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Every year on her feast day, I honor St. Mary Magdalene; even though the Church does not officially recognize her as the patron of whores, she certainly is in the public imagination.  And if beliefs have power, that recognition of sacred whoredom in the minds of millions has far more metaphysical and philosophical weight than any official Church designation.


My dominatrix is bright, a great listener, and knows her trade well; I’ve been seeing her for several years.  A couple of months ago, in chit-chat after the scene was done, I asked her about her school and made an offhand remark about how she seemed to like unstructured events.  She was offended, said I didn’t know her well enough, and left without a word of goodbye.  Later she texted me saying I was intrusive and needy, and that it wasn’t her job to give me attention.  Now she is ignoring me.  What did I do wrong?

Different people have different boundaries, and sex workers are no exception.  We’re a lot better at policing our boundaries than most people, but we all have different ways of doing that.  Some of us, especially those relatively new to the profession, have extremely firm and rigid boundaries and strict rules about how we maintain them (which often includes rules about the consequences of boundary violation, up to and including “firing” a client who transgresses them).  Over the years, many (perhaps most) of us get more flexible about our rules; we develop a better sense of which boundaries are serious deal-breakers and which we’re willing to negotiate for the right client under the right circumstances, subject to intuition.  For example, when I first started I absolutely never gave out my personal phone number or legal name; now there are clients who know both.  There were also things at first that I’d never do for anyone, but now don’t mind if I know the gent well enough.  It’s not that I’ve become jaded or don’t care about my boundaries any more; far from it.  It’s just that I’ve internalized my needs well enough, and have such a finely-honed sense of how I feel about a situation from moment to moment, that I don’t always need the rigid rules as I did 17 years ago.  However, not everyone is like me; some ladies maintain strict rules for their entire career, and it’s their right to do so.  Nobody can determine what works for any individual but that individual herself.

It’s pretty clear that your lady is one whose boundaries are both firm and non-negotiable, and you broke one of them.  That isn’t a criticism of you; it may be that if I were in your place I’d have unknowingly done the same thing.  And it’s equally clear that your offense, however unintended, was serious enough in her mind that she is willing to forgo the income to maintain her principles and/or avoid the possibility you may do it again.  My advice is that you move on and find another domme; it may be that she is being manipulative and will contact you when she decides you’ve been punished enough (or when she wants your money enough).  And when and if that happens, you get to decide whether that kind of treatment is forgivable or whether it violated one of your boundaries, and whether you should go back to seeing her or tell her where she can stick her moodiness.

(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.)

Give up hope — we’ll find you, too!  –  Je Suis Maidan

Bad Girls 

Translation: some robbers employ female accomplices who pose as sex workers to attract victims:

Hundreds of thousands of UK ­tourists travel to Sunny Beach resort in Bulgaria, where pints are as cheap as 80p…But the flocks of drunk Brits are attracting criminals, the Foreign Office said.  It added: “Tourists are targeted by thieves and pickpockets in Sunny Beach.  There has been an increase in burglaries from hotel rooms.”  Prostitution is not illegal in Bulgaria…but it is believed [by cops] to be linked to the criminal underworld…”We’ve received numerous reports of muggings and assaults of British nationals by prostitutes and their minders…Tourists have been victims of overcharging in strip clubs [and] threatened with violence if they don’t pay”…

This scam has existed for as long as there have been cities; the Romans referred to such women as gallinae (“hens”).  To report this as “news” is like pretending the existence of pickpockets and panhandlers is.  Also:  Try buying something at any business in the US or UK and refusing to pay, and let’s see if you aren’t threatened with violence.  The fact that the thugs you’ll be threatened with in those places are more likely to wear costumes doesn’t change the fact that you’re being threatened with violence.

The Course of a Disease (#8)

A watered-down disease culture, but a disease culture nonetheless:

…[Israeli] lawmakers [who happen to have vaginas]…announced they would present legislation punishing the clients of prostitutes…as the Justice Ministry wrapped up a year-long evaluation of the issue…The issue in recent months earned overwhelming support in the Knesset, with 71 lawmakers from both the coalition and opposition lending their support…Justice Ministry Director-General Emi Palmor ruled out leveling fines against those who paid for sex, saying it was not legally viable.  However, Palmor said she was “very, very much in favor” of instituting gradual criminal penalties against those who pay for sex, beginning with a warning and building up to court-ordered “John school” attendance, and other criminal punishments…Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked…will then decide whether to pursue legislation that would both punish clients and set up [re-education] programs for the sex workers…

The Immunity Syndrome (#321)

The last “super gonorrhea” scare turned out to be bogus, and I strongly suspect this one is as well:

…the World Health Association is now warning of an globally spreading gonorrhoea superbug which is resistant to all antibiotics…Thus far there have been only three identified cases of people with a strain resistant to all antibiotics, so it’s far from too late for us to stop this becoming a pandemic, or for you to protect yourself…

Observation: three cases of a dangerous disease.  Conclusion: “globally spreading” pandemic!  Everybody panic!

Pimping the Pimp (#446) 

With her exaggerated claims, naked opportunism, and ludicrous misuse of terminology, this woman reminds me very much of Annie Lobert of “Liars for Jesus”:

Elle Snow laces up her combat boots, prepared once again, to go to war with “The Game”…says Snow…”The [sex] traffickers like to move their victims frequently so they can’t get to know anyone and it’s harder for law enforcement to track them”…Snow…says she was 19 when she was first approached by an older man [named David Bernard Anderson] who…[coerced her into prostitution]…Anderson was one of many men and women following a set of carefully laid-out rules and guidelines for how to force women into prostitution.  “What happened to me was called ‘The Game,’ this monstrous beast that is this world of sex trafficking…These guys have a complete structure, they have books, they have documentaries, they have podcasts”…Now Snow spends many of her days monitoring sex ads on online classified sites, looking for trends …”I’m looking for tattoos because traffickers like to brand their victims”…

Yes, Snow is intentionally conflating the street term “The Game” (which, like “john”, is used far more often among cops and prohibitionists than among streetwalkers, and virtually never by other sex workers) with “Game”, the pickup artist system.  Anyone who’s ever researched the latter knows that it has nothing to do with pimping, but Snow doesn’t let that stop her any more than she lets the demonstrated falsity of that tattoo nonsense stop her from claiming that.  Neither CNN nor her intended marks will bother to do any research, because they’re eager to hear more masturbatory fantasies they can pretend are about fighting evil rather than appealing to their prurient interests.

Guinea Pigs (#634) 

New surveillance weapons are usually used against sex workers first, but it never stops with us:

In late June, someone launched a website called Je Suis Maidan, identifying people captured in photographs from Moscow’s June 12 anti-corruption protest.  On July 7, the website also started identifying demonstrators who attended protests that day in regions throughout the country.  Je Suis Maidan relies on the controversial app “FindFace,” which makes it possible to find a random person’s social-media page on Vkontakte [Russian Facebook] with a photograph of that person.  Using images that appeared in the news media (including a gigapixel photograph published by the pro-Kremlin tabloid Life.ru), the website finds people through FindFace, listing their real names and Vkontakte pages…

The War Goes On (#705) 

Politicians will keep persecuting Backpage until they find a new website to demonize:

Five members of Congress who [ride anti-whore hobbyhorses]…called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a criminal investigation of Backpage.com after a trove of documents revealed that the website hired a company in the Philippines to lure advertisers and customers…The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations…[claimed] in January that Backpage was removing offensive terms from its sex ads but allowing the ads, some with [imagined] child-trafficking content, to remain posted…

Some of the five named politicians are the same ones working to gut Section 230, thereby destroying the internet as we know it.

Business As Usual (#738) 

Even though there’s nothing here which wasn’t already covered in earlier articles on the topic (including mine), its appearance in a mainstream and controversy-averse publication like Glamour is an extremely promising sign:

There’s a heated debate going on right now in Alaska between the police department and sex workers’ rights advocates over a bill that would make it illegal for [cops] to [rape or molest] sex workers before arresting them.  If Alaska passes this bill, they’ll become the first state to outlaw any sexual contact between police and the people they’re [trying to entrap]…Advocates…[point out] that police catching sex workers in the act by engaging with them sexually is a human rights violation, and Amnesty International has made an official statement…that…“Such conduct is an abuse of authority and…amounts to rape and/or entrapment”…

Across the Pond (#744)

Here’s that vile use of “safer neighborhood team” to mean “vice squad” again:

After a [supposed] spike in complaints…[cops] are launching the new campaign which they hope will stop the sex trade in Redbridge…Sgt Matt Taylor…was quick to [hide the persecution behind the faddish claim]…that his detectives are targeting the pimps and criminals which organise and use the prostitutes, and not the girls themselves…“We want to [force] them…out of prostitution”…Sgt Taylor said police [pretend] the gangs are “organised”…Insp Lee Canter, the head of Redbridge Safer Neighbourhoods, commented: “I would like to send a strong message out to those who intend to use the services of sex workers as we will seek to prosecute you and if convicted your picture may be published in the local papers”…

Total Eclipse of the Brain 

Though it’s too early in the implosion to tell for sure, we may have a winner in the “stupidest gypsy whore magnet” competition:

The eyes of the world will be on Hopkinsville [Kentucky] next month when a total solar eclipse brings tens of thousands of people to the small city.  But law enforcement and activists are warning everyone of sex trafficking, a dangerous threat they hope does not become a reality…[profiteer] Amy Leenerts [claims]…“yes, it will definitely happen…it’s a human trafficking ring.  And we expect that to probably end up in Hopkinsville”…The FBI is looking into the credibility of human trafficking threats during the eclipse.  Meanwhile, the Christian County Sheriff Department is wasting no time preparing for the worst…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#755)

One way to tell a moral scold’s head is inextricably embedded in his own rectal cavity:  he claims supposed disastrous effects of whatever-it-is that are the exact opposite of those claimed by other moral scolds:

The Salvation Army has condemned…sex robots, warning that the technology could increase demand for people trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation…rather than decrease demand for real sex workers…Kathryn Taylor, of the Salvation Army’s anti-[whore]…unit said…”In the same way that pornography normalises certain behaviours, the availability of sexbots could normalise a distorted power dynamic which devalues the other person involved when transferred to human interactions.  This could encourage increased objectification of women and children and a lack of respect for their fellow human beings”…Prof Noel Sharkey…said compliant and uncomplaining sexbots could encourage objectification, abuse, rape and paedophilia…

You know, kind of like Agatha Christie novels and TV cop shows increase real crimes.  It’s funny how prudes expect everyone to believe that human beings are only volitionless tabulae rasae when sex is involved.

Diary #368

Last week was a mad scramble of all-over-the-place for me!  After a lovely but busy weekend with Lorelei, my week was spent trying to get as much ahead on the blog as possible (and succeeding through this coming Saturday, hurrah!); packing; preparing for the trip in other ways (such as making sure I had enough drugs and alerting my credit card provider to the fact that I might do that thing which 21st-century banks seem to find “suspicious”, traveling); selling a rental house I owned in Oklahoma; switching various accounts from my old Oklahoma address to my new Washington one; giving two interviews; and doing that thing which pays for it all, i.e. spending a lot of time on my knees and back.  Lorelei & I flew out late Saturday night on a redeye, arriving early Sunday morning in Philadelphia and spending the day in a hotel with Ghost Rider before heading out to the airport.  The flights were as good as I dared hope (which is to say: thank Aphrodite for Valium, Zofran and booze) and we arrived at Shannon airport early yesterday morning, just in time for breakfast (we decided to fly in there and out at Dublin rather than vice-versa).  Today, and every day this week, I’ll surrender myself to the desires of Lorelei & Ghost Rider regarding where we go and what we do; I don’t want to make any decision more important than “What do I want to eat from this menu?”  And on Friday, keep a look out for a bunch of pictures!

Not Even Close

Usually, when I devote a whole column to picking on a news article, it’s because said article is so hilariously bad or deeply disturbing (or both) that I can’t bear to limit myself to a quick jab of the knife in a news column, and instead prefer to lovingly vivisect it until the entire virtual room is spattered in blood.  But this is, alas, not one of those cases; the article’s author, Sonja Sharp, clearly believes herself an ally of sex workers, or is at least open-minded to the idea that sex workers deserve human rights, yet she can’t quite bring herself to shake off her childlike trust in government and her belief that cops are the “good guys”.  So what we get is an article that is generally supportive of sex worker rights, yet fails to properly place the blame for our oppression on the prohibitionists; instead, it adopts a kind of mealy-mouthed “moderation”, pretending that there is a legitimate “debate” to be had between those who say humans own ourselves and have unalienable rights, and those who pretend that individuals are owned by the State, which has the “right” to use violence to “protect” us from choices with which our owners disapprove.  There’s very little point in quoting the good parts, so I’m just going to concentrate on pointing out the bad ones.

[When] Police Commissioner James O’Neill and the city’s First Lady Chirlane McCray…[announced] the NYPD would bolster the size of its vice squad in order to stamp out sex trafficking…the hope on part of some advocates was that sex workers might see relief from the pressure traditionally brought to bear by police…

I have no idea who these “advocates” Sharp refers to are, but none of them are sex worker rights activists; we know better than to harbor naive beliefs that doubling the size of a police unit could in any way signal “relief” for those the unit is specifically intended to oppress.

…a growing number of law enforcement agencies…are forming their own anti-trafficking units—often using grants from the feds—and deploying similarly gallant rhetoric despite limited evidence their arrests do much to stop exploitation…But alternatives are time-consuming and remain opaque to most law enforcement agencies, which have been deputized to fight human trafficking in part because it’s widely understood to be synonymous with illegal sex work…Modernizing their approach is still a work in progress, to say the least…

Because the writer can’t bring herself to question the institution of policing, she buys into the claim that cops are interested in “stopping exploitation”; she imagines that the idea of just leaving people alone instead of persecuting them for private, consensual activities is “opaque” to cops, rather than recognizing “sex trafficking” as a boondoggle intended to disguise the ugly persecution of sexual behavior under a mask of “helping”.  The idea that cops’ behavior needs to be “modernized” is the most asinine of all; what they’re doing now IS the modern approach, by definition, since it’s less than 20 years old.  What we really need is a return to the approach which predominated throughout most of human history: recognizing that sex work is normal and not a government matter, and leaving it the fuck alone.

…Jean Bruggeman, executive director of the national anti-trafficking organization Freedom Network USA [says] “I think in their zeal to help [cops] are doing some very wrongheaded things,” including mass arrests of sex workers and John stings using fake Backpage ads…

More exoneration of cops, pretending their abusive behavior (including surveillance, rape, robbery, brutality, destruction of homes and lives and even driving people to suicide) is motivated by a “zeal to help”.  You know, like terrorists blow up innocent people in their “zeal to help” them get to Heaven.

…In what appears to be a more concerted approach than that of the NYPD, LA Sheriff’s detectives bring an outreach worker with them whenever they approach sex workers…always offering them diversion first, before an arrest is made…”if they flat-out refuse, we book them, and then they’re sent to the appropriate court,” where they are then [forced into] a system of mandatory services…It seems like progressive approach, one most people—even those who think sex work should be legal—might be able to get behind…

Yeah, it’s “progressive” all right, considering that the Progressive movement spawned the concept of Prohibition in the first place.  To pretend that people who want to suppress consensual sex are actually trying to “help” anyone but themselves is disingenuous in the extreme, yet Sharp just can’t see that attacking peaceful people and then forcing them at gunpoint to accept the government’s idea of “help” is evil even if implemented exactly as planned, both in theory and in practice.

…demand reduction…is hotly contested among advocates and experts.  While less explicitly harmful than arresting sex workers, opponents say it does little to rout traffickers, while those who endorse it argue arresting Johns makes sexual exploitation less attractive as a business…

Aaaaaaaand I’m gonna stop right there before I am seized with the urge to disembowel Sharp along with her crappy article.  No, “end demand” isn’t “hotly contested” among anyone who actually gives a shit about human rights, nor is it less harmful than arresting sex workers (indeed, in the US it always includes arresting sex workers despite the rhetoric).  There is no legitimate “debate” over whether people own their own bodies, nor whether they have the right to consensual sex with other adult partners; pretending that there is such a “debate” is nothing more than catering to evil control freaks and sucking the dick of power.  The pretense that cops are some kind of sweet, well-intentioned social justice squad, and that it isn’t their fault the laws are bad, is so incredibly nauseating it boggles the mind.  Stories like this, written by sheltered little girls barely out of their parents’ houses, are vile apologies for evil policies that enable uniformed rapists and soft-peddle operations intended to destroy lives, enable armed robbery of citizens and increase the real “modern slavery”, mass incarceration.

Links #367

Ik kan niet ademen.  –  Jerry Afriyie

When this posts I’ll be on the first leg of my trip to Ireland, so it seems appropriate to share one of my favorite Vangelis compositions, the haunting and beautiful “Irlande”.  The links above it were provided by Tim Cushing (“pigs”, “sirree” and “dogs”), Kevin Wilson (“serve”), Marijke Vonk (“brutalized”), Radley Balko (“bald”), and Nun Ya (“guess”).

From the Archives