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Archive for September 28th, 2011

Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather
Whiplash girlchild in the dark
Comes in bells, your servant, don’t forsake him
Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart.
  –  Lou Reed, “Venus in Furs

Synchronicity is a strange thing.  Months will pass without news on a particular topic, then all of a sudden there’s an avalanche of stories which relate to it.  And so it has been lately with BDSM; we hadn’t seen a notable story on the topic since the beginning of June, then all of a sudden it’s back in spades just in time for the one-year anniversary of my three introductory BDSM columns.  First we had the report discussed in my September 15th column, then the big Fetlife brouhaha, then Monday’s column in which shockingly ignorant “researchers” equate women playing dominatrices in porn movies with female “empowerment”, and now this September 12th report of a scandal involving a dominatrix and a powerful British politician:

A dominatrix’s sensational story of sex, cocaine, and tabloid wrongdoing has revived questions over the relationship between Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-hungry News of the World and Britain’s Treasury chief, George Osborne.  Former escort boss Natalie Rowe…is claiming that the tabloid deliberately twisted her claims that she and…[Osborne] used to snort cocaine together years ago so that [he] was not tainted in the scandal.  The idea that Osborne…could have been deliberately cast in a sympathetic light by a Murdoch paper…raised new questions about whether the now-defunct tabloid was playing favorites with its political exposes [and] highlights the cozy ties between British politicians and the Murdoch press that Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to cut…

The story begins with Rowe’s 2005 claim that she and Osborne used to snort cocaine together years ago.  At the time, it was exactly the kind of story the brash News of the World loved — a mix of sex, politics and drugs…but…it appeared to take an unusually forgiving approach to Osborne, who at the time was managing Cameron’s bid to become leader of the British Conservatives.  Rowe now claims that News of the World reporters stole her story, which she was hoping to sell to a rival newspaper, and twisted the facts to make Osborne look better.  In an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. television, she accused the Murdoch tabloid of making her seem unreliable so as to undermine allegations against a man who now holds one of the most senior positions in the British government.  “They stole the story and then they didn’t even tell it as it should have been told,” Rowe said, according to a transcript of the interview due to be aired later Monday.  “They completely diluted it and made it look like I was not to be trusted…and all for George Osborne.”

Rowe’s claims that she, Osborne and his well-heeled friends indulged in cocaine together…are long-standing and have been repeatedly denied by the 40-year-old Osborne…Rowe claims that she was hoping to publish her allegations in the Sunday Mirror, which put out a story entitled “I snorted cocaine with top Tory boy” on October 16, 2005.  But the News of the World — under circumstances which remain unclear — got a hold of the story at the same time, running it under a less explicit headline:  “Top Tory, coke and the hooker”.  In an unsigned editorial published alongside the story, the News of the World said that Osborne “has now owned up to his encounters with a cocaine-snorting call-girl.  And robustly condemns drugs for the destruction they wreak”…

Then less than a week later, the top whoremongers in New York fired one of their top prostitutes for freelance harlotry on the side:

A well-respected lawyer in the state Attorney General’s Office spends her days toiling in securities fraud — and her nights moonlighting as a dominatrix…Alisha Smith, 36…becomes perky persecutor “Alisha Spark”…when she performs at S&M events…“They pay her to go to the events.  She dominates people, restrains them and whips them,” [a] fetish source said…Now Smith is on the receiving end of some serious discipline from her bosses at the AG’s office.  Yesterday, she was removed from her duties — for which she earns $78,825 annually — after The [New York] Post inquired about her saucy S&M lifestyle.  “The employee has been suspended without pay, effective immediately, pending an internal investigation,” said a spokesman for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  The spokesman would not elaborate on why Smith was being professionally spanked.

It comes just three years after she was lauded by then-AG Andrew Cuomo for her role in obtaining a $5 billion settlement from Bank of America and others in a securities-fraud case…Sources familiar with the issue say Smith’s punishment has less to do with her personal pleasure and more to do with the possibility that she profited from it…the Attorney General’s Office…requires employees to “obtain prior approval from the [Employment Conduct Committee] before engaging in any outside pursuit…from which more than $1,000 will be received or is anticipated to be received”…

The New York Post obviously has a fetish for getting former or part-time sex workers fired from their regular jobs; they were also the busybodies who exposed Melissa Petro last September.  Well, at least they picked on a lawyer this time instead of a teacher; maybe she can fight back.  And maybe somebody in New York should consider approaching her to do a little pro bono work for sex worker rights, now that she’s experienced stigmatization firsthand.

I’ll close on a lighter note, with this Susannah Breslin mini-interview of a Dallas dominatrix entitled, “The Dumbest Things About Being a Dominatrix”; while I agree with the interviewee that it’s really dumb that the so-called authorities “can penalize anybody who violates the social code of having all your sexual encounters be free,” I must point out that her contention that she isn’t a prostitute because she doesn’t have penis-in-vagina sex is equally dumb.  As I pointed out in my second BDSM column,

…the majority of [dominatrices] do not offer any other kind of sex, and indeed most of them do not consider themselves whores and may even be insulted if included in our number.  To them I say, “Tough titties, sisters!”  BDSM is a form of sexual activity; a woman who provides sex for pay is a prostitute; you provide BDSM for pay; therefore you provide sex for pay, therefore you are a prostitute.  Q.E.D.  You can call what you do “therapy” or “psychodrama” or whatever else you want, but it’s still sex.  What I provided was a form of therapy as well, but I’m still a hooker and so are you.

So there.

One Year Ago Today

Fallout” discusses the failure of political grandstanding to stem the rising tide of anti-prohibition sentiment in the United States.

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