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Posts Tagged ‘pragmatism’

Men…want sex. And I want their money.  –  Maggie, a sugar baby

Whimsical Notions

It’s difficult to tease out what actually happened in this incident due to all the dysphemisms, racism, agency denial, “American exceptionalism” propaganda, and pretenses that healthy young men can be ordered to be asexual:  “While the [NCIS] investigated numerous sailors for crimes involving sex trafficking and prostitutes in Bahrain in recent years, Navy prosecutors have struggled at times to win criminal convictions…due to a recurring problem:  the [refusal of] the Thai prostitutes at the center of the cases…[to pretend to be] victimized women…

Drawing Lines

Amateurs’ attempts to draw lines between different “types” of pragmatic sexual behavior are even more absurd when the amateur in question has a PhD:

Although sex is indeed common in sugaring, not all sugar daddies seek such intimate relations.  Similarly, although most sugar babies engage in sugaring in order to meet their expenses, some are hoping for a serious relationship…Self-esteem can be a tricky issue for both sugar babies and daddies.  A sugar daddy does not want to feel like he is a john and a sugar baby does not want to feel like she is a prostitute.  Accordingly, sugaring aims for mutual respect between the partners.  This is reflected in the sugaring terminology of “partner” rather than “worker” and “client”…while people speak about “ordering,” or “going to,” a prostitute, they speak about “meeting” or “dating” a sugar baby.  Maren Scull (2020) has identified a range of sugaring types: at one end of the continuum there is sugar prostitution, and at the other end there is sugar friendship and sugar love.  Scull further claims that 40% of women who have sugared do not have sex with their benefactors—and that those who do often have genuine connections with the men…

“Ordering”.  Like a pizza, presumably.  The later parts of the article reveal that this dude seems to have derived most of his “information” about sex work from prohibitionist talking points rather than by consulting sex workers.

Bread and Circuses

The owner of CityGuide was a fool for not moving both his websites’ and his own domiciles to somewhere outside of the violently-prohibitionist US:

A Bay Area man is…awaiting extradition to Texas, where he is set to face federal charges that [describe ordinary escort advertising sites as “]sex trafficking websites on an international scale[” and include federal prosutors’ disgusting wanking fantasies about…“numerous child trafficking victims”…[Wilhan] Martono first purchased a CityXGuide domain in 2004, but in 2018…he…purchased a domain called “New Backpage”…The websites were set up with physical addresses listed in a Hong Kong apartment, and phone numbers that went back to a property management company there…[but the dumbass sent] wire transfers [back to the US, so]…the U.S. Department of Justice is moving to [steal] the contents of 12 bank accounts…[and] an undisclosed amount of silver bullion…

Business As Usual

All sex workers victimized by cops should sue if at all possible, especially now:

SWOP Behind Bars…caught up with Donah Sandford regarding her federal case against Missouri law enforcement, where [rapist cop] Leon Pullen eventually pleaded guilty to robbing and sexually assaulting escorts…Previously interviewed by FOX Files investigator Chris Hayes, Donah…shares the full story…of her 2009 experience with…law enforcement in St. Louis…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915) 

The word for authoritarian corporate/government “partnerships” is “fascism”:

…all-expenses paid [junkets] for [boss pigs and bureaucrats] is one of the ways Nextdoor has been looking to promote its network of online communities to government agencies.  It reflects a trend that’s worrying to civil rights and government accountability experts:  that local [cop shops] and other types of government officials are closely collaborating with private companies whose interests don’t…align with the public’s…Nextdoor and the [pigs, bureaucrats and politicians] it [colludes] with say that close ties between the social media platform and the government can help them [build a more pervasive surveillance system]…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#943)

It’s good to see a lockdown house getting some well-deserved pushback:

…a…lawsuit claims that Sheri’s Ranch misclassified its [legal prostitutes] as independent contractors, and should have instead classified them as employees and paid them in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The [petitioners] claim that Sheri’s Ranch owes unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation to them and…other[s] who join[ed] the case, as well as portions of their tips they were required to give to the Ranch.  Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Sheri’s Ranch filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that its business is not covered by the FLSA because it does not operate in interstate commerce.  The Court rejected this argument, finding the allegations in the complaint that Sheri’s Ranch’s annual sales exceed $500,000, and that its sports bar sells food and beverage products produced outside of Nevada, sufficient to bring the Ranch within the coverage of the FLSA…

Lack of Evidence (#991)

Where “rescued” means “arrested” and “safety shelter” means “deportation prison”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

Three addresses in Luton suspected of housing brothels…were [raided] by police…All of the women, who were from Romania, have been [infantilized] as victims of modern slavery and taken to a safety shelter…[pig] Jim Goldsmith, who led the [raid, admitted]: “It can take up to 10 e[pisodes of harassment by] the police…before [women break down and accept the label of] victim…[to make the persecution stop.  Cops] lie to, bully and exploit…sex [workers to destroy their livelihoods], all in the name of [“rescue”]…

You’d be traumatized too, if a gang of rapist thugs invaded your place of business, stole your money, and abducted you.

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I can’t breathe.  –  George Floyd

Last week Jesse Walker tweeted this video and…see for yourself.  The links above it were provided by Mama Tush, Popehat, Zuri Davis, Mike Siegel, Jesse again, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

From the Archives

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Today is the day that the ill-conceived shutdown of public society was supposed to have been lifted in Washington state.  Of course, it wasn’t, because these shutdowns are based less in science than in politics, with the entire West following China’s authoritarian notions of how to deal with an epidemic.  Governors are afraid that if some worst-case scenario were to occur after they lifted their bans on conducting business, they would be blamed and their political careers would be destroyed.  So naturally, they’ve made the same kind of sheep-and-goats division they did when declaring that many people’s means of survival were “non-essential” and could be replaced by a single handout of $1200 for two months or more of destroyed income:  they deemed their political careers “essential” and most small businesses (especially those disproportionately owned by minorities) “non-essential”.  But some people have started to see through it, and a few are starting to rely on their own judgment rather than blindly obeying diktats from self-appointed commissars.  About half of my friends have started getting business again; some restaurants and bars in various cities are starting to operate secretly, speakeasy-style; and a number of physicians who disagree with the political response have started publishing op-eds and otherwise challenging the orthodoxy.  And the longer polticians drag their feet in establishing practical measures businesses can take to be deemed “safe” to re-open, the more people will simply move on and do what they need to do to survive without political permission.  Silly protests by MAGA-hat-wearers and other crackpots will not end the “lockdowns”; in the absence of some omen that will sway skittish state governors, only what Vaclav Havel called “living in truth” can do that.  And if the few small signs I’m aware of are any indication, it has already started. 

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Marginalized communities have always taken care of each other because the state explicitly excludes us.  –  Molly Simmons

A Broker in Pillage

The number of excuses government uses for robbery keeps growing:

…a Delaware supplier of medical equipment [has reported that federal goons stole]…hundreds of thousands of N95 respirators [under color of law].  George Gianforcaro …of…Indutex USA…said the Federal Emergency Management Agency did not pay him when it [stole two imported shipments of masks bound for customers…includ[ing] Delaware nursing facilities, the state of Michigan and boat captains who steer foreign ships through U.S. bays.  He…does not know where the seized…masks are today…FEMA appeared to deny Gianforcaro’s charge without addressing the specific claims.  It called reports of its officials [stealing] supplies of…critical equipment “false” [despite the fact that it’s obviously happening]…

Disaster (#931)

I’m sure you amateurs are happy to be censored “for THE CHILDREN™!”:

Zoom is [attempting to censor] nudity following reports that users have been organizing orgies and sex parties during COVID-19 quarantine.  The video conferencing app…surged in popularity this year after [politicians started ordering people to stay home under pain of police violence]…But as users find creative ways to maintain their social lives through Zoom, the company is…[proclaiming that its] “user policies explicitly prohibit any obscene, indecent, illegal, or violent activity or content”…Zoom declined to clarify…whether…bots would patrol meetings looking for users in various states of undress…But some are skeptical…[because] the company’s own privacy guidelines [claim] that “video, audio chat content is not stored…unless a meeting is recorded by the host,” making it difficult for Zoom to monitor or surveil content…

Social Distancing

Sex workers must help each other, because few others will:

In the midst of a pandemic that has completely overwhelmed institutional support structures…communities [have] organize[d] mutual aid projects to redistribute resources among the most vulnerable [while politicians issue authoritarian proclamations and point fingers at one another].  Sex worker organizing could be a model for this…There is a deep history of mutual aid and redistribution—both formal and informal—within the sex worker community.  As it became clear that Covid-19 would hit the United States with the force of a…disaster, sex workers were among the first to respond with broadscale mutual aid efforts…outside of [the] official [and destructive] government response…

Like Houses (#1029)

The power to declare something “non-essential” is the power to ban it:

Christa Thompson was…charged…with a [“crime”] that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and the possibility of six months in jail.  The crime?  Holding a yard sale…[because politicians have declared it] not an essential business…[pigs claim] the governor’s order…[prohibits her] selling her father-in-law’s property in order to pay bills and buy groceries for her six kids…

Working From Home (#1031)

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about stage names:

In the age of social distancing, camming has become the way to go…for adult entertainment performers…[and] amateurs [alike]…But as more models join in the online [work]…some well-established [sex workers] are increasingly finding their moneymaking names or similar ones—including those protected by trademark—being used by fakes, frauds and phonies on various cam sites.  Industry attorney Lawrence Walters…says those individuals [starting online sex work]…especially need to be concerned about their stage names not riding on the coattails of established performers…“If the chosen name is the same, or confusingly similar to, an existing registered mark, this could spell trouble for the performer…Even if there is no federal [or state] trademark registration, the brand…may be used by someone without a registration, who could still have superior ‘common law’ rights.”  It is best to legally clear a stage name before sinking substantial funds into marketing and promotion…

Like Houses (#1032)

If you didn’t expect censorship, you are hopelessly naive:

The local television station London Live is facing sanctions after the [government opined that]…it had posed a threat to the public’s health by showing a lengthy interview with [professional crackpot] David Icke about the coronavirus pandemic…Icke used the broadcast to [propose the notion] that the pandemic was cover for a supposed global world order to purposefully crash the economy, end the use of cash payments, and track every individual…

Social Distancing (#1033)

Compare to the ugly behavior of France & the US:

There are literally thousands of European sex workers stuck in Spain, unable to repatriate to their country of origin, who have pleaded for help…there will be funds made available for housing and care to all…sex [workers]…in most major cities across Spain.  The government wants this income to guarantee  “the minimum subsistence conditions,” provided that they meet the agreed criteria.  The women, many of them foreigners existing in illegal situations, generally live in social isolation…without access to the resources of the local environment…

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Rarely have entitled scolds been so empowered to tattle on people doing stuff of which they disapprove.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Rooted in Racism (#928)

Sex workers are always among the first targeted for deportation:

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down strip clubs around the country, leaving workers without employment.  Many strippers have migrated to online sex work, but this type of visibility puts undocumented and migrant sex workers at a higher risk of being deported, getting their green card application denied, or being refused entry into the United States.  Without documentation…sex work is often the highest paid job available, and some clubs allow dancers to work without it.  Stripping has provided Ruby…with a comfortable lifestyle in South Florida, something she would not have been able to accomplish working the other jobs, such as dishwashing, available to undocumented people…Since her club shuttered as a result of the pandemic, Ruby said she considered camming but is afraid that online sex work could hurt her chances of obtaining a green card…

Working From Home

Another example of sex worker ingenuity:

unionised strippers in the UK…host[ed] a first-of-its-kind virtual strip club on Saturday, April 11th called CYBERTEASE…as a workers’ co-op, in response to the closure of strip clubs due to Covid-19…Dancers will be performing on Zoom, where the event will be DJed by Queer House Party

Meanwhile, on Instagram:

…Justin LaBoy, 28, a former professional basketball player and a social media personality…ha[s] been hosting virtual pop-up strip clubs on Instagram Live…Many bars and strip clubs were forced to close nearly overnight around much of the world.  Thousands of bartenders, bottle service girls and dancers have been left with no income…strip clubs have…sought to recreate the experience digitally…But Mr. LaBoy’s events have attracted a unique and fervent fandom.  Music artists…top N.F.L. and N.B.A. players and [other celebrities]…have…joined the stream as special guests…LaBoy…pin[s] the dancer’s Cash App user names to the top of the feed, so that followers could send them money…[and] the “Respectfully Justin Show” was born.  Several hours before the show, Mr. LaBoy begins hyping up the event on social media using the hashtag #respectfully.  Because Instagram prohibits explicit content, Mr. LaBoy creates a new Instagram handle for each event.  He announces this page’s name through Twitter, along with the date and time of the show…LaBoy brings in [P. Diddy’s son Justin Dior] Combs, then kicks back and begins streaming a glass of red wine, which has become a meme of its own…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever (#1027)

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw your neighbors outdoors”?

In the time of the pandemic the world’s snitches are in their glory, pointing fingers at “non-essential” businesses struggling to keep the lights on and at neighbors brazenly standing too closely together…Lockdown commandments hand them the opportunity not just to publicly shame violators…but to inform to the authorities, with all that entails…snitching seems to be competing with the virus itself in its spread…As always, informers are encouraged in their excess by many government officials.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promised that “snitches get rewards,” and his sentiments are shared by [authoritarians] elsewhere.  A certain segment of the public has eagerly embraced the role of social-distancing Stasi, recording perceived violations of safe practices and not just reprimanding the supposed violators for exercising independent judgment, but handing their details off to the [pigs]…

Like Houses (#1027)

Abrogating freedom of religion and freedom of assembly at once:

As Maryville Baptist Church moved forward with its in-person Easter service Sunday morning, Kentucky State [pigs] were recording the license plates and placing notices on the roughly 50 cars parked outside…[after] Gov. Andy Beshear [issued a diktat] as part of ongoing efforts to keep Kentuckians [locked up and isolated.  A spokespig oinked that]…most of the state’s [cop shops]…have responded to between two and five complaints about church services…but…found no violations of CDC guidelines…with Maryville apparently the exception.  Most calls have been in reference to [drive-in] services…[which] “were specifically mentioned by the governor as being allowed”…

Like Houses (#1029)

And guess who gets to declare that an “emergency” exists?

…New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio…really does want to [use state violence to] drag doctors and nurses from their jobs elsewhere to assigned positions in New York City [without their consent]…de Blasio isn’t alone as a government official who sees in the crisis an opportunity to go full commissar.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is stealing ventilators from upstate hospitals to give to facilities downstate.  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is similarly snatching medical supplies from private firms and facilities to use as he sees fit.  And President Donald Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to force medical equipment manufacturers to abandon customers beyond the borders — and even to sell to only the federal government.  In context, de Blasio’s insistence that medical providers are playing pieces to be pushed around a game board at his whim is the next logical step down the path the political class has already chosen…

Working From Home (#1030)

Cam work isn’t just a stopgap measure; it’s a specialization:

Many people who find themselves suddenly unemployed need cash quickly, and some might be considering a side gig in online sex work…However…even for experienced, full-time sex workers, “just making an OnlyFans” doesn’t always pay the bills.  Online sex work requires an entirely different skill set than in-person work like escorting and stripping, and it can pose greater risks to privacy and anonymity…top-earning performers ha[ve] one thing in common: production value.  If I wanted to earn anything close to sustainable income, I would at least need a webcam ($70 for a basic model, $250 for ultra HD), professional studio lights (at least $50), and a faster Wi-Fi connection (high-speed routers start around $150).  If I was really serious, I would need more dildos, bigger dildos (body-safe silicone sex toys can range from $20 to almost $200), better lingerie ($100), and a teledildonic sex toy that allowed viewers to interact with me via Bluetooth ($125).  Just being a sex worker costs much more than many people realize…it was months before I actually broke even…building a loyal, reliable one can take years.  It was a full year before I started making a somewhat steady income, and despite working full-time hours some weeks, the money I make is only supplemental to my freelance writing work…

Social Distancing (#1031)

Sex work businesses are ineligible for loans; individuals still get the check.  But Stormy’s points are still right on in a larger sense:

…the Fourteenth Amendment…states that all citizens…have equal protection and rights…no…part…states “unless you work in the adult entertainment industry” and yet that is precisely what is happening right now….disaster relief loan…[applications] specifically list…adult entertainment businesses…as a disqualification in receiving economic assistance…[sex workers a]re still required to pay taxes, thus contributing to the resources we are banned from receiving…The language in the application…lumps strippers in the same category as criminals and deadbeat parents.  Ironically, without that assistance, a lot of [sex] workers…could become exactly that by being unable to support their families…

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Government demands for new…surveillance powers are all too familiar.  –  Adam Schwartz

Feminine Pragmatism 

I’m sure a “pimp” must be forcing her to do this:

…The sudden disappearance of paychecks, combined with a wide array of monthly debt payments and the declines in any investments, is forcing some millennials to take desperate measures…Jayci Cumberledge…in Amherst, Ohio…spent her last $80 in savings to make her monthly car payment shortly after the gastro pub where she worked closed in mid-March…She has since made some money by selling pictures of her feet to people with fetishes who found her online after she put a joking post on Twitter…

Dangerous Speech (#954)

The government’s case against the former owners of Backpage is totally unraveling:

…On March 30, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt federal prosecutors yet another setback in the government’s two-year-long quest to [steal] millions of dollars in publishing assets belonging to veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, former owners of the 17-paper Village Voice Media chain of alt-weeklies and co-founders of the now-defunct…Backpage…Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kucera had sought to block a First Amendment challenge by Lacey and Larkin to the seizures, lamely arguing — much as he had a year ago…that the appellate court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.  But a two-judge panel of the Ninth rejected Kucera’s motion to dismiss…the same judges [also] granted Lacey and Larkin’s request to expedite their appeal, warning the government that no requests for extensions of time would be approved “absent extraordinary and compelling circumstances.”  With an April 28 deadline set for the government’s response, and an optional reply from the appellants due 21 days thereafter, oral arguments concerning the civil asset seizures could be scheduled as early as June…

Working From Home

The hypocrisy of the prohibitionist New York Times is appalling:

As 16 million people in the United States have applied for unemployment benefits in the last [few] weeks, a rush of people…have sought new work performing in sexually explicit live broadcasts.  And, as nearly half the world is under some form of stay-at-home orders, people who do this work are also seeing a large growth in customers…The performers work for tips, to [circumvent] laws that [criminalize] sex work…CamSoda…said there had been a 37 percent increase in new model sign-ups this March…ManyVids…[saw] a 69 percent increase…But this growth isn’t always translating into more money for the models…[who report that] new viewers aren’t tipping as much as they typically would…

You Were Warned (#1023)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

…the EARN IT Act…[is designed to destroy] Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and…possibly encrypted communication writ large, under the guise of (what else?) protecting children…Signal developer Joshua Lund said in a blog post…that Signal would face insurmountable financial burdens as a result of the law and would therefore be forced to leave the US market rather than undermine its encryption to stay.  Given that Signal is recommended and used across the Department of Defense, Congress, and other parts of the US government, this would be a seemingly problematic outcome for everyone…

Like Houses (#1027)

Government can always be counted on to use any excuse to expand tyranny:

From cellphone tracking to drone eyes in the sky, perused health records, and GPS ankle bracelets, an epidemic of surveillance-state measures is spreading across the world…in the name of battling the spread of COVID-19…since every crisis is used to justify incursions into our liberty.  But long after the virus has done its worst and moved on, we’re likely to be stuck with these invasions of our privacy—unless we push back, hard…China…force[d] people to install cellphone apps that assigned them a code according to (allegedly) their perceived risk of spreading contagion.  Permission to travel or enter public spaces depended on that code even as the software also tracked their whereabouts and [handed] data on users’ phones [to] the authorities…South Korea…tracked people’s cellphones and credit card usage…Spanish authorities turned to aerial drones to detect unauthorized gatherings of people—already a cringe-worthy concept for those of us disinclined to ask permission to meet with friends.  Loudspeakers on the drones then ordered violators to return home…in the U.S., government officials joined with tech companies to paw through the location data that most of us share with cellphone apps…Privacy [laws] have also been [violated] to allow [government officials to root through] patients’ medical records

Social Distancing (#1028)

Amber DiPietra on the US disaster compensation check:

There is NO QUESTION on the 1040 form that asks what you do for employment or who you work for.  The only questions regarding employment is “occupation” and you can state that you are self-employed…Everything you have read…about our community members not being eligible for the stimulus check is NOT TRUE…there is no indication that independent workers or “gig” workers will not get a stimulus check.  Adult oriented BUSINESSES like Porn companies and Cam Platforms, will not be eligible for the BUSINESS stimulus LOAN…EVERYONE who files a 2019 tax return will get a stimulus check.  If you DON’T file a 2019 return, you will definitely NOT get a stimulus check…People who are on social security or disability WILL receive a stimulus check AUTOMATICALLY…

Social Distancing (#1029)

The government of Japan seems more susceptible to shaming than that of the US:

Japan has reportedly reversed its decision to discriminate against sex workers who are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic…Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato declared that Japan’s legal sex workers will be eligible to receive government assistance…the…original…plan…was widely criticized for being discriminatory…It is unclear how self-employed sex workers would be treated…

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We should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.  –  Norman L. Reimer

844,739

Waffle House is so reliably open, FEMA uses them as a measure of disaster severity:

Waffle House has now closed 365 locations across the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic…In a Facebook post on March 15th, Waffle House said that they were attempting to keep their customers safe and keep nearly 45,000 employees employed.

Like Houses

And guess who gets to declare that an “emergency” exists?

The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies…While the asks…will likely not come to fruition with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives [until a future Democratic presdent asks for the same exact thing], they demonstrate how much th[e] White House has a frightening disregard for rights enumerated in the Constitution.  The DOJ [wants to]…allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation”…Norman L. Reimer…of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, [said]…“you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over.  I find it absolutely terrifying”…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

Hollywood actors really need to stop pretending expertise in sexology:

British actor Orlando Bloom…recently disclosed that he practiced celibacy for six months prior to dating pop-singer Katy Perry (now his fiancee) and further disclosed [his adherence to the bizarre but increasingly-popular puritancal belief] that pornography is very “destructive”.  Bloom’s comments were praised by [pro-censorship fringe group Morality in Media]…

Torture Chamber (#1010)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can torture them until they kill themselves”:

A 27-year-old Honduran man [killed himself in a cage after being locked in it by]…Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas…The death is the ninth in ICE custody in the 2020 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, and surpasses the number of deaths for the entire 2019 fiscal year when eight people died…The man had requested asylum [with his]…family…at a port of entry in Texas on Feb. 19…[but was denied by a pig] on Feb. 28, a decision that was later upheld by an immigration judge on March 11…

Social Distancing

How the pandemic is affecting sex workers in Germany:

At the “Lankwitzer 7” brothel…disinfectant dispensers have been installed next to the washbasins.  [Owner Aurel] Marx say he’s ordered staff to hot-wash all towels and sheets, and open the windows more often to let the warm, sticky air escape.  Still, customers just aren’t coming round anymore…since the virus arrived in Berlin…

And Bangladesh:

Sex workers from one of the world’s largest brothels appealed to the Bangladesh government…for emergency funding after a ban on customers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  More than 1,500 sex workers are based at the Daulatdia brothel, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Dhaka, which is one of about 12 officially sanctioned brothels in the South Asian country, and receives an estimated 5,000 customers every day.  The government on [March 20th] announced the closure of the brothel…until at least April 5 but promised to give all of the sex workers a package of 30 kgs of rice, $25, and a freeze on rent…

And Bolivia:

A nighttime curfew imposed by the Bolivian president to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus…faces opposition from sex workers, who say their already precarious livelihoods are at stake…more than 50 licensed establishments have been forced to close after the Bolivian government imposed a daily curfew from about 5 p.m. to 5 a.m…Lily Cortes, a representative of Bolivia’s sex workers union, said that if the legal establishments cannot function, “unfortunately the sex workers will go out to work the streets and the result will be worse”…

Worse Than I Thought (#1023)

Wow, two politicians with a particle of human decency!

…Odessa [Texas politician]…Dan Jones [tried to use the fantasy of “sex trafficking” to sell his proposed]…policy [to deny strippers the licenses they need to work if they got behind on their water bills while out of work during an epidemic]…but…council member Peggy Dean…ask[ed] for the…change…to be pulled from the…agenda and so did…council member Tom Sprawls.  Both previously voted against the ordinance during the March 10 council meeting…Dean said that that she disagreed with the ordinance’s utilities policy especially in the current times where many people might be unable to pay their water bill after being laid off or have had their hours cut due to the coronavirus….“I don’t really understand how the past due water bills help stop human trafficking. That makes no sense to me.”  She mentioned that if anybody had a past due water bill, then they would be 18 [even though Jones pretended his petty, punitive]…policy would help us find out who is under age.  “Well it wouldn’t, a 16-year-old wouldn’t have a water bill…[this] is very invasive and way too far reaching”…

Social Distancing (#1024)

A glimpse into the violent sociopathy that is prohibitionism:

When the news alert from the Baltimore Sun popped up saying: “Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby to stop prosecuting drug possession, prostitution, other crimes amid coronavirus,” I had a visceral reaction that was like a punch to the gut.  I’m most concerned about the inclusion of prostitution in her list.  By [stopp]ing [cops from stalking, deceiving and raping]…sex [workers, we rob freaks like me of material for our spank banks]…I sold sex for money in my early twenties…more than a decade later, I [started swallowing prohibitionist propaganda.  Blah blah “sending a message“]…In Baltimore we have a VICE unit specifically focused on [ra]ping sex [workers]…If I reacted so viscerally to Mosby’s statement, I can only assume that [the rapist cops must have had a similar reaction to news that they would temporarily be denied opportunities to rape women and destroy peaceful men’s lives]…

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We await a thundering so great
That it shatters stars
That it awakens fate
To save us from a void of eternal scars.
  –  Abdurehim Imin Parach

Not for Everybody (#626)

Women who had a bad time in sex work are exploited by prohibitionists, but some wake up:

…when I came across the “survivor” movement…it was like coming home.  I finally felt able to share my experiences honestly and without feeling judged…I accepted what I was told about the Nordic Model; that it was a framework which supported women and punished the perpetrators.  And all buyers were perpetrators.  I was encouraged to share and re-share and share again my trauma experiences (for no compensation, of course) to the point that I was a quivering wreck, angry at the world and thoroughly believed that women were doomed without the passing of a Sex Buyer Law, and anyone who said otherwise was part of the Big Pimp Conspiracy.  Looking back it felt a little like joining a cult.  I was saved!  And I had a responsibility to save others.  I’m mortified, now, at the way I ignored the efforts of those who patiently tried to show me the documented evidence…

Worse Than I Thought (#711)

A perfect storm of stupidity, sex fantasy and authoritarian violence:

…senate candidate Bill Hagerty [publicly shared his sexual fantasies about] human trafficking…in Tennessee…[after vomiting up a lot of nonsense about] roadways…and…proximity to Atlanta…[then reciting the shahada and dehumanizing sex workers as a] growing epidemic…[he called for increased censorship of] the internet…and…[claimed] that [sex work]…”is one of the most atrocious crimes, and the death penalty should absolutely be considered for these criminals”…

Worse Than I Thought (#737)

“Human trafficking” has become nothing more than a dysphemism for sex work:

The Odessa City Council will consider…an…ordinance…that is aimed at tightening [the noose] on sex…[workers]…The ordinance will…extend…the distance a sexually oriented business can be from a school or church from 600 feet to 1,500 feet….[and] require those businesses to add [magical anti-pimp]…signs in Spanish…the ordinance [also] includes a rule…[that strippers]…who…have an overdue balance on a utility bill like water or gas [due to lack of work during virus panic] may be denied th[e] permit [the city demands they have in order] to work [and pay the overdue bill]…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#855) 

I suppose it only makes sense to excuse an imaginary “offense” with an imaginary “disorder”:

A top NHS chest doctor who used a hospital computer to view…pornography [w]as [slapped] with a 12-month suspension [during a respiratory disease epidemic because sex rays.  He might have received an even more ridiculous penalty had he not placated the puritans by]…checking himself into a sex addiction clinic.  Professor Peter Davies…viewed [the porn]…at work [because] his wife put an anti-[porn] filter on his computer at home.  The world-renowned expert on tuberculosis…[claimed] he had been addicted to pornography since he was 18 years old [even though there is no such thing as “pornography addiction”]…

Quiet Genocide

How China tries to keep the genocide quiet:

China’s government considers…the Uighur ethnic minority to be “terrorists” and “separatists.”  It has imprisoned them on a mass scale and has turned Xinjiang into one of the world’s most tightly controlled police states.  As a result, many Uighurs have fled to Turkey, which they have traditionally viewed as a refuge and an advocate for their rights.  Now, many Uighurs in Istanbul…fear China is pressuring Turkey to threaten them.  [Abdurehim Imin] Parach…was targeted after he published [Breathing in Exile,] a book of poetry describing China’s oppression of Uighurs…The book came out in December 2018…and…two months later…Turkish [cops] arrested him…and sent [him] to [a] deportation center…for [three] months [before releasing him without explanation]…One Uighur activist in Turkey…has counted at least 200 such detentions since January 2019, while a lawyer…has assisted more than 400 Uighurs arrested in the past year…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#998) 

“Sex trafficking” now means whatever authoritarians want it to mean:

Sen. Ben Sasse…demanded Attorney General William P. Barr investigate adult video giant Pornhub for allegedly facilitating human trafficking [by which he apparently means GirlsDoPorn’s release of material it told performers would not be available online]…in a [written sex fantasy he referred to the women victimized by GirlsDoPorn as]…”exploit[ed] children”…[meanwhile] anti-[sex worker] activist Laila Mickelwait [of the religious pro-censorship group Exodus Cry] launched a petition to [censor] the website and [unconstitutionally persecute] its executives…

An article by Tracy Clark-Flory points out that “The petition itself links to TraffickingHub.com, a site…which prominently quotes Gail Dines…this is not a “nonpartisan” petition, but rather an abolitionist project…

You Were Warned (#1007)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

Imagine an Internet where the law required every message sent to be read by government-approved scanning software.  Companies that handle such messages wouldn’t be allowed to securely encrypt them, or they’d lose legal protections that allow them to operate…The so-called EARN IT bill, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham…and Richard Blumenthal…will strip Section 230 protections away from any website that doesn’t follow a list of “best practices,” meaning those sites can be sued into bankruptcy.  The “best practices” list will be created by a government commission, headed by Attorney General Barr, who has made it very clear he would like to ban encryption, and guarantee [pigs and spooks]…access…to any digital message…[but] because they didn’t put the word “encryption” in the bill, they…insist it doesn’t affect encryption…the bill…would create a 19-person commission that’s completely controlled by the Attorney General and [pigs, spooks and professional busybodies such as]…NCMEC…[which has already] made it clear…[they] believe…online services should be made to [spy on all communications]…report what they find in the messages to NCMEC; and be held legally responsible for the content of messages sent by others…The Commission won’t be a body that seriously considers policy; it will be a vehicle for creating a law enforcement wish list…

Out of Control (#1021)

Sex workers know how to protect each other, but “authorities” want to keep us from doing it:

…online databases are vital for sex workers’ safety, but they’re moving further and further underground in the wake of the so-called SESTA/FOSTA law…that…criminalizes anything they do, even posting about work online.  The database that figured into [rapist client Dr. Manish] Gupta’s case requires users to pay for membership, is hard to join without an invitation and…now requires lengthy verification.  It’s one of a handful of closed-door screening sites that not only protect sex workers but, as the Gupta case shows, can be crucial for securing arrests.  “People are more hesitant to use them now because they don’t want to be accused of promoting prostitution,” said Phoenix Calida from [SWOP-USA]…“That’s how predators are able to continue for so long.  There were complaints lodged about this person being a bad date a couple of years before the person who went to the police was assaulted”…The investigation ramped up in late 2019 after a sex worker victims’ advocate began collating accounts of women who’d been drugged, raped, and videotaped by Gupta…there were 20 different victims in Gupta’s videos…the FBI’s Cleveland Office said they hope media coverage of Gupta’s arrest will encourage more victims to come forward.  “We want to remind them that they can contact the FBI anonymously,” she said…

DO NOT trust the FBI!  They will collect all of your information to hold for future use.  If you have information about Gupta you wish to share, contact a lawyer to help you negotiate that; do not call or e-mail them directly!

Social Distancing

This is going to hurt a lot of sex workers:

…gentlemen’s club…proprietors [in Jamaica] have been bracing for the hammer to fall soon on their regular…operations, but for now at least, lap dances are still en vogue, despite the spreading threat of the coronavirus…”We hear that they might close us down by Monday…how the girls dem a go mek money if dem caan give lap dances?…When wi close down, all our dancers may just start go do independent sex work, and that is more dangerous for them to be on the streets, so we ah gwaan watch and wait,” stated [on]e club manager…the virus is a serious financial…worry.  Prostitutes, dancers and other categories of sex workers are already feeling the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak directly…

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On Monday, I gave clients some ideas about how to help sex workers during this time when everyone is doing “social distancing”.  I was considering doing one about shifting to working online (camming, phone sex, selling porn, etc), but there was only one problem with that idea:  I have never done any of that kind of work before, and therefore don’t know much about it.  However, my dear friend Matisse started this thread that same day, and it’s getting plenty of contributions from people who DO know; Melanie Moore’s subthread is especially thorough.  So if you’re a sex worker considering this option, please read this thread.  And if you’re a sex worker who has experience with this, please contribute to help your sisters.  Sex workers are flexible and resilient, and one of our greatest strengths as a community is the way we stick together and help each other against a world which has been hostile to us for over two millennia.

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If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime.  –  Tulsi Gabbard

See How Well It Works?

As usual, they’re claiming that the reason the Lost Tribe of Gomorrah failed to materialize was because of the hysteria:

The [FBI and an assortment of other pigs and spooks]…said [only] three [adults and four juveniles] were arrested…[for sex work-related “offenses” in] the [entire] Miami-Dade [area during Super Bowl week despite the massive] police [presence and media circus]…

Oops

I’m sure she really had to “force” him:

A 32-year-old doctor [in Bengaluru, India] who forced her techie-husband to watch porn with her and enact whatever they saw landed in trouble after he saw an online video of her having sex with a…[previous partner] and walked out on her…She’d told him before marriage that she had a relationship with a man in the past but had later separated…[when] he found [the] video online…he confronted her [and] she confessed to having had many relationships before marriage but didn’t know how the video was available online…The man [now claims] his wife was addicted to watching porn…

We of course know that there is no such thing as “porn addiction”; this prudish man is simply trying to punish his wife for being more comfortable with her sexuality than he is.

Pimping the Pimp (#446) 

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Annie Lobert and her outfit “Liars for Jesus”:

A U.S. Justice Department anti-human trafficking grant program is facing internal complaints, after two nonprofits were denied funding in favor of two less established groups…The awarding of more than $1 million total to the two groups, Hookers for Jesus in Nevada and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation in South Carolina, has triggered a whistleblower complaint…[because] two long-established nonprofits – the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach and Chicanos Por La Causa of Phoenix – were…replaced…[because the latter] has opposed…Trump…immigration policies [and] the head of…[the former is an active] Democrat…Hookers for Jesus, which received $530,190 over three years, is run by a born-again Christian [ex-casino prostitute]…who has lobbied against decriminalizing prostitution…[it] operates a [private jail which]…ban[s inmates] reading “secular magazines”…limit[s the organization’s]…victims [phone] call[s and controls their money]…

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists fighting for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative can only help the cause of human rights.

Painfully Clueless

Women don’t work for the same reasons as real people, but because we have “low self-esteem” or daddy issues:

Kim Squires says…sex [workers are]…”vulnerable little girls…that have a lack of love, and attention, and affection…That can really lure them right into the arms of a trafficker…We were actually going into the strip clubs, the brothels, the tracks, the traps, hotels, motels, all the places that you would find human trafficking”…to spread a message of love and tell the girls they meet how valuable they are…

If you want to “tell them how valuable they are”, do it in the only sincere way: give them fucking money.  Your “love” and other Hallmark nonsense won’t pay their bills.

License to Rape (#720)

TSA goons can usually molest citizens without consequence, but this was a bit too blatant:

A [TSA goon named]…Johnathon Lomeli…was [lu]rking at [LAX]…in June when he…[demanded a] woman…[let him] look inside her bra to make sure she wasn’t hiding anything, then had her hold her pants away from her waist so he could look inside…He subsequently to[ld] her…he [had to take her to] a private room for more security screening…but once they were alone on an elevator…he told her he could do the screening right there…[demanding] she…lift her shirt “to show me your full breasts.”  He also again looked down her pants…He was [recently arrested]…and…[Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “He needs a better] excuse for this kind of…behavior [if he expects us to cover for him]”…

The Widening Gyre (#753)

Those who don’t remember the height of the Satanic Panic may be surprised by this level of lunacy:

…QAnon…centers on the…belief that Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.  What started as an online obsession for the far-right fringe has…been creeping into the mainstream political arena for more than a year.  The trend shows no sign of abating as Trump…has retweeted QAnon-promoting accounts.  Followers flock to Trump’s rallies wearing clothes and hats with QAnon symbols and slogans.  At least 23 current or former congressional candidates in the 2020 election cycle have endorsed or promoted QAnon…University of California, Davis history professor Kathryn Olmsted…said…“What’s different now is that there are people in power who are spreading this conspiracy theory…Finally, there is someone saying they’re not crazy”…

Naturally, mainstream outlets won’t say the obvious truth:  the government’s eager promotion of the bizarre “sex trafficking” mythology laid the groundwork for this, just as it was government endorsement of the Satanic Panic (via the daycare prosecutions) which added fuel to that completely deranged belief.  When government officials go around spouting hysterical, evidence-free nonsense about “Satanists”, “sex trafficking rings”, and pedophile cannibal conspiracies, is it any wonder when the weak-minded believe them and combine them?

Safe Position (#922)

Anti-sex feminism’s days are numbered:

Testifying in front of the D.C. City Council, Toni Van Pelt, the 72-year-old [president] of [NOW told a bunch of weird BDSM sex fantasies and]…claimed…she…represent[ed] all the chapters…[but in actuality] the local…chapter…was…working on testimony in support of [decriminalization]…younger members and women of color…are frustrated by the leadership’s refusal to [respect] them…After seeing Van Pelt’s testimony in October, the [DC] board fired off a letter to the national organization, blasting the president’s “misleading and dehumanizing language,” and the “breach of autonomy and assertion that this language represents DC NOW’s views…we ask that that National NOW modify their language to reflect the terms currently accepted…in the sex worker community and by progressive organizations that show respect for all women and their choices”…chapter[s including] Illinois NOW…Montgomery County, Maryland…Madison, Wisconsin…California…NOW…and…Florida…NOW [are]…calling for decriminalization…and…a resolution on decriminalization will be brought at this year’s national conference…it would need only 75 signatures to pass to a floor vote…

The NOW “tore itself apart” over sex work once before in the 1980s, when the anti-sex feminists seized control and discarded the organization’s pro-decriminalization stance.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#983)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

Seattle is…a major thoroughfare for child sex trafficking…[“sex trafficking” fantasist] Jim Fuda…said…“India is number one, Brazil is number two, and sadly, the United States is number three”…Fuda [shared some of his favorite sexual fantasies on a radio show, making furtive movements in his pants as he got to the part about how]…a…girl[‘s]…organs were harvested…he…[encourages] people [to spy on their neighbors and]…report…the[m to the pigs.  Meanwhile a group absurdly called]…Informed Parents of Washington is…[trying to advance its anti-sex agenda by pretending that a] bill mandating sexual education in Washington public schools [will cause] sex crimes against minors…[because] grooming…

I thought I had already seen the most idiotic claims for things supposedly causing “sex trafficking”, but “sex education” may be the all-time winner.

I Spy (#1001)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

[ICE] has purchased commercial databases and software that tracks millions of mobile phones and used the information to [arrest] undocumented immigrants in the US…DHS…began purchasing location data back in 2017 from Venntel…the data is gathered through smartphone applications after users grant access to their locations…

Safe Position (#1001)

The first duopoly candidate to actually support decriminalization:

A majority of Americans now favor “removing criminal penalties for adults to sell and pay for consensual sex,” with support particularly high among Democrats and younger voters but also crossing party and age lines.  Yet…only one remaining [Democratic] candidate…Tulsi Gabbard…[of] Hawaii…has publicly expressed support for decriminalizing…”If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime,” Gabbard said…”All people should have autonomy over their bodies and their labor.”  Gabbard is the only one to get a good grade on a recent report card put out by the group Decriminalize Sex Work (DSW)…[she only got] A-…because she voted for FOSTA, which made hosting content that facilitates prostitution a federal crime

Checklist (#1004)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system is inducing psychosis in those who promote it:

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System is [persecut]ing…sex [workers] by beginning a series of [indoctrination] sessions and seminars [to convince] health care professionals [that ordinary whores are part of a ruthless international crimial cartel]…the Forensic Nurse in charge of the…[indocrination is clinacally paranoid,] fear[ing] retribution from [imaginary ninja “pimps”] involved in local sex trafficking…

As the hysteria heads toward implosion, expect to see many more claims of retribution from imaginary bogeymen.  I’m reminded of the New Orleans news reader who, at the height of the Satanic Panic, claimed that thieves who broke into his garage were part of a Satanic conspiracy to “get” him.

Anatomy of a Boondoggle (#1013)

Utah is another state which pays cops to sexually assault sex workers:

[Utah pig bosses admit]…about half of their [entrapment] operations targeting…massage parlors involve the [cop sexually assaulting a] masseuse…before an arrest is made.  It’s necessary, they say…Chris Burbank, a [re]forme[d] Salt Lake City police chief who now works with the Center of Policing Equity…[said] “[the cop] committed [a] crime and then arrested the other person for that crime”…Bountiful [Utah cops sent]…in a [pig with a fake] credit card that would [upload malware to] capture the shop’s credit card records when swiped.  The information [is] later used to [hunt down]…customers who had paid for massages [and threaten them to get them to rat on masseuses]…

I suppose we could’ve predicted fascists would come up with something like the malware-uploading device described here, but that doesn’t make it any less nauseating.

To Molest and Rape (#1013)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A California Highway [pig] has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl…The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office…charged…Brian Watkins, of Fremont, with three counts of unlawful sexual assault against a minor…Fremont police [knew about the rapes since]…July 2019…but [didn’t bother to do anything about it until] recent[ly due to] unspecified developments…

“Unlawful sexual assault,” as opposed to the lawful form of sexual assault called “searching”.

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