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In Sweden…the fact that [sex workers] are more vulnerable is considered a success.  –  Luca Stevenson

R.I.P. Charles GatewoodCharles Gatewood

Famed photographer, videographer and cultural anthropologist Charles Gatewood passed away peacefully [on April 28th]…at San Francisco General Hospital.  The prolific 73-year-old was known as the “anthropologist of the forbidden” for his exploration of subcultures like BDSM, body modification, fringe fetishes and more.  Gatewood photographed numerous celebrities…and…worked on assignment for [major] publications…Among his more erotic works, Gatewood produced Tales of Submission and his photos were also frequently exhibited…A memorial service is currently being scheduled to be held at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco…

Rough Trade 

Oscar Luis Urbina was…charged with rape as King County prosecutors contend he brutally raped [a sex worker] at his home.  Investigators took a DNA sample from Urbina as part of that investigation.  Now, prosecutors contend that DNA test solved another violent sexual assault that saw a 25-year-old woman bitten, beaten and raped…on April 13, 2014…

License to Rape

Cops raping sex workers is so ubiquitous, non-cop rapists often pose as cops to facilitate the crime:

A New Jersey man was convicted…of impersonating a [pig] and raping two prostitutes on the Las Vegas Strip…Mark Picozzi…somehow sneaked into a room not registered in his name on the 32nd floor of The Cosmopolitan and called the Las Vegas Dream Girls escort agency…After the woman arrived, Picozzi…told her he was with the police…and…raped…[her]…as she left the hotel…she was arrested [by an actual pig on bullshit charges]…and [since] she had [nothing to lose she reported the rape]…another woman…contacted police after seeing news coverage of the allegation against Picozzi…[and] told police Picozzi arranged a date with her on Jan. 18, 2014…then claimed he was a police officer before [orally raping] her…and [stealing] $2,000 from her safe…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I really love it when they feed on each other:

…[Los Angeles school cop] Mauricio Edgardo Estrada..surrendered to federal authorities following his indictment…by a…grand jury…[on] charges…[of] attempted sex trafficking of a child and use of the Internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.  The case against Estrada is the result of an undercover operation by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force…[Estrada replied to a fake] Craigslist advertisement…and subsequently engaged in a series of text messages with a [cop pretending to be]…a 15-year-old girl…

Surplus Women 

Call me cynical, but I wonder what these prosecutors and cops would’ve said about Ashley Masi if she had been arrested instead of murdered:

Daniel Tejeda might have thought Ashley Masi didn’t matter, but to the 30-plus family, friends, prosecutors and Providence police on hand…to see him be found guilty of strangling her to death, she sure did…Tejeda…[murdered] Masi, an escort and mother of three…by pulling a zip-tie so tightly around her neck that its diameter shrunk by more than three inches…prosecutor…Daniel Carr Guglielmo…called Tejeda “the face of danger to prostitutes. “A prostitute dies … Who cares?…Maybe that’s what the defendant thought.  Who cares?”…

The Course of a Disease

A basic primer on the fight for sex worker rights, focusing on France and Belgium:

…on 6 April, the French National Assembly, not without difficulty, adopted the Scandinavian model of [criminalization]…Whilst many [prohibitionists]…rejoiced…the move…represents a real threat for sex workers.  As denounced by the French sex workers’ union, the STRASS, in a declaration co-signed by around a hundred associations, including Médecins du Monde and the French human rights league, LDH, these workers risk finding themselves being driven underground and into danger…In Sweden and Norway, where this model has been in place for several years, the results are not as encouraging as the governments would have us believe…

Above the Law  

If only there were a short, specific word for the cumbersome phrase “coerced into having sex”:

A lawsuit by 10 women says they were coerced into having sex while they were inmates at a jail in southwestern Michigan…the federal lawsuit…names Berrien County and four current or former sheriff’s deputies who worked at the jail…two of the deputies resigned and one was fired after an investigation started in September into misconduct by jail employees while they were off-duty.  The fourth deputy named in the lawsuit remains employed by the department…

Let’s see; it should be more specific than the umbrella phrase “sex crimes”:

…Santa Clara police Sgt. Thomas Leipelt…was sentenced to 45 days in jail and will have to register as a sex offender after being convicted of exposing himself in front of his girlfriend’s co-worker…San Mateo County Sheriff’s Deputy Galen Underwood was [convicted of]…molesting a female relative…for 6 years, starting when she was 11.  Underwood…was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison plus 38 years…

Oh, I know just the word!

[Memphis cop] Michael Smith…has been arrested and indicted for raping a…woman…on April 16…at a parking garage.  The victim was leaving the Purple Haze night club…and…part of the [rape]…was caught on security camera footage…

Gee, I wonder why the mainstream media won’t use it when the criminals are cops?

Buried Truth 

In 2003, Dennis Hastert urged Congress to “Put repeat child molesters into jail for the rest of their lives”:

Former House speaker Dennis Hastert…was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison…for a bank fraud case linked to allegations he sexually abused teen boys more than 30 years ago.  Federal Judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert, 74, a “serial child molester” and…also fined Hastert $250,000 and sentenced him to two years of supervised release after leaving prison.  Hastert must register as a sex offender…Hastert…admitted for the first time [molesting] some athletes when he was a high school wrestling coach in Illinois before he began a political career that saw him become the top Republican in Congress…Zachary Fardon, the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois, said…Hastert would have faced more serious charges for sex abuse had the statutes of limitation for the criminal sexual misconduct not expired years ago…

Hastert is best known for the so-called “Hastert Rule”, but I’d like to remind you of the McNeill Rule:  “Any man who crusades against any sex act is almost certainly a practitioner.”

Where are the Victims? (#325)

We’re so lucky to have cops qualified to diagnose us as “victims” no matter what we may think:

Blackburn [Lancashire] Police…said despite the best efforts of officers, both victims found at the property refused to provide statements to confirm they had been trafficked…Det Sgt Tony Atkins…said…“This intervention resulted in the safeguarding of the two females, who, although not making complaints as victims, clearly were, but could not see it”…

I hope Atkins fails to see one of the 4000 holes in his vicinity, and falls into it.

Whimsical Notions

Retired Gen. Charles C. Krulak, a former commandant of the U.S. Marines and president of Birmingham-Southern College, is calling on the next president of the United States to ramp up spending on fighting human trafficking…Krulak complains in a CNN op-ed that “each year the federal government dedicates less than $150 million to combating human trafficking—compared to $30.5 billion for the War on Drugs.”  Considering that the War on Drugs is now roundly viewed as one of biggest boondoggles in U.S. history—a fiscal and humanitarian disaster of such scope that even conservative Republicans and many former Drug Warriors can’t deny that it’s not working—I’m not sure why that’s supposed to serve as an endorsement.  But consider this one more clue that America’s war on human trafficking—which in practice is seldom more than a war on adults consenting to commercial sex—is indeed the next target of all that displaced Drug War effort…Citing the same bad statistics that have routinely been debunked by myriad sources, Krulak announces the launch of Generation Freedom.  This coalition of more than 70 organizations has come together to [lobby] for greater “financial investment [in the rescue industry] by the U.S. government”…

Cops and Robbers

Another sleazebag takes it upon himself to persecute strangers for consensual sex:

Amit Prakash…had no idea what [he and his brother] were getting themselves into.  The prostitution.  The johns.  The pimps…For decades, human trafficking has existed in a shadowy world.  That has started to change, though, as authorities at all levels of government have taken up the issue, shining a light on it, even as solutions to stop people from being bought and sold and forced into work as prostitutes have remained largely elusive…As criminal enterprises go, it’s growing faster than the drug trade…women start in the sex trade as teenagers, forced into prostitution by their fathers, brothers or uncles.  Others are coerced by their boyfriends…Prakash says he is determined to find a way stop prostitution – not just at a single hotel, but at hotels and motels throughout the Sacramento region…“The goal isn’t to go after the girls,” he said. “The goal is to go after the guys. The johns. We want to let them know we’re watching you”…Security guards are a must.  So are cameras, preferably ones that cover every inch of a property, so workers can see if unregistered guests enter rooms…Prakash also is a big advocate of…a universal Do Not Rent list…

Guinea Pigs 

Even when the perpetrators are loser guys rather than cops and other government actors, new surveillance weapons are usually used against sex workers first:

The developers behind “FindFace”, which uses facial recognition software to match random photographs to people’s social media pages on Vkontakte, say the service is designed to facilitate making new friends [by stalking them]…On April 9…users of the Russian imageboard “Dvach” (2chan) launched a campaign to [out]…actresses who appear in pornography.  After identifying these women with FindFace, Dvach users shared archived copies of their Vkontakte pages, and spammed the women’s families and friends with messages informing them about the discovery.  The effort also targeted women registered on the [escort] website “Intimcity”…The [losers] behind the doxing campaign say their motivation is moral outrage, claiming that women in the sex industry are “corrupt and deceptive.”  (Tellingly, Dvach users also complained that such women typically ignore the kind of men who make up Dvach’s audience)…

Vendetta (#607)

Another group of technically competent but woefully naive kids is exploited by the police state to attack sex workers:

Human Trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that enslaves nearly 21 million people around the world.  Reliable data remains a major challenge at the heart of anti-human trafficking efforts…Our inaugural ATHackathon will create innovative tools to track & analyze data related to trafficking…

Diary #305

Selfie 4-22-16So, I’ll be visiting Los Angeles from May 19th to 25th.  Despite the fact that I’m going to be meeting up with friends and doing other fun things (perhaps even some profitable ones), I’m not actually looking forward to the trip; that’s because I’m going to be flying, and I really hate flying.  As long-time readers know I suffer from debilitating vertigo, accompanied by terror; in 2014 I even traveled to Seattle by train (more than three days each way) rather than fly.  I’ve tried every motion-sickness remedy there is, both prescription and OTC, and none of them work at all; however, I recently hit upon the idea of trying a two-pronged attack, that being Valium for the anxiety and Zofran for the vomiting.  The literature says the latter won’t prevent motion sickness, but I’m hoping the combination with Valium will.  And if it doesn’t, I’m going to try betahistine on the way back (it’s not approved for sale in the US, so it may be a bit harder to obtain dependably).  Sooner or later I hope to be able to come up with some combination of prescription & non-prescription drugs that will enable me to fly, even if it’s at the cost of sedating me into insensibility for most of the day; better to be groggy and loopy than terrified and vomiting.  Anyhow, I will definitely be available for a limited number of bookings while I’m in town, so if you live in or near LA and you’ve been wanting to see me, now’s your chance!

Links #304

In reports that were written by the deputies who took their gun belts off, took their clothes off and went in the water – those deputies aren’t lying. – Bob Gualtieri, before seeing video showing the deputies were indeed lying

As I said in a recent column, it really is difficult for young people today to comprehend how much more prudish the world has become in the past thirty-odd years.  Case in point: this birth control video, produced by Walt Disney, starring Donald Duck and voiced by my man Paul Frees (and provided by Whores of Yore).  The links above it were supplied by GracePopehatRadley BalkoSkyeEmma Evans, and Grace again, in that order.

From the Archives

May Day 2016

Gaea

May Eve 2016

Chernabog

Though most outside the Germanc & Scandinavian countries have forgotten, May Eve (AKA Walpurgisnacht) was once considered the springtime counterpart to Halloween.  In fact, Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” describes a legendary occurrence on May Eve, the demon-king Chernobog’s summoning the spirits of the dead to dance for him.  This legend is of course the basis for the last sequence in Disney’s Fantasia, but since Disney pursues “unauthorized” videos fairly aggressively I prefer not to deal with it; besides, I’m not really fond of the fade into an excerpt from Schubert’s “Ave Maria” at the end.  So I’m just going to share some concept art from Fantasia with a recording of the unedited “Night on Bald Mountain” below.  If you’d like to celebrate with some other creepy stuff, take a look at last year’s “Tricks and Treats“, my most recent thanatopsis “A Necessary End“, and the horror tales I’ve penned in the meantime, last month’s “Windows of the Soul” and  this month’s “Knock, Knock, Knock“.  And if you’ve never seen The Wicker Man (1973) or would like to rewatch it, now’s the time; it’s also set in the days leading up to May Day.

I am supposed to accept…that the laws of biology are suspended for human beings, or that the laws of logic and economics somehow do not hold when sex is involved, without any proof whatsoever…despite the fact that these things are roughly as credible as the claim that a group of six-headed lemurs from 61 Cygni has established a colony in downtown Hoboken.  – “Not Rocket Science

Mulberry Police by Ricardo Cortés (2013)Even though there were far fewer holidays in April than in the previous months of 2013, the number of columns which fell outside of categories was still relatively small because of the regular Wednesday and Friday features.  The holidays fell at the beginning and end of the month; it started with my April Fool column “Mulberry Street“, a Dr. Seuss homage (followed the next day by “The Story Behind the Story“, which gave some background detail).  And it ended with “May Eve“, which on this occasion looked at scary TV episodes.  This month’s fictional interlude was “Genius Loci” and its harlotography “Skittles“, and though there was no “favorites” column this time there was a song column, “I May Sell You Some of Mine“.  It was in the weekly features, though, that the numbers really racked up: my Wednesday Q&A columns this time were “Natural Processes“, “Garbage In, Garbage Out“, “Dry Run” and “Vice Versa“; and my Friday Cliterati reprints were “Awakening“, “China Dolls“, “Under the Bus” and “Monsters“.  falling rocksAnd after the news and links columns, that left only eight more: “Under Every Bed” ridiculed the expansion of “sex trafficking” hysteria to small towns; “I Saw My Brain” featured a bizarre criticism of a tyrannical Florida Sheriff; “Not Rocket Science” used illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to explain the concept of “burden of proof”; “Theatrics” showed how real exploitation which doesn’t fit the “sex trafficking” narrative is ignored; “Credit Where Credit is Due” called attention to a rare clever article in Jezebel; “The End of the Beginning” questioned whether the “sex offender registry” witch-hunt may be slowing; “The Auctioneer Effect” explained why penalties and restrictions always ratchet up; and “They Don’t Want To Know” looked at how the media self-censor to prolong ignorance about sex.The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali (1931)

I’m a journalist preparing a report about the increasing use of AirBNB by prostitutes.  Do you know if this is something common ?
AirBnB logo
I’m not sure why people are surprised that sex workers use AirBnB.  See, sex workers are people, so any time something becomes more common for people in general, you can bet it will also become more common for sex workers.  As smartphones became more popular, they also became more popular for whores.  As Uber became more popular, we used it more, too.  And since AirBnB has become increasingly popular, Surprise! We’re using it more as well.  I don’t see any stories headlined “Medical Professionals Increasingly Use Computers for Research”, or “Small Businesses Turn To Square for Credit Card Processing”, but for some reason when perfectly ordinary sex workers (and yeah, we’re pretty ordinary; there’s no city in the world where we can’t be found) use a perfectly ordinary technology or product, it becomes a storyIf sex workers are using AirBnB to a disproportionate degree than other people who rent hotel rooms (and that’s a mighty big “if”), it’s probably because cops and other professional busybodies are lying to hotel owners, managers and employees about imaginary “sex trafficking” in an effort to get them to spy on sex workers and report them to said cops, so the cops can then arrest the workers, steal everything they own as “proceeds of crime” and then plaster their names and faces all over the news.  If you want a real story instead of a ridiculous excuse to titillate the bourgeois, try investigating how the War on Whores is becoming the replacement for the increasingly-unpopular War on Drugs.

(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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