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Posts Tagged ‘pragmatism’

The issue with filters starts with the fact that their purpose is to block content.  –  Michael Stabile

They Just Don’t Get It

Pittsburgh-area cops are among the most aggressively ignorant and pompously stupid in the US on the topic of sex work:

Prostitution rings are becoming more sophisticated, and that’s creating new challenges for police…Greensburg police investigators say the internet has [magically transformed into] a vast sea of sex for sale [complete with ships and tentacled hentai monsters]…[unusually stupid pig] Robert Stafford [oinked that]…the sites used to advertise such services…“always seem to be the same website…there always seems to be a drug habit involved”…when [sex workers] are [locked] up [often after being raped by cops], there is a genuine effort to save them from the street and in reality from themselves…

So many dysphemisms, so much bullshit.  “Sophisticated prostitution rings” is the most popular cop excuse for raping sex workers, a practice that Pennsylvania aggressively defends.  As for the bizarre cop fantasy that there is only one ad website, this is the first I’ve heard of it; usually the claim is exactly the opposite, that there are dozens or even hundreds in every city.

Judd Not, Lest Ye Be Judded

I’m always glad to see this wannabe savior get egg on her face:

Ashley…Judd’s…anti-trafficking activism [ignorantly and intentionally]…conflate[s] sex trafficking and sex work.  Judd also serves on the advisory council of Demand Abolition…[after a series of ugly anti-sex worker tweets last week] Judd’s social media was quickly inundated with criticism, causing Judd to double down on her anti-sex work platform…writing…I believe body invasion is indeed inherently harmful…Buying sex…commodifies…girls and women’s orfices [sic]”…Unsurprisingly, real-life sex workers took issue with Judd’s numerous…assertions…@BrookeBrou was a vocal participant in the thread, tweeting, “You are harming people with your ignorant ideas about what sex work actually is”…Brou…explained that, “I find [Ashley Judd’s] posts rendering a SW to her orifices incredibly disgusting…What is apparent is that Ashley Judd is not only misguided, but also simple-minded…it looks like Ashley lacks the cognitive ability to fully grasp the complexity of…SW voices and experiences”…

That weird sci-fi “body invasion” nonsense was invented by Gloria Steinem; this isn’t the first time Judd has incompetently parroted it.

Backwards Into the Future (June Updates)

A strip club defeats part of a stupid “sin density” law:

In New Jersey, clubs and restaurants that do not have licenses to sell alcoholic beverages may nevertheless allow customers to bring beer or wine to consume on the premises.  But they [we]re not allowed to tell customers about that option…until…a federal judge ruled that a state ban on advertising BYOB policies violates the First Amendment…Stiletto, a strip club in Atlantic City…[has no] liquor license…[because] strip clubs that feature total nudity are not allowed to have [one]…New Jersey offered no [defense to the club’s suit other]…than boilerplate about “protect[ing] the health, safety, and welfare of the people…through the promotion of temperance.”  It did not explain how letting people know they can bring their own beer and wine is more likely to promote intemperance than advertising the sale of alcoholic beverages, as businesses with liquor licenses routinely do…

Scapegoats (#15) 

Six and a half years after I first heard the tale, and 15 years after it is supposed to have happened, the story of the “prostitute” orangutan named Pony gets enough detail to tip my opinion from “probably not true” to “probably at least partly true”.  This version of the story actually has the name of a Danish conservationist, Lone Droscher-Nielsen, who cared for Pony after she was rescued from a village near a palm-oil plantation in Indonesia; the story talks about a “brothel” but other details seem to indicate that she was the pet of the whole village, and that the men who paid to fuck her appear to have viewed the experience as a novelty.  It’s in The Sun, which is not exactly known for journalistic rigor; however, there are pictures of the ape and quotes from the conservationists explaining the rehabilitation process.  My guess?  Basically true but embellished to increase luridness.

Monsters 

This could also be filed under “Torture Chamber”, but I suspect she was targeted for being trans:

A transgender woman who died [after being caged by] Immigration and Customs Enforcement…was likely physically abused [by screws]…and died after several days of severe, untreated dehydration.  Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez…died on May 25…[from] “severe complications of dehydration superimposed upon HIV infection”…the…autopsy…also found evidence of physical abuse, with “deep bruising” on her hands and abdomen, evidence of blunt-force trauma “indicative of blows, and/or kicks, and possible strikes with blunt object”…as well as extensive hemorrhaging on [her]…wrists, which…[a]re “typical of handcuff injuries”…

If Men Were Angels 

Most rapes by clergymen are much more subtle:

A former pastor…kidnapped three women and [raped] two…Thomas Bruce…had a history of going on social media rants against “gun-free zones”…[he] posed as a customer of a Catholic Supply store in [Missouri]…When he saw that there were two female employees and one female customer in the store, Bruce…forced the three women to go with him into a back room at gunpoint…he ordered them to strip and “perform…sexual acts on him”…One of the women, Jamie Schmidt refused to give in to his demands, and Bruce…killed her with a shot to the head.  This prompted the other two women to begin complying with his requests, and Bruce eventually fled…

Grow the Hell Up! (#644)

Sometimes “sex trafficking” bullshit is too much for even politicians to pretend to believe. The Dallas Morning News printed this “editorial”:

A [pig leader masturbated while fantasizing that]…a person trapped into “the life”…is left with little hope and no sense of what it means to trust another person, experience joy, or even know friendship.  It is gratifying then to know that this week the Dallas Police Department will…unveil…a new strategy…to [persecute peaceful adults using the excuse of]…human sex trafficking…On November 28, the department is relaunching its vice unit, which was disbanded last year amid an internal investigation…a new philosophy…will [lock up sex workers and call that]…serving the victims…those who [are labeled] trafficked will face prosecution [anyway]…[blah blah] those who traffic in the sale of human flesh…

While on the same day, the same paper printed this:

…The Dallas Police Department’s beleaguered vice unit will soon be back in action after a year off the streets.  But the…details were a little murky to some members of the [city] council’s Public Safety & Criminal Justice Committee…members…wanted to know how the department’s new approach differed from the unit’s previous iteration — and why the vice unit was disbanded in the first place…Police Chief U. Renee Hall in November 2017 disbanded the vice unit amid what she called “serious issues”.  Since then, she has given few specific details about what those issues were [except vague statements about]…policy violations, accounting discrepancies…and a general lack of accountability.  But [the names of cops]…accused of violations [are still being hidden and there have been no]…criminal charges…The [old vice pigs]…will not be returning to the unit…council members said police officials were still too vague in their descriptions of both the problems and the [supposed] solutions…

Whore Madonnas (#734) 

An interview with a pregnant sex worker:

Sex work is arguably the single most stigmatized profession in the world.  Add pregnancy and motherhood…and that stigma increases one-hundred fold.  Last year, when Summer Sebastian announced that she would be working at the Bunny Ranch…throughout her pregnancy, it made for international headlines.  [Maxine] Holloway hasn’t even given birth yet and she’s already been harassed online by people saying that she’s harming her future child.  I visited Holloway at her home in Oakland, California to talk about pregnancy fetishes, mommy role-play, and the stigma of doing sex work while pregnant…

Opting Out (#822) 

UK politicians have been forced to delay their ridiculous censorship scheme again:

For the past year and a half, the UK government has been promising…a nationwide age verification system that would require would-be porn consumers to demonstrate their adulthood before accessing adult content…A few years ago, the country attempted to block adult sites at the ISP level, requiring users to opt in to access adult content…[of course the censorship software] ended up blocking far more than just porn.  The Digital Economy Act…puts the onus on [websites], who must comply with the policy or risk getting banned by major payment processors.  Yet…the age verification system’s rollout — which was initially scheduled for this past spring — was postponed yet again, as [politicians] continued to grapple with the [impossibility] of creating a system that [censors content for people under 18] without [blocking]…other sex-related content…Since the dawn of the internet, tech companies have promised [censorious] parents an easy way to [maintain] their children’s [ignorance about sex]…while allowing them to freely browse the [rest] of the internet…however, these porn blockers aren’t nearly as…effective as advertised, largely because figuring out what is and is not pornography is rarely a simple matter.  Apple’s recently launched…parental controls…produced results that were inconsistent at best…innocent items like a search for a dulce de leche recipe wound up blocked, as did numerous sex education sites.  Teen Vogue’s entire site wound up blocked, as did sites offering assistance to queer youth…

Disaster (#865)

Even the perennially-obtuse Rolling Stone recognizes that FOSTA has galvanized sex worker activism:

…It wasn’t until the passage of the so-called Online Trafficking bill SESTA-FOSTA last spring that many workers began to [participate in activism]…not just to oppose the bill but also to support sex work decriminalization efforts more broadly…Christa Daring, the executive director of [SWOP-USA, says]…“SESTA-FOSTA didn’t make prostitution any more illegal than it was before, but it…really threw into stark contrast the amount of criminalization that people were facing”…“Now you have coalitions rising of people who care about criminal justice and racial justice and immigration issues all working together,” says [activist Lola] Balcon…“I’ve never seen sex workers begin organizing in the way they did following SESTA-FOSTA,” says activist Siouxsie Q. “Enough was enough”…

End Demand (#872)

At least one journalist at the Graun appears to get it:

…Under the guise of “anti-trafficking” efforts, police practices in northern California and a new federal law have broadly affected adult sex workers both online and in the streets.  The result…is…increased violence and suffering for the very women whom lawmakers [pretend] they are rescuing.  There have been two such anti-“human trafficking” sting operations in Sacramento this year, most recently in August, in which [sows role-play sex workers]…16 men were arrested for soliciting…police also arrested 25 women for “loitering with intent to commit prostitution” or “disorderly conduct”…[spokespigs] insisted the women’s arrests were separate from the stings, even though some happened on the same day and location…But Alix Lutnick, a researcher with RTI International…said that there is growing recognition that john stings don’t actually help victims…The crackdown, in a state that pre[t]en[d]s [to be] a progressive leader in social justice and women’s rights, has come at a time in which sex work is being aggressively criminalized across the US…Democrats in California have spearheaded the [persecution]…Kamala Harris, a rising star in the party, fought for the shutdown of Backpage.com…when she was the state’s top prosecutor…For one woman caught up in the [recent] arrests, police cited as evidence that she was wearing a “lace bralette”, “shorts” and “flip flops” and was carrying four “unused condoms”.  Despite the “trafficking” label, the stings have led to no trafficking charges.  [A] Sacramento [spokespig admitted]…the stings were [really] about punishing “males who were trying to pick up prostitutes”…

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The “first oral sex robot”…[looks less like a] sexy silicone face…and…more like a Wi-Fi router with benefits.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

The [UK] Universal Credit benefits system is forcing some women to turn to sex work, [opponents of the scheme] say…”Julie”, from Merseyside, never thought she would have to turn to sex work.  But an eight-week wait for the single mum’s first payment after transferring from her previous benefits left her “desperate”, so when she was offered £30 for sex she took it…

Counterfeit Comfort

Arizona says anyone even accused of a sex crime is subhuman:

…the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe held that sex offender registration was not punitive, but civil, and therefore beyond the reach of the Ex Post Facto Clause…this categorical group known as “sex offenders” was so deserving of a life of misery, prohibition and shunning for the putative safety of the community that there was a rational basis for civil rules to make them societal outcasts.  Where they can live, work, exist for decades, if not the rest of their lives, was constrained to the point of impossibility.  And should they mess up compliance with any detail, back they go to prison.  But it’s not criminal.  It’s civil.  For no better reason than legislatures say it’s not punitive, but for the safety of the children, Even though it’s punitive.  Extremely punitive.  Arizona wants to take this further…[by] “rendering a defendant [accused of a sex crime] categorically ineligible for bail“…it categorically prohibits bail without regard for individual circumstances…In order to obtain release, the accused would apparently be compelled to disprove the accusations.  Not at trial, but just to be considered for bail.  It’s not merely a presumption of guilt, with the burden shifted onto the defendant to disprove his guilt, but one that imposes the burden on a singular group, sex offenders, because they are now the most dreaded and hated in society…

Scapegoats 

Safety first:

A [Florida] man has been arrested after several people told deputies they spotted him having sex with a miniature horse…Nicholas Anthony Sardo, 21, admitted to having sex with a miniature male pony named Jackie G…four times during the course of a week.  Sardo told deputies he used a condom each time because he didn’t want to get a disease from the horse…

Torture Chamber 

“Correcting” people to death:

The death of an inmate following an “altercation with correctional staff” at Western Illinois Correctional Center in May has been ruled a homicide…Larry Earvin died from blunt trauma [intentionally inflicted] to the chest and abdomen [by four screws]…The 65-year-old Earvin sustained 15 rib fractures…two dozen or more abrasions, hemorrhages and lacerations…[and a ruptured colon]…four [screws] were [rewarded for the murder with paid vacations]…Willie Hedden…Benjamin Burnett…Blake Haubrich…and…Alex Banta…

“An altercation with correctional staff” means “screws beat him to death”.

To Molest and Rape 

Sometimes they even rape their own:

A [cop] who became a pariah among Nashville police has sued the force and her commander for…retaliating against her after she [reported] a rape by a colleague, as well as racial and gender-based discrimination.  Monica Blake[‘s]…lawsuit includes a long list of grievances, from being treated differently than male colleagues to free speech suppression and retaliation for reporting [her] rape in 2016…[the rapist] made a plea deal…and had his rape charges reduced to aggravated assault [and the department is hiding his identity so he can be free to rape other women]…she was once suspended for three days for simply playing a game of cards, while white male officers escaped almost all culpability for much harsher violations – like [framing innocent people]…It got worse when she publicly supported an initiative to create a Community Oversight Board…

Lack of Evidence (#821)

Why do sex workers and others believe in these garbage “immunity” policies?

Sex workers would be [statutorily] immune from criminal prosecution when they report rapes, assaults, robberies and other crimes, under a bill approved by a [Utah] legislative committee…[bill sponsor] Paul Ray…said…”If we put it in statute, [gullible whores]…will [believe they’ll actually] receive immunity and be treated as a victim or witness”…He said serial offenders prey upon sex workers because “they know they can”…

Remember, cops and politicians claim that indefinite detention without charge is a form of “protection”, and courts have on many occasions caged rape or domestic violence victims to compel their testimony.  Laws that claim to grant members of a criminalized group “immunity” for high-sounding reasons are bullshit as long as the group is still criminalized; even if the mark isn’t immediately caged she will be placed on a list, spied on and generally persecuted.

The Notorious Badge (#822) 

An interesting history of Annie Sprinkle’s salon in 1980s New York:

…From 1980-94, the Sprinkle Salon was a spiritual and physical extension of Sprinkle’s identity.  Her radicalism was translated into fetish, tattoo, and body modification parties, while her pledge to sexual positivity emulated in female empowerment sex classes like Sluts and Goddesses…and her role as a leader in the sex industry was equally translated into sex worker rights groups like PONY (Prostitutes Of New York) and porn support groups like Club 90.  Above all, the Sprinkle Salon was a central point for New York’s underground sexual rebellion and a place to push the revolution into the rights of fetishists, porn stars, and sex workers…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848) 

Liz Brown on the “sex robot” fantasy:

…The idea of sex machines as technological comeuppance for women who dared declare their liberation has grown alongside the boom in misogynist online media…But here’s the bad news for the men dreaming of a sexbot…”Harmony”…is as close as we’ve come so far to a consumer sexbot.  And she’s more Tamagotchi than Westworld…there is little to suggest that sexbots will be more than a fascinating “niche”…There will certainly be some of your “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW) types, those who see sex robots as a way around the problem of women’s inconvenient humanity.  And there will be fetishists — those for whom the synthetic and robotic elements are the appeal…There are also likely to be novelty users…None of this seems terribly scary, and certainly not the catastrophe some fear…because most people are looking for something much more complicated than a well-engineered masturbatory machine…

Traffic Circle (#880)

A pearl-clutching hack incompetently tries to present the shitty management of a part-time strip club as “evidence” of “sex trafficking” in a rural area during hunting season:

…from September to November…Frank Day’s [bar] opens a short-term strip club, specifically catering to a rush of pheasant hunters who travel [to South Dakota]here from all over the country toting shotguns and cash to burn.  Pheasant hunting season…comes with a dark side: sex trafficking…Pop-up strip clubs…can trap freelance dancers in a web of exorbitant fees…making them vulnerable to being illegally exploited by traffickers…South Dakota is dawning to the realization that human trafficking isn’t just a big-city problem.  It’s…modern slavery…as…men [magically] control…women and sell their [soulless] bodies for sex…“People of South Dakota don’t think it’s happening in their backyard, but it is,” [panted prohibitionist] Lisa Heth…

Epilogue:  The idiot who wrote this dreck actually tried to mansplain the stripping business to a well-known stripper who writes about stripping when she called him on his BS on Twitter.

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These people watch their neighbors through the window and then complain about what they see?  –  Sem Meier

Public Service Announcement 

When will politicians learn that in the Puritanical States of America, pictures are considered worse than actual sex?

Cross Coburn, who served as an openly gay councilman in a small Texas city…was ousted in a recall election…nine months after he was told that City Hall had received an anonymous package of nude photos that Mr. Coburn had sent in private messages on a dating app.  Those photos were later sent to the local news media, after which supporters of a petition to remove him questioned whether he fit the “moral standards” of the city…

Picket-fence gays who threw sex workers and other LGBT “undesirables” under the bus to show bigots they were “just like them” have no business complaining when the bigots take them at their word.

South of the Border

Under all the weird feminist/MRA claptrap in this dumpsterrific article, its main coherent point is the “No shit, Sherlock” observation that prohibition results in border businesses which provide the prohibited product or service:

For more than a century, the US–Mexico border has been associated with the search for cheap, easy vice by Americans…by the mid–20th century, communities from Nuevo Laredo to Tijuana had become hubs for sex tourism, drawing tens of thousands of men across the border into specially designated neighborhoods like Zona Norte in Tijuana…The sex industry in Tijuana is a multimillion-dollar enterprise that employs thousands [an is]…a major driver of the city’s economy…

The Truth About “The Truth About…” 

Another of those nonexistent false assault accusations:

Cristopher “CJ” Precopia very nearly spent the rest of his life in prison after being accused of assault by his ex-girlfriend.  The woman, who despite obviously reporting a false crime has still not been named or charged, claimed Precopia broke into her house and attacked her with a box cutter, slashing an “X” into her chest…The 21-year-old Williamson County, TX, man [said]…he was confused when he was arrested on September 22, 2017…[because] he couldn’t remember when he last spoke to the woman, whom he had dated years earlier in high school…His parents paid his $150,000 bond plus thousands more in legal fees to clear his name.  The accuser said the attack happened on September 20, 2017 around 7:20 p.m., but Precopia’s mother, Erin, knew her son was…with his [her that night] at a…hotel…about 65 miles away from where the alleged attack happened…She had taken a selfie with her son that night and posted it to Facebook.  The photo was time-stamped and geo-located, proving Precopia was nowhere near the woman the night of the alleged attack…It [still] took nine months for the charges against Precopia to be dropped.  His accuser [later] told police she made the accusation because the two had a difficult relationship years ago in high school…

Finding What Isn’t There (#778)

Because the numbers simply don’t support the myth, prohibitionists now claim they don’t need proof:

[Because] the FBI…report…on the number of human trafficking cases in the U.S. [doesn’t support the hysteria, a prohibitionist claims] the crime continues to be vastly under-reported…[fetishist] Amy Farrell of Northeastern University…[imagines] thousands…of cases…compared with the…official count of about 600 [accusations]…simpl[e] prostitution [cases make up the vast majority of the]…more than 36,000 arrests in “prostitution and commercial vice” cases.  When federal authorities [are forced to prove these cases actually constitute genuine]…human trafficking, the numbers aren’t very high…

Down Under (#876)

Swedish model regimes would’ve targeted the victim for surveillance:

A sex worker outed online by an angry wife and labelled a “diseased town bicycle” says she has not spoken to her daughter in two-and-a-half years since being exposed.  Margaret Herewini-Te Huna [outed]…Danna Burton as a sex worker, after finding out her [estranged] husband had been seeing her…Burton cried, took shaky breaths, and had to pause several times as she described how the offending had ruined her relationship with her family…She has…not spoken to…her daughters since April 2016, except via email. “[One of them] is under the false belief that I’m in trouble and in need of help and rehabilitation”…Judge Peter Hobbs…sentenced [Herewini-Te Huna] to 150 hours of community work and ordered an emotional harm reparation payment of $500…

Uncommon Sense (#877)

How countries with healthy ideas about sex react to moral panic:

Several residents who live in [a] brothel’s vicinity recently wrote a letter to the city officials [of Arbon, Switzerland], c…lai[m]ing…sights and sounds emanat[e] from the facility, and asking authorities to shut it down…But municipal officials responded that the brothel will be allowed to operate because of the valuable service it provides.  “This establishment has a right to exist, as it fulfills the social need of the population,” authorities wrote in a letter to the complainants.  They added that the disturbances have a “neighborly character” and are accidental rather than intentional…

The Widening Gyre (#879)

It’s lovely to see cops with egg all over their faces for imagining ordinary things as “sex trafficking”:

The city of Brighton, England, went into a panic…when a [“sex trafficking” fetishist imagined] a…child abduction at the shopping center [after seeing]…a man squatting down to talk to a little girl in a pink coat…”Police had scrambled helicopters, searched cars…and carried out door-to-door enquiries…CCTV images of a man leading a child by the hand in the street was later on released by Sussex Police…some seven hours after the alert was first raised…A man contacted them…as a result of news and social media coverage to say that the image…was of him and his three-year-old daughter…

Disaster (#881) 

Fascism in action:

…I can’t think of a better way to put it than Gizmodo does:  “Facebook has been exposed as utter garbage yet again.”  A new investigation from The New York Times reveals how the company responded to controversies over Russian influence and user-data privacy with “an aggressive lobbying campaign” against rivals and critics…Facebook hired Definers Public Affairs to spread George Soros conspiracy theories, tarnish protesters’ credibility, and defame critics as anti-Semitic….[it] chose to support FOSTA (and its Senate counterpart, SESTA)…as a political tactic to tar opponents and cozy up to Congressional critics…And so Facebook stood athwart “Big Tech” and with the right side of the establishment power-grubbing consensus, as Twitter, Google, and other major tech companies and digital platforms opposed the bills for the sham and harbinger of internet destruction  that they were…

To Molest and Rape (#882) 

Prince George’s County, Maryland is known for both rapist cops and anti-whore tyranny:

Multiple police officers from Prince George’s County and Washington, DC – are under investigation for…[raping] sex workers.  A transgender sex worker…said that the officers are using their authority to coerce the sex workers…[under threat of] arrest…[the rapists] have not been publicly identified, nor have they been formally charged with any crimes, but the departments involved have confirmed the officers are under investigation…[one] video shows a…[cop] in a marked Prince George’s county police cruiser.  Other images show a man wearing only a DC police polo shirt and naked below the waist.  Multiple sources have [identified]…the man [as] a DC police lieutenant…

Besides the rapist in the subtitle-linked item, there’s also this one.  And the county’s high-profile stings, asinine propaganda and efforts to make sex workers homeless have made it notorious in the past few years.

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I’m a sex worker in love with a wonderful, kind, but very weak man who, after years and several children with an abusive, mentally ill wife is financially fucked and legally cornered by a Kafkaesque divorce court system.  Jail might be in his future, if not suicide, and in the meantime court-ordered child support and other payments have left him literally unable to afford rent so he’s now homeless.  I feel like I will have to decide to leave him because he can’t emotionally or financially survive the abuse by his ex and the court, and I can’t be in relationship with a broken person who feels entitled to a reality that will not come.  Any advice would be appreciated. 

Since he has allowed this to go on for far too long, whatever chance he might have had at the beginning has long since gone down the toilet; the only way he’s going to carve out even the most basic protection is to hire a top-notch divorce lawyer who will fight his ex’s no-holds-barred assaults with even more ruthless assaults.  What could such a lawyer win for him?  I have no idea, but at this point, he will be doing well to be left with some money to live on and protection from further spurious accusations.  Of course, if he doesn’t even have enough money to pay rent, he can’t afford a lawyer.  And that means you need to decide – I’m sorry, but there’s no nice way to say this – if this relationship is worth your emotional and financial investment.  I believe you when you say that he’s a wonderful man, and that you love him.  But I also agree with you that he’s weak, and has not fought this to win but to “roll over”.  From what you describe in your very detailed letter, he made a long succession of mistakes in every single interaction with his ex from the very beginning, starting with his decision to fuck her in the first place.  Does that mean he “deserves” what has happened to him?  Absolutely fucking not.  And yet, here we are.  And you need to make decisions based in current reality, not romantic fantasies or might-have-beens or “if I won the lottery”.  If you stay with this man you will be supporting him until his youngest child is out of university, and maybe even longer than that.  Any legal fees will need to come from you.  His housing and support will come from you.  Whatever malicious fees the court levies on him?  You.  And he’ll expect you to provide all the usual emotional and practical labor as well, because beside being a man he’s too devastated to provide emotional support even to himself, much less you.  I hear that you love him and he’s wonderful, but is whatever he gives you enough to justify that cost?  He is already draining you like a vampire, emotionally, financially, sexually and even physically, and that will not stop unless you stop it.

I’m sorry, honey, I know this is incredibly painful, and I wish I had some good news or happy thoughts for you.  The legal system of this country is designed to grind people into pulp, and your boyfriend obediently jumped into that machine on the orders of a dangerously unhinged woman.  So now the only thing left for you to decide is whether to risk getting sucked in yourself by reaching into the gears on the probably-vain hope of pulling him out; to just stand there and be splattered by blood and gore as the machine does its horrifying work; or to wash your hands of the whole thing.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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There is no “[sex trafficking] marketplace”, but rather all sorts of people selling and buying sex for their own reasons, some of them miserable.  –  Laura Agustín

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

San Diego County may not remove children from their homes and subject them to highly intrusive physical examinations without parental permission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled…The case stems from an April 2010 incident involving Michael and Melissa Mann and their four young children.  The Manns had apparently spanked at least one of the kids with a wooden spoon as a form of punishment…The county [abducted] the children…and [held] them in [custody]…while the parents went to court to regain custody…a doctor performed a 22-step medical exam requiring “blood samples and a gynecological and rectal exam…[including] separat[ing] the labia and look[ing] at the hymen”…County officials did not obtain a court order authorizing these examinations, nor did the parents sign off.  Indeed, the Manns didn’t even know [that]…their kids [had been molested] until one of them said something about it later…

Real People 

Universities are very slowly beginning to turn toward sex worker rights:

…Lady Lola Lightning…a 23-year-old [NYU] sophomore and Salem, Massachusetts native started playing with Periscope just five months ago….[and has] gathered a loyal following as a webcam model…she doesn’t use toys or do too many tricks; she just strips down and has a raw chat with viewers…along with her new job as a stripper in Brooklyn, she is able to pay for her entire tuition and living expenses without support from her family…

Not To Be Taken Internally (First Updates of the Year)

Please, y’all, do NOT let non-doctors inject liquid silicone into your bodies, unless you want to die:

On October 15, 2018, a 28-year-old Australian-born Seattle resident named Jack Chapman, also known as Pup Tank, died…he…was…romantically linked to Dylan Ray Hafertepen, a well-known member of the Dom/sub pup play communities in San Francisco and, later, Seattle…Hafertepen[‘s]…Tumblr (as well as the Tumblr accounts of several of his pups) contained numerous images of their engorged scrotums, dramatically increased in size due to liquid silicone injections.  In one picture, Tank’s testicles dangle outside of his basketball shorts, his nuts roughly the size of two dodgeballs…Since World War II, cosmetic surgeons and back-alley “pumpers” have offered liquid silicone injections as a quick and dirty form of plastic surgery…But such injections aren’t approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic procedures because of adverse reactions.  Sometimes they harden into painful masses that appear like wormy tumors under the skin.  Sometimes the surrounding tissue gets infected…Other times, stray bits can travel through the bloodstream, causing [fatal] embolisms…Numerous articles have discussed trans women who end up disfigured or dead because of silicone injections by unlicensed pumpers.  But few mention the pumpers who offer silicone injections for gay men…Tank died from “silicone embolism syndrome”…[which] led to “pneumonitis”…bleeding in the lungs…and eventually…death…

The article is very long and very detailed, and describes what looks to me like a very abusive BDSM relationship.  But it wasn’t the emotional & psychological abuse which killed Chapman/Tank; it was misuse of a substance which has caused the deaths of many seeking quick, cheap body modification without proper medical safeguards.

The Notorious Badge

Looks like I’m not the only sex worker writing horror with sex worker characters:

Award-winning screenwriter Isa Mazzei did not have a welcoming introduction to the movie industry.  “I’ve…never been more sexually harassed than trying to sell this film in Hollywood,” she [said]…Mazzei, a former cam girl, has written one of the hottest horror movies on this year’s genre festival circuit.  Cam, which will debut on Netflix later this month, drags the audience inside the paranoia and perils of being an internet star.  Her success in creating a believable yet terrifying online dystopia was bolstered by its roots in Mazzei’s real fears, including the risks of being harassed, hacked, doxxed or assaulted…Mazzei had to endure the sleaze of movie execs who believed they could harass and belittle her because of her previous  sex work.  Lots of them asked her to share details from her past life, some suggested she was only credited as the screenwriter as a gimmick to help the pitch, while one owner of a Hollywood agency went so far as to write an alternate ending to the semi-biographical movie that included himself and Mazzei inserted into the script…

No Difference

African campaigns against homosexuality are a lot like US campaigns against sex work:

The governor of…Dar es Salaam…launched an anti-gay crackdown…calling on [collaborators] to begin reporting homosexuals for round-ups to begin next week…homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania, with same-sex acts between men punishable by a maximum life sentence.  “These homosexuals boast on social networks,” said [governor Paul] Makonda, a fervent Christian and loyal ally of President John Magufuli.  “Give me their names,” he demanded. “My ad hoc team will begin to get their hands on them”…Anti-homosexual sentiment is rife in Tanzania…and…has increased since Magufuli’s 2015 election…AIDS clinics have also been shut down under Magafuli, accused of “promoting” homosexuality, while he has encouraged women to abandon birth control and have more babies…

Somewhere in the Middle (#425)

Kate Iselin on myths about clients:

…Films and television shows cast clients as either sinister perverts who slither around in the darkness…or drug-addled millionaires looking for more Barbie-lookalikes to fill their yachts with for the weekend…Sure, not every client is perfect.  Some are far from it.  I could share a horror story or two about some who…disregard [hygiene or] boundaries…But clients like these are, thankfully, rare.  The majority of people who visit sex workers — whether they visit strip clubs, brothels, see private workers, or simply download some good, old-fashioned porn — are as normal and average as you and me.  They have jobs, and hobbies, and families, and social lives, just like anyone else…I believe it’s the heavy stigma around sex work that carries over to our clients, too: it makes sense that someone who thinks sex workers are immoral and disgusting would also feel the same about the people who pay to spend time with us…the belief that our clients are bad people is damaging not only to our clients themselves, but to the sex industry as a whole…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#687) 

This is what a moral panic looks like:

The Drug Enforcement Administration [worked to drum up hysteria over] candy laced with marijuana and methamphetamine this Halloween.  The DEA St. Louis Division says there has been no [actual] threat, but [authoritarians are using the existence] of drug-laced edibles [in states where cannabis is legal to frighten the ignorant]…signs of marijuana or meth-laced candy include unusual wrapping, appearance, unusual colors, odd smell…candy…that is unwrapped or unmarked…

There has literally never been a case of a kid getting drugged candy in his trick-or-treat bag. Not a single one.  Every time the claim has been made, it turns out to be either an intentional hoax or some nefarious shit by the parents.

Full of Themselves (#787)

Puritanical language is an intrinsic part of any story about cops raiding massage parlors:

Police have posted notices at 18 massage parlors in Kent [Washington] saying that they will be shut down…after a monthslong [escapade involving vice cops getting happy endings at] businesses that they say were fronts for prostitution…some of the massage-parlor owners and employees have been charged with crimes and…[prosecutors] plan…to bring charges against any customers who engaged in prostitution…many of the businesses…were not licensed by the state and failed to follow regulations to protect the health and privacy of patrons…

“Fronts”.  “Prostitution”.  “Crimes”.  “Engaged in prostitution”.  “Regulations”.  And it’s pretty hilarious to see thugs pretending to give a shit about people’s privacy while simultaneously plotting to destroy their lives.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#792) 

It’s good to see “sex addiction” collapsing as an excuse for bad behavior:

A former WAFB employee who secretly recorded two female station employees using the restroom in 2017 was sentenced to four months in prison…Morgan McDermitt…must also register as a sex offender for 15 years. His wife, upon hearing the sentence…ran from the courtroom sobbing…Judge Beau Higginbotham initially sentenced McDermitt…to four years in prison…but then suspended all but four months of the sentence. In July, Higginbotham refused to accept a proposed plea bargain in the case that would have only placed McDermitt on probation…The judge asked McDermitt, who sought sex addiction therapy after his arrest, why he did not seek help before he was caught…

Damned Lies (#866)

It’s good to see fact checkers demolishing politicians’ grandiose claims about Backpage:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton…[claimed to have] “shut down the world’s largest human trafficking marketplace”…The Texas attorney general’s office helped shut down the Backpage website, which is what another Paxton ad says.  However, the federal government led the shutdown and officials in other states pitched in.  Significantly too, we otherwise landed no confirmation that the Backpage site, which profited from ads about sex, also was the world’s largest trafficking marketplace–a classification that experts found dubious and unverifiable.  All told, we rate this statement Mostly False…

Suppression

This is especially important because other states are trying the same scam:

…Pennsylvania [prisons will]…allow…book orders to resume through a new centralized processing center…The [censorship plan] was…[pretended] to eliminate drug smuggling into the prisons, [when in actuality all contraband comes in via screws]…[Chief Screw] John Wetzel said the new procedure was a response to criticisms by book-donation groups…The new policy…allows family and friends to order books to be shipped directly from publishers or bookstores to a secure processing center in Bellefonte, Pa., where staff will screen books five days per week.  It also enables inmates to place orders directly from a hard-copy catalog…the book-donation groups still have concerns about how the new process will play out, including how the [prison system] will ensure the packages reach the inmates who requested them, intact with all supplemental materials…Sean Damon of Amistad Law Project, which led protests over the book prohibition…[is] not satisfied, as other new security measures — including the scanning and surveillance of incoming mail, and the photocopying of inmate legal mail — remain in place…

Traffic Jam (#877)

Remember that “threat” a Hawaiian prohibitionist claimed to have received from “pimps”?

The recent publication of a hyperbolic study that purported to show an “astronomical” level of demand for sex workers in the Hawaii was punctuated by…Police…respond[ing] to a call regarding a purported threat of physical violence against [prohibitionist politician] Khara Jabola-Carolus…police concluded that there had been no physical threat…[what actually happened was that during] a conference call…one [prohibitionist claimed to]…hav[e] received a…text message [from Dominique Roe-Sepowitz which in turn claimed] that…some person or persons were “trying to get Jabola-Carolus fired”…

Signs (#878) 

Another state mandates indoctrinating hotel workers into being anti-whore snitches:

A state mandate now aims to [harass] sex [workers] in Minnesota through the state’s hotel industry.  The law requires all hotel and motel employees to be [indoctrinated] in [anti-whore propaganda].  The training must be completed by Nov. 28.  After that date, all new employees must be [indoctrinated] within 90 days of hire…the signs to look for [include] guest[s traveling light]…or [with their children]…“There might be signs in the room – for example, that they…request extra sheets and extra towels, [and enjoy their privacy]” said Minnesota [prohibitionist]…Beatriz Menanteau…

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When [the universe is] over it will fade away, leaving nothing behind except the fact that it existed, and that it was savagely beautiful.  –  “Whistling Past the Graveyard

Every year on this day, the Day of the Dead, I publish a thanatopsis, a meditation on death.  This is not to say that I myself only think about it at this time of year; as regular readers already know, Death and I are old friends, and “when he at last come to collect me it will be a rendezvous rather than a capture.”  Accordingly, he’s never very far from my thoughts, and I generally think and speak about him with the nonchalance most people think and speak about minor medical problems; at a recent checkup, my doctor questioned my disinterest in undergoing an expensive and extremely unpleasant cancer-screening test which is apparently considered routine for people above 50, to which my response was a shrug and “I’ve got to die of something.”  Some people think this odd, but I remind them that I am a courtesan, and sex and death are but two sides of the same coin:  the former is the door through which we enter the world, and the latter the door through which we leave it.  For the first few millennia of human civilization, sex-goddesses were usually also associated with war and death; the Sumerian Inanna was the twin sister of Ereshkigal, ruler of the dead, and once tried to usurp her sister’s throne (a misadventure which resulted in the death of Inanna’s husband, the vegetation-god Damuzi, and therefore the origin of the seasons).  And Mexican sex workers are among the most devoted worshipers of Santa Muerte, the personification of death.  My belief in the goodness of death is not merely a result of my pagan philosophy, though; it is also based in the practical understanding of the inevitability of death and its role as the redistributor of resources from the moribund to the young, and also in an unsentimental recognition that gerontocracy is the enemy of human progress:

…if you like working your arse off to support the decades-long retirements of a bunch of old dinosaurs whose cognitive norms formed a generation before you were born, just imagine how much you’d love it right now if 90% of the population were born before the Second World War, and a sizeable fraction of the people voting on stuff like sexual rights came of age in an era when it was still considered OK for humans to actually, legally own other humans.  The current rulers of our world were mostly born in the 40s-60s, and their ideas provide ample proof of that; imagine how it would be if most of them had been born in the 19th century…

Humans may be the smartest monkeys, but we’re still monkeys, fragile creatures controlled by poorly-developed minds dominated by primitive fears and foolish ideas.  So perhaps it’s fitting that Western culture’s impending demise is being driven by tyrants whose destruction of freedom and justice is enabled by the masses willing to give them any power in exchange for their impossible promises to delay death, both personal and cultural, just a little longer.

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You deserve that child to be injured.  –  some creepy old busybody

Last week on Twitter there was a larger-than-usual number of belligerent amateurs making weird claims about how it’s somehow “exploitation” to charge men for sex, but not to give sex away to them for free; naturally I and many other sex workers were mocking them as the fools they are.  In the process Nattie Roman tweeted this video of a pivotal scene from Baby Face, which you should definitely read my review of and then go watch.  I’m featuring it because I love the scene, and also so I can find it next time I want to tweet it myself.  The links above it were provided by Tim CushingAmy AlkonCharles HillFurrygirl, Amy Alkon again, and Joe Setyon, in that order.

From the Archives

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