Legal prostitution and clearance

Just FYSA, take a look at:

But realize that all of these situations are different (of course). Time is usually VERY helpful.


I am not sure if I am in agreement with the idea that having a clearance eligibility preludes someone from legally engaging with a prostitute as a non-military clearance holder.

1 Like

Ed, I think “close and/or continuing” needs to be better defined or a clarification is needed.Regarding to Section 19, I think your assumption rests on the premise that the prostitute is a foreign national hence Section 19 would apply. The question becomes how does the person know that the prostitute is, in fact, a foreign national.

When I went through the process, I was at least twice asked by different background investigators if I had sex with foreign nationals. My reply was something to the effect that I didn’t ask for proof of citizenship prior to and after the fornication.

1 Like

The fact that many questions on the SF86 (and every other security form and every tax form) need to be better defined doesn’t help those who are filling them out today or tomorrow and shouldn’t effect the responses that we give while trying to help.

The linked case shows that legal prostitution even in the U.S. should be disclosed and then mitigated. It’s not much of a stretch to say that the assumption should NOT be that prostitutes, engaged in foreign countries, are U.S. citizens. In fact, even if the prostitute IS a U.S. citizen, the activity should be disclosed.

We have seen many other cases where men and women simply participated in consensual relations while out of the country and the activity presented issues because you really have no idea who the person is or what their background and connections could be.

1 Like

I think there is a difference between should and must. Should it be disclosed? it is up to the applicant or holder. Must it be disclosed? no, because SF-86 does not ask for it.

The case provided as with other related cases, I interpreted that adjudicators/judges were more interested in the potential of the applicant or holder being blackmailed because of the said activity rather than the activity per se.

So, if a background investigator developed a source that said the person frequents at a brothel and the person said something to the effect that this information cannot be used to blackmail me and/or “possibly” produce other sources saying something to the effect that, “yes, I already know this”.

I honestly dont see how you can get in trouble for not disclosing something that wasn’t specifically asked on the form.

1 Like

Despite the fact that it doesn’t specifically ask the question, the issue is what the investigator and adjudicator will interpret the question to mean and their determination as to disclosure.

Remember, in the other case, the issue was raised under “Personal Conduct” and the mitigation provided was, basically, built around the fact that the applicant did not intend to continue the activity. This leads me to believe that the activity was a concern. Why, otherwise, would they be concerned about future occurrences? The applicant didn’t say, “All my friends and my wife all know that I visit prostitutes while I’m in Nevada, so I can’t be blackmailed.” DoDCAF was interested in the activity itself and that was while it took place here in the U.S.

It’s great to argue the “letter of the question” but remember, it is up to the applicant to prove mitigation, not the state to disprove it. If the applicant HAS mitigation on his side (as the poster here seems to have) it is in their interest to present it as early in the process as possible.

1 Like

I completely agree but apparently that’s the DoD CAF’s thinking. Even if it is legal and the clearance holder isn’t married, you can’t do it.

Here’s another one…they were not legal but it was over 5 years since the last “incident”:

He kept his clearance…

1 Like

As an Investigator, I don’t tell people how to fill out their forms. It is up the Subject to define for themselves who to list.

Using your logic, one would have to list everyone they ever slept with because they might be a foreign national. You also better list any law you’ve ever broken even though the SF-86 doesn’t ask for it.

Makes no sense.


Thank you everyone for your responses and sharing the different cases and references.

When/if I disclose this to a background investigator there may be a hangup based on the discussion so far. None of my references know about this. If they did would it change their opinion of me? No. Could it be used to blackmail me? No, it would only be embarrassing in the short term. Still, I’d prefer not to share my slip up with them.

Whether I put it on my SF-86 or not, how important is it that I tell my references about this?

By your logic, reduction ad absurdum doesn’t work here . . . The likelihood of having sex with a foreign national increase greatly when you leave the country. The likely increase again when the partner is a prostitute, even a legal one, since you know that you are not sleeping with another tourist.

My interest in giving advice here is to help people successfully get through this process to a positive adjudication (although there have been some posters who I have openly said don’t deserve it).


If your references don’t know, don’t tell them. They will be more likely to bring it up in their interview and they won’t have any information except what you give them. It could look like you are tampering with them. The issue is that you would be embarrassed but could not be blackmailed because you are WILLING to tell others.

The investigator isn’t going to say, "So . . . Tell me about the foreign prostitutes that Bill slept with . . . " to any of them.

Generally speaking, you have to mitigate sexual behavior and/or personal conduct concerns. All the successful adjudications of sexual activity involving prostitutes I’ve seen include the following: a) saying you won’t do it again b) a decent amount of time since the incident(s)–the more time the better but I think the smallest amount of time I’ve seen is ~3 years c) having ALREADY notified spouse, friends, family, supervisor(s), co-workers, etc, about the behavior.

Read this one CAREFULLY:

So if you are overseas and sleep with anyone, including one night stands, they need to be listed on the SF-86? Even if you don’t even know their name?

That just doesn’t make sense to me. Creating issues where none exist does not seem to be a smart way to go.

Could your character and conduct ever be used against you towards any vulnerabilities, place you under duress, be used to blackmail you, coerce to do things you would not normally do and/or exploit you? Think of obtaining a Security Clearance as if you were running for a seat in the House, the Senate, or in Congress.

Well you MUST tell any future employer or questionnaire for a few reasons:

  1. You did it. Don’t lie on the forms, it’s hard to keep track of lies.
  2. You feel guilty enough about it to ask us, so it is a point that may be used as leverage against you.
  3. You posted it here publicly. Don’t think the background guys can’t use the interwebs.

Now I recall being told to list everyone I slept with regardless if they are the spouse or not. Even if you put down “some crack whore on Nebraska Ave in Tampa, probably used a fake name anyway, so did I.” The point is do you feel guilty about it, or will this become a point of leverage to be used against you by the bad guys. That way if the bad guys say “We have photos of you with a hooker, give is your office phone book or we will post them on the web” you should be able to confidently reply, “Oh cool can IO see them? Post them they look great!” Then they are no longer a tool.

Source: Me. I answered yes to many of the “Have you ever” questions and still got a job with a three letter agency.

The “Honey Pot” is still a thing . . . If you have a propensity to sleep with people indiscriminately while overseas, I think that creates an issue for most agencies.

1 Like

There is no reason to list it. Civilian or military rules are all the same.

Honeypot in regard to a non cleared individual, one night stand encounter where you don’t even know the name of the person vs. honeypot for cleared individual with on-going contact, in an attempt to cultivate a frienship?

Do you not think there is a difference?

I think that the fact that this happened in the past makes it more likely that it could happen in the future.

If you were considering trying to get in with a cleared individual and discovered that they had been to prostitutes while traveling, would you see sex as a way to get in?

Most definitely there is a Counter Intell, potential blackmail concern for consorting with prostitutes. By disclosing it…it can mitigate it. In my client community, ANY sexual liaison with a foreign national is a MUST report. Period. So if anyone plans on a full scope poly clearance…it is reportable.