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In the News (#569)

If we let consenting adults have sex, who knows what else they’ll want permission to do?  –  The Onion

Reaction Formation

This is a pretty decent explanation of reaction formation:

…some of the people who rail against porn…or any of the other controversial items on the sexual smorgasbord…are actually turned on by the thing they decry.  They may not know it consciously, but being anti-whatever actually gives one a grand excuse for being immersed in whatever…many absexuals don’t truly understand what a strong erotic response they’re actually having…They just can’t seem to shut up about it.  And they get really worked up—I believe they go into the sexual response cycle when they begin to pontificate about the things they hate so much…

Saving Them From Themselves

Fayetteville, North Carolina, cops have charged 17-year-old Cormega Copening with sexual exploitation of a minor—his girlfriend, who is the same age—because the couple sent each other nude photos of themselves…There’s no evidence the photos were ever sent to anyone else, and police only became aware of them because they searched Copening’s phone for unrelated reasons that haven’t been specified.  Even so, the teen…faces decades on the Sex Offender Registry and up to ten years behind bars if convicted…Copening’s girlfriend—who remains unnamed in the news articles—is also facing charges…

Above the Law rapist cop Brian Tucker

Prince George’s County, Maryland has more than its share of predatory cops:

…State…trooper Brian Tucker…picked up [a]…woman…and the two decided to have sex…Tucker…drove the woman to an abandoned industrial area…and…the two had consensual sex before the trooper asked the woman if she wanted to have anal sex and she refused…Tucker put his service weapon to the woman’s head and anally raped her…

The End of the Beginning

More of this, please:

…In 2011 the city council of Lynn, Massachusetts, enacted an ordinance than prohibits certain categories of sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school or park—exclusion zones that cover 95 percent of the town’s residential property…the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) of Massachusetts overturned the ordinance, concluding that it conflicts with the state’s scheme for regulating sex offenders after they are released from prison…”By requiring level two and level three sex offenders to move from their residences or face a civil penalty of $300 per day,” the opinion says, “the ordinance disrupts the stability of the home situations of sex offenders.  As a supervised and stable home situation has been recognized as a factor that minimizes the sex offender’s risk of reoffense, this disruption is inconsistent with the Legislature’s goal of protecting the public”…

Frequently Told Lies

A good dissection of the ridiculous pretense that every sex worker who wants decriminalization is “unrepresentative”:

Accusations of unrepresentativeness in sex industry debates are most often deployed to silence – acting as full stops in the conversation.  They enable sex industry abolitionists to restrict the discussion to the topic of identity, miring it in issues of “representativeness” instead of exploring the substance of the representations being made.  This preoccupation may be partly why abolitionists seem to have such a poor grasp of the subtleties of sex industry politics…

January Q & A (#417)

There’s a word for men who exploitatively profit from sex workers without giving them anything in return:

…Brian Bates, known to many as the “Video Vigilante,” posted a video…on his JohnTV website…using a drone…the device he uses now costs about $2,000.  He also had to spend the equivalent of several 24-hour days learning how to fly the thing…Bates said he earns a living through posting his videos on YouTube and by licensing his footage to TV production companies all over the world…

Vendetta (#432)

This abomination will continue to be inflicted on ever-larger numbers of victims until Hunt’s weapons are forcibly removed by decriminalization:

Las Vegas…recently wrapped up its participation in a national initiative designed to [inflict Swanee Hunt’s sad, sick psychodrama on people who never did her any harm]…Cook County (Ill.) Sheriff Thomas J. Dart began these operations in 2011…[and the number of pigs at the teat] has grown from eight agencies to more than 70.   The 10th “National Johns Suppression Initiative” ran from June 1 through Aug. 30…A variety of sting operations locally resulted in…34 “John” arrests…36 [underage sex workers arrested]…44 adult sex [workers arrested]…26 [other people charged as pimps and]…23 search warrants served [to look for loot]…The Onion logo

The More the Better (#512)

The humor sites have much better, more sensible coverage of sex work than the so-called “serious” media.  With the exception of one very flat note in the “cons” section, The Onion‘s “The Pros and Cons of Legalizing Prostitution” is wonderfully snarky and dead on target.

Traffic Circle (#546)

It’s so, so wonderful to have Glenn Kessler on our side:

ECPAT…attributed [the “100,000 trafficked children” lie] to 2010 congressional testimony by Ernie Allen, at the time president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)…Allen said he relied on two reports…Estes and…Weiner…and the 2002 National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway Children (NISMART)…Both of these…rely on data collected in the 1990s…the Estes-Weiner report has been the subject of criticism by social scientists for years, and yet for some reason it remains the go-to source for anti-trafficking advocates…But…the NISMART report…shows that only 1,700 kids — less than one percent — reported having engaged in sexual activity in exchange for money, drugs, food, or shelter during the episode…more than three-quarters were away from home for less than a week; 99.8 percent…were recovered.  So the pool of children who could end up being trafficked is relatively small…

If You Want Something Done Right…

Police say they are seeking tips after a woman working as a prostitute at a [Michigan] motel fought with two armed robbers and took a rifle away from one of them.  She called…police…to report the robbery…When she heard a knock at her door she thought it was [a client but]…a masked man with a rifle forced his way into the room…A second young man followed behind the first…and there was a scuffle…The woman fell or was knocked down the stairs after she seized the rifle from one of the young men…One of the two assailants grabbed the woman’s purse from her room after she fell…

Amnesty At Last (#564)

It’s starting, slowly but surely:

[Oklahoma City] Councilman Ed Shadid said he wants the city to consider legalizing – or at least decriminalizing – prostitution…”I think we should stop criminalizing sexual behavior.”  Shadid spoke during a discussion of a “Disorderly House” ordinance, which expanded the definition of an “open lot disturbance violation” to include drugs and prostitution.  The ordinance passed, but Shadid said criminalizing prostitutes is not the way to solve the city’s problems…Shadid, a surgeon, said he is worried about the spread of antibacterial-resistant and sexually-transmitted diseases…”Do you want to use [shame and impoverishment and imprisonment] for nonviolent, consensual activities, where perhaps in some cases it could be safer if it were regulated?”…

Little Boxes (#566)

I was wondering how long it would take them to cram this into the “sex trafficking” paradigm:

Three women who pose painted and topless for tips in Times Square say that ten undercover police officers [stole] their clothing, purses, cellphones and wallets from the pedestrian plaza at 42nd Street…while they were using the bathroom at a nearby parking garage.  The women had to walk nine blocks in their paint and robes to the Midtown South precinct in order to retrieve their possessions.  There, before returning any items, detectives questioned them each separately in an interrogation room…The [harassment]…coincided with the arrest of their assistant Chris Olivieri [who] spends afternoons…holding their tips…running for snacks and tampons, guarding their clothing, and painting their breasts, backs, and legs…the Daily News, the mayor, and Governor Cuomo have recently tried to imply that male “managers” (“pimps,” if you read the tabloids) force the women, so-called “desnudas,” to work…

Now They Notice

Of course, this was glaringly obvious from the start:

…The New York Times served up a prime example of…incongruence in two editorials that ran…on the very same day. In…a statement by the august Editorial Board, the Rentboy raid was presented…as an attack on civil liberties enabled by the illegality of prostitution.  The Times board advanced the notion that the men using the site — on both the buying and selling side — were rational actors who were victimized only by hectoring law enforcement.  The solution, clearly, was the decriminalization of sex work…Contrast that with the op-ed by Rachel Moran, a [prohibitionist pretending to be a] former prostitute…which is…an attack on the recently proposed Amnesty International policy drafted to protect the rights of sex workers worldwide…The two editorials…fall along lines of gendered doublespeak that remain consistent in mainstream media: Decriminalization would liberate male sex workers, who are presumed to have complete sexual autonomy, while it would all but enslave females, who are presumed to have none…

Even MSNBC published a sensible position for a change:

…unlike MyRedbook.com (also raided by the federal government) and Craigslist Erotic Services (shuttered by political pressure), no one has justified the raid on Rentboy as necessary to stopping human trafficking or protecting any victims…Sex workers consistently say they find it safer to screen clients online than on the street.  Closing down such websites directly increases the risk of harm to sex workers.  That is the effect of criminalization…Advocates of prosecution invoke racialized myths of sex work as dominated by “pimps” and “traffickers” that don’t bear out in research…Meanwhile…resources that could go to uncovering actual trafficking and supporting victims are being wasted on locking up sex workers and shuttering escort sites…

Whore Nation

When I was on the way out to stay with Jae, and in the first few days afterward, I had (as you can imagine) many practical concerns in addition to the ones about Jae’s health.  One of these, naturally, was money; supporting myself was only the beginning of that, because obviously my ongoing bills wouldn’t patiently await my return. But the city we’re in is small, and I no longer have an alternate work persona; if I advertised it would be announcing our location, ans I didn’t want to do that.  I mentioned my dilemma to Mistress Matisse, and she had an answer: “Don’t even try to work right now; you just concentrate on Jae.  The whore nation will provide for you.”

Babylon the WhoreI knew exactly what she meant.  Though we’re a long way behind our sisters in other countries, especially those in the Global South, American sex workers are at long last beginning to come together as a force to be reckoned with.   With our constitutional right to assemble ignored in most places (gatherings of sex workers can, and sometimes have been, raided and the participants charged with “conspiracy to commit prostitution” or “communicating for the purpose of prostitution”) and our activities spied on by the police, it was historically very difficult for pre-internet American sex workers to organize.  But social media changed all that; escort message boards, blogs and Twitter (especially the latter) have allowed whores to talk, plan, and organize collective effort.  Hashtag campaigns like #whenantisattack#notyourrescueproject and #rightsnotrescue attracted so much attention outside the demimonde that they were even covered in mainstream media, and we began to use our collective efforts to shut down prohibitionist evils and opportunistic exploiters alike.  But it was in the past year that the American whore nation has really come into its own: while SWOP chapters have sprung up like mushrooms and we’ve steadily won new allies, we’ve also expanded our ability to shut down dangerous “trafficking” rubbish that feeds on whores while amplifying the narrative that endangers us all.  Meanwhile, Amnesty International’s announcement of its support for decriminalization and the ill-considered federal raid on Rentboy have brought would-be allies out of the woodwork in startling numbers; the power of the Whore Nation is growing, and ESPLERP’s lawsuit could open a breach in the enemy’s defenses through which our forces could pour.  It is inevitable that we will win, and gain the same rights as anyone else, and once we do this time period will be the one our historians view as the turning point.

Social Disease

Recently, I saw an escort who had a rash on her behind and thighs.  She said she had been laying on her belly on the beach and fell asleep, resulting in a serious burn which also caused a rash.  The rash did not look like herpes, but I am worried about carrying it to a girl I’m dating even though the sex was protected and the lady is meticulous about condom usage.  Do you think she was telling the truth?

leperThere’s a really, really simple way to be sure about this: get tested.  If she was lying, you’ll know soon enough.  But I’m sure you already thought of that; it’s pretty obvious.  It is, in fact, so obvious that I have to wonder why you didn’t simply do it instead of writing me about it.  And what I think is that you aren’t really worried about an actual disease spread by a pathogen, but rather an imaginary “contagion” of sin.  You don’t owe fidelity to a girl you’re simply dating, but I suspect you’re more serious about her than y’all have officially agreed to be, and because of that you feel guilty about having visited a whore.   Sex with a professional would not be the same as cheating even if the two of you had a monogamous relationship, which you don’t; feeling guilt when the two of you aren’t committed makes even less sense.  And I hardly need to tell you that you’ve got far more chance of catching something from the amateurs you’re implicitly allowed to date than from professionals.

(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.)

In the News (#568)

Government officials…think it’s not easy enough to steal people’s things.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

License to Rape

Why is it so hard for US journalists to use the word “rape” when whores are the victims?

…a South Florida man told a prostitute that he was a police officer and that he would arrest her if she refused to have sex without a condom…22-year-old Mark William Rose was arrested…and charged with impersonating a police officer in the commission of a felony and false imprisonment…Rose told arresting deputies he had previously used the…bluff about a dozen times, with three women conceding to sex…

Get Out of the 19th Century Often?

News reports about prostitution stings in southern states are usually shockingly stupid, and often have not one word about “sex trafficking”:

Over two dozen men were arrested [after falling for]…a cop [decoy].  “We dirtied her up. We told her, you know, you gotta, you can’t be, this is not Pretty Woman,” [pig mouthpiece Joey] Davis [oinked]…Davis explains prostitution is a day job…”a little kid, they don’t need to see that stuff going on”…Some of the women get paid in heroin further spreading disease.  Unknowing wives may become victims.  “Was it worth it?  They didn’t ask for that.  And you don’t know, you might be signing your own death warrant”…

That’s right, kiddies; heroin causes disease!

Tyranny By Consensus

I wonder how much Michael Weinstein has cost the state of California so far?

Adult performers are speaking out against a ballot initiative that mandates condoms in porn throughout the state of California…The measure empowers everyday citizens to sue adult film producers for creating condomless porn—and offers a financial incentive for doing so. Several industry insiders…[say] they worry this would expose them to harassment from stalkers, trolls, disapproving family members and anti-porn activists…

Neither Addiction Nor EpidemicJosh Duggar

Josh Duggar…has “checked himself into a long-term treatment center,” according to a statement  issued…by the Duggar family.  Several media outlets reported that “Josh Duggar is going to rehab for porn addiction“, as if a “porn addiction” were a demonstrably real thing instead of a concept that should be relegated to the scariest of scare quotes.  Duggar’s problems are many but porn addiction is a psychological fiction propped up by the same moralism that Duggar has espoused for years.  By crying “addiction” and going to rehab, Duggar…gets to appear penitent while implicitly sending the pious message that pornography is an evil from which one must be saved…

Above the Law 

Although the term “gay” has now come to include women, I’m honestly not sure what it’s doing in the victim’s description here:

A gay transgender inmate transitioning into a woman was repeatedly raped by a Rikers Island [guard] and jail officials did nothing to stop it, a new suit charges.  The inmate, identified in court papers only as M.T., was assaulted on Dec. 2, 2012 by…L. Galan after months of harassment…Galan gave M.T. gifts like an iPod Touch, headphones, a charger, a case and $20 in cash to not report the abuse…

Bottleneck

commercial sex wasn’t “illegal” in Germany prior to 2002…ProstG removed morality language…”pimping” [laws]…limited legal recognition for contracts…and…ensuring sex worker access to employment benefits…What the 2002 Act failed to do was create federal mandates on zoning, registration, health and safety, and police power.  This left substantial jurisdiction to German states…an estimated 98% of Germany geographically, and over 90% of German towns and cities are restricted areas, and over two-thirds of German residents live in a city where commercial sex is prohibited…Berlin is one of only three german cities without restricted areas.  In other cities, street-based sex work is limited to a few blocks…if not completely forbidden…In Munich, which only allows commercial sex in 3% of the city, sex workers say police regularly stage sting operations to lure sex workers into prohibited zones.  Also unchanged by ProstG…are state police laws, which–even in liberal cities like Berlin–give police the free reign to enter wherever they suspect commercial sex is taking place…including a sex worker’s home…

Uncharted Seas

The title says it all: “All the Bad Arguments Against Polygamy, Debunked“:

Since the marriage equality movement’s recent triumph in the Obergefell vs. Hodges decision, national attention has settled on the status of polygamy, or the legal recognition of marriage between more than two partners.  Several national publications have printed arguments both for and against polygamy rights…Both right and left have taken turns making the case for polygamous marriage, and both right and left have taken turns criticizing the idea…but it’s remarkable just how many bad, sloppy, unconvincing arguments have been marshalled.  Let’s go through and refute them one by one…

My First Million (#437)

I hit the 4 million pageview mark at about 19:30 UTC last Sunday, August 30th.  Thanks to all the readers who made it happen!

4000000

Vendetta (#518)

Let’s hope the moralists all start devouring one another:

A billboard along an exit from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport could give visitors the wrong impression, according to some…travelers.  The billboard…urges men not to buy sex from prostitutes.  “Buy sex [,] lose everything” is the billboard’s message…”We need to remove it, take it down,” said John Rejebian…”I think the public needs to be spared these things”…A logo for CEASE Network is in the lower-right corner of the billboard…

New Excuse (#544)

Elizabeth N. Brown examines the profit motive behind the War on Whores:

…the government’s interest in stopping commercial gay sex is surely more motivated by the commercial aspect here than the man-on-man component.  We’re riding high on a wave of state successes in shutting down prostitution-related businesses…[under] the guise of stopping “human trafficking,” and aided by massive amounts of federal funding plus newly granted wiretapping, asset forfeiture, and other law enforcement powers.  As Scott Shackford pointed out, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) didn’t go after Rentboy.com out of a conviction that gay sex workers pose a threat to national safety but because they could seize $1.4 million from employee bank accounts, along with their homes and other assets.  This is not so much a moral crusade—not for police, prosecutors, or federal agencies anyway—as a money-grubbing one…

Ashley Madison (#557) 

Computer security expert John McAfee on the Ashley Madison “hack”:

Ashley Madison was not hacked – the data was stolen by a woman operating on her own who worked for Avid Life Media…A hacker is someone who uses a combination of high-tech cybertools and social engineering to gain illicit access to someone else’s data.  But this job was done by someone who already had the keys to the Kingdom.  It was an inside job…In my first IBTimes UK article about Act One of the Ashley Madison Affair, I alleged that the group of hackers claiming responsibility for the “hack” simply did not exist.  I gleaned this information from reliable sources within the Dark Web – which have yet to fail me.  I also claimed that it was the act of a single person.  Any adept social engineer would have easily seen this from the wording in the first manifesto published by the alleged hacking group…

I have to wonder if this employee wasn’t the anonymous tipster who provided the material for “Show and Tell“.  I also found this tidbit rather amusing:

The chief executive of…Ashley Madison is resigning…following a hack that revealed millions of user names meant to be kept secret.  Noel Biderman founded the site in 2002 to make it easier for married people to find other married people to have affairs with…Biderman…has sworn that he would never cheat or use the site.  But the hack…uncovered emails suggesting that he was conducting multiple affairs…

What Were You All Waiting For?

The Amnesty International statement is such a big deal, even the 38 “anti-trafficking” groups that make up the “Freedom Network” came out in support of it.  This is not the first time people who adhere to a version of the “trafficking” paradigm have come out for decriminalization; the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women is the most important one, and Kate D’Adamo (first listed author of the statement) is well-known as an opponent of criminalization.  But the fact that a number of organizations who fly the “trafficking” flag are willing to break ranks with the others is a powerful sign of the beginning of the end of the hysteria.

Diary #270

20150805_132241-1For the last week, Jae has slowly but steadily improved, then on Friday the nurses started the process of lightening her sedation.  The physical therapist came in the afternoon and we sat her up on the side of the bed; she was groggy but definitely conscious and answered my questions and the therapist’s directions perfectly.  She let me know that she knows she’s in hospital and that she had an accident.  The next day, they continued to reduce her opiate pain medication and turned the ventilator to its lowest setting, so she was breathing for herself with the machine serving only as a backup.  I found out that there are several reasons for her breathing difficulties: collapsed lower lobes of both lungs, fluid in the chest cavity and multiple rib fractures. So even though she is breathing for herself, the doctors want to be sure she can sustain that before taking her off of the machine.

She spent most of Saturday asleep, but because of the dramatically-lowered pain medication her sleep was much more natural-looking; she even slightly awakened and yawned several times.  But on Sunday, the nurses began to lower her main sedation, Precedex; once it was down to roughly half what she had been on, she began to awaken and was very alert and coherent.  Unlike Friday, she did not merely answer questions (with eyeblinks or head shakes) and follow instructions, but also initiated actions on her own; she would make gestures to let me know that she wanted something, then I’d ask her questions until I pinpointed what that was.  She asked for hugs and kisses several times, and caressed my arm or hair when I leaned over her.  She told me that her ribs were very painful, but not as much as her guts (some of the meds were upsetting her stomach).  Later in physical therapy, she stood up with assistance and was able to follow the therapist’s instructions.  The ICU doctor said we’d try to remove the breathing tube the next morning, but unfortunately being awake all day tired her out again, and she couldn’t be awakened in time to make the window for testing and removing the tube; it has to be in the morning so she can be observed all day for any issues.  When she did awaken later, she was very unhappy about this; she became very grumpy and cried a few times, but we’re going to try again this morning and with any luck, the breathing tube will be out today and she’ll be able to speak and eat normally again. That also means an end to strong sedation and restraints, which should make her happy.

Now, this does raise a new issue that I think it’s very important I bring up: a lot of her friends are going to want to start calling to talk to her, and I don’t blame y’all.  But she’s still going to be very tired; she is likely to be awake for only a few hours a day, and she may not really want to talk to anyone during those hours.  So please, let her be; her cell phone has been found and I’m getting its broken screen fixed this week, so if she wants to call you she will.  If you call and she doesn’t want to talk, I will tell you so, and I’m not going to persuade her or twist her arm to speak to anyone.  She still has a long way to go before she’s recovered, and has the right to be as anti-social as she likes during that time.

Note on the picture: Grace took this of Jae on their trip to Sturgis; I asked her if I might use it for this column, and she said yes via eye blinks.

If everyone had just agreed to ignore these women’s deranged fantasies when their disconnection with reality became hideously apparent roughly 25 years ago, they’d be nothing more than a fringe group today (occupying a position on the credibility ladder somewhere between young-Earth creationists and those who insist that the moon landings were faked).  –  “Hurdling Over Reality

Never On SundayThere are only a few differences between the way this blog was structured in August 2012 and the way it was structured through 2013 and 2014.  The archival links were still appearing in “That Was the Week That Was” rather than “Links”; Q & A columns were still monthly rather than weekly; I hadn’t yet started the weekly Cliterati reprints; and the “My Favorites” feature was still going on.  Other than that, though, everything was in place; this month’s holidays were “Lughnasadh” and “Vinalia Rustica“, its harlotography “Mary Anne Clarke” and its fictional interlude “Friend“. I was writing a great deal about “sex trafficking” hysteria; “The Lion and the Ox“, “Soap Opera“, “Creating the Crisis“,Ghost of Frankenstein “Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms”  and “Small Choice” were all on the topic, and “Worse Than I Thought” marked the beginning of government’s concerted effort to replace the “War on Drugs” with a War on Whores.  There were two other columns of recurring types: “August Movies” and “The Pearls Ain’t Free“, a song column.

Print Gallery by M.C. Escher (1956)This was also the month in which, slowly but surely, the attitudes of sensible people who actually care about facts began to turn toward decriminalization; I covered that beginning in “Shift in the Wind“, which has since become the subtitle for news items about public support for decrim.  “Too Young To Know” has become the heading for items about negating the agency of underage sex workers,  “Whatever They Need To Say” the one about using prostitution laws to implement land grabs, and “The Public Eye” the one about individual sex workers in the news.  Rounding out the month were “Childish Things“, a discussion of childish, primitive ideas that still bedevil mankind; “Hurdling Over Reality“, which asks why feminists get so bent out of shape when men find female athletes attractive; “Show and Tell“, which provides pictorial evidence of the Ashley Madison scam; “Legitimate Outrage“, which points out that both American political parties are very anti-science; and “False Target“, which debunks the concept of “rape culture”.Onlies

Links #269

It is deemed “natural causes”.  –  Natasha Perry, jailer

You’d be amazed how little time I have to work these days; caring for Jae, dealing with hospital staff and keeping friends updated takes a tremendous amount of time.  But I did manage to run into this very funny video I’d like to share with you, and the links above it are from Radley Balko (“wrong”, “starved” and “shamans”),  Rick Horowitz (“nothing”), and Popehat (“libertarianism”).

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