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…



  1. Indeed, it is called the world’s oldest profession for a reason. If the claims are to be believed, not one legal, Nevada prostitute has been hit with a serious STD. Can’t find the link at the moment, but it seems condom use is pretty effective. Oh, and in Nevada, they go after black market prostitution with a vengeance. In the end, the sex workers are well-paid and well-taken care of. In Dayton the alternative is obvious.

    Of course, it will never be legalized here, and nobody has the guts to advocate decriminalizing it because they will be hit with the boilerplate accusations of just wanting to boff random strangers (which is immoral, to be sure)

    Comment by D. Greene — August 2, 2007 @ 2:20 am

  2. SE Weed & Seed is starting a “Johns School” where the Johns will be arrested thru reverse stings w/female officers. The Johns have to go to “class” for 3 days – get STD tests, gets yelled at by the residents of the neighborhood and on the 3rd day pick up trash in the area where they were arrested. For this “priviledge” the John has to pay $1500 or go to jail for 30 days (do not pass go…) Norfold VA did this for 6 months as a test run and raised $600,000. Money usually gets cut 3 ways – 1/3 to cops, 1/3 to social services, 1/3 City. John School has less than 4% recividisim rate.

    Comment by Emily Weaver — August 2, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  3. Yeah, that’s what Dayton needs, more police pulled off preventing violent crime and property theft and damage to run entrapment operations. What a brilliant idea whose time has come.

    Comment by D. Greene — August 2, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

  4. I would be most interested in understanding how this particular urban dilemma is physically distributed though city neighborhoods; and why are some neighborhoods infested and others have a relatively clean bill of health?

    I’ll be upfront, I see most hookers as victims first. People who are doing what they are doing largely because all their other options are played out. This covers both the criminal & or drug addicted AND the economically enslaved. This does not excuse those people who are so far down on the evolutionary chain as to defy description as homo sapien’s. We have to have a methodology for dealing with that strata, but tha’ts another discussion entirely.

    I am a believer in Regulation when it comes to sex for sale.
    This is not to say I am advocating prostitution per se…but I am saying it is time we had an open and frank discussion about the one act that both terrifies and seduces us. Sex.

    As long as demand exists a/the “problem” is NOT going to go away ,rather, it is is how do we, as a society, a connected society, make decisions about what it is our society reflects about us.Some of our friends and neighbors do not want to have this conversation. It offends them, it challenges their vision of what our city looks like and who it reflects in it’s image.

    Like it or not, this is part of our city “image”. A sex destination. I haven’t parsed the statistics from the Dayton Police Department on this yet, but from viewing the Public Access TV I would have to say that a substantial # of “johns” are from outside Dayton city limits. {It would be nice if someone wanted to research this, to obtain DPD arrest maps and specific data on arrests for prostitution by neighborhood.]

    The discussion parameters are wide open at this point. Emily’s post presents a vision of one solution while D. Greene at least elucidates the other side’s view.

    The question at the center of this is simple. Is their A “Solution” and what costs does that entail for us as a city, a community?

    Rail on!!

    Comment by leftofdayton — August 5, 2007 @ 12:40 am

  5. The question about what to do about prostitutes has no simple answer. Most prostitutes are victims of childhood abuse in one form or another usually sexual abuse 80% & many are addicted to narcotics & use prostitution as a way or means of getting their fix. If you are really interested in the truth about it talk to a former prostitute http://www.annebissell.com/
    Annie is a friend of mine & works relentlessly to help women get out of prostitution if they want to.She was sexually abused by a member of her family & that is what set her up to become a prostitute.She has a twelve step program to help people get out of the sex industry & a meeting can be started in the Dayton area. It takes one to know one & only a recovering ex-prostitute can help these women.It is a very difficult thing to do because addiction is so powerful over them.They do not need to be arrested. They need understanding & help.Many of them are addicted to sex on top of drugs & that is serious. More serious than narcotics.Multiple addictions are serious & only compounds the problem.Our civic leaders are really numb when it comes to addiction & especially sexual addiction even though there are 8,800 websites on the inter-net that describe it in detail & 30 million Americans are afflicted. One out of four Americans become sexually abused by someone before they reach the age of 18 & that sets them up for sexual addiction & drug addiction.

    Comment by flybenji — February 13, 2008 @ 4:49 am

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