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I’m Not So Sure About That Rough Night Trailer

By now, you are probably aware of Rough Night and the animated and practiced (if not exhausted and slightly jaded because this happens all the f*cking time) reaction to it from the sex worker online community.

But if not, here’s a quick recap: on March 8th Paulilu Productions released the trailer for their latest summer chick-flick Rough Night, a film about five college besties (played by Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz) drawn apart by their busy, upper-middle class lives who then…accidentally kill a male stripper at Johansen’s bachelorette party, and, according to the film’s PR materials, “are brought closer together…amidst the craziness of trying to cover it up.”

Because nothing says “female solidarity and bonding” like trying to cover up the manslaughter of a dead hooker.

You’ve Got Problems: George Takei

150463_637864889576301_2061639033_nFamous for being helmsman Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek series, actor and author George Takei is America’s clever gay grandfather. Takei currently plays to an audience of thousands via social media and is known for quotable and insightful Facebook and Twitter posts on everything from politics to gender issues to cute animal macros. On April 2nd, George alienated a decent amount of his followers when he posted this meme.

As a mother, wife, and child, I was annoyed and almost a little hurt.

My 54-year-old mother sat nearby, her eyes deep in her Catherine Crier book. We had stayed up late despite her return flight being early in the morning. I was rubbing my wrists in anxiousness, set back from the laptop when she glanced over. I turned the screen toward her.

“Who posted that?”

“George Takei.”

“The actor?”

“Yeah. He posts a lot of stuff, but nothing like this usually.”

“Weird.”

“Mom, how does that make you feel? That society says you’re a failure? That I’m a failure?”

A very long pause.

“Well, it doesn’t make me feel good.”

Sex Work Sells: Wódka Vodka

What's the sheep doing there?
photo courtesy of visitordesign / visitordesign.com

Friend of the blog Visitor Design sent this to us via Twitter on Friday night. Get it? It means that Wódka is the kind of vodka that’s here to pay off its student loans and has its own well-designed website, but it costs the same as the kind of cheap hooch hustling the corner for enough cash for another night at the motel. It’s a smooth marketing take on the commonly assumption that sex workers are doing one of two things: either ho-ing from sheer desperation or enjoying a pampered, rarefied existence thanks to the largesse of generous men. Because you know the language: escorts are expensive and hookers are cheap. While there are certainly sex workers who charge a lot and sex workers who don’t charge so much, I can’t imagine this ad saying something like “Model Quality, Girl Next Door Pricing.” Oh, wait. This is a liquor ad. That could totally happen.

But: There’s a sheep in that ad. In this context, the image of the sheep leads us to a darker place, one where, when desperate men think of the relative pricing and availability of prostitutes, may ponder the free option. Wódka, what are you going to do to that lamb? A willingness to associate your product with bestiality is truly a maverick move.

You’ve Got Problems: Sex Worker Childhoods

By RedSofa on Flickr

It’s supposed to be common knowledge that I ended up in my job as an escort because, as a child, I suffered some serious emotional damage. But from the inside looking out, it’s clear to me that non-sex workers have plenty of issues all their own. Last week, one of them kept jumping out at me: civilian women’s cavalier clichés about sex workers’ pasts.

I know plenty of men believe that every sex worker has had a screwed up childhood. For me, though, accusations of familial damage cut a lot deeper when they’re thrown around by women, particularly women with otherwise feminist chops (*coughcough* Tina Fey.) We all suffer from slut/whore/man-hater sexism—meaning we’re all vulnerable to the stigma against a woman expressing sexuality in any “deviant” way—so shouldn’t we all reject that misogyny? It’s obvious that the abused sex worker myth is a symptom of our culture’s need to pathologize sexual women, and it should be obvious why the “some adult must have screwed you up when you were little” jab is a mean-spirited, ignorant, and completely trite accusation—but apparently it isn’t. For women like Mary Elizabeth Williams, let me break down the myriad ways it sucks.

You’re Not Funny: SNL Can’t Parody Porn Stars

swarovski.jpgI spent the better part of last June gluing rhinestones to this one wall in my apartment. At some point during the second week I started wearing a toolbelt full of E6000 glue, wadded up paper towels, sparkly bits and the syringes I use to control where the glue goes. I should mention that the toolbelt was being worn instead of pants as opposed to on top of pants. I should also mention that my apartment has horrible ventilation and I was probably kind of high on glue fumes. The glue fumes may have contributed to my decision to climb the radiator instead of using a ladder.

On the night of the 14th there was a knock on my door. The only person who knocks on the inside door is my superintendent. His name is Jorge. I yelled “Come in” and then realized that he might be upset about the fact that I was sticking things to the wall with heavy-duty glue. Fortunately, Jorge is a very special creature. He took in the whole spectacle, exclaimed “Oh my god!” and proceeded to gush in his Puerto Rican-Brooklynite accent about how much he loved where I was going with the concept. Then he ran upstairs and came back with a giant box of “Sarchovskys? Warsovskys? Whatevah. I thought you might be able to use them for your project.” See, at some point in the past decade someone had left a giant box of Swarovski crystals at his apartment. Happy Birthday to me. No, seriously. The next day was my birthday.