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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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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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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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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Rescued To Death

Though it’s wrapped in layers of feminist and “anti-crime” rhetoric, the truth of the matter is that the war on sex workers (whether in its pure form or disguised as concern over “sex trafficking”) is “deeply rooted in Protestant Christianity’s obsession with ‘pure and pious womanhood’, and even when there is no Christian group involved in

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Comment: Drawing Lines

For most of human history, nobody thought of taking money for sex as a defining activity.  This is not to say that there were no whores, because of course there were; it isn’t called “the world’s oldest profession” for nothing.  But it wasn’t the fact that a woman took money for sex which defined her

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Case Study

In the process of writing my blog and these essays for Cliterati, I read and scan a tremendous number of news stories every week, from websites based all over the world.  I get many of them from links on Twitter, and my readers send many others; some of them I stumble onto by chance while

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Catastrophic Consequences

Nearly three years ago I wrote an essay entitled “Social Autoimmune Disorder”, in which I compared modern society’s persecution of sex workers to a disease “in which the body’s protective systems turn from attacking pathogens and other invaders to attack some portion of its own tissues instead”: The bodies of societies sometimes also develop such

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Range of Experience

Freedom and whores are the most cosmopolitan items under the sun. – Georg Büchner In order to get around the “consenting adults” argument and negate the obvious symmetry between arguments for abortion rights and those for the right to have sex on one’s own terms, modern prohibitionists often argue that whores are incapable of rational adult

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Columns: What’s the Difference?

I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman. – Henri Leclerc No matter what Western religions claim, sex is no different from any other human activity once the possibility of creating human life is removed by birth control.  I strongly suspect that realization is the real driving force behind most of

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Give Them an Inch…

It’s funny how people can be so familiar with received wisdom that it begins to sound trite and clichéd, yet at the same time they fail to internalize that wisdom.  One perfect example is the famous Martin Niemöller quote which begins, “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a

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It’s Complicated

Most people yearn for a simple world where the goodies wear white hats and the baddies black, where people and behaviors can be easily sorted into neat little boxes, where good intentions lead to good outcomes and bad intentions lead to harm, and where everyone agrees on hierarchies of morality and the relative importance of

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Skin To Skin

Few people would deny the importance of skin-to-skin contact in the psychological, emotional and even physical health of the newborn infant; study after study since Harlow’s seminal work with Rhesus monkeys in the 1950s have demonstrated that even if all of a baby’s physical needs are met clinically and dispassionately, it will not thrive in

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