International Aids Conference, Pre Conference for Sex Workers.

It’s the first evening and Welcome Reception for the Universal Action for the Sex Work Inclusion Pre-Conference meeting about Sex Work, which is an Official Affiliated Event of the International Aids Society. which is part of the International Aids Conference in Mexico City.

For me this is HUGE. This is my first time with the International Sex Worker Movement. About 170 Sex Workers had dinner together, and it was awesome! I’m feeling very overwhelmed, crowds of people always do that to me though. But how amazing is it for 170 International Sex Workers to come together and talk about rights for Sex Workers! I’m awed, the whole thing is paid for, free to all of us, including Hotel Rooms, Food, everything! It’s VERY awesome! Everyone has been really nice so far, and there was a whole table full of Transgendered people, and another great table or two of Men. So there is some representation from us “others” in the movement. The entire contingent of US Sex Workers is not all here yet, but we are growing in numbers.. 3 so far with more to come!

Great Energy, wonderfully well put on so far. They’ve JAM PACKED the schedule however with Breakfast starting @ 7:30 AM, and running until 8 or 9 PM! Very Long days ahead!! The last day of the conference ends in a March against Homophobia! Robyn and I are very excited as well as the Cambodian Male Sex Workers! So much more to report, but I’m sleepy sleepy, long days ahead, and I didn’t get to fully recuperate from the DA conference. I’m going to try and not work so hard this conference, just take it all in and stay quite. That’s my plan. I’m hoping after the march to go visit the Basilica Of Guadalupe. I’m not a catholic, but my best friend is enamored with the Virgin of Guadalupe, and has gotten me intrigued and interested. I wish my friend could be here to visit with me!

ON THE ISSUES MAGAZINE featuring Juhu Thukral, Ann Jordan, Carol Leigh, Erin Whitfield, Rita Brock and others

Their press release..

ON THE ISSUES: The Progressive Woman’s Magazine

Works Hard For Her Money: Feminists and Prostitutes

http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/july08/index.php

A print publication from 1983-1999, ON THE ISSUES MAGAZINE ONLINE
offers full archives and all content for free as a committed public
service to upgrade the level of feminist conversation. Visit
http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com

“NEW YORK: Prostitution penetrated the news in a major way in recent
months — from ex-governor Eliot Spitzer of New York and his paid
binges with women to the suicide of DC madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey
and the Showtime fluff of “Secret Diary of A Call Girl”

But the media, politicians and feminists have not grappled with the
real complexities of prostitution. In its new Online edition, “Works
Hard for Her Money: Feminists and Prostitutes” ON THE ISSUES
MAGAZINE releases compelling original content — diverse articles,
art and poetry that challenge current notions and urge new thinking.

“The issue of prostitution has divided feminists for years,” writes
publisher and editor-in-chief Merle Hoffman in “Divide, Conquer and
Sell”

“Is the prostitute herself a victim of an oppressive patriarchal
system, or a free agent choosing sex work as a rational career
choice in difficult circumstances?” Since sex is “a continually
renewable resource — unlike other body resources (sales of
kidneys), it does not self-exhaust; it can just keep giving ∑. We
ask who owns that resource, who has the power to use, abuse, buy and
sell it,” writes Hoffman.

Angela Bonavoglia’s “Of Victims and Vixens” describes the feminist
abolitionists who link prostitution to violence against women and
their clash in worldview with women who run sex-for-pay services and
see it as empowering. Juhu Thukral explains how differing
interpretations of human rights by feminists has become a flashpoint
in new anti-trafficking legislation in “Feminist Divisions Cause
Real-World Repercussions”

Major thinkers and artists offer other perspectives. In “Pimping:
The World’s Oldest Profession” Kathleen Barry frames in vivid terms
why some feminists see prostitution as bondage. Carol Leigh,
aka “The Scarlot Harlot,” describes the frustration of erotic
laborers who are denied basic rights. Artist Suzanne Lacy, featured
by art editor Linda Stein, narrates a display of her travels with a
prostitute.

To these provocative topics, Shere Hite, known for her work on
female sexuality, calls for a redefinition of women’s pleasure
in “Female Orgasm Today”

The range of the voices on the topic also includes Alexis Greene on
a gripping play by Lynn Nottage about war, rape and prostitution in
Africa; Sonia Ossorio of NYC-NOW on stricter anti-trafficking laws;
Ann Jordan on hardships caused by brothel crackdowns in Cambodia;
poets Minne Bruce Pratt and Erin Whitfield with two views on the
aftereffects of prostitution. Other works are by: Bernadette Barton,
Rita Nakashima Brock, Ariel Dougherty, Mahin Hassibi, Norma Ramos,
Jane Roberts, Nicole Witte Solomon and artists Audrey Anastasi and
Tiana Markova-Gold. Several videos are mounted, including “Turning
The Corner” by BeyondMedia.

Carol Leigh on Fox, O’Reilly re: SF Decrim Initiative

http://sanfranciscodecrim.blip.tv/#1117401

Research for Sex Work, Volume 10

Research for Sex Work is an annual journal dedicated to the topic of research on sex work. It aims to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas, experiences, observations and research results with regards to sex work and HIV prevention in the broader framework of health and human rights. Although the title suggests otherwise, Research for Sex Work is not an academic journal. Readers and authors are from sex workers (support) organisations, HIV prevention projects, local and international NGOs, universities, research institutes, etc.

Volume 10 of the journal is now available online, in both English and Spanish. VAMP and SANGRAM of Sangli, India, were the production partners for this edition. The bilingual table of contents for this edition is listed below.

Editorial
Melissa Ditmore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Cover
Resisting Raids and Rescue
VAMP Collective and SANGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Los trabajadores sexuales en la India
enfrentan abuso en Ataques de incursiones

en la Colectividad de VAMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
SexWorker Activists: Embodying Aberrance
Stewart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Activistas trabajadoras sexuales:
Expresando la Aberración

Stewart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
A participatory-action and interventional research
approach to HIV prevention and treatment
among women in survival sex work

Shannon and Bright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Una aproximacion participativa e intervencionista
en la prevención del VIH y tratamiento en mujeres
que hacen trabajo sexual para sobrevivir

Shannon and Bright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
“My one-way ticket to Kamathipura”:
Rights of sex workers compromised

Karandikar and Próspero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
“Mi boleto de ida a Kamathipura”
Karandikar and Próspero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
The PEPFAR “Anti-Prostitution Pledge”:
A Case Study from Nigeria

Elder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
El “Compromiso Anti-Prostitución” PEPFAR:
Un estudio de caso desde Nigeria

Elder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Sex worker organising in Madagascar
Greenall and Rasoanaivo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Organizando a las trabajadoras sexuales en Madagascar
Greenall and Rasoanaivo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Unfriendly encounters
Freeland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Encuentros no amistosos
Freeland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Street SexWork and SexWorker Rights?
Blinding Connections

McCracken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
¿Trabajo Sexual en la Calle y Derechos de las
Trabajadoras Sexuales? Conexiones cegadoras

McCracken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Tribes Bangin in Da City
Jeffreys, Tapuhi, Abigail and Huynh . . . . . . . . . . .32
Announcements / Avisos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Colofon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Back Cover

Grind the Vote D.C. 2008: Sex Workers From Pole to Poll!

From Sin City to the Big Apple, sex workers are organizing for political and economic justice. Now in the Nation’s Capital we are capitalizing on the sex worker electorate to Grind the Vote! The sex workers of $pread Magazine, Different Avenues and Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), are proud to host their first voter registration event and dance-party this July 30th.

Grind the Vote 2008 in D.C. will register voters and create awareness around the issues concerning sex workers throughout the country. Please forward this information to Beltway contacts!


9PM-2AM, Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Be Bar’s “be:xx” night
1318 9th St NW
Washington, D.C.

Join us for politically-inspired performances and a rockin’ mid-week dance party featuring strip-tease, drag acts, raffle, DJs Bent & Kofi, burlesque, voter guides. Also featured will be updates from Different Avenues and HIPS on the policing of sex work in D.C., Prostitution Free Zones (PFZs) and the political entrepreneurs of Washington, D.C. For the first time in D.C. history, candidates running for election in the district will be asked about their positions on the criminalization approach to sex work in the city by an established political advocacy group, the non-partisan Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance.

“Grind the Vote is the first-ever national voter awareness and registration event for sex workers and their allies in the United States,” said Carol Leigh of Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network (BAYSWAN). “Our fast growing movement has learned much about the political process and how crucial our political participation is. This day is a milestone in the history of political participation and
self-representation in the USA.”

William Rockwell, $pread Magazine, 917.345.0404, will@spreadmagazine.org

Darby Hickey, Different Avenues, 202.829.2103, darby@differentavenues.org

Cyndee Clay, Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), 202.232.8150, cyndeeclay@hips.org

Men and The Issue of Timing- Desiree Alliance

Saturday late morning, or maybe it was early afternoon I rolled into the third day of the Desiree Alliance mid-way through the morning plenary. The room was half full and a panel of male identified sex workers were sharing the mic. People slowly trickled in, grabbed some fruit and found their seats as the guys talked.

The panel consisted of about 7 men, which was a noticeable increase from last year. They came from San Francisco, New York, and Chiacgo and maybe L.A. They were very well spoken as they discussed issues of inclusiveness, outreach and sexual orientation. When the panel opened up for questions, one of the first was from Naomi of St James Infirmary who brought up the excellent point that if we as a community want to really welcome and include the male workers, we would get up and show up for their plenary. If after a weekend night of partying the guys could be ontime and ready to present, the least we could do is be there to support and listen. Stacey Swimme, one of the very hard working key organizers responded that she was hoping that giving them the opening slot to kick off the day would show that they were valued and bring everyone else out to listen.

This made me think about the issue of timing at conferences such as these, and the message it can inadvertently send. I have never organized a conference so its easy for me to have an idea about it without full knowledge of all of the factors involved, but I know that it is complex and difficult and someone is always going to be unhappy with the position of their presentation. I think weekend mornings are naturally going to be especially difficult with our group. Its amazing how a schedule can affect the mood of all the participants: when the breaks are, what the day starts with, who gets undivided attention. I think the organizers to a fantastic job on working these things out, and that it is an ever morphing beast that will just get smoother and more fine-tuned.

Some other interesting points from the (second-half of) the “Male Sex Workers: How to Organize, Support and Advocate for Themselves in the Movement” Plenary:

-possibly there a less men in the sex workers’ rights movement because most male sex workers are gay and stigma against sex work is far less in the gay men’s community than the rest of society. As one man put it: “we (gay men) are all whores anyway” so they get more support and a sense of community.

-in response, one of the panelist classified himself in this way: “I’m me first, then gay, then a sex worker” so while he is very active in activist work, he proposes that many men may not necessarily feel the need to organize around sex work specifically as it is a outer layer of identity.

-there was a discussion about openness and inclusivity, and that they needed to start in the language and imagery of our own movement. Many of the panelist didn’t feel terribly represented or included in all of the “women”, “ladies” language and images that focus on female (often white and biologically female) sex workers. People often look at promotional material to determine whether or not an event or community or cause is “for them” and even if they are invited personally, they will not feel totally welcome or wanted if they do not see themselves represented in language and images of the group.

-another panelist shared a maxim he learned early on that helps him deal with stigma and oppression called the 3 F’s. “If someone isn’t Feeding, Financing or Fucking me, than why the hell do I care what they think? What right do they have to say anything about how I live my life? Fuck ’em!”

I can’t wait to see the groups of men and transpeople at the conference grow. It seems that numbers attract numbers and I think the more people we have from every group of sex work we have at our conference and in our movement, the stronger and more representative we will be as a force for change and helping each other and ourselves.

Desiree Alliance 2008- Day one

Here are some impressions from the first full day of the 2008 Desiree Alliance conference.

It is so goddamned hot here in Chicago but luckily sex workers know how to strip. Half way through the first day Stacey Swimme set the precedent by filling ice water spritzer bottles and peeling down to her comely skivvies. Many moans arose from those confined to their clothes because they arrived at the conference sans coulottes. Says ‘David’: “I never seen so many people in this industry take their clothes off with no money exchanged.”

The keynote anti-oppression workshop kicked things off and it also kicked my ass, emotionally. One of my favorite parts was the presenter’s metaphor of the house of ‘isms’; where adultism lay at the foundation since it is a cross-cultural experience for babies/children and youth, and mental health oppression as the roof as all deviations from socially established norms (emphasis on sex workers here) are pigeonholed as crazy and easily written off or persecuted for mental health instability. Other ism’s such as racism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc. are the pillars that hold the house up. Talking in small groups about our personal definitions of super loaded terms and creating lists of terms and phrases associated left a lot of us thoughtful, riled up and raw.

After lunch we split into different workshops, I went to “Transgender Intra-Community Relations”. It really felt like we didn’t have nearly enough time to hear the panel of eight or so women from Chicago and DC talk about their organizations, experiences, and the issues facing their communities. One thing that was mentioned several times were strategies to unite and unify young transwomen of color, the problems of transwomen sex workers who are harassed and incarcerated by police with complete lack of respect for their gender and are placed in men’s jails, and the idea of an accessible conference specifically for transwomen with emphasis on women of color.

We ended the first day with a plenary on Challenging Discrimination among Sex Workers where a wallop of topics were introduced including: accessing the porn community as allies and bridges, the horrible phenomenon of partners, friends and colleagues with a grudge turning sex workers into the police, and division and judgment between workers in different fields of the sex industry.

But I was fried, my brain was a weepy puddle of lust and attraction, fear of rejection, new ideas, old pains, empathy, self-reflection and the desire to be accepted. A conference full of gorgeous sweltering hos tackling topics like institutional oppression will do that to me. There is so much information and so many perspectives and so many people who have been marginalized and misunderstood by much of society trying to find their common ground. So as my act of harm-reductionist self care, I went to Bleeding Heart Bakery and drowned my intense sensitivity in delicious organic sugar….stay tuned for more Desiree updates!

Decriminalize Prostitution Initiative on San Francisco Ballot

Thank you to everybody who worked to get this initiative onto the ballot!  Here is information I received:

 

The San Francisco Department of Elections announced that the 
measure prohibiting city officials from spending money arresting and 
prosecuting people for prostitution, and mandating equal legal 
protection for sex workers, has qualified for the November ballot. Of 
500 signatures randomly sampled and checked by department personnel, 
80 percent were found to be valid. “This is a happy day for San 
Franciscans who want government to focus on fighting real crimes like 
homicides and robberies, and are tired of seeing resources wasted in 
a futile effort to police consensual sex between adults,” said 
Starchild, a sex worker activist and spokesperson for the campaign. 
“We’ve cleared the first hurdle.” By the Elections Department’s 
tally, supporters had turned in 12,745 signatures of registered San 
Francisco voters on July 7.

The campaign to decriminalize prostitution will hold a kickoff rally 
and press conference to formally announce the results on Tuesday at 
4:00 p.m. July 22 in front of the Polk Street entrance of City Hall, with 
speakers to likely include Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who was a 
signer of the petition to put the measure on the ballot along with 
two of his board colleagues. “It is way past time that the 
recommendations of the Board of Supervisors 1996 Prostitution Task 
Force were implemented, ” said the measure’s proponent, Maxine Doogan. 
“Criminalizing sex workers has been putting workers at risk of 
violence and discrimination for far too long.”

The prostitution reform measure joins two other voter-submitted 
measures on the local Nov. 4 ballot, along with eight measures put on 
the ballot by the mayor or members of the Board of Supervisors, with 
many others expected to be added in the next several weeks.

The Latest Bestest Idea on Sex Worker-Media Realtions from Desiree Alliance

A note about Desiree Coverage:

I’m just talking about things that tickled or interested me particularly, or workshops I personally attended, this is not meant to be comprehensive and anything I write about is only a minute glimpse of the many amazing things happening here right now. Also I am leaving out names of anyone that I don’t personally know or I know to be public figures in an attempt to respect privacy. I’m sorry if this means that only the same 3 or 4 people get mentioned by name, please feel free to comment and take credit for anything you said or did that I didn’t attribute to you.

A group of well spoken media whores from SWANK/SWOP NYC are in the middle of a panel presentation called “Sex Workers and Mainstream Media: What We Learned from “Spitzergate”-Tools and Inspiration for Progressive Messaging” moderated by Audacia Ray.

They have explained some of the trials, horrors and hard-won victories against the New York Times that came from the media frenzy surrounding Spitzergate. So the issue of media accountability and how to handle mainstream media is a major topic of conversation. A fucked up interview can really do a lot of harm, one of the presenters lost her job based on misrepresentation from a New York Times interviewer. However after 2 weeks of hard work and legal threats to the editor they succeeded in getting a retraction printed; a major win in terms of realistic representation and the ability of sex workers to create their own image. Audacia has a helpful guide for talking to the media on her blog Sexwork 101, but the fact is that most of the mainstream media does not care enough to veer from their pre-existing concepts of what sex workers do and think (like the assumption that ‘sex worker’ means prostitute), and of course sensationalism sells papers ad gets clicks.

Ok, this may be redundant, there are very eloquent accounts of sex worker response to Spitzer all over this blog and many others.

But KittenINFINITE came up with a brilliant new tool to watchdog the media and train them to treat us respectfully and portray us realistically: a white list and black list of media contacts, widely posted and updated. So anytime a reporter does a story with fair and accurate representation of sex workers their name and contact is added to our media ally list, and anytime a reporter fucks up or drops the ball, they get added to the Hall of Shame. A key point to help encourage compliance would be that if someone googled the reporters name there place in the Hall of Shame would pop right up. A perfect addition to BNG, I think.

Stacey then followed with her own brilliant idea: A National (or possibly International) Sex Workers Speakers Bureau to create a collected resource of media savvy and ready sex workers who are willing to speak publicly on a variety of subjects. An intensive media training conference could be arranged, and there would be a variety of speakers with different core interests and back-grounds to address whatever demographic or issue the mainstream media was covering.

The call was then put for people to “bottom line” these two projects (New York terminology cracks me up.) So who wants to compile the media info and let us know who is worth talking to and who to avoid?  And who wants to work on organizing a media focused coalition of sex workers….Veronica Monet? Are you out there?

Just a personal note: the sex worker activists from New York always impress the pants right off me. They present such an organized, smart and dedicated face to addressing sex worker issues and needs. They can pull off the air of professionalism often required to get the lay world to listen and take us seriously, while retaining and conveying a broad scope of information and the interests of diverse communities of workers. I love the variety of styles of activism our community encompasses, and the $pread and Swanks of this movement play a key role.

Working Hearts: Blog for Sex Workers and their Partners about Unpaid Realtionships

Hey all,

Consider this your official invitation to Working Hearts: www.workingheart.blogspot.com,

the blog I recently started to create conversation and support for sex workers and their personal partners around sex workers’ unpaid love/sex relationships.

I would absolutely love it if any of you wanted to write a blog post, please just send me an email and write “post starts here:” right before the part you want me to publish.

Currently the blog has a few posts from a couple of different people and some informal polls, the current poll is about trying to leave the industry and the factors behind the decision to leave.

Partners are also welcome to post, eventually I will probably create a separate site for partners, but for now I’d love this to be a place to discuss opinions and experiences around relationships, answer each other questions and help support each other around this important topic that to me seems crucial to our health and quality of life as a community.

Audacia Ray interviewed me about Working Hearts for her Village Voice blog  Naked City in the interview series Four on the Floor, if you’d like to read more about why I’m doing this and what my thoughts are on the subject, check it out.

Desiree Alliance 2008 Liveblog

The 2008 Desiree Alliance Conference starts today in Chicago! The Desiree Alliance conference is different from most academic, activist, or community conferences in that we screen all participants and close the conference to outside media. That doesn’t mean we won’t be making our own media. For participants who want to cover the conference by blogging, sharing photos or videos or audio online, by using Twitter or other online messaging services, or on social network sites, we’ve established some guidelines to maximize participation by everyone at the conference, so that everyone may feel free to speak without being spoken for. We want to collaborate in sharing our experience with those not in attendance, and to document our community from the inside.

If you would like to be a part of the Conference Live Blog at Bound, not Gagged, a sex worker group blog, please email boundnotgagged@gmail.com to be given an account. If you have your own blog, email us the link so we can add it to our blogroll. If you tag any blog posts, podcasts, photos, or videos with “desiree alliance 2008” so they can be featured here on Bound, not Gagged. If you post any audio or video, send us the link and we can also embed it here.

N.Y. Struggles to Aid Child Prostitutes

Posted on request:

Bill Would Divert Girls to Social Programs; Opponents
Say Threat of Jail Is Needed
By Robin Shulman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 13, 2008

NEW YORK — The girl is very slight, pretty, with
glasses, nervously fingering the blue and gold beads
on a bracelet she made herself.

She seems like a typical shy high school kid. Little
about her suggests the tortured story she tells: At 14
she ran away from sexual abuse at home and met a
24-year-old guy who seemed like he wanted to be her
boyfriend — until he told her he wanted to be her
pimp.

“I was like, wow,” recalled the girl, now 16, though
she looks younger. She was shocked, but desperate, she
said. “At the time I needed a place to sleep, so I was
like, ‘Fine, I’ll go along with it.’ ”

On and off for the next two years, she said, she
traded sex for cash, under the control of several
different men who took most of the money for
themselves. Her work as a child prostitute caused her
to be arrested in March and placed in detention.

“The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach,” said
the girl, who did not want her name to be used, like
several others who worked as prostitutes and gave
interviews for this article. “Most of the time we do
not have the right to say yes or no.”

Now New York is struggling with the question of how to
treat young girls who are involved in prostitution.
Are they criminals — or child abuse victims?

Continue reading

Dear Jessica Van Sack of the Boston Herald…

Hello Jessica!

I read your “article” entitled “Undercover ‘John’ takes on trannies, pimps” on the website for the Boston Herald. It was widely circulated after you succeeded to piss off the LGBTQ community starting with your opening line “James Fong has been trapped inside houses of ill repute by giant naked trannies… ” And the transphobia didn’t stop there.

Geez, Jessica? Could this article be anymore terrible? It’s salacious and ignorance portrait of sex work and transgender sex workers, I feel like I am reading a tabloid. Or the NY Post! Did you not realize as you typed away you were being lascivious and derogatory? Hard day at the office? Do you have a repressed sexual desire you want to share with the group?

“Fong arranges a meeting through a pimp who’s inevitably at the other end of an ad. The pimp will direct him to an apartment or hotel, wherever the call girls have set up their brothel. ” I mean… COME ON! If you just wanted to use the words “pimp” “call girls” and “brothel” in the same sentence, you have other options besides this sentence. Did you realize a huge percent of your readers might have had experiences soliciting sex, and might be laughing at your attempt for 101? Did you realize the Boston Herald might have advertisers who identify as queer, transgender, or have half a brain to see your article is tasteless and trash?

I understand you are new to journalism, and I am sure you are frustrated with a journalist entry level job as a court reporter. I am sure you cannot wait to get out of this low rung staff job, and I can see you are willing to write anything to do it. I ask you, how low are you willing to go?

Listen Jess… can I call you Jess? You are cute, I see your little picture up there next to the article. You are young, blonde, you can write (when you aren’t spreading transphobia I think you have real talent), I am sure you have a huge student loan to pay off…. ever consider sex work??? I don’t think you belong in newspapers.

You could channel your pseudo erotica into your advertising, or write a revealing tell-all book about your life as a call girl after you pay off your loans in six months. I think you would like it. It’s safer than court reporting, you don’t have those bosses at the Herald who grope at you, and you can make your own hours so you will have all the time in the world to do what you really want to do…. write. Think about it. You don’t have to listen to police scanners to see an accurate portrayal of the work. Just open your eyes to the world.

One more thing: Stop disrespecting our transgendered sex workers by making a mockery of their viable career choice. You only wish transgender sex workers were cop drama extras. In reality, they have more suitors, more money, and more femininity than us bio girls can muster. So stop hating. You of all people should know “a girls got to make a living”.

Love, kittenINFINITE

______________________________

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) are encouraging people to contact the Boston Herald and ask editors to apologize for the paper’s offensive slurs and sensationalistic coverage of transgender people and sex workers.

See the full press release here.

CALL THE BOSTON HERALD!

Boston Herald Contacts:
Jessica Van Sack
City Reporter
jvansack@bostonherald.com
(617) 619-6461

Joe Dwinell
City Executive Co-Editor
jdwinell@bostonherald.com
(617) 619-6177

Kevin Convey
Editor in Chief
kconvey@bostonherald.com
(617) 619-6403

New Hobbyist Blog

I’ve been following this guy’s blog, Sexhobbyist.com, for a little while and he seems to divide his time fairly evenly between escorts and strippers.   There’s an insightful interview with an escort in it this week.  I think he should be added the Hobbyists Blogs list.  I like it when clients use the head located on top of their necks.

The Wisdom of … Epidemiologists?

The epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani’s recent book, The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS, is choc-a-bloc full of policy and statistics, but perhaps not as much of a whore’s-eye view as the title at first led me to believe.

While certainly a well-written and eminently useful insider’s guide to international HIV/AIDS policy, I fail to see the appropriateness of the title, The Wisdom of Whores. In fact, Pisani’s Whores actively calls into question the very “Sacred Cows” of sex worker rights and HIV/AIDS activism: the rejection of compulsory testing as inhumane, the prioritization of antiretroviral treatment and, finally, activists’s full-on endorsement of peer education among high-risk groups: commercial sex workers, injecting drug users (IDUs) and men who have sex with men (MSM).

With this titular technicality out of the way, let me be clear that I’m not sure I entirely disagree with Pisani’s take on the matter. The strength of this book, in my view, is its ability to shake up the “treatment” and “prevention” debate among sex workers themselves. Perhaps it’s time the golden “Cows” of sex workers rights were recast, as Pisani suggests. Then again, perhaps not.

Read the rest of this article at Sex! Work?

Kyle Payne: There is No Debate, this is Just Wrong.

(h/t to Belledame for bringing this to my attention)

Everyone, meet Kyle Payne.

In his own words:

“Kyle is a social justice educator, writer, and activist. Much of his work is concerned with putting a stop to violence against women. For years Kyle has served as an advocate for survivors of sexual violence and other forms of abuse, in addition to promoting what he calls “a more just and life-affirming culture of sexuality” through activism and education. As a researcher, Kyle has studied the feminist anti-pornography movement and is particularly interested in men’s roles in confronting pornography and the rape culture. In addition to his pro-feminist work, he is involved with anti-racist, free speech, peace, and anti-globalization movements.”

You can also see Kyle’s educational merits, Honors and Awards, and his seemingly laudable activities.

If you take some time to read some of Kyle’s work, you will see he is very anti-pornography, has dedicated himself in many ways to educating men about the affects porn has upon them and fighting rape culture and stereotypes of masculinity, much like Robert Jensen. Kyle’s writing is moving, he’s been included in the Carnival Against Pornography and Prostitution, he links and praises many other anti-porn bloggers, and even, much like his Stop Porn Culture role models, does presentations on the harmful nature of pornography, which are, of course, non-2257 compliant and do not consider the feelings of the people in the images used.

Kyle, it would seem, is a good ally to feminists, to the anti-porn movement, and a strong voice out there speaking to men about how they must change for the betterment of not only women, but themselves.

But what about what you don’t know about Kyle Payne? Well, here is what people do not know about their understanding, groundbreaking male ally Kyle.

Kyle Payne was arrested for breaking into the room of and assaulting an unconcious female student at his University while he was a resident advisor. He plead guilty to felony attempted burglary in the second degree and two counts of invasion of privacy. Kyle Payne, feminist ally and enemy of pornography, agrees that “with an intent to arouse my sexual desire, I photographed and filmed Jane Doe and her breast without her consent.”

Also, according to a thread at EleanorsTrousers, who was all over this story from the get-go, Kyle Payne was asked to leave BV University for having child pornography on his computer.

So, yes, meet Kyle Payne, a man who is staunchly against pornography, a man who is dedicated to men rethinking their views on sexuality, privilege, rape culture, and masculinity, a man who spent time as a Rape Crisis Advocate. A man who assaulted and photographed a unconscious young woman under his authority as a university resident advisor, for his own sexual gratification and without her consent. A man who had child pornography on his hard drive, a man who’s blog, The Road Less Traveled, is filled with angst and turmoil and emotion, condemnation for the exact sort of behavior he himself has engaged in.

That is the real Kyle Payne. Hypocrite of the worst kind.

And sure, you can go ahead and question my motives all you like, after all, according to many-a-anti-porn advocate, women in the sex industry speaking of their own experiences, unless they are the right experiences, cannot be trusted. We have sketchy motives and vested interests and what not, however, Kyle Payne’s actions speak for themselves. I’d have reason without those actions to dislike him, reasons such as assumption, denial of agency, illegal use of images, disregard of performers feelings, shock tactic language, and serious overgeneralization, the same reasons I dislike those who Kyle supposedly looks up to and takes as leaders: Dines, Jensen, Russell, so on. However, Kyle Payne’s own actions and deeds? Considering those, I do not see how any anti-porn advocate, “real” feminist, man concerned with feminist issues, or mere woman, could take this man and make him or call him an ally of any sort.

Kyle Payne is no ally. He is a predator, abuser, and hypocrite. He is a man who talks about the evils of porn, listens to the stories of rape and assault victims, and vaunts his good deeds and ally status all the while being everything he is supposedly fighting against, everything women…be they rad fems or porn performers…fear.

Kyle Payne is not an ally. He’s an abuser. And he should be exposed as such.

Desiree Alliance 2008 — Chicago! Register Now!

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In partnership with BAYSWAN, Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA, SWANK, H.I.P.S. Different Avenues, COYOTE, Best Practices Policy Project, $pread Magazine, St. James Infirmary, Harm Reduction Coalition, PONY, SWOP-Chicago, SWOP-Las Vegas, SWOP-Los Angeles, SWOP- Northern California, SWOP-Arizona, SWOP-Portland, & SWOP-EAST

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July 16-20, 2008 Chicago, IL

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Sexworkers take to the streets of Bangalore

Chandni, a hijra sexworker addresses the gathering as Suvarna from Vaishya Anyaya Mukthi Parishad and Manohar Elavarthi, a social activist look on

visit http://sexworkerskarnataka.blogspot.com/ for photos

Karnataka State Coalition Against ITPA
No. 9 ABABIL, Patel Cheluvappa Street, J C Nagar [M R Palya], Bangalore – 560006


POST EVENT PRESS RELEASE
July 1, 2008, Bangalore

KILL THE BILL

Sexworkers take to the streets of Bangalore
demanding the central government to
drop the ITPA amendment process

National Day of Action against ITPA Amendments

Around 700 Sexworkers and human rights activists working on issues of women, dalits, workers, HIV-AIDS, sexual minorities, children, farmers, religious minorities, urban poor, environment etc. marched on the streets of Bangalore today, the National Day Of Action against the ITPA (Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act) amendments to urge the central government to drop the ITPA amendment process immediately. Sexworkers took to the street today not only in Bangalore but also in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Baroda, Rajamundry and Bhuvaneshwar. The public rally started from Chikka Lalbagh (Majestic) at 3:30 PM and culminated at 5 PM at the Mysore Bank Circle.

Rallyists carried placards with messagesDon’t destroy the livelihood of Sexworkers by criminalizing their clients’, ‘Drop ITPA amendment process immediately’, ‘Recognize sexwork as legitimate work’, ‘Criminalizing clients of sexworkers will not help in combating trafficking’, ‘Criminalizing clients of sexworkers will increase HIV-AIDS’, ‘Criminalizing clients of sexworkers will increase human rights violations against sexworkers’, ‘Central Government must listen to the voices of sexworkers’, ‘Sexworkers demand workers rights’. All through the rally people were shouting slogans including ‘Kill the ITPA Amendment Bill’, ‘Anti-people Central Minister for Women, Renuka Chowdhry – Down, Down’, My Body – My Right’, ‘Our Future – We Determine’, ‘Sexworkers are not criminals’, ‘Punishing clients will increase the spread of HIV’, ‘We want Justice’, ‘Where and Who got independence of 1947 – not us, not poor people of India’

More than 2000 people gathered at the Mysore Bank Circle and listened attentively to the fiery voices of sexworkers leaders. Veena, treasurer of Karnataka Sexworkers Union said ‘I condemn the attitude of the Indian government which does not listen to the voices of the sexworkers and plans to go ahead with the ITPA Amendment process. We have been protesting on the streets for the last 3 years, have advocated with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on this issue and have been appealing to the central cabinet ministers. This government disregards the views of not only sexworkers but also of the parliamentary standing committee on this issue’.

Elavarthi Manohar, social activist said ‘The ITPA Amendment Bill seeks to: bring consensual sexwork under criminal law, criminalise poverty induced sex work as trafficking, punishes clients visiting brothels, allows lower ranking Police to arrest sex workers and raid brothels and detain sex workers in ‘corrective’ institutions for seven years. The ITPA Amendment Bill fails to support survivors of trafficking, exposes sex workers to violence & abuse and undermines HIV prevention work. The bill needs to be killed immediately as it proposes to terrorise sexworkers and their clients’.

The public meeting ended by burning the ITPA Amendment Bill 2006 symbolically.

Veena

Treasurer (Karnataka Sexworkers Union)

For more information contact: 9880223460 (Manohar), 9880365692 (Gurukiran)

Constituent Organizations: Aneka, Ashodaya Samithi, Jyothi Mahila Sangha, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Karnataka Sexworkers Union, LesBiT, Samara, Sangama, Sangram, Suraksha, Swathi Mahila Sangha, Veshya Anyay Mukthi Parishad, Vijaya Mahila Sangha

Orgasms II

(No- seriously :p)

I just returned from a 4-day engagement in Paris, and noticed a few responses to my Orgasms post. So to put all at ease, I will tell the story of another client. Only this is one I adore, but do not lust after. I often fantasize about Bob during private moments of self-indulgence, but in all honesty, he’s probably the only client who enters my private boudoir. Well… actually, there is Paul, but I’ll save him for another time.

The weekend after I met Bob I was summoned to meet another lovely client of mine. I will call him Bruce. Bruce is a business tycoon (finance) of about 60, and while he’s no looker, he’s as sweet as pie. He’s a southern gentleman with all the charm that goes with the territory (and all the old-boy notions of gender relations; luckily I benefit from being able to fit into his little cubby-hole of how a “lady oughta be”).

On the evening he requested my company, I happened to be at a three-day sex party with my husband and two of our lifestyle couples friends we usually join for such fun. I was able to make some excuses about being needed for a project proposal dinner (they think I am in advertising), and they promised to make sure my beloved didn’t get lonely.

Bruce usually takes me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant in town which only has a tasting menu and requires jackets for men. I enjoy dining there because it is one of the only places at which I can wear some of the beautiful cocktail dresses I have collected over time, and at which I can order a delicious white burgundy by the glass. But this particular evening, Bruce had something else in mind.

When I arrived at the hotel, I met him in the lounge for a quick glass of champagne before he absconded with me to his suite. He pointed to an envelope on the coffee table and told me he included enough for an overnight engagement, but that it was up to me how long I decided to stay. He mentioned that he had friends in town who were expecting to dine with him that evening, and that he would likely not be able to spend all night with me. Then he presented me with the gift of a book- Bruce always gets me books he knows I would love to read because he pays attention when I speak-and this time was no exception.

Bruce had a bottle of champagne chilling in an ice bucket on the dining table, and next to it was a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries- he loves to feed them to me. At this hotel, they are extra large and the chocolate is rich, so they are very filling. After feeding each other a strawberry or two, I began undressing him, beginning with his tie and ending with his socks. Bruce took me by the hand and led me into the bedroom, each of us with champagne in hand, and there he succeeded in undressing me. I kneeled down in front of him between his legs and paid homage to his erectness with champagne in my mouth. (I have found that gentlemen seem to enjoy the tingly sensation this brings.) After a few such sips of champagne, Bruce beckoned me up onto the bed with him and told me he had other plans for me this time: that I was to be the object of all of his attention that evening. Bruce just loves to pleasure women orally, and I dare say he is excellent. He certainly has enough practice to make him adept.

He lay me on the bed in front of him, and with a bit of champagne on his own tongue, commenced 3 hours of pleasuring me, only coming up for air long enough to have a sip of champagne or iced water every so often. We tried counting my orgasms- he likes to keep track- but we both ended up losing count. I can tell you this, though: in my 7 years of professional companionship, I have never had so many consecutive orgasms! Not once after my initial champagne licks did he allow me to attend to his pleasure. I must have come over a hundred times. For most of the three hours, I was in an orgasm-induced trance, and for the last hour- our 4th- I lay there trying to get my land-legs back as we caressed each other and caught up on each other’s lives. At the end of the 4th hour, Bruce received a phone call summoning him to dinner, so we both showered, dressed, and kissed goodbye.

When I counted the money in the envelope the next day, Bruce had placed an extra 1K in it for me. I’d been compensated extremely well for simply lying there and accepting his pleasuring me. Not a bad day on the job, eh?

When I returned to my husband and our friends, needless to say, I had very little energy left. But I was quite pleased to have three nice cocks at my disposal: all of those orgasms left me wanting one inside of me! I was also pleased to focus my attention on the two ladies, giving them some of the loving, orgasmic energy I’d received earlier that evening. And they were most assuredly pleased to be the recipients.

Three posts, a bit lengthy (understatement), so I thought I’d just link them…

Sex workers rights vs. “save the whores”

Enough is enough, the law applies to everyone

Gail Dines, her porn training program, and me

 

(shutting up now, back to your regularly slated blogging…woohoo, counting down to Chi-Town!)