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2 years ago  ::  May 28, 2012 - 11:20AM #1
Silenicus
Posts: 35
After a recent trip to Nevada I have been pondering the question of legalized prostitution. Now I can see the sex within marriage or even within a long-term relationship would usually be morally preferable to prostitution. But, I can't see where serial short-term relationships or one-night stands would have anything on legal prostitution morally or otherwise.


Does Jewish Law require that sex be restricted to marriage. When do you personally think that sex is acceptable or unacceptable.
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2 years ago  ::  May 28, 2012 - 1:14PM #2
Pam34
Posts: 2,659

There is a presumption of sex in marriage - in fact, 'consummation' can 'create' a marriage (NON consummation can certainly invalidate one, and one of the first things a couple does immediately after the marriage ceremony in Jewish life, is go off and spend about 15 minutes or so in private, creating the 'assumption' of consummation).


In some states in the US, cohabitation (living together in one home, and presenting to others as a couple) creates a kind of legal status of marriage (common-law).



However, the stark exchange of money or valuable goods, for the mere act of sex, does not (and I would argue, should not) create the presumption of 'marriage', since in all cases, 'marriage' carries with it not only mutual sex, but also mutuality of purpose, of residence, and of a long term commitment.



BTW, I live in Nevada, and have no strong objections to legalized prostitution - in fact, given that the activity is universal, of a very lengthy history, and unlikely to be halted by any sort of concievable action, I would PREFER it to be legalized, regulated, and supervised (which it is in this state, outside of Clark and Washoe counties).


(for those who don't know: Nevada's legalized prostitution laws require that women be over age 21, be licensed, have a medical clearance (with weekly examinations) and receive pay. Also the owners and managers of such establishments (and there must BE an 'establishment', legal prostitutes do NOT 'streetwalk') must also be licensed, and pass a background check. Condoms are required, and most establishments list the allowable acts right up front (with costs), eliminating (or reducing, one hopes) abuses. I'm not saying its some kind of wonderful system, and it's certainly not a 'career choice' I would recommend to anyone - but if it is going to be going on, at least we have some rules and restrictions to make it as safe as possible.)



(So if you are in Nevada, for pete's sake don't pick up some amateur from who knows where in a bar or on a street corner, take a taxi out of town to a legal brothel. They take cash or credit cards, and you won't get rolled or catch something dire.)



Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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2 years ago  ::  May 28, 2012 - 1:23PM #3
Pam34
Posts: 2,659

As for Jewish law and 'sex' - unmarried people IDEALLY would wait for marriage, but pre-marital sex is not exactly illegal (Jewishly). Sex between husband and wife is a positive commandment. The Talmud goes into discussions of how OFTEN married couples should have sex, not 'whether'.


Sex between a married woman and a man who is NOT her husband is definitely 'illegal' and frowned upon ('adultery'), because she is 'consecrated' (separated, specified) for her husband only.


Sex between a married MAN and an UNMARRIED woman not his wife, is actually not 'illegal', although it IS 'frowned upon' - it is not 'adultery' in the strict halakhic sense, because - theoretically! - the woman is free to marry and he is 'free' to marry HER - assuming that the local laws permit polygamy (which in some places, they do). Two people married to other people who have sex, are both committing adultery - since neither is in a position to marry the other.



The more liberal branches would consider the married man/single woman to be committing adultery also, however, given that we live (mostly) in a culture which does NOT permit polygamy.


Plus, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, so to speak - so no matter which partner 'strays', it's still 'adultery' to play around.



Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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