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Archive for the ‘Perception’ Category

In the past few weeks I’ve seen my name and my work all over the place!  The War on Whores is starting to get more attention, and this coming weekend I’ll be doing three screenings in Florida with the help of SWOP Behind Bars:  Friday at 5 PM at the LGBT Center in Orlando; Saturday at 11 AM for an academic audience in St. Petersburg; and Sunday at 5 PM at a pub in Tampa (contact SWOP Behind Bars for details).  Thank y’all so much for responding to my request for more reviews, and Stephen Lemmons of Frontpage Confidential wrote a long-form review here:

Sex worker, writer and savant Maggie McNeill’s new documentary, The War on Whores, should be required viewing for all journalists covering the movement to decriminalize sex work…The film is part autobiography, part exposé  on the deceitfulness of the so-called “rescue industry,” a cabal of nonprofits, talking heads and cops that has created a nationwide moral panic over “sex trafficking”…[which] these fascistic do-gooder types [conflate with]…garden-variety prostitution…to [further] the rescue industry’s long con…McNeill has an intellect sharper than a diamond cutter, possesses more than one college degree, and is a brilliant writer whose work has appeared in Reason magazine, the Cato Institute’s Cato Unbound, and the Washington Post,  where a 2014 column of hers, “Lies, damned lies and sex work statistics”, remains part of the requisite syllabus for anyone following the fight for decrim, one of the great civil rights struggles of our age…

As it happens, I’ve got an article in the current issue of Reason, “Consenting To Be Paid for Sex Is Still Consenting!“; it inspired this essay on Patheos:

…If a man…believes that women are resources to be bartered among men, resources who control access to sex but don’t actually deserve control over their own bodies, then we have a problem.  Because, as McNeill points out…“sex is an exchange, whether you like it or not.”  It’s just that when the relationship is coded as intimate, monogamous, mutually affectionate, and non-transactional, there seems to be no cost to either party (despite the bartering around chores and such that obviously happens between some long-term monogamous couples).  But thinking of sex in these terms does not negate the importance of consent…if you firmly, utterly believe that women are capable of giving consent in intimate relationships but not in sex work, then you need to reexamine your assumptions about what it’s like to live and work under capitalism.  If you believe that women “owe” men sex, and that sex is thus a resource that the government can step in to redistribute through “enforced monogamy” or whatever nonsense of the day is being spouted, then you need to examine your internalized misogyny.  People can and do give consent under conditions that are not always of their choosing – but hey, welcome to life…

And even though I’m not directly quoted in this one from the Chicago Tribune, I did assist author Steve Chapman in finding the sources he needed (note that Steve understands the difference between legalization & decriminalization even i the editor who wrote that headline doesn’t):

…Most commodities and services that may be legally given away may also be bought and sold.  But not sex.  A person can use all sorts of persuasive means to get another person to go to bed with them.  And a person can consent to do so for a vast range of motives.  When money changes hands for that explicit purpose, though, the law suddenly intrudes…Tens of thousands of men and women are arrested each year for their role in it…We have long since embraced the idea that what adults choose to do for sexual gratification is not the business of the government.  One day we may accept that the same is true for whether they pay for it…

After ten years of very public activism, it looks like my message is finally beginning to sink into enough heads to attract even politicians’ attention.  And given how big and loud the sex worker rights movement is becoming, it’ll just go up from here.

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Lately I’ve been getting a larger-than-usual number of enquiries from guys who’ve never seen an escort before.  Some of them find me through this blog, some via my Twitter, others via my articles in Reason or my various interviews, and still others via my ordinary escort advertising.  Some of them want to see me in particular, while others are just looking for general first-timer advice, but nearly all of them are nervous (or even full-out scared) about the possibility of falling into a trap set by the pigs.  That’s why they contact me; even the ones who discover me via my escort ads usually notice that I’ve got a strong decade-old social media presence under the same name, and as I myself have said many times that’s a very good indicator that a lady is the real deal rather than some pervert cop pretending to be an escort so he can have the fun of destroying a man’s life for the terrible “crime” of loneliness.  Most of these guys, however, are not regular readers, and this blog has become so enormous it’s a bit daunting for the newcomer.  Hell, it’s sometimes even intimidating to me, and I wrote the damned thing!  So I think it wouldn’t hurt to pull together a “best of” collection of resources for new clients that I can then simply link when one of these new gents contacts me.

The single most useful essay on the topic is undoubtedly “What To Know Before You Pay for Sex“, from the July 2018 issue of Reason; I wrote it specifically for guys who are neither regular clients nor regular readers, so it contains all of the information I consider vital in one brief and easily-digestible article.  It draws in (small) part on “Advice for Clients“, which I think still holds up despite being a decade old.  And then, of course, there are a number of Q&A columns about the basic mechanics of finding sex workers:

And some about more specific issues that could be of especial interest to newbies:

I think that’ll do for starters, but if you want more there are links to scores of essays on my questions page.  And if you’d like to see me specifically, all the information you need is on my escort site.

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As the Beatles said in a song that isn’t the one this column is named for, “I get by with a little help from my friends”.  And that’s what this is; a request for a little help from you, my readers and friends.  Of course, the most helpful help is usually monetary, but I’m aware that many of you may be suffering from giving fatigue lately; therefore only the FIRST of these requests is for monetary help.  The other two won’t cost you a cent, though the second one will cost you some time; the third only requires a change in the way you do things.

First, as is not unusual with GoFundMe projects, mine is stalled at just over the halfway mark.  So if you haven’t contributed yet, please do so by clicking here!  And if you already have, please consider doing so again, or subscribing to my blog by clicking one of the handy buttons in the margin.  So far, your contributions have enabled the burning of DVDs (which should be delivered to us this week), getting The War on Whores onto Amazon (where you can watch it for FREE if you’re a Prime member), and doing several sponsored screenings for groups which couldn’t otherwise afford it.  Please keep us going so we can get on iTunes and keep doing those sponsored screenings (next ones are coming in Florida in only two weeks)!  And even though I’m not allowed to advertise gifts directly on GoFundMe, there are indeed gifts and you can see them here.

Second:  speaking of Amazon, their algorithms dig up things a lot better if they have more reviews; would you please consider reviewing The War on Whores, The Forms of Things Unknown and/or Ladies of the Night for me?  More reviews could result in more sales, and more sales not only means more money, but more exposure.  Since all the items are linked by my name, increased attention to the books could also mean increased attention to the film, which will get the message out that much more.  And since the film is being considered “adult” by search engines, that’s extra-important in these days of shadowbans, hidden content and de-weighted search results intended to bury anything sex-industry-related where it can’t disturb the sleep of prudes and prohibitionists.

And that brings us to number 3.  Due to Twitter shadowbanning sex workers (removing us from search results, etc) my follower count has been stalled for a very long time.  So what I need is for those of you who follow me there to consider replacing some or most of your “likes” with retweets.  “Likes” are nice, but they don’t put my tweets in front of more eyeballs, and since I’m fortunate in having a very large fraction of my followers come from outside the demimonde, retweets allow my tweets to be seen by people who might not otherwise have seen them.  More viewers = more readers = more exposure for my writing, speaking, etc, including The War on Whores.  And because of that war, we whores need all the support we can get.

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People who define sex work as the selling of a body, or who say sex isn’t work, are telling you a lot about their own sex lives.  I mean, think about it; what does it say to you for a person to claim they believe sex consists of a woman lying passively in bed like a doll while a man “accesses her body cavities”?  What would you conclude about the sexual experiences of a person who claimed to believe that sex required no labor at all from the woman, but was simply done to her, with the man as the only active party in the transaction?  And yet, when I made this simple point last week, I was inundated with angry responses from prohibitionists trying to “explain” that I was wrong (and a misogynist, natch) because sex really does involve a woman lying there like a cadaver, with a man “masturbating into her orifices”.  I got similar responses from almost a score of prohibitionists, who thus boosted my tweets while amply proving my point over and over again (even after I suggested they stop digging).  Too bad the general public is just as ignorant as they are and are therefore unable to see through their embarrassing self-exposure as easily as those of us in the demimonde can. 

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I’ve got an article on sex work, money and consent in the new print edition of Reason, and I think y’all should show your support by picking one up!  But if you have neither subscription nor newsstand handy, here it is online.  A sample to get you started: 

…In the realm of sex, consent has been elevated to the level of a sacred word.  But in practice, most of us believe in a host of exceptions…Many if not most of these exceptions involve sex, money, or power, so it’s not surprising that sex work—which involves all three—inspires some truly absurd mental gymnastics on and around the concept of consent.  Statists, both in and out of government, like to play Kafkaesque games with the idea of consent.  We are told by a certain type of feminist that consent must be explicitly verbal, ongoing, and “enthusiastic”.  They say it must be tiresomely re-ascertained over and over and over again, no matter how clearly it was expressed in the first place.  Modern Puritans, meanwhile, claim that people who engage in “deviant” sexual behavior (including sex work, BDSM, and—until very recently—homosexuality) are suffering from “Stockholm syndrome,” “trauma bonding,” or “false consciousness” and thus cannot consent to things they claim to enjoy because they are not in their right minds.

But the most bizarre of these tortuous mind games, popular among radical feminists for years but gaining momentum today among “progressives,” is the idea that if a person is paid to do something he wouldn’t do for free, that constitutes “coercion” or even “violence”.  As Reason‘s Elizabeth Nolan Brown pointed out a few years ago, “In Seattle, sex must be a ‘leisure activity’ for both parties or it’s nonconsensual, according to one area prosecutor.”  Brown was writing about Val Richey, a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for King County, Washington, who argued that all sex workers are victims of rape because someone paid them “essentially to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes.'”  This dogma is deranged.  Richey doesn’t do his job for free; does that mean he is coerced, too?  This contradiction doesn’t seem to occur to anti–sex work crusaders, because they’re unwilling to accept that sex, like every other part of the material world, is not distributed “evenly” or “fairly”…

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When we eventually win our rights back we will, in a strange way, have our oppressors to thank for it.  –  “Cornered Animals

Contrary to popular American belief, no French government since the Revolution has been friendly to sex workers who catered to the middle and working classes, and after the Second World War mere oppression escalated into outright hostility; eventually, however, the French cops’ and politicians’ attacks on sex workers grew so incessantly violent that 44 years ago today they protested by occupying the Church of St. Nizier in Lyon.  The occupation lasted only a week before the cops dispersed it with their usual methods, tear gas and horrific beatings, but the seed had been planted and sex worker rights organizations popped up in many countries; these groups won many victories in their first 30 years, until prohibitionists started to counterattack with lies, propaganda and huge amounts of money.  Since its beginning in 2004, the synthetic “sex trafficking” hysteria (a recycling of the deeply-racist late 19th & early 20th century “white slavery” hysteria which resulted in the imposition of many awful laws in the British Empire and full criminalization in the US) has undermined sex worker rights in much of the world and spawned an immense, expensive and vicious War on Whores in the United States, following in the footsteps of the equally-ruinous War on Drugs which has eroded civil liberties, turned the police into an occupying army and destroyed the lives of millions.

Then early last year, the prohibitionists achieved what they thought would be a definitive victory:  they persuaded and bribed the mob of moral imbeciles we call the US Congress to nigh-unanimously pass a blatantly-unconstitutional censorship law called FOSTA-SESTA intended to bankrupt, harm and kill sex workers and turn the entire internet into a walled garden controlled by the fascist coalition of Washington politicians, Hollywood media companies and a few hand-picked internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon.  But as I noted just a few weeks after the law’s passage, it has had the opposite of its creators’ desired effect:  rather than silencing sex workers, it has frightened the quiet majority of our profession (including the less-criminalized branches like strippers) into raising their voices in support of the minority who have always been vocal.  Rather than convincing the public that our violent suppression was some kind of good, it has instead galvanized public support to a level never before seen in the US, and media outlets which actively supported the hysteria for over a decade are now publishing debunkings of prohibitionist propaganda and editorials in favor of decriminalization.  Rather than being seen as a holy tool of salvation for imaginary “sex slaves”, FOSTA-SESTA is being widely questioned, ridiculed and even attacked by reporters, commentators and even comedians.  And perhaps most tellingly, politicians who up until recently coudn’t even be bothered to accept that sex workers have basic civil rights are now actively calling for decriminalization.  As I wrote last year, “the tyrants have…inflicted so much brutal violence that even the sheep are fighting back alongside bitches like me who have never submitted obediently to the control of our self-appointed masters.”  And it’s about fucking time; maybe even Gay, Inc will eventually pull its swollen head out of its collective rectum and support us as it should have all along.  It will be neither an easy fight nor a quick one, but neither was the struggle for LGBT rights and look how far that’s come.  I don’t know if I’ll be around to see the end of that struggle which began in France over 40 years ago, but many of you reading this will.  And I’m perfectly satisfied with that.

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The justification that [cops need to be allowed to rape sex workers because] “it’s hard to prosecute otherwise” is like the justification that waterboarding is necessary to obtain confessions.  –  Tom Kelley

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

As I’ve told you for a decade, cops raping sex workers is so accepted in Pennsylvania the state actively defends cops who do it:

…A [recent] investigation into…prostitution [entrapment] stings in south-central Pennsylvania has found several recent cases that raise questions about whether [cops] needed to go as far as they did to make an arrest and successfully prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt…On several occasions, [pigs] took off all, or most, of their clothes.  In one case, a woman masturbated a [lying pig] for “several minutes” before [the rest of the herd busted in to terrorize her]…Prostitution is one of the lowest-level offenses in the crimes code.  Several of these cases ended with someone being sentenced to probation or ordered to pay fines and court costs…The Pennsylvania Superior Court [declared that] someone [did not] need…to actually have sex to be found guilty of prostitution in 1980…

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?  This article on Alabama’s new bill to legalize client shaming interviews a soi-disant “trafficking expert” who salivates and makes furtive movements in his pants pockets while vomiting out nonsense about how the sex trade magically disobes every known law of economics and sociology, how one of the most powerful human motivators is somehow “skyrocketing”, how he should be the person who defines what constitutes “free speech”, and how 1/12 of the US population now consists of “sex slaves”.  Pay especial note to his fascination with the claim that over a third of those “sex slaves” are boys.

Storyville (#51)

Just as Louis XV supplied New Orleans with women by deporting whores, so George III did for Australia:

When the Lady Juliana arrived in Sydney in the winter of 1790, it was 11 months since the ship departed England.  Hundreds of colonists gathered to greet the ship they believed was bringing them desperately needed supplies for the near-starving colony…But…instead of food and livestock, the ship had carried more than 200 women…While the arrival of the Lady Juliana did little to alleviate the starvation crisis in the colony, the ship did bring long-awaited letters from loved ones and news from England…Every man on-board…indulged in a sexual relationship with a convict woman, so — not surprisingly — most of the women either arrived in Sydney pregnant or gave birth at sea…

To Molest and Rape 

The government calls this “border protection”:

A Border Patrol agent has been arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault and three counts of aggravated assault…Steven Charles Holmes [raped a woman]…he [stalked via] a dating app…After checking into Holmes’ past, the Tucson Police Department said, “The investigation uncovered multiple victims with similar reports occurring from Jan. 2012 to Jan. 2019″…

Watershed (#836)

When the stuffy Boston Globe publishes an article like this, you know things are changing:

Prostitution in America has been thoroughly and purposefully conflated with trafficking, leading to a prohibition of many kinds of sex work in most parts of the country.  These laws are based on a false morality which claims that all sex work is, by definition, coerced, and that no…woman…can consent to sell sex for money…There’s a solution to this…backed by scientific research and data, and one that’s already in place in other countries.  The best way to fight human trafficking is to decriminalize all sex work.  [The claim that] all sex work is trafficking…became popular in the late 19th century…and…began as a racist backlash against nonwhites and immigrants, marked by campaigns against “white slavery”…Politicians still use trafficking to score cheap points with both liberal voters — who see sex work as misogynist, coercive, and oppressive — and conservative voters — who see it as sinful…

The Widening Gyre (#869)

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter.  What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of an adult woman abducted by so-called “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded shopping mall.  But get a load of the number of number of retweets and faves, for a tweet from an account with 343 followers who apparently dabbles in sex work.

Disaster (#925)

Given that lingerie companies have always profited from sex workers while refusing to stand with us, I’m sure you can understand why I’m gloating over this:

A number of swimwear and lingerie brands have spoken out against a new policy on Instagram which is causing them to have lower engagement and, consequently, to lose money…Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) [announced]…that they would be working to reduce “the spread of posts that are inappropriate but do not go against Instagram’s community guidelines”.  It went on to explain that “sexually suggestive posts” would be limited in the explore and hashtag sections of the app, but that it would still appear in your feed if you follow the account.  This means that accounts which post images deemed “sexually suggestive” will be less visible to accounts that don’t follow them – and they are therefore less likely to be discovered by new customers, which is how a lot of smaller swimwear and lingerie brands grow their audience and sales…

Rooted in Racism (#931)

White people’s latest racist trick: trying to scare African people out of migrating:

Forty-one [cops]…in Sierra Leone have received [indoctrination] on how to [label ordinary behavior]…human trafficking.  The [propaganda claims that]…thousands of young girls and boys are trafficked into sexual slavery or forced labor in Sierra Leone…[even though] there has been no conviction of trafficking in persons in the country.  This is in part because officials [were]…not [yet] sufficiently trained in [how to call just about any behavior] human trafficking [for purposes of]…prosecut[ion]…The [indoctrination] is…funded by the US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Note that buried lede way down in the last sentence.  Talk about following the money…

Yellow Fever (#937)

Spain’s new prohibitionist government, like its cronies, just makes shit up as it goes:

[Spanish anti-migrant spooks] have arrested 12 people [using the excuse of]…human trafficking…[they also arrested eight sex workers.  Pigs then oinked a lot of moralistic pap about]…illegal sexual activities, [negating the sex workers’ agency and misgendering transwomen]…All of them were advertised…in…a…thousand advertisements…ringleaders…deceived with the promise of a job…

Reporters using words like “ringleaders” and “illicit” or “illegal” sex always reminds me of this.

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