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Posts Tagged ‘Friday the Thirteenth’

Once again it’s Friday the 13th, the day on which I ask those who aren’t sex workers to stand up for our rights.  Due to the increasing presence of sex workers in the public eye, and statements by groups like Amnesty International, more people than ever before recognize the need to abolish criminalization; even some politicians are starting to take notice, and those who hoped to silence us by means of FOSTA are finding that their efforts have backfired, calling more attention to the harm done by criminalization than ever before.  And that means we need your support more than ever, because now voices calling for sex worker rights are more likely to be taken seriously than ever before.  If you can afford to contribute, please do so today:  donate to SWOP-USA, to SWOP Behind Bars, to the EFF or Woodhull Foundation to support their anti-FOSTA lawsuit, to individual activists (because traveling around the country to do this work is much more expensive than you might think), or to sex workers who have been harmed by increasing censorship of our ads.  And if you can’t afford to give money, I’ve written many times on what you can do; follow this link and you’ll find plenty of suggestions, including some Stacey Swimme provided on the last Friday the 13th in April.  If you can’t think of anything else, you could at least post the anti-criminalization principles a group of us (led by Desiree Alliance chair Cris Sardina) drew up last month in as many places as you can think of.  We can win this war, but it isn’t going to be easy.  And we absolutely can’t do it without your help.

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Today is Friday the 13th, when I ask non-sex workers to stand up for us.  So when Stacey Swimme, one of the founders of SWOP-USA, started discussing this on Twitter a few days ago, I asked her to elaborate for this column.  This is the result.

Come out only to the people you know, and who know you, not to anyone else…Once they realize that we are indeed their children and we are indeed everywhere- every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all…. And when you do, you will feel so much better.  –  Harvey Milk, 1978

When I told my mom in 2008 that I was an escort, she was accepting, but she told me it’s not something she wants me to discuss with other family members.  I agreed, but later when I joined Facebook for a brief period, my personal and activism lives collided.  Any one of my extended family members could see my posts about International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, posts vehemently opposing the censorship of the Craigslist Erotic Services section, and if they chose to, they could read through commentary left on posts by me and my sex work friends.  I’m sure they have gossiped about it over the years, but nobody ever says anything to me about it.

It’s a strange sort of in-between place for me.  “Everyone” in my life knows that I’m a sex worker.  I am “accepted” by my family in a way that I can appreciate, but I don’t call them allies.  There’s no talk of disowning me, no exclusion of me or my son or my intimate partners from family occasions, but they won’t voluntarily make it known that someone they love is a sex worker.  It’s just another weird thing I do that they don’t understand and don’t want to understand, but they love me anyway.  I’m generally at peace with how this has played out with my family.  I have a compartment in life where I can keep feelings, priorities and responsibilities associated with my birth family neatly tucked away to pull out for holidays and birthdays.  Then I have a larger compartment, a space preserved for my Found Family, the people I get to share my full identity with.  This doesn’t mean that while we are together I am constantly in “sex work mode”; it’s more that these people don’t need me to suppress any part of my identity in order to keep them comfortable.

Prohibition forces most of us to keep our activities and our whereabouts a secret from those who care for us the most.  That secrecy makes sex workers more vulnerable to abuse; opportunistic predators seek out victims who are least likely to be reported missing by loved ones.  The fear our loved ones have of shame-by-association is an asset to those who aim to harm us- predators and politicians alike.  The Green River Killer said he targeted sex workers because “….they were easy to pick up without being noticed.  I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing.  I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.”  Sex workers need the world to know that we have people who care about us in our lives, in our communities, in our families.  Below is a micro-Call-To-Action for different communities who intersect with sex workers.  Find your own way; there’s something small and meaningful you can do for the sex worker in your life, something you can do within your own comfort zone.  No matter who you are, if you care about sex workers, please start with educating yourself.  There’s been plenty of writing on how to be an ally to sex workers.  This article from psychologist Marijke Vonk covers essential tips for allies plus links to even more resources for you; also go over to Black Girl Dangerous for a piece on allyship written by a sex worker.

Micro-Call to Actions:

Parents of sex workers:  Tell your child that you love them, no matter who finds out what they do; bonus points if you attend a sex work community event with them.  Get to know the area of their life that they traditionally hide from you; you’ll be relieved to find that the people you meet are just ordinary humans with an extraordinary job- and your child is not the one sane, stable exception in an industry reputed to be unsavory.

Partners of sex workers:  Support each other!  Yes, I’m sure you were expecting me to say, “go talk to media” or “post on social media” or “reveal to your parents that your partner is a sex worker.”  And yes, I do want you to do every single one of those things.  However, I don’t believe that you all, at this time, collectively have enough support, information and expertise to minimize the harms and maximize the benefits of coming out as a partner.  Please get there.  Figure it out, folks.  This needs to be peer-led; you all need each other.  Maybe a live twitter discussion by and for partners to kick it off?  Start with something small and achievable.

Friends of sex workers:  In recent weeks my friends have done some amazing things!  Several have made bold statements in support of sex worker rights on social media for all of their friends and family to see.  One friend of mine asked how she and her husband can help sex workers right now, so I sent her over to Red Light Legal to sponsor legal research for sex workers impacted by record seizures at BackPage and other ad sites.  Yes!  Married feminists can be allies to sex workers!  Donate if you can, make calls to lawmakers when we ask for it, correct misinformation when you hear it within your social networks.

Clients of sex workers:  Be good clients.  Donate to funds that support the most marginalized workers in the aftermath of FOSTA/SESTA.  If you are wealthy and can make a substantial contribution, do it!  If you’re paranoid about your financial statements showing something sex work related, give to SWOP Behind Bars or Desiree Alliance because their fiscal sponsors’ totally un-sexy name will appear on your statements.

Cannabis Industry:  It is time to retire the strain name “Jack The Ripper”.  This is insulting because it reveres a name that is infamous due to the brutal murders of sex workers in London.  It does not give due reverence to the long struggle of cannabis legalization and the healing properties of this wonderful plant.  In 2009, I pointed this out to a dispensary operator in San Fernando Valley; he said, “You’re right, I’m sorry to offend, I’ll change the name and let me hook you up with a free eighth, I didn’t mean to offend you ma’am.”  Boom!  Ally in action.  Nine years later, I have a new Call To Action for California’s cannabis industry:  Let’s collectively change the name of the Jack the Ripper strain to Jacq The Stripper, a true hero who deserves to have her name glorified in weed.  Also- hire sex workers for legal cannabis jobs!  As the legal cannabis industry booms, prison mongers are moving to recover lost profits by increasing legal penalties against sex workers.  It’s not a coincidence.

There are dozens of ways to actively support the sex worker in your life.  Ask your loved one what they need as an individual.  Be there for them first, then look at how you can support our community as a whole.  The next opportunity to both educate yourself and help us raise awareness is June 2, 2018 for International Whore’s Day; follow Survivors Against SESTA for organizing updates.  Sex workers have struggled for decades to build the peer-led resources, safety networks and community spaces that reduce the harms we face.  These resources are now under direct attack by policy-makers, law enforcement and misinformed advocates who believe that eliminating our safety resources will make sex work disappear from the world.  We will not disappear, but we need our allies to ensure that we are not silenced and excluded.  Please stand with us so we are not alone in this fight.

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“Sex addiction”…is a steaming pile of quackery invoked by those unwilling to take responsibility for their actions.  –   Angela Mollard

Friday the Thirteenth 

Deviant Ollam, who designed our “McNeill/Matisse 2020” T-shirts, tells hackers why they should support sex workers:

Sex workers face many of the same stigmas that hackers do.  In addition to being misunderstood by the general public so often that they may choose to not even self-identify publicly unless they are in “safe” environments and surrounded by their own kind, the mainstream portrayal of such groups of people is riddled with the most ostentatious and over-blown stereotypes…If we search for the word “hacker” what are we going to see for the results?…Black hoodies and balaclavas everywhere.  The stock image sites are among the worst offenders, as always.  But that’s what editors (and, by extension, their readership) sees in their mind when they hear the word “hacker.”  By and large, we are seen as scary, malicious, and out to cause mayhem.  Let’s try a google image search for “prostitute” now…Is it much of a surprise to anyone that the trope of the “at-risk street walker” is far-and-away the most returned image?…I put it to you that the “prostitutes” in these photos are no more representative of the sex work population than the “hackers” in the earlier images are of our own community…

Enabling Oppression

I’m glad a few people recognize how loathsome it is to use talk of “slavery” to oppose human rights:

…The click bait power of slavery and human trafficking, often encouraged by sensationalist headlines such as “victims branded like cattle”, operates to obscure real problems.  This is tied up with how we label people.  People entering the UK illegally, for example, are characterised as one of two types: either they are seen as undesirable migrants, or else as victims of slavery.  Our use of such labels – “slave”, “trafficking victim”, “refugee”, “migrant” – highlights our need to distinguish between those who deserve protection and those who don’t…the continued use of the idea of slavery to invoke an emotive response…promotes overly simplistic solutions – such as awareness raising campaigns…

Paint By Numbers

“Dumb ‘awareness-raising’ stunts” is going to be the funniest appendix in my history of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Men, women and children took to the streets of Newcastle to make a stand against human trafficking.  With their mouths taped shut, more than 100 people dressed in black walked in single file through the city centre down to the Quayside on Saturday, stopping briefly to make a silent demonstration at the Monument…One of the Newcastle Walk for Freedom organisers, Rachel Jobes…said: “When we say this is a crime that’s happening under our noses we aren’t exaggerating.  We [fantasize] there have been trafficking victims in nail bars, held as slaves in parts of our city and we [masturbate to thoughts of] people…sexually exploited on the streets where we walked”…

Available Weapon

How can people read this and still think prostitution laws are a good idea?

…in Henrico County, Virginia…the number of female inmates at the county jail has more than doubled in the past year…due to…an intensifying police crackdown on sex workers and on people with drug dependence issues…[prosecutor] Michael Feinmel…claims that…these people are a nuisance to the public…or pose an immediate danger to themselves.  But this isn’t true.  Henrico County vice cops go out of their way to arrest these women…They troll online ads, reach out to sex workers pretending to be customers, and rent rooms at local motels where they can lure these women in order to arrest them…They do this under the guise of fighting “human trafficking,” but it’s just punishing women who sell sex…

Moloch (#572)

State actors keep trying to crucify a young man after their first attempt to destroy him failed:

Zach Anderson, the young man…whose harsh punishment for consensual sex with an underage teenager he wrongly believed was 17 made headlines around the country in 2015, has been arrested for violating his probation…He stopped by for dinner at his parents’ home.  His younger brother was present, and incidentally, so was the brother’s friend.  The brother thought this friend was 19 years old, but he turned out to be just 17.  Anderson, unfortunately, is not allowed to have contact with anybody under the age of 18, except his own siblings.  There was one other thing.  Anderson works on the tech team at his local church.  Recently, a 17-year-old girl joined the church staff as an intern.  While Anderson has never met or spoken with her, the fact that they volunteer on separate teams at the church is a violation of his probation, according to officials who issued a warrant for his arrest last week…Possible outcomes range from dismissing the charges to extending probation, putting Anderson on the sex offender registry, sending him to prison, or any combination thereof…

Guinea Pigs (#634) 

Don’t feel left out, amateurs; they’ll get around to you next:

PornHub…uses a tagging system to categorize all its content…But videos already outpace humans’ ability to keep up and tag everything, and so the site is turning to help from software…using facial ID tech not unlike that which Facebook, Amazon, and other media entities apply…There’s nothing illegal about making…from porn…[but] it’s…not a line of work one really discusses in-depth with the neighbors.  Performers, especially amateurs, may well prefer to keep their public, working persona separated from the name and identity they use in private life…[so] this particular use of facial recognition is a privacy disaster in the making…A video that has been uploaded and tagged on PornHub won’t necessarily stay on the service, but will instead travel the internet — and bring the performer’s auto-tagged name along with it.  There’s also the entire challenge of revenge porn…although the site has tried to make it easier for victims to report content and have it removed, it still exists on the site until or unless someone flags it…

To Molest and Rape 

Rapist cops don’t limit themselves to women:

A…Pennsylvania…[cop] will serve no more than two years — and possibly less than one — for [repeat]edly raping two boys and threatening to kill them.  David Turkos…accepted a plea agreement in June on misdemeanor charges…His two victims came forward as teenagers and told police that Turkos began sexually abusing them in 2001, when they were 6 and 4 years old…Turkos threatened to hurt their mother and pets or take away their toys if they revealed the abuse.  One of the boys told police that Turkos choked him and used zip ties to restrain him during the abuse, and…held a hand over his mouth to muffle his screams.  “I hope you die — you’re a piece of crap,” Turkos told one of the boys…Turkos frequently pointed his gun at the brothers to frighten them…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#645)

Say what you like about Larry Flynt, but he’s a dedicated foe of tyranny:

…Larry Flynt is offering “up to $10 million” to anyone who produces information that leads to President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.  He lays out the offer in a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#671)

I may soon need to come up with a heading for stories that combine “sex addiction” nonsense with “sex robot” nonsense:

…sex experts say vibrators–no matter how technologically advanced they become—will never surpass human intercourse.  What’s more, they say any addiction to automated sex is downright impossible.  “The term addiction is often misused,” Dr. Kat Van Kirk…says…”A true addiction would mean the behavior would negatively affect the person’s day-to-day life…and using it to the exclusion of intimate live partner play.”  She says there’s “absolutely no research” to indicate vibrators’ addictive properties…Nicolette Heidegger…said that her clients often raise the question—a result of our collective 21st century fear that sex dolls…could one day replace actual intimacy…between humans…But “the fact of the matter is that there is no empirical data to support the claim that you can become physiologically or biologically addicted to a sex toy”…

The Maze of Consent

Attempts by “authorities” to negate the consent of adult women via psychobabble won’t stop with sex workers:

Forced into sex with large groups of strangers, stripped of their freedom and ferried from house to house by their controlling pimps, the story of how a group of vulnerable young women were turned into modern day slaves is brutal and uncompromising…thanks to the efforts of Greater Manchester Police officers the women were eventually freed and the gang who had trafficked them jailed…Why had these women – alone, afraid and forced into degrading and unsafe sex…never tried to escape their pimps?…police in Manchester turned to a leading expert in trauma to help them understand.  His report…paints a bleak picture in which the victims of the case were portrayed as being “brainwashed” into “childlike dependency” through controlling behaviour…Dr Michael Korzinski…[fantasized that] “Trafficking robs the victim of the most basic modes of relating to reality”…

Between the Lines (#782)

The Unsinkable Liz Brown looks at this year’s “Operation Cross Country”:

The FBI just wrapped up its 11th annual “Operation Cross Country,” a massive multi-day vice sting conducted under the guise of stopping sexual predators…The media will largely lap up this sensationalist pageantry, as it has in previous years.  And once again, everyone will ignore the real victims of Operation Cross Country: the vulnerable women and girls tricked, frightened, robbed, detained, arrested, incarcerated, and otherwise mistreated by police and federal agents as part of this sick charade that claims to help them…[they] have any money they have on then taken by the cops…may spend days in jail (and away from families or day jobs) before even going to court…have their names and mugshots plastered all over local news and online (sometimes in conjunction with degrading details and comments from cops); and…face court fees, fines, and a criminal record…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#783) 

If you get caught paying for sex, you may be charged with “sex trafficking”.  But cops?

In an Oakland case…most were let off the hook, including three…whose cases were dismissed last week…NYPD [cop]…Raul Olmeda was indicted this week for allegedly paying a teen girl to have sex with him on multiple occasions and filming the sexual activity…Denver Police Department…[cop] Zachery Phillips…was recently given a 15-day suspension without pay after admitting to an encounter with a sex worker…The woman…was…charged with prostitution and possession of a controlled substance…in Cleveland…Mark Reilly is back on the job after spending 10 days in jail for paying for sex…In Vermont, police dispatcher Earl Benway was charged with paying for oral sex and leaking information to the sex worker he paid…And, finally, Abraham Flores Galvan…in Tunnel Hill, Georgia…was caught in his own colleagues’ sting operation [last] Thursday.  Galvan responded to an online ad posted by [wanker cops pretending]…to be a teenager under age 18…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#783) 

Weinstein has inadvertently made it possible to publicly attack “sex addiction” as malarkey:

…I am not a sex addict but my attendance at an SLAA meeting was part of a six-week investigation I undertook into sex addiction for a British newspaper.  Posing as a PR girl who went out several times a week to pick up men, I sought help via a psychotherapist, a phone counsellor and one of the world’s most reputable rehab clinics.  My conclusion?  That “sex addiction” — the malady Harvey Weinstein claims is responsible for his deplorable behaviour — is a steaming pile of quackery invoked by those unwilling to take responsibility for their actions…

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So today is Friday the 13th again; as longtime readers know, it’s the day I ask people who aren’t themselves sex workers to stand up for us.  As I wrote back in January:

…I’ve given many suggestions for how to do that over the past seven years, but this year I’m going to be a little more specific about the help I’d like you to give, and it’s twofold.  First, very simply, is to give sex workers money; we had an extremely rough autumn [2016] thanks to the quadrennial national madness, and every sex worker and organization is hurting right now.  The second way, if you’re American, is to call your senator or representative (especially your senator) to say how displeased you are about the persecution of adult sex workers and clients.  You won’t get to talk to the politician, but their office staffs are usually quite small so a few dozen phone calls in one day on the same subject will make an impression on the staff, and that may get through to the politician in a report…

Things have grown even worse since then; the pogroms are getting worse and more frequent, and the US Congress has come up with  veritable deluge of horrible anti-whore laws, not the least of which is SESTA (which could, in addition to harming sex workers and clients, destroy the entire internet as we know it…and no, that isn’t hyperbole).  Though the sex trafficking hysteria is dying, moral panics get worse as they collapse, and even after the panic is history the tyrannical laws it engendered will still be there for “authorities” to destroy lives with, just as the 20th-century criminalization laws lasted for decades after the demise of the “white slavery” hysteria which spawned them.  If you have an internet platform or the freedom to speak on the subject, you might take a look at this list of suggestions for arguments you can make; you won’t get to say any of that out to a politician’s secretary, but swaying members of the general public is important, too.  And I can’t possibly emphasize enough how important your donations are for me, for other activists, for sex worker organizations like SWOP, SWOP Behind Bars and ESPLERP, and even for individual sex workers you might choose to book an appointment with today (if you like, you can even tell ’em I inspired you to contact them).  Please give generously, speak out, and otherwise use this occasion to let sex workers know that you’re on our side against the millions of thugs and fanatics lined up against us.

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backpage-censoredToday is Friday the 13th, on which I ask non-sex workers to speak up for our rights.  I’ve given many suggestions for how to do that over the past seven years, but this year I’m going to be a little more specific about the help I’d like you to give, and it’s twofold.  First, very simply, is to give sex workers money; we had an extremely rough autumn thanks to the quadrennial national madness, and every sex worker and organization is hurting right now.  The second way, if you’re American, is to call your senator or representative (especially your senator) to say how displeased you are about the persecution of adult sex workers and clients.  You won’t get to talk to the politician, but their office staffs are usually quite small so a few dozen phone calls in one day on the same subject will make an impression on the staff, and that may get through to the politician in a report.  The reason I’m asking you to take this specific step is that the extrajudicial and unconstitutional persecution of Backpage has come to a head; on Monday evening, exhausted by the constant string of nuisance lawsuits, groundless charges, illegal arrests and blatant slander, Backpage followed in the footsteps of Craigslist by censoring its adult services section in the United States:

As the direct result of unconstitutional government censorship, Backpage.com has removed its Adult content section…new government tactics, including pressuring credit card companies to cease doing business with Backpage, have left the company with no other choice but to remove the content in the United States.  As federal appeals court Judge Richard Posner has described, the goal is either to “suffocate” Backpage out of existence or use the awesome powers of the government to force Backpage to follow in the footsteps of Craigslist and abandon its Adult advertising section.  Judge Posner described such tactics as “a formula for permitting unauthorized, unregulated, foolproof, lawless government coercion”…As The Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have observed, the Senate subcommittee has engaged in an “invasive, burdensome inquiry into Backpage.com’s editorial practices [that] creates an intense chilling effect, not only for Backpage but for any website operator”…This will not end the fight for online freedom of speech.  Backpage.com will continue to pursue its efforts in court to vindicate its First Amendment rights and those of other online platforms for third party expression.

In the meantime, the many sex workers who use Backpage for advertising are scrambling to figure out what to do.  Many will simply move to other sections of Backpage, such as massage and personals, just as they did on Craigslist; others will prefer to migrate to different platforms.  With that in mind, here is a LONG list of other escort advertising sites; these are all drawn from lists at Rate That Rescue and Saucy Says What? plus a few sent to me by people on Twitter.  Note that I can’t vouch for any of these except Eros, Slixa, TNA, Mature Sensual and ECCIE; the last three are free, and I’d really like to see ECCIE get more traffic in Seattle because it’s a great site that served me well in Oklahoma.  I’ve written about P411 & Date-Check before; both have advertising but aren’t primarily advertising sites per se.  The rest are just listed and linked, but I know little or nothing about them.  I’ve organized them with the biggest sites at the top, then regional or special-interest sites in alphabetical order with notes to indicate if they’re anything other than broad female escort sites.  Sites marked with an asterisk are those on which I have a current or recent profile.

Date-check*backpage-censored

ECCIE*

Eros*

The Erotic Review

Preferred 411

Slixa*

A+ Ladies

Adam 4 Adam (MfM)

Adult Escort Finder

Adult Hobby Board (TN, MT)

Adult Search (Maine)

Adult Work (BDSM/fetish)

Alt Playground (BDSM/fetish)

Asspig (MfM)

Avenue X (East Coast)

Best GFE (NJ, NY, PA, CT, MA)

Big Doggie (mostly Southeast US)

Bigcity (Dallas)

Black Ebony Escorts (Black escorts)

Body Rub Search (FBSM)

Bondage (BDSM/fetish)

Boyscort (MfM)

Boytoy (MfM)

City-Source (CA)

Cityvibe

Companions Reviews

Concierge du Monde (MfW)

Daddysreviews.com (MfM)

Duttslist (Craigslist knockoff)

EEOW

Eros Transsexuals (TS)

Erotic Monkey

Erotic Mugshots

Escort Ads

Escort Boards (CO, KS, NV, TX)

Escort Directory

Escort Fish

Escort Phone List

Escort Phone Review

Escort Photos (CO, TX)

Escort Post

Escort Woman

Escorting Consultant – (SF Bay Area)

Escorts are for Women Too (MfW)

Established Men (sugar dating)

Fetish Freak Webcams (BDSM/fetish)

Fetlife (BDSM/fetish)

GFE Club (NJ, NY, PA, CT, MA)

GFE Forum

Gina’s Little Secret

Girl-Directory

Goddess Temple (CA)

Grain Belt News (KY, MI, MN, MO, ND, SD, NE, OH, WI)

Grenlist (FL)

The Hidden Pages

The Hobby Hunter (Portland)

Hot Male Escort Guide (Male escorts)

Hott Pages

Hourboy (MfM)

Humaniplex (Southern CA)

Hung Angels (TS)

Independent Girls (FL)

Indys (IN, MN, MI, OH, IL, WV, PA)

International Escorts

Kingdom 99 (Canada)

The Kings List (Craigslist knockoff)

Le 69

London Ebony (Black escorts)

Lovings (West Coast)

Male Companions for Women (MfW)

Manhunt (MfM)

Massage M4M (MfM)

Massage Republic

Masseur Finder (MfM)

MatureSensual (mature escorts)*

Max Fisch (BDSM/fetish)

Men 4 Men Cruising (MfM)

Men 4 Rent Now (MfM)

Men 4 Sex Now (MfM)

Message Forum (MfM)

Millionaire Dates (sugar dating)

Millionaire Match (sugar dating)

Millionaire Sponsor (sugar dating)

MP Reviews (CA, NV massage parlors)

My Provider Guide

Myscarletbook

Naughty New Orleans (New Orleans)

Naughty Nightlife

Naughty Reviews  – (AZ, CA, FL, HI, IN, KY, MI, OH, OK, IL, TN, TX, WI)

Night Shift (Sacramento & SF Bay Area)

Open Adult Directory

The Other Board (CO, NV, TX)

Outcall (mature escorts)

Pleasure Massage Directory (FBSM)

Pure VIP

Queer Sex Work (MfM)

Rate That Provider (KS)

Recon (MfM)

The Red Directory – (FBSM Canada)

Red Massage (FBSM)

Rent Hot Angels (MfM)

Rent Masseur (MfM)

Rentboys – (MfM)

RS2K (IL)

Rubmaps (FBSM)

Sacred Eros – (tantra, sex coaching etc)

Seeking Arrangement (sugar dating)*

A Sexy Service (TN)

Sipsap (Maine)

Skip the Games (Boston, NY, PA, DC, GA)

Southern GFE (NC)

Squirt (MfM)

Sugar Daddie (sugar dating)

Sugar Daddy Finder (sugar dating)

Sugar Daddy for Me (sugar dating)

Sugar Daddy Meet (sugar dating)

Sugar Daddy Today (sugar dating)

Sugar Sugar (sugar dating)

Tabu Life (BDSM/fetish)

That Mall

TNA (West Coast)*

Trans Escorts (TS)

Trans X (TS)

Travel Sex Guide

Trusted Fling (CA)

TS Dating (TS)

TS Escorts (TS)

TS 4 Rent (TS)

TSMFE (Tampa Bay area massage parlors)

USA Sex Guide

Utopia Guide (Northeast US)

VIP Girlfriend (DC, NYC, LA, Miami)

Wealthy Men (sugar dating)

What’s Your Price? (sugar dating)*

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When the day at last comes that we win our right to live and work free from state violence, you will know that you helped that happen.  –  “Luck Has Nothing To Do With It

red umbrellas by daylightToday is Friday the 13th, which as longtime readers know is the day I ask non-sex workers to speak up for us.  Some years have as many as three of these special Fridays, but this is the only one this year; if you need suggestions on what to say, I suggest you consult this column I wrote for the occasion way back in 2012.  And if you do write something, please let me know and I’ll add a link to it below (and tweet it as well).  I do, however, recognize that some people simply can’t stick their heads above the parapet enough to write or speak openly about this, despite the fact that it’s quickly becoming more socially acceptable to do so; if you’re in that position, you can still help by donating money, something sex worker rights organizations are always in need of.  There are such organizations in every country; since I firmly believe that charity begins at home, I urge you to donate to help sex workers in your own land first.  In the US, SWOP can always use help, and I recently called attention to SWOP Behind Bars, which accepts donations of books for incarcerated sex workers.  I don’t understand why she felt the need to adopt such a critical tone, but Melinda Chateauvert published a good list of sex worker organizations in need of all the funding they can get, and Red Light Legal is down to the last few days in its attempt to raise $15,000 to provide legal assistance to sex workers.  Of course, there are plenty of individual sex workers you could assist, such as the heroic Heather Saul, who took out a serial killer who would otherwise have killed many other women.  And if you can’t think of anyone else, you could always send me a little something via PayPal.  It doesn’t so much matter what you do today, as long as you do something to promote sex worker rights; write, speak, donate, spread the word or all of the above.  And I’m going to try to spend as much time as possible retweeting today, so if you write something or have a sex worker fund you want promoted, please mention me on Twitter so I can promote it for you!

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Sex worker rights are human rights, and there can never be too many voices speaking up for them, nor too many occasions on which to speak.  –  “Never Too Many

many red umbrellasIt’s that day again:  Friday the 13th, the day on which I ask non-sex workers to speak up for us.  As I’ve explained many times before, there is no possible way we can ever hope to win our rights without the help of allies; since only about 0.3% of the female population are whores at any given time (about 1% over their lifetimes), we simply don’t constitute a large enough voting bloc for politicians to give a damn about us, especially at a time when the popular fad is to pretend that we’re passive victims in need of “rescue” from our own choices.  As I explained two years ago,

…the gay rights movement didn’t really take off until the friends and families of gay people got involved, and…we’re going to need [similar] help to make our voices heard.  We need all the sex workers (such as strippers, dominatrices and porn actresses) whose fields aren’t currently criminalized, and the sugar babies and [others] who have informally or indirectly taken money for sex…We need all of the men who hire us at least occasionally…[and] all of the women who recognize that…laws which can be used to arrest us will also work to arrest you.  We need all of those who love porn, polyamory, BDSM or kink, because even though policing of sex usually starts with harlots, it never stops with us.  We need all of the public health and human rights experts who understand the necessity of decriminalization…all of the libertarians who recognize that governmental prohibition of consensual behavior is both indefensible and dangerous to individual liberty, and all of the feminists who recognize that a woman’s right to control her own body and make her own sexual and economic choices is the  primary feminist issue.  And we need all of the decent human beings who don’t fall into any of those categories, but are simply disgusted by the idea of armed thugs arresting, humiliating and ruining people for the “crime” of consensual sex…

Over the past few years, the number of voices supporting us has grown by leaps and bounds; decriminalization is now supported by every major human rights organization (including Amnesty International), every major health organization (including the WHO), several UN organizations (including UNAIDS), and literally hundreds of other groups concerned with law, labor, women’s rights, individual liberty and many other subjects.  Every academic who has made a methodologically sound and ideology-free study of the subject has reached the same or very similar conclusions, and after the ill-considered raid on the gay escort site Rentboy, even most gay rights organizations and activists have come over to the side of individual rights and self-ownership.  But that’s still not enough; stupidity, ignorance, prudishness, statism, control-freakishness and bigotry run deep in human society, and it will take vast resources and millions of voices to beat those back into the outer darkness where they belong.  We need everyone to speak up for us, not just today but every day; however, today is a start.  Please say something in favor of decriminalization today, either in person or online; if it’s online, link it in a comment below and call it to my attention on Twitter so I can signal boost it.  And if you can do a little more than talk, such as by making a donation to my work or that of a local, national or international sex worker rights organization, today would be a great day to do it!  And when the day at last comes that we win our right to live and work free from state violence, you will know that you helped that happen.

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