Repeating myself, but I just don’t get bigots.

Doesn’t it strike most people as strange that the country that we live in (if you live in the US) makes things illegal, or refused to make things legal, that pose no threat on others?  What’s the point of this?  Isn’t it absolutely transparent?  I mean clearly there is no reason to have something like marijuana be illegal.  And even more so when it comes to being other than straight.  How come I can’t marry my fucking girlfriend and my boyfriend?  Why does it matter if we all get stoned, married and fuck for pay?  What in the hell does this have to do with anyone else and why are any of these things illegal?  Yes, religion.  Yes it is mostly based on religion.  But there are non religious people who buy these puritanical ideas as well.  There are atheists (many many many, actually) who refused to see the sexism in our society and the racist surrounding them.  I think these are based on archaic religious ideas, but at this point it’s really not fair to point the finger purely at religion.  Religion doesn’t turn assholes nice or nice people into assholes on it’s own.  As I said, there are plenty of asshole atheists.  It’s the society we’ve set up in these old crusty ideals that is the problem.  

I have a very difficult time understanding these things because I don’t believe in making laws that cause people harm or prevent people from doing things based on their sexual nature or race or wanting to smoke weed or whatever.  I just don’t get it.  I don’t understand how people can believe the utter bullshit that they believe that allows them to vote for these absurd laws.  How can making it illegal to marry someone because you are gay, trans, queer, how can that be ok with anyone?  I am terrible in these conversations because I just have very little understanding of this type of ignorance, or not even understanding but maybe patience is a better word.  I don’t get it.  

I’m 100% (time a million) in favour of reclaiming/claiming an ACTUAL and strict as fuck separation of church and state.  Hobby Lobby wouldn’t be allowed to do that shit.  Marriage would be legal for everyone.  Especially, and this is important for any religious person who isn’t Christian, these laws are all based on Christian ideals, never any other religion.  But I just don’t think there is a place for laws based on religion, however good the religion is, because we are a mix of people and religions and non-religions and as a society, our laws should reflect protecting and supporting, not punishing and fake moralities. 

Principle, practice and ‘not all men’

Originally posted on Sometimes, it's just a cigar:

@prisonerben and I had a discussion last night about, in effect, the utility of insisting that not all men are rapists. Let’s be clear here, so no-one is mistaken. I think it’s utterly useless for any man to do the not all men riff.  Ben equates my position with my asserting that he is variously, a rapist, a semi-rapist or a support of rapists. As you can tell, it was not an even tempered debate.

Here’s the issue of principle. The experience of the women I know and care about, as they have related it to me, is that all men can be rapists, that there is no distinguishing factor that enables them to separate out the rapists from the non-rapists ahead of the fact. If I insist on saying ‘but not me…’ I’m denying their experience, and it’s an experience that is universal and collective. As a matter of…

View original 369 more words

Let me walk you through my typical day as a sex worker

I’m not sure what you imagine sex workers do, but here’s what I do.  And I’d say my experience isn’t all that unique.  

I wake up at 6-6:30am, take a shower – damn I’m usually running low on something so I try to make a mental note of what I need to buy before I run out – then the moment I step out of the shower it’s probably gone.  Later I’ll end up being annoyed I’m out of it but keep forgetting to purchase another bottle/tube/whatever.  I do my usually lotion and hair and whatever, probably put on some make up if I’m going out, maybe not if I’m feeling like I don’t want to.  

I make breakfast for myself and my child while she stretches and yawns, waking up slowly.  We have breakfast together every morning.  Then I change her clothes, get her read for school, and we head out the door.  I drop her off at school, then I drive to one of my jobs or maybe I’ll go to school if it’s a school day.  Some days I’ll go home and do some sex work – this could mean taking photos or shooting some videos, taking phone calls.  Usually I’ll spend at least 50% of that time on my website or otherwise working on my brand.  If I don’t have any client work to do I’ll answer emails, calls, any other correspondence I have to do.  I no longer take in person clients so that has cut out a lot of the hours I need for work, but it also means I have very little money during the week.  I would say it’s cut my income by 300%, this is not an exaggeration but it is an estimate. 

If it is a day where I work my other job, I will go to the office and do that job, and come home exhausted and feeling a bit defeated and like I’ve accomplished very little.  But hey, at least it’ll look good on a resume.  Although it doesn’t offer health benefits either, which seems to defeat the purpose just a bit.  It isn’t even enough to pay rent with.  If I wasn’t in school I don’t know if I could mentally handle this job full time, it makes me feel so awful every day that when I come home I fight off the depression and feeling of hopeless.  It’s a mental health thing, and it’s really not going to help me succeed.  Working full time, whether you understand this or not, is not an option for someone with my problems.  I wouldn’t survive.  I know a lot of people have very little sympathy for this, because they don’t understand the incredible struggle mentally ill people can go through just to exist in a “normal” environment.  To me, it’s like taking any progress I’ve made with my emotional and mental health, and peeling it back again, just to be in this sort of working environment.  That is why sex work would be my preferred work.  But that’s for a different post, and I’ve also posted about it before.  

I do my best to put on a good face, but by the end of the day I’m always exhausted.  I play with my kid as much as I can until I need to make dinner, and then I make dinner and we eat together.  Then we do our bedtime routine and I put my child to bed.  Usually after my kid falls asleep I do some more work on the computer and update and interact and whatnot.  I do like to stay active with my sex worker rights activism, when I have time, and usually I’ll do this at night so I can be more focused.  

On Saturdays, when I’m not otherwise working or in school, we (my kid and I) get to sleep in until 7am!!!  Then we watch PBS cartoons and eat breakfast together and snuggle on the couch.  At some point, I will try to get on twitter – me and @Whorephobia have a Saturday thing where we do a theme, I enjoy doing that although I have been too busy to keep up with it this semester but I’ve done my best.  Saturdays are the best days.  I get family time, and I get to do fun sex worker rights stuff.  I miss taking clients, but I love having my Saturdays.  

 

I would do sex work full time if I could do it all fully legally and see people in person.  Full time, but with me controlling my schedule, my clients, my life.  I would happily do that.  But even full time, it’s not the only thing in my life.  It’s barely any of my day, even if I was doing it 8 hours a day, it wouldn’t be what I obsessed about like anti-sex worker people who erase all the other things that we do and make us into these helpless idiots that spend all day getting screwed by disgusting (imaginary) men who hate women.  No, that’s actually what anti-sex worker people want us to do so that they can be right when they take away our rights.  They want us to be abused and helpless and useless, but we aren’t.  We are just people, and we aren’t as freaked out about sex as they are apparently.  We aren’t as obsessed by it as they are.  We are making a living.  Struggling to make a living sometimes, because of their work to make our lives miserable and dangerous.  We get stalked by these assholes, and they call us pimps and liars and sluts and idiots, and say we have no talents and we must have no education and so on and so on.  They show where their values lie when they insult us.  We get stalked and harassed and abused and sometimes even killed by people who want sex work to be illegal or who are happy that it is.  Usually our deaths are caused by the stigma they create but sometimes they are wielding the actual weapons.  

How much different is my day to your day?  To the anti sex worker’s day?  Even if I spent all day covering in bodily fluids and being fucked from every direction, does that mean I’m a bad person?  Fuck no it doesn’t.  But the truth is, my day isn’t really that different from most the “average” person’s.  But I do something that involves SEX! which scares so many people.  And I just don’t get it.  I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal.  

What is your fucking problem?

I sometimes marvel at the fact that people can come at me and say what I do deserves disrespect or stigma, and then in the same breath they will defend people who cause suffering and death.  

Think of the police, helping evict a family because the bank has foreclosed on their house.  The police may arrest or abuse or even kill people for resisting even if resisting is the most common sense thing to do, especially when someone is taking away your home, shelter, ability to buy food.  Ruining your credit because they are outright thieves, backed by a broken political system.  Think of all of that.  Yet people defend the police, they defend bankers, they say even bankers who they may hate don’t deserve to die or be put in danger for who they are.  Even the most hated of people should never be put in danger.  Unless they are sex workers, people of color, lgbtq or especially a mix.  Bankers, are horrible people, even in jokes made by white men, but it wouldn’t be funny if a banker was raped and murdered.  Yet it’s hilarious to tell raped hooker jokes or dead hooker jokes.  

So basically, what is your fucking problem?  It’s sex.  It really is just sex.  I do good for some people, I help some people, and I have sex – just sex – with some people.  So what is the fucking problem here?  I don’t get it.  

This is what’s wrong with the sex work conversation

“Why would you choose to do sex work when so many people are forced into it?  Underage kids, and women who are sex slaves?”

“I don’t know, why do you garden when people are trafficked to countries to do field work for little or no money, including children and women who are slaves?”  

Because they are different fucking things all together. 

The majority of people who are trafficked are trafficked for labor and not “sex” (in my estimation rape because forced sex is not sex but is in fact rape).  That doesn’t mean I want to end gardening, or end food production or end sewing or end crafts in general.  It means I want to fucking end trafficking and slavery.  What’s the fucking disconnect here?  I don’t know.  I know that part of it is the taboo that is SEX.  S.E.X.  Oh my goodness how dare people not find it this haunting secret that no one must know properly about.  How dare people pay for it and enjoy it and do it even if they don’t enjoy it all the time!!!  How fucking dare they have sexual autonomy and financial security, or any sort of income at all really for the majority who aren’t raking in thousands or millions.  How dare anyone get rich off sex.  How dare anyone pay their bills from sex.  How dare the!!!  

 

How dare they?  Well actually I’ve had sex with quite a few people, for free, when I didn’t charge.  But no one’s calling me out on that.  Well not as many people anyway.  The supposed “feminists” aren’t calling me out for having sex with whoever I wish when I don’t charge.  It has something to do with this idea that sex is … I don’t even know.  It’s like unattainable.  We are supposed to use sex to get shit, but we aren’t supposed to charge?  I’m so confused by all of this bullshit at this point that it just doesn’t even make sense anymore.  I can be a slut; slut shaming is bad but sex work isn’t ok?  What the fuck?!  

Some people shouldn’t do sex work.  I shouldn’t run a gun range.  I shouldn’t be a pharmaceutical drug rep.  There are just some people who don’t fit into certain jobs.  I can’t be a psychologist because I tend to get too emotionally involved with other people’s problems.  Therefore I literally cannot handle being a therapist.  That doesn’t make therapy evil does it?  Should we outlaw venting your emotions because I might be suckered into becoming a therapist against my will?

Trafficking is not the same thing.  It’s simple.  Trafficking bad, trafficking is mostly for labor.  “Sex” Trafficking bad.  Prostitution, sex work, hooking, brothels, paying for sex, stripping, oral sex, anal sex, etc, none of these things should be illegal.  Trafficking should be illegal.  See the difference here?  I’m sure you probably do.  Because they are different things.  And trafficking should be ended.  

So when you go any use the money that people donate to you (as an organization or the government – although donate isn’t the right word for taxes) to shut down strip clubs, arrest sex workers who work the street or in their own homes or brothels or whatever.  You are basically saying that me having consensual sex, or doing any consensual sexual acts, is the same as someone who’s kidnapped or sold into slavery and possibly raped repeatedly, often abused in other ways and forced to work for little to no money and for long hours with little rest and little care.  When you spend the money to shut down consenting adults sexual activities, you are saying that those people are less important than creating a stigma about sex work.  They are less important to you (you – the organization or government who practices laws like condoms as evidence or denying strip clubs liquor licenses) than taking away my income and my health and my life and my freedom and safety.  

Imagine if this money went towards actually helping to stop trafficking.  Imagine the fucking resources this country, all countries where sex work is illegal, would have to actually catch traffickers and give victims/survivors the help they wants.  Not the help you think they need, the help that they say they need or the help that will help them.  Not the pockets of anti-sex worker organizations.  

And guess what…if sex work was legalized, this would actually curb a lot of “sex” trafficking.  

I regret reporting my rape

Do you know what happens when you report a rape?  I’ll tell you my story.  Since that’s the one I know best.  This is a very short and edited version of this event. 

When I was 16, a man broke into my room (I lived in a shared house with 23 other people – sort of like a dorm) and raped me.  I reported it to the police.  This in and of itself was very difficult to do.  

A purple car was parked outside of my house one day.  As I walked up to my door a woman stepped out and started to walk towards me in that way that sort of automatically makes you think they are either a cop, or they are going to attack you in some way.  A very forceful and intimidating walk.  She told me who she was.  A sheriff.  I’m not going to talk about what was said, that’s not really the point.  She was pretty invasive, demanding and cold throughout the interview.  I felt like I’d done something wrong by the time she left.  Like it was all my fault.  

Then they called the man who raped me, and told him that I accused him of rape.  That’s it on the police end of things.  That is literally all they did.  Get a statement from me and then tell the rapist that I’d told the police he raped me.  So you can imagine he was angry, and he broke into my bedroom and raped me again.  

 

He probably has raped other women, I don’t see why he would just stop at me.  Pretty sure reporting it to the police did fuck all.  Even if rapists do ever go to trial, there’s not a greatly successful conviction rate, and even when they are convicted, it’s not usually much of a sentence.  

 

My point isn’t to say that people shouldn’t report being raped.  I hope that people get that this is a fucking problem with the police though.  They don’t test rape kits.  Rape kits are pretty invasive and sometimes carried out by people who are not at all sensitive to the situation.  If you are going to go through the trauma of reporting a rape, and yes it is very traumatic to do this, then they better fucking back you the fuck up.  They had better go after these fuckers full force.  But they don’t.  Because rape is still not seen as a violent crime, but as sexual violence (and yes these are different things to a lot of people).  Sexual violence can often be blamed on the victim, whereas random violence without the sex word attached, not so much. That’s what I’ve experienced anyhow.  

So yes.  I do regret reporting that to the police.  It made my situation worse, the reporting itself was a traumatizing experience, and at the end of it I have nothing to show for it but a second rape from the person who did it the first time and some severe ptsd.  Imagine though if I was arrested because I didn’t want to report the second rape.  

Legalization, the police, decriminalization, the feds.

I support legalization or decriminalization.  

There was a story recently about a local man who was robbed of his marijuana and a shit load of guns.  Because it’s legal and decriminalized here (not federally, just state legal for medical used – and decriminalized in small amounts for personal use) he was able to tell the police and the press that he had these guns stolen.  It struck me how much sense it makes.  It’s important to be able to tell people that someone has acquired a ton of weapons and they are traceable because the person who owned them can report it without fear for being arrested because he also grows weed.  To me that seems like a no brainer.  There are many other reason I think marijuana shouldn’t be illegal but that’s not the point of this post.  The point of this post is to make a metaphor out of this real world event.  

So imagine, if you will, that you are a sex worker.  Someone robs you and rapes you.  Now you are pretty sure that this person is going to do this again to someone else and you wish to let other people know that this person is a threat to others.  But of course you can’t.  You can’t tell the police, you can’t tell your friends except in person, and you really can’t get the word out to the greater community because what you do is ILLEGAL!!!  What you do to earn your living, makes it more of a threat to report any sort of crime, than it does to not report that crime and hope that bad things don’t happen.  Again.  I’m going to ignore currently, the issues I have with the police as a whole, as a system, and let’s just pretend that the point here is that you don’t want them to have any reason to arrest you and they also have the power to send out mass alerts.  So you are unable to alert others of this risk, because of the fact that you would go to prison, and in some states in the United States, you could go to prison for trafficking.  That’s for another article but that in itself is an absurd thing that exists in some state laws.  

Whatever your feelings on sex workers (you should love us though, just so you know) doesn’t it make more sense to give them the chance to report crimes that could effect other people, and in fact could save lives?  Instead of the current system which means that the police and the laws are, in fact, creating danger and causing the death and injury of many.  

The things we do for love

Not for romantic love.  Not for the hetero relationship I’m supposed to have with the husband I sort of have, that will please mine and his parents.  No, not that kind.  My love is for activism.  Specifically sex work activism.  Is that surprising?  I haven’t spent much time on the computer recently because I have to do things that involve my full attention, but I’m still here.  The things that excite me and drive me are all in my activism.  My love is for the sex workers, the outspoken clients, the advocates of sex workers.  I love the people who speak up for other people who have no voice, but not to speak over them, to speak for or with them.  I do not wish to ever speak for anyone but myself, but I hope to be able to amplify others’ voices.  

OK, that’s my quick little emotional update.

I love you all!!!

I’m a real boy!

Sometimes I feel like every person I pass, on the internet or in my everyday life, I have to shout at them to recognize that I’m capable of making my own choices.  

I am actually here, I’m actually sitting here, standing here, I actually exist and I have a brain and I can make decisions for myself and I’m an adult and everything!!!  I seriously get sick of having to point out that sex workers, and people paying for sex, don’t need to have their decisions made for them.  Like we can actually think and make our own decisions so fuck off with your laws ok?  Yeah thanks.  

Every day.  Every g-d damn day I have to read someone saying “they’d rather be doing something else,” “they are lost,” “they need help.”  The newest and sort of annoyingly subtle (to some people) laws that pretend to care about us are these nordic model laws where they make paying for sex illegal and supposedly the sex workers aren’t?  Except for that if someone buying your service is illegal than your job is in fact illegal, whether you get put in jail or not.  No you aren’t being nice to us by doing this.  Not at fucking all.  So they pretend to care about us by actually forcing us into worse situations.  This reminds me of sooo many times that the church has tried to “help” young women.  But the most annoying bit of all of this is that they converse about us, make decisions about us, without talking TO us.  They talk about us as if we don’t even exist as human beings.  They talk about people who buy sex as if they are all criminals, and they talk about us as if we are all victims.  

It gets on my nerves.  I’ll keep doing it, but it gets on my nerves that I have to point out that I can speak for myself.  In fact, most adults can speak for themselves but for some reason certain people have decided that we aren’t allowed to.  Sexuality is dangerous, and selling it is even more so.  I don’t know why but it scares people.  I have a theory that the fear is about letting the people who aren’t typically rich, white, cis, men, have power.  Sex can be powerful.  Making money can be powerful, or at least gives you more power in our world.  So having sex, for money, can scare some people.

So basically, let us speak for ourselves and fuck off with your discriminatory laws.  

That Was the Week That Was (#336)

Originally posted on The Honest Courtesan:

The Swedish model, in its mission to eradicate sex work, is by definition an unapologetic mission to eradicate sex workers.  –  Nine

A War for PeaceUkraine is Not a Brothel

a new documentary screening at the Venice Film Festival has revealed that Femen was founded and is controlled by a manUkraine is not a Brothel…by…Kitty Green, has “outed” Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the group.  Mr Syvatski is known as a “consultant” …[but]…“It’s his movement and he hand-picked the…prettiest girls because…[they] get on the front page… that became…the way they sold the brand,” [Green] says… “These girls are weak,” [Syvatski] says in the film…“They show submissiveness, spinelessness…and many other factors which prevent them from becoming political activists”…

Harm Magnification

PEERS Victoria Resource Society quietly closed the doors to its drop-in centre and shut down its most incremental program…PEERS will continue its daytime and nighttime outreach services, but…

View original 1,892 more words