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Back Issue: July 2012

Just because there are presents under your tree does NOT mean they were left there by Santa Claus.  – “Half-Armed

radical militant librarianIt’s strange how much more recent these essays seem to me than those from 2010 did when I first started this feature, even though they were separated by exactly the same interval.  I think this is because my outlook on much of my subject matter grew at the same speed as my writing ability, so that these essays seem more recognizable to me than those written before I had grown in both ability and understanding.  Indeed, many of these strike me as “Wow, that was three years ago?” when I encounter them, and after July even the weekly format of the blog looked remarkably similar to the way it looked in its steadiest period, 2013 to 2014.  This is due in large part to my guest appearance on Radley Balko‘s old blog, The Agitator; every Sunday of that month I summarized my work and that of the other guest bloggers, including the links I and others collected in continuation of Radley’s tradition.  And when the guest-blogging gig was over, the Sunday links continued on.  A few months later I began my two-year guest bloggingamoeba run on Cliterati and began reprinting my essays from there on Fridays; the only other change from July 2012 to the following January was changing Q & A from a monthly feature to a weekly one, and I was already doing supplemental columns such as “Sexual Healing” and “More Mentoring“.

Kit Kat PedobearOf course, some traditions had persisted since the beginning; this month’s harlotography was “Polly Adler” and its fictional interlude “Empathy“; I published a sequel to the latter just two weeks ago.  Other traditions include my annual Fourth of July  polemic, my observance of this blog’s anniversary and my Friday the Thirteenth  essay, not to mention a post in a short-lived genre, “My Favorite Musicals“.  And though the “One Year Ago Today” feature was incorporated into the weekly TW3 column after the 9th of this month, “Bogeymen” was definitely a sequel to the column of two years before that day.

Big Kahuna BurgerI think history will show 2012 as the peak year of “sex trafficking” hysteria; “The Widening Gyre“,  “South of the Border“, “I Swear To God” and “Gingerbread House” are all on the subject, and the ever-increasing boldness of prohibitionist shills (as chronicled in “Half-Armed” and “Heart of Ice“) attests to it.  But this month also saw the exposure of one of those shills, Stella Marr, as described in “Tangled Web” and is follow-up, “A Different View“.  But even then, we had time for other subjects; “Under Duress” is about the practice called “testilying”; “The Tyranny of the Subjunctive” criticizes the fear-dominated modern outlook; “The Golden Afternoon” describes the birth of the world’s greatest children’s book; “Pull the String!” describes the birth of some of the world’s worst movies; and “Zimbabwe” describes some of the world’s silliest beliefs and stories about sex workers.Ay Pledgli

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burgundy chairA lot of things have changed in my life in the past year or so, and foremost among them is the abandonment of anonymity.  Of course, my legal name isn’t known, but then that brings up absolutely nothing interesting on Google anyway (unless you get a secret thrill from perusing the public land records of largely-rural counties).  But as Maggie McNeill I’m known and recognized, occasionally even in public, so it was really a bit naive to think I’d be able to maintain a separate escort persona for very long.  I therefore recently decided (with the help of several sex worker activist friends) to abandon that second persona and just do everything – speaking, writing and whoring – as Maggie McNeill.  My website logos, text and url have been changed, and I’m in the process of switching all my advertising accounts to “Maggie McNeill”.  I’ve built up quite a reputation over the past five years, and it seems silly not to use it to attract clients; I’d rather monetize my work in that way, indirectly, rather than by polluting this website with a bunch of ugly blinking, flashing, jumping, wriggling banner ads offering “free” sex with “horny housewives” and “barely legal nymphos”.  In these times of aggressive “end demand” pogroms, that reputation may prove a vital lifeline to nervous clients; when a gentleman calls me there will be no doubt in his mind that I’m the real deal rather than a honey trap, and a referral from me should be good with the majority of escorts in any English-speaking country.  Of course, my high-profile name may also attract unwanted attention of the dangerous kind, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take; I’m sure you’ll understand if I’m especially diligent with my screening now.  It’s also true that some potential clients will be turned off by many of the opinions and truths I’ve expressed here; frankly, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone that insecure anyhow.  So drop me a line, guys; little Maggie’s back in the saddle again, and this time she ain’t even wearin’ a mask.

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Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.  –  Emmet Fox

I find it very difficult to wrap my brain around the thought processes of some people.  As we go through life we interact with others, and make hundreds of decisions every day regarding those interactions; sometimes we make errors in judgment due to ignorance of a situation, or misinterpret another’s feelings and thereby inadvertently cause offense, or foolishly believe a person will react one way when a little insight into his or her personality would’ve predicted a very different reaction (this is especially true when the people involved are of the opposite sex).  But every once in a while someone does something so clearly wrong, so obviously rude and so predictably off-putting that one has to wonder if he might not have been under the influence of some potent psychoactive drug at the time.

too many cooksMost of my readers are probably fair-to-middling cooks; some of you are probably bad or terrible cooks, and some good or excellent ones (any of you who happen to be professional chefs will have to imagine another skill, say illustration, in the place of cooking).  Now, consider a circumstance wherein you meet a woman who’s an excellent cook.  She has a small restaurant where she has served literally millions of satisfied customers over the years, and is often paid to cater at events; she is widely admired for her cooking skills, has often been asked (and even paid) to critique others’ cooking, and takes justifiable pride in her abilities.  Her style, however, does not adhere to current culinary fads; it’s a little old-fashioned and is too complex and highly-spiced for some people, and some dieters feel her portions are too large.  Perhaps you’ve encountered her restaurant for the first time, or perhaps you’ve been eating there several times a week for months or years, but at some point you decide that either her preparation of one particular dish, or the way she prepared that dish on one particular day, or even the way she cooks in general, could be improved by some change you have in mind.  Now, you don’t own a restaurant; nobody has particularly praised your cooking lately, and even the cooking you do practice is of a different culinary tradition.  Do you:

A) Continue to enjoy her food, which really is very good despite the aspect you don’t like;
B) Enjoy the food, but fantasize about how much better it would be if she took your suggestions;
C) Stop going there, and find another restaurant you like better;
D) Ask to speak to her privately and offer your helpful amateur suggestions about how she could improve;
E) Same as D, but at the top of your lungs in front of a packed dining room at her restaurant.

If any of you seriously believe that either D or E is a good idea, and you’ve never been diagnosed as lying somewhere on the autism spectrum, I sincerely suggest you re-examine all of the recent instances in which you’ve mightily pissed someone off and just can’t understand why she should have been insulted.  What could possibly be wrong with her?  Doesn’t she get that you were just trying to be helpful?  Why can’t she humbly accept your wisdom in order to improve herself?  Why are all women so crazy?

And after that, you might want to reconsider that helpful email, comment or tweet you’re about to write me.

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Diary #263

IMAG0900There have been a lot of top-notch activists visiting Seattle lately!  The first week of the month Maxine Doogan was here; we didn’t get as much time to hang out with one another as I would’ve liked, but we did get two short visits (the first time we’ve met in person).  She talked about ESPLERP’s lawsuit to decriminalize prostitution in California, and a few other things that are going on; I’m looking forward to the next time I can sit down with her, though of course there’s email and phone until then.  Almost as soon as she was gone, Tara Burns arrived; Mistress Matisse and I took turns lodging her, and we spent a lot of time together (when one or the other of us wasn’t occupied).  Given that in addition to that I had work, writing and helping someone near and dear to move this week, you can probably guess I was pretty exhausted by Sunday night; between 9 AM Thursday and 3 AM Monday I got roughly 12 hours of sleep altogether (though part of that was a small but lovely party).  And given that the week was so hectic, I guess it’s not really a huge surprise that nobody thought of taking pictures of Tara, Matisse & I together.  Well, next time; she’s promised not to be a stranger and this is the closest major lower-48 city to her home in Alaska.  In the meantime, enjoy this pic she took of me modeling some lovely gloves Abby May gave me.  This week promises to be nearly as hectic; our show is Sunday and Kaytlin Bailey will be staying with me, then the following week I’ll be preparing for my trip to Oklahoma.  If you’d like to see me while I’m on the road, please let me know ASAP; I’m departing on the 24th so everything needs to be planned by then.

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Fifth Anniversary

All in all, I think I can safely declare this blog a success.  –  Maggie McNeill

AphroditeWhen I started this blog five years ago today, I had no idea it would go this far.  Certainly I hoped it would become popular, maybe even very popular, but my success has exceeded anything I could have expected in even my most sanguine moods.  Over 1800 posts, 94 assorted pages, over 44,000 comments, about 1200 subscribers and nearly 6000 Twitter followers, and 3.8 million page views from all over the world.  I’ve also seen my work published in Cato Unbound, Reason and the Washington Post, and have done so many interviews, speaking engagements, consultations and other such work that I’ve completely lost count.  My name is widely recognized in the demimonde and in sex-positive and libertarian circles, and lots of people treat me as an (admittedly minor) celebrity; last year my readers even demonstrated their love and generosity by financing a three-month book tour for me!  That tour opened up a whole new world for me, relaunched my sex work career and resulted in my moving to Seattle, so I’d like to express my thanks in some concrete way.  Starting tonight at midnight PDT (7:00 UTC tomorrow) the Kindle edition of my book, Ladies of the Night, goes on sale for 99¢; 24 hours later it will increase to $1.99, and 24 hours after that to $2.99, where it will stay from now on.  So if you haven’t read it yet, now’s your chance!  And if you have, please review the book and tweet about the sale.  Thanks to all of you for making the past five years an amazing experience for me, and I’m looking forward to at least another five!

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Back Issue: June 2012

Nobody ever sees them come or go, and nobody knows where they sleep or work; the high cost and low availability of hotel rooms at such events has no effect on these mysterious harlot nomads, who move like shadows, live in invisible tents and caravans and then vanish into the dust like Bradbury’s Autumn People until the next mega-competition.  –  “Broken Record

sex raysIn these retrospectives, I’ve sometimes mentioned the style of the columns, the way they “feel” to me when reading or referencing them.  And by the time June 2012 rolls around, they feel completely “normal” to me; I don’t imagine these would read a lot differently if they were written today.  When I refer back to an essay from this period, I often think, “Damn, that was that long ago?” because I clearly remember writing or posting it.  I can remember details of nearly every column this month, the last before the weekly schedule settled into the form it would occupy until just a few months ago.  Oh, the monthly patternsdetail of A Pilgrimage to San Isidro by Francisco Goya still persisted; this month’s harlotography was “Rhodopis“, its fictional interlude “A Haughty Spirit“, its favorites “My Favorite TV Dramas” and “My Favorite TV Comedies“, and its holidays “The Birth of a Movement“, “Father’s Day” and “Litha“; there was also a Q & A column and the longer answer to a more complex question in “Coming Out“.

A Piece of the ActionWith my second anniversary coming up, the subject of blogging itself was on my mind; “Quite Contrary” and “How Not To Get Your Comments Posted” are on that topic.  “The Odor of Socks“, “First They Came for the Hookers…“, “Willful Ignorance“, “Imagination Pinned Down“, “Yellow Fever“, “The Schizoid State“, “The Swedish Cult” and “Broken Record” are all looks at prohibitionists or their tactics, and “Reframing” is on a closely-related topic.  Rounding out the month:  a new entry in my “Hall of Shame“; a comparison of life-traumas with landforms (“Driskill Mountain“); a discussion of how American political parties are simply a case of “Pick a Color“; an explanation of how prohibition leads to “The Suppression of Virtue“; and a reminiscence on my lifelong love of astronomy and space travel in “Ad Astra“.space babes

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Diary #257

0531152328Last week was another behind-the-scenes busy one; though I was kept running and had to make the time to do even the basic writing I expect of myself, none of it but the decorating (which will probably be finished this week) was anything any of y’all would be interested in hearing about.  Well, maybe that’s not entirely true; part of the problem was that I got into a rather stupid funk over last Monday’s anniversary  and it combined with homesickness and a few other issues to agitate the Things under my mental stairs, so that they commenced a most frightful howling which only got louder over the weekend.  I’m feeling very tired and beat-up as of this writing (five hours before posting time), so I hope you’ll forgive me if I keep this short.  I have just three other things I’d like to say before wrapping up.  First, on Friday I was reminded of just what a wonderful ex-husband I have; I got in a minor car accident (my fault), and because I’m still on Matt’s  insurance until we do the divorce paperwork, it will probably increase his rates.  I put off calling him for hours because I expected him to yell at me for my carelessness, but when I finally did he took it in stride, said something to the effect that “these things happen”, and told me how much he appreciated my being such a decent & civilized ex-wife.  On Sunday, I was quoted in a Politifact column debunking the “average whore dies after seven years” lie, and readers in Vancouver, BC may be interested in knowing that I’ll be participating in the Red Umbrella March in your fair city on June 13th, accompanied by several of my activist friends.

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