Archive for March, 2011

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer. –  Bruce Lee

Another monthly collection of (I hope) helpful answers to questions posed by curious readers.

How do you expose a gay man pretending to be a woman on a chat site?

Well, first of all, not every man pretending to be a woman on a chat site is gay.  As I discussed in my column of November 14th, some are trolls or “geeks” desperate for attention, others are cops or injustice perverts trying to trick people, and many are probably just horny guys trying to create interactive porn stories they can wank themselves to. But no matter what the motivation, a guy is a guy and will tend to act and think like a guy despite his best efforts to disguise himself.  It’s a pretty safe bet that any chat-room “woman” you get a really strange “vibe” from is probably a man, and if “she” wants to start talking about sex right away or asks you to describe or send pictures of your penis, you’re almost certainly talking to a guy.

But let’s assume your cyberdrag aficionado is practiced enough to avoid such rookie mistakes; how can you tell then?  Well, you could ask questions that real women can answer easily but men tend to have trouble with, like bust size; confused by porn and men’s magazines, guys will often combine a bust measurement with a cup size to create hybrids like “42D”, which would be the bra size of a rather big woman.  The relationship between measurements and dress size is also a mystery to most men; if your self-proclaimed “hot babe” claims to be busty but supposedly wears a size 2 dress, it’s either a guy or a fat woman with a really low opinion of your intelligence.  Just for comparison, I’m 5’5” tall and 132#, wear a 34DDD bra, my waist is 25” and my hips are 36”, and I wear about a size 7 if the dress is cut loose or made with spandex, 9 if it’s tight or of stiffer fabric.  There are others, but obviously you might just be a “cyberqueen” yourself trying to trick me into giving you a checklist.  Your best bet is just to pay attention to conversational style, which is hard to fake.

In the comments for my February Q & A column Americanus wrote, “It’s very nice to see women giving such great advice on blow jobs.  It may sound selfish but I certainly would be open to advice on how to improve on oral from my end as well.

The single most important piece of sexual advice I can give a man is “pay attention”.  Most women are very sensitive to our partners’ feelings and often aren’t entirely honest about what we like for fear of bruising male egos; we thus tend to remain silent when we don’t like something because the truth is often greeted with the sort of hurt look one sees on the face of a kicked dog.  So we fake orgasms, endure bad oral sex and suggest changing positions to escape activities which have become intolerable.  And even if you have unusually high self-esteem and can accept the sexual criticism most men cannot, your partner may not know that and probably won’t risk finding out.  But there’s a way to break the cycle:  don’t listen to her words, pay attention to her reactions.  As you try your favorite oral technique on her, watch and listen for sounds of pleasure and arousal; if you don’t see them, try something else until you hit on something that seems to work better.  Do more of whatever she seems to like and less of whatever she seems to dislike or not care about, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your technique improves.  Ladies, this works in reverse as well; most men will unconsciously pick up on such cues, so make sure you visibly and/or audibly react to things you like so as to encourage them, and go quiet and still for things you dislike so as to discourage them.  This lets him know your preferences without the risk of hurting his feelings, and has the advantage of letting him think the changes in technique are his idea.

A few dos and don’ts are in order, though; guys, the most sensitive part of a woman’s sexual anatomy is the clitoris, not the vagina.  Licking and (if it’s large enough) sucking on the clit will accomplish a lot more than trying to stick your tongue inside her or lapping her vulva like a dog drinking from a bowl.  Some women’s clits are so sensitive they cannot stand to have them directly touched; if your lady is like that just work though the hood.  In other cases (including yours truly) the clitoral hood is so thick that unless it’s moved you won’t accomplish anything; this is a prime example of the need for paying attention.  Finally, remember that the entire area is very sensitive; a stubbly face rubbed or ground into a woman’s crotch can be acutely painful.

Though there are a few constants, different women like different things so there is no substitute for learning your partner’s individual preferences.  And I suspect we’ll get a demonstration of that over the next few days as my female readers chime in on what they enjoy best in oral technique.

Recently, a guy started a thread on ECCIE in which he asked why mature escorts are still interested in sex while so many middle-aged women aren’t.  He asked if they used hormones or special exercises or anything like that.  What’s your opinion on the subject?

Don’t tell me, let me guess:  The thread was full of escorts talking about how “horny” they are all the time.  I really don’t know why guys start threads like that on hooker boards; do they actually expect honest answers, or are they just looking for fantasy material?  If any of those women answered honestly it could adversely affect her business; most men prefer to embrace the myth of the wanton than to acknowledge the uncomfortable reality that escorts have sex for money, not because they’re nymphos who want nothing better than to jump into bed with an endless series of (often unappealing) strangers.  Obviously, escorts are generally more open to sex than many amateurs or else they wouldn’t be very successful, but for the most part the reason they’re more “interested” than wives is that their livelihoods depend on it.  In defense of the wives, I must point out that if their husbands flattered and pursued them like they do whores the wives might feel (and act) a whole lot sexier.  Of course, the average high-dollar hooker puts forth a lot more effort to be sexy than the average wife, so it cuts both ways.  If both husbands and wives tried a little harder, their sex lives might not go south quite as badly.  As for the hormone thing, I already discussed that on February 5th.

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We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future. –  Marshall McLuhan

Those readers who were adults in the 1980s will no doubt remember that South Africa was at that time an international pariah; her runaway economic growth of the 1960s had slowed to a crawl and her apartheid system was the subject of international censure.  South African products were boycotted and anti-apartheid movements in Europe and North America had resulted in a series of political and economic sanctions and pressure for American and European companies to withdraw from the country.  By the time the government started dismantling apartheid in 1990, South Africa was widely vilified as among the most backward and repressive regimes in the world.  But that was 21 years ago, and today the story is quite different as demonstrated by this article published in Financial Mail on March 17th:

…After a recent court ruling, sex workers now enjoy protection under the Labour Relations Act.  However, they can still be prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act for plying their trade.  The case that brought about this situation is related to a 2006 incident involving a sex worker referred to as “Kylie” who alleged that she was unfairly dismissed by the owner of the brothel where she worked.  In October last year Judge Dennis Davis of the labour appeal court, citing the constitutional right to fair labour practice, found that the council for conciliation, mediation & arbitration (CCMA) could indeed hear Kylie’s grievance, which led to an undisclosed settlement.  The effect of this ruling is that sex workers are now considered employees by law but do not necessarily enjoy the right to bargain collectively, strike or do anything that would amount to the furthering of the commission of the crime.  The ruling, however, takes SA law closer to legalising the “oldest profession”.

In April 2006, Kylie alleged she was dismissed by her employer…without a prior hearing and subjected to slave-like working conditions….She lodged a complaint with the CCMA, which…[ruled that Kylie] was engaged in an illegal profession and the commission had no jurisdiction in the case…the labour court…agreed…that the courts should not encourage illegal activity by offering assistance in such disputes…[But] the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC)… argued before the labour appeal court that the applicant was entitled to fair labour practices…under…the Labour Relations Act…[The WLC advocate] said…the constitutional right of fair labour practices is above the common law which nullifies contracts arising from illegal activity, such as commercial sex.  [The] Judge…agreed, citing a previous constitutional court judgment that the right of life and dignity “vests in every person, including criminals convicted of vile crimes”.

WLC attorney Stacey-Leigh Manoek says the Law Reform Commission will release a draft bill on sexual offences in March 2012, which could partially or completely decriminalise prostitution.  “Their work is criminalised but that does not make them criminals,” Manoek says. “We are not sure which way the Law Reform Commission will take, but we need to eliminate systematic abuse.”

What a change two decades can bring!  Americans of the late ’80s claimed the moral high ground against a South African regime well-known for violating basic human rights, but today the situation is completely reversed; South Africa is moving into the 21st century with regard to women’s sexual rights, while the United States, as discussed in yesterday’s column, seems intent on moving back to the 17th with its use of high-tech pillories and branding irons.  In an example of typical American “progress” on the issue of women’s rights, Colorado (once known for its high respect for civil liberties) is moving toward establishing the retrogressive “Swedish Model” with a profitable (for police) American twist, as reported in this AP story from March 19th:

A proposed prostitution crackdown in Colorado is focusing on customers.  The state Senate planned to start work Monday on a bill that would promote a statewide network of so-called “john schools“…Last year, [Boulder attorney Beth] Klein pushed for a human trafficking law that added the sex trade to Colorado’s Organized Crime Act.  “What we really want to have people do is go to these schools and be so transformed by the seriousness of this that they don’t do it again,” Klein said.  Klein and Senate President Brandon Shaffer, the bill’s sponsor, want to see Colorado increase penalties for buying sex.  Shaffer said the fine should be $10,000, with the money going to municipalities that want to set up john schools and treatment for sex workers.  Colorado currently classifies soliciting sex a petty offense, below a misdemeanor, with fines as low as $75 — less than littering in some cases.  People convicted of solicitation aren’t required to register as sex offenders.  Shaffer…said a major goal of his bill is to increase fines so that cash-strapped municipal police forces have an incentive to go after johns and send them to treatment…”What we’re really trying to do is cut down on the enormous public harm that comes from human trafficking,” Garnett said.

Once again, adult women are reduced to pathetic, victimized legal incompetents by equating them with abducted children, and men are condemned to re-education camps in the hope of brainwashing them into seeing women this way.  Worst of all, the new evil of asset forfeiture is used to enable an old evil, institutionalized pimping; the money to fund programs designed to convince men that women are inferior, irrational second-class citizens without the ability to make valid decisions about sexuality is being diverted from prostitutes ourselves.

In my column of November 24th I listed all the countries in which prostitution is still illegal; if you missed that one you may wish to look at the wonderful crowd our leaders want us associating with.  It looks as though South Africa is trying to reform itself and move into the circle of civilized nations, but the United States seems to prefer the company of nations like Myanmar (Burma), a third-world militocracy, whose new American-style anti-prostitution campaign was described in Huffington Post on March 21st:

Authorities in Myanmar have announced a ban on massage parlors and restrictions on restaurants and karaoke lounges…in a bid to curb disguised prostitution…The privately run Myanmar Times newspaper said restaurants and karaoke lounges have been ordered to install transparent glass in their rooms, while beauty parlors will be required to install “adequate” lighting.  Many massage parlors are fronts for brothels, while the other venues also sometimes offer sexual services. Prostitution is illegal in Myanmar and anyone caught running a brothel can be imprisoned…

Police militarization, government control of the economy, a vast proliferation of malicious prosecution and suppression of women’s rights; if you want a peek at the future of what used to be called “the Land of the Free”, Myanmar (or her giant neighbor China) may give you a clue.  Perhaps one day in the not-so-distant future, South Africa may join Europe and other civilized regions in imposing political and economic sanctions on the United States for its reprehensible suppression of its citizens.

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There can be no outrage, methinks, against our common nature,–whatever be the delinquencies of the individual,–no outrage more flagrant than to forbid the culprit to hide his face for shame. –  Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (Chapter 2)

I sometimes wish I could be as optimistic as Gene Roddenberry was.  The creator of Star Trek truly believed that as Man’s technology evolved, so would his nature.  But even though I’ve been a Trekkie since the first time I watched the show, I find the premise of a galaxy filled with humanoid races far more believable than I do the idea that human nature will change in anything shorter than many millennia, if ever.  My experiences, reading and studies have done nothing to convince me that the average human being of today is any different from the average human of medieval times, ancient Sumer or the Aurignacian period.  Our technology has advanced, our social systems have become more complex and our ability to communicate with one another is vastly greater than ever before, but if a human infant of today were swapped via time machine for one of ancient Catal Huyuk like some science-fictional changeling, I doubt either set of parents would ever know the difference.  Take away the synthetic clothes, the modern hygiene and the lifelong indoctrination and the modern man is no different from his 300x great-grandfather squatting in front of a campfire and imagining monsters out there in the dark.

One ancient behavior which is still clearly evident in humans is tribalism; there is a deep need to separate everyone into “us” and “them”, and to treat “them” as subhuman, monstrous, and unworthy of even the most basic sympathy one would give to a stray dog.  Though many of us strive to treat those we perceive as “other” with tolerance, many others react like the villagers in old Universal horror movies, hunting the “other” down with torches, pitchforks and baying dogs.  And if the outsider isn’t killed outright he is driven from society, forced to live on the outskirts of civilization, and often branded so that any stranger he encounters will shun him just as violently as his original tormenters do.  The only thing which has changed is the basis for the determination of “otherness”; the most widespread criteria were until recently race, national origin or religion, but for the past two generations people have been conditioned against such prejudices so they are much less common than they once were and those who openly display such feelings risk social censure themselves.  In modern American society, the major acceptable and state-encouraged criterion for “otherness” is violation of sex laws, and perhaps it’s because there are so few other socially acceptable targets for hatred that the rhetoric against whores and “sex offenders” has become so incredibly violent in the last two decades.

“Sex offender” registration was originally justified on the premise that “everybody knows” the rate of recidivism among child molesters is very high; need I remind you that “everybody knows” the vast majority of prostitutes are pimped, drug-addicted streetwalkers?  As it turns out, the recidivism rate among sex offenders is only 3-5%, which is actually lower than the rate for most crimes.  But as with so many government actions inspired by moral panics, the facts don’t matter and once such registries were established they took on lives of their own and soon these modern pariahs were not only labeled, but forbidden to live virtually anywhere in populated areas.  The list of crimes which result in “sex offender” status has of course grown; in Louisiana it includes some forms of prostitution as we’ve discussed before, and in states flirting with the “Swedish model” it could soon include men caught in prostitution “stings”.

Even in states without such laws, men thus entrapped may have their names and faces illegally displayed on billboards, sentenced to public censure without due process because they have not been convicted of any crime, merely accused of a misdemeanor which isn’t even illegal in civilized countries.  Likewise, women accused of misdemeanor prostitution have their names and (always unflattering) pictures featured in news stories as though they were convicted murderers.  I can’t think of another misdemeanor which is even considered newsworthy; we don’t see feature articles on people accused of public drunkenness, trespassing or littering.  But bring sex into it, and suddenly the accused becomes the “other” despite the fact that the hypocrites condemning him are very likely to be guilty of some version of the same “offense,” and probably real evils as well.  Kelly Michaels recently told me that when a friend of hers was arrested for prostitution at her home (after the big heroic police bravely tricked her), she had to endure being publicly dragged to the car in handcuffs while jeering neighbors taunted her and vowed to expel her from the neighborhood (a so-called “gated community”) via petition.  Are these the actions of evolved minds?  They might as well be wearing white hoods and threatening to tar and feather her, or perhaps to burn her at the stake.

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Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling? –  Bertrand Russell

Prohibitionists have their own terms for nearly everything involving prostitution and their quixotic war against it; some of these are merely jargon of the sort which can be found in any specialized group, but others are euphemisms, dysphemisms or just plain distortions intended to disguise the truth about harlotry (easily discovered nowadays in blogs like this one) and portray it as something ugly, criminal and exploitative of women.  So today I’d like to look at a few of these terms, defining them in plain English, so that my readers will understand what the prohibitionists are actually trying to accomplish by their use.

Abolitionist:  A prohibitionist.  They prefer the term “abolitionist” because they’re working to “free the slaves”.  The comparison is a better one than they imagine; though the modern view of abolitionists is wholly positive, in reality most of them (as documented in Russell’s Renegade History of the United States) had an incredibly patronizing attitude toward black people and many of them considered the chief evil of slavery to be the loose sexual morals of the slaves.

Apologist:  Anyone who answers propaganda with facts: “Maggie McNeill is a trafficking apologist.”

Backlash:  Resistance to injustice perpetrated in the name of “feminism”.

Bought and sold:  Engaged in any business transaction involving female sexuality or sex characteristics:  “We’re picketing this clinic because gynecologists are bought and sold here.”

Car dragging:  A common component of reframing experiences.  It’s not unusual to hear a survivor tell the story that she was dragged for blocks down the street by either her pimp or a john, but there are never any witnesses, scars, or police or hospital reports to verify the account.  One might point out that real incidents of dragging usually cause major injuries and are often fatal, but the credulous audiences of such tales never think of that.

Consent:  The clearly spoken (never merely implied) agreement to engage in sexual conduct with a male on the part of an adult woman over 18 (even if the legal age of consent where she lives is lower) unless the one who uses the term disapproves of whatever it is she’s consenting to.  Consent can be revoked retroactively without any time limit.  See also rape.

Degradation:  Participation in any sexual activity of which the majority of neofeminists or other prudes disapprove.  See also rape.

Denial:  A psychological state characterized by a sex worker of any kind remembering the events of her life as they actually happened rather than as prohibitionists wish to believe they happened.  See also reframing experiences.

Dworkin, Andrea:  American neofeminist (1946-2005) who dreamed up a large portion of the inane “rape” rhetoric which characterizes the anti-porn and anti-prostitution planks of the neofeminist platform.  Criticism of any of Dworkin’s scriptures, including her violently pornographic novel Ice and Fire, is tantamount to blasphemy in neofeminist prohibitionism.

End demand:  The prohibitionist strategy which hinges upon lowering the average male sex drive to below that of the average female by harassment, threats and brainwashing.  The male’s higher testosterone level is considered immaterial because all gender differences, including sex drive, are “socially constructed”.  See also Swedish model.

Exploitation:  Any business transaction involving sex or sex appeal in which a woman is the payee, no matter how highly paid she is.  Swimwear modeling and $1000/hour escorting are exploitation, but cleaning toilets for minimum wage is not.

Farley, Melissa: American neofeminist (born 1942) skilled at creating bogus “studies” designed to produce anti-prostitution, anti-porn and anti-BDSM results.  Farley utilizes such tactics as interviewing streetwalkers in jails and rehab facilities, discarding the responses which do not conform to her beliefs (see denial), and then fallaciously applying the results to all prostitutes.  Whenever a prohibitionist starts quoting statistics, one can be sure that the name “Farley” will appear prominently in the list of sources.

Feminist:  The label neofeminists erroneously apply to themselves; see also sex-pozzies.

Hughes, Donna:  American neofeminist (born 1954) who couldn’t make it as a geneticist because science kept inconveniently disproving her neofeminist beliefs, so she moved into the ghetto of “women’s studies” where nobody would challenge her faith with facts.  Because she is a strong supporter of criminalization she appeals as much to Christian fundamentalist prohibitionists as to neofeminist ones, and was instrumental in the 2009 re-criminalization of prostitution in Rhode Island.

Human trafficking:  Prostitution, acting in porn, international marriage brokering or surrogate motherhood, especially in (but not limited to) cases in which a woman moves from one place to another for the work.  Moving out of a third-world hellhole to do sex work in a Western nation is “human trafficking”, but working in a sweatshop in one’s own country is not (see also exploitation).

Humiliation:  See degradation.

John:  A term for the client of a prostitute which is used almost exclusively by those outside prostitution (especially prohibitionists, police and the media).

John school:  An end demand scheme in which men caught in prostitution “stings” are forced to endure being screamed at by survivors.

Majority:Small minority; usually proceeded by the adjective “vast”:  “The vast majority of prostitutes are trafficked slaves”.

Nordic model:  See Swedish model.

People in prostitution:  See prostituted woman.

Pimp:  Any male who associates with any sex worker (including strippers and porn actresses) but is not a customer.  Husbands, boyfriends, drivers, bodyguards, service owners and even some landlords are all “pimps”.  See also exploitation.

Pimp lobby:  The anti-prostitute neofeminist equivalent of the Illuminati, a vast international organization funded by pornography whose agenda is the decriminalization of prostitution so that prostitutes can operate openly and independently without the need for pimps.

Pornography:  To neofeminists, any visual representation of the female body unless made by and for lesbians.  To Christian fundamentalists, any visual representation of a nude human body, period.

Pro-prostitution:  Since neofeminists represent prostitution as a form of rape, this seemingly innocuous term is actually a slur implying that sex worker rights advocates promote rape.

Pro-trafficking lobby:  See pimp lobby, pro-prostitution.

Prostituted woman:  A whore.  Modern prohibitionist rhetoric teaches that since no woman would voluntarily hire herself for sexual services, all prostitution is involuntary and coerced even if the woman states otherwise (see denial).  Hence this term, which casts the prostitute as a victim to whom something is done rather than a competent adult making a free choice.

Rape:  Any heterosexual behavior in which the man acts without the woman’s clearly expressed consent, even if that consent is implied.  Consent can be retroactively withdrawn at any time, thus converting past sexual encounters into “rape” even if the man believes he obtained consent.  Since the consent of individual women is subject to collective neofeminist approval, any heterosexual activity of which a majority of neofeminists disapprove (including but not limited to sex work and BDSM) is automatically rape even if the individual woman involved gives consent.  Some extreme neofeminists (including Andrea Dworkin) preach that all heterosexual relations are tantamount to rape because heterosexual women are essentially too stupid to “truly” consent.

Reframing experiences:  Lying.  “Survivors” are encouraged to “reframe their experiences” in order to make prostitution, johns or whatever seem worse than they actually were.

Research:  Designing leading questions to be asked to a carefully-selected sample of sex workers in order to elicit the desired responses, then discarding those responses which do not fit the “theory”.  See also Melissa Farley.

Selling:  See bought and sold.

Sex-pozzie:  Dismissive term for a sex-positive feminist, one who believes in the social goals of feminism but rejects neofeminist anti-sex rhetoric in favor of the heretical notion that adult women are competent to make their own individual sexual decisions.

Sexual violence:  Similar to rape, but not limited to physical contact: “Exploitation of strippers is a form of sexual violence.”

Slave:  In the rhetoric of trafficking fanatics, a prostituted woman.

Survivor:  An unhappy ex-streetwalker or genuine trafficking victim brainwashed by prohibitionists into parroting their rhetoric, often accompanied by reframing experiences; they are the primary tools exploited by john schools.

Swedish model:  An insidious form of prohibitionism based upon the neofeminist premise that adult women are forever the equivalent of legal minors, neither able to consent to sex acts of which the state does not approve, nor held liable if they consent to those acts.  Since men are fully competent adults, however, they are unilaterally liable just as they would be in statutory rape cases.

Victim:  A term whose meaning varies widely depending on the type of prohibitionism.
1)  In 20th-century prohibitionism, a prostitute’s client or the client’s wife.
2)  In neofeminism, a woman.
3)  In Swedish model or trafficking rhetoric, a sex worker.
4)  In Christian prohibitionism, either #1, #3 or both (varies by group).
5)  In “progressive” American institutional prohibitionism, a prostitute with a pimp, except for those arrested or raped by the police (who deserve what they get and are therefore not victims).

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When the sex war is won prostitutes should be shot as collaborators for their terrible betrayal of all women. –  Julie Burchill

Domestic sows are often subject to a perverse and horrifying behavioral abnormality called “savaging”, or cannibalistic infanticide; in plainer language, they eat their own young.  The behavior is thought to be caused by fear, stress or unsanitary conditions, but it is also noted that sows which have done it once are prone to do it again.  Though humans are not subject to this behavior in a literal sense, there are a number of women who tend to viciously attack others as part of a broader rejection of their own femininity; I call them neofeminists.  And like disturbed sows, neofeminists reserve their most vicious attacks for those one would least expect them to target, in this case other women.

The reason, I suspect, lies in the differing ways in which men and women view our bodies.  For a man, the body is a vehicle; he gets signals from it such as hunger, pain, sexual desire, etc and though he’s forced to respond to those signals he still views them as something outside his ego.  In the sea of organic life a male is someone on a raft:  He is supported by the sea and can perceive it all around him, and it has powerful and often overwhelming effects on him, but he is ALWAYS outside of it and indeed fears being swallowed up by it.  But for women our psyches are inextricably bound up in the body; we are immersed in that sea, swimming in it, surrounded by it on all sides, and the signals from it are not merely messages from somewhere else but thoughts in our own brains.  No man can understand the way women think of food or sex, and pregnancy might as well be science fiction to them.  Starting in the early teens the female body undergoes catastrophic changes (unlike the comparatively gradual and subtle male ones) and every month we are reminded of the fact that Mother Nature is in control and we have little choice but to obey her demands.  This is not merely a physical thing but a mental one; our feelings, perceptions and thoughts are altered by the internal tides and they’re only a pale reflection of the changes produced by pregnancy.

So it should come as no surprise that some female intellectuals reject their own femininity, in extreme cases violently so by embracing male dress, grooming, mannerisms and lifestyles.  It isn’t about “male power” as they claim publicly; it’s about rejecting female powerlessness over our bodies, a state they wrongfully blame on men because the truth, that it’s the doing of the bitch goddess Nature, is too overwhelming.  Men and political systems can be fought, but Nature cannot be, so neofeminists adhere to the ridiculous “social construction of gender” ideology as a way of whistling past the graveyard.  Because they’re so miserable and maladjusted they resent anyone who isn’t, and from this resentment grows envy of men for being free of the tyranny of a female body, and envy of women who have learned to live comfortably with it.  Envy inevitably decays into hate, and the ultimate targets of that hatred are prostitutes because we not only embrace our bodies and use them to enrich ourselves in a way denied to neofeminists, but also because we enable men to procure sex on their own terms rather than having to dance to every ridiculous demand made by some woman with an exaggerated sense of her own irreplaceability.

The neofeminists are fond of pretending that prostitution is an outgrowth of patriarchy, but this is clearly absurd; the highest status of the prostitute is found in the ancient semi-matriarchal cultures, and the lowest in the most patriarchal ones.  Married women in such cultures often resent the freedom and power of the prostitute, and as in the case of the neofeminists such resentment gives rise to hatred.  But it wasn’t until the decay of first-wave feminism that this hatred actually turned into widespread legislative repression, and even then the persecution was represented as a self-evident moral issue.  A century ago there was no need for moral crusaders to lie about whores; the truth of our lives was enough to justify a war on our profession according to the prevailing Christian morality of the time.  But after the sexual revolution relaxed the sexual mores of amateurs, it became much more difficult for anti-whore crusaders to whip up public feeling against us with the mere truth, so lies became necessary.

First came the traditional police lies about prostitution “attracting crime”, which equated escorts with streetwalkers and ignored the fact that it’s criminalization which creates the “crime” of prostitution in the first place.  But when prostitutes started participating in second-wave feminism and sympathy for us began to grow, early neofeminists found it necessary to construct elaborate lies about our degradation, bad childhoods, drug abuse, etc so as to destroy our credibility without openly attacking us (which at the time would’ve been recognized as the flagrant violation of sisterhood it is).  Whores then became victims who, though blameless, couldn’t be taken seriously because we were so screwed up.

This mythology is still the prevailing one, and gave rise to the Swedish Model and the “sex trafficking” cult, but unfortunately for its adherents there are a certain number of outspoken harlots who dare to challenge that view and prove its fallaciousness by simply showing ourselves to be intelligent, reasonable and well-adjusted women who aren’t “victimized” by anybody.  And because the internet has made us far more visible than we used to be, a new and even more vicious lie became necessary.  Neofeminists now claim that though the vast majority of prostitutes are trafficked, coerced victims, those of us who speak out for sex worker rights are a tiny minority who actually participate in the degradation of other women!  Some neofeminists prefer the subtle approach, claiming that though we may indeed be free and happy our “bad example” helps to make the sexual enslavement of “millions” possible, while others (such as those I discussed Friday) prefer the more overt approach typified by the Julie Burchill epigram to this column.  But a few (such as those who seem to have schooled “Bedelia”) have actually dreamed up a conspiracy theory of “Elders of Zion”-like proportions.  These lunatics imagine a vast, powerful “pimp lobby” funded by pornography which actively promotes sex trafficking and “paid rape” (yet somehow lacks the influence to get prostitution decriminalized even in Nevada), and that sex worker advocates such as the leaders of SWOP, well-known writers such as Tracy Quan and Belle de Jour, and even bloggers like myself and a number of my readers are all in the employ of this “pro-prostitution” cabal.

Nobody who hates femininity as much as the neofeminists do can possibly be accepted by rational people as speaking for all women, but few of their followers are rational and the politicians who embrace their rhetoric do so not out of belief, but expediency (neofeminist dogma gives them an excuse for more repressive legislation).  So I welcome neofeminists’ increasingly overt attacks on sex workers; the more vicious they grow, the less the public will accept that they speak for all women, and the zanier their pronouncements about vast pimp conspiracies become the less their arguments will be taken seriously by normal people.  Sooner or later, the only people listening to their nasty grunting and squealing will be the few benighted souls who choose to inhabit the same philosophical sty.

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Women need a reason to have sex.  Men just need a place. –  Billy Crystal

One of the very first topics I covered in this blog (on July 20th and 21st) was the fact that, for the most part, the female customer of male prostitutes is a myth.  Here’s what I said about it in “The Myth of the Wanton”:

But the strangest symptom of the general ignorance about women’s sexuality is the persistent myth of the female customer, the woman who is so desperate for sex that she’s willing to pay a man for it.  Hollywood loves to perpetuate this one, and not a month passed that I didn’t get a call from some guy who wanted to work as a male escort catering solely to women.  Despite the fact that my ad clearly stated “female escorts,” I always took the time to explain to these fantasy-addled men that the only way for male prostitutes to actually make a living is to see men; I was generally met with incredulity and I’m sure a number of them only called another service after hanging up with me.  They just couldn’t get it through their thick skulls that WOMEN DON’T NEED TO PAY FOR IT.  This obvious fact even seems occasionally to escape the minds of people who should know better, because every so often somebody announces that she’s going to open a brothel or escort service featuring male prostitutes who cater strictly to women.  The service opens to great fanfare, then within a few months either closes or starts accepting male customers.

The perfect illustration of the concluding point of that passage came just one year ago today as “Markus”, America’s first legal male prostitute, quit just two months after his much-ballyhooed arrival.  The reason?  He had fewer than 10 paying customers in all that time, as described in this excerpt from The Huffington Post of March 29, 2010:

America’s first legal male prostitute has left a rural Nevada brothel after a two-month stint that generated plenty of attention but fewer than 10 paying customers.  Brothel owner Jim Davis said Friday (March 26th, 2010) the Shady Lady Ranch had parted ways with the “prostitude” who worked under the name Markus.  A replacement has been hired…a Las Vegas man in his mid-30s who works under the name Y. Not and has had about 10 customers.  The focus of the business, however, will remain on women prostitutes serving men…Male companions were “never the main course,” [Bobbi Davis] said. “We’re going to try it for a while longer.”

The Shady Lady Ranch created a stir in Nevada’s brothel industry when it successfully won state and county approval to hire a male sex worker.  After hiring Markus, the Davises cut him off from speaking with reporters after his first two interviews, in which he compared himself with Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi…

Though I remember the media circus surrounding his hire, I missed the announcement of his resignation last March, probably because there was almost no media attention to it and I wasn’t writing this blog yet (and therefore had no readers to call it to my attention!)  If I thought about him at all I assumed he had either quietly quit or just as quietly started taking male customers so he could actually make a living (back when his hiring was first announced my husband said, “He’s going to be the poorest man in Nevada.”)  But recently, regular reader Sailor Barsoom mentioned the article after encountering it himself in a link from an article about Harry Reid’s asinine remarks of last month, and I decided the anniversary of his departure from Male Fantasyland on a one-way trip back to reality was worth noting.

Why did the Davises hire him in the first place when they knew full well he wouldn’t get enough business to pay his way?  Publicity, of course, of which they got plenty.  Much of it was bad, but some people believe there’s no such thing as bad publicity.  Perhaps; if things go as they usually do it’ll be about four more years before someone tries this particular publicity stunt again.  In any case, the rest of the brothel owners knew better; back when Markus was first hired Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, said “What woman with any money is going to go that three or four hours out of their way to do this?  Nobody.  A year from now, we’re going to have a good laugh about this.”  And I’m sure they’re doing exactly that.

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Faith prefers the absurd to the plausible. –  Mason Cooley

There’s a strong temptation to accuse those who hold different beliefs from oneself of mental deficiency; one sees the behavior quite often, particularly among those who hold socially liberal positions.  The adjective “stupid” or some variation on it is probably the most common ad hominem leveled against those who support censorship or intolerance, oppose civil rights, etc, so I’m loath to use such a criticism against those who believe (for whatever reason) that my profession should be suppressed.  But sometimes I read arguments or articles whose irrationality, stunning ignorance or total absurdity force me conclude that their authors suffer from, if not plain stupidity, some form of cognitive impairment which I’m not qualified to diagnose.  In my column of October 10th I examined a number of these sorts of arguments, but today I want to look at a few specific examples.

Every WordPress blog has a “site stats” page which reveals, among other things, websites from which people have followed links to reach the blog; one can click on the address of one of these referrals to follow it backwards to the site whence it originated and thus reveal sites which have linked to one’s own.  Well, two weeks ago I noticed a link from this guest blog on a feminist website and was delighted to see that no less a person than Belle de Jour (upon whose blog the hit TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl was based) had linked my column of February 9th.  Unfortunately, that delight was short-lived when I saw some of the vicious, propaganda-filled comments from disciples of Farley, Dworkin and company which followed and the disgusting way in which the blog’s administration distanced itself from its invited guest in order to kiss the arses of hatemongers.

One of these (calling herself M. Smith) was a pretty typical “trafficking” robot, while another one (Robin) was a lot like “Bedelia“, an unhappy former streetwalker apparently programmed by the prohibitionists to “reframe her experiences” and to spew out bogus statistics and patronizing “prostituted women” misogyny.  But these were just stooges or “true believers”; the ones with the apparent cognitive disorder are called “JTM” and “Geneva”.  These two made a great many comments (including a number of ad hominems against regular readers Sina and Laura Agustín) whose entire basis seems to be that all women are merely the three-dimensional projections of a single hydra-like gestalt entity floating in hyperspace, or the practical equivalent of it anyway.  The upshot of this is that any single woman’s sexual activities performed in private magically affect all women throughout the world as though we were one huge set of Corsican sisters, and therefore all women must submit to whatever limitations are imposed on our sexuality by our rightful leaders, the neofeminists.  I am not making this up; take a look at the thread for yourself.  Several people point out how bizarre this viewpoint is, and their objections are either sidestepped or answered with some variation of “you just don’t understand” or “you’re naïve” or “stop selling my sexuality, it’s not yours to sell.”  My pointing out that these same arguments could be used to restrict abortion rights was, unsurprisingly, ignored.  Judging by their writing these women aren’t stupid or insane, so I’m at a loss to understand how they can believe something so wholly ridiculous unless they’re suffering from some kind of cognitive dissonance deriving from a deep-seated aversion to sex or men manifesting itself in this fantastic mythology of feminine interconnectedness.

But my other example couldn’t be explained that way because it was written by a man; it appeared on March 12th on the user-generated news site Gather.  Now, since these are not professional writers one doesn’t expect proper fact-checking or healthy skepticism, and in this case one would be correct; the article contains the usual exaggerated and unsupported claims about “the growing incidents [sic] of children being pimped for sex acts.”  But it also contains a glaring contradiction that one would think would be obvious even to someone gullible enough to swallow whatever filth the police shovel into his mouth:  though the article goes on and on about “young children…forced into sex trafficking,” the story actually talks about the deception and arrest of six voluntary prostitutes, one a minor, with nary a mention of “pimps” or “traffickers” to be seen!

…The women arrested in the prostitution sting showed up at the motel after arranging a meeting with their supposed dons [sic] aka Broome County [New York] special investigators.  Police would not elaborate on what led to the actual arrests during the meetings. They, however, must have developed enough probable cause at some point to take five women and one minor into custody.  The women’s ages in the Backpage.com prostitution sting were 15 to 35.  Six females were actually arrested for misdemeanor prostitution, and the 15-year-old girl–who was brought along for sex acts–was released to her parents.  She will be charged, however, in juvenile and/or family court…

The writer’s faith in the police is touching; “they must have developed enough probable cause” because, you know, they said so and they’re the good guys.  One wonders why the writer seems concerned with the “trafficking” of subhuman beings, though; in the last part of his article he assures us that “Geebo.com…has taken proactive and responsible steps in making its site safe for all users.”  All users, that is, except prostitutes; I guess we don’t count because we aren’t human.  Unlike the neofeminist commenters on the Belle de Jour blog, this guy’s problem doesn’t seem to be an elaborate psychological defense mechanism but rather a type of atrophy of the critical faculty which causes him to view his subject in a startlingly childlike manner.  Though judging by his picture this is a man in his 30s, the article reads as though it was written by an unusually sheltered fifth-grader.

But really, neither the naivety of the latter case nor the derangement of the former surprises me in the least; now that the internet has allowed the truth about prostitution to be presented by the women who know it best, namely whores ourselves, police and moralists no longer have a monopoly on discourse about the subject and reasonable people can clearly separate facts from propaganda, thus leaving only the unreasonable (or those with a personal agenda which supersedes reason) in the prohibitionist camp.

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