Walt Goggins as Venus Van Dam

Walt Goggins as Venus Van Dam

GLAAD released their third annual Trans Images on TV report and were pleased to find that “only one character this year was portrayed as a sex worker, Venus Van Dam on FX’s Sons of Anarchy. This is an improvement over previous years in which the most common profession for trans characters was sex worker.”

Terri Jean Bedford received the second annual Ontario Civil Liberties Association award last Friday, and called on Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory to refuse to enforce C-36.

Non-sex working feminists continue to speak over sex workers regarding the legalization or decriminalization of sex work in India. Lalitha Kumaramangalam, the chair person for the National Commission on Women who began the discussion, is still in favor of legalization, but says that there is a fine line between legalization and decriminalization and the Commission’s recommendations are still being finalized.  The Hindu Businessline does a good rundown of the differences between and drawbacks of legalization vs decriminalization.

Jane Pratt is in the middle of watching XOJane get sold off, yet she still has time to speculate about sex workers’ backgrounds.

Late to the game with this one, but remember that “This is what a feminist looks like,” t-shirt that made waves when the Daily Mail revealed it was manufactured in sweatshops, unlike virtually every other mass market piece of clothing?  The proceeds from these feminist shirts went to The Fawcett Society, active supporters of End Demand campaigns to implement the Nordic model.

Adult Verified Video Chat is auctioning off sex with its female performers, onscreen.  Though the second auction is currently ongoing, no scenes have yet been shot for the first auction, as both the winner and the runner-up had “scheduling conflicts.” [READ MORE]

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Visual approximation of Ms. Harm Reduction as the Durex spokesperson. (Photo by David Lisbona [Flickr user dlisbona] via the Creative Commons.)

Visual approximation of Ms. Harm Reduction as the Durex spokesperson. (Photo by David Lisbona [Flickr user dlisbona])

Dear Ms. Harm Reduction,
I am transitioning into full service work, and need help getting clients to use condoms. One sugar daddy in particular has had a vasectomy, and a recent clean test, so he prefers no condoms for any activity. But I still feel uncomfortable with this. How can I negotiate to protect myself? On a related note, do you know where low income/uninsured women can get the HPV vaccine for free? I am over 26 years old, in California, if that matters. I really want to be as safe as possible while still earning money in this industry.

Best,

Need ‘Em Wrapped

 

[READ MORE]

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Ryder Ripps (photo via his Facebook page) Can we use this? Is it considered a part of the public domain?

Behold, the prototypical art bro: Ryder Ripps. (photo via Ripps’ Facebook)

Juniper Fleming co-wrote this with Tits and Sass co-editors Caty Simon and Josephine. Josephine and Caty discuss the project and media reaction and Juniper analyzes the project video.

Juniper is an artist and writer living in New York. Attaining her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2014, she was the recipient of a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Fellowship in 2013. She has shown her work internationally, and has been published in such places as Dear Dave and Make/Shift Magazine.

JOSEPHINE: It was Salvador Dali who famously said, “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” Perhaps New York-based artist Ryder Ripps was considering those words when the Ace Hotel in Manhattan brought him in as a one night artist-in-residence and provided him with a free night’s stay and $50 for supplies. Ripps decided to outsource his work to a couple of sensual massage workers from Craigslist and dubbed the results ART WHORE.

An internet controversy ensued; bloggers and critics accused Ripps of exploitation and ignorance. Ripps posits that he was actually making a point about exploitation. See, he did not feel fairly compensated for his work so, obviously, the “creative” thing would be to make someone else do it! Ripps was paid nothing for his work, in fact, at the end of it, he said he’d actually lost money after paying the workers for their labor. In essence: Ripps felt exploited by Ace Hotel, so he exploited someone else in an effort to emphasize his own exploitation. I think? Whoa. That’s deep. Mind blown.

His narcissism is so meta.

It gets better with Ripps’ oh-so-eloquent defense of the labor provided by the massage workers for ART WHORE: “Because good art is like good sex.” Got it. Sex workers making good art is very similar to sex workers making good sex, and good art is like good sex so, see, this whole project makes perfect sense. You just don’t understand.

[READ MORE]

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image courtesy Amanda Brooks

(image courtesy Amanda Brooks)

Amanda Brooks published this post about the ordeal a client put her and Jill Brenneman through over the past two years. It’s a horrifying and compelling must-read.

Scarlet Road, a documentary about an Australian escort and her disabled clients, is showing at the Columbus International Film Fest.

An Irish sex work abolitionist group is making fake sex worker profiles on Tinder, conflating sex work with sex trafficking in an attempt to drum up support for abolition.

The defeat of the “End Demand” addition to the UK’s End Modern Slavery bill will not stop the implementation of the Swedish Model in Northern Ireland, where the criminalization of paying for sex passed a few weeks ago over the protests of sex workers and their allies.

Naomi Sayers writes about the reality of being an indigenous woman and a sex worker and the way that marginalized people are betrayed by the people entrusted with their protection.

The drummer of AC/DC doesn’t like when escorts play with his pet dog.

Thuli Khoza, the co-ordinator of Sisonke Durban (the Durban chapter of the South African sex workers’ rights organization Sisonke) discusses the work Sisonke does around outreach, education, and advocating for decriminalization in South Africa. [READ MORE]

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(Photo by Flickr user elasticsoul)

(Photo by Flickr user elasticsoul)

When I was just a teeny tiny bottle of airplane-ready champagne, I was called a whore by a boy in my middle school science class for having the audacity to own breasts and opinions at the same time,while only being willing to share the latter. Once I got to college, men started to call me a whore in the streets when I refused their advances and they called me one even more loudly when I taught myself not to allow their presence to register on my face. I was called a whore by clients more often when I would refuse certain services, but not when I would provide them willingly. But since you could put a pair of eyeglasses on a calcified ostrich turd and its opinion would have as much gravity as those of boys, strange men, and clients, these words never especially bothered me.

I’ve always been peripherally aware of the importance of reappropriating the language of sex work but never felt I really had skin in the game until I felt how badly “whore” burns from certain tongues and with certain intentions. Since “whore” was thrown around my whole life as shorthand for “woman who does things I don’t like,” I never felt especially connected to it as it related to sex work, even when doing sex work that reflected the most literal understanding of the word. I’ve even been known to say things like, “Um, sex workers are dying out there. Does it really matter what we call ourselves?” I’m aware now that starting a sentence with “um” reflects fluency in Sanctimonious Cunt more than it reflects nuanced understanding of the issues sex workers face. Forgive me, I was an unsophisticated bottle of André at the time, a mere shadow of the Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam I am today. But back to being a whore.

In late July, a man who claimed to love me and who had never taken issue with my profession before called me a “whore” to my face. He told others I was a “whore” when he needed to discredit me as quickly and mercilessly as possible. Prior to our falling out, my work in the adult industry had been something that concerned him only when I reported pushed boundaries or feelings of regret and insecurity. He was supportive and sometimes downright titillated, insisting on christening my new work outfits by getting lap dances in them before anyone else did. I happily obliged because I loved him and got to choose my own soundtrack. When things quickly deteriorated and I feared for his new girlfriend, I warned her about malicious and dishonest behaviors of his which I thought she should be aware of.

His first line of defense to her was my work and it was his first line of offense against me. Obviously, he had been driven to threaten me with violence because I was a deranged stripper that thought he loved me; he just had to set me straight. The very idea was ludicrous, loving a sex worker. When he used whore stigma against me, it was to explain why he never wanted monogamy with me and how I had always been just a source of fucked up sex and that all his stated affections had been part of a game designed to entertain himself.

[READ MORE]

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