Last week was another busy one, both in sex work and in activism; the interviews I linked appear to have boosted my signal somewhat, as did my picking a fight with a presidential candidate (to which, I’m sorry to say, he failed to respond). That’s just one example of how I’ve been getting bolder on Twitter lately; between suffering fools less patiently than before, to tweeting more risqué pictures, to more openly tweeting links to my escort website and advertising, to more openly referring to my work in real time (in other words, essentially saying “I just had sex for money” or “I’m about to have sex for money right now“), I’ve pretty much opened the throttle on harlotry. And it seems to be having the desired effect; at this rate I should break 10,000 followers by the end of the year, and that will expand my social media reach considerably. When I release my next books (and I’ve been gearing up to work on them again at last) I’ll have a far larger potential audience than I did two years ago, and that means my message that sex workers are complex three-dimensional people (rather than cardboard “victim” cutouts) will be that much louder. Nor am I the only one; my friends Mistress Matisse, Savannah Sly, Tara Burns, Laura Lee and others are being quoted in the mainstream media so often now, the week doesn’t pass that one can’t see one or the other of us (and often more than one) in a news article. Our clout has increased so dramatically that at least one news outlet will interview sex workers for any given story involving sex work (a big change from even three years ago), and anyone foolish enough to start an anti-sex worker hashtag on Twitter will soon find us claiming it for ourselves by, as Matisse put it, “pissing all over it“. Whores aren’t going to stay quiet and roll over for the cops and other busybodies any more; we are coming to claim our rights. And there’s not a damned thing prohibitionists, with all their ridiculous fantasies of “eradicating” us, can do to stop it.
Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category
Another busy week! The early part was all activism, including the interview I wrote about in Friday’s column; this week also saw the publication of an article drawn from another interview I did a few weeks ago, my working on a lengthy e-mail interview which published yesterday, a phone planning session for the documentary project I’ll be starting soon, and some SASS planning with Savannah Sly. Not all my work was unpaid, though; I had a very long gig and several good smaller ones, not to mention a wonderful and memorable get-together with a number of whore friends (and one honorary whore). You’ll probably also be glad to hear that I’ve pulled out of the funk I was in for the past few months (which the more observant among you noted and asked about), and also that I found a lovely herbal concoction which puts me to sleep almost as well as Valium does. That’s all I have to say for now, but since I haven’t published a selfie in a while I’ll give you this one I took a few nights ago, several hours after the departure of a client; I thought I looked rather nice and wanted to try to capture it.
Who did your tits? – practically every doctor client in New Orleans
I love my tits, and I know I’m not alone in that; of all my features, they probably get more compliments and other commentary than any other part of my anatomy (including my hair). But neither I nor genetics nor the gods can take credit for them; the responsible parties were my bank account and an unusually-gifted plastic surgeon whom I silently bless every time someone bestows praise upon what Matisse is pleased to call my “jaw-dropping rack”. And the reason I’m mentioning that now is that it was sixteen years ago today when Grace went, in her words, from “having the only tits in the house to having the smallest”. Yes, today is my tits’ Sweet 16! And though I’m not quite as overwhelmed with them as I was when I first opened my eyes to see them there, I still occasionally catch myself in the mirror and say something like, “Wow, these really are pretty spectacular!” Please excuse the slight – OK, not so slight – vanity, dear reader; you’ve got to recall that I was quite plain in my formative years, and was extremely flat-chested for considerably longer than that. So I hope y’all can forgive me for looking for any excuse to display them, and for occasional jokes like, “Hi, I’m Maggie McNeill and these are my tits.” I’m not really that full of myself, except when I am. Those of you who have never been fortunate enough to see them in all their glory up close and personal will just have to content yourself with a few pictures, at least until you make it out to Seattle and book an appointment. And I promise, I won’t say much more about them after today. Not in the blog, anyhow.
When last week’s diary column posted, it was caught by a lot of people who had missed the previous Friday’s description of my view of the TRB takedown, and I received an avalanche of support and good wishes. It was very powerful and validating, and at the same time extremely sobering; two more people I met in everyday life told me they had seen me on television, and I began making legal arrangements just in case. Do I really think I’m in any more danger than I was before last week? Not really; as I’ve said before, I’m reasonably certain the FBI has had a file on me for at least three years, and if they really wanted me they would’ve already charged me with half a dozen made-up felonies such as promoting prostitution, pandering, money laundering, conspiracy, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer. But it never hurts to take precautions, just in case. Thaddeus Russell tweeted that he could “feel history turn” because of my actions, and while that may be a bit hyperbolic I do feel that the public view of sex workers is changing, and that I’ve been chosen by Fate or the gods to be a small part of that. My friend Savannah Sly, now president of SWOP-USA, arrived in Seattle yesterday for a visit, and we’re going to be meeting several times this week with some of the hardworking volunteers who do the vital but unglamorous labor of keeping the movement going while crazy radicals like me get all the attention. SWOP Seattle has a big event coming up in just over a month, and in the meantime the Seattle demimonde is in upheaval over the loss of a major advertising venue and the vile threats and propaganda vomited out by “law enforcement authorities”. Aaaaaaand on top of all that I have to work, write and take care of personal commitments. Ah, well; at least I’m sleeping better these days, and with any luck there will also be some downtime with dear friends. After all, even rock stars need to relax.
Last week was so incredibly busy I’m amazed I was able to keep up with everything I had to do. I knew at the beginning that it would be busy work-wise because I had a solid schedule of appointments, but I had no way of knowing that on Wednesday the pigs would barge into the lives of Seattle sex workers, uprooting one of our major advertising venues and shitting all over our reputations to the press. Of course, the excuse was “sex trafficking”; Korean sex workers in the area were denied agency, claimed to be “trafficked”, and a number of their clients, bookers and other associates were arrested. Naturally, nobody has seen any of these supposed “victims” or been allowed to talk to them, but the sheriff of King County nonetheless felt qualified to say that the members of SWOP were “delusional” for saying that advertising boards help us to build communities and screen clients. Because obviously, his magical swine-o-vision allows him to see into our lives despite the fact that he was too afraid to allow us into his press conference. But whatever he hoped to achieve by this ham-fisted attempt to shut us up was a failure; by Wednesday night, over 12 hours before his press conference, I had already appeared on not one but TWO local news broadcasts to give our viewpoint, and the sheriff and other officials were flustered and annoyed by several reporters asking them about us and our concerns. Furthermore, when the conference let out we were waiting, and most of the reporters got statements from us (as I detailed in Friday’s column). We’ve had several emergency meetings since Wednesday (the first mere hours after the seizure, ’cause we don’t work 9-5, y’all) and plenty more conversations via email and text; I think I’ve received as many text messages in the past week as I would in a typical month. As a kind of side-effect of all this, I’m even more out now than I was before; on Saturday my pedicurist told me, “I saw you on TV!” But while I’ve been hailed as a badass in my community for saying “I am a prostitute” on TV while standing in a courthouse full of cops, the truth is that I’m really just plain stubborn. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a bunch of morally-retarded thugs tell me how to conduct my life or what motivations for sex I’m allowed to have, and I’ll be thrice-damned if I sit by and let credulous ignoramuses slander my sisters and endanger all our livelihoods. I may not be able to win against the colossal machine of prohibition, but by Aphrodite I’m going to go down fighting. And even if they crush me, I’m not going to suffer in silence.
Late Saturday night (or early Sunday morning, depending on your perspective) I drove Grace to the airport; by the time I woke up about six hours later she was landing in Dallas, and two hours after that she was touching down in Oklahoma City. And I was already missing her so much it hurt. For those who haven’t already figured it out, I tend to form very deep and powerful bonds with people I care about; when I love, I love with an intensity that’s almost painful and a loyalty that is generally described as “fierce”. Nor is that limited to erotic love; my feelings for my friends are just as intense, and my dear friends hear “I love you” from my lips nearly as often as my romantic partners do (which is probably one of the reasons Jack decided I was cheating on him with Frank). Add to this the fact that Grace and I have been close friends for 18 years, and you may understand how very much I’ve missed her over the past few months, how good it was to see her for Christmas, and how acutely I felt the pain of her departure. It really was wonderful to have her here, and I’m really happy she got to meet nearly all of my Seattle friends; this won’t be her last visit, and once my house on the ranch is finished, perhaps some of my friends from here will visit there as well. In the meantime, I’ll have to content myself with using the furniture she fixed for me while she was here, and hearing her voice on the phone, and working toward the day when we can see each other more than twice a year.