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Links #384

Seeing the gossamer threads underlying space-time helped me understand that “fun” is an illusion anyway.  –  Bryan Wassel

I don’t find most of these College Humor videos very funny, but this one made me giggle a few times.  The links above it were provided by Amy Alkon (“does”),  Wendy Lyon (“Utopia”), Mike Riggs (“laws”), Walter Olson (“layer”), Tim Cushing  (“nutritionism”), and Radley Balko (“understand”).

From the Archives

In the News (#789)

[How] can you treat something that doesn’t exist?  –  Dana Dovey

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Remember, cops: raping whores is OK; it’s paying us fairly that isn’t:

A [Tennessee cop]…has pleaded guilty in a sexual misconduct case…Ralph Cline, Jr…paid to have sex while on duty and inside his unmarked police vehicle…

The Public Eye 

It’s always heartening to see a sex worker run for office, especially when she wins:

She lost the support of her family at age 16…and…turned to sex work for survival.  But Diane…Rodríguez did not expect to make history years later as the first trans woman elected to Ecuador’s National Assembly.  “Being a public figure comes at a price,” [said] Rodríguez, who is now also a psychologist…she has recently received death threats as a legislator.  “But I see that cost is a sacrifice for younger generations so that they don’t have to suffer the same experiences that I have to suffer through now.”  Her experience of being discriminated against as a trans woman has motivated her on a lifelong journey from activism to politics…

Bread and Circuses 

As of last night, the site is still running normally, so I’m not sure what the feds are up to this time:

Eros-Guide’s call center was raided today in a seizure that’s likely to keep going through the night…the raid at company offices in Youngsville, N.C., was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which executed a warrant on alleged “cross-border illegal activity”…the search warrant is sealed in federal court…[but] no one has been arrested…

It’s possible that this is a way for the Gestapo to get info so they can establish a huge surveillance net on sex workers, or the first step in a pogrom of unprecedented scale, or simply the way to get information they think will help them get Swiss authorities to shut down Eros, which is domiciled & hosted in Switzerland and is therefore not subject to US law.  Only time will tell.

Welcome To Our World (#439)

Wanna ban a consensual activity?  Find a problem case to shill for you so you can pretend problems are common:

Commercial surrogacy…can be messy and complicated.  Backed by the anti-surrogacy group The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, [Jessica Allen]…tells…her extraordinary story…Not only were Mike and Max not identical — they had completely different DNA from one another.  Mike appeared to be an Asian child, and was Liu and her husband’s biological baby.  But Max, half-white and half African-American, belonged to me and my now-husband, Wardell Jasper…in an extremely rare medical incident called superfetation, we had gotten pregnant naturally, despite using condoms, after the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle during which Mr. and Mrs. Liu’s embryo was transferred into my uterus…Not once during the pregnancy did any of the medical staff provided by the agency say that the babies were in separate sacs.  As far as we were concerned, the transferred embryo had split in two and the twins were identical…Omega [the surrogacy agency] contacted me to say the Lius expected between $18,000 and $22,000 as compensation…a caseworker from the agency lined up parents to adopt him and “absorb” the money we owed the Lius…We spent $3,000 on an attorney, and there was a lot of strained negotiation between us, our lawyer and Omega.  It was an uphill battle, but the agency finally reduced the “fee” we owed the Lius to zero…

Stupor Bowl (#511)

“Video Vigilante” Brian Bates is no friend of sex workers, but he’s also hostile to “sex trafficking” mythology:

Once again the annual nationwide publicity stunt orchestrated by the FBI, called Operation Cross Country XI, made its way to Oklahoma…during the four-day sting, 15 female prostitutes and five “sex traffickers” were [arrested]…FBI [claims]…”the primary goal is…the recovery of children”…[but] not a single child was…rescued locally…The FBI also claims their goal is to “take traffickers off the street.”  However, history has proven that virtually all of the “traffickers” that are arrested end up being charged with misdemeanor crimes…The FBI has continuously labeled the women involved in prostitution as “victims”, yet every year they target those same victims…[and] charge…[them] with life altering felonies…

To Molest and Rape 

It’s good to see a rapist cop specifically designated as currently working instead of wrongly called a “former” cop:

A serving police officer has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.  Cheshire constable Ian Naude…was remanded in custody after…an incident reported on 3 November in Crewe…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#715) 

The War on Whores, like the War on Drugs, is as much a jobs program as it is a campaign to extend universal criminality:

Earlier this year, the Tribune’s “Sold Out” series examined how state policies…failed to help child sex-trafficking victims.  Since then, lawmakers set aside a budget increase of more than $500 million for the foster care system and the governor’s office approved new funds for trafficking prevention initiatives — including the state’s first-ever director of human trafficking and child exploitation…Kim Grabert…

You may recall that the “series” mentioned in the text was an exercise in BDSM wanking fantasies, including the claim that all duos include at least one underage girl and the bizarre idea that “pimps” have some kind of legal authority.

The Head of a Pin

Is that the author’s name, or a description of what he’s doing while typing this fantasy one-handed?

Nearly half of the victims of modern slavery in the UK are sex workers.  Ed Cumming hears “Hannah’s” harrowing tale…Hannah doesn’t know how long she was forced to work as a prostitute, being shuttled around the capital to meet men with strange accents…“Victims of this crime are relentlessly abused and repeatedly raped,” [pants politician] Kevin Hyland…With the help of the Salvation Army and Women’s Aid, she is rebuilding her life…

“Strange accents” sums up what this is really about, as does the fact that this story was given to the media by the Salvation Army, which has no compunction against making up lurid fantasies to promote its anti-sex agenda.

Dutch Threat (#763) 

A rare victory for sex workers against “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Window brothel operators almost got completely buried by the new Red Light District rules and regulations implemented by the city of Amsterdam.  “We had to inspect if the ladies were washing their sex-toys with the right disinfectant and if the perishable date of their condoms wasn’t lapsed.  It drove us crazy”.  The entrepreneurs went to court and…three (female) judges [agreed that the rules]…hurt…sex workers…Monique rents out three windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light District…[she] wasn’t allowed to leave the neighbourhood if the ladies were working according to the strict regulations.  “I had to be on the scene within 12 minutes…Visiting my old mom in Amsterdam Noord (North) or visiting a physiotherapist in between was out of the question.  Even a quick run to the supermarket for some groceries had me stressing, terrified that I would break the Red Light District rules and lose my permit”…

Signs (#766) 

“Signs of trafficking” idiocy spreads to Dutch pigs:

All community [cops] are to receive training in recognising the signs of human trafficking as part of the new Dutch government’s anti-[sex work] drive…[they] will learn how to look for signs of exploitation when investigating crimes…

The Mote and the Beam (#780) 

Bad laws disproportionately harm small businesses, just as they do poor and marginalized individuals:

A trade group representing giants of Internet business from Facebook to Microsoft has just endorsed a “compromise” version of…SESTA…The Internet Association doesn’t represent the Internet—it represents the few companies that profit the most off of Internet activity…Amazon and eBay would be able to absorb the increased legal risk under SESTA.  They would likely be able to afford the high-powered lawyers to survive the wave in lawsuits against them.  Small startups, including would-be competitors, would not.  It shouldn’t pass our attention that the Internet giants are now endorsing a bill that will make it much more difficult for newcomers ever to compete with them.  IA also doesn’t represent…the marginalized voices who’ll be silenced as platforms begin to over-rely on automated filters (filters that will doubtless be offered as a licensed service by large Internet companies)…It’s shameful that a small group of lobbyists with an agenda of censorship have presented themselves to lawmakers as the unanimous experts in sex trafficking.  It’s embarrassing that it’s worked so well…

The Prudish Giant (#783)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users.  Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.  Shadow contact information has been a known feature of Facebook for a few years now.  But most users remain unaware of its reach and power.  Because shadow-profile connections happen inside Facebook’s algorithmic black box, people can’t see how deep the data-mining of their lives truly is, until an uncanny recommendation pops up…Take a look at all the possible information associated with a contact on your phone.  Then consider the accumulated data your phone is carrying about various people, whether lifelong friends or passing acquaintances…If you agree to share your contacts, every piece of contact data you possess will go to Facebook, and the network will then use it to try to search for connections between everyone you know, no matter how slightly—and you won’t see it happen…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#784) 

It’s a shame that this is what it took to bring down the “sex addiction” scam:

This week Kevin Spacey reportedly checked into a sex addiction rehabilitation program in Arizona following a series of accusations that he sexually harassed several men and at least one minor…Spacey is the most recent celebrity to have checked into rehab following reports of sexual misconduct…Sex addiction has been turned down for classification as a mental health condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the official classification of mental health disorders in the US, on several occasions.  In addition, the American Association of Sexual Education Counselors and Therapists also released a statement…that…“sex addiction” or “porn addiction” should not be classified as mental health conditions…“It’s clear at this point that it [sex addiction] does not look like an addiction,” [said] Nicole Prause, a psychologist who studies human sexual behavior…the best predictor of being called a sex addict is either having a conservative religious background or getting caught cheating…

The Resistance

The best way I can think of to honor veterans is to stop making so goddamned many of them.  –  Maggie McNeill

99 years ago today, the armistice which ended the First World War – optimistically referred to by many at the time as “The War to End All Wars” – went into effect, and the occasion was thereafter celebrated as Armistice Day.  But because the idea of commemorating the end of a war doesn’t sit well with warmongering politicians in the world’s only remaining empire, it was eventually changed to “Veterans Day”.  However, as I wrote last year,

…designating the day as “Veterans Day” is, frankly, somewhat jingoistic and uncomfortably fascist.  As longtime readers know, I have nothing against military men; if anything, I have kind of a thing for them.  But respecting individuals isn’t at all the same as participating in the creepy mandatory obeisance we’ve seen growing over the past few decades, and dedicating a day to the end of a war is a far different thing from using it to glorify the machinery of war…Every year on this day, I’ve paid homage to the ancient and powerful relationship between warriors and whores, and I invite you to click on that link; the essay you’ll find contains more links to the earlier columns.  But given that after the end of the Cold War, the US government decided to instead devote itself to endless and mindless warfare against both its own people and those of foreign lands, I decided this year to make note of another bond between whores and military men:  our own government’s mad and evil campaign to destroy as many of our lives as possible for no reason whatsoever except the enrichment of the military/police-industrial complex and the self-aggrandizement of the evil sociopaths who declare themselves our rulers and believe they have the right to dispose of us as they will.

Though hipster progressives now like to refer to themselves as “The Resistance”, the truth is that they’re only upset because the orange-utang beat the animatronic harpy in the high-school popularity contest; they were perfectly content when “their” guy Obama was empire-building, setting new records for mass deportation, murdering children with flying war robots and using strips of the shredded Constitution to wipe his arse with.  And they’d have been ecstatic had Clinton been able to continue that, even had she done exactly what Trump is now doing (though in the “right” political way) because obviously murdered kids are happier when taking the last ferry ride if they were shipped down to the Styx by order of a woman; this is what extremely stupid people call “feminism”.  But in reality, it’s whores who are the real feminists and the real Resistance.  All authoritarians hate us, and all who hate us are authoritarians no matter what they want you to believe; there is no other valid term for someone who actually believes that government has both the power and the right to control women’s bodies, right down to criminalizing motives for sex that the Establishment disapproves of.  Well, I do not consent, and neither do other sex workers; we dare to continue to work and make our living in the face of disapproval from both religions and pearl-clutching housewives, and we defy the State which sends thugs to literally rape us in order to “teach us our place”.  Authoritarian regimes have always hated whores, and the US is no exception.  Hitler sent us to concentration camps; Mussolini confined us in psychiatric hospitals; Mao tried to brainwash us out of our harlotry; “Swedish model” regimes define women as moral imbeciles literally unable to resist the sight of money; and US politicians justify sending thug cops to “rescue” us (by raping, arresting and caging us) by public recitation of wild, disgusting wanking fantasies in which we’re all “children” or near-vegetables chained to beds by “pimps” with actual magic powers for repeated rape by every single adult male in the US every week.

And yet we resist, and carry on, and live and love and prosper.  And we and our trade will still be here long after both prohibitionism and authoritarianism exist only in history books, alongside wars fought for the aggrandizement and profit of “leaders” slavishly worshiped by people more concerned about their tribal affiliations than about the health, happiness and liberty of actual human beings.

Andrea Werhun is an author and performer based in Toronto.  She is currently a contributing writer for Playboy.com and has had her sex work experience featured by the New York Times, CBC, VICE and Hazlitt.  This is an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Modern Whore, which is available for pre-order at that link!

No matter what you call ‘em—clients, johns, philanderers, adulterous scumbags, your dad—the men who pay for sex have a bevy of legitimate reasons to procure the services of an erotic professional.  Maybe they’re lonely, stressed about work, or dissatisfied with life.  Perhaps they’re not getting what they want in the bedroom, not sure of what they want or are too afraid to ask.  Whatever it may be, these men are in desperate need of someone who can sexually alleviate their woes.

Take your travelling businessman, for instance.  No wife, no home, no children, he bounces around from airport to hotel to conference room to airport again, selling his wares on behalf of himself or his company.  Nothing caps an exhausting day of pitching the next best thing than a good, relaxing, lay-down-and-do-nothing fuck.  Then there are the men fresh out of long-term relationships—those vulnerable, hurting men in need of some healing love.  And whores, despite their relative anonymity and so-called “non-emotional” relationship to clients, do immense amounts of emotional labour for men with broken hearts.  Never discount the value of a little non-judgmental touch.  In addition to your travelling salesman and your broken-hearted boy, there’s always your regular, run-of-the-mill dork-a-zoid of any age who couldn’t make a move on a real girl if his internet connection depended on it.  The kind of man who trembles and shakes and breathes heavily and cums really fast and shoos you out the door as soon as the stressful ordeal is over.  In and out!

The lazy, impatient bachelor is my personal favourite:  good looking, mid-thirties to mid-fifties, single, immature, economically-minded, and very horny.  The lazy bachelor, in his many forms, has put it to me like this:  “Say I meet a woman at the bar I’d like to fuck.  I buy her a few drinks and, if I’m lucky, she gives me her number.  Then I go on a date with her, and of course I have to buy her dinner.  Even after all that, I’m still not guaranteed sex.  I don’t want to play games—I just want to fuck!  Hiring an escort is definitely cheaper in the long run.”  And there you have it.  Games aren’t fun if you’re not guaranteed a win.  Go for gold.  Go for the whore:  a guaranteed win.

The most common type of client of all is the married man.  Why?  Because being a good husband is the hardest job of all! 

My madam used to say, “I think we save marriages.  It’s safer for men to see an escort than it is to, say, have an affair with the secretary at the office.  There’s a lot less mess,” and thank goodness for that.  We wouldn’t want wives divorcing their husbands left and right for unearthing a little infidelity, would we?  Since the truth poses such a threat to the holy institution of marriage, let’s all do the acceptable thing and keep our adulterous predilections a secret.  Here’s a line I often heard from my married clients:  “This isn’t emotional cheating, you know.  I’m just paying you for a service.  It’s not like we’re having a passionate affair or anything.”  Uh huh, then why not tell your wife?  Crickets.  You know why you won’t tell your wife, married man?  Because the status quo serves you, not her, and you know it.  Having a wife, whether she’s at home minding the children or at work busting ass for that second income, is too good a deal to fuck up with a truth bomb like, “When I tell you I’m staying late at the office, I’m actually doing lines of coke with an escort in a motel room off the highway.”  Spare her the gory details.  What’s the harm if she doesn’t know?  So ladies, I pose this question to you in all earnestness:  what’s the point of getting married anymore?  What’s in it for us?  I have fucked so many self-serving, outwardly devoted, secretly philandering men in my time that you’ll have to excuse my disillusionment regarding institutionalized monogamy.  I know your husband is the exception.  I have happily accepted wads of cash from many, many exceptions.  Do hard-working, independent women truly need to marry a man?

Last, but not least: the differently abled.  These are men who deeply appreciate the loving touch and warmth of a sex worker.  I hadn’t seen many in my two years of working; in fact, only two: the first, a sweet young man with cerebral palsy, and the other a man we’ll call Paul.  During a particularly nasty cold in his thirties, Paul—a perfectly healthy, able-bodied, athletic man in his prime—woke up with a tingling sensation in his legs.  Tingling, the next day, became numbness, and numbness, over the weeks and months and years to follow, became full paralysis below the belt.  For someone whose life had been turned upside down by a mysterious and debilitating condition, Paul was an incredibly positive, kind, and resourceful individual.  He became a regular of mine with the agency and eventually offered to see me independently at the same rate.  Every week, I traveled an hour by subway to a distant station where he would pick me up in his minivan, fully tricked-out with all the knobs and gears that allowed him to drive without using his legs.  We took the highway to his suburban home, swiveling the driver’s seat and unfolding his wheelchair, unfurling the ramp from his vehicle to the garage floor, rolling to an elevator that took us into his house.  From there, we took another elevator to his bedroom.  Paul lived alone and was evidently quite self-sufficient.

Adjacent to his master bedroom was a spacious bathroom suite fitted with a jet stream bathtub.  He ran the water and began the ritual as I disrobed in the bedroom.  He too would disrobe, and when the water filled to a comfortable level, Paul would muscle his way with impressive upper-body strength into the tub, and I would follow, spooning against him.  Here we would soak in the warm water, lightly touching each other, relaxing, talking.  Feeling sufficiently prune-like, I would step out first, putting on the plush bathrobe he always provided, and help Paul exit the tub.  For the next half hour, we laid naked and clean on his bed wrapped in each other’s arms, kissing.  Paul would then wiggle his way down the bed and go head-over-heels into pussy town.  To say he was gifted at cunnilingus would be an understatement.  His legs may have been paralyzed but lord was that tongue limber!  Sometimes it was too much for me to handle, and he’d wiggle his way back up and we’d talk.  Paul used a catheter to piss and ate a steady diet of the same foods every day to regulate his shits because he couldn’t feel his genitals or his bowels.  Once, I played with his penis out of absent-minded habit and he revealed another escort had made him cum when he hadn’t realized he could.  I jerked him off to see what would happen.  Within minutes, Paul ejaculated—“Oh!” he said, “Look at it go!”  He couldn’t feel a thing.  “Still works though!”

Even though it took me an hour to get to Paul, an hour to be with him, and an hour to get home, the one-hour, all-in rate of $250 still seemed worth it to be in his company.  I once self-consciously breached the conversation of asking for a little more, considering the travel time.  He explained, with light despair, that he didn’t have any more money to offer me.  I immediately retracted and told him it was okay.  I saw Paul until the very end of my escorting career.  Besides the six types of sex work clients I’ve outlined, there are essentially only two types of people:  the kind and the unkind.  The reason a client hires a sex worker is inconsequential if that person is unkind.  And I can say, without a doubt, that Paul was one of the kindest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I’ve been with a wide variety of providers in my past and I’m now married to a wonderful woman, but I still feel the need to share thoughts and experiences (and nothing else) with someone who is extraordinarily open-minded and intelligent.  Might you be able to introduce me to someone else whom I could connect with? 

I’m interested in connecting with anybody willing to pay for my time, whether sex is involved or not; I have regular gents for whom sex is only a small part of their relationship with me.  However, I’m hearing that you’re not looking for a courtesan but a platonic friend in a relationship without a pragmatic element in either direction, yours or hers.  And if that is indeed the case, I’m afraid there is nothing I can do for you.  While I’m flattered that you think I have the kind of wisdom a matchmaker requires and puzzled that you think I could invest the time and effort to find a match for a stranger, there are entire dating & “friend finder” services dedicated to this kind of thing.  It’s just not something a lone person, even one with the talent and energy that I lack, can do for anyone outside of a small and tight-knit community.  I wish you good luck in whatever it is you’re searching for, though.

(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.)

In the News (#788)

Predicating [the] entire argument on [sex workers] being victims…[is] increasing victimization.  –  Kate D’Adamo

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

The claim that “child sex trafficking” makes more money than pharmaceuticals, food, tourism, insurance, electronics & others is so absurd it defies sanity:

Texas has ranked number two in the nation, behind California, in reported trafficking cases…Lisa…with Harvest House [has the fucking nerve to pretend she needs anonymity as sex workers do because of the criminalization she promotes]…Lisa [tells masturbatory fantasies about “pimps” abducting girls off the street] and [fantasizes]…“In seven years…You’re so diseased that they don’t need you anymore.  The life expectancy of a trafficked victim is seven to ten years…Child sex trafficking…is the number two money maker in the entire world”…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

[New York City] bartenders are now competing with the strippers…[by] wearing provocative clothing and doing a little shake…they’re distracting patrons from the actual strippers on stage who are much more athletic, more trained and who are doing the job which they were hired to do.  Furthermore, as people who rely on patrons spending money on them, men giving it to the bartenders, who are already being paid and tipped for their service, is taking money out of their pockets…the bartenders are often lighter skinned women who are either racially ambiguous and not Black.  Colorism has affected virtually every other industry, it only makes sense it would show up in the adult entertainment world as well…

So Close and Yet So Far

If you want to write an article supporting sex workers, is it so hard to fucking talk to one of us first so you don’t write stupid garbage?

Laws that prohibit prostitution should be declared unconstitutional…In 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a Texas law that made it a crime for consenting adults to engage in private, consensual…sexual activity…Lawrence recognized the importance of sexual activity as an essential part of liberty and explicitly rejected Texas’ argument that it could make a moral judgment that homosexual activity was wrong…This same reasoning explains why laws that prohibit prostitution are unconstitutional.  They, too, restrict what consenting adults do in their bedrooms…For some people, purchasing sex is their only way to engage in sexual activity…If prostitution were legal, it could be regulated.  There could be required health check-ups, protecting health for sellers and buyers.  Trafficking is an enormous problem…Other countries’ experience shows legalization is preferable…There are mandatory inspections…

If this dimwit had bothered to actually do some research he would’ve learned that NOBODY who has actually studied the issue wants legalization, which is just a form of criminalization that creates a two-tiered system because over 90% of sex workers refuse to be monitored like criminals, subjected to insulting “inspections” while amateurs run around spreading STIs, etc.

Uncharted Seas

Though it’s good to see more talk of legalizing polygamy, it’s sad that people are so conformist they feel they need to justify it with “feminism” instead of simply respecting people’s right to make their own choices:

…I am suggesting that polygyny — when a man has multiple wives — might be the answer as long as we see it through a feminist slant…We’re always hearing about a lack of marriageable men…the lack…isn’t just about well-employed college-educated men; it’s that…there may be fewer [“egalitarian”] men around than there are women wanting those kind of men…There are more than a few upsides to a polygamous arrangement that women enter into freely and willingly because it suits their needs…

Skin To Skin

There can never be too many articles on sex workers for the disabled:

…”people with disabilities…feel…really lonely and alienated, as though their sexuality doesn’t get to exist,” said Heather Jarvis of the Safe Harbour Outreach Project…some sex workers refuse to take clients with disabilities, because they…are afraid they’ll inadvertently hurt the client…[but in general] sex workers…mak[e a big difference] in the lives of clients with disabilities…a lot of it is non-judgmental communication…and…plain old companionship…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma is suing to stop the state’s courts from sending people to “an unpaid labor camp disguised as a rehabilitation center.”  The suit accuses the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Program (DARP) of federal labor violations and human trafficking…Participants…were told the program would be focused on counseling and addiction recovery.  “Instead, these plaintiffs were forced into a human trafficking scheme and remained under threat of prison sentences if they did not…provid[e] hundreds or thousands of hours of unpaid labor to…private corporations, doing such work as welding, plastic product manufacturing, and chicken processing”…any pay they earned from the companies went to DARP…they were fed one bologna sandwich and a Little Debbie cake for lunch and were often expected to make do on that for their entire 12-hour shift of manual labor; and that they were forced to sleep in bedbug-invested barracks and fed chicken from the plant that was unfit to sell…

New Excuse

Sometimes the War on Whores is the War on Drugs rather than its successor:

In Louisiana [last] week, the FBI helped arrest—and publicly ridicule—57 men who responded to fake (adult) prostitution ads.  Meanwhile in North Carolina, DHS has pitched in to help round-up people with small amounts of marijuana or cocaine on them.  Local media described the DHS efforts as a “human trafficking case.”  But the only offenses any suspects were arrested for were drug possession, driving with a revoked license, and parole violations—all state-level offenses, and mostly misdemeanors…no human-trafficking arrests, no children were found, and no victims of sex trafficking were rescued…

End Demand (#574)

It’s good to see articles critical of the “john school” scam appearing in trade publications:

…According to [Tennessee Assistant District Attorney Tammy] Meade, sex workers are women who lack control — women who are exploited by men — rather than women who make an informed, conscious choice to engage in the sex industry…John school is painted as a win-win for men and women alike…However…these programs, along with the narratives of victimization they perpetuate…harm women far more than they help.  The premise of john school and cracking down on “demand” is still driven by the idea that sex work needs to be policed in the first place, which creates barriers to safety and exacerbates stigma…and…there is no evidence to suggest that john schools actually decrease trafficking or prostitution.  Meanwhile, the classes fail to provide concrete resources — such as housing or access to childcare — and alternative job opportunities for the women they are [pre]tended to help…

Soap Opera (#628) 

The idea that Fresno, California, which isn’t on the way to anything else, could possibly be a “major hub” for any kind of business is so utterly stupid one wonders how even cops can believe it:

…Women and children are bought and sold every day in Fresno – online, in street corners, while at school.  They are raped, branded and beaten…Human trafficking casts a shadow on the central San Joaquin Valley, with thousands of victims both female and male, young and old, rich and poor, white, black, Hispanic, Asian.  It’s an industry that thrives on targeting your children.  And…it’s getting worse…High poverty and runaway rates contribute to the problem, as does Fresno’s central location between human trafficking hubs in the Bay Area, Southern California and Las Vegas…

Man, I can practically hear this guy’s fapping to his nasty fantasy; it’s really quite disgusting.

A Procrustean Bed (#651)

The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of politicians:

…RISE Court, which stands for Resiliency Is Strength and Empowerment…participa[nts] are expected to make their first appearances before San Diego Superior Court Judge Carolyn Caietti…“A lot of kids have this horrible, nightmarish existence, and it’s going to take a lot [of punitive state action] to get them back so they’re going to feel [docile & obedient]” said Robert Trentacosta, presiding judge for the Juvenile Court…The special court is the county’s latest weapon against human trafficking…The court is modeled after a mental health court already in operation…as well as got input [sic] from [prohibitionists]…Trentacosta [masturbated furtively while fantasizing that]…“girls…are so fearful of their pimp [we have to brainwash them]”…[imprisonment] doesn’t necessarily [end] once they turn 18 [and could be indefinite]…

Too Close To Home (#701) 

Seattle’s rapist-in-chief has gone from slandering his victims as mentally ill to actually suing them:

King County Sheriff John Urquhart has filed a defamation lawsuit after a former deputy came forward with [a report] that Urquhart sexually assaulted him in 2014 outside of a Renton restaurant.  Brian Barnes…[reported that] Urquhart touched his crotch outside of the Yankee Grill after the two met for dinner…[local media claimed] Barnes [has]…a long history of…filing complaints and grievances against his superiors…Urquhart…[whose job is to terrorize the citizenry, un-ironically bloviated that] “Barnes has been terrorizing people…he doesn’t like for far too long.  It’s time for Barnes to be held responsible for his actions”…

Capricious Lusts (#720)

Another study shows what’s already been shown over & over again:

A new paper in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy by Bisschop, Kastoryano, and van der Klaauw looks at the opening and closing of…tippelzones…in 25 Dutch cities.  “Our empirical results show that opening a tippelzone reduces sexual abuse and rape…by a 30–40 percent reduction in the first two years after opening the tippelzone”…Cunningham and Shah studied decriminalization of indoor prostitution in Rhode Island and found very similar results…In addition a working paper by Riccardo Ciacci and María Micaela Sviatschi studies prostitution in New York and also finds that prostitution significantly reduces sex crimes such as rape…

Between the Lines (#784)

It’s mildly amusing to watch a self-declared “sex trafficking expert” fail to comprehend that the reason the conviction rate for “pimps” is so low is that the FBI & cops are mostly just making up lies about sex workers and our friends, associates and partners:

In the latest nationwide human trafficking sting known as Operation Cross Country, the Federal Bureau of Investigation [labeled] 120 [people as] child sex traffickers and [arrested or abducted] 84 [legal minors]…behind the headlines, the reality is much different than what the public is led to believe….[people] arrested [as] human traffickers are rarely convicted for these crimes.  Charges are often dropped [for lack of evidence] or offenders accept plea bargains…one [so-called]…rescue…victim…was placed in a juvenile detention center, where she was sodomized by two inmates with a toothpaste tube.  She was later held in detention as a material witness until she gave her testimony at trial.  Therapy was not provided because “she didn’t avail herself”…Stories of arrests are quickly shared with the media, leading [self-professed “experts”]…to…be[lieve]…in…a…human trafficking scourge…

Diary #384

When one is down and feeling the weight of the world on one’s shoulders, it’s always such a wonderful thing to be reminded that one is loved, admired, cared about or otherwise has a positive effect on the lives of others.  Gift-giving occasions like birthdays are really good in this way; it’s not so much the gift itself that does the trick (though a lot of those are nice too!), but rather the thought that someone took time out of their day to select, purchase and/or prepare that gift.  It’s a tangible way of saying, “I’m thinking of you” or “You mean a lot to me.”  For my birthday last week, Lorelei prepared me a lovely spread of food (I asked her for a dinnertime version of trick or treat and she delivered!) and we took a little break from Doctor Who to watch three of my favorite science fiction/horror films, the Professor Quatermass series (the third of which I wrote on almost four years ago).  One of my gentlemen gave me some beautiful snake earrings, a new butter dish I’ve wanted for a while and the DVDs of the ’80s TV series Monsters; also in the monstrous vein, reader Ivan Dragomiloff gave the the DVDs for the Groovy Ghoulies show from my childhood.  And because I love cartoons, two other readers (Jeremy Dunn and a gent who prefers to be anonymous) gave me discs I didn’t yet have of classic Warner Brothers cartoons.  Besides all this, I got a larger number of cash donations than usual and a new subscriber (for which I’m always grateful).  So thank you, all of you; I know I don’t always express it clearly or loudly enough, but it always means more to me than I can possibly explain.