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Archive for December, 2016

Christmas Eve 2016


Merry Christmas, dear readers, and may you all find everything you hope for under your tree!

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He should have been surrounded by family at old age, not surrounded by bullets.  –  Roy Serna

Since there seems to be a dearth of holiday videos nowadays, I decided to share this classic from 1939 with you.  It’s an antiwar cartoon from MGM, and though most of the screen time features cute anthropomorphic animals it also features something not found in most mainstream animated films, then or now:  death.  As in actual death, not turning into a cartoon angel and floating up to a cloud.  And on a massive scale, too; if you’ve never seen it, take a few minutes to do so now.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel (“Dalek”), Mark Draughn  (“protect”), Franklin Harris (“headline”), Popehat (“Florida” and “night”), Tushy Galore  (“amateurs”), and Elizabeth N. Brown (“denied”).

From the Archives

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black-nightgownI don’t believe it’s likely to have escaped the notice of anyone reading this blog for more than about three minutes that I’m a whore.  Besides the fact that it’s in both the name and the subtitle, and sprinkled liberally all over the blog, and discussed with great frequency, there are all those nude photos and hooker comments in the Twitter feed, and Google is your friend.  Every so often some rando “slides up in my mentions” (as the young people say) on Twitter without apparently noticing that I’m a bona fide, card-carrying, earning-my-living-on-my-back prostitute, but I hardly think it’s possible for any person to visit this blog without working that out in fairly short order.  I’m not just mentioning this as an exercise in the bleeding obvious; I’m bringing it up because it seems that occasionally someone loses sight of what that actually means.  And what it means is this:  I am a paid entertainer.  I make my living by pleasing people, by diverting them, by giving them comfort and relief and solace and even advice (please note that last).  Yes, we speak of “selling sex”, and certainly most of my clients are looking for skin-to-skin contact, whether that culminates in orgasm or not.  But not all of them are, and unlike the pathetic control freaks we ludicrously refer to as “authorities”, I am not a pompous bean-counter who thinks it’s vitally important to draw firm and legally-binding lines between sexual and non-sexual activities.  If I’m capable of doing a thing that makes you feel better physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually or whatever, and you’re willing to pay me for doing that thing, we can probably strike a deal.

Please reread that penultimate clause.  Obviously, I expend a lot of time and energy doing good for others that I don’t expect to get paid for; I do favors for my friends, I give money and time to good causes like SWOP Behind Bars and Toys for Tots, and my activism is almost entirely pro bono.  On top of that, I answer reader questions (most of them requests for advice) nearly every week, and the only price I ask for it is that I be allowed to share the answer so as to help others and build this blog.  But if you think the amount of my time donated to helping readers is inconsequential, I invite you to count the number of questions I’ve answered in the past, assume an hour of time to answer each question (it’s often two or more), and multiply that by my professional rate of $400/hour.  Then try not to choke.  This is not a complaint; Aphrodite gave me a mission, and I’m not going to stop doing it until I board the ferry.  However, until that day comes, I need to eat, clothe myself & keep a roof over my head, and that requires balancing work I do for earthly rewards with that I do for heavenly ones.  Part of the way I do that is by refusing to duplicate my own efforts just to please the lazy and narcissistic, and part by avoiding matters that stress me out.  But I recently received a request for advice which went far beyond the limits of what I can afford to give, and I realized this column was necessary.  Most of the requests for my advice are reasonably short and can be answered in an hour or so; others are similar enough that I can direct the reader to previous columns in which I’ve answered it.  But this one was so incredibly long and complex that I couldn’t even take the time to read it all; I had previously answered the reader with links to earlier columns, but he wasn’t satisfied with those and sent back a missive longer than all those linked columns put together.  A quick skim revealed that this person isn’t in anguish or deep confusion; he merely seems to be looking for me to provide justification for a course of action he’s already decided to follow in keeping with his pre-existing belief system.

While it’s not for me to judge another person’s value system, it’s for nobody else but me to make judgments about mine.  And I judge that letters like this, which ask me to spend an entire evening of my increasingly-precious time to lend validation to someone on an issue about which he’s clearly already made up his mind, are not a worthy use of my limited pro bono resources.  If you have a question you don’t think I’ve answered before and you genuinely want my help, it’s yours for the asking.  And if you want to pay me for my time (I only charge $100/hour for phone calls in which I’m not required to come up with sexual fantasy talk), I’ll talk to you for as long as you want about whatever it is that’s eating you.  Because if your issue is too complex to explain in a few hundred words (especially if your first few hundred are spent in telling me why I’m wrong about something I said in a previous letter), you’re going to have to pay somebody to listen to you and give you advice on it, whether that somebody is me or a professional therapist.weighing-of-the-heart

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Yule 2016

The apparent path of the sun reached its southernmost point at the moment this column posted, 10:44 UTC, which is why it’s a little late; I can never resist posting at the moment when it’s this close to normal posting time.  This is a time for remembrance, renewal and rebirth; I wish for all my readers the blessings of the season, and pray that all of you get all you hope for in the new year.  Blessed Be!

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img_20161214_180002This last week before Grace arrives has been pretty busy.  Besides work, trying to get as ahead as possible on my writing, holiday prep and activism (including Saturday’s December 17th vigil and an interview for Nightline about the TRB shutdown), I’m working on the final pre-composition stages for The Forms of Things Unknown.  Once Chester Brown gets me the cover art I’ll need to have it colored, then compile the virtual book in CreateSpace software before proofreading it completely and then having a proof sent out.  I’ve also had a number of beauty appointments lately, such as my most recent trip to the stylist; she talked me into letting her blow my hair out, and I liked it so much (you can see why in the picture) that I think I’ll let her do it every time I go.  It’ll be interesting to have relatively-straight hair for two days every eight weeks!  I’m also preparing for my January tour, for which I’ll leave only a week after Grace goes back to the ranch; if you’re interested in seeing me in one of the cities I’ll be visiting, you need to let me know ASAP.  To encourage you, I’ll give you a special rate (see that link for details).  And on top of everything else, I made some hard but necessary decisions last week which I’d rather not discuss just yet, but which I’ll be telling you about later (probably in the spring or early summer, as plans mature).  Anyway, Grace arrives tomorrow and I’m more than ready for some celebrating and relaxing, though I will still be taking appointments throughout the holidays because bills don’t take days off.  And if you’d like to send me a gift as Skye did (thank you for the Scary Stories Treasury!) you can either consult my Amazon wishlist or just donate via PayPal toward my beauty fund.  ‘Cause I ain’t gettin’ younger, y’all, and all this pulchritude takes maintenance!

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For a while I was getting nervous that I wouldn’t be able to come up with a good story for the opening position in The Forms of Things Unknown.  But as so often happens, when my Muse was ready she demanded my attention immediately, and within three days “Trust Exercise” was done.  Yes, I said three days; it’s a good bit longer than the short-short stories I typically write, weighing in at about 4000 words.  I think you’ll like it, and it will appear exclusively in the new book (which looks like it will come out on schedule in January).  But because I’m such an awful tease, I can’t resist giving you this sneak peak at what’s in the box; this is from about a third of the way into the story:shadow-woman

“So who is Zoe?”

“Why, I’m surprised at you, Doctor Lang; she’s my imaginary friend.  You know that.”

“That would’ve barely been an acceptable answer when you were ten, much less fourteen.”

“OK, then, let’s call her my spirit guide.  Is that a more palatable response?”

“I’m not your enemy, Dani.  I’m trying to help you.”

“Oh, please.  You’re trying to earn a living, same as everybody else.  You wouldn’t give a damn about me if my dad’s insurance weren’t reimbursing you.”

“It’s true that helping professionals need to earn a living just like everyone else, but that doesn’t mean I don’t genuinely care.  You might think of my income as a subsidy which allows me to do the work I find rewarding, which is helping young people with their difficulties.”

Dani rolled her darkly-lined eyes and sighed theatrically.  “And you’ll still kick me out at the 50-minute mark.”

“Good job trying to make this about me.  Look, I understand why you’re upset; your mom had no right to read your diary, and if I were in your place I’d be angry too.  She didn’t tell me she was going to do it, and I would’ve discouraged her from doing it if she had.  And I really am on your side, so if you’d rather not talk about Zoe we don’t have to.”

“I’d rather not.  Let’s just call her my Jungian shadow and leave it at that, OK?”

“Fair enough.  Do you want to talk about how your mother’s violating your privacy made you feel instead?”

And so they did, and many other topics over the next couple of years.  But Zoe never came up again, because Danielle had learned it was absolutely never a good idea to mention anything about her to anyone else, no matter what their age and relationship to her.  As she had aged the visits had become less frequent but longer, and more likely to occur when she was alone; she was also much better able to answer her shadowy visitor’s questions, and she began to understand that the reason for her confusion in the past was that Zoe and the others had never adapted their questioning to a child’s intellectual level, almost as though they hadn’t understood that she was a child.  But as that aspect of their interaction grew steadily less frustrating, another grew steadily more so:  Zoe absolutely refused to discuss anything about herself and the others, or to answer any of Dani’s questions.  All she ever said in reply was, “I’m afraid you’ll just have to trust me.”

And you, dear reader, will have to trust me that the rest won’t disappoint you.  You only have about a month to wait!

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When [cops] weren’t groping you, they were having sex with you, and if you had any money they took it from you.  – Mérida, Mexico City sex worker

Here We Go Again

Jesse Walker on the long American tradition of rescue fantasies:

On December 4, Edgar M. Welch carried a rifle into the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria…to rescue [“child sex slaves”]…This is hardly the first time someone has filled up on fantasies that a conspiracy was holding innocents captive and exploiting them.  It isn’t the first time a fantasist has set off on a potentially bloody rescue mission either.  Take the mob that burned down the Ursuline convent and boarding school in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1834…the rumors that prompted the riot took an oft-told form:  Girls were being held prisoner, and they needed to be saved…Throughout the era, paranoid Protestants became convinced that convents contained sex slaves, secret tunnels, and other staples of the modern pizzeria; more than once, they invaded intending to liberate the nuns…A couple decades before…a youngster named Ithamar Johnson was “rescued” from a Shaker community in Ohio.  He promptly returned the next day, and remained a Shaker until he died in his eighties.  Much more recently, the cult scare that took off in the 1970s produced a whole profession of “deprogrammers”, some of whom felt the best way to liberate a cultist was to kidnap and torture him…the Satanic panic of the 1980s and ’90s…[claimed] a web of devil-worshippers was raping, kidnapping, and even killing children…In the white-slavery panic of the early 20th century, a flood of exposés—there’s that “fake news” again—made lurid claims about prostitution, greatly exaggerating both the number of women coerced into the profession and the extent to which the trade was controlled by a centralized conspiracy…

Whore Madonnas

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I love it when they feed on each other:

Larry Harmel, executive director of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, is the latest criminal-justice official to get caught up in his colleagues’ own undercover prostitution stings…Harmel was arrested after approaching an undercover [sow on a stroll in]…Baltimore…Also…Raymond Edward Bernasconi…a deputy sheriff…[in] Los Angeles…Bernasconi was…arrested on November 21 in a sting…though his hearing has now been postponed until January for unspecified reasons…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

We haven’t seen claims this ridiculous in quite a while:

…In Atlanta, a sex trafficker can make an average of $30,000 a day, according to Doug Crumbly, one of the organizers of End Slavery Georgia…[which is] raising money to build a safe haven for survivors of the sex trade…near…where Crumbly serves as pastor…Every two minutes, a girl is taken by force or tricked into working in the sex trade, he said…“The average age of a victim of sex trafficking in Georgia is 13.  The average lifespan is seven years from the time they are taken”…Susan Roberts [fantasizes]…“I guess I was kind of his prize cow.  There was a lot of violence…He poured alcohol down my throat and threatened to kill me and my family”…The pimps have total control, Roberts [fantasized]…“He constantly fed me Xanax, cocaine, whatever drug he could.  If I tried to leave the house, he had cameras everywhere and would call me and tell me ‘I’m watching you right now’…They lurk in places like DFCS offices”…

Because farmers beat and drug their prize cows.  Why can’t most people see this nonsense as the paranoid delusion it clearly is?  Cameras everywhere?  Pimps hanging out in welfare offices?  Seriously?  This woman needs help from psychiatric professionals, not exploitation from religious fanatics trying to make a fast buck.

Gullible’s Travels

The panic industry at work:

You don’t have to buy into the drug panic narratives…to believe that it’s good news that today’s teens are smoking less marijuana.  If use of alcohol and smoking among teens went down, we’d see that as a good sign, too. Those substances are legal (as it seems marijuana is destined to become) but it doesn’t mean we want kids using them at such a young age.  But when your career involves promoting teen addiction panics as a way of shaping public policy, well, perhaps that’s not the best news…[prohibitionists] were so certain that marijuana legalization would lead to a culture where teens thought toking up was just fine and the numbers would go up.  Nevertheless, [Nora] Volkow [of the National Institute on Drug Abuse] was quick to try to turn good news into bad news…”The development of very, very fancy video games has resulted in a pattern of compulsive use…that may serve as a substitute for drug-taking”…It doesn’t take a whole lot of speculating to figure out what could prompt such a quick attempt to redirect.  The rest of her response, “it needs to be tested,” says a whole lot.  It’s a call for more research, more funding, more spending.  The problem can never be “solved”.  There’s more to do!  If one panic gets disproven, look for another…

The Widening Gyre

Ever more hilarious:

A grandmother who sells painted life-like dolls had to try desperately to convince police she wasn’t selling real babies.  Kathy Cadle, who paints and sells the dolls, was reported [by a busybody] as a suspected human trafficker…She later found out that police had spent much of the day questioning her friends…[but the cops were so stupid they still believed the ridiculous “trafficking” story until Cadle handed] one of her realistic dolls to [the pigs to see for themselves]…the dolls…are made from vinyl…and…sold under company name Bunny Bundles Reborns…[they] have featured in front page spreads and are used as therapy dolls for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s…

Imaginary Evils

Theresa May is really dedicated to competing with the US in using “sex trafficking” as an excuse to destroy civil liberties:

…Theresa May…convinced six Gulf countries to sign up to the WeProtect Global Alliance – a British-led international coalition dedicated to [persecuting sex workers]…Recent [propaganda touts the ludicrous idea]…that there are around 46 million people in some form of slavery around the world…[prohibitionists pretend] that there are currently 10,000 – 13,000 people enslaved in Britain [despite a complete lack of evidence for even 1% of that number]…

An Example to the West (#429)

More than two years after a landmark court decision, Mexico City’s whores are still fighting:

A 2014 court decision recognized…[the] status [of] non-salaried sex worker[s]…A legislative bill seeking to recognize these guarantees in the Mexican capital’s new constitution has opened a fresh breach between those seeking to eradicate [sex workers, whom]…they view as [subhuman], and those who defend [human rights]…The decision said that…authorities are obliged to respect these workers’ decision to sell sex…

The More the Better (#512)

Despite being a humor site, Cracked has a far more realistic view of sex work than the mainstream media:

In movies, prostitutes are either walking tragedies — invariably addicted to drugs and doomed to a life of crime and sadness — or used as comedic relief — pure fodder for a series of wacky misunderstandings.  In reality, of course, neither is accurate.  We exist, all of us, on a complicated spectrum somewhere between Oscar Bait and Rob Schneider bit.  So we spoke to “Felicia,” whose mother worked at a New Zealand brothel when Felicia was a teenager, and she told us…

Ashley Madison (#653) 

“…past business practices that may have allegedly been misleading to consumers.”

The Toronto-based parent company of the infidelity dating site Ashley Madison…has paid more than $1.6 million US in settlements as part of an investigation led by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission…half the money went to the FTC and half to the states participating in the probe.  The company says that as part of the agreement, it will also…”refrain from past business practices that may have allegedly been misleading to consumers.”  But it…neither admits nor denies the [proven fact]…that it resorted to fake profiles of women — commonly known as bots — to lure unsuspecting male customers

Too Close To Home (#672)

Another round of persecution of TRB users:

At least twelve more men face felony charges in Washington for posting comments to the now-defunct web forum known as The Review Board (TRB).  The dozen defendants, most of whom [were] arraigned in King County District Court on December 14, face one count each of promoting prostitution in the second degree—a charge historically used to target people who profit off of the prostitution of others but more recently favored by King County prosecutors to go after people who write positively online about area prostitution…law enforcement needn’t show that defendants actually engaged in pay-to-play sexual activity themselves.  All they must show is that the men “advanced” the prostitution careers of others by saying positive things about them online…authorities present no evidence that the women these men “promoted” were being exploited, other than the mere fact that the women were engaging in sex work at all.  At least a couple of the “prostituted women” mentioned in charging documents are prominent sex-worker rights activists.  In the Certification for the Determination of Probable Cause against one defendant, emails from nonprofit groups such as the Sex Worker’s Outreach Project (SWOP) and Center for Sex Positive Culture are even presented among evidence…Clients of Sex Workers Allied for Change (CoSWAC) issued a Tuesday statement “condemn[ing] this continuing crusade”…

Opting Out (#694) attempts-to-block-xhamster

On the futility of attempts to block porn:

As the United Kingdom considers banning “nonconventional” pornography, xHamster is offering up a warning:  It won’t work — or, at least, not very well.  The porn site has released new data on the more than 1 billion visits that it received in the past year from countries that have blocked its url.  “Despite the best attempts of censors, users are finding their way to [xHamster] using web-based proxies, VPNs, and networks like Tor…porn bans may have the opposite of the intended effect by pushing otherwise apolitical citizens into networks that bypass government blockades.”  xHamster looked at nine countries that have reportedly blocked its site — China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates — and the number of visitors from these countries accessing xHamster using proxies or VPNs…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#696)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

Orange County leads the state in reports of human trafficking cases involving children…Florida Abolitionists…[fantasizes that] children are top targets for traffickers–girls between 12 and 14 are in high demand, and boys as young as 10 are targets.  That’s why [the group] is in talks with Orange County Public Schools to bring [propaganda] to classrooms…and make human trafficking a part of [indoctrination] in the classroom…“just like bullying and ‘say no to drugs’”…

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