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Canadian agencies might avoid the legal problem of living off the income of prostitution by just charging a reasonable flat service fee for listing, advertising and appointment setting, unrelated to the providers income. Interestingly Agencies are far more common in Montreal and there seems to be no enforcement of the bawdy restrictions as has been accepted for many years. In Vancouver it is mostly independent escorts, and Toronto seems to have a good mix of both. While agencies are technically illegal they are usually tolerated unless they are involved in other crimes such as drugs or hiring illegal aliens.
It’s not illegal for a sexworker to live off her own income from prostitution — only for someone else to live off (receive any financial benefit) from her prostitution income.
4. The sexual procurement and purchasing sex from children and youth. More recently there has been more concern with children (under age 18) in prostitution. The age of consent in Canada is a uniform age 14 UNLESS for financial reward. In the U.S. every state sets its own age of consent which varies from 13 to 18. In Canada be sure you don’t have sex with anyone 14-18. It is not statutory rape if over 14, but a different offense which can result in 10 years prison time. Even tougher penalties if the provider is under age 12 which I totally agree with.
Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Lap Dancing as Legal In Strip Clubs.
I have a separate very detailed report on the lap dancing situation in Canada at http://www.sexwork.com/montreal/lapdancing.html.
The problems in Canada revolve around the agency and bawdy house restrictions being too rigid. But often police/cities don’t enforce these restrictions if there are no complaints. Otherwise the laws are in line with what we propose (at sexwork.com decriminalization section) in the U.S. In fact, our proposals would address all of these issues and should be very acceptable to citizens in general given the proper facts and public education.
In Canada the problems with prostitution are far less than in the U.S. and there seems to be agreement that criminalization would only make the matter worse. just like in the U.S.
Canadian sexwork laws are similar to British and French laws since France is one of the countries that colonized Canada. It is also quite similar to laws in the rest of Europe, Australia and most other countries. In Asian and Latin America in the countries where it is illegal it is usually tolerated and law not enforced.. In fact in many countries (parts of Mexico, Philippines, Thailand and many others) even where "illegal" the government licenses providers (Guest relations officers like in PI) and requires STD and HIV testing. In Thailand the Entertainment Act of 1960 basically makes most all tourist sex legal as "special services" Thailand wanted to protect all the U.S. service men resting. and recreating in Thailand during the Vietnam war since sexwork brought (and still does) so many needed economic benefits. Mexico has its zones where it is legal, and only a few states regulate it at all.
Other people’s responses:
The tac that the law takes in Canada is to prohibit those forms of prostitution that are recognizable public nuisances, and/or lead to exploitation or encourage participation of "criminal elements" and activities.
The result has been lower prices, better quality of providers and services, and in many cases LE working with both providers and clients to make a safer environment for all concerned. The rip off factor in Canada is extremely low, and there are reported instances of the law attacking rip off scenarios in defense of both clients and providers. Of course there are many escorts in the US that fear any moves in this direction. Now they would have to actually tell a client the exact nature of their services..no longer could they hide behind this "fee for time" nonsense.
Arguably, if prostitution is a private matter practiced amongst consenting adults, the government has no right to criminalize the act. A federal statute protecting that basic right is appropriate under the law, just as the right to abortion is protected under federal statute. The only legitimate objection is when such practice takes place in a public venue.
The laws in Canada are based on the concept of "consenting adults in private" and that the government has no business regulating this behavior in private. But society does have the right to regulate and ban prostitution in public. Sounds reasonable to me. And you get great service at a fair price without all the LE and Ripoff BS, in Canada. I never use U.S. escorts anymore. I got tired of paying $200+ for an "air-dance".
There are some great and honest providers in the U.S., but it seems as if many ‘escorts’ are against legalization because it would cause them to have to be honest and upfront about their service. Cozy little system we have in the States, isn’t it?
For extensive information on the legal situation in the U.S. and ideas for decriminalization see.
The Morality Police vs Common Sense Sexwork Article.