Archive for September, 2010

The innocent are so few that two of them seldom meet – when they do meet, their victims lie strewn all round. –  Elizabeth Bowen

The witch friend who writes the descriptions of pagan holidays for me pointed out a few months ago that Western Society has descended into a new Victorianism.  As in the Victorian Era we have become shockingly hypocritical about sex and grant our governments tremendous power to suppress it while simultaneously spending tremendous amounts of time and money on it (Victorian London had the largest number of prostitutes per capita of any place and time in history).  We have revived Victorian ideas of government-enforced temperance and “social progress”, and the Victorian “Cult of the Child” has returned with a vengeance.  The persistent adult myth that children live in some sort of state of Divine Grace which must be protected at all costs and extended as far into adulthood as possible has experienced cyclic popularity at least since the time of the Ancient Greeks, but rarely has it been interpreted in the extreme manner which began in the 1980s.  The dogma of this modern cult preaches that children are as emotionally fragile as soap bubbles and the merest hint of sexual imagery before puberty can cause irreversible trauma; its adherents also believe that teenagers (whom they equate with “children”) should be lied to, spied on or even criminally prosecuted to prevent them from engaging in any kind of sexual behavior, and some even believe that adults should not be allowed any form of entertainment or reading material which is inappropriate for even the youngest child, on the grounds that a child “might see it” and thereby be petrified as if he had looked into the eyes of the Gorgon.  Child cultists can be recognized by their stated belief that any degree of tyranny is acceptable “if it saves even one child,” and by their fondness for promoting unconstitutionally broad legislation lugubriously named after dead little girls.

One of the earliest victims of this cult was comedian Paul Reubens, better known by the name of his famous character “Pee-Wee Herman”; in 1991 he was arrested in a raid of a Sarasota, Florida adult movie theater by “detectives” who perjured themselves by claiming that they had observed him masturbating yet gave erroneous details of his anatomy including the claim that he was left-handed.  As regular readers know, vice cops habitually make up lurid stories in order to persecute people for consensual acts, but once the media got ahold of the story Reubens’ career was essentially over.  His award-winning children’s show was pulled from television, his line of toys vanished from stores and self-proclaimed “child experts” appeared on television advising parents to tell their children that “Pee-Wee” had done a bad thing and must be punished for it (I never heard even one suggest telling kids about “innocent until proven guilty”)…all because an adult character actor out of costume had the bad luck to choose to take in an adult movie on the night some vice cops decided to get their jollies by arresting people there.  Then just as he was beginning to emerge from a long period of seclusion, in 2002 Los Angeles police raided his home and charged him with “child pornography” after finding a 1960s era art photography book which included some teenage nudes.  After two years of harassment all charges were dropped, but Reubens’ career is only now beginning to recover thanks largely to old fans who never deserted him and young adult fans who watched his show as children.

Reubens’ case is representative because he was never accused of any inappropriate behavior toward children; those who persecuted him seemed to feel that the mere fact that an adult man had been discovered in a harmless sexual pursuit (watching a legal adult movie in a legal public theater) made him somehow tainted, and that if children merely watched his shows or played with his toys their “innocence” might somehow be magically damaged.  A similar mindset appears to be at work in the case of Melissa Petro, a 30-year-old art teacher in the Bronx who has been “reassigned” pending an “investigation” which will no doubt result in her suspension.  The reason for this?  She wrote an article for The Huffington Post in which she admitted to a brief flirtation with whoring.

The following article is adapted from an article in The New York Post and edited to correct for the Post’s lax journalistic standards by removing such judgmental tabloid terminology as “tattooed former hooker and stripper”, “sexcapades”, “shenanigans” and “money honey”.

The Post has learned that former sex worker Melissa Petro has been teaching art in a Bronx elementary school for three years, and though well-liked by students has perhaps unwisely posted online accounts of past sexual experiences.  But earlier this month, she admitted in an essay to a short-lived job as a prostitute.

“From October 2006 to January 2007, I accepted money in exchange for sexual services I provided to men I met online in what was then called the ‘erotic services’ section of Craigslist.org,” wrote Petro on The Huffington Post, using her real name and picture.  The attached biography identifies Petro, who has an MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School, as a “former sex worker, researcher, writer, educator, and feminist.”

Her revelation seems to have caused ignorant parents to believe that she is somehow different from the woman she was a few weeks ago. “I don’t want nobody that used to do that to be around my kid,” said Grace Ventura, whose son is in third grade. “People like that should not be allowed to be anywhere near children.”  Yocelyn Quezada said perhaps Petro had “managed to turn her life around,” but she still fumed that a former prostitute was teaching two of her three kids.  “She’s not a good role model.  I do not want my daughters to find out about this,” Quezada said, “and I do not want my daughters to be around that kind of person.”

Despite predicting in one online posting that “that this would be a conversation I’d someday be compelled to have,” Petro declined twice to speak with The Post.  Principal Kerry Castellano referred questions to the Department of Education’s press office, which said Petro had been reassigned to administrative duties pending an investigation.  Petro’s posts also indicate that she was warned by at least two school staffers — including one administrator — that her refusal to be more cautious about her history could land her in hot water.  “In an off the record conversation, a sympathetic administrator kindly asked if I couldn’t publish under a pseudonym.  I wish, for her sake, I could,” Petro recently wrote in The Rumpus, an online magazine.

Petro, who earns $61,000 a year as a teacher, also wrote that a co-worker had warned her that some of her colleagues were beginning to Google her.  “There have been lots of rumors going around about her for a while now,” one school worker told The Post. “I wouldn’t want my kid to be in a school where she is.”

Now, unlike many of my colleagues I can’t really say I feel sorry for Miss Petro; unlike Reubens, she went into her trouble by her own choice and with open eyes.  Though she was only a whore for four months she certainly learned of the need for discretion in our profession, and by choosing to reveal her real name and picture she knew very well what would happen.  I smell a lucrative book deal and perhaps even some sort of test case, and that makes it very difficult for me to think of her as a victim.  What makes this case interesting is not the predictable results of her voluntary actions, but the reactions of the 21st century Child Cultists the reporter obviously hand-picked for the story.  Clearly, nobody thinks that third graders are reading the Huffington Post, and since nobody questioned her ability as a teacher they obviously believe that her sexual history somehow renders her magically taboo; “People like that should not be allowed to be anywhere near children,” huffs one parent in the story, as though sexuality were a radiation which might contaminate the tissue-paper bodies of children.  Like the Victorians, this woman clearly conceives of whores as monsters incapable of feminine sensibilities.

And then there’s this story, paraphrased from an AP article:

Sesame Street announced that it won’t air a taped segment featuring pop star Katy Perry appearing with the popular Muppet Elmo.  The clip was previewed on Youtube and apparently sparked considerable negative feedback from people who felt that her clothing was “inappropriate” for a kid’s show.  Though the clip will not air and has been removed from the official Sesame Street YouTube channel, it is still available elsewhere on YouTube and on Perry’s website.

Watch the video and tell me that you see anything intrinsically unwholesome about it.  Apparently some dirty-minded people think that the slight jiggle of Perry’s tits above the top of her dress will “traumatize” young children; if that’s the case I cause irreparable damage to dozens of kids every time I walk into Wal-Mart.  The problem here isn’t the fact that (like every child’s own mother) Perry has mammary glands, but rather her provocative stage persona, which even though it isn’t displayed here still magically radiates from her image and can destroy the “innocence” of children through the television set.

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I thank Pilotguy for calling my attention to this news story, and to Ant and Kaiju for calling my attention to the news stories discussed in tomorrow’s column.  I ask that my readers email me with links to such stories whenever you see them; I’m only one busy woman, and I sincerely appreciate the extra pairs of eyes looking out for things which might interest my readers and me.

Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott

Though prostitution is technically legal in Canada, there are a whole raft of laws designed to make it as difficult and dangerous as possible to actually practice the trade; this is of course typical in legalization regimes, unlike criminalization systems (such as the US) where the act itself is illegal.  In Canada, nearly every conceivable action a prostitute might take is prohibited; this includes advertising, practicing her trade in her own house (because that would make it a “brothel”) or the ever-popular “living off the avails” laws which force her to live alone without family or employees.  But three prostitutes challenged those laws last year, and yesterday the Superior Court of Ontario ruled in their favor.  The following is paraphrased from a Canadian Broadcasting Company press release:

Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice ruled Tuesday (September 28th) that Canada’s anti-prostitution laws are unconstitutional in response to a challenge filed last year by a Toronto dominatrix and two prostitutes.  In her ruling, Justice Susan Himel said the Criminal Code provisions relating to prostitution contribute to the danger faced by sex-trade workers, and that it now falls to Parliament to “fashion corrective action.”

“It is my view that in the meantime these unconstitutional provisions should be of no force and effect, particularly given the seriousness of the charter violations,” Himel wrote.  “However, I also recognize that a consequence of this decision may be that unlicensed brothels may be operated, and in a way that may not be in the public interest.”  The judge suspended the effect of the decision for 30 days;  it does not affect provisions dealing with people under 18.

Justice minister Rob Nicholson and Rona Ambrose, minister for the status of women, both said the government is concerned about the decision and “is seriously considering an appeal.”

Terri-Jean Bedford, Valerie Scott and Amy Lebovitch had argued that prohibitions on keeping a common bawdy house, communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails of the trade force them from the safety of their homes to face violence on the streets; they asked the court to declare legal restrictions on their activities a violation of charter rights of security of the person and freedom of expression.  The women and their lawyer, Alan Young, held a news conference Tuesday afternoon and expressed elation.  “It’s like emancipation day for sex-trade workers,” said Bedford, adding the ball is now in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s court.  “The federal government must now take a stand and clarify what is legal and not legal between consenting adults in private.”

Scott called it an amazing victory, saying the decision lessens the risk of violence for sex workers.  “We don’t have to worry about being raped and robbed and murdered,” she said. “This decision means that sex workers can now pick up the phone, and call the police and report a bad client.  This means that we no longer have to be afraid, that we can work with the appropriate authorities.”  Moreover, sex workers can set up guilds and associations, health standards, workmen’s compensation programs, as well as pay income tax. “We want to be good citizens and it’s time, now we finally can,” said Scott.

Young handled the case mostly free with the help of 20 of his law students. They were up against nearly a dozen government lawyers.  “Personally, I am overjoyed because this is a great David and Goliath story.  Sex-trade workers are disenfranchised and disempowered, and no one has listened to them for 30, 40 years,” Young said.  The case does not solve the problems related to prostitution, he said; “That’s for your government to take care. Courts just clean up bad laws.  So what’s happened is that there’s still going to be many people on the streets and many survival sex workers who are motivated by drugs and sometimes exploited by very bad men. That’s not going to change,” he added.  “Here’s what changed. Women who have the ability, the wherewithal and the resources and the good judgment to know that moving indoors will protect them now have that legal option.  They do not have to weigh their safety versus compliance with the law.”

A spokesman for Ontario’s attorney general said the office will be reviewing the decision carefully and will consult federal colleagues regarding a potential appeal.  “Ontario intervened and argued that the prostitution provisions of the Criminal Code are constitutional and valid and designed to prevent individuals, and particularly young people, from being drawn into prostitution, to protect our communities from the negative impacts of street prostitution and to ensure that those who control, coerce or abuse prostitutes are held accountable for their actions,” said the statement from the Ontario attorney general’s office.  The government had argued that striking down the provisions without enacting something else in their place would “pose a danger to the public.”  Some prohibitionist groups such as so-called “Real Women of Canada”, which had intervener status in the case, argued that decriminalizing prostitution may make Canada a haven for human trafficking and that prostitution is harmful to the women involved in it.

While prostitution is technically legal, virtually every activity associated with it is not. The Criminal Code prohibits communication for the purpose of prostitution.  It also prohibits keeping a common bawdy house for the purpose of prostitution.  Those laws enacted in 1985 were an attempt to deal with the public nuisance created by streetwalkers. They failed to recognize the alternative — allowing women to work more safely indoors — was prohibited.  The ban on bawdy houses is an indictable offence that carries stiffer sanctions, including jail time and potential forfeiture of a woman’s home, while the ban on communication for prostitution purposes is usually a summary offence that at most leads to fines.  The provisions prevent sex-trade workers from properly screening clients, hiring security or working in the comfort and safety of their own homes or brothels, Young said.  He cited statistics behind the “shocking and horrific” stories of women who work the streets, along with research that was not available when the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the communication ban in 1990.

Now, before you get too excited please note several things.  First, the decision only applies to Ontario; sex workers are still criminals if they move or breathe anywhere else in Canada.  Second, the decision does not take effect for a month, which gives the politicians plenty of time to seek an emergency injunction against the ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada.  Third, you can bet your first-born that those same politicians will appeal the decision in the name of “protecting women” both from ourselves and from those good old bogeymen, the pimps and “human traffickers”.  And fourth, this decision doesn’t stop politicians from making new and equally absurd laws to shackle prostitutes, and each such law would have to be challenged separately.  The fight isn’t over, not by a long shot.

american canadian faceRemember, Canadians aren’t any smarter than Americans; they are just as prone to believe the lies of politicians and neofeminists about the “inherent degradation” and “criminal character” of whores as their neighbors to the south.  The average ignorant Canadian still suffers from the Madonna/whore duality and believes the same stereotypes of dirty, diseased, lustful, not-quite-human whores as the average ignorant American.  The only reason prostitution was even technically decriminalized in the first place was due to the wording of one particular clause in the Canadian constitution; the same type of loophole in the constitution of Rhode Island made prostitution legal there for almost 30 years, yet it was still recriminalized less than a year ago.  And just as an unholy cabal of cops, politicians, neofeminists, bluenosed control-freaks and trafficking alarmists conspired to suppress our right to make an honest living in Rhode Island, you can bet the same forces of tyranny will spare no effort or expense to use whatever lies and propaganda they think necessary to recriminalize it in Canada, assuming the Canadian high court doesn’t simply overturn this decision next week (which it easily could).

So I’m going to refrain from celebrating, hoping or even allowing myself a bit of optimism about this; I’m simply going to watch and wait and comment as things develop.  But there is one ray of light in all this; a judge, and an important one at that, saw through the lies and the propaganda and the hysteria and actually listened to what three members of one of the last remaining oppressed groups on the face of the Earth had to say.  And that, coupled with recent decriminalization of our trade in other Commonwealth countries like Australia and New Zealand, gives me some small hope that our day may at long last be coming.  Not here yet or even near yet, but perhaps on its way in the dim and distant future.

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Results are what you expect, and consequences are what you get. –  Anonymous

The “Law of Unintended Consequences” is the principle that in any complex system, the actions of people or governments can result in consequences that the originator of those actions neither intends nor desires.  One excellent example of this is Prohibition, which was intended to morally purify the American scene but instead almost singlehandedly created organized crime in the US.  Politicians are forever attempting to ban or control complex physical, economic or social phenomena by simply passing laws; ignorant people hail such attempts as “progressive”, but the wise recognize that such behavior is exactly equivalent to that of a primitive medicine man attempting to control the weather by shaking a rattle and doing a dance.

In the past few years sex workers in the United States have been subjected to a long series of persecutions and official attempts at collective character assassination unlike any other since the days of the Social Purity Movement at the beginning of the last century.  As I suggested in my column of the day before yesterday, it is very likely that the primary reason for this is the widespread trend toward decriminalization of our profession in most countries and the growing public acceptance of our work in the US and other nations which still adhere to the barbaric principle that women’s bodies are owned by the state.  Since nobody likes having his property taken away, politicians and neofeminists (who believe they own women’s souls) have therefore mounted a campaign to arrest this disturbing tendency before it results in our emancipation, and to this end have resurrected the old White Slavery bogeyman as we’ve discussed several times before. They have repeatedly sent this reanimated monster forth to attack the most visible of targets, resulting in the recent recriminalization of prostitution in Rhode Island (where it was technically legal for 30 years) and the highly-touted censorship of the adult services section of Craigslist, where many low-end and semi-professional hookers advertised.  And now they’ve sent their misshapen abomination against Backpage, which is used even by many midrange escorts; if this trend is allowed to continue, how long would it be before the tyrants decided to go after true escort websites such as Eros?

But if the politicians expected the Great Unwashed to cheer their victory against evil classified ads and clamor for their appointment as dictators, they were very much disappointed.  Though the neofeminists and “child trafficking” hysterics praised the action, the response from the general public was distinctly underwhelming; there was no clear consensus among the masses as to whether censoring Craigslist was “good” or “bad”, and many, many analysts have pointed out that the closing merely drove the real criminals farther underground.  Indeed, even some prohibitionist organizations who would love to see every whore in America locked up (thus depleting the female population to a tremendous degree and filling every jail and prison in the country to overflowing) whined that prostitutes would simply move their advertising elsewhere, which is absolutely true.

These repressive actions have also inspired a groundswell of resistance, both from prostitutes’ rights organizations and from more general human and women’s rights ones, not to mention free speech advocates.  77% of respondents in a recent debate at The Economist voted in favor of legalization, and several pro-sex work online petitions such as this one have appeared in recent days.  But perhaps most important was the release of this statement by the Third Wave Foundation, a well-funded feminist group which opposes the groupthink and anti-sex policies of mainstream feminism:

We do not believe that sex work is a cause of that violence or oppression, nor do we believe that seeking to prohibit safe and consensual sex work or the demand for it is the solution to eradicating gender-based inequity or violence. In fact, these attempts to criminalize sex work often have the unintended consequence of leaving young people even more vulnerable. Prohibitions on sex work — even when targeted at third-parties such as customers and advertising venues — criminalize young people and force them further underground in order to meet their survival needs. As a result, they are more vulnerable to violence and isolated from one another and from rights advocates.


We at Third Wave are deeply concerned about the ways in which young women and transgender youth may be subject to abuse and violence in any aspect of their lives. Over the last decade of supporting this work, we have learned that young people come to sex work and the sex trade through a wide range of experiences that include choice, circumstance, and coercion. Our community of grant partners and allies includes sex workers, people involved in the sex trade and street economies, and people who have been trafficked. Regardless of how young people are involved in or are impacted by the sex trade, they must be considered partners in the work of advocating for rights and achieving justice.


These are nuanced and deeply complex concerns. Pursuing a plan of action to address violence, coercion, or trafficking without considering the needs and leadership of young people with direct experience in sex work and the sex trade will result in solutions that do not fully address the harms that young people face. Nor will advocates benefit from the depth of their expertise.


Across the US, our grant partners are supporting one another to create smart solutions that are rooted in their day-to-day realities.  They conduct research on the needs of their own communities, mapping the complex social service systems that they must navigate successfully in order to seek support.  They operate their own health care clinics with state and city-level health partners.  They advocate for and participate in city taskforces that address youth housing needs.  They have developed their own programs to secure legal advocacy for their communities.  They organize and train one another to work within criminal/legal systems to advocate for their rights.  Together, they create innovative new models for peer support and education rooted in harm reduction principles and respect for young people’s power to make change in their own lives.


It is a step forward for policymakers and advocates to recognize that young people who do sex work or who are impacted by the sex trade are not criminals. We must also recognize that not all young people who do sex work and who are impacted by the sex trade are victims.

Partnerships between young people and adult allies must support the vision and leadership of young people. We work in collaboration with young people to secure the resources they need to continue creating a healthy and just world. We urge policymakers who seek to protect young people from violence to include young people’s expertise at every level of their decision-making. We also urge our community partners and allies to center the voices and experiences of young people who do sex work and who are impacted by the sex trade when advocating for their human rights.

Third Wave has been advocating for sex workers since the beginning of this century, but this is its strongest statement yet against prohibition, the equation of voluntary adult prostitution with “human trafficking” and the neofeminist dogma that all sex workers are victims. Here’s hoping that their efforts and those of all of our other advocates will at last begin to make an impression on the thick skulls of politicians by forcing them to recognize that their ill-conceived and wrongheaded attempts to suppress prostitution even further are alienating a great many taxpayers. The popularity of the so-called “Tea Party” movement shows exactly how sick many people are of big government, and it doesn’t get much bigger than using propaganda and outright lies to suppress consensual adult behavior; I can’t even begin to guess how much money governments in the US might save if prostitution were decriminalized as it was in New Zealand seven years ago.  In 2008 a report on the Prostitution Reform Act was prepared; it should be required reading for every government official in every state of the US.  I’ve added a link to it in my “resources” box at the right for those who are interested, but its findings are summed up in its abstract:

The PRA has been in force for five years. During that time, the sex industry has not increased in size, and many of the social evils predicted by some who opposed the decriminalisation of the sex industry have not been experienced. On the whole, the PRA has been effective in achieving its purpose, and the Committee is confident that the vast majority of people involved in the sex industry are better off under the PRA than they were previously.

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He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words. –  Elbert Hubbard

I already had a column written for today, but a few hours ago I received this long, angry comment on yesterday’s column.  Since it’s my first hate mail I thought it important to feature it, because it gives me the opportunity to make a few points both about how I run my blog and about our opponents.  For those who don’t have WordPress blogs themselves a few words of explanation are in order; when a comment from a new respondent is submitted, I get an email asking me to moderate it.  I can read the comment before deciding to let it actually appear on my blog and even edit it if I choose (for example, I’ve corrected typos at the respondent’s request before).  But once I approve someone’s reply, his future ones are automatically posted.  So it’s important to be selective about replies; if one of my regular readers went mad and started posting ads for penis enlargement pills I would have to laboriously remove all of them and then figure out how to ban him in the future.  I am NOT going to approve this comment for the simple reason that prohibitionists and “human trafficking” alarmists already have thousands of venues to spread their propaganda without me giving them another one.  This post, by a woman calling herself “Jenn”, is here reprinted IN ITS ENTIRETY with neither correction nor addition; my replies to her statements are interpolated between her paragraphs for ease of reading.

Wow, I don’t know who you’re trying harder to fool your readers or yourself. Your argument seems to be that a prostitute is either an honest business person *OR* a victim and, since you know/are an honest sex workers, trafficking must be a lie. (selfcentrism much?)

Notice the hostility of the “true believer”; her very first statement is to accuse me of lying.  Jenn, I’m not trying to “fool” anyone; my readers are intelligent people who can do research for themselves to prove me wrong, and in addition you will note a number of links to the right which make it convenient for readers to consult other authorities on sex work, many of them far more knowledgeable than I.  Your entire letter reeks of such ignorance of my blog; you have clearly never read it before today, yet you feel at liberty to make unsupported statements and wild assumptions about what I’ve been saying for months without even bothering to look at any of my previous columns, and that destroys what little credibility you might otherwise have.  In this paragraph, for example, you accuse me of a Cartesian fallacy which my regular readers all know to be untrue; I’ve written on more than one occasion of dishonest whores.  And I did NOT say in yesterday’s column or at any other time that there was no such thing as a sex slave trade; what I said was that authorities in many Western countries have fomented a moral panic by exaggerating the extent of the sex slave trade in those countries.  We are not talking about third-world countries here; it is precisely because the authorities in those countries turn a blind eye that the business thrives there.  What I am talking about is the way authorities in Western nations like the US and UK pretend there is a vast and busy slave trade in those countries despite their inability to produce more than a handful of “trafficked” victims.

The sale of human beings is the second largest black market money maker in the world.

Really?  Statistics, please.  Reputable ones.  But you can’t produce them any more than Senator McCarthy could produce his list of “known communists”, and for the same reason.  Like all conscientious sex workers I oppose the forcing of anyone into prostitution; obviously you did not bother to read my review of a book on the “comfort women” of World War II or you would have already known that.

Half of known prostitutes are minors and therefore unable to legally consent OR operate a business as an individual. Federal law states that a minor may not legally be charged with prostitution and the fact that it happens *all the time* is a failing of this law to be publicized (to law enforcement and to the public). The existence of this law is a large part of what traffick NGO’s are trying to get out there.

So right there you’ve eliminated half of prostitutes as legitimate business people.

Half, huh?  Next week it’ll be two-thirds.  Such “magic numbers” are pulled out of thin air and have absolutely nothing to do with reality.  Since agencies will not hire minors and websites will not accept their ads, most underage prostitutes are streetwalkers and the rest operate in clandestine brothels.  It’s difficult to estimate the number of such brothels, but by criminalizing sex work the police cut off a valuable source of inside information, the sex workers themselves.  As for streetwalkers, the National Taskforce on Prostitution estimates they make up roughly 15% of all prostitutes; since not all of them are underage, your “half of all known prostitutes” claim is shown up for the nonsense it is.  Even if I charitably allow that half of all streetwalkers are underage (which they aren’t) and that 10% of all prostitutes (also a generous estimate) operate in clandestine brothels whose population is 75% underage, that generates a liberal estimate of 15% of all prostitutes who are too young.  That’s certainly a tragedy, but it’s also a far cry from half, and if our trade were decriminalized we could reduce that number dramatically within months.  That is exactly the point of this petition, which I urge my readers to sign.

Then you have to look at the number of people who are prostitutes simply from need. In New York City 70% of prostitutes are selling sex as a manner of meeting a basic physical need like shelter or food. More than half are male. More than 95% of them say they want out. In Chicago 86% of prostitutes have a pimp (which personally I interpret as a removal of personal agency and a factor of unacceptable sex work).

More numbers pulled out of thin air.  Even if I give you that 70% of streetwalkers are at a subsistence level, that gives us a figure of 10.5% of all prostitutes.  I’m totally unsurprised that 95% of such individuals want out; wouldn’t you?  Living on the street can’t be a rewarding lifestyle.  But it has nothing to do with either “human trafficking” or voluntary prostitution.  As for your figure on pimps in Chicago, I direct you to my column on pimps; even if the percentage of pimps in Chicago exceeds the national average by over 36% as you propose, you are once again committing the tired old Hollywood errors (as you do several times in your letter) of A) assuming all prostitutes are streetwalkers and B) assuming all pimps control the hookers, when more than half the time it’s the other way around.

Trafficking refers to labor as well. In fact 60% of traffick victims are coming from labor rather than sex, an issue which you fail to address in your post.

I don’t “fail to address it”, it’s simply immaterial to a discussion of sex work.  Politicians don’t use the existence of agricultural slaves as an excuse to persecute escort services.

I could also throw out there that 86% of known prostitutes were sexually or physically abused as children. This is often used to make prostitution look like the act of a broken individual, but I wont do that. Just because someones relationship with sex started as “dysfunctional” doesn’t necessarily mean that it remains dysfunctional.

Yawn.  I’ve written about this bogus statistic many times before, which you would’ve known had you read this column.

You use the term “white slavery” but I’m not sure anyone out there would deny that victims are foreign, domestic, white, black, mexican, asian, ect. Trafficking occurs across all nations, “races”, genders, and socio-economic classes.

If you had studied history rather than politically correct propaganda you would know that “white slavery” was the original term for what is now called “human trafficking”.  It has nothing to do with the victims being of white race, though that may have been the intent of those who first coined the term in the late 19th century.  You could even have discovered it by reading my columns of August 9th and 26th, but I realize it’s easier just to go off half-cocked and make an incompetent attempt to imply your opponent is either ignorant or racist.

It seems to me you have a chip on your shoulder.

Your perception is highly suspect.

If you would like sources or specific case files for trafficked persons I would be happy to provide them. Links to Internet forums where the girls are obviously too young, near tears, and all photographed in the same hotel room can also be provided.

I can do without your child porn links, thank you very much.  Once again you imply that I don’t believe “human trafficking” exists, when in fact all I and other sex workers dispute is the number of cases and the way authorities equate it with voluntary adult prostitution.

You throw around the term NeoFeminist in a way that alludes to todays feminists as butch Freudians and yet many (I’ll go ahead and call them third wave) feminists feel very strongly that we need to recognize both legitimate and illegitimate forms of sex work.

Butch Freudians?  Who said any such thing?  I define my term “neofeminist” in a box right there in the right column for all to see; it has nothing to do with true feminists of either the second or third waves, but rather with power-hungry Neomarxist man-haters who dominated all mainstream feminist discourse in the ’80s and ’90s and still make up the majority of academic and politically-connected “feminists”.  In fact, in tomorrow’s column (which you pre-empted with your attack) I reproduce a statement from the Third Wave Foundation; there is a link to it in the “resources” box at right, which you of course didn’t bother to look at.

A persons agency in the choice to become a sex worker should be the sole deciding factor in whether a sex worker is a business person or a victim. For you to announce to the victims of the sex trade that they are not real is appalling. It’s like when politicians say there are no homeless people. You sound ridiculous.

Services and justice should be provided for those who took part in the sex trade because they had no choice and those who have choice and find it fulfilling and lucrative (which studies show *is* a majority of prostitutes) should be allowed to practice their trade in safety and security.

Wait, so now you admit that a majority of us are voluntary?  Does that include at least part of the half who are underage?  And what about the 95% who want out, or the 86% in Chicago who have pimps?  And you claim I sound ridiculous?  You need to look at that link to the article on projection again.

Readers, I certainly encourage any one of you who discovers a mistake in my column to point it out to me, and if I check your posted source and discover you’re right I’ll be the first to admit my error.  But please don’t waste my time and yours by spouting the same old tired propaganda, bogus statistics and unsupported allegations.

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The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. –  H. L. Mencken

As Mencken pointed out, the “threats to society” dreamed up by politicians are almost wholly imaginary, but in our modern media-oriented society it is no longer sufficient to concentrate on these painted devils; the decadent modern audience demands to hear the stories of the victims, and since there really aren’t any (or at least very few) it becomes necessary to create them.  Whole imaginary populations of victimized women and children are thus created out of air; the hidden millions who have lost their jobs to pillaging hordes of “illegal immigrants”, the multitudes of phantom sacrificial infants born to invisible thousands of teenage runaway mothers enslaved as breeders by “Satanists”, and the vaporous throngs of “trafficked” women and children who are supposedly sold as sex slaves on Craigslist and Backpage all inhabit a sort of twilight zone existing within the bounds of the country whose politicians invent them, yet neither eating nor taking up space nor inconveniently appearing to contradict whatever it is the politicians claim about them.  And once they have served their purpose and the hysteria which created them dies down, they disappear entirely (or perhaps they morph into whatever kind of imaginary victims the politicians need next).  But like a kind of human virtual particle, every once in a while one of these victims will appear to pop into existence; sometimes the politicians and pundits can gain control of this rogue element and induce her by brainwashing, threats or promised rewards to say whatever her masters like in front of the cameras, in which case she becomes a powerful tool in the furtherance of their agenda.  But at other times she has the colossal bad taste to be less than a perfect poster child, or even (horror of horrors!) to contradict the party line, in which case she becomes a dangerous spanner in the works who must be silenced at all costs.

Whores are of course the definitive examples of what I’m talking about; for every poor junkie the neofeminists produce to regurgitate their dogma of “degradation”, there are dozens of happy, well-adjusted prostitutes on every escort site on the internet, and at least one like myself (or Xaviera Hollander, Tracy Quan, Norma Jean Almodovar, Carol Leigh…) who is eloquent and brazen enough to completely destroy the stereotype the prohibitionists work so carefully to craft of us.  Over the decades we’ve slowly won over the legislatures of many countries and even most of the intelligent, open-minded people in the US; in the past few years a number of major political candidates have even dared to propose decriminalization of our trade, and members of Congress have questioned the sense of wasting public funds which are badly needed to repair our crumbling infrastructure and deal with other real problems on the suppression of consensual adult activity.  It seemed as though a change in public opinion was imminent, so obviously the neofeminists and control freaks needed to do something to distract public attention from the pretty ladies who were making so much sense. So they reached into their bag of tricks and pulled out an oldie-but-baddie, the “white slave trade”, dressed in a new fancy suit called “human trafficking”. “Grrr!” says the politician, “pay no attention to those women!  Look at this ugly monster over here instead!  Grrr!  Growl!  Boo!”  And of course the ever-fickle audience stares slack-jawed and open-mouthed at the ugly Punch doll dancing and capering and shaking his stick, and never notices that it’s just a puppet activated by a politician’s hand.

In order to support their white-slavery horror story, the politicians at least need to come up with a few real victims out of the imaginary boatloads, and so the British government launched “Project Acumen”, a year-long police operation intended to “save” the 2578 “trafficked” women it “estimated” could be found among the prostitutes of England and Wales.  After bullying or brute-forcing their way into scores of domiciles, these champions of justice were able to come up with exactly 210 women it claimed were “trafficked” on the sole grounds that none of them were native to the UK.  Of these, none claimed to have been kidnapped, imprisoned or subjected to surveillance, none had been sold as slaves and none had been threatened with violence or denunciation as illegal aliens; 202 had known they were being recruited as prostitutes and the remaining eight claimed to have been misled about their location rather than the work.  In the end, only two dozen were deemed “trafficked” – 19 Asians and five Eastern Europeans.  Note that NONE of the women considered themselves so; that was an official declaration.  No doubt police administrators expected hundreds tearful sex slaves thanking them for their rescue and agreeing to speak to the media about the terrible life from which they had been “saved”; what they got instead were a few dozen annoyed immigrant hookers who simply walked out of the police station and went back to work as soon as they realized they were not under arrest, and 24 who were “rescued” by being deported.

A similar (though much worse) sort of treatment was given to 16 year old Sara Kruzan, an underage prostitute since 13 who was tried as an adult for killing her pimp and sentenced to life imprisonment without benefit of parole despite the fact that she had a documented history of depression.  Yes, you heard me: A severely depressed “child” prostitute with no father and a drug-addicted mother decided to escape her pimp in the only way open to her, and was rewarded with the sort of sentence usually reserved for serial killers.  Where were all the “human trafficking” advocates?  Obviously, they weren’t interested in Sara because she wasn’t abducted by evil “traffickers” from a middle-class white home by means of internet chat rooms.  And how dare she actually take responsibility for her own safety rather than meekly submitting to her pimp and waiting for the heroic police to eventually discover and rescue her in a way that would let them look good on the Six O’Clock News!  How dare she deprive them of a show trial by killing her pimp!  How dare she not be a pathetic, easily-manipulated white girl whom they could turn into an anti-prostitution spokeswoman!  Obviously, the brazen little hussy had to be made an example of by locking her up forever.

Sara, now 29, has lived almost half her life in a California prison, but fortunately her case came to the attention of a group which advocates against imposing such barbaric sentences on minors and they have succeeded in securing a resentencing hearing for her on February 14th.  In this six-minute video interview her intelligence is obvious, which I’m sure worked against her with the monstrous judge who sentenced her as an adult due to her “lack of remorse”.  This website has links for petitions and suggestions for writing California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has the power to grant her clemency.  Note, however, now that her case has become popular the “human trafficking” people have suddenly come out of the woodwork and are attempting to pimp her once again, this time for their political coin by their typical conflation of voluntary adult prostitution with coerced underage prostitution.

Of course, when whores don’t act according to the desired stereotypes, those with an agenda can always find an amateur willing to whore herself for interview fees and the possibility of profiting from a lawsuit; here’s a paraphrased AP article about someone who claims to be a call girl, yet blithely violated the most elementary professional ethics by “outing” a supposed client and the most elementary common sense by choosing as her victim a popular sports star who could buy and sell her 100,000 times over:

Soccer star David Beckham has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles alleging that In Touch magazine knowingly published false claims that he had sex with prostitutes; the suit filed Friday (September 24th) accuses Delaware-based Bauer Publishing Company LP and its affiliates of libel, slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress for the article.  The suit also names 26-year-old Irma Nici, who was quoted as saying she was a call girl who slept with Beckham five times in 2007 and also claimed he had sex with a second (unnamed) prostitute.  Beckham publicist Jeff Raymond says suits are also being filed in other jurisdictions including Germany, where Bauer’s parent corporation is located.

Since even the sort of unethical trash who would expose a good regular would certainly know the fate of one who did so, I must presume that this Nici woman is only a media whore rather than an actual professional, but of course that doesn’t stop her self-destructive antics from making the rest of us look bad.  The main difference between her and the imaginary whore-as-victim conjured up by neofeminists and politicians is that this one victimized herself by her astonishingly bad judgment.

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I don’t have pet peeves, I have whole kennels of irritation. –  Whoopi Goldberg

One of the things that makes individuals individual is that each has his own dislikes, and sometimes a behavior one person may find wonderful, useful or even polite may annoy another to no end.  Indeed, when one considers that we go through life trapped in these biological vehicles with only the woefully inadequate tool called “language” to communicate our thoughts to one another, it’s a wonder we aren’t all constantly at each others’ throats.  Today I’m going to talk about some of my sexual pet peeves; these aren’t aversions to particular sex acts as discussed in my column of August 16th, but rather things people do or say about sex that really get on my nerves.  I apologize in advance for the rather unladylike language I’m going to use today; when I think about these things “my goodness” just doesn’t cut it.

Yanking the Pillow Out:  So there I am on my back, either just penetrated or about to be penetrated, and the man reaches behind my head and yanks my pillow out.  What the fuck, over?  Why do a good 20% of men see nothing wrong with this?  Do they yank chairs out from under their dinner companions at restaurants as well?  Does it not occur to them that the reason I put the pillow there is because I FUCKING WANTED IT THERE?  As it so happens I suffer from vertigo, and lying absolutely flat on my back starts to make me feel dizzy within a few minutes (less than that if I’m being shaken back and forth); a pillow corrects that problem.  But even if I didn’t have that neurological issue, if in fact I just had the pillow there because I happen to like pillows, what gives him the right to yank it out without even asking permission?  My husband says they did it so I would lie flat, but this is a bullshit answer on two levels: 1) my hips and lower back are at the same angle whether the pillow is there or not; and 2) what makes him think it’s OK to force me to lie flat without my permission?  Because they absolutely never asked; they did it as nonchalantly as one would take a dropped item away from a cat.  Whenever a man who was otherwise nice did this I explained about the vertigo, but if he was already being a dick before that I just as nonchalantly took the pillow out of his hand and put it back where it was.

Hitler Moustaches:  When I was a lass we only trimmed our pubes during bikini season, and the guys were perfectly happy with that; all the nude models I saw had nice little neatly-trimmed patches as well.  But sometime in the ‘80s a shaving fetish became popular; my boyfriends’ men’s magazines devoted space to it every once in a while, and I am told some porno movies even had shaving scenes.  A guy once asked if I would shave my twat for him and I refused on the grounds that everyone else seemed to like it as it was.  But as time went by the shaved look became more and more popular, and by the time I started stripping in 1997 lots of girls were as bare between the legs as they were in kindergarten.  Well and fine for them; if they want to put up with chronic itching and yet another several-times-weekly hygiene chore it’s their getout and not mine.  I was never that hairy there anyhow, so I simply had electrolysis to remove the stuff that would’ve protruded from a thong and had done with it.  But other girls, apparently unable to decide between trimmed and shaved bare, opted for what they were pleased to call a “landing strip”, a narrow rectangle running up the middle of the natural hair zone.  What is the damned point?  Disregarding for a moment the uncomfortably phallic connotations of such a shape pointing upward from a woman’s crotch, what purpose is this Hitler moustache supposed to serve?  It doesn’t cover anything and it sure isn’t attractive; it’s the personal hygiene equivalent of a peg heel.  Please, honey, make up your damned mind; either shave your kitty or don’t.

The Misuse of the Word “Vagina”:  The vagina is that portion of the female genital organs which forms a muscular canal into which the penis fits during intercourse.  The term applies ONLY to this passage, which leads from outside a woman’s body to the cervix (which is the entrance to the uterus); it does NOT apply to any other part of the female genitalia, internal or external.  The external genitalia (labia and clitoris) are collectively referred to as the vulva.  But I have noticed an increasing tendency among adult men (who should know better) and even some adult women (who absolutely should know better) to refer to the vulva as a “vagina”; this is the exact equivalent of referring to the mouth as an “esophagus”.  Most common words such as “pussy” or “cunt” can refer to any part of the female genitalia other than the womb, but “vagina” is a medical term rather than a colloquial one and as such has a specific meaning.  I really hated it when clients trying to be polite said something like, “You have a beautiful vagina”; of course they meant, “You have a beautiful pudendum”, but I had to smile and thank them when what I actually wanted to say was, “Unless you have an arthroscope down there you don’t know what my vagina looks like, and neither do I; only my gynecologist has ever seen it, and she doesn’t seem overly impressed with its cosmetic appearance.”

As if this misuse isn’t bad enough, I have also noticed the rise in popularity (since Oprah Winfrey adopted it) of the childish-sounding term “vajayjay”, obviously derived from “vagina” but usually used to mean “vulva”.  If you want a colloquial term for the “lady parts” there are already plenty of them without having to use a baby-talk version of the wrong damned word. “Vajayjay”?  How old are you, ten?  Suffering Sappho, but I hate that term; I swear if any of my readers ever uses it in a reply I will edit it and replace it with the nice, cute, venerable, honest term “pussy”.

Vulgarity:  No, I don’t meant honest discussion of sex; that is not vulgar.  Nor is the use of one-syllable Anglo-Saxon words such as shit, fuck, cunt, cock, etc which were in normal usage until the Norman overlords of England turned their noses up at them due to their peasant origins.  No, when I speak of vulgarity I mean leering, childish, dirty-sounding “euphemisms” for sexual acts and body parts which are actually much more offensive than just using the four-letter words.  Even worse are juvenile masculine attempts at “humor” derived from describing sexual terms in the most disgusting way possible.  As regular readers know I’m the farthest thing in the world from a prude, but this kind of filthy talk makes me want to slap the speaker and then wash his mouth out with soap.

The Term “Homophobia”:  A phobia is a psychological aberration characterized by a morbid, irrational fear of something.  Many people have a strong respect for thunderstorms which borders on actual fear, but keraunophobia is a pathological, debilitating dread of thunderstorms which is out of proportion to any actual danger they might pose.  The name for a phobia is formed by the Greek name for a thing attached to the suffix –phobia (fear); thus, ailuros (cat) + phobia = ailurophobia, fear of cats; paedos (child) + phobia = paedophobia (fear of babies and young children), and homos (same) + phobia = homophobia (fear of monotony or sameness).  What’s that you say?  “Homophobia” doesn’t mean a fear of monotony?  Au contraire, mes amis; that is precisely what it means.  Queer activists have take a word with a specific, established psychological definition and used it to mean something it does not mean.  Even their method of formation is totally wrong; one simply can’t break a Greek prefix off of a word and use it to stand for the whole word.  If one could, “homophobia” could also be used to mean “fear of homophones” or “fear of homogenized milk.”  But it doesn’t.  “Acrophobia” does not mean “fear of acronyms”, “androphoia” does not mean “fear of androids”, “gymnophobia” does not mean “fear of gymnasiums” and “homophobia” does not mean “fear of homosexuals”.

There is a proper term for this phobia, but I can’t remember it and it’s essentially impossible to find on the internet with Google’s non-Boolean search engine (if any psychological professional could look it up in a textbook I’d be grateful).  But even if that proper term were used, what queer activists term a “phobia” actually isn’t.  Mere dislike or discomfort does not a phobia make; I can’t stand spinach but I’m not terrified of it!  Nor does hatred always derive from fear, no matter what the pop psychologists tell you; fear is only one of several possible reasons for hatred.  We don’t call misogyny “gynophobia”; they’re different psychological states.  I’m sure that many people who dislike homosexuals do indeed fear them, but others simply dislike them, lack respect for them, disapprove of their behavior or even find them disgusting.  And many others disagree with their political agenda without feeling any particular animosity toward them whatsoever.  Yet, all of these people are routinely labeled “homophobic”, which probably 90% or more of them are not.  I think queer activists do this for two reasons: 1) Pretending their political opponents suffer from a “phobia” is the same as saying they’re mentally ill; and 2) Pretending their opponents are “afraid” of them is a way for them to build up their fragile male egos.  A man whose enemies fear him has power over them; one whose enemies look down on him as unmasculine does not.  So they of course pretend the former, when the truth is probably more often the latter.

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A country without bordellos is like a house without bathrooms. –  Marlene Dietrich

As I’ve pointed out before, male sexuality tends to get out of control when untended.  I’m sure every sexually experienced female reader knows exactly what I’m talking about; if for some reason you can’t give your man any tail for a while his sexual fantasies and sex talk usually start to get stranger and more extreme as the days go by, and your normal man’s sexuality may go from vanilla to kinky to perverted to weird to just plain sick.  Most men don’t really want to do the more unusual stuff they’re talking about, but they sure as hell think about it, and one can only imagine how bad it gets for men who don’t have regular bed partners. Whores, of course, don’t have to imagine; we see all the time what happens when an untended male fire spreads beyond its proper boundaries and endangers others.  If the untended male is in the right (or rather, wrong) position these can even become wildfires which threaten entire populations and can cause millions of dollars of damage.

The most common way in which the uncontrolled male sex drive can be dangerous is of course rape, though amazingly enough there are many people who deny this.  Back in the early 1970s (before neofeminists took over the movement), leading feminists wanted to call attention to the problem of rape, yet didn’t want to scare women by also calling attention to the fact that male sexuality is inherently predatory.  In other words, they did not want to risk reversing the gains of the “sexual revolution” by allowing the average woman to realize that sex has a powerful, profound and untamable dark side and that consequently, sexual freedom carries risks.  Note the strong taint of Neomarxism already rearing its ugly head here; the feminist “elite” felt that most women were too immature or stupid to be allowed to take responsibility for themselves and so had to be lied to for the “greater good”.  So the myth that “rape is a crime of violence, not of sex” was invented and aggressively promoted; once this slogan became ingrained in the public consciousness it even proved useful in deflecting the monstrous old rapist criminal defense that the victim actually wanted to be raped.  If rape had nothing to do with sex, her actions or state of dress or whatever obviously had nothing to do with it.

A crime victim should not be blamed for attracting a criminal, but the notion that rape has nothing to do with lust is arrant nonsense.  Most rapes are committed not by angry strangers with guns, but by horny acquaintances who are very much attracted to the victim (as revealed to the general public during the whole “date rape” brouhaha of the early 90s).  65% of rape victims are between 12 and 30 and 29% between 12-17; the rape rate for girls of 16-19 is four times that of women in general.  Does that sound to you like something that has nothing to do with sexual attraction?  The very idea is asinine.  And then there’s the “elephant in the parlor” of penile erection; it’s necessary for penetration, yet as any heterosexual non-virgin could tell you it only occurs when a man is sexually excited.  Feminists somehow managed the nigh-miraculous feat of getting nearly everyone in American society to drink the “rape has nothing to do with sex” kool-aid despite the fact that most of the people repeating this inane mantra are adults who know very well that rape cannot be accomplished unless the rapist is sexually aroused!  Sometimes they’ll elaborate even further by saying “rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power and control” – despite the fact that BDSM exists precisely because power and control are inextricably bound up with sex!

But despite its absurdity, the “rape as asexual” dogma continues to be promulgated in the US by both government and neofeminists for the very good reason that if women realized that rape is largely caused by sexual frustration, they would collectively demand that prostitution be legalized and that would NOT satisfy the prohibitionist agenda.  A number of cross-cultural studies such as this one have shown that in every culture where prostitution is legalized, the rape rate dramatically decreases; the author of the linked paper predicts a 25% decrease in rape in the US if prostitution were legalized.  That’s right, the neofeminists and politicians know what’s best for women, so they allow an extra 25,000 of us to be raped every year rather than bury their opposition to a venerable institution which also provides income for many tens of thousands of other women.  But I’m sure all the women who were raped by sex-mad men this year can rest assured in the knowledge that their torture was not in vain; after all, it was necessary to advance the holy neofeminist cause of preventing heterosexual males from having convenient access to sex.

Phillip John Eide (AKA “Xavier Von Erck”), the unemployed 26-year-old self-confessed computer gamer and wrestling aficionado from Portland, Oregon who founded “Perverted Justice”.

But rape is only the least of the problems which can be caused by frustration-induced perversion, because it affects only one woman at a time; some frustrated men manage to gain sexual gratification at the expense of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of victims.  Vice cops are a perfect example; consider the one I mentioned on August 6th who got such a sadistic sexual thrill out of  tricking and arresting whores that he needed to talk about it in order to excite himself after he retired, or the ones who tried to get themselves off by entrapping me, or the ones who lie in order to get streetwalkers declared “sex offenders” for several decades. Another example is provided by the maladjusted computer geeks and online gamers who staff organizations like “Perverted Justice”; these creeps get their jollies by pretending to be young teenage girls in online chat rooms and drawing men into graphic sexual conversations with them, then publishing the conversations online or digging up details on their victims (by hacking personal records if necessary) and harassing them mercilessly by phoning them and their families, calling their employers to report them as “pedophiles”, etc.  The American television network NBC actually gave these perverts a TV show for several years, but were forced to drop it in the face of mounting lawsuits from the families of people whose lives they had ruined, such as Louis Conradt, the district attorney (talk about feeding on their own!) in Texas who committed suicide when police and NBC camera trucks showed up on his lawn because of an online conversation with one of these predatory perverts.  The website Corrupted Justice is dedicated to fighting these frustrated monsters whose out-of-control sexuality has destroyed the lives of over 1000 men with no due process whatsoever.

The Injustice Perverts are allowed to get away with their sadistic game because they claim one of the oldest excuses in the world, that they’re doing it to “protect children”.  As defined by control fetishists, the term “child” is a protean one, morphing to mean whatever it is convenient to mean.  And apparently in the minds of state attorneys, it can be used to mean “adult prostitutes using online advertising”.  Yes, flushed with their imaginary “victory” over Craigslist, the Perverts General of 21 American states (Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) have now directed their lurid fantasies of widespread white slavery rings trading underage girls on public websites toward Backpage.com, another popular internet classified site.  One can imagine these undersexed lawyers sitting in their bathrooms at night, furiously masturbating themselves to thoughts of nubile young slave girls bought and sold in an eBay of flesh; then going in to work the next day and, their minds disordered by lack of sexual contact with the professionals they dare not hire in election years, lashing out at websites based conveniently in less sexually-repressed regions while describing their sick fantasies in graphic detail via press releases.

It’s time for society to recognize the tremendous harm done by sexually frustrated males and to address it not in the judgmental, punitive ways favored by neofeminists, but rather in a compassionate, pragmatic way which recognizes that these men only behave this way due to repression of their natural impulses.  It is not possible to legislate a problem out of existence, and the Pollyannaish “just say no” approach ignores the primordial power of the male sex drive, a force so great it was deified by the ancients.  Since Western society has apparently decided that it is no longer the responsibility of wives to provide for their husbands’ sexual needs, and since unmarried men have nobody to provide for them in the first place, we need Vestals to tend the fires of male passion in order to keep them from becoming dangerous conflagrations.  Fortunately, society already has such priestesses, the daughters of an ancient order going back to the very beginning of human history but long discredited and suppressed by the jealous priests of other orders.  All we ask is that politicians, hypocrites and neofeminists step back, stop harassing us, and let us do our jobs.

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Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers. –  Carl Sandburg, “Under the Harvest Moon”

As I’ve mentioned a number of times before, many whores (including myself) follow some form or another of witchcraft or Neopaganism; when one considers the low regard in which the Judeo-Christian religions hold us it should hardly be surprising that many of us should turn to a faith which not only reveres the feminine principle as equal to the masculine, but also recognizes the goodness and power of sexuality.  The best-known Neopagan faith is of course Wicca, which is based on traditional Celtic beliefs, but I have known girls who paid tribute to the Goddess under the names Aphrodite or Ishtar as well; some of us consider ourselves sacred prostitutes in the ancient tradition, but despite the 1st Amendment guarantee of religious freedom even those of us who hold valid minister’s credentials (as I do) can be persecuted for practicing our faith.

I don’t practice formal Wicca, but rather a mixture of beliefs (this “salad bar” approach seems strange to Westerners but is the norm in much of Asia); however, most of the holidays I observe are either important American secular holidays (including Independence Day and Christmas) or the seasonal holidays observed by Celtic-tradition witchcraft (as befits my Irish ancestry).  Today is the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of autumn, also called Mabon or “Witch’s Thanksgiving”; whereas Lammas is the festival of first fruits we now enter the time at which the main crops are harvested, and indeed the Harvest Moon reached its peak of fullness at 4:17 AM this morning.  The sun crossed the ecliptic (the celestial equator) at 10:09 PM (CDST) last night, so the day and night are theoretically the same length today (though atmospheric distortion makes the day seem a bit longer).  My family and I observe this holiday with a feast, so I am taking the day off and asked my witch friend to write a short essay to explain the spiritual meaning of the holiday as she did for me at Lammas.

The Significance of Mabon

The universal symbol of reincarnation, the double spiral, is the special symbol of this time of year, a time of the winding-in upon the  thread of fate, towards the still point in the darkness where there is rebirth of light and life.  All have to journey through the realm of winter and the harvest, the grain that has been reaped, sustains us through the winter season, holding seeds that shall be planted in spring.  For the circle of life is unbroken.

It is a time to celebrate and give thanks and to throw out and clear away unwanted things, the chaff and the rubbish and to meditate on how well we have achieved balance between the four elements in our psyche: intelligence, passion, emotion and the physical/practical.  In the Mabon  ritual we move in turn towards the compass points which relate to each element and think about:

East:     Our harvest of ideas, concepts and realizations.
South:  Improvements in health and vitality – or any other successes or                              adventures, and “high spots”.
West:   Emotional fulfillments.
North:  Practical/physical results of things achieved in work, finance and property.

The best results for magical workings at the time of the Autumn Equinox relate to an increase in intellectual, psychic and spiritual powers.

I wish all of my readers a happy Mabon and a prosperous autumn season, and ask that God (however you conceive Him or Her) bless you all in your personal, sexual, emotional and professional lives.  Blessed Be!

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It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question. –  Eugene Ionesco

In today’s column I’ll answer a few more questions from my readers, starting with two more from the lady whose question closed yesterday’s column.  If there’s anything you want to know but don’t feel comfortable putting into a post reply (or just can’t find an appropriate post to attach it to), send me an email (maggiemcneill@earthlink.net) and I’ll answer it in my next mail column; if you really need a quicker response let me know and I’ll answer you directly.  Unless directed otherwise, I will treat all questions as confidential and will not reveal the screen name of the asker.

Were you able to enjoy your sexual peak even though you worked in the sex industry, or did working mean you wanted less sex for you?

My questioner is referring to the fact that women hit our sexual peak about 35, which for me was while I was working.  Obviously, I can only answer this one for myself; I’m sure some girls are “burned out” by sex work, whereas for others client sex and boyfriend sex are apples and oranges.  My personal answer depends on what you mean by the word “want”.  As I explained in my column of September 14th, my sexuality is almost entirely receptive; though I have no aversion to sex whatsoever, it’s pretty rare that I actually crave it.  In other words, if nobody propositions me I just tend to cruise along, not really thinking about sex or wanting it, yet if someone I find attractive or interesting or nice or generous approaches me for sex I tend to get interested quite easily unless there’s some reason I shouldn’t (in which case I can resist just as easily).  You might say my “on” switch isn’t hard to find; it just isn’t equipped with an automatic setting.

Personally, I love my sexuality and I can’t imagine being any other way.  I would hate to have an aggressive sexuality which drove me to actually seek out sex, yet I would equally hate being frigid and unresponsive.  And really, it’s a great way for a whore (or a wife) to be; the only times I can truly say I’m “not in the mood” are those in which I’m overwhelmed by some powerful physical condition such as illness or exhaustion.  If my husband is interested or a client has the money and I’m not completely debilitated, I’m ready to go (or can be within a few minutes) even if I’ve already had five men that day.  I suspect that my body advertises this extreme receptivity to men in some subtle way (such as by pheromones or body language), and that it is a large part of my sex appeal.

Did clients always want intercourse or did some just request blow jobs?

Clients want all sorts of different things.  I’d say about 75% want “full service”, and most of the other 25% some alternate form of release such as a blow job, hand job, “Russian” (tit-fucking), etc.  A small percentage prefer to do it themselves while the girl touches them, kisses them, talks dirty, plays with herself or otherwise provides stimulation; I described such a client on July 23rd.  A few don’t even want that; fetish clients (such as I discussed on August 28th and September 16th and 17th just want their fantasies fulfilled and usually take care of themselves later.  And a rare few don’t want any kind of sex at all, just companionship or advice or a shoulder to cry on.

Do men ever hire escorts to actually escort them somewhere?

Most definitely!  As I discussed on August 15th and 31st girls get taken places all the time, and on some occasions (such as the gentleman who first took me to Galatoire’s, mentioned in the latter column) they didn’t even want sex afterward.

In your column on terminology you didn’t mention DATY; I know what that is, but what’s DATO?

You are correct, I did forget that one.  As I said at the start of my column of September 7th it wasn’t intended to cover every conceivable term, but DATY is pretty elementary and I should have included it; mea culpa.  For those who don’t know, “DATY” is an acronym for “Dining At The Y”, meaning cunnilingus.  Though it resembles internet terms like BBBJ or GFE it actually dates back to the 1940s and may be of Australian origin.  It of course refers to the fact that a woman with her legs spread is shaped like an inverted letter “Y”, combined with a joking reference to “Y” as slang for “YMCA”.  DATO (“Dining At The O”) is formed by example of DATY, and refers to oral stimulation of the woman’s anus.  The term is never used to mean a whore performing this on a client; the usual term for that is “Asian” unless it’s in conjunction with a blow job, in which case it becomes Around the World.

Why are most massage parlors run and staffed by Asians?

I’m not sure, but I expect it’s for the same reason that most nail parlors are owned by Vietnamese people and many hotels are owned and run by Indians.  Asian people have very strong social networks and familial connections, so they employ family and friends and when those employees learn the business and make enough to go off on their own, they employ family and friends as well and soon a large number of similar businesses are owned by people of one particular ethnicity.  And since cultures in the Far East tend to be much more pragmatic about sex than Western ones, many Asian people consider a massage parlor to be a business like any other (to the horror of bluenosed American officials).

What’s the strangest place you’ve ever had an appointment?

Regular readers may remember from my column of August 16th that I am not fond of sex in weird places, but when I wrote that I meant mostly dirty, cramped or non-private places; I don’t mind places that are just weird as long as I don’t have to lie on something hard or dirty or risk getting arrested.  Most of the strange places I’ve seen clients have been in their places of business; lawyers in particular are famous for this.  I’ve had appointments in a number of law offices (usually on or under desks or on couches) and twice that I can recall in law libraries (ironic, no?)  I’ve also seen doctors in their offices, a minister in a multi-purpose room at his church, and a bar owner on one of his pool tables.  But the most unusual one would probably have to be the captain’s stateroom on a large tow boat on the Mississippi River; his crew took up a collection and purchased my services for him as a birthday present.  They were worried that no girl would agree to come out, but I couldn’t see any difference between a tow boat and any other place of business.  The first mate met me at the wharf and helped me aboard, and he and the other crewmen I met were polite and respectful; the captain was a handsome, educated man and his cabin was as private and comfortable as any man’s bedroom (and far neater and cleaner than most).

What were your age limits for clients?

It’s not unusual for clients to ask if such-and-such age is “too old”; amazingly, the ones who ask this are usually in the prime age range for clients, their fifties!  A fair number of clients are in their sixties, a few in their seventies and a very small number in their eighties; the oldest client whose age I can remember him stating was 86.  I had no upper limit on client age; while it’s true that men over 70 are difficult to deal with, they’re certainly no worse than drunks and at least they appreciate the girl’s effort.  I did, however, generally have a lower limit of 21, but made exceptions in special cases down to 18.  Under no circumstances would I ever agree to see a boy below 18, nor would I allow any of my girls to do so, but guys so young rarely have the necessary funds anyway.  Only twice in my career was I so uncertain of a boy’s age that I asked him to show me his driver’s license; the first such case actually had it ready (apparently his baby face had caused doubt in hookers before) and he was actually 23!  In the second case I responded to a request for a woman in her 30s from a room at the five-star Windsor Court, only to be received by what looked to me like a teenage boy!  As it turned out he was a 20-year-old skateboard champion in town for a competition, and the room had been arranged by his manager.  But he was attracted to women old enough to be his mother (and I definitely was) and was amazingly mature for his age; he knew more about how to treat a lady than many clients who were a decade or more older.

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Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. –  Dr. Seuss

In today’s column I’m going to answer some questions from my readers.  Some of these have been asked more than once, and some were asked by friends who knew me before I started blogging, while a few are new questions submitted to my email address (maggiemcneill@earthlink.net).  If there’s anything you want to know but don’t feel comfortable putting into a post reply (or just can’t find an appropriate post to attach it to), send me an email and I’ll answer it in my next mail column.  If you really need a quicker response let me know and I’ll answer you directly.  Unless directed otherwise, I will treat all questions as confidential and will not reveal the screen name of the asker.  We’ll start with one of the most commonly-asked questions of all:

How many men a day did you see?

For the first two years I worked (200-2001) I averaged about 16 calls a week, or as I thought of it “two per day and two for the week”.  But after September 11th, 2001 things slowed down for the convention business in New Orleans and my numbers began to fluctuate wildly; throughout 2004-2005 only about 10 per week.  After Katrina it shot way up since I was the “only game in town”; I asked my husband for an estimate last night and he thinks it was roughly 3-4 per day, which sounds about right to me.  In fact, my busiest day ever was December 1, 2005; I did 10 calls that day, and you had better believe I was exhausted and sore when it was done!  But things started to drop off after that, and when it dropped below an average of 1/day by late May I knew it was time to retire.

How did your husband feel about your working?

As I’ve said before my husband started out as my favorite client, so he had to face the reality of the situation from the very beginning.  After we got engaged he asked me not to do anything but bachelor parties, two-girl shows and the like, and I agreed.  However, due to unforseen financial difficulties which appeared near the end of 2003 I had to return to work full-time.  At first he took this philosophically, but once I started working it into a dominant/submissive fantasy for him (playing that he was “lending out” his slave girl) it actually began to turn him on.  I was always totally honest with him, and once he saw that it had no affect on my feelings for him he was able to enjoy the fantasy without experiencing any insecurity that I might become emotionally attached to another man.  We’ve discussed it since I retired, and we both agree that if I had to return to work for some reason it really wouldn’t be a big deal.  Which brings us to the next question:

Would you ever return to work for any reason?

I firmly believe that one should never say “never”.  If there were some compelling reason, I would certainly return to work, though I would have to find a way to do so without having to live away from home, as I’ve become to adjusted to my current mode of living and regular schedule to ever go back to city life and constantly being on call.  When I received this question I realized that one of my readers might one day ask to see me professionally, and I decided that I would agree to it on the condition that he pay me no fee, but instead make a tax-deductible donation to the WWAV “No Justice” Project.  I proposed this to my husband and he readily agreed.

What’s the difference between a courtesan and an escort?

“Courtesan” is an historical term for an educated, high-class prostitute who caters to men who want companionship rather than mere sex; she is the Western equivalent of a Japanese geisha.  In recent years some educated working girls have revived the term, and I’m very pleased that they have.  Unfortunately, by doing so they have inspired a host of imitators who just don’t get it; these wannabes seem to think calling themselves “courtesans” is just a convenient excuse to charge more.  I’ve actually seen some of these self-proclaimed “courtesans” publish lists of what courtesans do and don’t do, as though it were just a matter of following a checklist (the term “GFE” has experienced a similar degradation of late).  But I’ve got news for these ladies; “I am a courtesan” is not simply code for “I have a serious case of platinum pussy syndrome”.  If you can’t intelligently discuss a number of subjects (such as history, science, music, art, literature, philosophy, etc) in which your client might be interested, you aren’t a courtesan.  If you can’t make a client feel special and important or carry a conversation by yourself for four hours without his realizing you’re doing it, you aren’t a courtesan.  If you can’t listen to a man’s problems without judging and give him wise and compassionate advice on them, you’re not a courtesan.  And if you can’t ignore age, obesity, deformity, disability or just plain ugliness and look at your client for what he is inside rather than how he appears outside, you certainly aren’t a courtesan.  I could declare myself an empress, but that wouldn’t make it so, and a duck who proclaims herself a swan is still just a duck.

If it’s true that prostitutes have a lower incidence of sexually transmitted diseases than the general population, why is it that blood banks won’t accept blood from men who admit to seeing prostitutes?

They won’t accept blood from homosexuals, either; promiscuity of any kind is considered a high-risk behavior for blood-borne infections.  But beyond that, why do governments insist on equating voluntary adult prostitutes with enslaved teenage girls?  The answer to both questions is the same:  Superior authority does not grant superior wisdom.

Did your clients always expect you to have an orgasm too, or were they mostly concerned with you getting them off? And did you ever have an orgasm for real with any of your clients?

Most men enjoy giving women orgasms.  Males are highly achievement-oriented; their self-esteem depends upon being competent, and being perceived as virile and sexually potent is as important to the average man as being perceived as beautiful and desirable is to the average woman.  In the past men didn’t care much about giving women orgasms because female sexuality was viewed as a mystery, but once it became general knowledge that women can nearly always achieve orgasm through masturbation but not always through sex with a man, inducing orgasm in his partner became the goal of sex for many men.  The competitive, result-oriented male mind sees female orgasm as the target, the goal, the finish line of the “game” of sex, so his sexual pleasure is greatly enhanced if he can “score” it.

However, as you and I both know, it isn’t that simple.  For many women orgasm is more like hunting than it is like football; it’s not just a matter of aiming a shot with proper force and accuracy into a static area, but rather of hitting a moving target which may or may not elect to show itself on that occasion!  There are times when (for whatever reason) it just isn’t going to happen, but many men just can’t understand that and will refuse to stop trying; on those occasions a good fake allows the man save face and concentrate on what can be accomplished, namely his own orgasm.

And that’s only speaking of lovers; with clients orgasm is even more elusive, and indeed for some girls never shows its face in a commercial situation at all.  But this typical female condition is completely alien to the average man; he just can’t comprehend that the right combination of moves and techniques could through no fault of his own somehow fail to achieve what it was intended to achieve.  Even those men who intellectually understand this may have trouble grasping it on an emotional level, so it’s always best to give a man a good, convincing fake if one senses that it’s important to him or if he comes out and says “I want to give you pleasure, too” as so many of them do.  Obviously, this isn’t necessary if he just wants a blow job or comes very quickly with intercourse.

The answer to the second part of your question is yes.  It didn’t happen often, but sometimes things just clicked and I did indeed climax with a customer.  The irony in this, of course, is that it was rarely due to any technical “performance” on his part, but usually just because the situation was somehow unusually exciting or because I felt a stronger-than-usual connection with him. I had orgasms pretty consistently with some of my regulars, especially the one I called the Salesman, though in his case that was indeed due in part to his amazingly talented fingers.

In tomorrow’s column, more questions about hookers’ orgasms and customers’ choices.  See you then!

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