Good, Better, Legal?

I did an interview with a reporter from the Seattle Weekly last week and amid questions about my daily life and how I feel about it, he asked me about decriminalization. My answer wasn’t simple, much as I wish it were. While I love the idea of feeling free from the threat of legal consequences and even more tempting is the safety of my partner from accusations of ‘living off the avails’, I’m not so excited about the idea of someone butting in. Did you know that the temperature at which massage linens are washing is mandated by state law? What might be mandated after decriminalization in the effort to keep us ‘safe’? In Australia, exchanging money for unprotected penetration of any kind is illegal, while its protected counterparts are legal. That includes digital penetration of the mouth. I understand how this increases the level of safety, but some of us prefer to draw different lines. At what point does the state become my manager and am I ok with what restrictions someone else decides on? Who does the deciding? SWOP recently (and successfully) campaigned to keep the names of Seattle exotic dancers from becoming public record. Will I also be protected from social repercussions? Will I be required to keep records? Will my client files be under HIPPA protection? Do I need to disclose my occupation to my landlord? Where will I be allowed to practice? Can I collaborate with colleagues? Until these and dozens more questions are answered, I’m not sure what to decide.

It would please me to know that the work I love is valued by others and recognized as work that is loved by many more. I would feel great relief knowing my partner is safe from legal vilification just because I make more than he does. The ability to openly teach new entrants how to stay safe and careful would bring me joy. Watching my life crumble as regulation and social stigma destroy my livelihood and my loved ones does not make me feel good.

What do you think? Would you be proud to walk into a place of ill repute or do you prefer the current risky but discreet arrangements? Would you rent to a provider? Would you tell your friends that hooker jokes aren’t cool anymore? Do you want to be able to tell your significant other how you survived that two year dry spell? What might the world look like for you if this one things was different? I would be interested to know what could get better without losing what is good.