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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15 Responses

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  1. magus71 said, on September 25, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    In one instance when I was doing plain-clothes special enforcement, we called a suspected prostitution service, which was posing as an escort service. We had a mic hidden in a beeper and sitting on a nightstand in a hotel room. We were set up in a room right next to the place where the mic was and we could hear the whole conversation between the hooker and the cop and we were recording it. This was a great example of how criminals constantly adapt to laws and law enforcement.

    The prostitute asked the cop to take his clothes off first, before any verbal deal was made. Her bosses thinking was that cops wouldn’t do that, so they could avoid arrest–and she was right in this case. The cop was caught off guard, but he didn’t get down to his birthday suit. I remember my captain in the room listening to the conversation with us, shaking his head mumbling, ” Don’t do it, don’t do it….”

    She walked.

    Baltimore PD is a bit more hardcore though. The cops actually will take their clothes off. True story.

    Hey, I’ve got no problem with that; it’s not illegal to be seen naked inside a hotel room.

    • magus71 said, on September 25, 2009 at 10:55 pm

      And if you donn’t think that this is prostitution than perhaps grown men grabbing the breasts and buttocks of little girls for sexual gratification would not be sexual assault…

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 26, 2009 at 11:00 am

        Obviously, intentionally grabbing the breasts or buttocks of a girl without her consent would probably be sexual assault. However, it would not be rape. Likewise, a woman selling butt or breast touches would be prostituting herself, but that would seem to be less “serious” than if she were selling intercourse or oral sex. Unless, of course, you want to classify all sexual activity as equal in severity.

      • kernunos said, on September 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm

        lol Mike!
        Wife: Did you sleep with Suzy!?!?!?!
        Husband: No, I didn’t sleep with her honey, honest.

      • kernunos said, on September 28, 2009 at 11:29 pm

        Ummm, my parenthesis didn’t appear.

        addendum to above post…

        ‘Husband thinks to himself that he wasn’t really lying to his wife. Yeah, the sex was good but he didn’t actually ‘sleep’ with Suzy. He left right after the sex.’

        Not an exact comparison but you are parsing words and definitions Mike. Prostitution does not actually have to have intercourse. A hand job for instance.

    • biomass2 said, on September 26, 2009 at 9:40 am

      “. . .it’s not illegal to be seen naked inside a hotel room.”

      And for once we agree. If a peeping tom were looking in the window, the peeper would be performing an illegal act. The object of his lust would not be, unless, of course she/he? were an adult prostitute engaged in a criminal act.

      Of course, if the prostitute is having recreational sex with an acquaintance, the scenario shifts, and only the peeper is culpable.

      Unless, of course, her ‘acquaintance’ is underage.
      As you point out in your following post, age is a huge factor. Just watch “Taxi Driver”.

      Oh. And there is the possibility that the person in the hotel room is buck naked in front of the window, curtain wide open, shouting “Look at this, will ya” as he exposes himself to passers-by. Then it’s probably illegal to be seen naked in a hotel room.
      I would think it would be quite difficult to prove prostitution (even that involving consenting adults) is in any way a victimless crime, simply because the prostitute’s possible childhood experiences as a victim could weigh so heavily. Is there a persuasive study out there proving that a percentage of prostitutes do what they do not because they were victimized as children by uncles or stepdads or mothers or dads or acquaintances but because they simply like sex? Or because they’d do anything for money? Or both?

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 26, 2009 at 11:07 am

        Prostitutes seem to have various motivations. Some are forced into the trade and are literal slaves. That is obviously always wrong. Some enter into it because they see no alternative or have slid down the slope because of other activities (drug use, for example). Others end up in it partially because of past sexual abuse. A few probably freely elect to do so for the money (I’d say that the high end call girls of the sort visited by Spitzer fall into this category). There are no doubt other reasons and motivations as well.

      • kernunos said, on September 28, 2009 at 11:32 pm

        Is that your fantasy? Finding a prostitute that actually likes it? Maybe they are just saving up for college to to become a doctor and will stop when they have enough cash?

  2. monkeywithpants said, on September 25, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I wonder if a patron of the Grab-n-Go Espresso would get arrested if he asked for half-n-half? 🙂

  3. biomass2 said, on September 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    This is progress. Now inappropriate touching in exchange for money is prostitution. In time, inappropriate touching between the neck and the knees will be inappropriate.

    I predict that nature will adapt. Over thousands of years women will develop highly erogenous zones on their scalps, ears, noses, kneecaps, ankles, and bottoms of their feet, and sweaty men will eventually learn to respond as lustily to a sensuous sole as today they enthusiastically react to the touch of an erect nipple or a pert bottom.

    • biomass2 said, on September 25, 2009 at 10:35 pm

      In the version above I must have been taking a nap when I wrote the first paragraph. I apologize. Please accept the following rewrite of that paragraph.

      “This is progress. Now inappropriate touching of breasts or buttocks in exchange for money is prostitution. In time, inappropriate touching anywhere between the pate and the tips of one’s toes, whether in exchange for money or free of charge, will be considered prostitution.”

  4. T. J. Babson said, on September 26, 2009 at 8:46 am

    This is a perfect example of a victimless crime and the Nanny state run amok. If the cops have 2 months to spend on this then we don’t need so many cops.

  5. kernunos said, on September 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I’ll volunteer to go nekid’ in the hotel room. I see a good comedy skit here.

  6. kernunos said, on September 28, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I’ll volunteer to go nekid’ in the hotel room. I see a good comedy skit here.

    Guido undercover under the covers. A good detective will do anything to grab the perp and get..er make the bust.

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