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Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

These sites, these actors, these directors, these writers cannot keep using us, our bodies, and our stories to line their pockets while simultaneously refusing to support us and our needs.  –  Adrie Rose

Sex Work is Work

This could potentially be useful in winning the support of bureaucrats:

…gaining allies within governments remains a challenge…despite calls for decriminalisation by a number of international human rights organisations…and several United Nations agencies.  One of the biggest difficulties has been the…conflation of sex work with trafficking, which is linked to the belief that sex work is inherently immoral.  This [ignorant] view of sex work has shaped national policies for decades, pushing the industry outside the formal labour market and the scope of national labour laws and international standards.  However…the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a study on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW)…[which] contains twelve dimensions of unacceptability…unacceptability in sex work manifests where these twelve dimensions occur, but the work itself is not treated as inherently unacceptable.  Used well, this framework could be a way for sex worker rights advocates to argue for the inclusion of sex work under national labour law systems…

Pyrrhic Victory (#615)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

[China’s] major tech city, Shenzhen…recently debuted a new system which allows people over the age of 60 to register for free subway rides, using their face as their ticket.  This…is also being experimented with in other cities including Jinan, Shanghai and Nanjing…[he excuse is] to speed up passengers moving through the barriers to get to platforms, as well as prevent fraud…

Under Every Bed (#734)

So much for the claimed “increase in sex trafficking in Montana”:

The FBI has cut in half the time its human trafficking agent in Montana will spend on [persecuting sex workers.  “Rescue” profiteer]…Penny Ronning…called the change “a blow” to anti-[sex worker] efforts in Montana…the decision…comes as the state brings on board two new [pigs] dedicated full-time to [harassing Asian massage businesses]…

Cooties (#797) 

Belgian cops have sadfeelz that AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies aren’t popular on their side of the Channel:

Sex workers in Bruges are renting rooms through…Airbnb for work, in what local authorities say is the start of a rising trend to “keep an eye on”…landowners who notice or suspect their properties are being used for sex work are encouraged to report them.  Failing to do so could put them at risk of being prosecuted for pimping…

Fallen Idol (#911)

This was a wise move on Stagliano’s part:

…Evil Angel [has] published its docu-porn Consent, which was originally slated to co-star James Deen, who has been accused of abuse by multiple women…following the numerous allegations against Deen, the company decided to stop working with him, but earlier this year, owner John Stagliano…[said] Evil Angel was welcoming Deen back…in a film…featur[ing] explicit sex alongside documentary-style footage exploring women’s agency within rough porn scenes.  Deen was cast after a woman performer asked to work with him for the film…[but] when the film finally hit the company’s site on Monday, there was no James Deen to be found…Evil Angel filmed a scene between Deen and Casey Calvert, the performer who requested to work with him, as well as an interview with Lily LaBeau, one of Deen’s accusers…Ultimately, all that footage was left on the cutting room floor.  (The film does, however, feature two other male performers who have been accused of on-set boundary violations)…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#922)

Seattle sex workers are pushing back on the narrative that destroying Asian masseuse’s livelihood constitutes “help”:

Last month, dozens of community members gathered…at Seattle City Hall to discuss consequences of the large-scale police raids on 11…”Asian” massage parlors back in February.  The months-long sting operation resulted in the “rescue” of 26 Chinese-speaking women…According to Elene Lam…this kind of rescue narrative misconstrues the nuanced realities of the sex industry…Lam is an expert at the Toronto-based organization Butterfly, a support and advocacy group for Asian and migrant sex workers. The event…called Rescue Hurts, was organized by API Chaya and other local advocacy initiatives to correct misinformation around sex work and to propose alternative solutions that do not rely on state or police intervention…

You Were Warned

This decision is necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has tentatively sided with tech company Salesforce in a civil lawsuit brought by 90 women who claim they were sexually exploited.  The suit is the first of its kind since…FOSTA…As a large business-to-business software company, Salesforce counted Backpage among its clients. [Ambulance-chasers]…allege that Backpage…enabled them to be trafficked for sex.  But Backpage [and its assets were] seized by the U.S. government last year, making [a lawsuit against it unprofitable]…hence, lawyers got to work targeting Salesforce…lawyers…led [their clints] astray, big time, while marking a new low in attempts to assign legal liability to internet companies for their users’ actions and words…[because] under a large body of legal precedent, Salesforce would be unequivocally shielded by Section 230 in this case…

Japanese Prostitution (#930)

This is still a hit-button issue in Japan:

…Miki Dezaki…ma[d]e a documentary…[asking] why…a small but vocal group of politically influential conservatives still fervently dispute [sic] internationally accepted accounts of Japan’s…sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II.  He explored in detail the conservatives’ case that the so-called comfort women were in fact paid prostitutes…Dezaki…concluded that the conservatives were “revisionists,” and used terms like “racism” and “sexism” to characterize some of their claims.  Now, five of them are suing him for defamation…[the] official 1993 Japanese government apology to the comfort women….has been a festering wound for…[nationalists] including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who have insisted that the Korean women were not sex slaves because there is no proof that they were physically forced…

The Notorious Badge (#934)

Twitter welcomes fake sex workers while working to silence real ones:

Hustlers…has been mired in controversy since the early production phase.  The living inspiration for the lead role…is reportedly considering suing the production company for misrepresenting her…and using her life story without compensation …Jennifer Lopez and fiance Alex Rodriguez have been accused of going to strip clubs for “research” and paying dancers a pittance for their time…Show Palace, the club…where much of Hustlers was filmed, has attracted criticism for closing its doors for a week of filming, giving dancers and staff little notice and no back pay…But the most ridiculous, bordering on the outright absurd, aspect of the film…was the marketing campaign…#TweetYourHustle….Women across the country began chiming in with stories of their…“hustles”…but there was no evidence of…sex workers.  There were no pictures of strip clubs or dressing rooms, no pictures of porn production sets, no pictures of in-call hotel rooms or AirBnB’s from escorts.  There was nothing from the community that put Hustlers on the map…

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People whose brains and morals haven’t been totally warped by partisan politics don’t write off…horrors just because The Other Side started them.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Where Are the Victims?

It’s always a “gang”, even when it isn’t:

A Chinese madam linked to a[n imaginary] “Snakehead” people smuggling ring, who [provided clients and an incall for migrant sex workers]…in…Scotland…was [sentenced to] 27 months…Yen Huang, 62…was [snitched on by racist busybodies at]…a bank in Dundee [after she went into the bank with] a 48-year-old [migrant] woman…Police…[had branded] the woman…a victim of human trafficking [so they arrested her]…and…she…[is] now [in prison] in England, waiting to be [deported]…Huang…eventually abandoned her claims to have been just a cleaner with “no connection” to…prostitution, and…[instead] claimed she herself was victim of human trafficking…brought to the UK…by “Snakehead” [an imaginary criminal cartel out of racist “Fu Manchu” style fantasies]…

Divided We Fall

Perhaps if Gay, Inc had stood with sex workers to fight these kinds of lies from the beginning, they wouldn’t have grown so popular and bold:

According to Diane Gramley, head of the American Family Association’s (AFA) Pennsylvania chapter, the 1969 Stonewall uprising wasn’t caused by queer people fighting against police harassment, it was caused by police trying to rescue a young transgender boy who was being sexually abused by the bar’s queer patrons.  Gramley [told her fantasy] on a recent broadcast of Stand in the Gap, a radio show produced by the American Pastors Network…Gramley [also] said…“Pride is definitely a menace to children…because they use these Pride events to desensitize us to the dangers of their lifestyle”…By claiming that police were trying to rescue a sexually abused transgender youth, Gramely continues to [advance the myth that cops exist to “help” people and to] repeat the old canard that LGBTQ people are pedophiles who groom and sexually prey on young children, “turning” some of them gay, bi or trans…

A “young transgender boy”?  How interesting, considering that people like Gramley claim that being trans is a “lifestyle” rather than a characteristic, and therefore deny that any young person can actually be trans.

The Widening Gyre (#431)

Prohibitionists just keep trying the same stupid publicity stunts:

[A pig oinked that] it was time to consider stopping drivers using the residential…Rosary Road [in] Norwich…”to prevent kerb crawlers doing laps” [even though cops admit this won’t have any affect on street work]…residents…[say they are] not bothered by kerb crawling traffic [though some virtue-signaled that they have read the propaganda about]…”women who are being exploited in all this”…

Click the subtitle link to see what happened the last time this Stupid Cop Trick was tried.

Japanese Prostitution (#502)

Japanese attempts to suppress and hide sex work prior to the Olympics are insufficient to please gaijin “sex trafficking” profiteers:

As the next Olympic host, Japan has become the focus of…global [hysteria over] child prostitution…with [profiteers] working to [spread disinformation] on “hidden crimes” they [pretend] have a symbiotic relationship with mega-events.  Major sporting events attract troves [sic] of [rescue industry]…organizations…looking to cash in by exploiting [public ignorance about sex work in order to convince them that sex workers are] vulnerable children…Despite [a total lack of evidence for any issues]…Japan is far from immune, according to It’s a Penalty, a Britain-based [prohibition]ist group.  “It does exist here, it is just that [the evidence says the opposite]” said Sarah de Carvalho, founder and CEO of IAP…

Saving Them From Themselves (#626)

Oink oink, but he was on the wrong side of an imaginary line, so we HAVE TO destroy his life!  SHAZAM!

As of January 2018, teenagers in Colorado who use their cellphones to exchange nude selfies can no longer be prosecuted for “sexual exploitation of a child.”  But that change, which state legislators approved after [considerable pressure from sane, normal people]…came five years too late for “T.B.”, a 15-year-old boy who in 2012 and 2013 swapped erotic pictures with two girls [his own age]…the Colorado Supreme Court upheld [destroying] T.B.’s [life by condemning him to]…sex offender [hell] for at least 20 years.  The majority conceded that its decision “may strike some as [insane but typical police-state violence]”…but T.B. violated the law that applied at the time, the court said, so he is out of luck.  Two dissenting justices argued that their colleagues had misread the statute and that the majority’s interpretation [was completely devoid of anything resembling justice]…

Divination

Yes, people really are stupid enough to believe a dog can smell electronic images:

Louisiana State Police have acquired a new tool to help solve child porn cases:  a dog named Maggie who’s trained to sniff out even the smallest electronic devices that might be used to store images and videos, including memory cards and flash drives.  At a press conference [pigs and politicians bloviated a lot of nonsense about magic pictures and infinitely-growing problems]…

Check Your Premises (#777) 

This is, of course, based on the deeply-flawed premise that “anti-trafficking” politicians actually want to protect sex workers, which they absolutely don’t:

…If you speak out in favour of decriminalisation of sex work as a member of the UK anti-trafficking sector, you risk losing partnerships, allies and funding.  But…unless the sector comes to a united understanding on sex work and the laws surrounding it, we risk trafficking being used as a rhetorical tool which harms some of the most marginalised women in our communities.  The major divide on this battlefield is between those promoting decriminalisation of sex work and those pushing the “sex buyer law”.  Tackling trafficking for sexual exploitation is often used as the reason to support this law…This approach can feel instinctively right because it punishes the buyers. I don’t know a single sex worker who likes their clients.  I’m sure there are some, but they are few and far between…

The author is clearly delusional.  First off, she refuses to recognize that “trafficking” is and always has been specifically a “rhetorical tool which harms some of the most marginalised women in our communities”, because that’s exactly what it was intended to be; it paints sex workers as “victims” so damaged by the supposed “trauma” of pragmatic sex that we don’t know what is good for us and can therefore be disregarded.  And anyone so out of touch with reality that she imagines the sex workers she “knows” (already an absurd assumption because whores aren’t generally honest with self-appointed saviors) are in any way representative of the great majority who wouldn’t even consent to talk to someone whose avowed purpose is the disruption of their entire profession, is too lost in her own navel to even bother correcting.

Storyville (#807)

It wasn’t just sex workers who thrived in the “Wild West”:

…people who did not conform to traditional gender norms were a part of daily life in the Old West, according to Peter Boag, a historian at Washington State University and the author of Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past.  While researching a book about the gay history of Portland, Boag stumbled upon hundreds and hundreds of stories concerning people who dressed against their assigned gender…He was shocked at the size of this population, which he’d never before encountered in his time as a queer historian of the American West…Boag expanded his research beyond the Northwest, but limited it to towns west of the Mississippi, and the period of time from the California Gold Rush through statehood for all the Western continental territories.  It wasn’t that this time and place was more open or accepting of trans people, but that it was more diffuse and unruly, which may have enabled more people to live according to their true identities…“My theory is that people who were transgender…saw the West as a place where they could live and get jobs and carry on a life that they couldn’t have in the more congested East”…

Torture Chamber (#878)

Liz Brown delivers a scathing indictment of the government’s horrific child abuse:

For years, U.S. propagandists have spread scare stories about trafficked children being housed in warehouses and forced to sleep on mats or rickety cots, with inadequate nutrition, zero privacy, and a lack of basic sanitation…[but actually] it’s the U.S. government that is doing that…ferreting [abducted] children off to secretive warehouse locations where neon lights shine 24 hours per day.  Kids are crowded into large cages where they sleep on shared mats—or sometimes concrete floors…denied soap, toothbrushes, and medicine, amid outbreaks of lice and flu…Some sociopaths argue that abusing children is necessary to send a message to their parents…but…that innocent children should not suffer for the sins of their parents has long been a principle civil societies agree on…As Ken White writes at The Atlantic“The sheer effrontery of the government’s argument may be explained, but not excused, by its long backstory”…Like civilian criminal counterparts, [Trump and company are] essentially threatening to keep on kidnapping and traumatizing kids until Democrats meet their demands…

Dangerous Speech (#948)

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The war on guns, like the war on drugs, is primarily waged on poor people.  –  Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg

Doris Day, who passed away this week at the ripe old age of 97, was probably my mother’s favorite singer; I remember her singing “Que Sera, Sera” so often when I was a child that I knew the lyrics by heart before I started school (and it’s one of the few popular songs entirely within my rather-limited vocal range).  So it only seems appropriate to feature a recording of that song as this week’s video; the link above it were provided by SWOP Behind Bars, Tim Cushing, C.J. Ciaramella, Elizabeth N. Brown, Radley Balko, and Tim Cushing again (in that order).

From the Archives

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Harris’s contempt for sex workers lies at the heart of her hypocrisy.  –  Stephen Lemons

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be enterprising women working to get some of it:

Mongolia’s mining boom started in the early 2000s and mining now accounts for around 20 per cent of Mongolia’s gross domestic product.  The growth…has created a spike in internal migration to mining areas – most notably Ömnögovi…The coal route from the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to the Chinese border is synonymous with sex work fuelled by the mining industry…In contrast to the stigma…in the city…the border area [i]s accepting and open…four or five women travel to the border area with a driver and rent a ger (a traditional round felted tent) to stay…If [truck] drivers don’t have cash, they pay in fuel: 40 or 50 litres of diesel for one act, 100 litres for one hour.  The women then resell the fuel when they can…Ulaanbaatar…is [by contrast] a harsh environment for women working in the trade…sex [workers] in…sauna[s] in the capital…[are beaten by] police and customers…ultra-nationalists target sex workers on the street and shave their heads to disgrace them…

Despite the obligatory “sex trafficking” disinformation and nonsense sprinkled throughout, the article is not a bad look at sex work in a part of the world few Westerners know anything about.

See No Evil (#25)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

The United Nations has proposed an international initiative…to tighten…restrictions and prohibition of…child pornography…However…child pornography…”is defined…as ‘any representation of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities…includ[ing]…visual material such as photographs, movies, drawings and cartoons…including when…such material represents…non-existing children”…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

One South Carolina [politician] is working to shut down massage parlors…Mandy Powers Norrell proposed legislation that could close those places for good.  “It will give labor, licensing, and regulation the authority to close them down and prosecute any [women] found there,” [she bloviated]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…In case after case, [motorists were robbed by cops claiming]…the cash was found near drugs.  Yet few…ever were arrested.   They were caught in one of the most aggressive [robbery] operations in [South Carolina, where the]…police…[stole] nearly $50,000 from…motorists over a two-year period…$135 for every person living in Nichols.  That’s six times more per resident than any other police department in the state…

An Example To the West (#636)

Ugandan sex workers demand their rights:

Human and women rights activists have appealed to Members of Parliament not to criminalise prostitution as they debate and pass the pending Sexual Offences Bill of 2015…”These arrests are mostly carried out to solicit bribes from sex workers and harass them.  Few of them get to trial.  The provision, is therefore, unnecessary since it is unenforceable,” [said] Macklean Mary Kyomya…of Alliance of Women Advocating for Change…activists brandished placards reading…”outlaw poverty not prostitution…rights not rescue…my body, my business”…

Secret Squirrel (#686)

Conditioning squares to accept intrusive monitoring of every aspect of their lives:

Devices worn on employees’ bodies are an increasingly valuable source of workforce health intelligence for employers and insurance companies.  It’s fueling a boom in the use of wrist-borne health and fitness monitors such as those made by Fitbit, Garmin and Apple…the information is not covered by federal rules that protect health records from disclosure.  And when it’s combined with data such as credit scores, employees are giving up more insights about themselves than they realize…In general, employees in such programs [“voluntarily”] sign up for digital health monitoring.  They are lured by cash, reduced premiums, or reimbursements for co-payments and deductibles…Fitbit is moving aggressively to sign up companies.  It added a call service that [nag]…workers…via text messages and phone calls…whose data shows they are falling short of their [assigned “fitness goals”]…

You amateurs really think being spied on like this is OK?  No wonder fantasies of whores “enslaved” by exploitative bosses who spy on their every move are so popular; it’s just amateurs projecting their work conditions onto us.

Pyrrhic Victory (#697)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

The use of PredPol—a predictive policing software…is far more widespread than previously reported…PredPol claims to use an algorithm to predict crime in specific 500-foot by 500-foot sections of a city, so that police can…surveil specific areas more heavily…PredPol [has] contract[s or] negotiation[s]…with…South Jordan, UT; Mountain View, CA; Atlanta, GA; Haverhill, GA; Palo Alto, CA; Modesto, CA; Merced, CA; Livermore, CA; Tacoma, WA; and the University of California, Berkeley…Los Angeles, Elgin [CA], Oakland [CA], Richmond [CA]…Milpitas [CA]…Santa Cruz, CA; Morgan Hill, CA, Fairfield, CA, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, CA; Campbell, CA; Salinas, CA; Alhambra, CA; Lansing, MI; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Columbia, SC…Manhattan, KS…Little Rock, AK; Kent, England; Reading, PA; “and many more”…Predpol explicitly encourage[s] police departments to dedicate their resources towards petty crime…Shahid Buttar, the Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[explains] it’s impossible to expect unbiased results from predictive policing technology, because the data it analyzes is structurally biased.  Predictive policing is “driven by…data that itself reflects longstanding and pervasive bias…If you overpolice certain communities, and only detect crime within those communities, and then try to provide a heat map of predictions, any AI will predict that crimes will occur in the places that they’ve happened before”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are still masturbating to the fantasy that emojis are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the [supposed] evidence was a series of Instagram DMs he’d allegedly sent to a woman…with high heels and money bag emoji placed at the end…[a hired gun claiming to be] an expert…in sex trafficking…[fantasized under oath that] the high heels and bags of money supported the interpretation that the defendant was accused of sex trafficking, essentially translating to “wear your high heels to come make some money.”  Another message from the defendant included the crown emoji, which was said to signify that the “pimp is the king”.  Ultimately, the ruling didn’t hinge on the interpretation of emoji, but [that didn’t stop prosecutors from trying to destroy lives based on the masturbatory fantasies of people who’ve never done sex work in their lives]…

Uncommon Sense (#745)

Yet another registration regime fails miserably, as we keep telling y’all:

Only 76 of the reportedly 200,000 women (0.038%) who work as prostitutes in Germany have registered for state services [and of course politicians can’t understand why]…sex workers [can] register for state-run health insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits…[but the price after a new and paternalistic] law was enacted…in 2017 [is] regist[ration with pigs, mandatory “counseling”, prying into their private lives by social workers and compulsory] regular health [inspections]…most prostitutes…register under some different professional category in order to continue working anonymously…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to obsess about things that don’t exist:

…sex robots are rapidly becoming a part of…national [fantasies] about the future of sex and relationships….a number of companies are currently developing [human-shaped sex toys]…with a few already on the market…A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years [the same fraction who think Donald Trump is intelligent and genetically-modified foods are dangerous].  As a [pompous windbag]…I’m interested in the legal and policy questions that sex robots pose…How will [masturbating] with a sex [doll]] affect the human [soul]?  Would sex with a child[-shaped toaster] be ethical?…

These articles are so deeply stupid, I just can’t take them at all seriously any more.  Despite the claims in the title, “sex robots” are not here, and never will be in the form envisioned by both fetishists and prohibitionists.  And the dolls (that’s all they are, silicone dolls) which people insist on incorrectly calling “robots” are inanimate objects which raise no more “ethical issues” than a Baby Alive or a tablet computer.

Held Together With Lies (#858)

We haven’t seen this concentration of ludicrous claims in a couple of years now:

[The rescue industry] is the business of stealing freedom for profit.  [Sex workers labeled against their will as] victims of trafficking are deprived of their basic human rights, dehumanized, brutalized and objectified [by police]…Human trafficking business is [fantasized] to generate $100 billion annually, more than Apple, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike combined…there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally…we [masturbate furiously while fantasizing] that there are countless victims, some only young teens…in our own communities…Sex trafficking data is scarce and has many gaps, due to [our making it up as we go]…

As usual, ridiculous numbers are slung about in self-contradictory fashion, mis-citing sources (the 40.3 million fantasy is from the NGO “Walk Free Foundation”, not the ILO as claimed) and claiming knowledge while admitting there is none.  So naturally I had to correct the wording a bit.

Top Cop

Another example of the odiousness of the police-state operative Hillary fans have anointed as their savior:

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.  That’s what pundits from The Nation to the Washington Post fail to grasp about the onetime romance between former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and California Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.  Harris’s apologists would have people believe that discussion of the relationship, which occurred two decades ago when Brown held the powerful post of Speaker of the California Assembly and Harris was a lowly deputy district attorney in California’s Alameda County, is sexist, racist, or both.  Viewed in light of Harris’s ongoing war on sex workers, however, her advantageous liaison with Brown indicates that she has no problem applying different rules to herself than she does to others…Maggie McNeill [said]…“I have absolutely nothing against the fact that she used her sexuality to get by in the world…What I do have a problem with, is that having gained that power, she used it to attack other women for doing the same thing”…

Disaster (#909)

The successors of Tumblr:

…with Tumblr’s strict adult-content ban…kinky bloggers fled the site–searching for, and trying to build, new communities.  One of the fastest growing of these sites is relative newcomer newTumbl, which has gained about 40,000 blogs since it launched on December 31.  True to its name, the site closely resembles Tumblr–at least the NSFW parts that are now banned…MojoFire, a site created by members of the BDSM community but aspiring to host all types of content, has not yet launched.  Yet others were already in the works before the Tumblr porn ban and have seen a large influx of refugee bloggers.  For instance, Pillowfort–another site meant for a broad community–has been straining with the arrival of former Tumblr users, forcing it to limit new sign-ups…MakeLoveNotPorn…[has] provided a hub for user-generated “social sex” videos since 2009…

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Facial recognition…will turn members of the public into walking ID cards.  –  Silkie Carlo

The Red Umbrella 

As tourists shopped for Christmas gifts in the brightly lit Westlake Center, sex worker and performance artist Vee Chattie sat half-naked in the rain on a towel…[covered in] fake blood…poured…from a vessel marked “FOSTA-SESTA“…A few bicycle cops rode up to make sure they weren’t actually bleeding.  A passerby asked if they were okay.  Another stopped by to voice his agreement…these Seattleites showed more human concern for Chattie than many show for sex workers on a regular basis.  It was effective performance art…

Real People 

A good profile of veteran trans & sex worker rights activist Ceyenne Doroshow:

…As a Black trans woman I see progress, but not that much…we have a government fighting against our very existence…Are we gonna go back to the Stonewall days where you need to have on two male articles [of clothing]?…I will never go back to those times, I’m sorry.  When I had to be Eddie Morales, it was for survival.  When I had to do sex work, it was definitely survival.  Because even working a part-time job for a non-profit where I’m saving lives was not paying me enough to sustain in life…And we’re still seeing that today in not-for-profits.  We’re being tokenized…We can systematically turn people off when we let a government ordain what femininity looks like, what women’s rights looks like, what protection looks like…

Above the Law  

Even being related to a cop may be enough:

Rape and sodomy charges against the son of Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton were dismissed by a…grand jury…Patrick Melton…[raped the drunk] victim on July 7 at his residence on University Avenue in Lexington [Kentucky]…The woman…tried to squirm, push and kick Melton…[and] multiple witnesses confirmed the victim’s statements that she was intoxicated and passed out prior to the [rape]…

Watershed

When the magazine founded by Gloria “Body Invasion” Steinem publishes an anti-Swedish model article, the handwriting is on the wall for “feminist” prohibitionism:

…the “Nordic Model”…is often touted as a compromise between the criminalization or decriminalization of sex work, and one that decreases prosecution against sex workers—but, like all criminalization approaches to the regulation of sex work, the Nordic Model is underpinned by a moralistic framing of sex work that is inherently harmful, to sex workers and to society at-large…it applies an oversimplified macro-economic framing of supply and demand to an industry that consists of fundamentally discrete, personal and often isolated or irregular interactions.  December 17 is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers—and we’re demanding an end to “End Demand”.  Here are three reasons why…

Japanese Prostitution (#435) 

More accurate headline: “Enjo kosai girls get better at protecting themselves from busybodies”:

More than half of youths involved in [what is now labeled] child prostitution in Japan’s three biggest metropolitan areas last year had shown no signs of delinquency, attending schools normally and having never had criminal records, a survey shows.  The finding suggests it has been increasingly difficult for parents and teachers to detect a change in the attitude of juveniles, the National Police Agency said…[yet still insisted on describing them as]…victimized…[even though] most…were involved in [sex work]…for financial reasons, with 84.5 percent saying they wanted “money for leisure and other activities,” while 5.7 percent and 2.6 percent pointed to “living expenses” and “tuition,” respectively.  Other reasons included “out of curiosity” and “invited by friends”…

“Compensated dating” has existed in Japan for decades, but Japanese “authorities” have only started imposing a “crime and victimization” narrative on the activity within this decade.

The Prudish Giant (#789)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Facebook gave more than 150 companies, including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Yahoo, unprecedented access to users’ personal data…[the] New York Times…obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook documents, generated in 2017, that show that the social network considered these companies business partners and effectively exempted them from its privacy rules.  Facebook allowed Microsoft’s search engine Bing to see the names of nearly all users’ friends without their consent, and allowed Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write, and delete users’ private messages, and see participants on a thread.  It also allowed Amazon to get users’ names and contact information through their friends, let Apple access users’ Facebook contacts and calendars even if users had disabled data sharing, and let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts “as recently as this summer,” despite publicly claiming it had stopped sharing such information a year ago…

The article then goes on to list the denials & prevarications of Facebook and many of its “partners”.

Stupor Bowl (#811)

Prohibitionists are trying to subvert our debunking of the gypsy whores myth by pretending the reason there’s no surge is that the “demand” for “victims” is always sky-high:

[Prohibitionist profiteer] Bob Rodgers [said] “The Super Bowl doesn’t cause sex trafficking…Conferences and conventions, like so many we have in Atlanta, don’t cause sex trafficking.  It is already occurring in every metro Atlanta county and it will still be happening when the Super Bowl leaves”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#871)

The biggest problem with this ridiculous failure rate is that it won’t stay inaccurate for much longer:

London cops have been slammed for using unmarked vans to test controversial and inaccurate automated facial recognition technology on Christmas shoppers…in…Soho, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square…the tech will be attached to vans and run for eight hours on each day…In May, a Freedom of Information request from Big Brother Watch showed the Met’s facial recog had a 98 per cent false positive rate…a subsequent request found that 100 per cent of the so-called matches since May have been incorrect.  A recent report from Cardiff University questioned the technology’s abilities in low light and crowds – which doesn’t bode well for a trial in some of the busiest streets in London just days before the winter solstice…

Disaster (#895) 

Never forget that “filter” is merely a euphemism for “censor”:

According to Tumblr, its new adult content ban doesn’t effect [sic] images of “female-presenting nipples” that involve medical situations, are related to political speech, or appear in artwork.  Tumblr itself, however, apparently can’t come up with four examples of [nipple pictures]…its porn filter actually allows…Tumblr’s staff account published a message  aimed at “clarify[ing]” the new policy…[including] a gif providing several examples of nudity that is “still permitted within our policy”…but…when Gizmodo posted the gif to Tumblr ourselves, it was immediately flagged as a potential violation and hidden by the…filter.  When the images…were uploaded individually, two of the four examples…were similarly flagged and hidden…In recent days, the platform has allegedly flagged a picture of a finger, historical bus photos, and Great British Bake-Off gifs…

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I used to get as many Halloween-themed columns into October as possible, and though I no longer have the energy for that I’m still dedicated to the idea of this as the time of year for spooky fun.  So every year I collect all the spooky, creepy or scary links and other content from the previous year into one place just before Halloween.  If you’ve come to my blog in the past year, or don’t remember previous editions, they are “Trick or Treat”, “More Trick or Treat“, “Tricks and Treats“, “This Trick’s a Treat”, and “Tricky Treats“.  Horror or death-themed columns of the past year include “Thanatopsis“, “Whistling Past the Graveyard“, “Eternity“, and “Approaching Infinity“; there are creepy or spooky-fun videos in Links #383, #385, #387#388, #394, #398, #402, and #404; and here’s a small collection of spooky or Halloweeny links:

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I’m 23 years old and okay with waiting until I’m where I want to be career-wise to meet a nice girl and settle down, but I didn’t want to stay a virgin, so I went to a soapland.  I was really scared and nervous, but the girl was really nice and I think it was a great decision.  It was like going to a therapist, or a doctor, and even though I didn’t feel any romantic attraction to the working girl, it felt like she was a good friend helping me with my problems.  And of course it felt good to have sex.  I would like to go back, but I have a few questions.  Will seeing soapland girls instill me with a false sense of confidence?  Should I keep going to that one girl or try other girls out as well?  When I left, the people at the front desk gave me the address to a sister branch that was much closer to where I live.  Also, I feel weird when I hog the conversation in a normal situation, and I want to make the girl feel comfortable too, but at the same time I don’t want to pry into her personal life too much.

I don’t think you need to worry about “false confidence” as long as you remember that sex workers are professionals.  We are paid to make men feel good, emotionally as well as physically, and even though a genuine liking can develop it is not the same thing as romance.  I think you already understand this, and that understanding isn’t going to evaporate just because you keep seeing sex workers.  Some men like to keep seeing the same girl, whereas others like a lot of variety, and still others are somewhere in the middle (they have their regular lady but also see others as time & money allow).  I think you should probably adopt that strategy to start: keep seeing the girl you like regularly, say once a month, and if you have extra cash try other girls out.  As you become more experienced you’ll learn what works best for you.  Don’t worry about monopolizing the conversation.  Even if she likes you, it’s still a business transaction at its core, and if it makes you happy to talk most sex workers won’t have a problem with that.  Make conversation just like you’d make it with your barber, manicurist, or any other professional you spend time with, and you’ll be fine; the same rules of good manners (don’t ask rude or prying questions, etc) apply in this interaction just as they would anywhere.  Sex workers are people like any other, and will have different comfort levels; you’ll be able to suss that out just as you would with anybody else.  I understand this is new & strange to you, but you’ll quickly become comfortable with it over repeat visits.  Unless you’re intentionally rude, it’s very unlikely you will cause offense.

(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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