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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Just your regular reminder that just because somebody opposes bad guys, doesn’t make them a good guy.  If anything, the baddies fight each other more than they fight the goodies, because the baddies are fighting for what they both want: power.  Power over you and me.  Power to control your choices, your body, your income, your work, your speech, your interactions with others.  Everyone who wants that is evil, even if one set of them happens to be on your side today.  There’s an old saying, “He who sups with the Devil should use a long spoon.”  But most modern people don’t get that; let a pig or politician say something they like against someone they hate, and suddenly that pig or politician is a goodie they’re not only happy to eat with, but to allow to cook for them.  And they don’t even count the spoons.  You know who killed more Nazis than anybody?  The Commies.  And they were doing it before the Nazis even came to power.  And predictable as fucking sunrise, in the middle of all this week’s anti-Nazi fervor, what did we see?  Historical ignoramuses claiming the Commies weren’t as bad as the Nazis, despite the fact that just Mao & Stalin combined murdered more than three times as many people as Hitler, and that’s not even counting the contributions of lesser luminaries like Pol Pot, Kim Il-sung and Fidel Castro.

Oh, and one more thing:  I’m really pleased to see so many people joining me in condemning fascism, as I have for decades.  Unfortunately, most moderns seem to think the term means something like “organized racism”.  It doesn’t; fascism has a specific meaning, namely rule by a coalition of political, corporate and military or paramilitary interests.  They also seem to think US fascism started with Donald Trump, which is patently absurd.  Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Lawrence Britt’s seminal article on the 14 defining characteristics of fascism; you’ll note that most of these describe American government as far back as the Reagan administration, and a few of them as far back as the FDR administration.

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In yesterday’s news column, I featured the latest in what has become a relentlessly moronic theme under the “Pygmalion Fallacy” heading:  the argument that due to the principles of sympathetic magic, an inanimate object which the human mind interprets as being shaped like a woman (or a child) has some kind of mystical connection to the thing it resembles, so that for a man to fuck a sex doll somehow affects a prudish, pearl-clutching woman who can’t even see or know that it’s happening, or magically harms an “innocent child” thousands of miles away.  This is the cognition of a savage; it deserves no more consideration in a rational society than the contention that the Earth is flat or that priests should make sacrifices to Zeus and Poseidon in order to turn away hurricanes.  But the most recent iteration of this nonsense contains something far uglier and anti-humanistic than mere superstition; it’s the loathsome application of the tabula rasa doctrine to human sexual desire.  Few reasonable people now doubt that most sexual desires and orientations are innate, that they form at a very early age by psychosexual mechanisms nobody yet understands, and that they simply can’t be trained out of existence; it simply isn’t possible to “pray the gay away”, to purge oneself of kinky urges, or to shame men into being attracted to kinds of women they simply aren’t attracted to.  But the other side of the coin is that it also isn’t possible to mold people’s sexualities into a kinkier direction; a man who isn’t turned on by rough sex can’t “learn” to like it by watching rough-sex porn, and one who’s attracted to adult women doesn’t become “jaded” and start wanting to fuck kids just because he visits sex workers frequently.  These myths are promoted by anti-sex zealots who understand that “it’s sinful!” doesn’t carry the weight it did 150 years ago; now they need to invent pseudoscientific explanations as to why sexual imagery, sex work and sex toys are bad and should be suppressed by violent state thuggery.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, yesterday’s example contained an even more insidiously vile insinuation:  the idea that fantasies of violent sex are deeply connected to, and are at risk of mutating into, true desires to inflict violent sex on non-consenting partners.  In plain English, the nasty pearl-clutcher who wrote the article is saying that all a man with rape fantasies needs to turn him into an actual rapist is the opportunity to act them out, even on an inanimate piece of plastic.  And while that might seem reasonable to naive vanillas without any D/s type urges, as a BDSM switch I find it deeply insulting and dangerously ignorant.  Yeah, I enjoy getting rough with pretty girls…and the part that turns me on is that they want it.  If I got as much as a hint that a bottom wasn’t really into what I was doing, the space between my legs would get as dry as the Gobi in a heartbeat.  And the same thing goes for nearly every top I’ve ever been with; in one case I unintentionally ruined a scene by reacting so realistically that I spooked him, and he couldn’t continue.  Kinky people understand consent in a way most vanilla folk never learn to, and the notion that it’s the opposite is nothing but bigoted projection.  The dogma that consent must be explicitly verbal, ongoing, and “enthusiastic” is the sexual equivalent of training wheels; it’s a prop for people who are so sexually illiterate and obtuse that they need a highly-artificial, externally imposed structure to ensure nobody gets even the tiniest bit hurt (physically or emotionally), and it destroys the basis of a lot of kink play.  In one example from my own life, a partner was teasing me about what was going to happen to me later.  I looked him straight in the eyes and said, absolutely deadpan, “I do not consent.”  But he knew me well, and could clearly see both the sparkle in my eyes & the Mona Lisa smile on my lips.  There was no further discussion at the time, and when similar conversations came up during the day I repeated: “Remember, I absolutely do not consent to that.”  But we had already clearly established safewords, and our very deep bond of trust included knowing that I enjoy having consent seduced from me (which is again total anathema to the “enthusiastic consent” crowd).  The result: some of the hottest sex of my entire life that night, I mean literally screaming.  The “ongoing enthusiastic consent” crowd would be utterly horrified if they could see a video of it (especially the audio), and yet both of us knew that I was fully consenting & would’ve safed out had I changed my mind.  The people who push the artificial, authoritarian “enthusiastic consent” crap are just sex-negative moralists playing at being sex-positive; they want to pathologize all sexuality that they don’t approve of.  And their arguments against sex robots, which many people are uncomfortable with due to the “uncanny valley” effect, are nothing more than the thin end of the wedge…just as their campaigns against sex work are nothing other than the first battles of a war against sexual behavior in general.

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I suggest we listen to the…people we are trying to protect.  –  Kate Lister

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

…drug law enforcement is…often accompanied by…sexual shakedowns, in which women…are given the choice between performing sexual acts or facing what could be decades in prison…women…[are] almost three times as likely as men…to be subject to humiliating strip-searches…body cavity searches and monitored bowel movements…roadside cavity search[es] by [cops] who claimed to have smelled marijuana…eventually prompted the Texas Legislature to pass a bill banning cavity searches during traffic stops absent a warrant…Can [pigs] actually get a warrant to search someone’s vagina?  The answer is yes.  One night in 1986 Massachusetts police officers showed up at Shirley Rodriques’s house, forced open her door and, finding her sleeping in bed with her husband, told her that they had a warrant to search her vagina for drugs.  When she refused their order to reach inside herself and take out the “stuff,” police took her to a hospital where…a physician forcefully searched her vagina while a nurse held her down on the table.  No drugs were found.  But when Ms. Rodriques filed a lawsuit…courts found no wrongdoing…It is still possible to get such a warrant today…

Check Your Premises

So having sex with strangers because of animal-brain lust is wonderful and commendable, but having the same kind of sex with the same kind of people for rational, human-brain reasons is a “grey area” that needs to be “monitored” by authoritarian busybodies:

Manchester has seen a huge uptick in the number of men…selling their bodies for money…Fergal McCullough…explains that…the lines between sex and sex work have grown fuzzier…“There are a lot of grey areas…I’ve had people say ‘If I fancy him I won’t charge him’.  That’s the reality for a young, out, gay sex worker”…Unlike female sex workers…a lot of male sex workers advertise their services online…While the exchange of sexual activities for money or other goods is legal in the U.K., police still need to monitor the situation…

Yes, the writer is also claiming that men advertise sex work online more than women do.  Picket-fence gays have become an active threat to sexual freedom.

Subtle Pimping

Another amateur profiting from sex workers while giving us nothing:

The [unprincipled] director Jane Campion has revealed that her research for the new series of Top of the Lake involved sneaking into Sydney brothels in disguise in order to hear the real stories of sex workers in the city…this series will move from wild backdrop of New Zealand to Sydney, delving into the world of [decriminalized sex work].  “Sexual tourism in Sydney…has always really annoyed me because [I’m a busybody who thinks my opinion is more important than those]…of people who…have [actually done sex work.  Like most prudes, I enjoy pretending that]…the legalisation of brothels is not a simple issue at all [and my sexual fantasies involve] the ownership of someone else’s body…”

With Friends Like These…

Why can’t wannabe allies actually be bothered to talk to sex workers before publishing ignorant pro-regulation drivel that assumes we’re childlike morons in need of licensed handlers?

…the issue of legalizing and regulating the sex trade remains conspicuously off limits for our legislators.  Allowing responsibly-operated brothels…has it been legalized in New Zealand, Germany…Eastern Australia…and…Nevada…this policy would help to protect currently-vulnerable sex workers from abuse and disease…there is no popular nationwide movement to stop the ongoing abuse of sex workers by unlicensed, unregulated pimps…

Sexual Predators 

That this creepy entrapment & surveillance game isn’t seen for what it is shows how much American society has degenerated:

Detectives from…Monroe County [Pennsylvania]…conducted a web-based prostitution sting [under cover of the myth of]…human trafficking…the detectives posted decoy ads on backpage.com…Each call was initially fielded by Detective Kim Lippincott, who would engage the man in conversation while Detective Brian Webbe used the number to find his information…so they can address the [victims] by name, mention their address and bring up other relationships…The men that fell into the trap were not arrested…the goal was to [spread propaganda that dehumanizes sex workers and casts them as pathetic victims who deserve to be cheated of a fair income]…

Under Every Bed

No doubt caused by the presence of corn and I-35:

A task force that works to [manufacture] crimes against children is [inventing] an increase in the number of sex trafficking cases in Kansas…Richard Powell of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office says…”perpetrators are…utilizing a lot of social media to recruit victims.”  Powell says there are more than 8000 registered sex offenders living in Kansas, and about 15 percent are in the greater Wichita…area…

An Angel of Mercy (#320)

No cops.  No cages.  No shaming or brainwashing:

A charity that supports sex workers in Nottingham has secured funding for a new van that will deliver food and hot drinks to them…The Jericho Road Project…was set up 17 years ago and supports approximately 25 women a month…[project manager Julia Terry said] “The aim is to show them love and if they would like help in exiting (the work) then we will support them, but even if they don’t want to exit then we still offer support”…The charity will also support women if they have been attacked, and pass on the details to website Ugly Mugs…

The only sour note in the story is the list of reasons women do sex work which somehow fails to include “earning money”.

First They Came for the Hookers…(#623)

It doesn’t matter what a sex worker does after leaving sex work; to the media, they’ll always be a whore:

A former Russian government official—and business partner of Donald Trump’s—is gaining new notoriety, as the federal investigation into alleged election meddling widens…this Kazakh-born real estate mogul, Tevfik Arif, is doing his best to clean up his past, trying to purge the web of references to his arrest in an underage prostitution bust.  He was later acquitted in the matter…

Opting Out (#700)

Naturally, Cassandra McNeill was saying this years ago:

…the UK government…formally announc[ed] that age verification for all online pornographic content will be mandatory from April 2018…it’s expected that you will need to submit your credit card details to a site before being allowed to access adult content (credit cards can’t be issued to under-18s).  The appointed regulator will almost certainly be the British Board of Film Classification who will have the authority to levy fines of up to £250,000 or shut down sites that do not comply…This act will potentially censor any UK site that carries adult content, which is broadly defined by the BBFC as “that it was produced solely or principally for the purposes of sexual arousal”…anyone in the adult industry who markets their business with a website, can all be termed pornographic and forced to buy expensive software to screen their users or risk being shut down or fined…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#719) 

One wonders if this loon thinks it’s a danger to society to force her vaguely-phallic vibrator against her genitalia without asking for its consent:

What does a rape-able robot say about our attitudes to consent, sex, violence and humanism?  Do sex robots…eroticise and normalise male sexual aggression?  Or does allowing men to “act out” these “most private sexual dreams” on inanimate objects actually make real women safer?  The idea that allowing men to “rape” robots could reduce rates of sexual violence is fundamentally flawed.  Sex robot settings that eroticise a woman’s lack of consent, coupled with male aggression, risk normalising rape.  It sends a message to the user that it is sexually fulfilling to violate a woman’s “No”…

For the nth time: a woman-shaped toaster is still a toaster, not a woman. It has no power to consent, and there are no “ethical dilemmas” raised by fucking it, painting it green, sticking it in a closet, dismembering it or modifying it into a woman-shaped drink dispenser. Only childlike primitives believe that the shape of an object imbues it with sympathetic-magical powers over humans.  And finally: anyone who un-ironically uses the phrase “send a message” in a screed urging limitation of others’ individual freedoms is an authoritarian who “makes the world more dangerous for women, not less”.

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Made To Be Broken

My dominatrix is bright, a great listener, and knows her trade well; I’ve been seeing her for several years.  A couple of months ago, in chit-chat after the scene was done, I asked her about her school and made an offhand remark about how she seemed to like unstructured events.  She was offended, said I didn’t know her well enough, and left without a word of goodbye.  Later she texted me saying I was intrusive and needy, and that it wasn’t her job to give me attention.  Now she is ignoring me.  What did I do wrong?

Different people have different boundaries, and sex workers are no exception.  We’re a lot better at policing our boundaries than most people, but we all have different ways of doing that.  Some of us, especially those relatively new to the profession, have extremely firm and rigid boundaries and strict rules about how we maintain them (which often includes rules about the consequences of boundary violation, up to and including “firing” a client who transgresses them).  Over the years, many (perhaps most) of us get more flexible about our rules; we develop a better sense of which boundaries are serious deal-breakers and which we’re willing to negotiate for the right client under the right circumstances, subject to intuition.  For example, when I first started I absolutely never gave out my personal phone number or legal name; now there are clients who know both.  There were also things at first that I’d never do for anyone, but now don’t mind if I know the gent well enough.  It’s not that I’ve become jaded or don’t care about my boundaries any more; far from it.  It’s just that I’ve internalized my needs well enough, and have such a finely-honed sense of how I feel about a situation from moment to moment, that I don’t always need the rigid rules as I did 17 years ago.  However, not everyone is like me; some ladies maintain strict rules for their entire career, and it’s their right to do so.  Nobody can determine what works for any individual but that individual herself.

It’s pretty clear that your lady is one whose boundaries are both firm and non-negotiable, and you broke one of them.  That isn’t a criticism of you; it may be that if I were in your place I’d have unknowingly done the same thing.  And it’s equally clear that your offense, however unintended, was serious enough in her mind that she is willing to forgo the income to maintain her principles and/or avoid the possibility you may do it again.  My advice is that you move on and find another domme; it may be that she is being manipulative and will contact you when she decides you’ve been punished enough (or when she wants your money enough).  And when and if that happens, you get to decide whether that kind of treatment is forgivable or whether it violated one of your boundaries, and whether you should go back to seeing her or tell her where she can stick her moodiness.

(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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I’m a member of a site from which people can purchase videos and pictures of women, and after a friendly messaging conversation I asked her for a series of pics.  We agreed on a price for a set number of pics and general outline of them; in the detailed description I provided with the money, I asked for her to smile because I loathe the frowny model face and the “open mouth, vacant stare” model face that seems fashionable in glamour photography.  She replied telling me that asking for a woman to smile is sexist.  Now, I get that if I was passing her on the street it might be sexist, but on a site that exists explicitly for the sale of sexually titillating content, this seems ridiculous.  Am I wrong? 

She’s full of shit and has been reading too much feminism.  This isn’t the street, and you’re not demanding uncompensated emotional labor from a stranger; you are a client ordering a custom product from a vendor, and that vendor specifically asked you to describe the product you want.  So when you do so, she tells you you’re “sexist”?  Is it “sexist” for a client who’s a lingerie fan to request I wear stockings to a date he’s paying me for, or for a diner to tell his waitress how he wants his steak cooked?  The very idea is idiotic.  My advice is that you tell her that her pointing out your sexism has caused you to rethink the situation, realizing that for a man to buy sexy pictures from a woman is not only “sexist” but also “objectification”, and you don’t want to participate in that.  Then cancel the deal with this airhead who doesn’t understand that sex work is work, and find an actual professional who understands professional behavior and will respond to a polite and reasonable request that’s outside her boundaries with a polite “sorry, I don’t do that” rather than with a hypocritical and absurd attack on your character.  The online sex market is full of unprofessional ninnies who make it harder for the pros, and you’re not doing anybody any favors by rewarding that kind of unprofessionalism with your money.

(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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On Monday evening I sent out this tweet, quoting an article someone else had tweeted (CAUTION: loud & obnoxious autoplay video):
People who follow me are mostly used to my hyperbole, but I reckon I touched a nerve because a couple of male internet friends took exception, asking whether I was passing judgment on women who have sex with men because they like them, and questioning whether I thought there was anything wrong with doing things for free that one could charge for, out of principle or affection, such as pro bono legal work or favors for friends.  I think my answer deserves a little expansion, and presentation in a more permanent medium than Twitter.

Like most people, I also do things for others I care about or whom I think it’s right to do things for, without asking for direct monetary compensation; however, I don’t deceive myself that those things aren’t labor.  I sometimes do have sex with men without cash changing hands, but those guys (or their wives or girlfriends) pay me in other ways; currency is not the only form of payment.  The problem isn’t when sexual labor is uncompensated by money, it’s when women buy into the male lie that sexual labor isn’t labor at all, because “mutuality”.  Oh, please.  I cook for people I love; I give them rides all over the place; I help them do manual labor; I wait on them when they’re sick.  And nobody pretends those things aren’t work just because I’m doing them for people I care about; that’s why we have expressions like “labor of love”.  But suddenly, when the work is sexual, everybody wants women to buy into the lie of “mutuality” even though I can sell my sexual labor & few men can; because so many men are willing to stick their dicks into anything warm (alive or not), dick is abundant and of low value.  It is not in any way an equal or fair trade for pussy, no matter what many men like to believe.  Expressed in economic terms, my sexual labor has value & his does not (except to other men); it’s a simple case of supply & demand.  So I’ll give sex for “free” (where that means “no direct cash exchange”) if and only if the recipient (note that word, which designates the one who receives a thing of value) recognizes that what I give him is a gift, a precious thing of high value that I choose to bestow upon him for some reason of my own, and not a thing he’s “owed” or, even worse, a thing that his own low-value participation constitutes “payment in kind” for.  In the case of a physical gift like jewelry, or a gift of labor like cooking a meal or helping a friend with some task, the recipient recognizes that the gift so conferred has value and expresses gratitude (unless he’s a semi-savage without proper manners).  But in the case of sex, men want to pretend that what was given wasn’t a gift but a “mutual experience”, and a woman who disagrees and demands recognition of her value is stigmatized & punished with insults, the threat or infliction of violence and, in barbaric regimes like the United States, organized state persecution, police violence and ostracism.  If that last weren’t true, this would be an academic discussion; however, it is true, and the recognition of the value of female sexual labor is not a mere intellectual exercise, but rather a matter of life and death for millions of women all over the world.

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Yesterday was Seattle’s observance of Pride, the annual celebration of the Stonewall riots of June 28th, 1969, in which queer people said “no more” to police violence against them.  But though the riots were started by black trans sex workers & drag sex workers, one wouldn’t know it from the modern celebrations which commemorate their struggle.  In nearly every US city, the celebrations are run and dominated by white, vanilla cisgender people who not only have never done sex work, but in many cases actively work to throw sex workers under the bus.  They seem to care so little for the “T” in “LGBT” that in many cases trans people have established separate (though chronologically adjacent) celebrations, and are so embarrassingly tone-deaf to the continuing struggle of black people that they eagerly invite cops and politicians to participate in the Pride events which purport to honor queer people’s struggle against the very institutions those “authorities” represent.  I might feel differently if those institutions had grown, and become less violent and more accepting of individual rights, but that is nothing like the case; politicians still scheme to marginalize trans people; to shore up a system that exposes black people to brutality, slavery and even murder at the hands of the police; and to persecute sexual freedom by infantilizing sex workers and demonizing our clients, friends and families.  Police inflict violence on black people, rape sex workers and hound our clients, and display a shocking lack of concern for violence against trans people (these effects are multiplied exponentially in the case of black, trans sex workers); and yet, picket-fence queers and Gay, Inc not only think it’s perfectly OK to invite those same pigs to participate in Pride parades, but also in many cases castigate queer people like myself who have the nerve to say out loud that this isn’t acceptable.

Well, here’s my message for Big Gay:  Fuck You.  Fuck your respectability politics and your abandonment of “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!” in favor of  “We’re just like you straight folks, right down to getting married, living in the suburbs & sucking the dick of power.”  Fuck your abandonment of queer people who are kinky, nonwhite, non-monogamous, gender-nonconforming, promiscuous, sex working or otherwise uninterested in being nonthreatening to straight vanilla people.  Fuck your completely ignoring the government jihad against sex workers until Rentboy was caught up on it.  Fuck your desire to join the military in order to expand American hegemony over the rest of the world.  Fuck your licking the arseholes of huge fascist corporations who betray every principle the LGBT movement used to stand for because they pay for your fancy Pride parades with money that would’ve been better spent helping queer & trans youth driven out of their homes and into survival sex work; and fuck your eager rimming of politicians who absolve those young people’s families of blame by pretending the reason they’re doing the work is because they were forced into it by imaginary “pimps”.  Fuck your whole picket-fence, big table, might-as-well-be-straight-except-for-where-you-stick-your-dick mentality.  Until you’re ready to stand up for the people who launched the movement which gave you the rights you’re celebrating this week, you’re no better that the representatives of the fascist police state you’ve happily climbed into bed with.  And that is nothing to be proud of.

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