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Archive for the ‘Perception’ Category

In order to keep my news columns reasonably consistent in length, I keep them to a minimum of nine news items and a maximum of thirteen, and I try not to let the number shift by more than two in either direction from one column to the next.  So if one column has ten, I try to keep the next one to no more than twelve; since they’re written half a week to one week in advance of publication, I can see how the queue is stacking up and move items from one column to another as needed.  Well, when I started working on “In the News #1022” on the 12th, it had twelve items, but on the evening of Sunday the 15th I realized that one was a duplicate of an item from #1021 (same story in a different source) and that there were only seven items in #1023.  So I eliminated the duplicate and shifted two items to #1023 to even them out, and as I started slotting stories for #1024 I noticed it was also probably going to be lean.  It didn’t take me long to figure out the reason:  COVID panic has pushed “sex trafficking” hysteria off of the internet’s “front page”, so to speak.  Usually about a third of the stories in any given column are directly related to “sex trafficking” hysteria, but in the past week and a half those have all but dried up; #1023 would’ve only had one such item had I not shifted two of them from #1022.  Now, it may be that this is only a temporary respite, and that once governments stop these dress rehearsals for martial law we will once again be inundated with crude sexual fantasies about pubescent “sex slaves” abducted from Ikea and raped by dozens of men a day.  However, the last round of “sex trafficking” hysteria ended in the UK because of the First World War, and in the US because of the Great Depression; it wouldn’t be at all surprising or unprecedented for this one to be killed by a pandemic.  We’ll have to wait and see, but if this indeed turns out to be the case, the dark cloud we’re all enshrouded in right now might well turn out to have a silver lining.

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We await a thundering so great
That it shatters stars
That it awakens fate
To save us from a void of eternal scars.
  –  Abdurehim Imin Parach

Not for Everybody (#626)

Women who had a bad time in sex work are exploited by prohibitionists, but some wake up:

…when I came across the “survivor” movement…it was like coming home.  I finally felt able to share my experiences honestly and without feeling judged…I accepted what I was told about the Nordic Model; that it was a framework which supported women and punished the perpetrators.  And all buyers were perpetrators.  I was encouraged to share and re-share and share again my trauma experiences (for no compensation, of course) to the point that I was a quivering wreck, angry at the world and thoroughly believed that women were doomed without the passing of a Sex Buyer Law, and anyone who said otherwise was part of the Big Pimp Conspiracy.  Looking back it felt a little like joining a cult.  I was saved!  And I had a responsibility to save others.  I’m mortified, now, at the way I ignored the efforts of those who patiently tried to show me the documented evidence…

Worse Than I Thought (#711)

A perfect storm of stupidity, sex fantasy and authoritarian violence:

…senate candidate Bill Hagerty [publicly shared his sexual fantasies about] human trafficking…in Tennessee…[after vomiting up a lot of nonsense about] roadways…and…proximity to Atlanta…[then reciting the shahada and dehumanizing sex workers as a] growing epidemic…[he called for increased censorship of] the internet…and…[claimed] that [sex work]…”is one of the most atrocious crimes, and the death penalty should absolutely be considered for these criminals”…

Worse Than I Thought (#737)

“Human trafficking” has become nothing more than a dysphemism for sex work:

The Odessa City Council will consider…an…ordinance…that is aimed at tightening [the noose] on sex…[workers]…The ordinance will…extend…the distance a sexually oriented business can be from a school or church from 600 feet to 1,500 feet….[and] require those businesses to add [magical anti-pimp]…signs in Spanish…the ordinance [also] includes a rule…[that strippers]…who…have an overdue balance on a utility bill like water or gas [due to lack of work during virus panic] may be denied th[e] permit [the city demands they have in order] to work [and pay the overdue bill]…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#855) 

I suppose it only makes sense to excuse an imaginary “offense” with an imaginary “disorder”:

A top NHS chest doctor who used a hospital computer to view…pornography [w]as [slapped] with a 12-month suspension [during a respiratory disease epidemic because sex rays.  He might have received an even more ridiculous penalty had he not placated the puritans by]…checking himself into a sex addiction clinic.  Professor Peter Davies…viewed [the porn]…at work [because] his wife put an anti-[porn] filter on his computer at home.  The world-renowned expert on tuberculosis…[claimed] he had been addicted to pornography since he was 18 years old [even though there is no such thing as “pornography addiction”]…

Quiet Genocide

How China tries to keep the genocide quiet:

China’s government considers…the Uighur ethnic minority to be “terrorists” and “separatists.”  It has imprisoned them on a mass scale and has turned Xinjiang into one of the world’s most tightly controlled police states.  As a result, many Uighurs have fled to Turkey, which they have traditionally viewed as a refuge and an advocate for their rights.  Now, many Uighurs in Istanbul…fear China is pressuring Turkey to threaten them.  [Abdurehim Imin] Parach…was targeted after he published [Breathing in Exile,] a book of poetry describing China’s oppression of Uighurs…The book came out in December 2018…and…two months later…Turkish [cops] arrested him…and sent [him] to [a] deportation center…for [three] months [before releasing him without explanation]…One Uighur activist in Turkey…has counted at least 200 such detentions since January 2019, while a lawyer…has assisted more than 400 Uighurs arrested in the past year…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#998) 

“Sex trafficking” now means whatever authoritarians want it to mean:

Sen. Ben Sasse…demanded Attorney General William P. Barr investigate adult video giant Pornhub for allegedly facilitating human trafficking [by which he apparently means GirlsDoPorn’s release of material it told performers would not be available online]…in a [written sex fantasy he referred to the women victimized by GirlsDoPorn as]…”exploit[ed] children”…[meanwhile] anti-[sex worker] activist Laila Mickelwait [of the religious pro-censorship group Exodus Cry] launched a petition to [censor] the website and [unconstitutionally persecute] its executives…

An article by Tracy Clark-Flory points out that “The petition itself links to TraffickingHub.com, a site…which prominently quotes Gail Dines…this is not a “nonpartisan” petition, but rather an abolitionist project…

You Were Warned (#1007)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

Imagine an Internet where the law required every message sent to be read by government-approved scanning software.  Companies that handle such messages wouldn’t be allowed to securely encrypt them, or they’d lose legal protections that allow them to operate…The so-called EARN IT bill, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham…and Richard Blumenthal…will strip Section 230 protections away from any website that doesn’t follow a list of “best practices,” meaning those sites can be sued into bankruptcy.  The “best practices” list will be created by a government commission, headed by Attorney General Barr, who has made it very clear he would like to ban encryption, and guarantee [pigs and spooks]…access…to any digital message…[but] because they didn’t put the word “encryption” in the bill, they…insist it doesn’t affect encryption…the bill…would create a 19-person commission that’s completely controlled by the Attorney General and [pigs, spooks and professional busybodies such as]…NCMEC…[which has already] made it clear…[they] believe…online services should be made to [spy on all communications]…report what they find in the messages to NCMEC; and be held legally responsible for the content of messages sent by others…The Commission won’t be a body that seriously considers policy; it will be a vehicle for creating a law enforcement wish list…

Out of Control (#1021)

Sex workers know how to protect each other, but “authorities” want to keep us from doing it:

…online databases are vital for sex workers’ safety, but they’re moving further and further underground in the wake of the so-called SESTA/FOSTA law…that…criminalizes anything they do, even posting about work online.  The database that figured into [rapist client Dr. Manish] Gupta’s case requires users to pay for membership, is hard to join without an invitation and…now requires lengthy verification.  It’s one of a handful of closed-door screening sites that not only protect sex workers but, as the Gupta case shows, can be crucial for securing arrests.  “People are more hesitant to use them now because they don’t want to be accused of promoting prostitution,” said Phoenix Calida from [SWOP-USA]…“That’s how predators are able to continue for so long.  There were complaints lodged about this person being a bad date a couple of years before the person who went to the police was assaulted”…The investigation ramped up in late 2019 after a sex worker victims’ advocate began collating accounts of women who’d been drugged, raped, and videotaped by Gupta…there were 20 different victims in Gupta’s videos…the FBI’s Cleveland Office said they hope media coverage of Gupta’s arrest will encourage more victims to come forward.  “We want to remind them that they can contact the FBI anonymously,” she said…

DO NOT trust the FBI!  They will collect all of your information to hold for future use.  If you have information about Gupta you wish to share, contact a lawyer to help you negotiate that; do not call or e-mail them directly!

Social Distancing

This is going to hurt a lot of sex workers:

…gentlemen’s club…proprietors [in Jamaica] have been bracing for the hammer to fall soon on their regular…operations, but for now at least, lap dances are still en vogue, despite the spreading threat of the coronavirus…”We hear that they might close us down by Monday…how the girls dem a go mek money if dem caan give lap dances?…When wi close down, all our dancers may just start go do independent sex work, and that is more dangerous for them to be on the streets, so we ah gwaan watch and wait,” stated [on]e club manager…the virus is a serious financial…worry.  Prostitutes, dancers and other categories of sex workers are already feeling the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak directly…

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On Monday, I gave clients some ideas about how to help sex workers during this time when everyone is doing “social distancing”.  I was considering doing one about shifting to working online (camming, phone sex, selling porn, etc), but there was only one problem with that idea:  I have never done any of that kind of work before, and therefore don’t know much about it.  However, my dear friend Matisse started this thread that same day, and it’s getting plenty of contributions from people who DO know; Melanie Moore’s subthread is especially thorough.  So if you’re a sex worker considering this option, please read this thread.  And if you’re a sex worker who has experience with this, please contribute to help your sisters.  Sex workers are flexible and resilient, and one of our greatest strengths as a community is the way we stick together and help each other against a world which has been hostile to us for over two millennia.

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The big story right now is of course the COVID-19 virus, and in addition to all the events and crowd-based businesses either shutting themselves down or being forced to shut down by governments, there’s lots of talk of practicing “social distancing”, in other words physically distancing oneself from other people in order to reduce the risk of transmission.  Naturally, this is emboldening all the puritans to declare that this aspect of the epidemic is a good thing, because touching other people is sinful unsanitary anyhow; it’s also inspiring a great deal of talk about “paid sick leave”, which totally ignores the 8% of Americans who own their own small businesses (including many sex workers) and the 10% of Americans who work as independent contractors (including most of the sex workers who don’t fall into the other category).  When people stay away from small businesses (or the government forces them to shut) for more than a few days, you know what often happens?  They go out of business.  And when there’s no work for independent contractors for similar reasons, you know what happens?  Their bills don’t get paid.  And I guarantee you there won’t be any “bailouts” for them, either, unlike big fascist banks and manufacturing concerns.  For sex workers who have already endured over a decade of persecution and two years of actual censorship, not to mention repeated attempts to choke off our income and steal our bank accounts, and who are now at the beginning of a hotly-contested presidential election year (which is always bad for business), this could not possibly have come at a worse time.  Some will try to get square jobs (assuming they can pass dystopian “background checks”), while others will attempt to switch to camming and other no-physical-contact sex work, a market which is already completely saturated due to full-service workers shifting to it to escape the aforementioned persecution and censorship.  But many others will simply grow more desperate, while sociopaths try to take advantage of them by haggling their prices down or demanding unprotected intercourse.

Whenever women talk about awful male behavior within earshot of men, they are sure to be accosted by weenies making the wholly unnecessary assertion that “Not all men…” blahbitty blah blah blah.  Well, dudes, now is your chance to prove that you’re one of the “nice guys” y’all insist are the rule rather than the exception.  If you’ve cancelled a session with a sex worker because you’re engaging in “social distancing”, how about sending her the money anyhow?  If you’ve got the money to buy sex from her, you have the money to help her in a time of need.  Or how about asking your favorites if they offer phone sex or Skype sessions so you can do business with each other despite “distancing”?  If you absolutely must have tit for tat, how about scheduling a session for sometime in April and paying in advance?  And if you have a sugar arrangement, maybe it’s time to give your sugar baby a raise.  (I’m not even going to try to appeal to self-appointed “rescuers” because we all know they’re pathological liars crammed as full of shit as a backed-up sewer line, and their idea of “rescue” is rape followed by confinement in cages or sweatshops.)

This is going to be an incredibly bad year for a very large fraction of sex workers, at least as bad as ’08 and possibly worse; if you profess to care about women, and you’re not one of those contractors or small business owners who are in the soup with us, now is the time to put your money where your mouth is.  The only upside to this mess that I can see is that it seems to have at least temporarily supplanted “sex trafficking” hysteria in the media, and bourgeois white women are too busy shopping for cases of hand sanitizer to accuse random brown people (or the drivers of white vans) of being “traffickers”.  But even if this really is a sign of the end of that long moral panic, sex workers need to make it through the year financially before they can enjoy the respite.

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It’s only been three months since the last Friday the Thirteenth, so absolutely everything I said in that essay is every bit as true as it was in December (and September, and July of ’18, and…) so you really should go and reread one or all of those if you need a refresher on what this day is about (especially paying attention to the excerpt from “Straight Talk“).  Since the last two were so recent, I don’t think I need to rehash them already; instead, I’d like to share something I wrote on request a few weeks ago about how sex worker rights is not an isolated issue:

Though many people conceive of sex worker rights as a “special case”, in truth it intersects with many other movements.  Because sex workers are of every ethnic and national group, sex worker rights intersects racial justice, migrants’ rights, and even religious freedom (goddess-centric pagan groups are often targeted by US police).  Because the majority of sex workers are female, sex worker rights is a feminist issue, and because male police use deception to gain sexual access to sex workers, that should anger those fighting against rape.  Because many if not most sex workers are LGBT (most male sex workers are gay, many female sex workers are lesbian or bisexual, and roughly 30% of trans women have done sex work), sex worker rights is an LGBT issue.  Because disabled people are often unable to obtain physical intimacy by other means, and because many suffering from chronic illness or mental health issues find sex work a flexible and accessible means of support, sex worker rights intersects with the rights of the disabled.  Because criminalization of sex work is nothing less than the criminalization of a motive (sex for any reason other than profit is not banned), it should be of great concern to those interested in intellectual freedom issues.  Because “fighting prostitution” has been used an excuse for internet censorship, internet freedom groups should be very worried, and because the same excuse has been used to dramatically expand mass surveillance (facial recognition systems and social media spying software were first tested on sex workers), privacy rights groups should be as well.  Because people are arrested and subjected to penalties for consensual acts, thus feeding more nonviolent people into the carceral system, sex worker rights is of major importance to libertarians, anti-carceral groups, criminal justice reformers, and those fighting police violence.  Because sex work is a form of work and most sex workers are self-employed, both labor rights activists and small business associations need to pay attention.  And even fiscal conservatives should be angry about the incredible waste of tax dollars going to pay police to spy on, brutalize and incarcerate people for nothing more than adult consensual sex.

In short, this isn’t just about us; to paraphrase Donne, the bell of tyranny is tolling for you as well.

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Many years ago I was in the business through Craigslist, but am looking to get back in as a true courtesan.  Two topics baffle me and I’d appreciate your advice.  First is screening; I never did this before, just used my gut and only once regretted it.  Is this a common practice?  Do men give their real info?  Second:  I have a legitimate job, so what I make here is going towards debt and savings.  I want to deposit any money in the bank.  Do I need to pay taxes?  Do people want to pay with credit cards?  Should I form a LLC?

I think you should do a bit of research before going any further with your plans.  You can start with my “mentoring” and “screening” tags, both of which should give you plenty of material to help with your questions.  Next, you need to get rid of the idea that sex work is not a legitimate job, because it is, albeit a suppressed one.  Many people who have a square job and just do a little escorting on the side do not report their cash income even though it’s illegal not to, because prostitution is already illegal so I guess they figure “in for a penny, in for a pound”.  But being a “true courtesan” is a full-time job; if you’re going to go that route it would be most unwise to completely avoid taxes because the IRS will destroy your life if they catch you.  If you’re only doing it as a side-hustle you probably don’t need to take credit cards or start an LLC, because you simply won’t have the kind of volume that requires that.  However, it’s easy enough to take credit cards via Square.  And if you’re going to start an LLC, you had best think long and hard about what you’re going to claim it does, because banks and such are nosy and will cut you off (and possibly steal your money) if they think it’s from sex work.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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While in Florida a couple of weeks ago, I got to meet Christine Phytoleen, inventor of the CroBonez orgasm tool for women.  She impressed me as an amazing woman, and when she told me about her invention naturally I invited her to describe it here for my readers who, like Christine and myself, find it difficult to achieve orgasm by conventional masturbation techniques.

Growing up, I was always curious as to what this mysterious, evil thing was that I wasn’t supposed to do with my body parts.  At the age of 13, I made my 13-year-old boyfriend fuck me when we were out in the woods just to see if I could figure out what all the mystery and nervousness around this activity called sex was.  My boyfriend radiated happiness after a few strokes, and I got nothing out of the event except for a goopy mess of cum, blood, sticks and leaves in my cracks, along with some mosquito bites on other parts of my naked body.  This first experience with sex and the beaming happiness of my boyfriend made me feel powerful for the first time in my life, and my curiosity with this thing I was told by my parents and religion never to do kept me excited for many years as I pursued my career in sex work—that and the fact that I received money instead of sticks, leaves and mosquito bites for my efforts.

I’m a 60-year-old career sex worker with 43 years of hands-on experience in almost all modalities of sex work, including stripper, body rubber, full-service provider, porn performer, dominatrix, wife, owner of massage parlors, brothels, a dungeon, and a clip store.  I have helped facilitate life-giving, healthy orgasms in men for most of my life, yet had no idea what an orgasm felt like myself!  I felt for many years that I was on the outside looking in on all the people having a good time, and I had no idea why I couldn’t enjoy the party.  What was it about orgasm that made people, mostly men, do outrageous things to have one?  Orgasms seemed to be very important and worth a lot of money.  I learned to fake it very well by watching porn and lots of practice moaning, wiggling, and breathing.  The better I faked an orgasm, the more money I made, yet I always had the nagging feeling in my gut of being an imposter, and lying never set well with me.  At the age of 32, I committed to playing with myself for 90 minutes and had my first orgasm, which wore out my shoulder, elbow, and wrist because I needed so much pressure for such a long period of time.  After that, I very rarely took the time out to have an orgasm even after the knowledge of what an orgasm felt like because it took such physical effort and too much time.  And I’m not alone; anorgasmia is prevalent in approximately 33% of women, and contributing factors might include age, medical conditions, hysterectomy, certain medications, cultural or religious beliefs, mental health issues, stress and even poor self-esteem.

At the age of 52, since I had just about everything you could imagine inside of me trying to orgasm, I made the decision and commitment to create an orgasm product for women that can either be used by herself or with a partner.  With a massive investment of time, energy, learning, money, and testing, I created my 2-piece orgasm tool.  The 100% pure pink silicone base is attached to a repositionable, removable white polyurethane handle.  The pink base has a head that goes inside, providing stimulation and pressure, combining the lever action of the handle for complete stimulation needed on the total clitoral system inside and out, and I now have powerful orgasms whenever I decide, for as long as I want, and with high efficiency.  I call it CroBonez after I discovered that over 28,000 years ago, cavewomen were carving dildos out of bone for their pleasure, probably to finish themselves off after caveman was done.

CroBonez looks different than anything else out on the market, and it works differently than anything else out there. It has no vibrating parts, is not a dildo and does not look or work like a dick; there is no thrusting in and out.  I could never just set it on a shelf in a store and expect it to sell, because there is an education and a new thought process about orgasms that go along with acquiring this very new product.  When a woman is committed to learning how to have her orgasms any time she wants, for as long as she wants, I have voice recordings that, when listened to consistently, help to form a new neural pathway from the brain to the clitoris through the vagus nerve.  Like exercise, the more a woman practices with CroBonez and learns how to turn off all the distractions and focus on her pleasure with the help of the voice recordings, the sooner she can master her orgasms and enjoy how life changes for the better.

Whether you have a sexual desire or not, whether you’re in love or not, if you have a clitoris, you can have an orgasm for your health.  I’ve never had to remind men of the benefits of orgasm because they’ve been enjoying them and the benefits throughout their life, but I often have to remind the women what they are.  I look at orgasm like going to the gym, flossing my teeth, eating healthy, or other self-care regimen.  Orgasms keep your hormone levels in balance, counteract stress and depression, helps with sleep, provides natural pain relief, increases focus, energy, and drive, strengthens the immune system, and even improves self-image and self-esteem.  These benefits are due in large part to the chemical cocktail the brain releases, including dopamine, norepinephrine, adrenalin, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins, and others.  In July 2016 I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic cancer, and I believe my inability to orgasm for most of my life played a part in the growth of the cancer.  But I have refused the medical establishment’s traditional cancer treatments, and I believe my orgasm “treatments” with CroBonez have helped to keep me healthy and active, and my soul is much more satisfied and content.

I still hold the same excitement around the idea of sex as when I was 13 years old, and still enjoy the happiness that I helped to create in my clients and the women I’ve helped learn to orgasm with my invention.  It has been a long journey for me to get a complete picture of the mental and physical aspects of orgasms for health and wellbeing for men, women, and myself.  There is no one right way to achieve this bodily function that is so much more than what society wants us to believe, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to help people learn to incorporate orgasms for their health and happiness.

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