You probably have no idea how funny "the law" is

Saturday, 30 November, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Let's take into consideration the Sexual Offences Act 1956, which is a piece of British legislation that has meanwhile been repealed, with the exception that it still stands for acts that were commited prior to its repeal. O, this seems to contradict your naive notions that repealing the statute also repeals the crime ? Well tough for your naive notions, British law has no use for them and no interest therein.

Section 33 reads :

It is an offence for a person to keep a brothel, or to manage, or act or assist in the management of, a brothel.

whereas section 33 A reads :

(1) It is an offence for a person to keep, or to manage, or act or assist in the management of, a brothel to which people resort for practices involving prostitution (whether or not also for other practices).

(2) In this section “prostitution” has the meaning given by section 51(2) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Seems a little redundant, doesn't it ? Well... you see... it isn't. To the British legal system, a brothel is any place where more than one person offers sex. So in this sense if you and a friend get your and his girlfriends naked in your or his livingroom, you are in fact both operating a brothel. If you take your girlfriend and her best friend out camping and then pull over the car midway and proceed to fuck them... well... guess what ? Yup, that's right, car's a brothel now. Except in the case where you don't do them in the car, but instead in a nearby meadow. In this case the meadow is a brothel, except if you set down a blanket, which may change the situation so the blanket, rather than the meadow, is the brothel. British legal scholars have yet to definitively weigh on this point.

All the foregoing excepted, of course, should you fuck one girl in the car and another in the meadow. Since no two persons offered their sexual performances in the same place, there is no brothel. But mind that it may not necessarily take fucking : if you pleasurably insert a finger into their anal cavity this may (or may not) count. Ostensibly as much as rubbing a gloved finger inside the girls' mouths may count, and perhaps using a condom as the glove may constitute an aggravating factor. Or you could use a cigar to slowly go in and out of willing and eager adolescent lips, which is yet another situation that the law purports to discuss without having actually considered.

You think I'm done ? I'm not nearly done. Lo :

In those sections “prostitute” means a person (A) who, on at least one occasion and whether or not compelled to do so, offers or provides sexual services to another person in return for payment or a promise of payment to A or a third person; and “prostitution” is to be interpreted accordingly.

In subsection (2), “payment” means any financial advantage, including the discharge of an obligation to pay or the provision of goods or services (including sexual services) gratuitously or at a discount.

So then, any person, whether female or not, that trades sex anything for anything else, including sex, is a prostitute. You know that girl you thought you were fuck buddies with ? Well, the British legal establishment has a different word for it. She's a prostitute. And, amusingly enough... so are you.

It gets better : even if you think you were not in fact providing payment, the "law" is quite unambiguous on the point : you were. If she's fucking you in exchange for you fucking her then there you have it, it's payment, as the statute quite clearly and specifically includes sexual services. Does this include every single married couple in the history of the British ex-empire, currently experimentali 51st US state ? Perhaps it does, and if it did so what of it ? Dura lex, sed lex!

Furthermore, if you abduct a twelve year old, put her in a pillory and charge the general public ten quid to fuck her in front of the Old Bailey, she is now a prostitute. Irrespective of whether anyone even takes you up on the offer ("offers or provides") and irrespective of her crying, screaming, desperate self ("whether or not compelled").

So there you have it : it's not the case that the law has "recently" become so confounded and poorly written to be more an exercise in humour than anything to be taken even the slightest bit seriously. It was the case the law was so confounded and poorly written as to be a little less than stand-up comedy back in 1956. Perhaps it was the case even before that, and the only reason that year stands is strictly that nobody could so far be bothered to examine earlier.

Now tell me again about the "rule of law", as if this excretory product could possibly rule anything, and tell me again how and why society "would descend into anarchy" if anyone were to do away with the ever so precious scripts wherein it is explained that the publicly raped teenager is a prostitute, just like any married gentleman and anyone else. You have the floor.

For the less quaint side of things, you can always check out the real stories of real people being harassed by imaginary authority.

  1. In the sense that they use them to just dump all the toxic waste and see how badly it affects human life if at all. []
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