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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.

Seth MacFarlane Loves Rape Jokes

FamilyGuyOvalOrificeMy generation has seen its share of dysfunctional cartoon characters. Many of us were raised on The Simpsons, which arguably paved the way for South Park. I recall South Park making a huge impression on television and popular culture, even though I wasn’t allowed to watch it when it premiered in 1997. Adults older than I are more likely to associate their adolescence with Beavis and Butthead. All of these shows have incited controversy at some point and all were popular. So it should come as no surprise that another occasionally controversial animated comedy would succeed with the same audience. But oh, it irritates me when people assume that I like Family Guy.

I have never felt comfortable with Seth MacFarlane’s brand of humor. And I’m not alone, judging by the reactions to the multiple gross sexist offenses during his turn hosting the Oscars. There is always something about his jokes that gets under my skin and causes me to consider the implications of certain statements.

For one, there are so many rape jokes.

If Your Blog Post is Journalism, My Lapdance is Art: The NY Fight Over Taxable Stripping

image via google

Albany strip club Nite Moves went before the New York Supreme Court today to appeal earlier rulings that the club owes taxes on money it has earned from cover charges and couch dance sales. Under New York tax laws, such charges are subject to taxes levied on places of amusement, like nightclubs, but the club claims they should be exempt as a theater of performing arts, like Broadway. Their main claim is that exotic dance is primarily art, and should be exempt as if it were ballet.

Oh, the hilarity! says one Village Voice blogger.

Under state law, “live dramatic or musical arts performances” like ballet have tax-exempt status. While lap dances are technically a “performance,” it’s a slightly less-refined form of dance than, say, any other form of “dance.”

Here’s how lap dances work: you pay a stripper roughly 25 bucks, depending on the strip club. She takes you to a dimly-lit backroom, puts you on a couch, pulls out her ta-tas and grinds her ass into your crotch for about 10 minutes. At its completion, you thank her, do your best to get the glitter and stripper stank off you, and hope your wife doesn’t find out. There is nothing artistic about it.

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.

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: