In the Loop

Free sex in Copenhagen: Is it sustainable?

Posted at 12:03 PM on December 11, 2009 by Sanden Totten (2 Comments)

Before the climate conference in Copenhagen got underway, Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent out postcards to the hotels where the delegates were staying. The postcards had a simple message: "Be sustainable - don't buy sex."

This, despite the fact that prostitution is legal in Denmark. So the sex workers turned the message around and offered free sex to anyone who brought in one of these postcard with valid ID from the conference.

But why send the cards in the first place? And how is making love unsustainable? To find out the back story behind this strange incident we called up Susanne Moller of SiO, a Danish sex workers interest group.

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Comments (2)


I'm a Seventies Child so I tend to favor legalizing prostitution, but what impresses me is how much of this discussion is an exercise in cliche. I was trying to think of something new to say about this subject, something I didn't think thirty years ago that I do now, and there is nothing. Anyone who opposes prostitution is not likely to say anything in rebuttal to me that hasn't been said for thirty years either.

The other thing that impresses me is how intractable an issue this is. The Danes apperantly haven't haven't resolved themselves to prostitution anymore than we have resolved ourselves to abortion. The good fight must go on no matter what. The amount of energy expended to fight the good fight is truly staggering -- but the questions are too important to the participants to give up. I'm a history nut, and one of the periods I love to study is the time of the Thirty Years War. The Thirty Years War was also fought over an intractable idea that lead to an intractable situation. The war ended only because both sides exhausted themselves, and simply couldn't go on fighting.

Anyway, in this fight I'm rooting for the prostitutes. I can't think of any good reason why two consenting adults should not be allowed to do as the wish -- and one of them get paid for it. Indeed, in a nation as mercantile as this one is, the fact that prostitution is illegal make no sense whatsoever.

Posted by Khatti | December 13, 2009 2:21 PM


I don't think that thirty years ago, anyone would mention Aids as a reason for keeping prostitution illegal, so I am starting with that to rebut your primary statement, that there is nothing new to say against prostitution in the last thirty years.
The international Aids epidemic will continue to grow as long as "two consenting adults ... do as the(y) wish" without concern for anyone else or the consequences beyond their sexual gratification.
Therefore, I will assert that legalizing prostitution in Denmark has not been a continuation of the "good fight" but rather a means for the Danish government to profit from the illicit behavior of tourists visiting their country. If our government wants to get in on the sex business, I can assure you there is profit to be made, but at what cost.

Posted by Roger Goerke | December 23, 2009 9:30 AM


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