What is buggin’ me today?? Prostitutes. Lot’s of them. North Main Street in Dayton, from the river to Siebenthaler Avenue has, over the last decade, become one long red light district. On a recent trip north from downtown I counted 7 “working girls” trolling along good ol’ Route 48…they were not the most savory representatives of femininity.Cracked out, spazzed out…yuchh.
Now, personally I do not have a problem with sex for sale, when it is between consenting ADULTS. It’s a reality in Nevada, it’s a reality in numerous European countries. It [sex for sale] has been a reality for thousands of years. It is also an Unfortunate reality in places like Thailand, where the indentured sex trade is the dirty underside of “tourism”, drawing pedophiles and other low life perverts to that country’s sex trade. But I digress, we’re talking about Dayton, where some of the same problems exist.
I know that prostitutes drag a lot of other baggage with them, drugs, pimps, thievery etc…still, it is hard not to see them as sad cases of humanity gone bad. But what to do? I call the cops, they come out and either harass or arrest. The harassed ones just move on up the street, the ones who are arrested are back on the street in seemingly a matter of hours…what is the solution??? Do we need a registered brothel in Dayton [ with concurrent harsher real jail time for those that don't comply with registration?]. Cops and the courts spend a lot of time and tax dollars on a trade that is seemingly impossible to suppress. Is it not better to “control” the business, especially the disease aspect, than to try and do something no one has been able to do for thousands of years???
This an article that appeared in the
Nevada is the only state in the United States to allow legalized prostitution within its borders, however prostitution is not legal everywhere in the state. Many years ago, the Nevada Legislature realized that while larger communities like Las Vegas and Reno received excellent revenue for community services from legal gambling, the rural counter parts of the state, while also having gambling didn’t benefit much from it. So in an effort to balance the so-called “tax pie” a unique and progressive set of laws were enacted allowing legalized prostitution to take place in rural counties of the state.
In essence, any Nevada county with a population of 400,000 people or less may with the approval of it’s citizens in a local option vote, institute a legal brothel(s) which are regulated by state and local authorities. There are often restrictions on where these establishments may be zoned and of course the ladies that work in the brothels must pass weekly medical examinations and take regular blood tests for sexually transmitted diseases. In addition the ladies receive training in doing visual examinations of clients and identifying any potential health risks that might arise from a sexual encounter. To date, there has never been a recorded STD transmittal in a Legal Nevada Brothel and this data is maintained by the State of Nevada’s Department of Health. Prostitution is not legal in Clark County (Las Vegas), Washoe County (Reno) and several other rural counties. However, there are legal brothels located in adjacent counties to both Clark and Washoe Counties.
The revenue from just one of these brothels can produce funding to the county coffers in amounts up to one million dollars a year. This is money that goes for the public benefit including funding for fire and police departments, road maintenance and education. In addition the legal brothels have established their presence in the community time and time again with support for local charities, youth programs and other civic support.
Often people wonder about how safe it is to go to one of Nevada’s Legal Brothels. The answer is just about as safe as you can have with a sexual encounter in today’s world. Obviously the Surgeon General’s recommendations for safe sex are the best way to avoid acquiring an STD, however the record for the brothels as stated above is truly impressive. It’s virtually safer than a chance encounter at a local “meet rack.” Every week each lady is required by law to have a physical examination to eliminate the possibility of her having an STD. Blood testing is also required. In addition, all sexual activity in the brothels require the use of a condom to further enhance safety. And finally the ladies themselves inspect each potential customer for signs of STD before booking any sexual encounter. If the lady identifies any possibility of coming in contact with an STD she will politely inform her customer and suggest he seek medical help. The lady has the right to decline any party she’s not comfortable with. This in fact protects her and any of her future customers.
Is this a Dayton-Ohio Solution?? Why does it work in Nevada??
I am in the process of obtaining “arrest maps”, provided by the Dayton Police Dept which will show those areas where arrests for “loitering and solicitation” take place. It will be interesting to see where the concentrations are and in the process, try to figure out why those particular areas… In the course of talking to the Sgt about this what was apparent was the level of Police frustration expressed about this issue. Many many police hours are spent dealing with prostitutes; arrests, court appearances etc, which, of course, translates into many many thousands of dollars in city funds spent. And the issue/”problem” never goes “away”. Add in the public health costs and we could be talking about tens of of thousands of dollars.
As I noted earlier, prositution is a very complicated issue. It impacts our city on many levels, most of them not good, nor easily resolvable. Solving, or at least trying to solve it is every bit as important as making decisions about new Kroger stores or where to put green space after old public housing is removed. I don’t have cut and dried answers, and am not even sure that it is “solvable”. On the other hand, pretending that prostitution doesn’t exist is also not a solution…