Alex Blaze

I wouldn't call this a win for gender equality...

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 14, 2009 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: cervical cancer, men, Nevada, prostitutes, sex work, sex workers, std's

But it's something:

A brothel industry lobbyist -- in what could be considered a befuddling double standard -- bemoaned the change, comparing it to the industry's "Pearl Harbor." He managed to voice concerns about homosexual sex entering the industry without ever saying "gay sex" or "homosexual."

Men were previously barred in Nevada from the oldest profession because codes specified that prostitutes must undergo "cervical" testing for sexually transmitted diseases, which ruled out men.

Contrary to popular belief, prostitution isn't completely decriminalized in Nevada. Sex workers are subject to additional regulations that put them at risk and that relegate their industry to an inferior status in the Nevada business community.

Still, I have to wonder why there was even this de facto ban on male sex workers for so long. It's not like something like that happens by coincidence for nearly 40 years. I suppose I can't really claim to be surprised that it was men who were accidentally banned that long and not women.

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Hmm. I don't feel so bad now for my insurance company insisting I go in for a cervical screening.

Kinda stupid that they couldn't do it -- and the guy's an idiot -- its not like they'll be competing for the same dollar.

Now if only we can get craigslist to add the t4w and w4t groupings, we'll be doing ok...

Its a very sensible decision, and I'm surprised the double standard existed.

But its fascinating that the Nevada brothel industry lobbyist is a former Assemblies of God pastor. AoG is a conservative, Pentecostal domination. I would guess his religious beliefs have changed quite a bit if he now works to promote prostitution.

But apparently some of his old homophobic values persisted. :/

Even with the regulations allowing both genders, the industry regulations are worse than Neaderthal. Here we are in the (hopefully) educated GLBT community, attempting to educate people about safe sex practices and that HIV-positive people are not pariahs, and these regulations point in the exact opposite direction.

I assume that if a Nevada prostitute (female or male) tests positive for HIV, then they are immediately removed from service. Contrast that with serious discussion in the GLBT community about whether neg men can safely and responsibly pair with poz men, or whether poz men can bareback responsibly with other poz men. (Sure, using condoms is better, but some guys just won't do it.) It's like the health officials in Nevada (and other states) have never heard of safe sex practices. If anyone suggested that poz clients might like to pair off with poz prostitutes (gender combinations irrelevant) my guess is that these "regulators" would go ballistic.

It just sucks --- or doesn't suck, as the case may be.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | December 14, 2009 9:31 PM

I think I remember former Bilerico contributor Michale Gold claiming that male prostitutes in Nevada who long for cervical testing are totally delusional.

Do you think this thought violates Bilerico's TOS?

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | December 15, 2009 6:54 AM

Ooops, I meant Ronald, not Michael Gold. Michael did have a cervix for a while until it became delusional about wanting to remain in his body.

I really don't get the problem about a man getting a cervical exam --- after a rear-end collision, doesn't the hospital check out your neck for whiplash?

I'm not so sure this is a bad thing.

There've always been male sex workers just like female workers. Punishing men while allowing for women is like the whole "Gay sex? Ewwww. Two lesbians fucking? Awesome!" that many straight guys express.

As for the testing for diseases, it's the responsible thing to do. Many prostitutes can't afford to get tested/have been shamed into not admitting their line of work/are afraid of being punished if their line of work is known/etc. Simply making it a requirement - which protects the health of both worker and client as much as possible - seems a rational response.

I'm not sure if you are responding to my comment, Bil, but I was not criticizing the mandatory testing itself --- I was criticizing the consequences that are imposed after the test. I assume that Nevada has a disclosure law regarding HIV (I don't know of a state the doesn't have such a law in some form or other) and I see no reason why it shouldn't or wouldn't apply to prostitutes and non-prostitutes alike.

As I have mentioned before, in some states a prostitute that is HIV-positive and knows it and continues in prostitution, if arrested, can be charged with attempted murder --- and full disclosure to clients plus the practicing of "safe sex" is not allowed as a defense. This is absolutely draconian, IMHO, but it is not going to change because there is not enough public pressure to cause legislators to change it. In fact, it panders to the lowest of HIV prejudices in the first place.

I find it interesting that male prostitution is equated automatically with gay sex. While we're on the subject of gender equality, why do people assume that men (gay or straight) are the only ones with the money, power, and/or desire to purchase sex?

Hmmm....could it be that our society teaches us only men can objectify people into commodities? Could this also be the same logic that causes synaptical misfirings when the subject of male prostitution comes up? I wonder....

If you check out the coverage of this story on other blogs, you will see that male prostitution is not equated with gay sex. There are a number of straight guys submitting comments about how the ladies will line up to pay for his services --- and this fantasy is all the more titillating since the male prostitutes are allowed to refuse male clients if they want to, just as the female prostitutes can refuse other women if they want to.