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Archive for the ‘Perception’ Category

It’s a sad fact that more women than men support the violent policing of women’s sexualities.  Think about that:  despite all the “feminist” rhetoric supporting a woman’s supposed right to control her body and sexuality, polls consistently show that more women than men are in favor of criminalizing prostitution; that is, more women than men believe male cops should deceive, rape, rob, brutalize, humiliate, cage and ruin the lives of other women for having sex for reasons of which these women disapprove.  Presumably-sane women, many of whom would call themselves “feminists”, think it’s perfectly OK for a state mostly run by men to make laws giving other men the “right” to guess why a particular woman is having sex, raping her if the cop claims it’s to “gather evidence”, then taking her possessions, locking her in a cage and inviting news media to splash her picture all over papers, TV and the internet…because her motivation for having sex is “wrong”.  They tacitly approve of her reputation being destroyed, her children abducted from her and any hope of a straight job forever closed to her because they wouldn’t have sex for the reasons she chooses to have it.  Oh, some of them like to pretend that they don’t want this to happen, claiming that the “Swedish model” decriminalizes sex workers (an obvious absurdity given “accessory” laws, “avails” laws, “brothel-keeping” laws, etc); however, even if it really did what the propaganda says, that would still mean they supported the principle of starving other women into homelessness and financial ruin for the “crime” of wrongthink.

There are a lot of theories, guesses and opinions as to why this might be, including mate-guarding (i.e., attacking other women their husbands might choose to fuck) and the idea that whores lower the price of sex by charging a flat fee rather than forcing men to accept a possible lifelong burden in order to get it.  And while these ideas might have some merit, they don’t explain why these same women aren’t equally upset by women who essentially give sex away, nor why lesbians are well-represented in the whore-hating crowd despite their sexual disinterest in men.  Now, it’s absolutely true that behaviors deriving from evolution aren’t logical; for example, a lot of human sexual behavior is clearly designed to increase the number of offspring that individual can produce, even if the individual has absolutely no conscious interest in producing children and even if he or she is sterile.  But given the human history of promiscuity and casual prostitution (read Sex at Dawn if you haven’t already), I’m not really convinced that whore-hating has a deep evolutionary motive, at least not directly; I think it’s more likely a byproduct of a general female behavior pattern which probably does have an evolutionary origin, but which isn’t specifically aimed at whores.

I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that in general, women tend to put more emphasis on social interactions than do men.  Baby girls stare at faces for longer than baby boys do, girls tend to travel in duos or small groups, women tend to have higher “social intelligence”, we work through difficulties by interacting with each other, we bond by sharing vulnerabilities, we emphasize consensus-building, etc, etc.  The reasons for this aren’t important to consider in this limited space; what does matter is that women have a much more pronounced tendency to think of ourselves as members of a group than men do, and a much stronger tendency to feel that the actions of other women reflect upon us.  In general, guys aren’t all that likely to be concerned that some individual dude’s behavior “makes all men look bad”, while it isn’t at all hard to find some collectivist “feminist” blathering about how the mere existence of Barbie, sex workers, sexy lingerie, kink, labioplasty or some other thing “demeans all women” or even “harms all women”.  Women trapped in this belief-system seem to imagine a deep and mystical interconnectedness of all women, as though we were all “merely the three-dimensional projections of a single hydra-like gestalt entity floating in hyperspace“; they therefore imagine that “any single woman’s sexual activities performed in private magically affect all women throughout the world as though we were one huge set of Corsican sisters, and therefore all women must submit to whatever limitations are imposed on our sexuality by our rightful leaders“.  Once one accepts the absurd premise, the anti-sex “feminist” demand for suppression of sex work actually makes a twisted kind of sense; to someone trapped in this horrifying belief-system, all the women in the world are stuck in one immense elevator together and the whores are smoking, farting and pissing on the floor.

The best evidence for my theory being the correct one is that, as I alluded to above, sex workers aren’t the only women policed in this fashion.  The women who demand the criminalization of commercial sex also tend to be anti-kink and bigoted toward transwomen; this cannot be explained by “mate guarding” or “sex price depression” theories, but it makes perfect sense in light of the notion that nonconforming women somehow “pollute” womanhood by our very existence.  The poison vomited out by Trans-Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists (TERFs) is especially telling (the fact that these women are in no way “radical” is a subject for another day); their screeds tend to be larded with nonsense about some imaginary monolithic “shared female experience” (as though there were such a thing) which excludes transwomen, and how that makes them not “real women” (a slur that, not coincidentally, is often hurled at sex workers as well).  Add to that the fact that TERFs are nearly always Sex Work Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists (SWERFs) as well, and I think we have a smoking gun.  But wait, there’s more:  as many bisexual women can attest, there are still quite a few lesbians out there (though, thank Aphrodite, not as many as there used to be) who insist that bi-women can’t have “real” lesbian relationships, or that we aren’t “really” queer, or whatever; when I tweeted about this last week I received no fewer than four replies to this effect from would-be Dyke Cops within two hours.  Back in my formative years in the ’80s, it was even worse; I was actually told by many older lesbians (older than me, that is; some were as young as 30-something) that “real” lesbians didn’t use dildoes on each other, that fisting was abhorrent, and that kink was basically a mortal sin (“How could you possibly want to hurt another woman?!?  What’s wrong with you?!?”)  It’s absolutely true that the latter kind of sex-act-policing has largely vanished from lesbian communities, but the fact that it ever existed speaks volumes.  There is a large and very vocal subset of women who are deeply horrified by the fact that other women are unlike them sexually, and many if not most of them are perfectly willing to use coercion – up to and including the threat of sexual violence inflicted by armed men – to punish these other women for the sin of being different.

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Shouldn’t we help [sex workers] instead of further marginalising them?  –  Christina Cannon

The Red Umbrella 

Because NHI is so feminist:

Last week, we were treated to the release of the trailer for Rough Night, a female-led buddy comedy that sees Scarlett Johannson, Kate McKinnon, Illana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz, and Jillian Bell team up for a wild bachelorette weekend.  The girls drink, go dancing, take photos with selfie sticks, and hire a stripper.  Yay!  And then they accidentally kill him.  Not yay.  And then, for reasons as-yet-unknown to the audience, they arrange his dead body in a sex swing before hanging him out of the sunroof of a Jeep, driving him shirtless through a busy street, and – I can’t believe I’m about to write what I’m about to write – making jokes about his corpse’s erection.  Decidedly not yay…

Elephant in the Parlor 

Politicians hiring male sex workers isn’t much less common than their hiring female ones:

[Oklahoma] State Senator Ralph Shortey…was discovered at a Super 8 in Moore…with an unidentified boy under the age of 18…police have recommended the politician be charged with soliciting a minor for prostitution, prostitution within 1000 feet of a church and transporting someone for prostitution.  The exact age of the boy involved is unclear. Police have said that he is a juvenile, though the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

Given that dancers win every one of these suits, the old strip club business model is a dead duck:

Attorneys in Denver have filed a national lawsuit against a chain of strip clubs.  The class action suit accuses PT’s Show Club, PT’s All Nude, Diamond Cabaret, La Boheme and The Penthouse Club of exploiting their exotic dancers.  The…suit…involves hundreds of dancers in 20 strip clubs across eight states…Mari Newman, the attorney who filed the suit, said that the company’s lack of fair compensation for the dancers’ work is illegal…

Watershed

Even in Ireland, the truth is dawning on many feminists:

Gillian Wylie…and Eilis Ward…state that they are “weary” after several years of fighting the perceived definition of sex work in Ireland…“We did a piece of research…on the…extent of trafficking for sexual exploitation of women into Ireland”, explains Wylie….the number of people being trafficked in Ireland was being quoted as being in the hundreds.  Wylie and Ward’s “rigorous piece of research” came up with a figure of 76…For both women, a critical turning point in their opinions on sex work came from talking to people involved in the industry.  When met with a roomful of sex workers, Ward listened as they explained that they “didn’t consider themselves to be victims of violence”…and this limiting definition “didn’t capture the reality of their work”…

Not To Be Taken Internally (#325)

Ladies, please don’t let people who aren’t doctors inject who-knows-what into your butts:

On the internet, she goes by the name Vanessa Luna, starring in porn videos that highlight her ample rear end…she used her real name, Ruth Planas, to…operat[e]…an unlicensed clinic in a West Miami-Dade strip mall…Cuerpos Health and Aestheticwas shuttered after…Suyima Torres, died following a botched butt lift performed there.  Prosecutors have charged Jose Robusto, a purported medical doctor in Venezuela, who they believe injected Torres with illegal and dangerous liquid silicone at the facility.  But nearly a year after his arrest, authorities have been unable to build a case against clinic owner Planas, who claimed no injections were ever done at the business.  Planas insisted she only used the clinic to sell cosmetic products, pitch Herbalife nutritional supplements and, a couple times a week, perform on live X-rated web videos…witnesses say that Planas arranged and helped carry out illegal cosmetic surgeries there…Robusto…is awaiting trial for manslaughter, one of many high-profile cases involving botched cosmetic surgeries in South Florida — a hub for sham doctors who offer cheap cosmetic procedures performed in homes, warehouses and pseudo clinics.  Just last week, a Miami man was arrested after police said he gave butt injections to a woman who wound up in the hospital because of the procedure…

If Men Were Angels

Is anyone actually still surprised when this happens?

Ottawa police have laid four new charges against a retired Catholic priest in connection with alleged sexual assaults at two local churches in the 1960s.  Rev. Barry McGrory, 82, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault on a male, and two counts of gross indecency…McGrory was first arrested in November in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy in the 1960s…the Archdiocese of Ottawa…settled out of court with two women who said they were abused as adolescents by McGrory in the 1970s…One of the victims was paid $300,000 in one of the largest settlements of its kind in the history of the Ottawa diocese.  In an interview last year, McGrory said he was a sex addict…

Umpteen Thousand People Can’t Be Wrong (#546)

Prohibitionist Scottish politicians exhume the rotting corpse of the “Scottish model” (ie the Swedish model) yet again:

…SNP members [backed] a motion for a Scottish model for [oppressing sex workers]…MSP Ash Denham proposed the motion, based…on the Nordic model of [prohibition]…Denham [drooled]…that “a girl who enters prostitution at 14 will service the sexual demands of more than 4000 men before she’s old enough to drive a car”…Christina Cannon, who is standing to be an SNP councillor…argued against the model, and told delegates to be mindful of the motion in front them…Women in the trade, she argued, were opposed to the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, pointing delegates to a consultation held when Labour’s Rhoda Grant put forward a similar proposal in 2012…

Property of the State (#561) 

Still another abomination from Alabama:

…new moms in Alabama…[are subjected to] hospital drug tests [without their permission] after birth and [the results are] passed along to police.  Dozens of women have been charged with felony chemical endangerment of a child since 2006 for using marijuana during pregnancy…Although Alabama isn’t the only state with laws against drug use during pregnancy, its prosecutors have been the most zealous – bringing charges against hundreds of women, even those with low levels of THC and no criminal history.  State lawmakers [recklessly passed] the chemical endangerment law in 2006 [supposedly] to protect children from exposure to chemicals and fumes from home-based meth-labs…[but] prosecutors immediately began applying it to women who used drugs during pregnancy, a practice that increased after being upheld by the Alabama State Supreme Court in 2013…

Bell, Hook and Kettle (#615)

There’s a word for collaboration between government and private corporations; it’s “fascism”:

…Philadelphia’s Special Victim’s Unit…[has] joined forces with Federal Homeland Security investigations, the FBI, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the District Attorney on a new task force charged with cracking down on sex trafficking, thanks to a $1.3 million federal grant…Investigators…[pretend to] work hard to get young women out of the sex trade and on a better path in life.  The Salvation Army plays a vital role in helping women break the vicious cycle of sex trafficking…

Is that anything like “the dangerous cycle of prostitution“?

To Molest and Rape

“Errors”.  You know, like turning a blind eye to cops raping teens:

Louisville’s mayor announced that he has asked the FBI to investigate…the…sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program.  Mayor Greg Fischer also said he had hired former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey to review an investigation conducted by Louisville Metro Police and determine whether “errors were made,” including by police Chief Steve Conrad…A lawsuit…on behalf of a former scout identified as N.C. charges that his alleged rape by Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood was “concealed” by department officials.  Betts and Wood are accused of sexually assaulting the former scout from 2011 through 2013 and recording the incidents to make porn…

Leaving the Life (#657)

This is a lot better than Vice‘s last article on leaving sex work:

…sex workers are able to…pick up transferable skills that they can use in their future careers.  Few sex workers stay in the industry for their whole working lives, and they leave for diverse reasons—often returning for short or extended stints from time to time…Raven Bowen of the University of York [said]…”If people get pregnant or fall in love, they often leave right away.  Middle-class sex workers might be able to make a plan when they transition out—dabble in some square jobs, then gradually leave.”  Another common motivator is a child approaching their teenage years…Rarest of all are [those]…who…settle down with a client, although Bowen [says] this isn’t unheard of…Many sex workers view the industry as a short-term stepping stone to a…straight…career, and aim to retire from sex work when they’ve amassed enough money to fund tuition or open a small business…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#688) 

This is what robo-fetishists want you to believe will take my job soon:

Sergi Santos…wants to make sure robotic sex dolls…enjoy the sex as much as the humans ― or at least act like they do.  The Barcelona-based engineer has just created a sex doll named “Samantha,” who…responds when the user touches her hands and hips by saying positive statements like “I love this” and “Nice and gentle” in a singsong voice…she is programmed to want romance first, then get comfortable before getting sexual.  “The…final objective of the sexual mode is to give her an orgasm,” said Santos…Santos is now selling Samantha…for around $5,374…

One Born Every Minute (#717) 

I’d be much happier if the money went to Hickey’s victims instead of the State:

Things are not looking good for Matt Hickey.  The former tech journalist, who is currently being held in King County jail on four separate charges of second-degree rape, failed to respond to the Attorney General Office’s lawsuit against his fake porn scam.  As a result…Judge Ken Schubert issue[d] a ruling finding that Hickey did, indeed, scam at least six women by pretending to be a fake female porn recruiter online since 2006; Schubert also ruled that Hickey owes the state $300,000 in penalties that represent 150 violations of state consumer protection laws…[and] must pay $32,201 in court fees…

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Prohibitionists are fond of claiming that sex worker rights advocates are part of a wealthy, connected and powerful “pimp lobby” from which we draw virtually-unlimited funds; this is not only an outrageous lie, it’s an incredibly hypocritical one.  In truth, prohibitionists receive oceans of funding from governments invested in growing the police state, private corporations who want to look “moral”,  religious groups who want to impose their ideas of morality on everyone, billionaire sociopaths with axes to grind, and well-meaning but ignorant people who believe the “sex trafficking” masturbatory fantasies vomited out by the prohibitionists; advocates for sex workers, on the other hand, are largely self-financed and therefore operating at a loss all the time.  So when we offer products for sale, please understand that you’re not just getting a good book or a fun product, but also helping out those who tirelessly fight for the rights of those whom society has decided do not deserve them.  Here are some things you can currently purchase which will genuinely help some of the most important and powerful voices in our movement:

First, reader Deviant Ollam came up with these clever T-shirts for an imaginary McNeill/Matisse presidential campaign; they’re an excellent conversation starter and 100% of the profits go to o SWOP Behind Bars, which works to help incarcerated sex workers.  If everyone who reads this buys one, just imagine how many women, mostly from very disadvantaged circumstances, will be helped!

Next, Dr. Laura Agustín, author of the blog The Naked Anthropologist and Sex at the Margins, the seminal work on “sex trafficking” hysteria (in which she coined the term “rescue industry”), has written The Three-Headed Dog, a novel dramatizing the problems faced by migrants.  It’s another way of introducing readers to the issues the “sex trafficking” paradigm attempts to paper over, which Dr. Agustín has studied for over 20 years and understands in a way very few others do.

Last but certainly not least, Dr. Brooke Magnanti has re-released her three Belle de Jour books, Secret Diary of a London Call GirlFurther Adventures of a London Call Girl, and London Call Girl:  Playing the Game, in new Kindle editions.  You can buy all three of these blockbuster novels for the cost of a modest meal, and start reading them tonight!  Find out why Brooke became famous, and show some love for a woman who’s done more than almost any other to draw attention to the movement.

Please buy at least one of these, or be a real ally and get them all!  I think I can safely speak for all the ladies I’ve mentioned in today’s column in saying we’re very grateful for your patronage.

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I’m a successful professional woman who has been married for 20 years, but over the last few years I’ve been growing more bisexual.  So I hired an escort, and later we started dating (around the end of October).  I’m not her “sugar mama”, although I do try and help her out a little bit here and there.  I suppose when a relationship starts out as escort/client, there are hurdles to overcome on both sides; being that you previously married a client, I figure you might understand what I mean.  Obviously, by hiring escorts, I was not looking for a serious relationship, and it’s been kind of intense; any advice (or words of caution) you have on this situation would be appreciated!

You’re right about the hurdles; sometimes they can be overcome, and sometimes not.  In my case, the marriage eventually broke down for reasons only tangentially related to my work, but 14 years isn’t a bad run for any marriage nowadays.  From the information you’ve given me, I don’t think your girlfriend being an escort will really matter one way or another (though it usually does with men), unless you become jealous of her clients, but since this is (I assume) your first lesbian relationship there are a couple of things you may appreciate my mentioning.  In lesbian relationships, sexual interest tends to ramp up quickly (“What does a lesbian bring along on the second date? A U-haul”) as you discovered firsthand, but often dies within a year (the dreaded “lesbian bed death”), and you’re already past four months.  Of course, this isn’t always the case, and even when it is lesbian relationships can go on for years or decades after that due to shared intimacy & deep emotional bonding; for some lesbians that’s enough.  But if you were the kind of woman who can be satisfied with a relationship devoid of lesbian sex, I don’t think you’d have been intentionally seeking out an escort in the first place (regardless of what actually happened when you met one you “clicked” with).  So while it’s true that there are special difficulties in any relationship with a sex worker, what I’d be more mindful about in your specific case is how you’ll feel when the sex dries up.

(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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People have the right to do what they want with their bodies. -Dr Paul Ryan

Rooted in Racism

Sometimes “trafficking” just means “bringing in brown people“:

Police in India have arrested eight foreign nationals…for allegedly forging passports and impersonation…The arrested included four Britons who were allegedly trying help four Sri Lankans gain entry into the UK with fake Indian passports…Police believe that the suspected traffickers are part of a wider network that could be helping non-Indian nationals to fly out to other countries on fake documents…entering the UK and getting a job for people carrying Sri Lankan passports is difficult, so they opt for the easier route of travelling with forged Indian passports…

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

Seriously, has this girl been living under a rock?

A pregnant woman in northeastern Alabama has been charged with rape after…she wrote on a Medicaid application that a 14-year-old boy was the father of her unborn baby…19-year-old Mekenzie Leigh Guffey…[was ratted out to cops by] the state human resources agency…and charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sex abuse, along with enticing a child for immoral purposes, traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography…If convicted, Guffey could face up to 20 years in prison…

Just think; if the state sends her to prison it will be ruining three young people’s lives with one action.  Of course, prosecutors consider that a win.  Protecting the “children”!!!

Monkey Business 

So much for human uniqueness:

A chimpanzee was filmed using tools to apparently clean the corpse of her adopted son, the first hint that animals other than humans have mortuary practises…Noel…was seen using a stem of grass to remove debris from the teeth of a young male named Thomas, who she had looked after since the death of his own mother four years earlier…Dr Edwin van Leeuwen…said:  “Noel…sat down close to his head…select[ed] a hard piece of grass…and used her thumbs to explore his teeth…she…started to meticulously poke the grass in the same dental area as where her thumbs had been”…Nina, her adolescent daughter, stayed at her side and observed the cleaning efforts of her mother…researchers say Noel might also have been trying to understand how Thomas had died.  She was seen tasting the debris she had picked from his teeth.  A post-mortem revealed that Thomas had most likely died from a combination of a viral and bacterial lung infection…

Across the Pond (#333)

Four years ago, Ipswitch was claiming to have “eradicated” street work:

…The number of calls Suffolk Constabulary has received reporting suspected street prostitution in Ipswich has more than tripled over a year, jumping from three in 2015 to 10 last year…Up until February 7 this year there had been two recorded sightings.  [Politician] David Ellesmere…said plans for a new [snitching] system…were being put in place…Brian Tobin…of Iceni Ipswich…said…“I…believe that in any great shape or form street prostitution won’t return to Ipswich…People are…now [arranging meetings]…online…if people are safe and they are not coerced, they are not under-age…then who are we to judge them?  In a massage parlour or a flat you’ve got more security”…[But] Ellesmere [fantasizes about]…problems of trafficking and child sexual exploitation…[fellow politician] Ben Gummer [drooled over his fantasies of]…“the growing number who are being exploited in hotel rooms and rented accommodation across the town”…

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:

Traffic Circle

Little by little, bit by bit:

…”Awareness raising” campaigns are typically aimed at two main audiences, namely potential victims of human trafficking and the general public…both types…suffer from serious problems…there is little empirical data demonstrating that public service announcements (PSAs) such as posters in bus stations and airports are effective mechanisms for trafficked persons to access help.  The organisations that [create these] receive vast sums of money…Campaigns aiming…[at] the general public are even more problematic…[they] rely on images of sexual exploitation, and their “further information” links or phone numbers are often either non-functional or [simply connect to the cops]…Both types of campaigns…utilise scare tactics and voyeuristic, often sexualised images.  In addition to being ethically questionable, these can actually redirect our attention and resources away from more common forms of exploitation, such as children engaged in child labour, workers picking fruit, catching fish or packaging chicken…

Guinea Pigs 

It’s absolutely insane that anyone thinks this is OK, even if the notions it was based on weren’t completely idiotic:

A British bank is helping to identify women trafficked here to work as prostitutes by monitoring customers’ accounts for daily purchases of contraceptives…The same unnamed bank has also been looking for payments to “high end restaurants and cheap diners on the same day” in the belief that such transactions could indicate a sex worker dining with a client while her “handler” eats more frugally nearby.  Another financial institution provided 80 tip-offs to [pigs] after identifying accounts which received multiple cash deposits of under £10,000, often paid in anonymously, as well as regular payments to websites advertising “adult services” and flights to Eastern European countries [which are commonly featured in men’s fantasies of] sex trafficking…

I’m not sure if the stupidest premise here is that the only things people buy at pharmacies are condoms, or if it’s that whores pay for our client’s dinners rather than the other way around.  But I have to admit the idea of a pimp following a sex worker around by lurking in McDonald’s is totally hilarious.

Choke Point (#610)

From Sex Worker Helpfuls, here’s a list of payment processors that are openly hostile to sex workers, and others which are friendly so far.  Obviously this can change on a whim as it does so often, but it’s a good starting point.  The post is two years old, but appears to have been kept up to date with edits.

The Widening Gyre (#670) 

More “grocery store sex trafficking” lunacy:

My name is Amanda…a Longview, Texas resident.  I’m convinced that our two-year-old daughter was the victim of a potential sex-trafficking scam yesterday.  I got in the check-out line at a local store early afternoon.  I took my daughter out of the cart and the couple ahead struck up the typical conversation about how “cute your daughter is” and then asked about her age…I initially was understanding of what I assumed was a cultural barrier, but I quickly became uncomfortable with the woman’s body language and close proximity…the woman ask[ed] if she could hold her…my toddler reached her arms around the woman before I could really respond…The woman resisted returning her when I physically pulled my daughter from her arms…

“Cultural differences”.  In other words, the woman was an immigrant and therefore (in Amanda’s fear-crazed mind) immediately suspect no matter how mundane the interaction.

Power Play (#701)

Marc Randazza & other 1st-amendment lawyers speak out against the Backpage persecution:

The First Amendment Lawyers Association (FALA) is asking new Attorney General of California Xavier Becerra to end the “abuse of governmental power” perpetuated by predecessor Kamala Harris against current and former executives of the classified-ad site Backpage…FALA…sent a letter to Becerra condemning “the abusive prosecution of individuals associated with…Backpage.com, and also the use of expansive search warrants seeking vast amounts of constitutionally-protected material, including personally identifiable information about all of the website’s users.”  In the letter, FALA President Marc Randazza says he can identify “no theory under the First Amendment that would countenance such an abusive use of prosecutorial discretion or such a dragnet demand for information”…

Devil’s Advocate (#714) 

Authoritarians refuse to admit that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

The very idea of a child sex doll — a life-size, anatomically correct figure typically modeled after a little girl — tends to evoke abject horror.  But…a Finnish non-profit that has spent several decades promoting “sexual well being” suggested that these disturbing little dolls might actually help to protect children from abuse.  Tommi Paalanen…of the Sexpo Foundation…argued that pedophiles can be prevented from abusing kids if given an acceptable channel for their desires…“A person who uses a lot of money and effort to purchase the doll has already made the decision that he wants to carry out the sexual tendency…Therefore, it is important that…authorities…do not hamper their availability.”  The statement…came following news of an uptick in Norway of imports of child sex dolls from Hong Kong.  Police there have seized 21 such dolls since October and…men in Canada and Australia are currently on trial or being investigated for allegedly purchasing child sex dolls…Milton Diamond, a sex researcher…has long argued that simulated child pornography — meaning pornographic content that features computer-generated images instead of footage of real children— can prevent child abuse.  In 2010, he published a study finding that during a period in the Czech Republic when child pornography was not illegal, there was a “significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.”  Studies have found similar evidence in Denmark and Japan.  From that, he argues, we can conclude that child sex dolls would have a similar effect…

Authoritarians deny this, of course, because their belief-system insists that a human is a tabula rasa for the almighty State to write upon, and all that’s required to change sexual and other desires are sufficiently-punitive laws intended to “send messages” in blood.

The Course of a Disease (#715)

It’s good to see academics in the afflicted countries saying this:

Dr Paul Ryan has been lecturing at Maynooth University…for 10 years.  He is a board member of Sex Workers Alliance Ireland…“Most academics do want a focus on harm reduction, but public policy in Ireland has moved towards a…point where all sex work is seen as a violence against women…The argument is…not backed up by evidence.  Sweden has had this law since 1999 and it still has a thriving sex industry”…Ireland went one step further than its northern neighbours, however, by increasing the penalties criminalising sex work itself…Ryan is concerned the law could have unintended consequences…an advisory group on a project commissioned by the Department of Justice and undertaken at Queen University Belfast…found the law to be largely unenforceable.  The proposal ultimately became law anyway.  So, Ryan asks, “Is it about real change, or sending out a message?”…

Ryan is, of course, being diplomatic by saying “unintended consequences”; politicians in every country which has passed the Swedish model have been very clear that the law is fully intended to harm sex workers. It’s only the model’s prohibitionist cheerleaders who pretend otherwise.

Worse Than I Thought (#717)

It’s good to know there are at least a few sane people opposing the bizarre schemes of Oregon politicians:

…new laws that would suspend professional, recreational, and driver’s licenses of people busted for visiting a sex worker…were tabled last week…[but] “a new bill will be put forward which will combine elements of these two bills”…[and] mandate something known as “john school,” which aims to [brainwash] men [with propaganda claiming fantasized]…negative effects of paying for sex…[blah blah blah] child sex trafficking…the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) [points out that such a law] will only hinder people from getting their lives back on track after a conviction, citing a 2016 state study that found “the inability to obtain or reinstate a driver’s license is one of the single greatest barriers to obtain/maintain stable employment”…professional and recreational license…[suspensions could gravely harm] doctors, teachers, cosmetologists, contractors, liquor licensees, hunters, anglers, and so on…Gail Meyer, an OCDLA lobbyist [also pointed out that]…“The whole issue of whether or not two consenting adults ought to be able to choose whether or not they want to engage in sex for a fee is sort of getting swept under the rug”…

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I’ve always been uncomfortable with pigeonholing, the notion that it’s possible to completely define people by whatever groups they might belong to.  It’s the basis of all bigotry and “us vs them” thinking, and those who forcibly include others in their groups are no better than those who exclude others because they belong to certain groups.  In other words, I’m just as offended by women who say, “you’re a woman and so you must act in this way and accept this political dogma” as I am by men who say, “you can’t do such-and-such because you’re a woman.”  Yeah, I’m a woman.  I’m also human, American, Caucasian, middle-aged, brown-haired & brown-eyed, and of fairly average height and weight.  My sexuality is responsive to both men and women, and I’m turned on by a lot of things lumped under the category “kink”; I also make a living providing sexual services, and I’m extremely good at what I do. I used to be a librarian, and I’m still a pretty good writer; I like a lot of different ethnic cuisines (especially Mexican, Italian, Indian and Thai) and dislike green, leafy vegetables and undercooked food.  I have reasonably broad tastes in music, but there are a number of genres I can’t really appreciate; in fiction (whether written or performed) I tend to prefer fantasy, horror and speculative fiction, and I also prefer shorter stories & shows to longer ones.  I enjoy animation and role-playing games (in-person, not computer-based), and I used to be considered a helluva DM.

So as you can see, there are lots of labels which could be applied to me, and lots of groups to which I might be considered to belong.  I could be called a human, American, Southerner, New Orleanian, lapsed Catholic, pagan, woman, brunette, whore, courtesan, ex-librarian, writer, speaker, anarchist, radical, queer, kinkster, polyamorist, nerd, witch, bitch, mentor, healer, activist, public intellectual and many other things; some people call me ugly terms like “pervert”, “pimp” or “criminal”, while others prefer flattering ones like “heroine”, “angel” or “goddess”.  But the one thing all these descriptors have in common, whether they’re objective or subjective, bland or emotive, insulting or adulatory, accepted by me or not, is that they do not define me.  There is not a single one of these terms which tells you all you need to know about me, not even the ones I proudly embrace (such as “whore”).  Even if you string them together (I’ve been known to refer to myself on Twitter as a “kinky bisexual whore”, and I’m generally introduced as a “sex worker, writer and activist”) it still doesn’t even come close to telling you what I’m actually like, or serving as more than an extremely general predictor of almost anything about me (other than the specific trait it denotes).  The fact that I’m from New Orleans might give you a few clues about me, but it couldn’t predict the kind of movies I like; the introduction I mentioned above lets you know I’m probably very confident, but says nothing about my dietary preferences; and the fact that I’m bisexual tells you absolutely nothing other than that I wouldn’t automatically reject cuddling up with any given person on the basis of their sex.

And yet there are people who absolutely refuse to get this.  I’ve run into folks who presume that because I’m a white Southerner I must be racist; others who imagine my dislike of greens carries some deeper meaning than that they shouldn’t offer me spinach at dinner; still others who declare that my love of sci-fi shows & fantasy games allows them to make predictions about my sex life and living arrangements; and many thousands who fantasize that my profession means I must either be a “victim” or an “exploiter”, or even both.  Then just the other day in an exchange with Matisse, I wrote that my terms for letting women snuggle up to me are generally less strict than my terms for letting men do so because “I’m bisexual (leaning lesbian at this stage of my life) & most women don’t try to fuck me without paying“; a dude replied to this with “Oh, a lesbian”, as though that entirely summed up my personality and now he understood everything he needed to know about me.  Forget the fact that “bisexual leaning lesbian for the time being” isn’t the same as “lesbian”; even if I did identify as a lesbian that still wouldn’t give you more than a small fraction of a description of my sexuality, and it wouldn’t tell you squat about any other aspect of my personality.  The fact that I enjoy kissing and petting other women no more defines my “identity” than the fact that I like spicy food or the fact that I prefer fiction of the imaginative variety; it doesn’t even tell you what I don’t like because preferences aren’t necessarily exclusive (I also like kissing men, eating vanilla ice cream and some movies with absolutely no element of the fantastic).  It’s simply not possible to understand any human being by knowing one fact about her, no matter what cops, politicians and tribalists may want you to believe; pigeonholes are fine for pigeons, but unsuited for people.

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White people saving white people is not as sexy and compelling as white people getting to further exercise their savior complex through the racist stereotype of the submissive, obedient Asian sex slave.  –  Laura LeMoon

Rough Trade 

From Norway, the other feminist paradise:

A 36 year old man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of two rapes.  The punishment would have been harsher if the victims were not prostitutes…the judgment of Stavanger District Court [reads]…”By the rape of a prostitute who has agreed to sell sexual services, but where a situation arises where the offender will not pay, and thus develop into a rape which in this case is the violation of sexual integrity by a somewhat different character”…the verdict has been appealed…

The Daughters of Shamhat

Sex work is not an evil to be tolerated, but a good to be celebrated:

…Over the next year I sought out…sexworkers…every for every time I felt I was losing control…the only thing holding me together was the sexworkers I was seeing every three to four weeks.  They kept my wife safe from my anger…Based on the recommendation of a sexworker I sought help.  I was diagnosed with PTSD…later [my wife] filed for divorce…years [later] I met a young lady…that stole my heart.  After two months of dating…she said she could not have an exclusive physical relationship with me, but if I was willing to have a mentally exclusive and love exclusive relationship, she would be more than happy to join me in such a relationship.  That’s when she explained that she was a sexworker…Today, she and I are married.  We have a loving relationship based on openness and honesty.  She actually encourages me seeing sexworkers…

If Men Were Angels

This is obviously a major ethical violation, but I don’t think letting drug warriors handle the case helped anyone:

[Doctor] Naga Thota…was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for distributing controlled substances without a legitimate purpose, part of…a “quid pro quo situation in which he exchanged drugs, gifts and money for sex.”  A criminal complaint accuses him of having similar arrangements with two other patients — all of them in their 20s and addicted to pain pills…Thota and the women would exchange sexually explicit texts, then Thota would write prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors…he switched them to more powerful painkillers, then increased the dosages — and their dependence on him as a supplier…

Guinea Pigs 

“Protecting women” is nearly always code for either spying on us or controlling us:

…the imagination of safety for women in public spaces always ends up focusing on monitoring their moves – by dotting the cityscape with closed-circuit television cameras.  The Karnataka government responded to the allegations of rape and molestation by announcing the purchase of 550 more CCTVs, never mind that the thousand-odd such devices had failed to stop the assaults in the first place…in spite of having more security cameras than any other country in Europe, only 3% of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images in 2015.  Additionally, this bolsters the notion that crimes against women are always inflicted by unknown persons — the ubiquitous stranger rape – and erases that most such violence happens within the home, by family members, where there are no CCTVs…The gentrification – which included CCTV installation — of Kolkata’s biggest lakeside park threw sex workers and transfolk onto the streets and made them far more susceptible to police and stranger violence…

To Molest and Rape 

Don’t socialize with the sleazy fuckers, either:

A Minneapolis [cop]…sexually [assaulted] an unconscious woman with whom he was out drinking earlier that night…Thomas Robert Tichich…and the victim were with another woman who invited them to spend the night at her home…to avoid driving drunk…the victim passed out on a large living room couch.  The woman went to sleep in an upstairs bedroom and told Tichich to sleep on a smaller living room couch…[she] woke up later to find Tichich in her bed touching her arm…[so she] told Tichich to leave the room.  A while later, the woman, unable to sleep, went downstairs to find Tichich naked and standing over the victim sleeping on the large couch and attempting a sex act.  She took photographs using her cellphone, then kicked Tichich out of her house and called police…

Still a Child (#677) 

A rare victory against prohibitionists:

[Prohibitionists] were dealt a blow…in a federal court in Louisiana, with U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier siding with strippers between the ages of 18 and 20 in their dispute with a recent Louisiana lawthat prohibits anyone age 18 to 20 from dancing nude in Louisiana strip clubs.  The decision deals a major blow to what legislators [pretend is] an effort to shield young women from being exploited by  human traffickers that they [fantasize] recruit young women in clubs…The ruling appears to establish stripping as a constitutional right under the First Amendment, making Barbier not just a hero to strippers, but to Americans in general…

Send In the Clowns 

Back so soon?

Extra police patrolled West Mifflin, Pennsylvania over the weekend after officials received reports of two men with weapons, dressed as clowns, frightening a group of children…The search didn’t turn up any evidence…The children were playing hide-and-go-seek in the woods, when around 4:15 p.m. they [claimed] two men dressed like scary clowns and carrying weapons approached them…

The War Goes On 

The prohibitionist arseholes at the New York Times still refuse to understand how anti-sex crusades harm sex workers:

In the fight against child sex trafficking, shutting down an epicenter like Backpage was a major victory, but one against a relentless foe that quickly unfurled new tentacles…it…illustrated how difficult it is to stamp out the practice of selling children for sex…Eric Quan, a [vice pig]…with the San Jose Police Department, said there had been a conspicuous rise in street prostitution…

It’s interesting how often cops & reporters with “sex trafficking” fantasies are also apparently fans of hentai. Also note that though this reporter keeps drooling about “selling children for sex” the woman he interviewed for this tragedy porn is 18.

Cooties (#711)

Super-ally Frankie Mullin exposes cop bullshit:

“Pop-up brothels” full of trafficked women are sweeping the country, according to a spate of recent reports…The tale – valiant but kindly cops, the suggestion of women chained to radiators – with its trendy packaging in hipster terminology has been guzzled up by the press.  Basic fact-checking…is absent…in the last 12 months recorded, Devon and Cornwall police have made just one referral for sex trafficking to the National Referral Mechanism…and that was for an underage girl from the UK…Insp Dave Meredith…admitted…”We haven’t managed to locate any traffickers as a direct result of visiting pop-up brothels”…when I checked out Meredith’s claim – repeated by every news outlet which covered the story – that “the sex workers are the victims so we try to offer them help and signpost them to various agencies”, I hit a dead end…So…contrary to news reports: no Eastern European trafficking victims have been found, and “signposting to agencies” is, as yet, a hypothetical concept.  If the situation arose, cops would “google it”…

Spotlight (#715) 

It’s so good to see people who had a bad time in sex work attacking self-proclaimed savior Asstoon:

With tears brimming his eyes and a quiver in his voice, Ashton Kutcher testified…how he had recently seen a video of a 7-year-old girl in Cambodia being raped.  Search for his speech online, and shockingly, no one seems to have one word of criticism for the actor-turned-crusader…despite the fact that he…according to his own admission, is somehow getting ahold of and watching what is essentially child snuff porn — and then crying about it to the senate, where he’s praised for his compassion.  Unlike Kutcher, I am a trafficking survivor. I have also come to the sex industry at various points of my own choosing and have worked as an escort, adult film performer and street-based sex worker…What Kutcher represents…is exactly the problem with the global anti-trafficking movement today: paternalism and the trafficking savior complex…it has become abundantly clear to me that there might be — at most — one other trafficking survivor among potentially hundreds of people at [“anti-trafficking”] events.  This is precisely why Kutcher is problematic…

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