Gift Horse

I am often asked by interviewers if I think the majority of sex work prohibitionists truly wish us harm, or if they’re just misguided.  I answer that while the leaders of the prohibition movement are evil, duplicitous and fully aware of the harm they’re causing both to whores and to our clients and families, most of the

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Event Preview: Shibari With Santi, 8 & 9 November 2014, London

Shibari – Japanese rope bondage – is an unendingly popular form of kink, and these two workshops run by Sacred Pleasures‘ resident rope geek, Santiago Genochio, consistently sell out – so book early. The first day is for beginners, the second for those who have already attended one of Santi’s beginners’ days. Or you can

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Unreal Horrors

As befits a girl who was born on Halloween night, I’m a big fan of horror films, horror stories, horror TV shows, horror comics, horror poems and just about anything macabre and creepy.  I’ve written about horror fiction on my blog more than a few times, especially (though by no means exclusively) in October, which is

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News: Hundred Watt Club Introduces New Brighton Show

Surrey’s sell out Hundred Watt Club show is bringing a night of gorgeous burlesque and risqué cabaret and circus entertainment to Brighton. Dress up to the nines in your retro finery and let the ladies (and gents) of the chorus delight you for a few hours, on Saturday 15th November. Taking place at the Old

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Eros and Phobos

Camille Paglia once wrote, “You have to accept the fact that part of the sizzle of sex comes from the danger of sex.”  Because of that, second-wave feminists were fighting a losing battle in trying to paint sex as a wholly good, positive, non-scary, sunshine-and-rainbows thing in order to make it palatable to the naïve

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Whore Detection

Tyrannical laws, especially those against consensual behaviors, are supported by many people suffering from the delusion that these laws (or other, subsequent laws based on the precedent of the laws they supported) will never, ever be used against them or anyone they care about.  Of course, this is nothing but a naïve fantasy; the fact of

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Crippling Thought

The danger of crippling thought, the danger of obstructing the formation of the public mind by specially suppressing…representations is far greater than any real danger…from such representations. –  George Bernard Shaw Today is the first day of Banned Books Week, an occasion which interests me as a librarian, as a sex worker and as a steadfast supporter

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Why do kink when you can do ‘Ecstatic BDSM’?

Why just do kink when you can do ‘Ecstatic BDSM’? That’s the question London Faerie aims to answer at The Purple Door, a two-day workshop in London, on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September. The workshop provides a comprehensive introduction to Ecstatic BDSM – sometimes also called ‘conscious kink’ – for anyone with any level of

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The Face of Trafficking

I am often asked if, by calling “sex trafficking” a myth, I’m saying that there is no such thing as coercion in sex work.  The answer, of course, is “not at all”; what I’m saying is 1) that coercion is much rarer than “trafficking” fetishists pretend it is; 2) that the term “trafficking” is used

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Intersectionality

As I’ve previously explained, a large part of the process of writing my blog (and these Cliterati essays) consists of scanning Twitter (and emails from readers) for likely stories to write about: The majority of sex work-related items end up in my weekly “That Was the Week That Was” [TW3] news summary, which normally appears

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Cardboard Cutouts

To those who aren’t sex workers and don’t make a full-time job out of following the developments in our  persecution, it must sometimes seem as though I’m exaggerating the awfulness of the situation.  Furthermore, those same people may not think the difference between decriminalization (as practiced in New Zealand) and legalization (as practiced in The

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Let Me Help

Last November a reader asked me to explain my view on “sex trafficking”.  She wrote, “I…understand your disdain for people who assert that no educated person could ever choose the life of a prostitute, and I understand that most people who work for anti-human trafficking orgs assert that every single sex worker needs to be saved from herself,

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Belle Knox, Libertarianism and the politics of freedom

What pops into your mind when you think of Libertarianism? (Or Classical Liberalism, if you’re from the UK). It’s about liberty- as its name suggests. Freedom from government and moral regulation, hence its socially liberal and fiscally conservative tendencies. It’s been used to justify everything from consensual incest to legalising drugs to the Snowden leaks.

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Instant Criminal

I’ve written on many occasions about what I call universal criminality, the crowning achievement of the modern police state, under which there are so many vague, overbroad and counterintuitive laws that every single person is in violation of at least a few of them at all times.  Nearly any encounter with the police can be

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Buyer’s Remorse

Most people have probably had the experience of buying something, and then regretting it later.  Sometimes it’s because the product is substandard, or because it was deceptively advertised and turned out not to be what the buyer expected.  Sometimes one simply gets caught up in the moment, as at an auction or while on a

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Eternal Vigilance

The Irish politician John Philpot Curran once said, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”  Later orators repeated the aphorism and rephrased it into its current, less cumbersome form, but the main point is still the same:  that governments and other would-be rulers are driven by the pathological need

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Corporate Sex Parties: The Untold Scandal Behind The Headlines

  Germany might be more open about nudity (nude parks), gender (third gender on birth certs) and sex work (it’s legalised) than Britain, but a company hiring escorts and throwing its top salesmen a sex party is still a scandal over there. In fact, the event is now being investigated – I kid you not –

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Thought Experiment

The dignity of man is in free choice.  –  Max Frisch One of the most important negative effects of the popular concept that sex is somehow magically different from all other behaviors is the modern fixation on pimps.  The nightmares of neofeminists and the masturbatory fantasies of trafficking fetishists teem with brutal (and usually dark-skinned)

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Another Fine Mess

All week long I collect sex-work-related news stories for my Saturday “That Was the Week That Was” news columns, and when I prepare the columns each item is filed under a subtitle which refers back to a previous post.  But as I explained in “Case Study”, “every once in awhile a story comes along which

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Business As Usual

After generations of ignoring the violence against sex workers which is directly or indirectly caused by either full (as in the US) or partial (as in the UK) criminalization, the public is slowly beginning to wake up to the reality: most of it is perpetrated by the police.  Prohibitionists and “authorities” want everyone to believe the opposite, that clients

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The Golden Afternoon

“Once upon a time there were three little sisters,” the Dormouse began in a great hurry; “and their names were Elsie, Lacie and Tillie, and they lived at the bottom of a well–”  –  Lewis Carroll While Americans celebrate July 4th as Independence Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, it’s

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Bread and Circuses

Last Wednesday (June 25th), the US Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the venerable San Francisco escort website, MyRedbook, under the usual vague and evidence-free charges the US government always uses when it wants to destroy peaceful businesses who have hurt no one.  This time, as you can see above, the pretenses are “money laundering” and “racketeering”,

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Prudesville

There’s a persistent belief that some areas in the United States are more liberal and urbane than others, and while I suppose that’s true to some extent the differences are generally cosmetic.  It would be more accurate to say that some areas enjoy pretending to be more sophisticated than others, or at least that they

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Nice While It Lasted

During the reign of the Emperor Julian a man named Numerius, who was governor of Narbonensis (what is today southern France), was accused of embezzlement by one Delphidius; because Numerius was a high official his trial was presided over by the Emperor himself.  Numerius’ defense consisted entirely of denying his guilt, but since Delphidius had

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