Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

On Horses and Water

My all-time favorite provider lives in a slum with several family members who treat her like crap; she works for a heroin addict who runs ads for her and my ATF splits her income with this woman.  I’ve told her she doesn’t need to give this woman anything since she’s doing all the work, and I even offered to help her get a place of her own wherever she wants to live, but she avoids my suggestions.  She is absolutely the best provider I have ever been with and is stunningly beautiful; unfortunately she also suffers from bipolar disorder.  How can I help her?

horse to waterIt is a sad fact of human existence that one absolutely cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.  It doesn’t matter how miserable her life is, how badly she’s being treated by her partner or family, how much she says she wants to change her life or how attractive you think the help you’re offering is; until and unless she actually makes the decision to accept your assistance, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  She may not find your offer as attractive as you think it is, or she may feel the price is too high; she may be wary of accepting help from a client, which very often comes with strings in which she may not wish to risk becoming entangled.  She may resent or even feel insulted by your attempts to “fix” her, and you really have no idea what her relationship with the other woman actually is; how do you know they aren’t lovers, or that your ATF doesn’t owe her either a lot of money or a deep bond of gratitude?  Even if you don’t think the relationship between them (or the one with her family) is healthy, that’s not your place to decide; every romantic relationship I’ve ever had has been called “bad” or “unhealthy” or “codependent” or even “abusive” by somebody, often (though not always) someone who wanted me for himself.  And it didn’t matter whether that opinion was objectively true or not (which it certainly was in two of the cases); until I decided those partners were bad for me, no amount of convincing, cajoling or outright bribery could convince me to leave.  And don’t forget, I’m not bipolar; mental health issues can amplify these problems by several orders of magnitude.

The short answer to your question, then, is “you can’t”.  You’re already made it clear to her that you’re willing to offer her help; when and if she decides to take either your advice or your economic aid, then you can give it to her (and you had better give it without strings unless you want her to change her mind once she sees the price tag.)  But you have to consider the possibility that the horse may never decide to drink, and if she doesn’t you have to decide how long you’re willing to wait on her before you wash your hands and walk away from the trough.

(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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Mainstream feminism rejects sex work as an acceptable choice.  So…I don’t describe myself as an adherent to a political philosophy that wants to eliminate me.  –  Mistress Matisse

Five Women in Whitechapel 

Almost certainly not:

They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper [is] more than 800 pages in length…Michael Maybrick was a hugely popular singer and composer in the Victorian era, who is virtually forgotten today – for reasons that Robinson believes are no accident…Maybrick was close friends with Sir Arthur Sullivan and the painter Frederick Leighton, among many other prominent public figures.  Both Sullivan and Leighton were Freemasons, as was Michael Maybrick.  He was…on the Supreme Grand Council of Freemasons, whose members also included the Prince of Wales…Maybrick was 47 at the time of the murders; a bachelor and, [author Bruce] Robinson believes, homosexual…

Yes, it’s a new version of the Masonic theory.

Above the Law rapist cop Jeff Sowers

When you’re a cop, rape becomes “official misconduct”:

A [Tennessee cop]…who resigned amid allegations of [raping prisoners]…pleaded guilty…to one count of official misconduct…Judge John Dugger sentenced Jeff Sowers to 18 months in jail…Dugger denied a request by Sowers’ attorneys for judicial diversion, which would have allowed for Sowers’ record to be expunged after his sentence…

The Pygmalion Fallacy

Such a lot of stupid writing on something that not only doesn’t exist, but will never exist in the way and on the timescale these idiots are wanking to the fantasy of:

…a recent report claims intimacy between robots and humans will be more common than that between two people by 2050.  The work, written by futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson, purports that engaging in virtual sex acts will be as prevalent in 2030 as our engagement with porn today, and that the majority of people will own sex toys that employ an alternate reality in some way come 2035…

Storyville (#139)

Over the last 150 years, rights for sex workers have…diminished, according to West Virginia University journalism professor Alison Bass.  In her book Getting Screwed: Sex Workers and the Law…Bass surveys the history of laws regulating prostitution in America and abroad.  In the past and today, Bass finds, sex workers have been marginalized by stigma that portrays them as immoral, dangerous, even diseased figures. B ut while the stigma hasn’t changed, the laws have—in many cases…for the worse…

Dutch Threat

Lawheads are completely unable to comprehend the bottleneck effect:

Entrepreneurs in Amsterdam who want to open a brothel must speak at least one common language with the sex workers they rent space to, according to a…ruling handed down by the European Court of Justice.  The court [claimed] the decision as…a way to guarantee the safety of the women, [reduce] human trafficking, and…help prevent pimping…and [pretended it] was…not discriminatory in any way…the court also noted the Council of State’s notion that the seeming overreach in authority was meant as a protection of public order, and that being able to converse with a sex worker allows a brothel owner the possibility of stopping child prostitution…

Dysphemisms Galore 

Because nobody would care about a headline reading, “Man minds his daughter while mother works”:

A Michigan man held his 9-month-old daughter in a motel room while the baby’s mother had sex with another man for money…Derohn Wilburn…is charged with…felony promoting prostitution and misdemeanor child endangering…Melissa Coleman…is charged with misdemeanor child endangering and prostitution…police released the baby to a family member.  She was unharmed…

Played Out

I don’t know who Robert Fullinwider is, but I thank him for taking the time to read through Moran’s drek so as to be able to rip it to shreds:

…Moran is not content to offer her particular life-story…She also sets herself up as the Universal Prostitute, a woman whose experiences define prostitution and trump the “experiences” of anyone else — sex worker, academic, or otherwise — who views prostitution differently than she does. She is not content to let her story speak for itself but instructs the reader on the proper conclusions to draw, and engages in arguments based on her experiences and “research”…Moran writes: prostitutes are “coerced” into prostitution (pp. 49, 227); they have no “choice” (p. 161); they have no “free will” (p. 201); they act out of “desperation” and “destitution” (pp. 43, 96)…Moran…[claims] she didn’t consent to prostitution because “it is not possible to consent to a lifestyle you don’t comprehend” (p. 50).  Yes it is.  People do it all the time.  “I didn’t know marriage was going to be like this!”  “I didn’t know how stressful being a parent would be!”  “I didn’t know military life would be this tough!”  [She claims] she didn’t consent to prostitution because she wasn’t an adult and children can’t consent (pp. 50-51).  Yes they can.  Society frames laws that say people below certain ages can’t “consent” – to contracts, to mortgages, to sexual relations, and the like – but the “no consent” here is a legal fiction…a sixteen year-old girl who finds prostitution utterly repulsive, revolting, and disgusting, and who is “desperate to escape,” yet who passes up on an opportunity to get out of the trade because she’s unwilling to be bound by any rules, is a person who’s made a choice— a bad choice, to be sure, but a real choice…Moran…speaks of allowing herself to be coerced (an odd locution) into prostitution by her boyfriend.  What did her boyfriend do?  Did he beat her?  Did he threaten her?  No, he “suggested” that she turn tricks; he “encouraged” her (pp. 47, 186)…Moran seems to think you haven’t acted freely unless you are as happy as a lark with what you’ve chosen (p. 227); that you are not self-determining unless you are “controlling the totality of your life” (p. 175).  These are just fundamentally unserious engagements with the notions of freedom and self-determination.  We always act under constraints, we never control the totality of our lives, and we are often unhappy with what we’ve chosen, just less unhappy than with the alternatives…

Rooted in Racism (#429)

Sweden’s “liberal reputation” is bullshit:

…a recent report by the United Nations…concludes that a rising level of racist violence and “Afrophobic” hate crimes in Sweden are “an extensive social problem”.  “There continues to be a general Swedish self-perception of being a tolerant and humane society, which makes it difficult to accept that there could be structural and institutional racism faced by people of African descent,” says the report…The country’s official [lie] of equality and respect for human rights “blinds” it to the racism faced by African-Swedes, it says.  Hate crimes against the 200,000 or so black people…in Sweden increased by more than 40% between 2008 and 2014…with more than a fifth of incidents last year involving violence…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#505)

On Working It, the magazine at the center of the stripper labor rights movement in Portland:

…Each magazine brings together about 50 pages of writing and art by sex workers from around the country.  In addition to permanent sections including “Client Hall of Shame” “Best/Worst Tip$” “Tales from your Shift” and art, each volume of Working It has a theme…After Danzine went dormant, [Matilda] Bickers and Portland’s sex worker activism also went relatively dormant.  [SWOP] took over Danzine’s bad date list.  In 2005, Bickers and her friends tried to start a dancer union — “but that failed miserably, and I was really burnt out for a while,” Bickers says.  In the following years, Bickers worked at strip clubs and…graduated from Portland State University.  “I kind of never stopped doing sex worker activism,” Bickers says…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#550)

The history of the concept of sex addiction is a complex, somewhat contentious one…I’ve often cited the concept back to the initial writings of Patrick Carnes…Now, three New Zealand historians have contributed a wealth of astounding, rich and often surprising information to the issue…Sex Addiction, A Critical History…represents a remarkable detailing of the troubling, often hidden, history of this concept…Reay and his coauthors found powerful writings by Hatterer from the 1960’s and 70’s, where he blamed a sexually addictive process for sexual excesses. Powerfully, they detail [Dr. Lawrence] Hatterer’s disturbing history of treating homosexuality as an illness, and the way he treated homosexuality “like an alcoholic”…in his writings…from its inception, the concept of sex addiction has been applied to treatment of homosexuality as an illness…

If You Want Something Done Right…

I have the most awesome friends:

…Mistress Matisse…heard about Heather’s experience and was determined to help.  Through other sex workers she tracked Heather down, called her and booked a flight to West Virginia.  She showed up at Heather’s door…organized fund-raising, lined up medical assistance and connected Heather with nonprofit help.  This isn’t a new role for Matisse.  She’s worked as a sex worker in various capacities since she was 19.  But as she’s gotten established in Seattle, she says, “I have gotten to the point in my career where it is in many ways self-sustaining.”  As a result, she’s had more time to devote to activism.  Matisse was there to help Heather because she’s made it her business to help sex workers who are in crises.  I talked to Matisse about her activism, her work with Heather and why sex workers are the best ones to help sex workers…

Amnesty At Last

Here’s an NPR show which purports to present a “discussion” of the Amnesty International position statement on decriminalization, but which was designed from the get-go to promote prohibitionist propaganda by stacking the panel three to one (Swanee Hunt, Rachel Moran and Andrea Powell) vs. Maxine Doogan.  Unfortunately for the antis, Maxine had logic and facts on her side and acquitted herself quite well.  What you won’t hear:  Sol Finer of SWOP-Seattle called into the live show and Moran absolutely lost her mind, screaming and shouting at Sol in such a clearly unbalanced manner that the tirade was edited out of the archived version of the show.  So much for NPR’s commitment to the truth.

New Excuse (#576)

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Diary #275

CatsAs I explained in last week’s diary, things have slowed down a bit in Jae’s treatment.  I don’t mean that nothing is happening; rather, I mean that the pace of change has slowed somewhat, and by the end of the month it should slow even more.  But we did make one big breakthrough last week: thanks to advice from a helpful social worker and a very large donation from someone who dearly loves Jae, I’ve hired a private case manager to handle the Herculean task of dealing with all the different doctors, therapists, rehab facilities and home care assistance she’s going to need when she’s released from the hospital in a few weeks.  In fact, my first planning meeting with him is this afternoon; the initial meeting last week was just for me to learn about the services his company provides and for them to get the background of the case.  But today, the work starts in earnest and I’m going to do everything I can to expedite things so as to hasten the day when I can bring my girl home where she belongs.  As I’m sure you can imagine, she’s pretty homesick; with the exception of the night of September 16th, she’s been gone since late July and she misses her friends, her own bed and her cats.

imageFor the first few weeks after she gets home, things are likely to be pretty hectic, so my dear friends are watching me closely to make sure I have enough food, relaxation and sleep until then.  Last week Savannah and Sol cooked for me, Vignette cleaned my place (twice!), Sola let me soak in her hot tub and then treated me to a massage, Abby May gave me some truly delicious sweets and Matisse got me blissfully inebriated.  One gentleman took me to dinner at a lovely Turkish restaurant, and another treated me to a 3-hour-long happy hour at a fine old Seattle establishment.  And I plan to do as much of the same sort of thing as possible as many times as I can this month.  Everyone tells me I’ve earned it, and though I usually take a dim view of that sort of talk, I guess it won’t hurt to listen just this once.  There’s only one other thing I need to really get myself recharged:  work.  From August 16th to September 16th I didn’t work at all because I was with Jae in Idaho, and since I’ve returned to Seattle I’ve only had time and energy for a very few dates.  But I think it will be therapeutic to get back to what I do best, so if you’ve been holding off on contacting me because you think I’m too busy or stressed, hold off no more!  There’s only one caveat:  for right now, I don’t want to leave Seattle for more than perhaps one night at a time, so I’m not available for weekends or long travel.  But if you’re local send me an email, and find out what nearly two months of pent-up Maggie McNeill mojo feels like!

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Rope of Sand

We still pretend that there’s a magical, mumbo-jumbo, taboo energy about sex that makes it different from all other human activities. – Maggie McNeill

rope of sand - EditedI’ve often said that the main reason sex is treated as a “special case” in law, custom and culture is that people imagine it to be unique; they believe that a bright, clear line can be drawn between “sex” and “not sex”, and many of them further believe that this division is no mere line but a chasm, a yawning gap that can only be breached by special rituals and/or benediction by some authority figure.  Now, you might protest that sex is different because it’s the only activity which has a chance of creating a human life, but even if birth control did not exist that would be a spurious argument; if that were truly the rationale behind sex laws, the government wouldn’t claim the right to regulate oral or anal sex, masturbation, homosexuality, sex between the very young or the very old, sex acts involving at least one sterilized partner, bestiality, stripping, porn, BDSM or any other sexual activity other than heterosexual genital copulation between two fertile partners.  But if anything, the opposite is true; authoritarians are far more obsessed with sex acts that involve no risk of pregnancy, and many of them want to restrict contraception and abortion.

What makes the attempt to control sexuality even more absurd is that trying to even define it is like trying to twist a rope out of sand, and how can one control what one can’t even define?  Have you ever looked at legislative attempts to define which activities are sexual for the purpose of banning them?  They’re usually quite absurd, and have loopholes big enough to pass an entire orgy through; they often consist of little more than catalogs of body parts, ignoring the fact that some people are extremely turned on by parts or actions that others might perceive as completely neutral.  I’m very aroused by images of women in bondage, yet such images are considered acceptable even in children’s shows; one of the hottest scenes I ever had with Jae involved little more than talk and staring into each other’s eyes, and I was fully clothed the whole time.  Conversely, I recently had a massage which included several body parts that would commonly be coded as “sexual”, yet neither I nor my masseuse perceived the contact as anything of the kind.  Sexuality is a thing of the mind, not of the genitalia; as I so often say, the most important sex organ lies not between the legs, but between the ears.  And any attempt to create some sort of universal rule which defines for everyone which activities constitute “sex” and which don’t, is doomed to failure.

As if that weren’t bad enough, some people don’t even perceive their personal division between “sexual” and “not sexual” as clear and distinct; I certainly don’t.  There are some things I think of as clearly sexual; some I perceive as sexual under certain conditions; some I perceive as tinged with sexuality; some which are somewhat erotic but not really sexual per se; some which are sensual and pleasant, but more or less non-sexual; some which are not at all sexual; and some which are, if anything, anti-sexual.  There are no lines between these groups; they fall into a sexual spectrum, with each category blending smudgily into the neighboring ones.  What’s more, the various ideas, acts, images and whatnot which fall across my spectrum, might fall in entirely different positions on someone else’s…often without any discernible rhyme or reason.  A sane and reasonable person would look at the situation and conclude that it was ridiculous to even attempt to impose regimentation on this chaos; alas, the kind of person who seeks to control others via the use of violence is neither sane nor reasonable.spectrum

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No one should ever report a rape to the police.  –  Lara McLeod

This week’s video was contributed by Mistress Matisse, who tweeted it with the message, “Be this goat.”  The vlinks above it were provided by Domina Elle  (“karma”, “don’t call” and “HIV”), Rick Horowitz (“more”), Cop Block (“protect”),  Clarissa (“headline”), Popehat (“reports”), and Cassandra Fairbanks (“reasons”).

From the Archives

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All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.  –  Leo Tolstoy

I am really, really sick of being threatened with violence from “authorities” every time I turn around.  I don’t just mean the threat inherent in universal criminality, nor the implied threat of heavily-armed thugs cruising around looking for laws to “enforce”; I don’t even mean the paranoid uneasiness purposely cultivated by government actors through the use of security theater, mass surveillance and encouraging kids to turn their parents in for consensual behaviors.  No, I’m talking about direct, clear threats spelled out in plain English words on a large fraction of the flat surfaces in the United States.

seat belt threatReaders who live outside of the US may not have any idea what I’m talking about, and many American readers may have grown so used to these ominous warnings of dire consequences that they no longer recognize them for what they are.  So I’ll elucidate:  all over the United States, threatening signs are displayed in businesses, on merchandise, and especially along highways; filling stations in particular may present a wide collection of the ugly things.  For a few years, anyone pulling up at any gasoline pump from coast to coast would be greeted by the visage of a scowling cop, sometimes pointing at the viewer, threatening that one would lose his driver’s license if he drove off without paying.  The door of the attached convenience store might have a warning that loiterers will be abducted and caged, while on the counter within other placards promise wildly-disproportionate “punishments” for anyone who dares buy liquor or cigarettes for those below the magical Age of Shazam.  And after one escapes this minefield of threats and gets back onto the highway, he might see a billboard defacing the scenery with the asinine slogan “click it or ticket”, because the government is so very concerned with everyone’s safety that it steals money from people who can’t afford to lose it in order to “send a message”.

Signs threatening fines for certain behaviors, such as littering, are nothing new; they’ve been around for at least as long as I’ve been able to read them, and probably at least since the early ’50s.  But in the past few decades there’s been such an incredible proliferation of them that Americans are virtually immersed in a sea of threats.  Don’t believe me?  Try counting every one you see today.  I’ll bet there are at least 3 or 4 times as many as the estimate you’re making of the number right now, and maybe more than that; these threats have become like Shea & Wilson’s fnords, invisible to the masses yet producing a vague and pervasive sense of unease.  Because the more unsettled and fearful the populace, the more they’ll support politicians’ efforts to strengthen the police/nanny state using any excuse from “drugs” to “terrorism” to “sex trafficking” to “cancer”.  Nor are the “authorities” the only ones to profit from this society-wide anxiety; non-governmental malefactors will often use the fear the “authorities” have generated as a means of coercing compliance.  For example, non-cop rapists often disguise themselves as cops in order to intimidate sex workers into surrendering without a struggle.  And then there are these guys:

…[copyright troll] Rightscorp…gives its agents [this script] to use when people call in after receiving a [threatening] notice…[it] is quite something, with a few ridiculous statements…[such as] the following.  If the caller says that they’re innocent, here’s how Rightscorp has its agents respond:  “In order to cancel this matter without payment, you will need to go and get a police report and fax or email it to us.  The police may take your devices and hold it for ~5 days to investigate the matter.  You must be sure that it was not you, anyone in your household, including friends and neighbors or you will be breaking a different law with the police department.”  Every part of that statement is bullshit…it’s clearly designed to…frighten the caller into just paying uprightscorp threat…Rightscorp is in the extortion/shakedown business, rather than actually trying to stop copyright infringement…

As in the case of the bogus-cop rapists, Rightscorp is using the fear of police violence to intimidate their victims into surrendering without a fight.  And given that a large portion of that fear was created by the government, both intentionally through constant threats and incidentally via its refusal to punish cops who inflict violence on peaceful citizens, the government is itself complicit in these crimes.

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Diary #274

loose women 9-26-15Last week, we finally got Jae admitted to a proper hospital; it took until Thursday, a week after we first brought her to the main hospital as we had been instructed to do.  I appreciate the confidence everyone has displayed in me by assigning me credit for getting her placed, but I’m afraid I had very little (if anything) to do with it; after a week of inquiring, researching, making phone calls, talking to social workers and other staff, crying, complaining, pleading, demanding answers and otherwise attempting to move the mountain of indifference with which I had been confronted, a spot opened up in a hospital I was told she wasn’t being considered for admission to, and within a few hours she was admitted.  And with that, we have probably reached the end of the fast-moving part of her recovery; I’ve been told the next stage will probably go on for about as long as everything from the accident until now, and maybe even longer.  In other words, from now until probably late October or sometime in November I’m not going to have a lot to say about the subject.  This doesn’t mean I’m forgetting about her or that I don’t think y’all will be interested; I’m still going to be visiting her at the hospital every day and her other close friends will be visiting as often as they can, and as the doctors feel her condition is improving we’ll encourage others to visit as well.  What it does mean, however, is that the changes will be less profound and more incremental, and that the amount of change in a week may be easily covered in a mention in these diary entries rather than requiring the whole entry.

The important things are that she’s safe, she’s getting proper medical care and she’s in Seattle where her friends can visit her without having to fly or take an all-day drive.  And one result of this change is that, on some unconscious level, my brain has decided it’s safe for me to collapse.  I’ve been running at full throttle (emotionally speaking) since August 16th, and though all my friends (not to mention readers, supporters, doctors, nurses and nearly everyone else) have been warning me that I need to take care of myself physically and emotionally as well, I didn’t really believe that until about nine days ago.  Oh, I intellectually knew that they were probably right, but another part of me was saying, “It’s sweet and wonderful that everyone’s thinking about me, but with the exception of a few tough spots I can handle this pretty easily; after all, I’m Maggie Fucking McNeill the Wonder Harlot.”  And naturally that was the voice I preferred to listen to (and at the time, the one Jae really needed me to listen to).  But once we got into emergency room limbo my strength started to falter, and on the afternoon of Sunday the 20th I just collapsed in tears when Mistress Matisse arrived at the hospital to take over for me for the evening.  She, Savannah Sly, Abby May and my other friends are now enforcing my resting and recuperating nearly every night, and not one of them has breathed a syllable that sounds anything like “we told you so.”  I’ve never been someone who needed help to get to sleep at night, but now when I put my head down my brain starts processing the last two months at double-time.  I’m alternating now between various means of inducing restful sleep provided by various friends, and last Saturday night it was the visiting Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s turn; she chose good old-fashioned alcohol, and let me tell you it worked just fine.  Don’t worry, readers; I’m not going to poop out on Jae, and the wonderful ladies of Seattle are going to be sure that I don’t overdo it too often.  I’m going to keep working wonders as expected; I’m just going to make sure I recharge my super-batteries with enough wonder treats and super-sleep.

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