Legal prostitution and clearance

I have a job offer where I could potential obtain a security clearance (although not completely required). About 12 months ago, and again 9 months ago visited a prostitute in a country where it was legal. I have a few questions in regards to this:

I plan on disclosing this on my SF-86 (should I?), would this completely disqualify me from getting a clearance, even if it was done in a place where it was legal? I regret my choices and would not do this again.

I could delay on getting my clearance (submit SF-86 in march) so there would be one year between these actions and applying for my clearance, would this make a major difference.

Would appreciate any opinions you can share.

This should have similar treatment to drug use in country’s/states where drug use is legal (amsetdam). Although marijuana use is legal in Amsterdam, the underlying conduct will be considered.

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U.S. citizens can’t go abroad and have contact with underaged prostitutes even when it is legal in the host country while many other things that are illegal in the U.S. can be participated in where they ARE legal.

Assuming that the country you were doesn’t allow underage prostitution, you should actually be OK. Yes, I would disclose this under the foreign travel section of the form. It going to take a little longer to get your clearance because you will have to talk about this. But, it shouldn’t prevent you from completing the process.


Original poster never mentioned age. If underaged then that is clearly conduct that can disqualify.

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My only reason for bring it up is that it is specifically called out in U.S. law making it different from other activities . . . Well . . . That and the fact that I believe that one of my U.S. Senators did exactly that . . .

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Hello all,

Appreciate your replies, makes me feel a bit better.

No they were not close to being underage, and that would be completely illegal in the Western European country I visited. I’ll add I also legally consumed cannabis during this time also (you get the picture…), which I will also list on my clearance.

I illegal consumed cannabis once in the US but that was over 3 years ago in college. I also have a clean record aside from one speeding ticket 3 years ago.

Should I ask my potential employer if I can apply for my clearance in March so that there will be a year between then and my tomfoolery? Would that make a difference

Now you’re adding grass to the issue . . . If it’s been under a year, it will not make any difference if you were out of the country. You’re not likely to clear with drug use that recent. It might make a difference to have a year between your application and the event but it will depend on a number of things include how you present it.

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Disclose all the drug use, explain in the comments.

Not sure where you would disclose the prostitution on the SF-86. You can discuss it in your interview but all things being equal, if it was legal and you’re not trying to hide it, not cheating not into illegal sex acts, etc., I wouldn’t think you would need to disclose it at all. I mean, you could go to Nevada and have legal sex with a prostitute, would you list it then?


See here:

I think you are going to have a hard time. The behavior is too recent. Only thing that will mitigate it is time. MJ use is also going to be concerning.

It’s not as if the government cares. It’s that you could be subject to blackmail or coercion.

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I’m kinda agreeing with fed investigator. There really is nowhere to admit to legal activity in a foreign country that may not be legal in the state/country you live in. The only issue is the adjudicative questions during the subject interview that address that matter specifically.(for TS or Secret) However, if one is open about it and others know, it is not a source for blackmail. The MJ use obviously needs to be listed and discussed, but if the use is not a pattern and in the past, it shouldn’t be an issue. Just to mention again…I am not an adjudicator. Just reflecting on past experience.

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Thank you all for the replies. Sounds like my strategy should be wait until a little over a year since the incidents and then apply for the clearance.

I will tell the employer that after doing research it would be better for me to apply in a few months based of the legal MJ use. As for the legal international MJ use and prostitution I cannot find where to disclose this on the SF-86 other than in the interview. Any guidance?

According to this article on the blog my situation falls under experimental use, which is mitigated by abstinence of 6 months?:

Not trying to be funny but, “foreign contacts” would be the place to list it. While it was legal in the country discussed, it does indicate contact with the “seedier” side of a foreign power. Leaving it off to bring up in the interview would be a BIG mistake in my mind.


To best of my knowledge, there is no federal law on prostitution unless you were with military at the time. The act, itself, will probably not disqualify you. However, it will probably be looked at if disclosed.

Do you have to disclose the prostitution? read the questions and answer accordingly. SF-86 does not ask about that.

Here are some articles

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Question 19 on the SF-86:

Do you have, or have you had, close and/or continuing contact with a foreign national within the last seven (7) years with whom you, or your spouse, or cohabitant are bound by affection, influence, common interests, and/or obligation? Include associates as well as relatives, not previously listed in Section 18.

Unless I felt ‘bound’ to the prostitute by affection, etc., I don’t see this contact as something that would be listed.

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“close AND/OR continuing contact”

I would tend to think that contact with a prostitute would be considered “close” even if not continuous.

Are you, as an investigator, saying that this doesn’t need to be reported? Would you recommend to an applicant that they leave it off of their SF86 and only discuss it with their investigator? If it should be discussed with the investigator then it should be reported on the SF86.

If it were not disclosed and developed through, for example, a personal or business reference, would you feel the need to investigate further? If so, it should be reported on the SF86.


Guys, just list it. You don’t want to be found out

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I have never been in the military and was unemployed at the time. I do not have the information to answer question 19 because of the discrete nature of the interaction. In this section I need to use the space to list my colleagues that I do have meaningful interactions with.

I actually don’t think that’s ok…IF YOU HAVE A CLEARANCE. Legal? Yes. With a clearance? I don’t think it is…? Or maybe that was just my investigator asking questions about things from 8 years ago and that haven’t been repeated…

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There is no specific question that addresses this issue. I guess I don’t share your outrage because there are many descriptions/stories of “unusual/alternative” but legal sexual behavior that come up in interviews. It usually is presented when asked about anything that could be cause for blackmail. It is usually mitigated when the subject begins naming people who are aware of the behavior. Again, there is an adjudicative question that directly addresses this situation, but it is not on the SF86. It is asked by the investigator. There is no where to answer this when filling out the equip.


Is there a “magic line” where time since last behavior plays a factor? Two years? Four years?

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