Tangerine (Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)
Whenever I see a movie about the lives of sex workers, I find myself automatically assessing whether or not the story represents us authentically—or, more accurately, picking apart the ways that it inevitably doesn’t. Tangerine was really the first time I’d seen a movie about us where I didn’t leave the theater with a mental catalog of all the ways they had screwed up. Still, I felt a little ill-qualified to write a review, seeing that it centers around the lives of two black, transgender sex workers on the harsh streets of L.A., and I’m a white, cisgender chick who did pretty much all her hustling online. On one hand, it felt like someone had finally gotten it right, and on the other, I felt like a total faker for feeling that way about the experience of women whose lives are so different from mine in so many ways.
Though I didn’t know it going in (perhaps for the better?) Tangerine was directed by Sean S. Baker, a straight, white, cisgender guy with a film degree from N.Y.U. Collaborating with Mya Taylor, a black trans woman he met in L.A., Baker created a film about the sex workers he saw working in Hollywood. The idea to make a comedy rather than a tragedy was Taylor’s, which puts so much of the film in perspective for me: I know sex workers (and likely trans women, too) have seen ample tragic portrayals of their lives crafted by men outside the business.
It’s Christmas Eve in Hollywood, and Sin Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) has just been released from a 28-day jail sentence, which we find out later was her punishment for holding her beloved pimp/boyfriend Chester’s (James Ransone) stash. While celebrating her newfound freedom over a donut with her BFF, fellow transgender sex worker Alexandra (Mya Taylor), she learns that while she was doing time, her pimp/boyfriend Chester had been cheating with a “fish” (which I learned means a cisgender woman). And thus begins a rampage through the L.A. underground to find the offending fish and confront Chester. [READ MORE]
The MissTravel mascot thinks it's all fun and games, but she's going to have to suck cock inside each and every one of those monuments.
A friend of mine has been telling me for a while how much she hates Jezebel, but I’ll admit I usually like them. I don’t read the site religiously, but when I do, it’s rare that I find something totally off-base or stupid. But it happened yesterday, when I came across this piece by Lindy West on the newest sugar daddy site.
MissTravel.com is brought to us by the same guy (namely Brandon Wade) who brought us SeekingArrangement.com, SeekingMillionaire.com, and WhatsYourPrice.com. With MissTravel, Wade has tapped into yet another corner of the sugar daddy/baby market: Women who hope specifically for for the elegant vacations they imagine the modern courtesan taking.
“MissTravel.com is a travel dating website that matches generous travelers with attractive travel girls (or guys). If you are a frequent traveler you can easily search, find or meet a hot travel companion, sexy travel mate or beautiful travel buddy. And if you are an attractive travel lover who lacks the financial resources, we’ll match you with a traveling sponsor or help you earn frequent flyer miles you may redeem for free travel, free airline tickets and free hotel rooms. Best of all our website is 100% free for attractive men and women.”
You know how “high-class” escorts will sometimes say on their websites that they only see one client per day/week/month? We’re mostly full of shit. Clients, when your girl runs in to your appointment five minutes late and gasping for breath, saying that the poetry lecture/photo shoot/board meeting/violin concerto/other high-brow activity or impressive-sounding professional obligation ran over time, she’s most likely lying to you and was really just fucking around with another guy. Or doing something super mundane and unsexy, like dropping her kids off or waiting in line at the DMV. Point is, we hos, like everyone else, lead very busy lives. But we always want to show up looking perfect, unstressed, and like hanging out with you is the only thing, or at least the most exciting thing, that we’ll do that day. When someone is spending big money for a once-in-a-while luxury indulgence (as visiting a sex worker is for many guys, whatever dollar amount they’re spending on her), we want him to think the occasion is at least a little bit special for us, too. Here are NYC escort Deborah’s and my favorite tricks for looking instantly hot, classy, and put-together on those days when we have to rush around. [READ MORE]
Nothing says sexy and evil like the Australian electro/rock trio HTRK (pronounced “hate rock”). Their second album, Work (Work work), came out last September and has become one of my favorite sex work soundtracks. Their record label, Ghostly, describes their sound like “a comedown, a bad trip, a hip romance.” I’d add to that “the cool restrained thrill of watching your trick’s back cover in welt marks while a stack of cash looks on patiently from the bedside table.” [READ MORE]
Freddie Mercury delivering one of his most famous quotes.
Songwriters seem to love sex workers, no matter how little they may actually know about us. And on a superficial level, we seem like pretty good song material. We’re sexual, illegal, naughty, and easy to desire and pity at the same time. You want to protect us from the dirty men who pay us for sex, yet you secretly still kind of want it for yourself (see “Roxanne,” below).
Hookers provide instant layers of emotional complexity. Throw one in your song, and viola: an edgy, sexy hit single, depressing and tantalizing all at once. (If you find the hooker-heroine of your song isn’t pitiful enough, just add drugs and that should balance things out.) Charlotte and I sifted through some sex worker songs and rated them, 1-10 based on how obnoxious or pleasing they are to hear if you’re an actual sex worker.
We’d love to hear from readers too, on what songs make you smile or cringe. Leave your thoughts in the comments. [READ MORE]