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Posts Tagged ‘sex work is work’

Camming gave me money, and money changed my life.  –  Cortana Blue

The Public Eye 

Another sex worker turned performing artist:

Laika, 27, is an up-and-coming pop artist from Toronto…Though she’s new to the world of pop music, she’s entered it with somewhat of a celebrity status…because, up until recently, she’s been known by another alias: Cortana Blue…one of the most popular camgirls on the planet…Her premium Snapchat…currently has 2,500 followers, and would be much higher, had it not been previously [censored]…Her Twitter and Instagram both exceed the 100K follower mark, the latter having been [censored] on more than one occasion as well…A “past life” as a sex worker can be a source of stigma and shame for some public figures, but shifts in how sex workers interact with audiences on social media have helped artists like Cardi B…thrive in the mainstream in part because of—not in spite of—a career in sex work…[but] Cardi…left sex work before monetizing her other interests in a new career.  Laika, on the other hand, doesn’t see sex work as a means to an end. Instead, she sees it as a tool that can be flipped and utilized to fight stigma, all while setting her apart in the music world…

Divided We Fall (#511) 

“Promoting debauchery” is illegal in Egypt.  You know, like “promoting prostitution” in the US:

An Egyptian TV host was sentenced to one year of hard labor for interviewing a gay sex worker…Mohamed El-Gheity, a well-known journalist in Egypt who has spoken out against homosexuality, is accused of promoting debauchery…The hosting channel, LTC, was taken off air for two weeks immediately after the episode aired for violating a decree…that bans the appearance of gay people on media outlets…While homosexuality is not explicitly illegal in Egypt, members of the LGBT community are often persecuted under an anti-prostitution law…

To Molest and Rape 

When you’re a cop, rape is minimized to “sexual misconduct”:

…[a rapist] Tucson [cop was] accused of sexual misconduct [instead of rape after he raped] a woman he was [persecuting]…[rapist] Richard Daniel told the woman he wouldn’t take her to jail if she would [let him orally rape her]…The woman’s husband was the one who called police to report the [rape]…Daniel was arrested Sunday, Jan. 20 on charges of unlawful sexual conduct by a police officer and tampering with evidence [but not rape]…

Under Review (#733)

The UK press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of online escort ads yet:

Hundreds of men and women are openly advertising their services as sex workers on…controversial website Adultwork.  Last year, a government report [fantas]ised…that [escort advertising] websites were “the most significant enabler of sex-trafficking in the UK”.  The report f[antasise]d that the sites were being used by traffickers to control the profiles of sex workers…allowing women to be trafficked around the country for sex by criminal gangs

It’s always “gangs”.  Because you know women are too stupid to use AirBnB for ourselves.  Also, escort ad sites are only “controversial” among authoritarians.

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now (#736) 

Cops never miss a chance to humiliate marginalized people:

…Cops from the Jacksonville [Florida] Sheriff’s Office found [a woman] at about 10:30 [PM on January 21st] night with a gunshot wound to her shoulder…[cops claim] she agreed to perform a sexual act with a man in exchange for Pringles potato chips and $5…[then] he [demanded] his $5 back and shot the woman…

Of course, the reporter didn’t bother to interview the woman, so there’s a strong possibility cops just made up the cheap price & chips.  Cops in several places, especially Florida, now think it’s funny to humiliate marginalized women by offering them some low amount of money and fast food, then arresting them and telling the story to reporters, hardy-har-har.

Morality Lessons (#826) 

Leave it to authoritarians to make an unconstitutional censorship scheme even worse:

An Arizona state [politician named Gail Griffin] has [introduced a new version of anti-porn crackpot Chris Sevier’s bill to]…require makers and distributors of Internet-connected devices to ship such devices with blocking software “that renders a website that displays obscene material inaccessible by default”…any Internet user who wants to deactivate the blocking software would have to pay “a onetime deactivation fee of at least $20 to the Arizona Commerce Authority”…[in this version] the money would be used to establish what the bill calls the “John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Fund”…[to] “provide grants to government agencies and private entities that work to [promote censorship, prohibition and racism]”…the bill provides a list of 10 types of projects that could be funded by the porn fee.  First on the list is “build a border wall between Mexico and this state”…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#867)

The public will believe anything it sees on billboards, no matter how ridiculous:

For the sixth straight year, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley rolled out a line of billboards and bus shelter posters to [promote anti-sex work propaganda]…This year’s bright yellow signage includes the [slogan], “He made me feel special, then he made me sell my body,” followed by, “He’s not a real boyfriend. This is human trafficking!”…four weeks of [the] ads [costs] about $133,000 [that could have been used for shelters for actual homeless teens]…“The Bay Area is still a hot spot for human trafficking,” O’Malley [fantasized]…

Surplus Women (#898) 

It’s rare to see a sympathetic article in the UK press:

…a [London] sex worker…[named] Anna…[said] her most traumatic experience remains the death of friend Destiny Lauren, murdered by a client in 2009…”When he didn’t have enough money to pay her he strangled her and left her half-naked in the bed, he tied her arms behind her back with stockings. Her brother found her like that.”  A decade later, shocking parallels can be drawn between Destiny’s murder and that of escort Christina Abbotts last year as figures reveal a rise in violence against sex workers…Christina and Destiny are two of around 180 sex workers in the UK who were murdered between 1990 and 2015…In the year Destiny died, changes in legislation further penalised kerb-crawling as well as selling sex.  The laws also made it easier for police to close premises where women were working together collectively [for safety]…

Traffic Jam (#900)

Another anti-migrant pogrom using the excuse of “sex trafficking”:

A federal grand jury in Oregon has returned two indictments charging six people with running sex trafficking organizations operating in the U.S., Canada and Australia…The FBI…coordinate[d pogroms] targeting [Asian massage parlors and advertising sites, to which they applied the dysphemism]…Asian sex trafficking networks.  As part of the [pogrom], the FBI seized…about 500 [websites]…[and] a[rre]sted five [sex workers they labeled] victims in Oregon…

Top Cop 

This article dramatically understates her awfulness, but it’s still not bad:

Harris’s [pretense to be] a progressive figure while simultaneously taking a “tough on crime” stance as a prosecutor has been a common thread throughout her career, way before Backpage and FOSTA…New York Times op-ed published last week outlines several instances when, as California’s top prosecutor, she fought to keep people in jail…In her running announcement, Harris [uttered the tone-deaf statement], “I think it is a false choice to suggest that communities do not want law enforcement.  Most communities do”…But [marginalized] people…would disagree with wanting more law enforcement presence in their communities, especially when it comes to sex work…

Lack of Evidence (#907) 

It’s fascinating to watch imbecile “journalists” tangled up in their own stupid assumptions:

Why are single women still mistaken for prostitutes?  Especially, you would think, if that restaurant is in the middle of New York, one of the most progressive cities on the planet….when Clementine Crawford was reportedly told she could no longer sit at the bar of her favourite Manhattan restaurant, she was confused…”All these years we have been battling for a room of one’s own,” she wrote. “Little did we know it, but we are still fighting for a seat at the table (or bar, to be strictly accurate)”…eating alone as a single woman is – for many – a daunting process.  The protective barrier of a book or, more recently, a phone, makes it easier.  Somehow you feel less exposed, less vulnerable…

Yes, this idiot is actually obsessing about the fact that this happened at a restaurant, as though somehow women eating alone were the issue, when in actuality the problem is “progressive” laws that allow cops to police female sexuality based on their whims and supported by “progressive” assumptions that how a woman chooses to make money is any of “society’s” business.  The stupid question in the headline is immediately answered in the story:  New York is indeed a “progressive” city, one that thinks it has the right to interfere in people’s private business with violence.  THAT is the issue, not fake “feminism” which divides women into “good” and “bad” and pretends that privileged white women being caught up in the authoritarian laws they support is somehow about inappropriate quoting of Virginia Woolf.

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This was quite a busy and pleasant week!  In addition to several new (and lovely, and generous) clients, this week saw the completion of The War on Whores (premiering at 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 2nd at The Rendezvous in Seattle); the paying-off of the last of my debt from my big move in 2017; the arrival of some really fab jeans from Peter Roman (you’ll have to wait for the pic!); some progress on monetizing this blog; a cosmetic procedure I’ve wanted for some time; and the time and opportunity to work on a personal project I really enjoy, I also recorded “The Politics of Sex Work”, the first in what I hope will be many video lectures for Thaddeus Russell’s Renegade University.  I love working with Thad; like my documentary producer Paul Johnson (who did the actual camera work for the lecture recording) he takes care of all the technical and practical stuff that tends to overwhelm me, so all I have to do is show up and be Maggie McNeill.  That’s the goal I’m aiming for this year:  I’m trying to make arrangements and get things to the point where I let other people who actually know what they’re doing handle the things I’m not good at, so all I need to do to earn a good living is be me, which I’m very good at.  The first half-century of my life wasn’t exactly easy, so I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I’m trying to make up for it now…especially if in the process I can actually increase my effectiveness as a proponent of the cause I care so deeply about. 

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I recently had an appointment with a male escort, and when I arrived and asked the room number he said he had decided to host a friend in his room and asked me to wait for 2 hours past my appointment time.  Naturally I didn’t want to wait, and pressed the issue; he agreed to see me on time and the session was fine.  However, he asked me to leave early and brought up the possibility of a partial refund.  I didn’t take him up on it at the time, but a few days later decided to ask for it; he was surly and complained that the title for the payment I used on my payment app (“Fun”) got his account flagged.  The whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth, so how do I write a frank, honest review that encapsulates my feelings about this without royally screwing him? I feel like I couldn’t really justify more than 3/5 stars on the rating site; how much detail should I give so future buyers can beware?

It seems to me that your escort behaved in an extremely unprofessional manner.  While emergencies can arise on either side of the transaction, “I decided to have a friend over” is not an emergency.  Moreover, given the situation, the proper solution is for the escort to say to the friend, “Hey, I need to work for two hours; here’s $50 so you can get dinner in the restaurant and I promise I’ll make it up to you,” not “Hey client, would you please loiter in a hotel lobby or parking lot for two hours so the staff will get suspicious and call the cops, and we can both be busted.”  And having decided to do the session, asking you to leave early was shitty.

Your offenses weren’t nearly as bad as his (and not only because he is supposed to be the pro, not you), but they’re not trivial, either.  Since you didn’t accept his offer of a partial refund right away, asking for it later was kind of graceless.  And putting “fun” or any other such word in the memo for a payment could potentially cause him to lose that account entirely, not to mention possibly being put on some kind of list (I don’t know such a list exists, but in the current police-state climate I wouldn’t be surprised).  Since you were not entirely without fault yourself, I wouldn’t write any review at all if I were you.  I definitely think his offenses were worse, but what purpose would such a review serve?  Frankly, “so future buyers can beware” strikes me as disingenuous; it seems more to me like you want to get back at him.  I’m not saying I don’t think your annoyance is justified, but I see this as feeding into drama when you could nip it in the bud.  Of course you shouldn’t see him again, and if another review board member directly asks you what the encounter was like you shouldn’t lie.  But if his behavior is often that unprofessional, others will write bad reviews without your help; I think you will be better off just shaking the dust of his room from your sandals and considering it a lesson learned.

(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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Reports’ consistent portrayals of miserable, victimized prostitutes and villainous madams—despite evidence to the contrary—display [prohibitionists’] tireless ideological labors to bring their real-life encounters in line with their…assumptions.  –  Nicolette Severson

Here We Go Again 

Prohibitionism never, ever changes:

…members of the New York Female Moral Reform Society…visited brothels all over New York City [in 1835-36].  They…[pretended they wanted] to learn…why women [did] sex work and [wanted] to sav[e] them from what they considered a grave sin and social ill…[like modern “sex trafficking” fetishists] members of F.M.R.S…assumed that the women didn’t voluntarily decide to become prostitutes, but that they were seduced and trafficked by men who caused their moral downfall…Those preconceived notions were [and still are] false. Prostitutes…enter…sex work because…[it pays better and is more flexible than the sex workers’ other alternatives], and for many, prostitution [i]s a temporary job.  The reformers were shocked at the high-end brothels they visited.  Fitted with refined furnishings and attractive, accommodating women, these brothels were…similar to the homes middle-class women were expected to keep…No wonder, then, that…the F.M.R.S. reformers used [stereotyped] characters to portray sex workers…[so as] to support their own belief that prostitution meant moral decay and internal misery…

The Scarlet Letter

Why do these puritans insist on pretending that the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to intentionally harming people for wanting consensual sex?

The City of Dayton announced a new initiative…aimed at [harming sex workers]…Called Buyer’s Remorse, the campaign will “modernize” the city’s approach to prostitution…It will make the information of anyone [in]…Dayton to [have consensual] sex “very” public [without due process], Mayor Nan Whaley said…Their names and addresses will added to a[n online] map…

I hope the first few men listed on this site have the sense and resources to sue the city and shut the site down.

Feminine Pragmatism 

Lingerie fetishist offers women a pragmatic avenue of harm reduction:

With the shutdown now likely the longest of its kind in US history, furloughed feds are turning to second jobs, side hustles, and Craigslist sales to make an extra buck.  Now one Virginia resident…asks women who “could use several dollars” to send their undergarments—in return for a whopping $120 a pop…

Of course, the amateurs are as gobsmacked as Depression-era rednecks staring up at a skyscraper for the first time.

Under Every Bed

Population 28,486:

…“Humans are the best commodity that there is,” [a prohibitionist salivated]. “Pimps and stuff will tell you that they don’t have to renew their supply, unlike drugs that they have to keep buying more…The average time a person is sold during the year is 1,000 times.”  Sex trafficking is happening throughout the state of West Virginia and in places like Wheeling…Sheriff Tom Howard [fantasized]…“Be very careful with children because it can happen, unfortunately, with the drug epidemic…Any time you see something that looks like a lot of drug activity, there’s probably some kind of human trafficking going on along with it…It happens all throughout the county”…

These people are like living caricatures of self-important hicks.  The “unlike drugs, people can be sold many times” canard is an excuse to keep persecuting members of “gangs”; see “Traffic Jam” below.

The Course of a Disease (#349) 

The Danes just keep emphasizing their disgust with the Swedish model:

Danish Social Minister Mai Mercado…has revealed that the government is looking into improving conditions for sex workers, decrying the dramatic lack of human rights in this field…sex workers don’t enjoy the same rights as those engaged in other vocations, including the right to unemployment insurance payouts and pensions…”Society demands that everyone pay their taxes, including prostitutes, so I think that we are duty-bound to ensure people have basic rights”…Mercado said…Prostitutes are required to register…as their income is taxable, a situation described by Mercado as “taxation without representation”…Citing the experiences of neighbouring countries which…criminalis[e] the procurement of sex, Mai Mercado argued that accepting prostitution instead of trying to ban it is the right approach.  “We have witnessed Sweden’s experiences.  These are really bad.  There is more violence, more insecurity, and it keeps sinking to the underworld.  There is no need for that”, Mercado said…Among other things, [the new approach] will mean that prostitutes will have the right to enroll in an unemployment insurance fund, be entitled to unemployment benefits and be able to earn a pension…

Traffic Jam (#432)

“Sex trafficking” is another excuse to persecute the same groups as always:

…Some [things the government labels] trafficking are prosecuted more heavily than others…Sex trafficking of a minor…carries a statutory minimum of 10 years…[and] maximum…of life in prison.  [Other things labeled] human trafficking…[such as] forcing people to labor for no pay in domestic service, factories, restaurants and so on — have no mandatory minimum…federal prosecutors have behaved accordingly, prosecuting more than twice as many minor sex-trafficking cases as adult sex-trafficking and labor-trafficking cases combined…57 percent of the defendants in minor sex-trafficking cases are black — compared with 43 percent in adult sex-trafficking cases and only 18 percent in labor trafficking…The average age of a defendant in a minor sex-trafficking case is 31, while it’s 33 and 40 respectively for adult sex- and labor-trafficking cases…76 percent of defendants in minor sex-trafficking cases are male, while that’s true for only 71 percent and 59 percent of adult sex- and labor-trafficking defendants, respectively.  In other words…the [cases labeled as] trafficking…that carr[y] the highest penalties and [are] most likely to be prosecuted — are significantly more likely to be [against defendants who are] young, black and male…

Eternal Vigilance (#682)

Until prohibition is itself outlawed, decriminalization of any consensual activity is at best a temporary respite:

Tight bylaws limiting where brothels can operate in Queenstown and Wanaka have failed to stop the trade, with sex workers instead using “working girl-friendly” hotels and selling sex from homes…prostitution contributes “hugely” to the district’s economy, but those working in the industry continue to be discriminated against, mocked and marginalised.  The Queenstown Lakes District Council…has kept its towns brothel-less through restrictive and “draconian” bylaws since prostitution was decriminalised in 2003…going as far as banning them altogether in a 2008 bylaw.  The council later reviewed the bylaw because it was potentially at odds with the Prostitution Reform Act, but…[it] is still at odds with the Act…[because] brothels are only allowed to operate within a two-block zone in the town centre…They cannot be on ground level or beneath ground level or have signs advertising the business…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Some helpful figures for countering prohibitionists’ agency-negating lies:

…anti-traffickers often [lie] that the majority of those who sell sex in India are forced or begin when they are underage.  The best available research, however, provides a different picture.  A survey of over 6500 female sex workers in South India aged 15 and above found that the mean age of entrance into sex work was 21.7 years.  The most comprehensive  data set included 3000 sex workers from across the nation.  Of these, 81.59% entered sex work when they were 19 years old or above and 14.53% between 15-18 years.  The Pan India Survey found that across all modes and sites of sex work in India, 79.4% of women entered the trade voluntarily, while 7.1% were forced, 2.8% were sold, and 9.2% were cheated…The term “forced” should only be used in reference to work rendered through physical force, threats, beatings, blackmail, cheating and similarly direct forms of compulsion…If financial urgency were defined as “force”, then the vast majority of the world’s workers would have to be defined as “forced labourers”.  Very few individuals are either entirely free to make unfettered decisions about their means of earning money or are entirely freed from the need to do so…

Business As Usual (#877) 

When a headline asks a question, the answer is almost always “no”:

Stormy Daniels’s July 2018 arrest…by…Columbus [vice pigs]…turned out to be…a pre-planned political stunt by vice detectives — one of whom later bragged about it to colleagues.  Daniels and two others later sued for false arrest.  Then, in August, the [gang] was again in the spotlight because a vice detective [murdered] a sex worker…after…she [resisted his attempt to rape her]…in his unmarked car.  In September, another whistleblower familiar with local strip clubs informed city officials of extortion, selective enforcement and entrapment by the vice [gang], bringing a large package of documents to corroborate the allegations…[then] the chief of the CPD asked the FBI to take over the investigation…and…on September 27, [rapist and murderer] Andrew Mitchell…was [given a paid vacation]…On December 13, the CPD put a third vice detective involved in the sting on desk duty…[and] announced that the vice [gang] will resume limited operations with a “select” [herd] of [pigs], although the FBI probe remains ongoing.  The [gang] will [supposedly] be handling liquor and nuisance complaints at after-hours clubs, instead of spending thousands on drinks and lap dances [while molesting and raping women without consequence]…

Also: “hold accountable” is a moralist shibboleth which means something like “persecute using a moralistic excuse”. It has no place in articles about genuine wrongdoers facing the consequences of their actions.

Monsters (#878) 

Prohibitionists know we’re right about the dangers of criminalization; they just don’t care:

…the [trans sex worker community who work in and around the] sprawling Bois de Boulogne public park in western Paris…has felt considerably less safe since the French government introduced [the Swedish model]…in 2016…as p[redict]ed, clients now regularly ask the women for sex in secluded areas to avoid the police.  In a Médecins du Monde survey conducted with nearly 600 sex workers…63 percent said they have seen their working conditions deteriorate, while 42 percent said they have experienced more violence since the law change…The Paris mayor’s office [even] shut[s] off many of the lights in the park in the evenings as a way to [intentionally increase the danger to sex workers] there…Acceptess-T, an association that advocates on behalf of trans and immigrant sex workers [says] “They are more vulnerable than ever”…

Surplus Women (#896) 

Answer: it’s a rationalization of cop behavior.  Which, admittedly, isn’t easy to tell from serial killer behavior:

Juan David Ortiz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, pleaded not guilty…to capital murder in the deaths of four women [because they were just whores]…Ortiz [was convinced by government anti-sex propaganda that] it was his duty to clean up the streets of Laredo…so he began picking up alleged sex workers, driving them to remote areas, and then shooting them in the head…Ortiz thought [cops] w[ere]n’t doing enough to stop [adults from having consensual sex] in Laredo, so he believed he was “doing a service” by killing the women…prosecutors are seeking the death penalty because Ortiz’s “vigilante mentality” presents a “future danger to [people who aren’t whores]”…

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Have you ever come across any asexual escorts?  I’m asexual but sex positive and interested in getting into the business.  I feel like personally I’d have it easier than some because while I have great empathy with people, and enjoy socializing, I have no sexual or romantic attraction to make things messy.

As long as you’re good at faking sexual response and you aren’t actually repulsed by sex, being asexual is not in itself a barrier to being a sex worker.  No professional finds the majority of her clients attractive, and we all have some clients who are if anything the opposite of attractive.  Furthermore, I know more than a few escorts who are lesbians, yet still do quite well.  The reason is simple:  though many men seem unable to understand it or may even deny it, the fact is that an escort’s service for her client is a performance, not a “mutual” sexual experience such as amateurs claim to prefer (mostly because they can’t separate Hollywood fantasy from practical reality).  The truth is, a woman who is having sex to fulfill her own needs cannot possibly devote as much energy and attention to her partner as a skilled and perceptive sex worker can, precisely because she is paying attention at least in part to her own needs rather than devoting 100% of her attention to the task at hand.  It’s the same reason 69 is a really crappy position even though many amateurs are fascinated by it, and the same reason professionals are so frustrated by clients who insist that “I want to please yoooooooouuuu!” (which is generally code for “I want to go down on you”, because a lot of guys have been brainwashed into thinking that every woman just adores cunnilingus, and have convinced themselves that they’re experts at performing it).  At the end of the day, a sex worker’s personal interest in or desire for sex is of little importance; what matters is her ability to divine and respond to her client’s needs, to give him a good time, and to make him feel accepted and appreciated.

(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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I am more frightened of the police than I am of [a rapist].  –  Sipho

Surplus Women 

Stick to sex worker victims, and you can murder as many women as you like without cops giving a shit (or even noticing):

Convicted killer Samuel Little, 78, could turn out to be among the country’s most prolific serial killers in history, and one that, until now, law enforcement didn’t even realize existed…after being convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for three murders in Southern California between 1986 and 1989, Little recently began confessing to dozens more [as part of a bargain in which he will be moved to a prison in Texas].  In total, Little has confessed to killing 90 women  across more than a dozen states between 1970 and 2005…and…the FBI…has been able to link 34 unsolved murders to Little’s confessed crimes…While Little is fuzzy about dates, he has a chillingly detailed memory of…what his victims looked like and how they were killed…Little targeted marginalized women, many of them women of color, and the FBI has admitted that many of the murder cases they’ve linked to Little were not just unsolved, but barely investigated; some of his victims haven’t even been identified.  And although Little, a former competitive boxer, usually beat his victims and then strangled them while masturbating, according to the FBI, “many of these deaths were not classified as homicides [because NHI] but attributed to drug overdoses, accidents, or natural causes”…

Secret Squirrel (#344)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

…“We offer a variety of options for parents whether they are simply looking out for their teens overall safety or concerned for the teen that may be sneaking out of the house at night or at risk of running away,” a sales video for Florida’s Tampa Bay Monitoring informs prospective customers…Frank Kopczynski, the owner of Tampa Bay Monitoring…also runs Action Plus Bail Bonds…“We provide a bracelet that is near-impossible to cut off,” Kopczynski [said]…[a microphone allows] staff [to] monitor the teen covertly…A competing teen GPS monitoring service says of their systems, “This device is also great if your juvenile goes on spring break!”…Tampa Bay Monitoring also offers an “optional, hardened steel encased security cuff for high-risk teens”…

Property of the State 

People with children are uniquely vulnerable to state coercion:

Child Protective Services workers…pressured a Harris County investigator to file charges against the mother whose case prompted a $127,000 sanction against the agency…Dillon and Melissa Bright [sued the state]…after CPS [abducted]…their children…[using invented claims] of child abuse…Following an October court hearing in which a CPS caseworker repeatedly pleaded the Fifth Amendment on the stand [to avoid admitting prior perjury], the family ultimately won back their kids and last month Juvenile Judge Mike Schneider slapped the state with what may be the largest-ever sanction against the agency.  [The pressure to file further spurious charges started soon after]…

Little Boxes (#576)

US media reporting this fail to mention that many US jurisdictions have very similar laws against revealing clothes for women:

An Egyptian actress [was]…charged with public obscenity after she showed up at the closing ceremony of a film festival in Cairo wearing a see-through dress that revealed the entirety of her legs.  Rania Youssef’s trial, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 12, follows a complaint to the chief prosecutor by a group of [busybody] lawyers…Youssef faces up to five years in prison if convicted…

Sex Work is Work (#603)

Amateurs could learn so much about business from whores:

…Why [do] sex workers show so many more leadership attributes than a business leader?  The answer is straightforward—out of necessity.  A business leader has as many leadership attributes as he needs to have, and…just one or two might suffice…Rarely does he have to be an all-rounder…because he has enough people to cover for him.  The female sex worker does not have this luxury.  Her world is far more complex, much more challenging.  She must deal with emotional, health, and financial crises all the time.  There is the constant threat of violence, and her first mission is really to survive.  She has no power, but still must stay in control.  She has no support system, but she must cope.  She simply cannot win with just one or two shots in her game; she needs a whole repertoire…

The Last Shall Be First (#624)

The only “mistake” here was that the victim wasn’t actually trans:

A woman is suing employees of a Florida jail after they…forced her to spend…[many] hours in a cell surrounded by dozens of men, because they suspected she was transgender…Fior Pichardo de Veloz had come to Miami from the Dominican Republic to witness the birth of her grandchild in 2013, when she was arrested at the airport on an outstanding drug charge…Due to her history of high blood pressure, Pichardo de Veloz was examined by a nurse as a precaution.  The nurse saw she had been taking hormone pills and questioned her about her gender.  Despite Pichardo de Veloz’s denial of being a man, the nurse added a note to her file that read: “Transgender, male parts, female tendencies.”  The nurse notified a doctor, who reclassified Pichardo de Veloz as male without an examination…[she] was transferred to…an all-male jail, and shared a cell with about 40 men, who jeered at her…for 10 hours and said she was terrified to go to the bathroom and “urinated on herself instead”…[when] family members [complained]…she was…given a new examination [while]…several male [cops watched]…laughed at her and…took a photo…

Understand what happened here:  the nurse fully intended to put a transwoman into a situation where she was likely to be raped.  She could easily have determined the woman’s genitalia by examining her, but then she couldn’t have claimed it was a “mistake” to put her with men.

To Molest and Rape 

Can you imagine any non-cop getting only three months for aggravated rape?

A Colorado [pig] who [raped] a handcuffed woman…was sentenced to 90 days in jail followed by four years on probation…His victim was left with PTSD…Curtis Lee Arganbright…[was supposed] to take the woman home [after a minor incident at a hospital, for which the hospital declined to press charges]…on the way to her house…he…stopped his…car…and [vaginally raped] her…on the [hood] while she was still cuffed.  He then…oral[ly raped her]…before [threatening her if she told anyone]…She returned the hospital the following day [to report the]…rape…Addressing the incident when it first came to light in August 2017, Westminster Police Chief Tim Carlson [tried to divert attention from the crime by talking about his sadfeelz]…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#778) 

Toasters have no “virginity” and cannot “consent” to anything:

Sex robots [do not exist] at the moment…but [that doesn’t stop reporters from calling sex doll rental arcades]…“robot brothels”…feel out the market in the US and Canada.  But if a [doll] hasn’t “had sex” yet, does that make it a virgin?  A crowdfunding campaign to open the world’s first consent-focused [sex doll rental arcade]…launched by Abyss Creations employee Unicole Unicron last month would argue that it does indeed…a $155,000 funding target [failed miserably by reaching only $2659 even though]…backers [could] pledge $10,000 to be the first person to [masturbate with] a [doll] at Eve’s Robot Dreams…in California…is putting a price on a robot’s virginity really the best marketing strategy for a [fake] brothel that’s focusing on the idea of [fake] consent?…

I’m sorry, that’s all  can quote; it’s just all too stupid even with my extensive editorialization.

The Rape Question (#806) 

Why do men not get that an informal contract without a lawyer witness would offer no protection?

…women [are] being asked to record “consent videos” before having [amateur] sex with men who fear they will be accused of assault afterwards…this then allows the person who recorded the video to use it as “evidence” that their partner gave consent before having sex…barrister Kate Fortescue [said]…”In this digital age, a jury is nearly always asked to look at material from phones and computers to help them decide the issue of consent.  Evidence of pre-recorded consent is clearly relevant and something a jury could consider.  However, even if consent was freely given, such recordings could never provide a blanket defence”…

Seriously, guys, if you’re really this worried just stick to pros and leave the amateurs alone.

The Prudish Giant (#818) 

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

Curator and art historian Ruben Cordova [foolishly] thought that Facebook was the perfect platform to archive the photographic materials equivalent to almost a decade’s worth of his research.  He created a network of albums, links, commentaries, and comparanda online, sometimes using those resources for his lectures at universities and galleries.  This abundance of scholarship even included materials necessary for Cordova’s forthcoming publication.  But…in the early morning of November 16…Facebook…permanently disabled his account due to an alleged violation of community standards banning sexually explicit content…[because an] algorithm in[correc]tly identified the nude woman in John De Andrea’s hyperrealistic Self-Portrait with Sculpture (1980) as a living human being…the image…was just one of about 240…he uploaded from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s popular Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body exhibition…[and even] included a link to the museum website, which would presumably allow a human moderator to fact-check Cordova’s appeal against his ban…when the art historian did try to appeal Facebook’s decision, he found that none of his messages reached the social media giant through his computer, receiving multiple error messages instead…

Disaster (#829)

We did warn you this wouldn’t stop with sex workers:

Tumblr will permanently ban adult content from its platform on December 17th in [celebration of the infliction of violence on sex workers]…The new policy’s announcement comes just days after Tumblr was removed from Apple’s iOS App Store over a child pornography incident, but it extends far beyond that matter alone…Banned content includes photos, videos, and GIFs of human genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations…The new guidelines exclude text, so erotica remains permitted.  Illustrations and art that feature nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are breastfeeding and after-birth photos…[existing] posts with [censored] content will be set to private, which will prevent them from being reblogged or shared elsewhere…Users who run adult blogs can also export their content before the change takes place in order to save what they have…Since Tumblr was founded in 2007, it has largely turned a blind eye to adult content…[which made it] a safe place [for gender and sexual minorities] to enjoy, share, and discuss…adult content…

Business As Usual (#845)

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

One in three of the 57 sex workers surveyed [in South Africa] reported they had been raped by policemen, and more than half said police officers had demanded bribes from them in exchange for escaping arrest or abuse…From interviews with a further 61 sex workers, the Sonke and Sweat researchers documented horrific examples of police forcing the women to have sex with animals, compelling them to eat used condoms and refusing to assist them after they had reported abuse at the hands of clients…in November 2015, [when] a sex worker…was found dead at “The Bush” [a scrub-covered field where sex workers take clients]…police…refused to take…statements [from her friends]…Instead…the police raided “The Bush” two weeks later, setting fire to their shacks and destroying their personal possessions…

Worse Than I Thought (#852)

While Virginia lags in inventing inflammatory anti-whore rhetoric, it makes up for it by inventing truly awful anti-whore laws:

Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission endorsed a package of anti-sex-[worker] legislation…that would…create “John schools” for people caught [in cop stings] and make it illegal to charge for “masturbatory services”…“Happy endings”…are currently not included in the state’s prostitution statutes, but local governments can individually act to define the transactions as illegal sex acts…[prohibitionists quoted some racist propaganda]…from…Polaris Project [that infantilizes Asian migrant women so as to deny them agency]…Another piece of legislation approved by the commission would create a [new anti-whore bureaucracy]…and…proposed “John schools” [to indoctrinate ordinary men in anti-whore propaganda]…Another…would define [any associate of an underage sex worker] as caretakers…and allow social service agencies to take emergency custody of [those declared] victims, [imprisoning them indefinitely under the guise of “protection”]…

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I’m a 24-year-old gay male sex worker who recently got into a relationship.  My partner knows about and respects my work, but he wants to be monogamous and feels like we have to be in an open relationship because of my job.  I don’t mind being monogamous, but I enjoy my job and I don’t want to quit, but I truly want to be with this man because he is the most wonderful person I’ve ever met and has an emotional depth and maturity that is truly unparalleled.  I was wondering if you had any advice or personal experience/wisdom you could impart.

Whether or not you can make this work will depend largely if not entirely on whether your partner can understand that sex work is work rather than a recreational activity.  Notice I didn’t say “if you can make him see that…” or something similar, because although you can express the truth to him, you cannot make him accept it.  All you can do is to tell him that if he wants to be monogamous, you are happy to promise him that you won’t have any sexual contact with anyone else unless money is involved; after that, the rest is up to him.  You might also take a look at a couple of other columns I’ve written on similar topics; though they’re about hetero relationships, I honestly don’t think the dynamic would be all that different.  And if you find them helpful, you’re more than welcome to share them with him.  The most helpful column of all might be this two-part interview with my (now ex-) husband; even though we are no longer together, our separation was very amicable and had little to do with my work, and we are still good friends.  His insights on jealousy and looking at my work as an outsider might help to give your partner insight from another man who’s been there, and that might do more to help him than I as a female sex worker could ever manage.

(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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