Assia Angelini, Contributing Writer

The legalization of sex work is one such issue, or, at least, it seems to be among many.

There are some who think that legalizing sex work is the beginning of a very slippery slope that would only lead to further  unnecessary exploitation in the sex industry.

However, keeping these concerns in mind, I believe that here the old adage “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” holds and is very important to remember as well.

Prostitution has been illegal for centuries in an attempt to eradicate what is considered to be an immoral and even abusive system.

But even so, during this time, the underground sex industry has flourished regardless of the consequences that it may have faced and continues to face.

In addition, many people in the country  – and even in the world – from various different backgrounds still do participate in this currently illegal practice on a high variety of levels.

While some are in control of their situation, many aren’t, and keeping prostitution illegal does not help these people in the slightest.

Many of the persons selling themselves to others in this way are at very high risk physically, medically and emotionally, and through no fault of their own.

For some, there is sometimes just no other option to make things work or to even make ends meet.

They are placed in a position by a system that they do not have the power to change and unfortunately, few are willing to assist them in the important changes that would need to be put in place.

It is neglectful and harmful for a system to set them up for this way of life and then turn around and punish them for following one of the few paths they are given as an opportunity.

Furthermore, if anything, if sex work were to be legalized it would be much easier to police and protect those within the system.

No industry operates without guidelines set in place and it would be foolish to think that once legalized the sex industry would be any different.

We already see this happening with what could be considered prostitution’s cousin, the porn industry.

Though it is in dire need of heavy reform, the porn industry often deals with much of the same frustrations as the sex industry.

We just happen to be catching it on tape and selling it for the masses to freely experience vicariously.

That being said, people within and without the sex industry have very different views on how to change the system or even improve it and make it better for everyone involved.  While this discussion takes place we need to focus on looking out for the many people embedded in this system and not on our own personal agendas.