A man’s jealousy is a social institution; a woman’s prostitution is an instinct. - Karl Kraus
What is it about the end of the year and prostitution-related news? Last year saw an explosion of such stories after mid-November, so that I ended up doing a number of miscellanea columns between then and Christmas; one year ago today “Bits and Pieces (Part One)” appeared, featuring Derrick Burts’ self-outing, a Melissa Petro follow-up, the duplicitous Annie Lobert of “Hookers for Jesus” and an astonishingly ignorant “child sex trafficking” story from NPR. Well, this year was much the same; I had so many short articles I had to spread them across six different columns! Don’t worry, I won’t throw them at you all in a row; we’ll start with a two-part update column and a miscellanea column on Sunday, then save the others for the end of next week.
Think of the Children! (September 30th, 2010)
The list of teachers “outed” as porn actors continues to grow; first Tera Myers, then Benedict Garrett, and now Kevin Hogan of Malden, Massachusetts, whose stage name was “Hytch Cawke”. But if reporter Mike Beaudet of WFXT in Boston imagined he would be hailed as a hero for exposing the dirty porn-making fag lurking in our schools to corrupt innocent children, I’m sure he was unpleasantly surprised. Oh, he was easily able to find the usual assortment of sheeple to bleat out quotes like “I’m disturbed. I’m surprised…This is scary” and “he’s teaching our children. Everyday. It does bother me a lot.” But take a look at the comments on the story, which are not only overwhelmingly defensive of a person’s right to do (legal) sex work, but also overwhelmingly condemnatory of the TV station and reporter. Beaudet actually went on the air the next day to defend his actions, probably because there’s a “Support Kevin Hogan, FIRE Mike Beaudet” Facebook page and a Fire Mike Beaudet petition at Change.org. I don’t believe for one second that the furor would be this strong if the teacher were a heterosexual woman, or if Hogan had been a gay prostitute rather than a gay porn actor, but any vociferous public support for any flavor of “sex work is work” is a huge step in the right direction.
An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought (October 12th, 2010)
In this post I explained that in some species of cricket, males give females large bags of low-quality food as their payment for sex; I compared them to human clients who pad their pay envelopes with low-denomination bills hidden among the large ones. Well, this November 13th article from Physorg.com introduces us to the arthropod equivalent of clients who try to cheat hookers with envelopes full of worthless paper strips:
Male nursery web spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) prepare silk-wrapped gifts to give to potential mates. Most gifts contain insects, but some gifts are inedible plant seeds or empty exoskeletons left after the prey has already been eaten…New research…examines the reproductive success of deceitful males and shows that females are not impressed by worthless gifts. [In the experiment] male spiders were provided with either a potential gift of a fly, or a worthless item, such as a cotton wool ball, a dry flower head, a prey leftover (previously eaten housefly), or no gift at all. All the gifts were approximately the same size, so the females would not be able to tell what the gift was without unwrapping it. Males that offered any gift were more likely to successfully mate than males without. However the length of time the females allowed males with worthless gifts to spend transferring sperm was shorter than those with edible gifts (and even shorter for those with no gift at all!) It appears that both male and female spiders are apparently able to assess the value of the gift and modify their behavior accordingly…Maria Albo who led the research explained, “The evolution of male deceit involves a complex equation of costs and benefits. It costs the males to find and wrap a gift, but these costs can be reduced if the male does not have to first catch his gift, or gives one that has already been eaten. The benefit of the gift is longer mating, which leads to more sperm being transferred, and potentially a higher number of offspring. However, the females are wise to deception and terminate mating early for worthless gifts”…
Keep this in mind next time some neofeminist tries to tell you that gender-based human sexual behavior is “socially constructed”.
No Other Option (October 17th, 2010)
Most severely-disabled men and many whose handicap is less severe are completely unable to acquire sex by noncommercial means, so prostitutes are their only recourse. Neofeminist fanatics declare that sex is not a “need” and that such a transaction still constitutes “male oppression”, but sane, moral, decent people know better and fortunately many whores are happy to help these men experience sex. A newly-released documentary named Scarlet Road follows an Australian professional who specializes in helping disabled clients:
Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton works with many clients who have disabilities. Her work has become the subject of the latest documentary from award-winning director Catherine Scott and producer Pat Fiske. Filmed over a three-year period, Scarlet Road follows Rachel in her relationship with John, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 26 years ago, and Mark, a client with cerebral palsy. It reveals the therapeutic aspects of human touch and sexual intimacy. This unique documentary gives voice to two men generously sharing moments of sexual self-discovery. “People with disability are not seen as sexual beings and on the other hand sex workers are often portrayed as oversexed, victims or damaged goods. I really wanted to tackle these stereotypes head on”…Scarlet Road shows Rachel in her daily life and follows her on a journey to the UK, Denmark and Sweden, where she meets with sex workers, people with disabilities and their families, as well as making quite an impression as a speaker at the World Congress for Sexual Health.
Aphrodite bless Rachel and her work; I’ve added a link to her charity, Touching Base, to my “Resources” box at the right.
Interview: Jill Brenneman (starting February 21st, 2011)
On December 2nd our friend Jill spoke at the Sex Worker Summit in Asheville, North Carolina hosted by the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition and several other organizations (including New Orleans’ own Women With a Vision). Local newspaper Mountain Xpress covered the event and according to Jill even got it mostly right. I don’t have a lot of hope for North Carolina becoming a center for sex worker rights in the U.S., but I’d love to be proven wrong!
Validation (May 25th, 2011)
“Even when one already knows something, it’s good to get validation from others. And when one is beset by enemies on all sides, particularly ruthless enemies who are willing not only to lie but to distort or completely fabricate bogus “research” to support their lies, every extra bit of academic research which soundly supports one’s position is another arrow in one’s quiver.” So I was quite pleased to see this November 11th article on the Migrants’ Rights Network; we’ve seen this study before in my November 15th column, but this article mentions a different aspect:
A new study on migration and trafficking in the UK sex industry has challenged the idea that trafficking is the main factor in trapping people in exploitative and abusive employment. Based on a survey of 100 people of migrant background involved in the industry, [Dr Nick Mai of the Institute for the Study of European Transformations (ISET)] has found that a majority of them had not been forced or trafficked into the profession…[and that] difficulties in exercising rights…were more likely to come from the issue of official immigration status than from forced labour. Many of the workers had entered the industry because the alternative employment available to them was likely to be more exploitative and unrewarding than sex work. They also felt that the stigmatisation of the profession had a negative impact on their personal lives…[and that] criminalisation of clients…[would] not reduce demand or exploitation but [would] mean more insecurity for migrants working in the industry. The report argues that better strategies to combat negative aspects of the industry would…[include allowing] migrants to become and remain legally documented…[allowing] the industry [to] operate legally…[and providing] victims of trafficking the right to remain in the country and the long-term support needed for integration.
This information needs to be pounded directly into the skull of every career politician and cop in the United Kingdom, United States and every other country which uses “human trafficking” as an excuse to persecute whores and/or our clients and partners.