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Paying For It 

By Chester Brown (Drawn and Quarterly)

Although the timing was unintentional, the most recent challenge to the constitutionality of our country’s prostitution laws provides an ideal backdrop to Chester Brown’s superb new offering. A treatise in two distinct sections, Paying for It is first and foremost a touching, honest and humanistic depiction of his experiences with sex trade workers and the debates that ensued with himself, his friends and his last-ever “romantic girlfriend.” The seedy and dangerous aura of the profession is demystified by showing the reader how tender and respectful the interactions really were. While Brown acknowledges that not all prostitute-john deals are respectful and safe, he certainly makes the experience look less menacing than any other date or casual hook-up where no money is officially exchanged. The second section is a thoroughly exhaustive argument for the decriminalization of prostitution in Canada, and might draw greater ire from opponents. But regardless of your stance, Paying for It should be heralded for being so honest in the face of certain pre-conceived adversity.

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