I ran across yet another story of men who were caught in a prostitution sting in Lindale this week. Seven, actually. Their mugshots and names were displayed for all the world to see. Ugh, their poor families.

KLTV reports "the operation was conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety in tandem with Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Lindale Police Department, Homeland Security and others. It was confirmed to have taken place at a hotel in Lindale."

Kudos to all who took part in enforcing the law and for all of your incredibly hard work. We have so much respect for you. I don't know what any of us would do without you all.

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So then why even ask the question this headline poses? So, I overheard a conversation last Friday and someone had asked this very question. Their friends' responses were interesting (some were strange), but in both cases it got me thinking a bit. We've rephrased some of their thoughts here.

Should prostitution be legal in Texas?

For many of us, the answer would likely be a quick, emphatic "NO." 

After all, it goes directly against a moral code upon which many of our lives were built. I was taught that prostitution is wrong. Likely you were, too.

In a perfect world would we even be talking about this? Or any other crime? Of course not. 

But here we are in a beautiful, but QUITE imperfect world.

In THIS world, people are wired to want/need physical interaction with other people--and at times that may include the more, um... intimate variety. Let's be honest--most people are going to engage in that activity at some point, if they can. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that.

Ian Dooley, Unsplash
Ian Dooley, Unsplash

For many of us, these needs are met as part of a relationship with a significant other(s). A spouse, partner, or committed relationship of some kind.

Unfortunately, some people can't find a committed partner and may even struggle to find more casual company. Should they be forced to be lonely their entire life? In some extreme cases, this could cause some to turn to violence.

Others engage in more casual, consensual interactions with people. These more casual physical encounters would likely go against that same aforementioned moral code for some of us. However most of us don't judge those situations nearly as harshly. (And we could all use less unqualified judgements from each other, if we're honest.)

So. What makes the idea of a consenting, autonomous, adult exchanging companionship for money especially disturbing to many? 

Simone Secci, Unsplash
Simone Secci, Unsplash

**Now, to be crystal clear--ANY situation where a person is coerced or forced against their will to take part in this type of thing is WRONG WRONG WRONG and detestable according to almost any commonly accepted moral belief. As well it should be. Period.**

But, in a situation where the parties are adults and willing and fully autonomous, would that make it seem more acceptable? Why or why not?

I'm still thinking about it, too. Would love to hear your insights.

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