Doubling Down

As I’ve pointed out many times, moral panics do not slowly decline until they vanish; rather, they continue to grow until they begin to rot from within like an overripe fruit, then they burst and spread their noxious juices everywhere.  Seen from some angles, though, the panic may seem as robust as ever right up until

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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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Column: Mandy Rice-Davies

Well he would, wouldn’t he?  –  response when told Lord Astor had denied having her As I’ve written many times, the maintenance of the Madonna/whore dichotomy demands the erasure of all ambiguity; women must solidly be classified as one or the other, “good” women or “bad”, “empowered” women or “fallen” ones, without a hint that

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Column: Sexcrime

Enjoy this website while you can. In the year 2014, less than half a human generation past the end of a century which saw advances in sexual freedom (both practical and legal) unprecedented in human history, we are now well into an attempt by the powerful to roll it all back to the Victorian Era. 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Golden Afternoon

“Once upon a time there were three little sisters,” the Dormouse began in a great hurry; “and their names were Elsie, Lacie and Tillie, and they lived at the bottom of a well–”  –  Lewis Carroll While Americans celebrate July 4th as Independence Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, it’s

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Nice While It Lasted

During the reign of the Emperor Julian a man named Numerius, who was governor of Narbonensis (what is today southern France), was accused of embezzlement by one Delphidius; because Numerius was a high official his trial was presided over by the Emperor himself.  Numerius’ defense consisted entirely of denying his guilt, but since Delphidius had

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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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Property of the State

One of the tragic flaws of the human race is that the mass of people are wholly unable to see the big picture, which gives a powerful advantage to people and institutions wise enough and patient enough to invest their energies in a long game.  While many people can recognize the immediate problems with some

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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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Helping Themselves

For most of the Twentieth Century, “authorities” in many Western countries (especially the United States) chose to portray sex workers as either criminals to be jailed or “problems” to be solved, “social evils” as the Victorians had termed us.  But by the 1970s, that narrative was wearing thin:  the sexual revolution had opened many people’s

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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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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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6000 Years of Christmas

Holidays are protean things; not only do the rituals by which we celebrate them change, but also their rationales and even their names.  Over the course of millennia a celebration may eventually change so much that it no longer appears to be anything like it was to start with, yet there are always similarities and

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Bell, Hook and Kettle

The profession of a prostitute is the only career in which the maximum income is paid to the newest apprentice.  It is the one calling in which at the beginning the only exertion is that of self-indulgence; all the prizes are at the commencement.  It is the ever-new embodiment of the old fable of the

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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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