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Archive for January, 2013

There is no god but God, and Mohammed is His prophet.  –  The Shahada

profession of faithMost modern religions have some basic profession of faith, a terse (as in Islam or Buddhism) or lengthy (like Christianity’s Nicene Creed)  formula which encapsulates the most basic tenet or tenets of that belief system.  Like most cults, “trafficking” religion has its professions of faith as well, and the most important one – which can be found in nearly every single article written by or about “Traffickists” – is their version of the Shahada:  “A lot of people think trafficking doesn’t happen in [the place about which I’m speaking], but it does.”  What is most interesting about this statement is that it almost acknowledges the lack of demonstrable proof, but then attests that the True Believer accepts the “trafficking” faith anyway.  Many “trafficking” creeds are like that, especially now that skepticism is starting to show its face among the proselytes; if one compares recent stories about the panic, one can’t help noticing that many more words are spent refuting facts that cast doubt onto the mythology than used to be typical even a year ago.  This article from the Baton Rouge Advocate  is a perfect example:

Judging by the “End Human Trafficking” billboards and the work of a Baton Rouge-based anti-trafficking group building a shelter in Livingston Parish, sex trafficking is a significant problem in south Louisiana…nevertheless, reliable statistics on the full extent of the problem remain elusive.  “A lot of people think trafficking doesn’t happen in Louisiana or in Baton Rouge, but it does,” said Lee Domingue, co-founder with his wife, Laura, of the awareness organization Trafficking Hope…Louisiana law defines sex trafficking as the inducement of a commercial sex act from an adult by force, fraud or coercion, or from a minor irrespective of force, fraud or coercion.  Transporting the victim is not required for a violation of the law; facilitating the sex act or benefiting, financially or otherwise, from it is enough to trigger a violation.

This incredibly expansive definition, especially that avails clause, is used to classify as “trafficking” things that no reasonable person would include under the label, then to pretend that the mythic narrative applies to all of it.  The fanatics even admit this is so, though they don’t recognize they’re doing it:

The term “trafficking” and its description as “modern-day slavery” can be misleading for both victims and the public, said Judy Benitez…of the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault.  “It puts the image in our heads of girls being physically restrained or handcuffed or put in a cage, but that is usually not the case,” she said.  “Usually it’s more akin to a domestic violence situation where…they could leave, but there are a variety of factors making them unwilling to do so.”  Those factors include threats of harm, intimidation, bullying, blackmail and coerced or forced drug use to the point of addiction and dependence…Although the girls do not admit to having been trafficked, Edwards said, the signs are unmistakable…

agency deniedIn other words, if “authorities” don’t like a woman’s choices they simply deny her agency and brand her a “victim”, then go looking for a “victimizer”.  This is particularly true if she’s a young woman beneath the Age of Shazam; obviously she is a “child”, exactly equivalent to a five-year-old, and therefore unable to feed herself, find shelter or money, read a map or reason that if one is running away from something, it might be a good idea to put some distance between oneself and the place from which one is fleeing:

“If a child has been missing, or has run away for a month or two, you know somebody is taking care of that child and you start to ask questions about who that person is and why,” [Edwards] said.  “Then if you find the child has gone to Tennessee or Florida or Alabama, has crossed state lines, those are things that really raise eyebrows.

Because clearly, American state borders are patrolled like those between Cold War-era East and West European countries, and thus form solid barriers like the chalk lines of cabalistic summoning circles to anyone who has not yet been struck by the Mystic Lightning of Adulthood.  But just in case anyone might see through this infantilizing myth of “innocence”:

…Trafficking Hope spokeswoman Molly Venzke declined The Advocate’s request to be put in contact with a trafficking victim willing to speak about the experience.  “We cannot offer that, especially because we haven’t been able to put someone through the process of 18 months of restoration,” she said, adding that it would be exploitative to do an interview…at this point…

Well, something’s exploitative, but it isn’t an investigation into “trafficking” claims.  The reporter isn’t completely asleep:

…the lack of data held up a 2011 reauthorization of the federal [Trafficking Victims Protection Act] because, as U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley…noted in committee, without more precise numbers, the government cannot determine whether funding to fight trafficking has been effectively spent…the U.S. government [has] no effective mechanism for estimating the number of victims…

But let’s not dwell on that too long; denying the agency of those who make decisions we don’t like is SO much more rewarding:

“Sex trafficking victims are easily manipulated by their traffickers and have mixed emotions, often believing they love the person”…said [Katherine Green of the Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force].  “They don’t see themselves as victimsall whores are children at all because it’s a different normality they’ve had to survive.”

“Different normality” = “false consciousness”.  And of course we have to demonize clients and imaginary bogeymen, too:

…The reluctance of victims to testify can be frustrating for law enforcement officers who want to get traffickers off the streets and guide victims to the services they need, said Bobby Gaston…with the Louisiana Sheriffs Association…“Many of the cases we thought were trafficking turned out to be prostitution because we couldn’t prove they were being forced…they were so deathly afraid of their ‘johns’ (the purchasers) or traffickers (the pimps) that they wouldn’t give us good (information).”

Oops, we almost forgot to drag in “end demand” rhetoric, and to refer to the crusaders as “experts”:

…Sex trafficking would not exist if there were not a market for sexually exploited individuals, the experts said.  “Everything for sale has to have a market of people willing to buy, and that has never been a problem in this realm,” Benitez said.  “But nobody wants to talk about that”…Domingue said he supports the idea of “john schools,” where men who purchase sexual favors would learn more about the damaging effects on the women involved…

And last but certainly not least, no “trafficking” screed would be complete without an iteration of the “gypsy whores” myth:

…law enforcement and service organizations are gearing up to respond to the influx of commercial sex activity they believe will inevitably accompany the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb. 3…

All mocking aside and all things considered, however, this story actually gives cause for optimism.  The “Super Bowl sex trafficking” myth was relegated to a single line only six sentences from the end; the myth as a whole has never caught on in South Louisiana, and has not been heavily hyped by the larger media outlets in the area; and finally, only three out of 18 comments on the story were uncritical, and several of the others contained statements such as, “This looks like a solution in search of a problem”, “shameless yellow journalism…If there are no statistics to substantiate this imaginary problem, why are you writing articles about it?”, “Trying to convince people that they were abused sounds like the suppressed memory racket of years past that ruined a lot of lives”, and “you cannot get $ to stop prostitution so you call it Human Trafficking”.  And that is very encouraging indeed.

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A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) resorted to; the condition then disappears, submerges or deteriorates and becomes more visible.  –  Stanley Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics

The stream slowed down somewhat this week, probably due in part to several major news stories consuming a lot of the intellectual bandwidth.  That is not by any means a complaint or criticism; it’s just that I don’t generally cover major news stories outside of the harlosphere because I feel that others have already covered them in far greater depth than either my format or time allows.  I do have some personal news, though:  those of you who just can’t get enough Maggie will be glad to hear that I have joined the British website Cliterati as a regular contributor, and will be publishing there every Sunday starting next week.  Most of the essays will be new ones, some will be cross-posts and a few will be reposts of older articles which I feel deserve new attention; my first, “Speech and More Speech“, appeared a few days early so that it would still be timely (since it’s on the subject of a controversy which unfolded last weekend).

This week’s leading contributor was Radley Balko, occupying the top-dog slot above the first video (a card trick posted by Teller which says a lot about how easy it is to manipulate human perception).  The second video, “The Vertical Pole”, was provided by Feminist Whore, and the links between the two by Nun Ya (“Hell’s Angels”), Offgridman (“brick wall” and “baby step”), C. Andrew (“infanticide”), Grace (“Lance Armstrong” and “biggest thing”), Thomas Larson  (“mouse”), Popehat (“Cthulhu”), Brooke Magnanti (“hidden mothers”), Baylen Linnekin (“robot restaurant”), and Antonio Lorusso (“fungal sex”).

From the Archives

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The supposition that all women…engaged in sex work…are the victims of trafficking and under the control of criminal gangmasters is, at best, delusional.  –  Paul Maginn and Graham Ellison

ViagraBetween the Ears

Dr. Marty Klein explains that it isn’t only women who are ill-served by the medicalization of sexual dysfunction:

As a sex therapist, I see men…who…describe themselves as having…erectile dysfunction.  I say, “So, you don’t get erect when you want to.  Let’s call it that.”  Conceptualizing their situation as ED is frequently part of the problem.  They think their penis is suffering some pathology; more often, the pathology is in their expectations…I ask these men lots…of questions…and…we [often] discover that their uncooperative penis is actually behaving in an understandable, fairly reasonable way…Sometimes Viagra is part of the problem—it reinforces the idea that there’s something wrong with their penis…but if there isn’t…Viagra can’t fix it…

What the Hell Were You Thinking?

Judgy Bitch asks why it’s OK to advise people on how to protect themselves from robbery or worse while travelling (“Pay attention to how you are dressed, Don’t be drunk, Don’t flash your valuables, Keep an eye on who is watching you, Travel with friends, Use your body language to let predators know you are not easy prey [and] If you sense a problem, get the hell out of there”), but giving the exact same advice to young women is “victim blaming”.  Because obviously it’s far more important to sacrifice naïve young women on the altar of feminist politics than to actually help them protect themselves in the real world.

Neither Cold nor Hot

It’s sometimes amusing to watch the debutantes at Jezebel getting the vapors over sex work; this article by Madeleine Davies about sex workers coming to North Dakota in order to fill the woman shortage caused by an oil boom can’t make up its mind whether the men are “Neanderthals” and “criminals”, or the helpless victims of scarlet women “filtering in from across the country to profit off the needs of the desperate male residents.”

Feminine Pragmatism

Lindsay LohanYou’d almost think gossip reporters were historical ignoramuses who didn’t know that up until a century ago, the professions of actress and whore were indistinguishable:

Desperate for money, troubled actress Lindsay Lohan is…working as a professional escort, [said] her father…and other insiders…“The dates last for days, and the guys pay for everything…as well as jewelry and other gifts”… One of Lindsay’s most high profile clients is…Prince Haji Abdul Azim [of Brunei]…and wealthy…painter Domingo Zapata reportedly supported…[her] for months…

It’s That Time Again

Super Bowl time, that is; this year it’s in New Orleans, and though the “authorities” haven’t quite learned not to humiliate themselves with ludicrous “gypsy whore” fantasies, you may have noticed there was a lot less hype about it than before:

…The NOPD…[arrested] two suspected prostitutes and their alleged pimp, while also rescuing [the] 4-year-old…son of one of the suspected prostitutes…Detectives say the group placed ads on…backpage.com, which…is expected to be buzzing with sex solicitation during the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras…[State] Trooper Melissa Matey…said…”We do know those human trafficking cells are attracted to those large scale events, where…there’s gonna be a lot of tourists and…a lot of money to be made”…

I literally laughed out loud at “human trafficking cells”; apparently hookers are equated with terrorists and revolutionaries now.

Don’t Buy It (TW3 #6)

In reference to the “gypsy whores” myth, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women asked, “What’s the Cost of a Rumour?”  In the case of the London Olympics, we can now provide an answer:

Scare-mongering over an outbreak of sex trafficking during the Olympics resulted in half a million pounds being wasted…London Assembly Member…Andrew Boff said that just four cases of trafficking were discovered last year – despite an extra £500,000 being diverted to police…“a huge amount of time, money and resources was poured into this search, which turned out to be nothing more than tilting at windmills”…

The Sky is Falling!

Seekingarrangement.com has a clever advertising department; every so often they come out with a “press release” which announces that “more coeds than ever” are signing up as sugar babies.  Of course, the only thing vaguely “new” about this is they’re doing it on a website, but people like to pretend otherwise.  At least these two examples are refreshingly free of moral censure.

The Immunity Syndrome

Alabama state Rep. Patricia Todd…is trying yet again to delete a particularly idiotic provision of Alabama’s sex education law…[which] requires…classes to teach…that gay sex…is a “criminal offense”…[though] that law was invalidated in 2003 by…Lawrence vs. Texas

Another Small Victory (TW3 #18)

Supreme Court buildingMany sex worker rights activists seem to have misunderstood the implications of the news that “the Supreme Court has agreed to review a First Amendment dispute over whether the United States can force private health organizations to denounce prostitution as a condition to get AIDS funding”; had the Supreme Court refused to hear the government’s appeal, the lower court’s ruling overturning the pledge would have stood.  And while it’s certainly possible that the SCOTUS may leave the ruling intact or even expand it by striking down the ban for international organizations as well (which the first ruling did not), neither outcome is likely considering that this court has firmly established itself as the handmaiden and apologist for the excesses of the executive and legislative branches.  One very odd aspect of the linked article is that the call for total decriminalization by WHO and other UN agencies is described as “support[ing] lesser penalties for prostitution”, which is rather like describing the eradication of smallpox as “lessening the symptoms of the disease”.

Whorearchy

Here’s another woman who does not see herself as supporting state control of women’s lives, bodies and choices:

…I recently told my hairdresser that I was a go-go dancer and she replied by telling me that she would have totally stripped if she were my age but that she “didn’t have the body for it”…Even people at…the club where I primarily work…will put money on my platform as if it’s going to get them a lap dance or something…I’m not trying to be condescending towards strippers…but I…take pride in the fact that while strippers are ultimately hired to give guys boners, I was at least semi-hired for my talent…I don’t deny…that it takes some level of sexuality to be a successful club dancer, but there’s a big difference between wearing a push-up bra…and shoving my tits in some grandpa’s face…

For one who’s “not trying to be condescending”, she sure does a good job.

True Colors

Women With A Vision has purchased a new building to replace the office destroyed by arson, but it’s going to need “massive repairs” and renovation; that’s going to be very expensive, so please consider contributing to further their work in helping poor and marginalized women, including sex workers.Sarah Tressler

First They Came For the Hookers…

News on two of the ladies from this column who were fired for past sex work:

…Sarah Tressler…[lost] her reporting gig at the Houston Chronicle after…[being] exposed…[as the blogger] “Angry Stripper”…[but] she just landed a new job at The San Antonio Express-News as a breaking news reporter…Stacie HalasStacie Halas, a California…teacher who was fired for her porn star past [and recently lost her appeal] was [also]…offered a new job…[by] Dennis Hof of…[the] Moonlite Bunny Ranch…

Even if Halas is interested in going back to sex work she could do a lot better as an independent escort than by allowing herself to be exploited by Hof or others like him.

Prudish Pedants (TW3 #37)

A federal judge in California thinks it’s a wise use of public funds to lock up a 61-year-old filmmaker for four years for the “crime” of grossing out a cherry-picked group of a dozen people in Los Angeles.  Future law students will marvel at the self-destructive absurdity of our era.

An Example To the West (TW3 #39)

In September, I reported that a Korean whore had submitted a constitutional challenge to her country’s prostitution law; it has now been accepted:

…Judge Oh Won-chan…filed the case with the Constitutional Court after accepting a petition from a 41-year-old prostitute on trial for violating the law…the judge’s request doesn’t question the part of the law that punishes buyers of sex.  “We don’t punish a woman acting as a concubine or a wife for hire,” Oh said…[he] also questioned the effectiveness of the law, saying authorities should focus on punishing brothel owners and pimps…

Let’s hope the Korean government doesn’t respond with Swedish-style legislation, which only makes the struggle for rights more difficult.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #42)

Criminologist Graham Ellison has written another excellent editorial against criminalization in Northern Ireland, this time with the help of Dr. Paul Maginn of the University of Western Australia:

…The…proposals…are…premised more on ideological and religious beliefs…than a concrete evidence-base…History tells us that prohibition is an ineffective policy remedy…a few simple facts…dispel the stereotypes about sex work…only an exceptionally small proportion [are street workers]…there is no evidence to suggest that sex workers’ drug dependency is greater than the general population…[they] come from all manner of social class and educational backgrounds…the majority…are there because…the pay is…better than what they could get in other occupations…If Lord Morrow is sincere about his intentions to help womenPaying For It in French involved in ‘prostitution’, he should consider decriminalisation.

Book Reviews (October 2012)

The French edition of Chester Brown’s Paying For It has been chosen by the Angoulême International Comics Festival as an official selection, which will undoubtedly give it more well-deserved attention.  Congratulations, Chester!

Election Day (TW3 #45)

A judge has granted a preliminary injunction against the narrow portion of California’s tyrannical CASE Act which was challenged by the EFF and ACLU:

…Prop 35 is…beset with problems.  The biggest was its requirement that registrants turn over a list of all their Internet identifiers and service providers to law enforcement…the court found that there was a clear chilling effect on speech because registrants would have to disclose their identity either before they speak, or within 24 hours after speaking somewhere online…Allowing the government to monitor and record a wide swath of innocent Internet activity…is a dangerous trend that can easily expand, as law enforcement’s inevitable thirst for information fails to be quenched…

Unfortunately, there is as yet no organized challenge against the aspects of the law which criminalize a wide variety of normal sexual behaviors and virtually any association with sex workers.

Tyranny By Consensus (TW3 #51)

A leading adult film producer has launched a lawsuit against Los Angeles County over a…measure requiring porn actors to wear condoms, saying the law infringes on first amendment rights and was driving the industry out of Southern California.  Vivid Entertainment, which was joined in the lawsuit by porn stars Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce, claims the mandate was both an unconstitutional prior restraint on freedom of expression and a financial burden that studios could not bear…lead plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Cambria said…it was not economically feasible to digitally remove the condoms in post-production because the studios were competing with rivals elsewhere who had no such restrictions.

It’s interesting that the lawsuit doesn’t bring up the very real physical harm condoms can inflict on actresses under porn-filming conditions.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #52)

Those who wish to inflict the Swedish model on England and Wales have set up a fake “consultation” on the matter which is designed to trick the unwary into providing them ammunition via leading questions and outright lies about decriminalization.  The survey is referred to as a “call for evidence”, but as Laura Agustín points out this is “a misnomer as they are just asking for opinions and feelings – no evidence at all.”  Go ahead and respond to the survey (it’s fairly short), but follow Aspasia’s example by phrasing your answers carefully, since most are of the “have you stopped beating your wife?” variety.  The deadline is February 4th at 16:00 GMT.

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A superstition which pretends to be scientific creates a much greater confusion of thought than one which contents itself with simple popular practices.  –  Johan Huizinga

Besides the fact that it’s just a great word, juxtaposition is an incredibly useful tool for demolishing moronic arguments and ridiculous articles.  Many times, all I have had to do to demonstrate the absurdity of a fallacious comment is to repeat it almost exactly with a few words changed, and let my readers’ brains do the rest.  But I recently discovered a case in which a journalist had done most of the job for me; all I had to do was copy and paste.  The story below in block quotes was published by TV station WXIA in Atlanta, Georgia on January 5th; the interpolated sections in italics are from a story which appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper only five days earlier (and which I’ve already quoted in TW3 #131).

As many as 60,000 college students taking part in the Passion 2013 Conference are discovering the harsh reality that slave labor and sex trafficking are real problems…”It’s true, girls are being bought and sold against their will…Sex trafficking and slavery are realities right here in our city.”  Atlanta is considered one of the major hubs for child trafficking.  It’s estimated that 500 underage girls are working the streets of Atlanta on any given night…

The City of Atlanta was under siege by human traffickers.  Some 1,000 Asian women and girls ages 13 to 25 were being “forced to prostitute themselves” in the city, a 2005 internal police email said…Had agency leaders questioned the estimate, they would have found it defied common sense.  If it were true, one in eight of the city’s Asians would have been sex slaves…Passion conference trafficking fans

The young people at Passion want to do their part to end it.  They’ll donate money this week to open two new…safe houses in the U.S., train thousands of law enforcement officers and rescue 10 women from the sex industry in Atlanta…

…The Atlanta Police Department won a $450,000 three-year grant, and the city chipped in an additional $150,000…police identified 216 potential victims…But this count was later revealed to be grossly inaccurate. Auditors for the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General could find documentation for only four victims…The Bureau of Justice Assistance made a mistake that added 93 victims to the count. Atlanta had actually reported 123 victims. The city could not explain the 119 that auditors couldn’t track. Police said the figures were reported by a city employee who retired before the Justice Department inquiry…Passion 2013

The group held a candlelight vigil for victims of sex trafficking and slave labor on Thursday night outside the Georgia World Congress Center.

“We are told by the State Department that every year 15,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. But then, where are they?” said Elzbieta Gozdziak, research director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University… “Why are the numbers so small?  Is it because the scope of the problem is not as big as they say?”…Those numbers are proof that the fight against human trafficking has gone wrong, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said…”Either the government is doing an unconscionably poor job of finding victims or there are not that many total victims in the first place,” Grassley wrote.

The egregiously-falsified numbers for Atlanta derive from a bogus study done in 2010 by the Schapiro Group, a marketing firm in the business of creating fake statistics to “prove” whatever the client wants “proven”; the project was bankrolled by the “Women’s Funding Network”, a front for Swanee Hunt’s “Demand Abolition” group, and was widely trumpeted until it was nationally debunked in a Village Voice article, “Women’s Funding Network Sex Trafficking Study Is Junk Science”; since then all available online copies of the “study” have conveniently vanished, so if any of you know how I can locate one for my archives please let me know.

In any case, it’s not surprising that self-identified “Christian youth” believe this nonsense; many of them probably believe far sillier things without any proof whatsoever.  But when the “true believers” are public officials, and the money they’re flushing down the “trafficking” toilet was stolen from your pocket rather than their own allowances, I think it’s fair to expect a bit less credulity.

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Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.  –  Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940)

Longtime readers know that I always publish my hate mail; newer readers may not realize it because I actually don’t get that much.  In fact, I don’t recall getting a single piece in 2012, with the exception of the rare hate comment or “tweet”.  Now, I’ve received a number of long anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and misogynistic screeds (which I keep for archival purposes in a folder labeled “crazy people”), but those aren’t personal; genuine hate mail, as I define it, has to be directed at the recipient.  The three previous examples appeared in the posts “An Angry Reply”, “Criticism and Response”  and “The Country of the Blind”, and if you read the three of them you may be struck by certain similarities which also apply to the new piece I’m going to share today.

narcissismThe most important unifying factor is that all of these people are incredibly narcissistic.  They write to a complete stranger out of the blue and literally demand that she spend her valuable time engaging with them; one insisted that I change my entire writing style to conform to his notions of propriety, and another apparently imagined that I would totally rewrite several of my columns into a new comment for the benefit of an obviously-hostile stranger.  None of these people has a shred of evidence to back up their assertions; it’s simply that the narcissist becomes angry and confused when someone challenges his weltanschauung, and demands that the offender defend himself to the narcissist’s satisfaction…however long that takes.  The typical True Believer simply turns his back on an infidel, but for the narcissist this is insufficient; if he does not get the personalized explanation he demands, he becomes furious and begins hurling insults.  The hate-mailer described in “The Country of the Blind” is a fine example, as is the one I’m about to discuss.

I first heard from him on December 8th, in a short email which asked the last question in yesterday’s Q & A column.  Because I was so busy over the holidays I was unable to answer him until December 30th, but he replied within two hours of my answer; he did not thank me or even acknowledge my response, but merely fired off several more questions (the one on squirting and the multi-part one starting “Do most sex workers enjoy sex with clients?” are his, plus another one too vague and broad to be useful in a Q & A column).  I answered those as well, and again his reply barely even acknowledged my response; he instead fired off a dozen new questions, most of which I’ve answered before and the rest…well, their tone made me uncomfortable, and also made it abundantly clear he had read virtually none of my columns.  I therefore directed him to “Previously Asked Questions” and politely suggested he read the blog for a few weeks before asking more; within hours I got the following response (reprinted exactly as it appeared in the email), under the subject line “how dare you call yourself an honest courtesan”:

If you want people to accept you and whores, you do it by coming out into the open, not by hiding. If you do get abuse, you fight it. Thats how you change peoples attitudes. You cannot make any progress by hiding behind an anonymous name. The same reasoning applies to your second point about not trusting authorities. If what you are doing is legal, you should be open about it. Changes in laws are brought about not by hiding but by challenging peoples views. The same applies to your third reason. You have all these fears about the consequences of revealing your identity. You would rather live in fear through anonymity than face any opposition that might come about by revealing your identity. This is a cowardly act and does not support your cause to defend prostitutes and uncover the myths about them. Perhaps these are just excuses to hide the real reasons you want to remain anonymous?

By the way, you are not and can not be representative of all prostitutes. Different women do it for different reasons. You say that prostitutes are no different from other women. This is a lie. You are not only hiding behind an anonymous facade but suggest that what you write is representative of all prostitutes. This is a fallacy. Some are victims of trafficking and a lack of other job choices. Other prostitutes such as yourself who go into it specifically to profit from it, are the perpetrators. The victims are the men. Its the men who have a lack of choices here. Prostitutes in this case only serve to profit financially from meddling with the relationships between women and men. It does nothing to address the reasons men seek prostitutes.

Prostitutes of your kind, increase the demand for all sex workers. This means it fuels the more sinister form of prostitution, including trafficking which you deny even happens. There is plenty evidence available.

Sex can be a part of a committed long term relationship or a casual encounter. Where do whores like you fit into the picture?  They are the opportunists who come along and profit from any reason a man can give for seeking sex. They may be unhappy with their marriage, or unable to find a partner. People like you do nothing to foster healthy relationships between men and women, it only undermines it. Just because men have difficulties having a fulfilling sex life, it doesnt make it right for you to exploit their needs for your profit. Its clear now why you would want to remain anonymous. You swindle men and pretend you are doing them a favor. That is quite shameful.

cartoon religionsAs you can see, he dropped his previous veneer of politeness and pretense of seeking knowledge as soon as I refused to waste my time answering questions he could easily have answered for himself just by reading the blog.  The commenter has an Asian name, and this mixture of authoritarian statism, moralism and misogyny is not unusual in that part of the world; the “sex trafficking” mythology and “end demand” rhetoric are Western additions to the mess, and the Madonna/whore rubbish, sleazy accusations and straw man fallacy are common among muddleheaded individuals around the world.

My answer to this was a single line: “Thanks for revealing your true motivations before I waste any more time on you.”  His reply was even more pugnacious, daring me to post his message so we could “see what others have to say in response.”  When I informed him that I always posted hate mail and had already transferred his letter to a draft document, he made a logically-incoherent reply about my “defensive behavior [being] indicative of guilt”, but then asked if I would refrain from publishing his letter if he asked.

My reply?  “Nope.”

Postscript:  This column was originally scheduled to appear Tuesday, but when I reshuffled a number of columns to make room for “The Truth About ‘The Truth About…’” it was moved to today.  Like clockwork, the hate mailer (whom I had told when to expect his letter) emailed me on Tuesday, demanding to know where it was and launching into a new torrent of abuse.  Now go back and reread the paragraph about narcissism.

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Does the Eagle know what is in the pit
Or wilt thou go ask the Mole?
Can wisdom be put in a silver rod,
Or love in a golden bowl?
  –  William Blake, The Book of Thel

As I explained in December, I’m going to start answering reader questions individually in short columns rather than saving them up for the ends of months.  However, December was so incredibly hectic for me that I let several of them stack up, and will answer them together today.  If you have a question of your own, please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.

My single adult daughter (age 26) has recently discussed becoming my mistress.  Though this taboo in our society, she is 100% consensual, high class and very attractive; she has needs that I can fulfill and I have needs that she can fulfill.  What do we look out for in order to make this work?

From a Single TrunkAs you know, I firmly believe that what consenting adults do in private is nobody’s business but theirs.  Since you’ve asked my advice, however, I feel it isn’t out of place for me to tell you that I don’t think this is the best of ideas for either of you.  Even if the biological reasons for the taboo are removed by birth control, that won’t change the way other people (not to mention the “authorities”) feel; furthermore, how certain can you be that both of you can totally shed the social norms you’ve internalized?  If you were equals in the eyes of the law and society that wouldn’t matter; many relationships involve complex and conflicting emotions, and getting hurt by such relationships is simply part of the experience of living.  But despite what you may think, you are not equals under modern law; if the relationship were to be exposed you would be cast as the villain, all the more so if you’re supporting her in exchange for sex, and an ambitious prosecutor could turn that into prison time (especially while “sex trafficking” hysteria is still going full steam ahead).

What it all boils down to is this:  you can’t be sure exactly what is going on in your daughter’s head, and if she has a strong internal conflict about it (which wouldn’t be surprising), it might bubble to the surface at some future time (such as during a heated argument), resulting in disaster for you if she tells someone else about it.  Even if she regretted the confession five minutes later, neither of you could control the actions of the confidant…actions that might set a legal juggernaut in motion.  My advice to you is that you help your daughter financially until she can find an independent income or sugar daddy of her own, and satisfy your own needs with escorts or sugar babies to whom you are not related.  If you decide to go ahead with the incestuous relationship, though, please make a thorough study of the applicable laws in your country, state or province and city so that you’ll know exactly what the potential hazards might be, and tell absolutely no one else about the arrangement no matter how trustworthy you may think he is.

Is a relationship likely to fail if a man is attractive in many ways, but suffers from such severe Peyronie’s Syndrome that sex is painful for the woman?

I would imagine that severe Peyronie’s Syndrome would indeed make a sexual relationship extremely problematic, but there may be hope; recent studies suggests a better treatment is on the horizon.  Even if the procedure described there isn’t yet perfected, perhaps the gentleman you speak of could consult an andrologist to see what therapies are already available?

Is squirting real?

Squirting (so-called “female ejaculation”) is real enough, but there’s still considerable controversy over exactly what it is and what causes it.  It’s usually associated with the so-called “G-spot”, whose nature is likewise controversial.

I’m an older American man and for a number of reasons, I have not had sexual relations in over 10 years.  I have become convinced that the best thing for me right now would be to hire hookers rather than finding a long-term partner, but I don’t have the income for an escort in the States and so it’s going to have to be budget prostitutes in Mexico.  However, in my past experiences with prostitutes I have never been able to get over the “business” aspect; I seem to be unable to function if the lady is not sexually turned on.  How can I get over feeling it’s all business with no sexual desire?

Adelita BarOn the one hand, your budget precludes being very picky, but on the other hand you need a talented professional who can create the illusion of mutual desire.  Seeing randomly-selected ladies in a foreign country is just not going to do the trick, especially if there’s a language barrier.  My advice to you is to save up a little so as to afford a lady who lives in your city, has a reputation for being especially friendly and is willing to do short (half-hour) appointments.  If you get along well with her, keep seeing her exclusively (even if you can’t do it often) and eventually she may be willing to give you a lower “regular client” rate.  Don’t ask for it right away; most escorts have very sensitive bullshit detectors and asking for a regular rate before she actually perceives you as a regular is a good way to alienate her.  But once you do have a regular relationship with an escort, a genuine affection will probably develop between you and that will probably go a long way toward helping you to get over the feeling that it’s all business.

Do most sex workers enjoy sex with clients?  Can they have orgasms several times in a day?  And isn’t there such a thing as too much sex? 

Most of the time, we don’t enjoy the sex.  Besides the lack of intimacy (which is part of the enjoyment for most women) there is also the fact that we’re concentrating on making the client happy, and can’t really tell him to stop doing annoying or unpleasant things without hurting his feelings.  Most women are capable of multiple orgasms, either in rapid succession or spread out over a day, but while it’s certainly possible for an escort to orgasm with a client it isn’t the norm.  And of course too much sex, like too much of any physical activity, can be very tiring.

What do you think about verification services like Date Check and P411?

I think they’re fantastic for both parties; the only time they fail is in the rare instance when some idiot fails to stick to the plan, gets caught in a sting and then ransoms his worthless hide by giving the busybodies his login info so they can pop several girls before the service gets wise (I understand this actually happened to P411 once).  No system is perfect, especially when those trying to sabotage it are completely without moral scruples or basic human decency, but screening services can take a lot of the guesswork out.

What’s the solution to male sexual frustration beside prostitution or masturbation?

cold showerI assume from your question that you don’t have a regular partner and don’t foresee yourself getting one, that you can’t afford professionals, and that masturbation doesn’t relieve your frustration as well as you’d like.  If any of those assumptions are incorrect please let me know, because I suspect you wouldn’t ask unless those solutions weren’t working for you.  Most of the guys I’ve talked to about this say that the traditional “cures” (such as cold showers, a bland diet and meditation) are essentially useless, and though age and medical intervention are effective the former takes a very long time and the latter is both drastic and has side effects you would definitely not like (such as developing a feminine derrière).  So I’m afraid I’m going to have to “outsource” this to my male readers; guys, how have y’all coped with dry spells if self-service just isn’t working?

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Striving toward a goal puts a more pleasing construction on our advance toward death.  –  Mason Cooley

Anthony trudged down the filthy street, pulling his cloak down as far as he could to keep out the evening rain.  Anyone who observed his erratic course would have thought him drunk, but every sane Roman was out of the beastly weather and Anthony’s weaving route was shaped by the necessity of avoiding puddles while yet getting close enough to the signs to read them in the darkness without having to uncover his head.

He had occupied himself thus every night for most of a week, making inquiries and crossing palms with sestertii in an effort to discover the location of his quarry, and he was beginning to despair; he felt as though he had walked every muddy, narrow, winding back-street in the city, and the foul weather had dampened his spirits as thoroughly as it had his clothes.  His schoolboy Latin was insufficient to the task at hand, and his outlandish accent and incredible ignorance of mundane matters marked him as a barbarian at best and a madman at worst; he feared that small-time hucksters were now pointing him out to one another as one who could be taken for a few coins merely by pretending to know of the strumpet he sought so assiduously.  If he spent much more he would be unable to pay her fee, however nominal it might be; he therefore resolved that if he could not find her by the end of the night (or maybe sooner than that), he would simply pass her by, move on to the next name on his list and return here after he had done enough research to limit his possibilities to a few easily-investigated locales.

Pompeii brothel frescoThe very worst disappointment was the sheer number of bad leads; in any era the stage-names of whores tended to be predictable and repetitive, and some girls were willing to pretend to be the one for whom he was looking.  But so far, none of the six Lyciscas he had met had been the right one; each had been too old, too young, too thin, too ugly or too dark to be the Lycisca he wanted to hire.  So tonight, he would follow a different strategy; he would simply go into each lupanar he found, quiz the villicus about the women available that night, and then ask the name of any who fit the correct description rather than supplying them with the means of deceiving him in order to deplete his rapidly-diminishing funds still further.

But just when he was ready to give up, Fortuna smiled upon him.  The streets and the buildings had all begun to look alike, so he was not surprised when the cashier at one of the brothels greeted him as a returning customer; he was about to turn to go when he realized he had been asked a question in which the name “Lycisca” had been embedded.

“What you saying?” Anthony asked, realizing the grammatical error as soon as the words were out of his mouth.

“I said, aren’t you the fellow who was looking for Lycisca a few days ago?”

“Yes,” he replied wearily, expecting another con.

“Well, she’s here tonight.  She wasn’t last time you came, so I tried to give you another girl,” he said with a grin.  “But I promise, this is really the Lycisca you’re looking for.  Here, I’ll call her out where you can see her in the light.”

Anthony guessed that the willingness of the villicus to make this extra effort was due to the poor traffic on such a foul night, but he just couldn’t get his hopes up…and then he saw her.  The quality of her blonde wig was out of place in such a cheap establishment, and the quality of her health out of place in a low-end Roman prostitute.  Despite her imposture of a common whore he could see the hauteur and breeding in her manner, and the difference between her Latin and that of the plebeians with whom he had been dealing for the past few days was obvious even to his foreign ears.  He quickly paid her fee and tipped the cashier extra for remembering him, returned with her to her grimy little room and eagerly did what he had come so far and worked so hard to do.

He awakened to firm but gentle shaking, and opened his eyes to the smiling face of Leon, the one orderly he genuinely liked.

“Good morning, Professor!  I’m sorry to disturb you, but I know you don’t want to miss breakfast!”

“Good morning, Leon.  And thank you for waking me.”

“Did you scratch another name off of your list last night?”  Then in response to the older man’s puzzled expression, “It’s the only time you oversleep.”

“How well you know me!  Yes, I’ve just returned from a tryst with Valeria Messalina, Empress of Rome.”

“How’d you get an empress to sleep with you?  I thought you just saw hookers?”

“Messalina was, as you young people say, ‘kinky’.  She liked to sneak out of the palace while her husband was asleep and work as a common prostitute.”

“Wow, is that so?  How was she?”

He considered for a moment, cleaning his glasses before putting them on.  “Neither as talented as Nell Gwyn nor as beautiful as La Belle Otero, but she made up for that with her sheer exuberance.”astral projection

“Gee, Professor, I sure wish I could learn that astro-whatsis…”

“Astral projection.”

“…astral projection,” he repeated, “so I could visit all those historical places like you do.”

“Well, Leon, it takes years of study and practice, but I’m sure you could learn if you set your mind to it.”

“Naw,” he said sheepishly, helping Anthony with his bathrobe, “I’m just big and dumb, I was never good at studies.  Who’s the next lady you plan to see?”

“I think I shall brush up on my Greek,” he said wistfully; “I seem to have a yen for empresses these days.”

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There is nothing holy nor sacred to those who have abandoned God and reason in order to follow their perverse desires.  –  François Rabelais, Gargantua (chapter 31)

feeling sickFair warning:  what you’re about to read may make you feel ill.  Writing it made me feel both queasy and dirty; I put it off for as long as I could, but I wanted to get done with it completely – including the posting and indexing – early enough so that I could be sure of regaining my appetite by dinnertime.  I probably don’t need to tell regular readers that I’m made of pretty stern stuff; my husband is only one of the many who have described me as “hard as nails”.  But the minds of some people are so wholly vile and disgusting that reading about their loathsome behavior, their indefensible motivations and their twisted rationalizations makes me feel as though I have been hurled into a tank full of raw sewage and leaves my heart pounding and my hands shaking.  The people to whom I refer are sexual predators, those subhuman monsters who are so completely devoid of even the most basic human decency and moral scruples that they think nothing of using other human beings to satisfy their perverted sexual needs, inflicting grievous physical and emotional harm on their victims and sometimes scarring them for life.  Worse still, these revolting vermin form associations with other like-minded scum, pooling their resources and cunning so as to more effectively snare unsuspecting victims.  It would be bad enough to merely know that these freaks existed, but to see them defended, excused and even glorified in a major newspaper is almost more than I can bear:

…“This is Lushous,” she said in a soft, seductive voice.  “You want to come see me today?”  The client had found her on backpage.com, where she promoted herself as a busty woman…eager for company…“For half an hour, it’s just $40, baby.  Tell me what you want to do.”  Lushous wanted to use handcuffs.  She was actually an undercover…cop.  If the man on the phone actually came…he’d be walking right into the department’s latest sting operation…Sharing Room 241 with her was another undercover officer with a nickname, a square-jawed, blue-eyed cop known as Pretty Boy.  He pored through a stack of printed Web ads…[and] called each one.  “Are you doing out-calls today, sweetie?”  They had arranged the room so it would seem like they were just lonely travelers.  Pretty Boy hung a crushed black suit on the rod and placed a used bar of Old Spice deodorant near the sink.  He ditched his uniform for a T-shirt and blue jeans but kept on his wedding ring.  Lushous ruffled the sheets on the queen-size bed.  She had lozenges to keep her voice smooth.  She placed a package of condoms on the side table…In 242, about six officers were on hand to help with arrests and the paperwork.  In 247, there were two female officers to attract men looking for a woman not of Lushous’s type.  Lushous is curvy and black; the two other female officers are white and thin…In 248, a detective posted $10 ads in the adult-services section of backpage.com…“Hello, my name is…” he began typing, trying to dream up a seductive name for the colleague next door.  He then tapped out, “B-R-A-N-D-I”…Ten minutes later, Brandi’s phone started to ring.  “…Am I busy? No…Yes, those are my pictures.”  After she hung up, the man texted her, “Are you affiliated with law enforcement?”  She rolled her eyes.  Every caller asked this question, under the common delusion…that a cop was legally obligated to say yes.  “No,’’ she texted back.  “Are you?”…

cop fetishI think that’s enough to give you the idea; the cops’ sociopathy is made even more revolting by the reporter’s glowing, fetishized praise, almost as loving and lurid as a Nick Kristof description of the tortures inflicted upon imaginary teenage girls.  But in spite of themselves, the yellow hack and the blue swine managed to produce one paragraph that was true, though not in the way they meant it:  “For police officials, prostitution is not victimless crime…Sex workers are prone to being raped and robbed. Some are victims of sex trafficking. The men who visit them are sometimes assaulted…”  That’s all true, but the victimizers – those doing most of that raping, robbing, assaulting and abduction into coercion and captivity – are the police, and they do it with the support of the government and many of the more ignorant and deluded members of the public.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a shower.

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The Constitution tells us that…the state may not use a butcher knife on a problem that requires a scalpel to fix.  –  Judge John T. Nixon

No Other Option

A former madam…[will] open the UK’s first brothel…for disabled clients.  Becky Adams…said:  “People have the same sexual urges whether they’re disabled or not…A soldier who comes home from war disabled doesn’t stop being a normal, healthy person with normal, healthy needs…Our new brothel will be kitted out with ramps and hoists for wheelchair access, just like any other service for disabled people.”  The two-roomed establishment, called Para Doxies from the old English word for prostitutes, will be sufficient for two sex workers…and staff to assist clients…the brothel will provide transport to collect clientsIrene Norton born Adler by Allen St. John and take them home afterwards…

Heroines

As I’ve mentioned before, Irene Adler was one of my favorite fictional heroines, yet a number of people seemed surprised when I was displeased with the BBC turning her from a courtesan into a dominatrix in its “updated” Sherlock Holmes series.  This recent io9 article by Esther Inglis-Arkell explores the problems of modern Adler adaptations at some length:

Irene Adler only appeared in one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, but she’s considered a pivotal figure in the Holmes canon, nonetheless.  And we’ve seen several of the latest…interpretations debut their own versions of Irene Adler in recent years…Why is Arthur Conan Doyle’s Irene Adler so much better than the versions crafted by Steven Moffat and Guy Ritchie?…In both…Irene Adler is not simply an admirable person with a taste for sleuthery and adventure.  In the movie series, she’s both a woman who marries rich men for a living and a thief…In the TV series, she’s a dominatrix who dabbles in blackmail and international terrorist intrigue (on the side of the terrorists).  Both characters lean very heavily on sexuality and criminality…and…while the original Adler was independent, they’re both pawns of Moriarty…

Secret Squirrel

Intra-family spying gets ever more intrusive:

…KidTrack™…monitors text messages, incoming and outgoing phone log, each web site visited, location and media…“We see this as being no different than a parent examining the contents of a backpack…” said Ernie Rush of Rush Software…[customer] Rebecca Quesada [said] “As a mother, I feel much safer knowing that I have access to every single text message my daughter sends and receives…I can know where she is at all times, know who she is calling and who she is being called by and have access to every picture that she takes, as well as every single web site that she visits”…KidTrack silently captures this information and periodically uploads it to…servers where it can be viewed by the parent via a web browser…

“Silently” = “without the kid’s knowledge”.  And that means it can just as easily be loaded onto a spouse’s or employee’s phone.  My mother was incredibly overprotective by ‘70s standards, but you know what?  She respected my privacy, and never once (to my knowledge) snooped in my purse, read my mail or censored my reading material.

Droit du Seigneur

Normally I’m against lynch mobs, but in the case of “authorities” I make an exception because it’s often the only way they will face any consequences for their actions:  “…a politician in northeast India accused of rape was stripped and beaten by a crowd of women.  Bikram Singh Brahma is a member of the Congress Party in Assam…He was arrested…[after attacking] the woman…while he was staying at her family’s house…

The New Victorianism

Apparently, the average age of Xactware board members is 12:

The Lehi [Utah] City Council has renamed Morning Glory Road after a technology company planning to relocate to the street raised concerns about the name’s sexual connotation…”Morning glory” is the name of a flower…but…is sometimes used to describe male arousal.  Councilman Johnny Revill…[said] he didn’t know about the term’s slang meaning previously but was happy to appease Xactware officials…

With Folded Hands

This reaction to a terrible freak accident is, apparently, not a parody:

22 year old stripper in Cleveland, OH [died]…after a freak lap dance accident.  She apparently launched herself over a railing, falling head first to the floor 15 feet below…she should have been provided with adequate safety gear.  Safety straps and fall netting should have been an absolute minimum protection…something clearly needs to be done.  Better equipment and improved training are clearly called for…drug testing might also be in order…

The Punitive Mindset

Time tries to glorify the controlling behavior of a pathologically-entitled prude:

Administrators let offenders at one of Iowa’s most dangerous prison units watch violent and sexually explicit movies and TV shows…despite repeated complaints from a female officer who said it encouraged inmates to sexually harass her…administrators told [Kristine Sink] not to turn off the…shows.  When she did, they accused her of insubordination…Sink said she has fought a lonely battle under four wardens against movies that caused inmates to become sexually aggressive — through “10 years of misery.”  She filed a lawsuit…against prison officials alleging sexual harassment, discrimination and workplace retaliation, seeking an unspecified amount of damages…

I have a solution for you, Kristine.  If you are too prissy to handle the sort of raw behavior any sane person would expect from male prisoners, why don’t you get a job someplace other than a FUCKING MEN’S PRISON?

Presents, Presents, Presents!

BullshitI receivedSex Power two more generous presents this week:  the whole series of Bullshit! from Paul Reinerfelt, and the Sex Power soundtrack from Pat Murphy.  Also, I’ve discovered that it was Gumdeo who sent the copy of Crisis and Leviathan last week.  My sincere thanks to all of you!

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

Notice that “feminists” aren’t too concerned with “stereotyped gender roles” when it comes to “rescuing” sex workers:

…in an endeavor as far removed from their former lives as the gleaming banks and trendy boutiques of Tel Aviv are from the city’s sleazy subculture…former prostitutes…have received…training in dress design and sewing…[and] are now aiming to find a place in the world of fashion…

One later passage is absurd even by lawhead standards:

Up until a few years ago Israel was a prime destination for traffickers of women.  An estimated 3,000 women per year were smuggled in, mostly from Eastern Europe, to work in the sex industry.  That number has declined since Israel passed an antitrafficking law in 2006…and most of the prostitutes here are now said to be Israelis.

3000 per year for, say, 10 or 15 years…where did they all go?  Obviously, they must have obediently vanished into Sheol when the magical law was passed.

The Prudish Giant (TW3 #9)

Paypal is at it again; they’ve blocked the account of regular reader Frank Adamo for distributing “sexually oriented material” involving a minor.  Girl Becomes Woman is a photo-documentary of breast development, starting at age 9; Frank said, “[It’s] no more ‘sexually oriented’ than a documentary about pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding…I used Paypal to process donations to create the Breast Pride Education Foundation, and after a year…[and] approximately 100 donations Paypal suddenly decides to protect itself from possible scandal by blocking my account and holding my money for six months!”  He filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, but they closed the complaint without action.  Frank notes that the sudden condemnation of his work as porn conveniently came just after he tried to transfer $1000 from Paypal into his bank account.

Above the Law

Yet again:  As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:

Two Los Angeles Police…officers…allegedly [preyed] on women…[for] five years, luring them into an unmarked car and forcing them to perform sex acts…Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols targeted at least four women whom they had arrested previously or who worked for them as informants…The pair repeatedly used the threat of jail to get women into their car and drove them to secluded areas where one…demanded sex while the other kept watch…Larry Heyward

And keep happening:  “…[South Carolina cop] Larry Heyward [has been arrested and charged with sexual] offenses on a child between the ages of 11 and 14 years [while assigned to the child’s school]…

And keep happening:

[Washington, D.C. cop] Wendel Palmer…pleaded not guilty…to charges of first-degree child sexual abuse…Wendel Palmer[which] occurred while Palmer directed [a church] youth choir…Palmer would tell the girl to stay with him…while the rest of the choir members went to a store.  The assaults began in August 2004 when the girl was 11…[and] ran through August 2006…she told investigators there were “too many incidents to count”…

Much Ado About Nothing

Foreign officials visiting Colombia:  Pay your damned hookers!  Colombian hookers:  Please start charging your damned clients in advance!  “prostitutes stole numerous items from the Honduras embassy in Bogota, Colombia…an employee of the Ambassador…organized a party with alcohol and sex at the facility…[but] they were not paid for their services…[and retaliated by stealing phones, computers and national security documents]…”  And just in case you thought American media had let go of the story featured in the original column of this name:  “Two [DEA] agents ‘facilitated a sexual encounter’ between a prostitute and a U.S. Secret Service agent…in April 2012…a third DEA agent present on the night of the incident was not involved…”  Translation:  two guys helped a co-worker find someone to provide a legal service he wanted.  Oh, be still my heart.

The Immunity Syndrome (TW3 #19)

In the past year, cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea has become five times as common in North America:

drug resistance has now reached North America in sizable numbers…of 133 patients [in a Toronto study]…6.77 percent…failed to respond to treatment…experts…call “its arrival deeply troubling; clinicians now face the emergence of cephalosporin-resistant N. gonorrhoeae without any well-studied, effective backup treatment options”…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Texas just won’t stop until it makes all sex work as dangerous as criminalized streetwalking:

After years of battling in court, the City of Houston and the popular…strip club, Treasures, have reached an agreement…in exchange for dropping three separate lawsuits against each other, Treasures will pay $100,000 into City-administered Nuisance Abatement Fund to help combat human trafficking.  Additionally, the club must post signs at every table stating no illegal activities, including lewdness, prostitution or drug use are permitted…The agreement effectively ends a court battle stretching back to 1983…attorneys for Harris County continue to move ahead with a lawsuit alleging Treasures is a haven for drug trafficking and prostitution…

Peeping Bill ZedlerMeanwhile, in Dallas:

State Representative Bill Zedler first gained attention…when he led a…crusade to block a Hooters from opening near his neighborhood in Arlington…claiming it would serve as a magnet for sexual predators…[he has] [continued] the fight against Hooters while expanding his focus to battle…other sexually oriented businesses.  His latest salvo…HB 337…would…license [strippers]…New York considered a similar measure several years ago.  And Alabama apparently passed one…But Zedler’s bill…would…require [dancers] to “conspicuously display the…license on his or her person when conducting business…” The bill’s stated purpose is to prevent human trafficking and protect public health…More likely, it will be used as a pretext for hassling businesses Zedler disapproves of…

Wise Investment (TW3 #31)

“Sex trafficking” is already criminal; what this law actually intends to do is wipe out inexpensive escort advertising:  “A federal judge has temporarily barred [Tennessee] officials from enforcing a law…intended to criminalize sex trafficking of minors, after a challenge by…Backpage.com…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #37)

While “authorities” in Rio de Janeiro try to persecute sex workers into hiding before the World Cup, other cities are instead helping them:

Prostitutes in one of Brazil’s biggest cities are beginning to sign up for free English classes ahead of this year’s Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.  Cida Vieira, president of the Association of Prostitutes in the city of Belo Horizonte, said…”It will be important for the girls who will be able to use English to let their clients know what they are charging and learn about what turns them on…for the same reasons we are also thinking of offering free French and Italian classes”…

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When you’re less popular than cockroaches, Genghis Khan, traffic jams, and…even Nickelback…it might be time to reevaluate.  –  Tom Jensen

As if to make up for the holiday lull, this was an astonishingly busy week for links; besides having a record number of them (56 plus the two videos) and a record number of different contributors (17), the average number of links contributed (1.88) was quite high.  The top supplier was Radley Balko, who provided everything down to the first video plus the second and third parts of the first one below it; the first part of that one was provided by Grace, who also contributed “25%”, “David Frum” and “new trial”.  In the first video (via the Free Speech Coalition) a former gay porn star helpfully explains that anal sex causes the recipient to give birth to demons from his anus; by contrast, the second is an intentional parody from the TV series Robot Chicken, written by Rachel Bloom  and performed by pop star Kesha.  The links between the two were contributed by Marc Randazza (“catheter”); Aspasia (“Vestal Virgins” and “criminal cat”);  Franklin Harris (“looking gay” and “dinosaur meat”); Kevin Wilson (“delicate creatures”); Cthulhuchick (“Satanists”); Walter Olson (“vegetarianism”); Satoshi Kanazawa (“wrinkled fingers”); Antonio Lorusso (“orange cup” and link above it); Nun Ya (“Lego”); Jesse Walker (“Mother Goose” and “militia”); Popehat  (both RPG-related links); the Cato Institute (“libertarian test”); and Paul Reinerfelt (“handy words”).  I saw that last when it came out, but since I wasn’t doing links columns yet Paul gets credit for calling it back to my attention.

 

From the Archives

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