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Sandy Bottoms, an escort, indie porn performer, and law student in Oakland, CA, sent in this shot of her Pippa, “a lazy high roller.”

Who Makes Your Money: WePay and Eden Alexander

eden01Eden Alexander’s current fundraiser is live here.

This weekend, a Twitterstorm erupted when payment processor WePay shut down a medical fundraiser for porn performer Eden Alexander. Alexander found herself in an unforgiving position after the complications she experienced from an allergic reaction to a prescription drug were misdiagnosed when a doctor assumed that since she was in the sex industry, her symptoms were those of drug use. The delay of proper care meant her condition worsened, and she couldn’t work. Like other self-employed Americans, Alexander doesn’t have sick days, and friends who were helping care for her set up a fundraising page on GiveForward to raise money for her.

GiveForward is a WePay-powered site where people can set up medical fundraisers. WePay came across tweets from Alexander’s friends offering adult materials in exchange for donations to Alexander’s fundraiser (yes, a payment processor was monitoring a user’s social media). They decided that this qualified as accepting payments for prohibited pornographic materials and shut down the fundraiser. Kitty Stryker, one of Alexander’s friends who set up the initial fundraiser, wrote about it here.

And then they experienced the wrath of Sex Worker Twitter and that of some allies with large follower bases. Coverage of the incident showed up on Gawker and The Rumpus, in blog posts by feminists and sociologists. Thanks to Molly Crabapple’s strong influence across Geek Twitter, Patton Oswalt tweeted about it. By Saturday afternoon, WePay had issued an official statement about the Alexander fundraiser, giving as their reason the offering of adult materials as rewards, and offering to help her restart her campaign. They did not mention if they would shut it down again if, say, a friend of Alexander’s, maybe another adult performer, offered a video or a photograph to someone who donated. This is something out of the control of a person who starts a fundraiser, although the founder of WePay said just the fact that Alexander retweeted those unasked-for incentives implicated her in a hypothetical exchange of funds for porn.

Quote of the Week

I never allowed myself to depend on one client entirely . They had to understand that their money was not the commodity—I was the commodity, and they could only buy access to me if I was willing to grant them the transaction.

Arden Leigh about her time as a pro-domme in The New Rules of Attraction

Stacks & Cats

paulstanleycashhhThis is my darling Paul Stanley and some sweet, sweet cash I made on a Saturday. I work as a full service sex worker at the California Club in Melbourne—Bettie

Sex workers, submit pictures of your furballs and funds here.

Stacks & Cats

Meet Paddington, Appoline’s “pimp cat,” takin’ his dues. Appoline is an independent British part time escort, biker, blogger—and cat supporter.

Sex workers, send us your pictures of your dogs and dollars or cats and stacks at info@titsandsass.com