Nothing New

Every generation thinks it invented sex, or at least non-vanilla sex.  And I don’t just mean teenagers who are squicked out by the idea of their parents shagging, either; among vanilla folk and/or those outside the demimonde, the delusion seems to persist through life that nearly everybody who lived before a moving line (hovering like

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Column: Rotting Fruit

After a moral panic ripens into its fullest development, it quickly begins to rot and ferment, producing noxious spirits which seep into the body politic and cause all manner of aberrations for years; sometimes the aftereffects can last for decades.  The odious fruit of “sex trafficking” hysteria is no exception; it reached its peak last

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All Wet

Ignorance and misinformation are the norms in mainstream articles about sex work, especially when the author and/or sources have prohibitionist inclinations. But since misinformation constantly rains down like a tropical monsoon from the vast cloud of obfuscation (formed from equal parts of prohibition, secrecy and stigma) which perpetually hangs over the demimonde, even sex workers

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Column: Conflation Creates Criminality

Squeeze human nature into the straitjacket of criminal justice and crime will appear.  –  Karl Kraus Criticism is distinguished from insult by its intent; the former is an analysis and can even be constructive, while the latter is simply an attack.  So while the two may be indistinguishable to the irrational person (who nowadays is

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Even This Shall Pass Away

Lady fairest ever seen Was the bride he crowned his queen. Pillowed on the marriage-bed, Whispering to his soul, he said, “Though a bridegroom never pressed Dearer bosom to his breast, Mortal flesh must come to clay: Even this shall pass away.”  –  Theodore Tilton, “The King’s Ring” Every year on the Day of the

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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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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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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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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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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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Madonna and Whore

A compassionate prostitute am I.  –  The Goddess Ishtar, from a Sumerian cuneiform text Perhaps the loveliest compliment I ever received was from one of my customers. I honestly don’t recall whether it was before or after the act, but I was lying naked on the bed talking to him, with my hair falling about

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The Missing Word

There’s something missing from this story in Smithsonian magazine: …since 2012, about 900 workers have died while working on infrastructure in Qatar, in a building boom anticipating the World Cup…the Guardian reported that over 400 Nepalese migrant workers had already died at building sites.  Between 2010 and 2012 more than 700 workers from India lost their lives working on construction sites in Qatar, too.

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Delightful Conversation

In early December, Elytte and Miranda Barbour were arrested on a charge of murder in the first degree, three weeks after getting married and moving from North Carolina to Pennsylvania: [The Barbours]…lured a man to his death with an ad on…Craigslist…because they wanted to kill someone together…Elytte Barbour told officers…that he and his wife, Miranda…[lured] Troy

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Comment: Savages in Suits

I find it fascinating (albeit in a sad and terrifying sort of way) to see how oblivious modern Westerners are to the fact that our “leaders” are nothing but tribal chieftains who hide their naked barbarism behind fine talk, fancy titles, ersatz philosophy and elaborate rituals.  The “rule of law” is absolutely meaningless when society

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Remembrance

Four things greater than all things are, — Women and Horses and Power and War.  –  Rudyard Kipling, “The King’s Jest” Ninety-five years ago tomorrow, at eleven o’clock in the morning, the armistice that ended the First World War went into effect; the anniversary was immediately established as Armistice Day among all the Allied nations. 

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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: Innocence Never Had

I’ve often written about the Cult of the Child, that strange remnant of the Victorian Era which teaches that children (and their definition of the term extends far beyond that Nature uses) exist in what cultists term “innocence”, a state which they seem to equate with “purity” and Divine grace, but which in actuality means ignorance

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Spoiled Children

People, as the Doors song says, are strange.  And one of the strangest of all the strange types of people in the world is the narcissist, the person who appears to be absolutely convinced that the entire universe revolves around him.  Now, we all start out that way: as infants we are completely self-centered, but

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Columns: By Any Other Name

When I was guest blogging at The Agitator last July, a reader asked a question whose answer might, I think, be interesting for Cliterati readers as well. So here it is, modified slightly for this format: Speaking of hookers, what are the rules (or traditions among those in the profession) regarding the use of words

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Columns: Father’s Day

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty According to my bond; no more nor less.  –  William Shakespeare, King Lear (I,i) It has been noted by long-time readers that while I mention my mother and sisters from time to time and my Maman (paternal grandmother) and favorite

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Mother’s Day

In the United States and many other countries around the world, today is the day on which mothers and the concept of motherhood are honored; even most nations which don’t celebrate it on this particular day do so on some other date, usually at some point in the spring.  Celebrations of motherhood aren’t anything new;

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Somewhere in the Middle

Intellectual laziness can manifest itself in many ways, of which one of the most common (and irrational) is black and white thinking.  Humans are highly variable creatures whose characteristics, behaviors, beliefs, preferences, tastes, etc are often very different from one another; between the two most extreme points on any scale there are an incalculable number

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