Prostitution in Sweden is technically illegal, since it is a crime to purchase the service. Sweden considers prostitution a form of violence against women so the crime does not lie in the prostitute selling sexual services, but in the customer’s buying of such services.
Sweden is one of few countries in the world to have criminalized only the buying of sexual acts. The reason is the Swedish government’s adaptation of the theory of gender roles with a male ruling class, with the notion that the clients of prostitutes exploit the prostitutes. The law is gender neutral, however. The gender of the seller and the gender of the buyer is not factor in the law, making it equally forbidden to buy sexual services from male prostitutes as from female prostitutes and regardless of the gender of the buyer.
The law was put in effect on 1 January, 1999 and inserted into the Criminal code on 1 April, 2005. The penalty is fine or prison of maximum of six months. So far, the law has led to few convictions, due to difficulties of proving a person was indeed buying sex, virtually requiring the person to be caught “with his pants down”. The law has however resulted in increased sex tourism to surrounding countries, with Tallinn, Estonia, being one city voicing complaints.
This Swedish model on prostitution has serious implications for the sex industry because there is talk in other Euro countries about copying it.
In April 1, 2005 the legislation prohibiting the purchases of sexual services was extended to include cases were the payment has promised or made by some else. Question to make, how does that affect porn filming in Sweden? See page 3 of the following pdf.
Swedish GOV officials are forbidden to hire prostitutes and on travel abroad to go to brothels, strip clubs, and pornography shops according to page 4 of this PDF.