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Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Diary #308

purple blanket selfie 5/20/16If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that my meds worked as they were supposed to on my flight to Los Angeles; the success was probably due in part to the fact that it was a very smooth flight, but I felt no nausea at all despite the fact that the seats on the airplane did not recline at all and I was thus forced to sit bolt-upright the whole way (which is usually a recipe for vomit). Furthermore, little bumps and shakes that would normally fill me with anxiety did nothing more than slightly unnerve me, so I’m pretty confident that the return trip won’t be too bad.  Anyhow, I had a lovely and relaxing weekend with my friend; those of you who know me well understand what the presence of my fuzzy purple blanket in this picture means, and those who don’t will just have to guess or be mystified.  I also got to visit with Matt, I went to Disneyland yesterday and I’m going up to Fresno for a photo shoot today.  Then tomorrow I’ll be flying back to Seattle, and scrambling to catch up before Savannah Sly arrives this weekend.  But for me, busy is good; it keeps my brain occupied with productive things instead of letting it wander off into negativity.  And I really did have a memorable and pleasant trip, even the parts when I wasn’t naked under my purple blanket.

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Diary #307

sensory homunculusSome weeks are just like, “Where the hell did that go?” and some seem interminable; the worst ones are a bit of both, so that when viewed in retrospect the bad parts seem to dwarf the others, like the disproportionate features of a sensory homunculus.  Last week was like that, and everything this week lies in the shadow of my much-dreaded flight to Los Angeles.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure I’ll enjoy the trip just fine after I get there.  But between this moment and Friday morning lies the awfulness of an airline flight, and long-time readers know how much I dread those.  Really, the main purpose of this trip is to test out the new meds I’m hoping will enable me to fly without degenerating into a crying, puking crazy woman and being completely useless until the next day.  To be perfectly honest, I will probably be so doped-up that I’ll still be useless until the next day, but uselessness due to being drugged into insensibility is vastly preferable to uselessness due to being sick, terrified and exhausted.  Anyhow, we’ll see.  If you live in the LA area and want to see me, this is last call; I might make an appointment after I get there if I can find the time, but I doubt that.  I’m going to keep myself as busy as possible so I don’t have time to stress out about the flight back.

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Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap Rap – Unknown

I don’t often feature cute animal videos, but every once in a while there’s one that makes me laugh so hard I feel I have very little choice; here’s one from Clarkhat  featuring a dog who clearly revels in his outlaw status.  The links above it are from Popehat (“Bradbury” and “laws”), Franklin Harris (“RIP”), Mirriam Seddiq  (“approach”), and Nun Ya (“drugs”).

From the Archives

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Diary #306

NY Times magazine cover 5-8-16 Those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter and didn’t see Sunday’s New York Times Magazine may have missed this, so I’ll share it here.  What you’re seeing, my friends, is history being made; the staunchly-prohibitionist Times not only published a good, solid, respectful article on the sex worker rights movement, but also featured portraits of 36 real sex workers on the damned cover.  And not headless stereotypes dressed in garish clothing, fishnets & sky-high heels leaning into car windows at night, either; real people (including male & trans sex workers) of a variety of body types, dressed in normal clothing.  THIS is what prostitutes look like, y’all.  Some of you may recognize some of these faces, and if you don’t there’s a key in that link above (where you’ll also find a slideshow featuring portraits of 24 sex workers, including me).  Endza Adair (top left in white dress) wrote yesterday’s guest column, Kristen DiAngelo (between Mistress Matisse & me) is the writer/producer of American Courtesans, Savannah Sly (second row, far right) is the president of SWOP-USA…and those are just the ones y’all have heard me mention before.  Matisse worked with writer Emily Bazelon since the autumn (and appeared on this radio show with her yesterday), and Savannah organized photo shoots all over the country to create this article; to the Times‘ credit, it invested a lot of time and money in this, and it shows.  The sex worker rights movement is on the rise.  We’re tired of being relegated to the shadows, tired of being spoken over and misrepresented, tired of being treated as criminals, victims, mindless children or a social disease.  The watershed moment is past; though many probably can’t see it yet, all the people who actually think about things instead of believing some scripture without proof now recognize that prohibition in general, and prohibition of private sexual behavior in particular, are evil and destructive to society.  Anti-whore laws will die, and decriminalization will come.  It won’t happen in the next few years; it may not even happen in my lifetime.  But it will happen, and the history books will show 2015-16 as the turning point.  And I’m very proud to have played a small part in it.

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In Sweden…the fact that [sex workers] are more vulnerable is considered a success.  –  Luca Stevenson

R.I.P. Charles GatewoodCharles Gatewood

Famed photographer, videographer and cultural anthropologist Charles Gatewood passed away peacefully [on April 28th]…at San Francisco General Hospital.  The prolific 73-year-old was known as the “anthropologist of the forbidden” for his exploration of subcultures like BDSM, body modification, fringe fetishes and more.  Gatewood photographed numerous celebrities…and…worked on assignment for [major] publications…Among his more erotic works, Gatewood produced Tales of Submission and his photos were also frequently exhibited…A memorial service is currently being scheduled to be held at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco…

Rough Trade 

Oscar Luis Urbina was…charged with rape as King County prosecutors contend he brutally raped [a sex worker] at his home.  Investigators took a DNA sample from Urbina as part of that investigation.  Now, prosecutors contend that DNA test solved another violent sexual assault that saw a 25-year-old woman bitten, beaten and raped…on April 13, 2014…

License to Rape

Cops raping sex workers is so ubiquitous, non-cop rapists often pose as cops to facilitate the crime:

A New Jersey man was convicted…of impersonating a [pig] and raping two prostitutes on the Las Vegas Strip…Mark Picozzi…somehow sneaked into a room not registered in his name on the 32nd floor of The Cosmopolitan and called the Las Vegas Dream Girls escort agency…After the woman arrived, Picozzi…told her he was with the police…and…raped…[her]…as she left the hotel…she was arrested [by an actual pig on bullshit charges]…and [since] she had [nothing to lose she reported the rape]…another woman…contacted police after seeing news coverage of the allegation against Picozzi…[and] told police Picozzi arranged a date with her on Jan. 18, 2014…then claimed he was a police officer before [orally raping] her…and [stealing] $2,000 from her safe…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I really love it when they feed on each other:

…[Los Angeles school cop] Mauricio Edgardo Estrada..surrendered to federal authorities following his indictment…by a…grand jury…[on] charges…[of] attempted sex trafficking of a child and use of the Internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.  The case against Estrada is the result of an undercover operation by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force…[Estrada replied to a fake] Craigslist advertisement…and subsequently engaged in a series of text messages with a [cop pretending to be]…a 15-year-old girl…

Surplus Women 

Call me cynical, but I wonder what these prosecutors and cops would’ve said about Ashley Masi if she had been arrested instead of murdered:

Daniel Tejeda might have thought Ashley Masi didn’t matter, but to the 30-plus family, friends, prosecutors and Providence police on hand…to see him be found guilty of strangling her to death, she sure did…Tejeda…[murdered] Masi, an escort and mother of three…by pulling a zip-tie so tightly around her neck that its diameter shrunk by more than three inches…prosecutor…Daniel Carr Guglielmo…called Tejeda “the face of danger to prostitutes. “A prostitute dies … Who cares?…Maybe that’s what the defendant thought.  Who cares?”…

The Course of a Disease

A basic primer on the fight for sex worker rights, focusing on France and Belgium:

…on 6 April, the French National Assembly, not without difficulty, adopted the Scandinavian model of [criminalization]…Whilst many [prohibitionists]…rejoiced…the move…represents a real threat for sex workers.  As denounced by the French sex workers’ union, the STRASS, in a declaration co-signed by around a hundred associations, including Médecins du Monde and the French human rights league, LDH, these workers risk finding themselves being driven underground and into danger…In Sweden and Norway, where this model has been in place for several years, the results are not as encouraging as the governments would have us believe…

Above the Law  

If only there were a short, specific word for the cumbersome phrase “coerced into having sex”:

A lawsuit by 10 women says they were coerced into having sex while they were inmates at a jail in southwestern Michigan…the federal lawsuit…names Berrien County and four current or former sheriff’s deputies who worked at the jail…two of the deputies resigned and one was fired after an investigation started in September into misconduct by jail employees while they were off-duty.  The fourth deputy named in the lawsuit remains employed by the department…

Let’s see; it should be more specific than the umbrella phrase “sex crimes”:

…Santa Clara police Sgt. Thomas Leipelt…was sentenced to 45 days in jail and will have to register as a sex offender after being convicted of exposing himself in front of his girlfriend’s co-worker…San Mateo County Sheriff’s Deputy Galen Underwood was [convicted of]…molesting a female relative…for 6 years, starting when she was 11.  Underwood…was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison plus 38 years…

Oh, I know just the word!

[Memphis cop] Michael Smith…has been arrested and indicted for raping a…woman…on April 16…at a parking garage.  The victim was leaving the Purple Haze night club…and…part of the [rape]…was caught on security camera footage…

Gee, I wonder why the mainstream media won’t use it when the criminals are cops?

Buried Truth 

In 2003, Dennis Hastert urged Congress to “Put repeat child molesters into jail for the rest of their lives”:

Former House speaker Dennis Hastert…was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison…for a bank fraud case linked to allegations he sexually abused teen boys more than 30 years ago.  Federal Judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert, 74, a “serial child molester” and…also fined Hastert $250,000 and sentenced him to two years of supervised release after leaving prison.  Hastert must register as a sex offender…Hastert…admitted for the first time [molesting] some athletes when he was a high school wrestling coach in Illinois before he began a political career that saw him become the top Republican in Congress…Zachary Fardon, the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois, said…Hastert would have faced more serious charges for sex abuse had the statutes of limitation for the criminal sexual misconduct not expired years ago…

Hastert is best known for the so-called “Hastert Rule”, but I’d like to remind you of the McNeill Rule:  “Any man who crusades against any sex act is almost certainly a practitioner.”

Where are the Victims? (#325)

We’re so lucky to have cops qualified to diagnose us as “victims” no matter what we may think:

Blackburn [Lancashire] Police…said despite the best efforts of officers, both victims found at the property refused to provide statements to confirm they had been trafficked…Det Sgt Tony Atkins…said…“This intervention resulted in the safeguarding of the two females, who, although not making complaints as victims, clearly were, but could not see it”…

I hope Atkins fails to see one of the 4000 holes in his vicinity, and falls into it.

Whimsical Notions

Retired Gen. Charles C. Krulak, a former commandant of the U.S. Marines and president of Birmingham-Southern College, is calling on the next president of the United States to ramp up spending on fighting human trafficking…Krulak complains in a CNN op-ed that “each year the federal government dedicates less than $150 million to combating human trafficking—compared to $30.5 billion for the War on Drugs.”  Considering that the War on Drugs is now roundly viewed as one of biggest boondoggles in U.S. history—a fiscal and humanitarian disaster of such scope that even conservative Republicans and many former Drug Warriors can’t deny that it’s not working—I’m not sure why that’s supposed to serve as an endorsement.  But consider this one more clue that America’s war on human trafficking—which in practice is seldom more than a war on adults consenting to commercial sex—is indeed the next target of all that displaced Drug War effort…Citing the same bad statistics that have routinely been debunked by myriad sources, Krulak announces the launch of Generation Freedom.  This coalition of more than 70 organizations has come together to [lobby] for greater “financial investment [in the rescue industry] by the U.S. government”…

Cops and Robbers

Another sleazebag takes it upon himself to persecute strangers for consensual sex:

Amit Prakash…had no idea what [he and his brother] were getting themselves into.  The prostitution.  The johns.  The pimps…For decades, human trafficking has existed in a shadowy world.  That has started to change, though, as authorities at all levels of government have taken up the issue, shining a light on it, even as solutions to stop people from being bought and sold and forced into work as prostitutes have remained largely elusive…As criminal enterprises go, it’s growing faster than the drug trade…women start in the sex trade as teenagers, forced into prostitution by their fathers, brothers or uncles.  Others are coerced by their boyfriends…Prakash says he is determined to find a way stop prostitution – not just at a single hotel, but at hotels and motels throughout the Sacramento region…“The goal isn’t to go after the girls,” he said. “The goal is to go after the guys. The johns. We want to let them know we’re watching you”…Security guards are a must.  So are cameras, preferably ones that cover every inch of a property, so workers can see if unregistered guests enter rooms…Prakash also is a big advocate of…a universal Do Not Rent list…

Guinea Pigs 

Even when the perpetrators are loser guys rather than cops and other government actors, new surveillance weapons are usually used against sex workers first:

The developers behind “FindFace”, which uses facial recognition software to match random photographs to people’s social media pages on Vkontakte, say the service is designed to facilitate making new friends [by stalking them]…On April 9…users of the Russian imageboard “Dvach” (2chan) launched a campaign to [out]…actresses who appear in pornography.  After identifying these women with FindFace, Dvach users shared archived copies of their Vkontakte pages, and spammed the women’s families and friends with messages informing them about the discovery.  The effort also targeted women registered on the [escort] website “Intimcity”…The [losers] behind the doxing campaign say their motivation is moral outrage, claiming that women in the sex industry are “corrupt and deceptive.”  (Tellingly, Dvach users also complained that such women typically ignore the kind of men who make up Dvach’s audience)…

Vendetta (#607)

Another group of technically competent but woefully naive kids is exploited by the police state to attack sex workers:

Human Trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that enslaves nearly 21 million people around the world.  Reliable data remains a major challenge at the heart of anti-human trafficking efforts…Our inaugural ATHackathon will create innovative tools to track & analyze data related to trafficking…

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Diary #305

Selfie 4-22-16So, I’ll be visiting Los Angeles from May 19th to 25th.  Despite the fact that I’m going to be meeting up with friends and doing other fun things (perhaps even some profitable ones), I’m not actually looking forward to the trip; that’s because I’m going to be flying, and I really hate flying.  As long-time readers know I suffer from debilitating vertigo, accompanied by terror; in 2014 I even traveled to Seattle by train (more than three days each way) rather than fly.  I’ve tried every motion-sickness remedy there is, both prescription and OTC, and none of them work at all; however, I recently hit upon the idea of trying a two-pronged attack, that being Valium for the anxiety and Zofran for the vomiting.  The literature says the latter won’t prevent motion sickness, but I’m hoping the combination with Valium will.  And if it doesn’t, I’m going to try betahistine on the way back (it’s not approved for sale in the US, so it may be a bit harder to obtain dependably).  Sooner or later I hope to be able to come up with some combination of prescription & non-prescription drugs that will enable me to fly, even if it’s at the cost of sedating me into insensibility for most of the day; better to be groggy and loopy than terrified and vomiting.  Anyhow, I will definitely be available for a limited number of bookings while I’m in town, so if you live in or near LA and you’ve been wanting to see me, now’s your chance!

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By the time I woke up last Thursday morning, three of the books Chester sketched and signed for me had already been purchased; another followed that evening, and another has been spoken for but the buyer wants to let others choose their sketches first and will take the last one.  So far, the books containing the sketches numbered 4, 5, 8 and 10 have been bought and delivered to their new owners; the ones you see here are the ones which are left.  If you’d like one, make sure you speak up now before someone else gets your favorite!

Last week was pretty good for me financially, despite a couple of cancellations, but other than that it was  pretty stressful.  Having to deal with taxes was not a good way to start the week, and it didn’t really get better after that; there were a host of real-life annoyances small and large which continued to stack up until Friday, at which point I was so out of juice that I simply wasn’t able to go any more.  So I simply stayed at home, made myself an omelette, worked for a while, drank enough to thoroughly relax my body and brain and sent silly texts to friends.  Definition of a true friend: someone you can text drunk at 1:30 in the morning to tell her how beautiful you look in the mirror at that moment, and she doesn’t even make fun of you.  Much.  Anyhow, I didn’t even get dressed on Saturday, but on Sunday I had a lovely brunch with another friend I haven’t seen in a couple of months, then in the afternoon I went to Big Lots.  Don’t laugh; I love bargain shopping.  Virtually nothing I own was purchased full-price, unless somebody else paid it and then gave it to me as a gift.

Anyway, I’m rather hoping this week will be better; I had a lovely dinner with one of my favorite gentlemen last night, today I’m having my hair done, and then later this week I have a major professional engagement which should be a lot of fun.  In a few weeks, I’m going to be visiting Los Angeles for about a week; I need to test my new vertigo medications (fingers crossed & pray to Hermes for a good journey, please!), I want to visit some friends, and a special gentleman is taking me to Disneyland.  So if you’d like to see me while I’m there, please let me know; I should have my dates firmed up by the end of the week.  Oh, and while we’re on the subject:  I’ll be in New Orleans for the Desiree Alliance conference from July 10th-15th.  I’ll be offering my usual advance-pay special for both trips; contact me for details if you’re interested.  And yes, I can hand-deliver a book to you to save the shipping cost.

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