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[“End demand” makes sex work] less safe, [it makes] it harder to make money; how would you help any individual with that approach?  –  Sola

The Swedish Pimpocracy 

The key to understanding Swedish law: the government thinks it owns the citizens:

Sweden’s government…backed the reintroduction of compulsory military service for men and women born in or after 1999.  The country’s armed forces is planning to add 4,000 recruits a year in 2018 and 2019…“We have had a difficult time manning the war units on a voluntary basis and it has to be addressed in some way.  Therefore, it is necessary to reactivate conscription,” Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist [said]…

And yest Sweden calls sex work “slavery”.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic soi-disant-addict-michael-wilson

So why can’t drug addicts get out of 20-year prison sentences for “possession”?

…Michael Wilson…[was]  sentenced…on four counts of possession of child pornography…to 20 years in prison, with all but three years and six months suspended…Testimony from defense witnesses centered around Wilson’s decades-long struggle with pornography addiction and the steps he has taken for treatment and medication…psychiatrist  James Sellman…has seen Wilson as a patient since July 2016…Sellman described the changes in brain chemistry that occurs in pornography addicts, including…abnormal levels of dopamine in the brain…Wilson previously attended group therapy in Florida for sex addiction, but Sellman said pornography addiction differs from sex addiction…

Just so you understand: everything Sellman says here is pure quackery, especially the pretense that high dopamine levels mean something other than the fact that the person really enjoys whatever he’s experiencing. That’s not a pathology, except in the minds of puritans for whom pleasure is an evil.

Watershed

When even an article that feels compelled to quote a violent prohibitionist ends up sounding pretty sympathetic to sex workers, you know things are changing:

A council of 160 current and retired sex workers from the Seattle Sex Workers Outreach Project…[is] joining other regional chapters of the organization in pushing for decriminalization of sex work…[which] would mean less stigma for sex workers, and allow them and their clients to inform police about sex trafficking without fear of prosecution.  The demand for sex workers’ rights is hardly unique to the United States.  Ever since more than 25,000 sex workers gathered in India on March 3rd, 2001, sex worker communities around the world celebrate March 3rd as “Sex Workers’ Rights Day”…Increasingly, movement to decriminalize sex work also has the support of major global organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), Amnesty International and UNAIDS…

Paint By Numbers

Do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, but declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”; stupid people will believe you and give you money:

Fly Fishing Collaborative provides sustainable livelihood that prevents children from entering sex-slavery through the building of Aquaponics Farms globally and justice initiatives locally. We’re able to build Aquaponics Farms globally and fund local justice initiatives through the purchase of our FFC Branded gear and guided Fly Fishing Trips.

Property of the State 

I don’t think legislators can make a law immune to judicial review or subsequent repeal:

A “personhood” measure that aims to criminalize abortion…in Iowa could be on its way to the state senate floor.  The bill…would give a fetus “the same rights and protections guaranteed to all persons by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Iowa,” and the laws of Iowa…The bill…would prohibit the Iowa Supreme Court from having appellate jurisdiction over its provisions, if it becomes the law.  Iowa lawmakers would not be able to modify the law to “to create or recognize a right to an abortion”…

Business As Usual 

Journalists love to pretend that this is somehow unusual, when in fact it’s the norm:

Michigan has a law on the books that grants the police immunity from prosecution if they…[rape] a prostitute during an investigation.  Michigan is the only remaining state we know of which still grants that immunity, but that might change….Bridgette Carr…of the…University of Michigan Law School, is working with Rep. Gary Glenn…to draft a bill that would get rid of that exemption.  Carr first became aware of the exemption a couple of years ago, when Hawaii was “phasing out their exemption”…[because] Carr [is a badge-licker]…she does not believe the law was created with any bad intent…

As I’ve explained before, the only thing unusual about this “exception” is that it’s actually spelled out in law.  In fact, cops routinely rape, molest or sexually assault sex workers during stings, and are almost never disciplined for it much less prosecuted.

Between the Ears (#545) 

There is literally no information, absolutely none, that this stupid gimmick could record which could conceivably improve anybody’s sexual enjoyment in any way:

The i.Con Smart Condom, which markets itself as the “world’s first smart condom,” is actually a ring that fits over a boring, dumb condom and claims to track the exercise of your man bits, as well as detect chlamydia and syphilis.  The ring, first announced last July, is currently available for preorder on British Condoms for £59.99 (about $74, AU$97) with an unknown release date.  But…the company says it won’t take your money until the product has a firm release…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#573)

Does anyone else find it deeply ironic that sociopathic anti-sex control freak Kathleen Richardson had to PAY to get someone to publish this deeply disturbed screed? (That’s what “sponsored feature” means.)

…men are routinely encouraged through pornography, prostitution and popular culture to view women as sexual objects.  In turn male technologists do not produce neutral technologies, but ones that are shaped by their privileges and preferences…sex robots [are] a further extension of this dehumanised idea of women.  With sex dolls, women are reduced to their sexual attractiveness…That’s why I founded the Campaign Against Sex Robots…One of the horrors of 21st century is the decriminalised and growing commercial sex trade…Prostitution and even rape are involved in the marketing strategies of sex dolls and robots…

To Molest and Rape 

“Gain access to” = “break in”.  “Seek the services of” = “attempt to rape”.

Two gardaí have failed to get High Court orders halting an internal Garda disciplinary investigation against them over an incident where they allegedly attempted to gain access to an apartment seeking the services of a prostitute…David Naughton and…Wesley Kenny…became involved in a fracas with two [men] and the dispute was broken up by other gardaí…the plaintiff[s]…had attempted to force entry to an apartment allegedly looking for prostitutes [and the men stopped them]…

Guinea Pigs (#690) 

Palantir is the same company which is helping cops spy on sex workers, and gave California cops a facial recognition database of black and Latino men:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deploying a new intelligence system called Investigative Case Management (ICM), created by Palantir Technologies, that will assist in President Donald Trump’s efforts to deport millions of immigrants…Palantir…[was] founded by billionaire Trump advisor Peter Thiel…ICM allows ICE…to access a vast “ecosystem” of data to facilitate immigration officials in both discovering targets and then creating and administering cases against them.  The system provides its users access to intelligence platforms maintained by the [DEA, ATF, FBI]…and an array of other…law enforcement entities.  It can provide ICE agents access to information on a subject’s schooling, family relationships, employment information, phone records, immigration history, foreign exchange program status, personal connections, biometric traits, criminal records, and home and work addresses…

The Public Eye (#718) 

Have I ever mentioned that besides being a top-notch whore, friend and activist, Savannah Sly is also a very talented musician?

Monsters (#718) 

What the hell is going on in my native state?

Just one day after we reported on the murder of Ciara McElveen…Mic is reporting on the murder of Jaquarius Holland, another Black trans woman in Louisiana…Holland was only 18 years old. 18 years old…[and] is the sixth Black trans woman reported murdered this year…all of them…women of color…Holland’s friend Chesna Littleberry has set up a GoFundMe to pay for funeral expenses…The GoFundMe uses both “she” and “he” to describe Holland because her family still used “he” pronouns for her…

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Exit, stage left!  –  Snagglepuss

Every so often Pandora gives me a gift by introducing me to a delight I didn’t know existed, and a few days ago this one popped up on my Beatles station (yes, I have a Beatles Pandora station; shut up).  It’s the title track from Ringo’s most recent (March 2015) studio album, Postcards from Paradise, and its lyrics largely consist of the titles of Beatles songs.  If you’re not a Beatles fan you probably won’t like it, but I am so I do.  Yes, I’m old; I know it’s easy to forget that since I look hotter than any two chicks half my age.  Anyhow, the links above it are from Jesse WalkerTim CushingMistress Matisse, Tim Cushing again, PopehatElizabeth N. Brown, and Ricardo  Cortés, in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s been a long time since I did a hooker songs column, so I decided it was time to rectify that!  Actually, the immediate inspiration was that one of my earliest whore anthems (actually one of my party pieces during my early whoring days at university) came on my Pandora the other day, and I realized I had never featured it!  So without further ado:

Material Girl  (Peter Brown/Robert Rans)

Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me
I think they’re ok
If they don’t give me proper credit
I just walk away

They can beg and they can plead
But they can’t see the light (that’s right)
‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash
Is always Mister Right

(refrain) ‘Cause we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl

Some boys romance, some boys slow dance
That’s all right with me
If they can’t raise my interest then I
Have to let them be

Some boys try and some boys lie but
I don’t let them play (no way)
Only boys who save their pennies
Make my rainy day

(refrain)

Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl

Living in a material world (material)
Living in a material world
Living in a material world (material)
Living in a material world

Boys may come and boys may go
And that’s all right you see
Experience has made me rich
And now they’re after me

‘Cause everybody’s living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl

Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl

A material, a material, a material, a material world

Living in a material world (material)
Living in a material world
[repeat and fade]

It’s always annoyed me that the video undercuts the message of the song, but that wasn’t unusual at the time (and still probably isn’t, though I rarely watch videos any more).  While this one is pretty overt, the next one seems to slip under most people’s radar:

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John & Bernie Taupin)

When are you gonna come down
When are you going to land
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

You know you can’t hold me forever
I didn’t sign up with you
I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing the blues

(refrain) So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough
Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

What do you think you’ll do then
I bet that’ll shoot down the plane
It’ll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you’ll get a replacement
There’s plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

(refrain)

The narrator is clearly a kept boy who has decided he doesn’t like that life and is saying goodbye to his patron to head back to his rural origins.  Actually, Elton has recorded a number of sex work songs; on the very same album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, appears this one (which is much more graphic):

Sweet Painted Lady (Elton John & Bernie Taupin)

I’m back on dry land once again
Opportunity awaits me like a rat in the drain
We’re all hunting honey with money to burn
Just a short time to show you the tricks that we’ve learned

If the boys all behave themselves here
Well, there’s pretty young ladies and beer in the rear
You won’t need a gutter to sleep in tonight
Oh, the prices I charge here will see you alright

So, she lays down beside me again
My sweet painted lady, the one with no name
Many have used her and many still do
There’s a place in the world for a woman like you

(refrain) Oh, sweet painted lady
Seems it’s always been the same
Getting paid for being laid
Guess that’s the name of the game

(refrain)

Forget us we’ll have gone very soon
Just forget we ever slept in your rooms
And we’ll leave the smell of the sea in your beds
Where love’s just a job and nothing is said

So she lays down beside me again
My sweet painted lady, the one with no name
Many have used her and many still do
There’s a place in the world for a woman like you

(refrain)
(refrain)

And then there’s this one from Rock of the Westies:

Island Girl (Elton John & Bernie Taupin)

I see your teeth flash, Jamaican honey so sweet
Down where Lexington cross 47th Street
Oh she’s a big girl, she’s standing six-foot three
Turning tricks for the dudes in the big city

(refrain) Island girl
What you wanting with the white man’s world?
Island girl
Black boy want you in his island world

He want to take you from the racket boss
He want to save you, but the cause is lost
Island girl, island girl, island girl
Tell me what you wanting with the white man’s world

Well she’s black as coal, but she burn like a fire
And she wrap herself around you like a well-worn tire
You feel her nail scratch your back just like a rake, oh oh
He one more gone, he one more John who make the mistake

(refrain)

He want to take you from the racket boss
He want to save you, but the cause is lost
Island girl, island girl, island girl
Tell me what you wanting with the white man’s world

(refrain)

He want to take you from the racket boss
He want to save you, but the cause is lost
Island girl, island girl, island girl
Tell me what you wanting with the white man’s
Tell me what you wanting with the white man’s
Tell me what you wanting with the white man’s

Long-time readers will recognize the familiar theme of the young man in love with a sex worker who thinks he’s going to “rescue” her and can’t understand why she isn’t interested.  But Bernie Taupin threw a sly little twist into this one; by making her so incredibly tall, it’s pretty obvious the implication is that she’s a transwoman.  But while Elton wasn’t quite ready to broach that subject openly in the 1970s, Lou Reed certainly was:

Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed)

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

Candy came from out on the island,
In the backroom she was everybody’s darling,
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head
She said, hey baby, take a walk on the wild side
Said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side

(refrain) And the colored girls go,
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City is the place where they said:
Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said hey Joe, take a walk on the wild side

Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
Lookin’ for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo
You should have seen him go, go, go
They said, hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side
I said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side, alright, huh

Jackie is just speeding away
Thought she was James Dean for a day
Then I guess she had to crash
Valium would have helped that bash
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side

(refrain)

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Says he’s got a thing about burnin’ witches
Ooh, some of these were mighty fine bitches.
– Carl Douglas

Some of you may remember the catchy 1974 hit “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas, who was apparently a movie fan because he also wrote & recorded “Witchfinder General”, inspired by the Vincent Price film about Matthew Hopkins.  The video was called to my attention by Jesse Walker, who also provided “cities”; the other links above the video are from Scott GreenfieldTim Cushing (x2),  ClarissaSkye, and Dave Krueger, in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s sending a message that there is no accountability for what you have done.  –  cop spokesman Martin Halloran, on forgiveness

I’m not a fan of either death metal or avante-garde music, but there’s something strangely intriguing about this cover of John Cage’s “4’33″” by the band Dead Territory, provided by Jesse Walker.  The links above it are from Tim Cushing  (“protect”, “fantasy” and “justice”), Ed Krayewski (“whatsoever”), Amy Alkon  (“isolation”), Mike Siegel (“step”), and Mistress Matisse (“goats”).

From the Archives

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I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit.  –  unnamed DC cop

What the fuck, 2016?  How many great songwriters are you going to take?  David Bowie, Prince, Merle Haggard and now Leonard Cohen?  No, don’t fucking answer that; I’m hoping you’ll get distracted for the next 7 weeks and forget to take any more.  Anyhow, the links above the video were contributed by Scott Greenfield  (“protect”, “hindrance” and “agency”), Jesse Walker (“democracy”), Laura Lee  (“necessity”), and Tushy Galore (“together”).

From the Archives

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Because drug traffickers have been seen breathing, then breathing is an indicia of drug trafficking.  –  Justices Quinn, Campbell & Pirtle

There’s nothing “banned” about this Betty Boop Halloween cartoon from 1933; presumably, the label refers to the fact that once the Hays Code started being enforced the next year, Betty was given much less sexy clothes.  The links above it were contributed by Scott Greenfield (“more”), Brooke Magnanti (“Lovecraft”), Tim Cushing (“idiots” and “posters”), Nun Ya (“attention”), Inspireland (“Because”), and Grace (“whatsoever”).

From the Archives

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