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Posts Tagged ‘sisterhood’

Although lucrative, this is a very isolating career.  Your website eases that some, but I was wondering if you ever offer business coaching for providers?  If not, perhaps you are aware of a reputable coach you could direct me towards?  Although I’ve been in this business for a few years now, and I have a stellar reputation, I feel there is room for improvement.

You’re exactly right, this career can be extremely isolating; one of the reasons I moved to Seattle is because of the amazing sex worker community here, which is unlike any other I’ve ever seen in any other city.  We communicate with each other, socialize with one another, help each other out and even date one another; I really wish it could be like this in every city, especially in criminalized regimes like the US where that kind of interpersonal support is vital.

Unfortunately, I’m actually a terrible person to ask for advice on this subject; though I’m a top-notch sex worker, I’m not a very good businesswoman and I’m pretty bad at internet marketing, too.  If it weren’t for my natural gifts and talents, literally decades of experience and the attention my writing brings, I probably wouldn’t make enough to live on.  As I wrote in “Teacher’s Pet” (which is worth reading in its entirety, BTB):

The market has changed considerably since I learned the trade, and I really haven’t kept up; the only reason I do as well as I do is that I’m Maggie Fucking McNeill, a widely recognized sex symbol.  In other words, my brand is already built, and all I have to do is maintain it.  But if I had to give someone else advice on web development, tailoring one’s ads to the clientele one wishes to attract, and all that kind of thing, I’d be utterly hopeless; unless you’re willing to devote over half your waking hours to become a well-known blogger for six years while making practically no money at all, I just don’t think my experience is transferable to your situation.

The only three ways in which I might be able to help are 1) I’m going to post this as Thursday’s column, and maybe someone may pop up in the comments to offer help; 2) If you like, I can forward your information to a screener/booker who may be able to assist;  3)  I can pass your info on to a friend of mine who helps new girls get started in Seattle; I can’t promise she’ll be willing to help or that she’ll be able to tell you anything you don’t already know, but it’s a possibility.  So here’s #1 (keep your eyes open to Twitter today, too) and if you want me to put you in contact with either of those other ladies, do let me know.

(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 have a “good girl” job and a secret sex work career; aside from my clients, there are exactly two people on this earth who know what I do – and one of those is my therapist.  I feel zero shame about doing what I do, and have felt it as a calling from a young age; however, I’m deeply aware of the consequences of exposure.  But I’m quite clear that my silence comes at the cost of isolation, so I’d like to change that and develop a support system.

There are a lot of sex workers who don’t have a support system or peer friends they can turn to; as you point out, this work can be very isolating because the stigma makes it difficult-to-impossible to discuss with anyone who isn’t a fellow inhabitant of the demimonde.  And since we’re in the midst of a moral panic over our work, the danger isn’t just emotional but physical; sex workers can be arrested, see their businesses and careers (both sex-related and “straight”) destroyed, have their kids abducted by the State, lose friends and family or even be infantilized and forced into “treatment” or “diversion” programs which treat our choices, jobs and sexualities as pathological.  If you live in a city with a SWOP chapter, I suggest you join right away if at all possible; your privacy will be respected and you’ll meet other sex workers to talk to.  If there is no nearby sex worker group, or if you feel uncomfortable attending meetings in real life, I strongly suggest you reach out to other sex workers on social media; you’d be amazed how much it can help and how real & strong those friendships can become.  For example, Mistress Matisse & I met online more than 5 years ago and now we’re extremely close friends in real life; I’ve also met & befriended many other sex workers on social media, and have developed strong bonds even with folks I haven’t met in the flesh.  Such connections not only help to keep physically-isolated sex workers emotionally healthy, but can also help us to stay safe.  And best of all, they remind us that we’re not alone, that the anti-sex busybodies cannot control us and that we are slowly but surely moving toward a day when we don’t need to hide any more.

(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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[Cops] just treat everybody as a criminal.  –  Tanya

The Swedish Pimpocracy hypocritical-swedish-politician-per-erik-muskos

It’s illegal to pay for sex in Sweden, unless you’re the government:

A local official in Sweden has a novel proposal to [let the government break its own prohibitionist laws]…give municipal employees an hourlong paid break each week to go home and have sex…In introducing his proposal this week, he told fellow members of the town council that it would give a nudge to the dwindling local population, add spice to aging marriages and improve employee morale…

Broken Record 

I’m very amused to see the hysteria Hollywood has helped promote coming home to roost:

It’s the most glamorous showbiz event of the year, with the biggest stars in the world descending on Hollywood to party…But scratch beneath the surface and it soon becomes clear that the ­Academy Awards has a side that is far darker…A booming trade in drugs and vice sees hundreds of young girls pour into LA to profit from the sex trade’s big event.  As former [sow] ­Stephany Powell [breathlessly fantasized] “Pimps know this is a time they can make a lot of money…I once [masturbated to a fantasy of] a private golf course where a tent was set up with girls in it to service men”…Girls can rake in up to £40,000 each in Oscars week…

Worse Than I Thought

What a great idea; make people unable to get to work & provide for their families!  That’ll teach them dirty “johns” not to have sexual feelings, by golly!

Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that would suspend driving privileges for those who solicit prostitutes.  A driver’s license would be suspended for six months…”Maybe this would have some deterrant effect because often people do really value their driver’s license.  So if they have one that’s something that they’re going to maybe alter their behavior a little bit so that they keep it,” [clueless & sociopathic control freak] Beth Heckert said…

The Widening Gyre (#314) 

Fact: Young woman leaves hotel.  Conclusion: “sex trafficking”!

Missing Utah teenager Sarah Dunsey “was not kidnapped” and there is “no evidence any crime has occurred” in Las Vegas…The 17-year-old…left the MGM Grand hotel with two men “willingly” and without putting up any sort of struggle…Dunsey’s mother…Amie Ellis “told [cops] that she was taken by sex traffickers.  We found that not to be true”…

Wise Investment (#694)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing police departments over them:

The [Chicago] City Council’s Finance Committee…authorized a $370,000 settlement to a former city supervisor who…was…[entrapped by] a police prostitution sting.  But aldermen argued that the compensation for Hugo Holmes wasn’t nearly enough to offset the damage done to his reputation after [the government-approved public shaming following] his arrest…Ald. Anthony Beale…bemoaned the fact that there is neither audio nor video to back up the claims of an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute that Holmes solicited her for sex…

I have a better idea: why don’t we stop destroying people’s lives over “crimes” that have no victim, and therefore can only be enforced via duplicity, lies & entrapment?

One Born Every Minute (#702) Matt Hickey

Did serial rapist Matt Hickey think just ignoring this would make it go away?

When the Washington State Attorney General sued former Capitol Hill tech journalist and fake porn recruiter Matt Hickey in December, Hickey failed to respond…[so] a King County Superior Court judge sided with the state, ruling that Hickey violated state consumer protection laws by pretending to be a female porn recruiter on the internet and luring young women into having sex with him…Hickey…has separately been charged with three counts of rape...over the porn scam…

The War Goes On 

Awesome whores being awesome:

…the Sex Workers’ Mutual Care Collective…fundraises for sex workers in need…The group was formed a few months back to support sex workers in need more generally, but those reeling from the loss of Backpage soon became the priority…Vee Chattie, a 28-year-old sex worker based in Seattle, responded to the Backpage shutdown by putting out a call for people to send donations via Venmo for sex workers in need…she received roughly $1,600, which she passed along to several sex workers, many of them single moms and people of color…“People are still hurting,” Chattie said. “There’s nothing that’s really taken the place of Backpage”…

Business As Usual (#711) 

These are the same cops politicians keep urging sex workers to trust, because of imaginary “pimps”:

…the NYPD’s vice unit arrested [fourteen] people on prostitution charges…a few days [after politician’s wife] Chirlane McCray and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill hosted a press conference at One Police Plaza to [vomit out inane lies about building] trust between…police [and their victims]…”Today we are saying loud and clear that in New York City we do not punish people who are being hurt [except by cops and politicians…Those kind of people] we…call…criminals.”  From now on, O’Neill said, the department will focus its resources on [strangling sex workers’ business and getting them evicted from their homes]…An anonymous 24-hour hotline will [talk to stool pigeons and snitches]…and the public should expect “more [deception and entrapment]”…to achieve the goal, the NYPD is doubling the size of its vice enforcement unit…

The Course of a Disease (#715)

Nuns are shocked that their magical proclamation didn’t erase economic reality:

In spite of laws coming into force which criminalise the users of their services, hundreds of foreign women are still coming into Ireland to offer sex for sale…it is only with full decriminalisation that the rights of sex workers can be protected…the [Swedish] model [just enacted in Ireland] “strips women of agency and autonomy” and “still means arresting, fining and jailing people over consensual sex”…In spite of those using their services facing fines and being named in court, more than 700 women are listed on escort-ireland.com, by far the biggest prostitution website in this country…

All-Purpose Excuse (#716)

Trump’s ideas for “fighting human trafficking” mostly involve deporting people & giving cops even more power:

President Donald Trump says he will bring the “full force and weight” of the U.S. government to combat an “epidemic” of human trafficking…Trump [fantasizes that] human trafficking…is “not talked about enough” [despite being in every news source every day for over a decade now].  He says he will order the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to take a hard look at the resources they are devoting to addressing the issue…

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Diary #316

As I predicted, the Desiree Alliance conference was a blast!  Vignette, Jae & I flew down on Sunday, and as I explained in Friday’s column the trip was very tolerable for me despite moderate turbulence.  “Moderate”, that is, for any normal person; if not for my Valium-Zofran one-two punch I’d have been puking and sobbing.  But thanks to Better Living Through Chemistry, I instead passed the trip tweeting and writing and arrived in my home town only slightly Valium-dopey.  Dinner and cocktails with Kaytlin Bailey, Joy de Vive and my traveling companions soon set me to rights, and by the time Grace arrived via motorcycle I was feeling just grand.  The next day was dominated by socializing, cocktails, a performance of Kaytlin’s new show “Consensual Business“, and a very memorable dinner with her, Grace and Tara Burns in which we got Grace to eat octopus, Tara scored us a free round of cocktails and Kaytlin googled “Maggie McNeill naked” on her smartphone to show the waiters.

On Tuesday, I took a break from the conference to visit my gynecologist, my cousin Alan and my friends Frank & Olivia, in that order; Grace took me on her motorcycle and we didn’t get back until about 2:30 in the morning.  On Wednesday Allena Gabosch and I bummed around the French Quarter; I bought two new dresses from my friend Solomon and a print of this beautiful Tara McPherson painting, which I like more every time I look at it.  We then had cocktails with Matisse, and later Matisse and I hung out together and talked, which we’ve both been too busy to do with each other for the past few months.  Then on Thursday evening the two of us, Savannah, Stacey Swimme and another lady were taken to dinner by a lovely and generous gentleman, and the party which followed…well, let’s just say absolutely nobody knows how to party like whores.

On Friday Vignette and I walked around the Quarter while Jae, Matisse & Savannah went to lunch together; I bought another dress from Solomon and some souvenirs from the flea market.  The flight home was just as endurable as the one down, despite even more turbulence, and that, my friends, means I am air-mobile again!  I plan to start limited touring, so if you want me to visit your city and can spring for a plane ticket, just drop me an email and we’ll go from there.  If you can’t afford my travel expenses but would still like to see me, no worries; just keep your eyes on this space, where I’ll announce each trip as soon as I start planning it.

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China Nympho CreamWould you write something for me?

No.

You wrote something for So-and-So!

So-and-So is a personal friend of mine, and I rarely say no to friends.

Will you do it if I pay you?

Sure, as long as it’s on a topic I care about or think is important.

What if I want you to say a specific thing?

You mean like writing you an ad?  If I were any good at that, I’d make a lot more money than I do.

Well, could I write a guest post and pay you to publish it?

Don’t even go there.

But you have guest posts every month!

Yeah, from people I invite; they’re guests, not infomercials.

Well, some of your guests are definitely selling things.

Yes, and those people are friends.  Did you miss the part where I’m loyal to my friends?

Do you have something against monetizing your reputation?

You’re kidding, right?

So, what’s the harm in my paying you to call attention to my product?

Nothing, if your product is any good and I’ve actually used and liked it.  Like, for example, I don’t mind giving Steak ‘n Shake restaurants a plug because I freaking love Steak ‘n Shake and will eat there every time I get the chance.  Hell, I once did a whole column on Waffle House.  But if you’re, say, a Nevada brothel where I’ve never worked, I’m not going to sing your praises just because you paid me to.  I’m the Honest Courtesan, remember?  If I like your book, movie, restaurant, brand of lube or whatever I’ll praise it, and if you want to give me money to really emphasize that praise I won’t turn you down.  But if your product is shitty I’m not going to damage my reputation by endorsing it.

I think you’ll like my product; how do I get you to try it?

Well, publishers do it by offering me promotional copies.  And right now I’m testing out a service that I may end up endorsing pretty soon, provided it measures up as it looks like it might.  If you genuinely think I’ll like what you have to offer, and you think my name will lend respectability to whatever it is, and I think you’ll be a friend to the sex worker community, and you’re willing to support my work by giving me lovely money, please feel free to email me and we’ll talk.  The worst thing that can happen is I’ll tell you “no”.

(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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Maggie & Liz 4-8-16It’s always nice when one can wind down just a little and relax with friends for a while.  This isn’t to say that my week wasn’t hectic (because it rarely isn’t) nor stressful (ditto), and on Thursday I woke up in a foul mood for no particular reason I could discern.  But I did receive my copy of Jillian Keenan‘s new book, Sex With Shakespeare, and on Friday I went to dinner with Mistress Matisse and super-ally Elizabeth Nolan Brown.  We had a lovely dinner together (talking, among other things, about last week’s events) and relaxing and drinking and laughing and doing the things friends do at dinner.  Then toward the end, this middle-aged guy came up to our table, stood between Matisse and Liz, and asked us to excuse him; he seemed to be studying our faces intently so I immediately figured he had recognized one or more of us.  But that seemed not to be the case; he said he wanted to ask us something, so then I guessed he had overheard our conversation and had some question about it.  But that wasn’t it; he said his table (two men & two women) had been discussing us and made a bet about the average age of our table.  We were all a bit surprised at such a rude question, so Matisse asked him to repeat it and yes, he really was asking three strange women to tell him how old we were.  It retrospect, I think it’s pretty funny that our reactions were exactly in character: Matisse was annoyed at his impertinence, Liz was curious at where this might be going, and I immediately tried to monetize the situation by asking him if we got a cut if he won.  Had he offered to pick up our tab I might’ve tried to convince Matisse to play along, but when he said a mighty $20 was riding on our answer (not even enough to cover my cocktails), I totally agreed with Matisse’s politely but sternly telling him to shove off.  One can only wonder what the conversation was that gave rise to such a bet, and how much liquor was involved.  Anyhow, Matisse had another commitment so Liz and I continued the party at my “Den of Sin” as she calls it, and this selfie was the result; in case you can’t tell, we were horizontal because I wasn’t actually in a condition to be vertical.

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing; on Saturday I went to Endza’s birthday party, then on Sunday I helped a regular client who asked me for a favor.  See, he just bought a new car and wanted me to drive the old one home from the dealership for him.  Oh, and did I mention he asked me to pick a young sex worker he could give it to?  Not sell or trade, mind; give it to.  He’s barely even met the girl I chose.  But you know how clients are; abusive monsters, the lot of them.  Slavery and oppression and paid rape and all.  Well, I guess I’m just suffering from false consciousness; it must’ve been the Cosmopolitans from Friday night.

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0406162243-1Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know that last week was a painful one for those of us in the sex worker rights movement; journalist and former sex worker Melissa Gira Grant, who has long danced on the boundary between the “straight” world and the  demimonde, apparently decided she wanted a total divorce from us (and not an amicable one, either).  And so she published an article acting much like a prohibitionist; she centered her own voice above that of a very troubled and disadvantaged sex worker, outed aspects of the woman’s life that she did not want revealed in such a manner, and even quoted an exploitative anti-whore asshole with a record of publicly threatening sex workers.  Mistress Matisse is a lot more closely involved with the story than I am, which is why on Tuesday I shared her account of what happened.  One thing I am going to say is that although I was angry to the point of nausea at Melissa’s exploitation of a very vulnerable sex worker, not to mention her attempt to throw mud on one of my closest friends, there is a part of me that’s relieved I no longer need to remain silent about a person who has offended and/or pissed off more sex worker activists than I can count on both hands.  She’s had me blocked me on Twitter (a move most people reserve for enemies and offensive trolls) and bad-mouthed me in private for years, but as long as she was doing good work for the movement, I kept my mouth shut and even promoted her work.  But now that she’s burning her bridges in earnest, I see no reason to keep my mouth shut any longer (because as most of you know, I’m not exactly good at that anyway).  The kid gloves are now off, and the only reason I’m not saying anything more right now is that, unlike Melissa, I’m not going to make something that isn’t about me, about me.  I’m going to let the wronged parties set the pace, and my rightful role in this is to support them.

However, I’m not so upset I’m going to forget my manners; I got some lovely gifts I would like to acknowledge.  Reader Daz sent me a DVD that’s been on my wishlist for a while, and another gentleman purchased a phone visit from me, gave me another donation over and above the cost for the visit itself, and also sent me the lovely leggings you see here.  Yes, I do indeed do phone visits; I’ll let y’all consider the possibilities.  And until then, you can just enjoy the picture.  And please, please consider donating to Heather’s fundraiser; in killing Neal Falls she no doubt saved many of our sisters from a horrible death, and now she needs our help to get her own life back in order.

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