Ashley DupreNow it’s her turn to tell her side of the story. The escort whose services were the downfall of New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, Ashley Dupre, speaks to ABC’s Diane Sawyer this Friday night in her first TV interview since the scandal.

This story was of particular interest to libertarians like me who don’t support laws banning prostitution and believe it should be a legal right protected by the U.S. Constitution. Eliot Spitzer was a dirtbag, allegedly, and I have little respect for a man who cheats on his wife. But the act of paying for sex or, vice-versa, having sex for money, is not infringing on anybody else’s rights and shouldn’t be against the law. Yet the media reports make it sound like the most villainous activity: a “call girl ring”, an “illicit rendevous”, this heinous thing. The media loves a scandal, of course, which is why it’s an easy target. An ABC News story reads:

Dupre’s situation raised questions about how an upper middle class girl from New Jersey, whose stepfather is a prominent oral surgeon, could become an escort.

How could she become an escort? How does anybody choose any profession? Are they really so naive as to think that there isn’t a high end of the sex market? And prostitution isn’t anything remarkable at all in essence: it’s basically sex without a relationship which happens all day, every day around America, the only difference being that rather than flowers or gifts, money is transferred. Is that really such a jump? As Dupre herself says:

“I really didn’t see the difference between going on a date with someone in New York, taking you to dinner and expecting something in return,” she said. “I really thought it was more of a trade-off. He’s expecting something in return when you date, whereas, you know, being an escort, it was a formal transaction.”

And these transactions have been around as long as humanity. In this post I wrote about how the internet is expanding the freedom the government wants to resrict, by making it easy for people like Spitzer and Dupre to find each other and transact like the free, adult human beings they are. No amount of law will ever stop prostitution, nor should it attempt to. I suspect that the people who tend to moralize about these things simply love to occupy the moral high ground and are doing so in order to distance themselves from their own repressed desires.

As for Dupre, she isn’t an escort any more. But neither the media scandal nor the heavy hand of government will change her in any fundamental way:

“I’m not going to change. I’m not going to let this change who I am. And what I love.”