Guinea Pigs

As I’ve written many times, tyranny always starts with unpopular minorities, but it absolutely never stops with them.  Every time a new kind of law, legal procedure or police tactic is dreamed up by those with the sick need to control others, it is invariably tested first on some group that the “authorities” know few

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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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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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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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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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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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Over-exposure

It’s a 21st century problem bemoaned by the media, politicians, celebrities and regular folk alike. Many of us are too over-exposed – making our own movies on our phones, taking photos that we regret taking or appearing on in the morning, then plastering them all over a range of social media sites. It’s either that

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Blood on the Sand

In cinema and television, the goodies and baddies are usually distinctly different and in opposition to one another; the enemy of the baddie is a goodie, and anything done to bring down the baddie is automatically good.  But real life is rarely like that; in the real world, the enemy of a baddie is nearly

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Habitable Room

The Vestal Virgins were among the most important people in classical Roman society; they were charged with keeping the sacred fires burning, and accorded numerous privileges in return.  One of the greatest of these was that their persons were sacrosanct; in other words, no person could touch them without their permission, upon penalty of death. 

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Not Your Rescue Project

Until the advent of the internet, those who suffer from the sick need to control other people’s sexuality (or use sex as an excuse to hurt people) must have felt that, though they were beginning to lose their grip on gay people, they would always be able to suppress sex workers.  In the 1980s and

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Comment: Devil’s Advocate

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.  –  H.L. Mencken Oppressions always start with those nobody is willing

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Cops and Robbers

The great mythologist Joseph Campbell once told the legend of a samurai whose lord had been murdered; he was given the duty to seek the man out and execute him.  The quest took some time, but at long last the samurai cornered his quarry; the man knew that he could not escape, so in one

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Shame, Shame

While the internet is the greatest mass-communication innovation since the printing press, it has also created a few social problems that did not previously exist.  Unfortunately, the attempts of Luddites and control freaks to deal with these issues resemble, as do so many other governmental attempts to “do something”, an attempt to break an egg

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Columns: Sex Rays

What, you didn’t know that sex produced radiation?  It’s true!  Adult sexual activity is so dangerous to the “purity” and “innocence” of “children” (sorry for all the scare quotes) that any adult who has sex should be kept away from all children at all times.  Sex rays, you see, induce the dreaded “premature sexualization”, without

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Columns: Pride Goeth

Perhaps it’s because I’m bisexual that I can see the foibles of both homosexuals and heterosexuals more clearly; maybe standing fully in neither sphere gives me an outside perspective on both of them which allows more objective judgment.  More likely, it’s simply that I’m not a narcissist who expects the entire world to cater to her

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Opting Out

The moral panic over porn has been ramping up for some time now, so it was inevitable that it would eventually spill over into state action; after all, no government can long resist its sick compulsion to control its subjects’ lives in still another way, and when some useful idiots are practically begging for “protection”

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