Peechington Marie

Lily Fury, a former Tits and Sass contributor, who fabricated several sex working women of color personas for her personal gain. (Still via Youtube)

Editor’s note: All references to “Bambi” and “#FreeBambi” below only refer to Lily Fury’s fictitious and stolen persona. There is a real Bambi out there who deserves our respect and consideration. 

It’s 3:45 PM Eastern Standard Time and, thankfully, I’m off work from my job at a grocery store—this means, just like on any given, average day off, I’d be able to enjoy my day how I would like: writing, playing X Box, binge watching Netflix, whatever floats my boat, really. That was my plan today—until I clicked around online to find out more about #FreeBambi and if we had enough extra money in our checking account to be able to donate today.

Listen: for over 15 years now, I’ve been involved in the sex trades in one way or another. For the last three years, although I’ve been officially retired from sex work, I still write, think, and talk about it often. I donate quietly and as often as I can to whatever crowdfund or offering plate passing I see on social media or hear about from friends. I send and receive plenty of love from friends who are or have been in the business. In short, it’s very much still a part of my life and, if I were to have talked to you yesterday, “it will always be a part of my life,” is absolutely something I would have said—with no trace of irony present.

I loved sex work. I loved how I was able, while living with PTSD and depression, to provide for myself and have a life. I loved how I was able to choose when I could work and not worry about being terminated or written up if I called in sick—hell, there’s no calling in sick in sex work, there’s just… not working today. I loved being able to work as far as my energy would take me while still honoring my body and spirit—and also knowing if I didn’t have it in me, it was ok. I loved it—and still some days miss it. I miss working hard, making my own rules, setting my own boundaries, and using the tool of my desirability (as perceived by others) to craft a life for myself. It feels funny now, to say “I loved sex work.” I never thought I would say that, but here at 37 years old, it rings true and authentic for me—and it’s an important part of what I’m about to say next, because I did truly love the work of it.

What I never loved and have never made bones about is, well, pretty much everything else. I never loved the sex of it, the struggle and poverty, the sexism, the weight (and fat) shame and abuse, the open and safe space for pedophiles and predators, the lies and lying, the homophobia and discrimination, or the racism, gaslighting about racism, and justification of racism of it. I never loved being part of an industry where I knew that, simply because of the arbitrary, human notion of race, I would never be able to live the full life I’d dreamed of in that space. I figured out through talking with other Black and Latina sex working friends—this wasn’t an imaginary ship I was sailing, and I wasn’t alone in it. We were all together in it: full service girls who were turned away from brothels because “We already have a Black girl,” or dancers who, no matter how high they flew in tricks or how hard they twerked on the floor, could rarely (unless they were in a predominantly urban space and a wealthy party showed up—which is once in a very blue moon) make enough money to afford paying nightly/weekly fees to work at the clubs. Full service outside girls who dealt with rapes and sexual assaults by cops—knowing they could never report because they would never be believed (or worse, they’d be targeted later) because Black women are often considered both hypersexual and undesirable and, thus, un-rape-able. I never loved those parts of it, and today, while we talk about racism, the sex industry, and Black women who are sex workers, we need to talk about how #FreeBambi has a role in it. [READ MORE]

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Visual approximation of what Hulk Hogan probably feels like. This is purely satire, please do not sue us Mr. Hogan.

Visual approximation of what Hulk Hogan probably feels like. This is purely satire. Please do not sue us, Mr. Hogan.

In the early 00s when I was in journalism school, my professors were feebly trying to bestow me and my fellow students with the skills required to work in print media. Sure, they said, the future of journalism is online. But none of them could quantify what that meant or how to teach it.  The school’s curriculum was a great foundation, I guess, but by the time I was done, my skill set was already outdated. I was a media dinosaur.

So I studied Gawker Media. Gawker, and Gawker’s sister sites, presented the framework for what writing online could look like—objective and sarcastic.  I suspect anyone who has ever dabbled in independent publishing online is feeling a bit sentimental this week. Almost every writer has a favorite Gawker story. They certainly remember the Gawker story they were most scandalized by.

One thing I think Gawker and its sister sites deserve credit for is consistently covering sex work and giving sex workers bylines.  [READ MORE]

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Faithfully bringing you media by and for sex workers since 2011. (Photo by Flickr user carterse, "Winston Retrieves The News")

Faithfully bringing you media by and for sex workers since 2011. (Photo by Flickr user carterse, “Winston Retrieves The News”)

1. “The Erasure of Maya Angelou’s Sex Work History,” by Peechington Marie, 5/29

2. “The Fifth Annual Vagina Beauty Pageant: A Judge’s Notes,” by Elle, 8/8

3. “Discussing Other People’s Lives: Social Work and Student Sex Workers,” by Annie O’Neill and Adrienne Graf, 4/11

4. “I Don’t Care About Clients,” by Olive Seraphim, 2/19

5. “Stop AB1576: Compulsory Condom Use Won’t Make Porn Performers Safer,” by Cyd Nova, 5/20

[READ MORE]

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Courtney Love tweets about the strip club bet which marks her reconciliation with Dave Grohl. (Screencap of Courtney Love’s twitter feed.)

As of this posting,  Tits and Sass contributor Peechington Marie’s fundraiser to allay funeral costs for the families of young murdered Black strippers Tjisha Ball and Angelia Mangum is closing in two hours. Contribute and make those two hours count!

Courtney Love and Dave Grohl buried the hatchet and made a bet about who could get the most strippers at Scores.  (A source reports that Grohl is an excellent tipper!) Though Love left early, she’s not letting the bet go.  She can have me for free.

Mixed martial arts fighter and noted batterer of women War Machine (Jonathan Koppenhaver) hung himself with his bed sheet in jail and…survived.

Belle Knox has nothing but high praise for the Law and Order: SVU episode that borrows her story.

A new city ordinance in Oakland allows the city to evict people suspected of being sex workers, and requires their landlords do the same.

In fact—when it comes to sex work, at least—a tenant does not need to have committed any crime to be evicted for that crime. “The crime solicited need not actually be committed for solicitation to occur,” the amended bill now reads.

[READ MORE]

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Half of the $17000 fundraising goal for Angelia Mangum and Tjhisha Ball has been met.

Half of the $17000 fundraising goal for Angelia Mangum and Tjhisha Ball has been met.

Our very own Tits and Sass contributor Peechington Marie’s and Meli Machiavelli’s fundraiser for murdered Black dancers Tjhisha Ball and Angelia Magnum is at its halfway point of $8,000. Please donate to help them reach their goal and allow Ball and Magnum’s families to afford their burials.

Jada Pinkett Smith holds forth on stripping: it’s wrong. Unlike donating money to ethically dubious and educationally useless Scientology schools, obviously.

That’s fine though, because Usher and Juicy J love us.

Kate McGrew, the sex worker on the Irish reality show Committed, was called “revolting” during a phone interview; this op-ed disagrees, but does think she should quit her job. Civilians and their feelings about sex work, amirite?

The European Union’s sudden interest in what shadow economies are adding to GDP explained: besides bragging rights, higher GDP’s keep debt and deficits “within the EU’s prescribed targets.”

Despite the title “Confessions of a Geylang Sex Worker” (mistranslation or deliberate obfuscation?) this article is actually about a study of sex workers in Singapore, heralded as unusual for its discovery of the fact that sex workers are charging different rates to different ethnic groups based on their perceived willingness and ability to pay.

RedUP investigated New York’s Human Trafficking Intervention Courts to predictable-yet-disheartening results: despite the high-minded assurances of New York’s Chief Judge, the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts have failed to be the “great leap forward” that he promised.  Instead the same racial profiling and racism endemic to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy plagues the trafficking court, along with the same cool unconcern for the potential life-ruining consequences of arrest, and the inadequacy of the therapy and life skills workshops offered. [READ MORE]

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