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Archive for July, 2017

Diary #370

Sometimes it seems as though I can never have a really lovely week without paying for it by an awful one soon thereafter.  Grace and the dear friend who’s helping us move planned to get on the road with their first load a week ago today, but the preparations took so much longer than planned they didn’t get to town to install the last of the safety equipment until late afternoon, which meant it wouldn’t be done until first thing the next morning.  So I got them a hotel in town, and was awakened early the next morning to the news that the work (and other equipment & modifications made over the previous three weeks) had maxed out Grace’s credit card, and she no longer had enough credit to purchase the amount of fuel needed for a cross-country trip with a multi-ton load.  After my initial reaction to being awakened to a crisis (which, unless you have a taste for severe verbal and emotional abuse, you never ever ever want to see), I took all the cash I had on hand ($500) and sent it via MoneyGram to her card.  I’ve sent friends and loved ones money this way for years; it sometimes takes a little bit of argument with the credit card company to get the money applied immediately (if I’m unlucky enough to get a drone who absolutely insists it can’t be done, necessitating the infliction of second-degree ear burns over the phone until he turns me over to a supervisor who then does exactly what the first guy swore couldn’t be done), but in general the money is on the card within 60 minutes.  Well, not this time.  I was informed by not one but both companies that, despite the fact that we all agreed the money was there, it “couldn’t” be applied to her card until Thursday morning because the computers wouldn’t allow it. (Needless to say, that’s the last time I’ll attempt this formerly-effective maneuver).  She had enough credit for Tuesday, and on Wednesday our friend kindly donated the fuel, and on Thursday morning I woke up spontaneously at 5:30 for long enough to recognize that it was 8:30 on the East Coast, make the call, demand a supervisor, direct said supervisor to read the notes on the account, be assured the money was there, text Grace to that effect and go right back to sleep.

And so I stupidly thought everything would be just fine until Friday afternoon, when the radiator blew in the mountains of eastern Oregon.  AAA+ has saved my lovely butt many times and this was no exception, but the radiator was not available locally and we were told the soonest it would arrive would be Tuesday.  So they’re cooling their heels in a small eastern Oregon town, and with any luck the repair will be made tomorrow and they’ll be on their way again, arriving probably Wednesday (with this heavy a load, their top speed is 58 mph).  As you can imagine, I was in a foul mood all last week, and was only saved from it by loyal readers and clients (may Aphrodite shower blessings upon them!) who donated sufficient funds for me to put them up in a hotel, buy a new radiator & pay for repairs and add enough fuel money for the remaining trip.  Needless to say, I’ve mandated a long rest for them once they arrive, during which the truck will receive a thorough checkup before returning for load two…which I sincerely hope I’ll have nothing worth saying about.

Oh, and if you want a really good deal on a prepaid session?  Now is the time to email me about that.

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I can’t breathe.  –  Louis Tramunti

Another of my favorite voice artists is gone; this video features many of her better-known roles, but she had so many they’re literally uncountable (included the original “Chatty Cathy” doll and her sinister Twilight Zone twin, Talky Tina).  The links above the video were provided by Jesse Walker (“Skynet”, “planets” & “map”), Franklin Harris (“RIP”), Scott Greenfield (“never”), Tim Cushing (“alley”), and Tejas (“accused”).

From the Archives

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This is the most disgusting way of profiting from sex workers I’ve ever seen.  –  Felicia Anna

Maggie in the Media 

Two years ago, during a weekend I mentioned in a diary column, I gave an interview to Dr. Heather Branstetter for her recently-published book, Selling Sex in the Silver Valley.  Sadly, the interview didn’t make it into the final text (such are the ways of editing!), but Dr. Branstetter recently published a post about the interview in her blog (in which she says some very lovely and flattering things about me).  Do give it a look, and if the subject intrigues you be sure to buy a copy of the book!

The Notorious Badge

Why does everyone involved in any show about sex work feel compelled to vomit out all kinds of neofeminist nonsense?

The Deuce producers and stars want to draw a [whorearchical] line about the series:  It’s about porn, but is not porn itself.  That means that all of the problems associated with porn — the misogyny, the abuse, the objectification – are featured…as part of the exploration of the topic, not for gratuitous storytelling…co-creator David Simon [bloviated]…“It would be a mistake to look at this and think that we are in any way trafficking in misogynistic imagery or objectification”…As an actress playing one of those objectified women, [Maggie] Gyllenhaal also weighed in…“It should make you consider your position in how sex is commodified”…

But it’s OK when it’s “commodified” by actresses with six-or-seven-figure paychecks, isn’t it Maggie?  It’s just not OK for us lowly three-or-four-figure a pop girls.

Subtle Pimping (#330)

Remember that moronic “escape the pimp” video game? Now there’s a live-action version:

…how about visiting the Red Light District Escape Room, where you have to escape from a window brothel before your “pimp” returns, isn’t that a fun idea?!  Yes, this is now possible in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.  A great way to profit over the existence of prostitutes…plus as as a  bonus you get to increase the stigma of sex workers as victims!…Original Tours & Activities Nederland B.V. is now offering…a fun experience, where you get locked up in a fake window brothel, and you have to “escape” by following the clues in the room within 60 minutes, before your “pimp” comes back.  According to the website the hilarious rating is 8/10, with a difficulty degree of 4 stars and an escape ratio of 63%.  The costs?  Only €14,50 per person, or €12,50 with 13 people or more…

Case Study

Another dumb, sensationalized article, now with added whorearchy:

…Peter Dandos…[has been accused] of operating a brothel…a lot…lately:  protests have been held outside his massage parlour for more than six weeks…Dandos is confused by the protests.  “If they really want to stop something, why don’t they start with the escorts?…if they want to stop something they should start there”…

Too Close To Home (#672)

The fanatically-prohibitionist Seattle Times has once again revisited the takedown of The Review Board, vomiting out the same old cop lies and masturbatory fantasies as they have on the subject for the past 19 months.  Compare this exercise in cop fellation and myth-regurgitation with Liz Brown’s thorough & well-researched piece on the subject (linked in the subtitle above), and then understand the the reporter who prepared this new trash read Liz’s one and completely ignored it, except for the lines she plagiarized without attribution.

Send In the Clowns 

Only another month or so before the “creepy clown” hysteria returns!

A man is accused of drunkenly strolling down a Maine road wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and a clown mask and brandishing a machete taped to where his arm had been amputated…Corey Berry…was arrested…and charged with criminal threatening…

Checklist (#732)

Clearly, critical thinking skills are not a prerequisite for passing medical school:

As physicians who have treated victims of human trafficking and research this scourge, we believe that this form of severe exploitation is under-recognized in health care settings and live are being lost because of that.  The International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes aim to describe diseases and causes of death and disease.  These codes, which are used for everything from hospital billing to research, establish legitimacy for the conditions that harm and kill people every day.  As the World Health Organization works toward its 11th iteration of these codes, we urge that “victim of human trafficking” be recognized as an official diagnosis…

A medical diagnosis.  Seriously.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#735) 

Even for the prohibitionist New York Times, this is pretty jaw-dropping; somehow this reporter imagines that going from writing an anti-porn rant to producing two anti-porn documentaries somehow constitutes Rashida Jones “changing her mind about porn”.  The stupidity and colossal ignorance on display here are almost unbelievable.

Bogeymen (#754)

Remember this story the next time you hear pigs oinking about how they “busted” some “pimps”:

Ms Norman, the 70-year-old woman who was arrested because she stayed to try to save the life of a man who had collapsed in the brothel where she was working as a cleaner, was…found guilty of assisting in the management of a brothel…This prosecution sends a signal to sex workers everywhere that the police are more concerned with their targets…than with the value of human life…Ms Norman…got paid £6 an hour…We now wait to see if the police and courts further persecute Ms Norman by trying to take her savings and assets under proceeds of crime law…

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Back Issue: July 2014

How many more women have to die before governments abandon their mad dream of controlling the sexuality of every individual within their borders?  –  “How Many Will It Take?

With the addition of the diary feature, the number of individual columns that need to be mentioned in these back issues is growing steadily shorter.  And extra news columns like “Traffic Updates” are the harbingers of the semi-weekly news column that premiered only six months after July of 2014.  After the holidays (“The Spirit of ’76“, “Fourth Anniversary” and “Magdalene’s Day“); the guest columnist (“Anonyma“); the fictional interlude (“Eurydice“); the harlotography (“Alice Keppel“); the Q&A columns (“Off-Street“, “Neither Here Nor There“, “Like a Courtesan“, and “Aversion Qualified“); and the Cliterati reprints (“Bread and Circuses“, “How Many Will It Take?” and “Nice While It Lasted“), there are only three left: a collection of ice cream recipes (“I Scream, You Scream“), a diatribe against dumbasses who think exceptions invalidate general rules (“Not All [Your Group Here]“), and a tearful goodbye to some beloved furry friends (“Family Curse“). 

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In yesterday’s news column, I featured the latest in what has become a relentlessly moronic theme under the “Pygmalion Fallacy” heading:  the argument that due to the principles of sympathetic magic, an inanimate object which the human mind interprets as being shaped like a woman (or a child) has some kind of mystical connection to the thing it resembles, so that for a man to fuck a sex doll somehow affects a prudish, pearl-clutching woman who can’t even see or know that it’s happening, or magically harms an “innocent child” thousands of miles away.  This is the cognition of a savage; it deserves no more consideration in a rational society than the contention that the Earth is flat or that priests should make sacrifices to Zeus and Poseidon in order to turn away hurricanes.  But the most recent iteration of this nonsense contains something far uglier and anti-humanistic than mere superstition; it’s the loathsome application of the tabula rasa doctrine to human sexual desire.  Few reasonable people now doubt that most sexual desires and orientations are innate, that they form at a very early age by psychosexual mechanisms nobody yet understands, and that they simply can’t be trained out of existence; it simply isn’t possible to “pray the gay away”, to purge oneself of kinky urges, or to shame men into being attracted to kinds of women they simply aren’t attracted to.  But the other side of the coin is that it also isn’t possible to mold people’s sexualities into a kinkier direction; a man who isn’t turned on by rough sex can’t “learn” to like it by watching rough-sex porn, and one who’s attracted to adult women doesn’t become “jaded” and start wanting to fuck kids just because he visits sex workers frequently.  These myths are promoted by anti-sex zealots who understand that “it’s sinful!” doesn’t carry the weight it did 150 years ago; now they need to invent pseudoscientific explanations as to why sexual imagery, sex work and sex toys are bad and should be suppressed by violent state thuggery.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, yesterday’s example contained an even more insidiously vile insinuation:  the idea that fantasies of violent sex are deeply connected to, and are at risk of mutating into, true desires to inflict violent sex on non-consenting partners.  In plain English, the nasty pearl-clutcher who wrote the article is saying that all a man with rape fantasies needs to turn him into an actual rapist is the opportunity to act them out, even on an inanimate piece of plastic.  And while that might seem reasonable to naive vanillas without any D/s type urges, as a BDSM switch I find it deeply insulting and dangerously ignorant.  Yeah, I enjoy getting rough with pretty girls…and the part that turns me on is that they want it.  If I got as much as a hint that a bottom wasn’t really into what I was doing, the space between my legs would get as dry as the Gobi in a heartbeat.  And the same thing goes for nearly every top I’ve ever been with; in one case I unintentionally ruined a scene by reacting so realistically that I spooked him, and he couldn’t continue.  Kinky people understand consent in a way most vanilla folk never learn to, and the notion that it’s the opposite is nothing but bigoted projection.  The dogma that consent must be explicitly verbal, ongoing, and “enthusiastic” is the sexual equivalent of training wheels; it’s a prop for people who are so sexually illiterate and obtuse that they need a highly-artificial, externally imposed structure to ensure nobody gets even the tiniest bit hurt (physically or emotionally), and it destroys the basis of a lot of kink play.  In one example from my own life, a partner was teasing me about what was going to happen to me later.  I looked him straight in the eyes and said, absolutely deadpan, “I do not consent.”  But he knew me well, and could clearly see both the sparkle in my eyes & the Mona Lisa smile on my lips.  There was no further discussion at the time, and when similar conversations came up during the day I repeated: “Remember, I absolutely do not consent to that.”  But we had already clearly established safewords, and our very deep bond of trust included knowing that I enjoy having consent seduced from me (which is again total anathema to the “enthusiastic consent” crowd).  The result: some of the hottest sex of my entire life that night, I mean literally screaming.  The “ongoing enthusiastic consent” crowd would be utterly horrified if they could see a video of it (especially the audio), and yet both of us knew that I was fully consenting & would’ve safed out had I changed my mind.  The people who push the artificial, authoritarian “enthusiastic consent” crap are just sex-negative moralists playing at being sex-positive; they want to pathologize all sexuality that they don’t approve of.  And their arguments against sex robots, which many people are uncomfortable with due to the “uncanny valley” effect, are nothing more than the thin end of the wedge…just as their campaigns against sex work are nothing other than the first battles of a war against sexual behavior in general.

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I suggest we listen to the…people we are trying to protect.  –  Kate Lister

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

…drug law enforcement is…often accompanied by…sexual shakedowns, in which women…are given the choice between performing sexual acts or facing what could be decades in prison…women…[are] almost three times as likely as men…to be subject to humiliating strip-searches…body cavity searches and monitored bowel movements…roadside cavity search[es] by [cops] who claimed to have smelled marijuana…eventually prompted the Texas Legislature to pass a bill banning cavity searches during traffic stops absent a warrant…Can [pigs] actually get a warrant to search someone’s vagina?  The answer is yes.  One night in 1986 Massachusetts police officers showed up at Shirley Rodriques’s house, forced open her door and, finding her sleeping in bed with her husband, told her that they had a warrant to search her vagina for drugs.  When she refused their order to reach inside herself and take out the “stuff,” police took her to a hospital where…a physician forcefully searched her vagina while a nurse held her down on the table.  No drugs were found.  But when Ms. Rodriques filed a lawsuit…courts found no wrongdoing…It is still possible to get such a warrant today…

Check Your Premises

So having sex with strangers because of animal-brain lust is wonderful and commendable, but having the same kind of sex with the same kind of people for rational, human-brain reasons is a “grey area” that needs to be “monitored” by authoritarian busybodies:

Manchester has seen a huge uptick in the number of men…selling their bodies for money…Fergal McCullough…explains that…the lines between sex and sex work have grown fuzzier…“There are a lot of grey areas…I’ve had people say ‘If I fancy him I won’t charge him’.  That’s the reality for a young, out, gay sex worker”…Unlike female sex workers…a lot of male sex workers advertise their services online…While the exchange of sexual activities for money or other goods is legal in the U.K., police still need to monitor the situation…

Yes, the writer is also claiming that men advertise sex work online more than women do.  Picket-fence gays have become an active threat to sexual freedom.

Subtle Pimping

Another amateur profiting from sex workers while giving us nothing:

The [unprincipled] director Jane Campion has revealed that her research for the new series of Top of the Lake involved sneaking into Sydney brothels in disguise in order to hear the real stories of sex workers in the city…this series will move from wild backdrop of New Zealand to Sydney, delving into the world of [decriminalized sex work].  “Sexual tourism in Sydney…has always really annoyed me because [I’m a busybody who thinks my opinion is more important than those]…of people who…have [actually done sex work.  Like most prudes, I enjoy pretending that]…the legalisation of brothels is not a simple issue at all [and my sexual fantasies involve] the ownership of someone else’s body…”

With Friends Like These…

Why can’t wannabe allies actually be bothered to talk to sex workers before publishing ignorant pro-regulation drivel that assumes we’re childlike morons in need of licensed handlers?

…the issue of legalizing and regulating the sex trade remains conspicuously off limits for our legislators.  Allowing responsibly-operated brothels…has it been legalized in New Zealand, Germany…Eastern Australia…and…Nevada…this policy would help to protect currently-vulnerable sex workers from abuse and disease…there is no popular nationwide movement to stop the ongoing abuse of sex workers by unlicensed, unregulated pimps…

Sexual Predators 

That this creepy entrapment & surveillance game isn’t seen for what it is shows how much American society has degenerated:

Detectives from…Monroe County [Pennsylvania]…conducted a web-based prostitution sting [under cover of the myth of]…human trafficking…the detectives posted decoy ads on backpage.com…Each call was initially fielded by Detective Kim Lippincott, who would engage the man in conversation while Detective Brian Webbe used the number to find his information…so they can address the [victims] by name, mention their address and bring up other relationships…The men that fell into the trap were not arrested…the goal was to [spread propaganda that dehumanizes sex workers and casts them as pathetic victims who deserve to be cheated of a fair income]…

Under Every Bed

No doubt caused by the presence of corn and I-35:

A task force that works to [manufacture] crimes against children is [inventing] an increase in the number of sex trafficking cases in Kansas…Richard Powell of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office says…”perpetrators are…utilizing a lot of social media to recruit victims.”  Powell says there are more than 8000 registered sex offenders living in Kansas, and about 15 percent are in the greater Wichita…area…

An Angel of Mercy (#320)

No cops.  No cages.  No shaming or brainwashing:

A charity that supports sex workers in Nottingham has secured funding for a new van that will deliver food and hot drinks to them…The Jericho Road Project…was set up 17 years ago and supports approximately 25 women a month…[project manager Julia Terry said] “The aim is to show them love and if they would like help in exiting (the work) then we will support them, but even if they don’t want to exit then we still offer support”…The charity will also support women if they have been attacked, and pass on the details to website Ugly Mugs…

The only sour note in the story is the list of reasons women do sex work which somehow fails to include “earning money”.

First They Came for the Hookers…(#623)

It doesn’t matter what a sex worker does after leaving sex work; to the media, they’ll always be a whore:

A former Russian government official—and business partner of Donald Trump’s—is gaining new notoriety, as the federal investigation into alleged election meddling widens…this Kazakh-born real estate mogul, Tevfik Arif, is doing his best to clean up his past, trying to purge the web of references to his arrest in an underage prostitution bust.  He was later acquitted in the matter…

Opting Out (#700)

Naturally, Cassandra McNeill was saying this years ago:

…the UK government…formally announc[ed] that age verification for all online pornographic content will be mandatory from April 2018…it’s expected that you will need to submit your credit card details to a site before being allowed to access adult content (credit cards can’t be issued to under-18s).  The appointed regulator will almost certainly be the British Board of Film Classification who will have the authority to levy fines of up to £250,000 or shut down sites that do not comply…This act will potentially censor any UK site that carries adult content, which is broadly defined by the BBFC as “that it was produced solely or principally for the purposes of sexual arousal”…anyone in the adult industry who markets their business with a website, can all be termed pornographic and forced to buy expensive software to screen their users or risk being shut down or fined…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#719) 

One wonders if this loon thinks it’s a danger to society to force her vaguely-phallic vibrator against her genitalia without asking for its consent:

What does a rape-able robot say about our attitudes to consent, sex, violence and humanism?  Do sex robots…eroticise and normalise male sexual aggression?  Or does allowing men to “act out” these “most private sexual dreams” on inanimate objects actually make real women safer?  The idea that allowing men to “rape” robots could reduce rates of sexual violence is fundamentally flawed.  Sex robot settings that eroticise a woman’s lack of consent, coupled with male aggression, risk normalising rape.  It sends a message to the user that it is sexually fulfilling to violate a woman’s “No”…

For the nth time: a woman-shaped toaster is still a toaster, not a woman. It has no power to consent, and there are no “ethical dilemmas” raised by fucking it, painting it green, sticking it in a closet, dismembering it or modifying it into a woman-shaped drink dispenser. Only childlike primitives believe that the shape of an object imbues it with sympathetic-magical powers over humans.  And finally: anyone who un-ironically uses the phrase “send a message” in a screed urging limitation of others’ individual freedoms is an authoritarian who “makes the world more dangerous for women, not less”.

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Diary #369

Ireland was absolutely amazing, better than I could ever have hoped.  We flew into Shannon airport early last Monday morning and immediately set out for the Cliffs of Moher, also visiting St. Brigid’s Well, a dolmen out in the Burren and the beautiful St. Colman’s Oratory, staying for the night in Ennis.  On Tuesday we drove down into the Dingle peninsula, visiting a collection of Ogham stones and beehive huts, and finally locating a ruined church with a well sacred to Saint Gobnait which Lorelei found in a pamphlet; it wasn’t in any of the guidebooks and there were no signposts pointing to it, so we found it purely by inspiration and questioning the locals.  And since there wasn’t a soul around but us, I’ll leave it to your imaginations to figure out how we paid our respects!  That night we stayed in Killarney, and the next day visited the Church of St. Gobnait, with a lovely walking path on which we spent some time.  Later we went to the stone circle at Drombeg on the south coast, and soon after that another, unnamed collection of standing stones only a few kilometers away.  That’s one of the things I found most amazing and refreshing about Ireland: in the United States, every site that could vaguely be considered “historical” (usually a few decades or a century or two old at best) is fenced off, plastered with signs and loomed over by “authorities”.  But in Ireland, monuments many hundreds over even several thousand years old are just sitting in sheep pastures, and all one need do to visit them is hop the fence and walk over, often without anyone else around!  Take a look at the pictures I posted on Friday, and I think you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

After a night at a lovely AirBnB in Cork we visited Blarney Castle and kissed the famed stone before moving on to the ruins of Hore Abbey, at which we had a tremendous amount of fun climbing into nooks and crannies and generally being irreverent.  We visited St. Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare and had a pub supper there before driving into Dublin, where we stayed at a hotel Thursday and Friday nights.  On Friday we split up: Ghost Rider went to visit a couple of distilleries, while Lorelei & I went shopping in downtown Dublin.  We then all met for afternoon tea, and went pub-crawling until quite late.  And I managed to make all of the flights without vertigo except for the last 15 minutes coming into Seattle on Saturday, probably because I forgot to take my second Valium.  Ah, well, nothing’s perfect!  But this trip was as close to it as anyone could hope for, and I’d be overjoyed if some generous reader were to book a 24-hour or more appointment with me so I could justify going back!

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