Ken Leighton 5 p.m., Jan. 24
Veteran San Diego Pimp Unite to Decries Proposition 35, But Also Decries Child Sex Trafficking
"If you outlaw pimping, then only outlaws will be pimps."
DOWNTOWN, A LITTLE AFTER 2 A.M., JUST LOOKING FOR SOME COMPANY - "Like the man said, 'Pimpin' ain't easy,'" says the Reverend Doctor Silk Sugar, a San Diego pimp with over 20 years of experience and 35 hos in his stable at any given time. "But if Prop 35 passes, it's going to get a whole lot harder than it ever was before."
California's Proposition 35, while will go before voters in the fall, seeks to retard the rapidly growing "child sex trafficking" end of the pimping business by greatly increasing the legal and financial penalties for those convicted of exploiting children for fun and profit. But, says Sugar, the proposition's sweeping language means that many "innocent pimps" will be placed at risk if the measure passes.
"Nine years ago," explains Sugar, "the FBI identified San Diego as a 'High Intensity Child Prostitution Area,' and that's a damn shame, no doubt. Nobody wants to see a 13-year-old working National City's other 'Mile of Cars.' Well, some people do, but that doesn't mean it's right. But 'high-intensity' is a relative term, you know? Even if only 90 percent of local pimps are not selling underripe fruit - well, you know what they say about one bad apple."
Mixed metaphors aside, Sugar has serious concerns about what Prop 35 could mean, not just for honest, hardworking citizen pimps, but for the entertainment industry as a whole. "Suddenly," he muses, "it's like it's a crime to profit from someone else's labor. That's just ridiculous. A pimp is like an agent, or a manager. Justin Bieber was just some kid with a YouTube account before Scooter Braun found him and made him into a sensation. That kind of focus and direction is exactly what a good pimp can provide, freeing up the ho to work on the things that make her attractive to the consumer. We take care of business so she can take care of your business, you know? You take your average 17-year old hottie who's decided to work the street. What does she really know about the ins and outs of her chosen profession? How is she going to protect herself - from financial shenanigans, from legal entanglements, even from actual violence at the hands of some wackadoodle client? Pimps are a vital part of of the sex-worker ecosystem, and Prop 35 places them in harm's way."
Finally, says Sugar, "California is facing a serious economic crisis. The old economic model isn't working. But the oldest economic model is working - like gangbusters. What is needed now is not some goodhearted but misguided attempt by a busybody government to regulate human desire, but a commonsense approach that will see pimping turned into a legitimate, taxable, regulatable business."
"Pimps for Romney, 2012!" Sugar concluded.
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- Vargas gathering support for "Hazel's Law" — July 15, 2013
- Letters — Sept. 26, 2012
- U.S. Secretary of the Interior Visits San Diego Brothel in Push to Promote American Sex Tourism — April 5, 2012
- Judges Say Gay Stay Still in Play in CA for Today — Feb. 7, 2012
- Reina's Story — Aug. 7, 2003