Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2010

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
–  Scottish children’s prayer

Halloween was always my favorite holiday, and only partly because it is my birthday.  Now, I have nothing against Christmas; in fact I love Christmas, and it runs such a close second to Halloween that I tend to go about in quite a good mood for the last three months of the year unless something really awful happens to disturb that.  Starting around the first day of autumn my spirits begin to lift as the weather cools and the leaves turn; in fact one of the reasons I moved here from New Orleans is that I wanted to enjoy the autumn colors and weather which we simply don’t have in Louisiana.  And  though I don’t farm, this time of the third and final harvest evokes deep feelings of contentment and a heightened perspective of my place in the world; I tend to cook more and worry less, and I find that despite the dying year I often receive the greatest blessings in these months.

Perhaps it’s my autumnal nature; as I’ve said before I was always a strange and moody child, which I suppose is only appropriate for a Halloween baby.  A tradition holds that “They that are born on Halloween shall see more than other folk,” and my life certainly supports that belief (as my readers would probably agree).  As my witch friend (who goes by JustStarshine online) says in her essay below, “the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest” on Halloween (the festival of Samhain in Celtic paganism) and even as a child I felt that; it was a special, magical night not only because of the treats and the opportunity to get up in costume, but also because it was the one time I was allowed to run wild like the little witch I was, my tangled hair streaming behind in the chilly October breeze as I crept from house to house in the dark, always alone, making sure no other children were nearby to interrupt my solo appearance at each door.  I continued trick-or-treating until I was invited to a Halloween party on my 13th birthday and decided that perhaps it was time to move on to a more adult observance of the night of magic; two years later I lost my virginity at another party on this night of nights.

But I loved to costume, and usually worked up a good one for the holiday.  One of my best was the Bride of Frankenstein, complete with teased, streaked hair!  If there was a “haunted house” fund-raiser in the planning I was involved, and while I was with Jack in the early ‘90s we always set up our house as one for the trick-or-treaters.  While I was working I usually costumed on Halloween; since many people in New Orleans do I didn’t even attract any undue attention, and the clients seemed to like it (as I mentioned in my column of August 10th).  Since we live in the country now we don’t get any trick-or-treaters, but we usually celebrate with a Jack o’ Lantern, a Halloween cake and a scary movie, and I read a horror story aloud at some point in the festivities.  Alas, modern American children have no idea what a real Halloween is like; the “bubble-wrap” approach to child-rearing has become the norm, and children are now escorted around in groups in broad daylight rather than allowed to run free in the dark.  Actual trick-or-treating has largely been abandoned in some areas in favor of staged, sanitized, packaged events at schools or shopping malls, and even many of the older children who may go door-to-door do so in dusk rather than dark courtesy of the US Congress’ decision to postpone the end of “daylight savings time” until after Halloween rather than before.  As Robert Kirby put it, “Proof of our society’s decline is that Halloween has become a broad daylight event for many.”  Our ancestors understood that regularly facing death and darkness in a ritualized fashion rob them of their power to frighten us, but modern people prefer instead to hide them from children and cower from them every day as adults.

As is my tradition on sabbats, I’ve asked JustStarshine to write a short essay explaining the spiritual significance of this day for pagans:

The Significance of Samhain

On October 31 Halloween is celebrated – both in the UK and America – as a night of spookiness, when ghosts and hobgoblins walk the world.  Few of those enjoying “Trick or Treating”, apple-bobbing and putting scary pumpkin-face lanterns in the windows know that Halloween is a pale echo of the older pagan festival of Samhain.

For pagans – and particularly witches – October 31 is when the Wheel of Life starts to turn, reaching the end of it’s cycle at the  time of the Autumn Equinox.  For witches it is perhaps the most solemn ritual of the year, when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest and  knowledge and the spiritual powers of magic are therefore able to pass back and forth.  A  time when we remember our dead, invite them to sit with us at the Samhain fire and ask the Goddess and God for inner knowledge to strengthen us as we descend through the darkness into a winter season.  The Goddess brings a Samhain  gift of wisdom and it may be sweet or bitter to receive, according to our circumstances and desires.

We acknowledge that the Wheel of Life must turn, that death is preparation for rebirth and that as darkness holds the seeds of light we shall meet, and know, and remember, and love again.  Although it is a solemn, and sometimes an uncomfortable ritual, it’s also a comforting one, with its emphasis on rebirth and reunion.

For those who walk the Wiccan path it is a time when the Goddess is both pregnant and the Old One, the Wise Hag, and as the Wheel of Life moves through the year we see Her and her Son/Lover in their different aspects during the changing seasons.

I ask that God (however you conceive Him or Her) bless all my readers with wisdom and prosperity, and that all your winters (both literal and figurative) be mild ones.  Blessed Be! 

Read Full Post »

If I want my time wasted, I’ll waste it myself. –  Mason Cooley

One of the banes of an escort’s existence, second only to cops, is constituted by time wasters and deadbeats; the former are men who pretend to be interested in our services but never actually arrange anything, and the latter those who make appointments with no intention of keeping them (or who get cold feet but don’t have the balls to call and cancel).  Time wasters are a mere annoyance, but a deadbeat costs a girl time, fuel, and possibly another fee if she turned one down in order to keep the supposed appointment with the deadbeat.  Those who at least open the door, admit their change of heart and pay a cancellation fee aren’t so bad, but those who won’t even open the door are in my mind utterly reprehensible.

One sort of time waster is the stroker; he tries to get the girl to talk sexy on the phone (or to send him provocative emails) so he can play with himself, thus stealing her services in addition to wasting her time.  This type is pretty easily detected because reputable escorts won’t discuss sex via any form of electronic communication, so if a guy keeps pressing for it anyway one simply hangs up on him.  Of course some of them do it while one describes oneself, which is pretty hard to avoid but at least is over with quickly.  But I once had a stroker who was far more bold; he asked on the phone what would happen if he didn’t like me, and as usual I replied that he would owe me a $50 cancellation fee.  So he asked me to come over and let me in, then said he “wasn’t sure” if he liked me or not.  When I asked him what he meant, he told me that he wanted to see me without my clothes before making his final decision.

“I don’t think so,” I laughed.  “I don’t take my clothes off until you pay up.”

So he paid me, and I disrobed and turned this way and that while he ogled every inch of my body before saying, “No, I don’t want you to stay.  Please give me my money back.”

Now, I didn’t just fall off of the turnip truck; I knew very well what this cheapskate was up to.  He figured he’d get himself a strip show for $50, then wank himself as soon as I walked out the door.  So I handed him $200.  Immediately he reacted; “You said the cancellation fee was $50!”

“That’s for me just showing up; I provided you with a service by taking my clothes off, so I’m charging you double.”

“That’s not fair!” he whined.

Not fair?  Are you for real?” I asked calmly.  “You must think I’m some kind of idiot.  I know what you’re up to, and you’re lucky I gave you back as much as I did.  A less honest girl would’ve kept the whole thing.  Of course, if you want to try to take it back by force…”

“No, no, I’m not going to do that!” he assured me, and I left the room after advising him not to try this sort of thing with anyone else.  At least I felt reasonably certain that I had ruined his mood and made him unable to use his mental image of my nude body for the purpose he had planned.

The single most common excuse I got for cancellation from the ones who actually opened their doors was, “You’re not what I expected.”  Now, I’ve mentioned before my reasonably thorough description of myself, and 99% of my clients were ecstatically happy with my looks and presentation.  So, given that nearly every man who said this was either under 30 or not much over it, I am forced to conclude that either A) he really had less money than stated and when he saw a clear-eyed woman of discernable presence rather than a drugged-up trollop he knew better than to attempt to bargain me down to $100; or B) he had fantasies based on stereotypical images and was disappointed that I wasn’t wearing garish makeup and some ridiculous outfit.  I can’t be sure, though, because they would never explain themselves more fully.

Once I had agreed to go a particularly long way for a client, out to the nearby town where I grew up.  It was a quiet night, but I still made the young man understand that I was doing him a favor by coming out that far (I was the only working girl in New Orleans who would).  And then he opened the door and came out with that same stupid statement; I was utterly furious.Not what you expected?” I asked.  “What the hell did you think five foot five, 125 pounds, 34 triple D-25-36 with long curly brown hair and brown eyes would look like?”

“I dunno,” he said, standing there with an asinine Gomer Pyle smirk.

“Are you blind or just stupid?” I then asked, resisting the urge to slap him.

“A little of both, I guess,” he said with the smirk still on his moronic face.  He of course refused the cancellation fee as well; judging by the condition of his trailer I doubt he had 50¢ much less $50.  I honestly considered calling my husband from the nearby car to beat the crap out of him, but I thought better of it and just left.

Most of them, of course, don’t even bother to open their doors; if they’re scared, playing games or just passed out drunk they don’t even come near the door (the light visible through a peephole darkens when someone puts his head there to look out).  One of the ways I always tried to protect girls from such games was by insisting that they call hotel clients on their room phones rather than cell phones; this ensured that the client was genuinely in that room and often that he was the registered guest if the hotel asked (as many do) that a caller confirm the guest’s name before putting it through.  If a client did not respond to repeated knocking, it was a simple matter to pull out one’s cell phone and call the room again; if he was asleep or passed out this would usually awaken him so one could ask him to open the door.  In the case of a true deadbeat, however, this mattered very little; he knew his victim was out there, and he knew that she knew he was in the room, but what could she do?  Well, in some cases, embarrass the crap out of him by writing “deadbeat” or “asshole” or some such on his door in lipstick.  I myself never did this unless I was absolutely certain he was in there and refusing to answer, and not even always then.  But there were some times that the stupid game made me so angry I just had to waste his time or piss him off as he had done to me.

On one memorable occasion I got a call from an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Metairie (the largest suburb of New Orleans) and since it was a warm, dry evening  I went in my convertible.  As I got out of the car a kid about 14 years old suddenly appeared at my side and asked me which house I was going to; though it was early evening this made me suspicious.  “I hardly think it’s any business of yours, sugar.”

“If you’re going to (the house number), they aren’t there,” he said.  Of course, it was the same number my supposed client had provided, but given that I had to park several doors down on the opposite side of the street the only way he could’ve known that was if he had given it to me himself.

“I’ll check it myself if you don’t mind,” I said; of course he was correct and nobody was there.

As I got back into my car, he leaned over my door and asked “Are you an escort?”

“I think you already know the answer to that,” I said, starting the car.

“What do escorts do?” he asked.

“Call me back in about seven years and I’ll tell you,” I said.  “Now get off of my running board and don’t bother us again, OK?”  He complied, but never stopped alternating between looking at my face and staring at my tits.  I really couldn’t bring myself to be angry; he had succeeded in fooling me on the phone, and one expects juvenile pranks from a juvenile.  Adult men have no such excuse.

Read Full Post »

Why is it constantly necessary to do something to people? If we can’t do something for them, when are we going to learn to let them alone? Or must this incessant interference, this meddling, this mauling and manhandling, go on in the world forever and ever? –  Samuel Milton Jones, mayor of Toledo, Ohio c. 1900

Today’s column is yet another collection of short articles on whores which have appeared in the news media recently; what can I say?  If the mainstream media would talk to us as often as they talk about us public ignorance (and with it official persecution) would’ve been swept away long ago.  This first item is paraphrased from an article in The Telegraph of Monday, October 25th:

For Their Own Safety

Spanish streetwalkers along a rural highway outside Els Alamus near Lleida in Catalonia have been ordered to wear fluorescent yellow bibs or pay fines of 40 euros under road traffic laws; police claim the sex workers on the LL-11 road are not being specifically targeted because of what they do but because they pose a danger to drivers.  The prostitutes are in breach of a 2004 law which states that all pedestrians on major highways and hard shoulders must wear the high visibility garments.  A spokesman for the regional police force said: “In the past couple of months the prostitutes have been fined for two reasons: for not wearing the reflective jacket and for creating danger on the public highway.”

Despite police claims, the order comes suspiciously soon after recent legislation in Els Alamus which bans prostitutes from soliciting in public urban areas; Mayor Josep Maria Bea has been accused of mounting a campaign to drive the sex workers out of the area.  An estimated 300,000 women work as prostitutes in Spain, where prostitution is not illegal but “living off the avails” is.  Streetwalkers on roadsides outside towns and cities are a common sight across Spain, and a recent survey found one in four Spanish men admitted to having paid for sex.

Apparently, Spanish men are either liars or the survey actually asked if they had paid recently.

Charlie Sheen, well known as a regular patron of hookers, was in the news again recently for going on a cokehead rampage and scaring the hell out of the working girl who was with him at the time.  The following article was paraphrased from a New York Post article of October 26:

Charlie Sheen Trashes Hotel Room

Charlie Sheen, who left rehab only two months ago, allegedly trashed his room at The Plaza Hotel in the process of attempting to find his wallet and cell phone while high, authorities said.

Hotel security called police just after 2 a.m. after a prostitute called the front desk from the famed Eloise Suite and reported that Sheen had gone on a rampage and then passed out on the bed.  Tables and chairs had been thrown around the room and a chandelier was also damaged, sources said; the damage to the luxury suite reportedly totaled about $7,000.

The star of the TV show Two and a Half Men was accompanied to New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital by his ex-wife Denise Richards, who was staying in a separate room on the hotel’s 18th floor, sources said.  Sheen was discharged from the hospital Tuesday night and is slated to return to rehab; he was only a week away from completing his probation, but told cops he was “out partying” and drinking and had snorted cocaine before he started tweaking, the source said.  Sheen’s rep later claimed the actor was taken to the hospital after an allergic reaction to medication.  Sheen was not injured, but checked himself into the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Apparently, Sheen noticed his wallet and cell phone were missing soon after returning to the room with the escort and flew into a rage, sources said.  The girl then called the front desk and reported that she feared for her life; a source for Life and Style magazine said, “Charlie was incoherent but started screaming slurs at the cops. They recognized him immediately and gave him two options: they could take him to the hospital or take him down to the station. Charlie chose the hospital.”  NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said no complaints were made and there was no arrest.  Sheen was not expected to face any criminal charges.

Ah, cokeheads; once they start tweaking they get paranoid and then it’s best just to leave.  I think it’s worth noting that if a hotel room was trashed by a coked-up non-celebrity, both he and the hooker would’ve been taking a ride downtown rather than offered a ride to a hospital.  However, I’ll forgive Charlie because he’s the only famous man I can think of who had the balls to refuse to apologize and beg for forgiveness when caught with whores in the past.  And when he was being sentenced for using a prostitute, the judge asked him why a man like him would have to pay for sex; Charlie replied: “I don’t pay them for sex. I pay them to leave.”  Perhaps the judge is living in a fantasyland where men can get sex for free, but Sheen is smart enough to realize that only hookers come without strings.

Two Arguments About “Trafficking”

On October 20th this column was published in the Huffington Post; I’m not going to quote it because it’s just the usual farrago of lies claiming that suppressing prostitution is a good way to control the bogeyman of “human trafficking”, but following the link is worth your time for several reasons.  The first is that the author, a graduate student at  NYU (which could just as accurately called “PCU”) who clearly wouldn’t know a call girl if one sashayed up and snogged her, is obviously repeating the latest, trendiest party line from her PC articles and texts, which happens to be “Nordic Model” propaganda.  The second is that the comments (including one from yours truly) is almost unanimously anti-prohibitionist and condemnatory of the lies this silly little girl thought she could spread with impunity (judging by her increasingly flustered responses to the comments).  Though Huffington Post tends to be very pro-personal rights and has printed a number of pro-prostitution columns in the past, it still pleases me to see so many people recognizing that a woman’s right to control her body does not exclude sex.

Even more heartening is this article entitled “Sex Trafficking: The Abolitionist Fallacy”  which one of the commenters linked; it was written last year but is still perfectly topical.  Its author, Ann Jordan, is the director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Forced Labor at the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law.  She is thus a respected expert in the REALITY of sex trafficking and a staunch anti-abolitionist; she even co-authored a letter to the U.S. federal government asking it to reconsider its prohibitionist policy, though as you might expect that has fallen on deaf ears.  Still, it’s good to know that there are at least a few bona fide experts who recognize the prohibitionist propaganda for what it is and are willing to say so loudly and publicly.

Escorts.com Raided by FBI

The Philadelphia offices housing Escorts.com (a popular escort advertising site) and HotMovies.com, an adult video-on-demand provider, were raided by 100 FBI agents on Wednesday morning (October 27th).  The FBI tried to pretend that the raid was pursuant to pornography charges and most sources of this story make that claim, but local cops who assisted in the raid leaked the information that “it was conducted in connection to an investigation into a prostitution ring.”  The Philadelphia bureau of the FBI would not confirm this, but reiterated previous reports that no one was charged or arrested in connection with the raid.  They also said that no news would be forthcoming from the FBI; “Any information about the raid will only come from the U.S. Attorney’s office, not our office,” said the chief agent.  “And it will probably not be today, or for quite a while.”  The PR officer for the US Attorney’s office in Philadelphia said even less;  “Our office does not confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of investigations,” she said.  CBS affiliate CBS Philly is reporting, however, that the raid was related to a prostitution ring investigation, but had no other information.

Clearly, somebody in the FBI wants to look good to the lowbrows, bluenoses and neofeminists right before election day; “prostitution ring” is cop jargon for an escort service or internet escort review and/or advertising site.  By calling it a “ring” rather than a business, they hope to convince ignorant people that the escorts and owners are criminals (as in the term “drug ring”).  If any of my readers advertise on Escorts.com, I suggest you cancel your ad immediately and do NOT under any circumstances see any clients calling from that ad.  The FBI now has your information and will almost certainly be attempting to “sting” you so they can make a big show of arresting “human traffickers”.

Another Porn Influence

In yesterday’s column I talked about how fads which first appear in porn often work their way into the mainstream (such as complete removal or pubic hair).  Well, here’s the latest example:  Labioplasty, in other words cosmetic alteration of the labia.  I decided to link the article rather than paraphrasing it because I want to use it to make another point:  Note that the author makes the ignorant but increasingly common mistake discussed in my column of September 25th, using the word “vagina” to mean “vulva”.  She keeps using the term “vagina sculpting” when she obviously means “vulva sculpting”; nobody can see what her vagina looks like without gynecological tools.  There is such a thing as vaginoplasty, but it’s a different operation altogether and has nothing to do with appearance.

Read Full Post »

Pornography does not inspire violence, but you can break a leg trying to imitate it. –  Mason Cooley

Like most women, I don’t really care much for porn.  I have nothing against it in principle; I understand most guys like it and I consider neofeminist claims that all porn encourages violence against women to be ludicrous.  I’m just not as visually-stimulated as guys are; though I find some erotic pictures to be stimulating, I generally like stories better so porn movies without interesting stories tend to bore me.  My extensive sexual experience also makes me hypersensitive to fakery, so what passes for “acting” in most porn annoys me and the ridiculously unrealistic and unfeminine behavior of many of the actresses actually turns me off.  In addition to all this, I also understand firsthand how difficult some of the actions and positions are to achieve or maintain, which takes me out of the action and shatters my willing suspension of disbelief.

Let me give you an analogy; when you watch a movie or television show which involves some aspect of your profession, don’t you find yourself watching it with a far more critical eye than you might watch another program?  If there is a character who is supposed to be a member of your profession, don’t you unconsciously dissect everything that character says or does without even meaning to?  And if the situation, “facts” or character wanders too far from reality, doesn’t it tend to ruin your appreciation of the show because you just can’t ignore the mistakes?  If I watch a movie about doctors or scientists or detectives, I know that they’re making mistakes and diverging from reality, but because I’m not a doctor, scientist or detective I can ignore that because I don’t usually recognize the mistakes when I see them.  But since my business is sex, I understand it intimately; I know what’s comfortable or even possible and what isn’t, and I know how people tend to behave in real life.  So when movie trickery, camera angles and staged situations are used to make it look as though, say, a really punishing activity is going on for a tremendously long time, I automatically recognize that such tricks have been used and my mind pulls back out of it as abruptly as you might pull back when you see the zipper on the monster costume or the wires holding the spaceship model up.  And then there’s character motivation; when I see some porn chick get into a room with three strange guys I ask “why is she doing this?”  If they just included a scene where the men paid her I would enjoy it a lot more, though I understand it might have the opposite effect for guys.

Porno movies, like all movies, are fantasies, but since sex is a real-life activity some men seem unable to separate porn from reality where whores are concerned.  I really don’t know if most men try to act out things they see in porn with their wives or girlfriends because most of the porn available when I was dating (early to mid ‘80s) was pretty basic so there was little there we didn’t already do (except maybe big orgy scenes).  I would suspect at least some do, but many try it with escorts for the obvious reason that we are professionals and our business is to cater to male fantasy.  The only problem with that is, a lot of porn is unreal even when the willingness of the woman is assured by sufficient payment.  There are four main reasons for this: 1) Clients are not porn stars; 2) Not all women have the same abilities and characteristics, so just because Slutyoni Soverydeep can take a 10” cock to the hilt with her knees pressed against her shoulders doesn’t mean every woman can; 3) Porn movies are not filmed in real time, so what seems to take 15 minutes might have been filmed over several hours and two dozen takes with breaks in between; and 4) Porn movies are filmed under rigidly controlled conditions with prescreened actors posed carefully by a director and photographed from the best angles with crew all over the place so that everything is safe; consent has already been obtained from everyone before filming starts and nobody has to worry about being arrested in the middle of a scene.

I hope you can see where this is going.  A middle-aged, overweight businessman on blood pressure medication could not perform like a 28-year-old porn star even IF the film was done in one take, but Aphrodite knows he’ll try.  And then there’s the girl; porn starlets have their specialties and their movies feature those specialties and avoid things they aren’t good at, but some clients expect every working girl to be skilled at every specialty of every porn starlet he’s ever seen, even though the stars themselves aren’t!  Then, some clients want to try things which look easy on film, but are difficult in real life; or they forget that when porn actresses say how great something feels they may be ACTING, and in reality that position or activity might be uncomfortable, unpleasant or even acutely painful for the woman.  Finally, some men forget about the safety factor; porn actresses know their coworkers and are surrounded by chaperones, and they’re all regularly tested for diseases.  But hookers are alone with men they do not really know and are therefore not usually willing to participate in activities which may risk their safety (such as choking or bondage) or health (such as ingestion of semen or “bareback” penetration).

Obviously, most girls don’t mind catering to reasonable porn-inspired requests; I never minded guys giving me “facials” or ejaculating onto my tits, and I pretty much expect to be slapped on the rump periodically when being taken from behind.  Many girls even specialize in the “Porn Star Experience”, an energetic performance which includes such porn staples as cowgirl, deep throat, loud noises and dirty talk, etc.  But porn can also have a more widespread effect; it was after porn models started shaving or waxing off all of their pubic hair that many strippers and escorts followed suit and many clients came to expect it, and since the advent of “squirting” videos (showing women expelling fluid due to “G-spot” stimulation) a lot of girls now advertise themselves as “squirters” and some men will seek them out.

Rocco Siffredi, one of the most popular creators of the milder sort of misogynistic porn

But in the last decade or so a lot of porn has been getting a lot more misogynistic.  Now, hear me out; y’all know I don’t use that word lightly.  I don’t simply mean (as the neofeminists do) that the on-screen whores are catering to their on-screen male partners or off-screen male customers; that isn’t “misogyny”, it’s simply good business.  Nor do I equate onscreen male dominance (either implied or overt) with “misogyny”; as a sexually submissive woman I recognize that domination does not automatically imply hatred, no matter what the neofeminists (and even many mainstream vanilla women) seem to believe.  I and many other women are strongly aroused by the fantasy of  being captured, controlled, forced and/or enslaved by men, even to the point of being whipped; I therefore can’t see how it suddenly becomes “misogynistic” for a man to share that fantasy.  But from what I’ve seen, read and been told, a lot more porn is moving away from the stylized enslavement-fantasy of BDSM and toward realistic-seeming depictions of assault, violent rape and undeserved cruelty (including strangulation, mutilation, etc).  One popular subgenre shows forceful irrumation to the point of tears, gagging and even vomiting, which is definitely outside of my comfort zone.

Of course, this is all filmed under controlled conditions; the women are in no more danger than actors who are “murdered” in a thriller.  Even if their physiological reactions to being slapped, gagged, choked or whatever are real, there are still a dozen people standing around to stop things if they get out of hand.  But anything which appears in porn is going to inspire some clients to want to try it, and indeed there have always been some girls who will allow themselves to be choked, gagged or whatever.  The problem lies in the fact that, because of our prohibitionist laws, this kind of activity generally takes place nowadays outside of the controlled environment provided in the past by brothels.  As the prevalence of such practices increases, more and more girls will cater to them, especially girls in depressed markets like Dallas who are desperate to win a larger market share at any cost.  In an ongoing BDSM relationship such risky practices are at least bounded by procedures the couple has established (safewords, etc), but in a typical hooker/client session there is no established trust or procedure, and I cannot help but think that when an inexperienced dominant tries a risky behavior he saw in a movie on an inexperienced submissive he has just met, possibly even without securing her permission first, it is a recipe for trouble and possibly even tragedy.

Read Full Post »

Fantasy mirrors desire. Imagination reshapes it. –  Mason Cooley

As I discussed in my column about BDSM, it is easily as misunderstood and persecuted as sex work.  It is thus probably a really bad idea for a master to prostitute his slave, especially to strangers and especially if she is rather young and he is not absolutely certain of her loyalty and psychological stability.  The following story is, as usual, paraphrased from an AP article.

Last month, a Missouri couple was accused of keeping a young woman captive for several years as their sex slave; she had been locked in a cage and subjected to electrical shocks, and parts of her body had been nailed to wooden planks.  When announcing charges last month, U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips called the case one of “the most horrific ever prosecuted in this district.” Authorities claimed the woman was a mentally deficient runaway who was recruited by an older man at the age of 16 to live in his trailer.

The situation came to light early last year after the woman, then 23, landed in a hospital following what prosecutors called a torture session.  But as more details have emerged it has become clear that the accuser voluntarily participated in violent sex practices, posing for a pornographic magazine and working as a stripper.  Supporters of the defendant are speaking out as well, pointing out that many of the acts described in the indictment are practiced every day between consenting adults.

Ed Bagley, 43, faces 11 federal charges, including conspiracy, sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, and forced labor trafficking.  Four other men also are charged with various crimes.  A graphic 21-page federal indictment describes BDSM devices being used on the woman at Bagley’s mobile home near Lebanon, Missouri and also includes accusations of waterboarding, suffocation and beatings.

Bagley’s wife, Marilyn, said she and her husband met the girl when she dated their son, but when they broke up the girl wanted to come live with them because she had become estranged from her adoptive parents.  She said the girl moved in when she was 17, not 16, and never had sex with her husband until after she turned 18.  “She was not a runaway,” Marilyn Bagley said. “We picked her up from her adopted dad and stepmom.  They were right there and everything.”  Marilyn Bagley said prosecutors have told her she also will be charged if she doesn’t agree to testify against her husband, violating the 5th amendment guarantee against self-incrimination (which has traditionally been interpreted to ban forcing a wife to testify against her husband).  But she said she will not take the stand against him because she believes the two did nothing wrong.

Prosecutors said Ed Bagley posted videos and other images on the Internet showing the young woman engaged in sexual activities; he allegedly described her as his sex slave and advertised that she would perform sex acts and submit to sexual torture for other people during encounters online or in person.  Bagley is accused of taking payments of cash, cigarettes, computer hard drives, even meat, to let other men come to his home and torture her.  He and the other defendants are also charged with transporting the woman to California in 2006 and 2007 for prostitution; she appeared on the cover of the July 2007 issue of Taboo, a publication owned by Larry Flynt’s Hustler Magazine Group, and was the subject of a story and multipage photo spread inside.

Prosecutors said Ed Bagley also forced the girl to work as an exotic dancer and threatened to punish her if she was not a top earner at the clubs where she stripped.  But another dancer at the same Missouri strip club said the woman seemed to enjoy the attention she got when she danced, often showing off the issue of Taboo which featured her on the cover.  “This girl was spoiled,” said Katie Smothers, who said she spent time at Bagley’s trailer when she needed a place to stay but never participated in bondage activities.  “She would take customers to show them her magazine, and she had a bucket of photos at the bar.  She bragged about it.”

Susan Dill, Bagley’s Kansas City-based attorney, told reporters recently that the indictment tells only one side of the story; she said the defense will present evidence that the woman practiced BDSM by choice.  Dill declined to go into detail, and attorneys for the other defendants turned down requests for comment.  The U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas City also declined repeated requests to comment, saying the indictment speaks for itself.

Marilyn Bagley, who for years shared a bed with her husband and the woman, told The Associated Press the woman often left the Bagleys’ home to go into the community.  She believes the woman’s family coerced her to go to police after she was taken to a hospital suffering from cardiac arrest, which Bagley claims she suffered while getting ready for work — not during a torture session.  “She started seizing, and when she was done, she stopped breathing. Ed gave her CPR.  I was on the phone to 911.  We were freaking out.  We didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Dr. Keely Kolmes, a San Francisco-based psychologist who sees patients who practice BDSM, said that many of the acts listed in the indictment can be part of consensual activities, but others might indicate Bagley was an abuser, such as allegations that he shot animals the woman cared about to prove he could kill her and that he refused to stop immediately when the woman used a safe word.  “Consensual BDSM does not involve holding minors hostage against their will or causing physical or mental harm,” Kolmes said in an e-mail to the AP.  “That is a criminal behavior.”

Susan Wright, spokeswoman for the Baltimore-based National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, said some of the things Bagley is accused of are clearly abuse, if true.  “Certainly in abusive relationships, sometimes it’s hard to parse out what people do voluntarily and what things they are coerced to do,” said Wright, who helped write a sadomasochism vs. abuse policy statement in the late 1990s that has been adopted by national BDSM groups.  At times, it all becomes “tangled up,” she said. “And at that point, I don’t think any consent you give is legitimate consent.”

Ed Bagley

So what have we really got here?  It looks to me like a young, impressionable and narcissistic girl with BDSM desires got involved in a lifestyle situation with a couple who exercised poor judgment and failed to “cover their arses” with regard to the age of their sub when the lifestyle relationship began, and may also have overstepped the bounds of a proper BDSM relationship.  Unfortunately, there is no way to tell for sure; anyone who would suddenly accuse her dominant of abuse after participating in a consensual BDSM lifestyle for five years is clearly unstable and her testimony is therefore questionable due to the possibility of brainwashing on the part of her family, cops and prosecutors (as so often happens in “child sex abuse” cases).  The defendants can’t be trusted to tell the truth either, because they can’t admit to stepping even close to the line in the heat of the moment due to fear of being railroaded.  And the “authorities” can’t be trusted to present the facts because of “trafficking” hysteria and the desire to score another conviction whether the defendants are guilty or not.  IMHO the only trustworthy testimony in this case will have to come from witnesses (such as the stripper quoted in the article or men who participated in BDSM activities but do not stand accused) and from experts like Wright after carefully examining all available evidence.

The sad part about this is that at least three people’s lives have now been irrevocably ruined; both the Bagleys and the unnamed girl will carry this with them for the rest of their lives because cops and prosecutors simply cannot resist turning personal matters into a media circus.  Though the AP does not release the names of the victims of alleged sex crimes, the fact that the girl was in a magazine won’t make it very hard to discover her identity, and she’ll have to endure dissection of her entire sex life in lurid detail before a thousand leering pervert court officials, prosecutors, cops, jurymen and reporters.  And even if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the relationship was consensual, the Bagleys may still face prosecution under anti-BDSM laws, prostitution laws and the ever-popular Mann Act.  No matter what the outcome, there will be no winners in this battle.

Read Full Post »

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
–  Lewis Carroll, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”

The following is a collection of short articles commenting on events and news stories from the past week, arranged in chronological order.

R.I.P. Bob Guccione

The second of the “Big Three” of men’s magazine publishing (the others being Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt) died of cancer last Wednesday (October 20th).  Whether you ever read Penthouse or didn’t (I renewed Jack’s subscription every year, and I knew more than one woman who occasionally bought it or its spinoff Forum for the raunchy “letters”), he has to be given credit for pushing the envelope and helping to advance the cause of sexual liberty in the US by bringing both porn and frank discussion of sexual topics (including prostitution) into the mainstream.  For many years Penthouse even carried an advice column named “Call Me Madam” written by none other than Xaviera Hollander.  Guccione’s empire has fared the worst of the big three, though; while Playboy valiantly struggles on and Hustler has prospered by expanding into strip clubs and video, the Penthouse brand collapsed around the turn of the century.  Here’s a full obituary from Time.com.

The Funniest Unintentionally Sexual Album Covers Ever

This appeared in the Huffington Post on October 21st.  Only the first two are prostitute-related, but the rest are funny too; I really did LOL.

Beating a Long-dead Horse

In my column of October 18th I discussed the pathologization of normal male behavior, and the news obligingly provided me with an example on the 22nd.  Most of us over the age of 35 probably remember the Clarence Thomas Senate confirmation hearings, rightfully described by their subject as “a high-tech lynching of an uppity black man.”  Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court was challenged not on grounds of professional unfitness, but rather on the premise that he should be disqualified for being a normal, sexually active man who sometimes flirted incompetently.  Anita Hill could produce no evidence that Thomas ever pressured her for sex, and indeed never alleged that he did; she and her supporters seemed to believe that Thomas’ making dirty jokes and admitting to enjoying porn somehow rendered him incompetent as a judge under the vague and self-defined “hostile work environment” premise.  For readers outside North America I should explain this bizarre notion; in the US a woman is entitled to file a “sexual harassment” claim against an employer or even a peer on the grounds that he created a “hostile work environment”, meaning he made comments which she claimed made her feel uncomfortable.  Under current American law, “sexual harassment” is not defined by specific actions on the part of the accused but rather by the feelings of the self-proclaimed victim!  In other words, if a good-looking guy I’m interested in makes a pass at me it’s totally legal, but if a creepy guy does it’s “sexual harassment” because the “crime” is not determined by objective criteria but by how I claim to have “felt” at the time.  A man might make a certain comment in front of twelve women and it wouldn’t be “sexual   harassment”, but if the thirteenth finds it “offensive” he has suddenly committed a crime without even realizing it because there is no requirement that the woman even let the man know at the time that she finds the behavior objectionable; he’s just supposed to know by ESP.

The Thomas hearings marked the height of neofeminist power in the US; fanatics like Catherine “All heterosexual intercourse is rape” MacKinnon were described as “sexual harassment experts” and actually invited to comment on the proceedings by mainstream news media; a group of female US Representatives literally marched (in formation for the TV cameras) over to the Senate to “demand” that Hill’s accusations be accepted without proof; and bogus claims such as “domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries for women between 15 and 44” were repeated endlessly in American media.  By the mid ‘90s a backlash against these excesses helped to create the “men’s movement”, drove most young American women away from feminism and spawned “third wave feminism”.  But though the neofeminist hyenas are not beaten yet it is a virtual certainty that they’ve noticed their popularity slipping and have started to pine for their glory days of the early ‘90s.  It should therefore come as no surprise that they’ve dug up this old piece of carrion.  The ex-girlfriend of a healthy man reports that he likes porn, scopes out women he works with and prefers chicks with big tits; whoa, hold the presses!  Does any sane person consider this newsworthy?  I understand how delusional lesbians who believe in “social construction of gender” might find this important, but why do the rest of us indulge their pathetic obsessions?  What next, a “revelation” from the president’s ex-girlfriend that he has a penis and two testicles and pees standing up?

My Second Shot

I got my second shot (of three) of Gardasil last Friday (October 22nd) and boy, did it hurt!  This one was in the arm, and a good thing it was because I would have been quite uncomfortable driving home had it been in my derrière like the first.  The nurse told me that in her experience it was always so; the first shot is nearly painless but the second burns like fire.  Though I got the injection around 1:30 PM it didn’t stop hurting until after my shower around 8 PM.  I’ve got one more on February 23rd to be fully immunized (and about $600 poorer in all).  Ouch!  But if you’re under 30, a working escort, a regular hobbyist or a swinger, I still think it’s worth it for the peace of mind.

Vampire Whores

Since it’ll be Halloween in a few days, I thought some of y’all might be interested in TV shows and movies featuring vampire sex workers.  When you think about it, being a “lady of the evening” is a perfect cover if you’re a female vampire; nobody expects you to go out in the daytime, and your prey comes to you alone and without telling anyone where he’s going!  The earliest example I can think of is Catherine Rawlins, a vampire call girl from episode 4 of the classic TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974), simply entitled “The Vampire”; the only other TV example I know of is Janette du Charme of Forever Knight (1989), a vampire and former prostitute who owns a Toronto nightclub named “The Raven”.  In movies we find the horror comedy Vampire Hookers (1978); here’s a trailer for it on Youtube.  A similarly-themed horror comedy is Bordello of Blood (1996).  Vamp (1986) introduces us to the vampire strippers of the After Dark Club (led by Grace Jones), and The Titty Twister in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) is another strip club also staffed entirely by vampires.  Finally, John Carpenter’s Vampires features a prostitute who has been bitten by a vampire and is used by the heroes to track him across the country via their telepathic link (a plot element clearly lifted from the novel Dracula).  If anybody can think of any others, please let me know!

Horror Comics

Yes, this is actually topical, besides being just in time for Halloween.  In 1954 Dr. Frederic Wertham touched off a moral panic with the publication of his book Seduction of the Innocent, in which he claimed that comic books were causing juvenile delinquency by “destroying the innocence” or children by exposing them to violent imagery and “sexual subtexts” (sound familiar?)  The hysteria culminated in Wertham’s appearing before the Kefauver Commission so Congress could consider banning comic books.  As happened with the PMRC Hearings three decades later, the industry was forced to censor itself in order to prevent Congress from doing so in order to “save the children”.  And people wonder why I say nothing ever changes.  Well, a few things do; after the ‘50s hearings a number of comic books were essentially banned (a few example appear in this Huffington Post slideshow), but after the ‘80s hearings chief agitator Tipper Gore recast herself from a pro-censorship conservative to an eco-friendly liberal so her husband could become vice president, and her adversary the RIAA got in bed with Big Brother in order to prosecute teenagers and single mothers for music sharing, and most recently to agitate for the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” I discussed in my column of October 2nd.  I guess politicians have become more adept at putting the public to sleep in the last half-century.

Read Full Post »

So she lays down beside me again
My sweet painted lady, the one with no name
Many have used her and many still do
There’s a place in the world for a woman like you.
–  Elton John, “Sweet Painted Lady”

Since last month’s column on songs about prostitutes proved fairly popular and there are plenty of other examples, I figured it might be fun to revisit the topic.  Of the six songs we’ll look at today the first two have objective narrators, the second two are narrated by clients and the last two are sung from the hooker’s point of view; we’re also going to roughly descend the hierarchy, starting with a very high-class call girl and ending with a jailed streetwalker.  Our first song is one which many people don’t even realize is about a working girl; indeed I myself didn’t until my husband pointed it out when he said it made him think of me.   But in the New Musical Express of November 2, 1974, the late Freddie Mercury stated it explicitly: “It’s about a high class call girl.  I’m trying to say that classy people can be whores as well.”

Killer Queen (Freddie Mercury)

She keeps Moet et Chandon
In a pretty cabinet
“Let them eat cake” she says,
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can’t decline

Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

(refrain)
She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, Gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime
Recommended at the price
Insatiable in appetite
Wanna try?

To avoid complications
She never kept the same address
In conversation
She spoke just like a baroness
Met a man from China
Went down to Asia Minor
Then again incidentally
If you’re that way inclined

Perfume came naturally from Paris
For cars she couldn’t care less
Fastidious and precise

(refrain)

Drop of a hat she’s as willing as
Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action
Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild
She’s out to get you

(refrain)

Recommended at the price
Insatiable in appetite
Wanna try?
You wanna try.

While Queen’s song is intended to remind the listener that not all prostitutes stand on street corners, Bob Seger’s point is that we can be found in every place and every time and that our trade is impossible to suppress because all men have “one thing in common…the fire down below,” in other words the burning lust which has always driven men to seek us out and, thank Aphrodite, always will.

Fire Down Below (Bob Seger)

Here comes old Rosie she’s looking mighty fine
Here comes hot Nancy she’s steppin’ right on time
There go the street lights bringin’ on the night
Here come the men faces hidden from the light
All through the shadows they come and they go
With only one thing in common
They got the fire down below

Here comes the rich man in his big long limousine
Here comes the poor man all you got to have is green
Here comes the banker and the lawyer and the cop
One thing for certain it ain’t never gonna stop
When it all gets too heavy
That’s when they come and go
With only one thing in common
They got the fire down below

It happens out in Vegas happens in Moline
On the blue blood streets of Boston
Up in Berkeley and out in Queens
And it went on yesterday and it’s going on tonight
Somewhere there’s somebody ain’t treatin’ somebody right

And he’s looking out for Rosie and she’s looking mighty fine
And he’s walking the streets for Nancy
And he’ll find her everytime
When the street light flicker bringing on the night
Well they’ll be slipping into darkness slipping out of sight
All through the midnight
Watch ’em come and watch ’em go
With only one thing in common
They got the fire down below

The next two songs are both sung from the point of view of a client who doesn’t quite get it; considering that John Entwhistle is well-known to have been quite fond of professional ladies, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that he wrote the song based on things he learned from talking to us.

Trick of the Light (John Entwhistle)

Wide awake in the middle of the night
I wonder how she’s feelin’
Is it just a trick of the light
Or is her ceiling peeling?

She’s sitting up in bed, shakin’ her head
At a copy of True Confessions
Ooh, it must seem like a fairy tale
To a woman of her profession

(refrain)
But was I all right? (Was I all right?)
Did I take you to the height of ecstasy?
Was I all right? (Was I all right?)
Did a shadow of emotion cross your face
Or was it just another trick of the light?

(refrain)

Come on, tell me
What’s a nice girl like you doin’ in a place like this?
They don’t make girls like you no more
And I’d like to get to know you
On closer terms than this
But I guess you’ve heard it all before

Lady of the night, won’t you steal away with me?
Lady of the night, won’t you steal away with me?

The money’s lyin’ on the floor, she looks at me
Shakes her head and sighs
Out of time, out the door
Red light shinin’ in my eyes

(refrain)
All right?
But was I all right?
All right?

Entwhistle has captured here one of the most common of client fantasies, that he is such a wonderful lover that he can impress a professional and thereby evoke emotions in her that will induce her to give herself only to him.  But while Entwhistle’s narrator seems to begin to glimpse the truth in the end (as evidenced by his plaintive “was I all right?” as she shows him the door), Springsteen’s narrator is completely lost in his fantasy that his inamorata will give up her money and freedom for him; he imagines he sees sadness in her face and that she values his poor clumsy affection over that of “men who give her anything she wants”.

Candy’s Room (Bruce Springsteen)

In Candy’s room, there are pictures of her heroes on the wall,
But to get to Candy’s room, you gotta walk the darkness of Candy’s hall,
Strangers from the city, call my baby’s number and they bring her toys,
When I come knocking, she smiles pretty, she knows I wanna be Candy’s boy,
There’s a sadness hidden in that pretty face,
A sadness all her own, from which no man can keep Candy safe.

We kiss, my heart’s pumpin’ to my brain
The blood rushes in my veins, fire rushes toward the sky
We go driving, driving deep into the night,
I go driving deep into the light, in Candy’s eyes.

She says, Baby if you wanna be wild, you got a lot to learn, close your eyes,
Let them melt, let them fire, let them burn
‘Cause in the darkness, there’ll be hidden worlds that shine,
When I hold Candy close she makes these hidden worlds mine.

She has fancy clothes and diamond rings,
She has men who give her anything she wants, but they don’t see,
That what she wants is me, oh, and I want her so,
I’ll never let her go, no, no, no
She knows that I’d give all that I got to give,
All that I want and all that I live, to make Candy mine
Tonight

The next song is a jazz standard sung from the perspective of a well-adjusted streetwalker.

Love for Sale (Cole Porter)

When the only sound on the empty street
Is the heavy tread of the heavy feet
That belong to a lonesome cop
I open shop

The moon so long has been gazing down
On the wayward ways of this wayward town
My smile becomes a smirk, I go to work

Love for sale
Appetizing young love for sale
Love that’s fresh and still unspoiled
Love that’s only slightly soiled
Love for sale

Who will buy?
Who would like to sample my supply?
Who’s prepared to pay the price
For a trip to paradise?
Love for sale

Let the poets pipe of love
In their childish ways
I know every type of love
Better far than they
If you want the thrill of love
I’ve been through the mill of love
Old love, new love
Every love but true love

Love for sale
Appetizing young love for sale
If you want to buy my wares
Follow me and climb the stairs
Love for sale

While Porter’s young harlot seems content with her life and cynical of love, Debbie Harry’s streetwalker is such a mixed-up little kitten that she falls in love with the cop who arrests and jails her.  And though it’s quite likely that he lusts after her as she believes, I don’t think it’s at all likely that he will actually get involved with her once she gets out of jail despite her stated certainty that he will.

X Offender (Gary Valentine & Deborah Harry)

[Spoken]
I saw you standing on the corner, you looked so big and fine. I really wanted to go out with you, so when you smiled, I laid my heart on the line.

You read me my rights and then you said
“Let’s go” and nothing more
I thought of my nights, and how they were
They were filled with

(refrain)
I know you wouldn’t go
You’d watch my heart burst then you’d step in
I had to know so I asked
You just had to laugh

We sat in the night with my hands cuffed at my side
I look at your life and your style
I wanted nothing more

(refrain)

Walking the line, you were a marksman
Told me that law, like wine, is ageless
Public defender
You had to admit
You wanted the love of a sex offender

(refrain)

My vision in blue, I call you from inside my cell
And in the trial, you were there
With your badge and rubber boots
I think all the time how I’m going to perpetrate love with you
And when I get out, there’s no doubt I’ll be sex offensive to you

If you enjoyed seeing this subject again, let me know and I’m sure I can find enough songs for at least one more visit.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »