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Posts Tagged ‘Under Review’

At the beginning of September I got an email from a bottom-feeder who takes money from escorts to write fake reviews.  Naturally, I replied with a blast of “How dare you!”, “Don’t you know who I am?” and “Fuck you, you fucking fuckwad, I wouldn’t need fake reviews even if I wanted to be on TER, which I don’t.”  The reply?  Unctuous flattery about how the offer was only open to the best, most “upscale” girls (in which case, why do they need it?) and pretended offense that I would claim this unethical scam was unethical.  At the time, I bitched on Twitter but decided not to give the sleazebag business by calling attention to him.  But a few days ago he sent me his “offer” again, and this time I really blew my stack and promised to call attention to this.  Here are the highlights of the email, with his contact info and a lot of repetition removed.

Saw your ad online and wanted to tell you that you look beautiful.  I want to give you best reviews out there with top rankings.  My approach is proven to help you make more money, attracting new clients, by Sharing positive experiences.  Placing you above the competition…I write TER and Eccie reviews.  We never have to actually meet, That’s it!  The stories I write are full-detailed and believable…Will do as many as you want from various profiles.  You can even write your own and I will post it for you…I will not post for new providers, or any TER profile I deem to be skeptical [sic]…Please do not ask me for TER Handle’s [sic] I post from to read my review’s [sic], it is a breach of my security and my clients [sic]…I charge $150 for 1 or 2 for $275.  Paid via Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum only.  I will not discuss any other form of payment, so please do not ask…time lines for posting up to ten reviews will be outlined safely, as not to draw attention from TER support…Don’t wait this rare opportunity won’t be here much longer…If you do not agree with this service please do not respond, also please do not post this to Twitter.  Too [sic] all the Grumpy Girls over at FCKTER, FCKP411, & Escort Union PLEASE get a fucking clue, NO ONE wants an UNREVIEWED PROVIDER.  Stop fighting the very system that keeps us all safe.  I don’t work with anyone who isn’t known in our community, and would never jeopardize the safety or the security of the referencing system that is widely used by everyone…this is 10000% discreet and confidential…

Reviews don’t keep sex workers safe; they keep clients safe.  But even that’s not true any more, considering that prosecutors are now using reviews as “evidence” of “promoting prostitution” (i.e. pimping).  And given TER’s policy of not removing demonstrably-false reviews (including this dude’s, unless this is a total scam, of course), the system can actually harm escorts by allowing enemies to plant fake bad reviews to hurt her business, and by allowing cops to write fake reviews so as to establish credibility with which to infiltrate our community.  I haven’t allowed reviews for a while now, and I’m not alone; many ladies don’t any more, some for reasons I’ve already mentioned and some from a general distaste for the whole thing.  Guys, there are better ways to select an escort than buying into a system which can be gamed by bottom-feeders like this dude and used by pigs to destroy your life.  And ladies, please don’t enrich scum-suckers in hope of gaming a broken, abusive, increasingly-dangerous system.

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Instead of raising children in an adult world…we prefer to live much of our lives in a make-believe children’s world.  –  Hugh Hefner

R.I.P. Hugh Hefner 

The founder and embodiment of Playboy magazine died a week ago today at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles; he was 91.  Love him, hate him or indifferent to him, it’s undeniable that Hefner and his magazine were among the most important driving forces of the sexual revolution and, to a lesser but still important degree, of the popularization of liberal (in the original sense of the word) political ideas such as LGBT rights; in a world where homosexuality was illegal Hef published Charles Beaumont’s “The Crooked Man“, and years before Roe v Wade he was bankrolling abortion rights activism.  Naturally, he was despised by narrow-minded feminists who think that a woman can be sexy or intellectual but never both (despite his support of female authors and thinkers), and he was even controversial among sex workers (including yours truly) for his rather odd home life with his playmate “girlfriends”, but by most accounts he was an ethical businessman whose legacy of support for both his contributors and for individual rights would have been more universally lauded had his magazine and life not featured sex in such a central role.

An Enormous Big Nothing

More hysterics who can’t tell the difference between adults and children:

The headline reads Spanish brothel’s “back to school” party sparks outrage in Andalusia.  El Bosque is a legal club de alterne where sex workers drink, dance and chat with customers with the option to retire to private rooms for paid sex.  The party-poster was called an incitement to paedophilia…despite the obvious age of women (and their clothing) in the poster.  The club’s owner removed the posters and cancelled the party…

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

In 2016, Americans were infected with more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, the highest number of these sexually transmitted diseases ever reported…the…CDC’s…annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report shows that more than 1.6 million of the new cases were from chlamydia, 470,000 were from gonorrhea and nearly 28,000 cases were primary and secondary syphilis…While all of these can be cured by antibiotics, many [amateurs] go undiagnosed and untreated…When you include herpes and more of the dozens of diseases which can be transmitted sexually but which are not tracked, the CDC estimates there are more than 20 million new cases of STDs in the United States each year.  At least half occur in young [amateurs] ages 15 to 24…

The Lion and the Ox

Talking is now defined as “sex trafficking”:

Two people were arrested…after using Snapchat to recruit a woman into prostitution…she was contacted in January by [her] friend…Wynter Fowler…[who] told her that she “was pretty and could make a lot of money” if she moved to Las Vegas to work as an exotic dancer and escort…Fowler[‘s]…boyfriend, Ezekiel Gilbert…persuaded [the complainant] to work as a prostitute for him…she said Gilbert threatened her when she tried to quit in February…he…bragged that he “had already gotten away with murder” before…Gilbert [had been previously] arrested in Texas after an escort was shot and killed, but was later acquitted…Police arrested Gilbert and Fowler on Sept. 12…Both were booked…on sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking…

I can think of several better, less tyrannical things to charge the thoroughly-nasty Gilbert with than simply talking to someone.

So Close and Yet So Far

A good little article despite a truly stupid statement in the third sentence:

I am not a pimp or a trafficker.  I am neither a rape apologist nor someone who excuses violence against women.  I do not believe men have a right to buy sex, or that anyone, of any gender, should be forced to sell sex.  One might have thought these things go without saying, and yet they are examples of some of the vitriol levied at us – those that advocate for the decriminalisation of the sex industry.  In recent weeks…establishment media has provided…an “everywhere-you-turn” kind of platform…to anti-prostitution feminists.  Julie Bindel does, after all, have a new book to publicise. Underpinning the arguments of many anti-prostitution feminists is the idea that the purchase of sex ought to be criminalised and sex workers [cast] as victims of male violence.  They argue we should be doing more to eradicate the sex industry and rescue the sex workers within it…

Of course men have the right to buy sex from someone offering to sell it, just as women (or men) have the right to sell it.  Any claim to the contrary reflects the irrational and authoritarian mindset of a prohibitionist.

Banishment

Remember:  these people have already served their sentences:

Scores of sex offenders ordered to live on a secluded island in Washington state say the often-cloudy, brown water there is making them sick…About 200 [inmates] of the Special Commitment Center have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the facility is…forcing them to drink contaminated water that causes stomach pain and skin rashes and has been blamed for unexplained deaths.  The executive who oversees the center [claims] the water [which he needn’t drink] turns brown…when the pipes are flushed, and…the cloudiness is only an aesthetic effect that causes no harm.  But…Department of Health records shows that the water has repeatedly exceeded standards for various chlorine-related chemicals and has been cited for violations dating back to 2006…a former [treatment] plant operator told health officials in 2015 that the water’s cloudiness readings were being manipulated to make the water look cleaner than it was…The Special Commitment Center [imprisons]…sex offenders…[that] the state convinced a judge…were too dangerous to be released…

The Sky is Falling! (#415)

The Francophone world seems to be in especially deep denial about compensated dating:

Belgian ministers have said they will take legal action in an attempt to force a [sugar dating] website…to remove…adverts near the country’s universities.  Trucks bearing large posters promoting Rich Meet Beautiful…have appeared on the outskirts of campuses in Brussels in recent days…the Norwegian company behind the website says it hopes to recruit 300,000 Belgian registrations by the end of 2018…The site, however, has been accused of encouraging prostitution and playing on the financial insecurity of the young [by offering them an option to get out of financial insecurity.  Two pearl-clutching ministers]…have declared they intend to launch a criminal proceeding against the firm for inciting debauchery and prostitution, and to force the suspension of its campaign on public order grounds…

Feminine Pragmatism (#518) 

This isn’t “remarkable” or even “unusual”; women have done part-time sex work to supplement meager earnings at least since Roman times:

…after supplementing her career with tutoring and proofreading, the university lecturer decided to go to remarkable lengths to make her career financially viable.  She first opted for her side gig during a particularly rough patch…when her course load was suddenly cut in half and her income plunged, putting her on the brink of eviction.  “In my mind I was like, I’ve had one-night stands, how bad can it be?” she said. “And it wasn’t that bad”…Sex work is one of the more unusual ways that adjuncts have avoided living in poverty, and perhaps even homelessness…

Under Review (#733)

Escort advertising is already illegal in Ireland, which is why Irish sex workers have such limited advertising options:

The government is being urged [by prohibitionists] to ban a website that facilitates the advertising of prostitution services – and invites customers to review the women they hire…Over 7,000 [ignorant busybodies] have now signed a petition urging the Department of Justice to step in and [magically] remove the website [despite its being hosted in Spain] and ban others like it [again, but magically this time so the sex rays can’t cross into Irish cyberspace]…

I Saw My Brain (#773)

Authoritarian idiots will probably keep re-electing this lunatic no matter how much his antics cost them:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd garnered widespread scorn for blathering and boasting on social media, threatening to arrest people with outstanding warrants if they sought public shelter while Hurricane Irma battered Florida…Now Judd has been hit with a lawsuit for allegedly denying entry to a man seeking shelter, saying he had to go through a background check first…Judd [doubled down on his moronic rhetoric, claiming the man] wasn’t denied shelter…[but] offered accommodations in jail…

Wise Investment (#775)

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

One year later, cases from the Euro Spa sting of June 2016 are still slowly making their way through Seattle’s Municipal Court.  Some men…have pled guilty to “sexual exploitation,” the city’s recently modified term for the misdemeanor of patronizing a prostitute.  Others have requested trials…But one accused john—we’ll call him John—adopted a different legal strategy…John’s lawyer, Bob Goldsmith, filed a motion in July challenging City Attorney Pete Holmes…[who] directed prosecutors to rule out pre-trial diversion…[and] instead…push for guilty pleas that will result in a criminal record…Holmes…[pretends] the policy…will reduce prostitution overall [and imagines that would be a good thing]…Anita Khandelwal, policy director for the Department of Public Defense, called Holmes’ tactic on sexual exploitation charges “unusual and illegal”.  While johns are often cast as sexual predators by law enforcement and the media, Khandelwal says the clients her office sees are “incredibly poor and marginalized and caught up in police stings.”  She added, “Mr. Holmes’ statement that criminalizing buyers results in changed behavior is not supported by the evidence.  The war on drugs did not reduce drug use but it filled prisons”…

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Every day that me and my clients aren’t being arrested is a day that my life gets a little easier.  –  A mother in New Zealand

Whore Madonnas

Imagine this article in an American parenting column:

I’m young, Māori and a sex worker, and my life is harder than you can imagine, but not for the reasons you’re thinking…I’ve lived with chronic pain in my body since I was a child, and my daughter’s severe disability means that I will continue to care for her full time for the remainder of my life…My body isn’t capable of working a 40 hour week, nor allowing me to become qualified at something that pays well…Both my daughter and I will gradually become more and more disabled, but she much sooner than me.  She already needs one-to-one care at all times, and she’s still just a small child…I need to plan for her future – and I imagine she will outlive me, so I need to plan for that as well…Being a sex worker means I can work when I am able and have days off when I’m not.  I can fit my work around my disability, I choose when and how I work, and there is no pressure from my workplace.  I never have to do more hours than I want to, so I can spend lots of time caring for my daughter…Some people [pretend]…that any woman who needs money is not free to truly choose [to] work, but is forced into [work] by circumstance…They say my clients should be arrested, and they want to stop me from being able to work…but…sex work is getting me out of a lifelong predicament, and I’m glad I have the option to do it legally…

Anatomy of a Boondoggle 

Note the buried lede: cops sexually assaulted women in order to arrest them:

That a Chinatown spa was busted for prostitution…is further reinforcement of a cliche stereotype…A summons is currently duct-taped to the front door, and…There is also a note on the legal document stating, “prostitution is a right of free people; this is an attack upon human liberty, you evil fucks”…At least two instances were highlighted – both back in April – in which employees “performed a sexual act” on [disguised pigs]…

The Sky is Falling!

Only in the looking-glass world inhabited by prohibitionists can could anyone take seriously the notion that a common arrangement literally as old as human culture is only now becoming “normalized”:

[Prohibitionists] have warned against the normalisation of the “sugar daddy” or “blesser” culture, whereby young girls are lured into sex in exchange for material goods, bringing them one step closer to the threat of sex trafficking…girls lured with promises of setting up with a “sugar daddy” have ended up, trapped as sex slaves.  The idea of having a sugar daddy, or “blesser”, is a widely normal…concept in South Africa to describe a transactional relationship struck between young girls and older men who provide them with material goods in return for sex.  But [prohibitionists pretend] the normalisation of [something that was described in the previous sentence as already widely normal]…is leading to growing numbers of girls being duped by sex traffickers…

Under Review

I’m completely aghast at everyone involved in the creation of this shitshow, from the pigs, to the prohibitionists who came up with the moronic “sex trafficking” rhetoric they’re using to justify their sadistic game, to the cheapskate haggler, to any board sleazy enough to allow this kind of review, to the reporter with his dysphemisms and weird scare quotes; frankly, I’d like to see all of them put in a weighted sack together and thrown into the Columbia river.  Read this pile of rancid filth at your own risk, but you may feel the need to scrub your eyeballs after.

To Molest and Rape 

Your periodic reminder that the State covering up for rapist cops isn’t confined to the US:

…The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC)…has received 47 complaints relating to [rapes]…sexual assaults and similar offences in the last three- and-a-half years, none of which have resulted in any criminal proceedings being taken.  [Only] nine of the cases remain open, including a…[report] that a garda had sex with an underage person last year…

Scrupleless in Seattle

Holy shit, guys, STOP GOING TO PLACES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF TO SEE GIRLS WITH NO REPUTATION!  Stick to ladies with an established internet footprint and you’ll be safe from this evil:

…Bellevue police and the King County Sheriff’s Office opened [a fake] brothel…setting up a sting in a condominium…Over the course of seven days, dozens of unsuspecting [men]…answered online ads posted by [pervert pigs pretending to be sex workers]…They were arrested after showing up at the condo…[pigs] arrested 110 men and impounded 105 cars, two motorcycles and one bicycle…

The End of the Beginning (#718) 

Maybe, just maybe, we’re about to witness the beginning of the end of these evil laws:

A federal court judge in Denver has called the public sex offender registry…“cruel and unusual punishment”…Judge Richard Matsch has found [registration] to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.  He wrote that the public has been given the “power to inflict punishments beyond those imposed through the court.”  Alison Ruttenberg, the attorney for the sex offenders, [said]…“Making them at risk for vigilantes’ action to have their houses burned down, beaten up or even killed…is cruel and unusual punishment…There’s not a single crime in Colorado that has been solved because of the sex offender registry.  Sex offenders have probably the lowest recidivism rate of any felon and to single them out for this type of public ridicule and registration is irrational. It doesn’t do anything to keep our community safer”…The judge found the posting of sex offender information to be a violation of two different amendments…The Colorado Attorney General’s office says it hasn’t decided on if it will appeal the ruling…


The Course of a Disease (#745)

This is exactly what prohibitionists wanted, despite their claims to the contrary:

Attacks on [Irish] sex workers have increased dramatically since a change in the law last March which criminalised the purchase of sex…the law change has forced the trade deeper underground…put sex workers under greater pressure to put themselves in riskier situations…[and] makes sex workers less likely to report dangerous clients to gardaí…[Lucy Smyth of Ugly Mugs]…said [the organization] had received 1,635 reports from sex workers who were concerned about clients in the five months since the law change, a 61 per cent increase on the same period last year.  Some 137 of these incidents involved violence, including sexual assault, with knives or guns reportedly produced in 12 of these case. A total of 79 incidents of violence were reported in the first five months of last year…

The Notorious Badge (#760)

What was the point of talking to Annie Sprinkle if she wasn’t going to listen?

…Maggie Gyllenhaal…as…Candy is the lone figure in [The Deuce]…who suggests an inner life and the toll the sex trade takes on the human soul…“I needed to talk to someone who’s done this”…[so the] series executive producer…introduced Maggie to Annie Sprinkle…[who]…“hooked me up with a bunch of her friends…Annie was really the key into that world.  The women I spoke with were in their 60s.  I was so grateful”…

Yes, in a mainstream newspaper in the 21st century, an apparently adult writer is actually claiming that sex has magical booga-booga powers to damage souls, presumably like a curse or the One Ring or something.

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It is time to declare that sex worker rights are human rights.
–  Camilo Gómez

Shift in the Wind (#328)

George Will, who once had a good mind, is apparently going senile.  But National Review, which hs always been anti-prohibition, should’ve known better than to publish this pap:

It is unclear how many victims of DMST there are because…[most people the law labels] victims [do not consider themselves victims]…They are products of poor or nonexistent parenting…80 percent are addicted…Big sporting events…attract traffickers…[prohibitionist & profiteer Frank] Milstead…says: “Leaving your kid alone at night in his room with [a cell phone]?  You might as well leave him or her in the city park downtown.  Anything is available on a phone”…

Drawing Lines 

The whorearchy here is so thick it can be cut with a knife:

…If you spend enough time in Hollywood, it won’t be long before you start noticing pink and black vans with “TOPLESS MAIDS” painted on the sides wherever you turn.  They’re everywhere…However, unlike [TV show] Famous in Love‘s depiction of topless maids — in which Cassie is a legitimate maid who just so happens to be topless, but otherwise wears normal clothes — real-life topless maids don’t focus so much on actual cleaning.  Instead, topless maids just do a little dusting and “light chores,” which apparently consists of sexy dancing with a Swiffer while dressed in lingerie…One thing Famous in Love does get right is that topless maids are in no way sex workers…

Sorry, Sadie Gennis, but topless maids are indeed sex workers; they make a living by sexual titillation.

Maggie in the Media (#429)

Normally I don’t use this tag in news columns any more, but I wanted to be sure to call attention to the previous interview with Thaddeus Russell, for Reason TV three years ago.  This one’s the second episode of Thad’s new podcast, and it’s generating high praise so I think you’ll enjoy it (and if it inspires you to subscribe to the podcast, so much the better)!

New Excuse

It’s so nice to see others writing about the War on Whores as the new War on Drugs, especially when they cite me:

…both authorities and the public believe sex trafficking is far more common than it is…To inflate the numbers, the American government includes people that know the sex workers personally, or who are just buyers as “pimps,” in the list….decriminalization—that is, to stop regulating sex work among willing adults—is the only tool to fight [exploitation]…Prohibition in one form or another has been used for a long time without good results…by decriminalizing sex work, resources can be devoted to preventing and resolving actual cases of trafficking, not paranoia supported by people with a narrow political agenda…The sex trafficking paranoia is like the new War on Drugs and there is even a bipartisan consensus in opposing sex work.  Conservatives usually oppose legalized sex work on religious, moral, or societal grounds.  Even liberals often oppose it by saying that sex work oppresses women, or assume that all prostitutes are really victims of sex trafficking…

O, Canada! (#617)

Canadian prohibitionists are trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels, this time by referring to men trapped by cop sex work stings as “purchasing prostituted children”.  As I’ve pointed out before, one has to wonder what these supposed traffickers do with these “child sex slaves” they “purchase” when they’re not using them; do they store them in hatboxes in the back of the closet, or perhaps hang them on hooks in the garage?  And when they’re done with them, do they just flush them down the loo like unwanted goldfish?  Do any of the idiots who vomit out nonsense like this even bother to think before speaking?

Under Review

The British press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews yet:

The language of UKPunting is, in some ways, similar to that of other online review sites: contributors will gripe about a disparity between the appearance on the marketing shots and that of the actual product – the woman…Those bad reviews aren’t just mean, they can really affect business…Even positive reviews on the site can have a negative impact…a sex worker or an offended poster could complain, but only in a way that doesn’t challenge the status quo here, which is vehemently pro-“punter”.  Basically, punters can post offensive, libellous content with impunity…

Broken Record (#636)

Prohibitionists just can’t stop beating this dead horse:

Kentucky’s attorney general is urging people to pay attention to more than horses and parties during the springtime celebrations leading up to the Kentucky Derby…authorities are asking for the public’s help in cracking down on sex traffickers trying to cash in on the crowds expected for the world’s most famous horse race…

To Molest and Rape (#643)

Other classics from this headline writer: “Is the Pope Catholic?” and “Do Bears Shit in the Woods?”

A common theme emerged at a panel discussion on policing and rights…police officers regularly violate the human rights of marginalised minorities such as sex workers and members of the lesbian‚ gay‚ bi-sexual‚ transgender‚ questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) community.  The dialogue‚ hosted by the South African Human Rights Commission‚ heard from Sonke Gender Justice‚ an advocacy organisation against gender-based violence‚ how a survey conducted on sex workers revealed blatant and regular abuses of human rights by the police…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#647) 

It’s nice to see cops’ evil deceptions ruin the life of one of their own for a change:

A Montgomery County [Maryland cop]…pleaded guilty…to proposing sexual acts with an undercover detective he thought was a 15-year-old girl.  Christopher B. Dunkes…was caught in a child sexting sting in June…

Business As Usual (#719) 

In other words, after a couple of weeks of media attention the cops will just rape us & claim they didn’t, as they do in the other 49 states:

Undercover police officers in Michigan will no longer be able to [legally & openly rape] prostitutes who[m] they’re [trying to entrap], under a new law that was unanimously approved by the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week.  Senate Bill 275 aims to…make it possible [but not obligatory] for [cops] to be prosecuted for prostitution-related offences, “if the officer engaged in sexual penetration [but not groping or other molestation] while in the course of his or her duties.”  Michigan police currently enjoy immunity from prosecution for [raping] prostitutes on the clock, something that doesn’t sit well with…Judy Emmons, who sponsored the bill…

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Vice cops are…clowns…[whose] idea of entertainment is depriving people of their liberty and livelihoods…then inviting people…to watch the show.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Check Your Premises

They’re literally just making this garbage up now:

Janice Figueroa and Nathaniel Lee Thompson are now facing human trafficking and prostitution charges…[for bringing] this 17 year old girl across state lines…”one of the traffickers is a 19 year old girl…she didn’t just one day wake up and decide she wanted to start selling another woman,” [vomited] Melissa Yao…[prohibitionist in a group called] The Samaritan Women…”We’re the fourth destination country in the world.  Meaning we’re the fourth most popular place for people to travel to to participate in sexual exploitation…there is study after study that has shown there is a direct correlation between pornography and sexual exploitation because you start to view another human being as a commodity instead of an actual person…There is an expectation within your first week of working at a strip club that you will participate in some type of prostitution.  Otherwise you cannot work there,” Yao said…

Above the Law  

Because every woman “consensually” gives head to whatever random cop stops her on the highway:

A [Georgia] Sheriff’s deputy has been fired after a Valentine’s Day incident during a traffic stop…[he] pulled over a woman for a speeding violation…[then] again about 4-5 miles down the road.  The deputy turned off his camera and [orally raped the woman]…The woman reported the incident was not consensual.  The deputy says it was consensual…

It can take literally years for these “investigations” to lead to charges:rapist cop Marty Rainey

A rural Missouri sheriff’s deputy was a predator with a badge, sexually abusing four women and luring an underage girl into prostitution…Marty Rainey…resigned under fire from the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Office in 2012 after a mental health counselor claimed Rainey and a buddy had engaged in some suspect sexual relations with one of the counselor’s clients.  He was finally charged in January 2015…after other women came forward with horror stories of coercion, abuse and rape…a woman…described a long-running nightmare in a civil lawsuit filed last year…[she said] Rainey got her phone number and address in 2012 when she contacted the sheriff’s office…Rainey called the woman 87 times and sent her 1,288 text messages, many of which were sexually explicit…he threatened to arrest her husband on bogus charges if she didn’t sleep with him.  Rainey, wearing his deputy uniform, eventually picked her up and took her to a motel, where…he drugged her, laid his pistol on a nightstand with the barrel facing her and…[raped] her…

Stand-Up Guys 

This is a very uneven article marred by false equivalencies, but its central point is true:

Jeremy Corbyn is about to find out what happens when you take a stance on sex work…The response of those who believe in banning prostitution is ferocious and highly personal.  He will be told he has betrayed women, that he supports pimps, that he doesn’t care about trafficking and human slavery.  Labour’s parliamentary meeting tonight is expected to see Harriet Harman, Caroline Flint, Jess Phillips and others attack Corbyn for [saying]…he wants to decriminalise the sex industry…Corbyn…used to support the Nordic model…His shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, is a long-time supporter of sex worker rights, and will be urging him to stand firm…The attack started the moment his words were reported…

Broken Record

This is impossible to parody, because the reality is so ludicrous:

As the City of Austin prepares for the thousands of people expected in town for the South by Southwest Interactive, Film and Music Festivals, police are preparing for a spike in crimes.  “You see a lot of these female escorts doing this not of their own volition.  They’re underaged minors, they’ve been put into a position where they have no choice. These guys will take them and literally go from city to city, post ads in the classified, have a hotel room,” [fantasized]…Steve Deaton, head of the Organized Crime Division…

Monkey Business

Occasionally, chimps throw rocks in displays of strength to establish their position in a community.  But what we discovered…was a repeated activity with no clear link to gaining food or status…We…found many more sites where trees had similar markings and in many places piles of rocks had accumulated inside hollow tree trunks…We found the same mysterious behaviour in small pockets of Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire but nothing east of this…The behaviour could be part of a male display…If some trees produce an impressive bang, this could accompany or replace feet drumming in a display…On the other hand, it could be more symbolic than that – and more reminiscent of our own past.  Marking pathways and territories with signposts such as piles of rocks is an important step in human history…maybe we found the first evidence of chimpanzees creating a kind of shrine that could indicate sacred trees…

Watershed

More and more women who identify as feminists now support sex workers:

As the signatories of this manifesto, we – women’s rights, feminist, and sex workers’ rights organisations and collectives – express our support for sex workers’ self-determination and the recognition of sex work as work…we ask all feminists to concentrate their resources on including and amplifying sex workers’ voices in the movement and to stop promoting legal frameworks that have been shown to be detrimental to sex workers’ rights.  We call for a feminist movement that…is inclusive of trans people and sex workers.  Our criminal justice systems are oppressive, and therefore we do not see increased policing, prosecution, and imprisonment as the only solution to violence against women…

Under Every Bed

Most of this is just the typical small-city cop “sex trafficking” puffery and “gang” propaganda, but this bit was pretty jaw-dropping: “…the Spokane Police Department created a unit dedicated to fighting human trafficking…and have decided to pull a detective from the Major Crimes Unit to work specifically on these cases…” Because obviously, investigating murder, rape and armed robbery isn’t as fun or profitable as ruining people’s lives for seeking consensual sex.blue hair

Paint By Numbers

Tired of hard stuff like standing, getting dressed & making paper airplanes?  Just sit still instead!

…human trafficking…is getting some support in southern Wisconsin…woman [sic]…are now trying a new do’, blue [hair] extensions, the color for human trafficking awareness…college roommates Camille Guenther and Rachel Eckmann created Beautiful Blue 2016 and have joined forces with Cuttin’ Up salon for the cause…they say spreading the message, right now, is more important than donations…

Innocence Never Had

Laws are more important than people:

In Bloomington, Indiana, a 14-year-old girl was arrested…on prostitution charges after texting older men and offering sex for a fee…Bloomington detectives began looking into the case after a woman reported seeing texts from the girl, who had claimed to be 17, on her husband’s phone…Under federal and some state laws, teens selling sexual services are defined as “sex trafficking victims” whether they’re working for/with anybody or not…law-enforcement agents are more than willing to refer to 17-year-old as “child victims” and charge anyone in their vicinity with human trafficking.  But while it’s refreshing (if surprising) to see police…acknowledge that teen girls do have agency and avoid the typical sex-trafficking scaremongering…Couldn’t cops have simply talked to the girl’s guardians?  How will she possibly be helped by having a criminal record…

Bread and Circuses

The unsinkable Liz Brown does it again:

A Houston-area prostitution sting with the inexplicable name “Operation Traveling Circus” led to more than 400 arrests in the first two months of 2016…Like most vice stings disguised as victim-centered investigations, this “traveling circus” featured the identification of no actual sex-trafficking victims and zero arrests of human traffickers.  But the January 4 through Feburary 26 operation did yield hundreds of men who sought to pay what they thought was a willing, adult sex worker for company.  To spin this as somehow related to sex trafficking, officials trotted out the much-debunked idea that sporting events are catnip to human-traffickers…Making men afraid to pay for prostitution now is simply an effort to deprive these mythical future sex traffickers of their client base, officials explained…Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman [lied that pigs]…had to arrest [sex workers]…so those selling sex on their own could be prosecuted, while victims would have the charges dropped and gain access to some sort of nebulous social services…more than 200 of the 400 people arrested were “johns” who tried to solicit sex from an undercover officer…It’s unclear if the rest of the arrests were of sex workers or not.  These sorts of stings frequently lead to arrests for things like outstanding warrants, drug possession, or unauthorized gun possession, as well…

Above the Law (#591)

A British social justice campaigner has flown from London to Australia to confront a former police spy who deceived her into having a two-year relationship and is now involved in directing police training courses in Australia.  Helen Steel…tracked down John Dines after spending years piecing together clues to uncover his real identity.  It was the first time Steel had contacted the former undercover officer after he disappeared from her life more than two decades ago claiming to be having a mental breakdown…he was resettled in Australia by British police who feared Steel was on the verge of finding him…

Still a Child (#604) 

Giving fanatics what they want only encourages them to want more:

New Orleans…City Council…could move to set a cap on the number of strip clubs allowed to operate in the city.  In the meantime, the Planning Commission is considering the imposition of a soft moratorium on new…clubs on Bourbon Street, the only zoning district where strip clubs…didn’t need special permission from the City Council in order to open…Robert Watters, owner of Rick’s Cabaret…said that, although he’s always nervous about government attempts to legislate morality, he thinks there are enough clubs in the area already…Jim Kelly…of…Covenant House…[fantasizes that] strip clubs…can act as recruiting grounds for pimps…Kelly successfully lobbied the City Council in January to raise the minimum age for dancers to 21…

It’s disgusting how often sex business owners like Watters and Dennis Hof side with prohibitionists in order to more effectively line their own pockets.

Under Review

The British press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews yet:

Call girls and rentboys openly offer themselves for sex online, while customers leave seedy reviews of the services on offer. ..Seedy websites list the services available from vice girls and even give their hourly rate.  The Paisley Daily Express has seen X-rated pages that are filled with pictures of scantily-clad sex workers, with details of how to arrange a meeting.  Local punters even use the Trip Advisor-style portals on the sites…to give star-rated reviews of the men and women they bed…perverts even discuss the parking amenities…

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Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving.  –  William Shakespeare, Othello (II,iii)

yelpEvery so often I go to put an item in one of my news columns, only to realize there’s no appropriate heading because I’ve never actually written about the subject.  And every once in a blue moon, I find myself asking, “How the hell did I manage never to have written about that?”  This is one of those times; though I’ve mentioned it often in passing, I’ve never actually devoted a column to the subject.  “It” in this case being escort reviews.  For those who have never been involved in a modern escort transaction on either side of the deal, and who haven’t paid much attention to the subject before starting to read this blog, an escort review is a lot like a Yelp review for pretty much any other commercial service; it’s a way for a satisfied customer to let others know that a service provider is a good one, and for a dissatisfied customer to warn others of scams, hidden problems, etc.  The best reviews are practically love letters; the worst ones can be downright abusive.  And given the nature of the service, they can often be, well, pornographic.

That last is a sticking point with a lot of escorts; though some review boards discourage or disallow graphic details, others encourage them.  And even when the narratives are tucked away in a “members only” section, access to that section can either be gained by paying or by…wait for it…writing reviews.  So clients who are heavily invested in review board culture are strongly incentivized to write more reviews, and to make them as juicy as possible, even if that means embellishing the facts of the encounter or simply lying.  I know I’ve read reviews of myself which caused me to say, “Were we even in the same room?  Because I don’t remember half of this.”  Yeah, I have reviews, and they’re available out there on the internet; I’m sure the more internet-savvy among you can find them pretty easily.  But I don’t encourage them because I don’t really like them; besides the fact that I find them rather crude, there’s also the problem of cops and prosecutors using them as “evidence” in prostitution trials, either against the lady or against the client/review author.

There’s one review board, however, which I absolutely refuse to allow myself to be reviewed on, and that’s probably the biggest one, The Erotic Review (better known as TER).  In actuality, there’s nothing I could do to stop someone from reviewing me there if he wanted to, because provider profiles on TER are user-generated rather than provider-generated; however, as far as I know, my clients have so far respected my wish not to be reviewed there {knocks wood}.  What have I got against TER, you ask?  Well, there are several things.  The first is the site’s blatantly “bros before hos” philosophy, as exemplified by the fact that it’s extremely difficult to get a false review removed from the site; one of my friends was able to provide evidence that she was in another part of the country at the time a false reviewer claimed she had been in his city, and that still wasn’t enough.  Besides the fact that this allows enemies to plant bad reviews to hurt a provider’s business, it also allows cops to create false profiles for infiltration purposes.  The second problem is that TER uses a numerical rating system in which the numbers are tied to specific acts; an escort might be the most beautiful, engaging, charismatic, enchanting creature on the planet, but if she doesn’t do Greek she can’t be a “10” on TER no matter how many reviews praise her to high heaven.

I’m not the only whore who hates TER, not by a long shot; in a recent article, Tracy Clark-Flory wrote:

…An ad that ran in 2008 in the Village Voice’s Backpage section read, “DID YOU GET RIPPED OFF AGAIN?  Didn’t read her reviews, did you?  Don’t let them get away with it…By submitting a review you are not only warning thousands of guys in your area, you hitting them where it hurts…HER WALLET.”  It’s a tone set early by the site’s now-estranged founder David Elms…many sex workers…say the site harbors a culture of misogyny and objectification, and exposes them to extortion, legal risks and pressure to perform unwanted acts.  Some are categorically against reviews, given the intimate nature of the services being provided…Some argue that [TER] encourages the writing of fake reviews as well, a problem that plagues even sites like Yelp where there aren’t direct financial incentives for contributing.  As “Alexis,” a sex worker, put it, “When you’re talking about ‘super users,’ when I see people like that, I see ‘super bullshitters.’”

Many sex workers say the site also threatens to change the nature of their work by pressuring them into acts they don’t want to perform [by threatening them with bad reviews]…A common complaint Katherine Koster, communications director at the Sex Workers Outreach Project, has heard is that TER pressures “sex workers to provide the same service across clients, rather than adapting it to individual clients.”  TER reviews are structured around a hierarchy of acts:  The site asks reviewers to reserve 8, 9 and 10 performance rankings forDavid Elms “situations where out of the ordinary services are provided,” including blow jobs without condoms, kissing with tongue and anal sex.  Koster says the site also rejects reviews without explicit sexual details…

The article also discusses David Elms’ sordid history of extortion, assault and worse; you can read about it there, because I honestly don’t think it’s necessary to know about it to judge TER on its own record.  Even if Elms had never done anything immoral, I think the ickiness of his creation speaks for itself.

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