A Philosopher's Blog

Baristas Bare Breasts for Bucks

Posted in Law by Michael LaBossiere on September 25, 2009
A cup of Espresso and coffee beans.

Image via Wikipedia

Sorry, couldn’t resist using that post title. I ran across a rather odd article that related how five “bikini baristas” were charged with prostitution.

While the ladies did not have sex in their espresso stand, they would allow customers to touch their butts and breasts for money. Under the local law, this counts as prostitution. While such behavior can be seen as clearly sexual, I’m not sure if I would consider it to be prostitution. Perhaps it would be useful to have some sort of spectrum of prostitution so as to classify actions based on the degree of activity involved. After all, it seems a bit unreasonable to consider what the ladies did to fall into the same category as actually having sex. Perhaps Bill Clinton could be brought in as an expert on what counts as sex and what does not and various degrees of prostitution could be properly defined. Naturally, Elliot Spitzer should be brought in as an expert on prostitution.

The ladies also ran something of an impromptu strip club and would charge customers extra to prepare their drinks in the nude. This apparently does not count as prostitution, but as lewd behavior.

What I find most interesting about this case is the following: “During a two-month investigation, detectives said they saw the women lick whipped cream off each other and pose naked for pictures at the Grab-n-Go Espresso stand on Broadway.” I’m willing to bet that the detectives competed with each other to get that particular stakeout assignment. One can only imagine why it took two months to investigate the case…

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