Hands On

I think I can safely speak for virtually all sex workers when I say that we don’t want to be passive tools used by governments and NGOs as the excuse for tyranny; we simply want to be left alone to live our lives like anyone else, with the same rights, privileges, duties and legal protections

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Column: Year’s End 2014

The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. – Edward Powell As has been my custom for five years, New Year’s Eve is the occasion for a retrospective of the year’s news. But while in previous years I mostly reported on the things other people did, the biggest story this

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Column: A Year Later

Almost a year ago (December 20th, 2013), the Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized prostitution in every part of the country with its ruling in Bedford vs. Canada, which struck down the criminal laws (very similar to those in the UK) which attempted to “control” and “discourage” the sale of sex by making it more difficult

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Feminists and Other Puritans

Every time one reads an article that doesn’t mindlessly parrot “sex trafficking” hysteria or some other aspect of the anti-sex movement, yet isn’t written by a sex worker or ally, one can be sure there will be an obligatory sentence about how it’s “surprising” or “paradoxical” or whatever that anti-sex carceral feminists (to use my

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Welcome to the Future

As long-time readers know, I’m very fond of science fiction and fantasy; the difference between the two is that the latter describes a world which (by our understanding of the laws of the universe) could not actually exist, while the former describes a world which could but does not (at least yet).  As some have

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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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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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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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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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A Day for Whores

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  –  Mahatma Gandhi Tomorrow is International Whores’ Day, the 39th anniversary of a protest in which… …over 100 French prostitutes occupied the Church of St. Nizier in Lyon.  In a very real sense, today is the birthday of the

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Cooties

Though human beings have developed a highly technological society based on scientific principles, the great majority of them are still immersed in magical thinking.  I don’t merely mean a few irrational beliefs which we recognize as irrational; everyone, including the most die-hard skeptics, have such beliefs, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as

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Not What They Expected

Back in January I wrote, Until the advent of the internet, those who suffer from the sick need to control other people’s sexuality…must have felt that…they would always be able to suppress sex workers…But…the arrival of…social media gave…widely-scattered sex worker rights groups a way to connect easily and cheaply in real time, resulting in an explosion

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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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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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Available Weapon

Radical feminists are fond of pretending that women are not individuals, but rather mere appendages of some vast gestalt entity for which the feminists are the designated mouthpieces.  Many of their arguments against sex work rely on the notion that the private actions of individual women somehow resonate across this vast, incorporeal, hydra-like entity and

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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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Sex Worker Rights Day

A slave is one who waits for someone else to free him.  –  Rosellen Brown Asian sex worker activists are my heroes; they are everything I wish American sex worker activists could be.  Here in the US, we let the media run so absolutely wild in spreading the prohibitionists’ poisonous lies that the few of

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Whither Canada?

As you probably know unless you’ve been living in a cave, two months ago the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the laws which made the legal activity of selling sex much more difficult and dangerous, just as similar laws in the UK, India, parts of Australia and many other countries do.  As I wrote in

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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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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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