Beyonce’s “Formation” can be described with two words: unapologetically black.
Images of black babies sporting their natural hair, lyrics such as “I got hot sauce in my bag (swag)”, and Beyonce atop a sinking New Orleans police car in what appears to be the wreckage of Katrina are what make that description a snug fit.
The scene that made tears well up in my eyes, however, was at 3:45 – a little black boy in a hoodie, clearly an homage to Trayvon Martin, dances, carefree and passionately, being,well, unapologetically black. But here’s the catch; he does this in front of a line of police officers, all standing at ease. When he finishes and throws his hands up gymnast-style, their hands fly up in surrender. This scene is immediately followed by footage of graffiti that reads:“Stop shooting us.”
Last night, Beyonce went even further. She made history when she brought this imagery to one of the most widely watched television events of the year: the Super Bowl 50 Half Time Show. Her live performance of “Formation” continued the theme of unapologetic blackness. Her costume was a tribute to one of the greatest performers in history, Michael Jackson, and her dancers mirrored the attire of the Black Panther army.
The line in the song that hits home the hardest for me as a black sex worker is “always stay gracious/ the best revenge is your paper.” It’s reminiscent of Missy Elliot’s “Work It,” where she spat, “get that cash/ whether it’s 9 to 5 or shaking your ass.” It acknowledges us black sex workers in a way we usually don’t experience in our community. Beyoncé has alluded to sex work positively before in lines such as “a diva is a female version of a hustler.” She’s come a long way from the rampant whorephobia in her earlier work (side eyeing “Nasty Girl” here).
While there has been no shortage of sex trafficking panic in the media leading up to Super Bowl 50, there has also been a refreshing plethora of reasoned reporting regarding the oft inflated and falsified statistics that anti-trafficking organizations tout around major sporting events. Friends, I am no statistician, and I will not waste this post on statistical arguments for whether or not sex trafficking is happening around major sporting events. I think it’s clear that many different kinds of labor trafficking do happen around the Super Bowl and other major sporting events because it happens everywhere all the time. But, not at the level of, say, 10,000 child sex slaves in need of immediate rescue/incarceration/return to abusive situations. As an Aquarian, an INFP, or whatever other woo woo descriptor you can think of for someone who is “emotionally intelligent,” I’d instead like to talk about my anecdotal observations on American football fans, and how likely I feel they are to hire anyone for sex.
I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, or “Bronco’s Country” as some folks like to call it, home of the team currently en route to the Super Bowl. My own family’s love for yelling at the TV during a Broncos’ game determined my personal distaste for the sport—as did some realized misandry and unrealized classism. For many years of my life, my opinions on football fans were often based on my own uncomfortable childhood and the Broncos fans I saw around me; football fans were lovers of patriarchy, capitalism, violence and, worst of all, the status-quo. With these sorts of stereotypes in mind, it’s easy to understand where a lot of the assumptions may come from around the Super Bowl sex trafficking myths. [READ MORE]
I’ve been pro-subbing for less than a year. I tiptoed into it slowly, unsure of how to advertise or snag clients. When I started providing, I advertised light domme services, but I usually just ended up massaging guys or slapping them around a bit. I soon realized that, in both my professional and personal life, I just don’t have it in me to be a mean domme.
But I could sub. I knew how to test restraints, how to lay over someone’s knee and be comfortable, how to tell if a gag wouldn’t work for me. I knew how to play bratty, sweet, acquiescent. Maybe I could do that.
I quickly found that while I had been able to research stripping and providing before starting, subbing would involve largely going in on my own.
Nearing my year mark for both subbing and providing, I’ve learned several things.
Happy New Year to our readers! 2015 was a long, hard year for us at T&S HQ and we’ve decided to take a small break. Don’t get too excited, though; you can’t get rid of us that easily! We’ll only be gone for one piddly month, which means we’ll be back with bells on (whatever that expression means) in February.
In the mean time, could you guys do us one teeny tiny favor? Could you take our survey? Could you also perhaps share our survey? Perhaps you could post a link to our survey on the Facebooks and the Twitters. Did we mention there’s a survey.
While we’ve got your attention, please know that hiatus or not we are always and still taking your pitches! Send us your hot takes, cold takes, movie/TV/book reviews, your political analysis, Naked Music Mondays, or anything else you have in mind. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at us. Oh, and in case you were entertaining the idea of joining the T&S editorial team – now is the perfect time to email us about that as well.