dydan: (kinky)
Over the years, I've lost track of the number of times I've joked about providing "Temple Services" to my lovers. Late last week, I learned that such things really do happen.

Phoenix Goddess Temple was raided after a 6 month police investigation. Something like 30 people were charged with prostitution. Not surprisingly, the people who run PGT have loudly proclaimed their religious rights are being trampled upon. Also not surprisingly, the Pagan community has been very split in its opinions.

Team #1 says: Prostitution should be legal, man! Sex is sacred, man! If these people are saying they are offering sacred sex, that's good enough for me!

Team #2 says: They are hookers trying to hide behind a religion. And they are about as Pagan as Billy Graham.

I've definitely gone to Team #2.

Their website is predictably vague. But if you see some of their online ads, I don't see how it can be viewed as anything other than a high priced hooker.

Here's the issue I have:

Let's give these people the benefit of the doubt and say they are doing deeply personal, therapeutic work to help people on a psychological and spiritual level. Before their profiles got taken down (due to the legal problems) I can tell you that NOT ONE of their staff had any kind of credentialing or licensing as a therapist, sex therapist or even a sex surrogate. Not one. A few have Reiki credentials, but the last time I checked, Reiki doesn't involve a happy ending. A few have massage therapist licenses, but again...no massage therapist I know would be willing to put their license on the line by performing anything that could be remotely viewed as a sex act. In fact, the LMT's I know have zero tolerance policies and have been known to kick clients out in the middle of sessions when they have gotten too frisky.

And yet here they are, publicly promoting themselves. That's stupid if you ask me. If you are going to put yourself out there in a very public way doing some kind of business that could be easily questioned by the general population (and the law) you better damn well make sure you have some kind of documentation to legitimize yourself and avoid the embarassing perp walk.

I like to think I am a good friend. I'm a good listener. I've been known to give damn good advice to people and have helped people I care about through some really shitty times. Does that make me qualified to open shop and call myself a therapist? HELL NO. I haven't got the degree or the state license to be able to claim that. So if I were stupid enough to advertise myself as a therapist, I'd have no one but myself to blame when the local law comes a'callin' to rein my ass in.

Does owning all the ER episodes ever made make you qualified to be a doctor? No. Watching every Law & Order episode doesn't make you a lawyer. Because again, you don't have the education and licenses required by the law.

This debate should not be about whether prostitution should be legal. I happen to think that it should be made legal, heavily regulated and taxed appropriately. And if people feel that strongly about legalized prostitution, then go on out and lobby to change the laws. But for now, the laws state you can't exchange payment for sex acts, no matter how therapeutic or religious you think that act may be.

Playing the religion card? It just doesn't work. Not here. Yes, yes, there's plenty of Gods and Goddesses out there who are quite sexual. And yes, there's probably plenty of Pagans out there who incorporate sacred sex (and lots of it) in their traditions. There's nothing wrong with that at all and I don't think the law would have an issue with members of a church getting frisky with each other in the privacy of their own spaces. But when you step outside and invite the general population in to partake of your services, request a payment, and you call it some form of therapy, you better damn well cover your ass.

Pun intended.
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dydan

November 2012

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