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Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Everything cool gets co-opted, and whores have always been the coolest people in the room.  –  Jacq the Stripper

Life Imitates Artifice

It was inevitable that a real pimp would eventually ape prohibitionist wanking fantasies:

A convicted [armed robber] from Detroit faces new charges for allegedly running a prostitution ring that required the prostitutes — one underage — to brand themselves with his name.  Tory Michael Anderson was [also] charged…[with] possession…of child pornography….one [woman] had his first name…tattooed on her neck while  a second…had [it]…on her forehead.  A third woman, only 17, had [it]…tattooed on the side of her face…

The origin of the “branding” myth is the common and very old practice of people getting the names of romantic partners tattooed on their bodies; since prohibitionists deny that most actual pimps really are a kind of partner, they had to characterize this practice as somehow different, leading to the embellishment that the “brand” is tattooed on the face, lip, eyelid, etc.  Presumably this dude heard the tales and assumed that’s how he should behave to be a “real pimp”.

They Still Don’t Get It

I wonder if they realize what they’re admitting here?

The Stanislaus County [California] Sheriff’s Office conducted a sting Sept. 20 that resulted in the arrest of 12 men and several [women the pigs labeled] potential human trafficking victims.  Although the sheriff’s office called it a human trafficking sting in their press release, [spokespig] Joshua Clayton said that the operation was better described as a prostitution sting…[because the terms] prostitution and human trafficking…are…used interchangeably…Paul Durenberger, deputy district attorney for Sacramento County, [fantasized] that…human trafficking could not exist without prostitution and vice versa…

Watershed

We’re way past the watershed now:

Since the passage of FOSTA…conversations about sex workers’ rights and decriminalization have entered into mainstream consciousness…Sex work is becoming more than just acceptable—the rising popularity of sex worker-inspired fashion, aesthetics, and philosophy among millennial women, including those who aren’t sex workers themselves, is sparking a complex dialogue…Like “lesbian chic” in the ’90s, some non-sex working millennial women are adopting sex work as an edgy aesthetic, because being a sex worker—or rather, looking like one—is cool…

For Love

One of Dan Savage’s readers demonstrates why it’s a bad idea to quit sex work for “love”:

…A few months in, I…made the amateur mistake of moving him from customer to boyfriend.  Things went well for a bit but he progressively got less generous. (This is common, I’ve since heard.)  Six months after we met he bought me a car and considered any financial obligations to me “complete”.  We had a discussion about how I was going to get a “regular” job and be in a monogamous relationship with him.  The only problem was, no regular job was enough to support my family.  I struggled and hinted that I needed some help, but he [gave none, so]…I reached out to a former client and he happily started paying me for regular visits again…My boyfriend found out…and insisted I “dump” [my good client]…And I was so dumb and in love that I did…until my older kid needed braces and my younger kid needed glasses and my bills were out of control…[while] my boyfriend was making six figures…After months of going back and forth, he dumped me for good and took back his car…

A Moral Cancer (#583)

Nutritionists aren’t “scientists”, because nutritionism is pseudoscience:

[Busybody bureaucrats] for years have urged Americans to limit consumption of red meat and processed meats because of [crypto-moralism]…but…an international collaboration of researchers produced a series of analyses concluding that the advice…is not…scientific…If there are health benefits from eating less beef and pork, they are…so faint that they can be discerned only when looking at large populations…and are not sufficient to tell individuals to change their meat-eating habits…Already they have been met with fierce criticism by [nutritionists]…

That last line is equivalent to saying that a report in an astronomical journal was “met with fierce criticism by astrologers”.

Full of Themselves (#831)

Alabama’s “licensed massage therapists” want to be as pompous as California’s:

Massage therapies are a common front for human trafficking, but in Alabama the Massage Therapy Board is very active in fighting back.  “We are probably one of the very few states out of the fifty that have the authority to go and inspect an establishment…So we are pretty much the lead in the nation when it comes to dealing with these kinds of complaints.”  Those fighting traffickers know the best way to stop the process is to take away their means of carrying out their practice…Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office came up with a new law that is designed to fight traffickers…“It’s not too far akin to [sic] what we see in the fortitude [sic] side for criminal cases,” he said…

Presumably, “asset fortitude” is something like the “poignant” smell of marijuana.

Disaster (#873)

The predictable result of non-binding “policies” that leave oppressive laws in place:

Seattle police…this summer returned to routinely arresting and booking sex workers on Aurora Avenue in North Seattle.  While the city has publicly and p[ompous]ly pursued the “demand” side of the sex trade — [except for Asian sex workers, whom they have continued to persecute using racist “sex trafficking” tropes] — the City Attorney’s Office and the Seattle Police Department since 2012 have mostly shied away from [formally] booking [native-born] sex workers themselves, [forc]ing them instead [in]to [useless “diversion” programs that make bourgeois white Seattlites feel good]…But in the face of a sharp spike in the amount of street-based sex work [due to clownish government interference in sex workers’ advertising venues]…and [the discontinuance of payoffs from Swanee Hunt’s “Demand Abolition” scam]…the Seattle Police Department began [persecuting street workers again despite repeated assurances from “officials” that they wouldn’t]…Since July, SPD has made about 120 arrests via sting operations, said [boss pig Mike] Edwards…

The rest is the usual “crime” and “doing something” bullshit and propaganda about the worse-than-useless LEAD “conversion therapy” program.

To Molest and Rape (#890)

Prince George’s County, Maryland is known for rapist cops; this may give you some inkling why:

…Ian G Lucas from the Prince George’s County Police Department and an unnamed [cop] from…Washington DC…[repeatedly] target[ed] transgender [sex workers] and threaten to to [cage] them…unless they [sucked the pig’s dicks]…One woman went to DC’s FOX station with her story, providing…video proof…Multiple women [then] testified in front a grand jury…after being granted immunity.  But…both police forces and the federal prosecutor…shrugged their shoulders…Lucas was [rewarded for the rapes with a paid vacation and given a plea bargain for “solicitation of a prostitute” which wil]…be withdrawn after six months [when] he completes 48 hours of community service.  The charges w[ill] be dismissed [and he will be immunized from further prosecution] and…not be required to register as a sex offender…

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

The Trump administration abruptly delayed a $13.5 million grant to house human trafficking victims just five days after saying that “non-citizens” could be served by the program.  The program’s funds, which were approved two years ago by multiple federal agencies, are now in limbo with no indication when money will be distributed…The grants were to be dispersed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Health and Human Services…On September 4, the funding announcement was updated to “allow recipients [of the funds] to serve non-citizens,” including lawful permanent residents and foreign national victims…Five days later, the grant solicitation was cancelled…DOJ has…asked for the funds back from HUD and…will now run the program itself…

Negative Secondary Effects (#933)

UK judge says only “good” women should be protected by anti-“revenge porn” laws:

Nine strip club performers in the United Kingdom are fighting to stop the publication of an undercover video shot by Not Buying It, a self-described “feminist” anti-sex work organization.  The performers argue that the footage, shot by hired [ex-pigs]…“could infringe their human right to…priva[cy]”…Already, this seems to be proving true…A judge ruled that, against the performers’ wishes, their names will be revealed in court records.  These women…will…be outed as sex workers…because a feminist organization is ostensibly concerned, as the Guardian puts it, “about the exploitation of women.”  Guess it’s OK when self-described feminists are the ones doing the exploiting…

Safe Targets (#953)

Please tell us more about how legalization “protects” sex workers:

A [Singaporean mired in gambling debts named]…Tan Shi Feng…targetted [a] sex worker [for robbery by impersonating a cop], believing that the victim would not report to the police as she…provided [what the state idiotically labels] illegal sexual services…Tan [and two confederates tricked their way into their victim’s flat]…by pretending [Tan was] a genuine customer…They [stole]…$15,000 in cash and an Apple iPhone worth $600 from [her]…

No, he didn’t “cheat” her; he robbed her.  Armed robbery, to be precise, backed up by the threat of state violence.

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Diary #484

I got my cat Sheena in 1984, and after she passed away in 2000 I couldn’t bear to feel as though I was replacing her, so I waited four years until I was ready for Friday. But when she died in 2015, I realized that my current situation precluded getting another kitty even if I wanted to; my apartment is just too small to avoid litterbox odor, some clients might be allergic, and I travel too often for too long at a time.  But I do love animals, so I greet and talk to and pet and play with any who come nearby and appear inclined to interact.  While I’m out at Sunset, Grace’s cat Aeryn spends a lot of time next to me; we lived together most of the time from 2002 until 2014, so I think she misses me and wants to visit whenever she can.  A year or so ago she even came to lie down with me while I was deeply stoned in my bed, and I think it helped to make it an especially-nice trip.  Well, the last time I stayed at Liz Brown’s place in August, her younger cat Gemini made friends with me, but the older Esme is a bit snobbier (in the way only cats can be) and therefore wanted nothing to do with me.  So imagine my surprise (not to mention that of my host & hostess) when, on my recent visit, Esme not only let me pet her, but allowed me to pick her up and take a photo (this was the best I could do left-handed).  And since animals tend to be good judges of character, I’m going to take that as a high compliment.

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Diary #483

When I scheduled my flights for my Washington trip a couple of weeks ago, I could see that the trip east would go relatively smoothly, but the trip back would be tighter; accordingly, I packed very light so I didn’t have to bring my roller bag.  That way, if I got wedged into a flight at the last second, I could take my bag with me instead of being forced to gate-check it (because I absolutely despise checking luggage).  The trip out wasn’t bad; everything was on time and I made my connections, and the only problem was that on the scond leg I got put in a middle seat next to a dude who thought it was a wonderful idea to leave the window-shades open the whole time despite my polite warning that it was likely to trigger my vertigo (and of course I was correct, and only my practice of not eating for at least four hours before takeoff prevented me from making a really disgusting display of puking for over an hour instead of just embarrassing myself by retching up bile).  But a two-hour nap on Liz Brown’s couch put me to rights, and we had a lovely evening.  Then the event at the Reason offices on Thursday night went very well, and I got to meet several of the staff whose bylines I recognized, and some noteworthy people whose names you might recognize; I’m kind of hoping I managed to talk them into throwing a similar event at their Los Angeles office sometime soon!

Alas, the journey back did not go smoothly; bad weather in Chicago caused a very large number of cancelled flights which rippled through the system like falling dominoes.  I arrived at Reagan airport at 8 AM Friday, endured no fewer than seven reroutes and a similar number of postponements, and then a little before midnight the flight I was booked on by way of Dallas (which had been postponed half a dozen times since its originally-scheduled time of 4:30) was quietly and inexplicably cancelled without warning (despite the fact that we had repeatedly been assured for hours that the delays were almost over and we would be departing for Dallas at midnight).  The only way the passengers found out was that someone saw “cancelled” on the board next to the flight number, and almost 200 people were forced to line up at the customer service desk to be rerouted.  By the time that was finished it was almost 2 AM, and I saw little point in trying to find a hotel when I had to be back at the airport for 5.  So I wandered around a little, did some tweeting, had a croissant sandwich thing at 3 from Dunkin’ Donuts (literally the only thing open at that time in the main airport for the capital of the most powerful nation on Earth), then was forced to go back through the TSA gropeline at 4 to catch my 7 AM flight, which I had routed through Phoenix in the hopes of avoiding all the displaced Dallas travellers.  Fortunately, the return trip was exactly the opposite:  I was given a very good seat on a not-overcrowded plane and fell asleep during takeoff, then after a brief period of wakefulness around the time we crossed into Arkansas I found a very comfy position and slept like a baby until about 3 minutes before the captain announced we were landing.  After a 90-minute layover the next flight was just as smooth (though I didn’t sleep), and I found myself surprisingly energetic all afternoon and evening until I suddenly crashed just after 10 PM.  I was asleep by 10:30 and slept deeply for eleven and a half hours, then awoke none the worse for wear.  But even if I never have such an airline adventure again, it will still be much too soon.

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Diary #482

Though I have several friends who are unhappy to see summer go, I don’t share their enthusiasm for long, bright, hot days.  And so as the days shorten and cool and the typical Seattle rains return until June, I breathe a sigh of relief at every sunset and I can feel the tension and anxiety slowly leaving my body.  It didn’t hurt that this year I discovered I could offset a lot of the summer anxiety by simply starting my evening edible an hour or two early; dealing with a lot of that on a daily basis prevented it from building up to the point where it took over a month to recover from, and that means I’m already starting to relax even though autumn just arrived with this week.  I’ve turned off the air conditioner and put away the floor fan; my desk lamp is going on earlier and I’m starting my edible a bit later again, and though I had to travel to Washington DC again this week (for my reception for The War on Whores tonight at the Reason magazine offices), I took it in stride and my nerves stayed relatively unfrazzled yesterday.  Let’s hope that all bodes well for the rest of this year, and the next as well.

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Diary #478

I was apparently more zonked when I got home from Washington last week than I had at first believed; I reckon the combination of jet lag, flying-related stress, flying-related drugs, non-flying-related drugs, and just plain exhaustion affected me powerfully enough that I fell asleep somewhere around midnight and woke up the next day even groggier than usual.  Fortunately I had only low-impact activities on my calendar for a couple of days (including a Who night with Lorelei last Tuesday), and Wednesday night I had one of the best cannabis trips I’ve ever had.  I really wish there was some way to analyze what makes trips better or worse, but even the actual pot chemists I’ve talked to throw up their hands and shrug.  I’ve discovered a few conditions that seem to bring on replicable results, such as restricting large doses to once a week, cycling through various brands to keep my tolerance low, and using sativa-based edibles when I want an interesting trip rather than just relaxation and sleep; I’ve also noticed that the effects seem to be stronger when I’m somewhat dehydrated and a few hours after I’ve had a cocktail or two.  But other than that the effects seem to be determined by a complex formula involving dosage, terpenes, what I’ve eaten and when, time of the month, emotional state and probably two dozen other things, so I reckon I just need to accept that really spectacular trips just happen when they happen.  Ah, well; I’m going to be experiencing a different kind of stoned this coming weekend when I go out to Sunset because Grace has picked some good stoner movies, so we’ll see.  BTB, the picture has nothing to do with any of this; it’s just a good one from Woodhull with Deviant Ollam and Elizabeth Nolan Brown.

 

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With the departure of the Dog Days and the return of American urchins to their State Indoctrination Centers, my life is likely to get a bit easier.  Of course the shortening & darkening of the days is a big part of that, but since I started flying again three years ago there’s another factor:  the end of vacation season and thus a lessening of the number of ridiculously-overcrowded flights.  Normally, I get first class about a third of the time and it’s pretty rare that I get boarded at the last minute, but during the summer the flights are so packed and the scheduling so volatile that it’s rare I even get assigned a seat until the last minute, and I often get bumped from flights entirely (remember when I couldn’t even get to Florida at all?)  So I’ve been loath to schedule any more movie screenings until the beginning of September, and now here we are!  We’ve already got an event on the books for September 26th at the Reason Magazine offices in DC; that trip should be more flexible, so if you’d like to see me while I’m in the area it can probably be arranged.  I must also point out that if you’re not in DC, but a lot closer to it than to Seattle, only my travel time from DC counts against your minimum; in other words, if you’re just two hours from there you could see me for the cost of a dinner date instead of having to spring for an overnight (see how helpful I am when I wanna be?)  We’re also looking at screenings in Toronto and Austin, and I’m looking for an excuse to visit New Orleans at some point this autumn.  So if you can help with any of those, or want to schedule an appointment, or want to help arrange a screening in a different city, just email me.  And if you just want to help me with promoting the movie, my fundraiser is still open!

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Governments who employ [the Swedish] model know exactly what they’re doing and the harm they cause to [sex] workers.  –  Molly Davis

Scientific Detachment

The death of a rather unusual archivist:

Ralph Whittington [who died on August 6 at age 74] worked at the Library of Congress for 36 years…but he was better known for amassing one of the world’s largest collections of pornography…his collection was…a serious academic undertaking…Everything was catalogued and cross-referenced.  Boxes were carefully labeled with the name of a porn star or a thumbnail description…Whittington spent more than $100,000 on his collection and often accepted donations from heirs…In 1999, Mr. Whittington sold most of his materials to the Museum of Sex, a professionally curated institution in New York.  Before three 16-foot trucks hauled away almost 10,000 items in 848 boxes, his house was packed from floor to ceiling…

Damned If You Don’t

Picket-fence queers claim cops aren’t our enemies:

Police have arrested 26 men for cruising for sex in Washington D.C.’s Meridian Hill Park over the past 12 months…[disguised] cops entrapped the men by soliciting sex acts…Police…[call] the [deceptions] investigations…[and claim they] were prompted by public complaints…But…[in reality] the men arrested were propositioned by [disguised, lying cops]…posing as willing participants in a consensual encounter between adults…

A Procrustean Bed (#600)

Finally, some public skepticism about “diversion courts”:

…hundreds of [arrested] sex workers in Sacramento each year [are coerced under threat into]…a court-administered diversion program [but only if they first plead guilty to whatever bullshit the cops make up.  It should come as no surprise that]…RESET court…originated [from] a cop-founded nonprofit…Diversion courts…have…proliferated around the country…But…there is growing scholarly skepticism about whether…[they] are really as “woke” as their supporters claim….the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center broadly criticized these programs for a lack of accountability and a surplus of inconsistency.  Sacramento’s RESET court comes up 19 times in the paper…these programs still treat sex workers like criminals, even while telling the public they’re all victims…RESET enrollees must submit to HIV testing; attend health and wellness classes, group and individual counseling and trauma-based therapy; and make at least three monthly court appearances, where Judge Rockwell offers cookies…For completing the program, the women get expunged records…and Starbucks gift cards…

Yes, the “reward” for completing the program is a “free” cup of coffee.

Choke Point (#603) 

I’m skeptical that they wouldn’t hand-wave a sex exemption into this even if it were broader:

A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court is causing a stir among adult business owners…[and sex workers] who have been discriminated against by the global banking system…but misunderstandings may motivate merchants down a legal dead-end…“The ruling was very narrow,” [said] Larry Walters of FirstAmendment.com…“and limited to whether standing to sue can be established by alleging an intent to use the online services, as opposed to actually entering into a contract for services…The court specifically did not rule on whether a plaintiff can sue for discrimination under California law on the basis of occupation”…For adult merchants hoping that litigation over “equality of access to services” based on this announcement might solve…having their banking services revoked…this ruling provides no clear foothold…

Micromanagement (#731)

I’d really like to be wrong once in a while:

New York City detectives questioning a [12-year-old] boy facing a felony charge last year offered him a McDonald’s soda.  When the boy left, they took the straw and tested it for his DNA…[which] was entered into the city’s genetic database.  To have it removed, the [boy’s] family had to petition a court and file an appeal, a process that took more than a year…The city’s DNA database…now has 82,473 genetic profiles, becoming a…potent tool for [the police state]…that operates with [essentially no]…oversight…A growing number of [pig farms] throughout the country…have amassed genetic databases that operate by their own rules, outside of state and federal guidelines…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#754) 

Will porn companies be the next to face the music for exploiting sex workers?

Mia Khalifa…was…[only] modestly compensated for a brief career that catapulted her into worldwide stardom…[as] the most-searched adult-film star on the planet…[but] she [only] received about $12,000 for about a dozen shoots over three months before she left the industry in early 2015, and never a “penny again”…on Pornhub…she is ranked No. 2 among actor searches…but she does not get any residuals from that site or any others…[in] adult film…there are two options with wildly different compensation paths.  One is the traditional production studio that pays actors as contractors…that is what Khalifa did…another is an independent model that provides a bigger cut and options for residuals…sites such as Pornhub have monetized the infinite loop of the Internet by uploading a stream of videos of actors long after some of them, like Khalifa, have left the business — creating a scenario where adult-film scenes will follow the actors and perhaps outlive them…Three of the top 10 actresses on the site now are either retired or inactive in the business, an industry veteran said, and have little recourse to claim compensation or remove their videos if they are shut out from the revenue…

If Men Were Angels (#864)

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

Paxton Singer…is the youth minister at the Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora, Illinois.  The church’s bylaws say that…homosexuality and bisexuality are sexual sins…[but] Singer has been making inappropriate advances toward an unnamed 16-year-old boy…Singer also worked at a separate Harvest Bible Chapel campus in Rolling Meadows, Illinois…[w]here…[he] behaved inappropriately toward three other male teens…

Shift in the Wind (#933)

Pro-decrim articles are even common on conservative sites these days:

In a recent National Review story, Madeleine Kearns…claims [decriminalization] “would make a grave problem worse.”  The premise…relies largely on fear tactics, sprinkled with stories of women who have had bad experiences in the sex industry…But she fails to address how keeping prostitution illegal will help solve any of the problems she targets in her story.  Kearns’ solution is [the Swedish model]…but this policy has failed to work in the various countries where it’s been tried and only perpetuates the problems she illustrates…

Torture Chamber (#950)

I hope they get every last cent they’re asking for, plus punitive damages as well:

…taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages from parents who[se]…children were [abused] while in government custody…dozens of families…separated at the border as part of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy…are now preparing to sue the federal government, including several who[se]…young children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused in federally funded foster care.  With more than 3,000 migrant children [abducted] from their parents at the border in recent years, many lawsuits are expected, potentially totaling in the billions…[they] are represented by grassroots immigration clinics and nonprofit groups, along with some of the country’s most powerful law firms…

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