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Posts Tagged ‘shame’

Today is Friday the 13th, when I ask non-sex workers to stand up for us.  So when Stacey Swimme, one of the founders of SWOP-USA, started discussing this on Twitter a few days ago, I asked her to elaborate for this column.  This is the result.

Come out only to the people you know, and who know you, not to anyone else…Once they realize that we are indeed their children and we are indeed everywhere- every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all…. And when you do, you will feel so much better.  –  Harvey Milk, 1978

When I told my mom in 2008 that I was an escort, she was accepting, but she told me it’s not something she wants me to discuss with other family members.  I agreed, but later when I joined Facebook for a brief period, my personal and activism lives collided.  Any one of my extended family members could see my posts about International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, posts vehemently opposing the censorship of the Craigslist Erotic Services section, and if they chose to, they could read through commentary left on posts by me and my sex work friends.  I’m sure they have gossiped about it over the years, but nobody ever says anything to me about it.

It’s a strange sort of in-between place for me.  “Everyone” in my life knows that I’m a sex worker.  I am “accepted” by my family in a way that I can appreciate, but I don’t call them allies.  There’s no talk of disowning me, no exclusion of me or my son or my intimate partners from family occasions, but they won’t voluntarily make it known that someone they love is a sex worker.  It’s just another weird thing I do that they don’t understand and don’t want to understand, but they love me anyway.  I’m generally at peace with how this has played out with my family.  I have a compartment in life where I can keep feelings, priorities and responsibilities associated with my birth family neatly tucked away to pull out for holidays and birthdays.  Then I have a larger compartment, a space preserved for my Found Family, the people I get to share my full identity with.  This doesn’t mean that while we are together I am constantly in “sex work mode”; it’s more that these people don’t need me to suppress any part of my identity in order to keep them comfortable.

Prohibition forces most of us to keep our activities and our whereabouts a secret from those who care for us the most.  That secrecy makes sex workers more vulnerable to abuse; opportunistic predators seek out victims who are least likely to be reported missing by loved ones.  The fear our loved ones have of shame-by-association is an asset to those who aim to harm us- predators and politicians alike.  The Green River Killer said he targeted sex workers because “….they were easy to pick up without being noticed.  I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing.  I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.”  Sex workers need the world to know that we have people who care about us in our lives, in our communities, in our families.  Below is a micro-Call-To-Action for different communities who intersect with sex workers.  Find your own way; there’s something small and meaningful you can do for the sex worker in your life, something you can do within your own comfort zone.  No matter who you are, if you care about sex workers, please start with educating yourself.  There’s been plenty of writing on how to be an ally to sex workers.  This article from psychologist Marijke Vonk covers essential tips for allies plus links to even more resources for you; also go over to Black Girl Dangerous for a piece on allyship written by a sex worker.

Micro-Call to Actions:

Parents of sex workers:  Tell your child that you love them, no matter who finds out what they do; bonus points if you attend a sex work community event with them.  Get to know the area of their life that they traditionally hide from you; you’ll be relieved to find that the people you meet are just ordinary humans with an extraordinary job- and your child is not the one sane, stable exception in an industry reputed to be unsavory.

Partners of sex workers:  Support each other!  Yes, I’m sure you were expecting me to say, “go talk to media” or “post on social media” or “reveal to your parents that your partner is a sex worker.”  And yes, I do want you to do every single one of those things.  However, I don’t believe that you all, at this time, collectively have enough support, information and expertise to minimize the harms and maximize the benefits of coming out as a partner.  Please get there.  Figure it out, folks.  This needs to be peer-led; you all need each other.  Maybe a live twitter discussion by and for partners to kick it off?  Start with something small and achievable.

Friends of sex workers:  In recent weeks my friends have done some amazing things!  Several have made bold statements in support of sex worker rights on social media for all of their friends and family to see.  One friend of mine asked how she and her husband can help sex workers right now, so I sent her over to Red Light Legal to sponsor legal research for sex workers impacted by record seizures at BackPage and other ad sites.  Yes!  Married feminists can be allies to sex workers!  Donate if you can, make calls to lawmakers when we ask for it, correct misinformation when you hear it within your social networks.

Clients of sex workers:  Be good clients.  Donate to funds that support the most marginalized workers in the aftermath of FOSTA/SESTA.  If you are wealthy and can make a substantial contribution, do it!  If you’re paranoid about your financial statements showing something sex work related, give to SWOP Behind Bars or Desiree Alliance because their fiscal sponsors’ totally un-sexy name will appear on your statements.

Cannabis Industry:  It is time to retire the strain name “Jack The Ripper”.  This is insulting because it reveres a name that is infamous due to the brutal murders of sex workers in London.  It does not give due reverence to the long struggle of cannabis legalization and the healing properties of this wonderful plant.  In 2009, I pointed this out to a dispensary operator in San Fernando Valley; he said, “You’re right, I’m sorry to offend, I’ll change the name and let me hook you up with a free eighth, I didn’t mean to offend you ma’am.”  Boom!  Ally in action.  Nine years later, I have a new Call To Action for California’s cannabis industry:  Let’s collectively change the name of the Jack the Ripper strain to Jacq The Stripper, a true hero who deserves to have her name glorified in weed.  Also- hire sex workers for legal cannabis jobs!  As the legal cannabis industry booms, prison mongers are moving to recover lost profits by increasing legal penalties against sex workers.  It’s not a coincidence.

There are dozens of ways to actively support the sex worker in your life.  Ask your loved one what they need as an individual.  Be there for them first, then look at how you can support our community as a whole.  The next opportunity to both educate yourself and help us raise awareness is June 2, 2018 for International Whore’s Day; follow Survivors Against SESTA for organizing updates.  Sex workers have struggled for decades to build the peer-led resources, safety networks and community spaces that reduce the harms we face.  These resources are now under direct attack by policy-makers, law enforcement and misinformed advocates who believe that eliminating our safety resources will make sex work disappear from the world.  We will not disappear, but we need our allies to ensure that we are not silenced and excluded.  Please stand with us so we are not alone in this fight.

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Stormy Daniels is…not speaking out because it’s fun or a great career move.  –  Savannah Sly

One Size Fits All

This is almost three years old, but it’s too good to pass up:

Many children in west Africa are brought up in households belonging to people other than their own parents.  There is a long tradition of fostering, yet in many cases the practice is now [claimed] to constitute “trafficking” or “modern slavery” because the children involved are put to work during their stay.  This makes little sense, yet the terminology of “human trafficking” and its consequences—namely that the “traffickers” involved should be prosecuted—has remained in vogue since at least 2000 with the support of European and American funding.  This has almost certainly caused more harm than good…ideas and methods imported from Europe and North America…have sought to prevent children from working away from home, rather than to protect children from harm regardless of where they live and whether they were at work or school.  This approach fails to adapt to the realities of childhood in west Africa and the practicalities of growing up in villages with little infrastructure…

Pyrrhic Victory

Toward the end of privacy, everywhere:

…the CLOUD Act…was never reviewed or marked up by any committee in either the House or the Senate.  It never received a hearing.  It was robbed of a stand-alone floor vote because Congressional leadership decided, behind closed doors, to attach this un-vetted, unrelated data bill to the $1.3 trillion government spending bill…All the bill requires now is the president’s signature…Because of this…U.S. and foreign police will have new mechanisms to seize…your private emails, your online chats, your Facebook, Google, Flickr photos, your Snapchat videos, your private lives online…without a warrant and with few restrictions…the CLOUD Act…will…Enable foreign police to collect and wiretap people’s communications from U.S. companies, without obtaining a U.S. warrant…Allow foreign nations to demand personal data stored in the United States, without prior review by a judge…Allow the U.S. president to enter “executive agreements” that empower police in foreign nations that have weaker privacy laws than the United States to seize data in the United States while ignoring U.S. privacy laws…Allow foreign police to collect someone’s data without notifying them about it…Empower U.S. police to grab any data, regardless if it’s a U.S. person’s or not, no matter where it is stored…

Whatever They Need To Say

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

Gentrification is often seen as an organic process that cities undergo.  Jeremiah Moss, the author of the book and blog Vanishing New York … says, “Gentrification was originally defined as the process by which working-class neighborhoods are changed into middle-class neighborhoods by the middle-class who buy homes there…Now we’re dealing with something much larger and more destructive — what I refer to as hyper gentrification which is not an organic process.  It’s the government stepping in with policies and zoning to remake the city for the upper classes.  In order to that, outlaws have to be removed, including sexual outlaws.  So adult businesses have to go…The hyper-gentrified city must be safe, friendly, and welcoming for tourist families and major corporations”…Shutting down adult businesses was on the top of [New York] Mayor Giuliani’s list throughout his terms.  Giuliani claimed strip clubs, peep shows, and x-rated video stores were “corrosive institutions” that contaminated neighborhoods and prevented “legitimate businesses” from prospering…

Blunt Instrument 

“Sex trafficking” is such a convenient weapon to use against adult businesses:

The Milwaukee Common Council voted not to renew the license of a…night club [using] sex trafficking [claims].  The vote came after…neighborhood [complaints that]…the owner of Tatou Ultra Pub…planned to renew the club’s license and then sell the business to VLive, a nationwide chain of strip clubs…aldermen were warned that the city attorney’s office could have trouble defending the city in court if aldermen failed to renew the license…residents [pretended] Tatou had contributed to loud noise and reckless driving in the area…[yet] there…were no recent police records documenting any nuisance activity at the club…

Under Every Bed

Population 36,000:

The Westerville [Ohio] community is learning how to spot signs of human trafficking after police busted a local massage parlor for prostitution.  [Cops pretend] they’ve seen an increase in human trafficking in the area…”It’s not the stereotypical human trafficking we’re used to.  A lot of these ladies can come and go, but they are threatened to stay in that environment,” Chief [Pig] Morbitzer [fantasized while playing pocket pool]…”One we shut down for prostitution reasons, one we cited for taxation reasons and one that was trying to open up was prohibited because of zoning code issues”…a…community meeting was hosted by the [pigs, a “diversion” program protecting its funding]…The Salvation Army, and [another rescue industry group]…

Monsters 

This brings the toll to 7 already this year:

[A trans woman was murdered] in Baton Rouge, LA…Amia Tyrae Berryman…was 28 years old.  Her body was found at…a…motel…with gunshot injuries…local media stating WBRZ…misgendered her

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (#603)

The next generation of sex worker security apps:

A new security application, Artemis’ Umbrella, has been developed for sex workers in Finland, and can be used anywhere in the world.  The app alerts a trusted contact when sex workers are in trouble, and uses location services to track the smart phone…it is possible to alert a pre-arranged friend if something like a customer meeting goes wrong and needs help.  The alarm can be triggered via the alarm button or via the timer (the alarm will be triggered if the function is not shut down in time).  Both alerts will also include the person’s location information…the application was…tested…in both Helsinki and Mumbai…

Morality Lessons (#783)

“The National Center on Sexual Exploitation” is the new self-aggrandizing name for pro-censorship fanatics Morality in Media:

…After collaborative dialogue with NCOSE, Walmart will remove Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines at 5,000 stores across the country. Protecting minors from the sexually explicit material that Cosmopolitan embodies and perpetuates has been a long-time priority of NCOSE

Agenda

Is this dumbass for real?

…I am pretty disappointed in the modern high-priced prostitutes of today.  They have no sense of honor and ethics…I do think that at one time in history there were professional prostitution ethics, where whatever happened between a man and his paid companion, there was the security of keeping things private.  In today’s world there seems to be no honor between a man and his contractual relationship between him and his paid companion…There is no honor among the profession…What’s the world coming to when you can’t trust a whore anymore?…

I can almost believe this ignorant weed’s claim that he’s never paid for sex, because he seems to know even less about whores than the average prohibitionist.  Besides his obviously-wrong-on-its-face central theme, he makes totally backward assertions like “Solon, the great Athenian legislator, was the first to actually legalize prostitution…”  No, you idiot, Solon was the first to try to criminalize prostitution.  Where do morons like this get this shit?  Do they literally look in the toilet and say, “Hey, that looks good, I’ll use it as a ‘fact’ in my next essay”?  WTF?  Why does every fuckwad think five minutes on Google make him an expert in my profession?  But I guess I’d better stop now, before I infuriate myself.

Morality Lessons (#820) 

It looks like Chris Sevier, the anti-porn fanatic behind the “mandatory porn filter” bills now making the rounds of US state legislatures, is about to do a massive pratfall:

Elizabeth Smart sent a cease-and-desist letter to prevent her name from being used to push a Rhode Island bill that would require a $20 fee to view pornography online…It is one of several similar bills pushed by Chris Sevier, who says the bill would protect children…Sevier said he chose Smart’s name as a tagline for the bill…[until he was] told…Smart was potentially pursuing legal action, [after which he claimed] the…name had been given to the [bill] by lawmakers…his website…specifically refers to [it] as “the Elizabeth Smart law”…[fellow anti-porn fanatics Morality in Media] has slammed Sevier for falsely claiming the[y]…supported his work…Earlier this month, a federal judge in Utah threw out Sevier’s lawsuit trying to target same-sex marriage by saying he should be allowed to marry his laptop…

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with Sevier, here’s an article from last year:

…Sevier has a warrant out for his arrest in Tennessee for failure to appear at criminal contempt proceedings….[arising from failure] to pay child support and violat[ing] a restraining order…[stemming] from Sevier’s 2011 arrest and  conviction for assaulting his father-in-law…Sevier’s baby was also injured in the altercation…Sevier claims that the Human Trafficking Prevention Act was hatched in part due to the horrors he saw as a volunteer in Asian countries, where he was “physically fighting human trafficking” as a rescue worker with an organization called Orphan Secure…[but] the president of Orphan Secure, Ronaldo Lopez…said that Sevier’s time with the group…amounted to a few broken promises…Despite repeatedly claiming he can legally practice law in two states, official records suggest Sevier is not licensed to practice law anywhere…a petition against him for ethical violations was pending in 2011 when the court temporarily inactivated his license based on a mental disability…

Not So Easy (#821)

A deeper look at the sleazy lies politicians are using to destroy women’s jobs:

…The raids seem…connected to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s  new vision of Bourbon Street as a family-friendly tourist destination, a vain attempt to gentrify one of the country’s most legendary red light districts as it approaches its 300th anniversary.  This vision…has the mark of Christian moralizing that has recently taken on new potency.  In October, Mayor Landrieu hired conservative Christian lawyer Scott Bergthold, whose Chattanooga-based law firm has a reputation for targeting strip clubs across the country.  The mayor also appointed a few key people to put together a study on trafficking, including councilperson Kristin Palmer, a longtime opponent of strip clubs; and Jim Kelly of Covenant House, part of a chain of nonprofit, Catholic-affiliated homeless shelters…The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force says in its official documents that it’s targeting trafficking, but…they use words like prostitution and trafficking interchangeably, and they don’t recognize a categorical difference…[though an attempt at capping the number of strip clubs failed 4-3 in the City Council] clubs…must operate under new regulations.  Dancers are no longer allowed to twerk (defined as a “simulation of sex” per the state lewd act law), fondle their own breasts, or have exposed nipples; these are now defined as “lewd and lascivious conduct.”  Club managers must…post anti-trafficking posters from…Club Operators Against Sex Trafficking (COAST).  COAST is in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security; the posters encourage workers to report abuse to a number which goes directly to ICE…if you’re an undocumented immigrant, there’s no guarantee  your rescue won’t also include deportation

Disaster

Even bootlicking Time seems to grasp that something bad has happened:

…The decision by Craigslist to stop hosting personal ads came as a preemptive move after Congress passed [FOSTA]…a sweeping piece of legislation intended to [harm sex workers]…The legislation targets websites that “promote or facilitate” prostitution, even in jurisdictions where prostitution is legal; individuals operating those sites face up to ten years in prison…The bill’s ambiguous terms threaten to impugn not only Craigslist, but any website or forum that accommodates discussion of the sex trade…these sites are crucial to [sex workers’] safety: they provide the community with a platform to share information about dangerous clientele (known as “bad date lists”) and other occupational hazards.  Advocates for these communities have also argued that eliminating the sex trade’s online presence will in fact make cases of actual human trafficking harder to identify…

Elephant in the Parlor (#825)

I’m proud to see my dear friend Savannah Sly in Teen Vogue, which is turning into an important ally:

…Given how she’s described her situation, it makes sense that Stormy Daniels would sign a nondisclosure agreement…in exchange for $130,000…Many people (particularly sex workers and mothers) may do the same thing in the hopes of making a situation go away.  Also, the odds that a porn star would be believed (or treated with respect) by the public are slim to none.  Society callously condones the slut-shaming, misogyny, and discrimination that sex workers regularly suffer.  Regardless of how we try to sanitize and make palpable our professions, sex workers are seen as irresponsible “sluts” who deserve what we get, even when we’re murdered.  Porn stars, who are some of the most visible sex workers, suffer intense volumes of hate mail, doxing, stalking, and online bullying simply because they’re brazen enough to be publicly and commercially sexual…

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The guns of oppression are aimed at the friendless before they swing to the connected and moneyed.  –  Guy Hamilton-Smith

Advice for Clients

Miranda Kane on how NOT to deal with a sex worker:

…Don’t ask questions like…”Is this your only job?”  Sex work is many people’s full time profession…Do not ask for a discount on the promise you’ll become a regular customer…Don’t send a picture of your dick…Contact us in the correct manner…turn up on time…

See No Evil 

Booga booga, the evil picture must be exorcised lest its sex rays radiate forth and “sexualize children”!

petition was begun by former art history major Mia Merrill to censor (though she doesn’t see this as censorship) this painting because it sexualized a child. Balthus painted something wrong…censorship is precisely what she’s asking for, even if she says she’s not…No doubt Merrill’s belief that her feelings are righteous justify her authority to scold the Met, not to mention Balthus, since it’s outrageous that he should paint something that offends her sensibilities…censors can’t bear the idea that something that offends them isn’t somehow subject to their control, so they…tell the world how literally awful it is while assuaging their conscience that they’re not really censors.  To its credit, the Met has told them to suck eggs…If it’s offensive, then people will see it and find it offensive.  No one needs a scold to tell them so…

With Friends Like These…

Prostitution itself isn’t illegal in Malaysia, but there are so many laws around it, it might as well be.  This guy proposes to solve that problem with MOAR LAWS!

Sex is a primary need…and because of that, sex work is…one of the oldest professions on the planet…Malaysia is not a country that people around the world would associate with prostitution.  Nevertheless, it would seem that Malaysia is fast rising as one of the main destinations for sex tourism in Southeast Asia.  Prostitution in Malaysia is illegal, but if you were to walk the streets of Kuala Lumpur, you will notice it is a thriving business…involved in layers of illegal activities such as organised crime, human trafficking, money laundering and even violent crimes…Sheril A. Bustaman…[of] PT Foundation…argued prostitution is a legitimate industry if owned and controlled by sex workers themselves…When the [Singapore] government legalised prostitution…brothels and their workers had to be registered and be given permits to operate…Sex workers are required to follow specific health procedures and are to be tested for sexually-transmitted diseases regularly…When the whole industry is regulated, it eliminates so many other actual undesirable crimes such as human trafficking…

Reporter Azlee is clearly an authority due to one conversation (in which he apparently didn’t listen very well) and is therefore far more qualified to opine on what sex workers need than, say, sex workers and human rights organizations, who all support decriminalization rather than “regulation”.

Banishment

Another good argument against the evil of “sex offender” registration:

…despite a steady media diet of cops and robbers police procedurals, the rhetoric on crime policy has begun to shift.  The [US] appears to be [losing]…our faith in imprisonment as an effective response to problems like drug addiction…Yet…one group of people continue to languish in the collective “harsher is better” mindset…forcing people to register as sex offenders “is what puritan judges would’ve done to Hester Prynne had laptops been available“…registries are rapidly proliferating and becoming an increasingly popular back-end tool for feeding people into the carceral state…

Torture Chamber 

The State wants us to call this a “correctional institution” and the torturers “correctional officers”:

Lawyers are seeking a federal court order of protection for a transgender prison inmate who [was repeatedly]…sexually assaulted for the entertainment of prison guards.  Attorney Alan Mills of the Uptown People’s Law Center says…Strawberry Hampton…was forced to strip and…[blow] a cellmate for the entertainment of guards.  “She eventually said I’m not going to do this anymore and reported them through…the Prison Rape Elimination Act…When the guards found out she had reported them, that’s when the abuse really escalated.”  Including beatings, solitary confinement and the denial of food [sic]…

Shame, Shame 

A culture more worried about the sexual applications of this than about the government’s ability to fabricate evidence with it is a culture overdue for collapse:

There’s a video of Gal Gadot having sex with her stepbrother on the internet.  But it’s…an approximation, face-swapped to look like she’s performing in an existing incest-themed porn video.  The video was created with a machine learning algorithm…and open-source code that anyone with a working knowledge of deep learning algorithms could put together…It’s especially striking considering that it’s allegedly the work of one person—a Redditor who goes by the name “deepfakes”—not a big special effects studio…this…shows that we’re on the verge of living in a world where it’s trivially easy to fabricate believable videos of people doing and saying things they never did.  Even having sex…It isn’t difficult to imagine an amateur programmer running their own algorithm to create a sex tape of someone they want to harass…

“Even having sex” she says, as if that’s the worst thing this bird-brain can conceive of.  The idea of, say, cops manipulating a body cam video to make it look as though a black man they murdered had pulled a gun on the cop, doesn’t even enter her sheltered little mind.

Halfway Whores (#439)

This us about as “dog bites man” as it gets.  I’ve done parties like this, and so have many ladies I know:

…Silicon Valley’s homogeneity has a more trivial side effect:  boring holiday parties.  A fete meant to retain all your talented engineers is almost certain to wind up with a rather same-y crowd, made up mostly of guys.  At this year’s holiday parties, however, there’ll be a surprising influx of attractive women, and a few pretty men, mingling with the engineers.  They’re being paid to.  Local modeling agencies…say a record number of tech companies are quietly paying $50 to $200 an hour for each model hired solely to chat up attendees.  For a typical party…the company…[makes] them sign nondisclosure agreements, and [gives] them names of employees to pretend they’re friends with, in case anyone asks why he’s never seen them around the foosball table…

All-Purpose Excuse

Hey, picket-fence gays, are you ready to support sex workers yet?

Three [professional] sex-trafficking victims told their stories in a dramatic Tampa City Council meeting…to get support for a new city ordinance on bathhouses—a mammoth package of new occupational licensing requirements, record-keeping mandates, limits on hours of operation, and other rules…None of the victims…said they’d been exploited at a bathhouse.  Indeed, local lawmakers failed to offer any evidence at all that sex trafficking is an issue at Tampa’s bathhouses…but “sex trafficking” has become such a magic invocation that politicians can use it to pass just about anything, no matter how unrelated to the law’s professed purposes.  In this case, the city is using the specter of sex trafficking to collect new fees, take more control over local entrepreneurs, and make it much easier to shut down businesses they don’t like.  And they had ample help from the D.C.-based Polaris Project, which receives massive amounts of federal funding…it’s unclear how [other] evidence presented—reviews of erotic massage parlors—relates to bathhouses in Tampa, other than that Polaris is trying to make that link.  Tampa has entirely separate regulations  regarding massage therapists and parlors…the new ordinance…would mainly apply to the combination sauna, gym, and social clubs that are a fixture of Tampa’s gay scene…

Sales Pitch (#442)

I’ll bet the Swedes get all butthurt if foreign countries respond by claiming the right to punish Swedes in their countries for doing things that are legal in Sweden, such as homosexual activity:

Sweden…wants to…[make] it illegal [for Swedes] to pay for sex abroad…even if this was done in countries where the practice is legal…This is already illegal under Swedish law, however Swedish courts are not able to issue punishments on paying for sex in countries where it is legal, and that’s what the government wants to change…

The Scarlet Letter (#532)

Oklahoma prohibitionists claim that HIV+ people emit sex rays as well:

Every time I think sex policing cannot hit a new low, the news delivers something like this story out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  After an arrested woman informed the police that she was HIV-positive, the cops decided to broadcast this information—along with her full name and photo—to all the local TV news stations.  They also left letters on the subject on about 50 cars parked near…the…massage parlor where she worked…The woman…was booked for prostitution—a charge that was later dismissed—and knowingly spreading an infectious disease.  Yet police present no evidence that she engaged in unprotected sex with customers—nor, for that matter, that she had…sexual intercourse, with or without a condom, with anyone…The reporters seemed less interested in questioning the cops’ story than in expressing shock that prostitution could possibly exist in their town. “There are two schools on the next block, and just around the corner, there’s a family neighborhood that’s decorated for Christmas,” Charles Ely reported at the local ABC affiliate…

Catastrophic Consequences (#576)

This sleazy tactic has spread from Canada to Scotland to England to Ireland:

An erotic masseuse [in Dublin] has been accused of setting her dog on a [disguised cop] who [represented his deception of a sex worker as] a “mission of mercy” to try to find out if she had been trafficked.  Cristina Cristian is alleged to have assaulted the [garda] by unleashing her border collie Todd, which bit…Andrew O’Sullivan…[threatened] Christian and…her…girlfriend Elena Amuzan…and…[forced] Ms Amuzan…on the ground with her arm behind her back.  Ms Cristian…was scared when she saw this, thought they were being robbed and opened the bathroom to get her phone to call Ms Amuzan’s parents.  The dog had been locked inside and she did not realise it had got out.  She said she only called out in Romanian for the dog to come back…

Prudish Pedants (#624) 

Steinem’s been peddling this malarkey since 1978, and I’ve been mocking it since at least 1984:

Pornhub has opened up a pop-up shop in New York City, where patrons can buy promotional merchandise and sex toys…through Dec. 20…[prohibitionist] Gloria Steinem has called the brick and mortar location a tactic to further promote sexual violence.  Speaking at a Pornhub pop-up shop protest on [December 8th]…Steinem and tens of other [censors] called for New Yorkers to boycott the shop…“It is a hub that…we must realize is the source of the poison that is in our system,” Steinem said, [adding her oft-repeated nonsense]…that erotica is healthy but that mainstream porn was not healthy erotica, arguing that Pornhub normalizes the degradation of girls and women…[as part of] the protest’s press conference, Steinem and others marched into the store chanting, “Pornhub sells sexual violence,” as the feminist icon asked a store worker why the store was selling handcuffs and how those handcuffs were related to free will, democracy, or independent equality…

Anti-sex work kinksters:  reread that last line, then maybe rethink your loyalties.

The Mote and the Beam (#776)

Another attempt by politicians to destroy the entire internet:

…Under a proposal from Rep. Bob Goodlatte…anyone posting or hosting digital content that leads to an act of prostitution could face serious federal prison time as well as civil penalties.  This is obviously bad news for sex workers, but it would also leave digital platforms—including dating apps, social media, and classifieds sites such as Craigslist—open to serious legal liability for the things users post…it would give digital platforms a huge incentive to track and regulate user speech more closely…Ann…Wagner’s legislation (H.R. 1865) would open digital platforms to criminal and civil liability not just for future sex crimes that result from user posts or interactions but also for past harms…platforms that followed previous federal rules…would now be especially vulnerable to charges and lawsuits…Wagner’s bill doesn’t just stop at carving out a new Section 230 exception.  It also creates a new crime, “benefitting from participation in a venture engaged in sex trafficking,” and makes it easy to hold all sorts of web platforms and publishers in violation…So in cases like, say, Hope Zeferjohn, the teen girl convicted of sex trafficking for talking to a younger teen on Facebook about prostitution, Facebook could be facing a federal charge for participating in a sex trafficking venture…

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Sex trafficking is…the crime du jour.  –  Judge Toni Messina

R.I.P. Christine Keeler 

Christine Keeler, the former model at the centre of the Profumo affairhas died aged 75, her family and a close friend have said.  Keeler, then a teenage model and showgirl, became famous for her role in the 1963 scandal…when she had an affair with the Tory cabinet minister John Profumo and a Russian diplomat at the same time at the height of the cold war…Keeler’s son, Seymour Platt…[said] she died on [December 4th]…She had been ill for several months…from…COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).  A major BBC series revisiting the scandal is due to start filming next year.  Keeler, who had been living under the name of Sloane for many years, was briefly married twice, both marriages ending in divorce.  She had two sons – James from her first marriage, and Seymour from her second – and a granddaughter..

Lack of Evidence

Name one other “crime” that gets this kind of treatment on nothing more than a busybody’s say-so:

Why should cops bother with investigations and due process when they can rely on anonymous tips and social shaming?…Larksville, Pennsylvania…police are bragging to local news that they bullied a woman out of town after a neighbor suggested she might be a sex worker…[because] here were too many cars pulling up to a local apartment building and too many men getting out of them…Based on that one tip, Chief John Edwards went straight to Facebook to post a warning notice…”‘ALLEGED’ prostitution” is taking place “in an apartment in or near the 200 block of Vine Street…I and my officers will provide you with a never-ending stream of police activity.”  He also said the cops would talk to “all the neighbors in the area” and instruct them “use video and photography to document” the comings and goings on the street.  Then Larksville police—still without talking to anyone at the allegedly suspicious apartment or conducting due diligence of their own—went to the street in question, put physical copies of the warning on any vehicles in the area, and handed them out to people door-to-door…

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn

The truth about “sex trafficking” dawns in the mind of a judge:

…sex trafficking…laws are so expansively written that even if a woman voluntarily agrees to be photographed in scant attire in response to an escort ad but later changes her mind, the person who took the pictures could be convicted of sex trafficking for threatening to post the ad without her permission…I tried a case recently where the court found that a Backpage ad was enough to convict my client of sex trafficking in New York even though all of the acts relating to the sex trafficking charge occurred in New Jersey…I was told by Bella Robinson, founder of Coyoteri.org…that sex workers are more fearful of police who jail them than Johns.  Cops can arrest them, take their money, threaten to take their kids, and [rape them]…

Rooted in Racism

Deportation is euphemized as “sending migrants home”, ignoring the fact that if they wanted to be there they wouldn’t have endured such terrible hardships to leave in the first damned place:

The United Nations migration agency plans to fly 15,000 more migrants home from detention centres in Libya before year-end in the wake of shocking reports of rampant migrant abuse and squalid and overcrowded conditions at these facilities [in which they are detained after “authorities” stop them from migrating to Europe, where they actually want to go]…Libya in recent weeks has witnessed a drastic increase in the numbers of migrants [imprisoned] in detention centres – from a usual range of 5,000 to 6,000 to over 15,000…IOM is also scaling up its reintegration support for the migrants in countries of origin and will be working on addressing the root causes of migration, as well as increasing our programming to [force them to stay where they came from]…

Imaginary Victims (#344)

Like Sara Kruzan before her, prohibitionists never gave a shit about imprisoned underage sex worker Cyntoia Brown until they realized they could make political coin from her:

Twenty-nine-year-old Cyntoia Brown has been locked up in a Tennessee prison for 13 years, after she was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the killing of a man who hired her as a prostitute when she was 16…Brown…was a [cognitively impaired] runaway who was raped, abused and forced into prostitution by a man known as “Kut Throat.”  She will be eligible for parole after she turns 69…Brown’s case re-entered the spotlight this month after a group of celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and Snoop Dogg posted their support on social media with the hashtag, #FreeCyntoiaBrown.  An online petition urging Tennessee’s governor to consider clemency for Brown has garnered more than 4,000 signatures…Each year, more than 1,000 [legal minors] are arrested for prostitution in the U.S…Advocates say that in many cases those children are the true victims, and argue Brown’s case should be reconsidered under new “safe harbor” laws that [pretend to] protect trafficked minors from criminal charges [but in actuality only help “perfect victims”, not girls like Brown]…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#346)

While US politicians are marching along with a witch hunt:

…Senator Millicent Omanga has criticised members of Nairobi County Assembly over plans to pass a motion outlawing commercial sex work.  The senator termed the move impulsive and unfair…[and she] challenged the MCAs to provide alternative sources of livelihood for the commercial sex workers before condemning them…At the same time, atheists have come out in defence of commercial sex workers and…threatened to take action against the MCAs if they do not rescind the motion…Atheists in Kenya say the choice to engage in sexual activity in exchange for money is a private and should not be considered a crime, and that prostitution should be recognised as a form of trade…

The Public Eye (#589)

Despite the glaring absence of any escorts, it’s good to see a sex work-positive article in Glamour:

…The real stories of webcam models, dominatrices, and porn stars are often very different from the tropes we see in flashy (and often irresponsible) headlines about sexdrugs, and crime.  In fact, plenty of sex workers truly love what they do.  Glamour spoke to 15 women who work in different facets of the sex industry—porn performers, dominatrices, and cam models—about their choices to enter the business.  Even beyond the financial freedom and the ability to travel that their career paths afford, many of them emphasized how they use their platforms to draw attention to social causes, highlight the contributions of marginalized communities, and help destigmatize sex…

Served Cold (#737) 

This megalomaniac’s antics are growing so bizarre and disturbing that even prohibitionists are starting to see it:

When Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard looks at the latest artwork by conservative political painter Jon McNaughton, he gets emotional.  Painted into The Underground Railroad are Ballard and his wife, depicted carrying children they helped rescue from sex trafficking…the artwork’s historical figures, including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln…are flanked by figures whom the painter refers to as “contemporary abolitionists” or “slave stealers”: Ballard’s friends and supporters, ranging from Tony Robbins and Glenn Beck to Utah Rep. Mia Love.  Art curators and Mormon black activists, though, are offended by the painting…“I would call it the epitome of the white savior complex,” says Mica McGriggs…Anthropologist Bradley H. Kramer…[says it’s] culturally clueless…to not realize depicting “white dudes rescuing black people” — under the title of “The Underground Railroad” — would be offensive…“It’s…like a parody of the white savior narrative…It steals the imagery and the power of the Underground Railroad narrative and transforms it into this Trumpian fantasy of brave, powerful white dudes rescuing black people from their squalor”…

Moving Pictures (#782) 

I’m sorry, but I find this both funny and satisfying:

Ashley Judd led a cast of what would turn out to be dozens of actresses in accusing Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual harassment and abuse…[but] an indie drama she starred in, Trafficked…is itself at the center of its own fierce debate regarding…its casting process….producers quietly removed its director, Will Wallace, from the project during postproduction over a disagreement involving the depiction of rape.  And…one actress, Sanchita Malik…contacted SAG-AFTRA the day after attending [a casting] session…May 20, 2015, to convey her displeasure.  (She subsequently filed a lengthy written grievance with the actors’ union.)  In the statement…Malik [reported]…an extended exercise in which male counterparts…were coached to replicate harassment and assault…the scenario played out with her hair pulled, neck licked, body pushed against a wall and a fellow actor simulating rape…producers Conroy Kanter and Siddharth Kara…insist her characterization of the events involves “a significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of intensity, crudeness and physicality of the casting session”…

A description of a work session involved “significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of…crudeness”…Really?  Do tell?  Hmm, that somehow sounds familiar…

Cooties (#787) 

It looks like this popular cop masturbatory fantasy has made it across the Channel:

Three men have been arrested in Paris for…their roles in pimping out women for sex work in several apartments…rented out through…Airbnb…The key suspect…has a previous conviction for procurement.  He took 50 percent of the money the women earned…

He “took” 50%; in other words his cut was 50%, same as Nevada brothels.  Try calculating sometime how much of each dollar you earn for your company you get to keep; you’ll find it’s well below 50%.

Too Close To Home (#788) 

Does anyone believe the prosecutor would’ve made the same decision is the accused weren’t a politician?

The Snohomish County Prosecutor…[decided] not to file sexual assault charges against Sheriff John Urquhart…accused by a former deputy of groping him after dining together in 2014 at a Renton restaurant.  The Renton Police Department…recommended…charges of indecent liberties or assault with sexual motivation…The allegations were handled by independent police and prosecutors to [support the pretense of] avoid[ing] conflicts of interest.  Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe…[claimed] that even if the accuser’s accounts were true, the actions alleged did not meet the criteria for indecent liberties…

To Molest and Rape (#795)

What kind of sick fuck enrolls their daughter in a program specifically intended to groom them into members of a gang of violent thugs?

…[When] a…young woman…[was] found her dead of suicide on Nov. 2, 2015…detectives…found one of their own [ilk] suspiciously close to the death. [Francisco] Olmos…had been outside her house even before she was found dead.  While the girl’s father called 911, Olmos asked to used the girl’s phone..[but actually]…deleted…texts and Snapchats [the girl had exchanged with him]…On [November 30th], police arrested Olmos on charges of obstruction of justice and computer trespass…Olmos knew the young woman through Indianapolis police department’s Explorer program, which trains teenagers for careers in law enforcement…In the hours before the young woman’s death, Olmos tried calling her 16 times.  He left 10 text messages and two Snapchat messages…“Answer me you can’t do this to me AGAIN,” reads one of Olmos’ Snapchat messages shortly after the phone call…The girl didn’t answer.  “How can you ignore me like I’m just one of them,” Olmos messaged four minutes later…Two minutes later:  “You can’t do this to me you can’t.  I’m headed to your house right now”…After several more unanswered messages and several hours, Olmos sent a final missive. “I don’t know what the point of ignoring me is,” he wrote. “You make me feel like this is really all my fault…I need to talk to you it’s urgent”…When detectives tried to access the young woman’s iPhone, they found it password protected, raising the question of how Olmos placed a call from the device.  When an investigator asked the young woman’s parents for the passcode, both insisted that the device had not been password protected…Police sent the device to Cellebrite, a firm notorious for helping law enforcement hack into locked cellphones…They found what looked like a sloppy coverup.  Olmos and the young woman had texted 177 times between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, when she died…

For more on the “police explorer” rape trap for underage girls, see below.

To Molest and Rape (#796) 

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

…police frequently target marginalized people with sexual violence.  That includes young women and girls, women of color, transgender women, sex workers, homeless women, women with mental illness, undocumented women, women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, women with disabilities, and low-income women…police presence in schools…allows [cops]…to…abuse searches, harass girls in the hallways, and even sexually assault them…40 percent of police sexual misconduct cases involved teenagers and 34 percent happened during a traffic stop….[cops also] exploit young women…through Police Explorer programs…[and] sexually assault female high school interns in ride-alongs…a case of sexual misconduct by a police officer crop[s] up every five days.  And according to a 2013 study, 41 percent of police sexual violence cases were committed by repeat-offending [cops]…some…move across jurisdictions and keep their certificate despite their history of sexual violence, in what is known as the “officer shuffle”…

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Victoria McCormick, AKA Victoria of Dallas, was a centerfold for Hustler’s Busty Beauties who is currently working as an escort and wrapping up her memoir How One Woman Learned to Give Men Exactly What They Wanted Before Discovering How to Give Herself What She Needed.

This has been quite a year and I have had the opportunity to meet some new and interesting people as well as traveling to unfamiliar places around the world.  Being given the opportunity to move to Sardegna, Italy to rewrite the last chapter of my memoir was the dream of a lifetime; since I had no agent at the time, I wanted it to be perfect and I knew I needed some space from work to accomplish that.  So I sold everything I owned, paid the USDA over 1K to get export paperwork for my cat, packed 3 suitcases and moved to Sardegna, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea.  It’s a beautiful place, with flamingoes everywhere; their vast wingspans of hot pink, black and white provided quite the contrast to the azure and emerald sea at Poetto Beach.

While there, I took a week in March to visit London for the first time; while there I worked and was interviewed for a podcast on the difference of being a sex worker in the UK and the US.  And there was quite a difference, mostly deriving from the fact that it’s legal there (as it is in most of the world).  And while that means the risk of being arrested (due to violations of the many laws surrounding sex work, such as brothel-keeping and the like) is far lower there, and our risk of being the victims of opportunistic crimes is higher in the US due to criminalization, it does mean that most escorts make a great deal more in the US (at least as a migrant).  As an American, I would need a working visa to work for any agencies, and that’s very difficult to get.  I also discovered (by talking to other girls on chat boards) that the agencies charge a lot of money for photos, which are over-Photoshopped and belong to the agency afterward.  Then even after the investment of this small fortune, the youngest and prettiest girls were still charging half of what I was in the US and they had to split that meager fee with the agency.  My only choice was therefore to be independent as I am at home, but that too had its problems; the internet advertising sites are inundated with ladies (many from Eastern Europe) charging as low as £30 for basically anything.  And while I certainly don’t look down on anyone who charges less than I do, I personally couldn’t bring myself to work for half or less of what I made back home in the states.  As a result, I saw only two clients while I was in London; ironically, one was from my hometown of Cleveland, OH, and he too had left as soon as he could (as I did when I went to Dallas)!  One other thing struck me:  despite sex work not being criminal in the UK, it’s still just as shunned as it is in the US.  And what that tells me is even after we finally achieve decriminalization in the US and Europe, we’ll still have a very long way to go in eliminating the stigma which contributes just as much to sex workers’ problems as criminalization does.  All in all, I don’t think I’ll try working in other countries again; my experiences have made me appreciate my clients on this side of the pond even more. 

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With the state charging me, they’ve created an advocate.  –  Amber Batts

Mata Hari

The 100th anniversary of Mata Hari’s execution has just passed, and the secret files have been unsealed at last:

Mata Hari…was sacrificed – some say – because the French needed to find a spy to explain their succession of reverses in the war…she was the perfect scapegoat because “loose” morals made it easier to tar her as an enemy of France.  Until now the full details of her interrogation by prosecutor Pierre Bouchardon…has been off-limits to historians…Arnold von Kalle, the German military attaché….[sent a] telegram…to his masters in Berlin [containing] the details of a certain Agent H21.  It gave addresses, bank details, and even the name of Mata Hari’s faithful maid.  There could be no question to anyone reading it that Mata Hari was agent H21.  The telegram, intercepted by French intelligence, is now available for scrutiny…Or rather, the official translation of the telegram is available.  Because…the whole telegram episode is fishy.  The French…had long since cracked the code in which the telegram was written.  The Germans knew the French had cracked it.  And yet still von Kalle sent the message.  In other words, he wanted the French to read it…Why is there only a translation in the archives?  Where is the original telegram?  Could it be that the French themselves invented the document in order to pin the blame on Mata Hari?…the transcripts also show…that in June 1917, during her umpteenth interrogation, Margarethe Zelle…confessed…Caught outside France at the start of the war, she was desperate to get back to Paris.  Karl Kroemer, German consul in Amsterdam, offered her the means…Mata Hari insisted to her interrogators that she just meant to take the money and run.  She said her loyalty was to the Allies, as she had shown when she subsequently promised to help French intelligence…

Of course, this “confession” is meaningless; any psychologist will tell you that any “confession” extracted by prolonged interrogation is nothing but the result of the mind doing anything it has to do to escape the torture.  The victim will, if hounded long enough, “confess” to anything.  And so a century later, we still know no more than we did before.

The Public Eye 

The more out sex workers there are, the harder it will be to ignore us:

…Nicole Emma…and three other women — Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro, Bella Arsenic, and Heidi Robinson — led lively discussion aimed at breaking down stereotypes about their industry, which includes a broad range of legal services, from phone sex and stripping to pornography.  The conversation was equally broad, touching on the relationship between feminism and sex work, on the opportunity for human connection the industry gives to disabled and transgender people, and on the effects of Mormon culture on the demand for sex services…The women are lobbying state lawmakers in hope of shaping future policies that impact the industry…the group drafted a letter and a petition asking to sit down with [Utah] Sen. Todd Weiler…a known [panderer to sexual hysteria]…

Buried Truth 

The McNeill Rule, like its namesake, is a bitch:

An Ohio Republican legislator who campaigned on “family values” and fought against LGBTQ rights has resigned after…an “observer” encountered [him]…in his…office…having consensual sex with a man…The person told the Ohio House chief of staff, who told the Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger.  Rosenberger met with Goodman, who is married, and Goodman resigned for “inappropriate conduct” immediately after the meeting…

Skin To Skin

Still a Child 

How high does one’s ivory tower have to be to imagine that negating the agency of people old enough to vote, marry & join the military (to “protect” them, naturally) is actually a step forward?

…Consent laws, I argue, should allow people within a certain age range (say, 16 to 21) to offer “assent” to sex with a significantly older person — but permit them to revoke that assent at any time.  “Assent” is a weaker form of agreement, legally speaking, than “consent”.  Such a system would put an extra onus on adults to make sure that they are not taking advantage of a younger person…We now know that the teenage brain does not finish maturing until sometime in the mid-20s.  Neuroscience and psychosocial evidence confirms that teens can make cognitively rational choices in “cool” situations — that is, when they have access to information, face little pressure, and possibly have adult guidance.  Teens make decisions differently in “hot” situations that involve peer pressure, new experiences, and no time for reflection…age-of-consent laws that draw a bright line of sexual maturity at 18 or younger fail to consider the scientific data…

This lunatic is actually proposing that a university coed who fucks a grad student should be able to declare that consensual sex a rape three or more years later, dragging the boyfriend through a court proceeding in the process.  Because “Science!”

Dysphemisms Galore (#581)

Amber Batts was convicted of “sex trafficking” for running an ordinary escort service like I did, the same as many hundreds of such services in the US:

Amber Batts…is now released on parole for sex trafficking…Batts has been serving her sentence on electronic monitoring since March — after spending time incarcerated and in a halfway house…She says she likely wouldn’t have become an advocate for sex workers, had she not been caught…[now] she plans to push for a change in Alaska State Law to redefine “sex trafficking” to match the Federal definition, as well as advocate for the decriminalization of sex work…While Batts doesn’t plan to return, she hopes to see a social shift that would make the work safer for others…

Counterfeit Comfort (#604)

That’ll teach them dirty “sex offenders”!

Florida…has changed the look of its state-issued licenses and ID cards…to…”identify sexual predators and offenders with a distinguishing blue mark on the bottom right front.  Sexual predators will have ‘Sexual Predator’ spelled out, while sexual offenders will have ‘943.0435 F.S.’ on their cards“…It’s not bad enough that sex offender registries exist, so we know who to hate and shun…And now…their passports will be marked, so when they check in to the George V in Paris, the bellhop can be on guard.  But their driver’s license?  So every time they’re asked for identification for some innocuous reason, there will be no doubt that the random person knows they are a sexual threat and should treat them accordingly?…Does failure to use a turn signal somehow involve the mutual sending of naked selfies as a teen?  Or is it just in case the cop needs to know who he can dump on if the day hasn’t gone particularly well?…Driver’s licenses are a ubiquitous form of identification, and they’re meant to be.  Turning them into a weapon to make the lives of people already suffering societal hatred is unjustifiable.  Short of the actual tattoo on the forehead, what more can we do to create a caste of untouchables in America?…

Virtual Unreality (#690) 

Any article calling for more laws policing sexuality can safely be dismissed as authoritarian propaganda:

Author Jordan Belamire provoked public debate on the nature of virtual sexual assault last year when she wrote about an unwelcome experience in virtual reality…the sexual harassment common in the real world also extends into online gaming…Legal philosopher John Danaher of the University of Galway, Ireland, takes on these on questions in his paper The Law and Ethics of Virtual Sexual Assault.  In Danaher’s opinion, unwanted sexual acts in the virtual realm can indeed be viewed as assault and we may need new laws to cover them…

Elephant in the Parlor (#724) 

This guy is a disgusting hypocrite, but this isn’t “child sex trafficking” by any stretch of the imagination:

A[n]…Oklahoma state senator has pleaded guilty to a child sex trafficking charge…Ralph Shortey…had been accused of offering to pay a 17-year-old boy for sexual “stuff” earlier this year.  Federal prosecutors will drop three additional child pornography charges against him in exchange for his guilty plea…Child sex trafficking carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life in prison…

The Course of a Disease (#729)

Naturally, the bootlicking media doesn’t report the cost to sex workers:

Paris region authorities say 1,142 clients of prostitutes have been fined in the French capital since a law that bans buying sex entered into effect in April 2016…Paris region authorities said in a written statement seven prostitutes have entered a process to get out of the prostitution business…

Seven.  Meanwhile, “the incomes of [many] prostitutes fell sharply, as they had to significantly lower their prices in an attempt to attract more customers…In some extreme cases, girls committed suicide; some were infected with AIDS because for the sake of earning they were forced to agree to any demands made by men.  Also, there have been cases of women being beaten by aggressive and drunken customers…”  But the Swedish model helps women and fights exploitation!

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[How] can you treat something that doesn’t exist?  –  Dana Dovey

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Remember, cops: raping whores is OK; it’s paying us fairly that isn’t:

A [Tennessee cop]…has pleaded guilty in a sexual misconduct case…Ralph Cline, Jr…paid to have sex while on duty and inside his unmarked police vehicle…

The Public Eye 

It’s always heartening to see a sex worker run for office, especially when she wins:

She lost the support of her family at age 16…and…turned to sex work for survival.  But Diane…Rodríguez did not expect to make history years later as the first trans woman elected to Ecuador’s National Assembly.  “Being a public figure comes at a price,” [said] Rodríguez, who is now also a psychologist…she has recently received death threats as a legislator.  “But I see that cost is a sacrifice for younger generations so that they don’t have to suffer the same experiences that I have to suffer through now.”  Her experience of being discriminated against as a trans woman has motivated her on a lifelong journey from activism to politics…

Bread and Circuses 

As of last night, the site is still running normally, so I’m not sure what the feds are up to this time:

Eros-Guide’s call center was raided today in a seizure that’s likely to keep going through the night…the raid at company offices in Youngsville, N.C., was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which executed a warrant on alleged “cross-border illegal activity”…the search warrant is sealed in federal court…[but] no one has been arrested…

It’s possible that this is a way for the Gestapo to get info so they can establish a huge surveillance net on sex workers, or the first step in a pogrom of unprecedented scale, or simply the way to get information they think will help them get Swiss authorities to shut down Eros, which is domiciled & hosted in Switzerland and is therefore not subject to US law.  Only time will tell.

Welcome To Our World (#439)

Wanna ban a consensual activity?  Find a problem case to shill for you so you can pretend problems are common:

Commercial surrogacy…can be messy and complicated.  Backed by the anti-surrogacy group The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, [Jessica Allen]…tells…her extraordinary story…Not only were Mike and Max not identical — they had completely different DNA from one another.  Mike appeared to be an Asian child, and was Liu and her husband’s biological baby.  But Max, half-white and half African-American, belonged to me and my now-husband, Wardell Jasper…in an extremely rare medical incident called superfetation, we had gotten pregnant naturally, despite using condoms, after the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle during which Mr. and Mrs. Liu’s embryo was transferred into my uterus…Not once during the pregnancy did any of the medical staff provided by the agency say that the babies were in separate sacs.  As far as we were concerned, the transferred embryo had split in two and the twins were identical…Omega [the surrogacy agency] contacted me to say the Lius expected between $18,000 and $22,000 as compensation…a caseworker from the agency lined up parents to adopt him and “absorb” the money we owed the Lius…We spent $3,000 on an attorney, and there was a lot of strained negotiation between us, our lawyer and Omega.  It was an uphill battle, but the agency finally reduced the “fee” we owed the Lius to zero…

Stupor Bowl (#511)

“Video Vigilante” Brian Bates is no friend of sex workers, but he’s also hostile to “sex trafficking” mythology:

Once again the annual nationwide publicity stunt orchestrated by the FBI, called Operation Cross Country XI, made its way to Oklahoma…during the four-day sting, 15 female prostitutes and five “sex traffickers” were [arrested]…FBI [claims]…”the primary goal is…the recovery of children”…[but] not a single child was…rescued locally…The FBI also claims their goal is to “take traffickers off the street.”  However, history has proven that virtually all of the “traffickers” that are arrested end up being charged with misdemeanor crimes…The FBI has continuously labeled the women involved in prostitution as “victims”, yet every year they target those same victims…[and] charge…[them] with life altering felonies…

To Molest and Rape 

It’s good to see a rapist cop specifically designated as currently working instead of wrongly called a “former” cop:

A serving police officer has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.  Cheshire constable Ian Naude…was remanded in custody after…an incident reported on 3 November in Crewe…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#715) 

The War on Whores, like the War on Drugs, is as much a jobs program as it is a campaign to extend universal criminality:

Earlier this year, the Tribune’s “Sold Out” series examined how state policies…failed to help child sex-trafficking victims.  Since then, lawmakers set aside a budget increase of more than $500 million for the foster care system and the governor’s office approved new funds for trafficking prevention initiatives — including the state’s first-ever director of human trafficking and child exploitation…Kim Grabert…

You may recall that the “series” mentioned in the text was an exercise in BDSM wanking fantasies, including the claim that all duos include at least one underage girl and the bizarre idea that “pimps” have some kind of legal authority.

The Head of a Pin

Is that the author’s name, or a description of what he’s doing while typing this fantasy one-handed?

Nearly half of the victims of modern slavery in the UK are sex workers.  Ed Cumming hears “Hannah’s” harrowing tale…Hannah doesn’t know how long she was forced to work as a prostitute, being shuttled around the capital to meet men with strange accents…“Victims of this crime are relentlessly abused and repeatedly raped,” [pants politician] Kevin Hyland…With the help of the Salvation Army and Women’s Aid, she is rebuilding her life…

“Strange accents” sums up what this is really about, as does the fact that this story was given to the media by the Salvation Army, which has no compunction against making up lurid fantasies to promote its anti-sex agenda.

Dutch Threat (#763) 

A rare victory for sex workers against “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Window brothel operators almost got completely buried by the new Red Light District rules and regulations implemented by the city of Amsterdam.  “We had to inspect if the ladies were washing their sex-toys with the right disinfectant and if the perishable date of their condoms wasn’t lapsed.  It drove us crazy”.  The entrepreneurs went to court and…three (female) judges [agreed that the rules]…hurt…sex workers…Monique rents out three windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light District…[she] wasn’t allowed to leave the neighbourhood if the ladies were working according to the strict regulations.  “I had to be on the scene within 12 minutes…Visiting my old mom in Amsterdam Noord (North) or visiting a physiotherapist in between was out of the question.  Even a quick run to the supermarket for some groceries had me stressing, terrified that I would break the Red Light District rules and lose my permit”…

Signs (#766) 

“Signs of trafficking” idiocy spreads to Dutch pigs:

All community [cops] are to receive training in recognising the signs of human trafficking as part of the new Dutch government’s anti-[sex work] drive…[they] will learn how to look for signs of exploitation when investigating crimes…

The Mote and the Beam (#780) 

Bad laws disproportionately harm small businesses, just as they do poor and marginalized individuals:

A trade group representing giants of Internet business from Facebook to Microsoft has just endorsed a “compromise” version of…SESTA…The Internet Association doesn’t represent the Internet—it represents the few companies that profit the most off of Internet activity…Amazon and eBay would be able to absorb the increased legal risk under SESTA.  They would likely be able to afford the high-powered lawyers to survive the wave in lawsuits against them.  Small startups, including would-be competitors, would not.  It shouldn’t pass our attention that the Internet giants are now endorsing a bill that will make it much more difficult for newcomers ever to compete with them.  IA also doesn’t represent…the marginalized voices who’ll be silenced as platforms begin to over-rely on automated filters (filters that will doubtless be offered as a licensed service by large Internet companies)…It’s shameful that a small group of lobbyists with an agenda of censorship have presented themselves to lawmakers as the unanimous experts in sex trafficking.  It’s embarrassing that it’s worked so well…

The Prudish Giant (#783)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users.  Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.  Shadow contact information has been a known feature of Facebook for a few years now.  But most users remain unaware of its reach and power.  Because shadow-profile connections happen inside Facebook’s algorithmic black box, people can’t see how deep the data-mining of their lives truly is, until an uncanny recommendation pops up…Take a look at all the possible information associated with a contact on your phone.  Then consider the accumulated data your phone is carrying about various people, whether lifelong friends or passing acquaintances…If you agree to share your contacts, every piece of contact data you possess will go to Facebook, and the network will then use it to try to search for connections between everyone you know, no matter how slightly—and you won’t see it happen…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#784) 

It’s a shame that this is what it took to bring down the “sex addiction” scam:

This week Kevin Spacey reportedly checked into a sex addiction rehabilitation program in Arizona following a series of accusations that he sexually harassed several men and at least one minor…Spacey is the most recent celebrity to have checked into rehab following reports of sexual misconduct…Sex addiction has been turned down for classification as a mental health condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the official classification of mental health disorders in the US, on several occasions.  In addition, the American Association of Sexual Education Counselors and Therapists also released a statement…that…“sex addiction” or “porn addiction” should not be classified as mental health conditions…“It’s clear at this point that it [sex addiction] does not look like an addiction,” [said] Nicole Prause, a psychologist who studies human sexual behavior…the best predictor of being called a sex addict is either having a conservative religious background or getting caught cheating…

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