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Posts Tagged ‘escort review sites’

We might as well go down fighting.  –  unnamed Hong Kong protester

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

Australia[n cops’]…obsession with stamping out drug use at outdoor festivals has produced a twentyfold increase in strip searches over the course of a decade.  They have increased by nearly 50 percent in the last four years.  And…nearly two-thirds of the 5,400 strip searches performed by New South Wales police from 2017 to 2018 found absolutely nothing.  In the past three years, more than 600 people under 18 were subjected to police strip searches.  Three of them were 12 years old.  Seven were 13…The New York Times and The Guardian both report that festivals in New South Wales are now thick with police and their dogs sniffing around for…reasons to look inside young people’s underwear…

Surplus Women (#702)

One of this wannabe cop’s victims was only described as a “teen hooker” by the New York Daily News:

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver…is accused of murdering three women and attempting to kill a fourth…he…targeted young black women who [did] sex work…[because he figured] no one would notice if they disappeared…His attorneys contend [his] victims [were at fault because they were whores]…and [because he]…“doesn’t look like someone who would’ve done something like this”…Wheeler-Weaver…handcuffed [his fourth victim] and covered her mouth with duct tape before raping her…and almost strangling her to death…but…she convinced Wheeler-Weaver to take her back to the motel, where she had left her cellphone, then locked him out of the room while she dialed 911….[cops] who responded to the call were more interested in figuring out if she was a prostitute…so…months would pass before Wheeler-Weaver was arrested…[and while the cops fucked around] he [murdered another woman named Sarah] Butler…[whose] family…called the police [when she didn’t come home.  Of course the cops fucked around again, so]…Butler’s parents, sister and friends had taken matters into their own hands, logging into the 20-year-old’s social media accounts to see whom she had been talking with before she disappeared…[they] created a fake profile…to lure Wheeler-Weaver into a…[trap.  After he was finally arrested, cops found] Wheeler-Weaver had conducted a slew of disturbing online searches…including “How to make homemade poisons to kill humans” and “What chemical could you put on a rag and hold to someone’s face to make them go to sleep immediately”…Wheeler-Weaver, who had been working as a grocery store security guard, hoped to become a police officer [so he could rape and murder women with impunity]…

Guinea Pigs (#712) 

This toiletful of myths, lies, dehumanization, agency denial, eager and sloppy copsucking and bootlicking, wildly-exaggerated numbers, masturbatory fantasies, fascist cheerleading and other assorted sociopathy is so vile, I can’t even be bothered to make it tolerable by my usual editing.  The important facts are: it’s about a company named “Deliverfund” whose owners are “a group of former CIA, NSA, special forces, and [other assorted pigs and spooks] who collaborate with [vice cops] to bust sex [workers] in the U.S.” (yes, it’s so bad I even had to edit a measly pull-quote).  The rest is just the usual misogynistic, self-aggrandizing male BDSM fantasies about illiterate, passive, doll-like women so stupid we can’t even book a hotel room or put up a shitty ad, and the magical ninja pimps who control us completely.  The writer is so innumerate he can’t see how claims like “a pimp spends 6 to 12 months ‘grooming’ each victim into the trade” are impossible to reconcile with claimed numbers of “victims” (or even basic common sense); so illiterate he thinks the word “gruesome” is an appropriate description of sex work; and so oblivious to red flags that he cannot recognize that “DeliverFund also provided intel to assist the takedown of Backpage…[then] moved its headquarters into the former Backpage office in Dallas” is barely one moral step above putting human heads on a wall as hunting trophies.

Under Review (#733)

The European press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews:

This newsroom looked into a number of websites advertising European escorts, and on one particular site, over 1,207 entries were registered in Malta…one can even specify a locality…Escort profiles include pictures and a description of each girl…Some escort websites also allow users to leave a review of the escort, explaining their experience and services with the girls.  The reviews varied from very happy clients who left five-star reviews, to others who shamed and degraded certain escorts…some…comments…were extremely explicit and…many included internet sex slang and abbreviations of services particular escorts did or did not provide…

It must be a slow news month in Malta.

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from sexually-aggressive cops:

Hundreds of [cops] and [cop shop] staff have ill[egally] accessed police databases for their own ends including checking the criminal records of partners…237 of…[them were] disciplined for accessing the highly-sensitive police national computer or other IT systems in the past two years [but] just half of the 45 forces responded to [reporters’] requests, which suggests as many as 500 officers have [been caught] misus[ing] databases that contain confidential personal information on millions of people [and an unknown but much-larger number have done it without getting caught]…

Banishment (#936)

This story started out in the “Procrustean Bed” tag, but is now a better fit here:

In August 2018, the mayor of Houston…announced…they would sue [sex workers]…Bissonnet Street…has been [so overpoliced it has had]…3,800 reports of [so-called] crime in the area from the beginning of 2016 through August of 2018, and a quarter of them were for prostitution…The county filed a civil lawsuit against 50 alleged sex workers, 23 alleged [clients], and 13 alleged pimps…to ban these 86 people from engaging in a wide array of “prostitution-related activities”…[including taking a] bus…walk[ing]…down the street…[or] using their cellphones in the [“prostitution-free”] zone.  If they are caught breaking these [draconian and arbitrary] rules, they could face fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 and up to 30 days in [a cage]…a year later, the injunction is on hold…What the county called an “unprecedented step” was another way of saying that the model was [unconstitutional]…the suit…publicly named all 86 defendants along with their known addresses before a judge ordered the names sealed in May…[thus] putting already vulnerable women and their families in grave danger…nuisance abatement laws, which the county is basing the lawsuit on, are not supposed to target individual people; they’re meant to discipline businesses that flout laws, like bars that routinely serve underage patrons…Only one other place in the U.S. has tried [a similar scheme]…Milwaukee banned 75 sex workers from…three neighborhoods…in 2002.  [It] was…a failure…

Future stories about “prostitution-free zones”, formerly filed in “Forward and Backward“, will now appear here.

I Spy (#958)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

For years, the New York Police Department illegally maintained a database containing the fingerprints of thousands of [juveniles] charged as…delinquents — in direct violation of state law mandating that police destroy these records after turning them over to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services.  When lawyers representing some of those youths discovered the violation [in 2015], the police department dragged its feet, at first denying but eventually admitting that it was retaining prints it was supposed to have destroyed…the police department [now claims] that the database ha[s] been destroyed [just like they claimed the records were before]…The department has made no public admission of wrongdoing, nor has it notified the thousands of people it impacted, although it [claims to have] changed its fingerprint retention practices following Legal Aid’s probing…

All-Purpose Excuse (#973)

It’s rare these days for a US court to uphold the Constitution against the government:

In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled…that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional.  The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the…ACLU…EFF…and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion…[ACLU attorney] Esha Bhandari [said]…“By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that…we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel”…“Travelers…now can cross the international border without fear that the government will…ransack the extraordinarily sensitive information we all carry in our electronic devices,” said Sophia Cope, EFF Senior Staff Attorney…Border [thugs] must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler’s device…

Dangerous Speech (#974)

The FBI intentionally destroyed exculpatory evidence in the Backpage case:

An October 25 evidentiary hearing…offered additional proof of the government’s bad faith in its prosecution of…the erstwhile owners of…Backpage…Witnesses…testified that when the federal government seized Backpage…the FBI failed to take proper steps to preserve the website as evidence…the defense has [repeatedly] informed the prosecution that it needs access to the databases…in the same condition as when they were seized…Tami Loehrs, a digital forensics expert…testified…that…she…tried using the forensic software that the FBI [claims] it employed to create mirror images of the servers:  FTK Imager…but…FTK Imager “is not validated to image FreeBSD” [the operating system Backpage used, so]…the process was unsuccessful…[also, Backpage’s] servers were “equipped with self-encrypting drives”…if the server’s hard drives remained in the server’s chassis…the information would “automatically decrypt.”  However, if you remove the drives from the chassis, “you’ve just scrambled all the data”…[yet the FBI claims it somehow] mirror-imaged an encrypted file [with software that couldn’t image it even if]…decrypted…

Quiet Genocide

Unlike Americans, Hong Kongers know tyranny when they see it:

…Hong Kong’s government, backed by mainland China, has responded to [protests] with all the finesse of a control freak who has lost control.  It seems to have decided that the best way to reestablish control is to crack down even more.  Meanwhile, about half of Hong Kongers say that, on a scale of zero to 10, they would rate their trust in the police at zero.  Before this current wave of protest, in June, just 6.5 percent picked zero on the same poll…This is our last chance, [protesters say] very matter-of-factly.  If we stand down, nothing will stand between us and mainland China…They talk…about Xinjiang, and what China ha[s] done to the Uighur minority…China may have wanted to make an example out of the region, but the lesson Hong Kongers took was in the other direction—resist with all your might, because if you lose once, there will be a catastrophe for your people, and the world will ignore it…

The Cop Myth (#981)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. How many more don’t admit it?

A six-month investigation of California’s Criminal Cops by a statewide coalition of news organizations found [cops] who…commit…[domestic] violen[ce]…routinely plead down to nonviolent misdemeanors for disturbing the peace or vandalism or unreasonable noise.  And those softer charges…allow abusive [pigs] to keep their guns — and keep [inflicting violence on whoever they like without consequences]…reporters uncovered the cases of more than 80 [cops]…who[se violence was so egregious they] were [actually] convicted in connection with a domestic-abuse charge in the past decade.  And that’s just a fraction of what’s out there because the state’s records on criminal conduct among police are too flawed to illustrate the true scope of the problem…

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Seattle-area pigs are once again rooting in sex workers’ business:

[Cops] with the Bellevue Police Department’s vice [gang] have joined [the TNA board] in an effort to [trick] sex workers.  [Cops]…want to [trick escorts who were] victims of violent crimes [into thinking] that they will not be in trouble if they [call the cops, despite mountains of evidence that this is not true even for non-sex workers]…The post…reads in part, “This is not a setup… it’s an attempt to break down barriers that may prevent individuals from reporting crimes against them”…[TNA banned the account fairly quickly, though cops didn’t bother telling badge-licking local reporters that part]…”The Bellevue vice unit’s effort…shows law enforcement can take the first step to build a different relationship,” said Rob Spectre, CEO of ChildSafe.AI, a company that creates [bots and other] software to help [cops target and arrest sex workers and clients]

If any of you are young, inexperienced or foolish enough to believe this, would you please look at the name of the fucking pig herd they have doing this?  “Vice unit“.  Not “homicide unit” or “domestic violence unit” or “crimes against women unit“; vice.  These are the same sexual predators who participated in the destruction of TRB, weaving racist fantasies about how Korean escorts were “sex slaves” and hounding one man literally to death.  Bellevue vice pigs have arrested hundreds of men using tactics that were illegal under Washington law; do you honestly believe they’ve turned over a new leaf in only two years?  (P.S. – They didn’t even bother to wait until this posted to prove me right.)  Do you really think that a violent gang whose spokespig oinked only a few years ago, ”Prostitution in our city is not going to be tolerated,” and who described sex workers as “chronic nuisances”, really and truly cares about your welfare?  Do you actually imagine that if these cops had good intentions they’d be posting on a fucking hooker board instead of officially reaching out to well-known and often-interviewed public activists who live in this county?  Of course not, because (as one sex worker pointed out in the thread) they don’t want to talk to people who have lawyers and media training and are practiced in dealing with them; they want to trick the unwary into email communication, possibly so malware written by “Childsafe” can be loaded into their computers to mine their clients (and other escorts’) contact information, in preparation for a client pogrom that will make their past efforts look minor and give them the opportunity to strut in front of TV cameras oinking about how many “sex slaves” they rescued from “pimps”.

Please, y’all, don’t be stupid; two clients (both of whom live in Bellevue, surprise surprise) have recently contacted me after receiving texts from bots designed to look like budget-range escorts soliciting them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if “Childsafe” weren’t the culprits behind them (paid by guess who).  I get that y’all are nervous and want to believe that maybe the wholesale predation is over, but you know what?  The cops get that too.  And they don’t have any scruples that would prevent them from taking advantage of it.

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This is political prosecution with no evidence.  –  Cliff Yi

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality

A review of what looks like a decent book on the reality of sex work in China:

…sex is for sale everywhere in China and deeply embedded in the culture, allowing migrant women to earn a living in large cities and provide companionship to men left alone by unfavourable demographics…Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang explores these aspects of China’s sex industry and more in her new book China’s Commercial Sexscapes. She takes an in-depth look at prostitution in Dongguan…one of China’s sex industry hotspots…Tsang, an associate professor in the department of social and behavioural sciences at the City University of Hong Kong, worked at a bar for several months to gain the trust of sex workers, and her sources eventually open up with stories which are vivid with humanity…Tsang details how sex workers from rural areas see their lives in big cities as modern and sophisticated, and they take pride in being able to support their families living in other provinces such as Sichuan, Guangdong, and Hunan…many find sex work preferable to their former jobs in factories, where they would work 30 days a month, 12 hours a day, in mind-numbing and harsh environments for around 1,600 yuan a month.  In the sex industry, they can earn from five to 50 times that amount, working perhaps three or four days a week.  Tsang also discusses the foreign men who hire Chinese sex workers.  [Unsurprisingly], more than a few end up marrying the women and move them to their home countries…

The Missing Word

They’re bending over backwards to avoid that word:

Maricopa County Assessor Paul D. Petersen has been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme…in addition to being County Assessor for Maricopa County, Petersen is also an adoption lawyer…none of the women who gave birth did anything illegal, and none of the families that adopted children are accused of any crimes…Petersen and [his accomplice Lynwood] Jennet facilitated travel for pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to come to Arizona for the purpose of giving a child up for adoption…Petersen [has been charged] with 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of a child, and communications fraud…Authorities say they were first alerted to the scheme by concerned hospital workers who called a human trafficking tip line…

Bread and Circuses 

So will Newsweek next tell us that some politicians want a $15 minimum hourly “rental” fee, or that some big company has “rented” a new CEO?

A website that allowed…folks to review, rent and…message…escorts has been [stolen] by federal authorities.  Now, those who frequent[ed] IndependentGirls.com [will] look elsewhere…The website…wasn’t just geared for those wishing to buy, rent or even casually view women, but it was also a way for escort agencies to advertise themselves and their clients…

“Buy women”.  Yes, this is an actual supposed adult who apparently believes that it’s possible to purchase slaves on an ordinary review board.  And a supposedly-serious news outlet actually printed that.

If It Were Legal (#560)

While stigma and criminalization exist, this will keep happening:

The account details of the 250 thousand users of Dutch website Hookers.nl…we[re hacked and the]…hacker…is offering [the data] for sale…The website is popular among [both] clients [and] sex workers…The leaked data includes email addresses, user names, IP addresses and passwords.  The passwords are encrypted, but the email addresses are legible…[and some government] names are in the email address used to open an account.  The hacker is offering to sell the data for 300 dollars to any individual who wishes to purchase it…

Dutch Threat (#578)

Dutch authorities keep pretending their ever-narrower bottleneck is intended to help sex workers:

The [Dutch] government is taking extra measures to fight…the sex industry.  Sex workers will soon be required to have a permit to do their job, and the minimum age for sex work will be raised from 18 to 21…the government wants to bring “uniformity” to the rules around sex work in the Netherlands.  Currently…the minimum age varies per municipality, with some maintaining a minimum age of 18 and other 21…The articles that criminalize human trafficking and exploitation in prostitution will be expanded to include the persons “involved” with sex workers who get “financial benefit”.  It will make it illegal to [be a roommate, partner, landlord, etc] of a sex worker that doesn’t have a permit…People within the sex industry have warned that the[se stupid laws] will lead to sex workers going underground and working illegally [as such laws invariably do]…

The Cop Myth

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. How many more don’t admit it?

…In the nineteen-nineties, researchers found that forty-one per cent of male [cops]…admitted that, in the previous year, they’d been physically aggressive toward their spouses, and nearly ten per cent acknowledged choking, strangling, or using—or threatening to use—a knife or a gun.  But there are…no [more recent] empirical studies…[due to] reluctance to fund a study that will bring attention to [the violence intrinsic in policing]…the factors that lead to abuse at home—coercion, authoritarianism, a sense of entitlement to violence—are also present in [public cop behavior]…It should not be surprising that domestic abuse appears to predict excessive use of force—a link that scholars have suggested should [but won’t] alter the way that departments respond to both kinds of aggression.  The Citizens Police Data Project, in Chicago, analyzed the records of Chicago cops between 2000 and 2016 and found that [cops who commit]…domestic abuse received fifty per cent more complaints than their colleagues for using excessive force…one in five [cops actually] arrested for domestic violence…had also been the subject of a federal lawsuit for violating people’s civil rights…

Cooties (#816)

AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies are going global:

At the end of September, Airbnb unveiled a new special portal through which [pigs] can [demand private] information about users…The company [snivelled that] the portal will provide [pigs] with a dedicated channel they can use to [root through things that really are none of their business]…short-term rental properties such as those offered via Airbnb…have [long been the subject of cop masturbatory fantasies about]…human trafficking and prostitution…in…so-called “pop-up brothels”…[blah blah]…pimps and gangs…[blah blah] law enforcement agencies…

Even before one reads the article, the word “illicit” is a red flag for puritanical authoritarianism.

Torture Chamber (#950)

Just locking hundreds of women in secret dungeons and denyng them lawyers; nothing to see here:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement moved more than 700 women, some of whom have critical medical conditions, out of a Texas detention center in September without giving their lawyers any way of finding them…Starting on Sept. 20, the women being held at the Karnes County Residential Center were sent to other centers around the country so that the facility could be used to detain families.  More than two weeks later, their lawyers from the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) have no idea where the majority of these women are being held, and they can’t find any updated information in ICE’s online detainee tracking system…

A Procrustean Bed (#958) 

These programs to warp women’s minds and indoctrinate them in anti-sex dogma are very popular in Ohio:

A [so-called] diversion program for [sex workers] is spreading to cities around the country. The model has roots in Columbus, Ohio, where a judge decided to [force] women [in]to…[“conversion therapy”] instead of jail…Judge Paul Herbert…[like most modern authoritarians, infantilizes sex workers] as victims of human trafficking…At the start, CATCH was one of only a few such programs in the country.  There are now seven of these [re-education programs]…in Ohio alone…[victims of this system are] subject to drug testing and must show up in court every week for two years [making both normal life and square jobs impossible.  It’s no wonder that fewer]…than 1 in 4 of the women [forced into the scheme] make it to [the end]…

Loose Cannons (#967)

I’m pleased to see yet another big article on the Robert Kraft raids recognizing what a huge scam the whole thing was:

On July 6, 2018, a health inspector named Karen Herzog visited a massage parlor in South Florida for a routine inspection.  She noticed that the spa worker, a young Asian woman, was “dressed provocatively,” spoke “little English,” and appeared “nervous.”  Herzog also noted suitcases, clothes, a fridge full of food, and condoms, all of which, according to the [racist indocrination] she had received, could be signs of human trafficking.  She reported her findings to the Martin County sheriff’s office…[which] launched a…[snoop campaign] into what [they thought they could sell to the media]…as a large-scale prostitution ring engaged in human trafficking…

The “sex trafficking” hysteria is finally dying; unfortunately, the laws it spawned will continue to be used to destroy thousands of lives and eviscerate the internet.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#971) 

Is there anything the government won’t call “sex trafficking”?

…the U.S. attorney’s office of San Diego charged the owners and one employee of the adult website Girls Do Porn with four counts of sex trafficking…[in] August…another case against the company—a class-action lawsuit representing 22 Jane Does—went to trial after years of hearings, discovery, and strategic delays from the defendants.  The trial was initially planned for February…but delayed for six months when the company’s owner, New Zealand native Michael Pratt, filed for bankruptcy.  “As soon as I bankrupt the business,” Pratt wrote in texts later submitted as evidence, “they are fucked”…The company…conned the plaintiffs and several hundred other young, low-income girls into porn by making false promises that their scenes would not go online.  They claimed the tapes would sell only to private collectors abroad…

This is clearly criminal fraud, but it doesn’t help anyone for the government to roll it into the inflated “sex trafficking” numbers it uses to justify police violence, grotesque violations of civil liberties, and mass censorship.

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Sex workers…have the most deeply honed knowledge and practice of ethical principles…of any profession.  –  Pamela Gawler-Wright

So Close and Yet So Far

I support sex workers, just not those dirty whores“:

…Nikeisah Newton…started a food delivery service named Meals 4 Heels catering for [sic] strippers, bouncers and dominatrixes in need of a home-cooked supper late at night…in Portland [Oregon]…”I have so many friends who are bouncers and dominatrixes, sex workers and dancers.  Sex work is stigmatised and looked down upon and demonised”…

Apparently, it’s OK to ignore escorts while pretending that bouncers are sex workers (which they obviously aren’t).  And lest you feel inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt by assuming she only caters to strip clubs, I must point out that dommes don’t work in them.

Paint By Numbers

Have you noticed we don’t see as many dumb “anti-trafficking” stunts as we used to?

The [Los Angeles] Angels [baseball]…team held their annual event to [disseminate harmful propaganda] about…sex [workers]…First baseman …Albert Pujols and his wife Deidre kicked off [sic] their third annual “Strike Out Slavery”…evening…to bring [cops and rescue industry promoters] together [with gullible] people…The Pujols’ [sic] are hoping to eventually expand the “Strike Out” program to all 30 Major League stadiums…

Maybe they’re trying to head off “sex trafficking” fetishists extending the “Super Bowl sex trafficking” idiocy to the World Series.

Rotting Fruit

When moral panic and yellow journalism intersect, the result is lurid fantasy without limit:

A woman who said she was repeatedly raped by Jeffrey Epstein desperately tried to swim through shark-infested waters to escape his clutches…Sarah Ransome said she was so determined to escape Little St. James…she was willing to gamble her life in the Caribbean waters…Ransome [said she] jump[ed] on a quad bike to flee…but…was spotted on surveillance cameras…and was quickly stopped by…staff…Ransome went on to become one of the key accusers who helped expose Epstein’s depravity…eventually settling [a lawsuit] with [him] in 2018 over her accusations that he kept her as a sex slave…

The way that thoughts about swimming became “desperately tried to swim through shark-infested waters to escape his clutches” is a good example of how actual events are inflated into torture porn.

Doubling Down

Another explosion of mathematically-imbecilic prohibitionist vomit from “One Hand” Kristof:

…the problem isn’t one tycoon but many tens of thousands of men [including Kristof] who pay for sex with underage girls across the country.  And society as a whole reacts with the same indifference that the authorities showed in the Epstein scandal…If we want to channel our outrage at the Epstein case in a productive way, we could: A) ramp up prosecution of [sex workers’ friends, family and support networks]; B) p[er]secute [clients so as to throttle sex workers’ income]; C) [infantilize sex workers by defining them as “victims” no matter what they say about their own lives]; and D) [dump more money into violent policing and]…predator[y “rescue” organization]s…some 40 million people are effectively locked into modern forms of slavery, according to the Global Slavery Index…In the United States, no one knows exactly how many children are sold for sex, but estimates have run [up to]…100,000 in any given year…

I reckon Kristof feels it’s been long enough since his enabling of a massive “rescue” scam was exposed to safely begin profiting from “sex trafficking” hysteria again.  If you’re unable to recognize just how absurd Kristof’s claims are, please click on the embedded links, especially that last one.

All-Purpose Excuse (#608)

If the government has its way, phone privacy will soon be gone completely:

…Israeli cybersecurity company Cellebrite is courting new scrutiny after signing on to a new agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help the organization hack more phones…Cellebrite’s equipment…is able to bypass security settings and access data on locked smartphones…the agreement is worth between $30 and $35 million, a huge step from the previous $2.2 million contract between the two entities…border agents have, without warrants, been searching the phones of travelers — including U.S. citizens —through U.S. borders, something that …violates the constitution…U.S. Customs and Border Protection searched more than 30,000 devices in 2017…

The Real World

Anti-whore stigma also harms sex workers who want to become therapists:

Sex work and therapy, or transitioning from one to the other, appears to be a well-trodden path…It’s not hard to understand why.  The professions have transferable skills – active listening, empathy – and since the cost of therapy training runs so high (around £20,000, often more) with very few funding options available, sex work is one option for those who would otherwise find themselves financially excluded.  While barring sex workers from therapy training is not usually explicit in policy, social stigma and institutionalised discrimination are still felt hard by those attempting to break into the field…

The War Goes On (#867) 

The government has announced its new post-Backpage bogeymen:

…U.S. [pigs and spooks from] the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice are looking into whether [they can use “sex trafficking” fantasies to loot and destroy] three websites that make money off of escort ads and user-generated prostitution reviews …Rubmaps.ch…EroticMonkey.ch…and…Eros.com…[have] ties to David Azzato, a Swiss businessman convicted in France in 2011 for running a network of escort sites…the three sites in question were among those that most benefited from Backpage’s removal…while Azzato has denied any current connection to the sites…the [government apparently plans to make him the fall guy]…

I’ve been saying that Rubmaps would be the next prohibitionist bogeyman for over a year and a half now, and Eros’ US call center was raided by the feds two years ago and they’ve been frantically trying to cover their collective arse ever since.  As for Erotic Monkey, it appears to have started as a scraper site, stealing ads from other sites in order to trick escorts into paying for more ads; it also features reviews, mostly apparently falsified, and appears to be owned by the current owner of Eros (whether that’s Azzato or someone else).  My advice?  It’s time to move to Slixa, Tryst and Have We Met?

Business As Usual (#905)

Ohio moves to punish sex workers for outing rapist cops:

A three-day [pig deception scheme persecuted] 104 people [for desiring consensual sex with other adults]…“Here’s the message: [let cops rape you like good girls and we’ll leave you alone],” said Dave Yost, the attorney general.  The [vengeance] effort focused on [the Columbus] Ohio area]…“In ten minutes, I can [rape] a victim, go on the internet, [download copies of her ad as “evidence”] and then [get away with it],” said [vice pig] Mark Rapp…43 women[‘s lives were ruined before forcing them into a state “re-education” scheme]…

Think of the Children! (#967)

Funny how the rescue industry isn’t afraid to take “sex ray”-contaminated money:

No university or charity or scientific society has been more closely associated in the public eye with Jeffrey Epstein than Harvard University, which received approximately $9 million from him over the years.  And no organization has seemingly been more adamant that it had nothing to explain, nothing to review, nothing to refund — even after Epstein later became the nation’s most notorious sexual predator…After refusing to comment for months on its past associations with Epstein and the money it collected as a result, Harvard released a letter from its president…stating that the school had opened a review into the matter…two sets of Epstein funds, totaling $186,000, were still being put to use through the school’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and that it would be redirecting those funds “to organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault”…

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So much of the anti-prostitution laws that are being pushed is a combination of the conservative fetish for going after people for doing “sex stuff”, and the liberal instinct to “help” a group of people that they can’t be bothered to understand.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

Held Together With Lies

John Stossel interviews Liz Brown, Kaytlin Bailey and Maya Morena on “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Yellow Fever

Fox News never had much credibility to begin with, so I guess they felt there was nothing to lose by airing this fantasy:

Every year more than 40 million people are forced into the world of human trafficking across the globe and it’s someone’s son or daughter* that is trapped in this modern-day slavery…everyday Americans…are the most common victims of human trafficking…[it] is…everywhere…dark, insidious criminal world…shocking…[prohibitionist nobody ever heard of claims] “I’ve worked with over a thousand survivors of trafficking”…[professional survivor tells tale about] dark world of sex work…[another professional survivor claims she was] trapped in this dark underworld for nearly four years…FBI…in plain sight [blah blah “if you see something, say something”]…

*As opposed to what, people who appeared by spontaneous generation?  One must also wonder how reporters think “sex trafficking” can be “in plain sight” when they also invariably and repeatedly insist that it’s a “dark underworld”.

Guinea Pigs (#543) 

Don’t be fooled by talk of “criminal marketplaces”, “weapons”, “scams” and the like; what they’re actually targeting are ordinary escort sites:

…From 2014 to 2017, Lincoln Laboratory contributed to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Memex program…Today, more than 30 agencies worldwide are using Memex software to conduct [surveillance]…One of the biggest users…is the…Manhattan [vice squad]…With the introduction of Memex, prostitution arrests…increased…Now, Memex tools are enabling [pigs] to quickly enhance [ordinary] cases and build sex trafficking [fantasies] from…little [evidence]…these tools…have been used to…[conjure imaginary] victims from data in a [typical] online prostitution advertisement…

With Friends Like These… (#558)

Please, David Rosen, become a prohibitionist; if your attempts to hurt us are as incompetent as your attempts to “help”, they’ll be great pro-decrim arguments.  Rosen quotes prohibitionist lie-factory Fondation Scelles; calls the Swedish Model “decriminalization”; trots out Pretty Woman; damns us with faint support like “sex work…is not always trafficking“; lauds “safe harbor” laws that allow cops to lock up underage sex workers indefinitely under the guise of “protecting” them; and peppers his essay with totally-wrong, “rescue”-friendly wanking fantasies like “sex work is a story of abuse, underpay and harassment – including rape“, and “while there has been a reported increase in independent or ‘freelance’ sex workers, commercial sex is often mediated by a pimp or a sex gang“.  A “reported increase”?  If you’re fancy yourself an ally, you might want to do some research before putting your hand in your pants while quoting racist propaganda about “pimps” and “gangs”.  And stop putting scare quotes around words like “gentlemen” and “freelance”, which is a trick employed by people like Donna Hughes to cast doubt on what sex workers say about our own lives.  The man is, in short, a dangerous imbecile and needs to be recognized as such.

Send In the Clowns 

Dare I hope for a return of “creepy clown” hysteria?

[Cops] in Clarksville [Tennessee] have located a man dressed as a clown who prompted a police alert…[after] children [warped by a steady diet of “stranger danger” scare stories] reportedly thought he was trying to use candy to lure them into a moving vehicle…police said they located the man and he was “an older man who dresses up once a year on his birthday as a clown and hands out candy”…

Nice While It Lasted (#726)

Once due process was abolished for whores and street people, it was easy to extend the precedent to the middle class:

The boss of a popular ice cream firm faces restrictions on his business after a judge [fantasized] that he could commit slavery offences.  Salvatore “Sam” Lopresti…will not be able to employ staff or deal with wages at Lopresti Ice Cream, in Bristol.  The measures are part of a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO) that was imposed last week…Lopresti, and another family member, Robert Lopresti, had previously been charged with requiring a person to perform forced labour…However, charges against both men were dropped.  Salvatore’s charges were dropped as he was ruled unfit to stand trial due to his dementia…District judge Lynne Matthews…said: “I am [a seer with power to see the future so I am] sure…you will commit a human trafficking or slavery offence…it is necessary for me to make this order because…[what] if you committed that type of offence”…

Welcome To Our World (#758)

Rape victims are increasingly treated like criminals:

Louisiana district attorneys oppose a bill that would prohibit prosecutors from putting sexual assault and domestic violence victims in jail in order to compel them to testify in criminal cases…“This tool is very, very necessary for us to use on rare occasions,” [lied] Charles Ballay…head of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association…[even though] JP Morrell…[of] New Orleans…sponsored the bill…because…New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro was [regularly using this “rare tool”]…

Yeah, it’s “rare”So very rareVanishingly rare.  Basically never happens, except in “isolated incidents“.  Which we know are scarcer than hen’s teeth.  Because prosecutors say so, and they wouldn’t lie.

Full of Themselves (#888) 

As I predicted over a year ago, it looks like Rubmaps is becoming the new prohibitionist bogeyman to replace Backpage:

…more than 30 massage parlors in Colorado Springs are little more than a front for an illegal sex industry…KRDO…found that there are 36 massage parlors in the city that have recent reviews specifically outlining explicit sexual acts that can be purchased inside.  That’s more than there are licensed brothels in the entire state of Nevada…Those reviews are publicly available on seedy websites like RubMaps and CityXGuide.  Those sites — like now-defunct Backpage…offer a way for customers, known as Johns, to find locations where they can purchase sexual acts…”They’re selling sex,” [bloviated vice pig] Mark Comte, who [had his hand in his pants while panting about] “young girls wearing barely anything”…

I wonder if these “reporters” realize how skeevy, racist and pathetic their harassment of Asian women (they actually confronted workers in person, accused them of crimes, and spied on them) sounds to people with moral compasses?  Or how ridiculous their use of words like “seedy” and “illegal” sound?  Or defining “john”, which only cops and reporters use to describe clients, as though it were an industry term?  Or pretending that review sites are a new thing?  Or…

Secret Squirrel (#895)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

A 15-year-old boy in Alaska [says]…his parents set up security cameras in his bedroom and bathroom to make sure he doesn’t masturbate.  The anonymous teen took to Reddit’s legal advice section to ask for help…[writing] “I’m 15 and think I should be allowed to touch my own body.  This is embarrassing and destroys my privacy, please help…My dad barged in without knocking and started screaming at me…He and my mom then sat me down and told me I’m not allowed to touch myself.”  The teen said his parents are against sexual activities before marriage.  He wasn’t even allowed to participate in his school’s sex education classes – leaving him to only learn “some things’ on the internet”…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#897)

Partly because of their legalized status, strippers are spearheading the movement for sex worker labor rights:

Stripping is legal sex work in America, but states and counties [claim] the right to regulate strip clubs…But even as they legislate dancers’ movements and clothing down to fractions of an inch, [politicians] tend to ignore the fact that those same workers’ rights are being roundly disregarded…strippers are typically classified as independent contractors rather than employees.  This means they should be able to come and go as they please, charge whatever they choose to charge and dress as they see fit.  Instead, many dancers describe being assigned shifts, told what to charge and held accountable for keeping certain hours.  Such regulations should qualify them as employees of the club rather than independent contractors paying for the privilege of working there.  But strippers are frequently denied the legal protection afforded W-2 employees, including payroll taxes, health care and workers’ rights protections…

It’s good to see Playboy beginning to recognize its long-ignored duty to support sex workers.

Opting Out (#926) 

Another fashion magazine comes out (mostly) on the side of sex workers:

The new [UK]…porn ban…[won’t only] apply to the major porn providers like YouPorn etc.  It will also affect small scale sex workers, who use specialist sites or their own personal websites to advertise their work…it could impact…escorts, webcam models, fetish models, and dominatrixes…88 percent of whom are women…and…the porn ban isn’t the only obstacle that could jeopardise sex workers’ safety.  MPs in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prostitution…are pushing to criminalise and ban the online advertising of sex work — meaning sites like Adultwork could be blocked completely…

Loose Cannons

An unbelievable number of useful idiots took to Twitter to complain about this:

Robert K. Kraft all but defeated two charges of solicitation of prostitution when a Florida county judge…threw out…evidence [illegally] obtained in [illegal] surveillance videos…Kraft…[sensibly] refused to accept a plea deal…[requiring] a fine and [slave labor] to resolve the two misdemeanor charges because the deal would have required him to [pretend] that the prosecutors [were telling the truth]…Mr. Kraft’s decision to [exercise his constitutional right to a jury trial]…turned what normally would be a routine [railroading for acts that shouldn’t even be illegal] into a highly public [exposure of the sleazy tactics employed by] the police and prosecutors in Palm Beach County…[who used the popular racist fad excuse of] sex trafficking [to raid and pillage] a chain of massage parlors in Florida…Kraft’s lawyer [pointed out, correctly]…that police had [lied to obtain a warrant to] hid[e] surveillance cameras inside the spa…Judge Leonard Hanser…agreed…

As you can see, a number of edits were necessary to correct the New York Times‘ eager copsucking.  And the “woke” twits on Twitter?  Apparently they are happy to let cops use the Constitution as toilet paper, make non-consensual porn videos of migrant workers and hundreds of their customers, then sexually assault those same migrant workers before robbing them, locking them in cages and threatening them with deportation, in order to humiliate one “old white man”.

Top Cop (#936)

Even some mainstream journalists are seeing though this power-hungry sociopath’s lies:

…We were…told last month that Harris “regrets” the truancy laws she helped pass…to criminalize parents if their kids miss school…she [now claims to]…regret…that some parents were arrested under the law, saying this “was not the intention.”  Yet prosecution of parents was the express purpose of these laws.  These arrests were no more an unintended consequence than arrests for breaking laws against burglary or sexual assault…Harris explicitly…lied…in an interview with Jake Tapper…on CNN…[claiming]…”not one parent was sent to jail” because of her initiative…[when] Tapper [correctly stated] “people were thrown into jail under that law”…Harris [replied] “Not by me”…of course they weren’t literally put in jail by Harris, who was attorney general of California…and not an arresting officer…no common understanding of “no one was sent to jail” means People…weren’t personally put [in jail] by the attorney general.  Again, we see Harris trying to rewrite her record and history…

Upon seeing the interview, Donald Trump commented “I never separated a migrant family!”  Barack Obama added, “I never drone-murdered anyone!” and the ghost of Harry Truman materialized and moaned, “I never bombed Hiroshima!”

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[Under FOSTA] smaller platforms…face the real risk that a single lawsuit could put them out of business.  –  The Center for Democracy and Technology

The Scarlet Letter

Compare to “With the faggots out of the way, hopefully we can focus on helping their child victims”:

[Milwaukee politician Russell] Stamper introduced an ordinance that would raise the minimum fine for those caught soliciting a [sow role-playing a] prostitute from $500 to $2,500.  The maximum, regulated by state statute, would stay at $5,000.  The measure was unanimously approved…The name of the fine has also been changed…to put more shame on those arrested.  It used to simply be a “loitering-soliciting” charge; now it includes the word “prostitute”.  ..The city [also] hopes to use [a fascist] media [collaboration] to publicly shame those convicted.  “With the johns out of the way, hopefully we can focus on helping these women,” said Stamper…

Surplus Women

A classic case of NHI:

After years of local activists taking to the streets about the 51 Black women and girls murdered, the Chicago Police Department and the FBI…finally launched a review…the Murder Accountability Project…said the unsolved killings…“have characteristics of serial murder…It…stretches credulity to imagine that these 51 women were killed by 51 separate men”…[cops claim] DNA collected from 21 victims did not match to same person.  But…because the women, some who were sex workers, had multiple sex partners, the DNA may be mixed, harder to decipher and match.  It’s not a secret that…because almost all of these women were Black and from impoverished areas…police haven’t cared…

Gullible’s Travels

Americans will believe basically any scaremongering about teenagers:

Teens are daring each other to eat plastic packaging, cardboard boxes and fruit peels — and posting videos of themselves doing it to Snapchat — in a bizarre new social media trend called “shell on”.  While not as dangerous as the potentially fatal “Tide Pod challenge”…doctors still advise against eating anything that isn’t food…physician Max Plitt [bloviated]…“[blah blah blah] cancers”…[reporters asked] a [high school] sophomore [about it and repeated what he said as though it constituted evidence]…

Under Review

Another complete shitshow involving a sleazy review board owner:

When Broward [County Florida cops raided the home of]…a 60-year-old escort website owner…they say they found a memory card of child pornography and evidence he paid…for sex with underage girls…Neil Greenberg…[hired] a 17-year-old girl living in a group home…[and] an employee of the home [found out]…the…[girl] told [cops] she met Greenberg two years ago through her sister, who advertised on Greenberg’s escort website, independentgirls.com…

To Molest and Rape

Another typical & representative cop:

A…northern Minnesota [cop] is accused of sexually assaulting a teenager [of unidentified gender] on more than 10 occasions.  Joshua Demmerly…raped [the teen]…more than 10 times between 2017 and 2019.  He’s also been charged with kidnapping [via false arrest]…in front of several witnesses…Demmerly claimed to be in love with the victim, and…sent photos of himself with a gun to his head, threatening suicide if the victim didn’t spend time with him.  He also [stalked] them…On one occasion, the victim said they’d woken up naked in [Demmerly’s] house and unable to recall what happened the night before…

Across the Pond (#758)

UK cops keep pretending they want to “help” the women they stalk and harass:

South Wales Police said sex workers who “refuse to engage” with support services in Swansea could face [police violence]…Swansea Women’s Aid…said it was “very concerned”…that…the “stringent enforcement”…could stop women from engaging with the [cop-infested] SWAN project…which aims to [harass] women [doing] sex work…

Original Sin (#803)

Sometimes they don’t even bother to hide the religious foundation of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

On the morning of April 6, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City became…a site of pr[opaganda]…that connected the Stations of the Cross to the [masturbatory fantasy] of sex trafficking…“The cross is a metaphor for sex trafficking,” said the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser…Stations of the Cross for Sex Trafficking Survivors followed seven stations, abbreviated from the usual 14, across three of the city’s boroughs…Attendees visited a shelter…for homeless youth, a strip club, a…[stroll in] the Bronx…a human trafficking intervention court in Queens, John F. Kennedy International Airport and a hotel in Brooklyn [featured in a propaganda film]…Jim Klein, [a] New York…Vice [pig, masturbated surreptitiously while telling the fantasy]…that his team has found 12-year-old girls…forced to have sex 25 to 30 times a day…

Disaster

It’s just going to keep getting worse:

…As of this week, Reddit is no longer allowing “ads for adult-oriented products and services,” nor will it allow any advertising to appear on subreddits that it deems “Not Safe for Work” (NSFW)…This is not just about blocking really explicit images or possibly illegal conduct but everything related to sex and sexuality…As platforms strive to keep up with an array of new tech regulations — from America’s ban on ads that facilitate prostitution under FOSTA to new “privacy” and “hate speech” laws in the European Union, a British ban on showing porn without checking viewers’ ages, and more—anything that might get above a PG rating is being quickly wiped clean from the internet…

Pyrrhic Victory (#860)

Tyranny always starts with despised minorities, but it never stops with them:

The Chinese government…[is] using a vast, secret system of advanced facial recognition technology to track and control the Uighurs…the…technology, which is integrated into China’s rapidly expanding networks of surveillance cameras, looks exclusively for Uighurs based on their appearance and keeps records of their comings and goings for search and review…Chinese authorities already maintain a vast surveillance netincluding tracking people’s DNA, in the western region of Xinjiang, which many Uighurs call home.  But…police are now using facial recognition technology to target Uighurs in wealthy eastern cities like Hangzhou and Wenzhou and across the coastal province of Fujian…

Rooted in Racism (#883)

Could this racist attempt to deter black migrants be any more transparent?

The UK government is backing a…[propaganda] campaign urging Nigerian women and girls to [stay in their native country] instead of “risking a life of modern slavery” [by migrating to] Britain.  Posters are to be placed in schools, churches and marketplaces in an attempt to reduce [migration by black people]…The Not for Sale campaign is supported by…Nigerian [rulers concerned about their shrinking number of subjects]…

Full of Themselves (#886)

Puritanical language is an intrinsic part of any story about cops raiding massage parlors:

…the [Honolulu] Prosecutor’s Office…is…target[ing massage parlors without the usual “sex trafficking” pretense]…criminal activity…illegal businesses…made arrests…illegal businesses…busted 22 of them over the past 3 three [sic] years…15 people were arrested for prostitution…But nearly double that number were arrested for racketeering, which [makes prosecutors feel as though their penises are bigger]…

When “sex trafficking” is not used as an excuse, you can bet we’ll be told over and over again how people consensually touching each other without state licenses is a menace to society that must be stopped by police violence.

The Prudish Giant (#899)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

…Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate [Facebook]’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data…In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users.  In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps…For example, Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because it was spending money on Facebook advertising and partnering with the social network on the launch of its Fire smartphone.  In another case, Facebook discussed cutting off access to user data for a messaging app that had grown too popular and was viewed as a competitor…All the while, Facebook was formulating a strategy to publicly frame these moves as a way of protecting user privacy…

Top Cop (#919)

I’m pleased to see how many reporters see through Harris’ rhetoric to her sociopathic evil:

Kamala…Harris’ fundraising from Hollywood interests is nothing new…[she] raised more than $1.1 million from PACs and individuals in the television and movie production and distribution industry from 2009-16 for her campaigns…Harris’ top five donors have included Warner Media Group, 21st Century Fox, and Venable LLP, a lobbying firm that works for Time Warner.  Harris’ strong support from Hollywood follows her history of working to help the entertainment industry…fight…websites like YouTube that allow users to upload and link to content…Harris played a key role in advancing…SESTA…a Hollywoodbacked bill poked a hole in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…SESTA [is] a step towards creating the filtered internet that the MPAA and RIAA have been pushing for for years, including…SOPA…a Hollywood-backed copyright enforcement bill that was withdrawn over censorship concerns following a massive internet blackout protest in 2012…“It’s easy to see the similarities between what Hollywood has been campaigning for in SESTA and what they’ve been campaigning for in the copyright space, which is ultimately an internet that is less interactive, more one-directional and more filtered,” [said] Elliot Harmon…[of] the Electronic Frontier Foundation…

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I met Elsi Dawson at my Vancouver screening a few weeks ago, and when our conversation turned to new advertising venues she offered to do a guest column on the new site Tryst, which I have recently started an ad on myself.  I really like the way the site looks and operates, and I’m really hoping it catches on well enough that we can all start to abandon platforms which regularly invent new ways to annoy or actively hurt us while offering no customer service.

It’s been well-established that FOSTA/SESTA has shuttered, or at least, stunted many advertising platforms that are based out of the US.  While that nightmare has been felt most acutely by American sex workers, especially those in marginalized positions, the ripple effects have hurt sex workers in Canada as well.  The puritan moral panic that sought to end all sex-slavery has succeeded—if their goal was to cut the legs out from under independent sex workers and drive human trafficking underground.  Bravo.

Backpage went down, but the supply didn’t.  In Canada, the overflow moved to the next nearest website, Leolist – similar in function, but with better aesthetics and a much higher price tag.  Initially it seemed much more sex worker friendly, with the ability to verify yourself, bump your ad, purchase upgrades with premium features and navigate on a mobile platform.  But the longer you stay on Leolist, the more you notice that, even though it’s your credit card attached to the account, you’re not the client, you’re the product.  And, with all the people hustling on Backpage now looking for somewhere else to grind, Leolist found themselves running a monopoly.  A few years ago, an ad cost about $2 US, would go to the first page, scroll off onto subsequent pages until it expired thirty days later on page 16 or so.  Or, one could pay another $2 US to bring it back to the top of the list again at any time, multiple times a day.  A heavy volume day would probably be four or five bumps, and one could expect nearly a thousand views on their ad from that.  But post-FOSTA/SESTA, ads which used to be on Page 1 for an hour on a busy day, now barely last 30 minutes.  The result is a sex worker either not getting as much “primetime” ad exposure, or bumping more frequently to make up the difference.  After a small struggle (and a change of bank vendor) the prices changed to Euros, with a promise to keep the rates comparable.  In a move that surprised exactly no one, they did not.  Every few months for the past year, their rates have been climbing.  Not content with being at the top of the pile or having the most local traffic, Leolist gradually increased the cost of an ad, the cost of a bump, the cost of premium features.  Was it a move to try to starve out the scam artists and the fake ads?  Maybe, but we’ll never know because Leolist doesn’t have any interest in answering to their advertisers.  They don’t take comment or feedback, and even their Twitter is locked (after they directed people to contact them there).  The result is a frustrated group of independent sex workers who are watching their overhead costs tick up like the start of a rollercoaster, while their ads get less visibility and fewer bites.

And then there are the review boards.  In Western Canada, we have the archaic and wholly unwieldy Pacific Escort Review Board (PERB.cc) run on vBulletin (you know it’s bad when even academia has left the format behind).  On any given day, the old guard of “perberts” post degrading and vulgar comments about providers, their bodies and a scale-ten judgment of their services.  Hobbyists take nit-picky circle-jerk punches at “girls with boyfriends” and “girls who have cellulite” and “girls who think they have golden pussies.”  They routinely marvel at how providers could even dare to ask them for a deposit.  They jostle to outdo one another on their conquests and oscillate between “I think I’m going to quit this hobby” and “I can’t wait until the market pulls the prices back down and these girls get a good idea of what they’re actually worth.”  A month of all the ad posting you can eat (but only two ads a day, and posting a selfie counts as an ad, by the way) runs $113.  There are a litany of rules spread across eight different threads, with vague wording and a system of infractions, points, expirations, perbatory and permanent deletion.  A provider is allowed to comment on their own review, but not anyone else’s, and only while they’re “in red” (a bassackwards term that means “paid up” to them and no one else in the English-speaking world).  Necroposting (replying to an old thread to bring it back into discussion) is an infraction, and so is reposting (starting a new thread on a topic that has already been discussed but may have long since gone quiet).  It’s a minefield and a distraction from the day-to-day operations of running an independent sex work business.  Oh, and Leolist has exclusive rights to advertise on PERB – a cute little bromance that keeps client traffic swirling around the same toilet bowl.

Suddenly, a ray of hope appears.  Tryst.link arrives on the scene to balm our wounds and bring sanity to online marketing.  The superhero geniuses that brought us Switter (the Sex Worker Twitter, get it?!) when FOSTA/SESTA scared the other Twitter into shadow banning everyone with a visible nipple, have branched into making an advertising platform and it’s like a breath of fresh air.  Their team, Assembly Four, has put together a platform that works for the sex worker.  Do you want to set your weekly availability?  Sure. Wanna promo a tour? Here’s a drop-down menu for that.  Do you have different rates for different session types and lengths?  Go ahead and list them in as much or as little detail as you’d like.  Tryst, like Switter, has been built while avoiding the use of US companies, and prioritizing the privacy of the workers who reside on their platforms.  They ask for minimal personal information from clients (the basic username, email, and password) upon sign up.  Provider verification for Tryst is also quite standard and based on a handful of factors such as social media presence, other verified accounts, and verification photos.  They don’t ask for or require any civilian forms of ID for verification, and any information sent to them is treated with extreme sensitivity.  Tryst is rapidly gaining user profiles in Asia, Australia + NZ, Canada, Europe and – you guessed it – the United States of America.  As their traffic has increased (by 15.6x since November), they have encouraged feedback from providers and clients alike.  Since their launch, they’ve added features to better advertise genders, ethnicity, and transgender disclosure options at the suggestion of their members.  Their mission is not to be “your elite [cis white conventionally attractive woman in her mid-twenties] companion website” but to offer affordable and effective advertising with a sleek, contemporary, and user-friendly interface to sex workers at all price points and in all specializations.  This year, Tryst plans to implement a range of other features to further help workers of all demographics thrive in a post FOSTA/SESTA world.  For the first time, possibly ever, the way we advertise online is within our own control.  Solutions which cater to the needs of sex workers and still bring in clients are finally within reach.

What this development says to me is that whores are collaborating, investing in our communities, and coming back stronger than ever.  FOSTA/SESTA is devastating and terrifying, particularly for US providers, but It’s going to take more than a short-sighted and thinly-veiled prohibition/censorship bill to break us apart.  We’ve got a revolution on our hands, honey, and we’re not going anywhere.  This may be the world’s oldest profession, but we’re also gunning for the title of boldest as well.

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