NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Should prostitution be legal? Dennis Hof says it's vital for the industry to be legalized.
Hof, author of The Art of the Pimp and owner of 40% of the legal brothels in North America, compared the prostitution market to the liquor market. Think about the Prohibition era, he said. It wasn't the liquor companies and breweries making the money, it was the gangsters.
Once the ban on alcohol was lifted and industry regulations -- like drinking age, liquor quality and testing -- were put in place, it became a much safer market.
The same phenomenon is happening with the legalization of marijuana, he said. The drug cartels could suffer from an enormous loss of sales if today's consumer could buy their buds from legalized vendors in the states that prohibit marijuana sales.
Sex trafficking in the United States is terrible, he continued. Today's politicians turn the other way while these "terrible, terrible pimps" exploit young women, Hof said. Aside from the tax benefits from legalizing the sex industry, it could put these illegal rings out of business and bring regulation to the market.
As for his brothels, including the Moonlite BunnyRanch in Nevada, where prostitution is legal, the women are able to negotiate their own rates and are told they don't have to do anything or be with anyone they don't like.
It's not necessarily sex driving business either, he claims. The top requested item is the "girlfriend experience," as many of today's customers prefer the interaction and dating aspect over the sex, he said. The important thing is for his workers to have fun and make some money while creating satisfied repeat customers, he concluded.