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Diary #342

selfiecamera_2017-01-14-12-13-03-704The big snowstorm in Portland delayed my departure by a day, but fortunately I was able to reschedule my Friday appointments in San Francisco for Saturday.  Though I shouldn’t have been, I was rather surprised to discover that a hothouse flower from New Orleans who never drove in snow until after her 36th birthday was still able to do it better than the majority of Portlanders; most of them seemed unable to grasp basic concepts like “driving in the rougher lane or in the tracks left by others will result in better traction”.  But in spite of it I had a lovely dinner with a young sex worker who is starting to become interested in activism, then had a long but uneventful drive down to San Francisco on Friday and lots of fun in San Francisco on Saturday (y’all know who you are!)  On Sunday I continued on to Los Angeles and spent two days with a friend who in turn introduced me to many of her friends; sometime today I’ll be moving on to Las Vegas, so if you’d like to see me there I still have availability for ONE gentleman tomorrow.  I also have time for ONE gentleman in Albuquerque on Monday, but other than that I’m afraid I’m booked solid.  If you missed me, please try to book early next time!  Anyhow, a week from today I plan to start for home by way of Salt Lake City, and if the weather cooperates I’ll be home a week from tomorrow.  Though I don’t like to tour often, it always seems to give me new energy; in fact, things are already looking up foe February!  But as usual, you’ll have to wait to see what that means (except for my book, which should be out in the next few weeks).

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2016 in Review

stack-of-papersAs I wrote last year, it’s getting a lot harder to compile these yearly statistics columns; social media platforms like WordPress just can’t seem to leave well enough alone, and they’ve steadily made it more difficult to write and edit my posts (much less find out the kind of statistics I used to be able to find with a single click).  As the new year dawned they even made it extremely difficult to get to the site’s dashboard; luckily I remembered the URL and was able to create a link myself in Chrome.  Furthermore, Google continues to censor search results so as to curtail traffic to “adult” blogs like this one; while I used to get a huge number of serendipitous hits, my site is now found almost entirely by people specifically looking for it or following direct links.  Furthermore, I fear the statistics themselves are less meaningful than they used to be; the tallies for some are so small that they don’t seem likely to represent more than a fraction of the actual figures for those categories.  Perhaps WordPress simply hasn’t kept up with the way people access websites, but if we believe these figures nearly everyone who comes here now does so by typing the address in, which seems unlikely.  So unless things change dramatically in the next year, this may well be the last annual statistics column I do.

I received a total of 918,225 visitors in 2014, about 83,000 less than in the previous year; the average number of hits per day was 2515.  My best month was September, with a total of 84,336 views (2811 per day); as you can see the performance is still very consistent, with the high not all that far above the average.  The record for best single day is still held by October 6th, 2013 (9253 views).  As usual, Twitter gave me the greatest number of referrals, 59,547 in all; it was followed by Reddit (11,775 hits) and Facebook (5501).  #4 was a (presumably collective) heading labeled “Android apps” with 4259, #5 Vice with 2643, #6 Pinterest with 2144, #7 USA Sex Guide with 2025, #8 Bustle with 1949, #9 Jeff Pearlman’s site with 915, and #10 Reason with 877.  The top ten countries in which my readers live together account for about 87% of all of my traffic; #1 is the United States with 575,464 hits (62.7%); #2 the United Kingdom with 66,273 (7.2%); #3 Canada with 53,220 (5.8%); #4 Australia with 38,161 (4.16%); #5 India with 13,757 (1.50%); #6 Germany with 12,479 (1.36%); #7 Japan with 10,218 (1.11%); #8 The Netherlands with 9045 (0.99%);  #9 France with 8921 (0.97%); and #10 Singapore with 8505 (0.93%).

When counting searches, I only included those with 5 hits or more (otherwise it would’ve taken all night).  The most common search which discovered this blog last year was the perennial favorite “soapland” (in many, many different forms) for a total of 815 hits.  “Sonagachi” was second with 552; many of these seemed to think they could find a rate table, as though there were such a thing.  “Maggie McNeill” (spelled several different ways and with added terms such as “nude” or “boobs”) was third with 477, and “honest courtesan” (in various permutations) was fourth with 369 hits (followed closely by “Veronica Franco” in fifth with 362).  Inquiries about genital sizes & shapes came in sixth with 346, and various permutations of “anonymous blogging” seventh with 283.  “P411” was eighth with 213 hits, inquiries about sex workers’ rates were ninth with 176, and “Lillie Langtry” was tenth with 119 (kicking out “rhinoceros” for the first time; it only scored 105).  Note that numbers for all of these continue to drop due to Google’s continuing prudification of its search parameters.

My top ten posts for the year were as follows:

Name Date # of hits in 2016
All Shapes and Sizes September 8th, 2010       48,108
A Visit to Soapland October 21st, 2011       44,143
Black Men September 18th, 2010       24,793
Advice for Clients August 21st, 2010       22,878
A Whore in the Bedroom September 9th, 2010       20,843
Something in the Milk January 28th, 2014       15,584
More Terminology September 7th, 2011       14,121
The Going Rate October 9th, 2010       13,825
Honolulu Harlots July 5th, 2011       10,573
Veronica Franco November 14th, 2011         9679

Dr. Brooke Magnanti’s “How To Blog Anonymously (and how not to)” also had considerable traffic (37,482 hits in all); the reason it doesn’t appear in the table above is that it’s a static page rather than a post (I exclude my “Introduction” page for the same reason).  Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to easily track comments per post, so I’ve had to drop that metric from the roundup.  You’ll also note the top posts have only barely changed; predictably, the demise of Ashley Madison has caused my column on it to lose readership, making way for Veronica Franco to break into the top ten.  But other than that it’s boringly similar to last year, which is another reason, I think, for dispensing with this feature in the future.  Ah, well; all things must pass.  After seven years and so many other changes, this one is really quite minor.

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Diary #341

selfiecamera_2016-12-28-18-27-57-476Grace went back to the ranch last Wednesday, and today I’m the one leaving Seattle for my tour.  If you haven’t booked an appointment yet it’s too late to take advantage of the special, but I’m still available at my normal rate and I have availability in Portland, Los Angeles and Los Vegas (and I could probably make time for one in Albuquerque).  I’m thinking of shortening my return trip by a day so as to stay overnight in Salt Lake City instead of Denver, so if you’re in Denver and want to see me you need to speak up soon!  I’m pretty excited about the trip; I’ll get to see some friends I don’t get to see often, plus this is my first keynote address ever!  And though I don’t really enjoy driving such long distances, it doesn’t really bother me either.  The only thing that bothers me (besides being away from the people I love in Seattle, of course) is that I’m a bit wary of driving over both the Rockies and the Cascades in January.  But Grace got me a set of snow chains, so I’ll just be careful, watch the weather and hope I don’t have to use them, and I’ll be back two weeks from tomorrow or thereabouts!

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Theselfiecamera_2016-12-28-18-53-58-928 holidays were absolutely lovely; Grace and I got to spend a lot of time with my friends, who are quickly becoming her friends as well.  And that’s a wonderful thing; there is very little in the world more rewarding to me than when two people I like meet and become friends with each other.  We’ve spent nearly every day visiting, attending small parties, going to dinner with people, getting high and otherwise celebrating, and even though I need to put her on a plane tomorrow I don’t feel that same sense of profound sadness that I did last year at this time.  That’s because I’m committed to our plan that will allow us to see a lot more of each other in the coming year than we have in the past two; I have a really good feeling about it, and I’ll let you know more as it unfolds.

Of course, the holidays weren’t all fun and debauchery; I worked a good deal as well (including catering to a gentleman’s librarian fantasy, as you can see in the picture), and I’ll be leaving for my tour a week from today.  My San Francisco calendar is pretty full up, but I may be able to fit one more appointment in if you’re flexible; I still have pretty good availability in most of the other stops except Phoenix, so if you want to see me (and especially if you want to take advantage of the special) you need to contact me by this weekend at the latest.  I’m thinking about rerouting my return trip to stop in Salt Lake City instead of Denver; whichever of those cities books an appointment first will win the stop!  Last but not least, thank you so much to Celos for sending me the Universal classic monster movie collection!  If anyone else wants to send a late Christmas present from my wishlist, I promise I’ll overlook its tardiness.

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crystal-ballAnd so at last the year has arrived.  Five years ago today in “Crystal Ball“, I wrote this:

…major moral panics only tend to last about 20 years…about the time it takes a generation to grow from infancy to adulthood (during which time a lot of the “leaders” who enable such panics die off or at least retire, and young liberals who reject their elders’ crusades on general principle come into power)…Given this pattern, the “human trafficking” hysteria should be dead by the end of this decade…official designation of it as a “world-wide problem” occurred in 2000 and the genuine hysteria did not begin until about 2003…If things run according to form, we can predict that…skepticism about “trafficking” (especially in regard to its conflation with sex work) will slowly increase, and by about 2015 it will be possible for a major media outlet to publish articles critical of both the statistics and the very concept.  By 2017 public funding for anti-sex worker hate groups will begin to dry up, and by 2019 or 2020 we should expect it to virtually disappear from public discourse except for a wave of books and documentaries by “experts” who couldn’t be bothered to speak out against it while it was going on but are happy to make a quick buck from it after it’s safely over…

As regular readers already know, the first part of my prediction has occurred right on schedule; articles critical of “sex trafficking” nonsense started to appear in 2013 and increased in 2014, and by 2015 were fairly common in major publications such as Reason and the Washington Post (whose fact checker, Glenn Kessler, has been hammering at it for two years now).  This year even USA Today, the government-funded NPR and the Journal of Ireland got in on the act, and pro-decrim, anti-hysteria articles regularly appear in small newspapers all over the world.  As of this year media outlets are asking activists to comment on raids and stings, and the increasing desperation of prohibitionists is like the stink of fear; they’ve even backed down from most of their stupider claims, and you may have noticed we haven’t heard very much “Super Bowl sex slaves” nonsense this time around (though the repeatedly and thoroughly debunked “average age of 13” is still popular).  So if my track record holds, sometime in the next 12 months we should see the level of government funding for anti-sex worker hate groups begin to dry up; we’ll be able to tell by their increased pleas for funding and press releases about how vital their work is and how they need the public to help more, plus an increased number of fundraisers (with increasingly silly premises) and perhaps even more money from sociopaths like Swanee Hunt to try to close the gap.  All through 2018 the hysteria should die down dramatically, and by the end of 2019 only the most fanatical will still be talking about it and the majority of the public will be looking for something else to panic about.

So, by three years from now (four at the outside), we’ll be able to get through a day without having to hear fetishists like Nick Kristof non-consensually foisting their nasty wanking fantasies of gang-raping traumatized 13-year-olds in bondage upon us.  Cops and politicians may still prattle about it for a while, but once they realize nobody actually cares any more, that will soon fade away.  Unfortunately, the laws spawned by the panic will still exist and will continue to be used to destroy the lives of sex workers and our clients and families until decriminalization is achieved a decade or two from now; then sometime in the mid 2030s we’ll begin to see people railroaded into prison on bogus “trafficking” charges released, as the victims of the Satanic Panic have been over the past three years or so.  I don’t think it’s likely I’ll be around to see that, but many of you will be.  And when it happens, please remind people that I said this, and use it as an example to fight the next moral panic, whatever it may be.

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If the wind tells you anything tonight it would probably be better if you didn’t repeat it to any kings or agents thereof.  – “A Song for the Season

Frankenstein illustration by Berni WrightsonDecember is, of course, chock full of holidays and special observances.  Besides St. Nicholas’ Day, YuleChristmas EveChristmas DayBoxing Day and New Year’s Eve, there’s also December 17th and, in this particular December, Friday the Thirteenth, the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition (“Ignoble Experiment“), and an extra Christmas piece, “A Song for the Season“.  The fictional interlude, “The Reason for the Season“, was also holiday themed, and the subject of the harlotography was “Klondike Kate“, whose stomping ground was fairly close to the North Pole.  The month’s guest columnist was Jasper Gregory and its Q&A columns were “Familiarity Does Its Thing“,  “InexperienceCalvin Coolidgeand “Indecent Exposure“, but the only Cliterati reprint was “Catastrophic Consequences“.  After all that, the only remaining columns to mention are “Unbound” (announcing my Cato Unbound online debate), “The Spiral of Absurdity” (demolishing an especially-ridiculous “sex trafficking” claim), “On the Road Again” (mentioning a trip to New Orleans), and “More Stand-Up Guys” (recognizing men who stand up for sex workers’ rights).Grinch feast

 

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Diary #339

Grace’sselfiecamera_2016-12-24-15-05-11-387 visit has been wonderful so far, and she’ll be here for another week; even when we aren’t actually doing anything together (such as on Christmas night, when she was watching some kind of show on her computer while I wrote and prepared turkey stock) it’s a comfort just to have her nearby.  And because of that, I’ve decided this visiting-only-twice-a-year thing isn’t good enough any more; I’ve already started taking steps to ensure we’ll be able to see each other much more often.  Over the past year, I’ve come to understand much more fully what I already knew:  that of all the ways I can spend my time, enjoying the company of people I love is the most satisfying and has the most beneficial effect on my emotional health.  And that means I’m going to invest a lot more effort in doing it more often, starting today; we’re doing a very small party for Grace tonight, and we have two more get-togethers planned before she leaves a week from tomorrow.  And if the gods are willing, next year will see a lot more of the same.

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