Don't flash those things in Utah or you could get arrested. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Emilian Robert Vicol/Flickr)

Laws aimed at governing human sexual behavior have never failed to produce controversy. Utah anti-prostitution laws are no exception. According to the Associated Press, two Utah escort services have filed a federal lawsuit against the state because the broadly worded solicitation ordinances not only ban prostitution, they make acting sexy illegal.

Implied offerings of sex are now illegal in Utah

According to Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank, Utah adopted its currently worded anti-prostitution laws in order to assist undercover agents working stings within the sex trade. It is intended to protect officers who are asked by prostitutes to “expose or touch themselves” to prove they aren’t police, as such acts violate Utah law. While direct verbal solicitation of sex for money is outlawed, recent amendments to Utah’s sex laws also include “lewd” or “suggestive” nonverbal acts.

Burbank told the media that officers will not target non-prostitutes but will weed out illegal behavior within the sex trade, particularly when it involves the under-aged.

“Officers were being put in a position that we’re not going to allow, so we took a different direction,” Burbank told the AP.

When acting sexy is a crime

Attorney Andrew McCullough, who represents the escort services in the lawsuit, believes that Utah’s anti-prostitution law is so broad that all workers in sexually oriented businesses are in legal danger. Escort services and strip club dancers who traditionally express their sexuality or “act sexy” as part of the job aren’t necessarily soliciting sexual contact, argues McCullough.

“Most girls who touch their breasts are not telling you they’re open for sex,” the attorney said.

Acting sexy isn’t good at home, either

In other strange sex news, a Massachusetts bill would make it a crime for parents to have intercourse at home if they are in the process of a divorce. According to Wrentham, Mass., Selectman (legislator) Robert Leclair, the intent of the proposed legislation is to curb domestic violence and protect children. Critics claim the law would not only rob parents of their rights, but also ban any sexual relationship within the home until the divorce is final, yet another example of broad wording.

On the bright side, supporters of the bill point out that it would also end the practice of lifetime alimony payments and cap how much one spouse can be ordered to pay the other.

Rounding out the docket with bestiality

Not to be forgotten, proposed Florida Senate Bill 344 would ban bestiality. Sen. Nan Rich of Sunrise, Fla., who first introduced the bill in 2009, believes that such legislation is long overdue in the Sunshine State. However, some critics maintain that SB 344 is another bill that suffers from overly broad verbiage. The word “animals” in the phrase “sex with animals” could also include human beings, argues Escapist Magazine – so SB 344 would arguably ban human sexual intercourse, diminishing the state’s tax base significantly.


Associated Press:

Escapist Magazine:

Mother Jones:

My Fox Boston:

David Archuleta’s dad Jeff could not resist the sexy (allegedly)

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