Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

It’s basically a vice-squad operation writ large over the entire nation and imbued with overstated moral urgency.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

R.I.P. Candida Royalle Candida Royalle

Former porn star Candida Royalle, regarded as a pioneer for her work in front of and behind the camera, has died after battling ovarian cancer.  She was 64.  The actress — whose [legal] name [was] Candice Vadala — performed in more than two dozen adult films, but was best known for her work as a director… “Everyone assumes I was probably given a hard time by the adult film biz but they always treated me fairly, even if they at first doubted me,” she explained on her website.  “They’ve come to respect that I was the first one with vision and recognition of what would become the ‘couples’ market”…

A Load of Farley

Farley’s going to keep hawking this same snake oil until she croaks:

Last week, research making the media rounds declared that men who pay for sex are more sexually aggressive, pathologically masculine, and likely to commit sexual assault than other men…this study—led by noted anti-sex work activist Melissa Farley and funded by a group which aims to “eliminate” prostitution—comes with a host of important caveats before taking too seriously its purported conclusions…all participants live in Boston…The kind of people likely to be trolling newspapers and Craigslist for gigs and to be enticed to talk about their sex lives for cash may also differ in significant ways from the general male population…The claim that men who pay for sex are more likely to commit sexual violence is based not on their criminal pasts but on their answers to a number of personality questions and hypotheticals…on a 34-item questionnaire…it’s a stretch to say they’re “more likely to commit rape” and not at all the same as saying they have “a dark history of violence against women”…Farley has a long history of publishing research that casts prostitution in a negative light, frequently speaks about prostitution’s perceived ills, and has run an anti-prostitution advocacy group…for the better part of the past two decades. Its goal is “to abolish the institution of prostitution.”  The research was funded by a group with a mission to eliminate “men’s assumption of the right to prostitution” [and]…study authors thanked famous anti-pornography activist Catherine MacKinnon for her “invaluable” and “critical feedback regarding the summary and interpretation of these findings.”  In promoting this study, Farley casually calls strip clubs hubs of child sex trafficking and says things like, “We hope this research will lead to a rejection of the myth that sex buyers are simply sexually frustrated nice guys”…

Monkey Business

They’re on their way

In April, a chimp in The Netherlands took down a drone being used to film the Burgers’ Zoo…researchers now say the video shows that the chimp planned out its actions in advance.  The drone had already flown by in a practice run, at which time it caught the attention of several chimps in the enclosure…And when it came back, they were ready:  Two females sat where the drone was going to hover, holding long twigs…their faces show exertion, but not fear — indicating that they were acting deliberately, and not flailing around in terror at the foreign object…

Sold Out 

The modern LGBT rights movement has been veering toward conservatism for some time, evidenced by its primary and overarching mission to finally achieve Marriage Equality…a civil rights movement which once championed our right to sexual liberation and a declaration of our right to be “different”…essentially withered into a call for assimilation…Promiscuity, probably the most common of vilified behaviors, is regularly regarded not as an individual’s command of their own sexual agency but instead an expression of their lack of self respect or sense of self worth, as something pitiable and damning.  Likewise sex work…is a shameful and exploitative act…blanket generalizations of “right” and “wrong” rule the discourse…

The Missing Word

I know I’ve written about this before, but I can’t find it:

A Pennsylvania judge convicted of sending young kids to juvenile detention centers in return for cash has been sentenced to 28 years in prison…Mark Ciavarella Jr. was convicted of taking up to $1 million in bribes from developers of juvenile detention centers in…Pennsylvania.  The disgraced judge became known for doling out harsh sentences for small, petty crimes in order to receive payment for each kid sent…

Crying for Nanny (#539)

“Induce sex trafficking”? That’s some serious bullshit there:

…Washington’s Supreme Court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against [Backpage] by three minors who say they were raped by adults who responded to ads on the site.  The ruling is at odds with other decisions that have held Backpage, Craigslist and other sites are immune from civil lawsuits based on crimes by users…Backpage asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed at an early stage, arguing that the federal Communications Decency Act immunizes Web services companies from liability for acts by users.  But the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act doesn’t protect Web sites that “develop” objectionable content, as opposed to sites that merely “host” the content…”It is important to ascertain whether in fact Backpage designed its posting rules to induce sex trafficking,” Judge Steven Charles Gonzalez wrote for the majority…

Shifting the Blame (#553)

Nobody ever sold sex before Backpage!

…Backpage.com…now turns up in countless police reports…sex workers and those who exploit them for profit increasingly turn to the Internet to facilitate their activity…Research suggests many sex workers enter the trade as teenagers…and more than one third have had abusive or violent clients…The danger inherent in the trade was highlighted on July 2 when…34-year-old…Sanisha Johnson was…robbed and murdered by two Massachusetts men who arranged to meet her on Backpage…

Ashley Madison (#557) escorts-ca

Surprising no one:

Avid Life Media, the…parent company of…Ashley Madison, secretly operated an online escort service, recently leaked documents reveal.  The company was allegedly actively recruiting escorts for a separate “dating” website that was aimed at “sugar daddies”…escorts.ca…is similar to other online directories for escort services which have triggered anti-prostitution raids by US law enforcement authorities.  The website was reportedly leased though a shell company called Pernimus Limited…

Amnesty At Last

Kari Lerum on the Amnesty declaration:

…While celebrities typically capture more attention than scientists, Amnesty listened to the latter.  After two years of consulting with global health and human rights researchers as well as sex workers and victims of human trafficking, the largest and arguably most respected human rights organization in the world made its game-changing declaration.  Amnesty International will now develop policy on nation-states’ ethical obligation to decriminalize sex work…Immediately following the vote, CATW issued a press release declaring that Amnesty International…“deliberately excluded the voices and expertise of survivor-leaders and women’s rights organizations”…given the rigorous and prestigious research cited by Amnesty, in combination with a dearth of medical and academic researchers affiliated with either CATW’s board of directors or petition, this particular accusation may ring hollow…

Vendetta (#569)

The differences between the way this is covered by badge-lickers:

A coalition of dozens of law enforcement agencies arrested more than 1,000 pimps and sex buyers in a summer-long series of prostitution stings…known as the National Johns Suppression Initiative…A total of 39 law enforcement agencies across 18 states arrested 961 men trying to buy sex and 71 pimps or traffickers…Sheriff [Tom] Dart [said]…“These women and girls have been brutalized and exploited – and the most effective way to deter these heinous crimes is to target the demand.”  The Cook County Sheriff’s office has repeatedly attacked Backpage.com as a haven for pimps and traffickers…occasionally, officers encountered children while carrying out the stings…

…and the way it’s covered by rational people is both striking and instructive:

Every summer, police and prosecutors from around the country come together…to saddle men with criminal records for attempted sex…the months-long effort…turned up fewer than 75 individuals suspected of anything tangentially related to sex trafficking (including “pimping”, pandering or “promoting prostitution”).  But police were able to arrest nearly 1,000 men who indicated they might like to pay adult women for sex, along with an untold number of sex workers themselves…This summer’s Johns Initiative will net law enforcement a minimum of $189,170 in fines for the solicitation arrests alone…Dart claims they uncovered 308 sex-trafficking victims, including 258 adults and 50 minors.  But it’s hard to say what this really means, since all minors engaged in sex work are labeled de facto victims by police…and many police departments have started classifying sex workers of any age as trafficking victims—at least for public-relations purposes.  After the press releases come out, however, these adult and teen sex workers are all-too-often arrested if they refuse to cooperate with cops, and sometimes even if they do.  Pittsburgh’s Detective Ryczaj said arresting sex workers is “the kindest thing you can do for them,” because he thinks they’re mostly homeless, drug addicts, or mentally ill…

Little Boxes (#569)

A 46-year-old…from Charleston, South Carolina was arrested…after allegedly assaulting two women who pose painted and topless for tips in Times Square…Mark Walters took a picture with…20-year-old [Lourdes Carrasquillo]…then “became irate,” and “dragged” the woman to the ground by her hair. When…32-year-old [Maria Ruiz] attempted to break up the “fight,” Walters allegedly hit her in the right ear…Walters accused Carrasquillo of stealing his wallet before assaulting her, although cops have found no evidence to support this claim…in an unrelated incident, undercover officers arrested a desnuda [named Destiny Romero] after she allegedly agreed to perform oral sex on an undercover officer for money…

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Diary #271

0907151507The second stage of Jae’s recovery is almost over.  In the first stage, she was unconscious under heavy sedation in the ICU, then last Tuesday her breathing tube was removed and she was allowed to awaken.  For the last week she’s been under observation so the doctors could determine what course of treatment would be needed to help her heal from her head injury; she’s also had to recover her mobility (muscles lose an amazing amount of strength when unused for two weeks) and regain her lung capacity, part of which was lost due to the collapsed lung and part due to a mild case of pneumonia she developed while on the ventilator.  But that’s now been cured and her lungs are mostly back to normal, and she’s been walking the length and breadth of the hospital several times per day (though always with me or a nurse’s aid in attendance in case she weakens or loses her balance).  Last Friday, she was moved from the ICU to a normal room, and has been making up for lost eating time by asking me to bring in all sorts of outside food such as pizza, cheeseburgers and hot dogs.  Her voice was at first nothing but a hoarse whisper, but now it’s become much stronger (though still raspy due to damage the breathing tube did to her vocal cords).  Still, she hasn’t much been in the mood to talk on the phone; as those who love her know, Jae doesn’t really like talking on the phone even when she’s healthy, and she spends a lot of time asleep while her body heals.

The doctor feels she’s ready to move on to the third stage, in-patient rehabilitation; she’s strong and alert enough to move, so he wants to put her in rehab back in Seattle, where she can be in familiar surroundings and visited by those she loves.  As a bonus, the facilities available in Seattle for this sort of injury are among the best in the nation, so her chances of full recovery are much, much greater than they would be in a lesser facility in unfamiliar surroundings.  So tomorrow, I’ll be putting her on a direct flight to Seattle with a friend who’s flying over to accompany her; I’ll drive my car back, and if we time things well I’ll be able to join her only a few hours after she checks into the hospital. Once I find out what the hospital’s visiting rules are and how many visitors a day Jae would like, I’ll tell y’all who’s going to coordinate that; I don’t want her overwhelmed, but I also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by turning them away at the door.  So a visiting schedule administered by someone other than me is the best way to go.  And speaking of schedules, I’ll be starting to take appointments again on Monday, so if you’ve been holding off seeing me because of this, feel free to , so email me at the meetmaggie address and we can schedule for next week.

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I never thought I would be staring at my poop frozen in a freezer.  –  Eric

vaderI apologize for this column posting incomplete; Jae kept me very busy last night.  Here’s another animated GIF, this one from Matt.  You may have noticed from his previous contributions that he’s a huge Star Wars fan, and though the prequels don’t do much for either of us, we both thought this was pretty amusing.  The links are from Rick Horowitz (“protect”), Radley Balko (“something” and “laws”), and Popehat  (“together”).

From the Archives

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Diary #270

20150805_132241-1For the last week, Jae has slowly but steadily improved, then on Friday the nurses started the process of lightening her sedation.  The physical therapist came in the afternoon and we sat her up on the side of the bed; she was groggy but definitely conscious and answered my questions and the therapist’s directions perfectly.  She let me know that she knows she’s in hospital and that she had an accident.  The next day, they continued to reduce her opiate pain medication and turned the ventilator to its lowest setting, so she was breathing for herself with the machine serving only as a backup.  I found out that there are several reasons for her breathing difficulties: collapsed lower lobes of both lungs, fluid in the chest cavity and multiple rib fractures. So even though she is breathing for herself, the doctors want to be sure she can sustain that before taking her off of the machine.

She spent most of Saturday asleep, but because of the dramatically-lowered pain medication her sleep was much more natural-looking; she even slightly awakened and yawned several times.  But on Sunday, the nurses began to lower her main sedation, Precedex; once it was down to roughly half what she had been on, she began to awaken and was very alert and coherent.  Unlike Friday, she did not merely answer questions (with eyeblinks or head shakes) and follow instructions, but also initiated actions on her own; she would make gestures to let me know that she wanted something, then I’d ask her questions until I pinpointed what that was.  She asked for hugs and kisses several times, and caressed my arm or hair when I leaned over her.  She told me that her ribs were very painful, but not as much as her guts (some of the meds were upsetting her stomach).  Later in physical therapy, she stood up with assistance and was able to follow the therapist’s instructions.  The ICU doctor said we’d try to remove the breathing tube the next morning, but unfortunately being awake all day tired her out again, and she couldn’t be awakened in time to make the window for testing and removing the tube; it has to be in the morning so she can be observed all day for any issues.  When she did awaken later, she was very unhappy about this; she became very grumpy and cried a few times, but we’re going to try again this morning and with any luck, the breathing tube will be out today and she’ll be able to speak and eat normally again. That also means an end to strong sedation and restraints, which should make her happy.

Now, this does raise a new issue that I think it’s very important I bring up: a lot of her friends are going to want to start calling to talk to her, and I don’t blame y’all.  But she’s still going to be very tired; she is likely to be awake for only a few hours a day, and she may not really want to talk to anyone during those hours.  So please, let her be; her cell phone has been found and I’m getting its broken screen fixed this week, so if she wants to call you she will.  If you call and she doesn’t want to talk, I will tell you so, and I’m not going to persuade her or twist her arm to speak to anyone.  She still has a long way to go before she’s recovered, and has the right to be as anti-social as she likes during that time.

Note on the picture: Grace took this of Jae on their trip to Sturgis; I asked her if I might use it for this column, and she said yes via eye blinks.

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Diary #269

Fosse JaeFor the past week, I’ve been spending most of my waking hours at the hospital with Jae; if you don’t understand why, you should read last week’s diary and Q&A columns.  Since last week, she’s improved steadily but very slowly; she’s now breathing for herself during the day, with the respirator serving only as a safeguard.  On Sunday, I asked the nurse to stop giving her one drug that seemed to be giving her nightmares when the dose was high and severe disorientation even when it was low; the results were very positive, and she woke up several times and interacted with me for several minutes each time.  She smiled at me, squeezed my hand, looked at the faces of the nurses and therapists when I introduced them and nodded her head at them; it was obvious she was lucid and aware of her surroundings.  Every day I make sure to let her know what day it is and how long it’s been since the accident, and I’m keeping a journal of all the important events so she can read what happened while she was in Sleeping Beauty mode.  I also plan to show her the Twitter timeline from these weeks so she can see all the love and support she received; if you would like her to see your message, just tweet to @BOBCATGIRL  and she will see it then.  If you can afford to send a donation for her support after hospital, please visit her GoFundMe site; Mistress Matisse will be posting updates about her condition there, and I’ll be doing the same here every Tuesday.  If you follow me on Twitter, you may have also noticed I’m doing short videos via Periscope; even if you don’t have that app, you can watch the videos every day to get the latest update on how she’s doing.  As for how I’m doing, since many of y’all have asked: I’m OK, under the circumstances.  Obviously it’s pretty overwhelming, but I have the best circle of friends in the world and I do pretty well in crises, so no worries.  Thanks to some of those friends I have very inexpensive lodging in a house just about a mile from the hospital; I plan to start walking it today so I don’t get dumpy through lack of exercise. And the less money I spend to support myself here, the more there will be for Jae when she gets home.

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It’s the first time in my life I’m ashamed to be an American.
–  General William Livsey

The reason this column looks a little different today is that I’m featuring a GIF instead of a standard video.  Yesterday afternoon in the hospital (and if you don’t know why I’m in a hospital, you need to read Tuesday’s and Thursday’s columns) I asked readers for a weird video to feature today, and this one is just so wonderfully weird I had no choice.  But this is as big as it is,gogo girl monster so I placed it to the side.  And there’s your explanation.  It was provided by Dollymopp, and the links below are from Franklin Harris,  Angela Keaton, Mike RiggsSaladin Ahmed, and Nun Ya (in that order); the last three are from  Rick Horowitz.

From the Archives

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Diary #268

0814151205It’s so strange how quickly fortunes can turn, and happiness can become agony.  Last week Jae asked me to divert a little way on my return home to spend a day with her in a lovely mountain town; Friday morning was spent exploring a little park with multiple waterfalls, then later soaking in a spa together.  I then went on to Seattle, and she to visit a friend as the last stop on her motorcycle tour before returning home herself.  But only about four hours after leaving the hotel, something happened; we’re not sure exactly what, but Jae spilled her bike and slammed into a barricade.  Because her phone was lost in the accident, the hospital staff was unable to contact me or any of her other loved ones; on Sunday afternoon they called the Seattle police and asked them to go to the old address on her driver’s license.  Luckily, our friend Vignette still lives there; she called me and passed on the hospitals’ number, and within 15 minutes I had packed my things and was headed east on I-90.  I arrived about 2 AM, and though it was long after visiting hours the nurse very kindly allowed me an hour with Jae.  She is in critical condition and is still unconscious since Saturday, but she shows none of the signs associated with severe brain damage; however, it may be weeks before she awakens, and there’s no telling how long it will take her to fully recover.  And if you think I’m not going to stay right by her side until I can bring her back home, you haven’t been paying attention for the past five years.  Jae is much beloved by the Seattle sex worker community, and our friends have really stepped up to help her by providing the funds I need to stay here with her; I’m going to try to get some work, but I’m honestly not sure how to accomplish that under the circumstances.  So if you can afford to spare a little to help out, please send it along via PayPal or allow me to process a credit card donation via Square; I’ll keep everyone posted on her progress, and I hope to have some better news for y’all very soon.  To everyone who has already donated: thank y’all so very much, and I’m sure Jae will want to write a thank-you herself once she has recovered enough to do so.

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