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Posts Tagged ‘pragmatism’

Sexual assault by [cops]…is…the second most frequently reported form of police misconduct, after excessive force.  –  Andrea Ritchie

The Course of a Disease

Prohibitionist scum understand that decriminalization is the only moral framework for sex work; that’s why they keep trying to trick people into thinking the Swedish model is decrim:

Prostitution would [not] be decriminalized in Massachusetts under a bill that Rep. Kay Khan hopes will [choke off sex workers’ income by criminalizing]…people who buy sex and those who [assist] sex workers…it would not legalize the illicit sex trade.  [Sex workers with incalls, or who have any contact with other sex workers] and [clients who provide their income] would remain criminals under the legislation…Khan [fantasizes that consensual]…sex…fosters some unspeakable crimes…

The Notorious Badge 

Hollywood recognizes that prior to the First World War, sex workers were businesswomen who did the work because it was lucrative and flexible:

In Netflix’s Godless…Callie Dunn (Tess Frazer) is one of maybe 50 women who live in La Belle, a town almost entirely populated by women…the men of the town died in a mining accident, leaving the wives to operate the town all on their own.  Callie is the resident school teacher, and a nascent love interest for Mary Agnes (Merritt Wever).  She’s also the richest woman in town because she used to be a sex worker…After the accident…her place of work closed.  Lack of men will do that to brothel…In the lawless west (the show takes place in Colorado and New Mexico), there’s not much a woman could do to earn her own money.  Even Mary Agnes, the widow of the town’s late mayor, is at a loss for funds.  But Callie is sitting pretty on almost $20,000 (almost half a million in today’s dollars)…”Let me take care of you,” Callie begs Mary Agnes in the third episode.  She reveals her impressive savings and offers to run away with Mary Agnes.  When Mary Agnes looks surprised, Callie responds, “Don’t you know?  Whores are always the richest people in town”…

Unfortunately, it also believes we all magically turned into pathetic victims about 100 years ago.

The Lion and the Ox

“Sex trafficking” means whatever “authorities” want it to mean:

Investigations into the many alleged sexual assaults by Harvey Weinstein are now underway all over the world, with the NYPD, the LAPD, the Beverly Hills Police, and UK law enforcement all looking into possible acts of rape, harassment, and other forms of misconduct.  Now…the former producer and his namesake company are facing claims of sex trafficking…actress Kadian Noble is alleging that “Harvey Weinstein was able to force or coerce Kadian into sexual activity…because of his promise of a film role and use of his influence on her behalf” — despite having no intention of following through on those promises…“Harvey Weinstein…offer[ed] her something of value, knowing that he would use this offer as a means to defraud, force, or coerce her into a sexual encounter”…

Scapegoats (#49)

If he’d done this two years ago he’d have been safer than if he’d had consensual sex with a human:

An elderly man has been convicted of sexually assaulting a horse in a stable north of Stockholm.  The owner raised the alarm after discovering someone had entered the stable during the night.  Police found the man hiding under refuse bags…a security camera in the stable caught evidence which led to the conviction.  He was sentenced to fines for trespassing and for breaching Sweden’s Animal Protection Act. Few have been convicted of breaching the act since it was brought in last year…

Policing for Profit

Does any sane person still believe cops’ pretense that this is about anything other than profit?

…the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office [claims] Phil Parhamovich was moved during a traffic stop last March to donate $91,800, his life savings, to the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation to help it wage the war on drugs.  Parhamovich’s version is rather more plausible:  He says state police took his money after pressuring him to sign a “waiver” that circumvented even the limited protections offered by Wyoming’s civil asset forfeiture law…Parhamovich is in state court, trying to get his money back with help from the Institute for Justice, which argues that Wyoming’s roadside waivers are a thin disguise for highway robbery.  Parhamovich, a Wisconsin musician, was on his way to a gig in Salt Lake City on March 13 when a state trooper, Jeramy Pittsley, pulled him over on Interstate 80 in Laramie County [using the pretext that he had] fail[ed] to buckle his seat belt.  The stop turned into an interrogation…and [search in which] they found $91,800 inside a speaker cabinet.  The cops were so excited by their discovery that they high-fived each other.  The windfall also apparently made them forget that there was no trace of the drugs that Pittsley’s dog supposedly had detected…

Apparently the judge is sane, because he ordered the state to return the entire sum to Parhamovich.

Out of Control (#410) 

Doctors aren’t the only medical professionals who throw their careers away for this stupid shit:

Former [Pennsylvania] nurse James Close will spend up to four years in prison and 20 years on probation for secretly filming female patients, including one underage girl…Judge Wallace H. Bateman also ordered him to…sexual offender and sex addiction treatment…

Above the Law (#418) 

Just a reminder that this behavior is intrinsic to policing, not an isolated incident limited to the US:

A Canadian tourist who was…rape[d] by French police…has spoken out for the first time about the night she was attacked…Emily Sponton has decided to waive her anonymity to give her account of the night of April 22nd 2014 when, after meeting three French police at the Galway Irish pub she was…gang rape[d by them] at the nearby Paris police HQ…Sponton said she had been drinking with the three [pigs] who had been regaling her with stories of their work…[they] offered to give her a tour of the building but once there Sponton says they tried to force her to drink large amount of whisky…”when I refused to do what they wanted…they smashed my face against the desk”…She…was raped several times…[and] later found lying on the street outside the police HQ…On [medical] examination she was found to have bruises and lesions in the genital area.  She immediately filed a complaint for rape before heading home to Canada…two [were] finally set to face trial on charges of gang rape…after Sponton had won her appeal to see the case brought back to court after judges initially threw it out last year…One of the [pigs claimed the rape was]…”consensual” [as rapist pigs nearly always do]…

Paint By Numbers (#593) 

Given the lack of imagination displayed by “sex trafficking” fetishists, I reckon it’s predictable that they keep recycling their stupid stunts:

…Started in 2013, the Dressember foundation is a [profiteering] organization…dedicated to [profiting from]…human trafficking [hysteria]….Those willing to take the more popular approach will opt in by wearing a dress every day of December.  Others, who may not have many dresses to wear or who may be a bit more warm-blooded, can still help out by donating to the cause.  All of the money donated goes toward [persecuting sex workers]…

The Rape Question (#602) 

I’m honestly amazed the dumb “rape is asexual” dogma is still popular:

There are reasons why nobody would tell a child “look only to the left when crossing the street because people are nice and swerve out the way for you” or “don’t wear your seatbelt because nothing will happen to you.”  The unfortunate reality is that simply changing our ideas about the world doesn’t actually change the world…in the case of sexual assault, coercion, and rape, omitting crucial pieces of the puzzle (like biological constraints) in understanding these heinous acts could prove to be detrimental…this blank slate version of human nature is riddled with holes…what we’ve seen is a tacit acceptance of the crime when it is committed by “one of our own” and harsh condemnation when it is someone from “the other side” doing it…social role theorists want us to believe that there is a utopian world just beyond our grasp that somehow males and capitalism prevent us from achieving…understanding biology is important in helping us deter sexual violence and why ignoring it could prove to be dangerous…

Pyrrhic Victory (#609)

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

“Oklahoma has finalized a deal with a Massachusetts company to use license-plate scanners to catch uninsured drivers, and the firm expects to issue 20,000 citations a month starting as early as next year.  The program…involves setting up automated high-speed cameras on highways around the state to detect uninsured vehicles and mailing their owners a citation with a fine of $184“…[besides] the mass collection of plate/location data…Gatso USA will receive more than 40% of the revenue…The company hopes to make more than $1.6 million a month…”It will be overseen by the District Attorneys Council rather than law enforcement, and the state’s 27 district attorneys’ offices are expected to receive millions of dollars in citation revenue a year”...

To Molest and Rape 

It’s good to see this problem getting attention outside of libertarian and sex worker circles:

…as we furiously unpack the prevalence of sexual assault across many industries, the reality of police sexual misconduct has not found its way into these discussions.  That’s a tragedy, because it happens so frequently…One study found that a [cop] is caught in an act of sexual misconduct every five days — and those are just the ones who are caught…national research…show[s] that almost a quarter or more of cases of police sexual assault involve minors…

Fever Dream (#742)

Reporters & prohibitionists are apparently too stupid to understand that when you misrepresent a consensual-crime misdemeanor a person didn’t even actually commit as a serious, violent felony, it’s going to be hard to get a conviction:

Over the past year [TBI has] conducted about a dozen undercover stings and charged more than 200 men…[in one] sting conducted in Nashville in 2016…TBI charged 34 men…27 of them had their cases dismissed and [expunged after paying for the “john school” the prohibitionists wanted, yet they’re not happy that an unproven misdemeanor charge isn’t enough to destroy the lives of the accused]…”Having all these charges expunged sends a very, very clear message that we’re not serious,” [prohibitionist & profiteer Cathy] Gurly said…Assistant District Attorney Tammy Meade…[pointed out] that…these cases are difficult to prosecute because the victims aren’t real, they’re actually undercover agents…

Checklist (#783)

The real purpose of this scheme is to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system:

Advanced Periodontics & Implantology…[of] Michigan, organized a seminar for dentists and hygienists on the topic “Human Trafficking”…Michigan Public Health Code and Administrative rules require all dentists to complete training in identification of human trafficking victims…

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Last week, one of my online friends asked if it was ethical to buy a used car from someone who was an overt racist.  I told him certainly, if it was a good car at a fair price.  I then pointed out that every one of us does business with dozens of racists & people with even worse character traits every day; we just don’t know it.  One of the costs of living in a complex modern society is that you know zero about 99% of the people you need to interact with.  How does a merchant know anything about the character of most of the people who buy things from his store?  He doesn’t, and that’s OK.  Here’s a personal example:  There’s a very good chance that any given woman I interact with in public supports the sending of armed thugs to rape, rob and cage me and most of the people I love.  If I had to stop interacting with such people I would simply have to stay home and never buy anything (NB: I say “woman” because studies show far more women than men are in favor of the government dispatching armed thug rape squads to destroy the lives of other women).  If a person’s or company’s behavior offends you and you can get the same service or product from another who doesn’t, by all means go to the other.  But in most cases you either don’t know or else there’s no real alternative, and you’ll harm yourself more by obsessing over this than your one-person boycott could possibly ever do to induce the offender to change their ways.

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I’m a 24 year old man who grew up in a very conservative, sex negative atmosphere; the most I’ve ever done is kiss a woman, and that was several years ago.  I’ve had pretty extensive health issues that largely keep me homebound, and porn just makes me feel lonely.  I’ve engaged in cybersex with women I met online, but I always lose contact with them because the only time I want to talk is when my horniness overpowers my embarrassment; I’m very uncomfortable seeking this stuff out even online, and I’ve had a few women that I cut off because they wanted to move much too fast, and expected me to just ignore all my boundaries.  For the same reason I’m not comfortable with sex-related online communities.  On top of that, the women I talk with don’t get much from the situation; the most I’m comfortable with is voice chat and I need to be eased into that.  Paying is not a financial possibility for me right now, and TBH I don’t really have any desire to do sexual stuff with a woman who only is there because I pay her.

I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I have no advice to give you.  Surely you understand that nobody is going to give you something for nothing?  You simply can’t expect random strangers to give you free sexual interaction, completely on your terms, without expecting anything in return.  That simply isn’t the way human dynamics work.  What you are looking for, whether you like it or not, is a sex worker.  You want someone to fulfill your desires on demand while staying completely within the boundaries you set, but who won’t ask anything for herself or expect romance or whatever.  That is about as good a description of a sex worker/client relationship as one could wish for; a sex worker is only looking for her fee, nothing else, and as a professional she will proceed at your pace and leave you alone when you aren’t paying for her to do otherwise.  I’m perfectly willing to provide the service if you like, and there are phone sex services, cam girls, etc available on the internet.  But if you are willing to provide your phone partner with nothing, I’m afraid nothing is all you can expect in return.

(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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By creating the impression that they are helpless slaves who need rescuing from the hands of criminals, [prohibitionists] propagate a myth that all informal work that helps migrants to survive is illicit and should be prohibited.  –  Mike Dottridge

Feminine Pragmatism 

Ruhama mouthpiece first admits women do sex work for money, then remembers their moronic “demand-driven” model:

Financial pressure will lead more women into prostitution over Christmas…[prohibitionist group Ruhama admitted].  There is expected to be a “surge” in women who will feel compelled to sell sex in the coming weeks to cope with the financial demands of the festive season…The majority of the women are involved in the so-called “indoor sex trade”…while one-third are involved in the on-street sex industry…Ruth Breslin…[of] Ruhama [kept her hand in her underwear while breathlessly panting about “pimps” and fantasizing]…that as it is a demand-driven industry, perhaps more men pay for sex at Christmas…”Most men don’t buy sex but there are some who see it as the same as paying for any other service, they are very much treating the women as products”…

Even ignoring this woman’s disgusting masturbatory fantasies about sex workers that she feels compelled to share in public, there is so much disinformation here it’s almost mind-boggling. Street workers make up only about 10-12% of all sex workers, not a third.  Business isn’t more plentiful at Christmas (as literally any whore could tell you); it’s slower because men are spending their money on gifts and year-end bills such as property taxes, etc. and also have less free time due to family obligations.  Most men have indeed paid for sex, and no they don’t treat women as “products”; in fact they treat us better than they treat amateurs like this silly wanker, which may be the source of her jealousy.  And so on…

Enabling Oppression

A good criticism of “slavery” talk from Mike Dottridge in Laura Agustín’s blog:

…a slave is defined as a person who is the legal property of another or can be treated as such: they can be bought, sold, traded or inherited.  A slave is a personal possession – a chattel…Using the term Modern Slavery precipitates us into name-and-shame mode, pointing the finger at governments and businesses which tolerate it…So, instead of the Development/cooperation paradigm that was dominant in the second half of the 20th century…we revert back to the 19th-century idea that some uncivilised countries require pressure from civilised ones to abandon unacceptable practices…In the minds of people in Western Europe and the Americas, the word slavery refers to the transatlantic slave trade.  Using the term for levels of exploitation which do not meet the legal definition trivialises historical chattel slavery and reduces any sense of responsibility in countries that benefited from it.  This fits neatly into the agenda of white supremacists who dismiss contemporary racism and discrimination against the descendants of slaves…

Moving Pictures 

I wonder how many of these Reefer Madness-style fakumentaries there will be before the hysteria ends?

On the Road explores the lives of the people who live and work alongside the Strada Bonifica, the ironically named “road of love”, on the Adriatic coast of Italy.  The nine-mile (15km) road has historically been a place of sex work and has recently seen a massive increase in the number of Nigerian women working alongside it – some of whom have been trafficked into the country and forced into prostitution.  The film moves between the women’s stories, the [NIMBY] Italians who live and work nearby…and the local NGO that attempts to [exploit] the women…Recruited from Nigeria…the women are tricked into leaving…They are saddled with an unpayable debt and are often terrified into silence by “Juju” voodoo rituals.  The women are beaten by their madams if they refuse to work.  On the Road is the name of a [prohibitionist group] that has been working to [profit from hysteria around] the sex workers for the last 20 years…

Nothing New

I called this one three years ago:

One Born Every Minute (#724) 

This scumbag might never have received his comeuppance but for the diligence of reporter Sydney Brownstone:

Matt Hickey, the former tech journalist who masqueraded as a porn scout to trick women into having sex with him during fake “auditions”…pleaded guilty to three felonies and fourth degree assault after six women came forward to accuse him of rape.  He faces up to 34 months in prison for his most serious conviction of indecent liberties, far fewer than he would face for his original rape charges.  Still, his guilty plea means that he will have to register as a sex offender.  Hickey has been in jail since October of 2016, after he was extradited from Las Vegas while on the run from accusations that dogged him here in Seattle…The Washington State Attorney General sued Hickey over the porn scam, and a judge fined Hickey more than $300,000 in violations of state consumer protection laws…

Cops and Robbers (#764) 

If this BBC reporter wasn’t going to talk to any local sex workers, why even come here? He could’ve copied this prohibitionist propaganda from his fellow parrots without even leaving London:

You can find “her” number within fake messages placed alongside real ads on websites popular with those looking to buy sex…the bot will tell you she is nervous and check that her [supposed under]age [status] is “cool with you”.  If you say yes, that’s when it [starts vomiting disgusting prohibitionist fantasies all over you]…Robert Beiser from Seattle Against Slavery [shares his vile prohibitionist masturbatory fantasy that paying for sexual services is] “buy[ing] another human being”…

The rest of the article is mostly parroting of the usual prohibitionist fantasies and lurid stalking of the sex workers on Aurora Avenue, who aren’t advertising in the venues where these prohibitionists are hiding their wankbot.

Prudesville (#774) 

Everett, WA is trying to defend its sick need to control women’s clothing as “feminism”:

Baristas, whose uniforms consist of bikinis, are heading to federal court…to argue that their First Amendment rights have been violated by…officials in one Washington city who implemented two [censorship] ordinances aimed at [women making money in a way politicians dislike]…“The Constitution doesn’t allow the government to regulate the content of speech because the government disagrees with it,” [said] Derek Newman, an attorney representing one of the baristas..Everett lawmakers have been steamed about the coffee stands for years – arguing everything from obscenity to mob ties – officials are [trying] a new [bullshit] argument…“The male gaze on bikinied women is on the continuum of sexualization of women,” wrote [a prohibitionist hired gun]… “When you make the body a commodity, and sex a product which you sell, one outcome is sexual violence…If you can sell it, you can steal it”…

Yes, that’s the “feminist” version of “women who dress like sluts are asking to be raped”.

To Molest and Rape (#780) 

But bad cops are only a tiny, atypical minority, a “few bad apples”:

A group of NYPD cops showed up at the hospital where an 18-year-old woman was seeking treatment after…being raped by two Brooklyn detectives, in a bid to bully her out of bringing [rape] charges, her lawyer [reported].  “They came with nine cops to intimidate her and her mom”…[said] Michael David…One [pig] in particular…kept saying…”How do you know they were real cops?”…“Didn’t you make complaints about cops before?”…and…“You don’t know what you’re talking about”…The young woman…was raped [both vaginally and orally] by…[rapist cops] Richard Hall and Eddie Martins in the back seat of their police van while she was handcuffed…Hall…and Martins…admitted [raping] her…but [trotted out the typical ludicrous pig fantasy that] it was consensual…

All-Purpose Excuse (#783)

It’s refreshing to see so many questioning the “human trafficking” narrative, albeit cautiously:

…Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick has stood by her decision to assign three [cops] to provide traffic control during a federal immigration operation…Kirkpatrick [pretends]…that the early-morning raid on Aug. 16 by…ICE…involved “human trafficking” and was not a deportation case.  However, the raid only resulted in the arrest of one person, Santos de Leon, for being an undocumented immigrant.  And HSI/ICE officials have publicly acknowledged that de Leon was not involved in human trafficking or any other criminal matter and is now facing civil deportation proceedings…ICE and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have never successfully prosecuted a human trafficking case…from Oakland during the past 10 years…As such, there is no reason to believe that the current HSI/ICE investigation will result in…a…conviction…In recent years, [prohibitionists and the government] have expanded the definition of human trafficking to the point that it no longer means what many people think it means.  The term “human trafficking” conjures images of people being transported in shipping containers and forced to do labor or sold as sex slaves…the…expanded meaning of “human trafficking,” in which people who help immigrants get into the country or provide them with a place to work or live are considered “human traffickers”…

Buried Truth (#793) 

Did he really think more than 30 bodies would stay buried?

Disgraced Ohio state Rep. Wes Goodman…is being accused…of sexual misconduct…[by] over 30 individuals…many people have long been aware of Goodman’s…behavior that is very different than his…“family man” persona…Goodman has a reputation of reaching out to those involved in politics via Facebook Messenger — but things tend to quickly turn south, as he has been known to flirt with men, solicit sex, and even send pictures of his genitals…The majority of the people he targets are between the ages of 18 and 24 and have had very little interaction with him personally…Goodman apparently offered to be a “mentor” for those looking to get into politics.  Because of the power he had, his victims say they were afraid to report instances of abuse for fear of damaging their own political careers…

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Once [the cops] put you in that [sex worker] box…they don’t care.  –  unnamed victim of Oluwatobi Boyede

Bad Girls 

I don’t know who this chick is, and none of the Seattle whores I’ve talked to do either.  But we all know the “oral sex” thing is bullshit:

An escort was arrested on accusations she shot a Washington state man in the head because she thought he was bad at oral sex – and she wasn’t sure how to tell him.  Marissa Wallen, 21, allegedly admitted to shooting her 36-year-old client at his North Everett home last month…she then stole the victim’s wallet, left him for dead and went on a $12,000 shopping spree…Wallen told a detective that the man was “performing oral sex wrong and she did not know how to tell him that” so she grabbed a gun and shot him…He was found alive but unresponsive on Oct. 24, three days after he was shot, when his employer asked police to perform a welfare check…

In recent years, cops have developed a nasty game of tricking sex workers into saying or doing weird things so the story is more sensational.

Gateway

Leave it to the authoritarian mentality to imagine a link between sex work and barroom brawls:

…the Arctic Ranger…pub was at the centre of an investigation into claims a group of Hungarian women were being forced to work as prostitutes inside the bar…no one was prosecuted [but]…the claims [were used as grounds]…for closing the pub in June 2013 [anyway].  A licensing committee hearing was told the pub had become almost lawless after a spate of violent attacks…problems included…a victim suffering injuries to his eye and nose…[and] a fractured jaw…a [cop] suffering leg injuries after being struck by a thrown glass…a woman being assaulted…A fight involving 20 people…a man having his head stamped on…

Surplus Women 

Cops threaten and harass sex workers, and disbelieve us when we try to give them information, then they disclaim responsibility when this happens:

A London [Ontario] sex worker says she warned police someone could die after she was choked, sexually assaulted and held against her will in the home of [Oluwatobi Boyede, who is] now accused of murder.  But police didn’t believe her…and as a result…a second woman was assaulted and a third is dead.  “I told them everything.  They did nothing,” she said…“The cops treated me like I brought it on myself…They didn’t charge him.  They treated me like a piece of shit…They did not want to hear what I was saying.  What happened to the second girl and (homicide victim) Josie Glenn didn’t have to happen.”  Her story may be the most damning indictment of police as questions grow about how…they approach violence against women, especially sex workers…

The Sky is Falling!

I find it difficult to believe that so many women made it through university without knowing anyone who did some kind of sex work:

The student debt crisis in the US has gotten so bad, there’s a growing group of young women…who are taking an unconventional approach to paying for college.  Through…websites like SeekingArrangement, Sugar Babies…partner up with wealthy, often older, men who want to spend money on them.  Some 2.5 million Sugar Babies identified as students in 2016 on SeekingArrangement.com…Sugar Babies go to dinners, attend events, or accompany their Sugar Daddy, or daddies, on trips.  In some cases, they provide companionship or foster a mentor-mentee relationship.  In other situations, the terms of the agreement include physical intimacy…

“Unconventional”?  Really?  Young women having sex with older men in exchange for support is practically the definition of “conventional”.  If anything, it’s the pretense that this is something new and unusual that is “unconventional”.

A Broker in Pillage (#508)

The quaint non-“law enforcement” term for this is “blackmail”:

Denver cab driver Semere Fremichael got caught up in an undercover prostitution sting.  He was innocent—he thought she wanted a ride, not sex for pay—and was acquitted by a judge.  His taxi, however, got taken for a rough ride.  Denver’s Fox affiliate has an excellent two-part investigation showing how the city attorney’s office is using civil asset forfeiture to cash in by snatching vehicles…for…low-level crimes…even when their owners aren’t convicted.  In 2016, Denver made more than $2.4 million, seizing more than 1,800 vehicles…Denver put the screws to Fremichael…offering him a civil version of a plea deal:  He could get the car back in 30 days if he gave them $1,000.  Or he could demand a civil hearing.  If he lost, it would cost him $6,000 and he could lose the car for a year.  He took the deal, and says he probably lost an additional $2,500 because he couldn’t use his cab for a month, even though he committed no crime…

Subtle Pimping (#587)

When it comes to profiting from sex workers’ images while giving us nothing, fashion designers are among the worst offenders:

…The very prevalence of [stereotyped sex worker] images, overworked as they may be, is a testament to their durability…the clothes we wear, or might like to wear, owe a very real debt to the world’s most ancient profession.  “Fashion…is influenced by hookers,” said Anna Terrazas, costume designer of The Deuce.  “It’s not the other way around”…“There is an untold history of the relationship between sex workers and fashion,” said Rebecca Arnold, a fashion historian…working women routinely took up what their respectable contemporaries shunned as too showy, tasteless or new…

The Prudish Giant (#703) 

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

Facebook has blocked the sale of a pack of Christmas cards featuring a robin redbreast because of its “sexual” and “adult” nature.  The artist, Jackie Charley, said she “could not stop laughing” when she discovered the reason the social media company would not approve the product…The bird…was one of three designs painted by Charley of animals in the snow…The others were a stag and a squirrel…Charley said she was sent the message: “It looks like we didn’t approve your item because we don’t allow the sale of adult items or services”…Charley said…“There’s obviously nothing in the images themselves which is inappropriate.  Similarly, there were no ‘trigger’ words used in the cards’ descriptions that I’m aware of.  For instance, the robin card was simply called ‘Robin’, not ‘Robin Redbreast’ as some people have wondered”…she [has] not had any direct response from Facebook, but the interest generated from the gaffe had led to a lifting of the initial ban…

A Woman’s Point of View (#706) 

Don’t get too excited that the New Hampshire legislature is “Establishing a committee to study decriminalizing sex work“; one of the sponsors has made comments in which the unmistakable stench of the Swedish rot is clearly present.  But we’ll see.

Between the Ears (#722) 

Have a device that connects to the internet? Assume it can be used to spy on you:

…a Reddit user pointed out that Hong Kong-based sex toy company Lovense’s remote control vibrator app…recorded a use session without their knowledge.  An audio file lasting six minutes was stored in the app’s local folder.  The user says he or she gave the app access to the mic and camera but only to use with the in-app chat function and to send voice clips on command — not constant recording when in use.  Other users confirmed this app behavior, too.  A user claiming to represent Lovense responded and called this recording a “minor bug” that only affects Android users.  Lovense also says no information or data was sent to the company’s servers, and that this audio file exists only temporarily.  An update issued [last week] should fix the bug…

The Mote and the Beam (#789)

Another probable casualty of the War on Whores:

…The Wikipedia we know today simply would not exist without Section 230.  User-driven projects could not thrive if websites were subject to greater liability for user content, and certainly could not be supported by a small nonprofit organization like the Wikimedia Foundation.  For that reason, we have…serious concerns about…SESTA and other amendments to Section 230.  That’s why our Executive Director emphasized Section 230’s importance for Wikipedia’s hundreds of thousands of volunteer contributors in a recent campaign by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and why we submitted a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee expressing the importance of Section 230 for the Wikimedia projects.  The current bill does not reflect the careful balance that preserves small, nonprofit community projects like Wikipedia…

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Andrea Werhun is an author and performer based in Toronto.  She is currently a contributing writer for Playboy.com and has had her sex work experience featured by the New York Times, CBC, VICE and Hazlitt.  This is an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Modern Whore, which is available for pre-order at that link!

No matter what you call ‘em—clients, johns, philanderers, adulterous scumbags, your dad—the men who pay for sex have a bevy of legitimate reasons to procure the services of an erotic professional.  Maybe they’re lonely, stressed about work, or dissatisfied with life.  Perhaps they’re not getting what they want in the bedroom, not sure of what they want or are too afraid to ask.  Whatever it may be, these men are in desperate need of someone who can sexually alleviate their woes.

Take your travelling businessman, for instance.  No wife, no home, no children, he bounces around from airport to hotel to conference room to airport again, selling his wares on behalf of himself or his company.  Nothing caps an exhausting day of pitching the next best thing than a good, relaxing, lay-down-and-do-nothing fuck.  Then there are the men fresh out of long-term relationships—those vulnerable, hurting men in need of some healing love.  And whores, despite their relative anonymity and so-called “non-emotional” relationship to clients, do immense amounts of emotional labour for men with broken hearts.  Never discount the value of a little non-judgmental touch.  In addition to your travelling salesman and your broken-hearted boy, there’s always your regular, run-of-the-mill dork-a-zoid of any age who couldn’t make a move on a real girl if his internet connection depended on it.  The kind of man who trembles and shakes and breathes heavily and cums really fast and shoos you out the door as soon as the stressful ordeal is over.  In and out!

The lazy, impatient bachelor is my personal favourite:  good looking, mid-thirties to mid-fifties, single, immature, economically-minded, and very horny.  The lazy bachelor, in his many forms, has put it to me like this:  “Say I meet a woman at the bar I’d like to fuck.  I buy her a few drinks and, if I’m lucky, she gives me her number.  Then I go on a date with her, and of course I have to buy her dinner.  Even after all that, I’m still not guaranteed sex.  I don’t want to play games—I just want to fuck!  Hiring an escort is definitely cheaper in the long run.”  And there you have it.  Games aren’t fun if you’re not guaranteed a win.  Go for gold.  Go for the whore:  a guaranteed win.

The most common type of client of all is the married man.  Why?  Because being a good husband is the hardest job of all! 

My madam used to say, “I think we save marriages.  It’s safer for men to see an escort than it is to, say, have an affair with the secretary at the office.  There’s a lot less mess,” and thank goodness for that.  We wouldn’t want wives divorcing their husbands left and right for unearthing a little infidelity, would we?  Since the truth poses such a threat to the holy institution of marriage, let’s all do the acceptable thing and keep our adulterous predilections a secret.  Here’s a line I often heard from my married clients:  “This isn’t emotional cheating, you know.  I’m just paying you for a service.  It’s not like we’re having a passionate affair or anything.”  Uh huh, then why not tell your wife?  Crickets.  You know why you won’t tell your wife, married man?  Because the status quo serves you, not her, and you know it.  Having a wife, whether she’s at home minding the children or at work busting ass for that second income, is too good a deal to fuck up with a truth bomb like, “When I tell you I’m staying late at the office, I’m actually doing lines of coke with an escort in a motel room off the highway.”  Spare her the gory details.  What’s the harm if she doesn’t know?  So ladies, I pose this question to you in all earnestness:  what’s the point of getting married anymore?  What’s in it for us?  I have fucked so many self-serving, outwardly devoted, secretly philandering men in my time that you’ll have to excuse my disillusionment regarding institutionalized monogamy.  I know your husband is the exception.  I have happily accepted wads of cash from many, many exceptions.  Do hard-working, independent women truly need to marry a man?

Last, but not least: the differently abled.  These are men who deeply appreciate the loving touch and warmth of a sex worker.  I hadn’t seen many in my two years of working; in fact, only two: the first, a sweet young man with cerebral palsy, and the other a man we’ll call Paul.  During a particularly nasty cold in his thirties, Paul—a perfectly healthy, able-bodied, athletic man in his prime—woke up with a tingling sensation in his legs.  Tingling, the next day, became numbness, and numbness, over the weeks and months and years to follow, became full paralysis below the belt.  For someone whose life had been turned upside down by a mysterious and debilitating condition, Paul was an incredibly positive, kind, and resourceful individual.  He became a regular of mine with the agency and eventually offered to see me independently at the same rate.  Every week, I traveled an hour by subway to a distant station where he would pick me up in his minivan, fully tricked-out with all the knobs and gears that allowed him to drive without using his legs.  We took the highway to his suburban home, swiveling the driver’s seat and unfolding his wheelchair, unfurling the ramp from his vehicle to the garage floor, rolling to an elevator that took us into his house.  From there, we took another elevator to his bedroom.  Paul lived alone and was evidently quite self-sufficient.

Adjacent to his master bedroom was a spacious bathroom suite fitted with a jet stream bathtub.  He ran the water and began the ritual as I disrobed in the bedroom.  He too would disrobe, and when the water filled to a comfortable level, Paul would muscle his way with impressive upper-body strength into the tub, and I would follow, spooning against him.  Here we would soak in the warm water, lightly touching each other, relaxing, talking.  Feeling sufficiently prune-like, I would step out first, putting on the plush bathrobe he always provided, and help Paul exit the tub.  For the next half hour, we laid naked and clean on his bed wrapped in each other’s arms, kissing.  Paul would then wiggle his way down the bed and go head-over-heels into pussy town.  To say he was gifted at cunnilingus would be an understatement.  His legs may have been paralyzed but lord was that tongue limber!  Sometimes it was too much for me to handle, and he’d wiggle his way back up and we’d talk.  Paul used a catheter to piss and ate a steady diet of the same foods every day to regulate his shits because he couldn’t feel his genitals or his bowels.  Once, I played with his penis out of absent-minded habit and he revealed another escort had made him cum when he hadn’t realized he could.  I jerked him off to see what would happen.  Within minutes, Paul ejaculated—“Oh!” he said, “Look at it go!”  He couldn’t feel a thing.  “Still works though!”

Even though it took me an hour to get to Paul, an hour to be with him, and an hour to get home, the one-hour, all-in rate of $250 still seemed worth it to be in his company.  I once self-consciously breached the conversation of asking for a little more, considering the travel time.  He explained, with light despair, that he didn’t have any more money to offer me.  I immediately retracted and told him it was okay.  I saw Paul until the very end of my escorting career.  Besides the six types of sex work clients I’ve outlined, there are essentially only two types of people:  the kind and the unkind.  The reason a client hires a sex worker is inconsequential if that person is unkind.  And I can say, without a doubt, that Paul was one of the kindest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

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Why on earth would anybody pay for sex instead of going to a bar/club & getting it that way for a lot less?  What’s so special about these “high-end” services?

Getting sex from random amateurs is fine if you’re a single, socially adept vanilla with plenty of free time, no unusual or embarrassing needs, and no need for discretion who doesn’t mind the possibility of STIs, weird drama or the potential for unwanted phone calls, etc later.  Most men aren’t in that position.  What you’re paying a sex worker for is competence, professionalism, cleanliness & discretion.  If you’re OK with fucking incompetent, indiscreet, unpredictable amateurs with questionable sanitary habits, go for it.  But remember that free pussy is the most expensive kind.  An experienced sex worker provides quality, cleanliness, expertise, punctuality and the kind of company you want, when you want it, instead of having to cater to someone else’s unpredictable needs.  A guy who contacts me spends a few minutes in the contact and screening process, then gets a lady of known high quality for however long he can afford.  A dude who gets to bars doesn’t know how long it’ll take and gets an encounter of unknown quality, unknown strings & possible STIs.  It’s true that sometimes you can find something really valuable for $10 at a junk shop, but it takes time & you can’t count on it.  This isn’t rocket science; it’s a simple case of “you get what you pay for”, which is why we’ve been popular with gents since prehistory.

(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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