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Posts Tagged ‘Coming Out’

Forcing us into the closet makes it easier for prohibitionists to make up stories about our lives.  –  Liara Roux

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

A bizarre claim even by the low standards of anti-porn nuts and gun-grabbers:

Rep. Diane Black…who is running for governor of Tennessee…raised the issue of gun violence in schools and why it keeps happening.  “Pornography,” she said.  “It’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store.  Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there…All of this is available without parental guidance.  I think that is a big part of the root cause”…Beyond naughty movies, Black said school shootings are on the rise because of the “deterioration of the family,” mental illness and violent movies…

Like most things claimed to be “on the rise” by hysterics, school shootings aren’t.  But what I want to know is, where are these grocery stores that stock porn on shelves near the front door?  I’m guessing they’re probably located in the same towns where one can “order a child for sex like a pizza“.

Perquisites

Are amateurs really so sheltered that this sort of thing shocks them?

…Alene Anase was asked by her employer Alpha Omega Winery to serve guests as part of a charity cruise on the San Francisco Bay.  But what she expected to be a routine shift serving wine turned into a nightmare…The guests aboard the yacht that night — described in her 2016 lawsuit as 25 of the Napa Valley-based winery’s top investors, all men — were openly using what appeared to be cocaine and “drawing straws” for which sex worker to hire…Anase alleges that on the Aug. 12, 2015 cruise she could hear sexual activity happening in the yacht’s bedrooms and witnessed men “fondling and suckling” sex workers’ breasts — some [of whom Anase fantasized] to be “too young to consent”…

Surplus Women 

Twelve days after the decomposed body of a woman aged around 30 was found packed in a drum in Shivaji Nagar, the police…claimed to have solved the murder case.  A 60-year-old man has been arrested while his wife is wanted in the case…the arrested accused, Babu Bhagwan Patel…has confessed to his role.  The woman, identified only as Meena, was a commercial sex worker from Dadar…

Coming Out

Liara Roux on coming out:

…I almost started crying.  I was so worried I would lose my sister, who I loved so dearly.  I was shocked when she told me:  “I’m glad you’re happy!  I’m glad you found a job that works for you!”…She asked a couple questions about my job…My sister has always been incredibly thoughtful like this.  I remember coming out to her as queer and how excited and happy for me she had been about that too…I told her not to tell Mom…I come from an extremely religious, conservative family—house full of kids and fire and brimstone.  I’ve always lived my life in extreme and unusual ways and it scares her…There’s so much I haven’t told her because whenever I try to, I freeze.  I was worried if I came out to her while living with her that she and my father would have sent me to gay conversion camp or that they would kick me out of the house and I would be homeless, which had happened to some of my friends.  I like to think that she would have accepted me, but I don’t know…

To Molest and Rape 

Would any non-cop have gotten only five months for this?

A[n Oregon cop] was sentenced…to 150 days in jail and five years probation for having sex with an underage girl and soliciting sexual contact from [her] online…Daniel Kerbs…was held…on 13 child sex crimes, including six counts of third-degree sodomy, six counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree online sexual corruption of a child…

Droit du Seigneur (#691) 

Do we really want rapists to eschew condoms so they can avoid federal charges?

…Federal prosecutors said William Whitley’s conduct affected interstate commerce because…the condoms he used [to rape] a 14-year-old girl [were made out of state]…Prosecutors often cite guns made outside a state to support federal charges.  Condom use is [a wholly predictable following of established precedent]…a federal sex trafficking charge has a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, while the minimum at the state level would be six years…

Saving Them From Themselves (#778)

Naturally, politicians had to make this bad law even worse before passing it:

…members of the [Ohio] House Criminal Justice Committee voted unanimously in favor of a bill to ban teen sexting, even for…teenagers who are [18 and therefore] legally adults…Teens found guilty of sexting could be sentenced to [re-education]…but judges would be free to overlook this program, and minors with previous sex-related offenses on their records would not be eligible.  Outside the diversion program, a sexting charge could lead to…eight hours of community service—a light punishment that the bill’s supporters have brandished to make their proposal more palatable.  But…the real harm comes from saddling these kids with criminal records for the rest of their lives…The bill’s sponsors have argued that theirs is a compassionate plan because it gives prosecutors an option to avoid charging teen sexters with more serious child pornography charges.  But there’s nothing requiring the state’s cops to crack down on teen sexting to begin with, and…prosecutors could use their discretion to not bring child porn charges…instead, they’re simply adding on another possible charge for law enforcement to slap onto texting teens…

All-Purpose Excuse (#783)

I feel so much schadenfreude at watching the government’s own moral panic come back to bite it:

…Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of [Health & Human Services] Administration for Children and Families, faced a barrage of questions…over why HHS does not track unaccompanied minors who fail to appear at their immigration court hearings.  The agency has faced increased scrutiny following a scathing 2016 report…that found it failed to protect unaccompanied minors from traffickers and other abuses…In 2014, at least 10 trafficking victims, including eight minors, were discovered during a raid…[according to the movie]  Trafficked in America, HHS had released several minors to the traffickers…Between October and December 2017…the agency was unable to locate almost 1,500 out of the 7,635  minors that it attempted to reach — or about 19 percent.  Over two dozen had run away, according to Wagner, who said the agency did not have the capacity to track them down…

Rooted in Racism (#800) 

Another case of deliberate racial profiling thanks to government-approved guidelines:

…Lindsay Gottlieb…was flying home [to California] from Denver when a Southwest agent asked her to prove she was the mother of her [biracial] baby.  Gottlieb said she showed her son’s passport, but the agent wasn’t satisfied and demanded a birth certificate [because obviously everyone carries those around with them]…The agent eventually let her family check in, but Gottlieb turned to Twitter to get the airline’s attention.  She tweeted: “I’m appalled that after approximately 50 times flying with my one-year-old son, ticket counter personnel told me I had to ‘prove’ that he was my son, despite having his passport.  She said because we have different last names.  My guess is because he has a diff. skin color”…

Although this coverage doesn’t mention it, I think everyone reading this knows why airline personnel are being trained to racially profile travelers.  Every agent and air hostess wants to be the next big hero for catching a “sex trafficker”.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#823)

The stench of FOSTA is all over India’s terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill:

…there appear to be several issues with overbroad or vague language…that could lead to a deleterious effect on the Freedom of Expression…section 39(2)…mandates punishment even for a vaguely defined action or actions that may not actually be connected to the trafficking of a person.  In other words, the provision doesn’t require any of the actions to be connected to trafficking in their intent or even outcome, but only in potential connection to the outcome…The excessively wide scope of this badly drafted provision leaves it prone to abuse…Even the electronic publicizing of an academic study on trafficking could fall under the provision as it currently reads…Similarly, any of our vast number of self-appointed moral guardians could also pull within this provision any artistic work that they may personally find offensive or ‘obscene’…Section 41…[criminalizes] “Whoever distributes, or sells or stores” [information claimed to leads to “trafficking”]…the infrastructure of the electronic/digital world requires 3rd party intermediaries to handle information…As it is not feasible, desirable or even practically possible for intermediaries to verify the legality of every bit of data that gets transferred or stored by the intermediary, “safe harbours” are provided in law for intermediaries, protecting them from liability of the information being transmitted through them…If intermediaries are not granted this protection, it puts them in the unenviable position of having to monitor un-monitorable amounts of data, and face legal action for the slip-ups that are bound to happen regularly…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#831) 

As long as any part of sex work is criminalized, cops will have power over sex workers:

Some Victorian sex workers say that working under the licensing framework…is even worse than working in places that totally outlaw sex work because of the extreme complexity of the laws.  Jules Kim from…Scarlet Alliance says [that in Queensland and Victoria] sex…workers are subject to unwarranted “surveillance and entrapment”…Examples include police calling workers to request services considered illegal within those states, such as condomless oral or threesomes, and then laying charges if the worker agrees…Such entrapment can disproportionately affect marginalised workers, such as migrant workers with limited English, who may not know what they are agreeing to.  In Western Australia and South Australia, where most forms of sex work are deemed illegal, police may use the fact that someone had condoms as “evidence” that they were working…

Imaginary Evils (#833)

Calling this “sex trafficking” lets the government steal property:

The Justice Department is moving in to target two [houses in Brooklyn]…where sex trafficking and branding allegedly took place.  Court documents filed by the Eastern District Court in Brooklyn are to forfeit and condemn two properties allegedly used by Keith Raniere and his victims…in connection with Raniere’s [NXIVM] cult…

Pyrrhic Victory (#844) 

That didn’t take long, did it?

We’ve heard so many stories lately about the frankly horrifying degree to which facial recognition leads to tracking or privacy invasions.  But a startup specializing in AI is instead leveraging facial recognition technology to [rat sex workers out to the cops]…Marinus Analytics…program called Traffic Jam…builds a database of images, phone numbers, and location data which can help identify [sex workers]…It scrapes the websites every few minutes, meaning even ads which are deleted or changed is [sic] still usable…The company last year added a feature to Traffic Jam called Facesearch, which combs through online photographs and identifies specific [sex workers]…Amazon’s Rekognition software is the technology behind the facial recognition…Rekognition is also being used by law enforcement for other…surveillance purposes.  While that usage has some ethical dilemmas which other experts in the field have pointed out, the usage of the software to find [sex workers]…feels far more noble [to the dangerously ignorant]…

The gullibility of this reporter is nothing short of alarming; notice how eagerly she sucks the dick of “sex trafficking” propagandists even though she clearly understands the danger of mass surveillance, then proceeds to make excuses for the surveillance based in swallowing the propaganda.

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Just because someone can’t love you…doesn’t mean that you’re unlovable.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

Check Your Premises 

This man has repeatedly said Seattle is not interested in prosecuting us:

For five years, the city of Seattle has touted its [faddish] approach in [persecuting] the buyers of sex rather than the prostitutes themselves.  While the number of cases filed against prostitutes dropped dramatically in 2012 and 2013, it has increased again slightly in recent years…City Attorney Pete Holmes…said the increase in prostitution cases in 2014 through 2016 came after his office realized many women were not [submitting to] the [brainwashing] program called LEAD, or Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion…Holmes said he therefore pivoted to use the real possibility of prosecution, as a way of encouraging people to take advantage of LEAD instead…

“Pivoted” is such a banal way to say “lied with prohibitionist propaganda while threatening women with violence for peacefully earning a living”.

Feminine Pragmatism 

This needs to be repeated until it’s inextricably hammered into the faces of prohibitionists:

…When I began sex work there were aspects that were exhilarating.  Being my own boss and setting my own schedule was something I’d never had the luxury of.  My manager at the bar, who knew she could shop me for benefit fraud at any moment, didn’t care when men…threatened to follow me home because I didn’t want their numbers…I worked 12 hour shifts, with no breaks, and at the end she would hand me an envelope with barely £70 in…escorting [clients] sometimes reminded me of the pub customers…[but] at the end of a three hour booking I would tuck a few hundred pounds in the lining of my handbag, and go home to a bath and some posh beers…This isn’t to say sex work was a utopia where I could take six months off when my health was bad…However, contrary to popular view…it is not a one way ticket to a breakdown.  The difference between us and workers in other industries is that when we seek help we are asked to look at the ways we’ve kept ourselves out of poverty as shameful…

Where Are the Victims?

The poor widdle sheriff “had no alternative” because sex is bad:

A “normal family man” who cared for his sick wife…in Edinburgh has been jailed for 29 months.  Emil Wakulicz…recruited women from Poland to offer sexual services…Sheriff Ross said he had no other alternative but to send Wakulicz to prison as he had exploited the women who had worked for him.  Det Insp Arron Clinkscales…[bragged]: “We…[locked] this man [up]…and [stole] his assets.”

Naturally, the story lists no evidence whatsoever of “exploitation”.  I’m sure his wife will be much better off on the dole, and her depression will improve while her husband sits in a cage for two years.  Justice!

They Still Don’t Get It

The headline writer inadvertently got it right: “prostitution investigations” (ie stings) are indeed part of a larger problem, the one called prohibition.

…Winston-Salem police…arrested…John Richard Hernandez and…Amanda Dawn Moser in connection to the armed robbery of a 67-year-old man…the pair lured [the victim]…to Hernandez’s home…by posting [a fake escort] ad…on…backpage.com…Hernandez [hit him with a hammer and] and robbed [him] of his money, ATM card and vehicle…a [pig too chickenshit to give his name bloviated a whole pile of ignorant nonsense]…“when it does happen in homes, those are usually offenders that have been caught multiple times at the hotel, and now they’ve moved their modus operandi to a residential home…Many of those, obviously, are minors that are…easily manipulated – into performing sexual acts for someone that’s controlling them…We located needles, various drug paraphernalia, spoons, that are indicative of heroin use”…The department also works with different counseling services and the health department to help victims of human trafficking…“It is a criminal act,” the [cowardly, ignorant pig oinked]…

Prohibition forces a peaceful activity into the shadows, where criminals then use it as a cover because they know their victims are less likely to report.  Then cops use the result of criminalization as an excuse for more criminalization while mixing in rhetoric that contradicts the entire “whore as criminal” trope.  I know basic logic & a triple-digit IQ aren’t requirements for being a brutal thug mindlessly enforcing arbitrary rules via violence, but this is like watching a self important pig masturbating until he shoots into his own eye, then tripping over the pants around his ankles & falling flat on his face.

Coming Out

Kaytlin Bailey on coming out to a lover:

…Maybe you’ve taken the position that everyone you have sex with has to know beforehand, because the last time you told someone you were already in love with, he hit you.  Maybe you’re coming out, as a political statement, trying to erode the delusion that someone doesn’t know “any girls like that” by being one of those girls.  Maybe you have to tell your lover because you keep having cold sweat anxiety dreams about it.  Maybe living the nightmare won’t be as scary as having the same one every night.  Maybe you’ve been in a relationship for awhile, and you think you can trust them.  Or maybe you know you can’t, but you just can’t stand them saying one more dumb thing about “whores” without knowing.  Or maybe you’re scared, and you want your partner’s support…

My personal way of dealing with this: I haven’t been romantically involved with anyone who isn’t a whore or client since 1995.  But I understand that won’t work for everybody.

Welcome To Our World (#43)

This is good; too bad they still criminalize having sex for the “wrong” reason:

[The Republic of Ireland] is to repeal a law which made it a criminal offence for a person with an intellectual disability to have a sexual relationship…The [new] law will consider whether a person with an intellectual disability has capacity to consent…rather than just outlawing such relationships because they have a disability…a new category of “protected person” has been created.  This will be defined as someone who lacks the capacity to consent to a sexual act by reason of a mental or intellectual disability, or a mental illness…It will now be illegal for a person to have a sexual relationship with a protected person…

I Really Shouldn’t Even LOOK at an Issue of Cosmopolitan (#346) 

A)  Is this dude gay?  B) WTF, Cosmo?  C) I know it’s two years old.

We’re going to shake things up, aren’t we?  And by “shake things up” I mean you’re going to sit on my face…I need a signal for you to give me some air that isn’t me throwing you off me in a panic…My eye is basically in her butt…is this how all adults get pink eye?…I have no choice but to make her orgasm…I can’t even see anymore.  It’s just pitch black and vibrations, like an earthquake in a cave.

Size Matters (#532)

I told y’all that this wasn’t gonna work, but of course y’all didn’t listen:

[Deceitful busybodies] in Tennessee have determined that a building registered as a church was being operated as a sex club…the city of Nashville has filed a complaint against the owners for “maintaining a public nuisance by permitting acts of lewd conduct” and violating a state law banning sex clubs from operating within 1,000 feet of a school.  The longtime downtown swingers club…in 2015…relocated to a run-down office park…calling itself a church because the new location is near the back of the private Goodpasture Christian School.  Two [voyeurs] paid $40 to enter the facility…and filed [porn narratives] detailing sex acts they witnessed within…

The End of the Beginning (#677) 

This clear constitutional violation persists due to the egregious lie that the “sex offender” registry isn’t a punishment:

A sex offender…thought he had moved on with his life after successfully completing five years of probation for sending webcam photographs of his genitals to a [pervert cop pretending to be]…a 13-year-old girl.  Now he’s among hundreds of people in Missouri who are learning they must attach GPS monitoring systems to their ankles for life, even though such a requirement wasn’t part of their sentencing agreement…The retroactive [punishment is] part of a revised state criminal code that went into effect Jan. 1…several sex offenders…are suing…the state…“I don’t think a lawyer can make a straight-faced argument that it’s constitutional,” said…attorney Matt Fry…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#724) 

This is what robo-fetishists want you to believe will take my job soon:

…Matt McMullen, the chief executive of Abyss Creations, which makes RealDoll…says…”Many people who may buy a RealDoll because it is sexually capable come to realise it is much more than a sex toy…It has a presence in their house and they imagine a personality for her.  AI gives people the tools to create that personality.”  This is done via an app, which can be used with the doll or independently, existing as a virtual person on a smartphone or similar device.  Users can choose from a variety of personality options, including moody, angry and loving…The app…is already available to buy, although only directly from the Realbotix website…Neither Google’s nor Apple’s official stores will carry it because of the explicit content.  The doll will go on sale later this year and there will be two versions – one with computer vision that enables it to recognise faces, which will cost $10,000…and a…version without vision for $5,000…

Bonus:  sociopathic prude Kathleen Richardson of the “Campaign Against Sex Robots” has apparently decided in the past two months that “dolls aren’t really the problem”.  Why does anyone take prohibitionists seriously?

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Our perception of what makes a service “safer” isn’t always universal.  –  Lux Alptraum

Bad Jobs

Like something Melissa Farley would make up, only true:  “A new survey shows 90% of social care workers [in Ireland] have experienced violence in the workplace…75% experienced physical assaults – some on a daily basis…

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever, especially if you’re a whore:

A prostitute was arrested after she told police a clients handcuffed her and robbed her of $2,000 in cash and her belongings…At some point after the man paid her…he pulled out a police [badge], claimed he was a [cop] and handcuffed her with fake cuffs…He took his $190 off the hotel room dresser, swiped $2,000 in cash…and…the woman’s $1,000 iPad Mini, a $40 backpack and a $100 MetroPCS phone…Police arrested the woman and charged her with prostitution…However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case…

Above the Law  creepy-cop-neil-hempsall

There’s nothing here saying he harmed or threatened any of the sex workers he looked up, but of course there’s no way to know that given that he stalked them by looking up their fucking police records:

A disgraced cop who used his force computer to contact sex workers…was allowed to keep his job…[Neil Hempsall] admitted four charges and escaped with a community order…[the prosecutor said] “He…had been using the services of sex workers and accessing their record on the police computer system”…There was…[also] evidence he was tracking down a former lover…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#46)

I can’t help laughing at pathetic losers wanking to their fantasies of superhuman sex robots, but the ones who suffer reaction formation from such fantasies elicit a mixture of pathos and disgust:

According to a [soi-disant] expert in the field, we’ll need to be careful we don’t get addicted to artificial-intelligence lovemaking.  Joel Snell is an [academic who fantasizes]…there’s a real risk linked to the robots…because they’ll offer great sex at any time of the day and night…it’ll never be able to turn you down.  “People may become obsessed by their ever-faithful, ever-pleasing sex robot lovers,” he warned.  “People will rearrange their lives to accommodate their addictions”…

Bonus stupid anti-sex trope: “sex addiction”.

Lack of Evidence (Extra Edition)

It’s a sign of our culture’s deeply-sick sexual attitudes that people still believe in “virginity tests”:

[Dear Dr. Petra, my boyfriend is] like me…a virgin.  But when he checked my vagina he said he could tell I wasn’t a virgin and he doesn’t feel able to be with me until I can be truthful.  I don’t know how to convince him that I am a virgin and don’t know what signs he can see that tell him I’m not…I’m now worried I might be mistaken about myself…[Dr. Petra Answers:] I’m sure everyone reading this [is]…wondering what the circumstances were that led up to him checking your vagina?…You may have told him to get better educated about virginity and women’s bodies.  You might have told him his actions felt alarming and controlling…You could have said he clearly had no idea what he was talking about.  Any or all of these responses would have been reasonable.  And all of them are a good enough reason…to end the relationship without further discussion…There will be other people who are kinder, more sexually informed, more respectful, better communicators and won’t subject you to virginity checks…

Cardboard Cutouts

Note that 1.5% is my standard estimate of coercion among Western sex workers:

This week new statistics on human trafficking in The Netherlands where presented by the Dutch National Rapporteur Human Trafficking [and]…the city of Amsterdam…the Dutch Rapporteur reported…1,321 possible victims of trafficking…66%…from the sex industry…these are not proven victims, but simply people of whom other people (police, marshals, city officials and social workers) have (slight) suspicions about that perhaps they could be victims…if…there are about 827 possible victims in prostitution, and the total amount of sexworkers in The Netherlands are estimated at around 20.000…it would come down to about 4,1%…only 102 possible victims in prostitution where reported in Amsterdam…[which] would come down to about 1,5% of all the sexworkers in Amsterdam…what’s interesting is to compare the suspected victims with the actual number of victims that annually actually press charges…in 2015…33 victims actually [pressed] charges for human trafficking, which is almost the same as the year before (29 in 2014) and the year before that (32 in 2013).  In short, quite a bit lower than how many people are being reported as “possible” victims…

Feminists and Other Puritans

Once again:  NO, a coalition between two different fundamentalist groups to fight what they perceive as a common enemy is in no way “surprising”:

…the surprising nexus between radical feminists and Christian Right culture warriors has been with us a long time.  In the 1980s, anti-porn feminists like Catherine McKinnon and Andrea Dworkin teamed up with anti-porn conservatives like Edwin Meese, leading to the passage of laws censoring sexual speech in the name of protecting women.  In the last decade, anti-prostitution feminists have joined forces with fundamentalist Christians to prosecute sex workers under the aegis of sex trafficking laws.  And now, some essentialist feminists – pejoratively nicknamed TERFs, for “Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists” – have provided the pseudo-philosophical basis for fundamentalist Christians’ anti-transgender laws…[while] TERFs…approvingly cite…anti-trans [Christian]…right-wing scholars and writers…Feminists…and…Conservatives don’t oppose porn because they want to protect women; they oppose porn because they oppose sexual licentiousness and free sexual expression.  Just like they oppose protecting trans people because transgender reality scares them, disgusts them, or offends their outdated theologies.  A similar shell-game has recently arisen in the context of sex trafficking…This was a deliberate deception on the part of anti-sex activists like the anti-prostitution group Demand Abolition.  As exposed by The Washington Post in 2014, that group’s internal document said that “framing the Campaign’s key target as sexual slavery might garner more support and less resistance, while framing the Campaign as combating prostitution may be less likely to mobilize similar levels of support”…

Hey, Jay Michaelson:  I appreciate your mentioning my work, but the standard practice when doing so is to name the author rather than just the publication, and to include a link to the piece cited.

Guest Columnist:  Kaytlin Bailey

My friend Kaytlin Bailey, on coming out to her father:

…I was afraid to tell him about my having been a prostitute because he was a great dad.  I didn’t want him to think one had anything to do with the other.  I didn’t want to burden him with this indulgent, selfish secret because I feared the images that “your daughter was a prostitute” would conjure might break him, even when his various tours of duty didn’t…We talked for hours, never addressing my prostitution directly. We got tipsy, and…he said…that he was proud of me, and that I could always come home.  “No matter what.”  I could see he wasn’t angry.  He was nervous for me the same way he’s always been…

Go read it.  Please. playing-cowboy-in-cartagena

They Never Learn

Since this self-aggrandizing fascist wankfest hasn’t sold as a TV show, they made a pilot movie:

“Just like the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin brought awareness to slavery and helped start a civil war, this movie can instantly turn that dial of public awareness to sex trafficking,” [fantasizes] director Chet Thomas.  Toward the beginning of The Abolitionists, a film with a limited release…the audience is introduced to “Batman”…a flawed hero with a troubled past who now works largely in the dark of night, protecting the vulnerable from unimaginable horrors…Batman…spent 15 years laundering money for drug cartels in Latin America…[until he had] a Christian epiphany…Nowadays, he works undercover, largely with a former Homeland Security officer named Tim Ballard.  The two of them set up sting operations worldwide that result in the capture of those who sell children as sex slaves…The directors of the documentary…also are working on a TV show.  They say they have enough video — taken with cameras disguised as sunglasses, pens and phones — for 25 episodes…Ballard’s organization, Operation Underground Railroad, has rescued 573 children worldwide and put 160 criminals behind bars…

Choke Point (#610)

The government-encouraged gentrification of the internet is tightening the noose on sex workers:

Lately, it seems like every website wants to see my ID.  Facebook was the first…then Airbnb started asking me to submit both a Facebook account and legal identification…And now Twitter’s opened up its verification process to all sorts of users—provided, of course, those users are willing to send the staff a copy of their legal identification…this push towards a verified internet…makes me concerned that the next iteration of the social media sites that have been essential to the destigmatization of sex work…won’t be quite so amenable to sex work…It should be relatively obvious why a tweeting escort would want to avoid providing her legal information…but even practitioners of legal sex work such as porn and stripping might not be too keen on the idea…it’s…possible that the potential chilling effect on sex worker voices is more than just an unintentional side effect…

The End of the Beginning (#668) 

A reminder that in most of the US, the situation is still worsening:

When he was 18, David Clark had sex with a 14-year-old.  In 1982 he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct…and was sentenced to four years of probation.  The following year, the state legislature passed a law that retroactively required Clark to register as a sex offender.  In 2009 he was arrested for failing to register…He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.  Last week a federal appeals court [pretended] there was nothing constitutionally amiss about this series of events, because the law threatening to put Clark behind bars is [supposedly] not punitive…retroactive application…violates the Constitution’s ban on ex post facto laws…[but politicians and courts pretend that] forcing sex offenders to register is not a punishment…

Of Course It Is

It’s nice to know that at least a few reporters get this:

…TV stations plastered [Celeste Guap’s] image on newscasts.  Reporters hounded her for interviews and shared images from her social-media accounts on their websites.  During this time, Guap was [using heroin]…to cope with depression related to her [sexual abuse by cops]…last week…Florida deputies arrested Guap and charged her with felony battery…How did the Bay Area media react to this news?  At least four local outlets — including KTVU, SFist.com, ABC 7 and KRON — published Guap’s true identity and legal name, along with a “mug shot” from Florida jail…some local journalists are arguing that Guap’s case already was widely publicized, so it was OK to disclose her legal name…Bullshit.  The only reason her story is news…is because she was an underage victim of sexual assault [by cops]…And her legal name and identity should be protected as such…and…what the hell was Guap doing [in Florida] in the first place?…She’s a witness to…crimes committed by numerous Bay Area [cops, including]…human trafficking, statutory rape, interfering with a police investigation, illegal use of a police computer system, and pandering…she’s…trapped with a $300,000 bail and detoxing from hard street drugs cold-turkey, and…experiencing [jailhouse] harassment from [jailers]…

It’s What They Do

Thanks, Iain, but we don’t want to be “legalized and regulated”; we just want to be left the Hell alone:

The politician in charge of the Commons committee reviewing the laws on prostitution is caught in a prostitution scandal.  It is right for Labour MP Keith Vaz to resign as chairman of the Commons Home Affairs committee for the time being…But beyond that, Jeremy Corbyn is right about it being “a private matter”…Mr Vaz has done nothing illegal.  Even the “poppers” he was alleged to have taken are a legal stimulant.  But a lot of people seem to believe that Mr Vaz should now stand down as an MP simply because he was unfaithful to his wife…Yet…people have always had affairs…gay men should surely not be forced do disclose their sexuality if they feel uncomfortable about doing so…Some of the criticism has clearly come from supporters of what is called the “Nordic model” who believe that the buying of sex should be illegal.  But this story vividly illustrates the problems associated with changing the law to criminalise men who purchase sex…I can’t really understand why the sale of sexual services should ever be illegal unless it involves trafficking, pimping, compulsion or other forms of coercive behaviour.  The Vaz case – if the allegations are true – demonstrates why prostitution should be legalised and properly regulated.  So long as it is underground, the sex trade will remain in the hands of the criminals and blackmailers…

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Fuck you, Gawker and your puritanical bullshit.  –  Lynsie Lee

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

If you think 100,000 “child sex slaves” in the US is ridiculous, how about in a country with ¼ the population?  “There are over 100,000 women working as sex slaves in Turkey, of which half are children, a non-governmental organization has revealed…”  This is supposedly an “estimate” of the number of streetwalkers (compare with 70,000 in the US), all of whom are said to be “victims of the ‘prostitution mafia’.”

Elephant in the Parlor

Benny Johnson from BuzzFeed…messaged me, asking…about…an innocent yet charming flirtation I had…with…mayor [Cory Booker] at the beginning of the year… the [resulting]…article…was cute and, to me, satirical…[then] calls and emails start pouring in from reporters.  It was surreal.  How could something so simple be seen as a scandal?  Oh wait, I’m a stripper and nude model (how dare someone flirt with my kind!)…Gawker released a story…[implying] that…anybody I associate with is a bad person, especially men…strippers, or anyone in the adult industry, are real people, with real lives and real human relationships.  What we do for income doesn’t mean we are doing those things 24 hours a day.Doctor Mordrid  Accountants don’t sit at home with calculators at the dinner table, nor do proctologists go around sticking their fingers in people’s butts at the grocery store…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

A reader called Daz sent me a DVD I’ve been curious about for some time: Doctor Mordrid starring Jeffrey Combs, which was originally meant to be an adaptation of Marvel’s supernatural superhero Doctor Strange.  Thank you, Daz!

Change a Few Words

The Silk Road, a Web based black market for…narcotics…and other illicit goods, has been shut down by the FBI, and its alleged mastermind, Ross William Ulbricht, has been arrested…I can’t help but conclude…that the world is actually going to be a more dangerous place in [its] absence…The FBI…[wrote] “the site has sought to make conducting illegal transactions…as easy and frictionless as shopping…at mainstream e-commerce websites”…compared to the epidemic violence that has characterized the drug trade for the entirety of the War on Drugs…that…[seems] like a relative utopia…[and] successor sites…are…already up and running

The Profumo Affair

Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, the friends who became household names when the Profumo affair was exposed in 1963, are no longer even on speaking terms…[and have] not seen [one another] for three decades…Rice-Davies has leant her support to Lloyd Webber in the making of Stephen Ward, a stage show about the society osteopath who also played a pivotal role in the scandal…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Politicians want to protect the “good” women of Saskatoon from sex rays:

A new…proposal would isolate…strip clubs in industrial areas…City administration is recommending a 160-metre separation for adult entertainment venues from residential neighbourhoods, schools, parks, childcare centres, preschools…recreational facilities…[and] other adult entertainment venues…”You don’t [get] more street crime because of strip clubs,” said Mariana Valvarde, a professor of criminology at the University of Toronto…”It’s a myth”…Saskatoon’s proposed bylaw would [also] require [strippers] to be licensed…

But wait, it gets even stupider:

…Saskatchewan…does NOT allow nudity in a business that serves alcohol…[and] this is NOT changing…[the government’s own website states] “full frontal nudity will continue to be prohibited”…[only] wet t-shirt contests and striptease without nudity will be allowed…[but] the public AND the media…are reacting as though the opposite is the case…

Coming Out

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #26)

Another way the Swedish model harms sex workers:

A plan to protect Oslo prostitutes…has been dropped after [officials] ruled it would violate people’s privacy…Bjørg Norli, director of Prosentret, said…”The problem is that buying sex in Norway is illegal.  We would have been keeping a register of criminals, which the police would have been able to demand access to”…

Whatever They Need To Say

It isn’t only in Bangladesh that whores are evicted so fascists can profit:

…Sex workers from three flats in Soho were evicted…after police issued enforcement notices on landlords warning they could be prosecuted if they were found to be allowing “immoral activities”…On [October 9th] sex workers and activists…gathered outside the offices of Soho Estates, one of the main property owners in the area, and called for them to “stand up” to police.  “Soho has always been one of the safest places in the country for women to work”…said Niki Adams from the English Collective of Prostitutes…Members of the local Soho Society said the character of Soho was under threat from developers…Blue is the Warmest Colour

The Notorious Badge (TW3 #32)

I’ve got news for you, Léa

When it awarded the Palme d’Or to Blue Is the Warmest Colour, the Cannes Film Festival jury took the unusual step of sharing the prize between its director Abdellatif Kechiche, and its two principal actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos…but…the actresses were apparently unhappy with the director’s methods…Seydoux [said] “We had fake pussies on…I don’t make love on screen…it was kind of humiliating sometimes, I was feeling like a prostitute”…

Due Consideration

Alicia Beltran found herself handcuffed, shackled…and detained in an inpatient drug treatment facility for being honest about a medical history that included past dependency on prescription painkillers. The State of Wisconsin provided an attorney for her fetus, but not for her.  Without evidence of harm to either herself or the fetus, Alicia was made a ward of the state, all her rights and liberties suspended – including her right to have an abortion if that had been what she wanted…

Peeping Toms (TW3 #311)

The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal of a lower court ruling striking down Virginia’s anti-sodomy law…Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli…responded…[by] alleging that ‘nearly 90 sexual predators’ could be dropped from a registry of sex offenders…”  Too bad it isn’t more.

Dr. Schrödinger and His Amazing Pussycat (TW3 #312)

Jean-Baptiste de LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck was an 18th-century biologist who believed that characteristics acquired within an individual creature’s lifetime could be passed to its descendants; this was among the first steps toward evolutionary theory, but was disproved about a century ago.  However, certain political cults (such as Soviet communism) still clung to it long afterward as a pseudoscientific means of supporting their beliefs, and apparently Swedish state neofeminism is among them:

Around the world, women are on average shorter than men.  Purely biological evidence suggests that it should be the opposite…if women generally were larger risks associated with childbirth would…decrease…New theories suggest that the imbalance of power and discrimination underlie the size differences…we unconsciously give boys more food than girls, making the size difference between the sexes…persist over generations…

If this were true, the size difference would have vanished by the late 20th century in Western countries, where food has not generally been scarce in generations.  But it must please neofeminists tremendously to believe that if not for “Patriarchy”, women would be bigger and stronger than men.

The End of the Beginning

As…governments have imposed…restrictions on where sex offenders can live or even set foot, members of this highly stigmatized group…have formed associations…to [argue]…that indiscriminate laws…are unconstitutional and ineffective…“I find it very offensive that…sex offenders are trying to defeat the measures we have put in place to protect children,” said Nina Salarno Ashford …with Crime Victims United.  “They created their own issues…somebody was assaulted, in many cases a child”…[prosecutor] Susan Kang Schroeder…[said] “The pro-sex-offender lobby likes to bandy about percentages, as if even 1 percent is acceptable”…

The dysphemisms and lies should seem familiar.  Crime Victims United are vengeful badge-lickers who support mass incarceration and the abrogation of rights of the accused; the pretense that public urination, prostitution and sex while teenage are forms of “assault” is typical for them, as is pretending most “victims” are children.  And branding those fighting for human rights “The pro-sex offender lobby” is right out of the prohibitionist playbook.

Above the Law (TW3 #325)

new studies confirm previous findings that most of those who commit sexual abuse in detention are corrections staff, not inmates.  That is true in all types of detention facilities, but especially in juvenile facilities…[where] victims of sexual misconduct by staff members were more likely to report eleven or more instances of abuse than a single, isolated occurrence…

Ad Absurdum

Kaitlyn Hunt…entered no contest pleas to…misdemeanor battery and felony interference with child custody…[she will] remain in jail until December 20, followed by three years of felony supervision…she will not be branded a convicted felon or registered sex offender and can ask for her case to be sealed or expunged…

Matthew Lyons
Be Careful Who You Rape

And if she really had been a hooker, that would have made it OK?

…21-year-old Matthew E. Lyons approached [a] woman…[bird-watching] in a [Florida] gazebo…Lyons repeatedly complimented the woman…[when she said] she was not interested…in…sex…Lyons…threw [her] to the floor…and pulled off her shorts and underwear…[but fled after he] was unable to pull on a condom…Lyons admitted meeting with the woman but said he thought she was a prostitute…

Policing for Profit

Several communities in [Wisconsin want]…to increase the fines for…prostitution…Police are backing an ordinance that would make the fines more than $2600…Police are hopeful increasing the fine by more than 1300% will serve as a deterrent…”  Obviously, they hope nothing of the kind; it would cut into their profits.  Meanwhile, in Florida:

Police in [Sunrise]…have hit upon a surefire way to make millions.  They sell cocaine.  [Cops] and their army of informants lure big-money drug buyers…from [all over the Western Hemisphere]…then bust the buyers and seize their cash and cars…the…money…fuels huge overtime payments for the undercover officers…and cash rewards for the confidential informants…one femme fatale informant  [made] more than $800,000 over the past five years…Last year, the city raked in $2 million…the year before…twice that…

Cuckoo Advertising (Extra Edition)

Credulous reporters keep giving away ad space:

…“The World’s Largest Sugar Daddy Dating Website” says it has recorded a 50 percent jump in average daily sign-ups since the start of the government shutdown…“We usually have a lull in September and October,” Seeking Arrangement’s public relations manager Jennifer Gwynn told NPR…“Half of the new members are single moms, so we’re thinking that it’s tied directly to the government shutdown, since programs like WIC…have been stalled”…

Just Call Me Nobody

Lest you forget:  “pimp” is copese for husband, driver, landlord, roommate, service owner, bodyguard, phone operator, parent…

…Lindsey Roberson, a [North Carolina] assistant district attorney, said…if [whores] complete certain mandated steps, the charges will be dropped…they [must] accept responsibility, go through trauma counseling, a vocational assessment, and – if needed – substance abuse treatment…Thom Goolsby…said [his] new law makes North Carolina the “toughest state in the union on pimps and johns”…

So women are infantilized and brainwashed and men are “hammered”.Cathy Reisenwitz

A Procrustean Bed (TW3 #339)

Cathy Reisenwitz on New York’s “trafficking” court:

…the policy…is a paternalistic perception that strips women of agency in an attempt to protect them from their own choices. “Saving” sex workers, after arresting and arraigning them, will not accomplish the court’s goals…special courts fail to recognize the people who are not hurting themselves or anyone else, but are criminals only by law…sex workers are potentially human trafficking’s most effective foes, as they are ideally situated to identify sex slavery and alert the authorities. Or they would be if they did not risk arrest and prosecution for doing so…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #339)

Another good article about Equality Now from Melissa Gira Grant:

It’s not something you expect to hear from a women’s rights group:  our prostitutes are better than yours.  But that’s the tone struck by Equality Now in their new campaign against United Nations recommendations that sex work be decriminalized. Claiming that the UN “ignores survivors of prostitution,” Equality Now and their allied anti-prostitution organizations have offered their own experts who have worked in the sex trade – who all also happen to agree with them that prostitution must remain illegal…despite evidence that illegality is dangerous, and despite even sex workers’ own demands.  This is why you will find a former prosecutor…now leading this ostensibly human rights campaign…

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If we [can’t] get the prohibition on sex work repealed, we [will] never end up hanging on to our abortion rights…it’s the same piece of property.  –  Margo St. James

Amsterdam

Dutch “authorities” narrow the bottleneck again and will no doubt be surprised when illegal prostitution increases:  “The city of Amsterdam…will raise the legal age of prostitutes from 18 to 21 and…close brothels during the early morning hours…Amsterdam says it wants to decrease the number of sex workers…to fight crime generated by prostitution…

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Yet another example of what real sex slavery looks like:

A sex worker who was…held hostage for two…days broke her legs and back when she jumped out a sixth-floor window…Benjamin Gaston and Johnny Jackson have been charged with kidnapping and raping the…woman…Gaston…stole her cellphone, money and identification…hit her and held a pillow over her face, telling her, “You’re…working for me and making me money.”  The next day, [she] was taken to another apartment…where there were six or seven additional men waiting to have sex with her, including Jackson…The woman tried to escape…by using her jacket as a rope…[but] fell to the ground…Saturn Devouring His Son by Francisco Goya (c 1820)

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I just love it when they feed on one another.  In Stockholm, “Police…were surprised…to find that a man they had arrested for buying sex from a prostitute was the duty prosecutor to whom they were obliged to report the crime…”, and in New York, “Officer Luis Gutierrez…was on duty when he allegedly offered a prostitute money…[but she] was an undercover cop…

Decentralization

Bitcoin is now the world’s best-performing currency:

…The number of coins in circulation grows very slowly–there are about 10.8 million…now, and that will increase to 21 million by 2140…growth…[can’t] keep up with demand and so the value of the currency [grows]…The U.S. dollar value of a Bitcoin is up from…$4.87 [a year ago]…to $31.09 today.  It has appreciated by over 100% from the end of 2012 alone, when the quoted price was $13.48…And it’s also going mainstream, reports in the Guardian and Forbes  suggest…

The Forbes article reports that “Silicon Valley Bank…and…Coinlab….will [soon] allow North America-based…users to directly convert money from dollars to bitcoin, without having to pay the hefty transaction fees associated with transferring money abroad…

Against Their Will

Spanish police were puzzled when thirty Romanian whores they “rescued from exploitation by a network of pimps” immediately returned to work; “none of [them] asked for protection or availed themselves of assistance…to return to their country” despite police claims of beatings and debt bondage.  Meanwhile, Filipino “authorities” continued their weird crusade against “cybersex”:  “…police raided…[an] alleged…cybersex den…[and] rescued 12 [young men]…“They referred to themselves as ‘chatters’ because they chat online…as they perform sexual acts in front of the web cam,” said…officer…Romano Cardiño…

Peeping Toms

Dennis Green admits he offered another man $20…for sex…[but his] defense…could have a far-reaching impact…legalizing prostitution in Ohio…Scott Nazzarine, Green’s public defender…believes there’s no way what Green did can be deemed a crime in today’s society.  He compares it to other acts that at one time were illegal – premarital sex, the sale of sex toys, abortion, contraception…but now are legal, protected rights…“It’s about privacy rights and constitutional rights and the government’s intrusion into them…Any justification for prostitution laws is just a pretext for morality”…

Nazzarine is of course totally right and the judges know it, but I don’t think this is the case that will do the job because there’s still too much hypocrisy afoot.  Still, this won’t be the last one, and eventually individual rights must triumph just as they have in other sexual matters.

We Told You So

Who victimizes sex workersThe Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women is the only large “anti-trafficking” organization which fights the use of bogus statistics and conflation of sex work with exploitation; it’s calling for papers for its Anti-Trafficking Review on the topic “Following the Money: Spending on Anti-Trafficking” …“Lacking is analysis of…anti-trafficking funds – where they come from, who they go to, what they are meant to do, what they actually achieve, and indeed whether they are needed.”  Two of the suggested topics are analysis of the motives behind “anti-trafficking” funding and questioning ties to law enforcement.

An Ounce of Prevention

A baby…who got immediate treatment now has no detectable [HIV] in her blood…within 30 hours of birth…she…got a cocktail of three drugs at a dose normally reserved for more advanced cases…There is still virus in [her] body.  But…it doesn’t seem to be able to spread from one cell to another…[or damage her] immune system…

The Law of Averages

Emi Koyama exposes journalists who knew the falsity of the “average age of debut in prostitution is 13” myth for three years, yet kept repeating it anyhow:  “While I was glad to see that The Oregonian now officially acknowledges that there is no basis for this…everything…Janie Har…wrote…was already in my three-year old blog post…[written after] I first read the claim…in [Oregonian reporter Elizabeth] Hovde’s column…” Emi details her July 2010 correspondence with Hovde, in which the reporter acknowledged her analysis but made excuses rather than issuing a retraction.  Then finally, last Saturday,

The Oregonian acknowledges that the claim is baseless! (But why is it rated “half-truth”…and why did they not mention any other study that contradict 12-14 claim?)  I have a feeling that Janie Har read my blog post…she mentions the same Shared Hope report and points out the same problems…If she did read my blog, why did she not speak with me or give me credit…The Oregonian had the opportunity to stop perpetuating the myth for almost three years, and yet failed to do so as recently as this January.Secret Lives  While Janie Har’s column is to be commended, The Oregonian and Hovde need to take responsibility for their part in the falsehood…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

While I was in New York last week, Secret Lives and A Natural History of Rape arrived as gifts from reader “M”.  Thank you very much, both for the books and the good wishes!

Little Boxes

When Melissa King [aged out of] the Delaware foster care system at 18, she did some porn, entered some pageants, and enrolled in college…Last November, King was crowned Miss Delaware Teen USA…[but] she gave up her crown after an explicit video…surfaced on an amateur porn website…Now she’s being publicly shamed by former friends and international news organizations…Pageants and porn are…two sides of a very thin sexual boundary.  And for a young, pretty girl who’s strapped for cash…only one of [them offers it] up-front…

Naked Truth

Melissa Gira Grant continues a strong run of good articles with “Unpacking the Sex Trafficking Panic” in Contemporary Sexuality, the newsletter of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).  When sex-worker-penned items criticizing a popular narrative appear under the imprimatur of a relatively-conservative organization, it’s clear the tide has begun to turn.  Also, here’s a good interview with veteran activist Tracy Quan by Caty Simon on Tits and Sass; I promise, I’m not just linking it because it mentions me.Margo St. James in Washington

The Birth of a Movement

In this interview with Bitch magazine, Margo St. James discusses the beginning of the sex worker rights movement, how the neofeminists turned mainstream feminism against us, “sex trafficking” hysteria and the future of sex worker activism.

Coming Out

Dear Prudence” gives what I think is a reasonable response to an unconsciously-bigoted man wondering if he should “out” a sex worker friend to his other friends.  Unfortunately, the graphics give the impression that the woman goes around looking like a Hollywood streetwalker when in reality, the uptight questioner’s issue is that she looks just like any other woman.

Much Ado About Nothing (TW3 #44)

An escort who appeared on a video claiming that Sen. Robert Menendez…paid her for sex has told Dominican authorities that she was instead paid to make up the claims and has never met or seen the senator…a local lawyer had approached her and a fellow escort and asked them to help frame Menendez…That lawyer has in turn identified a second Dominican lawyer who he said gave the woman a script and paid her to read the claims aloud…

Texas Tall Tales

Facebook PimpThe “Facebook pimps” myth just keeps growing and growing, which really isn’t a surprise since it combines three of the moral panics du jour: “sex trafficking”, gangs and the evil, evil internet.  This sort of thing has been happening for as long as there have been exploitative men and naive, sheltered girls with romantic delusions; it’s not a “trend”, not limited to Facebook and not an international conspiracy.  CNN also fails to understand that three cases in a country of 300 million do not an epidemic make, and that 18 isn’t “underage”.

Genetic Fallacy

Yet another example of judges ignoring a law’s unconstitutionality on the grounds that those challenging it have not been sufficiently harmed by it:

The Supreme Court…[dismissed] a challenge to a…federal law that allows…interception of electronic communications…[on the grounds] that the lawyers, journalists and human rights organizations that brought the suit cannot prove they have been caught up in the surveillance and thus may not challenge [it]…the 5 to 4 ruling did not touch on…constitutionality…and challengers said it will be almost impossible now to get that issue before a court…

Profound Ignorance (TW3 #51)

An even more thorough refutation of the moronic prohibitionist claim that sex is somehow different from every other human activity:

The assumption that liberal prostitution laws lead to an increase in human trafficking is refuted.  On the contrary…since…liberalisation, there has been more police activity but…significantly less suspects, convicts and victims.  That’s…an indicator that…disentanglement of prostitution from criminal environments is increasingly successful.” – Volker Beck, MP…“In the year 2000…[German officials] registered…926 victims.  In the year 2011, there were 640.  This equates to a decrease of just under 31 per cent.  If one compares the figures…in 2003 [a year after the prostitution law was passed] and 2011, one sees a certifiable decline of just above 48 per cent”…The…German government thus refutes the claim by Neumayer, Cho and Dreher  that legalised prostitution increases human trafficking…

Déjà Vu (TW3 #135)

More evidence of the evangelical Christian basis for “sex trafficking” mythology and a look inside the perverted minds of prohibitionists:

In the fight against sex trafficking, the Church needs to address the root causes – the ideas…that break the linkage sex has to love, responsibility and children, [said] Lisa Thompson…of…the Salvation Army…Thompson asked [her audience] not [to] divorce…sex trafficking from…prostitution [because]…all prostitution dehumanizes women…”God did not create any woman for the purpose…that she be a cum receptacle.  God did not create the female to be a human being that [johns] are basically masturbating into…sex was never intended to be a job, so let’s not use the language of ‘sex work'”…

That Thompson had to deny that sex work is work is a very good sign indeed.

Caring Professionals

lone red umbrellaI have long held that professional sex workers need to develop a code of ethics just as other professions have, not only for moral reasons but in order to push back against “authorities” who think they are more qualified than we are to set standards for work they’ve never done.  So I was pleased to hear that the Australian Sex-Positive Sex Industry Association (ASPaSIA) is working on just such a code, and I’ll report on it at full length once it’s finalized later this month.

Unclean Situation (TW3 #138)

Labour TD, Eamonn Maloney, said he did not accept the [claims] in the report on the [Magdalene] laundries…“They…made lots of money,” he said…adding that most commercial laundries in the 1940s and 1950s closed because of competition from the Magdalenes.  “Not only has the church as yet to apologise for their role in operating these prisons, they do also have a role…in compensating people,” he said…The Government has so far refused to say what contribution, if any, it will seek from the orders…

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I don’t want to teach ESL.  I don’t want to work in food service.  I would rather sell sex.  –  Melissa Petro

Joshua JensenLicense To Rape

A woman…coerced into oral sex by [a] Beaverton [Oregon] police officer in 2010 accepted a settlement in her lawsuit…[Joshua] Jensen pleaded guilty to…official misconduct and coercion charges…[stemming] from two incidents…in which [he] arranged to meet a prostitute…and…[showed] up in uniform, in a marked police car.  Both women [said] he ordered them behind a garbage container.  The woman who sued him said he grabbed her head, forced it down and demanded that she perform oral sex…Jensen was not charged with a sex crime and did not have to register as a sex offender.  He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison…[but] completed his sentence in November 2011 through an Alternative Incarceration Program.

Other rapists get lifetime sentences on the “sex offender” registry; Jensen got a slap on the wrist.

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Another example of what real sex slavery looks like:

A Chinese court sentenced [Li Hao, 35] to death for holding six women as sex slaves…and killing two of them…the former local government employee kidnapped six nightclub and karaoke bar workers and repeatedly raped them in a self-built dungeon.  Two of the six were found dead when a 23-year-old woman escaped and led police to the basement.  Li forced them all into prostitution and filmed them in pornographic videos he put on the internet…He then instructed three women to kill two of the other captives.  The three women were found guilty of murder but were given lenient sentences.  One was jailed for three years and two were put on probation…

An Educated Idiot

It seems credulity and sloppy scholarship aren’t Sudhir Venkatesh’s only flaws:

…Sudhir Venkatesh…is a celebrity…through his research on gang life and prostitutes…but…some of his peers say that…he takes liberties not appropriate for a scholar:  sensationalizing his experiences, exaggerating the reliability of his memory and, in one case, physically assaulting someone…and…he was the subject last year of a grueling investigation into [$241,364.83] of spending that Columbia auditors said was insufficiently documented, misappropriated or outright fabricated…auditors said that Professor Venkatesh directed $52,328 to someone without any “documented evidence of work performed”…He charged Columbia for town cars to take him around, to take his fiancée home from work…[and] to take someone…from [his] address to a building that houses a nail salon and a psychic…

Parable

Flexibeast presents a clever satire making the same comparison I did, namely sex and food:

I’d like to discuss…the commodification of food, and the scourge that is the food industry.  Food…is an essential human need.  When people buy and sell food, the act of preparing and eating food becomes mere support for, and reinforcement of, the notion that it’s acceptable to transform relations between humans into relations between a human and an unimportant unfeeling object.  We must reject all buying and selling of food…

After you enjoy this very funny parody, try this Onion article on “abstinence-only school lunch programs” linked by one of Flexibeast’s commenters.

Down Under

This may have something to do with the good example of Fiji’s closest large neighbors, Australia and New Zealand:  “Health authorities want sex work legalised to remove discrimination…the Ministry of Health’s acting permanent secretary, Dr Josefa Koroivueta…said Fiji was working towards a human rights-based approach and discrimination of sex workers was against human rights…the new legislation should be ready by next year.”

A Load of Farley

chanukah menorahOne can never have too many scathing critiques of Melissa Farley, so I present this very effective one from Glasgow Sex Worker, which criticizes both her horrible personality and her awful “research methodology”, with lots of pertinent links.

Hanukkah

Hanukkah starts at sundown today; Khag Urim Sameakh to all my Jewish readers!

Scapegoats

It’s nice to know that at least one European government is so free from economic concerns that it has time to deal with the little things:

…The German parliament…is considering making it an offence not only to hurt an animal but also to force it into unnatural sex…Germany legalised bestiality…in 1969, except when the animal suffered “significant harm”.  But animal rights groups have campaigned for a change in the law…a fine of up to 25,000 euros…is proposed if someone forces an animal to commit “actions alien to the species”…Bestiality is banned in…the Netherlands, France and Switzerland…in the UK…the maximum sentence [was reduced in 2003] from life imprisonment to two years…[it is legal] in Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, though Stockholm is considering a change…

It’s also nice to know that under current Swedish law, animals can consent to sex while women can’t.

An Example to the West

…[Maharashtra] state minister for women and child Varsha Gaikwad told [the Times of India], “The state women’s policy aims to recognize the concerns of [marginalized] communities…[so] the expert committee reviewing the policy will have…three representatives from the transgenders and the sex workers in order to ensure that their concerns get reflected in the policy document”…San Antonio 4

Traffic Jam

Harvey Silverglate reminds us that some of the victims of the Satanic Panic are still rotting away in prison for “crimes” that never happened:

…Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Anna Vasquez and Cassandra Rivera…[were] accused in 1994 of repeatedly raping Ramirez’s two nieces, then 7 and 9 years old…Mayhugh, Vasquez and Rivera are twelve years into a 15-year sentence.  Ramirez was accused of being the ringleader, so she received 37½ years.  All four of the women refused pretrial plea deals…and three have refused parole offers conditioned on an admission of guilt and completion of a “rehabilitation” course for sex offenders…In September, one of the accusers recanted, saying she now seems to recall a quiet, even boring, weekend with her aunt, her sister and her aunt’s friends.  She has vowed to do everything in her power to help exonerate the four women still imprisoned as a result of her earlier false accusations…

As in other “Satanic Panic” cases and most “sex trafficking” cases, the total lack of concrete evidence, the fact that the accusers’ stories changed frequently and their history of false rape accusations (instigated by their sociopathic father) made absolutely no difference to prosecutors, jury or judge, who wanted to “send a message” that “alternative lifestyles” (the women are lesbians) would not be tolerated.

Coming Out

Melissa Petro is broke, and therefore thinking “a lot” about going back into hooking even though she has often said she didn’t like it.  That’s why her voice is valuable; as I said before, “I think it’s extremely important for women who don’t love the work to come out, because I honestly believe they’re the majority.  Everybody hears from the ‘happy hookers’ and the ‘survivors’, but…for most of the women I’ve known it was a job like any other, with its own advantages and disadvantages…

South of the Border

Funny how “sex trafficking victims” magically get their agency back when they’re Mexicans the “authorities” prefer to deport:  “Three people pleaded guilty…to bringing illegal immigrant women to [South Carolina] to work as prostitutes whose clientele were migrant farm workers…The prostitutes were illegal immigrants but none were being held against their will, [the US attorney] said…”  Apparently, the immigration stooge interviewed for the story got a different memo; he opined that “the women…have been rescued from lives of misery as a result of this investigation.”American Courtesans

The Public Eye

Jessie Nicole reviews American Courtesans, a new documentary about the lives of eleven high-end escorts:

Each of the eleven women had profoundly different experiences…[proving] that there is no single narrative of the sex industries.  Though each one seemed happy and relatively stable at the time of the interviews, many had experienced violence, arrest, and economic desperation…there was no sugarcoating or romanticization …the film also includes testimony from clients and family members…American Courtesans was a good step in the right direction, but we need to keep pushing further…[with] more and better media projects…

Buried Truth

James Cameron, the federal drug prosecutor who fled Maine after his child porn conviction was upheld three weeks ago, was arrested Sunday morning at a used-media store in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  US marshals theorize he was headed for Mexico.

Metaupdates

Gorged With Meaning (First Updates of the Year, Part Two)

Pearl-clutching Brits just can’t let this two-year-old study go:

Undergraduates have traditionally pulled pints or waited tables to pay their way through university, but…a significant number are now turning to sex work to make ends meet.  The rise in fees which will see some students graduate with projected debts of up to £53,000 …is being blamed for persuading young women and men to take up pole dancing, escort work or even prostitution.  Experts say that university welfare officers are largely ignorant of the growing phenomenon and poorly equipped to deal with issues arising from young people’s involvement.  Research by Dr Ron Roberts…published in 2010 suggested that one in four students know someone who had worked in the sex industry to fund their studies – up from three per cent in 1990.  Dr Roberts found 16 per cent would consider working in the industry while more than one in 10 were open to the idea of being an escort.  Research by Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy, of the University of Leeds, found that a quarter of lap dancers had a degree whilst a third of the women they interviewed were using the job to fund new forms of training…

This poster won the Irish "sex trafficking" contest described in TW3 #40; all pictures are stolen.

This poster won the Irish “sex trafficking” contest described in TW3 #40; all pictures are stolen.

Coed sex workers have never been rare; they’re just more apt to admit it these days, which is good for everybody.  The funniest part of the article is that its clueless author appears to believe the claims of the con-man behind “Sponsor A Scholar”.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #8)

Prohibitionists are furious that the Israeli legislature allowed the wildly-unpopular (opposed by 59% of Israelis) Swedish model to die in committee, but what makes this prohibitionist op-ed entitled “Prostitution in Israel: Myth vs Reality” so interesting (if nauseating) is that it completely inverts the two, labeling myths as “facts” and vice-versa.  One wonders how people manage to make it through life in such a deeply-delusional state.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (TW3 #20)

Despite a few good advance hints, the news about DSM-V is mostly bad:

…The [APA] has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM 5 containing many changes that seem clearly unsafe and scientifically unsound…Fortunately, some of its most…unsupportable proposals were eventually dropped under great external pressure (most notably…internet and sex addiction…)  But…DSM 5 will start a half or dozen or more new fads which will be detrimental to the misdiagnosed individuals and costly to our society…

Dr. Frances’ list of the ten worst changes includes DMDD; the redefinition of normal grief into “Major Depressive Disorder”, the normal forgetfulness of old age into “Minor Neurocognitive Disorder”, and gluttony into “Binge Eating Disorder”; and (most dangerously) the introduction of “use disorders”, essentially “Behavioral Addictions that…can…make a mental disorder of everything we like to do a lot.”

One Born Every Minute (TW3 #48)

The man uncovered as running a “sex for tuition fees” website…[was] secretly filmed…[and identified as] Mark Lancaster, but when contacted by a television programme refused to speak about the Sponsor a Scholar scheme…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #48)

Dr. Brooke Magnanti vs. Rhoda Grant on this week’s Sunday Politics Scotland.

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Beside a two-part column on the myth that most whores are enslaved by pimps, this week also featured posts on Barbie, Saint Nicholas, toys, the Salvation Army, my favorite bands and albums, “sex addiction”, sugar daddy sites and the bizarre pretense that historical courtesans were not prostitutes.  We also saw articles on the anti-whore hostility of Canadian “authorities”, the lack of outrage when criminals use Craigslist to commit non-sex related crimes, and why ignorance really is bliss for some people, and I gave advice to a young man who wanted to “rescue” a hooker.

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The reality is that those who target sex workers do so because sex work is so stigmatised and criminalised and perpetrators perceive sex workers as easy targets.  –  Alex Bryce

Pet Peeves

Ah, validation:

The Associated Press has nixed “homophobia”…and a number of other terms from its Style Book…”-phobia…an irrational, uncontrollable fear…[is unacceptable] in political or social contexts,” including “homophobia” and “Islamophobia”…AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn [said]…”Homophobia…[is] just off the mark.  It’s ascribing a mental disability to someone…Instead, we would use something more neutral [like] anti-gay…”

Drama Queens

The big story of the week was sent to me by over a dozen readers:

…A new study…suggests that porn stars have higher self-esteem, a better quality of life and body image, and are more spiritual than their non-adult entertainment counterparts.  Researchers compared the self-reports of 177 porn actresses to a sample of women matched on age, ethnicity, and marital status.  Comparisons were conducted on sexual behaviors and attitudes, self-esteem, quality of life and drug use.  The study found that porn actresses were more likely to identify as bisexual and to say they enjoyed sex.  They also reported having sex for the first time at a younger age, 15, than their counterparts in the control group, 17.  Porn stars were no more likely to have had endured sexual abuse than those in the control group…

Had the study been of sex workers in general, the results would’ve been almost exactly the same.  Of course, neofeminists instantly launched into tirades of denial, like this exceptionally bizarre one from Sheila “Penis-in-Vagina Sex is Unnatural” Jeffreys:

“Pornography is likely…to be more severe than other forms of prostitution in its effects…The women are penetrated over long periods of time, often hours…having to take a number of drugs to survive the pain…painkillers [are] also used in prostitution inside the vagina…muscle relaxants and drugs to disassociate mind from body to survive the violation, such as marijuana and heroin.  Women who are interviewed whilst still in prostitution give very different responses from those who have left, often to protect their sense of self”…Jeffreys [also] said…women were unlikely to benefit in any way from working in the adult industry…

That’s right, ladies, the Great Oracle Sheila says we use “painkillers inside the vagina” to “survive the violation”.  I guess I just don’t remember because of false consciousness and all.

Social Construction of Eunuchs

Another hint at Swedish neofeminists’ endgame:  “One of the largest toy chains in Sweden published a gender-neutral Christmas catalogue, which pictured boys playing with dolls and girls holding toy machine guns…Top Toy has produced children’s Christmas catalogues in Denmark and Sweden…though the catalogues’ page layouts are the same in both countries, the gender of the pictured kids is reversed in the Swedish edition…”  In Sweden, the word “neutral” apparently mean “reverse”; keep that in mind if you ever have to drive a Saab or Volvo.

One Born Every Minute

An English con-man set up a website named “SponsorAScholar.co.uk” to trick naïve coeds into having sex with him as a supposed “audition” for a sugar daddy referral service.  The Independent sent a young female reporter to meet the “assessor” in the upscale venue he named – a McDonald’s in Woolwich – but a male reporter posing as a potential client was told there was a “waiting list”.  The website (which has since vanished) was even registered with bogus information, yet most non-sex workers commenting online do not seem to understand that the whole deal was a scam.  These are the same people who believe that they are more qualified to make judgments about whores’ lives than we are.

The Course of a Disease

It appears that “Swedish model” rot won’t be penetrating India anytime soon: “A lawyer…[contends] that it is illegal to arrest the customer of a sex worker…Representing…[a group of men victimized by a police sting], advocate Prabhanjan Dave pointed out that there is no provision under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act…under which a customer can be made an accused…

Attempts to impose the tyranny on Scotland and Northern Ireland continue, however; this excellent essay by Alex Bryce, coordinator of the UK Network of Sex Work Projects, criticizes the “narrow ideological belief that consenting sex between two adults is wrong if…money is involved and that all sex work is…an act of violence against women.”  He explains the horrible effects the model has had in Sweden and points out that its proponents think their prudish beliefs are more important than real people; Rhoda Grant, for example, “claimed that damage to individual sex workers was a ‘price worth paying’” for her goal of demonizing male sexuality and infantilizing women.

Bryce’s overview of the negative effects, however, doesn’t go into quite the detail that this thorough overview on Glasgow Sex Worker does; police tactics in Swedish model jurisdictions (and those employing its nasty little sister, “end demand”) include verbal, physical and sexual harassment of whores, condom criminalization, accusing transgender workers of buying sex and videotaping women engaged in sex acts.  In neofeminist “thought”, consensually appearing in porn is “rape” or “exploitation”, but being the nonconsensual subject of police porn-making isn’t.

Confined and Controlled

The New York Times bemoans the fact that Indian whores are using cell phones to go independent, making it harder for their betters to control them.  Busybody bureaucrats and self-appointed saviors moan that this will undoubtedly cause an HIV epidemic because whores are just too stupid to use condoms on their own without “officials” watching over them like children in a kindergarten:

Millions once bought sex in…Kamathipura…but prostitutes with inexpensive mobile phones are luring customers elsewhere…endangering the astonishing progress India has made against AIDS.  Indeed, the recent closings of hundreds of ancient brothels…may one day cost them, and many others, their lives…[because] independence has made prostitutes far harder for government and safe-sex counselors to trace…

Just in case the reader recognizes that these whores are demonstrating autonomy and agency, the reporter hastens to assure him that “Vicious madams still exist, human trafficking is still rampant [and] village girls are still duped into the trade.”  Because the only things scarier to prudes than sexually-transmitted diseases are women in control of their own sexuality.

Hall of Shame

Regular readers know my “Hall of Shame” is reserved for those who have dishonored our profession by their sleazy, stupid, unethical behavior, and today I have the great displeasure to announce its fifth inductee, escort Jenna Shea:

…Shea…famously recounted intimate details of  her sexual exploits with several rappers  during [a radio] interview …has once again been revealing her clients.  Her latest conquest is allegedly a Houston Rockets star, who is reported to have  recently paid $20,000 for an evening…Shea has openly bragged about her popularity amongst the athletic community on her twitter profile: “I get paid by the NBA so much, I should be signed to a team #literally while u basic hoes watch from tv FOH”…

For outing clients, buying into whorearchy and demonstrating a truly epic level of tackiness, Jenna Shea becomes the first escort in the HoS (joining a halfway whore, a porn actress, a madam and a brothel owner).  NB:  This story comes via a site named “Girl Directory”, which Aspasia discovered is dangerous to link on WordPress; to see the original article Google the name of the whore plus the name of that site.

Coming Out

Jessie Nicole on the benefits and difficulties of coming out as a sex worker; the more stories like this one are published, the harder it will be for prohibitionists to promote their lies about our work.

Train Wreck

The predictable result of government anti-whore propaganda in Nigeria:

The Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (WF) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have [petitioned the government]…to stop the war…currently being waged against women in Abuja by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).  For over a year unidentified armed men under the authority of the AEPB have brutalised women…on the pretext of “eradicating commercial sex workers in Abuja”…[all kinds of women] have been forcibly abducted and taken to purported installations of law enforcement…tortured into ‘confessing’ and forcibly transferred to an alleged rehabilitation camp…maintained by the Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour in Nigeria (SAPCLN)…

The Giving Season

I asked y’all to avoid giving to the Salvation Army due to its anti-whore stance and promotion of “sex trafficking” hysteria, but Aspasia has gone one better by compiling this list of worthy charities to which you might consider contributing instead.  And if you want to protest more directly, you could print the illustration and shove it into bell-ringers’ kettles in place of money.

Metaupdates

Backlash (TW3 #10)

Sex work activists argue that enforcing [criminalization] absorbs significant resources that, given South Africa’s high crime levels, would be better deployed elsewhere.  A recent study by the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC), Sisonke…and the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) found that seven out of ten surveyed sex workers reported some form of abuse by police…The study, titled “Stop harassing us! Tackle real crime!”, draws on interviews with 308 sex workers…its findings indicate that police may be the primary abusers of sex workers…[and that] the existing legal framework encourages police corruption and abuse…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #20)

Politicians decide “sending a message” is more important than safety, logic or human rights:  “A…bill to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia has been withdrawn from state parliament.  Status of Women Minister Gail Gago…said she would now work with interested MPs who supported decriminalisation to consider an alternative model…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #38)

Swiss prostitution laws vary from canton to canton, and Zurich seems determined to greatly increase the number of women who work illegally:

Zurich…officials [claim that sex work] has got out of control…street prostitution is being moved to three designated areas to try to make it safer and more discreet…sex workers…will have to be at least 18 years old…brothels [will] have to [buy] licences…[for] 300 francs…[plus] inspection fees.  And street prostitutes will have to fork out 40 francs for their own licences subject to having a work permit, being registered with a health insurer and taking counselling sessions with the Flora Dora advisory service…they will [also] need to buy a [five-franc] ticket from a machine [every night they work]…

As if the naked paternalism and infantilization of mandatory “counseling” isn’t bad enough, registration schemes never work because most hookers don’t want to be on any list accessible to bureaucrats.  Welfare official Michael Herzig claims that currently “…pimps…decide the prices”, but from what I’ve heard from European sex workers pimps are even rarer there than in the US; I guess the city of Zurich is trying to change that by installing itself as the omnipimp.

Coming and Going (TW3 #39)

Anna Gristina is finally free, and when district attorney Cyrus Vance tried to look tough by referring to her as a “pimp” who “rented women’s bodies for profit” (because obviously hookers are mindless, passive vegetables who stay wherever we’re put), her lawyer had this to say:  “She pled out to a sting operation by one cop — who paid $2,000 in taxpayers money to watch two women engage in cunnilingus…So who’s the pimp?

Where Are the Protests? (TW3 #45)

A 22-year-old man [named Hai Van Vo] who was smuggled into the UK from Vietnam in a shipping container has been jailed for…27 months…[for] running [a] cannabis farm [and] will be deported when he is released…Vo had had little contact with the outside world…had no bed and worked to instructions given to him by others…

This Week in 2010 and 2011

My two previous columns about Toys for Tots and my two previous ones on whores’ age of debut were accompanied by essays on the history of harm reduction, a fake “trafficking study” done by marketers, a thoroughly awful madam, confusing images with reality, and the true motivations of the rescue industry and sex-abuse investigators.  We also looked at my favorite movies, more hooker songs and short items on safety, Charlie Sheen, escort ads, a mega-brothel and cops persecuting a disabled client.

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