A female law professor found her second husband on an online hookup site, and now writes a scholarly essay and Wash Post op-ed arguing that lying on online hookup sites is a form a fraud that ought to be prosecuted under the law.
Anyone who uses an online dating site — Tinder, Bumble and the rest — quickly learns that people don’t always look like their photos, they sometimes add an inch or two to their height and maybe they fudge their weight. One study found that 80 percent of people lie in their profiles. Many falsehoods are mild, easy to see through within seconds of meeting someone in person and do little harm.She has a point, but only if you assume that she was selling her sexual favors online.
But other lies are more dangerous: They become instruments of sexual fraud. A 44-year-old woman in Britain, for example, fell in love with a man who told her he was a single businessman who often traveled for work. A year later, she learned that he was a married London lawyer using a fake name to sleep with several other women whom he had apparently tricked in the same way. ...
Currently, the law only haphazardly penalizes misrepresentations in the context of sex. ... How to handle sexual fraud in the age of Tinder should be a part of those debates.
Fraud means getting cheated out of money somehow. She is not talking about the cost of a dinner. She means getting into a sexual relationship without the expected financial rewards.
Online dating is increasingly popular, and a lot of other women may feel the same way. The only way to resolve these concerns is to have contracts that cover exactly what is given in exchanged for sexual favors. In another era, marriage law and religion filled that role, but now we need short-term contracts that cover just a few romantic hours.
I am not saying that such contracts are desirable, or preferable to marriage or other options, or good for society. I am saying that cultural and legal trends are making them inevitable.
Our society is not coping with #MeToo very well. No one wants to say that the accusers are stupid sluts who got what they deserved. The actresses who seduced Harvey Weinstein were presumably seeking movie roles. Did they get what they expected? Maybe they did, but there were no written contracts so we don't know. Because of prostitution laws, it would have been hard to have written contracts. If prostitution were legal, and Weinstein required his clients to sign the appropriate waivers, then everyone would be happy according to the way our law currently works.