“ARE YOU getting enough satisfaction in your bedroom?” purrs the narrator of a recent advert for IKEA, a Swedish retailer. If not, the “IKEA Kama Sutra” has the solution: loft beds for those who “are not afraid to be on top”; lustrous duvet covers to bring “feelings of ecstasy”. Swedes have a reputation for being pro-sex. Yet Sweden’s prostitution laws are surprisingly illiberal—and increasingly being copied elsewhere. The Netherlands is the latest country to flirt with the Swedish model. In 1999 Sweden banned the purchase—but not the sale—of sex. A curious coalition of feminists and Christians backed the law. They argued that it would wipe out prostitution by eliminating demand, and that this would be a good thing because all sex work is exploitative. Anyone selling sex is a victim, even if she denies it. As for the men who pay for sex, they are predators who should be punished, campaigners believe. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor’s Picks. Over the past two decades the Swedish model has been taken up by nearby Norway and Iceland, and beyond, by Canada, France, Ireland, Israel and Northern Ireland. In 2014 the European Parliament urged… Read full this story
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