is a major hassle, and at
his age is an iffy proposition taking much time and effort, as any bachelor
knows.All the poor guy wants is a
sexual encounter without complications and for a remuneration he can well
afford.For this Robert Kraft faces
public humiliation, a criminal record, and possible jail time.
Ah, but you say, these were poor Asian girls, likely victims
of forced sex work, not willing participants in a commercial transaction.If that’s true it does make them victims of a
crime.But the criminals are the evil people
who brought them to this country and forced them into a life they would never
have chosen on their own.Such scumbags should
be in jail and the girls freed from their terrible circumstances.
If Kraft knew or should have suspected that these women were
caught in such a trap then he too is involved in criminal activity.Note carefully, however, that there is no
evidence of this that I know of.
What he’s charged with is paying money for sex.He’s guilty of that, of course, but the point
of this blog post is that it shouldn’t be a crime at all.Drag people into court and threaten them with
jail because they have a sex drive and figure out ways to satisfy it that hurt
no one?Well, that might upset moralists
who think that people should only have sex when married, one man to one woman (and
then only when trying to conceive), but I can’t imagine we’d happily let these modern-day
puritans dictate our penal laws.
There was an experiment with capuchin monkeys some years ago
where the scientists wanted to know if they could teach monkeys the concept of
money.They slowly introduced tokens as
rewards when the monkeys did something that pleased the scientists, and when
the monkeys—puzzled—handed the tokens back gave them even greater rewards that the capuchins valued
highly.This system worked as planned.Soon the little community was abuzz with tokens
being swapped for all sorts of things.At one point a researcher was astounded when he observed a male capuchin
hand one to a female in return for a “Slam-bam-thank you, Ma’am” copulation,
and, jaw opened wide, reported, “I’m pretty sure I just witnessed the first act
ever of simian prostitution.”
Don’t misconstrue what I say.I’m not in favor of the sex trade in innocent
people.I’m not in favor of taking
advantage of young people, forced on to the street and using their bodies as
their only means to survive.I’m not in
favor of girls, boys, or adults of any age being tricked or forced by
circumstances into selling themselves unwillingly.All of that is criminal and should be
punished as such.
But when people of any age willingly decide that it would be
a good idea to make money for a trade of sexual favors they should be able to
do that without fear of criminal prosecution.Years ago in The Advocate
(long the leading magazine of the gay community) there was a letter to the editor
from a man explaining that when he was seventeen in NYC he’d wander around the
city in search of sex with older men, which is what he fantasized about having.He’d find some man he was attracted to who
was attracted to him as well, and after the two of them had sex the older gentleman
would give him money (which he didn’t ask for).They would insist he take it even when he protested.This happened over and over and he didn’t
know what to do with these “earnings.”He couldn’t spend it because he was living with his parents and they
would notice any undue increase in his wealth.So every month he would bundle the bills up and drop the package off as
an anonymous gift to the Museum of Modern Art.
writers have a segment in their canon about how some women are like Santa
Claus.They are ordinary citizens much
of the year but as the holidays approach they go online and earn needed yuletide
money by selling their sexual services to men in search of same.
At various points, between partners and when on vacation, I
myself have hired the services of male “escorts” with whom I had a very good
time, providing me with memories I cherish with a smile as I write this.These gentlemen were independent contractors,
not part of a brothel or any sort of coerced labor force.They enjoyed what they did and were good at
it.Often, over dinner afterwards and
when we were just becoming new friends and swapping stories, I would hear from
them how rewarding it was to service men who couldn’t otherwise have sex at
all: too fat, in a wheelchair, very old, ugly as sin.They were fulfilling a need: not just sex but
sex with a dream man!
Yes, there are problems with all of this.The devil, as always, is in the details.There should be regulations, laws, or perhaps
(hmm) licenses.It will involve
rethinking what is going on and making as sure as we can that everyone is
playing fair and no one is being subjugated.Mistakes will be made and we’ll have to work out the kinks in the
But that is much better than
putting people in jail because they have a sex drive and others are willing to
help them fulfill it. That should not be a crime.It should be a commercial enterprise no more
controversial than restaurants, yoga classes, or hair salons.
Since I graduated from law school in 1968 I've always had some sort of legal practice which varied from extensive in the early years, to these days when I'm retired and mostly just doing consulting work for a hefty fee.In this period I've written a lot of letters threatening legal action on behalf of my client (or, on the rare occasion, myself—see Related Posts below).In the classroom I've passed on my advice on how to create an effective letter, and now I offer it to you, blog reader.
A letter threatening legal action almost always discombobulates a recipient who is not him/herself routinely involved in legal actions.I tell my law students that in their coming practices they will often receive such letters (or nowadays even emails), and they will calmly evaluate what to do about them depending on the legal issues involved and the wisdom of litigating them.But the non-legal recipient of such a letter is in a very differen…
Having a dispute with a creditor? One way to win it (and fast) is to send that creditor a "payment in full" check [hereafter "PIFC"] and end it things in your favor. How does this bit of legal magic work? Read on.
It's always been the law that if you and I have an existing contract, either one of us can propose a modification to that contract, and if we both agree, the contract changes accordingly. There are technical names for this. Say, for instance, that I owe you an undisputed amount of $500. I send you an email and ask if you would take my horse Dobbins is settlement of the debt, and you reply in the affirmative. My offer of something different than what was originally owed (the horse for the money) is called the offer of an "accord." Your agreement to take Dobbins is the "satisfaction." Thus an "accord and satisfaction" in our law is nothing more than a fancy name for a modification agreement. I no longer owe you $500; I owe…
For the last few years I have been crossing the country giving lectures on what I now call the "Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosures," which is that such foreclosures cannot proceed without production of the original promissory note signed at the closing. A symposium at Western State University Law School last year at which I gave the keynote address turned into a law review article on point, and that law review article is reprinted below in full. The correct citation for the printed version is 39 W. St. U. L. Rev. 313 (2012). As subsequent developments occur I will add them in red to the original article below. Any corrections or suggestions may be sent to me at email@example.com.
Mortgage Foreclosures, Promissory
Notes, and the Uniform Commercial Code By Douglas J. Whaley*
Introduction As is true
of many things in life the Uniform Commercial Code’s statutes concerning the