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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Live fast ’cause it won’t last.  –  Chris Stein & Debbie Harry

In Monday’s column “Crystal-Gazing” I wrote, “I don’t think it’s likely I’ll be around to see [the mid 2030s], but many of you will be.”  Several readers asked me why I believed I wouldn’t make it to that point; after all, I’d only have to live to 70, and the average white American woman born in the 1960s lives to about 75.  Now, I could point out that statistically, my chance of dying before 70 is roughly equal to my chance of living past 80, but that wouldn’t quite be true; a lot of the reason the life expectancy keeps increasing is that infant mortality keeps decreasing, so anyone who survives childhood isn’t statistically likely to live as much longer than her ancestors as it might appear just from looking at those life expectancy figures.  Also, most of the female members of my family live into their ’80s, even if the male ones have an odd tendency to die under strange and often newsworthy circumstances (ask me about that if we ever get drunk together).  That having been said, a fair number of relatives of both sexes have contracted cancer or more-exotic terminal diseases, some of them at early ages (like the maternal uncle who died of leukemia in his late teens), and I’ve had several close brushes with sudden death (two of them of the “hushed-nurse-saying-I-shouldn’t-be-alive” variety), so I don’t think my familial or personal life expectancy is quite as high as that of the general population.

And thereby hangs the tale.  As I’ve stated before, I have absolutely no intention of ever enduring chemotherapy; if I develop cancer I’m going to seek out palliative care, put my affairs in order and let the disease take its course.  I’ve seen more than my share of people I love spending their last days hooked to machines in sterile institutions, dying in infernal contraptions surrounded by shouting doctors and nurses pounding on their chests and shooting chemicals into their veins, or electrically shocking their soon-to-be-corpses, instead of expiring quietly in their own beds surrounded by loved ones.  So I have a DNR order; if it’s respected I will die when I die rather than being dragged violently back across the threshold because mere humans have decided I’m not allowed to leave this plane yet.  Furthermore, though the more strictly-rational among my readers may scoff, I’ve never claimed to be strictly rational; my several close brushes with death (and a frank assessment of the chances I have taken in the past and those I continue to take on a regular basis) have led me to feel that I’m living on borrowed time, and Death knows that “when he at last come to collect me it will be a rendezvous rather than a capture“.  Death and I are old friends; he was gracious enough not to interrupt my work before it was done, and it’s the least I can do to return that favor when the time comes.  He’s passed me by on several occasions when he probably should have taken me, and I’m not such a fool that I think he’s going to keep doing that indefinitely.

Nor would I want him to.  I’ve clearly stated my philosophy on this subject many times, including in my fiction; it’s mortality which gives life meaning, and I think it’s a bit rude for those whose dance is done to keep hogging the floor rather than making “room for the new dancers who are always waiting for their turn.”  And besides all of that, I’m far too independent to be able to enjoy a life of decrepitude and dependence, and far too vain to desire a life in which I’m no longer the object of desire.  The song below has always been among the larger group of my favorites, and I don’t feel any differently about it at 50 than I did at 15; when I go, I want people to still be able to honestly talk about how beautiful I was.  Shallow?  Probably.  Silly?  Maybe.  But my friends will tell you I rarely ask for anything, so I don’t think it’s greedy of me to ask that no one begrudge my wish to not have to endure years or decades of life after the things I like best about it are gone.

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Sex workers are literally dying because of [brothelkeeping] law.
–  Wendy Lyon

Whores and Wives

Let’s hope this means Snopes will start doing more to debunk “sex trafficking” lies:

Snopes.com’s founders, former husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson, are embroiled in a lengthy and bitter legal dispute in the wake of their divorce.  He has since remarried, to a former escort and porn actress who is one of the site’s staff members.  They are accusing each other of financial impropriety, with Barbara claiming her ex-husband is guilty of “embezzlement” and suggesting he is attempting a “boondoggle” to change tax arrangements, while David claims she took millions from their joint accounts and bought property in Las Vegas…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Could this bootlicking be any more pompous?

Like many other law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California, Long Beach police have turned their attention to eliminating the scourge of human trafficking…The department formed a task force and vowed to arrest people who profited from and exploited the sex trade…[except] when one of their own officers was accused of trying to exploit the illicit sex trade the department wants to stamp out…William Scott Holder…was arrested last year in a…sting in Corona…[but] remains employed by the department…

Check Your Premises

Remember that these statements are being made by supposedly rational adults who have the power to inflict violence on others at will:

[A confused & self-contradictory propaganda] notice from the Malheur County (Ore.) Sheriff’s Office didn’t [make much sense]…“Victims of sex trafficking and prostitution are forced, coerced and manipulated into this lifestyle against their will…prostitutes…still may be charged no matter what…Because if you don’t charge them, then there’s no incentive to change…we don’t throw them out to the same manager, or pimp, if you will…Most often, they won’t [pretend the cop narrative is true], so you do everything you can to [force] them…to [pretend] that they were or are victims”…[cops pretended that] the 11 men charged with commercial sexual solicitation…responded to decoy ads police placed on “known sex trafficking websites” [even though there is no such thing]…

Profit from Panic 

Three quarters of a million no-strings dollars to spread propaganda & infantilize women:

The Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, was awarded a three-year, $750,000 grant…from the U.S. Department of Justice…The charity’s victim assistance program partners directly with local law enforcement to help human trafficking victims become more independent…”We help them go from not being able to tie their shoes to being independent and able to sustain themselves,” [chief propagandist Chuck] Anderson said…Typical signs that someone may be a victim include signs of physical abuse, tattoos or brand marks, especially ones that say “property of,” and possessing large amounts of cash…

Wait, large amounts of cash?  I though the “pimps” took every penny?  I guess people who can’t tie their shoes can’t count, either.

Imagination Pinned Down kazaam-poster

Another example of how people’s memories can be rewritten by others:

…[many people]…recall…a movie called Shazaam…in the early Nineties …the movie starred the American stand-up comedian Sinbad…as an incompetent genie who granted wishes to two young children…[some claim] detailed scene-by-scene recollections of the film…hundreds of Redditors…have used the popular social news site to discuss their memories of Shazaam.  Together they have scoured the internet to find evidence that the movie existed but each has repeatedly come up empty-handed.  Sinbad himself has even taken to Twitter to deny that he ever played such a role…It all began in 2009 [when] an anonymous individual took to…Yahoo! Answers to pose its users a simple question. “Do you remember that…movie in the early 90s where sinbad the…comedian played a genie?”…it took another two years for somebody else to ask about it again online…last year…things took [off on Reddit]…In 1996, the basketball player Shaquille O’Neal played a genie who helped a young boy find his estranged father in a commercially unsuccessful film…[named] Kazaam

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín is back with a novel dramatizing the problems faced by migrants:

European borders are the gates of Hell, lurked over by hounds of police and organized crime…illegal migrants and smugglers are outsiders doing whatever it takes to make good, often by selling sex…In the realm of undocumented migration, knuckling under to thugs can be the sensible alternative to drowning at sea, and putting up with rotten jobs preferable to pointless lives back home…The Three-Headed Dog is international mystery in a downward-spiralling scenario for human mobility…

With Friends Like These…

You might be forgiven for thinking that an article which starts out like this would be pro-decriminalization:

Jamie Rosseland…remembers the day her mugshot and charge were published in a Jacksonville newsletter [ironically] called the Victim’s Advocate as part of a column called “Shame, Shame, Shame”…those publications fuel a stigma against women who are arrested for prostitution…

Unfortunately, you’d be wrong; the rest is a typical “whores are mindless victims” mess which quotes (among others) arch-prohibitionist Pete Holmes, the Seattle city attorney paid to lap up Swanee Hunt’s “end demand” vomit and puke it out again all over reporters.

The Mote and the Beam (#332)

Once the courts waver in slapping down attempts to destroy legal protections, it won’t be long before the vultures start circling:

The families of three fatally shot victims [from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando]…filed a lawsuit against Google, Twitter and Facebook…[pretending] the tech companies provided “material support” for the radicalization of Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired shooter Omar Mateen…The suit [pretends]…all three tech giants…”knowingly and recklessly” [chose not to censor]…accounts associated [by unnamed “authorities”] with ISIS…and allowed the extremist group “to use its social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds, and attracting new recruits”…

The most dangerous part of the suit is that Mateen, an adult, was magically “radicalized” against his will by these mind-control messages; i.e., they paint a disturbed murderer as the passive victim of hypnotic rays beamed through the internet.  Sound familiar?  This is what happens when you allow a precedent to be established that people are passive victims of anyone who can be “othered”, especially when the so-called villains are multi-billion dollar corporations who may be bullied into paying up because it’s cheaper in the long run than fighting these nuisance suits.

Soap Opera (#520) 

Just when you thought the “anti-pimp personal hygiene products” trope couldn’t get any stupider:

…America and Penelope, “The CyberCode Twins,” are developing Beacon of Hope…once activated, [it] can give authorities real-time updates on victims’ whereabouts.  The trackers are embedded into tampons and pads, which would be available from dispensers at highway rest stops, gas stations and casinos.  At the press of a button, a woman in trouble could get a tracker tampon and carry it in her purse or pocket…Beacon of Hope is part of a larger movement to show how tech can be used more broadly to combat…human trafficking…

To Molest and Rape rapist-pig-barrett-boeker

Once again: if you think it matters whether a costumed rapist was “on duty” or not at the time of the rape, you are part of the problem:

An assistant warden at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola…[committed] rape inside the prison walls.  Barrett Boeker…was charged with one count of second-degree rape…and [arrested]…[Boeker committed] the rape [while off duty]…on Nov. 30 at [his] home on Angola property…the…victim was “not an inmate”…

Traffic Circle (#675)

Wendy Lyon demonstrates that criminalization of sex workers via “brothel keeping” laws is not a mere police & prosecutorial misuse of such laws, but an intended use from the beginning:

…Supporters of the [Swedish model]…regularly insist…that [it]…“decriminalises” [sex workers]…On the rare occasions they’re pressed on it, they usually witter on about how this law is “intended to punish pimps”…that the law is…aimed at…sex workers themselves…can be proven clearly enough just by looking at how the law is actually used in real life…nearly all the reported prosecutions [in Ireland] have in fact been of sex workers, not of anyone managing…them…Go back to the original debates over the 1993 Act and you see very clearly that sex worker prosecutions are a feature, not a bug, of the brothel-keeping law – which was intended to address the public nuisance factor of brothels…it was clearly envisaged by the law, at the time it was introduced, that a sex worker would be prosecuted under it – even in her own home, if she allowed someone else to sell sex there.  This is not a law about pimps…

Too Close To Home (#682)

This is a man who claims he wants to “protect” women, and portrays the men we choose to have sex with as “sexual predators”:

New documents in an ongoing lawsuit against the King County Sheriff’s Department [reveal] that…Sheriff John Urquhart told investigators in his department to ignore a woman who [reported that] Urquhart raped her…[in] 2002…numerous people were made aware of the [report]…a deputy also complained that Urquhart and the woman had an affair but…the sheriff didn’t want that complaint documented.  Urquhart denies the allegations, [claiming] the woman [is mentally ill]…

That last is no surprise; Urquhart thinks women aren’t mentally competent to understand which sexual acts are consensual & which aren’t.

Power Play (#698)

Still think you don’t live in a police state?

Never let it be said that Kamala Harris gives up after being told her totally bogus legal crusade is totally bogus.  She’s now filed brand new charges against the execs who run Backpage.com — despite having the very same lawsuit thrown out a few weeks ago…Harris…knows that she has no legal basis for arresting the execs behind Backpage…because three years ago she signed a letter whining about how she had no legal authority to arrest Backpage because it’s (rightly) protected by Section 230 of the CDA…The press release from Harris claims that the reason for the new charges is that she’s “uncovered new evidence” but that’s a load of hogwash.  The new charges still include bogus “pimping” charges, but now also have a bunch of [bogus] “money laundering” charges as well…

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Balancing Act

black-nightgownI don’t believe it’s likely to have escaped the notice of anyone reading this blog for more than about three minutes that I’m a whore.  Besides the fact that it’s in both the name and the subtitle, and sprinkled liberally all over the blog, and discussed with great frequency, there are all those nude photos and hooker comments in the Twitter feed, and Google is your friend.  Every so often some rando “slides up in my mentions” (as the young people say) on Twitter without apparently noticing that I’m a bona fide, card-carrying, earning-my-living-on-my-back prostitute, but I hardly think it’s possible for any person to visit this blog without working that out in fairly short order.  I’m not just mentioning this as an exercise in the bleeding obvious; I’m bringing it up because it seems that occasionally someone loses sight of what that actually means.  And what it means is this:  I am a paid entertainer.  I make my living by pleasing people, by diverting them, by giving them comfort and relief and solace and even advice (please note that last).  Yes, we speak of “selling sex”, and certainly most of my clients are looking for skin-to-skin contact, whether that culminates in orgasm or not.  But not all of them are, and unlike the pathetic control freaks we ludicrously refer to as “authorities”, I am not a pompous bean-counter who thinks it’s vitally important to draw firm and legally-binding lines between sexual and non-sexual activities.  If I’m capable of doing a thing that makes you feel better physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually or whatever, and you’re willing to pay me for doing that thing, we can probably strike a deal.

Please reread that penultimate clause.  Obviously, I expend a lot of time and energy doing good for others that I don’t expect to get paid for; I do favors for my friends, I give money and time to good causes like SWOP Behind Bars and Toys for Tots, and my activism is almost entirely pro bono.  On top of that, I answer reader questions (most of them requests for advice) nearly every week, and the only price I ask for it is that I be allowed to share the answer so as to help others and build this blog.  But if you think the amount of my time donated to helping readers is inconsequential, I invite you to count the number of questions I’ve answered in the past, assume an hour of time to answer each question (it’s often two or more), and multiply that by my professional rate of $400/hour.  Then try not to choke.  This is not a complaint; Aphrodite gave me a mission, and I’m not going to stop doing it until I board the ferry.  However, until that day comes, I need to eat, clothe myself & keep a roof over my head, and that requires balancing work I do for earthly rewards with that I do for heavenly ones.  Part of the way I do that is by refusing to duplicate my own efforts just to please the lazy and narcissistic, and part by avoiding matters that stress me out.  But I recently received a request for advice which went far beyond the limits of what I can afford to give, and I realized this column was necessary.  Most of the requests for my advice are reasonably short and can be answered in an hour or so; others are similar enough that I can direct the reader to previous columns in which I’ve answered it.  But this one was so incredibly long and complex that I couldn’t even take the time to read it all; I had previously answered the reader with links to earlier columns, but he wasn’t satisfied with those and sent back a missive longer than all those linked columns put together.  A quick skim revealed that this person isn’t in anguish or deep confusion; he merely seems to be looking for me to provide justification for a course of action he’s already decided to follow in keeping with his pre-existing belief system.

While it’s not for me to judge another person’s value system, it’s for nobody else but me to make judgments about mine.  And I judge that letters like this, which ask me to spend an entire evening of my increasingly-precious time to lend validation to someone on an issue about which he’s clearly already made up his mind, are not a worthy use of my limited pro bono resources.  If you have a question you don’t think I’ve answered before and you genuinely want my help, it’s yours for the asking.  And if you want to pay me for my time (I only charge $100/hour for phone calls in which I’m not required to come up with sexual fantasy talk), I’ll talk to you for as long as you want about whatever it is that’s eating you.  Because if your issue is too complex to explain in a few hundred words (especially if your first few hundred are spent in telling me why I’m wrong about something I said in a previous letter), you’re going to have to pay somebody to listen to you and give you advice on it, whether that somebody is me or a professional therapist.weighing-of-the-heart

(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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For a while I was getting nervous that I wouldn’t be able to come up with a good story for the opening position in The Forms of Things Unknown.  But as so often happens, when my Muse was ready she demanded my attention immediately, and within three days “Trust Exercise” was done.  Yes, I said three days; it’s a good bit longer than the short-short stories I typically write, weighing in at about 4000 words.  I think you’ll like it, and it will appear exclusively in the new book (which looks like it will come out on schedule in January).  But because I’m such an awful tease, I can’t resist giving you this sneak peak at what’s in the box; this is from about a third of the way into the story:shadow-woman

“So who is Zoe?”

“Why, I’m surprised at you, Doctor Lang; she’s my imaginary friend.  You know that.”

“That would’ve barely been an acceptable answer when you were ten, much less fourteen.”

“OK, then, let’s call her my spirit guide.  Is that a more palatable response?”

“I’m not your enemy, Dani.  I’m trying to help you.”

“Oh, please.  You’re trying to earn a living, same as everybody else.  You wouldn’t give a damn about me if my dad’s insurance weren’t reimbursing you.”

“It’s true that helping professionals need to earn a living just like everyone else, but that doesn’t mean I don’t genuinely care.  You might think of my income as a subsidy which allows me to do the work I find rewarding, which is helping young people with their difficulties.”

Dani rolled her darkly-lined eyes and sighed theatrically.  “And you’ll still kick me out at the 50-minute mark.”

“Good job trying to make this about me.  Look, I understand why you’re upset; your mom had no right to read your diary, and if I were in your place I’d be angry too.  She didn’t tell me she was going to do it, and I would’ve discouraged her from doing it if she had.  And I really am on your side, so if you’d rather not talk about Zoe we don’t have to.”

“I’d rather not.  Let’s just call her my Jungian shadow and leave it at that, OK?”

“Fair enough.  Do you want to talk about how your mother’s violating your privacy made you feel instead?”

And so they did, and many other topics over the next couple of years.  But Zoe never came up again, because Danielle had learned it was absolutely never a good idea to mention anything about her to anyone else, no matter what their age and relationship to her.  As she had aged the visits had become less frequent but longer, and more likely to occur when she was alone; she was also much better able to answer her shadowy visitor’s questions, and she began to understand that the reason for her confusion in the past was that Zoe and the others had never adapted their questioning to a child’s intellectual level, almost as though they hadn’t understood that she was a child.  But as that aspect of their interaction grew steadily less frustrating, another grew steadily more so:  Zoe absolutely refused to discuss anything about herself and the others, or to answer any of Dani’s questions.  All she ever said in reply was, “I’m afraid you’ll just have to trust me.”

And you, dear reader, will have to trust me that the rest won’t disappoint you.  You only have about a month to wait!

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When [cops] weren’t groping you, they were having sex with you, and if you had any money they took it from you.  – Mérida, Mexico City sex worker

Here We Go Again

Jesse Walker on the long American tradition of rescue fantasies:

On December 4, Edgar M. Welch carried a rifle into the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria…to rescue [“child sex slaves”]…This is hardly the first time someone has filled up on fantasies that a conspiracy was holding innocents captive and exploiting them.  It isn’t the first time a fantasist has set off on a potentially bloody rescue mission either.  Take the mob that burned down the Ursuline convent and boarding school in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1834…the rumors that prompted the riot took an oft-told form:  Girls were being held prisoner, and they needed to be saved…Throughout the era, paranoid Protestants became convinced that convents contained sex slaves, secret tunnels, and other staples of the modern pizzeria; more than once, they invaded intending to liberate the nuns…A couple decades before…a youngster named Ithamar Johnson was “rescued” from a Shaker community in Ohio.  He promptly returned the next day, and remained a Shaker until he died in his eighties.  Much more recently, the cult scare that took off in the 1970s produced a whole profession of “deprogrammers”, some of whom felt the best way to liberate a cultist was to kidnap and torture him…the Satanic panic of the 1980s and ’90s…[claimed] a web of devil-worshippers was raping, kidnapping, and even killing children…In the white-slavery panic of the early 20th century, a flood of exposés—there’s that “fake news” again—made lurid claims about prostitution, greatly exaggerating both the number of women coerced into the profession and the extent to which the trade was controlled by a centralized conspiracy…

Whore Madonnas

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I love it when they feed on each other:

Larry Harmel, executive director of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, is the latest criminal-justice official to get caught up in his colleagues’ own undercover prostitution stings…Harmel was arrested after approaching an undercover [sow on a stroll in]…Baltimore…Also…Raymond Edward Bernasconi…a deputy sheriff…[in] Los Angeles…Bernasconi was…arrested on November 21 in a sting…though his hearing has now been postponed until January for unspecified reasons…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

We haven’t seen claims this ridiculous in quite a while:

…In Atlanta, a sex trafficker can make an average of $30,000 a day, according to Doug Crumbly, one of the organizers of End Slavery Georgia…[which is] raising money to build a safe haven for survivors of the sex trade…near…where Crumbly serves as pastor…Every two minutes, a girl is taken by force or tricked into working in the sex trade, he said…“The average age of a victim of sex trafficking in Georgia is 13.  The average lifespan is seven years from the time they are taken”…Susan Roberts [fantasizes]…“I guess I was kind of his prize cow.  There was a lot of violence…He poured alcohol down my throat and threatened to kill me and my family”…The pimps have total control, Roberts [fantasized]…“He constantly fed me Xanax, cocaine, whatever drug he could.  If I tried to leave the house, he had cameras everywhere and would call me and tell me ‘I’m watching you right now’…They lurk in places like DFCS offices”…

Because farmers beat and drug their prize cows.  Why can’t most people see this nonsense as the paranoid delusion it clearly is?  Cameras everywhere?  Pimps hanging out in welfare offices?  Seriously?  This woman needs help from psychiatric professionals, not exploitation from religious fanatics trying to make a fast buck.

Gullible’s Travels

The panic industry at work:

You don’t have to buy into the drug panic narratives…to believe that it’s good news that today’s teens are smoking less marijuana.  If use of alcohol and smoking among teens went down, we’d see that as a good sign, too. Those substances are legal (as it seems marijuana is destined to become) but it doesn’t mean we want kids using them at such a young age.  But when your career involves promoting teen addiction panics as a way of shaping public policy, well, perhaps that’s not the best news…[prohibitionists] were so certain that marijuana legalization would lead to a culture where teens thought toking up was just fine and the numbers would go up.  Nevertheless, [Nora] Volkow [of the National Institute on Drug Abuse] was quick to try to turn good news into bad news…”The development of very, very fancy video games has resulted in a pattern of compulsive use…that may serve as a substitute for drug-taking”…It doesn’t take a whole lot of speculating to figure out what could prompt such a quick attempt to redirect.  The rest of her response, “it needs to be tested,” says a whole lot.  It’s a call for more research, more funding, more spending.  The problem can never be “solved”.  There’s more to do!  If one panic gets disproven, look for another…

The Widening Gyre

Ever more hilarious:

A grandmother who sells painted life-like dolls had to try desperately to convince police she wasn’t selling real babies.  Kathy Cadle, who paints and sells the dolls, was reported [by a busybody] as a suspected human trafficker…She later found out that police had spent much of the day questioning her friends…[but the cops were so stupid they still believed the ridiculous “trafficking” story until Cadle handed] one of her realistic dolls to [the pigs to see for themselves]…the dolls…are made from vinyl…and…sold under company name Bunny Bundles Reborns…[they] have featured in front page spreads and are used as therapy dolls for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s…

Imaginary Evils

Theresa May is really dedicated to competing with the US in using “sex trafficking” as an excuse to destroy civil liberties:

…Theresa May…convinced six Gulf countries to sign up to the WeProtect Global Alliance – a British-led international coalition dedicated to [persecuting sex workers]…Recent [propaganda touts the ludicrous idea]…that there are around 46 million people in some form of slavery around the world…[prohibitionists pretend] that there are currently 10,000 – 13,000 people enslaved in Britain [despite a complete lack of evidence for even 1% of that number]…

An Example to the West (#429)

More than two years after a landmark court decision, Mexico City’s whores are still fighting:

A 2014 court decision recognized…[the] status [of] non-salaried sex worker[s]…A legislative bill seeking to recognize these guarantees in the Mexican capital’s new constitution has opened a fresh breach between those seeking to eradicate [sex workers, whom]…they view as [subhuman], and those who defend [human rights]…The decision said that…authorities are obliged to respect these workers’ decision to sell sex…

The More the Better (#512)

Despite being a humor site, Cracked has a far more realistic view of sex work than the mainstream media:

In movies, prostitutes are either walking tragedies — invariably addicted to drugs and doomed to a life of crime and sadness — or used as comedic relief — pure fodder for a series of wacky misunderstandings.  In reality, of course, neither is accurate.  We exist, all of us, on a complicated spectrum somewhere between Oscar Bait and Rob Schneider bit.  So we spoke to “Felicia,” whose mother worked at a New Zealand brothel when Felicia was a teenager, and she told us…

Ashley Madison (#653) 

“…past business practices that may have allegedly been misleading to consumers.”

The Toronto-based parent company of the infidelity dating site Ashley Madison…has paid more than $1.6 million US in settlements as part of an investigation led by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission…half the money went to the FTC and half to the states participating in the probe.  The company says that as part of the agreement, it will also…”refrain from past business practices that may have allegedly been misleading to consumers.”  But it…neither admits nor denies the [proven fact]…that it resorted to fake profiles of women — commonly known as bots — to lure unsuspecting male customers

Too Close To Home (#672)

Another round of persecution of TRB users:

At least twelve more men face felony charges in Washington for posting comments to the now-defunct web forum known as The Review Board (TRB).  The dozen defendants, most of whom [were] arraigned in King County District Court on December 14, face one count each of promoting prostitution in the second degree—a charge historically used to target people who profit off of the prostitution of others but more recently favored by King County prosecutors to go after people who write positively online about area prostitution…law enforcement needn’t show that defendants actually engaged in pay-to-play sexual activity themselves.  All they must show is that the men “advanced” the prostitution careers of others by saying positive things about them online…authorities present no evidence that the women these men “promoted” were being exploited, other than the mere fact that the women were engaging in sex work at all.  At least a couple of the “prostituted women” mentioned in charging documents are prominent sex-worker rights activists.  In the Certification for the Determination of Probable Cause against one defendant, emails from nonprofit groups such as the Sex Worker’s Outreach Project (SWOP) and Center for Sex Positive Culture are even presented among evidence…Clients of Sex Workers Allied for Change (CoSWAC) issued a Tuesday statement “condemn[ing] this continuing crusade”…

Opting Out (#694) attempts-to-block-xhamster

On the futility of attempts to block porn:

As the United Kingdom considers banning “nonconventional” pornography, xHamster is offering up a warning:  It won’t work — or, at least, not very well.  The porn site has released new data on the more than 1 billion visits that it received in the past year from countries that have blocked its url.  “Despite the best attempts of censors, users are finding their way to [xHamster] using web-based proxies, VPNs, and networks like Tor…porn bans may have the opposite of the intended effect by pushing otherwise apolitical citizens into networks that bypass government blockades.”  xHamster looked at nine countries that have reportedly blocked its site — China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates — and the number of visitors from these countries accessing xHamster using proxies or VPNs…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#696)

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

Orange County leads the state in reports of human trafficking cases involving children…Florida Abolitionists…[fantasizes that] children are top targets for traffickers–girls between 12 and 14 are in high demand, and boys as young as 10 are targets.  That’s why [the group] is in talks with Orange County Public Schools to bring [propaganda] to classrooms…and make human trafficking a part of [indoctrination] in the classroom…“just like bullying and ‘say no to drugs’”…

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rock make all grak friend jealous best rock in village. rock work for hitting things.  –  Grak

Surprised to see this on a Friday?  Take a look at the calendar; because of the way the holidays fall this year, it was really the best choice until January.  Anyway, as I told you a few weeks ago, I’ve been binge-watching Doctor Who with Lorelei Rivers, who as it turns out is as big a nerd as I am (and if the idea of sharing an evening with two hot, nerdy, librarian whores sounds good to you, do let me know).  Anyhow, a few weeks ago she showed me this very funny parody starring Rowan Atkinson, and I just noticed it was on YouTube so enjoy.  The links above it were provided by Wendy Lyon (“Sweden”), Jesse Walker (“kink” and “feathers”),  Nun Ya (“West”), Walter Olson (“ahnt”), Tim Cushing (“whatsoever”), Popehat  (“bottled”), and Mistress Matisse (“Louisiana”).

From the Archives

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If you think [criminalization] has diminished [sex work], you must be living under a rock.  –  Dushyant Arora

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

If a cop rapes you, say he paid you instead. THAT he’ll get in trouble for:  “…[New Mexico cop] Alex Smith…was…indicted…on one count of trafficking drugs…after he was accused of giving a substance believed to be methamphetamine to a woman [in exchange for sex]…

Droit du Seigneur 

Though pimps are pretty rare, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:  “A [Cincinnati cop] pleaded guilty to procuring…and was sentenced to probation…James Erpelding was initially charged with promoting prostitution…[for] his wife…[and her] sister…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

As regular readers know, “expert sex therapists” have never labelled “sex addiction” a disorder:

…the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) issued…a statement saying it does not support sex addiction as a mental health disorder.  Considering how often we hear about sex addiction in the mainstream media, this is a crucial message as it vouches for the importance of sex science in informing policy and therapy…while the group’s position doesn’t deny that out-of-control sexual behavior is real, or that it can cause serious distress, impairment and harm to an individual…AASECT…does not believe that operating from a sex addiction-therapeutic model is helpful…there has yet to be any science showing these behaviors are indicative of an addiction…

They Still Don’t Get It

I’ll bet this reporter considers herself a “feminist” while telling patriarchy-reinforcing tales of how women are too stupid to manage our own lives:

…A special NYPD Vice squad has spent the past decade cracking down on trafficking and prostitution, focusing on hotel hot spots and digital solicitations.  But victims…are often hidden in plain sight – forced into a cycle of shame and degradation, subservience and fear…[lying pig]  Rose Muckenthaler [wants more mass surveillance because of her masturbatory fantasy that people are fucking]…“right now in our backyards…[a] 13-14 year old girl”…

Uncommon Sense (#38)

And then they’re going to wonder why the number of women working “illegally” increases dramatically:

New sex workers in Geneva may be obliged to follow courses on prostitution law, health prevention and how to deal with clients, under a draft bill…“The courses focusing mainly on health and prevention measures will be obligatory for all new sex workers registered in Geneva,” [said] Nicolas Bolle, deputy secretary general of Geneva’s security and economy department…Those taking the 90-minute daily courses must also learn about their obligations to their clients and the people running their massage salon or escort agency…“They must learn about Geneva’s prostitution law, how much to charge clients, health prevention and sanitary check-ups as well as the associations that can help them,” Bolle added…

Follow Your Bliss (#44) pervert-tsa-goon-raymond-kinney

Yet the government still won’t admit that the TSA attracts pedophiles:

A…Transportation Security Administration employee from Arkansas has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for distributing child pornography…Raymond Kinney…[spoke with pervert cops pretending to be] children…via social media…Kinney later agreed to meet…for the intent of having sex with minors and was arrested upon arrival…Kinney had brought sex toys and children’s clothing with him…

Dysphemisms Galore 

When will journalists grow up?

…Seoul Central District Court punished the operators of [a business called the “Voyeurism Club”] that fed the sexual appetites for perverts, allowing visitors to have sex in an open space or watch others doing so.  The court sentenced the club’s chief operator…to 18 months’ jail, suspended for two years, and 15 million won ($12,000) fine…Targeting those with “abnormally obscene desires,” Won managed the bar-like club…and [hired sex workers]…The court also sentenced the club’s pimp…and janitor…to six months’ jail, suspended for a year…Two female prostitutes…were fined 1.5 million won [$1200] each…

If Men Were Angels

I honestly couldn’t think of what other category I could put this under:

A U.S. Army Sergeant from Georgia has pleaded no contest to six felony charges…26-year-old Angelo Paderes had a relationship with a then 14-year-old girl…he…met…in an online game….[he] snuck into her house, and slept with the girl…once the girl’s family learned of the relationship, they took her phone and [forebade further]…contact…Paderes [then hired an escort]…and brought [her and her two-year-old son]…to a restaurant…owned by the girl’s parents.  The…escort…was unaware of his plan…he…wanted [her] to make contact the with the girl using a prepaid phone.  The…girl’s family found out what was happening, which caused Paderes to flee, taking the boy…Paderes was charged with abduction of the boy…

An Example to the West (#562) 

Once again, Indian feminists’ enlightenment puts American ones to shame:

…All of us like to believe we care about the safety of women, about their rights; we participate in campaigns on social media and join candlelight marches to pressure the government to bring laws to punish those who harm them.  But, not all of them.  There is a group of women whose safety and dignity we don’t like to talk about…I am talking about sex workers.  Most people, when they want to insult women, jump to calling her a “whore”.  Newsflash: Sex work is as dignified as any other profession.  It sometimes intrigues me that “tobacco seller”, for instance, isn’t an insult.  After all, tobacco kills people.  But logic and popular notions of morality rarely go together…

To Molest and Rape

Your regular reminder that rapist cops aren’t solely an American aberration:

Hundreds of [cops raped women]…in what a senior police watchdog has called “the most serious corruption issue facing the service”.  Forces across England and Wales received 436 [reports of rape on]…306 [cops], 20 [so-called “community support” cops] and eight staff in the two years to March but inspectors believe the problem is even more prevalent than the numbers suggest…only 40 [of the rapists] have been dismissed…in a similar period…Vulnerable individuals, including domestic abuse victims, alcohol and drug addicts, sex workers and arrested suspects were among those targeted…

The very nature of policing under prohibition ensures the rapes will continue:

The news that police forces across England and Wales have have an endemic [rape] problem…is sadly no surprise to SWOU…sex workers…know from experience that contact with the police spans a spectrum from fear-inducing to abusive.  This news should give those who advocate carceral “solutions” to the sex trade a pause.  The police…cannot deliver safety to people who sell sex…When the sex trade is criminalised, the police are given power over us.  This is the case in all criminalised systems, including in…the Nordic model…End Demand’s report on how to implement the sex buyer law in the UK…recommends that…police…“review [sex workers’] advertisements …  and confirm that prostitution is taking place by visiting the venue”…The report adds that “police officers would need to be trained in covert operations.”  This is surveillance of sex workers.  This is power that the police have over us…

Power Play (#691)

A judge agrees that the law says what it says:

The owners and the CEO of…Backpage were exonerated of pimping and other felony charges Friday…Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman cited Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which protects firms that host user content online from state criminal liability…[sociopathic politician Kamala] Harris, who said in a statement she was “extremely disappointed” in the ruling, is likely to appeal, said University of Santa Clara School of Law professor Eric Goldman…“Every user-generated-content website has illegal content on it. If Section 230 is undermined in this case, it potentially could undermine the foundation of every user-generated-content website: Google Search, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, YouTube, Craigslist, eBay,” Goldman said. “Pretty much all the sites that we enjoy the most are user-generated-content websites, all relying on Section 230”…

The Widening Gyre (#696) sherri-keith-papini

Liz Brown is as suspicious of the Sherri Papini case as I am:

…there is almost nothing to support the idea that Papini’s disappearance was related to sex or prostitution.  The whole theory hinges on the fact that Papini was “branded,” as her husband Keith initially put it.  Police later confirmed that Sherri did have something burnt into her skin…But even accepting the premise that sex-traffickers frequently “brand” their victims—a common claim also utterly lacking in evidence—Papini’s burns could just as easily have been an act of torture…nothing else about the abduction [indicates]…an intent to force Papini into commercial sex and, in fact, Papini’s assailants eventually just let her go…Keith Papini has said that his wife’s captors beat her, cut off her hair, and “barely fed” her…Whatever injuries she suffered, overnight hospitalization was not required…Sherri told police that her abductors had been two Hispanic women driving a dark SUV…[who] wore masks…and spoke almost exclusively in Spanish…some archived posts on a now-defunct white-nationalist website, Skinheadz.com, [were] written by a “Sherri Graeff”—Papini’s maiden name.  The posts, from 2003, discuss how proper “skinhead girls” should look and act…and detail Graeff’s alleged history of high-school skirmishes with Hispanic classmates…Papini’s Pinterest board…featured memes concerned with illegal immigration and Muslims…That board has since been deleted…one [meme] (captioned “Amen!”) [announces] “I will defend my rights against all enemies foreign & Obama”…

The Widening Gyre (#697)

The mainstream media keeps pretending “pizzagate” is about cranks, when actually it was a natural & predictable outgrowth of the “sex trafficking” hysteria they’ve aggressively promoted for the past 13 years:

Edgar Welch, arrested…after firing a…rifle inside the Washington, D.C., pizzeria Comet Ping Pong…[said] he drove up from North Carolina to get a “closer look” at the restaurant…and had no intention of firing a shot…”I just wanted to do some good and went about it the wrong way.”  Internet articles led him to believe that the pizzeria was the center of a child sex ring run by associates of Hillary Clinton, but “the intel on this wasn’t 100 percent,” he said, adding that just because there were no children “inside that dwelling,” it doesn’t mean there is no Pizzagate pedophile ring.  Welch…says he doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories, but listens to Alex Jones…

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