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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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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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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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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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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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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All About the Men

Probably the most common stereotype of anti-sex worker feminists is that they’re all misandrists, and on the surface that certainly seems true.  But a closer examination of the issue reveals a deeper motivation which more closely resembles an obsessive concern with men at the expense of women.  Feminists are willing to deny models income in order

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Fictional Interlude: Bad News

The eternal Venus…is one of the seductive forms of the Devil.   –  Charles Baudelaire “It’s settled then; Xoblah will tell Her.” “No, it is not settled!  Why does it always have to be me who brings Her bad news?  She’s started to call me ‘Petrel’ because She says my arrival always presages a storm.” “But,

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News: Join Flashmob to Fight Sex Work Stigma

On the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, sex worker Hege Grostad, and writer and activist, Anders Solli Sal, both from Norway, are asking the whole globe to flash their red umbrellas in solidarity with the sex worker’s rights cause. They are encouraging women, and men, all over the world to organize in groups, meet

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Comment: Why Sex Workers Are #notyourrescueproject: Rape by anti-trafficking NGOs, stigma by feminists

“If we want anything from outside like sweets, chewing gum or magazines or phone credit we have to give hand job or blow job to security,” reveals Molli Desi Devadasi. But she’s not talking about a prison. Molli, now a UK-based sex worker, was “rescued” by an anti-prostitution NGO while employed as a sex worker

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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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Features: Sex Work and My Daughter by Miss Alice Grey

“Would you want your daughter working as a stripper/prostitute?” A common refrain from people who are anti sex work, and who see it as the ultimate argument. It’s also a bit of a personal point for me, as a former sex worker, and current daughter-haver. I get to hear it even more frequently now, whenever

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Year’s End

I’ve been writing for Cliterati for a year now, and have covered a plethora of topics.  In my own blog, I always do a year’s-end retrospective of the top stories, but since I only do one column per week here versus seven for mine (and none of these are multiple-item news columns), I think I

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Honoring Our Dead

I know who held the knife, but they might as well have put it in his hands.  –  the mother of murdered sex worker Petite Jasmine Several days a year sex workers and our allies get together, either in person or in spirit, to observe certain occasions.  On March 3rd, we agitate for our rights and

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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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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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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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Columns: The Differences That Aren’t

We think we know what we’re doin’ We don’t pull the strings It’s all in the past now Money changes everything.  –  Tom Gray When I first published “What’s the Difference?” on The Agitator, a number of readers took exception to my premise that, absent the possibility of conception, sex is no different from any

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Columns: Everything Old is New Again

History, it is said, repeats itself.  And while the parallels are never exact, they are often pretty damned close.  Witness, for example, the new Victorianism which has engulfed Western society: …we have become shockingly hypocritical about sex and grant our governments tremendous power to suppress it while simultaneously spending tremendous amounts of time and money

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News: Why Stop the Traffik has Got It All Wrong by Brooke Magnanti

By now, most everyone will have seen Stop the Traffik’s recent “viral” in Amsterdam’s red light district, where bystanders who think they’re enjoying a show are suddenly broadsided with a ham-fisted social justice message about dancers supposedly trafficked into the city’s numerous licensed kammers. It’s slick. It’s attention-getting. It’s basically Kony 2012 but for sex

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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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News: Support Sex Workers on Friday 13th (and every day)

Cliterati columnist, Maggie McNeill, is a keen activist for sex worker rights. As an ex-courtesan, her campaigns are based on lived experience – and listening to people who are currently working in the industry. She has called on allies of sex workers to show their support on Friday 13th. As Maggie eloquently says on her

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