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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.

Defensive Punting?

Lawmakers in Colorado are proposing a way of educating men who buy sex from escorts. They’re billing it like a “Scared Straight” for hobbyists. But you know what a diversion program for busted Johns also sounds like? Traffic school. Maybe it will be eight hours long, have a brief lunch break, include a few sex trafficking equivalents of Red Asphalt, a shame workbook, and end with a multiple choice quiz. You know, because if only the guys spending money for pleasure knew that the women they were seeing were basically glorified comfort women, then maybe they’d think twice about it.

The fact that most of those guys are seeing women who participate in consensual sex work is probably not on the table, which bores me. YAWN, more evidence that people think we can’t consent to sex work, YAWN more evidence that people are cool with taking our agency away from us, YAWN more evidence that people think we couldn’t possibly want to have sex for money…

Anyway, I would love it if there were a school for Johns, but only if it were run by sex workers; Do you know how many grody men I have to point toward a shower because they showed up to a session without showering?

“86 the Violence” performance celebrates UPR Recommendation 86

We agree that no one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on sexual orientation or their status as a person in prostitution, as this recommendation suggests.

The above language, derived from Recommendation 86 of the U.N.’s Universal Periodic Review is now an official part of U.S. human rights policy thanks to the efforts of hundreds of activist groups. It’s a huge, heartening step towards affirming the rights of sex workers.  While Tits and Sass is not an activist blog, one of the reasons this site exists is because there is a need to publicly state that people who accept payment to have sex, talk dirty, have sex on camera, strip, masturbate in front of a webcam, provide sensual touch, or pose for adult photos are not disposable and are not a special class of people who are fair game for violence and crime because of what they do for money.

Historical Wardrobe Malfunction

This is kind of neato—The Star Tribune has a blog called “Yesterday’s News” where it digs up old-timey newspaper articles, photos and ads. This week’s feature made the front page of the Minneapolis Tribune on May 9, 1953: Darlene LaBette Varallo, an “esoteric dancer”, was jailed for disorderly conduct. Two follow-up articles detail the handling of the evidence (“two little rhinestone-studded cones, a few lengths of gauze, a fringe and a pair of black net tights”) and the trial, which was complete with a lie detector test and testimony where the defendant explains that she was only guilty of a wardrobe malfunction:

SHE DESCRIBED her dance as a “can-can” plus a mixture of “a shuffle, ball hop, kick, twirls.” She denied Sullivan’s charge that she had bent over and shaken parts of her anatomy at the audience.
“You can’t bend over when you dance or you lose your equilibrium,” said Darlene, who testified she has danced since the age of 3 and was an Arthur Murray instructor for two years.
She said she certainly was wearing state’s exhibit F (the brassiere) when she began to dance but had to discard it because a strap broke. She also denied removing the state’s exhibit E (a tasseled fringe) from its original position around her – ah – middle.

The Week in Links: March 18

There were almost 600 crimes committed against sex workers in Ireland last year.

A (belated) article on SWOP-LA’s International Sex Workers’ Rights Day Celebration.

Amber Rose, model, radio personality, and former Kanye girlfriend, says she was a stripper at age 15.

Here’s a list of the 10 Best Prostitute Movies—but, ahem, it’s already been done.

The legal battle continues in the attempt to convict Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for sex with a 17 year old prostitute.

A (former) Boston prostitute won $200,000 in damages after her successful case against a police officer who regularly extorted sex acts.