The Week in Links

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The Week In Links—August 9th

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Elle, from her martial arts training

WNYC did a segment on transgender and sex worker self-defense training with Daisey Lopez and Sempai Elena, “THE self-defense instructor for New York sex workers.”

We Got This: A Zine about Screening, Safe Calls & Buddy Systems For Safer Indoor Sex Work” has been released by Born Whore/Juliet November. It’s a PDF pamphlet that compiles a lot of valuable safety information.

Eliot Spitzer made life harder for sex workers and is remorseless about it, Melissa Gira Grant reminds us.

Sydney Leathers went HAM on the male ego (and talks about being a sugar baby) in this astonishing piece for XOJane.

Gnarly concern trolling in the wake of the murders of sex workers: “Show me a child who deserves to grow up a heroin addicted street sex worker. No one gets to choose their parents.” Thankfully Tracy Connelly’s actual family speaks here, and her partner here.

The Week In Links: September 28

These dinoheels would be perfect for Jo Weldon’s Godzilla routine.

The woman with our favorite nom de plume, Robin Hustle, has another post up at Jezebel. This one is “An Interview With the Man Who Pays Me to Burn His Feet With Cigarettes While He Masturbates.”

London sex work cooperative XTalk Project Limited would like to hear from sex workers who worked in London during the Olympics. They’ve posted a survey here.

Let’s be prepared for more articles like this one about sex surrogates as The Sessions, the film about quadriplegic writer Mark O’Brien’s relationship with the woman he hired to teach him sex, prepares for a wide theatrical release. People who have been on the internet for a long time might remember reading O’Brien’s amazing first-person account.

Gawker has a massive profile of porn gossipmonger/the guy who helped take down Porn Wikileaks, Mike South.

The Week in Links—May 28th

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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.

The Week In Links: March 25

An update on Oregon’s strip club debate, Oregon’s sex-trafficking bills, and Colorado’s john schools.

Care to read about truck drivers’ “commercial sex contacts“?

You should definitely care to watch this inspiring video of Cambodian sex workers and allies marching for rights.

It’s also worth checking out Amanda Marcotte’s commentary on teachers with a sex working past.

Canberra sex workers want changes to the law that will support their safety and privacy. Naturally, anti sex work folks (masquerading as anti sex-trafficking, and putting quotes around “safety for sex workers”) are not okay with that.

Performing artist and sex worker Annie Sprinkle is getting married for the tenth time this Saturday, and you can buy a ticket!

Camille Paglia talks about the recently deceased Elizabeth Taylor’s role as a call girl in Butterfield 8.

And nudists are worried that they’ll suffer if strip club laws restrict public nudity.

Bring your church program for a free pole dancing class near Houston.

The Week In Links—October 19th

Bibiane Bovet, Montreal municipal candidate and out trans woman and former escort (Photo courtesy of the Montreal Gazette)
Bibiane Bovet, Montreal municipal candidate and out trans woman and former escort (Photo courtesy of the Montreal Gazette)

Some British GLBT organizations and trade unions are taking the excellent example of their African counterparts, standing in solidarity with sex workers’ rights organizations like the English Collective of Prostitutes and the Sex Worker Open University in their campaign against proposals to institute the Swedish model of criminalizing clients. Sign the Collective’s petition against the End Demand model—Rupert Everett will thank you for it.

One of Montreal mayoral hopeful Mélanie Joly’s hand-picked candidates for a municipal position, Bibiane Bovet, is a trans woman who used to work as an escort in order to finance her bottom surgery. Joly knows about Bovet’s sex working past and—gasp!—doesn’t care. In fact, one of Bovet’s escorting clients, another municipal employee, advised her to run for the position in the first place, and Joly went on record praising Bovet’s integrity and saying she has her full support.

File under The Headline Says It All: “Groups ‘rescue’ Thai sex workers, whether they want it or not.

SWOP-Phoenix is protesting the Project ROSE Prostitution Diversion Initiative, in which Phoenix police and students from the ASU School of Social Work team up twice a year to arrest local sex workers and have them “choose” between a six month diversion program or criminal charges. SWOP-Phoenix’s position is that diversion programs “ignore the fact that many people who work in the sex industry are not victims in need of rescue, but consenting adults who should not be arrested, coerced into diversion, or incarcerated for working.”

While on a vacation in Thailand last month, Rihanna took in a “ping pong” strip show in Phuket, tweeting afterwards that she was “traumatized” by the “live bird, two turtles, razors, darts and ping pong [balls]” pulled from the performers’ vaginas. In a pretense of shock they’ll be sure to keep up till they get their next bribe, the Thai Police shut down the club and arrested the owner, no doubt also throwing a few of the club’s performers in jail along the way. Riri! Don’t make us sad. After “Pour it Up”, we thought you were Good for the Strippers. Now it turns out that you are (inadvertently?) Bad for the Strippers. Stop getting second world sex workers arrested, Rihanna, that’s a REAL faux pas. Next time just use your celebrity tweeting powers to get the Thai equivalent of a humane society to spirit away those birds and turtles from non consensual vaginal spelunking.

Melissa Petro tells the xojane reading public what escorts already know: “Most Dudes Have Probably Bought Sex At Least Once.”

With so many Tamil men dead or missing after three decades of civil war, with southern men filling up the jobs in the north’s building boom, and seeing as how widows are traditionally seen as inauspicious and unfit for remarriage, many women in female headed households in Sri Lanka’s North are engaging in survival sex work to subsist.

We covered SWOP-NYC’s letter to the Columbia Institutional Review Board reporting Dr. Sudhir Venkatesh’s wildly inaccurate and insulting research on New York sex workers in an earlier Week In Links.  (One blog entitled the fiasco “When Your Own Research Population Organizes Against You, New York Sex Worker Edition.”) Now, our own Tits and Sass founding editor Charlotte Shane eviscerates Venkatesh’s historical amnesia, insistence on reinventing the wheel without acknowledging the work of sex worker researchers before him, and his approval of police abuse of sex workers in The New Inquiry.