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Posts Tagged ‘pragmatism’

Bills don’t evaporate when clubs shut down.  –  Reese Piper

R.I.P. Laura Lee 

In the eight years I’ve been writing obituaries for people important to the demimonde, I’ve never before had to write one for a personal friend.  It is with a heavy heart that I announce the untimely passing of Laura Lee, a titan of sex work activism, who left us without warning Wednesday morning.  Matisse and I were informed Wednesday night, but asked not to say anything until Laura’s daughter was ready to make a public announcement, which she did late Thursday:  “My mum unfortunately passed away on Wednesday 7th February 2018.  She asked me to let you all know that she was so grateful for everyone’s support.  I ask you to continue all of your amazing campaign work in her honour.  I’m so proud of all my mum accomplished in her tragically short life.  My family have asked for complete privacy at this difficult time.  Much love & power to you all!”  In respect for the wishes of my late friend and her family, this is all I can say for now, but I’m starting to collect information to write a proper harlotography for her soon. Rest well, sweet lady, and Aphrodite bless thee.

Sex Workers Against Trafficking

GAATW is the largest “anti-trafficking” organization which recognizes that sex workers are the best guardians against real (as opposed to prohibitionist-imagined) coercion:

Sex worker rights organisations are creatively responding to violence, exploitation and other abuses within the sex industry, including instances of human trafficking, according to a new report published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, Sex Workers Organising for Change: Self-representation, community mobilisation and working conditions.  The report is based on research conducted with sex worker organisations in…Canada, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, India, Thailand and New Zealand.  It highlights cases where sex workers, or sex worker organisations, learnt of situations where a woman was experiencing violence, working under unacceptable conditions, or was brought to the industry through force or deception…sex workers resolved the issue…by providing advice and referral to other organisations, negotiating with the brothel owner/madam, chasing the pimp out of their area, or gathering money to help the woman return home.  Despite this important work, sex worker rights organisations are largely unrecognised and even vilified by the anti-trafficking community…

Gorged With Meaning

Both sugar babies and sugar sites are heavily invested in pretending sugar dating isn’t sex work:

Brook Urick approves every piece published on Let’s Talk Sugar, a lifestyle site aimed at sugar babies…[which] is the media arm of SeekingArrangement.com…It may sound strange that sugar dating is attempting to reshape itself into a lifestyle brand.  But if you’re familiar with this scene, and familiar with Seeking Arrangement’s legal treatise, you’re well aware of the motives at play.  Prostitution is illegal in most of America.  Dates that come bundled with a suggested donation?  Not quite…Anything that portrays the sugar community as a niche cultural curiosity with an entire lexicon of inscrutable customs, taboos, and salutations, helps the company’s case that sugar dating is fundamentally detached from sex work.  Seeking Arrangement’s refusal to genuinely engage with the rest of the adult industry has earned mixed reactions from other, self-acknowledged sex workers.  Bobbi Besos, a prostitute who works at the Bunny Ranch in Las Vegas, recently penned a blog post on the brothel’s website—”Sugar Dating: Let’s Stop Sugar-Coating Prostitution“—arguing that the sugar scene’s quasi-legal standing meant that Seeking Arrangement can recuse itself from anything dangerous, coercive, or otherwise destructive that happens over the course of the transactional encounters they help facilitate…

Original Sin

Casual sex causes “sex trafficking”!

During a speech to pastors in Kansas City in December, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley linked the [supposed] problem of sex trafficking to the sexual revolution of the 1960s.  Hawley, the top Republican prospect to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in November…[fantasized] “We have a human trafficking crisis…because people are willing to purchase women…like commodities…The sexual revolution has led to exploitation of women on a scale that we would never have imagined, never have imagined…the false gospel of ‘anything goes’ ends in this road of slavery”…

Missourians have a choice of one lying prohibitionist control freak or another.  Lovely.

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes 

UK feminists win another battle against the employment of women:

…Formula One’s “grid girls”…will find themselves unemployed as of next season.  They are the latest battleground in what has ultimately been a long-fought [prohibitionist] war, which has, at various times, seen arguments about the Sun’s Page 3, Kim Kardashian’s nude selfies, dancers in music videos [etc]…These women are sexually objectified, the argument goes…[and] they send the wrong message to young girls and women…For an argument that is ostensibly about work…any analysis of labour itself is conspicuously missing…Working conditions…would seem a better place to start than sweeping moral judgments on the type of work itself…

Why I Wait

Seeming paradoxes arise when ignoramuses equate marriage rates and childbirth rates with rates of sex-having:

Deaths now outpace births, marriage is plummeting, and young people aren’t having sex.  The media are calling it sekkusu shinai shokogun, or “celibacy syndrome”—an alarming trend that has the Japanese government funnelling tax dollars into speed dating and matchmaking services over fears of an impending economic collapse.  But in a neon-lit pocket of Tokyo’s Shibuya district, BDSM equipment, mirrored ceilings, vibrating beds, and condom vending machines paint a different reality.  Welcome to Love Hotel Hill, where Japan’s sex industry is flourishing…It’s estimated that more than half of sex in Japan occurs in love hotels…There are more than 30,000…in the country, and hundreds in Tokyo alone.  With increasing life expectancies, the rising age of marriage, and high population density, multigenerational households are ubiquitous.  When married couples live in close quarters with elderly parents and children, love hotels offer a practical alternative to thin-walled Japanese homes where privacy is scarce…Discretion is a love hotel’s most important commodity—they often feature secret entrances, covered garages, and disposable license plate covers.  Patrons can make cash-only transactions with clerks stationed behind opaque screens to guarantee anonymity.  Others have sophisticated automated systems…

“Sex trafficking” hysteria is being used as an excuse to make it increasingly difficult for US hotels to offer their patrons similar anonymity.

Amsterdam (#530)

What are they going to do to tourists who won’t turn?  Arrest them?

Guided tours in Amsterdam’s red light district must ensure tourists turn their backs to windows and not photograph prostitutes.  These new measures…aim to lessen the number of tourists visiting the oldest parts of the city…The new rules also ban tours with drugs or alcohol and tighten up the “conditions for bike and Segway tours”…Guided tours will also have to end before 11 p.m. and tourists will not be allowed to stand in bridges or in front of store entrances during working hours…Tour companies that do not respect the new rules…will be heavily fined…

Lack of Evidence (#546)

Remember how New York City claimed doubling the size of its vice squad would magically “help” sex workers?  Here’s what the extra vice pigs are doing:

…Raquel is a 23-year-old trans woman from the Bronx, who [was arrested by plainclothes cops for walking down the street]…it wasn’t until she arrived at the 25th Precinct…that she learned she was being charged with prostitution, along with four other trans women arrested that night.  A police report [lies] that she agreed to perform oral sex…These arrests occurred against the backdrop of an NYPD [propaganda campaign claiming they would] arrest fewer people on prostitution charges and focus vice resources on arresting men who buy and traffic sex…The announcement won praise from [prohibitionists]…Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women, called [harassing sex workers and cheating them of income] a “big step toward combating this form of modern-day slavery”…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#710)

California now has its own annual anti-whore pogrom:

More than 500 [people] were arrested…56 [of them were sex workers “authorities” claimed]…were rescued during a statewide [pogrom labeled with the Orwellian moniker]…Operation Reclaim and Rebuild…[only] 11 [of the sex workers were underage]…Among the 510 [men] arrested, 30 [were labeled] suspected traffickers and 178 [were labeled] “johns”…

Checklist (#753) 

Just in case you didn’t think you were spied on enough in airports:

If you pass through the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, you may see new signs asking people to be on the lookout for sex trafficking.  Delta Airlines and the airport have [collaborated] with the Super Bowl and [prohibitionist profiteers] Polaris to [raise hysteria about] the [non-]issue…Delta has also [indoctrinated] thousands of its employees [in racial profiling techniques] to [harass passengers]…

The Course of a Disease (#796)

American politicians increasingly use Swedish-scented rhetoric in futile attempts to disguise the stench of tyranny:

Legislation just introduced in the [Pennsylvania] state House would tackle a key [PR issue] identified by [prohibitionists] seeking to improve the way [they are seen by the public]…[sex workers are] arrested while the customers [are less so.  Prohibitionists lie, claiming that]…a little more than half of victims of human trafficking are being used for sex work [when actually it’s less than 10%], according to the [prohibitionist] group Equality Now [which is led by disgraced prosecutor Lauren Hersh, who resigned in disgrace after she was caught trying to railroad two innocent black men for rape]…

Not So Easy

Prohibitionists are learning the hard way that the wind is shifting:

With more than 200 strip club workers and advocates filling a makeshift meeting room inside the Rosenwald Center’s gym Feb. 6, the New Orleans City Planning Commission (CPC) rejected parts of a plan from the New Orleans City Council to limit the number of strip clubs on Bourbon Street.  The CPC instead followed recommendations from its staff that call for a “soft cap” of 14 clubs, rather than a harder cap limiting clubs to one per block face, as the City Council had proposed…The CPC’s recommendations now head [back] to the City Council…The CPC…said in its report…that it “has not found a direct causality between the number of [Adult Live Performance Venues, or ALPVs] in the [Vieux Carre Entertainment District] and crime”…

That last line is a reference to the thoroughly-disproven dogma of “negative secondary effects“, which claims that sex rays emanating from sexual businesses damage the brains of bystanders, forcing them to commit crimes. 

But while the staid Times-Picayune promotes this ludicrous fantasy and worse:

…[Politicians] have been relying on Times-Picayune investigative series to stoke fears that strip clubs are hotbeds for trafficking…the piece [is]…riddled with more holes than a New Orleans paved road…its authors consistently equate exotic dancing and prostitution with “trafficking”…moreover, the Times-Picayune denies actually having uncovered a pervasive trafficking problem, explaining in the first part of the series that “there has been no evidence that clubs knowingly employed dancers who were victims of human trafficking”…the paper’s gripe with the clubs appears entirely based on the [fantastic] premise that “[s]ome pimps are known to require women under their control to dance in clubs”…

…competing news media are coming out on the sex workers’ side, and the Advocate even gave column space to stripper Reese Piper:

Stripping allows people to not just survive, but thrive, with flexible hours, high earning potential, and a low bar of entry.  When I graduated college, I had more than $80,000 in debt.  Dancing eased that burden…I am also autistic — a disability that makes it difficult to hold down a traditional job…it’s our right to work without fear just like everyone else…

Stupor Bowl (#811)

The real reason the government keeps pushing the thoroughly-debunked “Super Bowl sex trafficking” myth:

Guests at this year’s Super Bowl game in Minneapolis can expect cops, checkpoints, and security theater everywhere, in no small part thanks to the myth that the Super Bowl is a mass sex-trafficking event…”sex trafficking” gives federal and local authorities an excuse for posting police anywhere and everywhere people are gathering—and for enlisting citizens as spies, too…We’re transforming Minneapolis into a police state to…crack down on an issue that almost everyone admits is imaginary…Even crony charity groups that spread all sorts of sex-trafficking misinformation found this myth too easily debunkable to keep repeating.  Pretty much the only folks who haven’t gotten the memo that Super Bowl sex-trafficking panic is bunk are the law-enforcement agents who benefit from promoting it…

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I am a mother, I am a grandmother, and I am a sex worker. – Cris Sardina

Whore Madonnas 

Long-time readers may recall one of the ladies who worked for my agency also did it to pay for treatment for her son’s blood disorder:

A mother whose Irish-born child has a severe form of sickle cell disease…was so “desperate” she resorted to prostitution for a time to fund his medication…If deported to her native Nigeria, the mother fears her son, now aged eight, will be seriously adversely affected due to the quality of treatment available in Nigeria and her inability to pay for it, including blood transfusions…The boy was born two months after his mother came to Ireland in 2009.  After a deportation order was made in 2011, she evaded it and later took three legal challenges.  The mother and child were accommodated by the State from 2014 and provided with a medical card under which the child’s treatment is funded…

The argument for deportation advanced by counsel for the Irish government basically amounts to, “So what?”

The Proper Study

As usual, studies prove what we’ve been saying all along:

A large new study out of the U.K. formalizes what sex workers have been saying…for years:  The internet has revolutionized erotic industries for the better, making sex work safer, less isolating, and less open to exploitation…Most—59 percent—started somewhere between ages 18 and 29, with about 20 percent starting after age 30.  Only 5 percent said they started between the ages of 13 and 17…Eighty-six percent agreed that they had good relationships with their customers, with only 11 percent saying they felt disrespected by their clients; 82 percent reported that they’re either satisfied or very satisfied with their working conditions…new challenges [are] mostly related to the erosion of the boundaries between online personas and real identities.  More than half worried that family or friends might find out what they do through the internet…Another strain on British sex workers, predictably, came from policies criminalizing certain aspects of prostitution…

Crying for Nanny

Yet another attempt to rob businesses using “sex trafficking” hysteria as a weapon:

A [soi-disant] sex trafficking victim from Houston is taking Backpage.com and several well-known truck stops and hotel chains to court, claiming they profited from her suffering.  The alleged victim, identified only as “Jane Doe #1,” is suing the classifieds website as well as Hyatt Hotels, Love’s Travel Stops and Pilot Travel Centers, among others…”Jane Doe #1″…[claims] the businesses…were aware, the lawsuit claims, of what was really happening…

Soap Opera

Prohibitionists think women are so stupid they can’t remember  “911”:

…Before the Super Bowl, [“rescue” profiteers] will distribute “Freedom Stickers,” and encourage Minnesotans to place them in public restrooms.  The stickers, which are printed in English and Spanish, contain the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline and encourage women who are in an unsafe situation to call or text the number for assistance.  Nita Belles, the executive director of In Our Backyard…said she realized that one of the only times a woman is alone is when she’s in a bathroom stall.  Belles began placing “shoe cards” in restroom stalls–small cards with a hotline number, which could be hidden in a shoe.  The Freedom Sticker is a similar concept, but since…[Belles masturbates to the fantasy of women being] stripped [sic] searched, the sticker cannot be removed from the restroom.  Instead, Belles says a woman [so stupid she can’t remember the numbers “911”] can store the number in her phone or text it privately from the restroom stall.  After someone calls the hotline, they can be connected to [cops] or other [prohibitionists]…

Watershed

Slowly but surely, feminists are coming over to our side:

…at the Women’s March Power to the Polls event in Las Vegas…Cris Sardina, head of Desiree Alliance…was the only one of 30-plus onstage speakers to focus on the rights of…sex workers…But even as a lone voice in the day’s lineup, she symbolized a powerful shift — as did the noticeable presence of many sex-worker rights activists, who turned out more forcefully than they did for last year’s main Women’s March event.  That was due, said many, to a more targeted welcome effort on the part of event organizers.  They aimed to right a perceived wrong from last year, as publicized by Janet Mock, over briefly watering down and then removing a sentence embracing sex workers from the Women’s March mission statement, before reinstating it under pressure…

To Molest and Rape 

What other job’s perks include “get away with serial rape of minors”?

Twenty sexual assault charges against [Maine cop]…Kenneth L. Hatch III will be dismissed as part of a plea agreement that calls for Hatch to plead guilty to providing a place for minors to consume alcohol…In November, jurors in Kennebec County found Hatch…not guilty of two counts of sexual abuse of a minor…but…hung on the other 20 charges of sexual crimes involving three teenagers…Superior Court Justice William R. Stokes declared a mistrial on the remaining charges, which included sexually abusing three women when they were younger than 16, and one when she was 6…

Property of the State (#724) 

Seriously, ladies, y’all really ought to opt for permanent sterilization, because this ain’t gonna get better soon:

The Big Horn County [Montana] Attorney has announced a “crackdown policy” on expectant mothers who…use drugs and alcohol during their pregnancies…Jay Harris…said his office will begin issuing restraining orders against pregnant women found to be using alcohol or drugs, aside from prescriptions.  If they violate the restraining order…his office will “prosecute on a contempt basis and seek incarceration in order to incapacitate the drug or alcohol-addicted expecting mother.”  The policy of stepping up civil prosecutions against pregnant addicts was spurred by…a 2014 case in Ravalli County, in which a woman was charged with criminal child endangerment for allegedly putting her unborn child at risk by using illegal drugs.  The case was thrown out by a district court judge, and Harris said his office had been advised against pursuing the same legal strategy…

Check Your Premises (#782)

The real result of “sex trafficking” laws:

The cops of [Houston], Texas, routinely bust adult women and men in prostitution stings while assuring us it has to be done in order to find and save teens selling sex.  So what happens when they find girls doing just that?  Why, they arrest them too—and charge one with a felony.  It’s yet another example of the disparity between what authorities say their priorities are and where their priorities evidently lie.  Police arrested the two teenagers [in a sting] on January 18…The younger girl faces a misdemeanor prostitution charge.  The older girl, age 17, is charged with promoting the prostitution of a minor…Police allege that she “coached” the younger teen on how to sell sex…the older girl is still underage herself—a former “child sex trafficking victim,” in the county officials’ usual parlance.  She has mostly gotten out of prostitution and is now taking college classes and working a retail job.  Nonetheless, Harris County has chosen to treat her as a predator…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#808) 

This was the last club I danced in before moving on to escorting:

State authorities have ordered the emergency suspension of the liquor permit at Rick’s Cabaret…in the wake of four other suspensions at strip clubs…A new organization that represents French Quarter dancers, the Bourbon Alliance of Responsible Entertainers, issued a statement…Lyn Archer…said that women had been “emotionally degraded” during raids…and are now “facing the loss of their jobs”…

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The truth is that prostitution is more influential than you might think.  –  Candida Moss

Whore Madonnas 

Another woman’s child abducted by the state because of her work:

A [Swedish] woman…has had her child [abducted by the state] since it was discovered that she was [a sex worker.  Cops based their case on absolutely nothing other than her]…advertisements online…[police pretend] there is a risk that the health and development of the child will be harmed because the mother has taken unknown sex buyers to the home…

So if “strange men in the home” is the problem, is Sweden also going to start abducting the children of single mothers who date?

Full of Themselves 

When the word “illicit” is used to describe sex, you can safely assume you’re reading prohibitionist propaganda:

The customers themselves led [pigs] to…Hadley Massage Therapy…[by writing reviews on] Rubmaps.com…“These are reviews on victims of human trafficking,’’ [panted] Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey [over the hum of her vibrator]…“It’s terrible their depiction of women…It’s just truly appalling.”  The now-closed Hadley Massage Therapy is one of hundreds of erotic massage centers described on Rubmaps…in Massachusetts alone — and there are some 7,000 nationwide.  But, even though law enforcement officials can easily find [massage parlors]…listings on these sites seldom lead to prosecution…

Looks like Rubmaps may become the new prohibitionist target after Backpage; that’s a relief for escorts but very bad for the mostly-Asian women who work at massage parlors, because it’s so easy for “authorities” to use them in violent racist wanking fantasies and their immigrant status makes it very easy for “authorities” to just deport them without the expense and trouble of a trial, all while depicting their victimization by the state as a “rescue”.

Worse Than I Thought

I guess they don’t have anything better to do in Idaho than use elaborate wanking fantasies to justify destroying people’s lives:

In an effort to [harm sex workers, Idaho politician]…Brent Crane…said…he’ll introduce legislation making a first-time offense of soliciting prostitution a felony.  Currently, that’s a misdemeanor…Crane [fantasized that sex workers are “victims” and] said…“Most of these are vulnerable children and women”…

Watershed

Slowly but surely, we’re seeing less anti-whore propaganda and more of this:

The truth is that prostitution is more influential than you might think: not only have ladies of the night inspired poets and artists, they have brought down governments, helped win wars, and shaped our aesthetics…

Paint By Numbers

Do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, but declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”; stupid people will believe you and give you money:

Utah-based bedding accessories maker Malouf is bringing together the biggest and best names in the bedding industry to fight human trafficking.  From 5 to 7 p.m. on January 28, the company will host its first Forging Freedom event in the Malouf showroom…more than 2 million children in the world [are] living as sex slaves…Timothy Ballard, founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, one of the Malouf Foundation’s key partners, will be the featured speaker at the event…

Storyville (#697)

It’s good to see credit being given to sex workers for all we’ve done for America:

Sex workers helped build America.  These women came to the Wild West…and…became business oligarchs, they built entire communities and forged their own independence…as new sources for coal and metal mining were discovered, towns sprung up overnight to house the influx of workers that appeared in the Southwest to mine it.  Suddenly, you had entire towns with thousands of men and maybe a dozen or so women…business-minded women started arriving in these towns and setting up shop as sex workers.  Soon, these women were earning, in one job, what they might otherwise earn in a week as a factory worker or clerk…

Challenge (#785)

This decision is cased on a blatant lie; the gay couple in Lawrence were not in a committed relationship:

A federal appeals court has sided against the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education, and Research Project (ESPLERP) in a case challenging the constitutionality of California’s law criminalizing prostitution.  During oral arguments last October, judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit seemed somewhat sympathetic to ESPLERP’s position, which relied on similar arguments to those used in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that destroyed the country’s laws against gay sex.  But…a three-judge panel wound up affirming the district court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit.  The panel…concludes that sex workers’ rights to earn a living is not violated by the criminalization of prostitution because prostitution is illegal and “there is no constitutional rights to engage in illegal employment”…

Yes, the court actually ruled that a challenge to a law was wrong because that law exists.  Using that “logic”, no challenge to any law could ever succeed.

One Born Every Minute (#794) 

Scumbag rapist gets far less than he deserves, but he might not have been punished at all if not for the work of Sydney Brownstone:

Matt Hickey, the Seattle freelance journalist who ran a porn scam for more than a decade and was accused of rape by seven women, has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.  Four women were able to file formal charges against Hickey, and he eventually    took a plea deal for a felony sex offense and three counts of assault…Judge Mary Roberts…gave Hickey the maximum 34-month sentence in a state prison facility, a place on the sex offender registry, and three years of community custody after he’s released.  Judge Roberts said she wished she could have sentenced Hickey longer, consecutively for all his crimes, but was limited by the law.  She also prohibited Hickey from using the internet to solicit contact with women during his probation…

The Widening Gyre (#801) 

This latest example of an “authority” trying to regain control of a runaway moral panic is utterly bizarre:

A state district judge in [Texas] said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a…woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.  Judge Jack Robison…defended his actions by telling [jurors] “when God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it”…The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison…The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial, but was denied.  Robison’s actions could trigger an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which has disciplined [him] in the past…

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I’m really getting pretty damned sick of the infantile “enthusiastic consent” trope, which promotes a fairy-tale view of human sexuality in which the only possible reason for having sex is “fun”, the only acceptable form of consent is throwing oneself into sex with the wild and totally senseless abandon of a teenage wererabbit on coke, and all enjoyment of the act must be “fair” and “equal” (but how something so subjective is to be measured, we aren’t told).  This is both dumb and dangerous.  “Fun” is immaterial; this is the kind of argument used to stigmatize sex workers because we don’t have work-sex for “fun” or “pleasure”.  The actual standard is, “Did everyone get enough of what they were looking for out of the encounter to be OK with it?  And if not, was it because the other person was actually behaving badly?”  There are lots of reasons for having sex, and “fun” or personal pleasure is only one of them.  Just because it’s the only one you personally appreciate doesn’t make all the dozens of other reasons “bad” or “wrong” or “lesser”.  Even people who do enjoy a sex act don’t necessarily enter into it “enthusiastically”.  I know that I never do; being persuaded is a big part of the pleasure of sex for me, and I’m not remotely alone.  And someone who needs to be persuaded is, by definition, not “enthusiastic”.  Finally, even if the sex wasn’t everything you wanted, that does not automatically mean the other person was acting maliciously. Use your damned adult judgment, for Aphrodite’s sake; most people of both sexes are crap in bed, so bad sex is usually just due to the incompetence of one or both partners, not some eeeeeeeeeeeeevil plot on the part of one of them.

Furthermore, “enthusiasm” is a form of behavior characteristic of people incapable of actually considering all the aspects of a situation they find themselves in; it’s the elder sister of disappointment and the mother of resentment.  “Enthusiasm” is what happens when hormones or neurology overwhelm considered judgment.  It’s much more common in the young, whose brains haven’t completely stabilized yet.  And while it can be intoxicating to experience, it’s unwise to make important decisions while intoxicated.

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Everyone has to have a first time.  –  Michael Diebold

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

It’s so nice to watch them feeding on their own:

Yet another [pig] has been  caught up in a child-sex sting conducted by his colleagues…Michael Diebold—chief of police for the small Western Pennsylvania town of Leechburg—was arrested after arranging a sexual tryst with [a cop] he [should have known] was [not] a 14-year-old girl…Diebold was not initially seeking an underage companion; his ad [on Kik] sought an adult female for a consensual dom/sub relationship.  But the chief was apparently undeterred when the “woman” who responded said she was actually just 14 years old and in the eight grade. “Everyone has to have a first time,” Diebold allegedly responded…

N.B.: Western Pennsylvania cops rape sex workers before arresting them even more frequently than is typical in the U.S.

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

Ireland has witnessed a surge in sexually transmitted diseases with the peak transmission period of the Christmas and New Year party season still to report…rates of all major STIs have dramatically increased from 2012-2016…there has been an increase in detection of HIV (+51%), Syphilis (+11%), Gonorrhea (+53%), Chlamydia (+10%) and Herpes (+21%)…

Scapegoats 

I don’t think ‘ve ever seen the word “molest” used in this context before:

…an [Alabama] man is…accused with [sic] molesting a horse…18-year-old Daniel Bennett was caught in the horse’s stable…The…owner of the…horse, a 20-year-old mare named Polly, told investigators she suspected the horse’s stall had been tampered with several times throughout December…

Unlike a certain fellow Alabamian, I guess Daniel likes older ladies.

Whatever They Need To Say

Gentrification is one of the most common motivations for persecution of sex workers:

December saw another raid on a sex workers’ workplace in Tel Aviv, with 11 people arrested on charges of running a “prostitution ring”…The majority of those arrested are [charged with] money laundering and evading millions of shekels in taxes.  Hebrew media reports have been sensationalist…Over the last year, the district surrounding the central bus station has been targeted for increased raids, and many argue this is related directly to gentrification of the area.  There is an increased police presence, and landlords have taken to increasing rents at rapid speeds and evicting people they suspect to be sex workers…many of whom have been based in the area for decades…

Standard Operating Procedure

If only amateurs realized how common this sort of thing is:

Eager to please the young leader of a promising potential ally in the Middle East, the CIA enlisted the help of billionaire Howard Hughes’s longtime fixer to find women for Jordan’s King Hussein…during his spring 1959 trip to the United States…[the arrangement] likely turned into a relationship between Hussein and B-movie actress Susan Cabot that may have produced the son who eventually beat Cabot to death in 1986…the agency used private investigator Robert Maheu, a former FBI agent, to find “female companionship” for the 23-year-old King during his trip to Los Angeles…The document refers only to a “foreign head of state” but the timeline included in the memo corresponds to the times Hussein was in the United States…

Dysphemisms Galore 

One day, “People who need money do lucrative work to get it!” will be recognized as the non-story it is:

As homelessness mounts…a growing number of young men are selling sex online.  [Manchester’s] male sex workers often use websites like Craigslist to advertise to clients…And…”survival sex” is becoming increasingly common amongst the hundreds of young men selling their bodies…Many…have recently been released from prison…Charity workers say they can look unremarkable, making it difficult to identify [them for targeted “rescue” persecution]…

The Punitive Mindset (#600) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

Hours after…ACLU…accused it of censorship, New Jersey prison officials rolled back a ban on Michelle Alexander’s influential critique of mass incarceration, The New Jim Crow…State prison systems ban thousands upon thousands of books…Texas, one of the most censorious prison systems in the nation, bans roughly 10,000 publications, including  The Color PurpleWhere’s Waldo?, and John Pfaff’s Locked In, another book on mass incarceration.  It does, however, allow Mein Kampf.  Just last week, new rules went into effect at three New York prisons banning care packages that aren’t purchased through one of five approved vendors…NYC Books Through Bars, a volunteer group that sends free books to inmates across the country…wrote in a letter last week to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that…”The approved vendors’ catalogs are currently limited to the following books: five romance novels, fourteen bibles and other religious texts, twenty-­four drawing or coloring books, twenty-­one puzzle books, eleven guitar, chess, and how-­to books, one dictionary, and one thesaurus.  No books that help people learn to overcome addictions…no…literature…No texts that help provide skills essential to finding and maintaining work after release“…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#604) 

Nope.  The primary customers for male sex robots, like the primary customers for male sex workers, will also be male:

…Matt McMullen, CEO of Realbotix…[said] he is aiming to release a male [sexbot]…which he is yet to name…Dr Cathy O’Neil [fantasizes]…that sex robots could rending men obsolete…Dr David Levy [fantasized] male [robots]…could be more popular than sex toys such as vibrators and dildos.  He [moronically stated] “I’m sure women will find robots equally appealing as men”…

O, Canada! (#785)

After you read this prohibitionist propaganda, follow the title link back for the truth about the recently-renamed “Operation Northern Spotlight”:

…They’re called vice probes, or door knocks.  London [Ontario]’s human trafficking unit was formed in early 2016, and uses [deceiving sex workers] as a way to [force contact with] women they [claim] might need help…[cops] pore over advertisements posted on popular websites advertising sex work, looking for [fantasized] signs of trafficking — women who move around frequently, look very young, are branded in some way, such as a tattoo, or who have few restrictions about the sex work they offer…

The Mote and the Beam (#798)

I’m afraid this might be too little, too late:

Craigslist has hired its first federal lobbyists…from the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, including former Rep. Rick Boucher…The hires…were prompted by a pair of sex trafficking bills that has galvanized opposition from web companies [because]…they threaten the legal framework underlying the [internet]…the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act…would make it easier for prosecutors and [profiteers]…to go after…Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that gives broad legal protections for web platforms from content posted by their users…The legislation also appeared to prompt the popular forum site Reddit to hire its first federal lobbyists

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Two days ago, Dan Savage shared this letter on Twitter and asked a number of sex workers he knows for their input: 

There were a lot of answers you might find interesting, and a lot of interaction between posters; you might like to check out the thread.  But this column has limited space, so I’m just going to reproduce two answers here.  The first is from my dear friend Mistress Matisse, who saw the tweet an hour or so before I did:

It’s not about “fair”, that’s a false equivalence. It’s about: what do each person needs to be happy, and can the other person support that.  Polyamory is not supposed to be a strictly tit-for-tat situation (no pun intended).  If this man feels that he wants to be polyamorous, then he should do that, and his partner should decide whether she’s OK with that or not, and either stay or go.  If this lady wants to do sex work, and it has nothing to do with polyamory for her, then she should do it.  And her partner can decide that he is or is not OK being partners with a sex worker.  But these two people are comparing apples to oranges, and they need to unhitch these two completely different concepts from each other and work them out separately.  Because you can’t pretend they’re the same.  To me (and this is just me) being reluctantly monogamous OR polyamorous because your partner wants it is right up there with having a kid when you don’t really want one, but your partner does.  It’s not really fair to anybody, and it’s just going to poison the whole situation.  And as you may well imagine, I don’t think anyone has the right to tell you that you may not use your body to make a living in any way you see fit (short of violence) just because they bought into some meaningless societal dictates that have been force-fed to us all.

The rest of the column is my answer:

I really like Matisse’s answer to this, but I’d like to add that I see both parties being unreasonable here in different ways.  He clearly doesn’t see her work as work, but as recreational, and that’s going to cause problems down the road NO MATTER HOW they resolve this situation.  I absolutely guarantee that whether she quits working or not, he will at some future time hold her sex work over her head, because 1) he clearly equates it to promiscuity, and 2) he thinks of promiscuity as something “lesser” if not quite “bad”.  Furthermore, what’s her alternative if she quits sex work?  Doing some shit job in an office working for a boss for far less money?  That’s going to breed resentment.  I quit sex work TWICE for “love”, and it was a bad idea both times.  At the same time, I don’t think she’s really being reasonable either.  So what if his reason for having other partners is different from hers?  Setting up a hierarchy of motivations (“My reason for doing X is more acceptable than your reason for doing a not-dissimilar thing”) is also a recipe for resentment in the relationship.  People are different; they have different views and different priorities, and comparing them to one another is just as damaging to a relationship as demanding that both parties get exactly the same thing out sex or other cooperative activities.  As a woman who has a lot of difficulty achieving orgasm, should I demand my partner not climax until I have, and that each of us has to have sex for personal pleasure and only for that reason each time?  Of course not; that would be unreasonable and sabotage the relationship.  Yet our culture worships “mutuality” in sex as though it were a cultic totem, even though it’s as undependable and ultimately meaningless as “love at first sight”.  So what I’m saying is, as Matisse pointed out, each person has to conduct themselves as they feel they want and need to, with honesty and without unrealistic expectations of some kind of parity.  And if the other person is OK with that, then the relationship will work.  But the second either of the parties starts bean-counting or saying “you can’t do that”, or “if you do that I’ll do this”, or “it’s not fair!”, that relationship is headed for a really rocky road without a spare tire.

(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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Sexworkers don’t need their therapist to “rescue” them.  –  Ronete Cohen

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

A new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that [legal minors] who were legally required to register as sex offenders were at greater risk for harm, including suicide attempts and sexual assault, compared to a group of [minors] who engaged in harmful or illegal sexual behavior but who were not required to register…The study found that registered [minors] were four times as likely to report a recent suicide attempt in the last 30 days, compared to nonregistered [minors.  They]…were nearly twice as likely to have experienced a sexual assault and were five times as likely to have been approached by an adult for sex in the past year….[they] also reported higher rates of other mental health problems, more peer relationship problems, more experiences with peer violence and a lower sense of safety…

The study inexplicably and inaccurately refers to all of its subjects as “children” even though most of them are young [teenage] adults.

The Notorious Badge

It’s good to see a few realistic movies about sex workers:

Anahí Berneri…focuses her lens on a young prostitute in Buenos Aires who struggles to make ends meet in the face of a police force that declares her profession legal, but closes down the brothel where she works…Sofía Gala Castaglione’s performance alongside her real-life son often feels like a documentary.  She imbues Alanis with spunk and determination while allowing for moments of heartbreaking vulnerability.  After two [vice pigs] conduct a sting, posing as potential clients, she is kicked out of the apartment she lives and works out of.  Her friend and roommate Gisela (Dana Basso) is [caged] for running a brothel out of her home which leaves Alanis out on the street without money, clothes, or diapers.  She turns to her aunt for a place to stay and looks for a less volatile line of work, but desperation and the promise of quick cash draws her back to sex work…

Worse Than I Thought

Better headline: “Most moronic & childish sentence ever”:

What is believed to be the longest sentence anywhere in the United States for human trafficking was given out on Tuesday in [Denver]…Brock Franklin was sentenced to 472 years for operating an organized crime ring that put females into prostitution. He was designated a habitual offender…

472 years?  Really?  This is patently absurd; if they wanted the guy locked in a cage forever, there’s a sentence called “life without parole”, but I guess that doesn’t produce as much amusement value at drinking parties.  Does anyone need any more evidence that this is a sick game for prosecutors?  The attorney general of Colorado said this sentence “sends a message”, and she’s right; the message is, “all prosecutors are sociopaths”.

Drama Queens (#48)

Dr. David Ley on sex workers and therapy:

In the minds of many clinicians, involvement in sexwork…is seen as a hallmark sign of behavioral health disturbance, typically associated with severe substance use disorders…Today, amidst a nationwide campaign about human trafficking, many therapists grow concerned that a patient involved in sexwork has been subjected to human trafficking…However…investigation of various risk factors for sexwork, such as drugs, mental health problems, or economic/social vulnerability, have not found consistent or replicated indicators.   Increasingly, individuals consensually involved in various aspects of sexwork are seeking mental health support, and experiencing stigma, assumptions, and judgment from their clinicians…

The Widening Gyre (#507) 

If there is a Hell, people who pimp sex workers’ corpses are going straight to the bottom:

The estate of a [sex worker murdered] by a [client] in a…Portland hotel in 2014 has filed a $3.6 million lawsuit against the owners of the Hilton hotel chain and Backpage.com…[claiming]…Ashley Benson…was forced to appear in multiple ads for sex on Backpage.com…Her killer, Tae Bum Yoon…met with her repeatedly, stalked her, monitored her activity and tracked her whereabouts for several months through the website, the lawsuit said.  He became upset when he saw her [touring] in Austin, Texas.  He used a stolen identity to check into the DoubleTree on Christmas Day 2014 and lure Benson there, the lawsuit said…

If you follow the links back, you’ll see that the greedy family got the “sex trafficking” narrative from the pigs, who started publicly wanking to “trafficking” fantasies over Benson’s corpse before it was even cold.

Dating Game

More evidence that “free” pussy is the most expensive kind:

…Lindy Lou Layman, a 29-year-old Dallas court reporter, was on [a first] date with attorney Anthony Buzbee on Dec. 23 when she…became intoxicated, hid from [Buzbee] inside his own $14 million mansion, and, when he tried twice to get her an Uber ride home, started attacking his art…she was charged with felony criminal mischief after allegedly tearing three paintings off the wall, pouring an unidentified liquid on them, and destroying two abstract sculptures by “throwing them across the room”…two of the paintings were original Warhols valued at $500,000 apiece.  The sculptures…were worth $20,000 each…

Hard Numbers (#624)

Whores in the so-called “developing world” are so much better at activism than those of us in the US:

…In Brazil, sex work remains politically and socially contentious.  But thanks to a staunch sex worker movement in the country, the people who actually do the work have made themselves key contributors to the debate.  It…has…fought tirelessly for the full recognition of sex work as a profession.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of that movement…In July 1987, sex workers Gabriela Leite and Lourdes Barreto held the first national meeting for Brazil’s prostitutes.  It resulted in the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes (BNP) as well as the publication of a newsletter Beijo da Rua (Kiss from the Street).  The BNP’s mission was to build a new discourse of prostitution, not tied to crime or victimisation…

To Molest and Rape 

I hope they tack on several years for running away:

…In April 2006, [Utah jailer William] Lawrence handcuffed a woman in his apartment…and [raped her]…He also showed the woman a badge and threatened to take her to jail and call the Division of Child and Family Services if she didn’t comply…Lawrence pleaded guilty to forcible sex abuse, a third-degree felony, in 2007.  In exchange for his guilty plea, a charge of forcible sodomy was dropped.  He failed to show up for sentencing in April 2008, so a warrant was issued for his arrest.  In October…investigators discovered that Lawrence had created a fake identity and was living in Hawaii.  He was arrested there without incident last month…

Too Close To Home (#760)

Here’s another exercise in cop-fellation and myth-regurgitation masquerading as journalism.  Do prohibitionists have so little to talk about that they need to keep rehashing a two-year-old story as though it happened yesterday? Are they so intellectually and morally bankrupt that they really don’t think it’s necessary to fact-check a self-congratulatory piece of racist, anti-sex propaganda when there are plenty of actual facts, including Liz Brown’s savage debunking of Seattle’s official claims, to be found all over the internet?  This moral panic needs to hurry up and die already, because judging by the stench it’s already putrefying.

The Widening Gyre (#778) 

It’s hilarious watching the cops trying to regain control of a runaway moral panic:

The Reno Police Department received reports of “at least 14 [non-] incidents” in the area over the past month of women [imagining they were] being followed by suspicious subjects…Lt. Zack Thew said…all incidents had one common thread:  No…crimes were committed…[but] “We are treating this as a top priority [anyhow]”…He said some of the suspicious subjects were reported as…”[talking] on a cell phone”…Some women have been with their children at the time of the reported [non-] incident…In the majority of [non-] incidents…there was no contact between the [supposedly] suspicious person and the woman…

The idea that being within sight of a woman while talking on a phone constitutes a “suspicious incident” is ludicrous even by “sex trafficking” standards.

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