Call me biased, but it’s better for everyone to fully legalize prostitution rather than adopt the Swedish model (legalizing selling sex but banning the purchase of it). You’ve already noted that full legalization in Australia didn’t have the disastrous consequences that people thought it might. Indeed, many careful analyses of these laws, including this one [from Charlotta Holmström and May-Len Skilbrei], find that not only has demand for prostitution not decreased, prostitutes are still forced to practice in the shadows. The safest form of prostitution, regulated brothels, are banned.
If you were a prostitute, would you rather advertise on illegal websites to men who are breaking the law, or instead work at one of the highly regulated FKK clubs of Germany, where IDs are checked and people make sure the girls are safe?
Sadly, I think the desire to shame Johns gets in the way of good sense. Prostitution isn’t going away, and in many countries it’s widely understood that you aren’t a degenerate for visiting a brothel—sort of like how strip clubs are viewed here in the U.S. Let’s do the thing that’s right for everyone and legalize it.
Wendy Kaminer, in a 2011 piece for us called “Sex-Trafficking, Porn, and the Perils of Legislation,” touched on the Swedish model: