sex worker rights libertarian talking points

Libertarian Sex Worker Rights Talking Points

Sex worker rights matter to everyone, because policing prostitution means policing where people go, who they talk to, and who they associate with.

Here at Old Pros, we believe that the private sexual choices of consenting adults should not be criminalized, whether money is exchanged or not. We fight for a future where everyone, regardless of whether or not they participate in sex work, has unencumbered freedom of association and expression.

Our mission is to create conditions to change the status of sex workers in society, which expands foundational freedoms for everyone.

The Libertarian Party was the first political party in the United States to stand unequivocally for sex workers’ rights. Principled libertarians listen to sex workers.

Understanding Libertarian Sex Worker Rights

The decriminalization of sex work is the only legal model that gets the government out of our bedrooms and out of our business.

Decriminalizing sex work means removing criminal penalties against buying, selling, or facilitating sexual services. When sex work is decriminalized, no one is arrested, evicted, fired, or loses custody of their children just for engaging in adult, consensual, sex work.

Criminalization and regulation create opportunities for law enforcement and government bureaucrats to meddle in the most private choices between consenting adults.

The decriminalization of sex work is the only policy that creates a safe, free environment for everyone.

Sex workers are service providers, not commodities.

Most sex work regulation efforts result in overly broad policies that create more harm than good. We cannot regulate sex work without infringing on fundamental rights for anyone suspected of engaging in erotic or stigmatized services.

Nevada is the only state with legal, regulated, prostitution but has the highest arrest rate per capita for prostitution. Regulation is not liberation.

There are good reasons why some people wouldn’t want to put themselves on a stigmatized list. Regulation, legalization, and licensing schemes create state sanctioned monopolies that limit the freedom of movement, association, and expression of everyone.

We know what prohibition does to markets, and it doesn’t make them safer.

The majority of individuals involved in the sex trade are consenting adults.

Nearly 90% of the federal government’s $24 million “trafficking prevention” budget was used to arrest consensual adult sex workers rather than to detect traffickers or assist victims.*

In 2020, prostitution related offenses outnumbered those related to trafficking in the sex trade 38 to 1.**


* Office on Trafficking in Persons, “Budget,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, last modified February 12, 2020, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/otip/about/budget.
** FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report (UCR).