Celebrated trans author and ex-sex worker Janet Mock shows her support for Monica Jones. (Photo via the Telegraph)

Celebrated trans author and ex-sex worker Janet Mock shows her support for Monica Jones. (Photo via the Telegraph)

Dr. Brooke Magnanti adds her voice to the chorus of people who are outraged and horrified by Project ROSE and the way the U.S. treats its sex workers. Reason also posted a feature on Monica Jones’ case (citing Tits and Sass’ interview with her!) focusing on the vague “manifestation of prostitution” law used to trump up charges against her.  The Advocate, Think Progress, Ms. Magazine, and Policymic also all ran sympathetic coverage of Jones’ guilty verdict for “walking while trans.”

During a trip to speak at the University of Montana about sex trafficking, prostitution abolitionist Melissa Farley visited two of the clubs that our own Bubbles called home for three years. Here’s a primer on the problems with Farley.

More proof for a position we like to call “pimpin’ ain’t accurate”: a new study, comprising the largest data set ever collected on U.S. underaged sex workers, demonstrated that only a small minority of them were introduced to the industry by pimps: “We argue that the narrative of pimp trickery and coercion distorts reality in three ways. First, it overestimates the role of pimps in street sex markets; second, it overemphasizes the impact of the initial recruitment stage on subsequent practices; and third, it masks or simplifies the difficult and complex choices and contingencies faced by minors who sell sex.”

Oh noes! The scary, scary prostitutes could be working with your children.

More stings, more client arrests.

An NGO based in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, Renewed Initiative against Diseases and Poverty (RENAGAIDS), challenged the recent raids, arrests and detention of sex workers in the city. Many workers were arrested and detained for twelve  hours or more without food or access to a phone call.

Can anyone verify this story via the NY Post? Apparently, escorts are using Airbnb in lieu of hotel rooms.

Belle Knox: “People assume that my support for sex workers and porn is somehow invalidated because I chose to do porn for the money rather than for love.” Yup.

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littledickI

Let’s admit it; the job does follow us home. Instead of protesting otherwise, we should claim the potential insight and knowledge of using what we learn and practice while working in our personal lives . While we rightfully contest the ways in which abolitionists frame us as the walking dead—victims who must disassociate to perform the labor (because no one else does that at work ever), brainwashed automatons with no agency—we should also challenge the proscriptive models for intimacy that these parties are covertly espousing through their wish for our extinction. Sex workers unsettle dominant cultural narratives about intimacy and romantic love. We may ignite a set of scorching critiques about these culturally under-examined realms; critiques that expose why abolitionist feminism is so attractive to many people who have no actual interest in the well-being of those in the sex trades.

Amongst ourselves, we talk about how to navigate relations with clients, third-party management, law enforcement, social service providers, and other sex workers. We theorize and debate how to conduct these relationships dependent on various aims. We call for people to become allies and try to provide a model for what that looks like. But how often do we talk about the messy experience of what it can mean and feel like to be a whore in the ‘private’ realm? What happens after we decide to disclose our status as sex workers to SOFFAs (significant others, family, friends, and allies)? How are our intimate relationships shaped by our experiences as sex workers? Inevitably, we experience and negotiate whorephobia in these relationships, so why don’t we discuss how working in the sex industry shapes our experience of intimacy? Perhaps because we fear walking into a trap set by those who are only too happy to look at our departure from social norms and pathologize us. If so, I challenge us: let’s talk about intimacy.

You fell in love with him partly because he was such a good ally. You never had to define terms for him or defend the work to him. He went out of his way to educate himself and others, he asked you about your work day, and he electrified your workplace by periodically bringing his swaggering butch self in to visit. Until one night, a long-brewing fight about the relationship explodes in a rage, and he pulls a Don Draper on you.

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april 2014 539

My name is Skyler Grey. I’m a pro domme and fetish model and huge fan of your site. Here is my “stacks and cash” photo from today’s domme sessions. My fat cat’s name is Sebastian.

Sex workers, send us your pictures of your dogs and dollars or cats and stacks at info@titsandsass.com

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Schedule C and an example of a deductible expense.

Schedule C and an example of a deductible expense.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve read sex workers on Facebook and Twitter talking about the difficulties they had in getting an apartment, qualifying for a car loan, and signing up for health care because they didn’t have any proof of income. “I don’t get paychecks,” the sex worker might say (unless she is an employee), “So how can I prove how much money I make?” I read dancers telling other dancers to get a strip club manager to write a letter estimating what she makes in a week, and while that might work to buy a car at You Work—You Ride! it won’t help with big leasing companies or the bank.

What will help is having a copy of your tax return. Even before you file it, make a copy of your completed return to have on hand for any occasion that requires proof of income. It doesn’t have to be complicated; if you take a look at the Schedule C and panic at all the deduction categories, if you don’t save receipts for anything, if you haven’t filed in years, if you’ve never filed during your sex working career, just remember this: don’t panic. You can do this. All it is is counting money and adding and subtracting it.

Well. And paying it. That part is no fun. But if you’re filing as a self-employed person, you’re supposed to pay quarterly estimated taxes, which is somewhat better than paying one chunk in April, and hey, at least you don’t have to get depressed looking at a deduction on a paycheck every couple of weeks. OK, it’s unpleasant. There’s really nothing less fun to do with your money than send it to the IRS other than using it to pay for car repairs or dental work.

We are not accounting or tax professionals here at Tits and Sass but I, for one, am a career stripper who had her own tax missteps in the past (the part where I pretty much forgot to file the entire time I was in college) (and I was in college for a long time). If I could get straightened out, so can you. Let me be clear that I’m not urging anyone to pay taxes for any other reason than to make their own life easier. I do, however, want to emphasize how it can make your life easier: [READ MORE]

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Monica Jones addresses a crowd of her supporters before her court date today: "Because you walk a certain way, because you look a certain way they can arrest you for manifestation...We will not tolerate the profiling of trans women of color." (Photo via SWOP-Phoenix's twitter account)

Monica Jones addresses a crowd of her supporters before her court date today: “Because you walk a certain way, because you look a certain way they can arrest you for manifestation…We will not tolerate the profiling of trans women of color.” (Photo via SWOP-Phoenix’s twitter account)

Monica Jones’ latest court date is today. Jones, an Arizona State University student, was targeted for arrest after she attended a SWOP-Phoenix protest against an oppressive diversion program, Project ROSE, backed by her own social work program. She was set up on charges of “manifesting prostitution”, but the ACLU constitutionally challenged her case at her last court date on March  14th. Check out SWOP-Phoenix’s twitter feed throughout the day to follow events, and view this Tits and Sass interview with Monica, as well as this interview with SWOP Phoenix activist Jaclyn Moskal-Dairman, to get more background on her case. Read up on more positive social work interventions with student sex workers in this piece we posted earlier this afternoon. UPDATE: At 4:30 PM, SWOP-Phoenix tweeted, “Judge unjustly rules Monica guilty. The fight for trans and sex worker rights continues.” Monica stated, “I’m facing 30 days in jail, this shows how unjust the justice system is. Because I was out there walkingThe only thing that needs to be changed is the system. If they come for me in the morning they’re coming for you in at nightAs an African American and as a woman, the justice system has failed me.”

The Somaly Mam Foundation has launched an independent investigation into claims that Mam lied abouut sex trafficking. Allegations that Mam lied about her own experiences and coached others to lie about theirs have dogged the Foundation for a couple of years.

Ruth Jacobs on the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s report on sex work entitled “Shifting the Burden”: the Swedish model is a failure, the Merseyside model is not, criminalizing client will not prevent human trafficking. She draws from from her own experiences: “Women in the sex trade who are injecting drug users are the worst hit by their sex purchase ban. No harm reduction (condoms, lubrication etc.) for sex workers or drug users (needle exchanges) is provided in Sweden as it is erroneously believed to encourage sex work and drug use. That was me, an intravenous drug user who sold sex, and I am the same person I was back then and I am the same as other women selling sex and shooting up their drugs, and I will fight for those women. They matter to me, and they should matter to every person who cares about human rights and every person who claims they want to end violence against women. And if you don’t care about the women in the sex trade like me who shoot up drugs, if you care at all about human rights and are against violence against women, then you should be against the Swedish model, which is violence against women.” [READ MORE]

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