Archive for March, 2011

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer. –  Bruce Lee

Another monthly collection of (I hope) helpful answers to questions posed by curious readers.

How do you expose a gay man pretending to be a woman on a chat site?

Well, first of all, not every man pretending to be a woman on a chat site is gay.  As I discussed in my column of November 14th, some are trolls or “geeks” desperate for attention, others are cops or injustice perverts trying to trick people, and many are probably just horny guys trying to create interactive porn stories they can wank themselves to. But no matter what the motivation, a guy is a guy and will tend to act and think like a guy despite his best efforts to disguise himself.  It’s a pretty safe bet that any chat-room “woman” you get a really strange “vibe” from is probably a man, and if “she” wants to start talking about sex right away or asks you to describe or send pictures of your penis, you’re almost certainly talking to a guy.

But let’s assume your cyberdrag aficionado is practiced enough to avoid such rookie mistakes; how can you tell then?  Well, you could ask questions that real women can answer easily but men tend to have trouble with, like bust size; confused by porn and men’s magazines, guys will often combine a bust measurement with a cup size to create hybrids like “42D”, which would be the bra size of a rather big woman.  The relationship between measurements and dress size is also a mystery to most men; if your self-proclaimed “hot babe” claims to be busty but supposedly wears a size 2 dress, it’s either a guy or a fat woman with a really low opinion of your intelligence.  Just for comparison, I’m 5’5” tall and 132#, wear a 34DDD bra, my waist is 25” and my hips are 36”, and I wear about a size 7 if the dress is cut loose or made with spandex, 9 if it’s tight or of stiffer fabric.  There are others, but obviously you might just be a “cyberqueen” yourself trying to trick me into giving you a checklist.  Your best bet is just to pay attention to conversational style, which is hard to fake.

In the comments for my February Q & A column Americanus wrote, “It’s very nice to see women giving such great advice on blow jobs.  It may sound selfish but I certainly would be open to advice on how to improve on oral from my end as well.

The single most important piece of sexual advice I can give a man is “pay attention”.  Most women are very sensitive to our partners’ feelings and often aren’t entirely honest about what we like for fear of bruising male egos; we thus tend to remain silent when we don’t like something because the truth is often greeted with the sort of hurt look one sees on the face of a kicked dog.  So we fake orgasms, endure bad oral sex and suggest changing positions to escape activities which have become intolerable.  And even if you have unusually high self-esteem and can accept the sexual criticism most men cannot, your partner may not know that and probably won’t risk finding out.  But there’s a way to break the cycle:  don’t listen to her words, pay attention to her reactions.  As you try your favorite oral technique on her, watch and listen for sounds of pleasure and arousal; if you don’t see them, try something else until you hit on something that seems to work better.  Do more of whatever she seems to like and less of whatever she seems to dislike or not care about, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your technique improves.  Ladies, this works in reverse as well; most men will unconsciously pick up on such cues, so make sure you visibly and/or audibly react to things you like so as to encourage them, and go quiet and still for things you dislike so as to discourage them.  This lets him know your preferences without the risk of hurting his feelings, and has the advantage of letting him think the changes in technique are his idea.

A few dos and don’ts are in order, though; guys, the most sensitive part of a woman’s sexual anatomy is the clitoris, not the vagina.  Licking and (if it’s large enough) sucking on the clit will accomplish a lot more than trying to stick your tongue inside her or lapping her vulva like a dog drinking from a bowl.  Some women’s clits are so sensitive they cannot stand to have them directly touched; if your lady is like that just work though the hood.  In other cases (including yours truly) the clitoral hood is so thick that unless it’s moved you won’t accomplish anything; this is a prime example of the need for paying attention.  Finally, remember that the entire area is very sensitive; a stubbly face rubbed or ground into a woman’s crotch can be acutely painful.

Though there are a few constants, different women like different things so there is no substitute for learning your partner’s individual preferences.  And I suspect we’ll get a demonstration of that over the next few days as my female readers chime in on what they enjoy best in oral technique.

Recently, a guy started a thread on ECCIE in which he asked why mature escorts are still interested in sex while so many middle-aged women aren’t.  He asked if they used hormones or special exercises or anything like that.  What’s your opinion on the subject?

Don’t tell me, let me guess:  The thread was full of escorts talking about how “horny” they are all the time.  I really don’t know why guys start threads like that on hooker boards; do they actually expect honest answers, or are they just looking for fantasy material?  If any of those women answered honestly it could adversely affect her business; most men prefer to embrace the myth of the wanton than to acknowledge the uncomfortable reality that escorts have sex for money, not because they’re nymphos who want nothing better than to jump into bed with an endless series of (often unappealing) strangers.  Obviously, escorts are generally more open to sex than many amateurs or else they wouldn’t be very successful, but for the most part the reason they’re more “interested” than wives is that their livelihoods depend on it.  In defense of the wives, I must point out that if their husbands flattered and pursued them like they do whores the wives might feel (and act) a whole lot sexier.  Of course, the average high-dollar hooker puts forth a lot more effort to be sexy than the average wife, so it cuts both ways.  If both husbands and wives tried a little harder, their sex lives might not go south quite as badly.  As for the hormone thing, I already discussed that on February 5th.

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We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future. –  Marshall McLuhan

Those readers who were adults in the 1980s will no doubt remember that South Africa was at that time an international pariah; her runaway economic growth of the 1960s had slowed to a crawl and her apartheid system was the subject of international censure.  South African products were boycotted and anti-apartheid movements in Europe and North America had resulted in a series of political and economic sanctions and pressure for American and European companies to withdraw from the country.  By the time the government started dismantling apartheid in 1990, South Africa was widely vilified as among the most backward and repressive regimes in the world.  But that was 21 years ago, and today the story is quite different as demonstrated by this article published in Financial Mail on March 17th:

…After a recent court ruling, sex workers now enjoy protection under the Labour Relations Act.  However, they can still be prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act for plying their trade.  The case that brought about this situation is related to a 2006 incident involving a sex worker referred to as “Kylie” who alleged that she was unfairly dismissed by the owner of the brothel where she worked.  In October last year Judge Dennis Davis of the labour appeal court, citing the constitutional right to fair labour practice, found that the council for conciliation, mediation & arbitration (CCMA) could indeed hear Kylie’s grievance, which led to an undisclosed settlement.  The effect of this ruling is that sex workers are now considered employees by law but do not necessarily enjoy the right to bargain collectively, strike or do anything that would amount to the furthering of the commission of the crime.  The ruling, however, takes SA law closer to legalising the “oldest profession”.

In April 2006, Kylie alleged she was dismissed by her employer…without a prior hearing and subjected to slave-like working conditions….She lodged a complaint with the CCMA, which…[ruled that Kylie] was engaged in an illegal profession and the commission had no jurisdiction in the case…the labour court…agreed…that the courts should not encourage illegal activity by offering assistance in such disputes…[But] the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC)… argued before the labour appeal court that the applicant was entitled to fair labour practices…under…the Labour Relations Act…[The WLC advocate] said…the constitutional right of fair labour practices is above the common law which nullifies contracts arising from illegal activity, such as commercial sex.  [The] Judge…agreed, citing a previous constitutional court judgment that the right of life and dignity “vests in every person, including criminals convicted of vile crimes”.

WLC attorney Stacey-Leigh Manoek says the Law Reform Commission will release a draft bill on sexual offences in March 2012, which could partially or completely decriminalise prostitution.  “Their work is criminalised but that does not make them criminals,” Manoek says. “We are not sure which way the Law Reform Commission will take, but we need to eliminate systematic abuse.”

What a change two decades can bring!  Americans of the late ’80s claimed the moral high ground against a South African regime well-known for violating basic human rights, but today the situation is completely reversed; South Africa is moving into the 21st century with regard to women’s sexual rights, while the United States, as discussed in yesterday’s column, seems intent on moving back to the 17th with its use of high-tech pillories and branding irons.  In an example of typical American “progress” on the issue of women’s rights, Colorado (once known for its high respect for civil liberties) is moving toward establishing the retrogressive “Swedish Model” with a profitable (for police) American twist, as reported in this AP story from March 19th:

A proposed prostitution crackdown in Colorado is focusing on customers.  The state Senate planned to start work Monday on a bill that would promote a statewide network of so-called “john schools“…Last year, [Boulder attorney Beth] Klein pushed for a human trafficking law that added the sex trade to Colorado’s Organized Crime Act.  “What we really want to have people do is go to these schools and be so transformed by the seriousness of this that they don’t do it again,” Klein said.  Klein and Senate President Brandon Shaffer, the bill’s sponsor, want to see Colorado increase penalties for buying sex.  Shaffer said the fine should be $10,000, with the money going to municipalities that want to set up john schools and treatment for sex workers.  Colorado currently classifies soliciting sex a petty offense, below a misdemeanor, with fines as low as $75 — less than littering in some cases.  People convicted of solicitation aren’t required to register as sex offenders.  Shaffer…said a major goal of his bill is to increase fines so that cash-strapped municipal police forces have an incentive to go after johns and send them to treatment…”What we’re really trying to do is cut down on the enormous public harm that comes from human trafficking,” Garnett said.

Once again, adult women are reduced to pathetic, victimized legal incompetents by equating them with abducted children, and men are condemned to re-education camps in the hope of brainwashing them into seeing women this way.  Worst of all, the new evil of asset forfeiture is used to enable an old evil, institutionalized pimping; the money to fund programs designed to convince men that women are inferior, irrational second-class citizens without the ability to make valid decisions about sexuality is being diverted from prostitutes ourselves.

In my column of November 24th I listed all the countries in which prostitution is still illegal; if you missed that one you may wish to look at the wonderful crowd our leaders want us associating with.  It looks as though South Africa is trying to reform itself and move into the circle of civilized nations, but the United States seems to prefer the company of nations like Myanmar (Burma), a third-world militocracy, whose new American-style anti-prostitution campaign was described in Huffington Post on March 21st:

Authorities in Myanmar have announced a ban on massage parlors and restrictions on restaurants and karaoke lounges…in a bid to curb disguised prostitution…The privately run Myanmar Times newspaper said restaurants and karaoke lounges have been ordered to install transparent glass in their rooms, while beauty parlors will be required to install “adequate” lighting.  Many massage parlors are fronts for brothels, while the other venues also sometimes offer sexual services. Prostitution is illegal in Myanmar and anyone caught running a brothel can be imprisoned…

Police militarization, government control of the economy, a vast proliferation of malicious prosecution and suppression of women’s rights; if you want a peek at the future of what used to be called “the Land of the Free”, Myanmar (or her giant neighbor China) may give you a clue.  Perhaps one day in the not-so-distant future, South Africa may join Europe and other civilized regions in imposing political and economic sanctions on the United States for its reprehensible suppression of its citizens.

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There can be no outrage, methinks, against our common nature,–whatever be the delinquencies of the individual,–no outrage more flagrant than to forbid the culprit to hide his face for shame. –  Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (Chapter 2)

I sometimes wish I could be as optimistic as Gene Roddenberry was.  The creator of Star Trek truly believed that as Man’s technology evolved, so would his nature.  But even though I’ve been a Trekkie since the first time I watched the show, I find the premise of a galaxy filled with humanoid races far more believable than I do the idea that human nature will change in anything shorter than many millennia, if ever.  My experiences, reading and studies have done nothing to convince me that the average human being of today is any different from the average human of medieval times, ancient Sumer or the Aurignacian period.  Our technology has advanced, our social systems have become more complex and our ability to communicate with one another is vastly greater than ever before, but if a human infant of today were swapped via time machine for one of ancient Catal Huyuk like some science-fictional changeling, I doubt either set of parents would ever know the difference.  Take away the synthetic clothes, the modern hygiene and the lifelong indoctrination and the modern man is no different from his 300x great-grandfather squatting in front of a campfire and imagining monsters out there in the dark.

One ancient behavior which is still clearly evident in humans is tribalism; there is a deep need to separate everyone into “us” and “them”, and to treat “them” as subhuman, monstrous, and unworthy of even the most basic sympathy one would give to a stray dog.  Though many of us strive to treat those we perceive as “other” with tolerance, many others react like the villagers in old Universal horror movies, hunting the “other” down with torches, pitchforks and baying dogs.  And if the outsider isn’t killed outright he is driven from society, forced to live on the outskirts of civilization, and often branded so that any stranger he encounters will shun him just as violently as his original tormenters do.  The only thing which has changed is the basis for the determination of “otherness”; the most widespread criteria were until recently race, national origin or religion, but for the past two generations people have been conditioned against such prejudices so they are much less common than they once were and those who openly display such feelings risk social censure themselves.  In modern American society, the major acceptable and state-encouraged criterion for “otherness” is violation of sex laws, and perhaps it’s because there are so few other socially acceptable targets for hatred that the rhetoric against whores and “sex offenders” has become so incredibly violent in the last two decades.

“Sex offender” registration was originally justified on the premise that “everybody knows” the rate of recidivism among child molesters is very high; need I remind you that “everybody knows” the vast majority of prostitutes are pimped, drug-addicted streetwalkers?  As it turns out, the recidivism rate among sex offenders is only 3-5%, which is actually lower than the rate for most crimes.  But as with so many government actions inspired by moral panics, the facts don’t matter and once such registries were established they took on lives of their own and soon these modern pariahs were not only labeled, but forbidden to live virtually anywhere in populated areas.  The list of crimes which result in “sex offender” status has of course grown; in Louisiana it includes some forms of prostitution as we’ve discussed before, and in states flirting with the “Swedish model” it could soon include men caught in prostitution “stings”.

Even in states without such laws, men thus entrapped may have their names and faces illegally displayed on billboards, sentenced to public censure without due process because they have not been convicted of any crime, merely accused of a misdemeanor which isn’t even illegal in civilized countries.  Likewise, women accused of misdemeanor prostitution have their names and (always unflattering) pictures featured in news stories as though they were convicted murderers.  I can’t think of another misdemeanor which is even considered newsworthy; we don’t see feature articles on people accused of public drunkenness, trespassing or littering.  But bring sex into it, and suddenly the accused becomes the “other” despite the fact that the hypocrites condemning him are very likely to be guilty of some version of the same “offense,” and probably real evils as well.  Kelly Michaels recently told me that when a friend of hers was arrested for prostitution at her home (after the big heroic police bravely tricked her), she had to endure being publicly dragged to the car in handcuffs while jeering neighbors taunted her and vowed to expel her from the neighborhood (a so-called “gated community”) via petition.  Are these the actions of evolved minds?  They might as well be wearing white hoods and threatening to tar and feather her, or perhaps to burn her at the stake.

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Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling? –  Bertrand Russell

Prohibitionists have their own terms for nearly everything involving prostitution and their quixotic war against it; some of these are merely jargon of the sort which can be found in any specialized group, but others are euphemisms, dysphemisms or just plain distortions intended to disguise the truth about harlotry (easily discovered nowadays in blogs like this one) and portray it as something ugly, criminal and exploitative of women.  So today I’d like to look at a few of these terms, defining them in plain English, so that my readers will understand what the prohibitionists are actually trying to accomplish by their use.

Abolitionist:  A prohibitionist.  They prefer the term “abolitionist” because they’re working to “free the slaves”.  The comparison is a better one than they imagine; though the modern view of abolitionists is wholly positive, in reality most of them (as documented in Russell’s Renegade History of the United States) had an incredibly patronizing attitude toward black people and many of them considered the chief evil of slavery to be the loose sexual morals of the slaves.

Apologist:  Anyone who answers propaganda with facts: “Maggie McNeill is a trafficking apologist.”

Backlash:  Resistance to injustice perpetrated in the name of “feminism”.

Bought and sold:  Engaged in any business transaction involving female sexuality or sex characteristics:  “We’re picketing this clinic because gynecologists are bought and sold here.”

Car dragging:  A common component of reframing experiences.  It’s not unusual to hear a survivor tell the story that she was dragged for blocks down the street by either her pimp or a john, but there are never any witnesses, scars, or police or hospital reports to verify the account.  One might point out that real incidents of dragging usually cause major injuries and are often fatal, but the credulous audiences of such tales never think of that.

Consent:  The clearly spoken (never merely implied) agreement to engage in sexual conduct with a male on the part of an adult woman over 18 (even if the legal age of consent where she lives is lower) unless the one who uses the term disapproves of whatever it is she’s consenting to.  Consent can be revoked retroactively without any time limit.  See also rape.

Degradation:  Participation in any sexual activity of which the majority of neofeminists or other prudes disapprove.  See also rape.

Denial:  A psychological state characterized by a sex worker of any kind remembering the events of her life as they actually happened rather than as prohibitionists wish to believe they happened.  See also reframing experiences.

Dworkin, Andrea:  American neofeminist (1946-2005) who dreamed up a large portion of the inane “rape” rhetoric which characterizes the anti-porn and anti-prostitution planks of the neofeminist platform.  Criticism of any of Dworkin’s scriptures, including her violently pornographic novel Ice and Fire, is tantamount to blasphemy in neofeminist prohibitionism.

End demand:  The prohibitionist strategy which hinges upon lowering the average male sex drive to below that of the average female by harassment, threats and brainwashing.  The male’s higher testosterone level is considered immaterial because all gender differences, including sex drive, are “socially constructed”.  See also Swedish model.

Exploitation:  Any business transaction involving sex or sex appeal in which a woman is the payee, no matter how highly paid she is.  Swimwear modeling and $1000/hour escorting are exploitation, but cleaning toilets for minimum wage is not.

Farley, Melissa: American neofeminist (born 1942) skilled at creating bogus “studies” designed to produce anti-prostitution, anti-porn and anti-BDSM results.  Farley utilizes such tactics as interviewing streetwalkers in jails and rehab facilities, discarding the responses which do not conform to her beliefs (see denial), and then fallaciously applying the results to all prostitutes.  Whenever a prohibitionist starts quoting statistics, one can be sure that the name “Farley” will appear prominently in the list of sources.

Feminist:  The label neofeminists erroneously apply to themselves; see also sex-pozzies.

Hughes, Donna:  American neofeminist (born 1954) who couldn’t make it as a geneticist because science kept inconveniently disproving her neofeminist beliefs, so she moved into the ghetto of “women’s studies” where nobody would challenge her faith with facts.  Because she is a strong supporter of criminalization she appeals as much to Christian fundamentalist prohibitionists as to neofeminist ones, and was instrumental in the 2009 re-criminalization of prostitution in Rhode Island.

Human trafficking:  Prostitution, acting in porn, international marriage brokering or surrogate motherhood, especially in (but not limited to) cases in which a woman moves from one place to another for the work.  Moving out of a third-world hellhole to do sex work in a Western nation is “human trafficking”, but working in a sweatshop in one’s own country is not (see also exploitation).

Humiliation:  See degradation.

John:  A term for the client of a prostitute which is used almost exclusively by those outside prostitution (especially prohibitionists, police and the media).

John school:  An end demand scheme in which men caught in prostitution “stings” are forced to endure being screamed at by survivors.

Majority:Small minority; usually proceeded by the adjective “vast”:  “The vast majority of prostitutes are trafficked slaves”.

Nordic model:  See Swedish model.

People in prostitution:  See prostituted woman.

Pimp:  Any male who associates with any sex worker (including strippers and porn actresses) but is not a customer.  Husbands, boyfriends, drivers, bodyguards, service owners and even some landlords are all “pimps”.  See also exploitation.

Pimp lobby:  The anti-prostitute neofeminist equivalent of the Illuminati, a vast international organization funded by pornography whose agenda is the decriminalization of prostitution so that prostitutes can operate openly and independently without the need for pimps.

Pornography:  To neofeminists, any visual representation of the female body unless made by and for lesbians.  To Christian fundamentalists, any visual representation of a nude human body, period.

Pro-prostitution:  Since neofeminists represent prostitution as a form of rape, this seemingly innocuous term is actually a slur implying that sex worker rights advocates promote rape.

Pro-trafficking lobby:  See pimp lobby, pro-prostitution.

Prostituted woman:  A whore.  Modern prohibitionist rhetoric teaches that since no woman would voluntarily hire herself for sexual services, all prostitution is involuntary and coerced even if the woman states otherwise (see denial).  Hence this term, which casts the prostitute as a victim to whom something is done rather than a competent adult making a free choice.

Rape:  Any heterosexual behavior in which the man acts without the woman’s clearly expressed consent, even if that consent is implied.  Consent can be retroactively withdrawn at any time, thus converting past sexual encounters into “rape” even if the man believes he obtained consent.  Since the consent of individual women is subject to collective neofeminist approval, any heterosexual activity of which a majority of neofeminists disapprove (including but not limited to sex work and BDSM) is automatically rape even if the individual woman involved gives consent.  Some extreme neofeminists (including Andrea Dworkin) preach that all heterosexual relations are tantamount to rape because heterosexual women are essentially too stupid to “truly” consent.

Reframing experiences:  Lying.  “Survivors” are encouraged to “reframe their experiences” in order to make prostitution, johns or whatever seem worse than they actually were.

Research:  Designing leading questions to be asked to a carefully-selected sample of sex workers in order to elicit the desired responses, then discarding those responses which do not fit the “theory”.  See also Melissa Farley.

Selling:  See bought and sold.

Sex-pozzie:  Dismissive term for a sex-positive feminist, one who believes in the social goals of feminism but rejects neofeminist anti-sex rhetoric in favor of the heretical notion that adult women are competent to make their own individual sexual decisions.

Sexual violence:  Similar to rape, but not limited to physical contact: “Exploitation of strippers is a form of sexual violence.”

Slave:  In the rhetoric of trafficking fanatics, a prostituted woman.

Survivor:  An unhappy ex-streetwalker or genuine trafficking victim brainwashed by prohibitionists into parroting their rhetoric, often accompanied by reframing experiences; they are the primary tools exploited by john schools.

Swedish model:  An insidious form of prohibitionism based upon the neofeminist premise that adult women are forever the equivalent of legal minors, neither able to consent to sex acts of which the state does not approve, nor held liable if they consent to those acts.  Since men are fully competent adults, however, they are unilaterally liable just as they would be in statutory rape cases.

Victim:  A term whose meaning varies widely depending on the type of prohibitionism.
1)  In 20th-century prohibitionism, a prostitute’s client or the client’s wife.
2)  In neofeminism, a woman.
3)  In Swedish model or trafficking rhetoric, a sex worker.
4)  In Christian prohibitionism, either #1, #3 or both (varies by group).
5)  In “progressive” American institutional prohibitionism, a prostitute with a pimp, except for those arrested or raped by the police (who deserve what they get and are therefore not victims).

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When the sex war is won prostitutes should be shot as collaborators for their terrible betrayal of all women. –  Julie Burchill

Domestic sows are often subject to a perverse and horrifying behavioral abnormality called “savaging”, or cannibalistic infanticide; in plainer language, they eat their own young.  The behavior is thought to be caused by fear, stress or unsanitary conditions, but it is also noted that sows which have done it once are prone to do it again.  Though humans are not subject to this behavior in a literal sense, there are a number of women who tend to viciously attack others as part of a broader rejection of their own femininity; I call them neofeminists.  And like disturbed sows, neofeminists reserve their most vicious attacks for those one would least expect them to target, in this case other women.

The reason, I suspect, lies in the differing ways in which men and women view our bodies.  For a man, the body is a vehicle; he gets signals from it such as hunger, pain, sexual desire, etc and though he’s forced to respond to those signals he still views them as something outside his ego.  In the sea of organic life a male is someone on a raft:  He is supported by the sea and can perceive it all around him, and it has powerful and often overwhelming effects on him, but he is ALWAYS outside of it and indeed fears being swallowed up by it.  But for women our psyches are inextricably bound up in the body; we are immersed in that sea, swimming in it, surrounded by it on all sides, and the signals from it are not merely messages from somewhere else but thoughts in our own brains.  No man can understand the way women think of food or sex, and pregnancy might as well be science fiction to them.  Starting in the early teens the female body undergoes catastrophic changes (unlike the comparatively gradual and subtle male ones) and every month we are reminded of the fact that Mother Nature is in control and we have little choice but to obey her demands.  This is not merely a physical thing but a mental one; our feelings, perceptions and thoughts are altered by the internal tides and they’re only a pale reflection of the changes produced by pregnancy.

So it should come as no surprise that some female intellectuals reject their own femininity, in extreme cases violently so by embracing male dress, grooming, mannerisms and lifestyles.  It isn’t about “male power” as they claim publicly; it’s about rejecting female powerlessness over our bodies, a state they wrongfully blame on men because the truth, that it’s the doing of the bitch goddess Nature, is too overwhelming.  Men and political systems can be fought, but Nature cannot be, so neofeminists adhere to the ridiculous “social construction of gender” ideology as a way of whistling past the graveyard.  Because they’re so miserable and maladjusted they resent anyone who isn’t, and from this resentment grows envy of men for being free of the tyranny of a female body, and envy of women who have learned to live comfortably with it.  Envy inevitably decays into hate, and the ultimate targets of that hatred are prostitutes because we not only embrace our bodies and use them to enrich ourselves in a way denied to neofeminists, but also because we enable men to procure sex on their own terms rather than having to dance to every ridiculous demand made by some woman with an exaggerated sense of her own irreplaceability.

The neofeminists are fond of pretending that prostitution is an outgrowth of patriarchy, but this is clearly absurd; the highest status of the prostitute is found in the ancient semi-matriarchal cultures, and the lowest in the most patriarchal ones.  Married women in such cultures often resent the freedom and power of the prostitute, and as in the case of the neofeminists such resentment gives rise to hatred.  But it wasn’t until the decay of first-wave feminism that this hatred actually turned into widespread legislative repression, and even then the persecution was represented as a self-evident moral issue.  A century ago there was no need for moral crusaders to lie about whores; the truth of our lives was enough to justify a war on our profession according to the prevailing Christian morality of the time.  But after the sexual revolution relaxed the sexual mores of amateurs, it became much more difficult for anti-whore crusaders to whip up public feeling against us with the mere truth, so lies became necessary.

First came the traditional police lies about prostitution “attracting crime”, which equated escorts with streetwalkers and ignored the fact that it’s criminalization which creates the “crime” of prostitution in the first place.  But when prostitutes started participating in second-wave feminism and sympathy for us began to grow, early neofeminists found it necessary to construct elaborate lies about our degradation, bad childhoods, drug abuse, etc so as to destroy our credibility without openly attacking us (which at the time would’ve been recognized as the flagrant violation of sisterhood it is).  Whores then became victims who, though blameless, couldn’t be taken seriously because we were so screwed up.

This mythology is still the prevailing one, and gave rise to the Swedish Model and the “sex trafficking” cult, but unfortunately for its adherents there are a certain number of outspoken harlots who dare to challenge that view and prove its fallaciousness by simply showing ourselves to be intelligent, reasonable and well-adjusted women who aren’t “victimized” by anybody.  And because the internet has made us far more visible than we used to be, a new and even more vicious lie became necessary.  Neofeminists now claim that though the vast majority of prostitutes are trafficked, coerced victims, those of us who speak out for sex worker rights are a tiny minority who actually participate in the degradation of other women!  Some neofeminists prefer the subtle approach, claiming that though we may indeed be free and happy our “bad example” helps to make the sexual enslavement of “millions” possible, while others (such as those I discussed Friday) prefer the more overt approach typified by the Julie Burchill epigram to this column.  But a few (such as those who seem to have schooled “Bedelia”) have actually dreamed up a conspiracy theory of “Elders of Zion”-like proportions.  These lunatics imagine a vast, powerful “pimp lobby” funded by pornography which actively promotes sex trafficking and “paid rape” (yet somehow lacks the influence to get prostitution decriminalized even in Nevada), and that sex worker advocates such as the leaders of SWOP, well-known writers such as Tracy Quan and Belle de Jour, and even bloggers like myself and a number of my readers are all in the employ of this “pro-prostitution” cabal.

Nobody who hates femininity as much as the neofeminists do can possibly be accepted by rational people as speaking for all women, but few of their followers are rational and the politicians who embrace their rhetoric do so not out of belief, but expediency (neofeminist dogma gives them an excuse for more repressive legislation).  So I welcome neofeminists’ increasingly overt attacks on sex workers; the more vicious they grow, the less the public will accept that they speak for all women, and the zanier their pronouncements about vast pimp conspiracies become the less their arguments will be taken seriously by normal people.  Sooner or later, the only people listening to their nasty grunting and squealing will be the few benighted souls who choose to inhabit the same philosophical sty.

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Women need a reason to have sex.  Men just need a place. –  Billy Crystal

One of the very first topics I covered in this blog (on July 20th and 21st) was the fact that, for the most part, the female customer of male prostitutes is a myth.  Here’s what I said about it in “The Myth of the Wanton”:

But the strangest symptom of the general ignorance about women’s sexuality is the persistent myth of the female customer, the woman who is so desperate for sex that she’s willing to pay a man for it.  Hollywood loves to perpetuate this one, and not a month passed that I didn’t get a call from some guy who wanted to work as a male escort catering solely to women.  Despite the fact that my ad clearly stated “female escorts,” I always took the time to explain to these fantasy-addled men that the only way for male prostitutes to actually make a living is to see men; I was generally met with incredulity and I’m sure a number of them only called another service after hanging up with me.  They just couldn’t get it through their thick skulls that WOMEN DON’T NEED TO PAY FOR IT.  This obvious fact even seems occasionally to escape the minds of people who should know better, because every so often somebody announces that she’s going to open a brothel or escort service featuring male prostitutes who cater strictly to women.  The service opens to great fanfare, then within a few months either closes or starts accepting male customers.

The perfect illustration of the concluding point of that passage came just one year ago today as “Markus”, America’s first legal male prostitute, quit just two months after his much-ballyhooed arrival.  The reason?  He had fewer than 10 paying customers in all that time, as described in this excerpt from The Huffington Post of March 29, 2010:

America’s first legal male prostitute has left a rural Nevada brothel after a two-month stint that generated plenty of attention but fewer than 10 paying customers.  Brothel owner Jim Davis said Friday (March 26th, 2010) the Shady Lady Ranch had parted ways with the “prostitude” who worked under the name Markus.  A replacement has been hired…a Las Vegas man in his mid-30s who works under the name Y. Not and has had about 10 customers.  The focus of the business, however, will remain on women prostitutes serving men…Male companions were “never the main course,” [Bobbi Davis] said. “We’re going to try it for a while longer.”

The Shady Lady Ranch created a stir in Nevada’s brothel industry when it successfully won state and county approval to hire a male sex worker.  After hiring Markus, the Davises cut him off from speaking with reporters after his first two interviews, in which he compared himself with Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi…

Though I remember the media circus surrounding his hire, I missed the announcement of his resignation last March, probably because there was almost no media attention to it and I wasn’t writing this blog yet (and therefore had no readers to call it to my attention!)  If I thought about him at all I assumed he had either quietly quit or just as quietly started taking male customers so he could actually make a living (back when his hiring was first announced my husband said, “He’s going to be the poorest man in Nevada.”)  But recently, regular reader Sailor Barsoom mentioned the article after encountering it himself in a link from an article about Harry Reid’s asinine remarks of last month, and I decided the anniversary of his departure from Male Fantasyland on a one-way trip back to reality was worth noting.

Why did the Davises hire him in the first place when they knew full well he wouldn’t get enough business to pay his way?  Publicity, of course, of which they got plenty.  Much of it was bad, but some people believe there’s no such thing as bad publicity.  Perhaps; if things go as they usually do it’ll be about four more years before someone tries this particular publicity stunt again.  In any case, the rest of the brothel owners knew better; back when Markus was first hired Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, said “What woman with any money is going to go that three or four hours out of their way to do this?  Nobody.  A year from now, we’re going to have a good laugh about this.”  And I’m sure they’re doing exactly that.

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Faith prefers the absurd to the plausible. –  Mason Cooley

There’s a strong temptation to accuse those who hold different beliefs from oneself of mental deficiency; one sees the behavior quite often, particularly among those who hold socially liberal positions.  The adjective “stupid” or some variation on it is probably the most common ad hominem leveled against those who support censorship or intolerance, oppose civil rights, etc, so I’m loath to use such a criticism against those who believe (for whatever reason) that my profession should be suppressed.  But sometimes I read arguments or articles whose irrationality, stunning ignorance or total absurdity force me conclude that their authors suffer from, if not plain stupidity, some form of cognitive impairment which I’m not qualified to diagnose.  In my column of October 10th I examined a number of these sorts of arguments, but today I want to look at a few specific examples.

Every WordPress blog has a “site stats” page which reveals, among other things, websites from which people have followed links to reach the blog; one can click on the address of one of these referrals to follow it backwards to the site whence it originated and thus reveal sites which have linked to one’s own.  Well, two weeks ago I noticed a link from this guest blog on a feminist website and was delighted to see that no less a person than Belle de Jour (upon whose blog the hit TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl was based) had linked my column of February 9th.  Unfortunately, that delight was short-lived when I saw some of the vicious, propaganda-filled comments from disciples of Farley, Dworkin and company which followed and the disgusting way in which the blog’s administration distanced itself from its invited guest in order to kiss the arses of hatemongers.

One of these (calling herself M. Smith) was a pretty typical “trafficking” robot, while another one (Robin) was a lot like “Bedelia“, an unhappy former streetwalker apparently programmed by the prohibitionists to “reframe her experiences” and to spew out bogus statistics and patronizing “prostituted women” misogyny.  But these were just stooges or “true believers”; the ones with the apparent cognitive disorder are called “JTM” and “Geneva”.  These two made a great many comments (including a number of ad hominems against regular readers Sina and Laura Agustín) whose entire basis seems to be that all women are merely the three-dimensional projections of a single hydra-like gestalt entity floating in hyperspace, or the practical equivalent of it anyway.  The upshot of this is that any single woman’s sexual activities performed in private magically affect all women throughout the world as though we were one huge set of Corsican sisters, and therefore all women must submit to whatever limitations are imposed on our sexuality by our rightful leaders, the neofeminists.  I am not making this up; take a look at the thread for yourself.  Several people point out how bizarre this viewpoint is, and their objections are either sidestepped or answered with some variation of “you just don’t understand” or “you’re naïve” or “stop selling my sexuality, it’s not yours to sell.”  My pointing out that these same arguments could be used to restrict abortion rights was, unsurprisingly, ignored.  Judging by their writing these women aren’t stupid or insane, so I’m at a loss to understand how they can believe something so wholly ridiculous unless they’re suffering from some kind of cognitive dissonance deriving from a deep-seated aversion to sex or men manifesting itself in this fantastic mythology of feminine interconnectedness.

But my other example couldn’t be explained that way because it was written by a man; it appeared on March 12th on the user-generated news site Gather.  Now, since these are not professional writers one doesn’t expect proper fact-checking or healthy skepticism, and in this case one would be correct; the article contains the usual exaggerated and unsupported claims about “the growing incidents [sic] of children being pimped for sex acts.”  But it also contains a glaring contradiction that one would think would be obvious even to someone gullible enough to swallow whatever filth the police shovel into his mouth:  though the article goes on and on about “young children…forced into sex trafficking,” the story actually talks about the deception and arrest of six voluntary prostitutes, one a minor, with nary a mention of “pimps” or “traffickers” to be seen!

…The women arrested in the prostitution sting showed up at the motel after arranging a meeting with their supposed dons [sic] aka Broome County [New York] special investigators.  Police would not elaborate on what led to the actual arrests during the meetings. They, however, must have developed enough probable cause at some point to take five women and one minor into custody.  The women’s ages in the Backpage.com prostitution sting were 15 to 35.  Six females were actually arrested for misdemeanor prostitution, and the 15-year-old girl–who was brought along for sex acts–was released to her parents.  She will be charged, however, in juvenile and/or family court…

The writer’s faith in the police is touching; “they must have developed enough probable cause” because, you know, they said so and they’re the good guys.  One wonders why the writer seems concerned with the “trafficking” of subhuman beings, though; in the last part of his article he assures us that “Geebo.com…has taken proactive and responsible steps in making its site safe for all users.”  All users, that is, except prostitutes; I guess we don’t count because we aren’t human.  Unlike the neofeminist commenters on the Belle de Jour blog, this guy’s problem doesn’t seem to be an elaborate psychological defense mechanism but rather a type of atrophy of the critical faculty which causes him to view his subject in a startlingly childlike manner.  Though judging by his picture this is a man in his 30s, the article reads as though it was written by an unusually sheltered fifth-grader.

But really, neither the naivety of the latter case nor the derangement of the former surprises me in the least; now that the internet has allowed the truth about prostitution to be presented by the women who know it best, namely whores ourselves, police and moralists no longer have a monopoly on discourse about the subject and reasonable people can clearly separate facts from propaganda, thus leaving only the unreasonable (or those with a personal agenda which supersedes reason) in the prohibitionist camp.

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Propaganda is a soft weapon; hold it in your hands too long, and it will move about like a snake, and strike the other way. –  Jean Anouilh

It’s really nice to know I’m not just one voice crying out in the wilderness; besides my sister bloggers (some of whose links appear in the right column) and those who consistently support our rights (such as Laura Agustín, who recently republished her very first journal article on the subject), our cause sometimes gets a boost from sympathetic outsiders.  When those outsiders are journalists, it makes up a little for all the slackers who just repeat the lies promoted by police, politicians and fanatics with an anti-whore agenda; and when the boost comes in the form of attacking prohibitionists with their own propaganda I just can’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction. One such attack appeared yesterday in the San Francisco Weekly (a Village Voice property) and came to my attention via several routes; it’s a debunking of the bogus Schapiro Group studies I wrote about in my columns of  November 29th and January 27th, and is well worth reading for choice passages like this:

Ric Curtis, the chairman of the anthropology department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, led a Justice Department–funded study on juvenile prostitution in New York City in 2008.  He’s highly skeptical of the…study’s claims.  “I wouldn’t trust those numbers,” he says.  “This new study seems pretty bogus.”  In fact, the group behind the study admits as much.  It’s now clear it used fake data to deceive the media and lie to Congress.  And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding.

“We pitch it the way we think you’re going to read it and pick up on it,” says Kaffie McCullough, the director of Atlanta-based antiprostitution group A Future Not a Past.  “If we give it to you with all the words and the stuff that is actually accurate — I mean, I’ve tried to do that with our PR firm, and they say, ‘They won’t read that much.'”

And this:

Even if the person placing the advertisement is the one in the picture, there’s no telling how old the photo is, says David Finkelhor, the director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.  “How do you know when the pictures were taken?” he asks.  “It’s not illegal for an 18-year-old…to put up a picture of herself from when she was 16.”

And this:

“This is a logical fallacy,” says Steve Doig, the Knight Chair in Journalism at Arizona State University…”Consider this analogy: Imagine that 100 people were shown pictures of various automobiles and asked to identify the make, and that 38 percent of the time people misidentified Fords as Chevrolets.  Using the Schapiro logic, this would mean that 38 percent of Fords on the street actually are Chevys.”

And especially this:

When we asked Schapiro and Rusty Parker, the leader of the classifieds study, to fill in some of the missing pieces in their methodology, they had a hard time coming up with straight answers.  In fact, Parker couldn’t remember key information about how he constructed the study.  When asked where he got the sample pictures used to calibrate the all-important 38 percent error rate, he wasn’t sure.  “It was a while back,” he says.  “I forget exactly where we got them from.”  Parker was equally fuzzy on how the researchers knew the ages of the people pictured in the control group.  “Um … I’m afraid I do not remember,” he says.

Forgive me if I gloat a bit, especially over the fact that, as reported in this related story, a bunch of what the moralists might call “whores and perverts” (i.e. myself, my fellow bloggers and my readers) saw through what CNN and a whole raft of major newspapers couldn’t.  Speaking of newspapers, the last page of the main article mentioned a 2007 investigation by the Washington Post which discovered the virtual nonexistence of the “sex trafficking crisis”; coincidentally, one of my readers sent me a link to that very story the day before the San Francisco Weekly article appeared.  I find it very strange that though this article appeared in a major newspaper three and a half years ago it has been virtually ignored in favor of ludicrous hype.  And this report on the benefits of decriminalization appeared on the official New Zealand government website just a few months later; it, too was ignored in the United States.  Obviously, there are a lot of people in Washington who believe exactly what they want to believe, or rather pretend to in order to advance their anti-prostitution agenda.

The Canadian government would like to conduct a similar war on whores, but it’s inconvenienced by the pesky fact that the Canadian Charter of Rights doesn’t allow criminalization of a whole group of people but rather only specific acts.  Canada therefore felt it necessary to criminalize nearly everything about prostitution, but those laws were struck down by a judge in Ontario last September; the negation was appealed by the Canadian government on the grounds that people who choose dangerous jobs deserve whatever harm comes to them.  And while journalists in the United States generally lack the balls to challenge the government’s oppression of prostitutes, that isn’t so in Canada as this recent editorial from the Chronicle Herald demonstrates:

If sex workers don’t deserve protection because they’ve chosen a dangerous career, neither does Montreal Canadiens left-winger Max Pacioretty.  I mean, sex work? Hockey? They’re both just jobs.

The federal government filed a legal brief with the Ontario Court of Appeal Wednesday, saying it will argue a Superior Court judge was wrong back in September when she struck down three federal laws related to selling sex.  Justice Susan Himel…[argued] the laws hinder sex workers’ constitutional right to safety.  Safety-schmafety, the feds say.  In their appeal, government lawyers will argue Parliament has no obligation to protect the physical well-being of lawbreakers.  In short, the government’s appeal message is:  Suck it up or get out of the game.

Funny, no one’s saying that to Pacioretty, who’s nursing a broken vertebra in his neck and a severe concussion after a barbarous ride into the boards this week by Boston Bruins’ lunkhead captain Zdeno Chara.  On the contrary, the prime minister has weighed in on the Pacioretty hit, calling on the NHL to curb head shots and Air Canada has threatened to pull its sponsorship of the league…Pacioretty has the continent’s support.  No such outcry for prostitutes.  And the dangers they face have gone miles past broken vertebrae and head injuries.  Seventeen sex workers in Nova Scotia have been murdered or reported missing since 1985.  Yet few people, even fewer politicians, no prime ministers nor Air Canadas whatsoever are demanding change.

There’s a further irony at play here.  One that will have you shaking your head, lest it make you cry:  the lion’s share of the blame for the danger of selling sex lies at the foot of Canadian laws.  The bawdy house law compels sex workers to move out of their houses and onto the street because they risk property seizure if they work at home.  The communicating law, as it’s called, obliges them to negotiate the terms of dates in doorways and down alleys because they don’t want to be seen doing it.  These settings make sex workers more vulnerable to physical violence, says Rene Ross, executive director of Halifax advocacy group Stepping Stone.  And if they are assaulted?  “There is no trust of police,” Ross says.  “So they are not reporting crimes that happen against them…society, generally, does not care about the health and well-being of sex workers…[Violent men] know this.  And they will do (what they can) get away with.”

The message the feds are sending in their planned appeal goes a step further.  If sex workers are deprived of their constitutionally protected safety, in the words of Ross, it’s “fair game and open season on them.”  In other words, violence against prostitutes is just part of the game…If the feds have their way, [sex work] may get even more dangerous.

Still, there are a few American journalists who will stand up for us, though unfortunately most of them are in the so-called “alternative press”; here’s an example published in Mother Jones last Friday (March 18th) which makes a similar argument for decriminalization as the Canadian editorial above.  The alternative press aren’t afraid to dig beneath the surface and take a stand against the status quo; why then should the mainstream media be?  If the latter wish to survive and reclaim some of the readership they are steadily losing to internet sources, it would behoove them to arm themselves with the rigid blade of skepticism rather than settling for a soft weapon issued by “authorities”.

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Scandal begins when the police put a stop to it. –  Karl Kraus

On a number of occasions I’ve analyzed news stories and press releases about cops harassing and/or arresting prostitutes (the best examples being October 19th and November 12th), but today I’d like to do something different; I’m sure most of my regular readers can do it for themselves by now, so I’m going to give you a little quiz.  The following is a story which appeared on the website of the Fox affiliate in Houston, Texas last Thursday (March 17th); read it carefully and then answer the questions after it.  Please don’t think I’m making light of a sister’s misfortune because that is NOT my intention; rather, I hope to use it as a “teachable moment” in order to hasten the day when the public no longer stands for women to be violated by uniformed bullies in this way.

Fort Bend [County] deputies say they’ve arrested the owner/operator of an online-based prostitution business.  Robin Jeanette Jordan, 37, was arrested at her Richmond home and charged with Prostitution.  She’s sitting in Harris County Jail on a bond worth $5,000.  Jordan’s home, in the 2900 block of Jane Long League Drive, is within walking distance of Pecan Grove Elementary School.

Agents with the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force were able to infiltrate Jordan’s business in an undercover capacity, according to a sheriff’s office statement.  Their investigation unearthed various items of evidence:

— Surveillance footage of persons associated with Jordan’s business. Of note was an individual who is presently on bond for drug-related charges in Fort Bend County.
— Downloaded information from the suspected website that included a list of services and their respective prices.

On March 11, agents obtained a search warrant to look through Jordan’s home. Once there, agents recovered enough evidence to file charges against Jordan:

— Numerous CDRs and DVDs containing sexually-explicit images and videos
— Paperwork listing names, numbers, ledgers and contraband associated with operating a prostitution organization
— Home video footage showing Jordan associating with a convicted felon (money laundering)

A woman was at the home.  She had 2 prior convictions for Prostitution.  The sheriff’s office is withholding her name for the time being.  Jordan’s arrest was the result of an ongoing covert investigation.  The Houston Police Department’s Vice Division also collaborated in the investigation.  Fort Bend’s NTF is a Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking initiative.

Yes, I know the reporter’s 4th-grade-level writing skills are painful to read, but I wanted you to see it as it appeared (though without the superfluous headings).  Read it again to get a clear grasp of the statements and claims, then answer the following as completely as possible:

1)  In the first paragraph, why is the home’s proximity to a school mentioned?
2)  What does “infiltrate Jordan’s business in an undercover capacity” actually mean?  How about “persons associated with Jordan’s business”?
3)  Do you think she actually had “a list of services and their respective prices” on her website?
4)  How can porn videos be considered “evidence of prostitution”?
5)  What is “contraband associated with operating a prostitution organization”?
6)  Why aren’t the police releasing the name of the other woman, who apparently wasn’t arrested?
7)  What do you think was the actual sequence of events here?  Hint: look at the description of the “individual of note” and the last three sentences of the story.

OK, let’s look at my answers.  Obviously, you’ll have to grade yourselves on the honor system; your answers needn’t be exact but they should be close.  If you feel your answer is better than mine, explain why in a comment and it may invite discussion.

1)  Obviously the location of the school is totally immaterial; I daresay more than 75% of suburban houses are within “walking distance” of a school.  Clearly, this was included to provoke fear in ignorant readers and thereby stoke public resentment against Jordan.  One point for a correct answer, and give yourself a bonus point if you specified any of the following as instrumental in creating that fear:  A) “sex rays” from harlotry contaminating the nearby innocents; B) children being abducted into “sex trafficking”; C) unconscious association with registered sex offenders being prohibited from living near schools.  Two bonus points if you mentioned more than one.

2)  It probably means they knocked on the door in plain clothes and then showed their badges; it could mean she was the subject of a sting but I think that unlikely given my reasoning in the answer to #7.  “Associated persons” means either they visited more than once or stayed for more than a few minutes when they visited; they might even be personal friends who had nothing to do with her business.  One point for answering the second section, and one for giving either of the answers to the first (two points if you mentioned both).

3)  Nope.  Brandy Devereaux looked at her site before it was taken down and there was no such “menu”.  According to Brandy:  “Her site…has been taken down as of sometime last night or yesterday…I could not find prices on the site but it did list “Services I provide” with a rundown of CFS, Russian, GFE, DATY, etc etc.

Since any escort knows better than to link prices to specific activities, this is just another police lie as is typical in prostitution busts.  One point for any “no” answer, two if you mentioned the habitual police lying.

4)  The same way condoms, winking, being alone or lack of underwear can be. (1 point)

5)  “Contraband” means anything legally prohibited from being imported or exported, but ignorant cops sometimes use it to mean any illegal substance.  But in any case, there is not one single illegal object or substance “associated with running a prostitution operation”, so this could mean practically anything.  Either this mysterious “evidence” really is associated with prostitution but isn’t contraband (for example condoms or sex toys) or it really is contraband but isn’t really associated with prostitution (like Cuban cigars or poached ivory).  My best guess is drugs of some kind (since cops like to pretend we’re all druggies); maybe black-market Viagra?  (1 point)

6)  Because they’re hoping to “flip” her (i.e. threaten her with prosecution so as to frighten her into betraying other people). (1 point)

The Fort Bend County Extortion Ring

7)  The cops clearly had no idea the woman was an escort; the arresting cops were with a “Narcotics Task Force” and were therefore spying on the “individual…on bond for drug-related charges” and probably thought all the comings and goings from the woman’s house were dope deals.  They got a warrant based on that, hoping to find money and drugs they could steal, and were disappointed to find neither.  But after rooting through her papers like the nosy perverts they are, they got her website address and looked it up, thereby discovering her business.  Notice that the vice department is only said to have “collaborated in the investigation”, i.e, they told the drug-sniffing pigs what lies to tell about the hooker and advised them to claim videos of a type found in most people’s houses as “evidence of prostitution”.  Incidentally, the vice department later took credit for the “bust” in a bogus statement claiming that “Officers from both the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and HPD had been trying to infiltrate this alleged sex business for months.  They were tipped off by an anonymous letter, from a concerned resident.”  This is of course total bullshit, but their egos can’t allow the public to know that a different department stumbled on it by accident, and a police state depends on cultivating distrust between neighbors by encouraging people to betray others to the “authorities”.

Score one point if you recognized that the bust was accidental, one for picking up on the drug connection, one for recognizing that the website was only found after the raid and one for recognizing that the vice department’s contribution was minor.


1-3     Either you’re still asleep or you need to reread every column with the “cops” tag.
4-7     You’re fairly clever, but not nearly cynical enough (or vice versa).
8-11    You’ve definitely been paying attention and have a healthy level of cop-skepticism.
12-15   You’re either a whore, an ex-cop or a great student!

Once enough people can read stories like this and see them for what they are, perhaps there will be enough public outcry against these abuses that the courts will force police to stop them, and women quietly trying to make a living in the way which works best for them will no longer have to fear their homes being invaded and their freedom violated by brutal thugs who use the law as an excuse to assault, rob and abduct women.

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Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order. –  John V. Linsday

Another collection of short articles of interest to harlots and those who love us.

Make Up Your Damned Mind!

In my column of March 10th I pointed out the absurd contradictions inherent in the conflict of the traditional police rationales for persecuting whores (we’re evil criminals who seduce virtuous men, spread disease and attract crime) and the politically correct “trafficking” view (we’re helpless, innocent and morally incompetent victims of evil men).  But it’s rare to see those contradictions displayed as explicitly as in this article from WINK-TV in Florida, posted on the same day my column appeared:

Deputies arrest a female body builder who goes by the name “Miss Sparkle” during a prostitution sting.  They say it’s part of a continuing effort to crack down on what many don’t realize is a dangerous crime.  Miss Sparkle, otherwise known as Rhonda Lee Quaresma is a bodybuilder from Toronto, and according to her website, a business woman.  Deputies say she’s taken on another role recently in Lee County, as a prostitute.

They say, “Miss Sparkle” was arrested after she offered to perform a sex act on an undercover deputy.  A crime Lt. Chris Reeves with the vice-narcotics unit calls a big problem for many reasons.  Lt. Reeves says, “Bonita Springs is one of the areas we get a lot of calls from, people’s husbands, daughters, wives that are not working the streets that have to walk to get groceries are getting solicited for sex from these Johns that are roaming the area.  So to try to cut down on what Reeves calls dangerous behavior, the sheriff’s office turns both to the streets, massage parlors, and online to websites which feature ads for escorts.

He says, “People think it’s a victimless crime, however when they are taking HIV, hepatitis home to their spouses or their significant others, that’s a big crisis.”  Reeves says some of the prostitutes are victims of human trafficking.  “A lot of them are beaten and abused.  A lot of these are young girls that have gotten hooked on drugs,” A far cry from the glamorous or “sparkly” lifestyle some portray.

I honestly don’t know if I could’ve written a better parody of journalistic credulity and police stupidity and self-contradiction than this incompetently-written mess.  It begins by characterizing escorts as “dangerous criminals” (I’ll bet you didn’t realize we go around shooting into crowds and throwing grenades into kindergartens) without explanation, then quickly switches to the “public nuisance” excuse with a particularly inept and unintentionally hilarious example which is clearly intended to give the impression that an upscale escort was working as a streetwalker. This runaway clown-car then visits the old “diseased whore” myth before doing an abrupt about-face into trafficking fetishism, detouring slightly to the “drug addict” stereotype and then closing with a sentence fragment accusing the real experts of lying.  I almost feel as though I should stand up and clap.


South African police have apparently decided to teach prostitutes a lesson for daring to speak up for their rights in several public events held on March 3rd, thus unwittingly proving the veracity of the protesters’ grievances.  This article appeared in Sangonet on March 10th:

A significant police backlash is being felt by sex workers around the country following human rights events for the International Sex Worker Rights Day on March 3rd.

In Johannesburg, Sisonke Sex Worker Movement [SSWM] national coordinator, Kholi Buthelezi, had her hands full with sex workers calling her for help…27…were arrested and released with a [300 rands, about $44 US] fine in Germiston, while in the City sex workers were harassed and one was assaulted.  Buthelezi [also] witnessed a police reservist soliciting a bribe from a sex worker – and took a picture of the culprit with her phone…

In Limpopo…[the SSWM]…and partner organisation, Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme (TVEP) assisted a sex worker who was whipped on the stomach by police officers…she would not go to the hospital… because she was afraid of being deported.  The march in Limpopo [on March 3rd] had to be cancelled because the Musina Local Municipality took away permission…less than 24 hours before the march was expected to start.  No reasons [were given]…and the…police…threatened…[the protesters] with arrest and detention should they deliver the memorandum that sex workers had prepared…[which] demanded that…[police] take complaints from sex workers seriously…

The Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) will be following up all cases and working with our legal advice partners in Johannesburg and Limpopo to ensure that the police officers responsible for the incidences will be harshly disciplined. But, says Mickey Meji “Until sex work is decriminalised, we will be dealing with the impunity of the police. The law with regard to sex work must be changed so that sex workers are safe and no aspect of their work should be criminalised.”

I’m sure the police were only beating women up for their own good, to save them from those evil traffickers.  Or are whores still “dangerous criminals” in South Africa as we are in Florida?  It’s hard to keep track these days.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

On a number of occasions we’ve compared decriminalization (the official recognition that women have the natural right to have sex with whomever we wish for whatever reason we wish, even if money is exchanged) with legalization (the subjugation of prostitutes with arbitrary and often contradictory bureaucratic restrictions so as to enable governments to exploit us).  Many well-meaning people think prostitution should be “legalized and heavily regulated”, often under the excuse of “protecting” the women.  One common type of regulation, “living off the avails” laws, make it illegal for any adult other than a prostitute herself to receive a substantial portion of his support from her; such laws are widely touted as measures to “protect” whores from “pimps” (and indeed are sometimes referred to by their supporters as “anti-pimping laws”), but actually make it illegal for her to be married, to hire employees or to support relatives over 18 (such as elderly parents or university-age children).  Here’s a story from the Deccan Herald of March 5th about efforts by Indian prostitutes to overturn this and other “protective” laws:

According to the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), 1960, if anybody above 18 years uses the earnings of a sex-worker, he or she can be prosecuted.  If the children of sex workers use their mothers’ income, long hand of law can catch them.  “How many children start earning at 18?  Why this bias against us when we strive to study and make a living against all social hurdles,” rues Parvati, daughter of a [Calcutta]-based commercial sex worker.

Last week, sex workers aided by young advocates from Lawyers’ Collective met members of Parliament…to build up support…[for] changes in the ITP Act that criminalises sex workers’ earnings on which their children are dependent…According to an estimate made by the Union Health Ministry, there are approximately [1.25 million] self-identified commercial sex workers who were contacted as a part of the HIV prevention programme. “The number can be more as many don’t declare their status upfront,” said Tripti Tandon from Lawyer’s Collective.

Having sex in exchange for money is not an offence in the law.  But everything around this transaction has been criminalised under the ITPA.  Brothels are illegal as is sex work in hotels, rooms, lodges, streets and nearly all other premises.  In the absence of a designated place, sex workers have to solicit business on the streets or gesturing from other conspicuous sites.  But this, too, is punishable with imprisonment for six months and  a penalty.  An NGO, representing sex workers filed a [motion] in…July, challenging five clauses in the ITPA. The case is yet to be heard.  The…clauses they challenged include criminalisation of brothels, criminalising the earnings of sex workers, prostitution around a notified public place, soliciting and the power given to a magistrate to evict sex-workers from their home and forbidding their re-entry.

That’s right, in India the child of a woman pursuing a legal profession can be prosecuted if he doesn’t move away from home and support himself on his 18th birthday, and the prostitute herself can be evicted from her own property for a number of reasons.  You might think about that next time you’re tempted to support “heavy regulation” of prostitution in the United States.

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