The Week in Links

This is a burner. (Picture via Flickr user Peter Wells and the Creative Commons. )

This is a burner. Skip the burner app and just get a burner phone. Bonus: Dick pics will barely be recognizable. (Picture via Flickr user Peter Wells and the Creative Commons. )

Sex workers in Cape Town protested to emphasize the five murders in two months and demonstrate against police harassment, pointing out the vulnerability caused by their illicit status and calling for decriminalization of sex work in South Africa.  The trial of Zwelethu Mthethwa for the murder of 23-year-old sex worker begins in November.

The Atlantic shoots down that oft-cited and inflammatory statistic “the average age of entrance into the sex industry is 13,”:

Average age of first intercourse for the children we interviewed [210 children total] was 12 years for the boys (N=63) and 13 years for the girls (N=107). The age range of entry into prostitution for the boys, including gay and transgender boys, was somewhat younger than that of the girls, i.e., 11-13 years vs. 12-14 years, respectively. The average age of first intercourse among minority boys and girls was younger than that of the non-minority youth we interviewed, i.e., 10-11 years of age for minority boys and 11-12 years of age for minority girls.

(emphasis added)

Tits and Sass issued a correction earlier this week about the authorship of “Sex Work And Partner Violence: How We’re Forced To Negotiate Our Own Abuse“: the piece was written by our new contributor Ruby Rue, not by Victoria Joy.

The potential influx of clients attending different conventions at Nova Scotia’s new, as-yet-unbuilt, convention center is causing the traditional speculation about a boom season for sex workers, though also acknowledging that the construction phase and first ten years of operation will “create almost $190 million in tax revenues and nearly 30,000 ‘person years’ of employment” which should in itself be a plus for local sex workers.

Disregarding the findings that big sports events may not be the client draw that newspaper headlines always assume they are, Dennis Hof plans to open a brothel in Glendale, AZ  in time for the Superbowl. Check out the link for the inexplicable accompanying illustration: are those cleats popping out of her backseam?

Warning!  Burner apps recycle phone numbers, which presents some problems for sex workers who use them. A researcher inspecting features of a VOIP burner app got the former number of an escort, whose clients hadn’t been updated with her new number. [READ MORE]



Cris Sardina of Desiree Alliance holds up pictures of Marcia Powell (Photo by P.J. Starr via the NO HUMAN INVOLVED Facebook page)

Cris Sardina of Desiree Alliance holds up pictures of Marcia Powell (Photo by P.J. Starr, via the NO HUMAN INVOLVED Facebook page)

A Sydney sex worker was set alight with petrol by two men. One of her attackers has just been sentenced to only three years in jail. S Kim suffered burns to 45% of her body and her face, and her top lip had to be partially removed. As a result of being outed by articles about the attack, she has lost friends and support. A former client of Kim’s began fundraising towards her medical costs. You can join him using this information: BSB: 062 016 ACCT NUMBER: 1075 6113 Name: S Kim

Two transgender sex workers have been murdered in Baltimore in the past two months, and the police say there were similarities between the murders.

The mayor of Surabaya is monitoring the Dolly districtwhich has been the scene of ongoing protests over her attempts to curtail sex work by evicting sex workers and closing down the areathrough CCTV cameras.  Not unlike some club owners I know.

Though Amanda Goff says that her children will not be affected by her decision to write a memoir about her work as an escort, the Australian Herald Sun begs to differ, and worries greatly about the potential horrific effects this choice will have on her children, all the while vocally supporting her agency and empowerment.  It’s a wild ride.

I knew there was something shady about the survival of all those bikini barista drive-thrus! The owner of one chain, Java Juggs, has it doubling as a brothel/money laundering operation! Sounds chilly for the employees.

Ruth Jacobs interviewed PJ Starr about No Human Involved, her documentary about street worker Marcia Powell’s death while arrested and kept in a cage in the Arizona heat.





Marcia Powell, RIP (Photo by Gary Millard, 2008, courtesy of SWOP-Phoenix)

Marcia Powell, RIP (Photo by Gary Millard, 2008, courtesy of SWOP-Phoenix)

The often brutal side effects of Truvada, or PrEP, as well as general lack of adherence to medical standards, may be the undoing of widespread PrEP use. Studies have shown the prophylactic may be too flawed to work, in fact, “a public health disaster in the making.”

A Brazilian sex worker has been forced into hiding after speaking out against a brutal and illegal police raid on May 23rd of this year.  The worker and her family have received threats; there is a campaign to raise funds to help them here.

After being arrested for prostitution, Marcia Powell was left in a cage in the Arizona sun and she died later that same day. PJ Starr’s documentary, currently in funding stages on IndieGogo, tells her story, and examines the sex work and prison policies that caused her death.

One of the prizes for donating is I Was a Teenage Prostitute, which, despite/because of the salacious title, looks amazing.

In a glorious paradox, Susan Pattonthe “Princeton Mom” who urged young female coeds to go to Princeton to get a husbandis currently outraged by another Princeton alumni who used the alumni listserv to advertise her documentary on sugar babies and daddies.  The commentary her hypocrisy inspired is maybe the best part:

“Susan, you, of all people, have a problem with this? I mean, shit, you’re the one telling us not to give away the milk for free while simultaneously harping on our youth and attractiveness to men as our primary assets in finding a husband who will (hopefully) support us (financially) for life,” wrote one alum. “I swear, you can’t write this stuff.”

I can’t.  Maybe Curtis Sittenfeld.




(Christy Mack’s dogs, who miss her. Photo via Mack’s Instagram)

Christy Mack, who was brutally beaten by her ex-boyfriend last week, inspiring this week’s series on domestic violence, now has a fund to help cover medical and recovery expenses.  Donate if you can, and share!

Vice’s food column this week features an entertaining interview with lesbian stripper and sugar baby Jacq.

Ruth Jacobs does a brief interview with Tara Burns on writing.

Brooke Magnanti, formerly Belle de Jour of book and Showtime fame, explores what decriminalization would look like for the UK.  Safer, for one, allowing workers to work together and share flats without being charged with pimping or trafficking.  She also brilliantly and succinctly illuminates the economic fallacies of the Swedish model:

The economic arguments are rarely taken into account by those who support the ‘Swedish model’ (or End Demand). By mistaking services for products, they imagine fewer customers would result in fewer sex workers. But this is unrealistic – the assumption that the number of clients and the number of prostitutes is necessarily linked is in itself faulty. If fewer people ate at fast food outlets, would the minimum wage workers there be better off without having to do anything else? Exactly.

In nearly the same vein, the Daily Beast tells us why it’s time to legalize prostitution.  Their reasons are all solid, but would apply more to decriminalization, an option many people apparently don’t understand is both different and better than legalization.



(Selfie of Peechington Marie, courtesy of Peechington Marie)

(Selfie of Peechington Marie, courtesy of Peechington Marie)

Related to an earlier Tits and Sass post this week, “Actually, My Hand Feeds Me,”  here’s more on the Annie Sprinkle kerfuffle.  For anyone who’s a little behind, Fornicatrix goes in depth over the context of the whole weekend before getting to Sprinkle and Peechington Marie added her beautiful two cents in “Be Careful With Your Hand, You Don’t Want it Bitten Off—Annie Sprinkle, Fantasies That Matter, Sex Work, and Erasure of People of Color.”

The Rose Alliance has begun a petition calling for the Swedish and Norwegian governments to care about the health and safety of sex workers, and to admit the dangers to sex workers that they gesture at but attempt to gloss over in the August report on the success of the Swedish model.

Porn performer Christy Mack was beaten horribly by her ex-boyfriend, Jonathon Koppenhaver (AKA: War Machine), last Friday, who then fled the scene, declaring via Twitter, “It wasn’t me.” Mack’s injuries, while not life-threatening, are severe. Unrepentant and high on the entitlement of an abuser, Koppenhaver tweeted, “She’s my property and always will be.”

The UK’s highest-paid sex worker has announced he’s A) paid more than the Prime Minister and B) out to end stigma against sex workers.Flaunting one’s income in an austerity economy sounds like a sure-fire way to do it, yeah.

The Barton Street East Neighborhood has an innovative way of dealing with the sex worker population amongst them: acceptance and support.

“The women are not a blight on the community, they’re an asset,” Braithwaite said, adding that the committee is not working to get rid of the women, but rather to work with them and make them feel safe…

“This community is not about gentrification, not about stopping (the women),” she said, adding that they are all “fibres of our community.

Part of making them feel safe is looking for support services, food, and health outreach spaces that the workers can access, as well as shelters where needed, and continuing with community education, so that residents are aware of issues facing the women.  The police force is also involved, having changed its focus from one of persecution to one of support and safety planning. [READ MORE]

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