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Posts Tagged ‘Madonna/whore’

“Cashless society” is a euphemism for the “ask-your-banks-for-permission-to-pay society”.  –  Brett Scott

Hooker Humor

As I’ve often said, most jokes about sex workers told by amateurs aren’t at all funny:

I’ve come to the conclusion that comedians, along with the general public, don’t expect sex workers to be present…Why should comics be concerned with using us as a punchline; they wouldn’t think for a single minute that there was a one of “them” in the audience.  No one is wearing fishnet tights and a leopardskin coat with twenties bursting out of her bra…sex workers…are two steps below human beings, one step below women and one step above rats.  If you need confirmation of how mainstream this view has become, have a look at JK Rowling’s ostensibly feminist tweets about how it’s filthily misogynistic to call Theresa May a whore because surely there can be no worse insult… 

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

It’s really funny when a pig buys into myths about what pigs are allowed to do in entrapment scams:

…police chief…Michael R. Zeug…of Walnut Grove [Minnesota]…was charged…with attempting to hire a minor for sex…a regional drug task force and a human trafficking task force…[set up a scam in which] Zeug sought to buy sex from someone he believed was a 17-year-old girl, but [was] actually…an agent with the federal Department of Homeland Security [getting off by talking dirty to men]…Amid sexually explicit communication, they asked each other whether they were cops; both said no…Zeug…wanted her to flash her breasts to assure him she was not in law enforcement…

Policing for Profit  

Cops pretend they need asset seizure to “go after drug cartels”:

Police in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs seized $150 million over the past five years…The average estimated value of a seizure was $4,553, while the median value was $1,049.  About three-quarters of all seizures were cash…When these police seizure locations are mapped, it shows that…low-income neighborhoods like the South Side and West Side were more frequently the targets…

Against Their Will (#338)

People moving around a country without government permission is now called “human trafficking”:

With Papua New Guinea currently in the campaign period, there has been a lot of movement of people, cash and goods in most parts of the country…the movement of people in exploitation or trafficking [may happen].  Khalil Omarshah of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), says it is unfortunate that they have not received any reports of human trafficking because they [want] it [to be] an issue…

Choke Point 

It’s nice to see the light bulb go on in someone’s head:

The most important thing about bitcoin, the characteristic the gives the lie to the oft-repeated claim that it’s “a solution in search of a problem,” is…its censorship-resistance…Centralization…creates single points of failure that are vulnerable to political or social pressure…As the world goes digital and physical cash transactions continue to decline…there will likely be a lot more attempts to turn trusted third parties into choke points…in a world where all payments are subject to veto by virtue-signaling middlemen, today’s politically correct social norms could become tomorrow’s dangerous control state…

Comfort Zone (#422) 

Because the US cares so very much about “trafficking victims”:

…in February, as part of the Trump administration’s promised crackdown on immigration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)…gave the government sweeping new authority to detain and deport undocumented immigrants, even those in the middle of applying for protective visas…92,585…survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and [other] crimes with pending applications face imminent deportation…many undocumented immigrants are withdrawing their applications for protective visas or deciding not to apply at all…For the first fiscal quarter of 2017, from October to December of 2016, the number of received U visa applications decreased by 269 from the same time period in 2015…The agency also approved only 3,021 U visas compared to 9,996 for the same periods…

A Mound of Filth (#617)

Trump wants to enable “Cuckoo Clock” McCain to vomit her poison all over the entire world:

Cindy McCain is expected to be offered a role in President Trump’s State Department…and may hold the title of “U.S. ambassador-at-large for human rights”…McCain is known for working extensively on human rights issues and is part of the McCain Institute Human Trafficking Advisory Council…

Actually, she’s known for working against human rights.  But I guess that distinction is too much for most “journalists” to understand.

Lying Down With Dogs (#623)

Another US-style “prostitution crackdown” in a country the US should be proud to resemble:

…the Tanzanian government arrested 500 suspected sex workers alongside an estimated 300 alleged clients in a police sweep that took place in March 2017…[last year] sex worker communities experienced major arrests and harassment.  1,168 sex workers…were imprisoned…The alarming situation started in 2016 after the government [adopted an aggressively-prohibitionist]…HIV response…[including a] ban…[on] the importation and use of [sexual lubricants]…

Under Every Bed (#666)

Though Seattle is the center of “sex trafficking” hysteria in the Pacific Northwest, Portland make its own bizarre, spastic attempts to get some of the attention:

Students…should have been taught about sex trafficking from a much younger age…The Nest curriculum teaches students about common grooming methods predators use…sexualized media is inescapable…while Portland’s police force is skilled in recognizing and addressing sex crimes, rural areas have needed the most basic training in recent years…[a fetishist said] “if people in [a] community enjoy sex, then, yes, you have sex trafficking going on.”  Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum…explained that state officials were also partnering with truck drivers and truck stops to catch sex trafficking in process on the I-5 corridor…

The most bizarre part is the female FBI agent, Jessica Biehn, who tries to give lip service to sex worker rights while simultaneously referring to strip clubs as “centers of commercial sexual exploitation.”  Biehn pompously declared that going to strip clubs “is not acceptable” [to her and other prudes, presumably], and “warned student panelists not to give business to strip clubs later in life, even for bachelorette parties“. The mind boggles.

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#687) 

Cops just can’t let go of the truly stupid wanking fantasy that drug dealers want to throw away valuable merchandise by giving it to penniless brats:

…Police outside of Houston confiscated nearly $1 million worth of methamphetamine…all 600 pounds of which came in the form of brightly-colored lollipops…According to HCSO Lt. Ruben Diaz, whoever was making the pops was likely trying to target children…many of them were molded into a variety of kid-friendly colors and shapes, including butterflies, flowers, Yoda’s head, and the Batman logo…”Even if they were not sold directly to a child, what if these lollipops were dropped anywhere in the neighborhood?” Diaz [panted while touching himself]…”A child picking them up is going to see them and think it’s regular candy”…

Please, Mr. Diaz, find me even one single instance of a child ever being poisoned by drug-infused candy carelessly dropped on the ground by a dealer.  Go on, I’m sure you can do it since this is such a likely danger.

Stupor Bowl (#713)

It’s disgusting to see so much money wasted on debunked bullshit:

A group of [prohibitionist busybodies]…unveiled plans…to [profit from] sex trafficking [hysteria during] next year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis…[the scheme includes] billboards spreading [propaganda] to [ramped-up pogroms]…Terry Williams of the Women’s Foundation [said] “We’re excited the Super Bowl is coming here so we can [make a helluva lot of money from this panic]”…Minnesota’s plan — estimated to cost about $1 million — is unique in that it’s bringing together private and public sectors…

The one-word expression for “bringing together private and public sectors”, especially to suppress human rights, is “fascism”.

Business As Usual (#717) 

The NYPD’s newest sleazy tactic in its campaign to strangle sex workers’ business, evict them from their homes and deport them if possible:

The NYPD has a new weapon in its battle against sex traffickers — [fanatical] civilian women armed only with [closed minds] and [anti-sex dogma].  Female [rescue group] workers are now going…into city massage parlors suspected of being brothels to talk with the mostly immigrant women who work there and try to [trick them into custody]…The initiative stems from a recent city push to [destroy sex workers’ income and get them evicted from their homes]…rather than throwing them behind bars.  But prostitutes are afraid of speaking to authorities after years of arrests.  So…[the rescue] group[s]…began going out with NYPD vice teams to help [trick the sex workers]…

The Widening Gyre (#737)

Remember how I predicted 5 years ago that “sex trafficking” hysteria would spin out of control as its end drew near?

…For years, U.S. police have been using tall tales about an American “sex trafficking epidemic” to scare citizens into giving up civil liberties (or at least offering up the rights of sex workers and their clients)…But now the narrative is getting away from them.  So sure are Americans (despite all evidence) that sophisticated criminals are waiting to snatch up our girls and women at every opportunity that people are now inventing sex-trafficking rings of their own…and berating police for not taking action.  The latest example comes from Glendale, WI, where local police had to fend off rumors that “girls as young as 12 are being snatched up from two local malls and sold into prostitution rings”…

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Whorephobia is part of…the assumption that some people’s lives are worth more than others.  –  Anne Sexton

Rough Trade 

I have zero faith in the magical protective powers of “restraining orders”, nor do I believe this thug was actually innocent of rape:

A man has been found guilty of assaulting a sex worker in Gloucester.  Georgian Huzdup…kicked and punched the female victim…[who] was helped by two men who came to her aid during the attack in the early hours of 13 August last year.  Huzdup…was issued with a two-year restraining order after serving five months in prison on remand…he was found guilty of assault but not guilty of a count of rape…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Remember, cops: raping whores is OK; it’s paying us fairly that isn’t:

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation started investigating…Donald Bonds…after learning…he had paid to have sex on two occasions…He was booked into jail but released on a $10,000 bond.  Bonds is currently suspended without pay…

Note that for major, dangerous crimes like consensual sex, cops are suspended without pay; for minor indiscretions like aggravated rape or gunning kids down in the street, they’re suspended with pay.

Watershed

We’re seeing ever-more columns like this from women who identify as feminists:

Women who are not in the business of commodified sex are drip-fed the idea that sex workers are not “like us”.  They are dismissed as “skanks” or “trash”.  Often they are treated condescendingly as victims without agency…rarely are we encouraged to respect them.  Sex workers are seen as the ultimate “other”.  They are a blank canvas for our fantasies and our fears.  Their voices are silenced and their histories erased or rewritten…

Subtle Pimping (#330)

It was inevitable that somebody would come up with an anti-whore video featuring a fake game:

Beacon of the Freed proudly launches its “Buying Sex is not a Game” campaign, intended to raise awareness among the general public and visiting tourists of the often-invisible, but devastating, consequences of sexual exploitation…This [asinine] video, filmed in the style of a popular television program…will…be circulated through Facebook, YouTube and various partners…Beacon of the Freed [pretends it] is not taking a stance in the debate on prostitution…[yet wildly exaggerates the prevalence of coercion in sex work to scare clients away, thus robbing sex workers of income]…

“Sexual exploitation” is a popular prohibitionist dysphemism for “sex work”.

Opting Out (#441)

May has been pushing internet censorship since she was home secretary:

A lot of people have trashed through the sheer incompetence and audacity of trying to “regulate” the Internet by “eliminating safe spaces”, as PM May advocates…Glyn Moody has highlighted how it will destroy the British software industry.  Caleb Chen writes about a new government-controlled Internet in the UK…Cory Doctorow has completely torn apart the nonsense of “regulating the internet” over at Boing Boing; he notes that not only wouldn’t it work, but the cost of trying is prohibitive, essentially requiring sending Britain back to steam power days…Theresa May is…pushing a package that introduces censorship of pornography on the Internet, and is justifying it as absolutely necessary to fight terrorism.  She is even doing this with a straight face, apparently serious…

Traffic in Nonsense (#595)

Another state requires anti-whore indoctrination for licensing:  “[Kansas] unanimously approved Senate Bill 40 to…require…applicants for a commercial driver’s license to receive training in identifying and responding to potential incidents of human trafficking…

Amateur Night

Kudos to Dan Savage for giving this advice to a heavily scarred, sexually traumatized young man:

Hire a sex worker.  It’ll allow you to separate your anxieties about finding a romance and companionship from your anxieties about being sexually inexperienced.  A kind, indulgent, competent sex worker can relieve you of your virginity and help restore—or instill—confidence in your dick’s ability to get and stay hard in the presence of another human being.  Be totally honest…about your inexperience and your concerns.  If you get the sense during negotiations—which should be brief and to-the-point—that the woman you’re talking to is impatient or uncaring, thank her for her time and start over.  There are kind, caring, compassionate sex workers out there…

Utter Cluelessness

Future cultural historians will wonder why “sex trafficking” hysterics were so obsessed with pizza:

“It’s just as easy as ordering a pizza, to order a person.”  These haunting words, spoken by a [pig seeking more power]…encapsulate a fragment of [the colossal dishonesty of government and gullibility of people who swallow ots propaganda]…human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing businesses of organized crime in the world…approximately 100,000 American citizens may be victims of trafficking within the United States.  It’s happening in our backyard: Ohio ranks number five in the nation for the most human trafficking cases…

This imbecile literally strings together as many stupid “sex trafficking” tropes as he can in one place, then labels this regurgitated nonsense “haunting”.

The Immunity Syndrome (#666)

Partisanism is like a form of self-lobotomy, and Trump’s brand of it is like ice-pick self-lobotomy:

Donald Trump has appointed another foe of evidence-based health information to the Department of Health and Human Services. Valerie Huber, a longtime leader of abstinence-only education advocacy groups, will be the chief of staff to the assistant secretary of health…Research from Case Western Reserve University found that the programs Huber ran in [Ohio] contained “false and misleading information” about abortion, contraceptives, and sexually transmitted infections, in addition to perpetuating “destructive, inaccurate gender stereotypes” and presenting “religious convictions as scientific fact.”  One curriculum said that teenagers who have sex before marriage should “be prepared to die”…

Pimps Ahoy 

Small rescue industry profiteers learn the value of slave labor from their larger mentors:

[Houston “rescue” profiteer] A 2nd Cup…received [a] donation of $100,000, a financial boost that will help launch a coffee and culinary work program for human trafficking survivors…The Reliant Gives donation will go toward a new holistic program that provides important skills for survivors, from resume writing and interview techniques to customer service and financial training, as well as barista, roasting, and culinary skills to help rebuild their lives through [menial] employment…

Cooties (#721)

Despite the popularity of this fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

A campaign has been launched to highlight the growing problem of women being used as sex slaves within “pop-up brothels” around Yorkshire…these brothels can be used to house women against their will, with many suffering abuse in the most inhumane conditions…They are often privately rented flats or houses, but budget hotels or holiday properties are also sometimes used…

Though it’s hard to recognize through the layers of cop masturbatory fantasy, what they’re actually talking about is ordinary sex workers using AirBnB rentals.

Broken Record (#743) 

It’s fascinating to watch the way prohibitionists contort facts so as to support their fantasies:

…Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine became the latest in a long line of public officials to declare that large public events bring…a spike in human trafficking…a claim that researchers have [repeatedly disproven]…Despite the spike in reported incidents through the hotline…there was no significant increase in human trafficking arrests in…Ohio last year…the number of [people labeled as] victims…actually dropped…But [prohibitionists claim that doesn’t mean anything because]…the vast majority of human trafficking [is magically] undetect[able]…they [fantasize about] human trafficking rings that [somehow can never be found]…

Hard Numbers (#744)

Can y’all send a delegation to talk to the ABA?  Pretty please?

The Law Society of South Australia has voiced its support for a bill to decriminalise sex work in the state…Leah Marrone of the Law Society…told the select committee that compromise was not appropriate for this particular bill…“It has to be full decriminalisation to achieve the objects of what it is set out for,” Ms Marrone said…“Decriminalisation will improve the health, protection and safety of workers in this industry who deserve it, and it is the principal means by which their safety and their workplace rights can be assured,” said David Caruso, the president of the Law Society of SA…

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The time [for decriminalization] is now.  In fact, the time was long ago.  –  Sandeep Prasad

Whore Madonnas

Melissa Petro on working while pregnant:

Moonlite Bunny Ranch sex worker…Summer Sebastian…recently announced that she’s pregnant and that she plans to keep working…for “as long as [she’s] healthy” and her doctor tells her there are no problems…Predictably, comments on her blog and on provocative articles about her suggest the move is selfish and a bid for attention, and that she ought to “put the needs of the child first”—as if financial security while furthering her education isn’t in the best interest of her and her kid.  People criticize Sebastian for exposing herself to risks…but…sex work—with its flexible hours and good pay—is a job that makes sense for an expectant mother…[absurdly] (considering how babies are made) some people just can’t imagine a woman being both a mother and a whore.  The idea that female sexuality and serious work, including the serious work of motherhood, are somehow incompatible is sadly outdated…

Lack of Evidence

Americans like to imagine themselves as ahead of India on women’s rights, but this would never happen in the US:

Observing that the mere presence of women and condoms in a place doesn’t necessarily mean that a brothel was being run there, a [Mumbai] court acquitted and set aside the two-year sentence [a lower court had inflicted on] a…woman accused of running a brothel…The court pointed to the fact that the…women found at the scene, were not examined as prosecution witnesses and neither were any customers found.  “There is nothing to show that victims were exploited or abused”…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

I could’ve filed this one under “To Molest and Rape”, but take a look at this monster’s “defense”:

…NYPD [pig]…Alberto Randazzo…sought out mothers on websites such as Match.com and Ashley Madison and…”persuaded them to sexually abuse their children and had them send him pictures and videos of the acts”…Three of the women involved have also been arrested on federal charges…Randazzo received a 28-year sentence, plus eight years of supervised release afterward and a sex-offender registration requirement…he had not only requested pornographic images of children—actual children, not teenagers—but also flew to meet mothers of young children to abuse the kids in person.  “He showed no qualms about drugging a child so that he could watch the child be molested,” wrote U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde…Randazzo’s shameless defense [was] that he developed an addiction to child pornography following the death of his former police partner…

Under Every Bed

All you really need to know about this article is that it un-ironically includes the phrase “an increase in sex trafficking in northwestern Montana“.  What it actually describes is the typical sadistic cops getting their jollies by entrapping horny guys; no “sex slaves” were rescued, no “pimps” were discovered an there was nary a “trafficked child” in sight…which is unsurprising, because Kalispell, Montana has a population of only 22,000.

Paint By Numbers

We’re all familiar with the prohibitionist myth that sex workers are “voiceless”, but these fetishists appear to take that literally:

Advertising students at Portland State University School of Business…In collaboration with the…police…developed a way to help victims of what [fetishists] call modern slavery…their “Red Means Help” campaign launched this month…Signs inside 36 Portland metro area buses tell trafficking victims…to use a red object such as lipstick, toys or sunglasses to signal and [sic] officer or emergency working [sic] that they need help…PSU students plan to place red origami objects around the city at transit stops to spread the word and give victims something red they can use…

Seriously?  These people honestly think that if someone were actually being victimized in some way, they’d sit mutely instead of trying to make themselves understood by gestures?  And that this paralyzing fear would suddenly be lifted because of a magical sign, and the supposed “victims” will jump up and start waving red paper birds around like a semaphore flag?  Who comes up with this infantile rubbish?  This is like something a kindergartener would think of, not an actual design to help people fashioned by sane adults.

Whither Canada?

The kind of essay that’s common in the Canadian press, but rare in the US:

The Trudeau government has a moral obligation to address the public health and safety of all…people in Canada, including sex workers…this human rights issue is intentionally being left off the legislative agenda, which is a serious concern…the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health has condemned the criminalization, full or asymmetrical, of sex work as a violation of the right to health by creating barriers to sex worker’s access to health services…In December 2013…The Supreme Court’s Bedford decision marked a huge step in recognizing sex workers’ rights…Almost immediately, the Harper government communicated their intention to…justify the continued aggressive regulation of…sex workers…Like the laws struck down in 2013, this new regulatory regime fails to comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms…The Trudeau government has touted itself as one that promotes, respects and fights for Charter rights; yet, their response to sex workers’ Charter rights is dismal…

Nothing New

Remember how I told you that the (very recently-concocted) tale of Victorian ladies being masturbated by doctors because they didn’t know what orgasms were was a huge pile of elephant excrement?  Here’s a little more evidence for you:

…Matthews auctioneers in County Meath, Ireland, is offering for sale an “antique carved ivory ladies’ companion”…auctioneer Damien Matthews [said]…“We believe the ivory dates back to the 1840s…in India”…The well-travelled man later fought in the Boxer Rebellion in China from 1899 to 1901, which is where it is thought he had the ivory shaped into something more useful…“This…would have been a very loving gift from a husband to wife.  You can see that because the level of detail is incredible, down to the folds of the skin.  There’s a heart carved at the base of it, where her finger would have been, and a receptacle in which she could keep a lock of his hair”…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#545)

Once again, prohibitionists demonstrate their total contempt for the sex workers they pretend to want to “rescue”:

Netflix’s new documentary Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is…[a diatribe against] the porn industry.  Now, at least four sex workers feel the show itself has exploited them — by allegedly featuring them without their consent and, in one case, outing a performer’s real name…Gia Paige…initially agreed to appear and did sign a participant release, but changed her mind after…the [“feminist”] directors kept pushing her boundaries and pressuring her into talking about her family…the show revealed her legal name.  During one scene, her Facebook profile is displayed on-screen along with her real first name…Effy Elizabeth, a cam performer, only found out that she was featured…when a friend told her on Twitter.  The series used a publicly available Periscope clip of her with fellow cam performer Autumn Kayy.  Both women are upset the show…used the footage without their permission and did not warn them that it would appear in the series…

Signs 

This is mostly just a hodgepodge of the usual “sex trafficking” nonsense, lies and disinformation:  the exaggerated numbers, the agency denial, the pretense that individual thugs are organized into international cartels, the infantilization of African people & fetishization of Asian & Eastern European women, the pearl-clutching, the calls for greater surveillance & more police power, the anti-sex and “end demand” poison, the myth of female asexuality, and so on.  But what makes it interesting is the first picture I’ve seen of the one and only case of an actual barcode tattoo, found on the wrist of a Romanian woman in Spain in 2012.

To Molest and Rape 

Even though this rapist cop costs taxpayers millions, a newspaper felt compelled to portray him as a hero:

Irwindale [California] paid a $2.75 million settlement…to a young woman who was molested as a teenager by an Irwindale [cop]…for more than a year while she served as a police Explorer Scout…Daniel R. Camerano…pleaded “no contest” in late-2014 to a series of sex crimes for his molestation of the then-14-year-old girl…between May of 2009 and December of 2010.  Camerano, who…also [sent]…sexually suggestive texts messages to another 17-year-old female Explorer Scout in 2012, was sentenced to two years and eight months in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life…the sexual abuse…took place during “ride-alongs” with the [pig]…who served as an advisor to the…Explorer program…department officials were aware…that Camerano was sexually abusing the…[girl] but did not stop his access to [her]…

Instead of the mugshot which would’ve been used for someone murdered by a cop, the paper printed a staged portrait with a caption about what a brave hero this rapist was. I am not making this up.

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Dr. Laura Agustín, author of the blog The Naked Anthropologist and the book Sex at the Margins, the seminal work on “sex trafficking” hysteria (in which she coined the term “rescue industry”), has written The Three-Headed Dog, a novel  dramatizing the problems faced by migrants.  It’s another way of introducing readers to the issues the “sex trafficking” paradigm attempts to paper over, which Dr. Agustín has studied for over 20 years and understands in a way very few others do.  I recently read the novel, and Dr. Agustín graciously agreed to answer some questions about it.

MM:  Sex at the Margins has been and continues to be a work of major importance to the sex workers’ rights movement; I know it really helped me to shake off the dualistic thinking about “willing” vs “coerced” sex work, and it’s invaluable in getting people to look at their preconceptions around why people (especially women) leave their original home countries to work.  So why did you decide to write fiction instead of a 10th-anniversary edition?

LA:  The essence of Sex at the Margins doesn’t need updating, by which I mean women’s migration to work as maids or to sell sex, the use of smugglers, the rise of the Rescue Industry.  Someone else can document the growth and proliferation of that last, if they can stomach it, but the core ideas haven’t changed.  I wanted to write stories to reach people who don’t read books like Sex at the Margins and who only hear about the issues from mainstream media reports.  The Three-Headed Dog provides a way to learn about social realities and be gripped by stories at the same time.

MM:  I write fiction myself, so that makes sense to me.  But what made you choose the crime genre?  Why not do a “straight” novel?

LA:  Crime seemed like the right frame, because everyone thinks smuggling and undocumented migration are at least technically crimes – leaving the idea of trafficking out of it.  I am a fan of some kinds of mystery writing, and the formula of a detective who searches for missing migrants provides infinite opportunities for all sorts of stories and characters.

MM:  I think you just started to answer one of my questions!  At the end of the book several questions are unresolved, and I would have liked to know more about Félix, the detective.  Is this the first of a series?

LA:  I’ve got too many stories to tell for one book.  The Dog was getting long and complicated, so I decided to make it the first in a series.  In the detective genre it’s common for some questions to remain dangling, and readers know they can learn more in the next installment.  If I’d been writing 150 years ago I might have done weekly installments in a magazine, as Dickens did with The Pickwick Papers.  In the next book, which I’ve started, Félix’s search takes her to Calais and London.

MM:  I was very intrigued by Félix, and it seems to me that she might be based on you.  Would I be correct?  And are any other characters based on people you know?

LA:  The characters created themselves in my mind out of the many thousands of migrant friends and acquaintances I’ve had in my life.  Including myself.  But they sprang forth and told me who they were.  I identify with much of Félix’s character, but I identify with much of the smuggler Sarac’s character, too.

MM:  I like that Félix has some history of sex work, and that she still seems to be comfortable taking gigs that dip into the edges of sex work.

LA:  She certainly was a sex worker during the European tour she did when younger with her friend Leila, who now lives in Tangier.  I think she still takes sexwork gigs when it suits her. I expect she’ll tell us more about that in the future.

MM:  Not many novels have well-developed and nuanced sex workers as major characters, and when we appear as minor characters we’re mostly there to be rescued or murdered.  But these characters, even the minor ones, are much more developed than that.  There was one character, Marina, who was clearly intending to do sex work, but what about the others?  I couldn’t be sure.

LA:  This is Marina’s second time sexworking in Spain.  Félix looks for two other characters in spas (massage joints) in Madrid, and one of those is adamant about not intending to be a maid.  They’re Latin Americans who belong to a long tradition of working in indoor businesses like bars and flats, or sometimes in the street.  They arrive with contacts and some prior knowledge of what they’re getting into, so it’s a serious problem when the smuggler makes them de-plane in Madrid instead of Málaga.  Of the other characters, Promise, the Nigerian, planned to sexwork in the street, and Eddy, the boy who goes missing, doesn’t intend anything but is moving in that direction.

MM: It seemed to me that their ending up in Madrid was a very big issue, even beyond the lack of connections.  Is Madrid so very different from Málaga?

LA:  Yes, Madrid is a harder place, a capital city and centre of echt-Spanish culture.  Málaga is on the Costa del Sol, crossroads for many kinds of migration, smuggling, tourism and crime.  It’s a long stretch of coast that ends in a point only 32 kilometres from Africa across the Mediterranean Sea.  Nowadays many non-Spanish Europeans from colder climates have homes there in quasi-closed communities.  The coast is by no means a piece of cake, but it’s not a cold, self-important northern city.  Personally I feel a great sense of history there and lived in Granada during the years I worked on Sex at the Margins.

MM:  So it’s a good place to find jobs that aren’t strictly legal?

LA:  This is about informal economies that exist in parallel to formal ones (which means they’re included in government accounting).  Informal economies are even larger than the formal in some developing countries.  In Spain it is not illegal to sell sex, but undocumented migrants have no right to be in the country at all, much less work there.  The same is true when they get jobs in restaurant kitchens, on construction sites, picking fruit and working as maids and cleaners.  The informal economy rolls along, the jobs are available and migrants are more or less glad to get them despite the clandestinity.

MM:  And as you discussed in Sex at the Margins, it’s this informal economy that’s depicted as “trafficking” nowadays, even when there’s no coercion involved per se.

LA:  The group that arrives by plane at the beginning are undocumented migrants.  They’ve got papers to show at the border: passports and tourist visas.  Fakery was involved, and these young people are planning to get paid work, so they’re going to misuse the visas.  A guy who’s part of the smuggling travels with them.  The project is based on the migrants getting jobs and income so they can pay back debts they or their families took on when they bought travel-agency-type services (known in crime-circles as smuggling).  Technically they’re all committing crimes, but to the migrants they feel like minor crimes, given the well-known availability of jobs when they arrive.  Everyone knows people who’ve done it and sent money home.  Do smugglers sometimes resort to nefarious practices?  Of course; it’s an unregulated economy.  But if smugglers want to stay in the business they guard their reputation.  Word spreads.

MM:  I’m sure the rescue industry folks would find fault with the fact that the book isn’t about people “rescuing” these migrants from their smugglers.

LA:  I wrote this book out of love, not as polemic.  I’d have to get paid very well to devote myself for long to analysing moral entrepreneurship; I don’t find crusader-figures interesting.  I don’t see the world in black-and-white, I like ambiguity and shifting ground.  In Félix’s interior life, questions of helping and saving play a part, but she refuses the rescuer-role.

MM:  And really, even the villains aren’t the mustache-twirling cardboard characters so beloved by those who promote the “sex trafficking” narrative.  I’m thinking about Sarac, the smuggler, and Carlos, the sex club owner.

LA:  The smugglers are squabbling amongst themselves and not very appealing, but they aren’t monsters or driving anyone into bondage.  They charge for their services.  Sarac worked as a soldier/mercenary, now does “security” and is involved in people-smuggling.  He wants to do something new, but not pimping.  Carlos operates hostess clubs in Madrid.  Those are not illegal, but he may employ illegal migrants.  He’s part of an established tradition, and he makes good money on the women’s work.

MM:  I think American readers have some very confused ideas about the sex industry and migration in Europe.  Do you think The Three-Headed Dog will appeal to them and help clear up some of those misconceptions?

LA:  Undocumented migration and working in underground economies are worldwide phenomena no matter what local culture or national laws prevail.  Ways to earn money by selling sex vary in the details, but sex workers recognise each other across national borders and talk about the same problems and solutions everywhere.  Sometimes places where laws are uglier provide more opportunities.  Since the migrants are working illegally in Spain they have a lot in common with all sex workers in the USA, right?

MM:  True; all of us are illegal here, whether we were born here or not.  Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers that I haven’t thought of?

LA:  Yes, I want to point out that even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can still buy the Kindle version of The Three-Headed Dog and download a free reading app right there.  And you can read more about sex industry jobs here at my blog.

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Whores are often the first to feel the effects of exclusion.  –  Fleur de Lit

Whores and Wives

Please, wives, stay in denial; if you actually took our advice it might potentially reduce our income:

…Social media lit up when sex workers took to news.com.au to tell Australian women they didn’t know how to take care of their male partners, with growing numbers of men paying for “girlfriend” or “companionship” experiences.  [Female] readers on the Sunshine Coast Daily Facebook page had the firm view that perhaps if these men used their money to wine and dine their partners, they might get the intimacy they appear to crave…Stacey Brownlie commented…”These men should be there helping their wives with the kids so she has time to connect to (her) husband instead of him sneaking to a hooker to talk to”…Donna Turnley took a similar view.  “All these men have in common is that they are liars and cheats…”

You’re exactly right, ladies!  Stick to your guns on this, and encourage your friends to do the same!  Whores have bills to pay, and you’re giving us a big hand in paying them.

Follow Your Bliss 

Understand that people like this are the norm in prosecuting sexual offenses, and always will be:

…Craig Wattier rose through the ranks of his police department…[to] investigati[ng]…sex crimes against children…[since] 2013…he stayed late [at] work…to watch child pornography seized from other people…By the time Wattier was caught more than two years later, he had watched hours of footage and hundreds of videos…[but] the judge [only] sentenced [this very typical cop] to a year in jail…The judge, Katherine McLeod, [also]…watched a sample of the videos on a laptop [even though there was no actual legal reason for her to do so]…

Not To Be Taken Internally

Who could possibly guess that it was a bad idea for someone without medical training to inject large amounts of industrial-grade sealant into a person’s body under septic conditions, after lying to them about the contents of said injection?

A defense attorney for a Dallas woman accused of killing a client by injecting silicone caulk into her backside says no one could have known the procedure would turn deadly…After all, Wykesha Reid had suffered no [apparent] negative side effects following at least three previous butt injections, the attorney for Denise “Wee Wee” Ross said…Reid…died Feb. 19, 2015, when industrial-grade silicone seeped through her veins and filled her lungs…Ross is charged with murder and practicing medicine without a license…

Banishment

OH MY GOD THE SEX RAYS COULD HAVE HARMED THE CHILDRENTM!!!!!!

…in Palos Park, Illinois…A sex offender drove his car by a school bus stop…He didn’t even get out of his car…but…some parents noticed an unfamiliar red Hyundai and alerted the cops…[who] questioned the man.  Turns out he kept driving by each day for the very creepy and bizarre reason that this happens to be the route to his job…And yet the cops praised the parents for calling the authorities…[because] that’s what parents are supposed to do these days: freak out at red Hyundais.  Naturally, the police proceeded to notify the school district, and naturally, the superintendent notified even more parents…

Broken Record (#416)

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen this sporting event touted as a “sex trafficking” magnet:

…thousands will be heading to Augusta for the Masters tournament.  During that time that a local organization will beef up its efforts to shed light on the dark side of human trafficking that so often happens during major sporting events like this one.  The group I’m Aware, held an information blitz at First Baptist Church where they gave out pamphlets to discuss what they’re calling modern-day slavery…The pamphlets gave volunteers information about resources for sex trafficking victims that could travel to Augusta to work during the masters tournament.  While here victims tend to frequent places such as bars, hotels and even truck stops…

It’s interesting that “victims” here is being directly used as a one-to-one substitution for “sex workers”, with no mention of “pimps”.

Schadenfreude (#521)

The Dallas outfit cashing in on “sex trafficking” tours has now expanded to Houston:

It’s widely [fantasized among fetishists] that Houston has been a hub for human trafficking.  The…profit[eers], Children At Risk, took a group of about 40 people on a bus tour…to [profit from]…the [moral panic]…They took the tour group to about a dozen [pretended] human trafficking hot spots around southwest Houston…James Caruthers [said, in a rare moment of honesty]…”We call it a human trafficking tour…But really it’s an explo[it]ation of the commercial sex industry in Houston that [we pretend] has strong links with the crime of human trafficking”…

Rough Trade (#592) 

And the sick fuck just keeps smiling and laughing while facing the possibility of life in a cage:

A jury has found War Machine guilty on 29 felony counts stemming from an attack on adult star and ex-girlfriend Christy Mack and her friend in August 2014.  Sentencing is slated for [May 10th]…During the reading of verdicts, War Machine appeared shaking his head in amazement.  Several moments, he was even smiling..[he] is possibly facing a life sentence…

Signs

An antecedent is a terrible thing to waste:

The Country Inn and Suites in Albert Lea [Minnesota] held [an indoctrination] session…to teach hotel employees…sex trafficking [dogma]. “Hotels are the perfect location for sex trafficking because they’re so transient”…[grammar moron] Deb Flatness said…Minnesota is one of the top states in the country for sex trafficking…A few signs to look for are people traveling with no luggage or paying with cash…

Gotta watch out for those transient hotels; I hear they follow “circuits” down interstate highways.

To Molest and Rape 

Because women always give blow jobs to random cops who show up at their houses unannounced:

An Orlando Police Department detective [who orally raped]…a woman…will not face criminal charges…[because the] State Attorney…[claims] there was no proof the [woman didn’t just want to give a random pig a blow job in his car in broad daylight]…On Dec. 15, 2016 [Angel] Burgos arrived at the victim’s house around 9 a.m. in an unmarked police vehicle, and asked the woman to join him in the car parked outside her home.  The two knew each other from a previous case the woman was involved with…Inside, Burgos…expos[ed] his penis….[groped her] and…pleaded with her to “jerk him off”…[when] she continued to say no…Burgos grabbed her by the back of her head and…forcefully pushed [onto] his penis…telling her to “be quiet” and…to “live in the moment.”  The woman…pulled away once she felt his grip loosen…Burgos [then]…ejaculated into a microfiber towel…The woman got out and returned to her house…Burgos later yelled at her over the phone and asked whether she was going to report him, [trying to gaslight her by] telling her to not contact him again [even though it was he who had come to her house]…

Eternal Vigilance (#637)

Cops will never stop trying to gain power to rape and rob sex workers until the very concept of prohibition is completely eradicated:

Sydney sex workers would require a licence to work as part of a [scheme] to reduce [imaginary] human trafficking and [once again subject sex workers to police] corruption.  It is not a criminal offence to work as a prostitute in NSW, but police [don’t like that they have no power to threaten sex workers with prohibitionist laws]…officers must rely on [getting a warrant]…if they want to investigate abuse claims at brothels.  The lack of [police power over sex workers mean cops must rely on tales of]…sex slavery, corruption, blackmail and even child abuse [in order to regain that power]…There are also increasing police [masturbatory fantasies] about…young females coming to Australia from countries such as China, Korea and Thailand on student visas and being forced to sell their bodies for greedy pimps…

I Saw My Brain (#700)

Yet another pogrom in the pocket police-state that is Polk County, Florida:

Basketball fans are excited over March Madness right now.  But Polk Sheriff Grady Judd is enthralled with something else: March Sadness.  That’s the name of his latest [pogrom]…during [which]…104 sex workers and Johns were arrested.  “What you see here is not a star basketball team,” Judd [crowed]…”They are a lot of losers.”  Judd [took particular glee in destroying the life and career of a man]…stationed at Cape Canaveral [who] has top secret security clearance [after a sow claims she told him she was 14, though given Judd’s record that is highly doubtful]…

Grady Judd is one of the few people so vile, so utterly evil, that a mere firing squad would be insufficient punishment for him; being burned at the stake would be more like it, assuming it was a nice, low fire.

Lack of Evidence (#716) 

Sex workers have been legally prohibited from entering the US for almost 150 years:

…You are not a Muslim for good because you held up a placard on a sunny afternoon in New York City.  You can take a sign off and go back to work.  It’s like dressing as a hooker on Halloween; you can still enjoy the social privilege of not being a truly stigmatized person…friends of mine…have suffered the same treatment Muslims have of late: called out, zip-tied and paraded through airports, asked questions about their integrity and then banned…My choice, after being warned through my networks, has been not to try to cross the border…In this industry, drawing the ire of people who hold power is dangerous…and…I prefer to avoid such exchanges, which are really just demonstrations of power…I’m not all that fussed that I can’t go to the States, a country simultaneously obsessed with and terrified by expressions of sex that diverge from fundamentalist Christianity…

No Friend of Ours (#720)

For those still laboring under the misapprehension that Nevada is whore-friendly:

A bill penalizing [men who]…buy [sex from independent sex workers instead of those working for licensed pimps]…is intended to [increase the power of the police state]…minimum fine [will increase to] $400…Funds would go to [the pigs]…The bill allows suspended sentences for first-time offenders if they attend [brainwashing] programs like so-called john schools…

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It’s a sad fact that more women than men support the violent policing of women’s sexualities.  Think about that:  despite all the “feminist” rhetoric supporting a woman’s supposed right to control her body and sexuality, polls consistently show that more women than men are in favor of criminalizing prostitution; that is, more women than men believe male cops should deceive, rape, rob, brutalize, humiliate, cage and ruin the lives of other women for having sex for reasons of which these women disapprove.  Presumably-sane women, many of whom would call themselves “feminists”, think it’s perfectly OK for a state mostly run by men to make laws giving other men the “right” to guess why a particular woman is having sex, raping her if the cop claims it’s to “gather evidence”, then taking her possessions, locking her in a cage and inviting news media to splash her picture all over papers, TV and the internet…because her motivation for having sex is “wrong”.  They tacitly approve of her reputation being destroyed, her children abducted from her and any hope of a straight job forever closed to her because they wouldn’t have sex for the reasons she chooses to have it.  Oh, some of them like to pretend that they don’t want this to happen, claiming that the “Swedish model” decriminalizes sex workers (an obvious absurdity given “accessory” laws, “avails” laws, “brothel-keeping” laws, etc); however, even if it really did what the propaganda says, that would still mean they supported the principle of starving other women into homelessness and financial ruin for the “crime” of wrongthink.

There are a lot of theories, guesses and opinions as to why this might be, including mate-guarding (i.e., attacking other women their husbands might choose to fuck) and the idea that whores lower the price of sex by charging a flat fee rather than forcing men to accept a possible lifelong burden in order to get it.  And while these ideas might have some merit, they don’t explain why these same women aren’t equally upset by women who essentially give sex away, nor why lesbians are well-represented in the whore-hating crowd despite their sexual disinterest in men.  Now, it’s absolutely true that behaviors deriving from evolution aren’t logical; for example, a lot of human sexual behavior is clearly designed to increase the number of offspring that individual can produce, even if the individual has absolutely no conscious interest in producing children and even if he or she is sterile.  But given the human history of promiscuity and casual prostitution (read Sex at Dawn if you haven’t already), I’m not really convinced that whore-hating has a deep evolutionary motive, at least not directly; I think it’s more likely a byproduct of a general female behavior pattern which probably does have an evolutionary origin, but which isn’t specifically aimed at whores.

I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that in general, women tend to put more emphasis on social interactions than do men.  Baby girls stare at faces for longer than baby boys do, girls tend to travel in duos or small groups, women tend to have higher “social intelligence”, we work through difficulties by interacting with each other, we bond by sharing vulnerabilities, we emphasize consensus-building, etc, etc.  The reasons for this aren’t important to consider in this limited space; what does matter is that women have a much more pronounced tendency to think of ourselves as members of a group than men do, and a much stronger tendency to feel that the actions of other women reflect upon us.  In general, guys aren’t all that likely to be concerned that some individual dude’s behavior “makes all men look bad”, while it isn’t at all hard to find some collectivist “feminist” blathering about how the mere existence of Barbie, sex workers, sexy lingerie, kink, labioplasty or some other thing “demeans all women” or even “harms all women”.  Women trapped in this belief-system seem to imagine a deep and mystical interconnectedness of all women, as though we were all “merely the three-dimensional projections of a single hydra-like gestalt entity floating in hyperspace“; they therefore imagine that “any single woman’s sexual activities performed in private magically affect all women throughout the world as though we were one huge set of Corsican sisters, and therefore all women must submit to whatever limitations are imposed on our sexuality by our rightful leaders“.  Once one accepts the absurd premise, the anti-sex “feminist” demand for suppression of sex work actually makes a twisted kind of sense; to someone trapped in this horrifying belief-system, all the women in the world are stuck in one immense elevator together and the whores are smoking, farting and pissing on the floor.

The best evidence for my theory being the correct one is that, as I alluded to above, sex workers aren’t the only women policed in this fashion.  The women who demand the criminalization of commercial sex also tend to be anti-kink and bigoted toward transwomen; this cannot be explained by “mate guarding” or “sex price depression” theories, but it makes perfect sense in light of the notion that nonconforming women somehow “pollute” womanhood by our very existence.  The poison vomited out by Trans-Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists (TERFs) is especially telling (the fact that these women are in no way “radical” is a subject for another day); their screeds tend to be larded with nonsense about some imaginary monolithic “shared female experience” (as though there were such a thing) which excludes transwomen, and how that makes them not “real women” (a slur that, not coincidentally, is often hurled at sex workers as well).  Add to that the fact that TERFs are nearly always Sex Work Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists (SWERFs) as well, and I think we have a smoking gun.  But wait, there’s more:  as many bisexual women can attest, there are still quite a few lesbians out there (though, thank Aphrodite, not as many as there used to be) who insist that bi-women can’t have “real” lesbian relationships, or that we aren’t “really” queer, or whatever; when I tweeted about this last week I received no fewer than four replies to this effect from would-be Dyke Cops within two hours.  Back in my formative years in the ’80s, it was even worse; I was actually told by many older lesbians (older than me, that is; some were as young as 30-something) that “real” lesbians didn’t use dildoes on each other, that fisting was abhorrent, and that kink was basically a mortal sin (“How could you possibly want to hurt another woman?!?  What’s wrong with you?!?”)  It’s absolutely true that the latter kind of sex-act-policing has largely vanished from lesbian communities, but the fact that it ever existed speaks volumes.  There is a large and very vocal subset of women who are deeply horrified by the fact that other women are unlike them sexually, and many if not most of them are perfectly willing to use coercion – up to and including the threat of sexual violence inflicted by armed men – to punish these other women for the sin of being different.

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I’ve always been uncomfortable with pigeonholing, the notion that it’s possible to completely define people by whatever groups they might belong to.  It’s the basis of all bigotry and “us vs them” thinking, and those who forcibly include others in their groups are no better than those who exclude others because they belong to certain groups.  In other words, I’m just as offended by women who say, “you’re a woman and so you must act in this way and accept this political dogma” as I am by men who say, “you can’t do such-and-such because you’re a woman.”  Yeah, I’m a woman.  I’m also human, American, Caucasian, middle-aged, brown-haired & brown-eyed, and of fairly average height and weight.  My sexuality is responsive to both men and women, and I’m turned on by a lot of things lumped under the category “kink”; I also make a living providing sexual services, and I’m extremely good at what I do. I used to be a librarian, and I’m still a pretty good writer; I like a lot of different ethnic cuisines (especially Mexican, Italian, Indian and Thai) and dislike green, leafy vegetables and undercooked food.  I have reasonably broad tastes in music, but there are a number of genres I can’t really appreciate; in fiction (whether written or performed) I tend to prefer fantasy, horror and speculative fiction, and I also prefer shorter stories & shows to longer ones.  I enjoy animation and role-playing games (in-person, not computer-based), and I used to be considered a helluva DM.

So as you can see, there are lots of labels which could be applied to me, and lots of groups to which I might be considered to belong.  I could be called a human, American, Southerner, New Orleanian, lapsed Catholic, pagan, woman, brunette, whore, courtesan, ex-librarian, writer, speaker, anarchist, radical, queer, kinkster, polyamorist, nerd, witch, bitch, mentor, healer, activist, public intellectual and many other things; some people call me ugly terms like “pervert”, “pimp” or “criminal”, while others prefer flattering ones like “heroine”, “angel” or “goddess”.  But the one thing all these descriptors have in common, whether they’re objective or subjective, bland or emotive, insulting or adulatory, accepted by me or not, is that they do not define me.  There is not a single one of these terms which tells you all you need to know about me, not even the ones I proudly embrace (such as “whore”).  Even if you string them together (I’ve been known to refer to myself on Twitter as a “kinky bisexual whore”, and I’m generally introduced as a “sex worker, writer and activist”) it still doesn’t even come close to telling you what I’m actually like, or serving as more than an extremely general predictor of almost anything about me (other than the specific trait it denotes).  The fact that I’m from New Orleans might give you a few clues about me, but it couldn’t predict the kind of movies I like; the introduction I mentioned above lets you know I’m probably very confident, but says nothing about my dietary preferences; and the fact that I’m bisexual tells you absolutely nothing other than that I wouldn’t automatically reject cuddling up with any given person on the basis of their sex.

And yet there are people who absolutely refuse to get this.  I’ve run into folks who presume that because I’m a white Southerner I must be racist; others who imagine my dislike of greens carries some deeper meaning than that they shouldn’t offer me spinach at dinner; still others who declare that my love of sci-fi shows & fantasy games allows them to make predictions about my sex life and living arrangements; and many thousands who fantasize that my profession means I must either be a “victim” or an “exploiter”, or even both.  Then just the other day in an exchange with Matisse, I wrote that my terms for letting women snuggle up to me are generally less strict than my terms for letting men do so because “I’m bisexual (leaning lesbian at this stage of my life) & most women don’t try to fuck me without paying“; a dude replied to this with “Oh, a lesbian”, as though that entirely summed up my personality and now he understood everything he needed to know about me.  Forget the fact that “bisexual leaning lesbian for the time being” isn’t the same as “lesbian”; even if I did identify as a lesbian that still wouldn’t give you more than a small fraction of a description of my sexuality, and it wouldn’t tell you squat about any other aspect of my personality.  The fact that I enjoy kissing and petting other women no more defines my “identity” than the fact that I like spicy food or the fact that I prefer fiction of the imaginative variety; it doesn’t even tell you what I don’t like because preferences aren’t necessarily exclusive (I also like kissing men, eating vanilla ice cream and some movies with absolutely no element of the fantastic).  It’s simply not possible to understand any human being by knowing one fact about her, no matter what cops, politicians and tribalists may want you to believe; pigeonholes are fine for pigeons, but unsuited for people.

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