Well, here it is August, and summer, which we so fervently anticipated a few months ago, is near its end. But there's still opportunity left in the season and plenty of activities to pursue as folks cram in the fun while the fair weather lasts.
One fair-weather activity that the police will be happy to see depart with the balmy weather is the pursuit of prostitutes by the public at large. Not that prostitution goes away in the winter, but it certainly isn't as visible or as much an irritant in the community.
Our cover story this week, "Sex for Sale," is by staff writer Joe Tarr. Tarr's usual beat is city and county government. Part of this beat involves monitoring the activities of law enforcement, and law enforcement spends much more time than it wants to dealing with the sex trade. Tarr gives us an overview of the trade as it exists in Madison.
That "sex sells" is no revelation. The barter of sexual favors has existed throughout recorded history. Prostitution is sometimes referred to as "the oldest profession." And, of course, it exists here, just like everywhere else.
I knew a young lady years back who was the girlfriend of a musician friend of mine. I used to see her come into the bar I worked at and leave with strange men. I asked her about it, and she admitted matter-of-factly that she was a prostitute. It was how she made money to pay for her education at the UW. Such activity was a revelation to me in my young days, but it shouldn't have been.
Sex or money? I can't figure out which people more avidly pursue. I guess it varies with the individual. Meanwhile, I'll accept the two seemingly contradictory popular maxims: Money can't buy love. And sex sells.