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We Need A Better Review Culture

Let's boycott the review boards en masse and create our own.(Courtesy of ManBoobz)
Let’s boycott the review boards en masse and create our own.(Courtesy of ManBoobz)

Since becoming a full-time companion (my euphemism of choice) in the United States about nine months ago, I have noticed two distinct issues that affect our safety and ability to continue to operate. The first, most pressing issue is the fact that full service sex work is illegal in most parts of the country. The second issue is the fact that a very large online community of reviewers or “hobbyists” exists. While most hobbyists are not sociopathic predators who use coercive tactics to rape sex workers, the very fact that a review community exists creates a power structure that makes coercive rape a fairly common occurrence for sex workers. With so many sex workers coming forward saying they were sexually violated after being blackmailed with the threat of a bad review, there is something deeply wrong with a community of reviewers who perpetuate misogyny and rape culture.

The problem comes out of the hobbyist propensity to reduce sex workers to commodities. Many hobbyists claim it is important for them to know what they are getting into if they’re going to drop that kind of money on a “product,” and on the surface this argument makes sense. Law enforcement is a very real concern not only for sex workers, but also for our clients. It seems reasonable that a client would want to know whether or not they can trust that a sex worker is legit before agreeing to meet with them. Depending on the mood I’m in, I can even be sympathetic to the plight of the poor hobbyist who had a kinky fantasy that a sex worker cannot/won’t fulfill. We are, after all, quite the expensive hobby.

When we talk about reviews, though, and the information that is contained within them, we are not just talking about simple yes or no answers to questions of legitimacy and customer satisfaction. The hobbyists’ arguments for the necessity of reviews fall apart with one look at the reviews themselves. Not only will you find a full and detailed accounting of a sex worker’s body type and appearance, grooming habits, gender assignment versus presentation, and how nice/real their various body parts may or may not be; you also have the opportunity to read a very detailed account of the session a hobbyist enjoyed (or didn’t) with a sex worker. This includes all the dirty details on what the sex worker was or was not willing to do, and how happy or unhappy that made the hobbyist. These reviews can often read just like an Amazon.com review, with all the information about the provider’s body listed like basic product info, and the experience with the product (person) detailed below. I think most sex workers and even quite a few hobbyists would agree that these details are unnecessary and in fact compromise sex workers’ legal safety, since most of us try not to admit to exchanging sex for money.

Sweat Pants Boner Man Speaks: A Tits and Sass Exclusive

Frost and Nixon. Cronkite and Thatcher. Amanpour and Arafat. O’Reilly and Obama. Today, Tits and Sass brings you what will certainly be remembered as another essential interview in the history of journalism. We all have met him. Every single one of us has been touched in a very special way by this storied individual. Who hasn’t wondered: What’s his side of the story? Now we’ll know. This is our exclusive interview with Sweat Pants Boner Man.

Dear Ms. Harm Reduction: Make Them Wear Condoms

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

 

A Hobbyist’s Perspective: We Just Don’t Give A Shit

source unknown
source unknown

Dear Tits and Sass Readers,

It has recently come to my attention that some of you *cough cough—male hobbyists—cough* think we are talking to you, and while on some days it’s kinda cute to watch you think you matter—to anyone, at all, ever— I just thought I’d take a minute here to set the record straight. If nothing else, the Tits and Sass editorial staff will now have a nice little post to link to the next time one of you forgets his place: silent, pondering, not commenting, and on my blocked list if you happen to forget.

Earlier today, one of our editors posted a call for submissions about how we feel about hobbyists. Adorably, a hobbyist thought that “we” included actual hobbyists. Because, you know. Men have no voice/power/platform/place or places to talk among themselves, so where else could they POSSIBLY talk about their entitlement if not on Tits and Sass?

Answer: Anywhere else you like, but never, ever here.

Presented for your consideration is the full, unabridged “submission” by said hobbyist, annotated with commentary.

Assault, Consent, and Silence

It is nearly impossible to find a non-eroticized spanking picture.

Here’s the story: A well-to-do Virginian businessman takes needy women under his financial wing on the condition that they follow the rules of his “scholarship plan.” If they break these rules, which consist of limits on alcohol and drug intake, and requirements to stay in contact with their benefactor, they receive a spanking. (He’s inspired by “The Spencer Plan,” a system of domestic “discipline” intended to be used by a husband and wife.) All of the women involved are of legal age. Many of them work together at the restaurant he owns.

One day, the man accuses one of these women of stealing from him and fires her (as an employee and, presumably, as a “scholarship” recipient.) A week later, six of these women file charges of sexual assault. A scandal is born.