Criminal and Legal Liability

There are real and serious legal and civil concerns facing sexual healers in many parts of the world where sexual healing is conflated with pandering and prostitution.

Sexual healers face possible arrest on criminal charges (criminal liability) and being the defendant in civil law suits (legal liability).Phoenix Goddess Temple raid

Criminal Liability

Criminal liability is your exposure to be arrested for breaking the law. With sexual healing, most often the laws used to prosecute healers are about “pandering” and “prostitution.”

  • Pandering is defined as the catering to or exploitation of the weaknesses of others, especially to provide gratification for others’ desires. Pandering penalizes various acts by intermediaries who engage in the commercial exploitation of prostitution and are aimed at those who, as agents, promote prostitution rather than against the prostitutes themselves. ( )
  • Prostitution generally means the commission by a person of any natural or unnatural sexual act, deviate sexual intercourse, or sexual contact for monetary consideration or other thing of value. ( )

A recent example of criminal liability was the raid and arrest at the Phoenix Goddess Temple, Phoenix Arizona US, in September 2011. There is controversy about what was actually happening inside the temple with clients and the court case is still pending (to the best of my knowledge). However, what is clear is that law enforcement and a certain faction of the community were not ready for what the Goddess Temple was offering to clients.

Legal Liability

Legal Liability is your exposure to being sued for causing harm to someone.

  • Legal Liability means legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions. Failure of a person or entity to meet that responsibility leaves him/her/it open to a lawsuit for any resulting damages or a court order to perform (as in a breach of contract or violation of statute). ( )

You could think of legal liability as being responsible for someone slipping and falling while on your premises because you failed to clean up a spill on the floor. For sexual healers it may involve “mental/emotional anguish” or claims of physical harm due to procedures used during a session.

Guidance for Sexual Healers

The book “Safe Sexual Healing: a Guidebook for Healers and Clients” discusses these issues and provides suggestions to minimize your exposure to prosecution. However, ultimately there is no protection if law enforcement deems you are acting as a prostitute or “pimping” —pandering. In this case you will be prosecuted and will need legal representation.

There are ways to present yourself and methods of “best business practices” that will reduce your exposure to being arrested or sued which the book discusses. These methods, however are not advice in how to flout the law but how to work within existing laws and regulations to meet, as much as possible, legal and ethical standards which will hopefully prevent undue attention by authorities or cause individuals to want to sue you as a sexual healer. To be clear, until laws change and community standards become more enlightened there are no guarantees—all you can do is try to minimize your exposure.

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Sunyata Satchitananda
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