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Archive for the ‘The Dark Side’ Category

I find it interesting that everyone who left the massage parlor, within a matter of miles, committed a traffic infraction.  –  Eric Schwartzreich

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be enterprising women working to get some of it:

The “gold rush” in Crucitas, in northern Costa Rica…has also attracted sex workers to the area to offer their services [so naturally the pigs are trying to spread anti-whore propaganda and defining them as a “problem”]…

Blunt Instrument 

It’s great to see Asian sex workers fighting back against racist harassment by cops:

Dozens of sex workers and their allies gathered just outside police barricades…with cardboard signs that read “Solidarity with massage workers” and “Rights not raids.”  Steps away, in the basement auditorium of the Flushing Library, local City Councilmember Peter Koo was co-hosting a packed community meeting with the NYPD intended to [spread propaganda] about [sex work]…protesters said they hoped to dispel misinformation about…human trafficking in…massage establishments, and honor the life of 36-year-old Yang Song, an immigrant massage worker who fell to her death [while trying to escape] an NYPD Vice Unit raid in 2017…while…Koo [tried to whip up hysteria against sex work]…advocates warned that this conflation of massage work with human trafficking…is inaccurate, racist and dangerous…“Not only has policing never been the answer, it actively harms all of those people that we serve,” said Aya Tasaki of Womankind…Events like Koo’s “recruit the public to be accomplices in racially targeted state violence under the benevolent delusion of rescue,” added Kate Z., a former massage worker and organizer with the newly formed grassroots coalition Red Canary Song…Nina Luo, of the DecrimNY campaign, confronted Koo about [Yang] Song…“You know that Song was killed by NYPD and here you are today advocating for more policing,” she shouted…

Monsters 

Reporter quotes bigot who talks about a murdered woman as though she were a disease:

A transgender woman was shot and killed [last] Saturday morning near the D.C. line in Prince George’s County [Maryland]…The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Ashanti Carmon…One resident who said she heard the shots fired and later saw the victim’s body said police seem to be unable to stop the transgender prostitution…in the area.  “They park on our side streets…and…have sex with people,” said Akiaba Steward, who added that she believes the prostitution issue will only get worse now with the warmer weather…

The Missing Word 

I’m unsure why the modern term was eschewed here in favor of its 20th century counterpart:

…Alisa Mitrova, 21, was originally wrongly diagnosed with chickenpox when she collapsed unconscious on a gruelling seven-month catwalk assignment.  This follows the case of…Vlada Dzyuba who died 18 months ago after she became seriously ill with “acute meningitis compounded by anorexia” during a three month assignment on tiny pay in China…Like 14-year-old Vlada and reportedly many Russian models in China, Miss Mitrova had no medical insurance when she was struck down…Concern has been expressed in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus over young women – some of school age – lured to work in China as models or in “seedy clubs”…critics have warned of such cases being the “tip of an iceberg” of a “white slave trade” with girls and women from poor families in the former USSR being exploited…

To Molest and Rape

Yet another typical and representative cop:

A small-town Pennsylvania police chief and his friend…[repeatedly raped] a child over a seven year period starting when [s]he…was 4 years old…Brent Getz, the 27-year-old Chief of the Weissport Police Department, and friend Gregory Wagner…were arrested [on March 26th]…the investigation “began in May 2012 when the victim, then 12-years-old, reported to a substitute teacher that Gregory Wagner”…had [raped] her…[nothing productive was done until] “2015, [when] the case was reassigned and police prepared a criminal complaint…[which] was dismissed by the Magisterial District Judge due to a paperwork error…[and] never refiled.”  But then, in August 2018, “[cops finally remembered]…the case and asked the victim to come back in for an interview.  At this time, the victim also disclosed that Brent Getz…had [raped] her too”…

Elephant in the Parlor (#724) 

In other news, bear shits in woods:

An Arizona [politician]…resigned this week [after an ethics investigation discovered he paid]…two boys under the age of 15 for sex in the 1980s.  David Stringer…was arrested in 1983…and…accepted a plea deal [for]…five years of supervised probation.  The case was expunged by a Baltimore judge in 1990…Stringer resigned from his position in the state legislature…after he refused to cooperate with [the]…investigation…

Moloch (#742)

Literally scaring a teen to death for normal behavior is “just doing their jobs”:

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Naperville…filed by the family of…[a] High School student who [was driven to] suicide…The judge ruled school and police officials were doing their jobs when they [literally scared Corey Walgren to death by threatening him with lifetime damnation on the “sex offender” registry for consensensual sex with his girlfriend]…the 16-year-old junior slipped out of the school and jumped from the top of a downtown Naperville municipal parking deck…the [judge denied that pervert administrators] Stephen Madden and James Konrad and [pervert pig] Brett Heun…[inflicted] “extreme, intolerable and excessive emotional and psychological distress” and [broke] the law by interrogating Walgren without first notifying his parents, Douglas and Maureen Walgren…[Judge Andrea Wood claimed that the] reckless and alarming accusations against the teen…“were…ordinary police interrogation tactics”…

Is this enough blood yet?  Can we stop now?

Good News, Bad News (#857)

Australia’s Northern Territory is moving toward decriminalization, and prohibitionists aren’t happy:

It’s long been an open secret, tucked away in the alleyways of the tropical Northern Territory capital…Now, the veil has been lifted on the illicit industry, with the NT Government releasing a new discussion paper which reveals the extent of the illegal sexual activities operating in plain sight within the Darwin CBD…a 2015 crackdown saw NT Police and Australian Border Protection Force officers raid 19 parlours across Darwin and Palmerston and…three people were deported…While prostitution itself is not against the law…brothels…are…The discussion paper…has been pegged as a move towards the eventual decriminalisation of the industry, a shift which has long been welcomed by industry advocates…

Fever Dream (#901)

Mathematical illiteracy is no bar to becoming a cop:

People wanting to buy and sell sex online are going after [other consenting adults who want to sell or buy sex]…The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says…The average age range of buyers…is between 18 and 80…

Do they not teach the concept of an “average” in fourth grade anymore?

An Avalanche of Bullshit

The way an individual or agency treats sex workers is a good indication of how they feel about people in general:

11 people [have been] freed from jail following revelations that [a cop]…falsified narcotics arrests…the…bogus…arrests aren’t the only instances of misconduct in the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the same agency that spearheaded the Orchids of Asia Day Spa bust…Since 2000…Martin County…has spent more than $1.33 million settling lawsuits…[over cop violence, murders and lies]…Snyder and his deputies have portrayed themselves as rescuers of trafficked women…But the[ir pretended] concern…is at odds with [their] own troubling treatment of women…[including slurs against] female employee[s]…and…illegal [surveillance]…Sandipkumar Patel was arrested…and [publicly shamed]…after [pigs] claimed that he patronized one of the massage parlors that were raided…Patel…[is] su[ing] the sheriff…an attorney for one Orchids of Asia defendant filed a motion arguing that video the Sheriff’s Office…recorded inside the massage parlor is “violative of the accused’s privacy rights” and therefore should be inadmissible in court.  Another attorney filed a motion to suppress the video [because]…a court order did not grant the Sheriff’s Office authority to record video…

Opting Out (#923) 

Any non-politician would have given this up as a bad idea by now:

The [UK] government’s much heralded porn “block” has been delayed once again.  Under the [censorship] plans, people will have to verify their age to access UK commercial pornographic websites…the [government] said a [new] date has not been set for the roll-out…Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group says the delays are due to serious concerns about privacy and data collection.  “When they consulted about the shape of age verification last summer they were surprised to find that…everyone who [isn’t a politician understood that]…this was a privacy disaster…


You Were Warned

European politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

…Europe is imposing a “link tax” online that will fundamentally change the relationships between media, search engines, and social platforms…[politicians are pretending the cash & control grab is about] “copyright protection”…In the U.S., meanwhile, the assault on Section 230…continues…Were [it not for this law]…a small handful of bad actors could topple every social community and app we know…[yet] the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals….dismissed an Airbnb and Homeway challenge to a Santa Monica law that would hold those companies legally liable if users listed Santa Monica rental properties…

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You’re giving all your data to the pornographic equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg.  –  Jim Killock

Above the Law 

If only there were a concise word for “sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman”:

Rep. Brian Ellis has resigned, effective immediately…Pennsylvania state House Republicans stripped Ellis of his Consumer Affairs Commitee chairmanship in January after allegations that he sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman…[who] was drugged while having a drink and was sexually assaulted at Ellis’s home…more than three years ago…

I’m gratified to see that nearly every commenter is as disgusted as I am with KDKA’s avoidance of the word “rape”.  But Ellis isn’t our only rapist government actor this week:

…Wisconsin probation-parole agent [Reynaldo Rosalez, who]…sexually assault[ed] a…10 year…old [girl]…pleaded no contest…to…sexual assault of a child…on July 12, 2018…the victim…said “she was scared to tell him to stop because she has heard people who drink alcohol can become violent,” and he had been drinking…after the…assault, she “hid in the bathroom,” before Rosalez sexually assaulted her a second time…the next day, she told her mother what happened “because if she didn’t tell the truth, this could keep happening and nobody would know”…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

[Pigs raided] Ace Spa, Golden Spa and Sun Spa…[and] the Prosecuting Attorney’s office [claimed without the slightet scrap of evidence that it was about]…sex trafficking…in…Honolulu.  Two women were [molested and caged]…But, less than 24 hours…[later] all three businesses had their open sign lit up and front doors wide open [because they are businesses with bills to that don’t go away when pigs attack while prohibitionists wank]…Kathryn Xian, the executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery [vomited out a lot of disgusting, racist filth which reporters eagerly lapped up as though they were dogs]…

Bad Girls (#540) 

Caty Simon on overlapping prohibitions:

…Street-based sex workers, in particular, are commonly viewed as one-stop vice shops by their clients…we’re pressured to not only procure drugs for our clients, but also to babysit drug culture naive middle-class men on their benders…in 2015, sex worker Alix Tichelman was arrested and convicted for manslaughter for the overdose death of her sugar daddy, Google exec Forrest Hayes…The way in which this young sex worker was portrayed as a heartless killer is an example of how drug-induced homicide laws perpetuate the madonna/whore complex…drug-using women…are either innocent white damsels led astray and murdered by the shadowy men who initiate us into drug use, or conversely…we are the amoral, seductive temptresses who lead upstanding men to their deaths…Global trends in laws around sex work…keep us isolated and working alone…Similarly, drug-induced homicide laws which promise a murder charge if you happen to hand your friend a bag they then OD on also encourage drug users to use alone, even though doing so is itself the most dangerous risk factor for overdose.  These legal frameworks…encourage drug users, sex workers, and. most relevantly, drug-using sex workers, to die alone rather than form communities in which we protect each other…

Between the Ears (#719) 

Why do men want to put stupid gadgets on their dicks?

…the “Cock Cam” from UK company Julz…[is] “the world’s first cock ring with a camera,” available now for $160…the camera in Julz’s “stretchy yet tight” wearable ring records up to 90 minutes of 1080p, H.264 video in MP4 format.  It features night vision, too, as well as a rechargeable lithium battery…there’s Wi-Fi to worry about in this thing too, complete with a companion app that lets users view their videos or share them with a partner…the Cock Cam is one of a growing field of internet-connected sex toys, and perhaps the most concerning one yet given that we aren’t just talking about remote controls or usage statistics, but video…Julz [claims] your videos are never transmitted to the cloud, but are instead stored locally on your phone…[however] the company is currently working to update the app to allow for FaceTime-style live streaming…

Yes, ladies, soon we may not just have to endure static dick pics, but also unwelcome wanking videos.

The Widening Gyre (#800)

Fact:  3-year-old suspiciously vanishes. Conclusion: sex trafficking!

It’s been almost 12 years since [3-year-old] Madeleine McCann…vanished from her British family’s vacation villa in…Portugal…Gerry and Kate McCann…faced suspicion and intense media scrutiny after their daughter first went missing in May 2007…The couple later won a libel suit against a Portuguese detective who wrote a book claiming the McCanns were involved…A new 8-part Netflix docuseries, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann…advances the [fantas]y that Madeleine was abducted and…sold into a trafficking ring…[because] Madeleine’s body was never found and there is scant evidence pointing elsewhere…

Abducted?  Sure.  But when a three-year-old is abducted from a fancy resort, the most likely motive is ransom, not “sex slavery”.  A far more likely possibility is that something went wrong and the child was killed.

Elephant in the Parlor (#831)

It’s dangerous to be a woman who knows the sexual secrets of powerful men:

…prosecutors have opened an investigation into the possible poisoning death of a Moroccan model who was a key witness in the trial against ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi over his infamous “bunga bunga” parties.  Imane Fadil…died March 1 at a Milan-area hospital, where she had been treated since Jan. 29 for exhibiting “symptoms of poisoning”…Berlusconi was initially convicted of charges that he paid for sex with an underage woman…[but] was ultimately acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015…Fadil had testified against Berlusconi during the initial trial, and then with two other women had sought civil damages in a spinoff investigation over allegations that Berlusconi paid witnesses for their silence…by January, the Milan court had thrown out their claims altogether.  Two weeks later, Fadil was hospitalized…

All-Purpose Excuse (#857)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

To justify his border wall, Mr. Trump is fond is [repeating] the [common prohibitonist trope] of sex trafficking victims brought over the southern border.  “Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces,” he said — a garish but apparently imaginary scenario that people who [profit from] trafficking [hysteria invented and frequently use in their prpaganda]…“The administration appears to view trafficking as a convenient tool to justify its border policies, rather than as a [convenient tool to expand the police state and enrich NGOs like ours]” said [fetishist] Martina Vandenberg…Beginning late last year, applicants for visas were put on notice that they may be subject to deportation proceedings in immigration court if their bids for humanitarian visas are denied.  That was a shift from earlier practice under which applicants were exempt from summons to immigration court, a policy designed to incentivize [people to declare themselves] victims [so as] to [inflate the “victim” numbers]…In [furtherance] of [increased violence against sex workers]…Mr. Trump sheds crocodile tears…

Legislators Gone Wild (#879) 

The anti-whore brigade couldn’t get the people to support them, so politicians want to overrule the people:

[Politician] Joe Hardy said he plans to introduce a bill that would ban licensed brothels in Nevada…Hardy said [a lot of misogynistic, infantilizing nonsense claiming that brothel workers]…“are…being abused.  In some cases, raped”…[he also bizarrely referred to attempting to police individuals’ sex lives as being] “…grown up”…“The bill is based on falsehoods,” former sex worker [and brothel researcher] Christina Parreira said…

Given that fewer than 1% of Nevada sex workers operate from the brothels, this is absolutely nothing more than political showboating.

Opting Out (#893) 

The UK’s long-deferred surveillance/censorship scheme is finally about to begin:

The government will next week confirm the launch date for…UK-wide [censorship of]…online [content] as privacy campaigners continue to raise concerns about how websites and age verification companies will use the data they collect.  The plan for implementing the long-delayed age block, which has been beset by [the problems intrinsic to all censorship schemes]…is expected to be announced alongside the government’s other proposals for tackling online content [politicians dislike]…although it could be several months before the system is fully up and running.  The age block will require commercial pornography sites to show that they are taking sufficient steps to verify their users are over 18, such as by uploading a passport or driving licence or by visiting a newsagent to buy a pass only available to adults…Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said he remained concerned about the [inevitability] of a major data leak as a result of people handing over their personal identification…[about] sexual preference[s]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#898)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…through its Vigilant Solutions contract…ICE has access not only to 5 billion records gathered by private businesses, but also to 1.5 billion data points contributed by over 80 local law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen states…these…arrangements may violate ICE [claimed] privacy policies and state and local data-sharing laws—particularly in cases where the data originates from sanctuary cities…Automated license plate readers…are…mounted on overpasses, bridges, road signs, public vehicles, or on private property such as malls or parking lots.  They can record thousands of license plates per minute and capture the location coordinates, date, and time along with each photo for long-term aggregation and storage.  The data they accumulate can be used to create a detailed picture of where a car has been over time…

Backwards into the Future (#902) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

When Chinese legislators recommended the abolition of “education” detention centres where prostitutes and clients can be held without charge for two years, activists hoped the facilities’ days were numbered.  They will have to wait longer…police have unilateral power to detain sex workers and their clients for up to two years in “shelter and education” centres…[which] have little to do with education…testimonies of ex-detainees collected by [human rights group] Asia Catalyst…revealed the harsh…conditions in the centres…includ[ing]…forced labour…and the obligation to pay for subsistence and forced medical examinations at prohibitive prices…“it is just a way of extorting money on behalf of the state and the police,” one of the women told the group…

So, basically the same as the US.

The Course of a Disease (#911)

Like anti-vaxxers who not only neglect their own health, but actively spread contagion:

France and Sweden have launched a new common strategy for combatting…[consensual] sex…which specifically calls on other countries to [infanti]lise the [sellers] of sex…The strategy is a response to [women’s economic freedom and increasing recognition of individual rights]…that every [police state] has a duty to combat…

Rough Trade (#914) 

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A sex worker…yelled, pushed and stabbed a client with her thumbs after he ignored her attempts to withdraw consent…Norman Ariate Alonzo denies being told to stop, [claiming the idiotic “she wanted to be barebacked by a stranger” defense]…Alonzo​…faces a charge of rape…[because] the woman noticed the condom had fallen off and she asked Alonzo to stop so she could retrieve another.  Instead, he continued to [rape her until she]…jabbed her thumbs into Alonzo’s throat and hit him across the face.  She ran out of the room, told her manager and waited in the bathroom until police arrived…

Condoms don’t “fall off” during active penetration unless they break or the man goes soft (unless he has a micropenis); they can, however, be stealthily pulled off by the kind of guy who thinks “she wanted it” is a believable defense for rape.

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After more than three years of work, my documentary The War on Whores (produced and directed by Paul Johnson) is finally here!  The world premiere is less than two weeks away, at 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 2nd, at The Rendezvous in Seattle.  Then on March 20th, we’ll have a second showing in Vancouver; I’ll tweet details of that soon, but it wil include a panel discussion I think y’all may find interesting.  The video is already available as a download on Vimeo, and will soon be available on DVD from several different sources (I’ll provide links as they are given to me).  But what I really would like is the chance to do sponsored screenings all around the country (and even in other countries, if that can be arranged) in which I can do a short talk and Q&A period along with the documentary.  We’ve already got a few possibilities in the works, but if you represent a university, political group, corporation or any other entity which might be interested in sponsoring a screening for your members and/or the public, please get in touch with me via email so I can put you in contact with Paul, who will be handling all that sort of thing.  Naturally, I’ll be available for professional dates during the time in any given city, so you might consider that a bonus to helping set something up.  But most of all, I just want to hit as many venues as possible; I think the movie is great and I’m very proud of it, and we believe it’s going to open a lot of eyes to the reality of how politicians, other “authorities”, and wealthy busybodies have redirected the dying War on Drugs into a war on women, consensual sex, and migration intended to accomplish the same goals as its predecessors:  growing the police state, enriching fascist cronies, and putting as many people as possible – not to mention the entire internet – under direct government control.

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Reports’ consistent portrayals of miserable, victimized prostitutes and villainous madams—despite evidence to the contrary—display [prohibitionists’] tireless ideological labors to bring their real-life encounters in line with their…assumptions.  –  Nicolette Severson

Here We Go Again 

Prohibitionism never, ever changes:

…members of the New York Female Moral Reform Society…visited brothels all over New York City [in 1835-36].  They…[pretended they wanted] to learn…why women [did] sex work and [wanted] to sav[e] them from what they considered a grave sin and social ill…[like modern “sex trafficking” fetishists] members of F.M.R.S…assumed that the women didn’t voluntarily decide to become prostitutes, but that they were seduced and trafficked by men who caused their moral downfall…Those preconceived notions were [and still are] false. Prostitutes…enter…sex work because…[it pays better and is more flexible than the sex workers’ other alternatives], and for many, prostitution [i]s a temporary job.  The reformers were shocked at the high-end brothels they visited.  Fitted with refined furnishings and attractive, accommodating women, these brothels were…similar to the homes middle-class women were expected to keep…No wonder, then, that…the F.M.R.S. reformers used [stereotyped] characters to portray sex workers…[so as] to support their own belief that prostitution meant moral decay and internal misery…

The Scarlet Letter

Why do these puritans insist on pretending that the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to intentionally harming people for wanting consensual sex?

The City of Dayton announced a new initiative…aimed at [harming sex workers]…Called Buyer’s Remorse, the campaign will “modernize” the city’s approach to prostitution…It will make the information of anyone [in]…Dayton to [have consensual] sex “very” public [without due process], Mayor Nan Whaley said…Their names and addresses will added to a[n online] map…

I hope the first few men listed on this site have the sense and resources to sue the city and shut the site down.

Feminine Pragmatism 

Lingerie fetishist offers women a pragmatic avenue of harm reduction:

With the shutdown now likely the longest of its kind in US history, furloughed feds are turning to second jobs, side hustles, and Craigslist sales to make an extra buck.  Now one Virginia resident…asks women who “could use several dollars” to send their undergarments—in return for a whopping $120 a pop…

Of course, the amateurs are as gobsmacked as Depression-era rednecks staring up at a skyscraper for the first time.

Under Every Bed

Population 28,486:

…“Humans are the best commodity that there is,” [a prohibitionist salivated]. “Pimps and stuff will tell you that they don’t have to renew their supply, unlike drugs that they have to keep buying more…The average time a person is sold during the year is 1,000 times.”  Sex trafficking is happening throughout the state of West Virginia and in places like Wheeling…Sheriff Tom Howard [fantasized]…“Be very careful with children because it can happen, unfortunately, with the drug epidemic…Any time you see something that looks like a lot of drug activity, there’s probably some kind of human trafficking going on along with it…It happens all throughout the county”…

These people are like living caricatures of self-important hicks.  The “unlike drugs, people can be sold many times” canard is an excuse to keep persecuting members of “gangs”; see “Traffic Jam” below.

The Course of a Disease (#349) 

The Danes just keep emphasizing their disgust with the Swedish model:

Danish Social Minister Mai Mercado…has revealed that the government is looking into improving conditions for sex workers, decrying the dramatic lack of human rights in this field…sex workers don’t enjoy the same rights as those engaged in other vocations, including the right to unemployment insurance payouts and pensions…”Society demands that everyone pay their taxes, including prostitutes, so I think that we are duty-bound to ensure people have basic rights”…Mercado said…Prostitutes are required to register…as their income is taxable, a situation described by Mercado as “taxation without representation”…Citing the experiences of neighbouring countries which…criminalis[e] the procurement of sex, Mai Mercado argued that accepting prostitution instead of trying to ban it is the right approach.  “We have witnessed Sweden’s experiences.  These are really bad.  There is more violence, more insecurity, and it keeps sinking to the underworld.  There is no need for that”, Mercado said…Among other things, [the new approach] will mean that prostitutes will have the right to enroll in an unemployment insurance fund, be entitled to unemployment benefits and be able to earn a pension…

Traffic Jam (#432)

“Sex trafficking” is another excuse to persecute the same groups as always:

…Some [things the government labels] trafficking are prosecuted more heavily than others…Sex trafficking of a minor…carries a statutory minimum of 10 years…[and] maximum…of life in prison.  [Other things labeled] human trafficking…[such as] forcing people to labor for no pay in domestic service, factories, restaurants and so on — have no mandatory minimum…federal prosecutors have behaved accordingly, prosecuting more than twice as many minor sex-trafficking cases as adult sex-trafficking and labor-trafficking cases combined…57 percent of the defendants in minor sex-trafficking cases are black — compared with 43 percent in adult sex-trafficking cases and only 18 percent in labor trafficking…The average age of a defendant in a minor sex-trafficking case is 31, while it’s 33 and 40 respectively for adult sex- and labor-trafficking cases…76 percent of defendants in minor sex-trafficking cases are male, while that’s true for only 71 percent and 59 percent of adult sex- and labor-trafficking defendants, respectively.  In other words…the [cases labeled as] trafficking…that carr[y] the highest penalties and [are] most likely to be prosecuted — are significantly more likely to be [against defendants who are] young, black and male…

Eternal Vigilance (#682)

Until prohibition is itself outlawed, decriminalization of any consensual activity is at best a temporary respite:

Tight bylaws limiting where brothels can operate in Queenstown and Wanaka have failed to stop the trade, with sex workers instead using “working girl-friendly” hotels and selling sex from homes…prostitution contributes “hugely” to the district’s economy, but those working in the industry continue to be discriminated against, mocked and marginalised.  The Queenstown Lakes District Council…has kept its towns brothel-less through restrictive and “draconian” bylaws since prostitution was decriminalised in 2003…going as far as banning them altogether in a 2008 bylaw.  The council later reviewed the bylaw because it was potentially at odds with the Prostitution Reform Act, but…[it] is still at odds with the Act…[because] brothels are only allowed to operate within a two-block zone in the town centre…They cannot be on ground level or beneath ground level or have signs advertising the business…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Some helpful figures for countering prohibitionists’ agency-negating lies:

…anti-traffickers often [lie] that the majority of those who sell sex in India are forced or begin when they are underage.  The best available research, however, provides a different picture.  A survey of over 6500 female sex workers in South India aged 15 and above found that the mean age of entrance into sex work was 21.7 years.  The most comprehensive  data set included 3000 sex workers from across the nation.  Of these, 81.59% entered sex work when they were 19 years old or above and 14.53% between 15-18 years.  The Pan India Survey found that across all modes and sites of sex work in India, 79.4% of women entered the trade voluntarily, while 7.1% were forced, 2.8% were sold, and 9.2% were cheated…The term “forced” should only be used in reference to work rendered through physical force, threats, beatings, blackmail, cheating and similarly direct forms of compulsion…If financial urgency were defined as “force”, then the vast majority of the world’s workers would have to be defined as “forced labourers”.  Very few individuals are either entirely free to make unfettered decisions about their means of earning money or are entirely freed from the need to do so…

Business As Usual (#877) 

When a headline asks a question, the answer is almost always “no”:

Stormy Daniels’s July 2018 arrest…by…Columbus [vice pigs]…turned out to be…a pre-planned political stunt by vice detectives — one of whom later bragged about it to colleagues.  Daniels and two others later sued for false arrest.  Then, in August, the [gang] was again in the spotlight because a vice detective [murdered] a sex worker…after…she [resisted his attempt to rape her]…in his unmarked car.  In September, another whistleblower familiar with local strip clubs informed city officials of extortion, selective enforcement and entrapment by the vice [gang], bringing a large package of documents to corroborate the allegations…[then] the chief of the CPD asked the FBI to take over the investigation…and…on September 27, [rapist and murderer] Andrew Mitchell…was [given a paid vacation]…On December 13, the CPD put a third vice detective involved in the sting on desk duty…[and] announced that the vice [gang] will resume limited operations with a “select” [herd] of [pigs], although the FBI probe remains ongoing.  The [gang] will [supposedly] be handling liquor and nuisance complaints at after-hours clubs, instead of spending thousands on drinks and lap dances [while molesting and raping women without consequence]…

Also: “hold accountable” is a moralist shibboleth which means something like “persecute using a moralistic excuse”. It has no place in articles about genuine wrongdoers facing the consequences of their actions.

Monsters (#878) 

Prohibitionists know we’re right about the dangers of criminalization; they just don’t care:

…the [trans sex worker community who work in and around the] sprawling Bois de Boulogne public park in western Paris…has felt considerably less safe since the French government introduced [the Swedish model]…in 2016…as p[redict]ed, clients now regularly ask the women for sex in secluded areas to avoid the police.  In a Médecins du Monde survey conducted with nearly 600 sex workers…63 percent said they have seen their working conditions deteriorate, while 42 percent said they have experienced more violence since the law change…The Paris mayor’s office [even] shut[s] off many of the lights in the park in the evenings as a way to [intentionally increase the danger to sex workers] there…Acceptess-T, an association that advocates on behalf of trans and immigrant sex workers [says] “They are more vulnerable than ever”…

Surplus Women (#896) 

Answer: it’s a rationalization of cop behavior.  Which, admittedly, isn’t easy to tell from serial killer behavior:

Juan David Ortiz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, pleaded not guilty…to capital murder in the deaths of four women [because they were just whores]…Ortiz [was convinced by government anti-sex propaganda that] it was his duty to clean up the streets of Laredo…so he began picking up alleged sex workers, driving them to remote areas, and then shooting them in the head…Ortiz thought [cops] w[ere]n’t doing enough to stop [adults from having consensual sex] in Laredo, so he believed he was “doing a service” by killing the women…prosecutors are seeking the death penalty because Ortiz’s “vigilante mentality” presents a “future danger to [people who aren’t whores]”…

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Every December 17th, sex workers…renew our pledge to keep fighting for a day in which our own society no longer brands us fair game.
–  “Against Violence

In the year since the last December Seventeenth, the violence against sex workers that the observance protests has grown dramatically worse in the United States, largely due to the intentional and premeditated actions of our own government.  The War on Whores, pretended for almost two decades now to be a war on the imaginary scourge of “sex trafficking”, grew to a fever pitch with the passage of FOSTA, a massive internet censorship bill intended to drive sex workers off of the internet and into the streets, where we are easier prey for cops and other predatory men.  Naturally, no one law can accomplish what a century of such laws has failed to do, namely wipe sex work out entirely; however, in the time it has taken new overseas advertising sites to appear and people to find ones that work for them, many of the most marginalized of our number were indeed driven to the streets or otherwise forced into more precarious circumstances.  But even though the unprecedented scale and viciousness of this assault on our persons and livelihood has galvanized sex worker activism and attracted the attention and sympathy of many who were previously uninterested, far too many reporters, commentators and even would-be allies continue to cede ground to prohibitionists, giving their motives the benefit of the doubt.  The great majority of articles on the subject claim that attempts to destroy our lives and incomes and silence our voices are “well-intentioned”, or that men who use oppressive laws as an excuse to literally rape and rob us “want to help”, or that the harm to whores, our clients, or families and our associates are somehow merely “collateral damage” even though every gun in this war is aimed squarely at us.  The reason for this minimization of state violence is simple: even though the number of people who support the human right to consensual sex is growing by the month, most of them are too horrified by what is going on to admit that prohibitionists, both in and out of government, are using high-sounding narratives as a cover for a systematic campaign to brutalize, impoverish and exterminate everyone involved in every aspect of the sex trade.  This jihad is no more “well-meaning” than the Drug War, alcohol Prohibition, Jim Crow or any other campaign of government violence against individuals and civil rights; it is a well-planned and well-funded program of terrorism designed to punish sexual behavior authoritarians have deemed deviant, and to break the spine of the greatest tool for the facilitation of free thought ever developed by the human race.  And until the media and our allies are willing to admit what the Whore Nation already knows, the best we can hope for is to minimize the damage and try to keep things from getting even worse.

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Those of you who follow me on Twitter may remember that on several occasions I’ve tweeted GoFundMe appeals for homeless sex workers, organized by a close friend of mine who does street outreach.  Recently, I asked her to write something for me so that in future, I can point back to it to explain who it is I’m asking charity for.  This lady is a Seattle sex worker who is well-known in our community, but prefers to remain anonymous for her activism.  If you’d like to help her out (because she does 95% of this out of her own pocket), please let me know and I’ll arrange a way for you to donate to her important work.

Like so many things in this industry, it started with Kristen D’Angelo, who contacted me because her friend from Sacremento had a daughter living in Seattle.  Kristen’s friend was concerned his daughter was working on the streets and was hoping to get someone to check on her; she (let’s call her Jess) was homeless, using drugs, and working on Aurora Avenue.  Maggie and I ended up taking her out for dinner.  More than anything, she was surprised that instead of being met with judgement and Jesus, she was met by peers with compassion and kindness (along with some screening tips for seeing clients).  Shortly thereafter, I found out an acquaintance of mine had lost her housing, and she and her boyfriend were living out of their car.  I would go see her once, occasionally twice, a week, bringing lunch or dinner, and we would eat together and talk.  After a couple visits I starting meeting some of the people that they had befriended in their time on the streets.  I was struck by the situations of the women there.  To see women so vulnerable was terrifying…but I wasn’t sure what I could do.  I asked them: what do you need?  How can I help?  While I don’t have a tremendous surfeit of disposable income, I could certainly spend $100 a week buying food for people that badly needed it.  So I did.

Simultaneously, I was keeping in (more sporadic) contact with Jess.  It wasn’t long before I was heading up to Aurora once a week (give or take) as well.  Eventually I was out two or three nights a week talking to young women from Aurora to Belltown to SoDo, both in the jungle and working the streets.  I found myself out at 7pm, 10pm, or midnight walking through the city, talking to people.  Instead of being in Greenlake or Madrona, I found myself in places with appellations like the Batcave and Clowntown; I was under the viaduct and in tent cities along the highway.  Within this world, it takes time to earn trust; there are always, to this day, some women that refuse to talk to me or that I have met five times but act as if they don’t know me…and that’s fine.  For the ones that do talk, I hand out condoms and Narcan.  I bring jackets, food, toiletries, clean socks, and camping propane tanks.  I take girls to Planned Parenthood for panel tests; to emergency shelters; to drop them off at detox.  Many of them, if you asked, would not identify as a sex workers, and if you called them a sex worker, you might get punched in the face.  But, if you said, “if you give me a blowjob, you can sleep in my tent tonight.”  Well, that’s an easy yes!!  Whether they identify as sex workers or not, they know when they see me that religion isn’t coming into the conversation and I am not going to tell them what they should do or have to do.  Giving these women autonomy in their decision-making is very important; even when, in my opinion, they may make a terrible choice, it’s theirs to make and I won’t try to take that away from them.  Similarly, none of the things I hand out have strings attached; the only rules are I will not give out cash or buy drugs.

When I meet women that are open to talking, I may make some harm reduction suggestions or ask them what they need.  Much of the time, I listen.  Many of these women have suffered extensive trauma, have drug abuse issues (the desire to anesthetize a terrible situation is strong), or have mental health problems – or all three.  In addition, there is the pervasive sense of hopelessness that comes with being utterly marginalized and, in effect, thrown away by society; just having someone listen and acknowledge you can be significant.  It definitely isn’t the easiest volunteer path I could have taken.  There have been multiple calls from girls that have been raped, assaulted, or robbed.  I helped a girl that had been thrown out of a moving car by a client, and another girl that was pistol-whipped by her boyfriend.  I’ve Narcan’d people through countless overdoses (if anyone ever needs to be resuscitated – I am a fucking pro).  I’ve been hung up on by police when calling 9-1-1 for help and been told by the paramedics that they “can’t” go where they are needed.  I’ve stepped over dead bodies and had rats the size of Boston Terriers leisurely swagger over my toes.

The other side is that there are happier stories.  I paid out my own pocket for a girl to go to rehab because I believed in her when no one else did; she completed 90 days of treatment and moved back to her parent’s house in Minnesota.  That was over a year ago and she is still clean and sober.  Two girls had been living in and out of motels on Aurora and we worked together to get them into a low-income apartment; two other girls saw what they did and decided they could do it too.  I’ve acted as an advocate for a girl that was brutally raped by a prominent Seattleite; I connected her with a lawyer and could not have been happier for her when she got a ridiculously large settlement.  Money didn’t make the PTSD disappear, but it certainly put her in a situation where she could take time and heal.  Unfortunately, the stories with (ahem) happy endings are exceptionally few and far between; the emotional labor can be intense, overwhelming, and exhausting.  I’ve asked myself more than once why I’m not walking dogs at the Humane Society, and I have spent more hours than I can count crying on Maggie’s couch.  But I very strongly believe that everyone needs some help now and then; if I can help someone make a more informed decision or turn a corner, then it’s worth it.

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I don’t often do sequels to previous guest columns, but I thought y’all might want to see this update from “John Seattle”; if you haven’t read his column on Seattle’s “john school” yet, you probably should before reading this one.

Last year, Maggie was very kind to publish my response to Peter Qualliotine’s STOP Exploitation classes.  It was written before I had completed the series of classes; the final session ended with Qualliotine giving a pep rally-esque speech in which he asked, “Are you with me?  Will you stop buying sex?”  This question was met with a long, drawn out silence broken only by my giggling when I realized what had happened.  At the time I felt as if I had thoroughly rejected the toxic messaging of his class, but that was not as simple as it seemed.  It was Wendy Zukerman’s Science VS podcast episode entitled “Sex Addiction: Are They Faking It?” that gave me insight to the need to understand better the damaging impacts of shame.  According to the podcast, the truth about sexual addiction (one of the many toxic messages Qualliotine dispenses) is that no scientific evidence supports its existence; what some believe to be sex addiction is the feeling of shame, which is why belief in “sex addiction” is strongly correlated with religious beliefs that sexuality is sinful.

The “sex addiction” myth is thus very useful for someone who is trying to shame others out of their sexuality.  In a local article, Qualliotine was described as someone who “sees patronizing prostitutes as part of a continuum of…behaviors that includes sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape.”  Through psychological manipulation Qualliotine’s message is that “the core of who and what you are as a person is that of a harasser, abuser, and rapist.”  What he calls “education” is actually based on sex-shaming in order to change behavior, a social conformity strategy very much like the thoroughly-discredited “conversion therapy” is supposed to “cure” gay people.  And even though it doesn’t accomplish what its purveyors claim, subconsciously this toxic messaging lingers, causing emotional damage and isolation in its victims that manifest in harmful ways, such as social anxiety, and despair.

There are a lot of reasons for people to have sex, and none are wrong as long as all partners give consent and treat each other ethically.  Undoing the damage caused by the lie that this is not so, that outsiders have the right to impose rules on other adults, is harder than one might think, but there are resources available; Dr. David Ley, Lola Davina, and Maggie are just a few of the writers who helped me to start the process.  But the first step is to recognize the damage done by sexual shaming even in people who intellectually know better.

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