16 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. I always think utilitarian arguments like this are dangerous. It’s like the old “relax the licensing laws and there’ll be less drunkenness”, then they do, and there isn’t. Plus, you always end up arguing about statistics, like the econometrics of the Phillips Curve kind of thing.

    For an appeal to harm, I think it’s best to stick with the demonstrable and inescapable harm that throwing people in jail who have done no wrong causes.

  2. I thought it pretty much was effectively legal these days, or at least tolerated by Plod. Or am I getting the wrong idea about those “massage parlours” in the EC and EH postcode areas?

  3. Steve-

    It’s legal if it’s not organised properly, that is it is legal to be a prostitute, but not to be employed as one, hire other workers, have a proper business premises etc. Tolerance by Plod seems to largely dependent on how many crusaders are on the force and the savers-of-fallen-women-organisations they “partner” with at any given place and time.

  4. Steve,

    A massage parlour was closed down near me. The police used a 2003 act to shut it down and the police described it in various terms as a “blot on the landscape” and a cause of anti-social behaviour, despite the fact that it was one of the better maintained buildings on its road and there was never any trouble.

  5. They’ll have to be careful with the wording of the ban on paying for sex, otherwise they might find that they have criminalised just about every bloke in the country, and called most women whores, given that the general flow of money during dating, and prior to sex occurring, is from men to women.

    Indeed it would be advisable for any man to refuse to pay for any date any way other than 50/50 under such a law, because there would always be the possibility that a scorned woman would claim that she had been paid for sex via meals/trips away etc.

    It would be amusing if an unforeseen consequence of a change in the law on prostitution was that women would end up having to pay for themselves while dating…………………….

  6. The Stigler: I think you’ll find that “blot on the landscape” in Plodspeak means it wasn’t paying them enough to be allowed to stay open.

  7. It’s legal until Plod, currying favour with the Guardian reading classes, decides it isn’t for a short while, and then it’s legal again.

  8. I’m with Ian B on this. When I see the phrase “Our synthetic control model… ” my automatic pseudoscience detectors flash to max BS level.

    In other news my synthetic control model says paying me a million pounds a week will boost the economy enormously.

  9. I think you’ll find that “blot on the landscape” in Plodspeak means it wasn’t paying them enough to be allowed to stay open.

    hehe.

    Or that they were just taking the piss. I went to what looked like a perfectly respectable massage place once – anatomical charts on the walls, those weird models of spines, therapists in white coats, proper tables and decor and what have you and at the end of a perfectly competent deep tissue massage was offered ‘extras’ that I didn’t want.* That was in a very expensive london postcode area, too.

    So I’m guessing that it happens a lot

    *and frankly, after a deep tissue massage, who does?

  10. Why would anyone go to a massage parlour if they don’t want extras? It’s like going to a pub to drink Barbican.

    /mystified

  11. @Sam
    Thought I was the only person who frequented an… ehem… “sauna & massage” for the sauna.
    There used to be one on the corner of York Way, back of Kings Cross, when lived in Camden Town. It was mid-winter & we were doing a complete refurb of a building. Windows out, roof off, the lot. By knocking off time, couldn’t feel your toes.
    There is actually a genuine sauna club in Kentish Town Road, but, believe me you wouldn’t. Or I wouldn’t anyway. Maybe Mr Galt…
    One evening I’m passing & thought… “You can only ask, can’t you?” So there’s a conversation with a couple of unnecessarily helpful & confused Chinese lassies until the idea “Sauna, no extras” got across.
    They had to clear some coats & other stuff out & work out how to turn it on, but I did indeed get my sauna. Nightly. 6 o’clock. Fiver a session. Heaven knows what the regulars in the pub over the road made of my regular visits. But the bliss! The bliss!

  12. Of course it won’t convince the true believers, but it’s still nice to have a counterargument to the feminists who claim that tolerance of prostitution increases rape.

    That’s something I’ve seen quite a few times recently from feminist academics and campaigners. It’s their way of countering the “my body, my choice” argument that some prostitutes use to defend their sex selling. That choice can be dismissed by claiming that an innocent woman’s right not being raped outweighs the prostitute’s right to “sell her body”.

    It’s something that Mary Honeyball claimed when she was campaigning for the Swedish prostitution model, so I’m not surprised that it’s baseless nonsense.

  13. Ian B,

    “Why would anyone go to a massage parlour if they don’t want extras? It’s like going to a pub to drink Barbican.”

    I once had a shoulder massage at work and wanted a shag afterwards. It’s a sensual thing to do to someone. Hell, I’ve had a raging boner at the hairdresser from some 18 year old massaging my scalp.

    I never understand lap dances. OK, you’ve been down the pub, you’ve not scored, so you’re going to go to a bar and pay a fortune to increase your sexual frustration some more? How does that work?

  14. Stig-

    I’m inclined to agree. I think my favourite desription of going to a lap dancing club is that it’s like paying to stand in a restaurant smelling food you’re not allowed to eat.

  15. @Ian and others

    Firstly, I just like getting a regular massage. I spend all day in front of a computer and teach martial arts in the evenings so I get bloody stiff shoulders. The wife would oblige but at the perfectly fair cost of returning the favour, and frankly I want someone to sort out my shoulders, not the other way round.

    The problem is that a decent massage from a decent therapist a) costs proper money and b) has to be booked significantly in advance. So in between the rub-and-tug shops and an osteo there is a sort of liminal area of places where you can rock up and get a massage. Some of them are Chinese (TCM) places, some (like the one in Neal’s Yard) sell themselves as being a bit fluffy and hippy, and some are Thai (yoga type) massage. They cost a round of drinks rather than a meal in a decent restaurant. But the flipside is that you have to be careful if you don’t want extras.

    @B(n)IS, yeah, they’ve ruined all the decent places. Used to be a good Turkish Baths round Islington way, sauna and steam rooms, bloody brilliant. Then they re-branded it as a spa, piped in some whale song, and hiked the prices about 300%. Haven’t been back.

  16. like paying to stand in a restaurant smelling food you’re not allowed to eat.

    or, to paraphrase Kingsley Amis: “if they make me want to do anything with them, I can’t, and if they don’t then they’re no good at their job.”

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