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Posts Tagged ‘male prostitutes’

My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years, but after a couple of years together I went on the pill and it completely killed my previously-high sex drive; during the 3 years I was on it I could probably count the number of times we had sex.  Once I realized the cause of the problem I stopped taking the pill and our sex life improved dramatically.  The problem is that my boyfriend become afraid to initiate sex with me during those years, so he always waits for me to initiate it; however, I’m sexually submissive and really want him to lead.  How can I boost his confidence after three years of making it worse?The Garden of Don Juan by Lajos Gulácsy (1910)

Since it seems to me that you and your boyfriend are very honest with one another, I think the direct approach is called for here.  Explain to him that now you’re off the pill, you’ve returned to normal…and that “normal” for you means enjoying being the submissive partner.  Promise him that you won’t turn him down unless you’re really sick or something, and encourage him to be the aggressor.  Also, it won’t hurt if you play up how excited you get when he takes the initiative; yes, it’s a bit dishonest but think of it as a “white lie” which will help to make him more confident and thereby result in better sex for both of you.  I’m sure you’ll eventually be able to dispense with it once he realizes that you really, truly do want him to be the sexually dominant one, because once he gets the hang of it he’ll see the results in your natural responses.  And I suspect it won’t take all that long for him to learn.

You answered my questions about heterosexual male escorts in “Vice Versa” and I’ve done a lot of research since then, but I have a follow-up question:  If you personally were to pay for a male escort, what is the #1 service you would like him to deliver to you?

I literally cannot even imagine a situation in which I would conceivably pay a man for sex.  That’s just completely alien to me, not only because I could easily get a man to pay me for any sex or company I might want, but also because I don’t experience spontaneous sexual desire in the way some women do, much less the way guys do.  And if I don’t need or even really want something, why in the world would I spend good money on it?

When a prostitute sleeps with a physically attractive (to her) client, does she enjoy the sex more or is it just a better-than-average work day?

Attraction and sexual pleasure are more complicated for women than for men, and more complicated still for whores.  Clients who are attractive and know it can often be a huge pain, because they imagine it should get them some sort of bonus or special treatment.  So while it’s absolutely true that some work sex is more enjoyable than other work sex, the reason may or may not have anything to do with a client’s attractiveness; it could be due to the way he treats the escort, a rapport they have, or something even less definable.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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After breaking down doors and waving…guns around, it’s gratifying [for cops]…to pacify terrified slaves by tasering them.  -  Joyce Arthur

Recognition

An elderly Italian man got a rather unwelcome surprise when he ordered an escort – and his…40-year-old son’s South American girlfriend…arrived at his house…the pair declined to take the encounter further and swiftly parted ways.  The man [decided]…to tell his son…prompting a bitter fight between the pair…the son [sued] his father for injuries…Barbie and Lammily

Barbie

While whitebread feminists wet themselves over the newest version of “Happy To Be Me”, Virginia Postrel isn’t having any of it:

…All right-thinking people  seem convinced that Barbie instills in her pre-school fans a false and remarkably detailed standard of beauty.  Hence the widespread  praise for Lammily, the latest anti-Barbie concept doll.  A crowd-funded project from artist Nickolay Lamm (the source of her ungainly moniker), Lammily is based on the average proportions for a 19-year-old…[but] the average 19-year-old female American stands 5 feet 4 inches tall.  She has a 33.6-inch waist and…weighs 150 pounds…If Lammily were true to life…she’d have rolls of fat, not a firm plastic tummy…Celebrating one version of average as “normal” and “realistic” implicitly stigmatizes everyone who doesn’t meet that standard.  Barbie doesn’t pretend to do that; Lammily does…

A Narrow View

This NPR article on diversion programs is full of the usual “sex trafficking” nonsense and dishonest platitudes about the programs’ effectiveness, but one section was especially troubling:

…Judge Pratt says that initially her treatment-focused approach…improved the ability to prosecute the traffickers.  But…a lot of the boys…were becoming pimps.  “The foster care system and juvenile justice system is creating both sides of this market, the suppliers and the goods,” she says…

Her revolting dehumanization of girls as “goods” is bad enough, but her willful mischaracterization of young male sex workers as “pimps” in order to prop up the vile “pimps and hos” myth is utterly reprehensible.

To Protect and Serve (August Updates)

San Diego cops use “sex trafficking” as an excuse to send a SWAT team to a strip club:

A manager at Cheetahs strip club says his dancers felt violated by police who photographed them almost nude…10 officers swarmed the building with guns and bulletproof vests, interrupting business for a couple of hours…to make sure all 30 dancers had proper permits and were in compliance…

Don’t Take My Word For It

Male delusions about sex work start extra-early in Sweden:  “Swedish police have received a report that three underage boys [as young as ten] speaking bad German tried to sell sex to women at a busy commuter hub in central Sweden…

Not for Everybody

Though Meg Munoz had a very bad time as a sex worker and for a while supported prohibition, she eventually recognized the harm it creates:

…Poorly conducted, [biased]…research needs to stop being used as the foundation for fundraising…the refusal to have sex work acknowledged as real work…has all but halted any civil discourse…Allowing moral biases to dictate policy is dangerous for those who are there by choice and force…

Above the Law Deon Nunlee

No, you lying asshole, it’s exactly what police officers do, which is why this is the second most common subtitle on the blog:

…while police responded to [a] domestic violence call, one of the officers allegedly took the woman into an upstairs bedroom and sexually assaulted her…Deon Nunlee has been charged…Detroit Police Chief James Craig said…“This is an anomaly.  This is not what our police officers do”…

In fact, here’s another in the same city:Geoffrey Townsend

A former Detroit police officer who was convicted of criminal sexual conduct involving participants in his boot camp for misbehaving teens is being sued by two of the victims…Geoffrey Townsend…began making unwelcome sexual advances [eventually culminating in rape when one]…victim was 13 years old…and…the…[other] 16…

And it’s not limited to the US, eitherScott Andrew Terry

[Durham, Ontario police Constable Scott Andrew Terry] sexually exploited [a 16-year-old girl] …with whom he first came into contact after she was busted for shoplifting in May of 2000.  Instead of filing charges…he…[offered] her a rental room in his house…[then] began making advances which…escalated to nude photos, sexual touching and eventually rape…“in exchange for the rent”…

First They Came for the Hookers… 

This dumb story about dumb strip-club restrictions in Chicago is, as you might expect, mostly just dumb.  But these comments from anti-whore zealot Bob Fioretti venture into a higher realm of dumbness:  “we have an underlying social problem.  Between 15,000 and 25,000 women a day engage in prostitution…in this city.  That underground activity undermines us a city — a world-class city…”  I’ll bet you didn’t know we were so dangerous, or that roughly 4% of the adult female population of Chicago were whores.

Higher Education (TW3 #23)

Unlike the last time we saw this, these teachers are actually qualified:

An enterprising association of sex workers in Barcelona has angered some of Spain’s most prominent feminists by offering an “intro to prostitution” course…at a cost of €45…the four-hour intensive course for aspiring sex workers was held last month by the Asociación de Profesionales del Sexo…Lidia Falcón…[who] has spent years fighting to have prostitution [criminalized] in Spain…said…the problem with the course lies in its underlying suggestion that some women are working in the profession out of their own free will…

So Falcón wants the course banned because it blatantly disproves her lies.

Imagination Pinned Down

Though the social climate which led to the Satanic Panic had been building for years, it was the McMartin Preschool hysteria that really launched it.  Now that it’s a generation in the past, even media outlets like the New York Times which fully embrace “sex trafficking” hysteria recognize its earlier incarnation for what it was.  Here’s a good retrospective called “McMartin Preschool: Anatomy of a Panic”; watch it with the current hysteria in mind and note the many parallels.

The Widening Gyre

If “authorities” don’t want stupid myths about women being abducted spreading around, they sure have a strange way of showing it:

[A rumor] warns of attempts to abduct women and girls in broad daylight at crowded shopping centers.  It warns that a new gang initiation requires members to kidnap, rape and beat womenBig Pimp and then dump them in parking lots.  For years, authorities have tried to keep such messages from spreading, debunking their claims as urban myths…

To clarify:  Women being abducted by gangs for quick rape = “right up there with Bigfoot”, but women abducted by gangs for years of captivity and sexual slavery = 100% credible.

South of the Border

In Mexico, a respected advocate is arrested as a “pimp” for helping sex workers organize:

…the recent arrest of Alejandra Gil…[is due to] new legislation, which…conflates sex work with human trafficking…Gil has worked tirelessly for the human rights of sex workers for many years…Laws and policies that target “third parties” under the premise of “protecting” sex workers, increase our vulnerability to abuse and exploitation, and create real barriers for sex workers organising…

Bottleneck

Considering that more than 90% of whores prefer to work illegally than submit to licensing, how well do you think this colossally stupid Italian law will work?

…prostitution will be permitted in private houses, subject to certain conditions, including the use of condoms…the draft law, which was presented…by…Maria Spillabotte…includes the issuance of a licence, stating that the holder is free of sexually transmitted diseases and confirming that a payment has been made…of €6,000 for a full-time licence or half that amount for part-time work…Prostitutes will also be required to get a certificate of mental fitness.  “This is a fundamental way of getting women away from coercion,” says Spillabotte.  “During an interview, the specialist will be able to tell if the girl is being forced into prostitution or if it is her free choice”…

That Old Black Magic

Patrick RockThe Sharjah Police…arrested an Arab woman and a man for forcing women into prostitution and engaging in black magic…

Buried Truth

When a politician obsesses about “protecting children from porn”, this is usually the reason:  “A senior aide to David Cameron resigned…the day before being arrested on allegations relating to child abuse images.  Patrick Rock…was involved in drawing up the government’s policy for…online pornography filters…

Between the Ears (TW3 #133)

This article on “Why Viagra Ruined Sex Work” quotes a few ladies whose names regular readers may recognize:

…“I wouldn’t say ED drugs are the worst thing, but they are really annoying,” laughed…Jolene Parton…“it…makes it harder for the client to come.”  Anna Gristina…dubbed [it]…“The working girl’s worst nightmare come true…It went from wham-bam, thank you ma’am,’ to ‘Oh my god, can you just finish, man’”…Amanda Brooks…says…men become obsessed with having an erection at the expense of any enjoyment for anyone…

It Looks Good On Paper (TW3 #311)

Texas joins the states arresting people to force them into “diversion” programs:  “The Corpus Christi Police…conducted a ‘Jane Sting’…in conjunction with the Red Cord Diversion Program…all six arrested persons were signed up to participate…rather than have criminal charges immediately applied.”  Yes, they actually referred to sex workers as “janes”.

The Crumbling Dam (TW3 #315)

Joyce Arthur hits it out of the park with this satire:

In a bold move aimed at protecting workers from exploitation while on the job, the government today passed a new law that criminalizes most employers and customers…Law and Order Minister Punter MacCunny…pointed out that 95 per cent of people hate their jobs and want out, according to a new government-commissioned study…Police welcomed the new law, which gives them sweeping new enforcement powers to target the huge increase in organized crime.  According to Det. Sgt. Billy Clubber, head of the RCMP’s new Slave Save Squad, “We’ll be cracking down on slavery rings, basically any place where workers are bribed with wages to provide services”…The law now designates employers and customers as “pimps” and “johns,” respectively…

Long Spoon (TW3 #351)

Reason’s video on condom criminalization specifically refers to the Human Rights Watch report condemning the practice in New Orleans:

Ladies of the Night

Saith Dr. Brooke Magnanti in The Telegraph:

It’s an unusual move to go from policy and social commentary to fiction, especially as the stories cover a range of genres from romance to crime to sci-fi.  And yet it works.  The eye for detail that fans of Maggie’s non-fiction writing appreciate is well played here.  She invents worlds with ease and populates them with thought-provoking, yet never two-dimensional, women and men.  If you love plots with twists, she has them to spare.  (If you’re not into twists, or women who aren’t always whiter than white, probably best to stay away.)  And the cover art by acclaimed cartoonist and Louis Riel author Chester Brown is wonderful.

She also reviews Daddy by Madison Young and Playing the Whore by Melissa Gira Grant.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #410)

Sex columnist Suzi Godson presents “10 Things You Need to Know Before You Support the Swedish Model of Sex Work” in response to the new push by UK prohibitionists.  It’s not anything new for readers of this blog, but it’s possible ammo for online discussions you may get involved in.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #410)

Dominique Roe-Sepowitz answers the many criticisms of Project ROSE by denying them to Christian Post after refusing interviews with mainstream reporters.  And if you imagine the denials are substantive or backed by facts, think again:  her entire rationale for cooperating with cops to railroad people and deny them lawyers is, “sex-work…is against the law.”  Meanwhile, in last week’s other installment of “Traffic Jam”, a demonstration of the motivation behind the fakery:

A study of advertising placed during the recent Super Bowl in New Jersey suggests the volume of sex trafficking that will occur when the event comes to Arizona in 2015 will likely exceed the ability of any one law enforcement agency to address.  Phoenix Police Lt. James Gallagher, who co-authored the study…said law enforcement must coordinate to combat sex trafficking during major events…

In other words, “give us more money and power!”  Here’s a Storify of the fun several of us had with this mess last Saturday.

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The “Super Bowl = prostitutes” story begins to look more and more like a lazy journalistic trope…an urban legend…or…a cheap attempt by some local politician…to score points by standing up to the menace of sex work.  –  Alexander Abad-Santos

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Because male sex workers don’t threaten insecure men’s belief that men are always in control of sex, and don’t interfere with neofeminists’ desire to control all heterosexual activity, they are conspicuously absent from “trafficking” mythology, Swedish-flavored dogma and other anti-whore garbage.  But it’s still pretty galling to see the BBC, which has embraced the catechism that all female sex workers are pathetic victims, publish something like this:

Most people think of male prostitution as dangerous, degrading and exploitative work.  But there are some who are attempting to reinvent it as a profession free of stigma by using all the tools of modern business…There has been a slow societal shift in the acceptability of sex work, says Del Campbell from the Terence Higgins Trust.  “There is a lot less stigma for men who sell sex,” he says.  “Often, the women are still seen as victims but for some gay men, escorting is now a normal job”…

NY maidsWhen male escorts use online ads, they’re “using the tools of modern business”.  But we women are too stupid to do that, so our ads must all be placed for us by male “pimps”.

Hooters, Japanese Style

In this interview with one of the girls at the first Japanese “maid café” in New York City, she denies that she’s a sex worker four times in only eight short answers.  Who is she trying to convince, us or herself?

Surplus Women

He made sure we’ll never hear her side of the story:

…Tannu Chawla, 27, and his friend, Yogesh, 30…[murdered a sex worker]…in…Delhi [because he was in love with her but she refused]…to marry…him…Chawla said that [he sold his] property and [took] loans to help the woman [pay her heavy debts, and that] her betrayal forced him to commit the murder…”Yogesh…had a loan of Rs.1.5 lakh [$2411] to repay.  He agreed to help Chawla for the same amount,” said [police].

Above the Law

A Payson, Ariz. police officer entered a woman’s house and raped her the day after he got her address from an incident report in which she had been a victim…Emily Morton sued the Town of Payson and Joshua Corey LaManna…[who broke into] her home…and raped her…while he was on duty – then told her it was OK because he loved her…

Somebody’s Daughter

Would you want your daughter working as a stripper/prostitute?”  A common refrain from people who are anti sex work, and who see it as the ultimate argument…Well…my short, rather unpopular answer is:  Yes.  If my daughter is over 18…she is entitled to do whatever she wants with her body…when you have children, you are raising individuals with their own personalities and characters, who will have their own quirks and abilities, and whose choices will differ from your own.  If you don’t like that idea, perhaps having children is not a good idea…

King of the Hill Spanish anti-Swedish model ad

A pair of real howlers introduce North Carolina’s latest bid in the “sex trafficking” race for the bottom; the first claims it’s “in the top eight states” while also admitting that “the true number of sex trafficking victims is unknown,” which would of course preclude any estimate of rank.  This one is a typical paint-by-numbers “trafficking” screed, taking the Profession of Faith as its headline and then quoting all the usual nonsense.  The second story specifically claims that North Carolina “ranks eighth”, but what makes it most interesting (in a horrifying sort of way) is the interview with a sadistic cop who gloats that he “can’t wait to use” the state’s new and draconian “sex trafficking” law to subject his victims to a “lifetime of difficulties” for consensual sex.

Number Puzzle

The indispensable Wendy Lyon does it again:

…what the Swedes say internally about their sex industry is often very different to the impression they give abroad…This is a good…example…only issued in Swedish…police [admit they]… “are not engaged in continuous or structured reconnaissance” [of sex workers]…we normally hear…absolute confidence and certainty that their sex industry has declined since clients were criminalized…if you aren’t monitoring something…you can’t reach a definitive conclusion as to whether or not it has declined…the admission that Sweden remains attractive to “human traffickers and pimps”…is totally contrary to the propaganda we hear about it all. the. Time.  A genuine jaw-dropper follows a few paragraphs later:  “In 2009…there were about 90 Thai massage parlours in Stockholm…at the turn of 2011/2012, the number…was estimated to be about 250”… what kind of “successful ban” leads to an almost threefold increase in one type of provider of the banned thing in less than three years?  If the estimate is accurate, this statistic alone ought to put paid to any claim that the law is an effective deterrent.  An industry that has lost a lot of its customers couldn’t possibly expand at a rate like that…

What a Week! (TW3 #322)

A Baghdad brothel was the scene of a violent attack…as gunmen shot and killed seven women and five men – presumably prostitutes and their clients…By coincidence, (or is it?) a similar attack took place in the same area on May 22 last year, killing the same number of people…

Surplus Women (TW3 #335)

Police have made an arrest in the case of two sex workers who lived in the same building and were found dead two weeks apart – and…say they have linked the accused to the killing of a third person…Sarbjit Bains…is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Karen Nabors and Jill Lyons, and second-degree murder in the death of Amritpal Saran…

Peeping Toms (TW3 #341) Cuccinelli & Garrett, two crimes against nature

A new…bill would bring back much of Virginia’s infamous “Crimes Against Nature” law, months after federal courts struck [it] down  as unconstitutional.  The proposal, which ostensibly would change the law to make clear that “engaging in consensual sodomy is not a crime if all persons participating are adults, are not in a public place, and are not committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, aiding, or abetting any act in furtherance of prostitution,” would restore felony penalties for minors engaging in oral sex and treat public sodomy differently from other public sex acts…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #342)

Truly horrible rescue industry organization Apne Aap is trying to pressure UN groups who support decriminalization to instead support laws which criminalize sex workers’ employees, spouses, dependent family members and co-workers, and to adopt the infantilizing and stigmatizing term “prostituted woman” in place of “sex worker”.  Since it’s extremely unlikely the UN organizations will give this lobbying (supported by a petition signed by prohibitionists and shills) any more attention than it is due, the most interesting part of the article is a new lowering of the “average age of debut” myth to 11 (see also “The Leading Players…” below).

Pyrrhic Victory (Hysteria on Parade)

Demonstrating that Bales is completely bereft of the faculty of introspection:

…Kevin Bales…announced a proposal to use…drones…to identify and film forced labour in remote areas of India and Bangladesh…Local authorities and non-governmental organizations could also use the images…to rescue slaves…But some Indian human rights activists…say it is a misguided publicity stunt that will do little to eradicate the practice…Vrinda Grover [said]…“I thought India was still a sovereign country.  So we now have the Westerners coming into rescue us all over again?”…Bales…hopes this “novel approach” will inject a fresh perspective into the standard slavery narrative that “we’ve been hearing over and over for about 15 years…This has got a little more excitement, movement, exotic locations”…

Traffic Circle

As I predicted, we’re beginning to see more evidence of the impending implosion of “sex trafficking” hysteria; while major media organizations like the AP continue to parrot myths about the “menace” of gypsy whores (complete with moronic assertions like “One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks“), smaller organizations are starting to feature articles like this one:

…it’s…time for the annual “here come the prostitutes” story…The premise is…[that] prostitutes…will be shipped into the city…by sex traffickers trying to meet the demand…In 2012, The Houston Press‘s Peter Kotz thoroughly tore apart that story, explaining that law enforcement officials in the cities where past Super Bowls occurred never actually saw increases…despite increased efforts…Further, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)…said in a report that there’s no correlation between sporting events and a rise in prostitution…The history of those events make this year’s claims of trafficking even harder to believe and bring up questions of the gullibility of the media…

Challenge (TW3 #345) Joanne Giannini

One of the anti-sex crusaders behind re-criminalizing prostitution in Rhode Island brags about how she ignored sex worker activists because she is more qualified to make decisions for adult women than they are about their own lives:

…I remember being in an elegant beauty spa one day…when a white stretch limousine pulled up out front and about eight young Asian girls got out.  They were going into the spa for a day of beauty.  They were laughing and giggling and…seemed very excited.  They looked so young and naïve…the saleswoman…told me…these girls were brought…from the massage parlors…the managers paid well and the tips were good…I was accused of wanting to hurt women by stopping them from making a living.  The fact is, I was trying to protect them from sexual predators who had deceived them with promised lives of hope, but gave them short lives filled with pain, sexual abuse, drugs, diseases and deplorable living conditions…

Pain so horrible it made them laugh and giggle, and deplorable conditions like days at a luxury spa.  What I see is a nasty, racist old white woman who didn’t like seeing young Asian women in what she viewed as her domain.

Lack of Evidence (TW3 #346)

More of this, please:  “The Oregon Court of Appeals…threw out the conviction of a woman arrested for doing little more than walking down [the] Avenue and glancing over her shoulder…The case drew applause from defense attorneys who say police often overstep their bounds in…their quest to fight prostitution…” The cops claimed that the woman exhibited “tell-tale signs”, like wearing high-heeled boots and talking to a “known prostitute”.

King of the Hill (TW3 #347)

I’m always glad to see the truly ludicrous “sex trafficking” claims repeated, because they hasten the whole myth’s downfall.  Here’s a repetition of the claim that Texas has 25% of all American “sex trafficking victims”; it includes the portentous statement that Houston is a “hub within a hub” (This Means Something!) and claims that “victims” are “as young as 12”, which rather contradicts the idea that the “average” is 13 or 11.

Shame, Shame (TW3 #348)

[Missouri] State Representative Kevin Engler…filed legislation that would criminalize…revenge porn…Engler said he was working with [Mary Anne] Franks in development of the bill…

Under Every Bed (TW3 #350)

yuk yuk yukNorth Dakota “State Sen. Elsie Arntzen…said that human trafficking is not a laughing matter…”  I disagree.  When I see creepy politicians and sleazy cops trying desperately to pretend that businesswomen are actually either “criminals” or “victims” (but can’t seem to decide which), and portentously declaring “sex trafficking” to be a “serious problem” while simultaneously admitting that “no one has yet found any evidence of the existence of a prostitution ring,” that is indeed a laughing matter.  And the joke is on the politicians and cops.

The Leading Players in the Field, Not (TW3 #351)

A…film featuring…Mira Sorvino’s fight against sex slavery in Cambodia made its US debut at Bayside Church in…Sacramento, Calif…Freedom Project: Every day in Cambodia was produced in partnership with CNN…Girls as young as four years old are sold into slavery and the sex trade by their own parents…the church…[donated] $400,000 to raid brothels…

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These days it takes some serious balls for a man to stand up, demand rights for sex workers, and actually sign his real name to the thing. - Maggie McNeill

A year and a half ago I published “Stand-Up Guys”, in which I saluted men outside the sex industry who dared to stand up and speak out for sex worker rights, despite the rising tide of “end demand” and other Swedish-flavored prohibitionism.  Things have grown only worse since then; prohibitionists viciously attack men who support sex worker rights, hinting that they are “pimps” or “sex traffickers” even when they don’t identify as clients.  What’s more, some sex worker activists appear to have imbibed the neofeminist Kool-Aid and foolishly shun the help of clients or other men; some even proclaim themselves misandrists, which looks to me a lot like using one’s own feet for target practice.  And yet despite all that, some men stubbornly fight for our rights anyway; I don’t mind saying that I find that sort of obstinacy rather sexy.Tim Barnett  So today I present another list of male allies; remember, this doesn’t include men who are directly involved in our industry, since it’s as personal for them as it is for us.  It does, however, include clients (and one former sex worker) who have chosen to “out” themselves for the cause.  As before, this is by no means meant to be a complete list; if you have any suggestions who didn’t appear on either list, please mention them in the comments below!
Dave Barry
Tim Barnett  The New Zealand MP who sponsored the Prostitution Reform Act (which decriminalized sex work in 2003) is now his party’s general secretary, and still often speaks in favor of decrim both in New Zealand and in the UK.  Follow him on Twitter: @tim4858

Dave Barry  The famous humorist has libertarian leanings, and has spoken out about the injustice of prostitution stings.  Email him at nolowflow@davebarry.com or follow him on Twitter: @rayadverbChester Brown

Chester Brown  Well-known comic book artist who wrote Paying for It, in which he detailed his experiences as a client of Toronto sex workers; the book’s appendix contains a strong argument for decriminalization.  I’m also proud to say that he’s a regular reader and a friend, and drew the cover art for my upcoming story collection Ladies of the Night.  Chester can be contacted through his publisher, Drawn and Quarterly, at info@drawnandquarterly.comGraham Ellison

Graham Ellison  Professor of Criminology at Queen’s University Belfast, a staunch proponent of decriminalization and outspoken opponent of the Swedish model; I have linked a number of his essays in my TW3 columns.  Email him at g.ellison@qub.ac.uk

Rupert Everett  This British actor came out as having done sex work when he was young and struggling, and is nowRupert Everett supporting an anti-Swedish model campaign by the English Collective of Prostitutes and Queer Strike.  He can be contacted by mail through his agents.

Zander-Dexter Falcon  A regular client in Saskatoon who recently came out in the process of fighting legislation that endangers sex workers.  Email:  zanderfalcon@sasktel.net  or follow him on Twitter: @furyofpatience

Ally Fogg  Freelance journalist in the UK who generally writes on social justice and gender issues,Ally Fogg including strong support for sex worker rights.  He prefers to be contacted via Twitter: @allyfogg, but his website also has an email contact form.

Chris Hall  Freelance journalist in the US who can be counted on to consistently write about sex workers and our rights in a respectful and eloquent manner.  Follow him on Twitter: @literatepervertMichel Houellebecq

Michel Houellebecq  French novelist who has repeatedly states that he loves prostitutes, and has often featured us in his books.  You may email him at houelle@magic.fr

Karl Lagerfeld  The famous fashion designer prefers escorts to unpaid companions, and often speaks of his admiration for us; he also helped former underage hooker Zahia Dehar get started as a designer herself.Karl Lagerfeld  He may be written at Karl Lagerfeld Group, 12 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, France.

Matthias Lehmann is a German sex work researcher whose articles (especially those debunking prohibitionist lies) I have referenced many times.  Email him here or follow him on Twitter: @photogroffee

Scott Long  Veteran activist for human rights,Paul Maginn especially sexual rights, who unlike many in that field does not seem embarrassed to speak out for the rights of sex workers.  Follow him on Twitter: @scottlong1980

Paul Maginn  Urban planning expert who is especially interested in the sex industry; I have linked his anti-criminalization essays several times.  Email him at paul.maginn@uwa.edu.au or follow him on Twitter: @planographer

Marc RandazzaMarc Randazza  Prominent First Amendment lawyer who has gone to bat not only for porn, but for the speech rights of hookers as well.  You may email him through this page, or follow him on Twitter: @marcorandazza

Mike Siegel  Astronomer, libertarian/conservative blogger, regular reader and friend who has written on numerous occasions in support of sex worker rights.  Follow him on Twitter: @Hal_RTFLC

Jesse WalkerJesse Walker  Though virtually all libertarians are against criminalization, some are more actively vocal about it; this historian, Reason editor & writer of The United States of Paranoia is one of them. Email him at jwalker@reason.com or follow him on Twitter: @notjessewalker

Ken White  Respected First Amendment lawyer, popular blogger, defender of those threatened by censorious twatwaffles, geek extraordinaire and personal friend.Ken White  Read his thoughts on sex work, email him at ken@popehat.com or follow him on Twitter: @popehat

Kevin Wilson  Professional research consultant, graduate student in epidemiology and friend who became interested in sex work research through reading this blog.  Email him at Wilson2@dal.ca or follow him on Twitter: @WilsonKM2

Tim Worstall  Economist and journalist who writes oftenKevin Wilson on the absurdity of prostitution law; he also debunks “trafficking” myths.  Email him at timworstall@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @worstall

I apologize for anyone I’ve forgotten.  If you’d like to be on the next list of this type, just email me with a link to whatever public statements you’ve made about sex worker rights under your real name, and we’ll see about adding you to the next oneTim Worstall (and you needn’t be shy, either; Aphrodite knows I’m certainly nothing of the kind).  If I did forget you, please don’t be offended; most of y’all know how busy I am, and things that shouldn’t often slip through the cracks.  In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for “Stand-Up Guys” in my weekly TW3 column, where I’ll mention guys who come to my attention without having to wait another year and a half.

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I escorted briefly after college…[as did] several friends…None of us felt exploited; we were self-employed men and women, working where and when we wanted.  -  Matthew Lawrence

Rough Trade

Pennsylvania activists…campaign…against…Judge Teresa Carr Deni in…next week’s…election…six years ago…[Deni] reduced charges of a…gang rape of a sex worker to theft of services…

Celebrities

Justin Bieber…was caught trying to sneak out of popular Brazilian brothel Centaurus with the help of his burly minders who covered him in a white sheet…[he] then jumped into the back of a waiting car and was joined by two females from the club…” I presume it was two female humans, but the report didn’t specify.

Storyville

In the Baton Rouge Advocate, an interesting article on the three Storyville buildings which are still standing.  One small quibble:  the statement “Mayor Martin Behrman shut down the district…under pressure from the U.S. Secretary of the Navy” is like a bully forcing a child’s hand into his face while shouting “Stop hitting yourself!”  When Secretary Daniels’ pressure on Behrman failed, he got President Wilson to issue the executive order which shuttered the district over Behrman’s strenuous objections.Christy Deweese

Think of the Children!

Well, this is different:

…[People think] if you were once…in the sex industry you…are never qualified to do any [other] work…Over and over again…a…teacher discovered to have…posed nude is not only fired, but propped up for public scorn.  Cristy Nicole Deweese…in Dallas, Texas, is the most recent…after it was revealed that she had posed for Playboy in 2011… What about posing nude makes her unfit to teach children?…is [she] going to be more sexualized by her…male students, who would have never discovered her pictures if they had not been searching for pornography anyway?…

Unfortunately, the author degenerates into idiocy about sex work “exploiting and harming women”, but it’s a start.

An Enormous Big Nothing

Another life destroyed by powerful, sadistic fanatics unclear on the meaning of the word “child”:

A man whose life was ruined when he was charged with child sex offences…has accused the police and Crown Prosecution Service of a “homophobic witch-hunt”…The CPS…offered no evidence…His lawyers…gave…conclusive documentary evidence…that all models…were of legal age…his…nightmare began during a business trip in September 2011 when he viewed images on a website specialising in “twink” pornography…gay slang for young-looking men who are aged 18 or over.  When a female guest who [later] stayed in the same room…saw the computer’s browsing history she complained…and staff called the police…

Of course, the ignorant busybody who went digging into a stranger’s business will suffer no consequences.

The Swedish Pimpocracy

…a 17-year-old [Swedish] girl…reported [her foster father] for rape.  Police found traces of the man’s sperm…in her vagina…The man explained…he had been “erection training” in the bathroom and had left a piece of paper with his sperm on it…The district court ruled that [this] was feasible and he was acquitted…the girl…claimed…that the man had offered her 20,000 kronor…if she declined to report [him]…

She should’ve reported him for offering payment for sex; that they would’ve convicted him on.

Bootlickersdedicated cops investigate

The latest episode in Everett, Washington’s freakish war on coffee stands:  “Three scantily dressed baristas were arrested…at an espresso stand…after public complaints about inappropriate conduct…”  For those unfamiliar with copese, “public complaints” means “cop accusations”.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (October Updates)

Mathematical illiterates in California want young girls to fear boys:

Human trafficking is an underreported problem…in…Orange County…[District Attorney] Tony Rackauckas said…the average sex slave is 12 years old…“In the schools, create awareness,” [Rep Ed] Royce said.  “So that 12-year-old, 13-year-old girls understand that…when these Romeos approach them…they have some inkling of what could be down the road”…

Don’t Confuse Us With Facts

Fanatics want to destroy 1000 people for trying to talk dirty to a robot:

A Dutch…group said…it had identified over 1,000 paedophiles…by offering online sex with a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipina girl called Sweetie.  Terre des Hommes Netherlands has now handed over to police the identities of…[those] who were willing to pay children in developing countries for online sex…The group said it wanted to raise the alarm about a largely unknown but quickly spreading new form of child exploitation that has tens of thousands of victims in the Philippines alone…webcam child sex tourism…

Ever notice that every single new hysteria is always “secret” or “unknown” despite being “on the rise” and having “tens of thousands of victims”?The Egyptian

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received The Egyptian (a favorite from my teen years), but I’m unsure of the giver’s screen name; please identify yourself so I can thank you properly!

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

Dr Victor Strasburger of…the American Academy of Pediatrics  claimed that all 14-year-old boys with an internet connection in their bedroom would be looking at pornography online…”  Dr. Strasburger further went on to explain that water is wet, the sky is blue and the Pope is Catholic.

Above the Law

Have you noticed the number and frequency of these is increasing?

An Alabama jail guard raped an inmate repeatedly, and the…warden told her there was nothing she could do about it…Olivia Osborne…sued her…rapist, Vincent Cheatham, [and] warden Shirley Smith…in Federal Court…Cheatham began [by] watching her shower…[then] escalated to [sexual] assault…and…when she filed a report…prison officials changed it to say that Cheatham only tried to kiss her…Cheatham…[later] brutally [raped her vaginally and anally]…Smith ordered [Osborne] placed on birth control…to prevent…pregnancy…

And in Arkansas:  “A…cop…chased a woman through her workplace, shooting a Taser at her, because she refused to show him her breasts…Ashlea Bennett sued the City of Haskell…and…Officer Brandon Carter, in Federal Court…before this Dec. 13, 2011 incident, Carter had made ‘inappropriate sexual comments’ to her on multiple occasions…

An Example to the West

Citing increasing instances of violence and harassment, a sex workers’ collective has…[asked] the state government to designate an area for them in…Chennai…the only city…besides Bangalore…that doesn’t have a…red-light area…sex workers said having [this] would ensure more effective policing and minimise abuse.  “We will be able to prevent children from entering the trade…[and] protect [workers] from clients who misbehave”…it could also help in improving [STI] awareness programmes…

Welcome To Our World (TW3 #28)William Marotta

A Kansas…court heard arguments…in the case of a man who is being sued for…child support by the state after donating his sperm…through a Craigslist ad.  William Marotta…drew up a contract with the two female partners without a physician’s supervision.  The agreement…said that Marotta would not assume parental obligations…attorney Benoit Swinnen said…the state was persecuting Marotta to send a message about…family values…

This case was previously noted in “Links #130”.

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #38)

Johanna Weber has founded Germany’s first professional association for sex workers…Weber [said]…“Anyone working in the sex industry can [join, including]…brothel owners…[if] they themselves…have worked as a prostitute…There is currently the public perception that thousands of women…are being forced into prostitution…it’s simply not true…most of the women do these jobs independently and voluntarily…[feminist] human trafficking [campaigns have]…nothing to do with reality…we want to make politicians aware of our interests”…

King of the Hill

“Sex trafficking home” is my new favorite “trafficking” idiocy:

Florida has more people forced into human trafficking than just about any state in the country…Detectives…received a tip about a sex trafficking home…“Within an hour you would see…ten to 15 different men walking in and out”…Deputies put everyone in handcuffs…

10 to 15 men an hour!  Good thing the number of clients is decreasing.

Something Rotten in Sweden (TW3 #44)

Compare and contrast with Swedish rhetoric:

Ninety-nine percent of the men arrested in [Wisconsin] for patronizing a prostitute will never face criminal charges, but…nearly 40 percent of [prostitutes] are charged…Edgar Lin…argues that since a john and a prostitute must agree to exchange money for sexual contact, both are equally responsible…Prosecutors justify the discrepancy…by saying patronizing a prostitute and providing the service are on different levels of criminality…Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maier…likened the situation to a drug deal, where prosecutors…go after the dealer…as opposed to a consumer…

The More the Better (TW3 #135)

A review (of sorts) of Sheri’s Ranch, in Business Insider.  The writer makes a few errors and missteps, but all in all it’s positive; now we just need to start getting write-ups like this for escorts.rat app

Checklist

What could be worse than one of those awful “checklists” which pretend to diagnose all sex workers (and many other women) as “sex trafficking victims”?  How about an “app” which allows busybodies to report their “suspicions” to the cops?

After [two Seattle cops]…gave a 20-minute presentation on sex trafficking to a…Kiwanis Club luncheon…Amin Haq…decided to…[start] a…project…called Redlight Traffic…[which is] launching a [phone] app…that will funnel citizens’ anonymous tips on suspected prostitution activities to law enforcement…The idea…is to…teach citizens how to identify signs of sex-trafficking and give them an easy way to do something about it…citizens will be able to report their suspicions, upload photos and GPS locations, and provide information on…a suspected prostitute, pimp or buyer…

Short version: after a 20-minute propaganda session, self-appointed savior creates a way for prudes to subject anyone they dislike to cop harassment.

Under Every Bed

Sex slaves!  40 clients a day!  Ice cream!

There is a multi-million-dollar sex slave trade taking place [in Trinidad and Tobago]…there were [also] cases of Trinidadians being forced to work in ice cream companies for low wages…Venezuelans [are] brought to this country under false pretences and…forced into prostitution…“These girls are locked in basements…and transported at gunpoint to brothels where they are forced to have sex with 30 to 40 men a day”…

Challenge

For 29 years, indoor prostitution was legal in Rhode Island.  Streetwalking, pimping and underage prostitution were illegal, but that was the extent of the legislation on the matter.  Unfortunately, Coyote vs. Rhode Island was resolved by a deal rather than a judicial decision, so there was nothing to stop an unholy cabal of cops, neofeminists and “trafficking” fetishists from getting it re-criminalized on November 3rd, 2009.  This article by a former Rhode Island male escort talks about how it happened, and how the only real effect of re-criminalization was – as any sane person could have predicted – to make sex work more dangerous.

Somewhere in the Middle

You know that study that claims fewer men are paying for sex?  Read the truth about it in this essay I wrote for Slixa.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #321)

In May 2013…transgender rights activist Monica Jones was falsely arrested for “manifestation of prostitution”…The police claim that they don’t arrest anyone during Project ROSE, that all they are doing is offering people a ride in a police car in handcuffs.  So, people transported to a participating church are prevented from accessing legal counsel…Monica…is pleading NOT GUILTY and taking this to trial…If [she] wins…this will be a significant victory for all people targeted by anti-prostitution and related laws in Arizona…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #329)Gamera

If something’s in a movie, it must be true!  So let’s summon Gamera, friend of all children, to rescue all of the “child sex slaves”!

Edmonton’s dirty little secret is that sex trafficking and sexual exploitation are…worse…than in other Canadian cities…[and have] permeated into all fabrics of Edmonton society, with children…between the ages of 12 and 14, states the film entitled “Dirty Little Secret”…most sex workers were forced into the trade and that 75 per cent of them were forced into it as children…

Dysphemisms Galore (TW3 #340)

More “sex trafficking” hentai!  A Virginia cop absurdly styled a “colonel” calls women “commodities” and says traffickers have “large tentacles”.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #342)

A group of French clients wrote a manifesto opposing the criminalization of clients, patterned on a 1971 abortion rights manifesto.  Predictably, neofeminists refused to see the parallel between sex worker rights and abortion, while some sex worker activists objected to people speaking out on a law which will criminalize them on the grounds that activists hadn’t given them permission, and others quibbled over the possessive pronoun “my” in the phrase “my whore”…you know, that same one widely used in such popular phrases as “my doctor”, “my representative” and even “my client”.  One would think sex workers would understand the idea of “strange bedfellows”.

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Every decision I’ve ever made, including the decision to be a prostitute, is linked to a desire to be free.  -  Gabriela Leite

R.I.P. Gabriela Leite

Gabriela LeiteSex worker rights activist Gabriela Leite died of cancer on October 10th at the age of 62.  She organized the first Brazilian whores’ convention in 1987, then in 1992 founded a rights NGO named Davida; in 2010 she ran for the Brazilian congress (as depicted in the documentary A Kiss for Gabriela).  Though she lost the election she won tremendous respect, and a bill to eliminate the contradictory provisions in Brazilian prostitution law was recently named in her honor.  She was one of the greats, and will be sorely missed in the sex worker rights community.

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Police in Florida have begun…recording license plate information from cars that drive through areas frequented by sex workers and sending a letter to that individual’s home…[including] a close-up image of the license plate and…reminders about the potential for sexually transmitted diseases…Authorities speaking to the media seemed to assume that someone’s mere presence near illegal activity presumes their guilt…

An Educated Idiot

Charlotte Shane’s scathing review of Sudhir Venkatesh’s new book Floating City levels many of the same criticisms I and others have already made against the duplicitous sociologist (such as his total ignorance of the history of sex work, his dreadfully-low “estimates” of our income, etc).  But it also contains many telling observations about his character flaws:

…when one of his subjects is assaulted, and her co-worker asks that he not report it:  “I stood there, frustrated…What should I do?  Go along with them or call the damn police like a normal person?  I didn’t want to get sucked into their criminal value structure and end up doing the wrong thing.”  This alarming response encapsulates…[his] problem.  The desire to avoid arrest after suffering a brutal assault is a sensible one…but Venkatesh can’t wrap his head around it…he is “normal” and they are deviants…his responses are the right ones and theirs are not…Venkatesh clings to the notion that sex work is inherently, unavoidably risky, regardless of the legal and cultural circumstances…when the issue of…legalization…is raised, it’s only to dismiss it…

Not An Addiction (May Updates)rat with Oreos

Crypto-moralists are once again trying to pretend that fatty foods are addictive, but as Jacob Sullum points out:

…the study’s findings could just as truthfully be summarized… “Research Shows That Heroin and Cocaine Are No More Addictive Than Oreos.”  Putting it that way would have raised some interesting questions about the purportedly irresistible power of these drugs, which supposedly justifies using force to stop people from consuming them.  But the researchers are not interested in casting doubt on the empirical basis for the War on Drugs…they are trying to build an empirical basis for the War on Fat…if the neurological effects of Oreos make them impossible to resist, how is it that most people manage to resist them, consuming them in moderation or not at all?…

Dirty Amateurs

Whether the infection is biological or technological, it’s always the same:

…Symantec…found…that hackers…target…religious sites at a much higher rate:  “…religious and ideological sites…have triple the average number of threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites.  We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners…have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free – it’s not good for repeat business”…

Dominating the News

Ex-vice madam Natalie Rowe has had her home raided by police days before she will make new claims about her relationship with Chancellor George Osborne…12…officers…with a battering ram burst into her London flat…[at] dawn…claiming they were acting on a tip-off…no drugs were found in the two-hour search…“WHY did one officer involved in the raid ask me whether I was about to publish my memoirs and WHY did a police inspector tell me I’d be opening a ‘whole can of worms’ if I complained?”…

Meanwhile, in Japan, “Yuka Fujisawa was arrested…for…sticking needles in gentlemen’s genitals for money…Fujisawa’s ‘needle play’ was performed on consenting adults, so her arrest is purely for the act of drawing blood without a medical license…

Elephant in the Parlor

Beleaguered former…MLA Mike Allen has received a rare note of support…from the Alberta Sex Workers.  Mr. Allen was one of 13 men caught in a St. Paul, Minnesota-area sting in July…He…could face up to a year in prison and a $3,000 fine.  “Alberta sex workers wish to assure MLA Mike Allen…that his activities…would be lawful, private and welcome in Alberta…sex workers in Mr. Allen’s riding…want him to continue as their MLA.  We feel he made a mistake taking his business out of Alberta to puritan…Minnesota, but sex workers in his constituency are still pleased to have an MLA who values the services they offer”…Christian Adamek

Moloch

How many more kids have to be sacrificed on this loathsome altar?  “A popular 15-year-old student has committed suicide after he reportedly faced expulsion and being placed on the sex offenders’ register simply for streaking at a high school football  game.  Christian Adamek, from Huntsville, Alabama,  hanged himself on October 2, a week after he was arrested…

Full of Themselves (TW3 #4)

I hope this keeps happening, so pole dancers will be forced to stand with sex workers rather than pretending they’re different:  “…Swansea University [banned its]…Pole Fitness Society…[saying] ‘Pole fitness and pole dancing are a direct spin off from lap dancing…Everyone knows where it comes from…and that pole dancing is…specifically designed to sexually excite the watcher’…”  Swansea has a long history of pearl-clutching over sex work.

The Course of a Disease

The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe has come up with a “tool kit” containing “information, ideas and resources…to help sex worker rights…organisations and activists…challenge…[the] Swedish model.”  You can view and download the tool kit and its associated worksheets here, or visit the ICRSE website to download one individual section at a time.

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (TW3 #7)

This short interview with Dr. Heidi Hoefinger on her book Sex, Love and Money in Cambodia supports everything I always say about Asian bar girls, but the comments are illustrative of the deep state of denial in which “trafficking” fanatics exist:  among them are the claim that a woman who spent ten years living among her subjects is “naïve” and the astonishing assertion that literally 99.99% of whores are coerced.

Above the Law

A [California] Sheriff’s Department deputy…sexually assaulted a [woman] he…pulled over…[he offered to] let [her] go in exchange for sex…[but when she] declined …he [forced her anyway]…”  The unedited original is almost incomprehensible for all the “alleged” and “unknown male” and passive voice; it even describes forcible rape as “sexual contact occurred”.  And in Kentucky, “A sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against…Sheriff Rick Clemons…‘I’m upset.  I’m very offended.  I’m actually shocked’, said Clemons…”  Cry me a fucking river.Rupert Everett

Stand-Up Guys

Rupert Everett is supporting a campaign against proposals…to criminalise sex workers’ clients.  The actor, who participated in sex work as a younger man is making a [TV] programme on the subject.  He has signed an open letter by the English Collective of Prostitutes and Queer Strike…journalist Cary Gee and a whole range of activist groups…have all added their names too…Former New Zealand MP Tim Barnett, who sponsored the…Act which decriminalised prostitution, described the…way…[end demand] laws were used…“Half of those arrested were transgender sex workers who were identified as men”…

Greeks Bearing Gifts

The noisome fruit of the “mandatory prosecution” tree:

…In an incident back in April, Joel Darvell, 36, allegedly choked his wife while drunk, causing his son to tackle him…Darvell allegedly pistol-whipped his son and then fired a .45 caliber round into the wall of their home.  No injuries were sustained.  Darvell was charged with assault…but [his] wife and children…refused to testify…Judge Michael Evans…[had them] dragged away…[to] jail…where they were held in cuffs and shackles…John Hays, who is representing Darvell’s wife…said…“The prosecutor wants to put the defendant in prison for over 20 years, and (his family members) really do not want that”…After 48 hours…the 13-year-old girl…broke…and…agreed to testify against her father.  The son and mother…were made to agree…as well…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #28)

Everyday Whorephobia interviews Morgane Merteuil of STRASS about the especially-revolting French version of the Swedish model:

…The law also proposes to fight…[advertising] websites…all the help…[for exploited migrants] is conditional on stopping sexwork…[and] working with  an “agreed organization”; of course…sexworkers rights [groups] won’t be [among] them…if students do sexwork, it is because they don’t have the consciousness that this is “prostitution”; so the solution is to add lessons about the “objectification of the body” at school…

Schadenfreude (TW3 #43)Meas Ratha

Somaly Mam has been caught in yet another huge lie:

…in January 1998, Ms. Mam was propelled…into the international media spotlight largely owing to the harrowing on-camera testimony of the young Meas Ratha…[who supposedly had] been promised a job as a waitress in Phnom Penh, but wound up a captive in a brothel…Sixteen years [later]…Ms. Ratha—now 32 years old and married—said her testimony…was fabricated and scripted for her by Ms. Mam…Ratha…said that she did not want to cause trouble for Ms. Mam’s NGO, which had provided an education for her, but that she could no longer continue a lie that had followed her for half her life…the fabrication of Ms. Ratha’s sex slave story is only the latest incident of false information to emerge from Ms. Mam and her organizations…

And how exactly does Somaly Mam “help” sex workers?

…Estée Lauder…has opened the Somaly Mam Beauty Salon…providing survivors of sexual slavery and human trafficking with…education and vocational training…in high-touch beauty services in hair care, makeup application and nail treatments…

Well, I guess it’s better than putting them to work in her fashion industry sponsors’ sweatshops.

Us and Them

These abuses always start with stigmatized groups, but never stop there:

[UK] police are to get the power to restrict the freedom of anyone they suspect of being a sex offender, even if the person has never been convicted of a crime…This can include limiting internet use, stopping the person from being alone with a child under 16 and preventing travel abroad.  Anyone breaching the so-called Sexual Risk Order, which lasts for at least two years, could be jailed for up to five years…

Unmentionables

WH Smith shut down its website…after it was revealed that a search for the term “daddy” brought up hardcore pornographic ebooks featuring bondage and humiliation alongside stories for children.  At least 60 pornographic ebooks…could also be found on Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble…WH Smith apologised to customers and said the “explosion” of self-publishing had left book retailers exposed to pornographic content…

They weren’t “exposed” to shit; they just had a poor website design and are passing the buck.Jerry Brown masturbatory gesture

The Punitive Mindset (TW3 #337)

The governor of California pretends prison inmates don’t have sex with each other:

…Jerry Brown…vetoed a bill a that would have…required…condoms [to be] available in every California prison.  Supporters…argued that [this] would help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among inmates, who have higher rates of HIV/AIDS…Brown…noted that family visitors are already allowed to bring condoms for…overnight visits…

Policing for Profit (TW3 #341)

A money-making venture to lure…drug buyers into Sunrise [Florida] to purchase cocaine from police has been halted…Mayor Michael Ryan…lay blame…on the [newspaper story exposing the racket]…Ryan did not express concerns about…[the busts taking place] in such public locations as parking lots and family restaurants…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #341)

Another UN agency has reaffirmed…support of sex workers in response to Equality Now’s anti-sex worker campaign…This leaves Equality Now starkly on the fringes of the global women’s movement, as organisations as authoritative as UN Women…assert…that sex work is work, not trafficking.  The statement…also…[backs] safe workplaces – which come with decriminalisation – and the right to self-determination, including the right to stay in sex work…[this] precludes…the “Swedish model”…supported by Equality Now…which tries to drive sex workers from sex work (against their consent) through making it intolerably dangerous…

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Perfect numbers, like perfect men, are very rare. -  Rene Descartes

Yesterday’s “Frequently Told Lies” inspired me to look back at “Handy Figures“, a compilation of numbers and figures which previously appeared in other columns; I had originally intended to keep updating it, but it somehow seemed wrong to make major alterations to an old column so I lapsed.  Since then, I came up with the idea of duplicating these retrospective-type columns into static pages, and that’s worked out so well I figured it was time to do the same with this useful reference tool.  Much of it is the same as the old column, but there are additional figures and better links, and I’ve rounded my estimates off in response to the justified criticism that very specific numbers don’t look like estimates, but rather exact counts.

huge crowd$32 billion:  Current claim of the total annual income of the “sex trafficking” industry; this was actually the ILO’s 2005 estimate of the value of all forced labor, not forced prostitution.

42 million:  Fondation Scelles’ estimate of the total world whore population; it’s not really bad, but see 19 below.

27 million:  According to a December 2010 “estimate” by “Free the Slaves”, the total number of people “trapped in modern-day slavery”  (see also 2.4 million and 800,000 below).

$22.6 million:  Total estimated annual amount the State of Texas spends on imprisoning prostitutes.

2.4 million:  UNODC estimate of the number of “trafficking” victims worldwide (see also 27 million above; 800,000 and 40,000 below).

800,000:  According to the U.S. State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons” report for 2004, the total number of “human trafficking victims” worldwide (see also 27 million and 2.4 million above; 80,000, 14,500 and >10% below).

450,000:  Estimated number of active, professional prostitutes in the US.

$300,000:  Prohibitionist claim of a typical hooker’s annual income.

100,000-300,000:  According to trafficking fanatics, the number of “trafficked child prostitutes” in the US (see also 16,000, 14,500 and 2500 below).

100,000:  According to one “estimate”, the number of “trafficked” Vietnamese manicurist/whores hidden in nail salons in the UK.

80,000:  The number of Filipino women who lost good jobs in Japan due to U.S. State Department meddling (see also 800,000 above and >10% below).

70,000:  Estimated number of street prostitutes in the US  (see also 450,000 above).

30,000-45,000:  Total number of whores supposedly “trafficked” into Israel from 1991-2006, who magically vanished after a law was passed.

40,000:  The number of “trafficking victims” for which UNODC claims to have actual evidence (see also 2.4 million above and 1362 below).London Olympics logo

10,000-40,000:  Typical “estimates” of the number of whores claimed to flock to mega sport events such as the Super Bowl or Olympics (see also 1 below).

14,500-17,500:  2008 federal estimate of all “trafficked persons” of all ages and employment types (sex, agriculture, etc) in the US.

16,000:  Estimated number of all American prostitutes under 18.

2500: Estimated number of coerced prostitutes under 18 in the US.

1362:  The total number of “human trafficking victims” (all types, not just sex) identified as such in the US from 2000-2007 (see also 14,500 above).

600:  Estimated number of “pimped” underage prostitutes in the entire US who advertise online.

160x:  High-end estimate of the factor by which the rate of sexually transmitted infections in the promiscuous segment of the general public exceeds that in the escort population  (see also 3-5%, 2x and 0.4% below).

133:  The total number of arrests made in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area during the 2.5 weeks before the 2011 Super Bowl, which is now represented by “trafficking” fetishists as the number of “trafficking” arrests (see also 1 below).

97%:  Percentage of escorts who report an increase in self-esteem after they entered the trade (see also 72% and 60% below).

97%:  Fraction of Turkish harlots who prefer to work illegally rather than be registered and subjugated in brothels.

95%:  Fraction of underage New York City street prostitutes who say they sell sex because it is the most dependable way to support themselves.

90%:  Fraction of sex workers in Queensland who prefer to work illegally (see also 97% above).

85%:  Fraction of sexually-active Bahamian teens who are involved in some kind of transactional sex.

84%:  Fraction of underage prostitutes in New York City who have never even met a pimp.

81%:  Fraction of Swedes who report being “angry” about client criminalization (contrast with the Swedish government claim that 76% support the law).

80%:  According to the UNDOC, the fraction of “human trafficking” cases involving forced prostitution (see also 20% below).Brothel Prostitute and Client

78%:  Fraction of Dutch citizens who feel prostitution is a job like any other.

77%:  Fraction of escorts who feel their clients respect them.

77%:  Fraction of Canadians who support decriminalization.

75%:  Fraction of escorts who feel the job improved their lives.

72%:  Fraction of all prostitutes who report that their work has increased their self-esteem  (see also 97% above).

70%:  Fraction of Australian whores who said they would choose the same trade if they had their lives to live over again.

70%:  Fraction of Dutch sex workers who aren’t Dutch by birth.

69%:  According to Kinsey (1948), the fraction of men who have paid for sex at least once in their lives; it is probably somewhat lower now due to the increased availability of “free” sex.

60%:  Fraction of American prostitutes who are escorts (either independent or agency).

54%:  Fraction of escorts who consider the transaction as equal.

>50%:  Of streetwalkers with pimps (see below), the fraction who control their pimps rather than vice-versa.

<50%:  Fraction of streetwalkers who work with pimps at least part of the time.

50:  As of June 2012, the high-water mark in ridiculous claims of the number of clients per night hookers supposedly see.

48%:  The amount by which sexual coercion has decreased in Germany since prostitution laws were liberalized in 2002.

45%:  Fraction of underage New York City street prostitutes who are male.

34:  Though often presented as the average life expectancy of sex workers, this is actually the average age of murdered streetwalkers from one study.

33%:  Sweden’s official estimate of the fraction of all Swedish prostitutes who are streetwalkers; note that it is more than twice as high as the standard estimate for Western countries (see 15% below).

28%:  The factor by which the number of prostitutes rose in Norway after client criminalization.

Prostitute and Her Client by Georges Bottini (1904)26%:  Fraction of escorts who feel they have power over their clients.

25%:  Estimated decrease in the American rape rate if prostitution were legal.

25%:  Fraction of Queensland prostitutes with a university degree.

25:  The average age at which American prostitutes enter the trade.

20%:  Fraction of men who see prostitutes at least occasionally.

20%:  More realistic estimate (heard at Albany Law Symposium) of fraction of all “human trafficking” which is for sexual purposes (see also 80% above).

19:  Prohibitionist group Fondation Scelles’ claim of the average age of all whores worldwide (see 25 above).

16:  The average age at which underage prostitutes enter the trade (see also 13-14 below).

15%:  Estimated fraction of all Western prostitutes who worked on the street prior to the advent of the internet.

13:  According to prohibitionist propaganda, the average age at which prostitutes enter the trade; this is derived from a purposeful distortion by Melissa Farley of the age at which underage streetwalkers in one study reported they had their first noncommercial sexual contact of any kind.

12.5%:  According to a 2005 “estimate” by Atlanta police, the fraction of the city’s Asian population who are “sex slaves” (see also 3% below).

11%:  In a 1910 study, the fraction of New York prostitutes who reported that they were coerced into the trade (from Renegade History of the United States; see also 8% below).

11:  The number of US states which allow prostitutes to be sentenced to prison.

10.5%:  Fraction of Chicagoans charged with buying sex who are actually transgender prostitutes.

>10%:  According to the U.S. State Department’s TIP report for 2004, the fraction of all “human trafficking victims” in the entire world who were “enslaved” in Japanese hostess clubs (see also 800,000 and 80,000 above).

10%:  Fraction of Dutch prostitutes who are genetically male; half are male prostitutes (many of them cross-dressers) and the other half transgender.

10%:  Fraction of Swedish girls who admit to having accepted money for sex.

10%:  Estimated fraction of streetwalkers in Western countries who are controlled or dominated by pimps  (see also 1.5% below).  It is also the fraction of underage streetwalkers who have pimps at all.

<10%:  Fraction of all women accused of being underage hookers who are actually under 18.

5-10%:  Historically, the fraction of women who prostituted themselves at least part-time, varying by time and place (from Whores in History).

8%:  High-end estimate for the fraction of female inhabitants of 1840s London who worked as prostitutes  (from Whores in History).

8%:  Fraction of underage New York prostitutes who say they were forced into prostitution.

7%:  Approximate fraction of sex workers arrested in FBI “Innocence Lost” operations who are actually under 18.

6%:  Fraction of men who see prostitutes frequently.

5.5%:  Typical fraction of women in a 19th-century European or American city employed as prostitutes at any given time (from Whores in History).

3-5%:  Fraction of STD cases in the United States which are either suffered or transmitted by prostitutes;  93% of these are associated with streetwalkers (see also 160x above and 2x and 0.4% below).

4%:  Approximate fraction of school-age girls in the US who would now be “sex slaves” if the “estimates” of hysterics were true.

4%:  Approximate conviction rate for “trafficking” arrests made in the FBI’s “Operation Innocence Lost”.

3.5%:  Estimated fraction of Western prostitutes who are under 18.

3%:  According to “trafficking” hysterics, the fraction of all underage hookers in the entire US who work in Atlanta (see also 12.5% and 16,000 above).

2.3%:  Fraction of women in the general population who report their husbands or boyfriends are “extremely controlling”.

2 hours:  Typical average cost of the least expensive hookers’ services in comparison with the average working man’s pay in most cultures.

2x:  Factor by which the rate of sexually transmitted infections in the promiscuous segment of the general public exceeds that in streetwalkers  (see also 160x and 3-5% above, and 0.4% below).

<2%:  Fraction of Cambodian prostitutes who say they were coerced into the trade (see also 1.5% below).La Bella by Titian (1536)

1.5%:  Overall estimated fraction of adult prostitutes in Western nations who are controlled by abusive pimps.

1.2%:  Fraction of women in the general population who report their husbands or boyfriends are “extremely violent”.

1%:  Fraction of modern American women who admit to having worked as whores at some point in their lives (from Sex Work).

<1%:  The fraction of “brothel” raids in which UK police found someone they could accuse of being “trafficked”; also the fraction of “trafficked” Greek whores.

1:  The number of arrests for “human trafficking” during Super Bowl week in both Miami (2010) and Dallas (2011) (see also 40,000 and 133 above).

0.4%:  The estimated fraction of all STD cases in the United States which are either suffered or transmitted by escorts or brothel workers (see also 160x, 3-5% and 2x above).

0.3%:  Fraction of women in modern Western cultures who work as prostitutes at any given time.

0.014%:  Fraction of missing “children” (most of whom are actually adolescents) who are abducted by strangers for any reason.

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Morality cannot be determined by genitals.  -  Masruchah

Here We Go Again

“The Inside of the White Slave Traffic”, from 1913.  Enjoy, and marvel at how little the “sex trafficking” narrative has changed in a century.

Terminology

Here’s a glossary of the many types of sex workers in 1920s Berlin, including streetwalking dominatrices with extremely specific specializations:

The very first thing foreigners noticed in Berlin was its thousands of prostitutes, on the streets, in hotel lobbies, and seated at cafés and clubs.  How many women made their living selling sex in Berlin during the Golden Twenties is impossible to calculate, but estimates range from a low of 5,000 to the oft-published figure of 120,000 (not including the city’s estimated 35,000 male prostitutes).  It all depended on one’s definition of the term…Altogether there were seventeen distinct varieties…

License to Rape

A New Orleans police officer who was…booked with forcible rape was indicted…on additional sex crimes…Desmond Pratt Sr., a longtime homicide detective, was indicted on one count of sexual battery of a 15-year-old in 2001 and one count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile in 1997 or 1998…

Acting and Activism

Rape for ProfitHere’s actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s entry into the clueless celebrity division of “sex trafficking” fandom:  “Rape for Profit”, a “documentary” based on the premise that “there is a growing problem in major U.S. cities where girls as young as 12 years old are bought and sold as many as 15 times a night to service the desires of men.  Experience the shocking truth and follow several heroes as they fight this modern-day slavery and stop the next generation of buyers…” Yes, this was released in 2013, not 1913; I know it’s hard to tell.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

You’ve got to admire his chutzpah:

The…mayor [of Salvador Mazza, Argentina]…Carlos Villalba…was arrested…during a raid on a brothel as part of a case investigating human trafficking…[protestors] demanding that the mayor resign…threw eggs at the building where the town officials were meeting, and even traded blows with a group of municipal employees…the mayor said he believed he was at a family home…not in a brothel…

Lack of Evidence (April Updates)

A plan by the Education Agency of Prabumulih, South Sumatra, to include virginity tests as part of its high school admission requirements has drawn the ire of legislators and education experts, who say that such an exam is a violation of personal space and an obstruction to a student’s right to an education.  H.M. Rasyid, the chief of Prabumulih’s Education Agency…[said] increasing instances of premarital sex and prostitution among female students prompted the move…

Public Service Announcement

Michael Brooks sextingKansas City FBI agents have scrutinized allegations that an online relationship led to Councilman Michael Brooks being blackmailed into getting city tax dollars for a community event that never occurred…Brooks is a married father of four and a Baptist minister…[who] went to the FBI to report…[that a] woman he was involved with tried to extort $60,000 from him…[after] they…exchanged lurid pictures…

Nasty Words

Regular readers know that I dislike grotesque euphemisms for genitalia and sex acts, but love the history of language; apparently the latter is stronger than the former, because I thought y’all might appreciate these two charts of slang terms for both male and female genitalia over the past 800 years.  The Timeglider platform takes a bit of getting used to, but I figured it out in a few minutes so I’m sure you can as well.

Big Sister

Emasculated Icelandic journalist is absolutely shocked to discover that prohibition of consensual behavior doesn’t work any better in Iceland than it does anywhere else; he goes to a “champagne club” and pays for a stripper, then when he leaves claims to have been “flooded with a range of emotions from disgust, anger and shame, but they settle at simply feeling sullied.”  Retired call girl and blogger tells him that he isn’t fooling anyone but his neofeminist overlords, and maybe not even them.

Girls, Girls, Girls!

San Francisco’s celebrated, unionized and worker-owned peep show the Lusty Lady will close its doors…on September 2nd…due to a lease dispute…the group had negotiated a lower rent…months ago.  A new lease was signed and notarized by the co-op but not immediately returned by the landlord.  After a few months paying the lower rent, the landlord apparently reneged and went back to the higher rent, which the club didn’t have room for in their budget.  The landlord put off new negotiations until [August 19th, then]…notified [them that] they had to be out…[in] two weeks…”if someone out there has a miracle up their butt” they are encouraged to reach out to the Lusties at LustyLadyPR@gmail.com

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #11)German sex box

Zurich…unveiled a sex drive-in which local authorities say will enable them to keep closer tabs on prostitution…the nine so-called “sex boxes” are located in a former industrial zone…[and] will be open daily from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am, and only to drivers, who must be alone in their vehicle if they want to pass the gate…they will have to follow a marked route along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed.  Once they have negotiated a rate, they will drive to one of the…boxes…[which] will be equipped with alarms, allowing the prostitutes to make rapid contact with police if they are in danger…Zurich has spared no effort to encourage the prostitutes and their clients to leave the city centre and use the new site, making it as pleasant as possible…To avoid putting off clients, city authorities said they had no plans to install video surveillance or deploy police at the site permanently.  Social workers and security guards will be on hand, however…

Older press releases say most local hookers support the plan; as Laura Agustín points out, however, any attempt at regulation creates some bottleneck:

…whenever this sort of plan arises…numerous street workers simply refuse to transfer their activities to the regulated zones, which are always far away from bustling areas if not in downright deserted ones.  Instead, they move into some other commercial/residential neighbourhood, where the cycle begins again…

An Example To the West (TW3 #39)

over…100…teenage boys…whose mothers are [sex workers]…will be part of 14 [soccer] teams [in Kolkata]…the winners of the tournament, organised by DMSC, will receive soccer-related gear.  Surojit Bhattacharya and Bishwajit Nandi, two children of sex workers left August 2 for Poznan, Poland to represent India in the Homeless World Cup that began August 10…

So Close and Yet So Far

I don’t know if anyone at the American Jewish World Service read my critique of Ruth Messinger’s statements about sex work and “trafficking”, but they’ve prepared a splendid document called “Sex Worker Rights: (Almost) Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask”, in which neither I nor several other activists could find a single fault (and believe me, we were looking).  Bravo, AJWS; welcome to the ranks of true allies!

Backwards Into the Future (TW3 #41)

Malawian lawyers recognize “avails” laws as relics of the “white slavery” hysteria; why can’t American ones get that?

…no provision in the Malawi Penal Code criminalises the selling of sexual services…yet…some police officers in Malawi appear to be operating under the assumption that sex work is illegal…based on an interpretation of [a] section…which prohibits a woman from living on the earnings of prostitution…The [law]…can be traced back to 1912…[and] unsubstantiated allegations of women being trafficked to colonies for the purpose of prostitution…

Tyranny By Consensus (TW3 #51)condoms

There has been a development in the porn industry’s lawsuit to overturn the Los Angeles “condoms in porn” law:

…Judge Pregerson has decided that condoms in porn do not violate the First Amendment…[but] much of Measure B does violate the Constitution…he has…[removed] the County’s ability to [charge a fee for,] suspend or revoke [a filming] permit…[or] conduct warrantless searches of producers…a fine or criminal penalties could not be imposed without a judicial hearing.  The Court also…[found] that Measure B does not define adult films sufficiently since…activities such as kissing…could possibly transmit disease…

Skin To Skin

Tauriq Moosa on sex workers and the disabled:

…sex workers’ services shouldn’t only be recognised in the light of people with disabilities, but people with, say, psychological hangups, and so on…This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with people who choose sex workers because they “can’t get” anyone without paying for it – just as people don’t “resort” to online dating…seeking out sex workers is nothing to be ashamed of; it’s not wrong, or indicative of being a failure, deviant or a slightly off human being. However we find fulfilment, as long as we are not harming others, shouldn’t be an issue and we should celebrate that there are people, like sex workers, helping and facilitating this…

The End of the Beginning

The North Carolina law banning registered sex offenders from commercial social networking sites…that children can use is unconstitutional because it’s vague and violates free speech, the state Court of Appeals ruled…unanimously in vacating the additional felony conviction of a registered offender…[who] created a profile…on Facebook…

A War for Peace (TW3 #321)Amina doesn't need dimocracy

First she had no last name, then we were told it was “Tyler”; now as the Topless Tunisian announces she’s leaving Femen, I think we’re at last getting the real one:

Amina Sboui…was arrested in Kairouan [on] May 19…after she tagged the word FEMEN on the wall of a cemetery.  The group then held several protests to support her…but now that she’s been released after more than two months in prison, Amina has decided to leave FEMEN, calling it “Islamophobic”…[she also said] “I do not know the movement’s sources of funding.  I repeatedly asked Inna [Shevchenko]…but she refused to give clear answers…What if it was Israel that funded it?”…

Ad Absurdum

I find the repeated usage of the word “victim” herein to be especially grating:

Kaitlyn Hunt…was arrested again…Under the conditions of a pretrial court order, Hunt was forbidden from contacting the victim…[and] was offered a plea deal to lesser, nonsexual charges…[but] the state attorney’s office withdrew that offer…following allegations that Hunt repeatedly met with the victim and sent sexually explicit photos via the Internet…

More Harm Than Good

Given that Sam Woolfe believes that sex workers are dominated by “pimps, drug dealers and traffickers”, that we’re diseased and too stupid to care for our own health, that our work is “degrading”, and that legalization increases “sex trafficking”, one has to wonder what the “legalization” he advocates would look like.  And given that he apparently had the time and inclination to fill his head with bogus studies and made-up statistics, one is at a total loss to understand why he wasn’t able to locate the readily-available debunking of the garbage he spouts in this asinine article, or to simply consult with someone who actually knows something about the subject before writing it.

Cuckoo Advertising
Ashley Madison 36 hours of bullshit

Ashley Madison is at it again, and the credulous media are still swallowing their ads as “press releases”.  This time it’s ABC-TV’s Good Morning America show, opening wide for the claim that the average woman who joins the site is in bed with some “lucky” dude about 36 hours after joining; hiding in that comparatively-minor assertion’s shadow is the whopper that 40% of the site’s members are female (though in all fairness, we don’t know how Ashley Madison defines the words “member” and “female”).

But Brandon Wade of Seeking Arrangement is not to be outdone; he wrote a “press release” touting the claim that 40,000 of the aspiring sugar babies on his site are teachers, and got the Daily Caller to buy it…thus plugging into the teacher fantasies of many a would-be sugar daddy, of whom there are undoubtedly more than a few among the Caller’s readers.

Zurvivor (TW3 #334)

Alexis Wright…doesn’t have to answer questions from prosecutors at the trial of alleged client…Donald Hill…Justice Roland Cole ruled Wright didn’t have to testify after her attorney argued her testimony could open her up to prosecution on new charges, including federal crimes and perjury…

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We only have so many criminal justice dollars, and we need to apply them…toward the areas where we’re afraid of the perpetrators…We’re not afraid of prostitutes. We’re just mad at them.  -  John Whitmire

R.I.P. Virginia Johnson

Virginia JohnsonThe female half of Masters and Johnson, the pioneering sex researchers, has died at the age of 88 (Dr. Masters died in 2001).  Though she never got a degree, Johnson’s intelligence, insight and willingness to speak candidly about the female sexual experience allowed the duo to accomplish what Masters’ academic credentials alone could never have: a thorough exploration of the sexual responses of both men and women, with a strong emphasis on direct measurement rather than the omnipresent questionnaires of most latter-day sex research.  Johnson’s importance to sexology cannot be overstated; it is not an exaggeration to say that modern women, in large part, are indebted to her for their current ability to openly discuss sex and sexual needs.

Bad Girls

How much of this story about the “Starlet Bandits” (a gang of hookers turned bank robbers) is true, and how much a combination of moral panic, journalistic exaggeration and Tarantinoesque tale-telling from a pimp who wanted to be a star?  There’s no way to tell, but I won’t be at all surprised to see it presented as a movie in about seven years.

Reading Between the Lines

Yet another “Operation Cross-Country” has resulted in the persecution of many hundreds of American sex workers.  The FBI is crowing that it “rescued 105 child sex-trafficking victims” and arrested “150 pimps”, but in reality the young women claimed to be “rescued” were also arrested, as demonstrated by this video released by the FBI itself.  As in the last couple of raids, officials are hiding the number of adult hookers busted in this vast boondoggle; however, if the proportions are the same as in the last case for which full figures are available, there were almost 1200 of them.  Even the identities of the so-called “pimps” (most likely male sex workers, drivers, etc) and “rescued children” (some of whom might actually be the children of the arrested women) are in question because the FBI plays fast and loose with the facts.  Consider that in the initial press release it was claimed that the youngest “victim” was 9 and another was so happy to be “rescued” she consented to an interview; later it came out that the youngest was 13 and the interviewee was actually an informant who has been working with them for years.  I suggest you judge the veracity of the other claims by that measure.

Real People

Cathryn Berarovich, a sex worker who writes a column for The Gloss, interviews a streetwalker who has recently gone indoors via online advertising.  Not only is the interview itself quite interesting, so is the story of how Cathryn met her.Tizzy Wall

What the Hell Were You Thinking?

Tizzy Wall (one of my pals from the Desiree conference) recently published “Safety Tips from Sex Workers”, in which she teaches amateurs how to use some of our screening tricks to keep safe:

Although meeting someone at a bar is not necessarily any safer, removing the ability to judge someone’s mannerisms and demeanor can understandably make the less tech-savvy nervous.  Who knows if that hottie on Grindr is going to turn out to be scary?  Even common dating sites like OkCupid host their fair share of creeps who can put the bravest of romance-seekers on high alert…Thankfully, the web offers a bevy of nifty little options that allow us to vet someone before a face-to-face meeting.  You may not be able to screen just like a sex worker, but you can still get some use out of their tools.  This may be the one (and only) time you find a sex worker giving tips rather than collecting them, so take note of these hard-earned harm-preventative measures that anyone can use…

Peeping Toms

…In…at least a dozen cases since 2011…[the Baton Rouge] Sheriff’s Office…used [Louisiana’s anti-sodomy law, which was struck down by Lawrence vs. Texas a decade ago]…to ensnare men who merely discussed or agreed to have consensual sex with an undercover agent…District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office refused to prosecute…the cases…a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman…denied that investigators had been misapplying the…law [because it] remains among the state’s criminal statutes…Peter Renn, an attorney with Lambda Legal…said the pattern…suggests authorities are using the stings as a means to harass gay men…“This is basically like the police putting up a sign that says ‘Please sue me’”…

The Mote and the Beam

You know that quote that says insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results?

Kirkland police served a search warrant against the infamous online ad company backpage.com, seeking information about its alleged promotion of prostitution…at the Motel 6 in north Kirkland…State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced…he and 49 attorneys general are asking Congress to give them the power to fight online ads promoting prostitution…

Say, Bob, how’d it turn out last time y’all tried that?  Oh, yeah, the State of Washington admitted it knew trying to hold websites responsible for third-party content was unconstitutional.  But hey, the $200,000 the judge made y’all pay Backpage didn’t come out of your pocket, so it’s no big deal to you, right?

Law of the Instrument (TW3 #25)

Another case of “human trafficking” meaning whatever the “authorities” want it to mean:  “Two men who were arrested…in connection to a large marijuana growing operation are now facing human trafficking charges…the pair brought a 15-year-old runaway girl from Southern California to their grow location [and] sexually assaulted her…”  She was not forced to work in any way; in other words, this is a case of abduction and rape.  Remember this next time you see “trafficking” statistics.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (TW3 #35)

Spongebob upsetMorality in Media’s campaign to get men’s magazines banned from military property has failed, sort of.  While the Department of Defense stated categorically that “the department’s Resale Activities Board of Review previously…concluded those magazines do not meet the definition of sexually explicit material under the [Military Honor and Decency Act of 1996], and are permissible for sale”.  However, Army and Air Force Exchange stores have announced they will no longer sell them:

…the decision…was not based on morality, but merely because the magazines were not selling, as people now get their pornography online…AAFES said it was permanently removing 891 magazines from its stock, including SpongeBob Comics and the Home Buyers Guide…to…create 33% more space in the stores to sell items such as DVDs and video games…

There is no word on whether the separately-run Naval Exchange stores are planning to do the same; SpongeBob was not available for comment.

King of the Hill

Cleveland obviously couldn’t stand Toledo claiming to be the biggest “sex trafficking hub” in the region:  “Ohio is a major pipeline for human trafficking, taking young, lost girls and turning them into sex slaves…the average age is now 12 for entry into this dark world…”  I just love the expression “turning them into sex slaves”; it sounds so science fictional.

Down Under (TW3 #40)

The predictable result of the years-long “crackdown” on street work in St. Kilda:

Members of the Victorian sex industry are calling on the state government to decriminalise street-based sex work after the death of a woman in St Kilda…Tracy Connelly, a 40-year-old sex worker known professionally as Kelly, was murdered in daylight…on July 21…Police said she had severe face and upper-body injuries and had suffered a “horrific” death…Janelle Fawkes…of…Scarlett [sic] Alliance, said by decriminalising street-based sex work, workers would look to police as protector rather than prosecutor, and thus feel safe to speak out when threatened or assaulted…

Follow Your Bliss (TW3 #44)Larry Kobielnik

As previously explained, “The TSA attracts criminals and those with personality disorders that exaggerate control and sociopathic tendencies…”:

A former [Florida] police officer kidnapped a woman at gunpoint and raped her while he held her captive for several hours…Larry Kobielnik, 37…an officer with the [TSA] for 11 years…offered the 30-year-old a ride…then pulled out a handgun and a police badge, placed the woman in handcuffs and told her she was under arrest…[he then] drove her…to a house…where he raped her…he [eventually] fell asleep, allowing her to escape and record his car’s license plate number…

The Public Eye (TW3 #49)

Here’s an interview with Kristen DiAngelo about her film, American Courtesans; it was screened at Desiree, but for some reason it was scheduled last in the evening (after two other movies I didn’t want to see), so I was not able to attend.  The interview doesn’t cover any new ground for readers of this blog, but note the venue (MSN) and the positive attitude of the interviewer.  Given some previous pro-decriminalization stuff from the Gates Foundation, perhaps Microsoft may eventually develop into a real ally.

Skin To Skin

Since prostitution is already legal in Spain, I’m guessing this campaign wants to ensure that no ridiculous “pimping” laws can be used to harass organizations which connect sex workers with disabled clients:

A Catalan organization which helps provide disabled people with sexual relations is pushing for “disability” prostitutes to become legal in Spain…Jaume Girbau…is…the engine behind Sex Asistent Catalunya…[which] wants the…government to…make sexual assistants legal as they already are in many countries across Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Denmark.  Some of these countries pay for the services with public funds…The group is already putting together the teaching material with the aim of offering those interested inEscape from the White Savior Industrial Complex professional training a…university degree…

FarmVille (TW3 #138)

Escape from the White-Savior Industrial Complex”  is a simple parody of Nicholas Kristof’s Half the Sky FaceBook game, designed and programmed by a recovering Kristof groupie.  Can you help Radhika escape “rescue”?

Coming and Going (TW3 #311)

You know that Texas “diversion” program that’s supposed to be so bloody wonderful?  One of things it does is teaches the women to blame themselves for the state’s criminalization of consensual behavior.

Dutch Threat

Amsterdam city council can continue with its policy of reducing the number of brothel owners in its red light district, the government’s highest advisory body…said…The city council began cleaning up the red light district in 2008 and has now introduced new zoning laws which make it possible to evict brothel owners who are uncooperative.  The aim is to reclaim one of the oldest and most picturesque parts of the city by encouraging exclusive shops to open there…62 red light windows will have to close…

Credit Where Credit is DuePat Robertson

Pat Robertson seems to be slowly going sane:

…Pat Robertson said on his show…that he believes transgender people are real, and that there’s “no sin” associated with that.  While Robertson’s entire comment isn’t perfect, it’s still surprisingly positive… “There are men who are in a woman’s body… it’s very rare but it’s true, or women that are in men’s bodies, and they want a sex change…I don’t think there’s any sin associated with that.  I don’t condemn somebody for doing that.”

An Example to the West (TW3 #316)

Nicaraguan sex workers have…set up an office to assist in protection from abuse, violence and discrimination…Prostitution is illegal in Nicaragua but authorities often turn a blind eye to it…Retrasex is part of a Latin American and Caribbean network of 1,000 affiliates…[which] is fighting to change the vocabulary used by media and official institutions to…the term “sex workers.”  The organization also seeks to influence social, health and education policy, as well as push for rights…

Celebrity

Steph Wilcock, another of my friends from Desiree, has unveiled her “Sex Workers Speakeasy” project, “the aim of [which] is to allow current and former sex workers a platform from which to express our experiences of working in an industry besieged by blame, discrimination, prejudice, and stigma.”  It will consist of very short videos like the one at this link, which Steph made of me just before we went to the after-party on Thursday night; if you’re a sex worker who’d like to participate, Steph explains how following the video.

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This essay first appeared on Cliterati on May 5th; I have modified it slightly for time references and to fit the format of this blog.

Sold!In “Under the Bus” I discussed the way in which politicians are all too willing to sacrifice the rights of minority groups (especially already-marginalized ones like sex workers) in order to broker some political deal.  When the stakes are extremely high, this can perhaps be understood if not forgiven; at least the sacrifice of the few won some important victory for the many.  But the ugly truth about the modern gay rights movement is that it now regularly throws marginalized subgroups under the bus to win minor victories for the majority.  As one activist recently pointed out on Twitter, “More LGBT people will get jailed under anti-#prostitution laws than will ever want to marry. Gay Inc tells them: Go rot.”  I think it’s safe to say the same thing about the military: more LGBT people (especially transgenders) are sex workers than soldiers, but one would never know it from the comparative amount of noise mainstream gay activists make about the issue.  Furthermore, I’ve seen others complain that “Gay, Inc” is trying to ignore HIV patients and to cut the “T” off of “LGBT”.  The reason for all of this bus-throwing is the same; as I explained in “Chauvinism”,

…Gay rights was for a very long time an uphill battle, especially in the pathologically-prudish United States.  Yet in the past few years, opposition to the cause has quickly withered and died with astonishing speed…If one insists that the cause of opposition to gay rights is “homophobia”, in other words a particular aversion to homosexuals, the rapid turn of the tide makes no sense whatsoever.  But when one realizes that the same hatred is dispensed to anyone who is outside the norm, the reason for the change becomes clear…While gay people were chanting “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it”, progress was achingly slow.  But once they started to stress how little different they were from heterosexuals – “Look, we even want to get married and form families like you do, see?” – opposition to granting them rights rapidly dissolved.  Once the majority came to see gay people as sufficiently “normal”, their chauvinism was no longer an issue…

Because sex workers and transgenders are more easily “othered” than nice, “normal” gay folks who want to live in the suburbs, join the country club and adopt kids, our concerns had to be crammed back into the closet lest we upset the status quo – despite the fact that drag and transgender sex workers were the chief agitators at the Stonewall riots, the birth of the gay rights movement.  As Wikipedia explains,

The Stonewall Inn…was known to be popular with the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community:  drag queens, representatives of a newly self-aware transgender community, effeminate young men, male prostitutes, and homeless youth.  Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn…Tensions…erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later.  Within weeks, [Greenwich] Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested…Within six months, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York…and three newspapers were established to promote rights…Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world.  On June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride marches took place…commemorating the anniversary of the riots.  Similar marches were organized in other cities.  Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June…

Stonewall riotsSan Francisco quickly became a center of the gay rights movement, and the San Francisco pride parade the largest and most elaborate gay community event in North America (it became “lesbian and gay” in 1981 and “LGBT” in 1995).  Attendance is now estimated at over a million people each year, and in 1997 the parade began to attract lucrative corporate sponsorship as gay rights became a mainstream issue.  The parade, and gay rights in general, has become big business, and mainstream gays (the term “queer” hardly seems appropriate any longer) now seem to think of those of us who challenge the establishment as crazy relatives to be shut in the attic and Not Talked About.  So I wasn’t too surprised to see this Glenn Greenwald column at the end of April:

News reports yesterday indicated that Bradley Manning, widely known to be gay, had been selected to be one of the Grand Marshals of the annual San Francisco gay pride parade, named by the LGBT Pride Celebration Committee.  When the predictable backlash instantly ensued, the president of the Board of SF Pride, Lisa L Williams, quickly capitulated, issuing a cowardly, imperious statement that has to be read to be believed.  Williams proclaimed that “Manning will not be a grand marshal in this year’s San Francisco Pride celebration” and termed his selection “a mistake”.  She blamed it all on a “staff person” who prematurely made the announcement based on a preliminary vote, and she assures us all that the culprit “has been disciplined”: disciplined.  She then accuses Manning of “actions which placed in harms way [sic] the lives of our men and women in uniform”:  a substance-free falsehood originally  spread by top US military officials which has since been decisively and extensively debunked, even by some government officials  (indeed, it’s the US government itself, not Manning, that is guilty of “actions which placed in harms way the lives of our men and women in uniform”). And then, in my favorite part of her statement, Williams decreed to all organization members that “even the hint of support” for Manning’s actions – even the hint – “will not be tolerated by the leadership of San Francisco Pride”.  Will not be tolerated.

Greenwald enumerates at length the evils committed by the aforementioned corporate sponsors, but for our purposes it’s this bit that’s important:

…at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, once an iconic symbol of cultural dissent and disregard for stifling pieties, nothing can happen that might offend AT&T and the Bank of America.  The minute something even a bit deviant takes place…even the SF Gay Pride Parade must scamper, capitulate, apologize, and take an oath of fealty to their orthodoxies (we adore the military, the state, and your laws).  And, as usual, the largest corporate factions are completely exempt from the strictures and standards applied to the marginalized and powerless.  Thus, while Bradley Manning is persona non grata…illegal eavesdropping telecoms, scheming banks, and hedge-fund purveryors of the…worst right-wing agitprop are more than welcome…when I wrote several weeks ago about the remarkable shift in public opinion on gay equality, I noted that this development is less significant than it seems because the cause of gay equality poses no real threat to elite factions or to how political and economic power in the US are distributed.  If anything, it bolsters those power structures because it completely and harmlessly assimilates a previously excluded group into existing institutions and thus incentivizes them to accommodate those institutions and adopt their mindset…

BorgIn short, sex workers and those members of the queer community who either can’t or won’t be assimilated into the fascist Borg can forget about getting any help or support from mainstream gay organizations, because it won’t be forthcoming.  Over two years ago I wrote, “Sex worker advocates need to concentrate on OUR rights and stop wasting our time, money and energy on…causes…[with] millions of dollars, scores of celebrity advocates, hundreds of legislators and many thousands of low-level activists behind them…”  That’s even more true now that our former allies have sold us down the river; like those outcasts who (44 years ago today) refused to submit quietly to police, we need to show the Powers That Be that we will no longer tolerate institutionalized persecution merely because we make loudmouthed, pearl-clutching prudes uncomfortable.

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