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Diary #292

Red SonjaLast week was another busy one, both in sex work and in activism; the interviews I linked appear to have boosted my signal somewhat, as did my picking a fight with a presidential candidate (to which, I’m sorry to say, he failed to respond).  That’s just one example of how I’ve been getting bolder on Twitter lately; between suffering fools less patiently than before, to tweeting more risqué pictures, to more openly tweeting links to my escort website and advertising, to more openly referring to my work in real time (in other words, essentially saying “I just had sex for money” or “I’m about to have sex for money right now“), I’ve pretty much opened the throttle on harlotry.  And it seems to be having the desired effect; at this rate I should break 10,000 followers by the end of the year, and that will expand my social media reach considerably.  When I release my next books (and I’ve been gearing up to work on them again at last) I’ll have a far larger potential audience than I did two years ago, and that means my message that sex workers are complex three-dimensional people (rather than cardboard “victim” cutouts) will be that much louder.  Nor am I the only one; my friends Mistress Matisse, Savannah Sly, Tara Burns, Laura Lee and others are being quoted in the mainstream media so often now, the week doesn’t pass that one can’t see one or the other of us (and often more than one) in a news article.  Our clout has increased so dramatically that at least one news outlet will interview sex workers for any given story involving sex work (a big change from even three years ago), and anyone foolish enough to start an anti-sex worker hashtag on Twitter will soon find us claiming it for ourselves by, as Matisse put it, “pissing all over it“.  Whores aren’t going to stay quiet and roll over for the cops and other busybodies any more; we are coming to claim our rights.  And there’s not a damned thing prohibitionists, with all their ridiculous fantasies of “eradicating” us, can do to stop it.

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Back Issue: January 2013

Because clearly, American state borders are patrolled like those between Cold War-era East and West European countries, and thus form solid barriers like the chalk lines of cabalistic summoning circles to anyone who has not yet been struck by the Mystic Lightning of Adulthood.  – “Profession of Faith

narcissismSoon after the beginning of 2013, this blog assumed the shape it had for two years, and very similar to the one it still has.  Reader questions were now answered weekly (except for one last Q & A); this month’s were “Deep Frustration” and “Off the Clock“.  After January the reprints from Cliterati appeared, but diary columns were still almost a year and a half in the future; still, I featured an increasing number of diary-like columns such as “Hate Mail” and “Spamalanche“.  The regular “Favorites” column was almost over by this point; this month’s “My Favorite Movies” was among the last.  But of course other regular features such as holiday columns (“New Year’s Day 2013” and “Epiphany“), harlotographies (“Volumnia Cytheris“), and fictional interludes (“Bucket List“) were still going strong, not to mention periodic reports (“2012 in Review“) and summaries (“Previously Asked Questions“).  Debunking columns have always been important features; this month burning idolsaw “Hollow Claims“, “The Truth About ‘The Truth About…’” and “The Joy of Juxtaposition“.  And the ever-popular “news plus commentary” type was represented this time around by “Pearls Firmly Clutched“, “Sexual Predators” and “Profession of Faith“.  “For the Children” and “Perverse Incentives” were excerpts from other writers’ essays which I commented on, “The Legacy of Roe” was followed by “Due Consideration” (in which I explained how my own personal views on abortion law had evolved), and “Physician, Heal Thyself” was a profile of a deeply-disturbed arch-prohibitionist.sex work flow chart by Anne Johnsen

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Diary #291

selfie 1-24-16Another busy week!  The early part was all activism, including the interview I wrote about in Friday’s column; this week also saw the publication of an article drawn from another interview I did a few weeks ago, my working on a lengthy e-mail interview which published yesterday, a phone planning session for the documentary project I’ll be starting soon, and some SASS planning with Savannah Sly.  Not all my work was unpaid, though; I had a very long gig and several good smaller ones, not to mention a wonderful and memorable get-together with a number of whore friends (and one honorary whore).  You’ll probably also be glad to hear that I’ve pulled out of the funk I was in for the past few months (which the more observant among you noted and asked about), and also that I found a lovely herbal concoction which puts me to sleep almost as well as Valium does.  That’s all I have to say for now, but since I haven’t published a selfie in a while I’ll give you this one I took a few nights ago, several hours after the departure of a client; I thought I looked rather nice and wanted to try to capture it.

 

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When last week’s diary column posted, it was caught by a lot of people who had missed the previous Friday’s description of my view of the TRB takedown, and I received an avalanche of support and good wishes.  It was very powerful and validating, and at the same time extremely sobering; two more people I met in everyday life told me they had seen me on television, and I began making legal arrangements just in case.  Do I really think I’m in any more danger than I was before last week?  Not really; as I’ve said before, I’m reasonably certain the FBI has had a file on me for at least three years, and if they really wanted me they would’ve already charged me with half a dozen made-up felonies such as promoting prostitution, pandering, money laundering, conspiracy, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.  But it never hurts to take precautions, just in case.  Thaddeus Russell tweeted that he could “feel history turn” because of my actions, and while that may be a bit hyperbolic I do feel that the public view of sex workers is changing, and that I’ve been chosen by Fate or the gods to be a small part of that.  My friend Savannah Sly, now president of SWOP-USA, arrived in Seattle yesterday for a visit, and we’re going to be meeting several times this week with some of the hardworking volunteers who do the vital but unglamorous labor of keeping the movement going while crazy radicals like me get all the attention.  SWOP Seattle has a big event coming up in just over a month, and in the meantime the Seattle demimonde is in upheaval over the loss of a major advertising venue and the vile threats and propaganda vomited out by “law enforcement authorities”.  Aaaaaaand on top of all that I have to work, write and take care of personal commitments.  Ah, well; at least I’m sleeping better these days, and with any luck there will also be some downtime with dear friends.  After all, even rock stars need to relax.

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2015 in Review

It’s getting a lot harder to compile these yearly statistics columns; platforms like WordPress employ a staff of programmers who seem keen to justify their jobs by “improving” things that were just fine as they were, and though the WordPress gang isn’t nearly as bad as those over at Twitter, they nonetheless have made posting harder than it used to be and stat-gathering much harder.  I at first thought I wasn’t going to be able to do the column this year, but then I figured out where the data had been moved to; let’s hope they don’t make it impossible to find by next January.

Twitter logoI received a total of 1,001,515 visitors in 2014, about 100,000 less than in the previous year; the average number of hits per day was 2743.  My best month was August, with a total of 91,790 views (2961 per day); as you can see the performance is very consistent, with the high not all that far above the average.  Indeed, the record for best single day is still held by October 6th, 2013 (9253 views).  As it did last year, Twitter gave me the greatest number of referrals, 48,438 in all; it was followed by Reddit (9070 hits) and Facebook (6684).  #4 was Pinterest with 2512, #5 ErosBlog with 2053, #6 Bustle with 1955, #7 Girl on the Net with 1781, #8 USA Sex Guide with 1685, #9 Google News with 1223, and #10 Reason with 1139.  The top ten countries in which my readers live together account for about 84% of all of my traffic; #1 is the United States with 597,959 hits (59.7%); #2 the United Kingdom with 75,400 (7.5%); #3 Canada with 64,390 (6.4%); #4 Australia with 35,635 (3.56%); #5 Germany with 18,772 (1.87%); #6 India with 12,452 (1.24%); #7 France with 11,714 (1.17%); #8 Ireland with 10,861 (1.08%);  #9 The Netherlands with 10,526 (1.05%); and #10 Japan with 10,359 (1.03%).

In a strong sign of my increasing popularity, the most common search which discovered this blog last year was “the honest courtesan” (in various permutations) with 1280 hits; “maggie mcneill” (spelled several different ways) was second with 1086.  Perennial favorite “soapland” (in many different forms) was third with a total of 907, and “P411” fourth with 421 hits.  Various permutations of “anonymous blogging” came in fifth at 407, “rhinoceros” dropped to sixth with 393 hits, and “sex doll” was seventh with 340.  Inquiries about genital sizes & shapes came in eighth with 336, references to “Veronica Franco” came in ninth with 268, and “Sonagachi” was tenth with 237.  The numbers for all of these continue to drop, unfortunately, due to Google’s continuing prudification of its search parameters, which also curtailed my traffic dramatically.

My top ten posts for the year were as follows:

Name Date # of hits in 2015
A Visit to Soapland October 21st, 2011       38,555
All Shapes and Sizes September 8th, 2010       35,911
Black Men September 18th, 2010       24,103
Advice for Clients August 21st, 2010       22,415
A Whore in the Bedroom September 9th, 2010       17,518
More Terminology September 7th, 2011       17,445
Something in the Milk January 28th, 2014       14,347
The Going Rate October 9th, 2010       13,133
Honolulu Harlots July 5th, 2011         8772
Ashley Madison January 30th, 2011         8760

Dr. Brooke Magnanti’s “How To Blog Anonymously (and how not to)” also had considerable traffic (33,985 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).  The top post by comment has remained almost static since last year:

Name Date # of comments
by 12/31/15
The Privilege Paradigm August 22nd, 2013         230
That Is So Hot! April 19th, 2011         202
Speaking in Prostitute June 17th, 2011         193
Pendulum April 9th, 2011         146
The Enlightenment Police October 1st, 2011         145
TW3 #409 March 1st, 2014         145
Universal Criminality January 15th, 2012         141
Their Lips Are Moving April 25th, 2011         133
Denunciation September 2nd, 2013         126
Creeping Rot April 18th, 2011         123

Posts just don’t get as many comments as they used to; I’m not sure if that’s because of Google’s censorship or the fact that I don’t do as many full columns anymore.  But even though my readership seems to have leveled out, my Twitter following is growing and in the coming year, I think you’ll see me in lots more places in the media than before. 2015 in review

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Secret Identity

I’m 16 and would really like to write an anonymous blog about my life.  However, I’m really not sure how to go about doing this, as I am afraid that people would find out that it was me.  I read your post about how to blog anonymously and there was just so much information and things I would need to do, such as creating a new email and so forth.  So, I was just wondering if you could help me and give me some tips on how to do it; any advice that you can give me will be gratefully appreciated.

masked woman at Venice carnival (2011)That essay was written by my friend Dr. Brooke Magnanti, who used to blog under the name “Belle de Jour” and eventually wrote a series of novels from her blog.  Brooke knows a lot more than I do about this subject, as does Violet Blue (who wrote The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy).  But the good news from your viewpoint is that as long as you register with an anonymous email and avoid talking about your blog to anyone else, you will probably be able to remain anonymous.  See, it’s virtually impossible to stay anonymous if someone with resources wants to penetrate one’s identity badly enough, but that takes money and time and effort, so unless you become super-famous as a blogger (as Brooke did), it is highly unlikely that anyone will invest that kind of effort in doxing you.  Consider me, for example; I’ve been insulting cops & politicians and undermining prohibitionist bullshit for almost six years now, and I haven’t been doxed yet.  That’s certainly not due to my being some kind of tech witch with impenetrable security, because I’m not; it’s just that I’m not famous enough or dangerous enough (yet) to justify the kind of money and manpower needed to out me (though I have no doubt the FBI has a file on me that includes my real name, clothing sizes, copies of all my X-rays back to puberty, aerial photos of my property and an exhaustive description of my sexual preferences).  But as long as you 1) stick to blogging about your personal life and avoid rattling the cages of the powerful or interfering with the money-making schemes of sociopaths; 2) successfully resist the temptation to tell friends about your secret identity; and 3) clean your browser history & cache every time you sign off so your parents can’t snoop, you probably will never have to worry about anyone figuring you out.

Good luck, and enjoy the creative outlet!

(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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Diary #288

Late Saturday night (or early Sunday morning, depending on your perspective) I drove Grace to the airport; by the time I woke up about six hours later she was landing in Dallas, and two hours after that she was touching down in Oklahoma City.  And I was already missing her so much it hurt.  For those who haven’t already figured it out, I tend to form very deep and powerful bonds with people I care about; when I love, I love with an intensity that’s almost painful and a loyalty that is generally described as “fierce”.  Nor is that limited to erotic love; my feelings for my friends are just as intense, and my dear friends hear “I love you” from my lips nearly as often as my romantic partners do (which is probably one of the reasons Jack decided I was cheating on him with Frank).  Add to this the fact that Grace and I have been close friends for 18 years, and you may understand how very much I’ve missed her over the past few months, how good it was to see her for Christmas, and how acutely I felt the pain of her departure.  It really was wonderful to have her here, and I’m really happy she got to meet nearly all of my Seattle friends; this won’t be her last visit, and once my house on the ranch is finished, perhaps some of my friends from here will visit there as well.  In the meantime, I’ll have to content myself with using the furniture she fixed for me while she was here, and hearing her voice on the phone, and working toward the day when we can see each other more than twice a year.

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