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Things fall apart in the Witcher brothel. (Screenshot from Witcher 3)

In this video game brothel, clients and workers become disembodied parts before they fuse together in a scene that manages to be amusing and nightmarish at the same time.

The top Honolulu prosecutor had to drop charges against the massage parlor workers who were arrested in a raid and then charged with sexual assault after the police couldn’t find enough evidence to charge them with prostitution. Elizabeth Nolan Brown shreds the whole incident and points out that, while charges are dropped, some of the women are still vulnerable to deportation.

Katie Hail-Jares calls out the Honolulu Police Department’s use of coercive tactics to “rescue” sex workers and discusses the multiple ways this policy is not only ineffective, but outright damaging.

A South African ex-sex worker and Sisonke activist discusses the economic circumstances that led to him going into sex work and the social stigma and violence South African male sex workers face.

Despite all the big talk about rescuing sex workers and helping people who want out of the industry, the Canadian sex work exit fund is too small to be of much use to anyone. More on that.

The Terrence Higgins Trust in the UK seems to be actually invested in helping HIV positive sex workers leave the industry! Unsurprisingly, THT actually works with sex worker support group SWISH.

A legislator in Tanzania takes the “If wishes were horses” approach to public health:

“It is unacceptable to find people engaged in commercial sex and then educating them on how to avoid contracting HIV. The only solution to addressing HIV prevalence is to prohibit prostitution,” Ms Ali said.

And on that note: two new studies are out examining why the attempts of other Indian states to replicate the success of Kolkata’s Sonagachi project—a “programme of HIV prevention through community mobilisation…intended to empower sex workers to tackle the social conditions which made them more vulnerable to HIV”—met with different results.

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(Photo by Flickr user notsogoodphotography)

(Photo by Flickr user notsogoodphotography)

I’m a pro domme who also sometimes does full-service work. My partner of seven years and I are thinking about trying for a kid, but I’m worried about the custody issues that might come up because of what I do for work if he and I were ever to split up, or if I got arrested, or if anything else went wrong. I trust my boyfriend, and I don’t anticipate our stable relationship breaking up anytime soon, but you never know. He’s a white collar professional, while I’ve never held a straight job: I know which one of us would look better in court. What should sex workers with children know about child protective services and how best to keep their kids?

Anxious about the future,

Sarah

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Bast rolling in the green. I wanted to wrangle Sekhmet for this shot but it was too hard to catch both cats. —Lu Garoux

Sex workers, submit pictures of your furballs and funds here.

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Courtney Stodden. (Photo courtesy of JPAvocat)

Courtney Stodden’s “sex tape” got released early, but really, as Dr Chauntelle Tibbels points out, it’s porn, making this the most official sex work Stodden has ever done.  The 20 year old got married at 16 to that creepy guy from the X-Files and won all our hearts with her unabashed gold-digging ways.  Welcome to the club, Courtney.

Attention, New Zealand workers: A sex worker was attacked in Christchurch last week.  In a heartening example of what legal rights can do, the Prostitutes’ Council was able to issue an alert to its members and police are investigating the crime.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief: noted sex worker hating, transphobic academic Sheila Jeffreys is retiring.

A couple of DEA agents were busted for illegally running a strip club in New Jersey. They didn’t disclose their purchase of the club to the agency, which said that the club made the DEA a potential target for blackmail.

Alex Tichelman was sentenced to six years in prison after she pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the heroin overdose death of her client, Google executive Forrest Hayes; the criminalization of both drug users and sex workers were contributing factors.

rabble.ca has decided in favor of retaining Megan Murphy’s writing on the site and using it in the future, finding that it is not actually too violent against sex workers, transphobic, or racist.  They’d know better than we do, I suppose.

In the latest update on 8 Minutes, Ariana Lange reports on the interactions between the show’s producers and the overburdened, unequipped Houston resources they sent sex workers to. Elijah Rising’s Cat French told Lange of Kevin Brown “…he went off the goddamn rails.”

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Monica Jones and Derek Demeri in the United Nations Gardens in Geneva. (Photo by Derek Demeri, courtesy of Penelope Saunders and Derek Demeri)

Monica Jones and Derek Demeri in the United Nations Gardens in Geneva. (Photo by Derek Demeri, courtesy of Penelope Saunders and Derek Demeri)

On May 11th, American sex workers’ rights activists Monica Jones and Derek Demeri met with the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in Geneva to advocate for protections for sex workers, in preparation for the Council’s quadrennial Universal Period Review of the US’ human rights record that same day. The following interview was conducted with Demeri, of the New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance, via e-mail and edited for clarity and length. 

What were your goals in making recommendations to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council? If the Council absorbed just one point from your presentation, what do you hope it was?

Ultimately, we want people in positions of power to hear and recognize the struggle that sex workers have been facing for centuries. Sex workers and their allies know all too well the violence that comes at the hands of the police and [those in] other positions of authority. We know how deep stigma runs in society when sex workers can face eviction from housing or termination from employment for past experience in the sex trade. We know how the government has completely failed to aid sex workers against the HIV epidemic that continues to sweep the country. Our community knows these things, but we need to let the world know.

Unfortunately, there were no specific recommendations that sought to protect sex workers during this UPR [Universal Periodic Review] round of the United States. There were several recommendations that encouraged the United States to do more to end human trafficking, which we of course know means more policing of our communities and public shaming for our work. However, Thailand made a recommendation to have “more holistic monitoring” and “evidence based” research when combating human trafficking, which we can use to support sex workers. Many countries also made recommendations regarding ending racial profiling, torture in the prison system, and ending police brutality, which are all important for our community.

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