Blogs & Comment

Canada's growing sex industry

Is Canada becoming the new Amsterdam?


(Photo: Rungbachduong/Wikimedia)

With Monday’s Ontario court ruling that legalized prostitution brothels and pimping, it’s hard to come to any conclusion about Canada other than it’s a pretty gosh darn liberal place when it comes to sex. The country is certainly miles ahead of the United States and may in fact be positioning itself to take the crown from that long-time bastion of sexual liberty, Amsterdam.

Canada legalized same-sex marriage back in 2005, becoming just the fourth country in the world to do so—and it did so before the U.S., where it is still prohibited in several states.

Canadians are also prolific creators of porn, as a 2005 NBC special found (and which I discovered while working on Sex, Bombs and Burgers). The network’s Dateline program declared Toronto’s Liberty Village area to be “porn alley.” The United States, of course, creates a large swath of the world’s porn, but this “pandemic” may not last if at least one current presidential candidate has his way. And let’s not even bring up the hysteria caused by Janet Jackson’s boob years back.

Canadians are also making efforts to lead sex into new technological frontiers. Vancouver’s Utherverse last month hosted its first ever Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention, which was basically an adult trade show—but entirely online. Check out the story in the Straight, wherein I was quoted.

Amsterdam, meanwhile, has over the past few years embarked on a remake of its famous Red Light District, first by dramatically cutting the number of prostitution windows in the area, followed by a plan to make it illegal for foreigners to buy drugs in coffee shops (which is now apparently scheduled to take effect in 2013).

With the decision that prostitutes have a right to protect themselves in their profession, the courts have pushed Ontario—and Canada, by extension—further down a sexually progressive path at a time when some other jurisdictions are pulling back. All we need now are some clogs and windmills.