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Archive for July, 2018

Diary #421

Last week was a relatively quiet one, with a normal amount of work; this allowed me to get caught up on a number of things without stressing about money.  In fact, I actually got my income taxes paid, which is a huge strain of of my mind; that lets me devote most of the rest of my income for this year to the various projects that need to be done at Sunset, such as fixing the floor, correcting the drainage problem which contributed to damaging it in the first place, and expanding the animal pens.  I was there overnight Saturday; Jae wanted to help out with some of the work, and it gave me an excuse to visit.  So Friday night I switched to my new phone; I knew the transfer would take some time, and I figured the best day to do that was one in which I wouldn’t need the phone to work.  There were a few problems, but not too bad, and about 14 hours after I started the process the automated part was done; I uploaded this picture of my blue girl’s first rose of the season from the new phone.  Redoing all my contacts by hand is a huge pain in the arse, but at least everything’s there to update; maybe by the time I am forced to get another phone, they’ll actually have the process streamlined a bit.

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I can’t breathe.  –  David Dungay

A string quartet of hot Russian chicks playing a KISS cover?  What’s not to like?  And the one in the Paul Stanley makeup is especially cute.  The links above the video were provided by Franklin HarrisThe H.P. Lovecraft Historical SocietyTushy GaloreMike SiegelDave Krueger, and Scarlet Alliance, in that order.

From the Archives

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Magdalene’s Day 2018

Every year on her feast day, I honor St. Mary Magdalene; even though the Church does not officially recognize her as the patron of whores, she certainly is in the public imagination.  And if beliefs have power, that recognition of sacred whoredom in the minds of millions has far more metaphysical and philosophical weight than any official Church designation.

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There is a difference between what a decision maker must do, and what such a person may do.  –  Donal O’Donnell

No Other Option

I’ve often discussed disabled clients, but sex work can also be a boon for disabled workers:

For disabled people who are unable to secure benefits because their condition or symptoms fall out of the scope of federal care, the financial strain can be unbearable…without documentation of disability, workers can be fired from their jobs for issues arising from their disability.  Others are forced to hide the disabling symptoms of their conditions in order to stay employed.  And those who are able to obtain government assistance may find it doesn’t stretch far enough to allow a disabled person to live comfortably without additional income.  Sex work is sometimes the only option to make the exorbitant amount of money medical bills and other living expenses require with relative speed, without waiting for reimbursement or approval.  Medical assistance, food stamps, and other government benefits can be maintained while bringing in cash under the table.  Sex work can also be a way for disabled people to work out of their own homes if necessary, or only when they are able…both legal and illegal forms of sex work have been affected by FOSTA and SESTA, and sex workers have been endangered as a result…the most marginalized sex workers, including disabled sex workers, are [especially harmed]…FOSTA and SESTA makes clients nervous about prosecution…and the shrinking client pool could be driving down service prices and forcing providers to offer services they otherwise would not…

Business As Usual

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

Sex workers in Ukraine are increasingly using online networks to protect each other…[from] abusive clients or police and share tips on the warning signs to look out for…Sex work[ers]…are vulnerable to abuse, sexual assault and blackmail by police…of women detained by police – 90 percent of the time by the anti-trafficking department – more than 40 percent reported sexual assault and 60 percent said officials extorted money from them…

To Molest and Rape 

What is it with Alabama politicians and underage girls?

Police are investigating Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin for…[molesting and raping] underage girls during drug-fueled parties he hosted for fellow [pigs]…in the early nineties.  [Mary Elizabeth Cross]…alleged that Entrekin had sex with her four times in the late summer of 1992, when he was 29 and she was 15…In Alabama, the age of consent is 16…Cross…says that she did not attempt to refuse Entrekin’s advances, but that she also personally watched him rape another underage girl who repeatedly said no…Entrekin gained a degree of national notoriety in March, when AL.com exposed that over the past three years he personally kept more than $750,000 in public funds allocated to feed inmates in the county jail he oversees.  In September, Entrekin purchased a $740,000 beach house…

One Born Every Minute (#775) 

Another sleazy scam artist raping aspiring sex workers:

A person claiming to be a director with the adult studio Wasteland, and possibly other sites, has been approaching potential models in an attempt to set up auditions.  He uses the profile Ayman Kad, but may use other names as well.  He is not related in any way to Wasteland…[which] was alerted to the potential scam by a model after Kad approached her on Facebook…We do not know if the scammer is using more than one account, or approaching models on other social media sites, or from other adult companies…always confirm the identity of any unknown director or other solicitor by calling or emailing the company they claim to represent…If you are unable to reach the company…Free Speech Coalition…can help confirm…

Whore Madonnas (#809) 

Stress, such as that resulting from evil fucks trying to deport sick children, tends to aggravate chronic health conditions:

…a nine-year-old Irish-born boy with a severe form of sickle cell disease [has died after losing]…an appeal over deportation orders made for him and his Nigerian mother…The Supreme Court last March dismissed their appeal…but signalled a fresh application to revoke could be brought and also stressed the Minister for Justice could decline to deport on humanitarian grounds.  While the fresh application was being prepared, the child became very ill…and was taken to hospital, where he died [on July 9th]…

Opting Out (#810)

Fascism in action:

MindGeek own almost 90 per cent of the popular tube sites such as Pornhub, RedTube and YouPorn, and now they stand to increase their huge market share even further by offering age verification services to smaller sites.  The software they have created, AgeID, identifies users by credit card, passport or driving license details…[this] could lead to a database of user information vulnerable to a breach…[including] people’s private sexual preferences…The privacy policy for AgeID states, “we also may use these technologies to collect information about your online activities over time and across third-party websites or other online services”…It’s also very interesting – and not at all surprising – to see that MindGeek made AgeID to monopolize on the new age verification law, but…have [also] created their own VPN…[which] will allow…users…to bypass the age verification controls by avoiding being detected as a UK viewer…

The Widening Gyre (#849) 

The lady doth protest too much, methinks:

Model Chloe Ayling has revealed she wants to make a Netflix movie about her kidnapping ordeal because “everyone assumed I was lying”.  The 20-year-old appeared on This Morning…to discuss her terrifying ordeal and the release of her new book…She added that she wanted to tell her story through her book and a possible film because people thought she was lying about the kidnapping…

Disaster (#852)

Delays in cases like this always benefit the government:

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon today ordered a two-day extension of time for the Justice Department to file its opposition to Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s motion for a preliminary injunction over FOSTA …“defendants shall file their opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction by 6 p.m. on July 12, 2018, and…plaintiffs shall file their reply in support of the motion by 6 p.m. on July 17, 2018,” Leon wrote…Leon will hear the motion for preliminary injunction on Thursday, July 19, at 4 p.m…Justice Department attorneys, as defendants in the suit, will respond to challenges waged by Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Human Rights Watch, the Internet Archive and two individuals, Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk…

The Monsters Are Due (#855) 

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs.  Note that similar fake “child abduction” videos are being used to foment hysteria in the US.

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As so often happens, partisans got outraged last week over something they’ve never given a shit about until they thought it gave them some political advantage:

…Adult film star and locus of national scandal Stormy Daniels was arrested [on July 11th] at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, Ohio.  The stop was part of a tour Daniels is taking across the country…Attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing Daniels in her lawsuit against Donald Trump, tweeted…that Daniels was arrested while “performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs.  This was a setup & politically motivated….They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this?  There has to be higher priorities!”  Higher priorities for local cops than getting to take in naked ladies for a few hours and then assert their authority over the most famous of them?  Avenatti can’t be that naive…

The charges were dropped the next day due to a loophole excluding featured performers, but the two other dancers arrested with her are not so fortunate; Stormy donated all her tips from the next night to their legal defense.  Naturally, sex workers and supporters of free speech were irate:

…almost any law aimed at free expression can be used to punish a political opponent.  These regulations—typically known as “no touch” or “proximity” rules—are common, and throughout their history they have been used to make end-runs around the First Amendment…erotic dancing is a form of expression protected by the Bill of Rights…so…those who wanted to restrict strip shows were forced to get more creative…Enter the “adverse secondary effects” doctrine…in which the Supreme Court said that the government can’t restrict adult businesses because the government doesn’t like the expression therein—but it can restrict them, using zoning regulations, because of harmful effects the businesses may cause…in reality, these secondary effects rarely actually exist outside of the imaginations of those who want to regulate the businesses…There are a number of dances that require proximity—and not just lap dances:  Think of a hula dance in which the dancer places a lei around the spectator’s neck.  Unfortunately, courts have been hostile to this notion, and almost universally uphold proximity and no-touch rules…Daniels was arrested under one of these laws after an extensive sting operation.  Why did the State of Ohio devote a team of police officers and hours of taxpayer-funded overtime to an investigation, raid, and arrest of a woman for the grave crime of touching another person while semi-nude?…When you give law enforcement a tool that can be used to target someone who has unpopular views, they will use it.  So, not only was the expression demonstrated by the nude dancing suppressed, but the tool of suppression may have been used to punish someone for their political activism…

Democrats have always joined Republicans in enthusiastic support for anti-sex worker laws since such laws first started popping up in the late 19th century, and half of the blame for “sex trafficking” hysteria and the horrible laws it has enabled is scattered all over the Dems’ front lawn like overturned garbage cans.  But now that their chief political enemy has a long history of interaction with sex workers, their opinion of us changes with every news cycle.  When it was revealed that Trump’s wife has a history of sex work, his enemies happily used that as an attack.  But when the Stormy Daniels scandal broke, suddenly we became heroes and the anti-whore laws magically become the fault of “conservatives”, while the “progressive” rhetoric which has been used to push them for this entire century so far is swept under the rug.  So though Susan Shepard’s article on the incident does mention the feminist “exploitation” argument (and contains an excellent survey of “pole taxes” and other anti-stripping laws, many authored by Christian hit-shyster Scott Bergthold), her editor at NBC chose to lay the blame solely on “evangelicals” and to call attention to Shepard’s rather tone-deaf and divisive statement that “club owners and customers generally skate by with a slap on the wrist or a ticket…It’s a double standard that unfairly punishes working women while leaving those who purchase and profit from their work unscathed.”  I’m rather annoyed to see this strongly Swedish-scented assertion from Shepard, a former stripper who co-founded Tits and Sass, but I guess one has to cater to one’s audience, and her audience for this article is composed of holier-than-thou “progressives” now looking for ways to pretend they aren’t anti-whore by blaming everything on holier-than-thou “conservatives”, and, naturally, those nasty old clients who provide sex workers’ income.

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Ghost

On July 6th, Dan Savage asked sex worker Twitter for help with this question:

A lot of people answered, but most of the responses were quite short.  Below I’ve reprinted mine and three others I found notable, but if you’re interested there are more in Dan’s own column on the question.

Me: Sending flowers or similar forms of approach would be a VERY bad idea.  What he should do is search her stage name for a new ad; if there is one, he can attempt contact that way & see what happens.  If he can’t locate an ad, he should just assume she’s retired and move on.

Savannah Sly:  As a criminalized population, sex workers frequently change phone numbers, emails, etc.  I would advise seeing if she’s advertising online anywhere, and reaching out by the means she outlines in her ad.  I would not advise reaching out in person, or sending anything to her house.  Also, sometimes sex workers ghost.  Our jobs are stressful due to stigma and criminalization, our lives are complex.  Sometimes we ghost without notice, because anxiety runs high in our community.  Be patient, look online, be professional during outreach regardless of past intimacy.  Lastly, sometimes we actually disappear.  As in, violent crimes are committed against us.  If you suspect this, I’d advise reaching out to sex worker groups in your area (or as close as you can find) to tell them you’re concerned.  Then step back, and let the community ask around.

Mistress Matisse: OK just to be different: I’m going to go a different way from all the other advice has been given here. Now, all of the other advice IS very good advice and you will not go wrong by taking it.  However, if you would like to make one attempt – and only one – to contact this lady, here is what you might do.  Go to the store and buy a very generic “thinking of you” card.  Or a blank one.  Nothing romantic!  Write in the card something like this: “Dear X, I see that we’ve fallen out of contact, and I just want to say goodbye and wish you well.  I’ve always thought highly of you and enjoyed our time together.  If you ever want to contact me again for any reason, please don’t hesitate, my number is…”  NOTHING ELSE.  Don’t say anything about sex, don’t say anything about money, don’t say anything about love, basically don’t say anything that would sound bad if read out loud in court.  Do that and do nothing else.  If she wants to get in touch with you, she will.  One time and one time only.  Or, take the safer route and follow the advice of my colleagues.  Plenty of other ladies to meet and enjoy in the world.  I’m sure that’s what she would want you to do, meet someone else.

Anjel:  If she has an email or some other form of contact info, trying to send a feeler email out that way would be ok. But she has every right to end the business relationship without explanation.  No one can know how damaging and intrusive getting flowers might feel to her.  She honestly could have lost that phone number and lost all old contact info though.  But if she wants her old clients to find her she would have given them another way to contact her.  If there isn’t another way, accept that it’s over and be grateful for the experience.

(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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Sex work is like any other kind of work and should be treated as such.  –  Anja Derungs

Acting and Activism 

Not an article you’d see in the US:

…Celebrities…[such as] Ashton Kutcher, Ricky Martin, Demi Moore, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Emma Thompson have all been extensively involved in [so-called] anti-trafficking campaigns…Recently, comedians Amy Schumer and Seth Meyers starred in a [propaganda video] in support of…new [censorship] legislation in the US to curtail sex work in the name of preventing sex trafficking…Celebrities…bridge the gap between brand and cause ambassador, between hawker and humanitarian.  A clear example of this is Demi Moore’s partnership in 2011 with a jewellery retailer to sell diamond handcuff pendants, with some of the profits going to support the anti-[sex work] foundation established by Moore and her husband at the time, Ashton Kutcher…the presence of movie and television stars at the forefront of awareness campaigns can fuel the expectation that real trafficking victims are just like those we see on television or the big screen…sex slavery…is a popular storyline in entertainment mediaTaken…was a smash hit…spawning two sequels and a television show…Stories of sex trafficking have featured in other movies like The Whistleblower and Trade, and numerous television shows including Criminal Minds, CSIHawaii Five-O, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NCIS: Los Angeles, Without a Trace, and The Wire.  The broad reach of movies and TV means that we are more likely to hear about human trafficking in a fictional context…The lines between entertainment, infotainment and information become blurred, especially when we are told…stories of trafficking by the very people who might play the heroes on screen...

Saving Them From Themselves

Dr. David Ley can always be counted on to speak good sense:

…prosecution of teen sexting suffers from the same disparities as much of our legal system: teens who are Black [or LGBT] may be more likely to face prosecution…Males are more frequently charged than females, even in cases involving mutual sharing of pictures…it is mostly the US that is having this teen sexting panic.  Countries in which social nudity is common and accepted don’t seem to be reacting quite as punitively to these phenomena…Amy Hasinoff, author of Sexting Panic, argues strongly that…child pornography laws need to be updated to be more consistent with age of sexual consent laws:  If you can have sex at age 15 or 16, then you should be able to take or share a naked or sexual image (of yourself) as well.  But she also says that we need to take a better educational approach with teens, teaching them about healthy sexuality and relationships and giving them support and guidance on how to sext safely, not trying to stop them sexting altogether.  In other words, we need to start practicing harm reduction strategies…

Gorged With Meaning

Cracked has fewer pro-sex work articles than it once did, but this one’s excellent:

…”Being alone with a man is being alone with a man,” says Fancy, “and they don’t see a difference between a sugar baby and an escort.  In fact, because it’s the first area of sex work many people start with, the risk is higher because the expectation of screening isn’t really there”…Despite sugar sites’ insistence that “entering the sugar bowl” is all about forming lasting romantic bonds of convenience, the turnover rate for arrangements is high — about two months on average, in Fancy’s experience…Both of our sources recently made the decision to quit sugar dating.  Julia got a promotion at her day job, while Fancy decided that the profit wasn’t worth it compared to traditional escorting and stripping.  “I found the men on the sugaring sites to largely be cheapskates who want to trick young women who are too scared to escort into providing escort services for a fraction of the cost,” she says. “It’s very manipulative, financially”…higher-end escorts tend to charge at least $2,000 for overnight stays.  In her experience, that amount is at the upper end of the monthly  allowances sugar daddies offer — and for escorts, those overnight stays don’t require the devotion, time, and attention that often accompany a sugar arrangement…”I was taking $300-$600 for overnight (sugar) stays!  All just so I could call myself something other than a whore”…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

A…Lethbridge [Alberta] school teacher…Dwayne Schnell…pleaded guilty to charges of making and distributing child pornography…Schnell abused his position of trust by taking pictures of eight students…without their knowledge…a psychiatrist said…Schnell has no concept of the harm caused to the children, parents, or the school where he worked….[and] assertions that he suffers from impulse control and addiction issues were “self-deceptive excuses to justify his behaviour”…Schnell…[claims] he has a pornography addiction…

Uncommon Sense (#545)

How countries with healthy ideas about sex react to the Swedish disease:

A campaign to make prostitution illegal in Switzerland is being met with stiff resistance from human rights group.  The Swiss Aids Federation [and] Amnesty International…are among several advocacy groups rallying against the…[crusade, which] was launched by the Women’s Centre in Zurich…and calls for a Swedish-style ban on prostitution…Anja Derungs, spokesperson for the Zurich Equality Office said that “sex work is like any other kind of work and should be treated as such”…Daniel Seiler…of the Swiss AIDS Federation, said that sex work “is the oldest profession in the world” and would not disappear if a ban was in place.  This approach had not worked it Sweden either, where the trade still exists, he noted…The Women’s Centre in Bern also expressed its opposition to the campaign launched by its counterpart in Zurich…

Social Autoimmune Disorder (#594)

Shaming clients is an exercise in evil fuckery that just won’t die:

The Catalan town of Gavà wants to stamp out [sex workers]…and snitch on those who [enable sex workers to pay their bills and support their children]…by sending fines to their family addresses…”Up until now, the client used to pay the fine (to police) in cash right there and then so that there was no record of the offence”…[anti-sex] Minister Gemma Badia is quoted as saying…As a result, authorities have decided [cops]…should send the fines to clients’ home addresses…Even if the clients were to insist on paying before the fine was posted, they would still receive a letter informing them, and quite possibly their family members, on the settlement of their prostitution case…

The Monsters Are Due (#742) 

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

A 92-year-old man…was thrown to the ground [and] stomped on by strangers on the Fourth of July…in…Los Angeles…Rodolfo Rodriguez [is] a native of Mexico and legal U.S. resident…Laquisha Jones, 30, was arrested…[and] booked for assault with a deadly weapon…Rodriguez had gone out alone for his daily walk, [the victim’s grandson, Erik] Mendoza said…While walking, Rodriguez may have bumped into a small girl, witness Misbel Borjas…said…she [then] saw a woman with the girl push Rodriguez and beat him with a brick.  The woman also told Rodriguez to “go back to your country”…Borjas had been driving by, she said, and wanted to stop, but the woman threatened to hit her car with the brick.  Borjas instead called 911 and took a picture of the woman, which she shared with police and put on social media.  Borjas said a group of men then came down the street, and the woman accused Rodriguez of trying to take the child.  That’s when about three of them also began beating him…Rodriguez…suffered two broken ribs and a broken cheekbone…

Cops and Robbers (#823)

No fad spreads faster than a new way to tyrannize innocent people:

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco announced new initiatives to [harass]…sex [workers]…Deputies will utilize intercept bots to track people who use the Internet to search out [adult consensual sex]…The bots will communicate like a [very stupid and robotic] person, exchanging information such as phone numbers and could even set up meeting locations.  [Pigs]…will [creep] in to lock up the buyer and then go after the person in court…

Guys, it’s extremely easy for men to know which ads are real and which are pig swill: women in real ads will have an established online presence.  Just Google the name, email address, phone number, etc; if there are no other hits on an escort site, other ad sites, Twitter, etc, you’re probably looking at a pig trap.

The War Goes On (#831) 

We told you so:

…promoting prostitution…cases, according to [spokespig] John Daggy [of Indianapolis]…have…dried up…[since] the feds closed police’s [easiest site for stings]…Backpage…“We’ve been a little bit blinded lately because they shut Backpage down,” Daggy said…

The melodramatic telling of the arrest of a wannabe “pimp” is especially hilarious.  NB: Every time his name comes up, I remind readers that one of Daggy’s jobs is to make excuses for cops who rape sex workers.

The Spiral of Absurdity (#849) 

It’s fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way to watch the lies spiral out of control:

Fulton County Police Chief Darryl Halbert said 100,000 children become sex trafficking victims in Georgia per year and are mostly runaways between the ages of 12 and 14.  He said the county police department uses surveillance cameras and sting operations to [pretend they’re fighting] the [imaginary] crime…

Yes, that’s a pig oinking that almost 5% of the entire below-18 population of Georgia (something like 30% of the age group mentioned) become “sex slaves” every year.  Even allowing for half “escaping”, that would mean roughly half of the population of Georgia under the age of 30 are now “sex slaves”.  One wonders where they’re all stored, and where the clients to support this massive population all come from.

Welcome To Our World (#853)

Locking pregnant women in cages for “trafficking” themselves.  Had enough yet?

Phnom Penh Municipal Court…charged 33 women with human trafficking after they were detained following a raid on a surrogacy business…last month…[being pregnant in a way politicians don’t like] is illegal and could carry a jail sentence of up to 20 years…Chou Bun Eng, chair of the National Authority Against Human Trafficking, said…“We cannot tell you the place where the women are [locked in cages] because we want to protect their rights and…keep them safe”…

“Keep them safe” and “protect their rights”.  By locking them in cages for 20 years.  For being pregnant.  Feminism!

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