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Archive for the ‘The Dark Side’ Category

The bourgeois bootlickers who think it would be a wonderful idea for everyone to be forced to use their “real names” (i.e. their government names) on social media are at it again.  They claim it would make the internet a nicer place, because as everybody knows Facebook is a perfect exemplar of how every social media site should look and operate.  This tweet was in response to a blue-checked cretin named David Klion opining that every Twitter user with over 10,000 followers should be forcibly outed, based on that perennial mating-cry of the smug, sheltered, and stupid, “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”.  He also belched up some sort of inanity about “democracy“, but not long after I quote-tweeted him he deleted his tweet (which is why what you see above is no longer a quote tweet).  Well, let me tell you a little story about what happens when one speaks out publicly, not even under her government name but under a very well-known nom de guerre.  I’ve never told this publicly before, but since I’m semi-retired and the damage is long done, I think it’s time.

In 2015 I made the decision to work and write under the same name.  After a momentary surge in business, I slowly lost clients who were either offended by my being something more than a pleasant, pretty façade, or were afraid they’d be arrested for consorting with a high-profile rabble-rouser.  In 2016, there was even a rumor going around Seattle that I was under direct police surveillance; even some of the clients I didn’t lose switched to paying me electronically so if they were intercepted by cops, there was no cash they could steal as “evidence” of patronizing a prostitute.  Obviously that never happened, but the damage was already done.  I don’t regret being who I am, or saying what had to be said, and I’ve never been any good at maintaining multiple personae anyhow.  So though I probably wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to do it again, it would be a lie to pretend that standing up for what I fervently believe in, under the name by which I’m known to the world, wasn’t a pearl of great price.  And while I’m hardheaded and uppity enough to have made that choice, and philosophical enough to accept the enormous financial costs, many others might not be so willing to speak truth to power if they knew it might damage their ability to make a living.  But sure, go ahead and forcibly dox everyone with over 10,000 followers; I’m sure that’ll be great for “democracy”.

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America[ns]…associate sin or indulgence with desserts.  –  Oona Hanson

Sisters in Arms

I’m repurposing this disused tag to highlight sex worker activism of this type:

Sex workers around the world, and many of the platforms they use, have spent the last week rallying support for their colleagues stranded on the ground in Ukraine…[sex workers] have developed a strong track record in recent years of mobilising for victims of disasters and ensuring they see the money that has been raised for them…even the platforms Ukrainian sex workers depend on to make a living have made serious efforts to make their support known.  OnlyFans made a donation of 500 Ethereum, equivalent to about $US1.5 million, to UkraineDAO on Saturday, one of a legion of crypto organisations raising millions of dollars…for Ukraine…payment app…Paxum…is currently working…to connect workers with transport at Ukraine’s border with Romania, where they would then be offered free accommodation…On Twitter, sex workers can regularly be seen urging their clients and fans to donate to individual causes that are as narrowly targeted as a life-saving surgery, or as broad as a global campaign to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims of bushfires, as was seen in Australia in 2020

The Widening Gyre (#698) 

Long-time readers may recall that I called this a hoax as soon as the story broke:

Sherri Papini, the California [woman] who disappeared for weeks in 2016 and claimed she’d been kidnapped at gunpoint, made up the story and had been staying with an ex-boyfriend…Papini…was arrested for…lying to investigators in 2020 when presented with evidence the kidnapping was faked and of defrauding California out of more than $30,000 in victim assistance money…Papini…[re]appear[ed]…on…Interstate 5 in rural Yolo County, with a chain around her waist and a “brand” on her shoulder she [pretended] was inflicted by her captors…[but] were [in reality] self-inflicted [with a wood-burning tool.  Papini, who had a history of posting on white nationalist sites, pretended]…two [armed] Hispanic women…kept her captive…[but] in 2020, DNA found on Papini’s clothes…led investigators to her ex-boyfriend…[who] told [them] that Papini asked him for help and needed to get away, that he agreed to drive to pick her up in Redding, and that she stayed at his home in Costa Mesa in the Los Angeles area the whole time…eventually she asked to be driven back to Northern California…

Working From Home

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targets for creeps:

A 20-year-old man…hid…in the attic of a [New Hampshire] woman he [followed] online through…OnlyFans…Mauricio Damian-Guerrero…[ha]s [been] charged with…burglary…for…br[eaking] into [her] home multiple times and t[aking] video of the woman’s private areas while she slept…he admitted [to cops that] he [also planned] to tape [a tracking device] to…he[r]…car…he…appeared to have been in the attic for a period of time, as [the woman] found food, a cup with urine in it, and a pair of headphones [in her attic.  He tricked her into giving him]…her address b[y claiming] he wanted to buy her a TV and fireplace…he [also]…admitted…that before breaking into the [house], which is…he[r mother’s] home, he had broken into her Dover, New Hampshire, apartment multiple times…

You Were Warned (#1134)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A [cabal] of [ambulance-chasers] currently appealing a dismissed lawsuit against Reddit…[have] renew[ed] their claim that Section 230 protections should not shield the social media platform…from allegations of “profiting off of child pornography” over user-generated content…through an…increasingly…[popular but still legally] novel doctrine of “constructive knowledge,” as opposed to actual knowledge…

Their Own Petard

When we agreed to trick other people into cages with face-eating leopards, we didn’t know the leopards would eat our faces!

Marissa Sanchez [and the other plaintiffs]…in an ongoing lawsuit…against the [Houston, Texas] Constables’ Office…and [several of its boss cops]…They [agreed to participate in an elaborate scam]…in which [cops fantasy role-played as]…partygoers…[and] prostitutes…[in an attempt to ruin the lives of] sex workers [and their partners and friends]…Instead of capturing [imaginary “]traffickers[“]…they were subjected to [the same] sexual harassment…molestation…and sexual ridicule…that [they were happy to inflict on other women who never did them any harm]…

Thou Shalt Not (#1206)

Crypto-moralism rots people’s brains:

Girl Scouts, and the women who lead their troops and volunteer with them during cookie season, say that the…tradition of face-to-face sales is increasingly accompanied by…angry tirades from adults who want to lecture them about [those adult’s beliefs about] healthy eating…or rant about the group’s rumored (and false) link to Planned Parenthood…”I feel like in the last 10 years, and maybe especially since the pandemic, that people are getting even more aggressive”…[said] Oona Hanson, a Scouting parent in Los Angeles…she’s seen [oafs] make comments about weight gain, tell girls they can’t trust themselves to have Thin Mints in the house, or even yell at girls for “poisoning” people…Other [cretins]…have…harassed [girls] for…the use of palm oil in the cookies.  Widely used in commercial baked goods, the oil [has become] controversial [among people who think of themselves as environmentalists] because its production can lead to deforestation and disrupt the habitat of endangered species…a…[rumor started in] 2004…[by] the leader of an anti-abortion group in Waco, Texas…has stuck…among…anti-abortion [fanatics, who act out by] harassing [girls too young to even know]…what an abortion is…

The Cop Myth (#1217)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives; some don’t stop with mere beating:

[Typical and representative Georgia cop] Michael Perrault was found guilty on all counts…in…the Feb. 2020 [murder] of [his wife] Amanda Perrault…he…[was] sentenced to life in prison without parole…Perrault was initially arrested on Jan. 28, 2020 [for] battery on his wife…[and] was released on…bond…Days later…Michael claimed she killed herself in front of him…[but] there…[was] a long history of domestic abuse…[and Sheriff Howard] Sills testified it was obvious [to him] from the jump that Perrault had killed his wife and tried to stage it based on details at the scene.  A neighbor who gave Amanda refuge in their home also testified saying she told them, “If anything happened, she didn’t kill herself”…

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The arrival of COVID two years ago derailed the process of distributing and promoting my documentary, The War on Whores.  So now that things are at least starting to go back to some state vaguely resembling what we used to call “normal” in the 21st century (which was, of course, already pretty abnormal compared to what we used to call “normal” in the 20th, but that’s a topic for another day), my director/producer Paul Johnson decided we should put the film on YouTube for free until February 15th to generate some new buzz.  This is a low-res version, but still completely watchable; if you want a full-res version to keep you can buy it at Vimeo (or even email me for a physical DVD).  If you’ve never seen it, here’s your chance; next month I’ll switch this link out so there isn’t a dead grey box here.

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A few months ago I shared this story about a federal lawsuit involving cops protecting what appears to be an exploitative escort service in Virginia in exchange for services (for which the escorts appear to have not been compensated).  The original was drawn almost entirely from a government press release, so I did my best to “extract…what appears to be the important information from amongst the dysphemized descriptions, agency denial, and outright fantasies“.  Unfortunately, most sex workers and supporters of our rights who have linked the story made far less effort to separate fact from fantasy, preferring instead to simply parrot the government’s calling the operation a “trafficking ring”.  If you’ve done this yourself and have actual information on the supposed “ring” that does not come from government sources, please share; otherwise you’re just repeating a prohibitionist narrative.  If you don’t understand what I’m saying, remember that cops and prosecutors use the slur “sex trafficking ring” to mean anything from a broken-down pimp to an ordinary escort service to a sex worker ad site.  Until we know what this organization (if it even was an organization; cops and prosecutors often create imaginary “gangs” and “rings” from people who don’t even know each other) was about, it’s a bad idea to parrot government’s claims.  I understand you want to talk about bad cops, but you don’t know these cops weren’t just accepting ordinary bribes from an ordinary escort service.  So please chill on the “sex trafficking ring” cant and stop denying the agency of women you don’t know just to “pwn the cops”.

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Even as the “sex trafficking” panic implodes, those who…use…it as an excuse for violence have redoubled their efforts.  –  “Before It Gets Better

If you are a regular reader, you’ve probably noticed that I’m no longer writing new essays for those occasions I’ve observed with polemics for the past decade.  As I wrote last March, “It’s time for older activists like me to move into a more advisory role…[and] as part of that shift, I think it’s time for me to stop writing new essays on this topic, lest I grow irrelevant due to repetition.” And so, as I have already done on every other such occasion this year, I present a collection of statements I’ve previously made on this topic:

Most people are far too frightened of reality to admit that their government wantonly enacts laws and procedures whose specific and intentional purpose is to destroy the lives of anyone it has designated an “enemy of the state”.
–  “The Body Count

This jihad is no more “well-meaning” than the Drug War, alcohol Prohibition, Jim Crow or any other campaign of government violence against individuals and civil rights.  –  “Malice Aforethought

A…large…fraction of the violence committed against sex workers is committed directly by armed agents of the state, often though not always under the excuse of “gathering evidence” for our “crime” of having impure thoughts about otherwise-legal sex.  –  “Against Violence

The State…wants to send “messages” against [sex,] drugs and many other forms of pleasure; against free thought, free speech and free movement; against self-determination and self-ownership; and most of all against the dangerous idea that it does not own you and has no right to control your body, your mind or your possessions.  –  “Sending Messages

Until our society grows up and stops believing in ridiculous fairy tales about magical sex acts and ritual purity, sex workers will continue to be treated as disposable.  –  “December Seventeenth

The state, Western religions, and carceral “feminists” teach that a woman who has sex for practical reasons rather than emotional ones is robbed of her “purity”, and that an “impure” woman would be better off dead. – “On December Seventeenth

We…honor our dead not merely by weeping for them, but by fighting for the day when no more of us have to die for a sick and twisted fantasy of governmental control over the private choices of individuals.  –  “Honoring Our Dead

“End demand” and Swedish model proponents…respond to copious evidence that the approach harms sex workers by denying it, insisting that the harm is actually good…or simply dismissing it as a “price worth paying” for their fanatical dream of a society in which sex is entirely under government control.
–  “End Violence, Not Demand

The propaganda which drives this moral panic paints all prostitutes as pathetic, childlike victims suffering from mental illnesses which render us unable to make decisions for ourselves, thus justifying our abduction, imprisonment, deportation, robbery and rape.  –  “A Day Against Hate

The laws criminalizing our profession allow weak-minded men (and even some women) to convince themselves that since we are “criminals” we don’t deserve to be treated like human beings.  –  “The Red Umbrella

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Cops are basically the same everywhere, because the kind of mind which thinks it’s OK to threaten or inflict violence in order to terrify people into obeying the whims of “rulers” is a very primitive, narrow one.  Of course, some governments are somewhat better at controlling their cops than others, and some are better at hiding the misdeeds of their cops.  But once the dam starts to crack, a flood of reports are wont to appear, revealing the putrid underbelly police invariably inhabit.  Since the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by typical and representative UK cop Wayne Couzens, using the pretext of COVID diktats to obtain her compliance, many other reports of rapist cops have come out despite the efforts of police officials to present Couzens as an isolated menace; one spokespig even oinked that if a woman is afraid of a cop who is trying to arrest her she should just run away (because they totally won’t call that “resisting arrest”), or call the cops to summon more cops to cover up for the one she’s afraid of, just as a gang of cops conspired to intimidate women at a vigil for Everard.  But those cops are hardly atypical, because cops’ sense of sexual entitlement is well known to sex workers:

A [London cop] secretly filmed dozens of women while posing as an airline pilot…Neil Corbel…set up fake photoshoots with models and [sessions with] escorts while…us[ing] cameras disguised as everyday items, such as a phone charger, clock, pair of glasses, air freshener and tissue box to film the women from intimate angles and while changing…He was caught after one of his victims…“became suspicious of a digital clock which had been placed on top of Corbel’s laptop computer…he had been maneuvering her into positions where her genitals would be in view of the clock.”  The woman noticed a logo on the clock and went to the bathroom to research it on the internet.  She discovered that it was being sold online as a “high-end spyware video recording device” that could be controlled by smartphones…Police discovered recordings of at least 51 women…19 agreed to make statements…Of those, 16 were models booked by Corbel for photoshoots and the other three were escorts, who consented to sexual activity but not being filmed…

Over the last four years in Scotland, 245 counts of sexual misconduct were filed against 166 cops, yet every one of these dangerous sexual predators is still loose to attack more women.  In one recent case, Scottish cop Paul Bucknall tried to arrange sex with a ten-year-old girl online, only to find out that the bad mother he thought he was talking to was a fantasy role-playing English cop; he got a slap on the wrist because he “admitted his guilt” and had “suffered for his actions” because his wife left him.

Then there’s this dude, trying a variation on the venerable “she wanted it” defense:

[Cop James Geoghegan] raped a woman after a night out despite repeatedly being told to stop…[claiming that he thought she was] “playing hard to get”…he…had been out for drinks with the woman and other friends when they ended up back at hers…the[n he]…entered her bedroom uninvited and…”pushed” [her] down on to the bed…[and] rape[d her depite her protests]…

Of course, cops aren’t the only violent profession whose leaders often cover up their atrocities:

…a group of [British soldiers training in Nanyuki, Kenya were] led to the[ir] hotel’s septic tank…[by] one of their number[, who] had just murdered [a sex worker]…The body of 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru would lie undiscovered…in that septic tank for two months, while her family searched for her.  By the time it was found by a hotel worker, all the soldiers who had been at the hotel had returned to the UK.  The name of the soldier widely suspected of being responsible for killing Wanjiru…on the night of March 31, 2012, was an open secret by this time…Yet the British Army has held no inquiry, and…what happened has been the subject of a cover-up by senior officers…

And just like the cops, those who participted in the cover-up think murder is funny and sex workers subhuman:

A member of the…Regiment…posted two pictures from outside the venue where 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru was last seen alive…accompanied by the caption “if you know, you know” and the soldier “tagged” a number of other squaddies to notify them…One posted a picture of a ghost emoji, to which another added the words “septic tank”.  In response, Soldier X — widely alleged in the regiment to have been responsible for the murder — got involved, posting an emoji of an angel, often used to assert innocence.  This prompted other soldiers to post “crying with laughter” emojis, followed by a cartoon image of a baby crying at a funeral, from the television show Family Guy

But go on, keep giving armed thugs power over women; I’m sure that will eventually produce different results if they’re simply given the right “training”.

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Is it legal in New York City to meet a professional at a short-stay motel for the purposes of a BDSM session? The only sexual activity contemplated would be masturbation by me while naked.

There’s little point in concerning yourself with whether a consensual sex act is “legal” or not, because cops can and will arrest anyone they think they can get away with arresting, whether the supposed act they’re arresting someone for is legal, illegal, or nothing more than a product of their own sick imaginations.  The only relatively certain way to avoid arrest any time you step out of your front door is to avoid cops; when sex is involved, that means contracting with an established professional.  If you see someone with a long and proven professional history, you’re as safe as you are doing just about anything else involving sex (and much safer than doing the same thing with an amateur) regardless of the diktats of power-hungry busybodies; if you try to see someone without a reputation, there’s no way to guarantee it isn’t a cop and you won’t end up in the paper under a headline that screams “SEX TRAFFICKING!” regardless of whether you did anything any sane person would consider wrong or criminal.

(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.)

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Some escorts in my area insist I pay with an Ebay gift card instead of cash because they believe that this will protect them from prosecution if I am a cop.  Is that true?

Nothing protects anyone from prosecution; prosecutors can basically do anything they like, and pretending otherwise is just whistling past the graveyard.  As the expression goes, “you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride”.  A competent lawyer might be able to use various things as part of a defense to win a dismissal or “not guilty” verdict, but cops can arrest anyone they like without any valid reason, and since the invention of plea bargaining, prosecutors have no reason not to file charges against anyone (except violent cops, of course).  The only relatively-sure way to avoid prosecution is not to end up in a room with a fantasy role-playing cop in the first place; from the escort’s side that means good screening practices, and from the client’s side that means sticking to established providers with good reputations.  There are no magic words, practices or talismans that will ward off the evil of state violence any better than carrrying a rabbit’s foot or making the sign of the cross.

(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.)

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As I’ve pointed out many times in the past, women are more likely than men to support the violent policing of other women’s sexualities; were it not for this fact, it would be very difficult indeed for even the staunchest patriarchy to effectively enforce laws intended to keep women in line.  In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the “aunts” are women who collaborate with the religious dictatorship to control other women, and in fact Atwood has said that the novel is (among other things) a critique of the kind of “feminism” whose adherents are only too happy to police other women (some of her “aunts” are even depicted as former feminists).  In the real world, such women – those who are willing to sell out their own gender by assisting a violent patriarchy to oppress them – can be found in every form of prohibitionism, but the most self-deluded of their ilk are probably female cops who belong to “vice” gangs.  And that’s why I have absolutely no sympathy for the women involved in this ugly mess:

…Several high-ranking Harris County [Texas cops]…sexually assault[ed] and harass[ed] their female colleagues under the guise of stopping human trafficking.  In a new federal lawsuit, [several of these] women…accuse [boss cops] Alan Rosen…Chris Gore…and…Shane Rigdon of having “molested and traumatized” them in…prostitution stings…Rosen, Gore, and Rigdon are the [ring]leaders of the department’s federally funded human trafficking unit…”an opportunity for notoriety and media attention”…[which] considers entrapping sex workers…to be the main part of its mission.  The unit[‘s underlying propaganda claims]…that most sex workers are forced into it and if you only arrest enough of them, someone will give up “their sex traffic business handlers”…Liz Gomez, Marissa Sanchez, and Felecia McKinney…were selected for…“bachelor party” prostitution stings [that] soon grew into a booze-fueled playground for sexual exploitation in which young, untrained [women] were subject to disgusting abuse…the Harris County District Attorney’s Office…[knew] about this abuse for months, but…refused to take any action and rebuffed anyone who complained…[plaintiffs] spoke up about their abuse…but…were ridiculed by their commanders, retaliated against by their abusers, and quietly reassigned to less prestigious duties.  In addition, Jacquelyn Aluotto, a “human trafficking advocate” employed by the county (and the fourth plaintiff in this suit) spoke up about went what on as part of these undercover operations and was fired the day after giving an interview to the office’s Internal Affairs division…

Summary:  “When we agreed to trick other people into cages with face-eating leopards, we didn’t know the leopards would eat our faces!” said Gomez, Sanchez, McKinney, and Aluotto.  Waaah, waaaah, waaah.  Liz Brown goes into the whole disgusting scam with her usual thoroughness, so I advise you to follow the link and read it all yourself.  Female vice cops and other violent prohibitionists like to imagine that there are two different kinds of women, “good” and “bad”, which are self-evidently as different as chalk and cheese, so it’s a rude awakening for them when they realize that the difference, such as it is, isn’t as obvious as puritans like to pretend; if it were, there would be no need for elaborate scams intended to tell the sheep from the goats, and no women getting harassed or even arrested for “prostitution” on the basis of “evidence” such as being alone in public; wearing high-heeled boots or skinny jeans; owning lingerie; possessing condoms or cell phones; being trans, black, or Asian; and of course “looking like a whore“.  Unfortunately, far too many women refuse to accept this until the fronts of their heads are being chewed off by vicious animals they intended to sic on others.

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All too often, human tragedies are wholly predictable.  Busybodies, control freaks, and social engineers, in and out of government, create an elaborate propaganda narrative around people and things they want to control, and then some weak-brained individual or gang (usually young, male, and maladjusted), with or without magic government costumes, go out and inflict violence on strangers (usually minorities of one kind or another and often female) using that propanda narrative as an excuse and framework.  Then those with blood on their hands start victim-blaming or otherwise pointing fingers at others, while politicians use the tragedy as an excuse to increase state power and violence, and the hopelessly clueless wring their hands and cry, “How did this happen?”  This formula, with few variations, has repeated itself throughout history on a smaller or larger scale.  Sometimes the tragedy is so awful the instigators are hoist with their own petard and public opinion turns against them and in favor of the people they’ve worked so hard to demonize, but more often the dimwits continue to believe the opportunists’ lies and the violence simply grows more deadly and general.

The tragedy at hand exploded on Tuesday of last week at three Asian massage parlors in greater Atlanta:

[Robert Aaron Long] targeted th[ree massage] businesses because he had “issues” with sexual addiction and had been planning to commit more shootings before he was captured…Long…targeted businesses that he had been to before…A total of eight people were killed and another was injured…The shooting began just before 5 p.m…at Young’s Asian Massage…Two Asian women, one white woman and one white man were killed inside the spa.  Another man…was walking out of the store next door when he was hit by a bullet.  He was rushed to the hospital…[Long] then drove into the city of Atlanta, where he…killed [three people] at Gold Spa and one…at Aromatherapy…all four [of those] were Asian women…Long was on his way to Florida to carry out more shootings [presumably at other parlors he had previously patronized, but his]…family [recognized him from publicized surveillance images]…and [gave cops his phone number so they]…were able to track his phone…and…[stop him by ramming his] car…Long [has already] confessed to the shootings…[saying] he blames the massage parlors for providing an outlet for his [imagined] addiction to sex…[he] said…he wanted to “eliminate the temptation”…

Of course, politicians, cops, and others who have promoted hysteria around sexuality in general and paid sex in particular for this entire century so far don’t want you to think too hard about their role in spreading the manure that this evil took root in, so they’re trying to frame the attacks as based in race-hatred rather than the obvious (he didn’t shoot up nail parlors & Asian restaurants) and self-admitted motive of whore-hatred.  Lest you are tempted to give that narrative even a particle of credence:

Robert Long…had attended rehab for sex addiction and felt extreme guilt about his sexual urges, two former roommates said…Long has…[admitted] he committed the shootings because he [imagines he] has a “sex addiction” and wanted to eliminate his temptation…Tyler Bayless…spent months living with Long in an Atlanta halfway house named Maverick Recovery [a year ago]…He said Long was being treated for [so-called] sex addiction and felt an overwhelming sense of guilt over visiting massage parlors “for explicitly sexual activity…[which] he…[called] ‘relapses’…He would have a deep feeling of remorse and shame and say he needed to return to prayer and to return to God”…Bronson Lillemon, a second former housemate of Long’s, echoed Bayless’ account…Both housemates [said] that they never heard Long use racist language and had no knowledge that he ever visited racist message boards online…

Some media outlets appear to understand that this is about sex work rather than broad racism or misogyny, but want to shift the blame for creating Long’s sick weltanschauung from their aggressively-promoted mythology to the victims; this strategy is so utterly vile I’m not even going to quote it, but here are three examples, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Washington Post, and the arch-prohibitionist New York Times.  Instead, here are quotes from three articles by people who actually know what they’re talking about:

Cathy Reisenwitz:

…By perpetuating the myth of sex addiction and conflating sex work with sex trafficking the anti…sex worker movement has convinced men that they’re not responsible for their behavior and that sex workers…aren’t deserving of basic human dignity…“The modern sex addiction dialogue doesn’t encourage people to understand, accept and manage their sexual desires,” Dr. David Ley said of the attack. “Instead, it teaches people to hate”…By pushing the sex addiction myth, anti-sex worker, Evangelical groups like ExodusCry, [Morality in Media], and Polaris teach men that they aren’t in control of their sexuality.  Rather…the[y]…teach people, especially men, to feel ashamed of and hate both their own sexuality and the people and media they find sexually arousing.  They teach men to blame sex workers for their own feelings and behavior…Polaris, for example, spends millions pushing racist stereotypes.  Their express purpose is to use state violence to deprive Asian massage owners and workers of their businesses and jobs…

Tracy Quan:

…Despite my Asian background, I find [Long’s] disavowal of racism strangely credible.  Like a lot of people, I’ve experienced bias and ethnic profiling, but I’ve also been a sex worker, and I have encountered more prejudice, more name-calling, more fear, anger and hostility in connection with my sex work than regarding my race…Mainstream Americans, including many Asian Americans, are quick to blame racism yet unready to discuss an older hatred — what my French friends call “la putophobie” (a term more pleasing to the eye than the clunky compound “whorephobia”).  It’s the last acceptable form of hate speech…Speculation about the spas…is fed by prejudice.  Amplified by so-called antitrafficking voices, this prejudice is dangerously toxic.  Fueled by religious fanaticism and illiberal forms of feminism, by punitive laws and tabloid headlines, this bias breeds self-loathing in young men who should be learning how to nurture, not extinguish, the varieties of human connection…

Religion writer Chissy Stroop:

…The moment I read that [Long] was the son of a youth pastor who told police he had a “sex addiction”…According to [psychologist Joshua] Grubbs…“conservative religious values are strongly linked to feelings of sex addiction…men…interpret normal sexual urges as pathological and then act on them in ways that they find to be problematic”…In evangelical…churches and…schools, discussions of sex are usually steeped in purity culture…a complex of beliefs and practices associated with an unhealthy fear of sexuality and intense pressure to remain…sexually inexperienced…before marriage…victims of…sexual assault in evangelical communities are often blamed for “tempting” the perpetrators…

I’ll leave the last word for Red Canary Song, the Asian sex worker organization; if you feel moved to donate to help the victims’ families, you can find links to do so at their website.  There’s also an NPR interview here, and as usual, further updates will appear in subsequent news columns under this heading.

…We are concerned that many of those calling for action in this moment have and will continue to endorse violence towards Asian sex workers [and] massage workers…We reject the call for increased policing in response to this tragedy…[and] rising anti-Asian violence…Policing has never been an effective response to violence because the police are agents of white supremacy.  Policing has never kept sex workers or massage workers or immigrants safe.  The criminalization and demonization of sex work has hurt and killed countless people — many at the hands of the police both directly and indirectly…Asian massage workers are harmed by the criminalization of sex work, regardless of whether they engage in it themselves.  Decriminalization of sex work is the only way that…anyone criminalized for their survival and/or livelihood will ever be safe…

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