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Posts Tagged ‘Whorearchy’

[It’s traumatic for escorts to end up] face to face with a [cop] who wants to know your name and question you and detain you until he can establish that you’re not a victim of whatever exploitation that he’s imagining you’re a victim of.  –  Sandra Wesley

Dirty Amateurs

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

…a recent study on unprotected sex…had some sobering results: Of the 1000 Americans surveyed, 65.5 percent said they had unprotected sex—and 29.1 percent of those people said they had unprotected sex every single time…68.4 percent never ask their partners if they’ve been tested before [barebacking] with them…many [supposed adults]…said they were daunted by the idea of asking a partner to fetch one in the heat of the moment…One friend told me she was too insecure to ask for anything when she first started having sex…”I couldn’t imagine messing it up by asking them to wear a condom because then they might not think I was sexy or cool anymore”…

To me, the first part – in which the author actually admits she planned to have sex with a penniless liar she didn’t know who didn’t even have a bed of his own, much less any cash to give her – reads like a dispatch from an alien world.

Whorearchy

Though this article is mostly about the word “hooker” itself, it contains this choice example of whorearchy from an empty-headed little twit in Nevada:

“I call myself a legal courtesan,” says Allissa…She works at Sheri’s Ranch…in Pahrump, Nevada…A “hooker,” she says, is “someone that’s being managed by a pimp [just like Allissa is], is on the street, is making money any way they can.”  By contrast, she says, she’s a [pimped] professional.  “Everything we do is legal…Condoms are mandatory [and pimp-enforced].  We have strict rules [set by pimps] to abide by.  And we also pay taxes”…

So in Allissa’s tiny mind, a “courtesan” is a hooker whose pimp has a LICENSE, so it’s different.  One wonders what she thinks (and I use the term loosely) about independents like me.  Another highlights of the article: vile excuse for a human being Dennis Hof, who claims to be a libertarian, praising Donald Trump.

Skin To Skin

Not a bad article on the benefits of sex work for the disabled:

People with disabilities still face social stigma and isolation when it comes to intimacy…EASE Canada founder Dave Symington [said] “It’s the hidden disabilities that seem to be more troubling in society…People…really struggle with mental health issues”…Symington has heard again and again how interacting with a sex worker…completely changes their capability for creating and maintaining intimate relationships…Some countries have already taken the step toward covering sex work for those with disabilities.  People in the Netherlands…can use their disability benefits however they like, including purchasing sex…

Policing for Profit

Cops have almost completely abandoned the pretense that this is about anything other than profit:

…South Carolina police agencies raked in $4.3 million through federal forfeitures in the 2015 budget year, and slightly more the year before that.  Every year in Spartanburg County, the Sheriff’s Office organizes a week-long [shakedown racket] on Interstates 26 and 85 involving multiple local and federal agencies.  They call it “Rolling Thunder”…[this year the thugs] pulled over 1,110 motorists — the majority of whom were black or Hispanic — mostly for infractions such as making improper lane changes or following too closely…[and] searched 158 vehicles, including large tour buses…[they stole over] $139,320 in cash…State laws typically set a higher burden than the federal government for seizing assets…But police can still tap into the federal forfeiture rules…Less than 4 miles of I-95 runs through the small…town [of Ridgeland, but]…that little stretch of interstate has been a [porcine] cash machine.  Ridgeland’s population is only about 5,000, “if you count the prison”…but police there have [stolen] more than $6 million…since 2002…

Whither Canada?

Articles like this are much more common in the Canadian press:

…For 13 years, we at SWAN…have been supporting migrant and immigrant women who do sex work in Metro Vancouver…Despite the preponderance of ads advertising sexual services of 20-somethings, the average age of the women we support is 40.  Over the past few years, there has been a war against online classified-ad websites such as Backpage that carry sex workers’ ads.  While this war started in the United States, it has crept across the border to Canada…But one perspective is consistently missing: that of the sex worker exercising agency and using the Internet as a safety tool…The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act introduced in 2014 criminalized third-party advertisers like Backpage, although few charges have been laid to date.  Shortly after the law came into force, many websites imposed stricter posting criteria for adult-oriented ads, banning the use of sexual terminology.  This prevents sex workers from clearly communicating in their ads what services they provide…The ban on advertising violates sex workers’ rights to personal security and freedom of expression.  Canada does not need legislation that inhibits communication between sex workers and their clients and impedes sex workers from working independently indoors…

New Excuse

Even mainstream websites are beginning to recognize that the War on Whores is the new War on Drugs:

…U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a gathering of more than 1,500 federal, state, and local [pigs]…that he was…”mak[ing] the fight against child exploitation and human trafficking a top priority”…Sessions warned of the dangers of…encrypted-communication platforms, social-networking sites, and “the so-called Darknet.”  These, he declared, are the tools of such “depraved people” as “child pornographers, sextortionists, and human traffickers”…Even the aggressively neutral Politico couldn’t avoid making drug war comparisons, describing the video as “hearkening back to the D.A.R.E era” with its “hyperbolic language”…The idea that every American child is just one smartphone app away from being snatched into sex slavery is absurd…But it does make a nice narrative if you want to wage war on pesky encrypted technologies that thwart [cops]…or to get everyone from flight attendants to truck drivers telling federal agents about anyone “suspicious”…

The Mote and the Beam (#510)

It just keeps getting worse:

So far this year, federal lawmakers have introduced more than 30 bills related to “sex trafficking,” which many in government now define to mean all prostitution…following the familiar pattern of the drug war, these measures mostly focus on giving federal law enforcement more “tools” to find, prosecute, and punish people for [consensual] actions…One…would expand state and local government authority “to seek wiretap warrants in sexual exploitation and prostitution cases” (emphasis mine) and mandate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute of Justice conduct a “study on the long-term physical and psychological effects of the commercial sex trade”…law enforcement across the land…[would be required to] target prostitution customers [under the pretense that purchasing sex]…”is a form of gender-based violence,” opening the way for possible hate-crime enhancements for anyone who tries to pay for sex…

Little Boxes (#576)

I’m not a lawyer, but I doubt saying “there is no constitutional right to” whatever you’re trying to ban in the text of a law banning it actually carries any legal weight:

[The] Ocean City…[Maryland] Town Council…prohibited women appearing topless on the beach during an emergency session…The newly refined ordinance states “there is no constitutional right for an individual to appear in public…in a state of nudity”.  The…unanimously passed…ordinance took effect immediately, clarifying that anyone showing “the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering,” would be…subject to a fine of up to $1,000.  Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan said the emergency ordinance was a response to “hundreds of calls and emails from residents and visitors, expressing their concerns over this issue…Each year, thousands of families visit our beach to relax in an atmosphere free of this type of activity”…A town spokesperson [imagined] that the ordinance would have no bearing on breastfeeding…

I’m not sure what’s stupider, the idea that there could ever be such a thing as a visible-tit emergency, or the one that a gland specifically activated during motherhood is somehow anti-family.  See also clauses purporting to prevent a law from ever being amended, repealed or judicially reviewed; politicians are totally losing their minds over sex.

Teacher’s Pet

Remember how I said that, for a celebrity sex worker like me, mentoring young sex worker groupies was much too dangerous because it could open me up to “sex trafficking” charges?

Schwesta Ewa, a Polish-born musician whose [legal] name is Ewa Müller, allegedly “compelled” four fans, aged 17 to 19, to [do sex work]…between November 2015 and September 2016…Prosecutors [claim] Müller did not tell tax authorities about profits she made from the fans, and that she forced them into the work through violence.  Müller…worked as a prostitute before she was famous.  Her lyrics often tell stories about life in the sex trade, including being attacked by clients…Müller opened a bar in Frankfurt, but complained in January 2016 that police had raided it…

Pimps Ahoy 

Another rescue industry character claiming to have been a “sex trafficker”.  It’s an exhaustingly-long masturbatory fantasy for the “sex trafficking” set, full of “pimps”, misstated laws, “gangs”, 30 inhuman clients a night, Pretty Woman idiocy, etc, etc, leading up to this: “Mary knew that deep inside she and her girls were suffering and lost.  Amid the stream of [extremely high income]…the women battled drug addictions, alcoholism and ever-creeping levels of self-loathing and emptiness“…until a new friend “offered to study the Bible with Mary” and Jesus saved her.  Does anyone who isn’t already a Christian actually believe this pap?

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#692)

Anybody who thinks this machine “moves like a real human” really needs to hire a pro immediately:

…The Service Droid (now a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo) started life as a personal project by Arlan Robotics…the company claim to have created…an incredibly realistic droid that when assembled looks, smells, feels and moves like a real human…

Lying Down With Dogs (#708)

More on the maltreatment of sex workers in another large police state:

During the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg in May 2003, the police raided brothels…[and] booked fake appointments with sex workers…They…drove the street-based sex workers 200 km away from the center and left them there….[as] part of…operations to “clean” the city for the celebration.  Raids against sex workers are carried out on a daily basis in Russia.  On the eve of some important events…the police intensify raids…The Russian ‘foreign agent’ law, introduced in 2012, puts [the sex worker rights group] Silver Rose under the constant threat of prohibition.  The law authorises the Ministry of Justice to register independent groups as “foreign agents” without their consent…if the ministry regards the organisations as engaged in “political activity”…NGOs [so designated] are sometimes raided by state officials…

Broken Record (#742) 

Prohibitionists’ lies are never more blatant than when they claim to be quoting sex workers, but say the exact opposite of the truth:

There seems to be no hard evidence that Montreal’s Grand Prix is more of a prostitution-and-human-trafficking hotbed than other big events…an anti-prostitution group [claims] anecdotal evidence indicates demand for paid sex soars with the influx of Formula One fans…[prohibitionist] Diane Matte [lies]…“We also know from women we meet…that during…any…big sports event…women are solicited more, they are told [by imaginary pimps] to work longer hours to answer the needs of men who buy sex”…[but] Chez Stella, which runs a drop-in centre and medical clinic for sex workers, has launched a social-media campaign to denounce Grand Prix “disinformation campaigns” by governments and prostitution [prohib]itionists…Police…place fake ads on online classified sites…That makes clients reluctant to negotiate details before meeting…Afraid of police, some workers don’t provide services during the Grand Prix, “so they’re desperate for money the rest of the month and may take on clients they wouldn’t otherwise take on; they might deviate from normal safety measures and face more violence”…[Sandra] Wesley [of Chez Stella] said…“those men are at the race track during the day.  At night, they’re at parties with lots of women willing to have sex for free.  So where would they be seeing all these sex workers?”…

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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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It’s easy to see sex traffickers everywhere when you define all sex workers as victims.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Check Your Premises

Once again, Liz Brown exposes the tyranny of “fighting sex trafficking”:

Here’s a good example out of El Paso about the way America’s fight against “child sex trafficking” works in practice…two girls—one 15 and one 17—had sex with clients for money, and the boy, who is 18, rented the hotel room in his name and acted as security.  Now he’s locked up on child sex-trafficking charges…Edeme Missiadan…and the two girls…”Lexi” and “Natalia,” are from Phoenix.  One of the girls was dating Missiadan’s brother…and…planned to come to El Paso by herself to work, but Missiadan didn’t want her to go “without protection”…literally anything that makes sex workers safer is considered to be sex trafficking.  Bring along a bodyguard?  He’s a sex trafficker.  Have a friend drive you to a client and wait outside?  She’s a sex trafficker.  Use a booker or escort agency to screen clients?  They’re sex traffickers!  Search for clients via online ads instead of on the streets?  The Internet is a sex trafficker!…People hate the idea that innocent young things might actually choose to sell sex on their own accord.  But some do.  And…treating anyone who assists them in any way—including other teenagers—like a serious criminal doesn’t help anyone…

Public Service Announcement 

Are politicians actually stupider than other people, or does it just seem that way?

Amid allegations that he shared sexually explicit video of himself via his state computer, [Nebraska state] Sen. Bill Kintner appears to have been snagged by a well-documented internet scam.  Since at least 2013, international media outlets and  government agencies have warned people against engaging in nude or sexual live video chats with online strangers who could later use them for blackmail…

Shift in the Wind

Another health organization issues a pro-decrim report:

A report by the Centre for Health and Gender Equity (Change) explores the many barriers to health and rights that female sex workers face.  The report highlights evidence that laws criminalising sex work put female sex workers at disproportionately high risk of harassment and violence by police, clients and intimate partners.  Criminalisation also encourages female sex workers to move their work “underground” where they have less control of their working conditions, including condom use and client screening, and are less able to access essential health services…Based on Change’s examination of peer-reviewed articles and extensive interviews with practitioners and advocates, the report concludes that decriminalisation of sex work is necessary for female sex workers to fully realise their rights and is necessary for an effective global HIV response…

So Close and Yet So Far

You’re supposed to be a libertarian, Gary; this ain’t rocket science:

In a CNN town hall…Anderson Cooper asked Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson whether he supported the decriminalization of prostitution.  In a somewhat muddled answer, Johnson said he would leave it up to individual states and applauded the system in…Nevada…There are so many easy libertarian answers on this one—that there’s no place for the state in consenting sexual relationships between adults; that prostitution prohibition creates many of the same harms we saw with alcohol and drug prohibition…it was disappointing that Johnson appeared to be caught off-guard by the question and seemed visibly uncomfortable with the topic.  But his answer, while not perfect, may have been forgivable had Cooper not pressed him: “Is prostitution a victimless crime?”  Johnson responded that currently, “the victims are the prostitutes”…here I thought totally denying women’s agency was the purview of Democrats and Republicans…I reached out to the Johnson campaign for clarification, and received an answer from its communication director, Joe Hunter…All he would say about what Johnson meant last night was this: “In an illegal environment, prostitutes are at risk.”  It’s not much, but it suggests that Johnson believes the victimhood he attributed to sex workers stems from the illegal nature of prostitution, not that he thinks anyone selling sexual services must be doing so unwillingly.

Smoke and Mirrors

Another of those cases whose reported details don’t add up:

A missing 12-year-old San Antonio girl has been found alive…On June 20, she was outside her home listening to music when she disappeared…no one knew her whereabouts until two weeks ago when she texted her family…Authorities tracked the girl down to a hotel near Nashville.  She was with 36-year-old Tavarie Anthony Williams…[who] has since been arrested, accused of pimping her out and holding her against her will…Williams…[supposedly] offered her a ride home, but drove her to Tennessee instead…“Her mother may have had a role in all this, but it’s still too soon to say,” [cop] spokesman James Keith said…It could be many weeks before the girl returns to San Antonio.  She’s with a foster family, in therapy, but in constant communication with the grandfather…

Williams “offered her a ride home” from her own front yard, where she was listening to music?  And if she had a cell phone, why wait two weeks to text?  This story stinks on ice.

Under Every Bed

Just imagine how far $100,000 could’ve gone toward providing services; instead, it’s used to spread lies:

WEST NC, a new, two-year project to end sex trafficking in five mountain counties, aims to educate the public and service providers…A $100,000 grant from the Women for Women giving circle is funding WEST NC through Our VOICE…Angelica Wind…says the big “goal is to end human trafficking in this area…people are really surprised that human trafficking happens in Asheville”…trafficking often occurs in wealthy or relatively wealthy areas where there’s demand, along with access to major highways and an airport…“Where there are sex workers, there’s also human trafficking”…Nearby major metro areas — Atlanta and Charlotte — have seen significant increases in human trafficking in recent years…

The End of the Beginning

Nearly all “sex offender” laws are this unconstitutionally overbroad:

Sex offenders in Illinois are challenging the state law that bans them from entering parks, schools, places providing services for kids, and even “holiday events involving children”…the rules are so vague that they can’t always tell if or when they are breaking the law.  For instance, if a sex offender plays a round of golf on a municipal course—a solitary, adult activity—is that legal (because kids aren’t around) or illegal (because it’s on parks department land, and therefore a park)?…one of the plaintiffs…would like to visit his granddaughter, but she lives within 500 feet of her subdivision’s playground.  Is it legal for him to see her at her home?  “State police told him he was allowed to visit as long as he walked straight from his car and back — but the local cops said he wasn’t allowed to be there at all“…

Drawing Lines

Not a bad introduction to the concept of whorearchy:

…many sex workers look…down on others with “lesser” jobs.  This hierarchy [isn’t] based on money.  If anything, the highest earners [are] often looked down upon…many individuals choose to work as pro-dominatrixes or dancers “because they don’t have sex, give blowjobs, or exchange body fluids.  They feel superior to those who do.  They use contact as a meter”…A few strippers told me they didn’t think stripping was sex work at all, since they didn’t have to touch any of their clients…This is underscored by the legal boundaries, which are more permissive toward no-contact activities (like stripping) than high-contact activities (like prostitution)…Other sex workers [are] less judgmental about physical contact and instead prioritise…enjoyment of their work…A porn producer, cam girl, and stripper…each told me that the people they admire most in their industry are those who “really love what they do” or are sex workers because “it’s something they’ve always wanted to do”…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#526) 

Despite its appearance in a rag like Rolling Stone, this is an excellent article:

…a Wisconsin appeals court upheld a decision to try…as adults…two girls [who] admitted as 12-year-olds in 2014 to having stabbed their friend in order to please “Slender Man,” an Internet horror meme.  (The victim luckily crawled to safety and survived.)  The decision to try two children as adults – two children immature and mentally ill enough to believe in the literal existence of a fictional character – may seem inappropriate, to put it mildly.  But legally it’s a viable one – thanks to a terrible Wisconsin law with analogues in many other states…Morgan Geyser, who wielded the knife, has since been diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia…Anissa Weier [was diagnosed] with a delusional disorder and schizotypy…after the two stabbed their friend, they set off to find Slender Man in a forest 300 miles away – on foot.  Mental health professionals testified that Geyser still believes Slender Man is real…The Wisconsin code…is designed to keep cases where the alleged offense is particularly heinous in adult court – which doesn’t make much sense.  The egregiousness of a crime is not evidence of some maturity or self-control that could justify treating a child like an adult.  It’s irrational to say children don’t really choose to commit bad acts except when those acts are really shocking…

Turning Point

More and more groups are speaking up in favor of sex work decriminalization:

It’s a big day for the new civil rights movement known as Black Lives Matter.  Up until now, the movement had famously opted to forgo hierarchies in favor of a diffuse coalition that more resembled Occupy Wall Street than, say, the ‘60s-era Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.  The movement’s decentralized approach has been criticized in the past, and its activists have butted heads with both civil rights leaders and the Obama administration. But on [August 1st]  Black Lives Matter made a decision to be a movement with a plan, a platform, and concrete demands.  In a statement released by more than 30 organizations (and endorsed by an additional 50), BLM released six platform demands and “key solutions”—a list of more than 40 policy recommendations, including…an immediate and retroactive decriminalization of drug and sex-work offenses…

Uncommon Sense (#650)

How does this dude think he’ll get around UK brothel & avails laws?

A company plans to set up a “fellatio café” in central London where customers receive oral sex while having a cappuccino.  Bradley Charvet…is already planning a branch in Geneva to open this December…the business would be like a “normal café” where up to 100 customers can sit and drink a coffee – but also be given oral sex by an escort.  Modelled on similar businesses in Thailand, the idea has already sparked uproar in Switzerland…Westminster City Council has indicated to the Standard that such a venue would not be able to get a licence and it has also been slammed by a leading womens’ rights group.  It could also fall foul of the law as, in Great Britain, prostitution is not illegal but running or owning a brothel or pimping are considered crimes…

A bit of hair-splitting:  a sex worker who sells blow jobs but doesn’t otherwise interact with her client isn’t an escort.

Cooties (#650)

Being a “legal” sex worker doesn’t protect you, so stop your bootlicking & join your sisters in the fight:

…The work [Arianna] Travaglini does is legal, and she…didn’t work out of the Airbnbs she rented.  She claims she “never had a single problem” with Airbnb until she realized she was banned while trying to book a trip to Baltimore and Washington, D.C, where she would teach sex-ed workshops…The email she received…is a form letter, basically identical to one Airbnb sent professional dominatrix and porn performer Julie Simone in March.  Simone faced almost the same problem with Airbnb, receiving a swift ban without explanation shortly after signing up…Asked…whether Airbnb has a policy on sex work, legal or otherwise, a spokesman for Airbnb didn’t elaborate much. “Prostitution is not allowed and we are constantly reviewing the platform to be sure any activity in the listing is in line with what hosts would be ok with in their home,” a spokesperson explained…the reality is that people are going to have sex in Airbnbs, especially if you’re renting to a couple.  It’s even possible that, *gasp,* some will bring a new friend back to an Airbnb for sex…

A Procrustean Bed (#651)

The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of politicians:

…More than 30 bills this legislative session alone have attempted to combat a multibillion-dollar industry that now operates as much online, if not more, as it does on the streets.  But much of the legislation, still pending as lawmakers return to Sacramento for their final month of deliberations, varies in its approach to the problem…The proposals run the gamut, from providing protections for human trafficking victims in court to enhancing penalties for sex buyers…one…bill…would allow the seizure and impoundment of a vehicle used in the solicitation of prostitution…opponents are concerned some of the laws could lead to unconstitutional seizures and violations of defendants’ rights…[pigs lust for] the authority to arrest minors to hold them in secure facilities, where they can be [forced to accept “services”]…

A lot of bullshit numbers are repeated, and one prohibitionist in the story says, “I don’t think this is the end of the road, but we are in a precipice of sea change with how we deal with human trafficking…” Holy mixed metaphors, Batman!

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Behind the opposition to decriminalise both abortion and sex work lies the belief that…women…are incapable of physical autonomy, that their choices are so socially harmful, so deluded, they must be legislated against.  –  Frankie Mullin

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

If you’re raped by a cop, accuse him of offering to pay you for sex instead; that, they’ll try him for:

…Columbus [cop]…Bobby G. Schoolcraft…is charged with solicitation and engaging in prostitution…[after] the woman reported…that an unknown officer had paid her $20 to $40…Schoolcraft admitted 20 days later that he was the officer involved…The woman has a history of drug and prostitution arrests…

Part of the Picture

Is it just me, or is this hilarious?

…Covenant Eyes was created by evangelical Christians…For $10 a month, you can get an Internet Accountability report sent to your spouse, a friend, or anyone who would understand your struggles with erotic desire. This report is customizable, so you can set it to only report what times you went online, or the most “highly mature” sites you visited…You can also add filtering services to your account.  One person, designated the “Filter Guardian,” chooses an age-appropriate level of internet restriction for family members, and Covenant Eyes blocks domains they deem unacceptable…the app also provides a “Panic Button” you can hit when you’re in crisis and worrying you might give in to temptation.  This effectively shuts down all web access until you call Covenant Eyes personally, and ask them to reinstate your connection—after you confess to them that you wanted to look at porn…Whether it’s possible to be addicted to porn or sex…is still officially up for debate…Jessica McGraa

No, it isn’t.

Surplus Women 

This is about the least-infuriating coverage of this story I could find:

A mother was only uncovered as a sex worker after her dead body was discovered in a flat in Aberdeen.  A 25-year-old man, Bala Wadzani Chinda, has…[been] charged with the murder of the woman…37-year-old Jessica McGraa…She kept the nature of her work private, and her friends and ex-husband were shocked to find out she worked as a prostitute…

As you might expect from the sickeningly-yellow British press, other versions of the story focused on how much she charged and other such salacious details.

Whorearchy

The more sex workers and former sex workers come out, the better:

…there exists what sex workers like to call a whore hierarchy: The closer one gets to full service sex work, the closer one gets to being a whore and the further she is from being seen as a whole, complete woman.  As though the qualities of being a whore negate one’s humanity.  At the bottom of this hierarchy are the full-service sex workers who are most at risk by the stigma and fear mongering…Many women in the stripping community harbor a widespread disgust for escorts who come into clubs with clients, porn workers who occasionally perform at clubs and strippers who offer customers “extras” (i.e. more than just a lapdance).  Some even label fellow strippers who dance more aggressively or work at fully nude clubs as “more whore-ish.”  As if by distancing themselves from those further down the whore hierarchy — in this case, those who show pussy or grind harder — they can save themselves from experiencing whore stigma…

The Widening Gyre

Snopes sez: “this warning makes it sound as though the bad guys are stymied in their search for victims and don’t know where to look for kids to abduct until they see pictures of them on Facebook“:

One day you receive a friend request, as you often do every week or so.  It’s a nice looking man who you don’t seem to recognize…Later that day you decide to post photos of your little 6-year-old girls birthday party, and you tag all of her friends through their parents…You’ve essentially just given a trafficker and his customers multiple pickings not to mention the school they attend and the park which they frequent…stop posting your children’s photos on the internet…All it takes is one account to be hacked and you’ve just offered up your children’s images to all kinds of freaks, molesters, and yes, traffickers…Please share this important warning with all your friends! It can prevent a tragedy…

Under Every Bed

Population 126,326.

Cedar Rapids is a crossroads for human trafficking.  Police say our location between larger mid-west cities makes eastern Iowa a frequent stop for victims and those who control them…”Only 1-2% of human trafficking victims are ever rescued,” says Teresa Davidson, President of Cedar Rapids Gives…

How do you know this, Theresa? Are you in collusion with the “traffickers” and therefore know how many “victims” they enslave?  And do you possess even the most rudimentary form of common sense?  Meanwhile, in Ohio, cops ominously inform us that “the same Ohio roads that are used legitimately are also used by human traffickers and smugglers to transport their victims and further their operations…” OH MY GOD!  NO!!!! SAY IT ISN’T SO!! THE SAME ROADS???? THE FIENDS!!!!! I’ll bet they even use standard transportation that wouldn’t raise eyebrows.

Paint By Numbers

“Anti-trafficking” stunts grow ever stupider:

Members of a [University of Florida] fraternity used a children’s game to [indoctrinate] students about human trafficking…60 silver and red blocks each had a [propaganda trope] about human trafficking.  A student would read the block he or she picked before placing it back on the stack…Rafael Cruzado…learned human trafficking is a problem in Alachua County because of its proximity to Interstate 75…Jason Feliciano…[said] “People don’t know that it is still happening”…

Seriously, debunking this nonsense isn’t even fun anymore; it’s just too easy.

A Procrustean Bed (#339)

Another jurisdiction officially classifies women as passive objects without agency:

People ensnared in the cycle of prostitution and the criminal lifestyle it engenders now have a lifeline…[Shreveport, Louisiana] District Court…in partnership with faith-based Purchased: Not for Sale…have begun a diversion program called Exit Strategy…[It is] the brainchild of Assistant District Attorney Holly McGinness…[who despite her apparent possession of a law degree, and thus presumably understanding the principle of separation of church and state] said, “The idea behind the name is that no person is for sale, we’ve already been purchased by Jesus”…Most people who engage in prostitution and other “sex industry” crimes, which begin as victimless misdemeanors, cannot engage in other meaningful productive work and often have underlying drug or mental problems that contribute to their cycle of criminal activity…

I wonder what underlying mental problems contribute to an attorney’s flagrant violation of one of the most basic principles of American government?Eliot Spitzer

Droit du Seigneur (#401)

Reminder: Spitzer’s a fan of choking women during sex:

…Eliot Spitzer was [regularly] seeing a…25-year-old blond [escort]…but became enraged when [she]…wanted to move back to her native country…The disgraced former governor is accused of attacking Svetlana Travis…a day before she flew home…Travis…wrote a 2014 article for…Medium that was headlined “Sex Is Sex, But Money Is Money”…after Spitzer…allegedly choked and pushed Travis…she cut herself with a broken glass…In the hours after the alleged scrap, Spitzer was caught on hotel video wearing a wool cap pulled down low over his eyes, sources said. While Travis was in the hospital, a man identifying himself as “George” called twice to ask about seeing her…but was told he could not…Police believe the caller and the visitor were Spitzer because hospital video shows him wearing the same wool cap…

Property of the State 

As with abortion…so with sex work…almost every form of labour reflects and is shaped by social inequality.  Yet there’s no call to ban, for instance, the cleaning industry…No one is claiming that agency always equals feminism.  However, the removal of it, the demand for state intervention in women’s choices, is deeply anti-feminist.  There’s nothing radical about denying us agency over our bodies.  A view of the state as a responsible arbiter of justice, and of the police as a benign force for good, is one that comes from a place of privilege…[prohibitionists often] claim to be protecting the vulnerable – unborn babies, trafficked women – but by allowing the state increased access, the outcome is yet more danger…

Full of Themselves (#553)

Oh, California Massage Therapy Council, please never change:

City Attorney Barry DeWalt will present a report to the Redding City Council…on the connection between illegal massage parlors and sex-trafficking, highlighting the need for an ordinance regulating businesses that could act as a front to human-trafficking…the Northern California Anti-Trafficking Coalition suggested the Police Department send officers to personally inspect each massage business and issue city permits, with associated fees…DeWalt will recommend massage therapists operating in Redding receive certification by the California Massage Therapy Council, ensuring therapists have at least a minimum number of hours of therapy education.  The report will also suggest hours of operation for the businesses and appropriate dress or conduct for massage therapists…

The Course of a Disease (#606) 

Some [politicians] including…MP Fiona Bruce are calling for buying sex to be criminalised under laws similar to those in Sweden…But the idea has drawn an angry response from Britain’s sex workers, who say they fear it could put them in danger.  Around 96 per cent of those who took part in the survey by National Ugly Mugs…said people should not be criminalised for buying sex from a consenting adult and 82 per cent said they would feel less safe if the law were introduced.  More than 200 sex workers took part in the survey, along with 52 organisations that offer frontline services to between 20 and 2,000 sex workers…

Cooties (#612)

Remember, kids, the Swedish modelTM eliminates prostitution!

…Swedish police reported an increase in human traffickers taking advantage of people renting out their homes through…Airbnb.  This is an obvious nightmare for anyone whose bed has been used to host this kind of sexual exploitation, but an even more nightmarish situtation for people being prostituted, often having to face numerous sex-buyers every day.  The vast majority of people exploited in prostitution are trafficked into it…[“pimps”] are in fact intentionally luring innocent people into contributing to what is best described as transnational organized crime…Sweden’s sex purchase act…has come to be regarded as the archetype for preventing prostitution and trafficking of human beings for sexual purposes…Because of the significant increase in knowledge among hotel staff to be alert to possible prostitution…traffickers now seem in desperate need of new venues to ensure the continuation of their criminal activities without being detected by police…the police badly need more resources.  This has even been pointed out many times by the police themselves…

Wow, what a surprise; the police agree that they need more money and power.

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If the patriarchy is about men making decisions for women…why do some feminists want to control other women’s decisions?  –  “Lauren”

Gorged With Meaning

The situation described by this article – girl does sex work to pay for university – is so typical as to be a case of “dog bites man”, and nowadays doing porn won’t stay secret for long.  But the article actually says more about its author than about its subject:  “Lauren” seems like an intelligent, sensible, pragmatic young woman, while writer Katie Fernelius appears to be a supple-spined airhead who lets other people do her thinking for her.  In response to this:

I worked as a waitress…and not only did it interfere with my school …but also I was making $400 a month after taxes…For people to tell me that doing porn and having sex, which I love, is more degrading than being…somebody’s servant and…being treated like a lesser, second-class citizen, that…makes no sense…I felt more degraded in a minimum wage…service job than I ever did doing porn…

…Katie  crawls into her navel, quotes Gloria Steinem and babbles about “patriarchy”, “power dynamics” and words being “problematic”.  Yet I’m sure she thinks she’s better-adjusted than Lauren is. African artists protest in Korea

Where Are the Protests? 

There’s a word missing here, but I just can’t think of what it might be:

African artists hired by a Korean museum have been laboring under conditions “similar to indentured servitude”…The 24 artists came from various countries…to sculpt, perform, and do other tasks at the Africa Museum of Original Art in…Pocheon…They…were promised salaries of…minimum wage — 1,269,154 won ($1,183) per month — and comfortable accommodations; instead, they were paid [only] 500,000 or 650,000 won…and forced to live in cold, mice-ridden rooms.  Their salaries barely covered the cost of three meals a day, and the museum gave them only spoiled rice to eat.  Their contracts stipulated three performances per day, but they were often forced to do four to six performances…when they complained…their concerns were either ignored [or] dismissed…

Held Together With Lies

The new claim:  “The number of British children being trafficked for sexual exploitation has more than doubled over the last year…The figures…are thought to be just the tip of the iceberg…”  And the truth:

…these statistics are…drawn from…the National Referral Mechanism…a…process adopted in 2009 to identify…potential victims…the most recent NRM statistical bulletin states…“the number of referrals…is not a measure of human trafficking in the UK”…[but only those suspected by officials]…

The Scarlet Letter (TW3 #19)

Human rights activists in Kyrgyzstan are concerned that…police…[are] forcing sex workers…to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases…and…[have] carried out numerous raids since…November…Prostitution by individuals has been decriminalised in Kyrgyzstan, although organised activities like running a brothel are illegal. Sex workers report widespread harassment and extortion by police…

Whorearchy (TW3 #19) Spain protest 1-16-14

Prostitutes in Spain…[protested] a planned crackdown on streetwalking…Hetaira said it would rally…against plans to fine prostitutes and [clients]…fearing it will force them to work in dangerous conditions….[a new] law would make offering or soliciting sex in prohibited areas punishable by a fine of between 1,000 and 30,000 euros…

Backwards Into the Future (TW3 #41)

Theatre for a Change says there has been tremendous progress…in its efforts to raise awareness on rights of sex workers…[in] Malawi…Eric Saforo…says since 2012 the Malawi Police Service is beginning to recognize that abuse against sex workers is…not acceptable and that the police service is opening up to…[improving] working relationships between the two parties…

Due Consideration

Jennifer Whalen…was charged…with felony and misdemeanor counts for ordering…misoprostol and mifepristone online…for her 16-year-old pregnant daughter…She said she couldn’t find an abortion clinic nearby, she didn’t want to go out of state, and she didn’t know she needed a prescription…The felony…is for “medical consultation and judgment”; the misdemeanors are for not being licensed as a pharmacist, endangering the welfare of a child, and “simple assault”…The same thing happened to a mother of three in Idaho in 2012 who took RU-486…[because]…the closest clinic was hours away, would have charged $500, and because of state law, required multiple trips…

Monsters

A mob armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to “cleanse” their neighborhood of gay people, dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them…Four of the victims were marched to a police station, where they…were kicked and punched by…officers who…threatened that [they] would be incarcerated for 14 years…under Nigeria’s new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act…[activist Ifeanyi Orazulike said] “They were told ‘If you come back, we will kill you'”…The walls of [their] houses…have been painted with graffiti declaring “Homosexuals, pack and leave”…

Original Sin (TW3 #321)

Trafficking math is hardThis mostly-typical “sex trafficking” gobbledygook is only notable for “Michigan is one of the top five states for human trafficking” and for its use of “sex worker” rather than “prostituted woman”, “trafficked child”, etc.  But the picture that came with it, borrowed from one of the numerous Christian sites linking porn to “trafficking”, has some interesting math:  6000 total “rapes” (i.e. transactions) over 7 years is only 857 a year…awfully low for “50 per day”.  Even with weekends off that’s just over 3 per day, which is pretty realistic; obviously somebody is deviating from the program.

Unclean Situation (TW3 #330)

Justice for Magdalenes Research has hit out at the “subterfuge” being employed by the Government [against]…victims of the laundries…the department is writing to women offering formal lump sum payments, while stating that all other aspects of the scheme remain subject to legislation or discussions with other Government departments.   Despite the fact that the full terms of the scheme are not finalised, women are requested to sign a waiver accepting “all the terms of the scheme” and waiving “any right of action against the State or any public or statutory body or agency” arising out of their time in a Magdalene laundry…

Opting Out

The UK government’s futile and ham-fisted attempts to purge the Internet of all of its rough edges and naughty bits are about to see international escalation…David Cameron’s government has long-stated they want this filtering to eventually extend to websites deemed “extremist”…and it appears that…[ISPs] will soon [be ordered] to include websites declared to be promoting terrorism…as we’ve seen with the porn filters, there’s probably no limit to the number of entirely legal and legitimate websites UK citizens will find suddenly inaccessible.

UK readers who use Chrome and haven’t yet installed “Go Away Cameron”  should probably do so immediately.

Lack of Evidence (TW3 #344)

Nine men [arrested in a November raid]…were convicted of prostitution and sentenced to between three and nine years in prison…[followed by] a three-year…period for rewiring…in…mental institutions…The police report…and the results of anal examinations do not connect the…men to prostitution.  But…the arrest and prosecution of men who don’t fit acceptable standards of masculinity reassures Egyptians that the ruling military regime is as conservative as any Islamist party…

Remembrance

The moral purification of the Armed Forces continues:

The commander of the Naval Ordnance Test Unit at Port Canaveral has been relieved of duty for allowing two strip clubs to sponsor a military-related golf tournament last year…“Those type of organizations just don’t reflect positively on the Navy” [a spokesman]…said…

Number Puzzle (TW3 #349)

Matthias Lehmann has put together a short video of highlights from a symposium about the German Prostitution Act last December.

Where Are the Protests? (TW3 #350)

Miranda Barbour has a delightful conversation with credulous cops:

A Pennsylvania woman charged in the…slaying of a man she and her husband met through Craigslist [claims]…she killed many more victims…A law enforcement source close to the investigation said Miranda Barbour’s new claims could be “the real deal”…the 19-year-old Barbour [said] she participated in at least 22 killings in the past six years in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California.  “When I hit 22, I stopped counting…I can pinpoint on a map where you can find them”…Barbour [said] she had her first experience with killing when she [was] just 13, shortly after she…joined a satanic cult in Alaska…she [says that she] felt no remorse for her victims and…killed only “bad people”…

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #350)

No justice for victims of the Soho pogrom:

…at least six sex workers have fought the closures, [saying] they had not been coerced into working and that closing the brothels would make their work more unsafe.  In the first of three appeals…two women…lost their battle to have their flats reopened after a judge [claimed] that unknown figures were “controlling” prostitution in the area…However…the Reverend Simon Buckley wrote that trust in the police had been severely undermined by the “seemingly ham-fisted” nature of the operation.  “The girls who continue to work in the unclosed flats say that they would not feel confident in turning to the police if they were a victim of crime…[they] previously…had a good rapport with the police”…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #351)

As preparations for the World Cup accelerate, Brazilian authorities are attempting to sanitise the country’s image by clamping down on sex-related businesses.  More than 2,000 websites have been targeted, and prostitutes are being threatened with prison sentences for…[advertising]…according to Thaddeus Blanchette…media hype…rests on the false assumption that fans will…seek out sex with children…Tatiana Mauro…of Promundo Brazil…points to a report published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, which finds no evidence that large sporting events cause an increase in trafficking or prostitution.  Sensationalist reporting on trafficking and mega-events is not only unfounded, it is also paving the way for a more repressive prostitution policy…

What Next? sex work is real work

Canadian readers, here’s your chance to be heard:

The Conservative government wants to hear from Canadians about how to rewrite the country’s prostitution laws [which] were struck down by the Supreme Court…A month-long online consultation period on the Justice Canada website…runs to March 17.  The high court gave the government one year to come up with new legislation…the…government has made it clear that simply allowing the laws to lapse…is not an option…

Predictably,

The [survey]…is being criticized for…loaded questions and misleading information about available options…It assumes prostitution is dangerous and that all sex workers want to be saved, said Chris Bruckert…[of the] University of Ottawa.  She also criticized government for not conducting town-hall style consultations where people have more time to unpack their opinions…She also says the Nordic model could contradict the reasoning for striking down the Canadian laws in the first place…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #404)

549 NGOs and civil society organizations…have signed letters to the members of the European Parliament asking them to reject a report by MEP Mary Honeyball, which asks EU Member States to consider the criminalisation of the clients of sex workers.  The letter…denounces the conflation of sex work and trafficking, the disregard for sex workers’ health and safety and the lack of evidence [in] the report…signatories include…many women’s rights groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation …Another document drafted and signed by [45] academics and researchers…[analyzes] the lack and misrepresentation of evidence in [the] report…amongst other astounding errors…Honeyball completely misinterpreted a [Dutch] report…by…“mistaking” data on coffee shops for data on brothels…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #404)

As thousands of cash-strapped Italians take to the streets to protest against their tax bills…[prostitutes] are instead…fighting against a tax code that does not recognise their profession, even though paying for sex is legal, leaving them no chance to…qualify for a pension…What has really irked prostitutes is that…the tax office has now decided to fine them for tax evasion, even though it has given them no way of paying tax…Playing the Whore

The Public Eye (TW3 #406)

Another good interview with Melissa Gira Grant about her new book, Playing the Whore; she speaks to Noah Berlatsky of the Atlantic about sex work as work, the range of sex worker experiences, anti-sex feminism and the similarities between the gay and sex worker rights movements.

Drawing Lines

Because obviously sex work isn’t a profession, uses no creativity and nobody earns a living through it:

…Mercy Mushaninga…has taken to social network sites to address her bitterness over the labeling of models as prostitutes…“Modelling is a career…and a profession with some people earning a living through it…Models…use their natural endowment and creativity…”

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We whores are sure these politicians are not our sons.  –  sign carried by protesters in Istanbul

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

The FBI seized and ran a child pornography website for two weeks in November 2012…in an attempt to identify its more than 5,000 customers…

The Leading Players in the Field, Not

Nepal’s Supreme Court has accused a prominent anti-trafficking group of detaining a woman against her will so she could undergo counselling for being a lesbian…The court ordered the release of the woman from a centre run by…Maiti Nepal…which has been championed by…Joanna Lumley and…Demi Moore…The group’s founder, Anuradha Koirala, was awarded a “CNN Heroes Award”…in 2010…and Moore hosted a television programme called “Nepal’s Stolen Children” highlighting the organisation’s work…

Amanda McGillIt Looks Good On Paper

When “whore as criminal” and “whore as victim” collide:  “…a [Nebraska] human trafficking bill…would [have given] immunity from prosecution to [minors]…arrested for prostitution…Amanda McGill…offered an amendment that…would place [them]…under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court…[for] treatment…”  Because indefinite commitment is so much better than a criminal charge.

Dirty Amateurs

Sweden…[is] the…STD…capital of Europe…half of young Swedes don’t use condoms when having sex with a new partner and…30 percent…use no contraceptive…at all…

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

A woman…in Connecticut [called] police to complain about how she was being treated by a pimp…they did not find the pimp…but…did find…Jennifer Lowery with a…customer.  Police charged Lowery with prostitution and 60-year-old Ricard Burford…with patronizing a prostitute…Lowery told them she…decided to conduct some business while waiting…

See No Evil

Melbourne artist Paul Yore is likely to be charged with producing child pornography following the seizure of several of his art works…which allegedly depicted sexual acts with children’s faces superimposed on them…Yore described the…seizure as “very small fragments of a collage of…thousands of different objects…basically junk I’ve been collecting”…

Not To Be Taken Internally

Apryl Michelle Brown had black-market silicone injections which turned out to be BATHROOM SEALANT…“My body had a massive allergic reaction…the only way doctors could save my life was to amputate my buttocks…hands and feet”…

Mary SetterholmA Whore in Church

A profile of a former sex worker who’s assisted me with research on a number of occasions:

…Mary Setterholm…was a teenaged prostitute…[she] will graduate from Harvard Divinity School (HDS) with…a plan to help others find their way back from the edge of despair…She married young and had five children.  The union was rocky and abusive.  Once divorced, she returned to prostitution as a…way to take back some control…In 2003, a meeting with an inspiring nun named Sheila McNiff helped Setterholm to confront the abuse she had suffered as a child at the hands of clergy, and guide her back to education…Setterholm…[founded] Serenity Sisters…[a] support group…for exploited women and recovering prostitutes…She hopes to enter a Ph.D. program…expanding on her…thesis work, which explored the way prostitutes have been used in religious teachings as a stand-in for deviant or disbelieving members of society…

A War for Peace (TW3 #11)

Over the last 30 years…Iran is…moving in the [sexual] direction of Britain and the United States…Declining birth rates…signal a wider acceptance of contraceptives…the country has experienced the fastest drop in fertility ever recorded in human history…the average marriage age for men has gone up from 20 to 28 years old…and…women…five years later than a decade ago…The rate of divorce…has also skyrocketed…[previously] sex workers were virtually invisible…Now…there [are] close to 85,000…in Tehran alone…

Bullies With Badges

…Adam was, until recently, making a living as a self-employed web designer in South Carolina…he was hired to make a porn site…[with male] masturbation videos…after the site had been online for…24 days, Adam’s home was raided by [a SWAT team] and all of his computer equipment was seized…Adam [said] “the [customer] was [allegedly]…paying guys to let him give them blowjobs and film it…it definitely wasn’t…on the site…I wasn’t expecting four armed guys to bust into my mother’s home and steal all of my assets.  They’ve…ruined me…”

street lounger
Note that Adam wasn’t charged with anything; the police stole his entire business to be indefinitely held as “evidence” of someone else’s misdemeanor.

Whorearchy (TW3 #19)

This story about yet another Spanish city’s war on streetwalkers is not really noteworthy, but I love this picture which illustrates it.

Traffic Jam

Remember the supposed “child sex trafficking ring” run by “Somali gangs” that federal prosecutors were all puffed up about last year?

…every defendant who has gone to trial has either been acquitted or had their conviction thrown out.  The government’s case was weakened when…a key witness…refused to testify, saying he is afraid for himself and for his family.  So prosecutors charged Abdullahi Farah with two counts of contempt of court and obstruction of a child sex trafficking case.  He was convicted…in April…and…is facing a maximum of 20 years…for the obstruction conviction…and…life in prison [for contempt]…Legal experts say…it’s almost unheard of for prosecutors to come down so hard on one of their own witnesses…

Considering that “agents said Farah gave conflicting accounts and sketchy details” and the judge “said he had problems with Farah’s credibility”, I think the truth is obvious:  sleazebag prosecutor Van Vincent tried to pretend a bunch of petty thugs were a gigantic conspiracy, but drew a judge who wouldn’t roll over for him and is taking it out on the only available scapegoat.  Consider the prospect of life in prison for a contempt charge, and then tell me the US isn’t a police state yet.

Japanese Prostitution (TW3 #21)

An American alibi-ya:

Paladin Deception Services, the self-proclaimed…”Leading Fictitious Reference Provider,” can “put together almost any fictitious scenario that you require”…Our agency can provide you with…testimonials over the phone in the local area code that you require.  We’re confidential, professional, innovative, and affordable.  Most importantly, we keep it legal…For only $54 (and $19.95 for each additional month), you get set up with a phone number, alibi verification and even options including…creation of a fictitious boss…

Backwards Into the Future (TW3 #21)

A United Nations Special Rapporteur has recommended that provisions relating to sex work in Namibia be repealed, stating that the “stigma, discrimination and violence” suffered by sex workers…often discourages them from accessing public services…[and hampers] efforts to reduce the spread of HIV-AIDS…Magdalena Sepúlveda states that…criminalisation of sex work…creates a climate…that fosters further violence and discrimination…

hijos putas
Birth of a Movement

Melissa Gira Grant published a short photoessay on sex worker participation in the current demonstrations in Istanbul, in earlier demonstrations in Madrid, New York and Mexico City, and in the Lyon church-occupation that launched the sex worker rights movement.

True Colors

On 30 May 2013…Ye Haiyan was detained by police after being assaulted at her home…[she] is an advocate for the rights of sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS…[who] has been consistently targeted…because of her work…[she] managed to send out a series of messages on Twitter appealing for help…

Bone of Contention (TW3 #29)

Once again:  aren’t the late-night noise and public sex to which residents object illegal even if no money is exchanged?

…politicians have called a roundtable meeting…to look for ways to control street prostitution in South Auckland.  The meeting…may lead to amending or abandoning a bill…to give…the Auckland…police powers to arrest both prostitutes and clients who engage in commercial sex in a banned area…

The Scarlet Letter (TW3 #52)

Marc Randazza thinks of a clever way to attack “revenge porn” sites:

Adult entertainment attorney Marc Randazza filed two civil cases against revenge porn site UGotPosted.com on counts of distributing child pornography and failing to comply with 18 U.S.C. § 2257…the site posted…“sexually explicit images” of 14-year-old Abigail Talley’s [genitals]…2257 requires individuals or entities hosting adult content to inspect a government-issued form of ID to determine the name and age of every performer featured and to keep records of such information…had the defendants complied, it would have been apparent that the plaintiff was a minor…Despite the ongoing case, and intervention by an FBI agent…the defendants have yet to…remove the photos…

Sex Workers Against Trafficking (TW3 #139)

The main tip-off on…two sisters kidnapped from Dhaka…came from a sex worker in Pune, who contacted one of her relatives in Kolkata, who in turn contacted the girls’ relatives in Bangladesh…these girls had allegedly been lured with false promises and kidnapped by a…close acquaintance…[who] sold them to a brothel…

Regal InnBanishment

Government actors issue a warning of a problem created entirely by government actions:

…Kyle Evans with the Murfreesboro [Tennessee] Police Department…said sex offenders tend to congregate at hotels…”It meets the statutory requirements for them when they can’t live elsewhere”…The TBI confirmed 16 convicted sex offenders listed their home address at the Regal Inn…[and] said there is nothing illegal about hotels renting to sex offenders…

Absolute Corruption

Twenty-five years after it first indicted [Jesse] Friedman, the Nassau County [New York] District Attorney’s Office…could completely exonerate him.  Out of a dozen major child-sex-ring cases that roiled the country between 1984 and 2005, Jesse’s is one of the last convictions still standing…in November of 1987…postal inspectors intercepted…child pornography addressed to [his father]…police admitted that not one of the 30 children they…interviewed…reported any kind of abuse.  But…they kept re-interviewing the children—some as many as 15 times, and often for hours at a stretch…The children began to buckle, telling tales of extraordinary abuse…the Friedmans’ computer class was [claimed to be] a nonstop nightmare of coerced sex acts, where Arnold and Jesse abused kids…in plain view of other students…playing “naked leapfrog,” sodomizing kids as they jumped from one to the next…[children were supposedly] molested an average of six times during every one of the 20 90-minute classes they took…

Natural Processes

Of those who report their rapes, around 4–5% also describe experiencing orgasm. But the true numbers are likely much higher…[one] child therapist…[wrote on Reddit]…“There have been very few studies on orgasm during rape, but the research so far shows numbers from 10% to over 50% having this experience…In professional discussions, colleagues report similar numbers”…Despite what many rapists would like to believe, arousal does not mean that an assault was enjoyable or that a victim was asking for it…our bodies respond to sex…entirely without our permission or intention.  Orgasm during rape isn’t an…expression of pleasure.  It’s…a physical response…like breathing, sweating, or an adrenaline rush.  Therapists commonly use the analogy of tickling.  While tickling can be pleasurable, when it is done against someone’s wishes it can be very unpleasant experience…[yet] the one being tickled will continue laughing…

Under Every Bed

The supposed penetration of “sex trafficking” into every nook and cranny of the U.S. continues; notice the Profession of Faith in the first one:

Sex trafficking is real in South Dakota and won’t…be tolerated…”I still think there are a lot of naive people…who don’t feel it happens in their community but it is happening in their community,” Dawn Stenberg…of the Junior League of Sioux Falls…said…awareness…includes…hotel employees watching for young women who frequently come through their doors, and banks watching for suspicious transactions…[such as] “backpage.com transactions.  They see a lot of that illegal activity through that,” Stenberg said…

Orlando pervert conventionIf that kind of surveillance state doesn’t scare you, consider instead the rather disgusting sexual fantasies of Florida cops and bureaucrats:  “Orange County announced the creation of a task force aimed at stopping human trafficking in central Florida…Some of the victims…forced into prostitution are as young as 12 years old…most of the victims are children…Kathy…was 11 when she was sold to sex traffickers before being rescued by the FBI…

Obfuscation via Dysphemisms (TW3 #319)

Tulsa, OK continues its wicked crusade to charge whores with felonies via “use of a computer to violate state statute”.  And just for good measure, they also charged one of them with the “crime” of owning a house.  Don’t read the comments unless you want to feel ill.

Guest Columnist:  Kelly Michaels

Kelly appeared on the Sex With Timaree podcast to speak about her “Whoremom” project; please give it a listen and spread the link around!

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Feminism still feels like someone rescuing me from the patriarchy so that I may be told what to do by “sisters” who need to get their opinions out of my knickers.  –  Sarah Woolley

Lack of Evidence

The Fourth District Court of Appeal…deemed West Palm Beach’s “loitering with intent to commit prostitution” ordinance unconstitutional…[because it was] “overbroad and vague”   It… cited a 1993 Florida Supreme Court ruling [striking down]…a similar law [in Tampa for discriminating]…against previously convicted prostitutes.  [The earlier decision stated that]…“All Florida citizens enjoy the inherent right to window shop, saunter down a sidewalk, and wave to friends and passerby with no fear of arrest”…

Meanwhile, in California, “Two women suspected of loitering with the intent to commit prostitution were arrested at a Burbank hotel…after officers reportedly discovered incriminating text messages, condoms and oils in their possession…

Check Your Premises

…Baltimore City police officer [Lamin Manneh]…and his…wife [Marissa Braun were]…charged with human trafficking…19-year-old [Braun was caught in a sting]…and…investigators charged the pair with human trafficking because Braun looked so young…”  You read that correctly; she’s been charged with “trafficking” herself.RedTraSex street art

Feminine Pragmatism

Justice minister Francisco Dominguez’s warning…that…men…who seek [paid] sex…will be…[prosecuted] has roiled [Dominican] workers… “There are customers who’ve called us to tell us that they won’t come”…said Carla Matos…who…said she had to become a prostitute…to raise her children…”What we’ll have to do in a couple of days will be to go out and rob and kill people, because imagine, we can’t do nothing else.  I will not let my children starve,” [Jennifer] Paniagua said.

The Prudish Giant

From the “progressive” Huffington Post:

Not only is “prostitution” a tagged skill you can select on LinkedIn, there are actually escorts who advertise their services [there]…[but] LinkedIn…now explicitly bans escorts from using the site…The new user agreement states that you must not:  “Create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution” even if [they are] legal where you live…Not only can you list “prostitution” as a skill, you can list a whole lot of other unsavory skills like “rape,” “shoplifting,” “gangs,” “manslaughter,” and “drug trafficking”…

Yes, the writer did seriously equate consensual sex with rape and murder.  Dr. Brooke Magnanti comments on the absurdity and futility of the whole thing.

An Angel of Mercy

Shona Langley, a street sex worker support officer, and Charlotte Crossland, a harm reduction nurse…[work for] the Harm Reduction project…[in] Lancashire…twice a week…they load their van with…condoms, panic alarms, needles and bank note checker pens, while Charlotte offers Hepatitis B and other vaccinations…[and] treatment for minor health issues…Shona said:  “We don’t judge.  We are not here to criticise or bully them into stopping what they do”…

Scapegoats

[David Beckman of Illinois]…faces a charge of misdemeanor animal cruelty after police said he sexually abused his pet peacock…police learned the bird died while they were investigating Beckman about an alleged case of indecent solicitation of a child…

jelly wrestlingObjectification Overruled

Feminists at Cambridge University lead such privileged, unchallenging lives that they imagine jelly wrestling (girls grappling in gelatin in front of male spectators) has “a significant role to play in the degradation and abuse of women,” and imagine they’ve won a great victory for womankind via a petition which caused the event to be cancelled.  Sarah Woolley explains why this is pure bollocks:

…”objectification” is a herd word used by women who can rarely recall the name of their last waitress…If a person sees a woman arse-deep in jelly and regards her as subhuman because of it, then that shit is on them…it takes more than nudity to cancel out a man’s regard for a woman as a human being.  There will be misogynists in any crowd but –newsflash- a true woman hater will dehumanise you no matter how you behave or what you wear…Cambridge feminists …[are affiliated] with Object…a group known for lobbying against sex worker rights and for spreading irresponsible misinformation -particularly the fantasy that the Olympics would usher in an “explosion of prostitution.”  Also on the list is “Smash Miss Contest”  who “set off stink bombs”…at beauty pageants…

Worms in the Apple

New York City’s wallowing in the “end demand” sewer produced this grotesque display of political pandering:

…mayoral candidates…argued for tougher penalties.  Joseph J. Lhota…[called] for “a john list every day in the newspaper”…Adolfo Carrión Jr…went further, saying he would publish their license plate numbers…the moderator…took note of Edward I. Koch’s controversial directive…to read the names of convicted male customers on air…Christine C. Quinn…said she disagreed with publicizing the names…[but] favored an “incredibly effective” program in Brooklyn…that forces “johns” to sit through a program intended to deter bad behavior…

And no, “john schools” are not “incredibly effective”.

Finding What Isn’t There

police admit they do not know the scale of trafficking in Victoria’s illegal brothels and cannot say how many…there are.  The cloak of anonymity and secrecy surrounding the industry makes it hard for police to investigate, Senior Sergeant Marilynn Ross told [a parliamentary] inquiry…”we suspect that in a small number of…licensed brothels human trafficking is occurring…on a…larger scale”…

Translation:  “There’s no evidence whatsoever and the real experts say otherwise, but this makes a perfect excuse to ask for more power to stick our noses into people’s private business.”

Whorearchy (TW3 #19)

Prostitutes helped clean up the streets of Murcia, Spain, in an effort to draw attention to…[a] proposed bylaw…aimed at curbing prostitution and sexual exploitation [which] would damage [their] livelihood…”We’ve spoken with neighbors and local business owners and…they’ve told us that there’s no problem as long as we follow some of the requests that they’ve made, such as sticking to a timetable and keeping the streets clean…That’s why we decided to hold a clean-up day.  We wanted to show that we…want to get on well with everyone”…

Worse Than I ThoughtTraffic in Souls

As I predicted, the cancer of incredibly-broad “sex trafficking” laws based on the CASE Act is spreading, now to Pennsylvania:

House Bill 663, which was unanimously passed 195-0…expands what the state considers “commercial sex acts” and raises the crime of buying or selling people for sex work from a third-degree to a…first-degree felony.  Under the new bill, the definition of commercial sex includes being forced to perform “any sexual activity…in which anything of value is given…or received”…

The bill’s sponsor complains that the “current law is vague”, but what he actually means is that it isn’t vague enough.

So Close and Yet So Far

Another would-be ally misses the bus by not bothering to check with sex workers first; though she makes several very good arguments against criminalization and recognizes from the title on that sex work is work, she also overestimates the role of pimps and the prevalence of street work, accepts the false “sex trafficking” dichotomy, supports regulation and licensing and ends by undermining her own argument with the typical mealy-mouthed disclaimer, “I am not endorsing the act of selling sex.”

Schadenfreude (TW3 #43)

Another rescue industry icon is exposed as a con artist:

Cecilia Flores-Oebanda has…become the face of the Philippines anti-trafficking movement…but now she is fighting a battle that could truly ruin her.  Fraud allegations made by Philippine investigators threaten to destroy her reputation and the anti-trafficking organization she’s run for more than two decades…

Nonetheless, the credulous CNN reporters spends about 95% of the story lauding her and repeating her bullshit stories, apparently forgetting about that word “fraud”.

Across the Pond (TW3 #45)

Scottish local governments seem unusually resistant to anti-sex business hype:

The owners of an over-21s nightclub in Inverness have been issued a licence to introduce lap dancing…Rhoda Grant…said…“The commodification of woman in society is damaging and I would have hoped the objections raised by the Highland Violence Against Women Strategy Group would have been listened to”…

Japanese Prostitution (TW3 #131)Toru Hashimoto

A perfect demonstration of how the “sex trafficking” paradigm confuses those whose minds it pollutes:

…Osaka Mayor…Toru Hashimoto…told reporters…that Japan’s wartime sex slave system… “were necessary in order to provide relaxation for those brave soldiers who had been in the line of fire”…Hours later [he said]…he’d…told [U.S. military brass] that…there were legal facilities for releasing sexual energy, and that unless soldiers in Okinawa made more use of similar facilities, it would be difficult to control the sexual energy of the marines…

The media have conflated two totally different statements.  What Hashimoto said about military personnel needing whores is true and every experienced commander knows it, no matter what political crap the Pentagon may emit.  But that isn’t the same as his disgusting rationalization of the enslavement of the comfort women, who were neither professional sex workers nor volunteers.

Skin To Skin

A centre in Nuremberg is offering a course to sex industry professionals on how to cater to the sexual needs of disabled clients.  Those who complete training successfully attain a certificate in “sexual accompaniment and assistance”…

Comfort Zone

It’s great to see ever-larger numbers of academics openly declaring that the “trafficking” narrative is largely an excuse for restricting migration:

“anti-trafficking”…essentialises gender and childhood, it confuses and obfuscates, and…it…acts against the interests of many that it purports to serve…the state is directly and inescapably the source of vulnerability…those formally excluded are given…the right NOT to enter, to be protected from movement.  The [victim of “trafficking”]…is supposed to return home.  Indeed the narrative is that she wants to return home, and part of her innocence and victimhood is that she never wanted to move in the first place…immigration controls are claimed to be a mechanism of protection for migrants, rather than a mechanism of oppression…

And here’s a UN official on bogus data and bad definitions:

…data is often taken from methodologies that are not…estimates…media…have often reported that 79% of trafficking is for sexual exploitation, based on the “Global Report on Trafficking in Persons” by UNODC…[but] the data is of victims identified by state authorities and of convicted traffickers…The internationally recognized definition of human trafficking states the purpose of human trafficking is for exploitation…yet [it] is…equated with sex work or irregular…migration…as a result…data on trafficked persons almost exclusively focused on women and children trafficked for sexual exploitation…

Cops and Condoms (TW3 #313)

If we’re honest, many of us do see condoms as robbing us of pleasure, stealing some excitement and spontaneity…and dulling the intensity of sexuality…These factors are the primary reasons that still only 60 percent of teenagers claim to use condoms…[and] usage declines as people grow older.  The number one reason…is the reduction of pleasure…[but] criticism of the condom opens one to…demonization…Bill Gates’…plans to make a condom that “is felt to enhance pleasure”…came under ideological fireGawker called the argument that condoms reduce sensitivity one for “creeps” and “pervs,” while Popular Science reacted by concluding “men are idiots.”  Salon likened any criticism of the condom’s detrimental effect on sexuality to “whining“…

The Naked Anthropologist (TW3 #314)

The Proper Study (TW3 #319)

The feminist antiporn group Stop Porn Culture has sponsored a petition…to change the editorial board and title of Routledge’s forthcoming…publicationPorn Studies…Constance Penley…co-editor of The Feminist Porn Book…[said] “[The petition] reveals a total lack of understanding about academic freedom, academic integrity and the nature of scholarship…and…how desperate the antiporn people are to prevent any research being done that might not support their ideological position”…

Somewhere in the Middle

St. John’s, Newfoundland has just over 200,000 people, which means fewer than 100,000 males.  The escort interviewed for this article (“Iris”) says there are about 30 escorts working there full-time, and doing such good business travelling girls are stopping in as well.  Now, ask yourself:  is it credible that only about 14,000 of those men have ever paid, that the majority of those who did are now regulars and that those working girls are doing well on an average of 1 client per day?  Or is it more likely that the claim few men ever pay for sex is completely absurd?  As Iris said, “We wouldn’t be doing this well if your husbands and boyfriends and friends weren’t coming to see us.  It’s that simple.”

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