Ann Landers in favor of legalizing Prostitution


Dear Ann Landers:
It was courageous of you to run that letter from the Nevada prostitute. I wonder if your client newspapers caught flak for printing it.

I, too, am a "Nevada Sex Worker." I enjoy my job and am grateful that the state of Nevada, in its infinite wisdom, accepts the fact that there is a legitimate market for my skills. I work in a licensed brothel and entertain as many as 150 men in every three-week working period. (I then get one week off.)

It is an enormous help to have someone such as you acknowledge the need for legalization of the work we do. You really are a tremendous force for good in this world, Ann.

Marjorie in the West

Dear Marjorie:
 I appreciate your support and am pleased to tell you that many readers wrote to applaud my courage. The verdict was not unanimous, however. Keep reading for another point of view:

Ann Landers (you are not "dear" to me):
That letter you printed from the Nevada prostitute was disgusting. I tore the whole page out of the newspaper so my children would not see it. I wonder how many papers canceled your contract because of it. I hope you will respond in print since others who think like I do would be pleased to see it.

A Mother of Four Teens in Weatherford, Okla.

Dear Mother of Four Teens:
Sorry to disappoint you, but I did not receive any cancellations. What appears under my byline reflects life in the real world, and I plan to keep it that way. Keep reading for more:

From Fred in Los Angeles: 
I very much appreciated your column on prostitution. I am a disabled man who visits prostitutes regularly. We are known as "johns." In my youth, I attempted to establish relationships with women I met at work but had no success. From the age of 30 to the present (I am now in my 70s), I have enjoyed the company of many prostitutes who were extremely kind and generous. Not one ever mentioned my physical disability. I believe it is an outrage that a woman whose only crime is making men happy for a fee should go to jail. Something is wrong with a society that thinks that way.

Dear Fred: Your letter makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the support.

Here's the final word:
Tortola in the British Virgin Islands: The Dutch have always been way ahead of the rest of the world in maturity, good common sense and courage. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands. The women are government inspected for "health problems" every month. The Netherlands has fewer cases of venereal disease than almost any country in the world.

A Global Traveler and Professor of Philosophy Dear Global Traveler:

You've given me the perfect example with which to close the subject. Thank you on behalf of all the people you helped me educate today.

Letter from Magdealene a very sharp provider I've met on an E-mail list who is also very supportive of She has an interesting website at

Dear Ann Landers:

A while back, you printed a letter about the dangers of prostitution. I would appreciate the opportunity to tell my side of the story. I hope you will print my letter because your assessment was not accurate.

I am a 31-year-old woman with a bachelor's degree from a well-known university. I have been a sex worker for the last 14 years and am happy with my career. It burns me up when I read studies that say we are messed-up drug addicts who were abused as children or that we are at risk of getting beaten up or raped by our customers.

I do not deny that streetwalking is a difficult and stressful way to make a living, but not all prostitutes are streetwalkers. I work in a brothel in Nevada and would not trade my job for any other that I know of. I perform a valuable service that is legal in most counties in this state. Every woman who works out of our house gets checked by a doctor every week.

I have met some fascinating, successful, well-educated men through my profession. Many have been clients of mine for several years. I count among them doctors, lawyers, judges, college professors, politicians and business executives. I make enough money working only two weeks each month and can use the other two weeks to pursue my writing career and work toward a Ph.D.

Ann, there's a reason prostitution is called "the world's oldest profession," and it isn't going away. Instead of fighting it, we should decriminalize it everywhere. For a woman who needs to feed her children, the threat of abuse is insignificant compared with watching her babies starve before her eyes. Legal sex work makes it possible for all women to have safer, stress-free working conditions. You should endorse it.

Magdalene at Madam Kitty's

Ann Landers replies:
Dear Magdalene: I caught the significance of your name choice -- from the Bible yet. It is obvious that you enjoy your work, and as I have said before, there always will be a market for what you are selling. For many years, I have been in favor of legalizing your profession and have said so. But please do not try to persuade anyone that babies would starve if their mothers did not go into prostitution. There are many other options -- government assistance is the best known. I won't go down the list of others, but no woman in America needs to sell her body to make a living -- unless, of course, she wants to.

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