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Safer Alternatives

Maggie, where are you advertising these days?

As I wrote a few months ago, I plan to soon eliminate formal escort advertising; I have a comfortable number of regular clients and I get a lot of business from Twitter, this blog, my videos and books, etc.  But I haven’t quite reached that point yet, and I dropped Eros a few months ago because the flood of idiocy from both Eros management and unschooled would-be clients had become just too much for me to deal with.  Plus there’s this passage in their “Advertiser agreement”:

…Advertiser fully and knowingly expressly consents to the Company’s receipt and handling of…Business Data…notwithstanding when or under what agreement it was provided to the Company…Company has Advertiser’s express permission (without any additional consent) to use and maintain the Business Data however it sees fit, and provide any or all of it to any law enforcement authority, or in response to subpoena or other administrative, regulatory, or legal process or obligation including, without limitation, to a third party…the Company will not be responsible or liable in any way to the Advertiser for [this]…

Which, given what seems increasingly clear about both the company’s relationship to swine and recent US government statements about Eros, feels far beyond the ordinary indemnification boilerplate; accordingly, I’m advising all escorts who can afford to risk a temporary drop in business to desert Eros immediately if not sooner.  I think those of us who are financially-stable enough to lead the way to currently-less-frequented sites such as Slixa, Tryst and Have We Met? are ethically bound to do so now, before the government intentionally destroys Eros and leaves tens of millions of our sisters worldwide stranded as they were when Backpage was destroyed.  I myself am advertising on Slixa and Tryst, and plan to add Have We Met? soon.  As the number of us advertising on those sites increases, more clients will follow us there, so that when the inevitable disaster happens those sites will be popular enough with the gents to provide a comfortable income for those fleeing from the doomed Eros.

(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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I understand why professionals fake orgasm, but why do women in committed relationships do it?  Isn’t that kind of counterproductive?  Wouldn’t it be better to be truthful and tell the partner what would get them off?

Sometimes I wish the myth that men don’t give a shit whether their partners climax or not were true.  Maybe it was at some time in the past, but in the present day most men I’ve been with (and that’s a very large number, as you can probably guess) care very much about it.  Now, that may be because many men feel they have “failed” at sex if they can’t get a woman to climax, due to copious messaging that men are “selfish” or incompetent or both in that department.  In other words, for some (many? most?) men it may not be about whether a woman is actually enjoying the experience, but rather about coddling his insecurities (such as worrying that she’ll run off with some other dude who can “do it better” or whatever); in other words, for these men (however common or rare they may be) a woman not orgasming during sex may poke the same emotional vulnerabilities as having a penis he believes (correctly or otherwise) is “too small”.  However, even men who are genuinely concerned for their partner’s satisfaction for reasons that couldn’t be called “selfish” without considerable logical contortion, generally labor under the delusion (cultivated by popular media) that most women are able to climax dependably if only their partner does everything “right”, as though a woman’s body were a video game which spits out the prize called “orgasm” once the player reaches a high enough total of points.  I once explained it this way:

The competitive, result-oriented male mind sees female orgasm as the target, the goal, the finish line of the “game” of sex, so his sexual pleasure is greatly enhanced if he can “score” it.  However…it isn’t that simple.  For many women orgasm is more like hunting than it is like football; it’s not just a matter of aiming a shot with proper force and accuracy into a static area, but rather of hitting a moving target which may or may not elect to show itself on that occasion…But…the average man…just can’t comprehend that the right combination of moves and techniques could through no fault of his own somehow fail to achieve what it was intended to achieve…

Because of this, men will annoyingly delay their own climax or even pepper a woman with questions about what they “did wrong”; a fake therefore acts as permission to the man to orgasm himself (rather than forcing his partner to endure tens of minutes of pistoning because he thinks that’s what women want and won’t listen if told otherwise), and fends off pointless questions and the need to perform emotional labor by explaining that it isn’t his fault and he’s not a caricature.  But before my lesbian readers get too smug (as so many do every time some report says lesbians climax more frequently than straight women do):  female partners can be just as annoying for women like me who A) simply aren’t very orgasmic; and B) dislike whatever it is that the female partner wants to do to her (often cunnilingus).  In other words, a lot (though by no means all) of fake orgasms (outside of work) are motivated by a desire to spare the partner’s feelings and circumvent the common but erroneous perception that a woman not orgasming is always due to some failure on the part of her partner, when often that may have little or nothing to do with it.
(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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I think regular readers already understand my views on government, and I don’t believe anyone who has read more than a few scattered columns would be so foolish as to attempt to get me to do something by vomiting “It’s the law!” all over my mailbox.  Alas, not everyone is a regular reader of this blog, and many who aren’t are such hopeless moral imbeciles that they truly believe some agreement made between fascists whom I neither know nor respect establishes some kind of “legitimate” authority over me that I’m bound to obey, even if it runs contrary to my own moral precepts.  And so three times already this year I’ve been emailed by people requesting, arguing for or even demanding the censorship of their names from some news item on this blog, due to the European Union’s imaginary “right to be forgotten“.  One of these individuals was such a complete arsehole, removing his name would’ve constituted collaboration with evil; one I had no opinion about, and the most recent I was actually sympathetic to.  But when I cover a news story, I already make a decision whether the names should be shared or not, and “it’s the law” is, if anything, an argument against complying with a demand for censorship.  But it’s more than just that; years ago in “A Look at the Works” I wrote…

…I take an extremely dim view of websites who shove posts down the memory hole just because some readers didn’t like them; I have the philosophy that “you can’t unring a bell”, so once a post is up I will not remove it no matter who finds it offensive.  Besides the ethical problem that would create, removing the index entries and hyperlinks would be like pulling one gear out of a clock…and if you think I’m going to leave an ugly and conspicuous hole in a four-year-long perfect record just because it hurt your feelings, I respectfully suggest you reconsider your place in the universe

Since then I’ve made exactly one exception to that rule (about which the less said, the better) at the request of a person I love very much, because for me loyalty trumps everything else.  But if you aren’t such a person I suggest you reread the above block quote while remembering that “four-year-long perfect record” has since grown to ten, then ask yourself whether you really think I’ll make an exception for you because some especially-pompous politicians a third of the way around the planet ordered me to.

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Why are you trying to avoid talking about Jeffrey Epstein?

What would you have me say?  Perhaps you missed “Overripe“, in which I wrote…

…when a powerful, wealthy, well-connected person is accused of a crime (especially a complex one), the result is invariably dueling volcanos of accusation & defense vomiting megatons of obfuscation into the atmosphere.  Moreover, when the crime “just happens” to fit into a moral panic in full eruption, the result is a firestorm that makes it very difficult to separate truth, lies, prevarications, opportunism, excuse-making, police-statery, and outright bullshit from one another…

Epstein, like many men, was attracted to women younger than the law allowed him to have.  And unlike most men, he had the means to get what he wanted and no moral compunctions against it.  Do you want my thoughts on why the government suddenly revisited the case a decade after it was over, even though Liz Brown’s analysis (synopsized and linked in the above-referenced column) covered it better than I could?  Perhaps you want me to explain the obvious, why a well-connected billionaire who hobnobbed with at least two US presidents and who-knows-how-many other powerful people, got a slap on the wrist for crimes a poor man would’ve been crucified for?  It’s possible you might want me to titillate you with pointless and lurid speculation about whether Bill Clinton or Donald Trump or whoever shared in Epstein’s predilections, in which case I would point you to my “Elephant in the Parlor” tag, tell you that I don’t write porn, and remind you that even if I did I wouldn’t do it for free.  Or maybe you’re asking me to virtue-signal about age of consent laws and infantilize young women, pretending that they are equivalent to six-year-olds because they haven’t yet reached Magic 18 and shouted “Shazam!”?  If so, you’re definitely barking up the wrong tree.  Of course, you could be asking for my speculation on whether Epstein really killed himself or was “suicided”; if that’s it I would observe that while his “friends” had both the means and the motivation to silence him, he also had extremely good reason to spare himself the ordeal and show-trial to come, and the US prison system has a long history of letting people die in cages, sometimes at the hands of sadistic cretins and sometimes by monumental incompetence.  At the end of the day, the one person who could’ve answered all of these questions is dead, and everyone else who could answer any of them is highly motivated to keep his mouth shut.  So even if you’re just dying to know the answers, I’m afraid you’re going to have to learn to live with disappointment.

(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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As a sex-positive professional offering accounting, financial planning, business services or the like, what is the best way to communicate with and obtain SW clients?  I’m a regular client myself and I’m in the process of building a website, but how can I attract sex workers to that site?

Well, I’m going to be honest with you:  providing professional services like accounting for sex workers when you’re male is an uphill climb.  Unfortunately, too many professional guys will try to turn a sex worker client into a trade situation when that isn’t what she wants, or in some cases even use the info for soft extortion; even when they don’t do that they sometimes make pervy comments & creepy innuendoes, so a lot of sex workers are understandably wary.  I think the best way to begin would be to start a Twitter account with your business name (make sure it’s clear what kind of services you offer) and put the link to your website in the bio.  Then follow as many sex workers as possible and keep retweeting a lot of sex-work-positive stuff from them; eventually a few sex workers are bound to approach you, and you can be sure to give great and discreet service and avoid the no-go behaviors I mentioned above.  Once you have some satisfied customers, they will undoubtedly recommend you to their friends, and then you’ll be on your way; it’s getting your foot in the door in the first place that’s the tricky part.

(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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I recently heard you speak, but was unclear on your point that the criminalization of prostitution suppresses the sexuality of women in general, not just the sexuality of sex workers.  Could you please make this connection clearer?

The criminalization of sex work is nothing less than the criminalization of thought.  Sex outside of committed relationships, even with total strangers, is perfectly legal for motives such as fun, excitement, relief of boredom, experimentation, gratitude, friendship or whatever; it’s only when the woman has a “bad” motive, ie profit, that the act becomes illegal.  Criminalization of sex work therefore gives cops the “right” to guess what a woman’s motive for sex might be, and if they decide (correctly or incorrectly, with or without proof) that her motive is a pragmatic one, to brutalize, rob, abduct and cage her, and in most places even to rape her to “collect evidence”.  Prostitution laws therefore suppress all women’s sexuality, because women who dare to be sexual outside of committed relationships, especially women of color, are always in danger of cops deciding to harass or violate them under the premise of “investigating the crime of prostitution”.  And in the aftermath of FOSTA, we are even beginning to see an erosion of women’s right to go unescorted in a public place without being discriminated against or even accused of “prostitution” or being a “sex trafficking victim”.

(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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Last week, I mentioned that I had done a lecture at the University of Michigan via video link.  Unfortunately, our connection was poor, so I had to keep restating points that were lost when the signal dropped; this ate up the time we had for questions, so I asked the teacher to collect student questions and I would answer them via email.  Most of the questions were ones I’ve answered in other places, and though that’s also mostly true of this one, I don’t recall ever directly answering it in one go:  How does violence against women change with different regulatory regimes?

When the demand for anything is inflexible, as in the case of sex and drugs, prohibition does nothing to curtail that demand; what happens instead is a black market develops to supply the commodity.  And because black markets are illegal, there is no way for those involved in them to call upon courts, lawyers, etc to settle trade disputes.  That means violence, and such markets also tend to draw people who aren’t afraid of breaking the law (which of course includes career criminals).  Alcohol prohibition is a fine example: in the 1920s, if one wanted some booze one had to deal directly or indirectly with bootleggers or smugglers, and turf wars became very bloody indeed.  But after Prohibition ended in December 1933, that all ended practically overnight; when was the last time you heard of a turf war between bars or liquor stores?  Similarly, sex workers who are raped, robbed, or otherwise harmed by violent men cannot go to the police at all under criminalization because they will be arrested for prostitution.  Under most forms of legalization they usually don’t dare, because even though selling sex isn’t illegal the cops may spy on them afterward to catch them in some prohibited behavior such as working together for safety or having dependents.  That’s also true under the Swedish model, and in addition the cops use sex workers as non-consenting bait to catch clients; that in itself increases violence against street workers in particular because the clients are afraid of busy, well-lit areas so they need to move to darker, quieter ones.  All these factors also draw rapists, robbers and serial killers, because they know it’s less likely they will be caught if they prey upon women the law defines as “criminals”.  Only under decriminalization, in which sex work is treated as work, are sex workers free to take whatever precautions they feel necessary without violating some law, and can call on the police if they wish (though I personally advise against that course of action).

(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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