Simply put, you can be paid for sex, but if you’re paying for it, you can be arrested.
In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem… gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.
The Swedish lawmakers in their own words.
A quote from a much longer article on the matter points to several positive results:
In the capital city of Stockholm, the number of women in street prostitution has been reduced by two-thirds, and the number of johns has been reduced by 80%. There are other major Swedish cities where street prostitution has all but disappeared. Gone too, for the most part, are the renowned Swedish brothels and massage parlours which proliferated during the last three decades of the twentieth century when prostitution in Sweden was legal.
In addition, the number of foreign women now being trafficked into Sweden for sex is nil. The Swedish government estimates that in the last few years only 200 to 400 women and girls have been annually sex trafficked into Sweden, a figure that’s negligible compared to the 15,000 to 17,000 females yearly sex trafficked into neighbouring Finland.
Not only are the ‘Johns’ (guys who pay women for using them for sexual gratification) criminalized, the women are safer, and they are offered organized support to get out of prostitution.
The only thing that is missing, is there seems to be no programme to help men deal with their natural urges in a positive way.