Prostitution Now Coalition
Your Tax Dollars Are Being Wasted Ruining Citizens Lives
Instead of fighting real crime
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Public Hearings To Outlaw Swing Clubs and restrict any physical
contact in Sexually Oriented Businesses in the City of Phoenix.
The following statement I presented at the Phoenix public hearing Wednesday October 28th.
Additional hearings will be held
Monday November 2nd 6pm at South Mountain Community Center and Monday November 16th at
Deer Valley Community Center. However, those that spoke previously may not be
allowed to speak again at the other hearings. I encourage others to speak up.
If you wish to speak you must fill out a speakers card usually found in back as you enter.
If you do speak, remember just discuss
the particular issues, don't go off on "its my right" or trying to decriminalize
prostitution. You will probably be cut off. I am trying hard to stick to the issues plus
briefly discussing my background and experience in the related issues.
Statement to the City of Phoenix: (revised from previous versions based on great supportive input - first part addresses outlawing swing clubs, last on touch at nude clubs)
As co-founder of Liberated Christians I counsel many couples in responsible non-monogamy or polyamory relationships. We especially help Christians deal with inhibitions often taught that have absolutely no biblical basis. We are a non-profit organization and neither Liberated Christians nor myself make any financial profit from any sexually related business.
Vast numbers of couples are flocking to the open attitudes and freedom to express their sexuality in wholesome responsible relationships and related adult activities. They are your neighbors, business owners, professionals and ministers. But they value being discrete and you won't hear from many of them since they want to keep their activities private due to our cultures' repressive attitudes about wholesome adult sexuality.
The proposal to outlaw swing clubs has no basis in public policy or the public interest. As will be shown, the proposals are contrary to the public interest. Whenever such bans have been sought in other cities and states they are struck down as being unconstitutional. You can reasonably zone but you can't ban.
The hundred plus page "Sex clubs Factual Record" offered as evidence for the need of this ordinance concerns nothing more than one commercial swing club that was in violation of a zoning requirement, being too close to a residential area. This is a zoning issue that only effects one club, and is not a rational basis for a general ban.
The assertion that swing clubs are a "public nuisance", is not accompanied by any substantiating evidence. This is not a prostitution issue since no money is exchanged for sex. Only a few people have sex at these clubs and any sexual activity is between consenting adults acting as equals in a private adults only club. Your fantasy of what goes on at these clubs is far different from reality.
The assertion in the ordinance that swing clubs are in an operation that "contributes to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases" is not only unaccompanied by substantiating evidence, but is indeed contrary to fact. This form of adult sexual activity has a very low STD risk compared to for example, cheating relationships or the bar scene.
HIV is totally a non-issue. There has never been an HIV case from activities in a swing club and there are many medical reasons why there probably never will.
I am often a speaker at the Annual Lifestyles Convention. Last year another speaker was Dr. Norman Scherzer a Professor at Rutgers University where he teaches Human Sexuality and Human Health and Disease. He has lectured on AIDS at numerous universities, AIDS task forces and national AIDS conferences for the last 15 years.
One person from the audience asked: "With about 3000 people at this swing convention, how many do you think are HIV+?". His answer, "none or very few". He said he often shows his students a chart of different activities such as swinging, going to prostitutes etc., or the local bar and discussing the relative risk. The bar is by far the most risky for heterosexuals.
Data from the Center for Disease Control show a five-year declining rate in new HIV cases, which are increasingly isolated in certain high-risk categories. Swingers are not and never have been at high risk. If the City wishes to shut down meeting places to stem the threat of STDs, it must close the neighborhood bars not swing clubs.
Ordinances such you propose have been overturned in other cities on constitutional grounds. The City of Phoenix is already unable to enforce previously passed legislation regulating sexually oriented businesses due to Court injunctions. I object to further sinking of tax funds into litigation expenses that are doomed to failure.
Let me also briefly address the ordinance requiring no physical contact by erotic entertainers.
I contend that if we allowed more not less positive touch experiences it would be much better for the citizens of Phoenix than your proposals which would only allow women to be viewed as sex objects to tease and titillate men leaving them often frustrated which is much more dangerous to "the community".
I teach workshops on caring non-sexual touch as well as share ideas on positive sexuality. On a web site I share many examples of healthy wholesome non-sexual positive touching experiences with dancers at the few clubs where such interaction with a dancer as a human not a sex object is so wonderfully available.
I get many letters from men who share how these experiences you want to make illegal have been so helpful in their learning about good non-sexual touch and helped them in relationships with women. But some how you think that just tease and titillation making men horny but unsatisfied and objectifying women as sex objections is what is best for the Citizens of Phoenix. I respectfully disagree.
The City spent lots of money on vice cops spending a huge amount of time watching dancers and filing the hundreds of police reports you produced as evidence that new laws are needed.
Your evidence cleared showed there is no overt sexual activity occurring at nude or topless clubs. And it is documented that if a customer tries to be sexual he is kicked out. Instead of requiring background checks of dancers which is simply unneeded harassment, maybe you should require licensing of customers.
You produced a 296-page transcript of a 1996 License Appeal Board hearing to argue that criminal activities occur at clubs. The so-called "criminal activity" was dancers touching themselves while dancing on stage is certain sexual ways. Or, taking tips in garter belts or taking a tip between breasts. While this may technically violate the archaic prostitution laws I believe such high crimes are viewed as simply silly by most Phoenix Citizens and a waste of city resources to be concerned about. Moreover, since 1996 at most clubs a dancer can no longer do these sinful touches on stage.
The report clearly shows that when the vice cops asked for an overt sex act, the dancers refused to do it. Most clubs strongly enforce the no sexual contact rules.
And oh those lap dances .pages and pages in the report of fixation regarding whether or not those dirty sexy breasts just might accidentally touch a man when lap dancing as if that is a big horrific crime!
The question becomes whether or not there is any sexual pleasure on the dancers or patrons part. The fear is that someone might get some pleasure. If that is even remotely possible, it must come to an end! No pleasure should be allowed in Phoenix!!
These criminal acts that might involve any non-overtly sexual pleasure consume 296 pages! How one can get an STD from touching a breast is beyond me. Or why such a breast fixation by those poor cops that had to endure such terrible crime.
NONSEXUAL QUALITY TOUCH Good touch, even nonsexual, causes the body to release its powerful endorphins. These endorphins are natural pain relievers, which create a healing, relaxing situation for the whole body. For men, certain clubs with certain dancers offer the opportunity for such interaction.
But if the city of Phoenix has its way, such wholesome interaction will be gone since in some perverted minds it as a threat to neighborhoods, and someone's idea of family values. Yet just gawking at women's bodies at strip or nude clubs is somehow considered more desirable than any quality human interactions.
And the reason for this fear of touch? Someone may get some sexual pleasure and that means its prostitution so it is somehow bad? I fail to see any logic in such thinking. We are also one of the world's few countries that has not decriminalized consenting adult in private prostitution but that is a different issue.
I don't see how there is any "neighborhood" issue. All the clubs I've gone to have big parking lots. Customers drive in park, go in, enjoy, come out get in their cars and drive home. The clubs are in adult zoning. If there is a related crime problem which I doubt at any club that is a different issue. Most clubs are nowhere near any neighborhood and I support zoning restrictions which make sense.
In conclusion I wish to point out
The sex oriented business proposals are very similar to ones passed about 4 years ago which the Federal Courts have issued an injunction to prevent enforcement.
The Federal Court has issued an injunction to prevent enforcement of the latest AZ law requiring clubs to close at an early hour.
I understand the City is currently in negotiation with the parties over these previous issues. It seems very bad faith for the city to start the legal battle all over again.
Related to swing clubs, cities have consistently had such laws tossed out by the Courts as unconstitutional.
Because of these facts, the members of the Council, having failed to learn from the past experience of Phoenix and other cities, Council members could find themselves to be personally responsible by reason of negligent non-feasance for expenses incurred in the unsuccessful defense or a prima facie unconstitutional ordinance. With the record of failure of such ordinances, it would be unconscionable to attempt to pass along such expenses to the taxpayers
Thank you for allowing me to make these comments
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