Jane's Regional Guide » Arkansas


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Sex Laws

This section on the laws of Arkansas is provided with this caveat. There is no warranty that it is complete. It is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer. I am only trying to help people find resources that might help them. If you think you need legal advice consult an attorney in this juridiction. This section is a work in progress and laws do change. Web version of legal codes are not always updated as regularly as they should be. Be sure to check these laws at their original source before relying upon any information. If you have any information to add please write to Jim.

This is some background information on Arkansas Laws. Basically the definition of sex (5-14-101) in the statutes of Arkansas defines 3 acts. The age of consent is 16 with penalties varying depending upon your relative ages as outlined in Sec. 5 chapter 14.

Deviate Sexual Activity
"... penetration, however slight, of the anus or mouth of one person by the penis of another person; or penetration, however slight, of the labia majora or anus of one person by any body member or foreign instrument manipulated by another person."

Sexual Contact
"... any act of sexual gratification involving the touching, directly or through clothing, of the sex organs, or buttocks, or anus of a person or the breast of a female."

Sexual Intercourse
penetration "... of the labia majora by a penis."

The following are laws in the state of Arkansas that we feel restrict the consensual act of sex. These are victimless acts that are criminalized by someone trying to legislate their own morality. Some of these laws are rarely and unevenly applied, but as long as they are on the books they can be used to persecute people. If you live in Arkansas ask your Legislator to change these laws.

5-14-122 Sodomy
Penetration "...of the anus or mouth of an animal or a person by the penis of a person of the same sex or an animal; or the penetration, however slight, of the vagina or anus of an animal or a person by any body member of a person of the same sex or an animal" is a class A misdemeanor.

5-68-401 Arkansas Law on Obscenity
This law is huge and anyone who has taken a picture, video or drawn a picture or even walked around naked is covered by it. Even if you are not in Arkansas. Read the whole thing.

5-68-203 Obscene Films
"...Any person who knowingly exhibits, sells, offers to sell, gives away, circulates, produces, distributes, or attempts to distribute any obscene film shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or be imprisoned for a period not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, or be both so fined and imprisoned. Any person who shall have in his possession obscene film shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period not to exceed one (1) year, or both."

5-68-302 Definitions of Obscenity
Basically we can paraphrase this to be "all the good stuff".

5-68-204 Nudism
"It shall be unlawful for any person, club, camp, corporation, partnership, association, or organization to advocate, demonstrate, or promote nudism, or for any person to rent, lease, or otherwise permit his land, premises, or buildings to be used for the purpose of advocating, demonstrating, or promoting nudism." This is a misdemeanor with a penalty of "...not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisoned for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment for each offense."

5-70-102 Prostitution
"Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for second and subsequent offenses."

5-70-103 Patronizing a Prostitute
Paying, agreeing or soliciting "...to pay a fee to another person on an understanding that in return that person or a third person will engage in sexual activity with him" is a "...class B misdemeanor for the first offense; and class A misdemeanor for second and subsequent offenses."

5-70-105 Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree
knowingly advancing prostitution or profiting from prostitution in "a house of prostitution or a prostitution enterprise involving two (2) or more prostitutes" is a class A misdemeanor.

5-70-106 Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree
owning a "...premises that he knows are being used for prostitution," and failing "... to make reasonable effort to halt or abate such use; or" advancing "...prostitution or profits from prostitution." is a class B misdemeanor.

5-71-213 Loitering
Existing "...in a public place for the purpose of engaging or soliciting another person to engage in prostitution or deviate sexual activity." is a class C misdemeanor.

9-11-109 Validity of Same Sex Marriages
"A marriage between persons of the same sex is void" but just to make sure no one pulls a fast one they have a redundant law against same-sex marriage.

17-86-303 Massage Therapists
To get a license as a massage therapist you must promise that you have never been convicted of "...the offense of prostitution, either in this state or the United States, and submit a signed authorization to investigate and have information released to the board".

20-27-401 Public Nuisance
"The operation of a house of ill fame, a bawdy house, a disorderly house, or any house for the purpose of assignation or prostitution in this state to which men and women resort for the purpose of prostitution or lewdness is declared to be a public nuisance, detrimental to public morals, and may be abated under the present provisions of law for the suppression of public nuisances."

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