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 It’s not a human thing to do—just take this entire community and completely strip them of safe places to…work.  –  Wills de Vogelaere

Banishment

Because obviously his sex rays might harm sick children:

…at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin…staff prevented Stuart Yates, a 49-year-old man on the sex offender registry, from visiting his severely ill son Kahlil, age 9, who was crying and begging him to visit…”In 1998, Yates pleaded guilty to…inappropriately touch[ing] a 15-year-old babysitter…Yates says he took a plea in the case, thinking he would serve six months in prison.  Instead, a judge handed down a five-year sentence….[and registration] as a sex offender for life…Yates is now suing the hospital to be let back inside“…In the face of a lawsuit, the hospital relented in part, and will permit Yates to visit three times a week, for two hours, under supervision.  But the visits must be approved 24 hours in advance, meaning that if the boy wakes up feverish or…takes a turn for the worse, his dad will not be able to hurry to his side…

Backwards into the Future (#540)

Only the authoritarian mind is so twisted it thinks decriminalization of consensual sex is “complicated”:

Vietnamese officials have expressed their concerns about the complicated nature of recognizing prostitution as a job…figures from the International Labor Organization (ILO) suggest that there are nearly 101,300 sex workers…in Vietnam…“Sex workers should have the right to make a living, contribute to society, and enjoy welfare in terms of healthcare and education,” said Cao Van Thanh, vice head of the Social Evil Prevention Department…at a recent meeting in Hanoi…Tran Van Dat, vice head of the Department of General Affairs on Legislative Development…said prostitution should be considered a legitimate profession…

Though they’re commies and therefore need to bloviate about disease and “regulation”, it’s still startling how much more enlightened these politicians’ views are than those in the backward US.

Uncommon Sense (#602)

Once again, myths and agency denial convince Switzerland to narrow the bottleneck for legal sex work:

FIZ, a Swiss NGO specialising in…women’s migration issues…thought that it was very important…that people actually talk about…severe forms of exploitation…the human trafficking framework…has negative effects on other groups of migrant women, and…has turned out to be a framework that is actually a lot about controlling the movement of migrant women, controlling the work of migrant women.  We see this very clearly with sex workers…

Spotlight (#721) 

Asstoon says he’s not just a savior, but an actual messiah:

I have a hard time talking about this issue without being emotional…If you don’t do something about it, then who are you?  It can happen to anyone…Traffickers prey on people…If you look at the place where these [passive, agency-less vegetables] are sold online, its right next to a car, or a sofa or a used bicycle…We basically take a victim, that otherwise is just a posting online, and we turn them into a human being…

Yes, that’s Kutcher claiming to be a literal god who can turn an inanimate object into a human being.

To Molest and Rape (#794)

It’s even easier to get away with rape when you’re literally in bed with the prosecutor:

A Brooklyn prosecutor was caught having an affair with one of the NYPD cops [who raped] a handcuffed teenager…Assistant District Attorney Nicole Manini…is under investigation for potentially violating professional conduct rules…Manini’s illicit relationship with [rapist cop] Richard Hall…was uncovered when investigators with her office reviewed his cellphone records as part of the rape case…Michael David, the lawyer representing Hall’s [victim], said he plans to use the…affair…in his client’s pending civil rights suit against Hall, [rapist cop Eddie] Martins and the city…

The Scarlet Letter (#798)

Who needs the cops to out HIV+ people when dating apps can do it for them?

The gay dating app Grindr says it will stop sharing the HIV status of its users with other companies.  Grindr made the decision…after first defending the practice, which involved sending user profile information — including HIV status and test dates — to two companies called Apptimize and Localytics.  They test the performance of Grindr’s products…

Prudesville (#816) 

Everett expands its argument beyond “women who dress like sluts are asking to be raped”:

After a federal judge ruled against the city of Everett for banning “bikini baristas” from wearing G-strings and pasties, Everett has decided to continue fighting against baristas’ partial nudity…city attorneys stress—while trying to support a ban on butt cleavage—how easy it is to understand the terms of Everett’s ban on “bottom one half of the anal cleft” and “more than one-half of the part of the female breast located below the top of the areola.”  One of the reasons Judge Marsha Pechman blocked the ban was because she ruled those rules were too vague to stand up in court.  She indicated that the argument that the ban limited freedom of expression on the basis of gender was also likely to succeed…

Disaster

Sex workers set up our own social network, just in case we’re censored from Twitter:

…a group of sex workers have apparently attempted to set up their own social network, called Switter.  It’s a Mastodon Instance (Mastodon being the fairly well known open source decentralized social networking platform that allows anyone to set up an individual “instance”)…The stated reasons for Switter are to prepare for the possibility of Twitter banning accounts of sex workers and to have more control over their social media space.  As I write this, the site claims to have about 12,000 signed up users…

And we’re not just fighting a defensive war this time:

Upstart blockchain-based adult outfit, SpankChain, launched an offensive…dubbed “WTFOSTA,” calling for sex workers to expose any politician who’s procured their services and subsequently voted in favor of the recently passed SESTA/FOSTA measure criminalizing web platforms deemed to foster sex trafficking.  The specific bid to the sex worker community, as posted on official campaign site wtfosta.com, is as follows: “We are offering $25,000 to each of the first 10 sex workers who come forward with hard evidence of any politician who voted YES on FOSTA/SESTA engaging their services”…

Cops and Robbers (#823)

Honest headline: “NYPD Creeps Threaten Lonely Men”:

…NYPD [pigs get their jollies]…by planting fake ads and sending [threatening] texts to those looking [for human companionship]…Police have posted phony listings on sites like Backpage.com for years, but always waited until the [victim] showed up and then arrested him. “Advertisements are posted by the NYPD and you won’t know which ads are from us” the [threat lies]…

Actually, it’s extremely easy for men to know which ads are real and which are pig swill: women in real ads will have an established online presence.  Just Google the name, email address, phone number, etc; if there are no other hits on an escort site, other ad sites, Twitter, etc, you’re probably looking at a pig trap.

Elephant in the Parlor (#825) 

Unfortunately, in our post-factual era this doesn’t help as much as it once did:

As Trump’s presidency drags on — having blown past tarnished and into deep, dark ignominy — receipts have become vitally important…Karen McDougal kept receipts.  The former Playboy model’s handwritten notes chronicle an alleged affair in 2006.  These non-coy notes —”we got naked + had sex” — were published in the New Yorker.  A White House rebuttal —”more fake news“— crashed on the shoals of receipts.  Stormy Daniels kept receipts.  The adult-film actress has a copy of the nondisclosure agreement that she signed, and Trump didn’t, requiring her to keep silent about her alleged Trump tryst, on pain of larcenous fines…Nastya Rybka, a Belarussian escort, also kept receipts……she…claims to have audio receipts that show Russian meddling in the U.S. election.  She’s seeking asylum in the U.S. in return for telling all…

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Many if not most people who oppose laws against private, consensual, sexual behavior describe themselves as “sex-positive”; I am not among them.  You may find this surprising, given that I had an essentially-uncountable number of sex partners even before I started making my living from sex more than 20 years ago.  But it isn’t necessary to imagine sex as a positive good in order to oppose its violent suppression by “authorities”, nor to oppose those who consider it an evil to be controlled, nor to make a living from it; in fact, I think the naive and idealistic idea of sex as an actual good is just as harmful, and causes nearly as much societal ill, as the primitive and warped notion that it’s an active evil.  Manichean dualities don’t really exist outside of fantasy and religious literature and the guts of computers; in the real world, most natural behaviors are neither good nor evil in and of themselves, and only become so when used to create weal or woe.  Lighting a fire is a morally neutral act; it becomes good if done to cook food or protect people from the cold, and evil when it’s done to destroy another person’s property (or even one’s own, if followed by insurance fraud).  Similarly, sex is a morally neutral act which becomes good when used to create good feelings, bond people, or make money; it becomes evil when it’s inflicted on a non-consenting partner or used to lure someone to their doom.  This should be obvious, but some people are so locked into black and white thinking that they prefer to cling to the ludicrous notion that rape isn’t sex (despite involving exactly the same actions) than admit that “good” sex can be used to harm someone.  Similarly, is it really so much of a stretch from “sex is an actual good” to “sex is sacred”?  And yet the latter statement has often been used to stigmatize, demonize and even criminalize casual sex, ethical non-monogamy, sex work, kink, homosexuality and a number of other consensual behaviors, and I don’t just mean by traditional religions; feminists and even soi-disant sex positive folk use very similar sentiments to argue that while amateur sex is good, sex work is bad because it contaminates the magical rainbow rays emanating from “mutual” sex.   Similar arguments are used to argue for the repugnant and deeply-flawed concept of “enthusiastic consent“, and to pretend that sexual crimes are so uniquely destructive that nobody can ever recover from them, and that those convicted of them should be ostracized from society forever.  Moral judgments smeared upon morally-neutral acts help nobody; all they do is set up an arbitrary standard to which self-appointed “authorities” feel justified in comparing other people’s consensual sex, and inflicting penalties upon those they find wanting.

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I’m really pretty damned sick of social engineers claiming that it’s “bigoted” or “sexist” or whatever for men (or lesbians) not to socially date (ie, have sex with) women of some particular group (such as older women, obese women, trans women, kinky women, etc).  Tellingly, nobody (except the “women don’t date nice guys” cult) tries to put similar pressure on straight women or gay men; apparently, it’s perfectly OK to refuse to date any man for any reason.  Only women apparently need to be “protected” by forcing people to have sex with them whether they like it or not, and the authoritarians who subscribe to this revolting policy usually appear to have no issue with queer people refusing to socially date those of the opposite sex.  So according to them, all factors of attraction except homosexuality are purely voluntary and can be changed as easily as I change my underwear.  Well, I’m here to tell you that this is 100% pure, reeking bullshit.  Nobody can help who they’re attracted to, and nobody has the right to demand any individual socially date any people of a certain group (not talking about sex work here).  For example, I’m too old, too busty, too muscular, too intellectual, too talkative, too intense, too kinky, etc for some guys, and just the fact that I’m female means a lot of women aren’t interested in me sexually.  Similarly, I’m extremely picky about who I sleep with for free.  And that’s all perfectly OK.  Nobody, repeat NOBODY, has the right to demand anyone else have sex with them or anyone else, any more than they have the right to stop anyone from having sex with consenting partners or policing their reasons for having sex.  Furthermore, to make such a demand, or to insult and socially pressure people for refusing sexual contact with some others, demonstrates an utter disregard for the most basic principles of consent.  It’s not only reprehensible and, frankly, disgusting; it is the mindset of a rapist, and nobody with the faintest modicum of respect for individual rights should tolerate it in even the slightest degree.

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I’m really getting pretty damned sick of the infantile “enthusiastic consent” trope, which promotes a fairy-tale view of human sexuality in which the only possible reason for having sex is “fun”, the only acceptable form of consent is throwing oneself into sex with the wild and totally senseless abandon of a teenage wererabbit on coke, and all enjoyment of the act must be “fair” and “equal” (but how something so subjective is to be measured, we aren’t told).  This is both dumb and dangerous.  “Fun” is immaterial; this is the kind of argument used to stigmatize sex workers because we don’t have work-sex for “fun” or “pleasure”.  The actual standard is, “Did everyone get enough of what they were looking for out of the encounter to be OK with it?  And if not, was it because the other person was actually behaving badly?”  There are lots of reasons for having sex, and “fun” or personal pleasure is only one of them.  Just because it’s the only one you personally appreciate doesn’t make all the dozens of other reasons “bad” or “wrong” or “lesser”.  Even people who do enjoy a sex act don’t necessarily enter into it “enthusiastically”.  I know that I never do; being persuaded is a big part of the pleasure of sex for me, and I’m not remotely alone.  And someone who needs to be persuaded is, by definition, not “enthusiastic”.  Finally, even if the sex wasn’t everything you wanted, that does not automatically mean the other person was acting maliciously. Use your damned adult judgment, for Aphrodite’s sake; most people of both sexes are crap in bed, so bad sex is usually just due to the incompetence of one or both partners, not some eeeeeeeeeeeeevil plot on the part of one of them.

Furthermore, “enthusiasm” is a form of behavior characteristic of people incapable of actually considering all the aspects of a situation they find themselves in; it’s the elder sister of disappointment and the mother of resentment.  “Enthusiasm” is what happens when hormones or neurology overwhelm considered judgment.  It’s much more common in the young, whose brains haven’t completely stabilized yet.  And while it can be intoxicating to experience, it’s unwise to make important decisions while intoxicated.

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Two days ago, Dan Savage shared this letter on Twitter and asked a number of sex workers he knows for their input: 

There were a lot of answers you might find interesting, and a lot of interaction between posters; you might like to check out the thread.  But this column has limited space, so I’m just going to reproduce two answers here.  The first is from my dear friend Mistress Matisse, who saw the tweet an hour or so before I did:

It’s not about “fair”, that’s a false equivalence. It’s about: what do each person needs to be happy, and can the other person support that.  Polyamory is not supposed to be a strictly tit-for-tat situation (no pun intended).  If this man feels that he wants to be polyamorous, then he should do that, and his partner should decide whether she’s OK with that or not, and either stay or go.  If this lady wants to do sex work, and it has nothing to do with polyamory for her, then she should do it.  And her partner can decide that he is or is not OK being partners with a sex worker.  But these two people are comparing apples to oranges, and they need to unhitch these two completely different concepts from each other and work them out separately.  Because you can’t pretend they’re the same.  To me (and this is just me) being reluctantly monogamous OR polyamorous because your partner wants it is right up there with having a kid when you don’t really want one, but your partner does.  It’s not really fair to anybody, and it’s just going to poison the whole situation.  And as you may well imagine, I don’t think anyone has the right to tell you that you may not use your body to make a living in any way you see fit (short of violence) just because they bought into some meaningless societal dictates that have been force-fed to us all.

The rest of the column is my answer:

I really like Matisse’s answer to this, but I’d like to add that I see both parties being unreasonable here in different ways.  He clearly doesn’t see her work as work, but as recreational, and that’s going to cause problems down the road NO MATTER HOW they resolve this situation.  I absolutely guarantee that whether she quits working or not, he will at some future time hold her sex work over her head, because 1) he clearly equates it to promiscuity, and 2) he thinks of promiscuity as something “lesser” if not quite “bad”.  Furthermore, what’s her alternative if she quits sex work?  Doing some shit job in an office working for a boss for far less money?  That’s going to breed resentment.  I quit sex work TWICE for “love”, and it was a bad idea both times.  At the same time, I don’t think she’s really being reasonable either.  So what if his reason for having other partners is different from hers?  Setting up a hierarchy of motivations (“My reason for doing X is more acceptable than your reason for doing a not-dissimilar thing”) is also a recipe for resentment in the relationship.  People are different; they have different views and different priorities, and comparing them to one another is just as damaging to a relationship as demanding that both parties get exactly the same thing out sex or other cooperative activities.  As a woman who has a lot of difficulty achieving orgasm, should I demand my partner not climax until I have, and that each of us has to have sex for personal pleasure and only for that reason each time?  Of course not; that would be unreasonable and sabotage the relationship.  Yet our culture worships “mutuality” in sex as though it were a cultic totem, even though it’s as undependable and ultimately meaningless as “love at first sight”.  So what I’m saying is, as Matisse pointed out, each person has to conduct themselves as they feel they want and need to, with honesty and without unrealistic expectations of some kind of parity.  And if the other person is OK with that, then the relationship will work.  But the second either of the parties starts bean-counting or saying “you can’t do that”, or “if you do that I’ll do this”, or “it’s not fair!”, that relationship is headed for a really rocky road without a spare tire.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Sexworkers don’t need their therapist to “rescue” them.  –  Ronete Cohen

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

A new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that [legal minors] who were legally required to register as sex offenders were at greater risk for harm, including suicide attempts and sexual assault, compared to a group of [minors] who engaged in harmful or illegal sexual behavior but who were not required to register…The study found that registered [minors] were four times as likely to report a recent suicide attempt in the last 30 days, compared to nonregistered [minors.  They]…were nearly twice as likely to have experienced a sexual assault and were five times as likely to have been approached by an adult for sex in the past year….[they] also reported higher rates of other mental health problems, more peer relationship problems, more experiences with peer violence and a lower sense of safety…

The study inexplicably and inaccurately refers to all of its subjects as “children” even though most of them are young [teenage] adults.

The Notorious Badge

It’s good to see a few realistic movies about sex workers:

Anahí Berneri…focuses her lens on a young prostitute in Buenos Aires who struggles to make ends meet in the face of a police force that declares her profession legal, but closes down the brothel where she works…Sofía Gala Castaglione’s performance alongside her real-life son often feels like a documentary.  She imbues Alanis with spunk and determination while allowing for moments of heartbreaking vulnerability.  After two [vice pigs] conduct a sting, posing as potential clients, she is kicked out of the apartment she lives and works out of.  Her friend and roommate Gisela (Dana Basso) is [caged] for running a brothel out of her home which leaves Alanis out on the street without money, clothes, or diapers.  She turns to her aunt for a place to stay and looks for a less volatile line of work, but desperation and the promise of quick cash draws her back to sex work…

Worse Than I Thought

Better headline: “Most moronic & childish sentence ever”:

What is believed to be the longest sentence anywhere in the United States for human trafficking was given out on Tuesday in [Denver]…Brock Franklin was sentenced to 472 years for operating an organized crime ring that put females into prostitution. He was designated a habitual offender…

472 years?  Really?  This is patently absurd; if they wanted the guy locked in a cage forever, there’s a sentence called “life without parole”, but I guess that doesn’t produce as much amusement value at drinking parties.  Does anyone need any more evidence that this is a sick game for prosecutors?  The attorney general of Colorado said this sentence “sends a message”, and she’s right; the message is, “all prosecutors are sociopaths”.

Drama Queens (#48)

Dr. David Ley on sex workers and therapy:

In the minds of many clinicians, involvement in sexwork…is seen as a hallmark sign of behavioral health disturbance, typically associated with severe substance use disorders…Today, amidst a nationwide campaign about human trafficking, many therapists grow concerned that a patient involved in sexwork has been subjected to human trafficking…However…investigation of various risk factors for sexwork, such as drugs, mental health problems, or economic/social vulnerability, have not found consistent or replicated indicators.   Increasingly, individuals consensually involved in various aspects of sexwork are seeking mental health support, and experiencing stigma, assumptions, and judgment from their clinicians…

The Widening Gyre (#507) 

If there is a Hell, people who pimp sex workers’ corpses are going straight to the bottom:

The estate of a [sex worker murdered] by a [client] in a…Portland hotel in 2014 has filed a $3.6 million lawsuit against the owners of the Hilton hotel chain and Backpage.com…[claiming]…Ashley Benson…was forced to appear in multiple ads for sex on Backpage.com…Her killer, Tae Bum Yoon…met with her repeatedly, stalked her, monitored her activity and tracked her whereabouts for several months through the website, the lawsuit said.  He became upset when he saw her [touring] in Austin, Texas.  He used a stolen identity to check into the DoubleTree on Christmas Day 2014 and lure Benson there, the lawsuit said…

If you follow the links back, you’ll see that the greedy family got the “sex trafficking” narrative from the pigs, who started publicly wanking to “trafficking” fantasies over Benson’s corpse before it was even cold.

Dating Game

More evidence that “free” pussy is the most expensive kind:

…Lindy Lou Layman, a 29-year-old Dallas court reporter, was on [a first] date with attorney Anthony Buzbee on Dec. 23 when she…became intoxicated, hid from [Buzbee] inside his own $14 million mansion, and, when he tried twice to get her an Uber ride home, started attacking his art…she was charged with felony criminal mischief after allegedly tearing three paintings off the wall, pouring an unidentified liquid on them, and destroying two abstract sculptures by “throwing them across the room”…two of the paintings were original Warhols valued at $500,000 apiece.  The sculptures…were worth $20,000 each…

Hard Numbers (#624)

Whores in the so-called “developing world” are so much better at activism than those of us in the US:

…In Brazil, sex work remains politically and socially contentious.  But thanks to a staunch sex worker movement in the country, the people who actually do the work have made themselves key contributors to the debate.  It…has…fought tirelessly for the full recognition of sex work as a profession.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of that movement…In July 1987, sex workers Gabriela Leite and Lourdes Barreto held the first national meeting for Brazil’s prostitutes.  It resulted in the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes (BNP) as well as the publication of a newsletter Beijo da Rua (Kiss from the Street).  The BNP’s mission was to build a new discourse of prostitution, not tied to crime or victimisation…

To Molest and Rape 

I hope they tack on several years for running away:

…In April 2006, [Utah jailer William] Lawrence handcuffed a woman in his apartment…and [raped her]…He also showed the woman a badge and threatened to take her to jail and call the Division of Child and Family Services if she didn’t comply…Lawrence pleaded guilty to forcible sex abuse, a third-degree felony, in 2007.  In exchange for his guilty plea, a charge of forcible sodomy was dropped.  He failed to show up for sentencing in April 2008, so a warrant was issued for his arrest.  In October…investigators discovered that Lawrence had created a fake identity and was living in Hawaii.  He was arrested there without incident last month…

Too Close To Home (#760)

Here’s another exercise in cop-fellation and myth-regurgitation masquerading as journalism.  Do prohibitionists have so little to talk about that they need to keep rehashing a two-year-old story as though it happened yesterday? Are they so intellectually and morally bankrupt that they really don’t think it’s necessary to fact-check a self-congratulatory piece of racist, anti-sex propaganda when there are plenty of actual facts, including Liz Brown’s savage debunking of Seattle’s official claims, to be found all over the internet?  This moral panic needs to hurry up and die already, because judging by the stench it’s already putrefying.

The Widening Gyre (#778) 

It’s hilarious watching the cops trying to regain control of a runaway moral panic:

The Reno Police Department received reports of “at least 14 [non-] incidents” in the area over the past month of women [imagining they were] being followed by suspicious subjects…Lt. Zack Thew said…all incidents had one common thread:  No…crimes were committed…[but] “We are treating this as a top priority [anyhow]”…He said some of the suspicious subjects were reported as…”[talking] on a cell phone”…Some women have been with their children at the time of the reported [non-] incident…In the majority of [non-] incidents…there was no contact between the [supposedly] suspicious person and the woman…

The idea that being within sight of a woman while talking on a phone constitutes a “suspicious incident” is ludicrous even by “sex trafficking” standards.

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Do you follow my Twitter feed?  You really ought to, and if you aren’t on Twitter you should join just to follow me.  I mean, look at some of the cool tweets you’ve missed in the past week, and this is just a fraction:

Make sure you click on the links.  What are you waiting for?

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