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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

In raids…police and media objectify women in order to publicise state action.  –  Annie Hill

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Enjoy the rest of your life on the “sex offender” registry, “officer”:

Charles County [Maryland] Sheriff’s Deputy Alexander C. Sullivan…has been charged federally with possession of child pornography…the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received four [snitches] from a company that provides cloud security concerning suspected child pornography being uploaded to a specific telephone number in October and November…A [cop] from the Charles County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search on the telephone number and…recognized Sullivan’s name…A state search warrant for Sullivan and his telephone was executed in Charles County on November 17…[finding] more than 200 images and five videos containing child pornography…If convicted, Sullivan faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison…

Wise Investment

Much more of this, please:

…three suburban teenagers are suing six Detroit police officers over accusations of arresting and mistreating them during a summer prostitution sting that ended with the teens getting dropped off in an unfamiliar area of the city and ordered to walk home to Dearborn…the [pigs] drove the boys through neighborhoods at “reckless speeds” without activating emergency lights or sirens; impounded their car and said it would cost “thousands of dollars” to get it back; took a photo of one of the handcuffed boys and broadcast it on the Internet using the Snapchat app, and laughed and joked about the arrest…All of this…because the…teens were trying to flag down a relative and stop him from approaching a [lying pig pretending to be a sex worker]…The teens were charged with interfering with police activity, but the charges were later dismissed…

Surplus Women 

The Daily News is so dedicated to its sleazy language, it won’t even skip it when reporting the brutal murder of a young woman:

A Long Island woman hired for sex via Craigslist was bludgeoned to death with a hammer when her unhinged client didn’t want to pay…At some point during the carnal quid-pro-quo, an argument over compensation led [Raphael] Oyague to attack the victim…Two delivery workers found the woman’s battered body in the weeds behind Oyague’s apartment building [the next day]…Detectives later found a trail of blood leading from the body to the vicinity of Oyague’s back door…

The Shape of the Spoon

Even if the mother is angry at what she obviously sees as interference in her family, does she actually believe suing her own offspring will result in some positive outcome for their relationship, especially given that the most she could accomplish is delaying the transition by a few months (until the magical Moment of Shazam)?

A Minnesota mother is suing her teenage child for transitioning from male to female without her permission.  Anmarie Calgaro is also suing the 17-year-old’s doctors and public health and school officials…Calgaro says the St. Louis County school district, where the teen is a student, has taken away her parental rights and refused to release records to her.  The lawsuit includes a copy of a letter of emancipation the teen obtained from a lawyer, but notes that the letter doesn’t constitute a court order.  Calgaro is asking the court to halt all medical services…

This kind of nonsense will continue until the law recognizes “teenage child” as an oxymoron.

Imaginary Evils

Huge police operations have never found more than a single-digit number of “sex trafficking” cases in the UK:

On Sept. 30, 2005, UK West Midlands police raided a massage parlour called Cuddles…”As we anticipated that there would be a lot of half-dressed ladies…25 female [cops] went in…first, to ensure that the women were decent before the male officers went in”…[bragged  Inspector Mark] Nevitt…[of course] male [cops] had already seen “half-dressed ladies” when they entered Cuddles posing as clients.  The difference on this day was that police had invited the media to record the rescue of “sex slaves”…[so] millions of people in Britain and beyond would view these women via media coverage…Within days, police [admitted] they had not discovered victims of trafficking, but women engaging in sex work…Although police raids operate on the premise that they make the invisible visible – exposing the hidden world of trafficking – the[y actually render]…the visible invisible.  That is, the raid hides the repression of sex workers in plain sight by framing it as the rescue of “sex slaves”.  Raids thus appear to produce happy endings…but…cloak…rights violations against sex workers…

Sex Rays

Our descendants will be confused about why we thought this sort of thing was noteworthy:

Cheetah Gentlemen’s Club in [Florida] has again partnered with Rodriguez Charities to host their annual 1,000 Free Turkeys event to help families in need this Thanksgiving holiday…The free birds are limited to one per family on a first come, first served basis…

Traffic Jam (#347)

Look for similar headlines 22 years from now about people railroaded on “sex trafficking” charges:

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals…ruled in favor the “San Antonio Four”…who have fought to clear their names after being convicted…in 1994 of sexually assaulting Ramirez’s young nieces…Seven of the nine judges heard the case.  All agreed that the women should get a new trial, and five said the women are actually innocent, a move that paves the way for them to seek state compensation for their imprisonment…Their case was the subject of a documentarySouthwest of SalemThe women…said the toughest part of prison was serving time in solitary for refusing to take part in the sex offender program…attending was a condition for early parole, but it required inmates to admit deviant behavior, which they couldn’t do…

The Widening Gyre (#546)

The New York Times piously decries the harm caused to dozens of “real people” by “fake news sites” spreading exaggerated lies about “sex trafficking”, while ignoring the damage to millions of real people caused by its OWN spreading of exaggerated lies on the exact same topic:

Days before the presidential election, James Alefantis, owner of a…pizza restaurant called Comet Ping Pong, noticed an unusual spike in the number of his Instagram followers.  Within hours, menacing messages like “we’re on to you” began appearing in his…feed.  In the ensuing days, hundreds of death threats…started arriving via texts, Facebook and Twitter.  All of them alleged…that Comet Ping Pong was the home base of a child abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton…Alefantis discovered…dozens of made-up articles about Mrs. Clinton kidnapping, molesting and trafficking children in the restaurant’s back rooms.  The articles appeared on Facebook and on websites such as The New Nationalist and The Vigilant Citizen, with one headline blaring: “Pizzagate: How 4Chan Uncovered the Sick World of Washington’s Occult Elite”…Alefantis…and his 40 employees had unwittingly become real people caught in the middle of a storm of fake news…

Dysphemisms Galore (#577) 

Because nobody would care about a headline reading, “Co-workers mind woman’s children while she works”:

Sixteen people were arrested after a prostitution ring came to Knoxville [Tennessee.  Pigs]…discovered that one of the women had two…young children, a one-year-old and a three-year-old, [who] were found returning to a hotel with two non-related men.  The children [were abducted from their mother and given to]…the Department of Children’s Services…

To Molest and Rape 

Because “improper sexual activity” sounds so much nicer than “rape with a club”:

Investigators have arrested a Hidalgo County jailer accused of [raping] an inmate with a baton…At about 7 a.m. on Nov. 1, [the victim] was sleeping on a bench…Jailers attempted to wake [him] so they could fingerprint and photograph him…A jailer who witnessed the incident filed a sworn statement “confirming that he observed…Michael Hinojosa push his ASP Baton into [the victim’s] anus…at least four to five times”…Several jailers confirmed the [report]…

I’m really pleased to see pigs turning on one another; they’ve begun to realize that surveillance works against their lies.

Opting Out (#639)

Only three years from the time I predicted this to actual implementation:

Web users in the UK will be banned from accessing websites portraying a range of non-conventional sexual acts, under a little discussed clause…of the digital economy bill, [which] would force internet service providers to block sites hosting content that would not be certified for commercial DVD sale by the British Board of Film Classification…It is contained within provisions…designed to enforce strict age verification checks to stop [legal minors] accessing adult websites…many mainstream adult websites would have to render whole sections inaccessible to UK audiences…despite the acts shown being legal for consenting over-16s to perform and for adults in almost all other liberal countries to film, distribute and watch…The censorship regime has led to bizarre understandings between the producers and regulators…[such as] the “four-finger rule”, which limits the number of digits that can be inserted into an orifice…

British readers: here you go.

Too Close To Home (#672)

Note that this reporter, who resisted the truth when Liz Brown called it to her attention, has now dropped all talk of “sex trafficking” and “slaves” from her reporting on the matter:

Two men arrested in the sex-solicitation bust…in January were sentenced…to 240 hours of community service, a [propaganda program]…and fines…Another man connected to the case…was sentenced…to 60 days in jail, 12 months probation, community service and…the same [propaganda sessions].  They were arrested along with more than a dozen others for…discuss[ing consensual adult sex]…Several court cases related to the bust are ongoing…

Wise Investment (#673)

A better memorial to this woman would be eradicating the horrible laws she fought so hard against:

Hamburg recently announced that it would name one of its streets after a famous German activist who was once a prostitute.  Domenica Anita Niehoff, who passed away in February 2009 due to a lung disease, was a fierce advocate for the rights of sex workers…and made efforts in appearing on television shows in order to re-sculpt social attitudes towards sex and prostitution.  She also worked towards helping [drug-addicted sex workers]…Niehoff gradually began starring in feature films like Desperado City (1981) and Messalina – Kaiserin und Hure (1977) and became an increasingly known figure in mainstream conversations…she was laid to rest in the Garden of Women at the Ohlsdorf Cemetery…among honoured women (many of whom died opposing the Nazi regime)…

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I don’t trust the value system of somebody else…because my life isn’t their life.  –  Nadia Yasmeen

One Size Fits All

Finally, a US court finds something it isn’t willing to call “trafficking”:

…[Milwaukee] prosecutors charged [Kevin] Long…with child trafficking because he admitted that he paid a 16-year-old Milwaukee boy to lick or kiss his feet, and offered to pay that boy’s 17-year-old friend to do the same.  That boy said he wasn’t interested…[so] Long apologized…took the 17-year-old to the mall and bought him shoes…In his home, police found materials referencing foot fetish websites and a journal of Long’s prior encounters…Long’s attorney, Ray Dall’Osto…[argued] there was no [vanilla] sexual touching, no exposure or even discussion of genitals…Dall’Osto mounted a full-on constitutional attack on the child trafficking law, calling it vague and overbroad…Long wound up pleading guilty to reduced charges…pandering and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child, all misdemeanors…Judge Jeffrey Wagner…stayed Long’s registration as a sex offender until after [a forthcoming] review…

It Looks Good On Paper

If you’re inclined to view this as a positive development, read more carefully; it’s justified by, and would reinforce, the dogma that sex workers are pathetic victims who need to be treated as wards of the state.  It’s also another weapon prosecutors can use to coerce sex workers into “cooperating” with police to betray their clients and other sex workers, and note the “escort registration” provision:

It’s illegal to publish official post-arrest photographs of people accused of prostitution, under an Alabama law that went into effect Aug. 1…press advocates say it’s probably unconstitutional…[sponsor] Jack Williams…has been pushing for years for changes to the state’s prostitution laws, arguing that prostitutes themselves are in most cases victims of human trafficking…Williams’ bill, the Alabama Human Trafficking Safe Harbor Act, allows people arrested for prostitution to be held for 72 hours, with a hearing to assess their financial situation, mental health and other issues within 48 hours — with an eye toward [forcing] the alleged prostitute…through a…diversion program…The law also requires “escort services of companionship” to register with the Alabama secretary of state’s office…[which threatened] to report [unregistered escorts to the pigs]…

Where Are the Protests? 

Only “A few critics call it a form of human trafficking.”  Because there’s no sex and the traffickers are government actors and clergymen:

Percida Ramos was losing her son to heroin…[A lying pig told her about] Kensington, where ministers run resort-like, anti-addiction estates where the…demons are chased from young people’s brains as they ride horses, swim in blue pools, and play day and night on basketball courts…Her son would even have a job within five months, she was promised…All Ramos…had to do was get [her son] to Philadelphia and wire $150 to an address on North Front Street…What [Kelvin Aldarondo] found was far different from what he and his mother were promised…a grim, three-story building under the El with around 20 other men sleeping on bunk beds in four bedrooms and sharing three bathrooms…Since the late 1990s, pastors, police, and mayors in Puerto Rico have been sending hundreds of heroin addicts, many of them HIV-positive, to Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and other cities.  The officials work with mainland ministers, some of whom travel from Philadelphia to the island to recruit addicts, offering drug treatment based on abstinence and prayer.  [The practice is known as Air Bridge]…and…[it] has increased the numbers of homeless and HIV-positive people in the city, torn apart families, and confounded advocates…

A Whore in Church 

Tits & Sass presents a nice look at the religious beliefs of sex workers:

Many people think of whores as being as far from God as possible.  We are seen as “fallen women,” people whose moral deficiency has put them at odds with God.  When God, morality, and religion are discussed in tandem with sex work, these conversations often promote religious dogma which serves to justify the marginalization of sex workers. Sex workers are rarely heard from on their own relationships with religion or spirituality, even though we have roots in religious and spiritual life as far back as Biblical times…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

SWOP’s annual fundraiser is going on right now!  Many of you have asked me how you can support sex worker rights; well, this is an excellent way, and your donations are tax-deductible!  So please don’t hesitate; donate today!swop-fundraiser

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

Brave hero cops save The Children!TM from the menace of desperately-needy people, both in Ohio: “…Crystal D. Hotlosz…told [a lying pig] she would provide a sex act for $60 and nachos…She was arrested, and charged for solicitation and criminal tools…” and in Florida: “Eight homeless prostitutes, one homeless 68-year-old pimp and a hooker with an address were among those arrested in the most recent prostitution sting…[a lying pig] hunting for streetwalkers asked some of the women if they were cops and even encouraged one of the suspects to grab his genitals…”  Judging by her language, sleazebag “reporter” Lyda Longa thinks she’s clever; I wonder how she’d feel if a pig came to her place of work and tricked her into doing something so he could arrest her?  N.B: in Ohio, “criminal tools” means condoms and/or a cell phone.

Banishment

Because laws are more important than people:

In Florida, a wheelchair-bound man with end-stage Alzheimer’s must move out of the hospice where he’s dying, because he is a registered sex offender and the hospice is too close to a preschool…Jack Ehrhart…was convicted of a sex offense about 30 years ago, when he was a doctor.  Several patients accused him of touching them sexually during their gynecological exams—with a nurse present.  He now faces arrest unless he gets…out of the Heartland Hospice…Ehrhart’s wife is arguing that the residency restrictions apply only to people who have deliberately chosen to live where they live…her husband’s condition means he not only had no say in where he’s living, he has no idea where he is now.  Still, Heartland is trying to ship him out, but having a hard time, because it can’t find other hospices that will take him.  Meanwhile, Ehrhart’s attorney is trying to get him off the sex offender registry, arguing that Florida allows some former offenders to be removed from the list after being on it 25 years…

What kind of warped mind thinks this is OK?

My Body, My Choice (#319)

A rare decision in favor of self-ownership:

The 69-pound woman has battled anorexia for the majority of her life…after spending nearly two years in a New Jersey psychiatric hospital, the 29-year-old woman with a bone density of a 92-year-old told a court that she refused to eat any food, and wished to enter palliative care instead…A Superior Court judge ruled…that she cannot be fed against her will…and…has the mental capacity to choose not to accept nutrition.  The state…argued the woman is mentally ill due to depression, and that by approving the withdrawal of force-feeding the court would essentially be allowing her passive suicide…Palliative care would simply provide drugs to numb her pain and ease her…death…Her treating psychiatrist, Joshua Braun, said force feeding A.G. would be “cruel and torturous at this point,” because restraining her could cause her delicate bones to break…

Backwards Into the Future (#323)

Note that this kind of abuse is also typical in the US:

Namibian authorities stand accused of failing to meet multiple obligations under the Convention Against Torture…in relation to addressing severe abuse suffered by Namibian sex workers at the hands of authorities and the community…a group of local and international NGOs working with sex workers detailed an extensive list of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of sex workers in Namibia…One of the recommendations contained in the report is to decriminalise sex work in Namibia in order to effectively deal with the abuse and to establish legal procedures to investigate allegations of torture and provide victims with redress…criminalisation…has given free rein to police officers, health workers and clients and the community at large to abuse sex workers in a multitude of ways, without fear of consequences…

Gingerbread House (#542)

It’s satisfying when the mask of concern for “trafficking victims” slips:

Straight Street Revolution Ministries…plan to build housing for women who are fleeing sex trafficking on 50 acres of land…in southeast Hall County [Georgia]…But opponents have made it clear they don’t want it in their rural community…residents [pretend]…crime and safety concerns, fearing the place could draw a bad element…

Yes folks, sex rays are also magnetic and can draw “bad elements”.

Fallen Idol (#612)

It’s been nearly a year since James Deen…was first accused of assault.  In the days after the first allegation…porn studios began to cut ties with Deen…But, a year later, it’s clear that while Deen’s career might have taken a slight hit, it isn’t going anywhere.  “Very little has changed in James’ life over the last year,” said Howard Bragman, Deen’s spokesperson.  “He is not subject to any cases either criminal or civil and he is continuing the same work he did before”…analysis of adult film releases, as well as industry interviews, show this isn’t just the boasting of a publicist trying to make his client look good…

Virtual Unreality vr-headset

Unless the VR unit deposits $400 into my bank account before the show starts, I’m not remotely interested:

…the firm WankzVR premiered FemalePOV, its new virtual reality porn series filmed from a woman’s viewpoint — meaning, headset wearers occupy the perspective of a female porn performer or, in gamer speak, avatar…WankzVR…found was that women…who either used their product or frequented Reddit VR threads…did not want to see the gentle, less explicit content that they are so often said to desire.  These ladies wanted something in-between the hardcore gonzo cliché of porn for men and the gauzy soft-focus cliché of porn for women…in VR porn for men, male performers are often instructed to keep their hands out of the frame and let their female co-stars do all the work…because male viewers typically report that seeing their avatar’s hands interacting in the scene takes them out of the illusion of being in the film…however, WankzVR found that female viewers expressed that they were disturbed to see their avatar just lying there, relatively motionless…it…looks a bit too much like sexual assault…

To Molest and Rape (#687) 

For every assault a rapist cop is caught in, you can be sure there are others yet undetected:

…[Rapist cop Marcellus White] was rebooked…Nov. 21…on 16 new counts…five new rape charges as well as two counts of sexual battery, two counts of oral sexual battery, two counts of molestation of a juvenile, two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and one count each of simple kidnapping, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number…

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The state should be extremely reluctant to criminalize activities freely entered into by consenting adults.  –  Peter Singer

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought shrike-whore

This article doesn’t cover any new ground, but I just love the pictures of the little animal whores holding their cash.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

She publicly humiliated him and forced him into a brainwashing program designed to shame him for his sex drive and convince him it’s pathological, and now he doesn’t want to fuck her?  Why, who could ever have predicted that?

Katie Price has hinted her sex life with Kieran Hayler is lacking after he went into therapy…to help overcome his sex addiction after…[she] discovered he’d been sleeping with two of her friends…when asked if therapy had changed him, she instantly replied: “Completely, from him wanting to fuck everything to me being like ‘do you want it?’”…The former glamour model even made crude gestures to prove her point, pretending to grab an imaginary penis with her hand before dropping it and laughing…

What kind of “friends” do glamour models have?  And regarding Hayler, obviously, not all sex workers (he was a male stripper) have the goddamned sense to actually get what sex workers are for.

They Still Don’t Get It

The bizarre illogic, the self-defined “evidence”, the weird 19th-century language…are these people for real?

An alleged sex trafficking operation based out of a [Massachusetts] home — in which police said johns used Backpage.com to set up appointments with three woman made to work 14 hours a day — is not unusual, a sex trafficking expert said.  “Yes, it’s happening next door,” said Kate Nace Day…”This is part of our society, part of our neighborhood — that’s how bad it is”…Boston police raided the house…and rescued three women…Wong, Tang and Xu were each charged with…keeping a house of ill fame…

She thinks the fact that sex work is common & mundane “proves” it’s bad?  What?

Shift in the Wind (#36)

The bioethicists are now on our side as well:

…feminist organizations…argue…we should “end the demand for paid sex” – but without explaining how this is to be done.  In species that reproduce sexually, sex is, for obvious reasons, one of the strongest and most pervasive desires.  Humans are no exception…In every modern society, humans exchange money or other valued items for things that they desire and could not otherwise obtain.  For various reasons, a significant number of people cannot get sex, or sufficient sex, or the kind of sex they want, freely.  Unless at least one of these conditions changes, demand for paid sex will continue…Another response to proposals to decriminalize sex work is that we should instead change the conditions that lead people to [work]…This assumes that only those who lack any other means of supporting themselves would engage in sex for money.  That assumption is a myth…Faced with the prospect of monotonous, repetitive work for eight hours a day on an assembly line or flipping hamburgers, [some] prefer the higher pay and shorter hours that the sex industry offers.  Many may not make that choice, but should we make criminals of those who do?…

Monsters 

Niurkeli, a 33-year-old transgender sex worker, was murdered by a client in Nantes, France.  Niurkeli was [a] migrant sex worker of Ecuadorian origin…Since [France started moving toward the Swedish model in] 2014 her work conditions have deteriorated…many sex workers have lost income…[and] moved to more remote and dangerous areas to work because that is where their clients feel more secure…

Not What They Expected

Cops are no doubt disappointed that the media can’t be counted on to mindlessly parrot their “sex trafficking” propaganda any more, and that sex workers are finally being heard:

New Haven [Connecticut] Police…said they have placed prostitution stings on hold as city and department personnel rework their strategy for addressing sex workers in the city…[spokespig] David Hartman confirmed…that stings like the Oct. 25 operation that led to the arrest of 13 women on prostitution charges will not be conducted as the department mulls other practices and possible alternatives to arrest…[on November 18th] a demonstration took place in front of City Hall that included some 50 people voicing concerns about the Police Department’s [abominable] treatment of sex workers…Demonstrators want New Haven police to stop targeting workers in the sex industry and provide more resources for their rehabilitation…They also asked the state’s attorney’s office to drop all pending prostitution charges and ask that local press not publish booking photos for those arrested and charged with prostitution, which they said adds to “public shaming”…

We need to keep this up; if we keep loudly protesting every fucking “sting”, and making sure reporters are there to cover our protests, it’s going to be a lot harder for prohibitionists to sell their snake oil to the public.  That having been said, I’m not sure if this “rehabilitation” bullshit came from the protesters, a cop description of them or the reporter’s own mind; if it did come from the protesters themselves, someone needs to reach out to them about avoiding that sort of stigmatizing rhetoric that treats sex work as a failing from which we need to be “rehabilitated”.

All-Purpose Excuse

Dianne Feinstein, who never met a police-state law she didn’t like, crows about her efforts to hound sex workers’ clients and cut off our advertising; in the process she praises the flatly-illegal prosecution of Backpage officials and even brings up “sex trafficking” as an excuse for Washington’s imperialist meddling in the Middle East.  But none of this is really surprising because Feinstein is one of the sleaziest, most loathsome and disgusting examples of her entire vile breed ever to crawl the face of the Earth.

The Widening Gyre (#441) possibly-samantha-azzopardi-again

It looks like Samantha Azzopardi is back to her usual tricks:

** DOES ANYONE RECOGNISE THIS GIRL? **  She is very confused and currently detained in Italy.  She answers in English only to any questions asked so may be from an English speaking country…She sleeps outside and has mental problems I think…she has said that her name is Maria and she may be Ukrainian…

Because Ukrainians are known for only speaking English.

Banishment (#446)

Politicians are again working to get sex workers evicted and enrich the state:

New legislation in Prince George’s County aims to [railroad] landlords and property managers…for [sex work]…at their rental properties…[politician] Deni Taveras…proposed the bill after [pretending] complaints from several…mothers [because THE CHILDREN!!!!TM]…The bill makes it a misdemeanor to “knowingly” allow use of an apartment or home for prostitution or trafficking, punishable with a $1,000 fine…It passed the council unanimously…

There’s also a lot of silly nonsense about “pimps”, “snakes” and “roots” before a pig vomits up a lot of filth about “sending a message”.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#511)

Really, guys?  Is it really so hard to just hire an escort?

Despite many years of hype, teledildonics have largely existed in the realm of disappointment and “one day this might be a thing” hypotheticals.  But camming company CamSoda is investing in trying to actually make them a thing this time around with Blowcast, its new online marketplace for virtual blow jobs.  It lets…any penis-haver…browse through a library of pre-recorded blow jobs performed by professionals and amateurs alike.  A woman performs oral sex on-camera on a tricked out, touch-sensitive vibrator known as the Kiiroo Pearl.  It records the performer’s movements and translates them into sensations that can be experienced on-demand through a masturbatory sleeve known as the Kiiroo Onyx.  Blowcast syncs these sensations with a video of the woman performing said blow job to create the illusion —at least in theory — of receiving a blow job…the creators acknowledge that these virtual blow jobs will not be confused for the real thing…

To Molest and Rape 

When putting this column together I thought for a moment these were the same case:  “…sergeant [Thomas Pederson of] the Wayne County [Michigan] Sheriff’s department is facing sexual assault charges involving a child…under 13 years of age…” But nope, it’s two different young-relative-molesting cops:

…Indian River County [Florida] Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Peek was arrested…for…[groping his] step-daughter…The victim, now 20, told police that…Peek…began touching her when she was 14 years old, and it stopped at age 17 when she started dating.  She never told police because…[she] didn’t think anyone would believe her…during her senior year of high school, she would have to allow “Steve to touch her for 10 minutes if she wanted to go out and do something”…The victim’s current boyfriend…saw a text message…when she was 17 years old…asking…“for his 10 minutes.”  Peek also sent another text asking her when he could see her body…

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Can a client be an ally?  A sex worker recently told me, “An ally who is not a client is a time-waster.  Self-interest is irrelevant.  The more people on our side, the better.”  But I worry that the people I’m supporting will like me less if they believe I support their struggle out of self-interest.  If you knew two male allies who were equally good at being allies, all things being equal, toward whom would you feel more warmly?  The ally who is or has been a client, or the one who never has been?  Or is the question truly irrelevant?

skin-in-the-gameAs a pragmatist, I don’t give a flying fuck why anyone supports decriminalization, just as long as he or she does.  If a billionaire software developer is an ally because he has some software he hopes to sell to decriminalized sex workers, or a politician backs decrim because it will save huge amounts of money wasted on law enforcement, or a celebrity backs it because she thinks it will attract sex workers to buy her albums or see her movies, what difference does that make to me?  Activists who demand ideological purity tests aren’t really interested in winning the War on Whores; they want a secret handshake club.

That having been said, an ally who has no “skin in the game” might be useful for a time, but what happens if his circumstances change?  If he’s not invested in the outcome, it’s just a hobby to him.  If anything, I think that allies who act out of enlightened self-interest are probably more trustworthy, because humans are humans and we all act out of self-interest at least to some degree.  People who pretend otherwise aren’t “pure”; they’re just hiding their real motives, and that makes me wonder what those real motives might be.  So while I welcome all allies, temporary or long-term, all things being equal I would prefer one who’s got as much to lose as I do if the prohibitionists aren’t stopped.

(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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Desmond Ravenstone is an activist and organizer with more than thirty years of experience, from his student days at Oberlin College, to the marriage equality movement in Massachusetts and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.  Knowing his reputation, I was very pleased when he became interested in organizing clients, and his efforts with COSWAC have exceeded my expectations. 

anonymous-clientIf I ever met Swanee Hunt, one of the leading prohibitionists in this country, do you know what I’d say to her?  “If you’re so concerned with stopping trafficking and moral uplift, there’s another area where you need to focus your efforts.  So many selfish and negligent people feel that it’s okay to pay off some stranger to act as surrogates in a vital relationship.  Sometimes they find some untrained, underage girl whom they can pay a pittance.  Other times, they connect with some ring that lures unsuspecting young women from other countries on the promise of ‘seeing the world’, only to be trapped in a house to satisfy their demands.  Clearly, this must be a form of trafficking.  After all, no one dreams of having to care for another person’s child.”  Many folks would find it offensive to have babysitters, au pairs, and nannies called “victims of human trafficking”.  But I’d also wager that parents would feel personally offended at being called “selfish and negligent” or compared to slave keepers.  They would argue rightly that, with the complexity of their lives and needs, they have important reasons to hire someone to watch or care for their kids.

The same holds true for sex work clients.  Some have been in loving relationships lasting decades, only to suddenly find themselves alone due to divorce, abandonment, disease or death.  Some have escaped abusive relationships and are now struggling to regain confidence and trust.  Some have difficulty finding intimacy due to disability, poor socialization, or questions about their own sexuality.  And some just need cathartic, pleasurable release without the baggage of expectations or judgement.  Knowing that isn’t enough, however; prohibitionists have painted a black-and-white picture of clients as heartless predators to be persecuted and shamed.  It’s time for clients to speak up, and to work together with sex workers for change.  That is why CoSWAC – Clients of Sex Workers Allied for Change – was started.

It began with Maggie’s July 18th blog post on the recent “johns sting” in Seattle, and her battle cry for clients to begin speaking up more for decriminalization.  As a longtime activist for sexual and personal freedom, I responded quickly; soon others joined in, and we began online discussions on how to get clients organized.  It was decided that launching a website, to provide information and a contact point for interested clients, was the best way to start.  As we began our plans, Dan Savage echoed Maggie’s call to arms at the end of August, so it was decided to speed up our efforts and launch the site as soon as possible.  Within two weeks, the CoSWAC site was public, and already attracting attention.  The most distinctive element of the website is a page where clients share their stories.  While they are predominantly from hetero male clients in the United States, there are also female and gay male clients, and stories from Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.  These stories shatter many of the prohibitionist myths around commercial sex, revealing an important dimension to our understanding, including narratives of emotional healing.

Ultimately, we hope to go further.  Right now, a smaller group is working on the process of creating a more formal structure – board, advisory body, and a framework for local groups.  We hope to encourage and empower more sex work clients to come out of the shadows, and work with sex workers and other allies towards decriminalization and other common goals.  As we grow and network with existing groups, we hope to provide more resources towards this end.  So, if you are a client, we encourage you to connect with CoSWAC.  Visit our website, and bookmark it to stay updated.  Share your story among the growing number being sent to us.  If you’re interested in helping us to build, let us know through the contact page.  Keep educating yourself on the issues around sex workers’ rights, and share that knowledge with those around you.  CoSWAC is here to provide a vehicle for clients to engage in the effort for the human rights of all involved in the commercial sex industry.  Get on board and pitch in!

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Yesterday afternoon on Twitter, I tweeted out a rather long series of tweets; as per my request it was retweeted fairly heavily, but it’s such an important message I think it bears repeating here, where it will be seen by people who are not on Twitter and retweeted by those who are, but missed the original tweets.  Please share this post on Twitter, Facebook or wherever; reblog it or print it and attach copies to power poles or whatever, because I think it’s very important it be shared as widely as possible.empty-piggy-bank

Whenever the political situation is uncertain or in turmoil, men tend to hold on to their money and limit discretionary spending.  For the past two months, that has been the case for every sex worker in the US who doesn’t have a rock-solid, recession-proof client base, which means most of us.  I’ve heard it from LOTS of ladies, over & over for weeks and weeks now.  And all the “end demand” pogroms have only made things worse.  So even if the sex workers you know & love haven’t said anything about it (because we want to be positive and pleasant company for y’all), it’s very likely that things are very tight for them right now.  And because they won’t tell you that, somebody needs to say it, and I’ve elected myself for the job.  If you care about whores, human rights & sexual freedom, now is the time to demonstrate that in a pragmatic fashion.  That doesn’t mean texting or emailing compliments or giving nice-but-impractical gifts; it means booking sessions, and tipping generously if you can.  We need your support to pay our bills, and after a two-month dry spell many of us have exhausted our buffers.  So it needs to be now, before holiday bills start hitting you.  I understand you may be nervous about the political situation; well, we are too.  And if you profess to care about us, you need to step up and be generous.  So, book a session with your ATF.  Book one with a lady you know has kids.  Book one with a lady you like, but haven’t seen in a while.  Book with a male escort you’ve been wanting to see.  Book with a domme or FBSM pro you’ve had your eye on.  Book with me or any of the other sex workers you see me interact with online (and remember I still have a special going on for two more weeks).  If you don’t have time to book but still want to help, most sex workers have PayPal or Patreon or some such you can use to give them a monetary token of appreciation.  Because there isn’t a single one of us who won’t be grateful for it right now.  And if you don’t partake yourself but still care about our cause, you can just contribute to an activist like me or to SWOP-USA (or a local chapter, or SWOP Behind Bars) or Women With a Vision or any other organization which supports sex worker rights.  And please don’t put it off; there’s no time like the present.

Thank you for reading and distributing this, and thanks in advance for your generosity!

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Diary #332

selfiecamera_2016-11-05-12-53-43-464On Friday I flew out to Oklahoma to speak at the #OKAnarchy2016 conference at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and if you’d like to see what was going on there you can look at that hashtag on Twitter.  My talk on “The War on Whores is the New War on Drugs” seemed well-received, and my friend Angela Keaton kicked ass with her concluding talk on the problems with many “-isms”, especially “feminism” that serves the carceral state.  I got to meet some new allies in a group fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, and though the drinks in Oklahoma are far too watered-down to be effective I certainly gave it the old college try.  On Sunday Grace picked me up, and I spent a night at my ranch before she took me to Dallas yesterday afternoon so I could fly home.  Unfortunately, my new drug regimen failed me for the first time; the ride proved too rough for the meds to control, and I got very ill.  But fortunately, the diazepam kept from from having a panic attack when the sickness set in, and the ondansetron at least helped me from the attack much more quickly than I usually would.  I was also invited to speak at an event n Phoenix in January, and I’ve decided to drive down so I can tour along the way; watch this space for details!

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