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Posts Tagged ‘Older Than You Thought’

The state should be extremely reluctant to criminalize activities freely entered into by consenting adults.  –  Peter Singer

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought shrike-whore

This article doesn’t cover any new ground, but I just love the pictures of the little animal whores holding their cash.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

She publicly humiliated him and forced him into a brainwashing program designed to shame him for his sex drive and convince him it’s pathological, and now he doesn’t want to fuck her?  Why, who could ever have predicted that?

Katie Price has hinted her sex life with Kieran Hayler is lacking after he went into therapy…to help overcome his sex addiction after…[she] discovered he’d been sleeping with two of her friends…when asked if therapy had changed him, she instantly replied: “Completely, from him wanting to fuck everything to me being like ‘do you want it?’”…The former glamour model even made crude gestures to prove her point, pretending to grab an imaginary penis with her hand before dropping it and laughing…

What kind of “friends” do glamour models have?  And regarding Hayler, obviously, not all sex workers (he was a male stripper) have the goddamned sense to actually get what sex workers are for.

They Still Don’t Get It

The bizarre illogic, the self-defined “evidence”, the weird 19th-century language…are these people for real?

An alleged sex trafficking operation based out of a [Massachusetts] home — in which police said johns used Backpage.com to set up appointments with three woman made to work 14 hours a day — is not unusual, a sex trafficking expert said.  “Yes, it’s happening next door,” said Kate Nace Day…”This is part of our society, part of our neighborhood — that’s how bad it is”…Boston police raided the house…and rescued three women…Wong, Tang and Xu were each charged with…keeping a house of ill fame…

She thinks the fact that sex work is common & mundane “proves” it’s bad?  What?

Shift in the Wind (#36)

The bioethicists are now on our side as well:

…feminist organizations…argue…we should “end the demand for paid sex” – but without explaining how this is to be done.  In species that reproduce sexually, sex is, for obvious reasons, one of the strongest and most pervasive desires.  Humans are no exception…In every modern society, humans exchange money or other valued items for things that they desire and could not otherwise obtain.  For various reasons, a significant number of people cannot get sex, or sufficient sex, or the kind of sex they want, freely.  Unless at least one of these conditions changes, demand for paid sex will continue…Another response to proposals to decriminalize sex work is that we should instead change the conditions that lead people to [work]…This assumes that only those who lack any other means of supporting themselves would engage in sex for money.  That assumption is a myth…Faced with the prospect of monotonous, repetitive work for eight hours a day on an assembly line or flipping hamburgers, [some] prefer the higher pay and shorter hours that the sex industry offers.  Many may not make that choice, but should we make criminals of those who do?…

Monsters 

Niurkeli, a 33-year-old transgender sex worker, was murdered by a client in Nantes, France.  Niurkeli was [a] migrant sex worker of Ecuadorian origin…Since [France started moving toward the Swedish model in] 2014 her work conditions have deteriorated…many sex workers have lost income…[and] moved to more remote and dangerous areas to work because that is where their clients feel more secure…

Not What They Expected

Cops are no doubt disappointed that the media can’t be counted on to mindlessly parrot their “sex trafficking” propaganda any more, and that sex workers are finally being heard:

New Haven [Connecticut] Police…said they have placed prostitution stings on hold as city and department personnel rework their strategy for addressing sex workers in the city…[spokespig] David Hartman confirmed…that stings like the Oct. 25 operation that led to the arrest of 13 women on prostitution charges will not be conducted as the department mulls other practices and possible alternatives to arrest…[on November 18th] a demonstration took place in front of City Hall that included some 50 people voicing concerns about the Police Department’s [abominable] treatment of sex workers…Demonstrators want New Haven police to stop targeting workers in the sex industry and provide more resources for their rehabilitation…They also asked the state’s attorney’s office to drop all pending prostitution charges and ask that local press not publish booking photos for those arrested and charged with prostitution, which they said adds to “public shaming”…

We need to keep this up; if we keep loudly protesting every fucking “sting”, and making sure reporters are there to cover our protests, it’s going to be a lot harder for prohibitionists to sell their snake oil to the public.  That having been said, I’m not sure if this “rehabilitation” bullshit came from the protesters, a cop description of them or the reporter’s own mind; if it did come from the protesters themselves, someone needs to reach out to them about avoiding that sort of stigmatizing rhetoric that treats sex work as a failing from which we need to be “rehabilitated”.

All-Purpose Excuse

Dianne Feinstein, who never met a police-state law she didn’t like, crows about her efforts to hound sex workers’ clients and cut off our advertising; in the process she praises the flatly-illegal prosecution of Backpage officials and even brings up “sex trafficking” as an excuse for Washington’s imperialist meddling in the Middle East.  But none of this is really surprising because Feinstein is one of the sleaziest, most loathsome and disgusting examples of her entire vile breed ever to crawl the face of the Earth.

The Widening Gyre (#441) possibly-samantha-azzopardi-again

It looks like Samantha Azzopardi is back to her usual tricks:

** DOES ANYONE RECOGNISE THIS GIRL? **  She is very confused and currently detained in Italy.  She answers in English only to any questions asked so may be from an English speaking country…She sleeps outside and has mental problems I think…she has said that her name is Maria and she may be Ukrainian…

Because Ukrainians are known for only speaking English.

Banishment (#446)

Politicians are again working to get sex workers evicted and enrich the state:

New legislation in Prince George’s County aims to [railroad] landlords and property managers…for [sex work]…at their rental properties…[politician] Deni Taveras…proposed the bill after [pretending] complaints from several…mothers [because THE CHILDREN!!!!TM]…The bill makes it a misdemeanor to “knowingly” allow use of an apartment or home for prostitution or trafficking, punishable with a $1,000 fine…It passed the council unanimously…

There’s also a lot of silly nonsense about “pimps”, “snakes” and “roots” before a pig vomits up a lot of filth about “sending a message”.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#511)

Really, guys?  Is it really so hard to just hire an escort?

Despite many years of hype, teledildonics have largely existed in the realm of disappointment and “one day this might be a thing” hypotheticals.  But camming company CamSoda is investing in trying to actually make them a thing this time around with Blowcast, its new online marketplace for virtual blow jobs.  It lets…any penis-haver…browse through a library of pre-recorded blow jobs performed by professionals and amateurs alike.  A woman performs oral sex on-camera on a tricked out, touch-sensitive vibrator known as the Kiiroo Pearl.  It records the performer’s movements and translates them into sensations that can be experienced on-demand through a masturbatory sleeve known as the Kiiroo Onyx.  Blowcast syncs these sensations with a video of the woman performing said blow job to create the illusion —at least in theory — of receiving a blow job…the creators acknowledge that these virtual blow jobs will not be confused for the real thing…

To Molest and Rape 

When putting this column together I thought for a moment these were the same case:  “…sergeant [Thomas Pederson of] the Wayne County [Michigan] Sheriff’s department is facing sexual assault charges involving a child…under 13 years of age…” But nope, it’s two different young-relative-molesting cops:

…Indian River County [Florida] Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Peek was arrested…for…[groping his] step-daughter…The victim, now 20, told police that…Peek…began touching her when she was 14 years old, and it stopped at age 17 when she started dating.  She never told police because…[she] didn’t think anyone would believe her…during her senior year of high school, she would have to allow “Steve to touch her for 10 minutes if she wanted to go out and do something”…The victim’s current boyfriend…saw a text message…when she was 17 years old…asking…“for his 10 minutes.”  Peek also sent another text asking her when he could see her body…

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America is a complicated, conflicted country founded by Puritans, constituted by libertarians and built by salesmen.  –  Mark Simpson

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought

It’s impossible to state this too often:

While, on the surface, discussion of sex has become far more acceptable in recent years, in practise, many facts are still considered unpalatable.  And no subject arouses more emotion than the evolution of sex as a tradeable commodity: the biology of prostitution.  The idea that prostitution might be a biological impulse can deeply upset those with dogmatic viewpoints.  For religious people, the thought of a God that created prostitution is too much to take…But revulsion at the thought of sex trade goes far beyond religion.  As the political left has become increasingly conservative in its attitudes, it has become common to blame the existence of prostitution on Patriarchy or Capitalism.  Thus, for some feminists, banning prostitution is a part of their war on Patriarchy. And for socialists, attacking prostitution is part of a righteous war against Capital.  But the history of sex trade goes back many millions of years before humanity…

The Pro-Rape Coalition John Harvey Kellogg

This excellent article about anti-porn hysteria is also very droll at points:

PORN HORROR! headlines zoom repeatedly into our sightlines, warning us that pornography is “addictive” (despite an inconvenient lack of evidence), “ruins relationships” and “rewires men’s brains“, turning them into sex zombie automatons…The UK Government…is currently in the sweaty grip of…this hysteria.  With David Cameron’s controversial (and somewhat porous) ISP porn filters only recently installed, MPs are now turning their attention to the popularity of anal sex in online pornography…it’s important to note that the religious and legal definition of “sodomy” is not restricted to anal sex – it is essentially any non-procreative naughtiness, whatever the shape of the genitals involved…porn today is basically broadband sodomy – non-procreative sex acts piped into people’s hands for them to commit non-procreative sex acts over.  Current porn panics represent a digital-age, socially-concerned update of warnings about the terrible fate of Sodom and Gomorrah…The crusade against “fapping” is eerily reminiscent of the anti-masturbation movements of the 19th century …Dr John Harvey Kellogg…was one of the most famous foes of the “solitary vice”.  His bland cornflakes were supposed to save you from it – like porn today, an exciting diet was thought to lead to overstimulation…

Rooted in Racism

How can people not see that “sex trafficking” hysteria is firmly rooted in xenophobia?

…Although freedom of movement is guaranteed within the European Union, the right to stay – after the first three months – is dependent on new arrivals “exercising their treaty rights”, for example, by working or studying.  Operation Nexus, a combined police and immigration initiative…has been targeting [European migrants] …since 2012.  Among those detained and served with deportation papers are an increasing number of [sex workers] from…Romania…Several women fighting deportation are now being supported by the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP)…Previous EU law cases have established that prostitution constitutes self-employment…

Saving Them From Themselves

Another teen’s life destroyed for flirting:

Another male teenager’s future is in jeopardy after police charged him with possession of child pornography…because he swapped sexy photos and videos with a girl.  Levar Allen, a 17-year-old athlete at his Louisiana public school, is black.  The girl, a 16-year-old, is white.  Local news stories note that she initiated the sexting, and he reciprocated…For what it’s worth, the girl was also charged with sexting.  But since she’s under the age of 17, it’s a misdemeanor.  Since Allen is a year older, he’s technically guilty of a felony…

Surplus Women

A prisoner is seeking an early release after having spent 15 years out of a life imprisonment…the Dubai Court of First Instance jailed the Uzbek convict, K.S., for life for trying to kidnap [a] Russian [sex worker], asphyxiating her and throwing her body from the balcony of [a] seven-storey flat…in 2001.  The 59-year-old petitioner has been…at Dubai Central Jail since his arrest on March 19, 2001…

Maier’s Law

Fanatic finds data disproves “sex trafficking” theory, concludes we need new data:

Sarah Godoy…has now authored a new comprehensive literature review of sex trafficking in the United States, with components of global human trafficking as well…Godoy included more than 135 pieces of [prohibitionist] literature [based] on [the] sex trafficking [narrative], dating from 1999 to 2016…While she found some enlightening and often horrific statistics…what she didn’t find was equally disturbing.  “Weak methodologies in empirical evidence, and small data sets that urge readers to not republish as…representative…That’s what we found.  We don’t really have a comprehensive, representative sample of what sex trafficking in the U.S. really is”…the [made-up] numbers compiled by Godoy are daunting.  According to the study, human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world…21 million…”I think it shows that not enough resources are being put into adequately capturing data…We have [myths about] what traffickers look like, but in every single capacity, there are a lot of gaps”…

Across the Pond

The main laws governing prostitution in the UK are still the 1956 Sexual Offences Act, which makes brothel-keeping an offence, and the 1959 Street Offences Act, which criminalises solicitation.  The Street Offences Act was created on the back of a 1957 document called the Wolfenden Report…[which] didn’t include testimony from a single working prostitute…Since sex workers began to demand a voice in law-making, there have been victories – the 1984 defeat of a dangerous bill; 2014’s quashing of another – but the pattern of legislating over their heads continued…And here we are in 2016, discussion raging once more.  Sex workers sidelined, once more.  When the current UK inquiry gathered oral evidence there [was]…just one current sex worker, Laura Lee…

The Last Shall Be First 

the Marion County [Florida] School Board approved a North Carolina-style Gender Inspection resolution that will prohibit transgender students from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.  Over 100 people showed up to the School Board meeting…where this resolution was brought forward as an “emergency” agenda item just six days after it was introduced.  Forty-six people testified at the hearing, and the majority of testimony was in strong opposition…

The Course of a Disease

As I’ve said before, there can never be too many anti-Swedish model articles:

…What adherents to [the Swedish model pretend they]…don’t understand is that such laws only make working conditions much more dangerous for sex workers and do very little to curb the demand for commercial sex…laws criminalizing buyers…make…screening much more difficult…Since 2000, studies show, [Swedish] sex workers…have a much more difficult time negotiating safe sex (i.e. sex with condoms) and assessing dangerous clients…Sweden’s approach has actually increased the overall number of sex workers in that country and did not reduce trafficking in the region at all, according to the Swedish government’s own reports.  By contrast, countries that have decriminalized sex work…report no increase in…trafficking…and…sex workers in those countries are better able to protect themselves…

Soap Opera Trump hand sanitizer

For some reason, “sex trafficking” fetishists seem to trot out even more lurid masturbatory fantasies than usual for the Republican convention:

Both law enforcement and advocacy groups are predicting an increase in sex trafficking during Cleveland’s Republican National Convention in July…the Renee Jones Empowerment Center and the Collaborative Initiative to End Human Trafficking are actively working to [spread hysteria about] human trafficking in the weeks leading up to the convention.  “We know that it will occur,” said founder Renee Jones. “There’s no question in my mind”…Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution…visit…local motels to [harass]…employees [with nonsense about]…potential trafficking victims.  S.O.A.P volunteers…handed out…small bars of soap with a national trafficking hotline number.  The group’s founder, Therese Flores, [has made a career out of claims she] was once herself a trafficking victim and [repeats masturbatory fantasies about being] auctioned off at Detroit motel…

Original Sin

Officials invite religious fanatic to speak about her dogma, then feign surprise when she does:

…guest speaker Tajuan McCarty…told…roughly 300 people who attended…[an] event [at the US Army’s Redstone Arsenal] that “the only way to truly overcome the horrors of rape and sex trafficking is to have Jesus as your ‘King'”…McCarty is director of The Wellhouse in Birmingham, Alabama, often described as “a Christian home” for women rescued from the sex industry…[and] has told her [tragedy porn]…[on] 700 Club...

Under Every Bed

Another ridiculous tale of spineless women & pimps with magical powers:

…Yarmouth [Massachusetts] police raided a…house…and arrested a man on charges of running a prostitution operation…Police Chief Frank Frederickson [bloviated about] “Bringing women into this seedy atmosphere”…Kenneth E. Silva Jr…pleaded not guilty…Police…searched the house [and claimed] they found evidence of human trafficking…At least three women were working for Silva…Police did not arrest them because they were considered victims…pimps…control women through…a…”mind shift” [fantasized prohibitionist Stacy Gallagher]…”just like at major sporting events, women and kids are being sold.”

Paint By Numbers

“Anti-trafficking” publicity stunts are growing ever more bizarre:

Eddie Quann [imagines changes in propaganda represent changes in reality]…“Two years ago, 13-15 million people a year were being trafficked…Now…it’s 30-35 million.  It’s doubled.”  Human Trafficking — a modern-day form of slavery — is the second largest organized crime in the world next to drug trafficking…The workshop is a hands-on craft that runs about two-and-a-half hours.  Everyone is given a partially-made cloth doll, and with needle and thread, ribbon, yarn and so on, they stuff their doll and decorate it…As the dolls are sewn, participants learn all about human trafficking…“You can decorate it everywhere but the face,” said Gina. “The faceless doll represents all those sold into trafficking as faceless people.  To the ones selling them, who they are doesn’t matter.”  The doll goes home, hopefully to a prominent place in the house, as a reminder to pray daily for the millions of victims trapped in a degrading, powerless life…

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Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it.  It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.  –  Nadine Gordimer

Eleven updates and four meta-updates.

Who Did Your Tits? (October 1st, 2010)

Happy 50th birthday, silicone implant!:

…Timmie Jean Lindsey, 80…said she…[went to Dr. Frank Gerow of Houston, who invented the implants in 1962] because she wanted some rose tattoos removed from her chest, and he told her she was the perfect first candidate…“It wasn’t a big deal to me.  I went from a B to a C cup.  But it made men more aware of me.  More men would whistle at me”…She said she feels fortunate she never experienced many of the side effects that plagued other recipients…

The reason she didn’t have any side effects, of course, is because lawyers hadn’t invented them yet.

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought (October 12th, 2010)

Remember those cute little Adelie penguins?  Well, it turns out that prostitution isn’t their only “perverted” sexual behavior; George Levick of the ill-fated Scott expedition also observed rape, sexual abuse of chicks, homosexuality and necrophilia.  He was so upset by the whole thing that he recorded his findings in Greek so that they couldn’t accidentally be read by English speakers, and those facts were left out of the official accounts until very recently.  I’m not surprised; any bird which practices “cash and dash” is capable of anything.

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism” (May 30th, 2011)

Did you read the one about the Swedish housewife who set herself up a BDSM dungeon in an abandoned bunker?  It became news when two fishermen discovered it and called the cops.  When Aftonbladet told her that many of her neighbors were scandalized she said, “I think it is because many are afraid.  Sweden is not really such a free country when it comes to sexuality…”  Sex workers and their clients wholly agree.

Surplus Women (September 27th, 2011)

Yet another maniac chooses his victims from among sex workers:

A Mississippi sheriff’s investigator hopes surveillance video from Bourbon Street in New Orleans will provide clues about the death of a strip club dancer whose dismembered body washed ashore on the Gulf Coast…22-year-old Jaren Lockhart reported for work Tuesday (June 5th) night and left early Wednesday.  Her torso was found late Thursday in Bay St. Louis.  Other body parts…were found later…Lockhart had been a resident of the Capri Motel…

The Capri is one of those dirty, scary places where only truly desperate girls live, so I suspect she was murdered by a client who promised her extra money to go off with him.  At least the story seems to make some effort to treat her as a person rather than concentrating on her sex work as so many do.

See No Evil (November 26th, 2011)

Res ipsa loquitur:

…Phillip Cosby…objects to [a] donated statue at the Overland Park Arboretum [in Kansas City], because it portrays a woman…taking a photo of herself while her breasts are exposed…he has started an online petition…to start a grand jury investigation…he objects to the statue’s availability to children and is seeking a charge of promoting obscenity.  Overland Park has posted signs at the park about the statue’s content but says it has no immediate plans to remove the sculpture.

A statue has no “content”; any “obscenity” is projected into it by dirty minds.

Neither Addiction nor Epidemic (December 4th, 2011)

Regular reader Franklin Harris wrote a column on sex in film in which he stated:

Movies and television take a lot of heat for promoting supposedly immoral, promiscuous and irresponsible sexual behavior.  But when it comes to movies that actually make sex their main focus, you may be left wondering why anyone has sex in the first place. Sex in these movies is awful, joyless and nothing good ever comes of it.  On second thought, that does sound like a pretty irresponsible depiction of sex, just not the one we’ve been led to expect…despite depressing movies such as Shame and a few high-profile celebrity cases of suspect credibility, one fact remains: There is no such thing as sex addiction…[it] is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and there is no scientific evidence it exists…

Harris also has sharp words for The Girlfriend Experience and points out the deep irony implicit in Hollywood’s typical condemnation of any kind of sex for pay.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see this sort of column becoming ever more common in mainstream media.

Above the Law (March 8th, 2012)

Another cop using his position for rape:  “A former Hopewell [Virginia] police officer was convicted…of sexually abusing three women…In exchange for his pleas, a fourth charge of forcible sodomy was withdrawn by the prosecution.  Baggett faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count…”  Notice that cops in these stories are nearly always described as “former” police officers, subtly implying that they were sacked out for their conduct, when in fact that only happened as a direct result of a probable conviction.  Had the case been less clear, Baggett would still be a cop right now.

An Example to the West (April 3rd, 2012)

Sex workers in Thailand recently sent a letter to their Prime Minister asking him to stop licking Uncle Sam’s boots:

…Empower alleges that successive Thai governments have sacrificed the rule of law, their international human rights obligations and the well-being of migrant sex workers and their families, in an attempt to please the US government and satisfy the American anti trafficking agenda.  We accuse the United States government of using the issue of human trafficking to coerce its allies into tightening border and immigration controls.  The US agenda has also created a climate where women crossing borders are all seen as suspect “victims” of trafficking…Empower sees the Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US State Department as subjective and bias [sic] against the Thai Entertainment Industry…

The Naked Emperor (May 15th, 2012)

Though danah boyd (who like e.e. cummings prefers her name uncapitalized) is generally critical of moral panics about kids and the internet, and has said that “the most deadly misconception about American youth has been the sexual predator panic”, she seems to have bought into sex trafficking hysteria…or has she?  This article also seems subtly critical of anti-Backpage crusade; is she, like others, simply afraid to say the emperor is naked?

…when we as a society see technology being used in horrible ways, we want to blame and ban the technology…I know that technology is being used in the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.  I also know that many people have responded to the visibility of “child sex trafficking” on commercial websites by wanting to shut down those commercial websites…my goal is to make sure that we understand what we’re doing so that we actually address the core of the problem, not just the most visible symptoms of it.  Unfortunately, we know very little about how children are advertised, bought, sold, and exploited through the use of technology.  There are plenty of anecdotes, but rigorous data is limited…

Read the article and let me know what you think:  more research is good, but only if it’s conducted in an atmosphere of free inquiry; most of the projects she mentions make unwarranted assumptions and seem tailored to produce specific anti-sex work outcomes.

First They Came for the Hookers… (June 5th, 2012)

I really wish politicians would stop proving me right:

…the government says it will end giving work visas to foreign strippers once and for all…”The problem is, under the current Immigration Act we don’t have the legal authority to deny people visas based on the industry they’re working in,” [said] Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney…”Now we have the power, which we’ll [soon] begin using…to deny visas to people who we think…might have a high chance of trafficking or exploitation”…

Once again, “trafficking” rhetoric is really an excuse for bigotry.

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (June 9th, 2012)

Anyone who’s read more than a token amount of Bradbury has noticed the libertarian ideas in his work, and in this extremely interesting essay by Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy he demonstrates that Bradbury was not alone: “Libertarianism is better represented in science fiction and fantasy than in any other literary genre.  From Robert Heinlein to the present day, libertarian writers have been among the leaders in the field.  Even many genre writers who are not self-consciously libertarian have often made use of libertarian themes in their work…

Metaupdates

Welcome To Our World in February Updates (Part Two) (February 13th, 2011)

A UK organization is fighting for the sexual rights of mentally disabled people:

…Everybody has the right to have sex and relationships…however they choose.  But some people in society, such as people with learning disabilities, aren’t always given the automatic right to have relationships and flourish as sexual beings.  They have to persuade others to “allow” them to do it.  FPA believes passionately that everyone has the right to enjoy sexual health

I applaud FPA’s efforts; whores also know what it’s like to be denied the right to sex on our own terms.

The Scarlet Letter in TW3 (#19) (May 12th, 2012)

Another example of sex workers fighting oppression via civil courts:

…State-sanctioned forced HIV testing of sex workers also occurs [in places other than Greece]…But in Malawi…sex workers are fighting back…in 2009…police…forced [arrested sex workers] to undergo HIV tests…[and those] who tested HIV-positive were charged with  “spreading disease dangerous to life,”…fourteen [of them] decided to sue the government and challenge the constitutionality of forced HIV testing…

Much Ado About Nothing in TW3 (#19) (May 12th, 2012)

Dania Suarez, the escort whose mistreatment kicked off the Secret service scandal, “has announced plans to open a non-profit organization to support women who have been affected by prostitution” just after turning down “a $500,000 pornography contract with Vivid” in favor of a TV documentary on her life.  As long as she only works with women who genuinely want to leave the trade I’m all for it, but if she turns to “rescue” and/or starts mouthing “child sex trafficking” rubbish, she’ll be following Kristin Davis into the Hall of Shame.

Finding What Isn’t There in TW3 (#23) (June 9th, 2012)

Considering that prostitution is not illegal in either part of Ireland and that police found no “traffickers” or “victims” in their highly-publicized joint raid, all of the residences belonged to “innocent people”; I reckon what this article is trying to say is that half didn’t belong to the people named on the warrants:

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is facing a serious legal backlash after it emerged that as many as half the residences it raided as part of its cross-border anti-prostitution operation with gardai belong to innocent people…the PSNI is now facing a highly embarrassing and potentially very expensive legal fall-out from what appear to have been a series of botched raids based on intelligence that, in some cases, was at least a year out of date…

Though I feel bad for those who were raided, high-profile jackboot buffoonery like this only helps our cause in the long run, because it demonstrates the fact-free basis for police actions and results in ever more editorials like this one:

…”Rape for profit,” stormed Philip Marshall of the PSNI…Everyone would agree if he had freed dozens of sex-slaves and charged their traffickers…So far, though, the only people charged were three Polish girls, who…were…working willingly…is it really worth months of police time…to arrest and shame…three young people?…Or should we consider…offering prostitutes the protection of the law when they are abused or coerced?…Prostitution has always been with us…We can’t legislate it out of existence, but we could legislate to reduce its damage to the health and welfare of those involved.

One Year Ago Today

June Miscellanea (Part Two)” reports on yet another censorship law, a decentralized online currency system, New York’s declaration that sexy dancing isn’t dancing and more extra-blog activities by yours truly.

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A man’s jealousy is a social institution; a woman’s prostitution is an instinct.  –  Karl Kraus

What is it about the end of the year and prostitution-related news?  Last year saw an explosion of such stories after mid-November, so that I ended up doing a number of miscellanea columns between then and Christmas; one year ago today “Bits and Pieces (Part One)” appeared, featuring Derrick Burts’ self-outing, a Melissa Petro follow-up, the duplicitous Annie Lobert of “Hookers for Jesus” and an astonishingly ignorant “child sex trafficking” story from NPR.  Well, this year was much the same; I had so many short articles I had to spread them across six different columns!  Don’t worry, I won’t throw them at you all in a row; we’ll start with a two-part update column and a miscellanea column on Sunday, then save the others for the end of next week.

Think of the Children! (September 30th, 2010)

The list of teachers “outed” as porn actors continues to grow; first Tera Myers, then Benedict Garrett, and now Kevin Hogan of Malden, Massachusetts, whose stage name was “Hytch Cawke”.  But if reporter Mike Beaudet of WFXT in Boston imagined he would be hailed as a hero for exposing the dirty porn-making fag lurking in our schools to corrupt innocent children, I’m sure he was unpleasantly surprised.  Oh, he was easily able to find the usual assortment of sheeple to bleat out quotes like “I’m disturbed. I’m surprised…This is scary” and “he’s teaching our children.  Everyday.  It does bother me a lot.”  But take a look at the comments on the story, which are not only overwhelmingly defensive of a person’s right to do (legal) sex work, but also overwhelmingly condemnatory of the TV station and reporter.  Beaudet actually went on the air the next day to defend his actions, probably because there’s a “Support Kevin Hogan, FIRE Mike Beaudet” Facebook page and a Fire Mike Beaudet petition at Change​.org.  I don’t believe for one second that the furor would be this strong if the teacher were a heterosexual woman, or if Hogan had been a gay prostitute rather than a gay porn actor, but any vociferous public support for any flavor of “sex work is work” is a huge step in the right direction.

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought (October 12th, 2010)

In this post I explained that in some species of cricket, males give females large bags of low-quality food as their payment for sex; I compared them to human clients who pad their pay envelopes with low-denomination bills hidden among the large ones.  Well, this November 13th article from Physorg.com introduces us to the arthropod equivalent of clients who try to cheat hookers with envelopes full of worthless paper strips:

Male nursery web spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) prepare silk-wrapped gifts to give to potential mates.  Most gifts contain insects, but some gifts are inedible plant seeds or empty exoskeletons left after the prey has already been eaten…New research…examines the reproductive success of deceitful males and shows that females are not impressed by worthless gifts.  [In the experiment] male spiders were provided with either a potential gift of a fly, or a worthless item, such as a cotton wool ball, a dry flower head, a prey leftover (previously eaten housefly), or no gift at all.  All the gifts were approximately the same size, so the females would not be able to tell what the gift was without unwrapping it.  Males that offered any gift were more likely to successfully mate than males without.  However the length of time the females allowed males with worthless gifts to spend transferring sperm was shorter than those with edible gifts (and even shorter for those with no gift at all!)  It appears that both male and female spiders are apparently able to assess the value of the gift and modify their behavior accordingly…Maria Albo who led the research explained, “The evolution of male deceit involves a complex equation of costs and benefits.  It costs the males to find and wrap a gift, but these costs can be reduced if the male does not have to first catch his gift, or gives one that has already been eaten.  The benefit of the gift is longer mating, which leads to more sperm being transferred, and potentially a higher number of offspring.  However, the females are wise to deception and terminate mating early for worthless gifts”…

Keep this in mind next time some neofeminist tries to tell you that gender-based human sexual behavior is “socially constructed”.

No Other Option (October 17th, 2010)

Most severely-disabled men and many whose handicap is less severe are completely unable to acquire sex by noncommercial means, so prostitutes are their only recourse.  Neofeminist fanatics declare that sex is not a “need” and that such a transaction still constitutes “male oppression”, but sane, moral, decent people know better and fortunately many whores are happy to help these men experience sex.  A newly-released documentary named Scarlet Road follows an Australian professional who specializes in helping disabled clients:

Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton works with many clients who have disabilities.  Her work has become the subject of the latest documentary from award-winning director Catherine Scott and producer Pat Fiske.  Filmed over a three-year period, Scarlet Road follows Rachel in her relationship with John, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 26 years ago, and Mark, a client with cerebral palsy.  It reveals the therapeutic aspects of human touch and sexual intimacy.  This unique documentary gives voice to two men generously sharing moments of sexual self-discovery.  “People with disability are not seen as sexual beings and on the other hand sex workers are often portrayed as oversexed, victims or damaged goods.  I really wanted to tackle these stereotypes head on”…Scarlet Road shows Rachel in her daily life and follows her on a journey to the UK, Denmark and Sweden, where she meets with sex workers, people with disabilities and their families, as well as making quite an impression as a speaker at the World Congress for Sexual Health.

Aphrodite bless Rachel and her work; I’ve added a link to her charity, Touching Base, to my “Resources” box at the right.

Interview:  Jill Brenneman (starting February 21st, 2011)

On December 2nd our friend Jill spoke at the Sex Worker Summit in Asheville, North Carolina hosted by the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition and several other organizations (including New Orleans’ own Women With a Vision).  Local newspaper Mountain Xpress covered the event and according to Jill even got it mostly right.  I don’t have a lot of hope for North Carolina becoming a center for sex worker rights in the U.S., but I’d love to be proven wrong!

Validation (May 25th, 2011)

Even when one already knows something, it’s good to get validation from others.  And when one is beset by enemies on all sides, particularly ruthless enemies who are willing not only to lie but to distort or completely fabricate bogus “research” to support their lies, every extra bit of academic research which soundly supports one’s position is another arrow in one’s quiver.”  So I was quite pleased to see this November 11th article on the Migrants’ Rights Network; we’ve seen this study before in my November 15th column, but this article mentions a different aspect:

A new study on migration and trafficking in the UK sex industry has challenged the idea that trafficking is the main factor in trapping people in exploitative and abusive employment.  Based on a survey of 100 people of migrant background involved in the industry, [Dr Nick Mai of the Institute for the Study of European Transformations (ISET)] has found that a majority of them had not been forced or trafficked into the profession…[and that] difficulties in exercising rights…were more likely to come from the issue of official immigration status than from forced labour.  Many of the workers had entered the industry because the alternative employment available to them was likely to be more exploitative and unrewarding than sex work.  They also felt that the stigmatisation of the profession had a negative impact on their personal lives…[and that] criminalisation of clients…[would] not reduce demand or exploitation but [would] mean more insecurity for migrants working in the industry.  The report argues that better strategies to combat negative aspects of the industry would…[include allowing] migrants to become and remain legally documented…[allowing] the industry [to] operate legally…[and providing] victims of trafficking the right to remain in the country and the long-term support needed for integration.

This information needs to be pounded directly into the skull of every career politician and cop in the United Kingdom, United States and every other country which uses “human trafficking” as an excuse to persecute whores and/or our clients and partners.

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Not every woman is a prostitute, but prostitution is the natural apotheosis of the feminine attitude. –  Georges Bataille

One of the fascinatingly stupid statements prohibitionists sometimes make about prostitution is that it is “unnatural”.  I assume this is some alternate meaning of the word “unnatural” with which I am unfamiliar; apparently in this case it means “something the speaker dislikes.”  Prostitution, based as it is on the ancient and pre-human principle of barter, is a helluva lot more natural than marriage and a lot of other things these silly asses have no issue with, and it has been observed in several other species besides ours.

How can that be, you might ask, when only humans have money?  If you think that, it’s because you fail to understand what money actually is.  It is true that only humans have currency, which is a symbolic representation of money, but all species which rely on some limited resource such as food do indeed have money, though we may not call it that.  And when a female gives sex to a male in order to obtain some of his resources via a direct barter transaction, she has performed an act of prostitution.  For a good example of this we need look no farther than our closest relatives, the chimpanzees.

Like humans, chimpanzees are naturally omnivorous; they need both animal and vegetable food to be healthy, and though the vegetable matter is easily obtained and therefore cheap, chimps will go to considerable lengths to add animal protein to their diet.  One way in which they do this is by “fishing” for ants or termites by inserting long sticks into their nests and licking off the insects which climb onto the stick, but as you can imagine this requires a great deal of effort for very little satisfaction.  Larger animals are therefore valuable to the chimp who can catch them, and since chimps particularly relish the meat of small monkeys these are especially valuable.  Researchers have observed male chimp hunters sharing such a kill with their friends, and when a female chimp sees a male doing this she may approach him to offer sex, receiving in payment a piece of the precious meat.  Female primate offers male primate sex in direct exchange for a small portion of his resources; that sure sounds like prostitution to me!

Taking this shared behavior into consideration, it seems likely that the “world’s oldest profession” is much older than most people might imagine; five million years older, in fact, since that is the age of our last common ancestor with the chimp.  It has even been suggested that the universal human custom of a male offering a female food as part of courtship (whether in the form of a primitive hunter bringing her a kill or a modern man taking her to dinner) may also descend from the ancient food-for-sex transaction; it is merely more thoroughly disguised by ritual than prostitution is.  Another exact parallel can be seen in the fact that male chimps who share meat with females even when they aren’t looking for sex  (i.e. wealthy, generous ones) mate more often and with a better selection than those who are poor and/or stingy.

Nor are primates the only creatures ever to evolve the pragmatic money-for-sex transaction; Adelie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) have their own independent tradition, using their own scarce resource as a medium of exchange.  These penguins usually mate for life, and in mating season each couple builds a nest of stones to keep their eggs warm and dry.  The entire flock clusters in one area with those of highest social rank in the center, while low-status single males are pushed to the periphery just as they are in many other species (including humans).  Ironically, this puts the single males in a good position to find choice stones because the center of the area gets picked over quickly.  The bachelors therefore build nests themselves, then sit in them and wait.

What happens next is this; if a couple within the flock cannot find sufficient stones to complete a nest, the husband will remain behind to guard the incomplete nest from stone-thieves while his wife waddles off to find a horny bachelor sitting on a pile of good nesting stones.  She then flirts with him in her penguiny fashion and if he responds she presents herself for mating; after he takes what he wants he allows her to take a choice stone and waddle back to her nest with it.  Some bachelors demand sex for each stone, while other clients allow their harlots to return for as many stones as they like without having to put out again.  But not all of these penguin prostitutes are honest ones; some are actually practitioners of cash-and-dash!  One of these nasty little trollops will tease her victim until he jumps off his nest to have her, then she grabs one of his rocks and runs!  If he catches her he will beat her and reclaim his stone, but some of them do manage to get away.  As in human society, the honest version of the transaction is advantageous to all parties; the female gets resources she needs, and the male gets sex he otherwise would not have.  A penguin whore  will often go back to the same clients again and again, and if her husband dies before the next breeding season (which happens quite often in the harsh and dangerous Antarctic environment) she will usually choose one of her regulars as her new husband.

Obviously, it’s a mistake to attribute anything remotely resembling human thoughts and motives to invertebrates, but there are a few arthropods whose behavior does sort of resemble prostitution in a superficial way, and besides it’s the Halloween season so I think some attention to creepy-crawlies is in order.  Insects and spiders don’t experience anything like what we would call “pleasure”; their nervous systems are of an extremely primitive order and they are not in any way conscious of any motivation for doing the things they do.  But when the complexities are stripped away, male bugs seek sex for the same reason as their two- and four-legged counterparts:  In order to impregnate females and thereby pass on their genetic legacy.  The only difference is that more complex creatures cannot simply be programmed to act in a certain way; Nature had to find some better means to motivate higher animals than “Because I’m the Mother, that’s why!”  And so sexual pleasure was born, and until the invention of birth control made non-reproductive sex a reality males were induced to do Nature’s work by seeking to gratify their own desires.

Many arthropods don’t even have sex in the sense we understand it; males merely generate a sperm packet which they try to attach to the female’s body without her noticing, and given sufficient time the sperm passes through her pores and enters her reproductive system.  If the female discovers this insect “cumshot” on her body she will simply eat it, and though human males might find this exciting it doesn’t do anything for the more pragmatic and instinctive sensibilities of male insects.  Some species of cricket have therefore developed a kind of prostitution transaction; the male gives the female a big bag of food, and while she’s busy eating it he attaches his sperm and relies on her being too busy with her dinner to remove the packet until it’s already too late.  Some of these crickets are the equivalent of deceptive human men who try to pad the envelope with low-denomination bills secreted among the large ones; they gather large quantities of low-nutrition food and hope the females don’t notice how cheap they are.

Some species of flies have a similar strategy, though their sex actually involves a form of copulation which takes 5-20 minutes; the longer the act, the higher the chance of proper insemination, so the larger the food donation the longer the female is kept busy eating it and the longer she will let him have her, thus the higher the chance his genes will be passed on.  Flies who are “wealthier” (i.e. better at food-gathering) have a better choice of mates and more generous clients get to buy larger blocks of ladies’ time, just as in human society.

Female spiders are generally much larger than males of their species, so their relationship could be viewed as the arachnid equivalent of a client seeking a dominatrix.  Unlike human dominatrices these ladies give full service, but among redback spiders (Latrodectus hasselti, cousins of the black widow) the price is so high that this type of session is literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Everyone knows that black widows generally kill and eat their mates, but their males at least attempt to escape after the “wedding”; the male redback, on the other hand, is the ultimate masochist of the arthropod world.  In order to ensure that his sperm will have time to inseminate the femme fatale of his choice, he attaches his packet to her abdomen and then literally dives into her mouth, ensuring that she will be occupied in devouring him until it is far too late to remove the sperm.  Talk about paying the ultimate price!  Most human men like having part of their anatomy in a woman’s mouth, but IMHO the redbacks carry this to extremes.

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