Jane's Regional Guide » Delaware


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Sex Laws

This section on the laws of Delaware 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 jurisdiction. 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 Delaware Laws. Basically the definition of sex (Title 11 Sec 761) in the statutes of Delaware defines these sex acts.

"means any oral contact with the female genitalia."

"means any oral contact with the male genitalia."

Sexual intercourse
"Any act of physical union of the genitalia or anus of 1 person with the mouth, anus or genitalia of another person. It occurs upon any penetration, however slight. Ejaculation is not required. This offense encompasses the crimes commonly known as rape and sodomy; or any act of cunnilingus or fellatio regardless of whether penetration occurs. Ejaculation is not required."

Sexual contact
"Any intentional touching by the defendant of the anus, breast, buttocks or genitalia of another person; or any intentional touching of another person with the defendant's anus, breast, buttocks or genitalia which touching, under the circumstances as viewed by a reasonable person, is intended to be sexual in nature. Sexual contact shall also include touching when covered by clothing."

Sexual penetration
"The unlawful placement of an object,... inside the anus or vagina of another person; or the unlawful placement of the genitalia or any sexual device inside the mouth of another person.

The age of consent is 16 or 18 with depending upon your relative ages as outlined in Title 11 Sec 770.

The following are laws in the state of Delaware 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 Delaware ask your Legislators to change these laws.

Title 11 Sec 1342 Prostitution
"A person is guilty of prostitution when the person engages or agrees or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee. Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor."

Title 11 Sec 1343 Patronizing a Prostitute
A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute when "...the person pays a fee to another person as compensation for that person's having engaged in sexual conduct with the person; ...or solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct with the person in return for a fee. Patronizing a prostitute is a misdemeanor. The minimum mandatory fine shall be $500. This fine shall not be suspended. Whenever any vehicle, as defined in 2321 of this title, has been used in, or in connection with, the offense of patronizing a prostitute, it shall forthwith be seized..."

Title 11 Sec 1351, 1352 Promoting Prostitution
"Promoting prostitution in the third degree when the person knowingly advances or profits from prostitution. Promoting prostitution in the third degree is a class F felony."
Profiting "... from prostitution by managing, supervising, controlling or owning, either alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business or enterprise involving prostitution activity by 2 or more prostitutes..." is a class E felony.

Title 11 Sec 1355 Permitting Prostitution
"...Having possession or control of premises which the person knows are being used for prostitution purposes, the person fails to halt or abate such use within a reasonable period of time" is a class B misdemeanor.

Title 11 Sec 1361 Obscenity
"A person is guilty of obscenity when the person knowingly: sells, delivers or provides any obscene picture, writing, record or other representation or embodiment of the obscene; presents or directs an obscene play, dance or performance or participates in that portion thereof which makes it obscene; publishes, exhibits or otherwise makes available any obscene material; possesses any obscene material for purposes of sale or other commercial dissemination..." Obscenity is a class G felony.

Title 11 Sec 1364 Definition of Obscene
"Material or live conduct is obscene if: the average person applying contemporary community standards would find the material or conduct, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interests; and the material depicts or describes or the live conduct portrays: patently offensive representations or descriptions of ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; or patently offensive representations or descriptions of masturbation, excretory functions, and/or lewd exhibitions of the genitals; and the work or conduct taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value."

Title 24 Sec 1601 Adult Entertainment Businesses.
"...the people of the State are imperiled by the increasing incidence of the crimes of obscenity, prostitution and of offenses related thereto. The General Assembly finds that the foregoing crimes are principally facilitated by the widespread abuse of legitimate occupations and establishments, to wit, adult entertainment establishments." And goes on to detail a whole bunch of laws designed to harass these people.

Title 24 Sec 1631 Adult Entertainment Businesses. (Bathhouses, Swing Clubs)
"The commercial premises, buildings and structures where persons might place themselves at risk of infection from this disease (AIDS), or from any other communicable disease facilitated by high-risk sexual conduct, should as public policy be regulated and standards for the prevention of the spread of these communicable diseases should be established for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare." And goes on to detail a whole bunch of laws designed to regulate the walls and lighting inside these businesses.

General Links

Delaware BDSM - One List
Double L Bar - Rehoboth Beach