Prostitution became legal in Iceland after a new provision in the Penal Code was accepted by parliament
on March 17. It is both legal to solicit sex and to buy sexual services, but it is illegal for a third party to advertise, organise or take profit from prostitution.
The 206th article stated: Anyone engaging in prostitution for own upkeep
shall be subject to imprisonment for up to 2 years. That paragraph has now been deleted.
The government argues most people who solicit sex do so because they have no other choice or because they are forced into prostitution by others.
By making soliciting sex legal, the government believes individuals who have been forced into prostitution would rather come forward and lead police to those responsible.
Buying sexual services was legal in Iceland before the adoption of the new
law provision, and that remains unchanged.
According to an article accompanying the law provision is an explanation that the goal of making advertising prostitution illegal is to make prostitution less visible.
Sex is everywhere in Japan, but most tourists don't see it. They walk past the men handing out tissue packages at train stations,
and assume the neon signs in entertainment districts point to karaoke bars. But many indicate hostess clubs, oral-sex parlours, and "soapland" bathhouses. Those tissue packets advertise to men and are also used to recruit female workers.
Pink Box: Inside Japan's Sex Clubs , Japan's commercial sexual-services industry accounted for nearly US$20 billion in 2001. And although these clubs are a cultural phenomenon, they're strictly off-limits to foreigners.
Pink Box captures
their inner sanctums in a photographic collection. It's not a coffee-table book you'd want your mother to see. Photographer Joan Sinclair visited over 90 clubs and returned with images of women working in nude theatres, peeping rooms, "touch pubs", and
"image clubs" with elaborately decorated fantasy theme rooms. Examples include a train replica where men pay to grope women posing as schoolgirls, and a department-store elevator, equipped with a mirrored floor and a uniformed, pantyless attendant. In
"fashion clubs", women provide services in true-to-life costumes—such as chain-restaurant uniforms, nurse outfits, officewear—or even dressed as anime characters.
All I ask is that viewers not assume that this profession is
inherently degrading. It's more complicated than that, Sinclair writes in the book. These women are not powerless, they are not on drugs. They have made conscious choices; they have their own dignity.
The clubs are a reflection of
modern Japan, a literate society where the rules are written out, prices are not negotiable, and fantasies are predetermined, prescripted, and prepaid.
"Life begins at 66," reads an advertisement aimed at old
people in Germany. It's promoting a brothel which is offering a 50% discount to senior citizens.
The brothel "Pascha" in Cologne is now offering senior citizens a 50 percent discount on sex services, but only between the hours of 12 and
5 pm, and only upon proof of age. The offer is valid for clients aged 66 and over.
A normal session costs €50 with us, and we're now offering €25 for older guests, a spokesman for the brothel told Reuters.
legal in Germany.
The brothel tested the subsidized sex scheme by offering reductions once a week. The offer was so successful it has now been extended to every day. There's been plenty of demand and people have certainly been taking advantage
of the offer, the spokesman said, adding, with a certain understatement: Older folks are more active than you think.
Mean minded Korean legislation does not stem demand
Based on an article from Asian Sex Gazette
Since the passing of a strengthened anti-prostitution law in 2004, which officially ended the country's traditional tolerance of sex buyers, the
number of red light districts has gone down.
However, it is becoming apparent that shutting down brothels hasn't sated Korean's desire, with the still-strong demand for commercial sex spawning a massive underground industry of massage parlors,
girlie bars, hotels and Internet sites that provide easier access to sex for sale.
Last week, police in southern Seoul arrested the two owners of three massage parlors in Nonhyun-dong and Yoksam-dong for hiring prostitutes. They booked another
170 people, including 120 customers who had visited more than 10 times.
The customer list of the three massage parlors extends to over 200,000 people, police said, with each shop roughly averaging 2,000 to 5,000 customers per month: The
customer list included lawyers, doctors, university professors, journalists, civil servants, soldiers, office workers and a former lawmaker. We can find virtually every profession aside from pastors, priests and monks, said an official from the Seoul
Metropolitan Police Agency: The real number of customers could actually be double of the number of names on the list.
The owners of the massage parlors competed for customers, police said, leading to unusual marketing programs and
services. The rooms at the massage parlors were differentiated by theme. There are "classrooms" with sex workers wearing girl school uniforms and "Vietnam rooms" in which the women wear the Southeast Asian country's traditional
In Seoul, the red-light districts in Yongsan, Chongnyangni, Chongam-dong and other areas are expected to be cleared up within the year through new urban development plans. Since the anti-prostitution law was passed, police have charged
more than 40,000 brothel owners, pimps, prostitutes and customers.
However, sex transactions at massage parlors, bars, saunas, hotels and other businesses are growing, despite the government's warning. Massage parlors in particular, are quickly
becoming the center of the underground sex trade.
All 35 foreign lap dancers who on the night between November 17 and 18 were arrested by the police for performing erotic dancing and committing immoral acts in various nightclubs in Bugibba and
Paceville, were cleared of the charges brought against them by the prosecution who argued that their acts were immoral.
Presiding Magistrate Antonio Mizzi first heard how police officers were instructed to carry out searches in various clubs
across Malta to investigate whether there was any form of prostitution or other immoral acts going on inside these establishments.
That night, 35 east European lap dancers were arrested by the police after they were found dancing at the clubs
which were all shut down.
Magistrate Mizzi then argued that while the purpose for which the police searches were carried out was worthy, on the other hand, it was not at all admirable that some of these women were not even allowed to change to
their normal clothes when they were being escorted by the police. The prosecution said that this was done in order to photograph the dancers so that they can later present the evidence in court, which argument was totally discredited as a
"ridiculous excuse" by Magistrate Mizzi who emphasised that every person had a right to dignity and called for an apology and to make sure that this will not repeat itself in the future.
Magistrate Mizzi also added that since the
prosecution itself admitted that during the searches there were no signs of prostitution, there was no point in charging these women with running the establishment for prostitution purposes, saying that it was deplorable how the police charged them all
to let the court decide.
Magistrate Antonio Mizzi said that this had been a fishing expedition on the part of the police and while evidence showed that some of the women were doing nothing illegal and had nothing to do with the running of the
establishments, they were still arrested and arraigned. He also said that given that it was the police superiors who had ordered the searches, then it should have been them to appear in court to prosecute.
Coming to the question of whether lap
dancing constituted an immoral act, the presiding Magistrate said that all 35 were all EU nationals who came to Malta out of free will to work and had regular contracts, most as self-employed paid by the establishment.
And before acquitting all
35, Magistrate Mizzi concluded that the morality standards of our society have evolved and we are free to buy or otherwise according to our moral standards.
Maltese police contend lap dancing is prostitution
From the Malta Independent
Police authorities have filed an application of appeal to the case judgment involving 31 foreign women who had been cleared of running nightclubs for immoral
In the application, police authorities claim that the magistrates' court decision was rich in imprecision, misconceptions and denigration of the constituted police authorities and in superficiality in the evaluation of the evidence,
but very poor in the exposition of the law on the matters in issue and in upholding public morality.
The police are claiming that, in law, a lap dance amounts to a lewd act, that any person who commits this lewd act is considered to be a
prostitute and that all the establishments whereat prostitutes perform this act is considered a brothel in terms of the law.
The police are also claiming that the magistrates' court should have come to its own conclusions on the basis of the
notion of prostitution according to law and upon an evaluation of the entire evidence, rather than relying, unquestioningly, on what was stated by three witnesses.
Police authorities are therefore calling on the court to find 28 of the women
guilty of all the charges brought against them and to inflict punishment according to law.
Update: Dancing Off into the Sunset
As court marshals have been unable to track down the 28 lap dancers who were found
not guilty in February of prostitution, indecent or immoral actions, and of dressing indecently, the Attorney General's application of appeal to overturn this decision has been put off indefinitely
Romania plans to tackle the rise in prostitution by legalising it, Interior Minister Vasile Blaga told Realitatea TV. He
added that a draft law should be ready for public consultation in about a month.
If we put our cards on the table, weighing advantages and disadvantages of such a law, I believe it will be positive, Blaga said.
influential Orthodox Church has criticised any talk of legalising prostitution, and could try to mobilise public opinion against the government's plans.
A federal appeals court has ruled that the Bush administration can deny funding to nonprofit AIDS groups that don't publicly disavow prostitution and sex trafficking.
Overturning a lower court's decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that the AIDS groups' free speech rights would not be violated if the money was linked to a pledge to uphold government policy.
At issue is the case of DKT International Inc., which provides family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention programs in 11 countries. The group, which helps distribute condoms to prostitutes and other sex workers in Vietnam, has refused to sign a
pledge to support the Bush administration policies.
In 2005, DKT sued the U.S. Agency for International Development, contending its free speech rights were violated by a 2003 law requiring groups to explicitly oppose prostitution and sex
trafficking in order to qualify for part of a $15 billion AIDS program. A U.S. District Court ruling last year agreed, saying the funding conditions insist that groups "parrot" the U.S. government's position on prostitution.
Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph said Congress has authorized the Bush administration to assist non-governmental organizations like DKT on such terms and conditions as the president may determine.
The act does not compel DKT to
advocate the government's position on prostitution and sex trafficking; it requires only that if DKT wishes to receive funds it must communicate the message the government chooses to fund, Randolph wrote in the decision reversing the lower court's
ruling. This does not violate the First Amendment.
All is not well at Beate Uhse, the German erotica giant. The company is closing its stores aimed at women, and
more than two-thirds of its German stores did worse in 2006 than the year before.
Performance anxiety has rarely been an issue at Europe's biggest sex-shop company Beate Uhse. But media reports and store closings indicate that the once
high-flying sex chain has lost some of its potency with both customers and stock analysts.
Of 61 sex shops in Germany, 47 are reported to have done worse in 2006 than in 2005; 19 of those chalked up losses. The chain's operating results was 49%
below target; the mail order business did even worse.
The company will close the last of its Mae B. shops as their leases run out. The Beate Uhse offshoot geared towards the female market featured stores with bright lighting, sexy lingerie, and
erotica instead of hardcore pornography was opened with great fanfare in 2004. The idea was to pull the company out of its porn niche and reach a broader spectrum of customers.
Despite the tasteful decor, massage oils, erotic games and silver and
gold vibrators, the concept, which Beate Uhse spokeswoman Assia Tschernookoff now called an "experiment," didn't fly.
Now the company is trying a new approach, and recently opened a flagship store in Munich that will carry many of the
items featured at Mae B. in addition to the inventory found in the more traditional Beate Uhse stores.
An attempt to get into the world's biggest pornography market, the United States, was not successful and Beate Uhse was forced to withdraw
after suffering heavy losses.
Sex workers from across India ended a weeklong meeting Friday with the demand they be allowed to work legally.
The forum attended by nearly 50,000 men and women was held in the eastern city Calcutta and was organized by the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a group of sex workers from West Bengal state.
Selling sex is illegal in India, though the
prohibition is rarely enforced.
The right to sexual pleasure should be recognized as a fundamental right and that was the slogan in the meeting, said Smrajit Jana, a spokesman for the group: We believe the policy makers are going to
accept sex workers as entertainment workers today or tomorrow.
Kanti Ganguly, a government minister, said there are no plans to legalize prostitution. Ganguly said he empathizes with sex workers and is aware of their difficulties but we
have to go to the root cause which forces them to choose this path.
Berlin plans to levy a flat rate daily tax on prostitutes from April to raise some extra revenues for its
Following a model used by Cologne, which collected over $1 million (514,000 pounds) last year with its own flat tax, the German capital plans to tax prostitutes 30 euros (20 pounds) per working day. Berlin has rising debts of
more than 60 billion euros.
Prostitution is legal in most places in Germany and sex workers are required to pay income tax as well as value-added tax (VAT). However, tax collectors have long suspected their income and VAT was not being fully
reported on tax returns.
Local leaders in the Verdi service sector union have warned that the 30-euro tax will push up prices in Berlin, Germany's biggest metropolis with some 3.4 million inhabitants.
Katharina Cetin, of the prostitute
support organisation Hydra, said sex workers earn less than city leaders estimate: The income level here in Berlin is rather low. A daily tax rate of 10 to 15 euros would be more appropriate.
Cologne, home to roughly 1 million, has been a
worldwide pioneer in taxing prostitution at a flat rate of 150 euros per month. It earned 828,000 euros in 2006.
Baring your breasts on a motorbike in conservative Christchurch, it seems, is likely to raise little
more than a decent crowd.
In liberal Auckland it sends mayoral hackles skywards.
Organisers of an erotic exhibition are expecting Christchurch people to turn out in force for the show next weekend.
More than 12,000 visited the
Erotica Expo here last year and many more are tipped to turn up to the three-day event at the Christchurch Convention Centre from March 2 to 4.
A promotional "boobs on bikes" parade through Cathedral Square is part of the fun but, like
last year's event, is expected only to put smiles on the faces of lunchtime throngs.
A similar parade of porn star boobs in the more liberally regarded City of Sails last year, though, caused Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard to choke on his breakfast
cereal. Such a display, he declared, was "morally repugnant"
Bad move. More than 100,000 people lined Queen St after the council furore, giving Auckland pornographer Steve Crow priceless publicity.
City elders in Christchurch,
it appears, are not buying into any controversy. A spokeswoman for Mayor Garry Moore said he didn't wish to comment on either the parade or the expo.
Erotica organiser Sandy Watts said today she hadn't put an "official parade request"
to the council. It's just a promotional ride at the legal speed limit around the central city following the letter of the law as we know it.
People say Christchurch is more conservative than Auckland, but we're expecting a lot more than last
year's 12,000 attendance, Watts said.
It was all over in a flash, so to speak: a dozen bikes, eight sets
of bare breasts, a couple of bare-topped male revue hunks, studs, leathers and boots. Boobs on Bikes, two by two, led by Auckland pornographer Steve Crow aboard a VW trike, took just over 40 minutes to traverse the streets of conservative Christchurch
heralding the Erotica Expo here this weekend.
Few people gathered at street corners along the "promotional ride" route, but a lunchtime crowd estimated at up to 4000 thronged Cathedral Square for a peek.
The porn stars who did
bare their breasts faced little risk of sunburn on a grey overcast day. But it all passed with little fuss. Police reported no problems.
Proposals to go some way towards legalising prostitution were rejected in Spain recently. A report on the issue instead
said more attention should be paid to the women involved in the trade, by offering them more protection and trying to help them to find different work.
In a debate in the Spanish congress, deputies voted to offer more public help particularly to
women who have been trafficked as sex slaves. One measure suggested was aimed at trying to get men to stop using prostitutes. It will also aim to persuade the media not to publish contact details of prostitutes.
The socialist government of José
Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is against legalising prostitution at present but favours tougher measures against mafias which trade in women.
The opposition conservative Popular Party is against relaxing of the current laws. The left wing IU-ICV
alliance have called for legalisation.
In Catalonia, there is a pilot programme to regulate prostitution in the same way as in Germany or Holland. Sex workers would manage the brothels and prostitution would be legal for people over 21.
A bill to legalize some prostitution in Hawaii has the backing of at least 14 state lawmakers and many women's rights
Supporters say they mainly want to start debate of the sensitive topic and explore alternatives to decades of selling sex on Honolulu streets. They include 13 co-sponsors in the House, one sponsor in the Senate and the Hawaii Women's
Coalition, whose members represent more than 200 organizations.
But House Bill 982 (and companion Senate Bill 706) might not pass this year. It appears unlikely the bill will get a hearing this session.
The decriminalization bill would
permit sexual favors done in private, and it would designate areas where prostitution is allowed.
In general, talking about sex is scary for people, said the Rev. Pam Vessels, of the United Church of Christ in Kalaupapa on Molokai. Do
we really care if consenting adults are engaging in sexual acts for money?
The bill's advocates hope more lawmakers will support it as time passes. A resolution could be introduced asking the Legislative Reference Bureau to study the
It's one of those bills you do it for public dialogue instead of trying to get it passed , said Rep. Bob Herkes (D, Volcano-Kainaliu), one of the bill's co-sponsors.
Organizers of SnowGathering, an adult film industry conference, decided to cancel the
conference yesterday, which was to be held in Iceland next month, after the Radisson SAS Saga Hotel canceled their bookings.
If we weren't going to commit a crime in this country, then why should we have been outlawed? This doesn't make any
sense, Cristina Ponga, a SnowGathering organizer said. She added that she suspected the owners of the hotel had subdued to pressure and that she did not expect any other hotel to welcome the SnowGathering attendees.
has been sought in this matter since FreeOnes.com believes the cancellation and the consequent financial losses (both material and time-wise) have been carried out without any legitimate or legal grounds, she added.
Director of the Radisson
SAS Saga Hotel Hrönn Greipsdóttir said revoking the decision of receiving the SnowGathering attendees had been necessary due to opposition from the public and authorities.
RÚV reported yesterday that guests staying at the Radisson SAS Saga Hotel
can purchase access to pornographic material that they can watch in their hotel rooms and raised the question as to why guests are not allowed to talk about pornography.
Greipsdóttir said offering guests the opportunity to watch adult films in
their hotel room is a service offered at all hotels in the Radisson SAS hotel chain. But now Saga Hotel is considering whether it can be exempt from that rule, she added.
Katrín Anna Gudmundsdóttir, spokesperson for the Feminist Movement in
Iceland, said: We feel this is a great victory for the liberation of the sexes and it is very good to see the nation unite in rejecting pornography.
Police and the Directorate of Immigration are currently investigating whether there are any
legal grounds to refuse a group of representatives from the adult film industry to hold a conference, SnowGathering, in Iceland next month.
We are estimating whether we can expect some kind of illegal behavior or operations, especially
regarding a clause in the punishment law about distribution and production of pornography which is prohibited in this country, said Reykjavík Chief of Police Stefán Eiríksson.
According to the clause, those who produce, import for
circulation, sell, hand out or distribute in any way pornographic magazines or films and similar material, display it in public, organize a public presentation or a game that is immoral in the same way can be punished with an imprisonment of up to
Advocate of Reykjavik District Court and lawyer at the law firm Opus, Oddgeir Einarsson, has confirmed that the organizers of SnowGathering, which was to be held in Iceland this month,
have sought their legal rights.
A sex shop that was recently opened in the middle of downtown has been quickly closed due to public outrage. The Kayseri
Melikah Municipality cited a supposedly improper leasing contract as an excuse to shut down the business.
Kayseri Fantasy World Erotic Sex Shop, the city's first adult store, caused heated debate in the city streets and a stir in local headlines.
A group of locals supported the opening of such a store, while others thought it should be shut down. The store's owner, Sezai Karakaya, is seeking legal assistance to challenge the decision.
Owner Sezai Karakaya said: I earn good money here
and since Kayseri is a place that believes in a liberal, free market economy, this business should be respected. I am under pressure and am being threatened. However, I will not shut it down. This is my store and it is bringing me money. Kayseri needs
more sex shops to meet the need.
The West Australian government plans to decriminalise prostitution as part of a bid to regulate the industry.
WA Attorney-General Jim McGinty says he will introduce legislation into state parliament this year which would allow brothels to operate legally.
McGinty said the move would protect the health and safety of sex workers and provide clarity for police: It is time we sorted out the prostitution laws in WA to deal properly with the sex industry, which has been a reality of life for a long,
He said the government had begun drafting legislation based on the recommendations of the Prostitution Law Reform Working Group. The group recommended a decriminalised model, where approved operators of brothels and escort agencies
would be regulated under a certification system. Brothels would also be subject to to local government planning approvals and controls.
This will mean that for the first time, local councils and the WA Planning Commission can control where
brothels are located and ensure they are not operating in inappropriate areas. Regulation of brothels would also remove the risk of police corruption in the industry, he said.
An Amsterdam judge has ruled that peep shows, where sex workers performing strip shows and explicit acts can
be watched from booths, are a form of theater and club owners are therefore entitled to a hefty tax break.
Admitting customers to peep shows is equivalent to admitting them to a theater performance, an Amsterdam Appeals Court judge wrote
in a ruling: The erotic character of the performance does not diminish that.
In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge
panel for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Alabama statute banning the commercial distribution of sex toys, saying that there is no fundamental right to privacy raised by the plaintiff's case against the law.
According to the
statute, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.
In 1998, the Alabama chapter of the ACLU brought suit
on behalf of several plaintiffs — chief among them adult toy retailer Sherri Williams — seeking to enjoin the statute. The recent ruling by the 11th Circuit marks the third trip through the appellate process for the case.
opinion affirming the Alabama District Court's ruling, Judge Charles Wilson concluded that the state has a legitimate rational basis for the challenged legislation despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision — Lawrence vs. Texas which
overruled anti-sodomy laws across the country.
Adult entertainment industry attorney Reed Lee said that the third decision by the 11th Circuit looks to be the last word on the case from that court. But he said the plaintiffs are likely to file an
appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Whether the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear the case is unclear. But Lee said, if the Court does not take the case, it says nothing about the merits of the law in question. In October, the U.S. Supreme Court
declined to hear an appeal in a Texas case banning the distribution of "obscene sex toys."
As new laws to make prostitutes safer are considered in the wake of the
Suffolk murders, some British men are travelling abroad to buy sex.
The Czech capital of Prague is a good example where British men are among the biggest buyers of sex. This beautiful European city is said to be overrun with young British guys on
a mission - to get drunk, have fun, and visit a prostitute. A Sky correspondent reports:
I met up with one stag group who told me they were on their way to a "steak and tarts" night. This evening of entertainment involves eating a steak
dinner while a woman lap dances on top of you - nice.
The guys were friendly enough and happy to talk. That is, until they saw the camera. Then it was a case of - what if my mum/girlfriend/sister sees it? Turns out many of them had been to a
brothel the night before and were feeling rather sheepish.
Then I found Danny. He told me if I bought him a lap dance he'd tell me everything. And he did. He can't remember how many prostitutes he's slept with - he may have lost count - but he
knows that he enjoys it and he doesn't understand why other English guys are so scared to admit it.
More than half of British men who admit paying for sex have done so while abroad. In Prague I can see how easily it can happen. Many of the
lap-dancing clubs are also brothels.
The "no-touching" rule certainly doesn't apply here. And if a man pays for a "private" dance, he can get a lot more for his money. Many of the men I met told me they wouldn't dream of
visiting a brothel in Britain, but somehow doing it abroad seems different.
As one of them put it: In England, it's more frowned upon, but if you go abroad and pay for sex everyone is like, oh that's fine.
Seven men are facing possible charges over the seizure of X-rated material, computers and drugs in concerted raids on sex shops in Sydney's Kings Cross.
60 police raided seven of the eight adult bookshops in the red-light strip. They found up to 60,000 "very explicit, XXX rated" DVDs and videos with a retail value estimated in the millions of dollars, a police spokeswoman said.
raids were carried after investigations allegedly found 90% of the material sold at the stores was illicit.
Apart from the illegal DVDs and videos, police said they had also seized a quantity of the drug amyl nitrate and bongs.
raids were the result of a six-month investigation, named Operation Cheryl, into child sex offences, but apart from 4 computers which will be forensically examined, only adult related material was seized.
Seven people, store owners and staff,
were arrested and taken to Kings Cross police station for questioning. Police said they expected to lay a number of charges this evening, including selling classified or X-rated pornographic material, and charges relating to the sale of water pipes and
X-rated material is illegal in NSW and selling it attracts a $250,000 fine for businesses, a $100,000 fine for individuals and/or a maximum of 12 months' imprisonment.
Supt Hayes said the raid would have put many of the
stores out of businesses, at least temporarily: I think their business has certainly been disrupted today because their material has been confiscated so in terms of them continuing with their business they're going to have to get some new material.
And we'll be back.
Local courts will be given the power to cut off the electricity, gas and water
supplies to illegal brothels, under tough new measures announced by the NSW government.
Premier Morris Iemma saidt hat the measures would be introduced if the government was re-elected in March: Illegal brothels can destroy amenity of a
residential area, intimidate residents and families, put our children at risk, and are a magnet for other types of crime.
That's why we'll increase powers and target illegal brothel operators who attempt to circumvent criminal laws and
planning regulations, and those who show disregard for the community's expectation that illegal brothels be identified, raided and shut down. We will empower Local Courts to issue interim orders, cutting the electricity, gas and water supplies to
suspected illegal brothels.
Also included in the raft of new powers are law changes making direct evidence of prostitution unnecessary in proving premises are operating as an illegal brothel. The move comes after it was revealed last month
that some councils were hiring private investigators to have sex with prostitutes in order to gather evidence against illegal brothels.
Private Media Group is to join the growing number of businesses shunning Wall Street in
favour of London.
The company, one of Europe's biggest pornography providers, is listed on Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange's market for tech companies, with a market value of $188m (£96m). But after several years on Wall Street, it has now
decided to move its listing to the Alternative Investment Market, part of the London Stock Exchange. The bulk of Private Media's investors and businesses are already located in Europe.
The company's president, chairman and chief executive, Berth
Milton Jnr, said it was also switching exchanges because it was extremely unhappy with the treatment small cap companies get from the US market and US regulatory bodies.
Private Media was founded in Sweden in 1965 when Berth Milton Snr,
Milton's father, began publishing Private magazine, widely considered to be the world's first legal hardcore title.
Milton bought out his father in 1991 and began expanding the business into new areas, including videos and then DVDs. He licensed the
company's name for a variety of products, including condoms, and set up websites.
Private Media's London market debut, expected some time this year, is the latest by a string of companies looking to escape Wall Street's harsh regulation. Most of
it, notably the stringent Sarbanes-Oxley Act, was introduced in the wake of corporate scandals such as Enron and WorldCom.
A Nigerian was yesterday
arrested in Makkah, Islam's holiest city for possession and distribution of pornographic materials.
The religious police, (The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention), arrested the Nigerian man who was living in the Saudi Arabia
illegally for using kids to distribute pornographic DVDs to Saudi homes.
The Nigerian whose name has not been disclosed was not a first offender in the crime as he was said to have previously committed the offence and after serving out his prison
terms was deported back to the country. The suspect had then been sentenced to two years in prison and 6,000 lashes on conviction commission of the first offence.
The Nigerian was allegedly passing business cards with his name and number printed,
where prospective customers later reached out to him. The suspect then used children to home-deliver the pornographic material. Many of the man's customers were young Saudis.
Eventually one of these business cards ended up in the hands of
authorities, which then set up an easy sting operation by simply ordering some DVDs. A search conducted on his residence after his arrest, revealed a cache of 800 pornographic DVDs.
Assraelis , a new title from TightFit Productions will be released with a sticker
covering the box cover's kosher symbol, after a rabbi objected to the use of the religious mark. The Hebrew language Assraelis , was shot entirely in Israel with local talent.
TightFit Vice President of sales Joanie Lee told XBIZ that
rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum of KOF-K Kosher Certification, a New Jersey company that stamps its seal of approval on kosher items, called the company to express his concern about the mark: I spoke with the rabbi and he was very pleasant. He said he had sent
us a cease-and-desist letter, asking us to refrain from using the mark. I told him that we planned to put a sticker over the kosher symbol, which pleased him."
The symbol, normally used for rabbi-ordained meats and grains, was added to
certify TightFit's cover claim of full Israeli authenticity. KOF-K claimed that TightFit used the symbol in violation of state and federal law and planned to sue if the situation was not rectified quickly.
According to Lee, the problem, which was
earlier reported as a flap between porn and religion, has been solved amicably and without incident.
Legal confusion has forced some Melbourne councils to hire private investigators to have sex
with prostitutes in illegal brothels to help shut them down, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) says.
At least six Melbourne councils had paid private investigators to receive "sexual services" from prostitutes to provide
evidence against them. In more than a dozen cases, investigators hired by Melbourne and Yarra city councils had sex with the prostitutes.
MAV president Dick Gross said councils had to go to the extreme measures because the current legal
requirements to prove the brothels were illegal were confusing: Local government has to give two days' notice before an authorised officer enters into one of these premises, So we have to use private investigators, and there's legal controversy as to
the current legal requirements (of proof). Some lawyers say sexual services have to be provided. One case in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court failed because the investigator had not had sex. My council (Port Phillip City Council) has been provided
with advice that is different - that they ought not to accept an illegal service because it might contaminate the evidence.
Gross said the other government agencies responsible for policing illegal brothels had abandoned their
responsibilities: Victoria Police is saying that they won't enforce, the (licensing body) Victorian Ministry for Consumer Affairs have done a Houdini and have disappeared.
Gross said the state government must clarify the legal requirements
of the Prostitution Control Act and clarify what evidence was needed to successfully prosecute illegal brothels and close them down.
State Representative Stacey Campfield said he will introduce a bill in the state legislature to impose a tax on
pornography, with the revenue from the measure going toward a reduction in state sales tax for groceries.
Campfield, who said he is in the process of researching and drafting the bill, said the law would likely apply to material that minors were
legally prohibited from purchasing, but it would not include R-rated movies.
Several state officials, including Gov. Phil Bredesen, said they thought the proposal would most likely be unconstitutional.
In addition to adult movies,
Campfield said he was exploring the idea of expanding the proposed bill's taxable territory by including exotic dance clubs as well.
While Campfield has not determined the size of the tax, he said the goal is to raise enough revenue to allow the
repeal of a 6% state sales tax on groceries.
Dr. Stan Chervin, who serves as a senior research associate for the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, said a tax on adult entertainment wouldn't generate enough revenue to
allow lawmakers to repeal the tax on food. What's he going to do? Charge $2 million on a Playboy magazine? asked Chervin.
Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Tennessee, said such a tax would face
legal challenges, pointing out that the proposed law seemed both impermissibly vague and that it would likely have a chilling effect on free speech.
Thirty thousand people gathered in Las Vegas for a major annual convention of the pornography industry.
The scale of the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo reflects the huge growth in a business which is said to be bigger than Hollywood and worth $57bn (£29bn). Estimates of its annual contribution to the US economy range from $12bn-$20bn.
One of the
reasons for its recent success is the pioneering use of new technology - video on the internet and use of moving images on mobile phones. The scale and seriousness of the convention is not that different to a more mainstream gathering because pornography
is big business, a BBC correspondent said.
There are an estimated 200 pornographic films shot in the United States every week. Improving production and distribution methods has helped to cut costs.
The BBC correspondent said that many
people regard pornography with disgust, but mainstream entertainment has and will continue to benefit from the technical innovations of the people who are in Nevada this weekend.
An overwhelming majority of high school girls in Beijing would not refuse a boyfriend's requests for sex, and more than half of students see nothing
wrong with a one-night stand.
These findings in a poll of 2,300 high school students in the Xuanwu district of the capital have stunned teachers and Chinese sex experts.
Chinese society has traditionally venerated virtue, while under
Communist Party rule since 1949 puritan abstinence has long been seen as proper behaviour. However, the survey shows a stunning shift in sexual mores.
6% of students surveyed had already had a sexual experience and the average age for students to
lose their virginity was 15.
About 30% of the respondents said teenage sex was fine, as long as it was consensual, and 55% said it depended on how much the two young people loved each other. There was no mention of moral considerations.
Such liberal attitudes have sparked concerns over safe sex, with more than 40% of respondents who had had sex saying they did not use contraceptives during their first sexual encounter.
Zhang Meimei, a professor at Capital Normal University in Beijing, who was involved in the latest survey, said: The new generation is open-minded about sex. We can only conclude that it is a result of a fast-changing society.
of the most important changes is a result of China's quarter-century-old "one-couple, one-child" family planning policy that has resulted in a generation of young people indulged by their parents and subject to little discipline and few rules at home.
In addition boys were much favoured over girls and so there is now a serious imbalance of the genders.
China is facing what medical researchers describe as a
"hidden epidemic" of sexually-transmitted diseases. Researchers from the United States and China say they have discovered that a significant number of Chinese adults are infected with chlamydia.
This is due to changing sexual practices,
and the researchers warn that the spread of chlamydia, a generally symptomless disease, could also blaze a path for higher HIV and Aids infection rates.
In parts of China, men in particular are swiftly becoming more prosperous, and as they get
richer, they are paying for sex more and more. A lot of businessmen and higher officials use going to sex workers as a part of their doing business, said William Parish from the University of Chicago, also one of the study's authors.
researchers are urging the Chinese authorities to implement safer sex programmes, especially aimed at the sex industry.
The Lancet also reports that China, which virtually eliminated syphilis in the 1960s and 70s, is now seeing the disease return with
alarming intensity. It reveals that reported rates have risen from 0.2 cases per 100,000 in 1993 to 5.7 cases per 100,000 in 2005.
So why is there such dramatic spread? It is being fuelled in part by rapid social change. The large numbers of
migrant workers in China, increasing prostitution and more extramarital sex, along with low condom use, are all key factors.
Chinese society is still deeply conservative with little open discussion about sex at any level. That severely inhibits
the exchange of information at all levels, from within families and sexual relationships to information campaigns in schools, universities and in the media.
There may even be a biological reason too for the rapid rise. Chinese adults, who are
sexually active now, had no exposure to syphilis for decades. Some scientists say that has left today's population with very little immunity to it.
Melissa Harrington has filed a $75,000 claim for restitution against the Lincoln Nebraska and the police department, claiming
officers are intimidating bar owners to keep them from hiring her for promotions.
She was sentenced in August to six months' probation for violating a public decency ordinance. Harrington had hosted a wet T-shirt contest at a Lincoln bar in
March. Officers charged her with being topless. But Harrington claims she wasn't, because her nipples and areolas were covered with pink paint.
Harrington said if she wins her claim, she'll donate the money to charity.
Harrington filed a
claim before the Nebraska State Claims Board Tuesday, seeking damages for what she says are lost business opportunities.
A billionaire Russian businessman was in custody last night following a
police raid on a suspected prostitution operation in one of Europe's most fashionable ski resorts.
Mikhail Prokhorov was arrested with 25 others soon after dawn on Tuesday in his four-star hotel in Courchevel in the French Alps.
Detectives backed by CRS riot police raided a number of hotels and private chalets in the resort, seizing items including cash. The biggest single bundle of money was worth £35,000.
At least 50 armed police were involved in the raid. Those questioned include seven Russia women aged around 20 years.
A spokesman for the prosecutors office in Lyon, where all those arrested were taken, said they would investigate whether
any were under age. Fifteen were later released, while 11, including Prokhorov, were still in custody last night. It was not clear if he will face any charges. Investigators suspect that many of the women may have been paid for sex in the form of
expensive presents from luxury boutiques in the resort.
France's Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DST), the country's equivalent of MI5, has been investigating the resort's alleged links with prostitution for at least a year.
spokesman for the Lyon prosecutor's office said that Prokhorov was expected to appear before a judge today. Prostitution is legal under French law, but profiting from the earnings of prostitutes, and prostitution involving minors, are illegal.
A group of prostitutes marched through the streets of Harare on Tuesday denouncing the incumbent government. The protest,
the first of its kind in the troubled Southern African country, marked a new era for President Mugabe.
The group numbering 50, waved placards calling on the government to recognize them as a legitimate sex industry. The peaceful demonstration
started at noon and shoppers were stunned to see a young girl in school uniform among the demonstrators. Her mother, Rosemary is an unlicensed brothel operator.
The women, clad in skimpy dresses and miniskirts, also denounced the police, who they
accused of abusing and robbing them. Prostitution is illegal in Zimbabwe and prostitutes are regularly rounded up by police officers and arrested. They are then made to pay various amounts in fines for their release. But once released they get back to
Rosemary told OhmyNews that she has worked as a prostitute for eight years and that throughout that time had witnessed some of her colleagues being abused by the police. She alleged that some corrupt officers ask for sexual favors
and cash from prostitutes in order to release them. Among her clients are senior police officers and high profile politicians.
A Florida shop, Your A to X Video Outlet has been put on notice and has 30 days to move or risk being
fined $250 a day.
Dania Beach city officer Mitchell Kraft said that the business is in violation of a 2001 law that zones adult bookstores to the outskirts of the city. Sex shops must be at least 1,000 feet from residential property, houses of
worship, schools, public parks or stores that sell alcohol.
W e're not just going to pack up and go away, Your A to X attorney Jamie Benjamin told the Miami Herald. We believe the city of Dania violated our constitutional rights in
their attempt to run us out of town.
Businesses that devote less than 20% of its floor space are not classified as adult stores, according to Dania Beach city code. The city claims that one third of the store's floor space contains adult
material. Two other adult stores in Dania Beach, Fetish Box and Video Showcase, eliminated certain adult products in order to comply with the law and can stay put.
The once famous dance-bar girls of Bombay are planning to stage a comeback - by standing as
candidates in local elections next month. Their platform is simple: to overturn the citywide ban on their work and reopen the clubs where they used to perform.
The present government of Maharashtra state closed the bars as part of a morality
drive in 2005. It is believed to have put some 75,000 dancers out of work, and now the girls are intent on fighting back. They are to meet tomorrow to decide whether to form their own political party or stand as independent candidates in municipal
There was major controversy when the state government decided to close the bars. It accused them of "corrupting the youth" and being barely disguised brothels, accusations the dancers and bar owners deny. They say they were
performers and there was no sex involved.
The truth lay in between. Certainly to visit the dance bars you would not think they were brothels. The audience may have been made up entirely of men, but the dancers were fully dressed in long
shimmering lengha skirts, and beyond the odd exposed midriff there was no flesh on view.
The dancers were rarely prostitutes. Some were purely dancers, but their dubious reputation came from many who worked as a form of courtesan. They would
encourage relationships with regular visitors and agree to meet them outside. The relationship was financial: they would milk the men for expensive gifts - a mobile telephone, a television, even a better flat. But they would rarely sleep with a man until
they had had a relationship for several months.
Now the dancers plan to stand in at least 50 of the 227 seats in Bombay's municipal election on 1 February.
Chandni Khan, a former dance-bar girl who plans to stand, said: By winning the
election and participating in the administration we want to give a fitting reply to those who banned us. The dancers got the idea to stand after a bar girl won a village council election in rural Maharashtra last year.
The owners of Maryland strip clubs are feuding with the county
council again, claiming Prince George County is treating them unfairly by enforcing tighter regulations.
The Adult Entertainment Clubs Bill bans dancers from performing nude in a public place, or within 6 feet of a patron in a private club. It
also prohibits patrons from touching a nude dancer. Violators of the regulations, including patrons, dancers and owners, can be fined $1,000 or jailed for six months.
Larry Bledsoe, owner of Showcase Theater and two other strip club owners in the
county filed a federal lawsuit last summer against the county, claiming the tight regulations have hurt business.
According to the report, Bledsoe said the regulations have cost his business $80,000: Several customers will not come back until
the lawsuit is settled.
The sex-related entertainment business grew in 2006 by just 2.4%, roughly the rate of
inflation, to just under $13 billion, according to Paul Fishbein, president of the AVN Media Network.
Jerry Ropelato, an opponent of the industry who owns the Web site TopTenReviews.com, gave a slightly smaller estimate of the size of the
business, about $12 billion.
Fishbein's estimates indicate that for every dollar Americans spent buying tickets to Hollywood movies last year, they spent about 90 cents viewing sex movies in various formats.
Because most of the industry
is privately owned, accurate numbers are hard to come by. But in one part of the industry where there is independent reporting of sales — sex movies sold over cable — there are indications of a slowdown.
George Niesen, managing editor
of Kagan Research in Monterey, Calif., said that $1.6 billion was spent on cable pay-per-view, video-on-demand and similar services in 2006, with $515 million, or roughly a third of that, going to sex-related entertainment.
Revenues appear to be
growing in the dance club business. The industry's one publicly traded concern, Rick's Cabaret, which runs dance clubs in seven cities, said same-store sales in its fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 were up 12.5% over the previous year.
and others said "the one area of huge growth" was hard-core movies featuring women in their 30s into their 70s, a trend that has brought new work for some of the industry's stars.
Fishbein and others also said that there was big growth in sales
of sex toys to women.
Outside the United States, the fastest growth is in sex videos and images sent to cellphone viewing screens, Fishbein and others said. None of the American cellphone companies cooperate with the industry, which he said
limited the market because consumers must use complicated technology to work around the cellphone networks. Fishbein estimated domestic revenue from these cellphone sales at just $39 million.
Just weeks after two area strip clubs were shut down
on prostitution charges, local authorities have moved in on another club. According to Eyewitness News Memphis, police arrested five dancers at Ebony and Lace in South Memphis, accusing them of offering sex for money in plain view of the club
Two undercover officers said five girls solicited them near the club's stage. The women have all posted bond and are scheduled to be arraigned January 18.
City and county leaders are working together to draft more
repressive ordinances for area strip clubs, the report said. Those drafts are expected within the next two months.
Fifteen people suspected of participating in supposedly lewd acts
in a Kampala entertainment club, have been arrested. Seven scantily-dressed women and eight men were picked up in Park View Hotel in Kampala on Friday morning.
The raid at the hotel, famous for nude dances commonly known as kimansulo, followed
complaints from the public, Kampala Central Police Station chief Ivan Nkwasibwe said.
Revellers paid sh2,000 to get into the hall and watch the show akin to a pornography movie. The shows usually start with music.
When it kicked off,
the women were completely naked. They neither had knickers nor brassieres, Nkwasibwe said. The eight men started caressing them as they continued dancing seductively.
It was then that Nkwasibwe's team, which was embedded in the
audience, rounded up the group and led it to the city's central Police station
The suspects are to face various charges tomorrow. The charges include being idle and disorderly and corrupting the public's morals.
Nkwasibwe announced that
the operation was the beginning of a series of others meant to rid the city of immorality: The practice had been fought in the past but it is slowly returning. It will not be accepted and the public is warned. Anyone found participating in such shows
will be arrested and charged.
There are more than 800 women currently
offering sex in Ireland for as much as €400 per hour.
Irish law allows the women to use the internet to broadcast scantily clad pictures of themselves, detail the vast range of services which they offer,
their price ranges and most crucially their mobile phone number.
While the women claim the more respectable title of escorts working in escort agencies, the service that many offer would indicate they are prostitutes often working in brothels
with up to 25 women in each.
The industry is thriving because men are prepared to spend the €150 per-half-hour average price the woman, and in a very few cases men, are asking. The more exclusive women charge as much as €500 per hour.
That compares with as little as €25 per session with women working in the legal red light district in Amsterdam.
The escorts are operating out of private apartments and houses, hotels, even commercial premises which describe
themselves as massage parlours. In most cases the premises are close to the city centre or in the nearby suburbs.
One of their busiest times is lunchtime when the middle-class professionals, their typical customers, are able to go for a session
before returning to work.
By only publishing mobile phone numbers they are almost untraceable to the punters. In order to find an agency for the first time, the men are told to stand in a certain place and ring the agency once more so that the
women can see the punter before engaging their services.
Anyone who contacts them must use an unblocked number to avoid “timewasters” who might make a bogus appointment or pose a threat.
One thing that links the apartments,
hotels and houses where they ply their trade is that they are only transient. They do not stay long in one place as the comings and goings attract attention.
The websites on which the women promote themselves are not illegal because the majority
are licensed and the owners addressed outside the State.
That means they can give every detail of what the women will offer, with immunity from prosecution under Irish law.
As the owners of irishindependentescorts.com point out: This
site is not hosted in the Republic of Ireland and both owners live in a country where it is perfectly legal. The escorts listed on this site do not work for us, we just make their information freely available to the public. For that service, the website
owners are paid €100 per month for independent escorts and €300 per month for agencies.
One of the most popular of the sites for both punter and escort is www.escort-ireland.com
It is the creation of former Dublin escort, Patricia Albright and was established in 1998. The website, which describes itself as the product of a
reputable and fully registered UK company, claims to be the biggest in Ireland.
The site boasts: Today we have 381 Irish Female Escorts, nine Irish Male Escorts, one Irish Transsexual Escort, two Irish Transvestite Escorts, six Irish
Escort Duos and two Irish Escort Couples listed here on Escort Ireland.
To bolster what it sees as its own legitimacy the website states: We are a female owned and operated business that cares about the escorts that advertise with us, the
clients that use our website and the overall well-being of our industry. We work very hard to provide a top quality service to our advertising customers and website users. We feel our integrity and dedication to consistently working hard to provide the
very best service we can is the key to our success.
The website is exceptionally professional. After logging on, drop-down menus allow punters to choose the woman or man they want to visit by, among others, nationality, ethnicity,
hair-colour, age, height, bra size, services offered and sexual orientation.
There are reviews of the women from previous “customers” as well as a glossary of terms explaining what terms such as “teabagging”
“Russian” and “rimming” mean.
In such a competitive market the women are willing to offer the most erotic services. No requirement for a condom for oral sex is almost de riguer and anal sex is offered by a large percentage
though the more business minded charge an extra €50 to €80 for such so-called ‘extras’.
All the websites claim that the difference between the women they offer and prostitutes is that while prostitutes charge a fee for a
certain service, the escorts are charging “for their time and companionship only”.
Anything else that may occur is a matter of coincidence and choice between consenting adults so far as Escort Ireland and the escorts listed on
Escort Ireland are concerned. We do not condone prostitution, the Escort Ireland website states on several of its pages, even though on the hundreds of others featuring the women, their services are clearly laid out.
The nationwide escort
sites have links to websites of individual escort agencies and it is here that it becomes apparent that the industry is still growing rapidly.
One thing that is glaringly obvious by its omission from nearly all the sites, is sexual health
screening. While most say they offer a caring environment to their escorts and customers they make no mention of checks for sexually transmitted diseases which could be passed on so widely if the punter is a regular user of prostitution.
Ireland is one of the few that mentions the issue of trafficking. However, while it says it has become “concerned” about the growing problem and says it educates the industry about the issue.
The growth of escort websites has
mushroomed since 1999 when In Dublin Magazine hit the headlines for advertising adult services. It was banned by the Censorship of Publications Board for carrying ads on prostitution. The ban was later lifted but by then many of the agencies and escorts
had seized on the opportunity the internet provided and signed up to websites.