Beware of billionaires who want to save your life. - Mark Leno
…people are still marrying, still making that leap into the conceptual and statistical improbability of ’til death do us part. And where does that leave affairs, clients of sex workers, enjoyers of porn and the rest of us?…When many couples choose to remain childless, or have no familial wealth to pass on, why are we still doing this, anyway? Those questions and a lot more are what drives the narrative of…The New Rules: Internet Dating, Playfairs, and Erotic Power. In it, [Catherine Hakim]…calmly dissects the differences between the cultures where it’s okay to throw a strop at the first sign of relationships going off piste, and those where adultery is not only usual but expected…
In a way, this is one of those “dog bites man” things, unless I’m the only one who’s ever noticed that most women are more sexually open when they’re very turned on:
…A small Dutch study…indicate[s] that arousal overrides feelings of disgust and facilitates a woman’s desire to do something that a woman who is not aroused might find flat-out repulsive…Daniel R. Kelly, an associate professor of philosophy at Purdue…explained that disgust is an “extension of our immune system” that helps prevent people from getting infected by making them wary of things, like bodily fluids, that…make people vulnerable…David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas…[said] “Women show far more disgust and especially sexual disgust, than men…It helps to protect women from having sex with the wrong men, such as men who might communicate diseases…show signs of a high ‘parasite load’…have poor hygiene and so on,” he said. What is interesting about the new Dutch paper, the two experts agreed, is that it suggests the mission to avoid the potentially “dangerous” parts of sex takes a backseat when women are aroused…
Color me unsurprised: “Letting women ‘test drive’ larger breasts before a boob job…[by] wearing a heavily padded bra for two weeks while doing ordinary tasks…[has led to them picking] 30 per cent larger [implants] than they first planned – at least one additional cup size.” Despite claims from insecure women that they hate having big tits, the fact is that many women wish they had gone bigger, and most do so if the implants need to be replaced.
This could be considered an update to “Welcome To Our World”, “Neither Cold nor Hot” or the “All in the Family” update in last week’s TW3, but the fact that it was written by regular reader Aspasia (in her own blog) trumps all that:
Jezebel ran two articles…that…highlight the hypocrisy of much of their readership…The first…“How to Tell Your Parents You’re A Prostitute”…[is followed by a] comment thread…rife with the moralizing pearl-clutching of feminists who claim to be supportive of women’s choices…Three days later, came [another] article…[which] criticizes certain choices made by women…and…[was] roundly condemned in the…comment thread…but…[the second author]…merely [did] what the average Jezebel reader does whenever sex workers…are discussed: stripped a whole group of women of their autonomy, projected her own standards onto them, and criticized their choices…
Prostitutes in…Geneva have formed [Switzerland’s] first sex workers’ union, citing foreign competition and the high cost of rent…[it will be] called…the Sex Workers’ Syndicate [and]…aims to operate alongside the organisation Aspasie, which has advocated for prostitutes in Geneva since 1982. Aspasie primarily concerns itself with the health and well-being of sex workers, while STTS was mainly founded to address prostitutes’ financial concerns and working conditions…
I reckon that’s good news, though I’m a bit wary of the protectionism implied in that first line; if foreign women are excluded, it could potentially create a bottleneck. Of course, the government is working on one of its own:
Switzerland has long been criticised by the international community for allowing prostitution by teens as young as 16. The government has proposed changes to the criminal code which would make it a crime to hire or sell the services of a prostitute who is younger than 18…[due to] a Council of Europe convention it signed in 2010…young sex workers would not be prosecuted for their actions – only those who seek or sell their services would be held responsible…
The age of consent in Switzerland is 16, but once again we see the magical thinking that money somehow taints sex and the complete lack of consideration about what will happen to those girls once their agency is denied and their once-legal trade is semi-criminalized.
[A Philippine “anti-trafficking” NGO named] the Visayan Forum Foundation (VF) [has been] accused of fraud by…USAID…At least…$5 million…meant to fund the group’s projects…[is] missing…the warrant that led to the search…said…the foundation…may be in possession or control of “falsified private documents which were used and are being used to defraud…donors”…
“…Carlos Romero…was arrested…and charged with misdemeanor sexual activity with an animal, by officials in Ocala, Fla., but believes the real outrage is that the Sunshine State is ‘backwards’ towards zoophilia…The victimized animal is a 21-month-old miniature donkey named Doodle he purchased two months ago…” Whatever you may think of Romero’s preferences, ascribing human sexual hang-ups to a donkey in heat is beyond absurd.
It’s good to see bigots like this criticized by peers and spotlighted by the media:
An Oklahoma County judge is refusing to let men planning sex-change operations switch to feminine names. District Judge Bill Graves has denied name changes in two such cases so far…[ruling] both times the requests were made for a fraudulent purpose…His position…has generated criticism of him at the courthouse. Five other Oklahoma County judges who handle name change requests…routinely grant them in transgender cases.
His reason for this prejudice? Science!
Graves…has concluded a person cannot really change…sex because the person’s DNA stays the same…“A so-called sex-change surgery can make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more than an imitation…petitioner has not even had the surgery…To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent…Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …’ The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female.”
As long as bureaucrats have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:
[An]…investigator with Florida’s Department of Children and Families has been arrested for “bribery by a public servant, official misconduct, and falsifying records” after he told a woman under his supervision that he would hide the results of her drug-positive urine test if she would have sex with him. When [she] refused…Andrew Thomas threatened to report her to her probation officer…[he] is the third Florida DCF employee to be charged this year with a sex-related crime. In August…Peter Crane…was charged with…molesting two five-year-old girls. In June…Jean Lacroix…was charged with having sex with a teen who was part of a prostitution ring composed exclusively of foster children…
Fortunately, most of the journalists who contact me are looking for informed commentary on issues rather than a sex-work story they can twist to fit their own agenda, but Charlotte Shane does an excellent job of skewering the twits who pester non-activist sex workers to “get their real stories”. If you’re not a journalist or academic you’ll enjoy reading this, but if you are either of those you need to read it.
California’s “Proposition 35” defines virtually all normal sex as “prostitution” and a lot of normal behavior as “coercion”, lists anyone who has anything at all to do with “coerced prostitution” as a “sex trafficker”, and condemns individuals so labeled to decades of prison, lifetime “sex offender” registration and theft of all their property by the state. It’s so awful, in fact, that even bona fide coerced prostitutes are against it: “Anabelle sees herself as a victim of sex trafficking. Stories like hers are driving Proposition 35…But Anabelle isn’t supporting [it]…and her arguments — and those of sex workers and their supporters — paint a very different picture of a law that could hurt the people it’s supposed to protect.” And if that article’s not enough to convince you, how about this slide show?
Another pervert claims to “help” teenage runaways so he can help himself to their sexual favors:
The founder of [a charity for homeless youth named “Stand Up For Kids”] has been charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a child over a three year period. Richard Koca, Sr., 69…faces seven felony charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust…The charges…were…sealed…by court order…after KMGH’s report…investigators are preparing for the possibility that more potential victims could come forwarding the case…the organization’s website was no longer accessible online today, and calls to the headquarters went unreturned…
Sex work-positive journalist Susannah Breslin interviews two porn producers (one of them Ira Isaacs), two actresses and a lawyer about the potential effects of the ramped-up porn prosecutions promised by Mitt Romney should he be the winner of the quadrennial popularity contest.
No matter how carefully and thoroughly I scan for items of interest, a few things always slip through the cracks. While reading about Nadya Suleman using the money from her porn flick to lease a new house, I encountered the sentence “She spent the summer begging for money from fans and offering dates for cash.” Wait, what? Sure enough; the linked article is from August 6th:
…Nadya Suleman…has opened a profile on the dating website WhatsYourPrice.com, TMZ reports…Although some would consider Suleman’s latest venture a dip into the prostitution pool, Gawker’s Louis Peitzman outlines, “yes, there’s something a little sketchy about selling yourself online, but it’s not prostitution unless they’re paying for sex…”
You’ve got to laugh at the moronic mental gymnastics with which some people justify their childish attempts to draw sharp, static lines between complex, fluid behaviors. Octomom’s done stripping, porn and sugar baby work, but she’s not a whore, noooooo. And neither is she a pathetic victim like the rest of us “prostituted women”; according to the house-leasing article,
“It has been the most empowering, liberating thing I have ever done,” Suleman told…Dr. Drew about doing porn. “There is nothing I won’t do to take care of my family…I had full control and power over my choice. I take full accountability and I’m proud of it.”
So there you are, ladies; in order for your equally-pragmatic choices to be considered valid, you first have to have 14 fatherless kids you can’t support.
This Week in 2011
A two-part guest column from veteran sex worker rights activist Norma Jean Almodovar was followed by criticisms of people who ask questions but refuse to accept the answers and sex workers who waste energy in internecine squabbles. “Uncommon Sense” (linked above) was then followed by a look at clueless neofeminist whining and a tale of the Ouled Nail.
This Week in 2010
The week began with my three-part column on the intersection of BDSM and whoring, which was followed by columns on why many escorts shun black clients and the physiological differences between genetic women and post-op transsexuals. I also told the sad story of an escort I called “April” and published my very first (two-part) Q & A column.