continuing our conversation on prostitution

A few weeks ago, we had a pretty good discussion here on the site about prostitution in Ypsilanti and what tools we in the community have at our disposal to fight it. Several folks recommended stiffer sentences for johns, and perhaps even adding the element of shame into the mix, by plastering the photos of those found guilty of solicitation and prostitution on billboards. Well, it looks as though the city of Warren might be one step ahead of us. According to the “Detroit News,” their Mayor, James Fotus, after riding along with his police officers, decided to start posting the photos of prostitutes and johns on the City’s website, running them on cable television, etc. [note: The “Detroit News” link isn’t working, so the link above will take you to what seems to be a pro-prostitution website, which is the only other online source I found for the article. It’s work-safe, but I just thought that I should mention it.]

I have a few thoughts on this. First, I’m wondering, if this is successful in Warren, will it push more of the sex trade toward Ypsilanti. And, second, regardless of whether it pushes more prostitution here, if it is successful in Warren, what would it take for us to implement similar practices here in Ypsi? And, third, even if we were to pass new laws, do we have the manpower within our police department to act on them?

And as long as we’re on the subject, did you happen to see this article on the legal forms of prostitution practiced by University of Michigan students? Here’s a clip from CNN:

…A recent study of 475 University of Michigan undergraduates ages 17 to 26 found that 27 percent of the men and 14 percent of the women who weren’t in a committed relationship had offered someone favors or gifts — help prepping for a test, laundry washing, tickets to a college football game — in exchange for sex. On the flip side, 5 percent of the men surveyed and 9 percent of the women said they’d attempted to trade sex for such freebies.

And although they weren’t hard up for resources, the students surveyed “recognized the value of this socioeconomic currency system,” says Daniel Kruger, research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, who published his findings in the April issue of “Evolutionary Psychology.”

“It’s more about getting what you want than getting what you need,” he says. “Unless you think everyone needs a $200 Louis Vuitton bag.”…

I’m thinking that if we publicized the fact that you can have sex with U-M students for money, gifts and help with homework, a lot of our street prostitution here in Ypsi might die down… I figure, it’s worth a shot.

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  1. Kerri
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Where can you get a Louis Vuitton bag for $200?

  2. Louis
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I’m sure we could work something out, Kerri.

  3. Paw
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    How about this for a flier – a photo of a typical Ypsi prostitute on one side – a photo of a young University of Michigan coed on the other – and the text “Ann Arbor is just ten minutes in that direction”?

  4. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Now I wonder how many of the prostitutes in Ypsi live in Ypsi. Maybe the police would have records of that.

  5. Brackache
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I always assumed that you didn’t see Ann Arbor prostitutes as much as Ypsi prostitutes because Ann Arbor prostitutes must be uglier with lower self esteem, you know, being from Ann Arbor and all.

    Our prostitutes, on the other hand, walk around in the open with their heads held high, arms swinging wild and confidently, taking long strides in clothing they’re 20 years too old to wear, and not afraid to look everyone in the eye because they’re damn proud to be from Ypsi.

  6. h'oh no!
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    i never really noticed all this before but recently moved into a new place about a block from mich ave. I haven’t been sure how many I’ve seen but suspect a handful on the east-er end of washtenaw. One girl walks by a lot and has the signature lifeless gaze and lets just say the john smashes all pop culture images of what a pimp should look like.

  7. Robert
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    A UM grad student who was renting a room from me was a few days late on her rent. When I asked her for it, she suggested an exchange of sex. I told her she already owed me enough just for the room. She didn’t get the joke.

  8. Posted August 30, 2008 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    What? No responses? This is a tough room!

    Am I going to fast for you?

  9. Robert
    Posted September 2, 2008 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    A friend of mine said I should have told my renter that she’d be welcome to work off the interest and late fee that way.

  10. ICU
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    From what I can tell the hot areas for prostituiton in Ypsi. are: All along Mich Ave. from the Mobil gas station and car wash on the far east side all the way to Abe’s coney island. Along the way there are several other areas just off of Mich Ave. I’l start from the East going Westward: The car wash behind and to the West of the Mobil gas station, The motel on Mich ave just West of the car wash, the trailer park across the street on the South side of Mich Ave and the cheap apartment complex next to it, the corner on the North side of Mich Ave between the woods and the party store just East of the street that runs by Willow Run High School (for cryin’ out loud!), The little side streets between Krogers & CVS, behind Speedway gas station on Cross St. between the corner & the small street with the little apartment building & Jays(?) coney island, sometimes all down cross street from the corner behind speedway through Depot Town all the way to Hamilton St, in front of the trailer park between A&W party store and the Your Motel, the Your Motel itself, the streets next to it between the motel and Burger King, the street next to that (seems to be the busiest spot nowadays) between Arthurs Bar and Miles, Miles & Mich Ave & the streets behind these that run behind Burger King & connect to Miles, The Harmony House motel, Prospect from Mich Ave to Martin(?) & Martin(?) itself which runs behind the Citgo gas station & the Harmony House motel & connects to Miles (there’s a church on this street! OMG!!), the South side of prospect from Mich Ave to the next light, The street between Clucks drive in restaurant & the business next to it, the next street over which has a grade school on it!!!, Behind the BP gas station & Dairy Queen and “the loop” behind it, River street from Mich Ave to Depot Town on Cross st., The bus stop bench in front of KFC, every side street off of Mich Ave. from Huron to Hamilton, the Bus station downtown, I’ve even seen them hanging out inside Abe’s coney Island. Now there is another area where I have seen them: On Ford Rd from Ecorse to Forest, especially in the neighborhood behind Hungry Howies. I have also seen a few on Ecorse between Ford & Mich Ave. I even saw one on Forest near Ford once (she was picked up by a customer literaly 2 blocks from the Wasthenaw county police station!).
    I’m sure there are other areas but that is where I recall seeing them over the last couple of years. So as you can see it is not just a small problem, it’s widespread. I was at a gas station in town once and a guy asked me for a ride and then asked if I was looking for “some girls”, I told him I wasn’t into picking up hookers, he told me “oh no, my girls are clean cut, good looking college girls just tring to make their way through school”, he then offered me a business card with an internet adress on it! I couldn’t believe it!! So it is even more widespread than many of us thought. And for the curious, yes I gave him a ride to the bus station and no I didn’t take the card. I tried to help someone who seemed in distress and also harmless and he turned out to be an internet pimp! So I pose this question: Do we want to get rod of the prostitution problem or do we just want to get rid of the part of it we can see? Something to think about…
    The police need to get to the root of the probelm. The root being the drugs. Most of these women are drug addicts. Get rid of the drug dealers & you’ll get rid of the hookers. Also I believe there should be more advertisements for programs that can help these women. I have never seen any! I have been wondering about church or community outreach programs, but again have never seen any advertisements for this sort of thing. Perhaps if they don’t want to advertise then they could just inform the police and the police could give the girls an option, go to the revovery/outreach program or go to jail. But then again they don’t always put them in jail for more than a day cuz it costs too much and there is overcrowding, etc…
    they e girls instead; but they cant afford them so they either never get paid or the girls go out and do the only thing they know…prostitution…to pay the fine. They then hide from the pimps/drug dealers so they csan keep the money they make and many then end up geting beaten for holding out on them, it’s a nasty cycle. It is the drug dealers we need to get rid of! They are the root of the prostituton problem and the more serious problem overall. I’m also tired of hearing that we don’t have enough police: we have Ypsi police, Washtenaw County police, Michgan state police, EMU Police…there are enough, they just need to move this problem higher up on their priority lists.

  11. Elf
    Posted September 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s only $15 to have sex with Bristol Palin. You have to go to a North Dakota Holiday Inn though.

  12. Buyers Market
    Posted December 30, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Were your prostitutes our working on Christmas day?

  13. E.F.
    Posted May 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Ypsi has a serial rapist on the loose, taking advantage of prostitutes by posing as a cop.

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