Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Madonna/whore’

I am worried that my ex girlfriend has turned to sex work.  Should I do something about it?  She was once raped by a previous boyfriend, and her flashbacks and panic attacks seemed to be getting worse after she gave up on therapy.  Also while we were dating I cheated on her with several escorts and only told her several months into the relationship.  I am worried that there is a possibility that she may be doing this for the wrong reasons and harming herself.  I care and would like to help, however I feel like it is not my place to do something.

you whoreYou’re right; it’s not your place.  Even if she weren’t your ex-girlfriend, what would you “do about it”?  Turn her in to the cops?  Because certainly, burdening her with a criminal record (and possibly getting her raped again in the process) would be a huge help, I’m sure.  Just curious; would you be this “worried” if she were, say, joining the military or the Peace Corps or something like that?  Given that you didn’t even say what makes you believe she might have taken this particular job (as 1% of Western women do at some point in our lives), I’m inclined to believe that you aren’t worried for her safety or mental health at all, but rather just offended that she might become a dirty whore.  What I see is that you don’t have a problem with my profession, as long as it’s practiced by other, lesser women you can pay; you’re just upset because a woman you clearly still have proprietary feelings about might want to make a career of fucking other men beside you.

Perhaps you think I’m being overly hard on you, and your concern is based in facts you didn’t include in your letter; fair enough.  If you think that’s the case, I call your attention to my answer to a similar question a little over three years ago:

Like practically everything else in the world, escorting is not right for everyone; some women thrive in the trade, and others view it as a job no better and no worse than others, but for some women it is a really bad idea.  Generally, these are women with negative, moralistic or overly-romanticized views of sex, because they feel degraded by the work…[even if] your lady has [none] of those issues…[it doesn’t necessarily mean] she’ll like the work; it’s entirely possible the reality will be nothing like her fantasy and she’ll quit in under a week (a young friend of mine had a similar reaction to the realities of stripping).  But it’s also possible she may find it very satisfying and it may even help her to overcome her [sexual issues].  The only way for her to find out if she likes it or not is to try it, so you’re wise not to obstruct her…it’s normal for a man to feel protective of a woman he loves.  But at the same time, it’s possible you might be infantilizing her a bit.  You say she’s had a troubled past…but that could be said of many people (including me)…The popular wisdom is that damaged people should wallow in their pain forever, but that’s self-destructive nonsense; the only hope of escaping the past is to live in the present and look toward the future.  Even if she’s as fragile as you think, the only way to get stronger is to go out into the world, face its challenges and either overcome them or fail and learn.  The only cure for innocence is experience, and a sheltered child never grows up.  Furthermore, she’s in no more [emotional] danger…as an escort than she is in many another high-paying field that nobody would think twice about her entering (such as modeling or sales); sex work is a lot more mundane than people think, and there really aren’t any mysterious tentacles waiting to drag unwary ingénues down into the abyss…

walking down the railsI’m not saying you shouldn’t say anything; people who care about each other have the right to express their feelings.  But that doesn’t mean she has to listen, and if she doesn’t you need to let her alone.  And if you can’t handle seeing her do something that causes you emotional discomfort, it’s time to wish her the best, steel yourself and walk away from her.  That probably won’t be easy, and this is really a case of “Do as I say, not as I do”; I’ve never been any good at walking away from relationships that have become painful to me, and I probably never will be.  But if she won’t heed your words, and you can’t handle the way she conducts her life, it’s really your only option.  And I pray Aphrodite that unlike me, you can actually do it.

(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.)

Read Full Post »

Save your gas money for doughnuts and leave me alone because flashing a badge isn’t going to get you a discount.  –  Alyssa Ambrosino

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

but damn, has she got chutzpah!

…Alyssa Ambrosino of [Pennsylvania]…posted a listing online Jan. 13 that read in part, “Hey guys it’s Marie or you can call me Lyssa.  I’m working…within the jurisdiction of East Stroud PD.  A police department that couldn’t find their own ass with both hands and a map, so don’t bother even trying to call and set up a date.  Save your gas money for doughnuts and leave me alone because flashing a badge isn’t going to get you a discount.  For all the REAL men out there I would love to see you”…A [plainclothes pig]…arranged to meet Ambrosino at her hotel room…[but] she [smelled him]…and asked him to leave…[then a plainclothes sow] …went up and knocked on the door…[asking] why her husband was in that hotel room…[the sow then planted] marijuana on the night stand [and arrested] Ambrosino…

If anyone knows how to get in touch with her, please ask her to email me; I may be able to help get her legal defense.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

How many times do we need to say this?

Self-labeled sex addicts often speak about their identities very clinically, as if they’re paralyzed by a scientific condition that functions the same way as drug and alcohol addiction. But sex and porn “addiction” are NOT the same as alcoholism or a cocaine habit. In fact [they]…are not addictions at all…and…don’t constitute what most researchers understand to be addiction…addicts withdraw. When you lock a dope fiend in a room without any dope, the lack of drugs will cause an immediate physiological response — some of which is visible, some of which we can only track from within the body. During withdrawal, the brains of addicts create junctions between nerve cells containing the neurotransmitter GABA. This process more or less inhibits the brain systems usually excited by drug-related cues — something we never see in the brains of so-called sex and porn addicts…porn-addiction [promoters]…are wedded to the idea that porn is an uncontrolled stimulus the brain gets addicted to because of the dopamine release it causes…But there’s a difference between compulsion and addiction…

Bell, Hook and Kettle

There’s a word for “partnering” between government and private corporations; it’s “fascism”:

State police officials are working with the Salvation Army and other organizations to help fight human trafficking in the Detroit area…Michigan has stepped up efforts in recent years to [arrest sex workers]…and [steal their possessions]…Human trafficking is a [sexual fantasy]…through which [police departments and rescue industry companies] profit from the exploitation and control of their victims.  Victims…include [sex workers, their clients, their] children…[their friends, landlords, roommates and partners]…

Legal Is as Legal Does 

Sex workers in Victoria will be able to advertise with full body pictures…under changes to the state’s sex-work regulations.  But…sex-worker organisation Vixen Collective says the government should tackle the real issues facing the industry, including full decriminalisation and an end to mandatory health testing…Advertisements are currently limited to head-and-shoulder shots.  Ads for sex workers will remain banned from radio, TV, film and video recordings but ads on the internet and in print may contain a photograph of the whole person, as long as…[it] does not show naked genitals or breasts, a sex act or a person under the age of 18 years.  Sex workers will now be able to advertise with references to [their] race, colour or ethnic origin…Jane Green…[of] Vixen Collective, said…sex workers have been calling for an end to mandatory testing because of the burden it puts on sex workers and taxpayers…25 years of medical research in Australia have shown that sex workers have lower rates of STI’s and practice safer sex than the general population…

Above the Law 

Even cops whose offenses don’t rise to the level of rape employ disgusting defenses:

[Boston cop] Edwin Guzman is currently facing charges of “annoying and accosting” a person of the opposite sex, as well as disseminating harmful material to a minor…if a classmate had sent a photo of his penis to this 16-year-old girl, he might be facing child pornography charges and a lifetime on the sex offender registry, rather than…a maximum $200 fine and 6 months in jail…what’s more disturbing is his lawyer’s dismissiveness of the teen’s response to the unwanted explicit pictures…”Kenneth Anderson…said…’You can’t tell me someone her age has never seen a picture of a penis on the Internet’…by this rationale, the teen shouldn’t be upset if an older relative, politician, church leader, trusted community figure, random neighbor or anyone else…sent her explicit photos.  After all, spend enough time on the internet and you’re bound to see a penis.  Perhaps Anderson could help her get over her fear of penis pictures by sending a few of his own her way…

Pyrrhic Victory

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

The New York Police Department has gained “chilling” access to a vast array of surveillance via the use of license plate readers (LPR), the American Civil Liberties Union warns…the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) obtained the final version of the nearly $500,000 contract between the NYPD and Vigilant Solutions for access to the billions of records the company has collected nationwide through the use of its LPRs…the new system “contains over 2.2 billion location data points, and it is growing by almost a million data points per day…Surveillance is about power.  Vigilant gives the NYPD power to monitor our whereabouts and, by extension, our affiliations, interests, activities and beliefs,” the civil rights group said in its blog…“Even more worrisome…the data comes from private license plate readers that scan locations that the police are less likely to scan: residential areas, apartment complexes, retail areas and business office complexes with large employee parking areasAnd…there is no limit on how long Vigilant keeps all of this private location data…There is no incentive for Vigilant to delete any data because its business model is to profit off of selling people’s data.”  Despite promises by LPR proponents that such databases would not be abused, they [are almost constantly]

King of the Hill

What century do “sex trafficking” fetishists believe this is?

I was shocked to learn that Michigan is one of the top spots in the United States for human trafficking…Michigan ranks No. 2 in the country…No. 1 is Nevada.  Two of the things that make Michigan a primary spot is our close proximity to Canada and our waterways…

Train Wreck

Translation: They provide forged papers and provide passage for migrants who want to escape Nigeria:

…[A police] raid [resulted] in the arrest of the leaders of a Nigerian-based group running an international sex-trafficking ring in Barcelona.  It’s known as the Supreme Eiye Confraternity (SEC), or the Air Lords…[cops] first came across the group in 2011 during a forgery investigation, but quickly discovered it was a huge network trafficking…human beings and narcotics (cocaine and marijuana) and [forging] passports.  It has also facilitated the transport of stolen crude oil into Europe…Benin City, Nigeria, is a human-trafficking hub

Sexual Predators

WARNING: The badge-licking in here is so loud and fellatory, it may nauseate you:

The customer has no idea what he is walking into.  He is in his early 30s, dressed kind of schlubby, and wanting to buy some sex on a gorgeous weekday afternoon…There will be no happy ending for him today.  He will be greeted by a [cop]…posing as a prostitute…Elsewhere in the hotel, a 27-year-old woman with heavy eye makeup and a short, short skirt is sitting on a bed looking concerned.  She is a prostitute, who, like the man, was [duped by pigs] on backpage.com, a popular prostitution website.  She had come to this room thinking she was about to have a “date.”  Instead, she is being interviewed by trained advocates from the YWCA who are looking for signs of coercion and fear…

Signs of coercion and fear, when she’s surrounded by armed thugs who’ve just deceived her?  How could that POSSIBLY be? The tone isn’t surprising, though, considering that the LA Times is the only newspaper I know whose reporters are specifically forbidden to call rape, “rape” when the rapist is a cop.

Crime Against Society (#324)

Though they can’t do it as easily as they once could, New Orleans prosecutors still love condemning sex workers to the “sex offender” registry:

…She had spent weeks in Orleans Parish Prison once before, sleeping on a mat, getting in fights.  She was desperate to get out.  Plead guilty to “attempted intentional exposure to AIDS,” an antiquated felony created during the darkest days of 1980s AIDS hysteria, and the prosecutor would agree to 60 days time served, her ticket to immediate release.  She took the deal.  About a week after she got out, the 22-year-old woman received a phone call.  It was her probation officer, threatening to take her back to jail.  Why?  She hadn’t registered as a sex offender…nobody – not her lawyer, not the judge, not the prosecutor – had mentioned anything about adding her name to a list of society’s most reviled outcasts.  Nobody had said anything about the special driver’s license she would have to carry, or the expense of mailing postcards to hundreds of her neighbors.  Aaliyah had condemned herself to 15 years of frustration and humiliation, and there is no record of anybody telling her until it was too late…

The Public Eye (#593)

Laura Lee talks about how she became a sex worker:

…In 2003, I moved to Scotland to take up a position with a financial institution, corporate prostitution at its finest.  Over time, my part time endeavour to top up my miniscule salary became known, and the proverbial hit the fan…In a small highland town, that’s better than a double live episode of Eastenders and various locals couldn’t wait to make their views known.  Some were to my face, but mostly it was done on social media, by members of staff during a “confidential” investigation…I was angry I had to leave the town for my daughter’s sake and start afresh.  I was angry for being judged, by the very people who’d come to me for help in the past.  But mostly, I was angry that many people spouted speeches about the sex industry, when they quite obviously didn’t have a clue…I’ve since learned that some people build entire careers on that…

Too Close To Home pompous press conference

Journalists are starting to listen:

…The women [Seattle cops pretended] they “rescued”…may not actually have been trafficked…King County’s prosecutor did not charge any of the people arrested with trafficking, only with promoting prostitution…The court documents include no affidavits or victim statements from the women themselves…[the] one woman [cops managed to catch]…said her family in South Korea was in debt bondage and that if she didn’t do sex work and pay off their debt, her family might be hurt…I can’t help but wonder about the element of coercion involved in obtaining the statement of an illegal immigrant who knows she may be jailed or deported unless she depicts herself as a trafficking victim…There is also no evidence that these women were being forced to stay in the apartments or forced to sell sex.  Indeed, the instructions on the TRB site says explicitly that “No means NO.  Regardless of your particular expectations, what is offered is completely up to the provider”…

Stupor Bowl (#608)

This is the typical “Super Bowl sex trafficking” story now; it debunks the specific gypsy whore myth while still accepting the greater “sex trafficking” myth:

On February 7, the Super Bowl will return to the Bay Area…and it’s an oft-repeated chestnut that when sports championships come to town, so too do human traffickers…the link between the Super Bowl and trafficking is, at best, unsubstantiated.  (The maybe-canard even has its own Snopes page).  At worst, it’s an attempt to link trafficking with hyper-masculine sporting events and voluntary sex work…the mayor’s anti-trafficking task force [imagined] the region to be “a hub for human trafficking and a hot spot for child sex trafficking”; the FBI has also [pretended] it to be one of 13 national “high intensity” areas for child sex trafficking crimes…Traffickers often use airplanes to transport victims through networks that span the globe

Read Full Post »

In…the trafficking framework…sex work becomes a kind of statutory crime, with women as legal children…and questions of consent rendered irrelevant.  –  Lisa Duggan

Coming and Going

Boo fucking hoo:

When Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk was a judge, the cases that upset her the most involved…prostitution.  Hawk said that feeling has carried over into her work as district attorney and her office focuses on “prosecuting…[people and doing anything to] make sure they go to prison”…Last year in Dallas, 62 underage sex trafficking victims were rescued from their pimps, [lied] Deputy Police Chief Vernon Hale.  Dallas County also has several diversion programs to [brainwash sex workers]…One program, dubbed STAR Court, [forces] women [wrongfully persecuted for consensual sex to] go through counseling and drug or alcohol rehabilitation [whether they need it or not].  The goal is to give women an alternative to a criminal lifestyle…The [rescue industry corporation] Mosaic recently released an app…called Operation Compass [which makes it]…convenient…to [rat people out to the pigs]…

In other words, if you have sadfeelz about someone else’s way of making a living you should inform on them so they can be locked up and subjected to psychological torture to “correct” their “criminality”.

Droit du Seigneur 

Peacekeepers“.

The United Nations has been grappling with so many sexual abuse allegations involving its peacekeepers that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently called them “a cancer in our system”…Investigators discovered this month that at least four U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic allegedly paid girls as little as 50 cents in exchange for sex…employees have been accused of 22 other incidents of alleged sexual abuse or sexual exploitation in the past 14 months.  The most recent accusations come in the wake of Ban’s efforts to implement a “zero tolerance” policy for such offenses.  The United Nations maintains nine peacekeeping operations in Africa, employing more than 100,000 people on the continent, and the abuses threaten to erode the organization’s legitimacy.  Other sex-crime cases have occurred in Mali, South Sudan, Liberia and Congo in recent years…

Counterfeit Comfort

That’ll teach them dirty “sex offenders”!

The government may start stamping “sex offender” on the passports of citizens who were convicted of a sex offense against a minor.  Yes, that would include high school seniors who slept with their freshman girlfriends.  The rationale behind the International Megan’s Law is that these people could be traveling for sex-trafficking purposes…There are almost 850,000 Americans on the Sex Offender Registry, up from 750,000 just a few years ago.  About a quarter of them got on the list when they were juveniles themselves, because young people have sex with other young people…The branding…will affect even Americans whose offenses aren’t crimes in the countries they’re trying to visit:  For instance, I have a friend who had sex, once, with a 14-year-old when he was 19.  If he had done this in Austria, Germany, Portugal or Italy, it wouldn’t have been a criminal act at all. The age of consent there is 14.  But here in America he went to prison — for nine years.  He spent his 20s in a cell for one act of consensual sex between two teens, and now that he’s out, he remains on the Sex Offender Registry for life…if my friend’s passport is stamped with “Sex Offender,” any country he approaches will assume he’s a monster trying to get in.  Oddly enough, that country won’t be alerted if a visitor has served time for, say, mugging old ladies

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

If someone stole $100 from a convenience store, would the Times-Picayune refer to the crime as a “quibble”?

A Birmingham, Ala., woman called police after…a man who paid her $100 for a sexual rendezvous…stole back the cash…But Kenner [Louisiana] police wound up busting both for the illegal hookup…Montez Robinson…told [cops] he reached out to Rachel Burma…through her profile…on Backpage…

Forward and Backward

A pilot scheme in Leeds to allow sex workers to ply their trade on the streets without fear of arrest will continue indefinitely after the council announced it had improved the safety of prostitutes and made it easier for them to report crimes.  The scheme…allows prostitutes to work in a “managed area” between 7pm and 7am…The council says the scheme has improved community relations, the safety of sex workers and allowed prostitutes to report incidents of harassment without facing recrimination.  Police in the area will no longer issue cautions or make arrests for soliciting during the working hours specified…A female police officer has also been specially appointed to handle cases involving sex workers and to ensure their safety…

The Pygmalion Fallacy Gloria & robot

Unless they can bruise, heal, cry and exude a certain rare and as-yet-undiscovered pheromone, I’m not remotely interested:

…It wouldn’t take tech as advanced as Gigolo Joe [from the movie A.I.] to pique women’s interest in sexbots.  For one thing, women already use sex toys…women don’t really care whether the toy they’re using to orgasm even faintly resembles the anatomy of a human man…While toys for men, whether Fleshlights or RealDolls, conjure the appearance of an actual woman, women’s toys don’t…Women’s porn viewing habits…tend to be more varied than those of men…there’s a strong argument to be made that…women…are polymorphously perverse, being sexually aroused by far more configurations of bodies than men…a sexbot for women could be vaguely torso-shaped, equipped with vibrating pads and oscillating nubs, and furnished with outlets that would allow for multiple snap-on tools…Maybe make it’s voice-activated so that you could rotate between modes without the tiresome pressing of a button…No fuss.  No muss…And no uncanny valley…this bot could also sidestep the major controversy of sexbots: that of emotional connection…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

Note that the main reason for the strippers’ plight is Washington’s idiotic prudishness:

…The owners of a collection of Washington strip clubs have sued state labor regulators, claiming they’ve been wrongly ordered to pay workers’ compensation to dancers hurt on the job…they claim regulators are trying to “financially break” their businesses.  At issue, in part, is the strippers’ status as club employees.  The women rent space from the clubs, which regard them as independent contractors.  The state Department of Labor & Industries has taken a different view, contending that, at times, dancers are entitled to workers’ comp if they’re injured at the clubs…The economics of Washington state strip clubs are particularly brutal, largely because the alcohol-free clubs draw their income almost exclusively from high-priced soft drinks and the fees paid by dancers.  Strippers pay a large portion of their earnings back to the clubs in a system previously decried by a U.S. attorney for Washington as abusive.  In Seattle, strip clubs have historically been subjected to extreme scrutiny from law enforcement and regulators

Now They Notice

The case against Rentboy isn’t actually any weaker than any other website takedown case; they’re all this weak:

…law-enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors considered this a big, bold police action against a criminal organization.  They threw around phrases like “Internet brothel,” “international online prostitution ring,” and “global criminal enterprise”…This was the beginning of an important and high-profile win for the government in the fight against illegal commercial sex, or so [they]…must have thought.  But things started going badly for the government right away…the raid was vigorously condemned by sexual-freedom and sex-worker advocates…LGBT groups…human-rights and free-speech organizations…and even many media outlets, including The New York Times.  The ACLU and Lambda Legal later initiated a meeting with prosecutors to defend Rentboy’s positive role in the community, which included funding scholarships and other educational projects…After such widespread backlash, the prosecution stalled, so far requesting four delays in the 30-day deadline for indictment.  Though such extended delays are not unusual, as investigators search for further evidence and try to locate cooperating witnesses, no new charges have surfaced in this case…

Bread and Circuses (#573) 

Federal “authorities”, unsatisfied with merely hounding a hardworking woman’s husband to death, humiliate her and lock her in a cage for six months:

A woman who came from a poor family in Thailand became a prostitute in Hawaii through working in the massage industry…Judge Susan Oki Mollway [pretended] she took those circumstances — along with her husband’s suicide — into account when sentencing her to six months in federal prison.  In a deal with prosecutors, [Khemwika] Ernst pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and filing false tax returns…

She only made about $75,000 per year, but prosecutors pretended that’s some huge amount of money so as to paint her as a master criminal.

Still a Child (#574) 

Women are such fragile little flowers that, although men can choose to risk death at 18, it takes us three extra years to mature to the point where we can choose to take off our clothes:  “The New Orleans city council voted unanimously…to ban strip club employees younger than 21 from dancing nude…the new rules do not apply to employees under 21 who are already working as dancers…

Above the Law (#587) 

Why I didn’t report being raped by cops:

For five years, Lindsay F. relived the night she was brutally raped by Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, then a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, over and over again.  She had to recall every detail…whenever investigators asked her to retell her story.  If Lindsay missed a detail or confused the timeline, even after years had passed, they accused her of lying…in her fight for the county to admit liability, Lindsay underwent a humiliating and interminably long process, one that experts in law enforcement misconduct litigation said is commonplace.  Even after Sanchez went to prison — not just for raping Lindsay, but for attempting to coerce another woman into sex under similar circumstances just two days later — the county’s lawyers…spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Lindsay as if she had falsely accused Sanchez…They asked Lindsay about her sexual history:  Had she ever had HPV?  They deposed her friends:  What had Lindsay been wearing the night Sanchez pulled her over?  They even went as far as to hire a gynecology medical expert witness to testify that Lindsay’s vagina had not shown significant signs of trauma

The Widening Gyre (#597)

Another sign of peak panic: mere “sex trafficking” isn’t shocking enough any more, so fetishists are now claiming that “traffickers” are members of some other pariah-group besides being “pimps”:

…Katherine Svoi Symthe said…“All human traffickers are pedophiles, but not all pedophiles are traffickers”…Symthe’s [novel] Unbreakable, The Story of an Unrelenting Spirit, describes in shocking detail her [fantasized] story from the time she was smuggled into the U.S. as an infant to her rescue at age 17…Symthe said many pedophiles also get gratification by torturing their victims…

Too Close To Home

Feminist Whore debunks the King County sheriff’s press conference:

Read Full Post »

Were whores to fail to remember our dead, they would be forgotten entirely…and we refuse to let that happen.  –  “On December Seventeenth

12-17-15 SeattleThough this is the thirteenth annual Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, it is the first one I’ve been able to spend in the company of my sisters; tonight I’ll join the vigil procession with the members of SWOP Seattle, which like many others in cities around the world is intended as a memorial to our dead, 160 of them so far this year.  Some of the violence which claimed those lives was the direct result of stigma which portrays us as subhuman; some of it is due to the fact that evil men recognize that cops aren’t likely to care about (or even believe) sex workers who have been attacked.  But nowadays, most of it is a direct result of prohibition and prohibitionist propaganda:

Some prohibitionists say we bring violence upon ourselves by our choice to live outside of the sexual restrictions that repressive cultural norms have imposed on women for the past several millennia; others try to rob us of our agency, claiming that the violence comes from imaginary “pimps” and demonized clients.  But the truth these would-be social engineers don’t want you to know is that the majority of violence against whores is inflicted by the police, either with the blessings of the state (in the name of “fighting prostitution” or “rescuing victims”) or in the shadow created by the state’s definition of harlots as creatures outside the bounds of humane treatment.  The state, Western religions, and carceral “feminists” teach that a woman who has sex for practical reasons rather than emotional ones is robbed of her “purity”, and that an “impure” woman would be better off dead.  Furthermore, since they only value women for our sexual characteristics, they teach that a woman who sells sex “sells her body” or even “sells herself”; a person without a body is a ghost, and a person without a self is nothing at all.  Given these beliefs, is it any wonder those who adhere to them think dead hookers are of no great import?  As far as they’re concerned we were dead already, or worse than dead.  And if we are, is it any surprise that violent, weak-minded thugs in or out of uniform believe they can rape, rob, brutalize or even kill us with impunity?

Until our society grows up and stops believing in ridiculous fairy tales about magical sex acts and ritual purity, sex workers will continue to be treated as disposable.  And until the day that sex work is universally recognized as work and sex workers recognized as fully human, we must never stop reminding our society that it has our blood on its collective hands.

Read Full Post »

You may decry the court of public opinion, but until sex workers are given equality before the law, we will use it, because it’s the only one open to us.  –  Mistress Matisse

If you’ve been lost on a spelunking expedition, on vacation in the Amazon basin, or in a coma for the last two weeks, you may not have heard that the popular porn star James Deen has been accused by almost a dozen women of rape, sexual assault, nonconsensual roughness and other violations of porn actresses’ sexual boundaries.  I first discussed the matter last Friday; if you missed that, you may want to go back and read it in its entirety, but here’s the newsy part:

…the porn actress Stoya…accused [Deen] of having raped her; another ex-girlfriend, Joanna Angel, supported Stoya, tweeting that Deen was “dead on the inside” and “literally the worst person I’ve ever met” (though she declined to say more until Wednesday).  By Monday two other actresses had revealed similar incidents (one sexual assault and one attempted rape), and by Wednesday two more came forward to explain that on-camera rough sex scenes with Deen were actually rape.  In the meantime, many sex workers had expressed solidarity with Stoya, and some had sided with Deen against his accusers (weirdly expressing sanctimonious bullshit about the law, as though US law ever treats sex workers fairly or reasonably); several video companies and websites severed ties with him, and he resigned from the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee.  Naturally, neofeminist vultures like Meghan Murphy descended with lightning speed to blame porn for Deen’s actions, or even worse to claim that there’s no moral difference between rape and consensual sex work…James Deen askance

When I wrote that column I didn’t know how far the story would go in the mainstream media; often things that are huge news in the demimonde “barely even register on the radar of society at large,” as I put it last week.  But this one was obviously an exception; by Sunday the New York Post published an ugly neofeminist hate screed which, among other absurdities, touted the idiotic claim that every whore in the US makes a living on the once-in-a-lifetime contribution of a small minority of men:

There’s nothing cool or enlightened about participating in the exploitation of women…The latest porn outrage is rape:  Five women have accused co-worker Bryan Sevilla, a k a James Deen, of sexual assault…Sevilla’s alleged rapes were part of his work.  Read “performer” Amber Rayne’s accusation…mainstream porn…“glamorizes and encourages sexual violence,” says [another prohibitionist]…Read the story of Ashley Brooks, a porn survivor whose abusive husband forced her into the business.  “It was filthy and disgusting…I felt like a complete and total prostitute”…A porn performer, like a prostitute, submits to impersonal sex acts for money…all you need is common sense to see the reality of prostitution…being violated by strangers multiple times a day because they have no other practical choice, for not a lot of money and being terrified of being killed or infected while doing it…Thankfully, the vast majority of American men — around 86 percent — haven’t exploited a prostitute…

I made sure I tweeted Nicole Gelinas to call her on her crap, because I don’t think prohibitionists should sleep well at night after pretending they have the right to control other women’s lives and income.  The Washington Post reported a day later; in keeping with the paper’s apparent lean toward sex worker rights, reporter Caitlin Gibson was not only sympathetic, but also interviewed actual sex workers:

Deen’s accusers…have…faced a backlash that highlights the particular challenges facing women who work in porn and the sex trade…Some…have scoffed that it shouldn’t be possible for a porn star to consider herself having been raped — that these kinds of violations are, essentially, part of the job…Pornography — especially the BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism) genre that was Deen’s specialty — might convey a sense of erotic danger, said Mistress Matisse…But…it’s standard to establish clear guidelines before intimacy begins…“Boundary violations,” she said, “are taken very, very seriously within the BDSM community.”  And in the allegations against Deen, she added, “it wasn’t like he did one thing wrong, and then he stopped.  These were not rookie errors”…Margaret Corvid…said that [anti-porn activists make]…matters worse for women working in the industry…“The stigma they’re putting forward makes it harder for sex workers to report rape or assault, because they will have very good reason to believe…that the authorities…won’t believe them, or will marginalize or ‘otherize’ them”…

Matisse also wrote her own take for Seattle’s The Stranger:

Over the last two weeks, I have had a lot of conversations with people who say things like Deen is being tried in the court of social media.  His professional reputation is ruined because he can’t prove himself innocent.  None of them made a police report at the time, so how do we know it was REALLY rape?…But no one has filed criminal charges against Deen.  He has exactly the same access to social media as his accusers do, he can talk to the reporters of his choice, and he has an agent and a lawyer to advise him…When you say, “If it was rape, why didn’t you go the police?” here’s what it really means:  If you don’t go to the police, you’re not allowed to talk about your sexual assault.  Rape is like a ticket in a parking garage, apparently—if you didn’t get it validated by the powers that be, you will pay for that later.  This is a silencing tactic, nothing more…And the law certainly does not give a shit about sex workers…

Dr. Marty Klein used the case to argue for decriminalization:

The women pursuing their rape cases against him are able to do so because they are legally employed…if they were raped while acting as prostitutes…they couldn’t go to the police, because they’d be arrested themselves.  Or, as many prostitutes can attest, they’d be extorted for sex by the police in exchange for not being arrested…Decriminalizing sex work also helps reduce illicit trafficking by enabling sex workers to report suspicious-looking arrangements without putting themselves in jeopardy…

Then on Tuesday, Deen himself finally went beyond mere denial to give his side, which basically amounted to a combination of “nuh-uh”, “I don’t remember that”, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”, and “Bitches be crazy”:

…I am completely baffled…The reason Stoya made this claim could be as simple as her finding out that my current girlfriend and I are moving in together…It could be as calculated as Stoya trying to drive traffic to her website…All of the accusations are from either ex-girlfriends or events that happened on set…I could describe the events of the scene I was in the other day and it could be just as dramatic…There are certain exaggerations and inaccuracies in these stories…The claims are inaccurate or out of context…

Of course, none of that explains why he was on so many porn actresses’ “No” lists:

Shy Love, a longtime porn performer who runs the adult talent agency The Vip Connect, represents more than 80 women.  Roughly 20 to 25 of them, she estimates, refuse to work with James Deen.  “They just thought he was too aggressive, they didn’t like his style of shooting,” Love [said]…the clients she has who won’t work with Deen signal to agents and directors their preference through the use of something called a “no list,” a tally of individuals a performer will not work with.  These lists, which are not necessarily about people who have done something objectionable—an actor, including Deen, could show up on someone’s no list for a reason as mundane as lack of chemistry— are a widespread practice in the porn business…

And though Deen hasn’t been charged with any crime, at least one government entity is interested:

…Cal/OSHA…the state’s health and safety regulatory and watchdog organization, announced that it has opened an investigation of James Deen Productions…for serious workplace health and safety violations.  OSHA’s investigation came about after AHF filed a formal ‘Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards’ complaint against Deen with OSHA…

the future of porn in CaliforniaNote that the investigation was triggered by the vile AHF, notorious for its crusade to shut down the porn industry by forcing it to produce creepy goggle-and-glove festooned condom commercials instead of fantasy entertainment.  Prohibitionists (including AHF), don’t give a damn about the safety of welfare of the women Deen assaulted; they just want to capitalize on the free publicity to promote their own attacks on sex workers.  No doubt others will similarly attempt to exploit the situation; I’ll keep you posted on such developments as they arise.

Read Full Post »

Many use their hands, others use their brains.  We use our vaginas to work.  –  Mónica Lencina

The Red Umbrella 

Katherine Koster of SWOP published this list of “17 Facts About Sexual Violence and Sex Work” as a lead-up to December 17th.   Most of my readers are probably familiar with all or at least most of these already, but it’s important to remind the general public; furthermore, it’s good to see that Huffington Post seems to be slowly distancing itself from anti-whore propaganda and is publishing a lot more pro-sex-worker-rights articles in the past year or so.Mark Benavides

Droit du Seigneur

a…client of Mark H. Benavides, a San Antonio lawyer, accused Benavides of having sex with her in an empty room in the Bexar County Courthouse during her intoxication manslaughter trial.  Benavides claimed that she was lying and upset because she was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charge…after the first victim spoke up, others came forward.  The first was a prostitute who said that after their first encounter in 2005, he offered his services as a lawyer.  She…always paid for his legal services with sex, never with money.  She stopped in 2012, and Benavides reminded her that he had videotape of their sexual encounters.  Another victim said that she met Benavides repeatedly for sex…[because she] was afraid that if she refused, Benavides would, based on his good relationship with the judge, hurt her case.  The final victim did not have money to pay Benavides, so he had her meet him every Tuesday at a motel.  When she didn’t show one time, he went to court and withdrew the attorney bond he had posted for her, which resulted in her being arrested…Benavides was arrested and charged with three counts of Compelling Prostitution…[which is] much easier to prove [than rape]…

Bell, Hook and Kettle

Though the reporter of course believes in the Salvation Army’s propaganda and doesn’t think to investigate the truth about the religious group’s anti-whore and anti-queer crusades, this puff piece contains some useful statistics:

…fliers featuring people’s mouths sealed with duct tape have gone up on targeted street corners and inside women’s restrooms — one of the few places where victims of sex trafficking might find privacy…82 cents of every dollar dropped into the kettle goes to helping people in need.  The holiday fundraising campaign generates nearly 70 percent of the funds used to provide services year-round…

There’s no telling what fraction of that 82% goes to hate campaigns, but you can bet it’s substantial.

Legal Is as Legal Does

Despite the moronic headline, this isn’t a bad article:

Ammar, the Argentinean union of prostitutes…set up a tent in front of Congress to request a new law that would allow them to access the same benefits enjoyed by other independent workers…Argentinean law does not ban prostitution. Each province, however, regulates it differently. In most cases, regulation is so rigorous that offering sexual services is virtually forbidden. For example, in San Juan…public…offer [of] sex services…[can be penalized by] up to 20 days in prison.More often than not, the legislation that is [pretended] to protect sex workers has the opposite effect…The prevailing government view…is to [pretend that] all sex workers [are] victims of human trafficking….

Profit from Panic 

Can you imagine a real “pimp” putting as much thought into it as these people put into their BDSM fantasies?

With the holiday’s [sic] right around the corner, you might be searching for that perfect, unique gift that give’s [sic] back to your local community.  Emily Mahoney and Lauren Carpenter are producing…handcrafted jewelry…that is…helping to end human trafficking in Tennessee…The women started Branded Collective, a collection of metal cuffs and jewelry, a few years ago.  Twenty-five percent of the proceeds…goes to…End Slavery Tennessee…Each cuff is “branded” with a little initial of the woman who helped to make it, and with a number.  Many victims of human trafficking are branded with tattoos or numbers. “Branding is a way of depersonalizing the human…and identifying them as…something you can buy and sell that’s disposable”…said Emily.  You can visit their website to read the story of the survivor that branded your one of a kind cuff…

Blunt Instrument

Attention, useful idiots: making it easier for cops to get search warrants is never a good idea, even if they pretend it’s to “fight” something you dislike:

Houston’s City Council passed…an ordinance that aims to help [cops close down]…massage establishments…that may be a front for prostitution…[by expanding] the legal definition of a massage establishment.  The change will allow the [cops to raid any place they declare a massage establishment]…”[Blah blah blah] human trafficking,” explained Minal Patel Davis, special advisor to the mayor on human trafficking…The change…will also make it easier for [cops to get rubber-stamped] search warrants…

Monsters 

[A] trans woman…lost her life in…Istanbul [on December 2nd]…Alev…was stabbed in her heart by a man who approached her as a client…police called on a couple of her friends for further investigation…There was another transphobic hate crime ten days ago in…Istanbul.  The victim was a young trans woman…[named] Nilay…[who] was stabbed several times and strangled with a bathrobe cord…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#407)

SCIENCE!!!

…Last year, the Journal of Religion and Health published an article linking schizophrenia to demonic possession based on the claims of a single faith healer.  Now, they’ve published new research…which claims that consuming…sexual media may have “a negative impact on learning second language vocabulary.”  Want to learn German? Better avoid sexy music videos and denim commercials, the study suggests.  “Aside from dire consequences in the afterlife, viewing sexual media can have a detrimental effect on human learning and memory in this life,” it concludes.  Yakup Çetin, the study’s author and a foreign language education professor at Faith University in Istanbul…[said] he…”[finds his own] study objective”…the [sexual material]  included the trailer for the Pitt-Jolie action flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the music video for “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias, and a television commercial for Mavi Jeans…


Property of the State 

Prison sentences for these women can be as much as 40 years“:

The Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court has reinstated the country’s total ban on abortion, including cases in which a pregnant woman’s life is at risk.  [Last December] Dominican President Danilo Medina approved measures decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape, incest, and fetal deformity, as well as situations where the mother’s life would be endangered by carrying the pregnancy to term.  The reforms were set to take effect December 19, 2015.  But religious and socially conservative groups appealed, arguing in court that the country’s constitution protects the rights of “unborn children” from the moment of conception…the country’s total abortion ban puts girls and women at risk by prompting pregnant women to visit black-market abortion doctors and forcing them to give birth even when it’s physically  dangerous…Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras also ban abortion in all circumstances…

Now They Notice

I find articles which pretend that Rentboy was fundamentally different from sites on which female escorts advertize to be utterly infuriating, especially when they strongly imply that male sex workers are entrepreneurs while women like me are passive victims:

…Arrangements made through Rentboy were between consenting adults. David Bimbi, professor of health sciences…drew a clear distinction between this business and other illegal activities.  According to Bimbi, many of the arguments against sex work — that it promotes pimping, sex trafficking and exploits minors — “fly out the window” when it comes to Rentboy, which was a site where adults self-advertised to other adults.”  Recently, Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, Rashida Jones and other celebrities joined with the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women to decry Amnesty International’s proposed recommendation to decriminalize sex work.  The coalition claimed Amnesty’s proposal would “advocate the legalization of pimping.”  Rentboy, Bimbi said, is a completely different situation…Since the raids, many sex workers have organized to battle sex worker stigma…

Danny Cruz and Conner Habib try to set writer Mathew Rodriguez straight, but he seems to think gay dudes just invented sex worker rights in the past few months.

Uncommon Sense (#572)

Sonja Dolinsek on the awfulness of German prostitution law “reform”:

After two years of negotiations, the German Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth shared its second draft of a new prostitution law…the 2002 law, widely decried as “legalizing prostitution” and blamed for an increase in human trafficking, has never been fully implemented.  But that hasn’t stopped politicians and the media from loading blame for the supposed catastrophic state of sex workers in Germany onto these three paragraphs – using the law to score easy points with the public.  Few in Germany or abroad questioned the idea that the law had led to an explosion of human trafficking…But nobody bothered to fact-check the claim of increased trafficking.  If they had, they would have found that that sex work had been legal long before 2002, and that human trafficking has actually been steadily decreasing…

Social Autoimmune Disorder (#592)

Well, gee, this is SO MUCH better:

…The “John letters motion” was approved by the city council…and LAPD officers can presumably start recording license plate numbers and sending letters to the registered owners’ homes immediately.  But the media got one thing wrong: there’s no plan to use automated license plate readers to scan every license plate that goes through the neighborhood to shoot the drivers scarlet letters.  And…Los Angeles is not the only city to have this idea…But even without the Orwellian license plate reader element, there are legitimate concerns around guilt premised on an idling car…

Fallen Idol

Melissa Gira Grant interviewed a number of porn actors & actresses on the James Deen affair:

…That chorus of voices that followed Stoya’s shook the porn industry…and now the public is hearing…about the particular structural problems the porn industry contends with, and the persistent and pernicious idea that sex workers are by definition unrapeable…Arabelle Raphael…said…“A lot of people knew…And some people had really good experiences with him, but that doesn’t mean anything.”  Performers let each other know what they had heard about Deen…two people [previously told her to]…put James Deen on your ‘no’ list” – the performers she would not do scenes with…eight other women have also gone public. Tori Lux, Ashley Fires, Amber Rayne, Kora Peters, Nicki Blue, Lily LaBeau, and a woman writing as T.M., all say Deen has assaulted them, too. In the aftermath of those allegations, Deen’s career is crumbling…

Read Full Post »

That thing where you log in to the internet for a second and see people idolizing the guy who raped you as a feminist. That thing sucks.  –  Stoya

It’s easy for those of us who live in, frequent or even occasionally visit the demimonde to forget that well-known names and “front-page” news in our circles may barely even register on the radar of society at large.  Because of that, and the fact that I get a lot of “crossover” traffic, I think it’s important that I report stories of that sort even when I’m behind the curve by days; one good aspect of the lag time is that it allows me to pick up on details, developments and nuances before actually committing myself to an opinion in writing.

James DeenWith all that in mind, here are a few facts of which most of you probably know some, and some of you probably know all, and a few of you may know none:  James Deen is a porn star who has for some time now been very popular with women for his boyish good looks and charming manner.  Though he’s done many movies featuring rough sex, BDSM and rape, he was a favorite of many sex-positive feminists for his public statements about consent and other feminist issues, and though he has not publicly identified as a “feminist” many others have certainly applied the label to him.  Then last Saturday, his ex-girlfriend, the porn actress Stoya, accused him of having raped her; another ex-girlfriend, Joanna Angel, supported Stoya, tweeting that Deen was “dead on the inside” and “literally the worst person I’ve ever met” (though she declined to say more until Wednesday).  By Monday two other actresses had revealed similar incidents (one sexual assault and one attempted rape), and by Wednesday two more came forward to explain that on-camera rough sex scenes with Deen were actually rape.  In the meantime, many sex workers had expressed solidarity with Stoya, and some had sided with Deen against his accusers (weirdly expressing sanctimonious bullshit about the law, as though US law ever treats sex workers fairly or reasonably); several video companies and websites severed ties with him, and he resigned from the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee.

Naturally, neofeminist vultures like Meghan Murphy descended with lightning speed to blame porn for Deen’s actions, or even worse to claim that there’s no moral difference between rape and consensual sex work…eerily echoing the misogynistic “defense” offered by the vile Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver.  Those of you who wonder why none of Deen’s victims ever came forward before Stoya did should consider these anti-whore obscenities before verbalizing your doubts; if you think they’re lying or exaggerating simply because they never said anything before, then you had better be ready to tar me with the same brush because I never reported any of my rapes or attempted rapes, either.  Sex workers (or even those merely accused of being sex workers, as was my case the first time) who admit to having been raped must not only endure the typical gauntlet of accusations, shaming and victim-blaming all rape victims must run; in addition, we are subjected to extra tortures from moralists claiming that we “invite” rape or “place ourselves in harm’s way” or “deserve” it, or neofeminists saying that there’s no difference between our normal work and rape anyhow, or even claiming that our work contributes to the supposed “rape culture” that they blame for the actions of individuals.  Moral retards like the aforementioned Murphy are only too happy to use our personal tragedies as ammunition in their assault on our livelihoods; is it any wonder we stay quiet?  Would you report a workplace injury or even an attack by a co-worker if you knew lunatics would use it in an attempt to shut down your entire profession, an attempt which might result in your arrest and prosecution for felonies?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  I didn’t even say anything to the others in the same hotel suite for fear of ruining my sisters’ chance to make a lot of money;  I would imagine some of Deen’s victims had similar thoughts when they decided not to say anything about one of the most popular male performers in porn.

Duke University CrestI’m fully aware that I’m biased in favor of other women, especially other whores, when I hear about a reported rape or assault; when Crystal Mangum accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in ’06, I instantly believed her and, had I been writing this blog then, would almost certainly have said so in print.  It’s because of the Duke case and others like it that I am a little warier than I used to be, and obviously I would never support state violence or prosecutorial railroading (a la Mike Nifong) of Deen.  But when five of my whore sisters all risk censure, shaming, and potential career damage to expose a malefactor, you bet I’m going to side with them.  And if after reading this column you still can’t understand that, I suggest you do sex work for a few years and then get back to me about it.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,990 other followers