• Sweden's news in English

'Name and shame sex-buyers': Ask

TT/The Local · 19 Mar 2010, 17:27

Published: 19 Mar 2010 17:27 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"It is a little like being shamed on the town square," the government minister said at a seminar on Thursday.

Ask made her controversial statements at a parliament seminar on prostitution on Thursday, saying that a sex-buyer's family and friends should be informed.

"I could imagine having envelopes in a very garish colour and sending them home to people suspected of this offence," she said.

Ask argued that naming and shaming sex-buyers would be an effective deterrent.

"I think that the worst thing which can happen to many of them who are out there buying sex, is that someone in their circles finds out about it," said Ask.

Speaking to the Aftonbladet tabloid Ask conceded that the garish envelope idea was perhaps not the best idea in practice, but defended the idea in principle.

"In practice maybe we can't have coloured envelopes, but we have to show who they are and let those around them know," she said to the newspaper.

Story continues below…

Ask now plans to discuss the idea with her colleagues.

"I have to check with them. They think I am a little wild from time to time," the minister said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:06 March 19, 2010 by dockmandock
Prostitution should be legal.
18:10 March 19, 2010 by Lukestar1991
It is the 'pimps', the people who traffic vulnerable women into these situations and the governments who allow this who should be named and shamed, not neccessarily the customers, that just does nothing to solve the problem of why they are demanding this in the first place and why people actually resort to this to make money.
18:50 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
How will youknow they have bought sex unless they are caught by police. Then the families would know, but but exposing a list of possible customers could be disaterous. Some innocent people could be named.
18:57 March 19, 2010 by Audrian
Who are prostitutes: (1) Women who have faced hardship and find it easier to prostitute and earn a living. This policy can destroy their business without helping them find alternative sources of employment. If such women can not engage in prostitution they might chose to engage illegal activities, e.g., stealing and distribution of drugs. (2) Others might be addicts who are after quick fix. They need quick money everyday. Without treatment or provision of government sponsored supply of drugs for addicts they will definitely engage in serious criminal activities. (3) Still others might be sex addicts. Without treatment they cannot stop.

Who are the people who go to prostitutes? (1) Unmarried men who go to prostitutes for sexual gratification. (2) Sex addicts who seek more sex than their wives could offer. Without government making treatment available such men might resort to rape. (3) There can be men in black suits working outside their home town. After one drink or two in a bar they might pick any woman available.

How does this policy solve social problem? Have the policy makers discussed the questions carefully. I do not know. What I know is that prostitution is the oldest business on earth. The only countries that can stop it are countries which crush civil liberties to preserve dictatorship, which at the same time succeed to prevent prostitution.

I think this policy is waste of tax payers' money. There are many useful socially useful programs those politicians can engage, e.g., giving special attention to children of single parents (particularly those who are born to addicts, alcoholic or even half crazy fathers or mothers) so that their children do not wonder off into criminals activities.
19:04 March 19, 2010 by Soft Boiled
You could argue that it is the customers who are the victims being forced to buy sex but I would rather say the women are the real victims. I doubt many women would go with the punters if they could earn the same amount of cash doing something other than sharing their bodies with complete strangers. So I agree with Beatrice, name and shame, Im sure most people would be titillated to find out who is doing what ? :)
19:08 March 19, 2010 by calebian22
Considering it is legal to SELL sex in Sweden but not BUY sex in Sweden this is ridiculous. Since men are in fact normally the buyers this is just something proposed by a man hating feminist.

Name and shame both.
19:11 March 19, 2010 by livinginsweden
It is a basic human rights for a single man or single woman or handicap person who does not have a steady girlfriend or boyfriend to pay for sex!

What is sex ? a handjob? a blow job? and penis penetration into the vagina? A tongue inside another person's mouth? Licking the pussy?

Get a sex life Beatrice!! and leave us alone!

ha ha .. i am going for a quick one!
19:12 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
Now I know who is in the picture above the article about drug testing kids in school.

Many of these girls are very young. The customers could be considered sex offenders/pedophiles.
19:29 March 19, 2010 by someoneonthenet
It will be an interesting question to ask in a survey

Will you be happier with

1) selling sex and getting a decent pay (~30,000 SEK)

2) work in a job with minimum pay (~15,000 SEK)


If prostitute is under-age then charge the person selling and buying sex, but if both parties are adults then they should be allowed to engage in sex for money. Why do people confuse prostitution with sex slavery and pedophilia ?
19:33 March 19, 2010 by magudbe
sweden looks like a police state... testing kids , banning harmless stimulant Khat, and now this.. this Minister has lots of time on her hands.
19:46 March 19, 2010 by Mib
Make it legal in a safe, healthy environment. Making something illegal that is centries old clearly does not work and endangers the very women they are supposed to protect and contribute money to criminal gangs. These politicians live in a perfect world where such issues should not exist. In fact, I bet a few of them use these type of services.
19:59 March 19, 2010 by MJdS
ok, so "name and shame" also those who practice the most sofisticated and legal kind of prostitution, which is: social climbing by marrying rich people.. even more shameful and unethical behavior, ´cause those people lie, fool, deceive... they also have sex for the money... that said, the real issue behind all this hypocrisy is: punish only those who are having cheap sex in an open/direct way..
20:01 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
someoneonthenet: I do agree there is a difference between prostitution and sex slavery. I don't think johns should be exposed unless they buy from the sex slaves. But how do you do that without hurting someone who might be innocent? Too many people have the same names. I can invision too many mistaken identities.
20:03 March 19, 2010 by Craptastical
"suspected of this offence"... So, what this idiot is proposing is instead of following the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing to just shame them if they're suspected. How incredibly dumb and reckless.

I bet she wouldn't appreciate a garish colored envelope sent to her work colleagues and family alleging that she gives blowjobs for political support, even if she hasn't been sucking the chome off.

I'm all for enforcing the law, but the potential for damaging relationships and the individuals' reputation if they are innocent is a show stopper.
20:04 March 19, 2010 by bezjaj
Sweden becomes more and more like hell on earth..the only thing left is to let them be in charge of the worlds alcoholproduction.
20:17 March 19, 2010 by livinginsweden
That is why swedish men go to thailand, phillipines...... for sex pedophilia and

swedish women go to nigera, and elsewehre in africa for sex..., ..and

come back to sweden to rest and drink.....

ha ha
20:30 March 19, 2010 by someoneonthenet
Make prostitution legal, regulate it properly. have frequent random checks in every brothel. It will definitely increase prostitution but it will reduce problems like sexual slavery, diseases and pedophilia. Treat it like any other profession.

I find it quite interesting that harmless things like this are forbidden in 21st century Europe. Everything should be legal as long as adults are involved and their action is not affecting rest of the society directly. If government thinks their action is extremely harmful to these people, put some extra hurdles for them, warn them, give them sometime to think about consequences of their actions, if they still want to do it, let them do it.
20:41 March 19, 2010 by Frobobbles
Why is Beatrice Ask so heteronormative and male oriented? Why are there no housewifes getting letters about them buying sex, to be opened by their sons? Why are there no male prostitutes in her world?
20:58 March 19, 2010 by Lostaussie
Ask is a moron
21:08 March 19, 2010 by StuartM
The sexköpslagen (sex purchase law) is the only truly progressive approach to prostitution and should be an inspiration to the rest of Europe - it has been already to Norway and Iceland who have also adopted similar laws. Only by criminalising those who create the market in the first place can we hit the pimps, human traffickers and sex abusers who make use of their 'services' while sending out a clear message to wider society that prostitution (ie. the buying and selling of other human beings) is totally unacceptable. Unfortunately the punishments up to now have been far too lax and as far as I'm aware offenders up to now have only received fines. It's positive that Beatrice Ask supports naming and shaming but they need to go to prison too. Raise the maximum punishment from 6 months to a number of years and ensure that the average offender receives more than just a small to moderate fine.
21:10 March 19, 2010 by peropaco
Ask need to get laid. But look at her.. who in their right mind would want to sleep with that chazer? What about proposing a law to name wives that engages in sex with perfect strangers? I mean, buying a drink for a woman in a bar and then bangin her is also paying for sex regardless if this woman is married or not. Swedes have such boring lives that they will come up with the most idiotic things to keep their emptiness afloat.
21:29 March 19, 2010 by Luke R D
Another brilliant Swedish law-perhaps-to-be. Does this country produce no common sense whatsoever? If young people are going to be tested for drugs, I say equal scrutiny be placed on politicians - let's test them to see what corrupt behaviour they've been involved in. See how many shifty deals have been going down - just where is tax payer money really going? Let's see how quickly that law gets passed; but then again, it's not really their own agenda anyway, is it?! NWO.
21:34 March 19, 2010 by hjoian
i cant believe my tax money pays for this woman to come out with so much crap.As if there wasnt more important things to deal with.
22:58 March 19, 2010 by someoneonthenet

Prostitution in not same as sex slavery. If a person wants to sell sex willingly why is it wrong (the person paying money is doing the same thing that millions of married and unmarried couples do everyday) ?

Is prostitution extremely different from acting (where actors/actresses do what script requires for money, this includes simulated sex) or modelling (Women/men are paid money to take off clothes and sell products) and manual labor (people are payed money to sell their body (strength) to do work) ?
23:04 March 19, 2010 by zircon
Why not get an ugly wife and have it for free!
23:32 March 19, 2010 by Tangobit
@DAMNIMMIGRANT reread the coments before my earlier coments and also reread your opinion on my coments...hope you will better understand what i had mentioned there... Enjoy the weekend, have fun and dont waste your energies
23:33 March 19, 2010 by dupa666
could somebody,please, tell that stupid idiot to go fck herself and mind her own business?

or maybe somebody caught her giving some1 a BJ so now she wants more...?even if any1 pays for a sex, IT IS NOT YOUR FUCKIN' BUSINESS, B.Ask, got it?
23:59 March 19, 2010 by zircon
No, better, why not have an ugly wife to pay you millions to have sex with her, stoned to death.
01:08 March 20, 2010 by JoeSwede
This seems like thinking from the 1970s.

Again... push down the Swedish male. It's not like anyone else would be affected by this...
01:39 March 20, 2010 by totyis
Is this an issue about only prostitution? Or is it about more and more about invasion in one's personal life? Why don't just this Ask cucko makes it mandatory to have installed in everybody's bedroom a video camera?
01:41 March 20, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
StuartM is right. Ask is right.

Saw this done in a fun way in a Canadian city. Names of Johns were published in the local paper. Great paper sales for that week! Cleaned up the problem there quickly.

Pimps should be guillotined.
01:54 March 20, 2010 by reader in USA
Dear Ms Ask

If you ever come over to the US I would allow you to have sex with me.

I've never paid before but if you need a few dollars I would try to be helpful. Everyone can use a little extra money, even you.

Also you could post my name, I have no shame.

My name is Ron and I live in Massachusetts. I'll be looking for you.
02:39 March 20, 2010 by xenyasai
I find prostitution a bit funny. Here we have feminists screaming at men to not treat them as sex symbols, but on the other side you have women who happily ge paid to be a se object. Kind of ironic actually.

If feminists want women to not be treated as sex objects they need to address their own, not men.

Of course, if you are that desperate for sex that you actually have to pay for it, maybe a fraction of that money is better spent at a therapist.

Or use it on some nice clothes and such; go out on a weekend and pick up some horny woman.
07:44 March 20, 2010 by bosfun
I have been living in Sweden for about a year now and possibly totally niave but does Sweden/Stockholm actually have a problem with prostitution??? From the number of articles posted by the local on this topic I would think that it was rampant!!!

I have never seen a hooker on the streets of the city or a website for girls selling it (not that im looking...)

It sounds like they are making a big issue of a small problem
08:15 March 20, 2010 by procrustes
The fundamental issue is: who owns your body? You? The state? God? Who? Nathanial Hawthorne wrote a book about this very issue called the Scarlet Letter: a women caught having an affair, and she was sentenced to forever wear a scarlet letter "A" on her breast.

Sweden has moved from an agenda of social justice to a radical feminist agenda. There is a war on men in which both genders lose. People must be free to make their own moral choices within the constraint of consenting adults. Nearly everyone supports equal rights, but feminism has moved from that position into a radical agenda that is about control and dominance, not equality.

Sweden is on the road that destroyed the USA--war, religion and greed. Better throw the Moderates out before it's too late, Sweden.
08:46 March 20, 2010 by StockholmSam

I doubt the pimps that control hookers would be the least bit ashamed at having their families know what they do. I'm guessing that few pimps have extended families in Sweden and are rather connected to some foreign crime organization. Getting a letter to their families would be a fruitless endeavor. No, the real way to nip this in the bud is to empower the women - letting them exchange sex for money if that is what they freely want to do or otherwise providing them the means to get out of that racket - and punishing with no mercy any man or woman who forces a woman into prostitution.

Of course, the drug connection needs to be addressed, too, so this is really a two-headed dragon which requires a lot more than letters to families. Instead of trying to enforce failing policies with ludicrous and worthless schemes, Ask needs to spend her energies changing the politics of the issue.

I checked Eniro and her address was not listed, but if anyone has an address for Ms. Ask, perhaps we could start a campaign of sending letters to her in garish envelopes by the thousands. :-)
09:24 March 20, 2010 by procrustes
StockholmSam--excellent! I'm sure someone out there can find her. We know where she works, that's a start.
10:07 March 20, 2010 by zooeden
Sweden behaves some times like the medieval times god damn it...
11:47 March 20, 2010 by Sjayna
From guardian:

Why men pay for sex : 1)Doesn't know how to meet women. 2) The prostitute do WHATEVER he wants. 3) Sex need to be 'relieved', these guys are probably potential rapists. 4) Choose prostitute instead of raping somebody.

How men feel afterward : Bad/guilty feeling, not satisfied in their mind, 'still lonely', 'empty, terrible.'

'Poor' guys..You, who have to pay for sex, try to find som mental health help! NOW!!!
12:31 March 20, 2010 by procrustes
Sjayna, your thesis surely explains Tiger Woods, a long list of movie stars--all people who don't know how or can't meet women. The correlation of people (women buy lots of sex, too) to rape is silly.

The facts are that adults should be free to do what they want within the constraint of consenting adults--for whatever reason.
15:16 March 20, 2010 by Newyork-Växjö
The Government wiring, taping ,recording our emails, sms, phone calls and now at home they want to spy on us LOL.

Sinner is both who sell and who buy. but seller is more sinner and should be responsible than buyers. It is hard to control your joystick if you see hot blonde is offering you cheap. People die and fight coz thier joystick so put blame on both. then i would be agree on this law. otherwise to blame only a man this sucks.

How about to put camera on the home toilets to check if you are good for global warming or not? LOL
16:25 March 20, 2010 by dobermann
I am against people trafficking, but if a woman wants to work as a prostitute with a free will, then I think It should be legal..
18:23 March 20, 2010 by eZee.se
Beatrice Ask would be th one to shout, after all she is the Music and Movie industries biggest whore.
19:06 March 20, 2010 by izbz
To sell or to buy should be punish---- Why only those that buy. Cases of women offering to sell back out the last minute and make police report. So who to blame- buyer or seller? I really think they should both be illegal.

In many countries it is against the law . Why in Swedan, one can say ' If a woman wants to work as a prositute, it's her own free will?' Women that do that degrade themselves. No sympaty from me if they are treated like sh¤t
19:28 March 20, 2010 by someoneonthenet

Why men marry:

1) It is easier and less time consuming to convince a wife compared to a stranger to have sex

2) It is cheaper, no need to go out and spend cash on dinner, wine or movies etc

3) Some wives are more likely to do a lot more than someone you just met.

4) You get someone who will give birth to your child and help to raise him/her for free

5) Sex need to be 'relieved', these guys are probably potential rapists.

6) Choose a wife instead of raping somebody.

How everyone feel after marriage : Bad/guilty feeling (for cheating or thinking about it), not satisfied in their mind (what if they had married someone else), 'still lonely', 'empty, terrible', still unsatisfied.


It should also be noted that marriage provides cover for female slave trade (people go to under developed countries and select the best slave). Institution of marriage treats women as slaves, so it should be banned as soon as possible.

Recommendations for future:

Childbirth is extremely barbaric, it targets women only. Men just have to do light work for few minutes and then women have to carry a parasite inside their body for 9 months. This parasite leaves their body (you can't even imagine from which part) after a long and painful procedure called childbirth. Once it is outside, women are forced by nature and society to love and care for that parasite. This parasite continues to exploit women by drinking all their milk. Once this parasite become independent, it has 50% chance of betraying them by turning into a man, who will subject another woman to this horrible procedure and so this cycle continues.

22:41 March 20, 2010 by Ugly A
Sex is never free.
23:36 March 20, 2010 by Swedesmith
Someoneonthenet: Oh, you are one dark mofo with a twisted sense of humor...I must be as well, I laughed out loud.
04:13 March 21, 2010 by Morenikeji
The hypocrisy of Swedish politicians could be really sickning. How could you criminalise a part of an issue and not the other part? Why should it be a crime to buy sex and not a crime to sell sex? The truth is that most prostitutes are driven to the trade because of laziness or greed or both! And for those who buy sex? Poor souls who have lost any sense of self-worth. Both the sellers and the buyers certainly need help, but apparently Swedish politicians are too daft to realise it.
08:01 March 21, 2010 by Dinger
She wants to name and shame men 'SUSPECTED' of this - this is the Swedish justice minister talking.

What a moron.

No wonder crime levels are soaring with idiots like this in charge.

Potentially ruin peoples lives who she suspects may have committed an offense whilst treating murderers and rapists with the utmost leniency.
17:44 March 21, 2010 by Catch
We have these same idiotic regulations in most of the US, with one or two states (Nevada, for example) differing. You are never going to get rid of selling and buying sex. You can either ban it and force it underground, where the really nasty people can take over its control, or you can legalize and control it out in the open. As far as I know, Germany remains the only nation with a realistic policy on this issue.
21:47 March 21, 2010 by Rebel
Why not "name and shame" people pulled over for driving intoxicated or would too many important government officials and businesspeople object to that?
00:53 March 22, 2010 by someoneonthenet
I just heard a US senator on C-SPAN say, "abortion is violence against children and exploitation of women". It will be extremely sad and little ironic if some country used second part of this statement to justify abortion ban.
05:12 March 22, 2010 by bosiboots
thank you all for the entertaining read.

what a ridiculous woman this Ask is (and before i get pounced upon by the feminists, i'm female).


love your dark humour...almost busted a lung on your sarcasm post.

this is a ludicrous proposal, farcical law and draconial way of thinking. are there any adults left in sweden? who elected this clown??

just proves again the old adage that common sense, much like common courtesy, is the most misnamed term in the world....unfortunately far too uncommon these days in PC life
14:18 March 22, 2010 by LailaC1
Wow alot of you are really sheltered. Can't believe some of your comments and in fact, by what you have said, amazed that you actually read any newspaper of any kind! Sure there are prostitutes who choose to do the job, but this occupation would exist in far smaller numbers if buyers can't "purchase the product". Secondly, forced prostitution is rife and alot of women who may seem like they are willing to do the job are in fact forced to do so. Ask isn't a man hater - she is simply in principle stating a fact. Most people who use prostitutes would be ashamed if their family knew. Is it so bad that she states this as a fact. Your comments make you women haters if this is how you feel.
14:58 March 22, 2010 by Kevin Harris
"Ask now plans to discuss the idea with her colleagues. "I have to check with them. They think I am a little wild from time to time,"

Is this really the right sort of person to be appointed Sweden's minister of justice?
08:51 March 23, 2010 by izbz
@ Laila C1

For sure you are right about people who use prostitutes should be ashamed. Are prostitutes shameless, too thick skin? Force prostitution that too is wrong, but what are the anti vice squad good for if noone report?
Today's headlines
Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available