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This Week In Tourist Reports

One of these tourist reports typically pops up in my Google alerts every week. Someone ventures inside a strip club for the first time and shares his/her tale with the world as if he/she is Neil Armstrong. Last week it was an insecure lesbian who felt threatened when a stripper at Jumbo’s talked to her date. Even cool writers are guilty of lame tourist reports where they sound grateful to have made it out alive.

This week’s gem is featured on dating advice website, YourTango, and it’s a doozy. (YourTango was never even on my radar until the founder/CEO embarrassed herself last summer with that bizarre Indian fetishist piece in the Huffington Post.) The author starts off by letting us know that she’s boldly going where no woman has gone before: a bachelor party weekend in Atlantic City with 27 dudes.

Two VICE Writers Walk Into A Bar

I try not to let the positions of the sun, moon, and other planetary objects dictate how I go about my daily life. That being said, there are two things I really try to avoid when there is a full moon: using public transportation and working at the strip club. People get weird. Hipster girls on lesbianic friend dates find their way into the club, act like assholes, and then blog about it.

I’ve never been to Pumps myself, but I can visualize a strip club with the lights on and the music off, the bartender counting out the till, the bouncer placing stools on the bar, and the dancers getting dressed. On a busy Friday night, this might be the first time they’ve all been in the same place at the same time. They can finally ask each other “what was up with those really drunk bitches?” and “did you see when they got kicked out and one of them screamed that she left her scarf and that we’re mean? It was amazing.” And then someone will note that maybe the supermoon brought out such bad behavior from a pair of women who didn’t look like they would be jerks. Some of them would give the two the benefit of the doubt and agree that they are probably nicer people when they’re not doing shots underneath a 14% bigger, 30% brighter moon.

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’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.”

Hookers Stand Up

Last Sunday, BDSM community site FetLife did what a lot of popular sites do every once in a while—it crashed. And the person running FetLife’s Twitter account made a poorly chosen joke: “Whoops… FetLife just went down like a drunk hooker…”, later saying that they “Couldn’t think of anything better to say!” and “I make equal fun of everyone.”

People (most of them polite) called FetLife out on both the comment and what sounded like a justification wrapped in apology packaging. All in all, they were pretty gentle reactions for a tweet that encouraged the stereotype of the incapacitated hooker: