Decriminalize Prostitution Now Coalition
Your Tax Dollars Are Being Wasted Ruining Citizens Lives
Instead of fighting real crime

Why SWOP Is the Enemy of Private Sexwork

Their insistence of imposing public nuisance street hookers on the public hurts the work to decrim private prostitution that respects the public not to be in their face.

The November 2008 defeat of their Prop K in San Francisco follows the failed Berkeley measure a few years ago. All doomed to defeat because it includes street hookers. Similar efforts worldwide have mostly failed trying to impose street hookers on the pubic.

If Prop K was only for in private consenting adult prostitution it would have had a great chance. If only there was a similar effort for just private prostitution/sexwork. What it takes is far more active participation from many folks upset we lack the in private adult sexual freedoms most of the rest of the world enjoys.

With the new administration and hopefully less anti-sex Christians in the Dept of Justice and other key areas we may be having more of an opportunity to influence laws. However the sexwork fight is more at the local and State levels which in many cases are still under the influence of religious conservatives. The real hope is for public propositions like SWOP has gotten on ballots - but doomed to fail for their support for street hookers to be included in decrim.

I have tried for years to try and get interest in supporting private sexwork only as a pragmatic alternative that does have public support if viewed as a waste of public resources to go after in private consenting adult sexwork. In the mid 90s I formed:

Decriminalize Prostitution Now Coalition Your Tax Dollars Are Being Wasted Ruining Citizens Lives Instead of fighting real crime

I've been fighting the battle almost alone for decades, speaking before the City Council in Phoenix when they outlawed swing clubs and made strip clubs just gawk at women clubs - get guys excited but no real human contact allowed which in the sick view of religious right who were behind the changes that it makes neighborhoods and children safer. I've been on radio talks shows, done petition drives, etc.

I've very much enjoyed the sexual freedoms in Canada (  but seek the same options for us in the U.S.

But I have little support and have the same problems trying to unite the private sexwork community as has C4P in California which is the only organization I have seen that has practical ideas. But like me it is small and is attacked for some of their views and has not gathered the broad support needed.

That leaves SWOP which is doomed to continued failure and hurts the cause of private sexwork. It is well organized it seems has very outspoken good leadership has received great publicity for their doomed cause and has nationwide support. If only those fighting for just private sexwork were as well organized and had broad support from the sexwork community.

The only organization that has the right idea that I know of (outside of a Hawaii unorganized group) is Citizens 4 Privacy in California

C4P's statewide polling (  ) reflects the same thing. As "Counsel" of C4P says, The public is not opposed to decriminalizing that which goes on behind closed doors out of the public view. They are very opposed to having their faces rubbed in it, which is the impact caused by street prostitution and its attendant problems (drugs, pimps in the street, local residents' teenage daughters being harassed by guys on the cruise, etc.). But they also get very little widespread support and only have a handful of dedicated folks fighting for sexual freedoms.

I have often used C4P as a great model in some of the things they have done. They have good website at I even borrowed some of their ideas and registered the web sites AZCITIZENS4PRIVACY.COM and CITIZENS4PRIVACY.COM for more a national site. But now, I have basically given up since I no longer have the time, financial resources or support to continue the fight.

SWOP often mentions the San Francisco 1996 Task Force recommendation for decrim of all sexworkers. What they don't mention is that it was only agreed upon by the task force after representatives of neighborhood groups walked out in protest because it would encourage street hookers in their neighborhoods.

I have always supported efforts for zones of tolerances in cities where street hookers can be protected. But in Europe where tried they have all failed with huge public outcry. I also encourage safe incalls but the sexworker groups insist on the right of the street hooker to be a public nuisance and therefore will continue to fail as they always have around the world.

Outcall is legal in almost all the world except the U.S. and incalls vary legally. But street hookers are only legal in the Netherlands and New Zealand.

In the Netherlands about 45% of prostitutes work in sex clubs and private homes, 20% in window prostitution, 15% in escort services 5% in their own homes and 5% on the streets. When there are other legal options only a few choose to work on the streets. Prostitutes/sex workers have access to the social security system, may join unions, have to pay income tax and are treated like any other self-employed tradesperson. Health and social services are readily available, but people who work in the sex industry are not required to register or undergo mandatory health checks. Source: Wikipedia

In New Zealand there is a huge uproar from citizens about public nuisance street hookers in residential areas. The support is not widespread other than by the street hookers that imposed their view in NZ regarding street hookers. Private sex works well its the street hookers that are rightfully getting so many upset.

Other Talking Points
One of hundreds of comments (including mine) in the San Francisco Chronicle:
The San Francisco plan for prostitution is simply going to mean that pimps and prostitutes will abound in working class areas of the city and make life miserable for the people who live there. I would favor the proposal if it specified that the prostitutes must work only in the City Hall Plaza. I suspect that the enthusiasm of both the Board of Supervisors and the voters would evaporate if they and their families had to walk through pimps, customers, and prostitutes on a daily basis. On the other hand, it would be the first time in history that honest business were conducted at City Hall.

Result is they arrest more customers since only the prostitutes would be protected.
As pointed out in a San Francisco discussion board, the result could be only arresting customers which could be the police reaction if it was passed. As pointed out, "The radical feminists who are working with SAGE are the ones who want " Swedish " style of decriminalization.... where clients side alone is prosecuted." And, "I think that by its failure to address *both* sides of the equation, the measure may turn out to be very short-sighted, and ultimately counterproductive for sex workers."

But State of California Could Enforce State Law
"It also might present a major challenge to state sovereignty. If California cities do not have to enforce state laws, then the entire notion of the sovereign state collapses. The California legislature might have to change jurisdictional laws to impose a state police force on San Francisco."

One of the best comments which is what the proposal SHOULD be about- off the street - but isn't:
"Prostitution is the oldest profession. You can outlaw it from now to doomsday and it's not going anywhere! It goes underground, on the street corner and is rife with crime and the criminal element. You decriminalize it, you get it off the street, and put it where it belongs, behind closed doors where consenting adults enter into a contractual agreement. It's going to happen whether you like it or not."

More good comments from various sources:
"The claims that decriminalizing prostitution would make it harder to prosecute human trafficking are totally unfounded. What evidence is there of this? If prostitution were decriminalized, then that would free up resources that could be used to fight actual cases of human trafficking. Nonconsensual prostitution would still be criminalized under (other) laws, so this legislation would not decriminalize or make it harder to prosecute trafficking. Equating all prostitution with trafficking does nothing to stop trafficking, but has resulting in trafficking legislation that seems more focused on persecuting sex workers than stopping human trafficking."

"The original purpose for sex-prostitution was to provide for the pleasure of sex which is a basic human need. Corruption soon took over and now we associate the sex prostitute as bad, dirty and criminal especially in America I think. America does not know how to party without ruining it and making a pleasurable thing, sex, a bad and corrupt thing. we need to grow up and stop the 'War' and start enjoying life. (Learn from Europe perhaps)."

"(Street) prostitution is disgusting. the women on the streets in sf are in very bad shape. junkies, diseased etc. no one chooses that life unless they are desperate. making it legal makes no difference. desperate women will still go there. stories of celebrity hookers making thousands of dollars are grossly exaggerated. think about what they do dozens of times a night with men who just may be pigs. and the shelf life of a hooker is pretty limited. no one wants hookers in their neighborhoods. the best thing that can happen is a few months in jail to get clean and nourished and, maybe, helped in some meaningful way. time and money would be better spent locking them up and then figuring out a way to help them."

I have many more comments about the issue at

IF I was financially well off I would do far more but I simply have to spend more time earning a living not fighting for our freedoms. Sadly I don't see anyone or group with ideas, motivation and funds to fight the battle on the larger nationwide level it would take to make changes.