Political Lobbying by Citizens Against Trafficking

Citizens Against Trafficking is giving political advice to Rhode Island residents on which politicians to vote for.  Of course, politicians who supported their poisonous and totally harmful legislation that ended decriminalization of prostitution in Rhode Island.   Below is an excerpt from the Citizens Against Trafficking website

Citizens Against Trafficking encourages constituents to vote for incumbents who supported the bills last year banning minors from working in the adult entertainment industry, against sex trafficking, forced labor and indoor prostitution and candidates who pledge continued support of these efforts.

The spin on this is mind numbing.  They start off by discussing the Rhode Island law now bans minors from working in the adult industry.  Statutory rape laws were always in place and prior to this legislation that CAT is so proud of, sex workers could go to the authorities if they felt a youth was being harmed in the industry.  Now they can not do that because they would have to self incriminate that they are sex workers.

CAT doesn’t mention their plank causes the arrest of adult sex workers and minors.  Now that it is illegal both are criminalized by this action.  CAT feels this legislation will stop trafficking in Rhode Island, but human trafficking happens in every state regardless of the fact that it is criminalized everywhere except a few counties in Nevada.

CAT feels their work stops forced labor.  How?  Is this preventing sweatshops from existing?  Is this going to make someone using forced labor stop?  It doesn’t in the other 49 states.

They do accurately state it bans indoor prostitution.  But then we need to ask the question of why.  Why are we banning indoor prostitution?  Shouldn’t the focus be on ending forced labor, human trafficking, etc rather than stings against consenting adults?  Ostensibly this protects minors and forced trafficking victims.  Yet both will be arrested under the provisions of this legislation.

If you live in Rhode Island these are the two candidates that are endorsed by the prohibitionists Representative Amy G Rice District 72 and Paul Marandola candidate for District 7.  These representatives voted for legislation that causes the suffering and harm of both prostitutes and trafficking victims.

75 Responses

  1. They say on their website that they believe that decriminalized prostitution leads to increased human trafficking, and that they believe prostitution is inherently harmful as well. So it’s not like they’re hiding their belief that they think prostitution is wrong, too. You may disagree with it, but they have the same right to advocate their point of view as you do yours.

    I don’t know enough about the subject of legalization leading to increased trafficking, but I have read this in other places too. Something about how eventually what happens is ignorant 3rd world women get brought in and treated like slaves by international pimp types once prostitution is legalized in a place. I think there’s also the idea out there that once you start down the slippery slope of treating people like property trafficking and worse is going to increase. A sort of Pandora’s Box effect.

    Heh, box.

  2. I don’t disagree with their right to say and believe whatever they choose. I am a staunch believer in the 1st amendment. I just disagree with what they are saying and what they believe.

    I was a trafficking victim in states that prostitution was and is illegal. It didn’t change a thing for me. Had it not been illegal I could have gone to the authorities. Instead despite a horrendous situation, I believed being arrested and being put in jail to be a worse than what I was experiencing.

    What Rhode Island did was the equivalent of saying lets arrest everyone on a sidewalk, put them in jail and trust that the justice system will figure out who the criminal is.

  3. Yeah, I hear what you’re saying, and I agree that a sex worker should have a recourse in case of rape or trafficking situations. I think it’s a difficult question though. I’m going to have to do some looking into the countries that have legalized it before I make a judgment, but I don’t think it’s quite as clear cut as you might think.

    As someone who does think prostitution is inherently harmful to both seller and buyer, I do tend to believe that there should be efforts put forth by government officials to keep people from doing it, but certainly not if it means increased trafficking, rape, exploitation, or abuse. I’m not naive enough to think that outlawing it is ever going to stop it, so it’s really a difficult question. Perhaps it should be approached like abortion? Safe, legal, and rare?

    Can you recommend any studies that have been done in countries that have legalized it Jill? Pro or con, I’d be interested to read it.

    You do deserve credit for your commitment to free speech on this blog by the way. Not everyone is as kind and supportive as I am, but opinions can be instructive even if they’re angry.

  4. whybother,

    You can start by finding sex worker orgs. They exist in EVERY country: legal, illegal, decriminalized. They speak the truth of their existence much better than anti-trafficking groups/studies who receive money for the numbers they produce. Read “Sex at the Margins” by Laura Agustin.

  5. @whybother Sex worker that is raped can only have recourse if she is free of fear of arrest by the same authorities as those that would pursue her rapist. Criminalization isn’t the answer. It just makes everything much worse.

    About censorship. Please keep in mind that I am not the owner or a moderator of this board. My personal views on censorship have no bearing on decisions here.

  6. Amanda,

    I don’t know if it’s fair to criticize the anti-prostitution advocacy groups for getting money to work against it considering that you get money for working in the industry. I don’t really see how the two are different, and it is entirely possible (perhaps even likely) that the anti-advocacy groups believe what they’re saying too.

  7. Also, are the penalties for prostitution really that harsh? I’ve heard plenty of times about the hooker that gets busted and goes right back to work to get money for the fines and court costs.

  8. Yeah, quick and dirty google search here says it’s a misdemeanor. Jail appears to be listed as the 3rd most likely outcome.

    http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/crime-penalties/federal/Prostitution.htm

    And, of course, there is always the option to not screw other women’s husbands for money. At least for the one’s that aren’t somehow always just barely making rent in spite of making 200/hr that is.

  9. @whybother

    If more women screwed their husbands, their husbands wouldn’t need to pay another women to do their *job* for them.

    Husbands sure aren’t allowed to lose interest in paying the mortgage. Let’s not forget what that marriage contract is all about.

    sex ——> <—— money

    the only difference between a sex worker and a wife is the length of the contract and since sex workers actually fulfill the end of the contract, I think there's just a lil more respectability about that.

    I think when a husband gets caught cheating because his wife "lost interest in sex" he should be suing her for breech of contract instead of paying alimony.

    Just offering another perspective for you to ponder.
    I dont expect you to agree with it.

    Don't hate me cuz I'm boobie-full.

  10. Jail should not even be in the equation. Sex work is an occupation when performed by consenting adult sex workers.

  11. whybother,

    I can’t believe you are even asking this but okay. Sex workers being paid by their individual clients is a lot different than anti-trafficking orgs receiving MILLIONS in government money for their “research.” There is no comparison. That you even TRY to compare the two is ridiculous. An individual sex worker is NOT a government-funded organization. How can this be made any more clear to you?

    Also note that many sex worker orgs (especially in criminalized countries) do NOT receive any government funding and are self-funded by sex workers — even though these orgs provide more direct services to sex workers than anti-trafficking orgs doing government-funded studies.

  12. one huge glaringly obvious difference is that the anti-trafficking orgs don’t pay taxes.

    the money is supposed to go to the 100,000 victims but they only had like 4.

    do they give the money back ???
    i don’t know.

    where does it go ?
    i will tell you where my money goes… it goes shopping with me quite often…. it goes right where i say it goes.

    sometimes i put it in my cooo-chay…. but i do not lie to the people giving it to me about where i am going to put it.

    I do not FABRICATE emergency situations in order to cause a national panic.. my coooo-chay is not getting millions of dollars that rightfully belong to someone else’s cooo-chay…

    THAT’S the difference.

    better keep a close eye on those husbands ladies, cuz i’m off to buy something that will make a grown man slobber all over himself.

    kisses

  13. Jenna,

    I think it’s sad that you have literally no concept of two people getting married simply because they love each other. I know that the roots of marriage have a lot to do with property and familial alliances and all that but jeez, have you ever actually been in love with someone? Here’s a typical vow:

    I, ____, take you, ____, to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. I, ____, take you, ____, for my lawful (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

    It’s supposed to be about LOVE, not you pay my rent and I’ll suck your dick. I can understand being cynical about the institution of marriage (especially in your husband fucking profession), about monogamy, about gold digging wives, but trust me, there are actually some people out there that get married because they love each other. Now, marriages get old and people get fat, and there’s plenty of husbands that would never want to live without their wife, but she doesn’t exactly get the ol’ tubesteak throbbing like she used to at the age of 50 anymore. Understandable. I don’t know which is the better thing there, going to a prostitute on the sly so as not to hurt her, or having the kind of relationship where both parties are open about their needs. I certainly know that the last thing an older woman wants to hear is about how she’s not as attractive as she used to be. Anyways. Tell me more about your coo-chay. It sounds like a hell of a thing.

    Amanda,

    My point was that both you, and the anti groups have financial reasons to believe what you believe. You have NO way of knowing that the anti prostitution groups are as cynical as you think they are. The view that prostitution is inherently harmful is pretty much the mainstream view in society. I agree that it’s entirely possible that these people are complete and utter sheisters, but I think the fact that you assume that they are betrays a bias on your part for your own point of view. Sex fucks with people’s heads. Money fucks with people’s heads. Sex and money combined really, really freaks people out, and I think you should consider that before you rush to judge these people.

    I’m suspect of your claims of anti-prostitution groups being paid millions too; I’d like to see some documentation before I believe that. Even if they do receive millions it’s not like the individual researchers are raking in millions. College professors, researchers do well enough to put them solidly in the upper middle class, but they’re not exactly raking it in like some of the corporate scumbags whom you so ethically service🙂

    I think if you were honest you’d admit that the lifestyle that prostitution can afford you affects your judgment at least a bit.

  14. @whybother,

    Whybother writes You(Amanda) have NO way of knowing that the anti prostitution groups are as cynical as you think they are. ”

    Jill writes: I can’t speak for what Amanda knows or doesn’t know. However, I DO know. From 1996 to 2002 I was very deeply involved with anti prostitution activism and worked at various levels with many of the major players in the anti prostitution movement. I DO know many of them are cynical, that they believe themselves to be far superior to sex workers and that their actions are based on what is best for them politically and for funding. Many of them could care less about who gets hurt or helped except themselves.

    I left that movement and literally ended up virtually friendless in doing it because I couldn’t stomach the ethical breaches they were committing, because I saw the harm the movement’s work was doing to sex workers that we were supposed to be working for. We walked away as an organization from a 10,000 grant because we couldn’t stomach the TVPRA’s huge ethical abuse.

    Farley, Hughes others, I do know them and I do know that this is a business to them. And it is one cynical business

  15. And prostitution isn’t? I don’t mean to be overly simplistic or glib in my response but it seems to me that money makes people betray their true selves, in many realms. I would have a much easier time taking pro-prostitution groups seriously if they would admit this quality of their work.

  16. @whybother

    yeah i do know about love and the day i stop sucking my husband’s d*ck is the day i hire someone to do it for me.

    when you love someone, you want to make them happy and if getting his d*ck sucked will make him happy, by golly thats what he’ll get.

    there’s a heck of a lot of fat 50 year olds making alot of money in this business so what’s your next excuse ?

    he wants to be with you….. you are the one turning away, not him. … you are the one who has a problem with your weight, not him.

    do you know what would happen if every married man got a 10 minute blowjob from his wife before he left for work each morning.

    WORLD F*CKING PEACE would happen, that’s what.

    i’m totally willing to give up my $200/hour job for world peace… . i’m not the greedy woman in society….. . anytime you wives want to start pitching in, be my guest.

    10 minutes… you don’t have to be beautiful…you dont have to be good at it…. . you just have to be willing to try.

    it’s not all about sex and money… i didnt say that…. but that is in fact, the very foundation of the marriage institution…… the basics…. you gotta have bread and water before you can cook a gourmet meal.

    love is very unnecessary for a successful marriage… in fact, it’s destructive.. .i’m not at all cynical…..i’m fed up with you greedy wh*res who won’t suck your husbands d*ck after you have him trapped him into financial servitude to you and then you want to turn around and throw stones at the women who do.

    how f*cking dare you.

    grab his d*ck, look at him in his face and tell him you want it and watch the look that comes across his face… he wont be looking at you like you’re a fat 50 year old woman, i promise you he wont.

    when’s the last time you throbbed with desire for him ?
    you can just fake it… … . we do..

    you start doing your job and you can PUT ME out of work instead of just whining about it..

    don’t you understand we want to help your marriages, not destroy them…. .. i’m not coming into your bedroom and stealing your husband out of your arms…. i would never do that.

  17. yo jenna, i’m a dude.

  18. @whybother, actually in my case you are wrong on both counts. Prostitution is probably the least betrayal of my true self. It is jobs in the straight world that I betray my true self in order to survive.

    I’m also not pro prostitution. While I am a prostitute and advocate for sex worker rights, I am ambivalent about prostitution. I’ve never encouraged anyone to go into the sex industry. But I’ll support them if they do and stand up for their rights.

  19. Jill,

    This blog encourages women to go into prostitution by attempting to legitimize it as a job that should carry no inherent shame. While it’s admirable in the sense that it advocates against the abuse or dehumanizing attitudes towards sex workers, by advocating that there is nothing inherently wrong with sex work it legitimizes and encourages women to get involved with it in the first place. And some of those women, who might have otherwise avoided sex work because of the stigma attached to it, will be raped or otherwise abused.

    But whatever, sex and money and the confluence between the two are, and always have been, like fire. Stand too close and you will inevitably get burned.

  20. @whybother

    i know dudes and i know you’re not one.

    every time i’ve encountered hate like yours, it’s some middle-aged woman who is post menopausal and refuses to have sex with her husband and wants to blame everybody but herself when she catches him paying another woman for it.

    ONLY a selfish hateful woman would expect her husband to just “lose interest” in sex just because she doesn’t “feel like” giving it to him.

    but whatever, i can pretend to be fooled if you can’t admit the truth but just so you know, I’M REALLY NOT.

  21. @Whybother, it is a job. If you ever did it you would know that. It should be legitimized. It doesn’t mean it’s the right job for everyone. Or even for everyone in the profession but keeping it illegitimate solves nothing.

    I haven’t heard a single example of anyone saying they became a sex worker because of this blog. But even if they have. So what?

    Stigmatization comes from it not being legitimized.

    About husbands cheating on their wives. Again, the contract of marriage is between husband and wife. I would hold my husband accountable, not the sex worker if I were in that situation. I would also hold myself accountable to some degree to find out what caused the issue. Whether he was a total asshole that cheated or whether I didn’t live up to the deal of being the person he married.

  22. LOL. Jenna, you may know the type of dudes that frequent prostitutes, but I am not them. My ex BECAME a prostitute, and I’m still not over her completely. So that’s why I care so much, because I’m trying to make sense of how what I thought was a decent caring person could be so selfish as to make money boning other women’s husbands.

  23. Jill, your story and experience is incredible. Your experience of working with the anti-prostitution movement is very interesting to say the least. And sad. I worked with a rape crisis center and though it was very supportive for the most part, the anti-patriarchy bit felt too black and white for me so eventually I moved on. Do you know anything about The Rebecca Project? I hope that they are not so hateful.

  24. Want to clarify that the rape crisis center I worked for was not hateful, just angry, which I believe is a useful emotion to harness as an activist for a cause like that. I am saddened however to read Jill’s account of the hate in anti-prostitution groups. As a female who was molested as a child, I am against ANY kind of non-consensual sexual act but I just don’t understand hating those have consensual sex.

  25. It’s because you show no respect for others vows of marriage, and jealousy. People also find it incredibly crass and cynical to sell something that is normally reserved for people that you love, or feel some affection for.

  26. @Parker, I don’t know anything about the Rebecca Project. As for the anti prostitution movement, ultimately I didn’t belong there for multiple reasons. Although not inherently ones people would immediately assume.

    @why bother, at this point in my life, I’m not doing sex work inherently because of a choice, but instead out of necessity. But regardless, I should be able to do the work safely like any other job. Regarding vows of marriage and respect. I don’t get into that with clients. Whether they are married or not has no relevance for me. They are renting an hour with my body and a performance. Their marriage vows are their issue not mine. Right now I’m concerned about having enough money to eat and have shelter and transportation. Life isn’t allowing the luxury of being philanthropic about saving other people’s marriage. I’m sorry you lost someone close to you. That sucks and I wish it were different for you. All you can do ultimately though is move on.

  27. No, there is absolutely no reason to show respect for jealousy. Your arguments don’t hold water. It sounds like you’re insecure about marriage and jealousy and you think others should be too. Not all johns are married. Also, if the sanctity of marriage is what you’re so concerned about, why not try to make it illegal to cheat (you know, with someone who will have sex for free). That’s ok because it’s for “love”? What if it still ruins a marriage? How about this: when a man who is married seeks a prostitute it is actually safer for the wife because after they’re done, they are done. If my husband ever felt like that he needed to do that, I would hope he goes to a prostitute and not have an affair and leave me.

  28. By means of delayed introduction, I’m “Rhonda”, and haven’t posted here in a long time. I’m a sex worker and a wife.

    Anyway it was really good to read this discussion. The main problem I have is with how to dialogue about this when it is obviously a volitile issue. Jealousy sure does make people mad, doesn’t it? But also being treated like a criminal and being denied basic rights and protections also makes people very mad.

  29. For me it’s not a legal question, it’s a question of ethics and personal morality. Not something that I think the law should get involved with, generally. I’m in favor of a rape shield law that would allow prostitutes to report rapes without fear of prosecution.

    I’m not in favor of prostitution being destigmatized because I think that the selling of oneself is ultimately dehumanizing to both the seller and the buyer. For the women that choose this type of work I don’t have much sympathy for their arguments because ultimately they’re disrespecting someone else’s vows. Yeah, the husband is doing it more, but I still say it’s a moral or ethical lapse on your part too. And motivated by the desire for what, money? Clothes? Material wealth and ego? And this doesn’t even get into the idea of physical love being an expression of some kind of feeling, of something sacred. Not, you know, a way to pay the bills.

    Now for the people that have no other choice but to do this, I have sympathy, but also skepticism. My ex could had the opportunity to get several other jobs but they all required more work for less pay. She chose to defile herself for quick and easy money. I think she’ll pay a cost for it in the long run, because I think it’s karmically bad to screw other women’s husbands for money so you can be lazy.

    In short, I think ho’s deserve legal protection, but not respect, except in the case of legitimate inability to choose other work, in which case they deserve understanding.

    You want the respect of the community at large, show respect for the values that the community at large respects.

  30. But, whybother, when the community at large is wrong in their values for the individual, then it becomes a matter of choice. You can respect that someone holds certain values even if you don’t agree with those values (shall we go back to the 1950s homemakers anyone?). Their values are their own. If that respect isn’t reciprocated, then the choice that’s left is to stick with your own unshakable values for your own life and not try to impose them on anyone else.

    I live the life I chose. I didn’t choose it because I had no other choices; I’m an intelligent woman with years of retail and office experience. I chose it because I enjoy what I do.

    I’m a fat, over 50 woman, and my clients like me this way. I feel sorry for the married men who think this is the only way to have sexual fun, but as I’ve said before, I am not their keeper. I am my own keeper. What I choose to do is my choice.

    BTW, I appreciate that you’ve calmed your vitriolic attitude. It’s much easier to talk with someone when they’re calm and rational. Even though I recognize (as do all the women here) that you don’t agree with us on principle, I appreciate that you’re actually holding a conversation with us instead of spewing angry judgments. Thank you.

  31. wb wrote…. it’s a question of ethics and personal morality….

    ….My ex…….., a way to pay the bills….so you can be lazy…..

    Okay now we’re getting down to it. So this is a personal grinding ax, okay starting to come into focus…

  32. Jolene,

    Just because you don’t agree with what the larger community values doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. I think everybody can agree that the golden rule is a good way to live life. Your profession does not meet that standard. Again, the case of an innocent wife getting a disease from her husband that’s been with a prostitute. Now is the husband primarily to blame? Sure, but guess what, you’re involved too. So imagine the case of a woman like this: finds out not only that her husband (or bf) has been cheating with a prostitute, but now she’ll have to deal with trying to find someone else willing to accept that she has an std. Or, there’s always the rare chance that you could contract aids from a condom breaking, give it to another trick, who then gives it to their wife. Personally, I couldn’t live with myself if I were to profit from this sort of thing. I know, I know, if it wasn’t you it’d be some other person, but that sort of logic can be used to justify all sorts of unethical behavior. I really don’t see how all of you fail to see your role in this. I think I’d respect you more if you were willing to just be honest and say that you don’t give a shit because the work is fun, makes you feel sexy, and you like the money. I wouldn’t respect the decision to do it either way, but at least I wouldn’t feel like you’re trying to sell me on whatever bullshit rationalizations you’ve used to convince yourself that it’s ok to play a role in putting innocent women at risk for std’s without their knowledge or consent..

    I really don’t get the idea that being against prostitution equals going back to women being 50’s housewives. The workplace is open to women in every field, and much of what’s been said about there being an income gap is exaggerated. If anything, it seems to me that being a prostitute is pretty similar to being a 50’s housewife, except that instead of relying on one man to put a roof over your head you’re relying on any man willing to shell out a few hundred bucks.

    Maxine,

    I’m not going to lie, the sense of rejection I’ve felt from my ex breaking up with me and then becoming a prostitute is pretty much the only thing that has made me think about prostitution as much as I have. We were together for a long time, it was passionate, and I cannot emphasize enough the pain I go through every day. Typically my day starts by me waking up from a dream in which she’s having sex with someone else and laughing at me. Or even worse, that she’s come back to me, and I can feel her presence and just as we get close and I start to feel the gaping pain go away I wake up and realize again that she’s gone. I worry about her too, about her safety and her mental health, and whether this will end badly for her. That’s part of the reason why I so resent people that want to destigmatize it. So yeah, of course it’s personal. Is it really not for you? Is it not a personal affront to you being judged and looked down upon? At least you know my thoughts about it aren’t just somebody advocating for a less than sincere activist group just to make a buck.

  33. This ‘make a buck’ business, it seems to be a way to divert the rejection you seem to be stuck in. Yes rejection is difficult, I just never take it personally. What you or anyone else thinks of me is none of my business.
    It seems the rejection in the form of shame is your way of attempt to punish prostitutes to get back at her for leaving you, and in your mind, she left you for prostitution.
    I know that when I leave relationships, it’s because I don’t feel loved, appreciated, respected and trusted.

  34. The best way out of the pain you are in is to forgive her and forgive yourself. It’s not your fault.
    Seek the higher spiritual ground of understanding so that you may use your experience for good instead of the destructive path you on now.\
    It brings you no piece and you can have it so much better.

  35. it’s important to realize that there is a big difference between legalization and decriminalization.

    the difference is that decriminalization means that the activity is still illegal but it is not actively enforced.

    such as the federal law which restricts the # of dildos allowed in any household to 6.

    does the fbi set up sting operations to catch people with more than 6 dildos in their house ?

    no.

    why ?

    cuz that would be stupid and a waste of taxpayer’s money.

    could they ?

    yes.

    the law is the law and it is a current law.

    decriminalization just means that we want them to apply the same common sense to enforcement of prostitution laws. where sometimes it might be necessary to arrest prostitutes who are creating problems in neighborhoods, it is not always necessary to hunt them down like they are witches when in fact, they are just single mom’s not hurting anyone.

    prostitution in my opinion should not be legal. but the law needs to be enforced with common sense and in accordance with the constitution of the U.S. and it is my opinion that they currently are not.

    I think if someone challenged the prostitution laws as being unconstitutional, they would win.

    I would suggest that the roe v wade case paves the road to that victory since the courts decided a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body.

  36. the reason the trafficked victims are trafficked is because they cant go to the police for help.

    how do you think a trafficker keeps their victim ?

    they threaten to turn them in to the police.

    these victims would rather continue to be victims than be in jail. even the minors.

    they might be victims, but the anti-trafficking groups want to MAKE SURE they are treated like criminals.

    if they were really concerned about these victims, they would be pushing legislation that would keep them safe from prosecution instead of pushing for tougher penalties.

    that just makes the victims more scared to go to the police. common sense.

  37. My point about the 50s housewife was that the community at large seems to value that kind of outlook, not that one is equivalent to the other. I wouldn’t go back to that outlook for money NOR love. I enjoy my freedom to work, to think for myself and to be accountable to the person I see in the mirror every morning. And sometimes, the community at large is just plain wrong (mob rule comes to mind).

    As for being honest, I’ve told you from the outset that I like what I do. I haven’t lied about that. However, much as you try to pressure me into it, I won’t take unearned guilt. If a man uses my services, married or single, it’s his choice. If I accept that man’s choice, that part of it is my choice. How he rationalizes it to himself and his wife is up to him; I never made a contract with her.

    Freedom of choice comes down to this: We humans (that includes you and me) will do what we want when we want,

    no matter how legal or illegal it is,
    no matter who tries to set the moral standards (how many religions and people does it take to set a moral standard anyway?), and
    no matter who it lifts up or harms or is indifferent to.

    Unlike thieves who use fraud to get what they want, or murderers who use force to get what they want, safe and sane providers merely open their arms and hearts to those who want them. We don’t compel the men to come to us; we don’t hold a gun to their heads or a knife to their throats. We don’t trick them into coming to us; we don’t take their money and run off without giving of ourselves in return (don’t bother pointing out the rip-off artists who do; I said SAFE and SANE providers). We offer warm bodies and warmer words.

    I know you won’t agree with me. I know you won’t understand part of what I’m saying. I know that I won’t change your mind on any of it. But, it was worth it to me to say. Good night, whybother.

  38. Thanks for the kind words. It still doesn’t change my mind (as I’m sure doesn’t surprise you all), but I’d feel that sex with other people’s partners behind their back was wrong whether or not I had an ex that became a pro. The only difference is I wouldn’t care enough to post on here about it if I hadn’t had the thing with the ex.

    I just don’t get it why you all can’t admit it’s shady, morally. I’m not talking legality, I’ve made it clear many times I think it should be legal (with the caveat that legality can lead to problems of its own), but that the only problem I have with it is morally. To me, not having the fundamental decency to respect someone else’s marriage or relationship is just not a nice thing to do, not to mention putting them at risk for std’s. It’s just incredibly selfish, and to me a sign of a lack of some fundamental empathy or respect for other people that I think is important to being a fully functional, self actualized human being. I think you should ask yourselves what it is that makes you so unwillingly to see that putting innocent women at risk for std’s, without their consent, and messing around in other women’s relationships, for money, is just simply not a nice thing to do.

  39. Jenna Purr, I’ve been to a couple of big time feminist conferences with trafficking as part of the agenda and decriminalization IS part of what they are pushing for in teens and they are working on this within state policy. According to Women’s Funding Network, a lot of the cases they saw involved 12-14 yr old girls. The Rebecca Project mentioned this too. The focus is on decriminalization for under-age girls so they don’t develop a record and don’t get stuck in prostitution without a way out. Somaly MAM holds this perpsective too.

  40. Jenna Purr, thank you for pointing out the difference between legalization and decriminalization. I thought decriminalizing anything simply meant it was just taken off the books as a non-issue.

  41. Can’t help but notice that none of you want to engage in an ethical/moral consideration of prostitution. Funny, that.

  42. Ethical/moral consideration of prostitution. If it is between two consenting adults then it is a straight business transaction for the prostitute. The onus falls on the client if he is betraying trusts and relationships.

  43. The fact that you are so obsessed with poking you nose in other people’s business in order to judge them is a sign of your emotional, mental and spiritial illness. You really need to get some help with your obsession because to continue to put your problem in our space and demand that we speak to you, leads me to ask where to send the bill or you can make a donation to one of our organizations.

    To assume that clients are being unfaithful to their assumed wives by paying us for sex is a form of spiritual illness.

    In the book, ‘the 4 agreements’ agreement #3 says ‘Don’t Make Assumptions’.

  44. So I assume you’d all be cool with sleeping with friends of yours’ husbands for money and wouldn’t feel at all guilty about it, nor expect your friend to get mad at you about it, right? No? Oh, I forgot, it’s only cool to screw over people you don’t know, since the only negative consequences will be for someone else.

    Hilarious that I’d get lectured by someone who has sex with other people’s spouses about sticking my nose in other people’s business. At least I’m not having sex with other people’s spouses. Amazing the amount of rationalization people can engage in when there’s some money involved.

  45. @whybother,

    So am I understanding right that you are ok with prostitution if the client is unmarried?

  46. Hmm… once again, whybother got his overall wish: We aren’t discussing how to help our sisters in Rhode Island. Instead, we’re wasting our energy repeating ourselves to this time-waster.

    I admit I’ve been guilty of answering whybother, and it’s futile at best because he doesn’t listen anyway. Every time we answer his volleys (he knows that his ethics and morality don’t match ours, so “discussing” them is a misnomer on his part), we take away from the subject brought up.

    If whybother wants to “discuss” some other subject, let him start his own blog.

    Now, since this is about Rhode Island and the nonsense being pulled there, let’s stay on the subject at hand from here on out. Our sisters there could use our help; anyone have any ideas that might be useful?

  47. @JoleneT Well, the biggest thing is that since this law is brand new, there will likely be a big show of enforcing it… but that enforcement will only happen in the tiny little state of Rhode Island because it is a state law.

    This means that any prostitute working within the state of Rhode Island needs to be worried about potential violence from the police. Even if the police are perfect gentlemen (“hah!” he says from bitter experience) being “made an example” of to prove that a new law is “cleaning up the streets” is never fun.

    The biggest advantage any prostitute in Rhode Island has is that this law is irrelevant in all the neighboring states. Cold comfort, I know, but this is the advice I would give my girlfriend in this situation. (Also, check the online newspapers in nearby states to find out what’s the situation like there before setting up shop.) Obviously, it’s tough to have to set up shop in a new state, especially in this economy.

    Other than that, I would say be extra careful and stick to regulars and referrals if you are planning to work in state.

    Now, of course, what I’m talking about right now is just about avoiding arrest and the police violence that can go with it, this doesn’t do much to change the law.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know about the political situation on the ground in RI to be able to tell if this will cause even one legislator who voted for it to lose their seat. Here in Florida, voting for Vice Laws is usually consequence free, even if they are later over turned by the Supreme Court. I know that PONY used to be somewhat active in Rhode Island from just researching this law tonight, so I would think that they would be a good group to get involved with.

  48. Yeah Jill, unmarried or unattached is ok with me. I still think it’s degrading and exploitative on both parties involved, but if people want to act like animals that’s their choice. I think doing it with married people is fucked up because it gets innocents involved (wife, kids), so it isn’t victimless.

    AND AS FOR YOU JOLENE:

    It might actually benefit your little movement if you could actually defend fucking other women’s husbands. If you want anyone to actually give a shit what happens to you ladies, it might help to actually exhibit some compassion for other people. But you can’t answer my question because you know the only real answer is “Fuck those women, it’s not my fucking problem. I don’t give a shit.” If you don’t, why should we? And there you go.

  49. whybother,

    You are one comment away from being blocked. Discuss the topics at hand in a reasonable manner or leave. There are plenty of online forums where you can freely be as hateful as you want. This is not one of them.

  50. Thank you, Amanda. Could people please stop pitting sex workers against wives? That’s exactly what Whybother is doing, so please don’t do the same.

    Whybother, you tell us to show compassion, so I suggest you take your own advice. You’re showing a real lack of compassion. You make us into scapegoats because your wife became a sex worker and left you. That’s her right and she’s not your property. If you were even half as mean to her as you are to us, I realize why she left you.

    I’m more interested in promoting the rights, wellbeing, and safety of sex workers than getting into moral disputes, but I will tell you that not everybody shares your morals. There are some people who think it’s morally wrong to be gay or have sex outside of marriage, but that doesn’t mean we all have to agree.

    I don’t believe in the institution of marriage or imposing monogamy onto people. I’m not telling other people not to get married, but I’m just saying that your moralistic arguments about marriage don’t carry any weight with me and you need to improve your own behavior before you start lecturing other people about morals.

    If I love somebody, I don’t need a contract to tell me that. Also, some people have open marriages, so you don’t have to restrict yourself to just one person even if you are married.

    Also speaking of lack of compassion, during a discussion about the “Bad Rehab” video, which protested the major abuses against imprisoned sex workers in Cambodia, you showed no compassion at all to sex workers being subject these horrendous abuses and simply said something to the effect of “Like anybody cares.”

  51. Thank you.

  52. Amanda,

    I think it’s wrong to participate in infidelity, particularly for money Open marriages are one thing; profiting from betrayal is quite another, and I honestly don’t see how anyone can defend such activities morally or ethically.. I’d be interested to know how you think doing so is in any way defensible. Since you’ve raised the specter of the banhammer, I’m quite hesitant to speak freely about it.

    I wish I could say that I look forward to an open and honest dialogue about the topic, but considering you’ve already threatened me with a banning for expressing a critical point of view, I don’t know how that’s possible, and I doubt the sincerity of your wish to do so.

  53. The original posting was to notify us about Rhode Island’s new law and the people who “helped” it come about. You introduced a topic that has nothing to do with Rhode Island’s new law.

    The point Amanda is making is to stick with the original post. Your comments don’t stay on course. And your new post about your beliefs AND your insistence on that she “defend herself” still doesn’t stick with what Amanda told you to do:

    Discuss the topics at hand.

    In this case, it’s Rhode Island’s new law, not your hammering on her or us.

    Got it now?

  54. Amanda, forgive my ignorance (or the naivete of an inveterate bookworm/geek). I thought arguing with whybother was all just a mental exercise, a way to fine-tune our points w/o losing our tempers.

    It took a friend – who is not even in the business – to point out that whybother is saying that using violence against us (implying rape and savagery and such) is okay because of what we do.

    Thank you for standing up for us (and me) against him.

  55. yeah somebody needs to get voted off this island

  56. Whoa, Jolene, where did I say anything of that nature? You’re just wrong there.

    What’s wrong with a little free speech? Surely if your message is strong the truth of your position will win out, right? I guess “staying on topic” is the new american value, above and beyond the free and fair exchange of ideas.

  57. whybother,

    Express yourself all you want — stop with the personal attacks and stay on topic. There are more important things at stake here than your myopic personal views.

    I have support in banning you for another misstep. This is NOT your blog and the community who this blog belongs to has spoken.

    Jolene,

    Waste your time with whybother all you want but again, there are more important issues at stake here than whybother’s views. Arguing with whybother over morality is not an intellectual exercise.

  58. So I can express myself, so long as it’s within the confines of what all of you would prefer I talk about. Gee, what freedom. Anychance you could email a list of acceptable responses before each post, so I know what I can and can’t say?

    You want to post in public and advocate sex for sale and glorify having sex with other people’s spouses, you should expect some criticism.

    I don’t think you want to ban me because I’m wrong, or even particularly rude. I’ve moderated my comments and have ceased with the personal attacks recently. It’s not a personal attack to critique the profession, and it’s consequences. If you want to advocate for legalization you should be honest about the nature of your work. I honestly think that’s the one biggest obstacle you will always have to getting legalization; that people don’t have much sympathy for those that don’t respect other people’s commitments. Everyone agrees that it’s kind of…unfortunate when people cheat, and generally feel some guilt if they do it. You all act like it’s nothing.

  59. I agree with Amanda, stay civil, stay on topic. If you want a discussion about your concerns create a blog and post anything you want to. There was an actual topic here about the farce that is Citizens Against Trafficking.

  60. So typical. You all want the entire debate framed around terms that you define. It seems to me that you don’t have any real allegiance to any sort of democratic ideals, you simply value power. Power to get paid for your affections, power to decide whether or not it’s moral to have sex with people that have made pledges to others, power to not be judged.

    I could say more but God knows if I express myself fully I run an even further risk of getting banned than I already have. And under the PC label of “hate”. Funny how we’ve “progressed” to the point when advocating not defiling marriage or bonds of commitment for money has become hate speech.

    You can call me a troll if you want, but the truth is that I’m not. I simply present an opinion that is not advantageous to the issues advocated on this blog. And THAT, in my OPINION, is why I’ve been threatened with being banned.

  61. @whybother,

    I”m not into power at all. Power is a major turnoff to me. While I deeply respect my colleagues on this board, I personally have censored one post on my own blog. One post out of 1700 plus. That was because of an issue of plagiarism. Thus I’m not an advocate of shutting you off. Although I do believe you were way out of line with the initial hostile commentary.

    If you want respect for your point, then respecting others points goes with that. The issue I was trying to illustrate about CAT in Rhode Island was totally blown off by you as you turned the discussion into an epic on the suffering wives of tricks. If you want a thread, ask the moderators to consider giving you a thread to discuss your concerns relating to the wives of tricks.

    For me, sex work is business. I do it only because I need the money. I make no illusions that I care for the clients because I don’t. I don’t care about them at all. What pain they cause their wives and families because they break the boundaries of marriage is on them. I screen for my own safety. Other parties involved can do whatever they want but it isn’t my responsibility to keep them and their relationships safe. As far as boning and all that. I’m a lesbian. I am strictly straight for pay and for no other reason. So the concept that I”m getting some sort of emotional high at the expense of the wives is incorrect and irrelevant to me. It is all a business deal.

    Men listen to men. You are preaching to the wrong crowd. You should be selling your message to the tricks, not to the prostitutes. If you end up getting banned, it will be because you went too far, not because you have a differing opinion. Very few people have ever been banned on this blog and this is a relatively tolerant group of people to differing views. It isn’t your viewpoint that is getting you threatened with banishment, it is your presentation. Or at least, that is my understanding. Then again, I’m not a moderator, I may be incorrect in my speculation.

    I do believe that you are emotionally injured by the former partner that left you for prostitution and at some level you are trying to exorcise your pain in this blog.

  62. I addressed the RI issue on the first post of this thread, or so I thought. Subsequent posts were largely in response to what other people had posted. Incidentally, my ex didn’t leave me for prostitution, we had been broken up for a year when she became a prostitute. Now I was still in love with her at the time, and we had a friends with benefits type relationship, that I didn’t have the power to end until about 2 months after she told me what she was doing, but she didn’t leave me FOR prostitution. As far as I know anyways, I have no idea whether she was a prostitute or not even while we were together. It’s pretty hard for me to trust anything about the relationship considering what she does now. I don’t mean that as an insult, but when a woman sells sex for money, it’s pretty much impossible as a man to trust anything about that woman, really. Or at least for me.

  63. It’s not just unsatisfied husbands that seek prostitutes, there are single men as well, for what ever their reason. Their are even prostitutes couples that market themselves to other couples. This is a very interesting topic that has been and will be argued for years. I think as long as a sex worker chooses this profession, it is ok. Remember, respectable sex workers are not out to ruin marriages and those that seek them out, makes their own decisions!

  64. Choice or not, it’s a sleazy business as far as I’m concerned “Pleasure”, but then I have a very low tolerance for artifice.

  65. Whybother,

    You used the tired old phrase that many conservatives use:
    Political correctness. Well in my opinion being “politically incorrect” is just another word for bigotry. There’s nothing special about it.

    You talk to Jill about censorship. I think she’s being amazingly tolerant of you so far, because I would’ve banned your ass at the first couple of nasty comments that you made. Sex workers have very few places that they can come and be safe, and this blog is supposed to be one of them.

    It seems reasonable that if you have an issue with clients cheating on their wives, then you should take that up with the clients, not with sex workers. But you can’t do that, because you have a patriarchal worldview that holds that women are responsible for men’s sexuality. Well in the real world it is men who are responsible for their own sexuality; and it is THEY who make the decision to solicit a sex worker.

    And as far as your own personal life: what happened to you is not really our concern nor is it our business. It’s something that you’re going to have to deal with on your own. To start off with, I would recommend that you find yourself a good counselor.

  66. @Whybother,

    I agree it’s a sleazy business.

    It’s not only easy being sleazy but it’s totally fun too !!!

    Don’t knock something unless you’ve tried it studcakes.

    Glorifying the industry doesn’t make women leave their husbands for the business. For crying out loud, I think it’s been de-glorified more than enough to keep most women away.

    For the few that try it anyway, because of desperation, the fun and the financial freedom they enjoy when might. Especially if it was lacking in the marriage. It makes me wonder what you were doing that would make your wife feel so desperate that she would rather turn to such a slezy means of survival.

    Addressing the actual topic, there is a good article regarding the effects of legalization in New Zealand which proves CAT is wrong.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/868263

  67. Great article! Now, if we could just get that kind of thing here.

  68. Hey Jenna, thanks for insulting me further, I’m not hurting enough already.

    It always seems to come back to me saying prostitutes play a role in the infidelity, and prostitutes completely denying any responsibility whatsoever. Again, it seems to me that the analogy of a hitman is appropriate. Yeah, there’s always someone else that’s willing to pull the trigger for the right amount of money, but how does that completely absolve the person that’s willing to do it? You can blame it on the men, you can blame it on the patriarchy, you can blame it on whatever you need to in order to absolve yourself of any personal responsibility for participating in another’s infidelity all you want, but the fact remains that you are willing to take money to have sex with other women’s husbands.

    If it wasn’t you it’d be someone else. But it wouldn’t be you. I wouldn’t want to be someone that’d help someone break their most sacred vows for a lucrative life. You all would. I don’t think it’s something to be proud of.

  69. “It seems reasonable that if you have an issue with clients cheating on their wives, then you should take that up with the clients, not with sex workers. But you can’t do that, because you have a patriarchal worldview that holds that women are responsible for men’s sexuality.”

    Great response Susan. Whybother lost all my respect back several posts ago when he asked me for a hand job when I was merely trying to talk to him. I don’t sell such things, ever, but even if I did, I fail to see the relevancy of the topic on a forum about people’s rights, health and safety in the sex industry. I have to deal with this BS at work, but at least there I get paid to hear men’s crap AND they know it is crap and have enough sense to know it that rather than disguise it as “sensitive feelings.”

  70. why would a guy even care about other guys cheating on their wives ?

    why bother is a woman.

    a selfish one who’s only concern with this industry is how it affected HER.

  71. I agree it is pretty damn odd.

  72. CAT’S website is down.

    looks like they didn’t pay their hosting company.

  73. You’re right. It looks like they forgot to pay the bill. How funny.

  74. I think this is a really complex issue where it’s hard to measure cause and effect. I wonder what a criminal defense lawyer would say about the CAT legislation. I feel like the see more first hand the way people are affected by the laws. Particularly with this one, I’d want to know if less adult “sex workers” are going to law enforcement about youth in the industry because of self incrimination. The article didn’t have and numbers to back that up. That is really the only potential harm I see in this legislation, and I feel a lawyer, or a police officer, would know first hand.

  75. Adult sex workers rarely go to the police about anything work-related because police will arrest them, self-incrimination or no. Just ask adult sex workers.

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