Nevada

(Photo by Pierre Galin via Flickr)

Yes, I saw the coverage earlier this month on pregnant Nevada brothel worker Summer Sebastian blogging about enjoying a few months at work at the Bunny Ranch while her (former) millionaire partner watches their beautiful twins at home.

No, I didn’t get the promised message of empowerment and normalization or a real heart-to-heart on what it’s like to be a mother and a sex worker.

This woman lives in a fantasy world where she’s the personal star of her own little reality show. She has safeguards, privileges, incentives, and motivations that even the most successful of us more marginalized sex workers lack.

I’m not going to applaud her for working full-service during her pregnancy and sharing it with the world, because she isn’t sharing it for me.

We don’t even need to talk about any risks posed to her baby because, let’s be real, she has the security of open access to medical care, stable housing and food, security personnel protecting her at her legal brothel, virtually no risk of being blackmailed or arrested, andmost invaluable to every pregnant personshe has a solid system of support in other workers. Sex work is lonely and isolating by nature and having a tribe physically present is a vital resource that we should all have access to.

This woman has access to literally anything in the world that a pregnant hooker could ever need.  

Including a platform. [READ MORE]

{ 6 comments }

it's white and gold bitches

Breaking! Sex workers use internet, get sucked into popular memes! And it is unquestionably gold.

Contribute to the fundraiser to help porn performer Cytherea get back on her feet after being the victim of sexual assault during a traumatic home invasion here.

Jiz Lee will be guest editing a future issue of the Porn Studies journal on Porn and Labor. They’re soliciting submissions from now until July.

Wired explored the impact of the MyRedBook raid on Bay Area sex workers.

The Philadelphia murder trial of a woman who gave illicit butt injections continues. Her attorney sounds like a prize:

In questioning Saunders and King, Rudenstein stressed that they sought out Windslowe and the injections.
“What happened to the rope?” Rudenstein asked Saunders.
“What rope?” she replied.
“The rope she tied you down with to do this to you,” he said.

The online market for sex and sexualized services is growing, and it has nothing to do with the Superbowl or any other sporting events, as this Arizona State University study discovers.

Three California massage parlors were raided on suspicion of trafficking and then, though no evidence of trafficking was found, they were shut down anyway because of poor record keeping, especially around workers’ compensation. This incident once again raises the question:  is this about protecting vulnerable people, or shutting down sex businesses?

An assault in the West End of Vancouver has police warning sex workers to be on alert for

Mark Stacy Spelrem, 45…wanted in connection to the assaults. He’s described as a white male, 5-feet-11 with a slim build, with short dyed blond-orange hair “that is spiked at the front and balding at the back.”

[READ MORE]

{ 4 comments }

A poster for stripper Jeff Tetreault's movie about, er, an anthropomorphized, detachable penis (Image via Vulture)

A poster for stripper Jeff Tetreault’s movie about, er, an anthropomorphized, detachable penis (Image via Vulture)

HuffPo set up an interview with two student sex workers through Student Sex Worker Outreach Project coordinator Adrienne Graf, whom we featured in a post the other week. One of the workers interviewed was Tits and Sass’ very own contributor Red, who valiantly resisted all of the interviewer’s efforts to sensationalize stripping.

Screenwriter and go go dancer Jeff Tetreault“Sometimes you have a good dick day, and sometimes you have a bad dick day. It’s like a good hair day and a bad hair day: Sometimes the blood just settles down there and it’s sweet — it’s an awesome dick day. And sometimes, I’m like, ‘What the hell?’ ”

John Turturro gives sex workers his vote of confidence in an interview on “Fading Gigolo,” a film he directed and starred in about a laid off bookstore employee turned escort for lonely ladies. Our only quibble is that perhaps Turturro should’ve done a bit more research first–we find it highly doubtful that a middle aged guy sex worker in most heterosexual markets would be netting “$1k for each hour of his time, plus a $500 tip.”

OK, so this guy’s thesis is that the development of sexbots will somehow lead to the adoption of basic income, once the state is inundated with a bunch of human hookers put out of work by robots. Right, because the government obviously gives a shit if sex workers go the way of cottage weavers.

Nearly 65,000 sex workers and their family members across Bengal have decided not to vote for any candidates this year, planning to press the NOTA (None of the Above) button instead. Bhurati Dey, sex workers’ rights organization Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee secretary, stated: “None of the political parties have ever looked into our demands. So it is our conscious decision to opt for the NOTA option.” In Forbesganj, Dehli, and Kolkata, Mumbai based federation of sex workers Aastha Parivaar and nonprofit organization Apne Aap Women Worldwide have also taken action on the eve of the election, collecting demands from regional sex workers for politicians. 

What is it really like to work in a brothel? This Buzzfeed piece won’t really tell you much about that, but it will let you know all about Dennis Hof’s ego.

[READ MORE]

{ 2 comments }

via Flickr user Craig Walkowicz

via Flickr user Craig Walkowicz

One of the many questions OkCupid users can answer to determine compatibility with potential mates is “Should prostitution be legal?” The answer options are:

  1. Yes, absolutely
  2. Yes, only if it were regulated
  3. I don’t think so
  4. ABSOLUTELY NOT (emphasis theirs)

In my four years of using the site, I’ve noticed that those who choose answer “2” frequently add something in the comments about regulations being necessary to protect workers from harm. Somewhat less frequently someone comments that regulations protect the health and general well-being of the public. My sample size is, of course, limited, but that thinking isn’t all that different from members of the general public who support legalization. Legalization, the thinking goes, would protect the public from the perceived health risks associated with prostitution by mandating testing, provide states with tax money (which relies on the false assumption that sex workers don’t currently pay taxes) and would control when and where sex work could be done. And, if prostitution was legal, sex workers would be safer because they would feel more comfortable utilizing the criminal legal system.

What they forget is that we have an example of legal prostitution in the United States: regulated, licensed brothels in the state of Nevada. While legalization provides benefits to the state, the workers are still treated as second-class citizens. Nevada has been home to brothels since the late 1800s, and the first licensed brothel opened there in 1971. Currently, there is no statute explicitly stating that prostitution is legal, but under state law, counties in Nevada with populations under 400,000 can allow brothels. These brothels are the only places in the United States where one can engage in legal prostitution, and the people doing this work are governed by three different sets of regulations: state laws, county laws and brothel rules.1 While the state laws are easy to access and review, county laws are less so, and brothel rules are not available to the public. The small size of the counties and towns that the brothels are in means that rules frequently change depending on the mood of the sheriff. This form of legalization is a combination of modern business law and Wild West attitudes. [READ MORE]

{ 37 comments }

Terra Barrow, Philadelphia police officer and former phone sex operator (photo via nbcphiladelphia,com)

Terra Barrow, Philadelphia police officer and former phone sex operator (photo via nbcphiladelphia,com)

Here’s another reason to not want to get out of bed in the morning—this Wednesday, the EU’s parliament voted in favor of criminalizing the purchase of sex.

Instead of following the hype about the “Duke University Porn Star”, why don’t you skip the crap and read what she has to say (in xojane, weirdly enough, which is redeeming itself for about a zillion offensive It Happened to Me pieces by giving her a venue.)

There’s no reason the GOP should be discouraged from convening the 2015 Republican Convention in Nevada by legalized prostitution, states Jeremy Lemur, a spokesman for The Resort at Sheri’s Ranch, a legal brothel in Pahrump. Lemur assured convention goers in a blog post that brothel workers could be trusted to keep secrets, and besides, they’re voters, too.

God, we just don’t even know what to make of this story: A  recently created website accused Philadelphia police officer Terra Barrows of running a phone sex business. The thing is, Philadelphia’s finest already knew about Barrow’s old side-job—in 2011, Internal Affairs’ Police Board of Inquiry chose not to punish Barrow based on a competing phone sex operator’s allegations about her moonlighting because phone sex is not “specifically enumerated as prohibited outside employment.” Though now, the Philadelphia Police Commissioner is rushing to close that loophole, since “[t]here are certain types of jobs that are just inappropriate for a police officer.” Barrow states that she got into phone sex to support her ailing father, and that she never portrayed herself as a police officer or revealed her real name while working the lines. Oh, and the reason competing PSO Donna Burns ratted on Barrow to Internal Affairs? She says the cop stole her site designs and her client database and bullied her and other competitiors by telling them she was a police officer working in Homeland Security.

Tits and Sass co-editor Caty Simon gives her take on Heather Lewis’ Notice, an autobiographical novel about a street working trauma survivor, at Emily Books.

Elle Stranger lets readers of Portland’s Thrillist know about eighteen ways to make a stripper furious. An anonymous dancer echoes Stranger’s advice to tip if you’re at the rack in the Portland Mercury, reddit reading fedora wearing comment writers are outraged in response to the very suggestion that they should be compensating people for their labor, and no one is surprised.

[READ MORE]

{ 3 comments }