A Good Cause 4.7/5 (28)

It all started with a political discussion my wife, Kim, and I were having. There had been some article in the paper about a prostitute being arrested by an undercover policeman, and I had made some comment to the effect that I really didn’t understand why people made such a big deal out of prostitution. I thought it should simply be legalized and left it at that.

Now my wife was raised in the extremely liberal atmosphere of Berkeley, California, and was captain of her debating team at the University of California, Berkeley, so it should have been no surprise to me when she jumped in with wanting me to define just what I meant by legal prostitution.

After I fumbled around a bit with defining exactly what should be legalized, the conversation turned more toward defining what a woman’s rights should be regarding her body.

Ultimately the discussion evolved into whether a woman should have the right to do what she wanted to with her body – not just from the standpoint of abortion, but also from a sexual aspect. As Kim pointed out, it was perfectly legal for a woman to have sex with a man, or woman, assuming that some other rules were followed,

such as not having sex with minors and with family members; although she also argued that in this day and age, with all the birth control devices available, the family member restriction was somewhat outmoded. After all, the real reason behind much of the incest taboos was simply to prevent inbreeding.

Then Kim returned to the original point of why was it illegal for a woman to have sex with someone, and receive money for it; and not illegal for a woman to simply have sex with whomever she wanted to. She also pointed out that marriage, in some respects, could be considered a form of prostitution – sex and children in return for goods and services.

We discussed the fact that a lot of the prostitution laws were a result of the religious beliefs held by many, but other than that, neither of us could come up with a reason for not legalizing prostitution.

Kim then curved off in a different direction, arguing that a woman (or man for that matter) should be free to have sex with whomever they want, even if they are married. I was quite taken aback with this twist,

and pointed out that it was because of the marriage vows that it was frowned upon by many people. Completely aside from the religious aspect, there had been a promise between two people to remain faithful to each other.

Kim responded with, “Suppose you were ill, and the only way I could get money was to prostitute myself. Didn’t I promise to support you? Which takes precedence? If I don’t get money for your medical care you will die, and then I haven’t supported you.”

I didn’t really have a good answer for this one, and more or less let Kim win this point by default.

“Do you truly think that I would love you any less simply because I had sex with another person.”

Kim was getting quite passionate about this, and I could tell I was starting to tread on rather dangerous ground. I wasn’t quite sure why, but I plowed ahead anyway.

“No, I don’t think that just because you had sex with another person, that you would love me any less. However, if you did, I think it might be symptomatic of major problems in our marriage.”

Kim’s response was a bit surprising – “I don’t mean behind your back, I mean with your knowledge. What if the whole reason behind the extra-marital sex was for a good cause, and I told you about it ahead of time.

Would that make a difference? You have already agreed that sex alone wouldn’t mean I didn’t love you; and you have essentially agreed that if you were ill, and the only way to support you was by prostituting myself, then that would probably be okay. So now we are trying to define what a good cause is.”

The discussion went on for quite awhile, but the upshot of the whole thing was, at least from an intellectual standpoint, that extra-marital sex was okay as long as it was for a good cause, without clearly defining a good cause.

Several weeks later, I had completely forgotten about the whole discussion. I arrived home to find that Kim had beaten me home, apparently by quite a bit, as she and a free-spirited friend, Denise, were sitting at the kitchen table, drinking wine, with all kinds of paperwork spread out on the table.

Kim gave me a kiss, and told me that they were working on the plans for a fund-raiser for building a new library in town.

I fixed myself a drink, and sat down at the table to listen a bit while Kim and Denise talked. Suddenly Kim turned to me, and asked: “Don’t you think this is a good cause?”

Of course, I responded with, “Yes, and I would be happy to help out however I can.”

Kim and Denise both got big grins, and told me that I was definitely in their plans for helping, and went on with their discussion.

As I listened, I found that this fund-raiser apparently consisted of some sort of long weekend at a hotel Kim and I had been to way up in the backcountry of the Sierra’s. It wasn’t particularly fancy, but rather was quite rustic, with huge big-beamed ceilings, fireplaces in each room, and a sauna and a spa with several hot tubs.

During the ski season it was always filled to the brim, but between late spring and late fall until the snow had built up for skiing, it was often pretty empty, with only the occasional tourist dropping in. It had probably 50 or more rooms on two different floors, a huge dining room,

with a wonderful kitchen, and a separate bar that was nearly as big as the dining room, with a small stage for the performers that often worked there in the winter.

Kim and Denise continued talking about the fund-raiser, trying to decide who to invite to the fund-raiser, and how much to charge them. When they got to the point of trying to decide whether to charge $1,000 per couple, or whether they thought that they could get more, I got more than a little interested, as I was sure that we would be on the hook for whatever it was.

I told them that seemed like an awfully high price for a rustic weekend where there really wasn’t much to do except for the occasional hike, and the altitude precluded a lot of us “flatlanders” from doing much


Kim and Denise both got a great laugh out of that, and Denise stood up, saying she had to get home, telling me that Kim would explain everything to me. Kim gave her a mock scowl, then called her a chicken as she escorted her to the door.

Kim came back, and without asking, picked up my glass and made me another drink, fixing herself one at the same time. I begin to get a bit of a sinking feeling, as it was becoming clear to me that I had missed something important.

Kim sat down, and told me; “It actually is quite simple; it’s kind of like a continuous auction. Each couple pays the fee, which hasn’t been quite decided yet, and this entitles them to spend the weekend at the hotel. When you arrive, you are given script equivalent to what you spent for the weekend, less what the hotel is actually going to charge us for the rooms.

As it will be the off-season, we have been told that we are getting the rooms for a substantial discount. Then once everyone is settled in, you use your script to purchase whatever services you would like. At the end of the weekend, you can turn in any script you still have for the equivalent in cash.”

“What services? There is not a damn thing up there except the spa and sauna, and that is not worth much at all.” I could tell that Kim had been a bit evasive, and she was kind of squirming a bit now.

“Well, you purchase the services from the women.”

“What do you mean – purchase the services from the women? What services?” Then everything connected for me all at once. “You mean sexual services!” “Well, yes.” Kim held up her hand for me to let her finish.

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