The Week in Links—January 16th

by Red on January 16, 2015 · 2 comments

in The Week in Links


Fees and fines are illegal, kids. (Photo courtesy of Red)

The Willamette Week broke the news that I, Tits and Sass Week In Links editor Red, and my fellow dancer Amy Pitts are suing my former strip club this week after months of tedious and stressful settlement negotiations. Shorter and less informative video clips on the suit can be found here and here, but probably the best coverage so far is this New York Daily News story, which makes more meat puns than I would normally find decent.

Alaskan sex workers are raising money to go to Juneau to lobby the Alaskan legislature. You can support their campaign and learn about their efforts here: Nothing About Us Without Us!

Bengals defensive back Adam Jones was ordered to pay over $12 million for his part in a fight and shooting that broke out at the Vegas strip club, Minxx.  Jones made it rain, dancers started fighting over the money, and eventually shooting broke out, injuring three people, including  one security guard who was paralyzed from the waist down.

New MTA safety ads warn against pole dancing in subway cars: “Poles are for safety, not your latest routine.”

Tits and Sass contributor Naomi Sayers responds brilliantly to an interrogation around C-36 and the assumption that it protects sex workers, while outlining sex work activists’ next steps in a post-C-36 Canada.

Nigerian full service sex workers are offering three days of their services free if General Muhammadu Buhari wins the upcoming presidential elections in February. Clever reverse Lystrata tactic!

Porn actor Jiz Lee writes that people should be as concerned with ethical porn consumption as they are with ethical porn, since illegal distribution not only allows consumers to not pay for workers’ products, it also allows producers to evade the very safety standards set in place to protect performers.

Benjamin Frederickson worked as a HIV positive sex worker in the Midwest and New York for years, documenting his life and his work with Polaroids that are now being shown in an exhibition at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York until February 28th.

The chairperson for India’s National Commission  for Women is speaking out again for better working conditions for sex workers.

“I was talking from the perspective of providing more security to women who are in sex trade and their children in terms of education, access to health which is very necessary for any form of empowerment for any woman in any trade.”

On Monday the South African government met with sex workers and NGOs to discuss the Global Fund and create an intervention plan to address HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. The South African National AIDS Council is finalizing their sex worker program by the end of this year, and it will include peer outreach, although Sisonke, one of the sex worker advocacy groups in South Africa, is still advocating for decriminalization as the best way to empower sex workers to protect themselves from HIV and abusive clients.

In related news, the South African Law Reform Commission’s final report on “adult prostitution” will be out “shortly” and includes a few options that fall thankfully short of the End Demand model and full criminalization.

Sex positive feminist porn makes its usual claims of “authenticity.”

Words do matter, says a Seattle politician, explaining why they want to move to the End Demand model, employing the phrase “sexual exploitation” instead of “sex work”, to the dismay of sex work activists and clients alike. Elizabeth Nolan Brown tirelessly recaps all the arguments we just heard against C-36, and we should probably all memorize them, since we’re going to need them.

Why Sex Workers Deserve Backpay“: an article with a fantastic premise that then goes on to consistently conflate trafficked, coerced, and willing sex workers, using phrases like “suppose you are sold for sex.” Though we all know that choice and coercion can be a continuum, treating the two situations as one and the same is also fallacious. A for the concept, C- for execution.

Police raided a Macau hotel and arrested ninety six women and six employees, including Alan Ho, the executive director of the hotel, over a suspected “vice ring.”

Formal and informal sex work has increased in Haiti since the earthquake five years ago, as more and more women turn to the work to survive.

Prohibitionists in Scotland attempt to create new hurdles for sex industry businesses to clear.

In a two day training on “Marginalised women and the law,” police in Mangalore, India, were told to focus more on the people pushing women into sex work than sex workers themselves.

Apparently anyone in porn is a “porn star” these days: Andre Shakti, indie pornstar, writes about what it’s like to be an indie porn star for Cosmo.

The United Arab Emirates disputes the claim that thousands of Nepali women have been trafficked to the UAE for sex.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 19, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Here is a letter I am writing to The Cupcake Girls in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Cupcake Girls,

The other night, I was in the dressing room of Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was standing by myself in front of the mirror and removed most of my clothing, so that I was standing in only a thong, by myself, preparing for my night. That is when I noticed a gang of women staring at my body awkwardly. One of them walked over to me, while I was nearly naked and by myself. She stood less than six inches away from my body, holding a box of cupcakes and offering me one. I politely told her that I am a vegan, and continued to look at myself in the mirror. I was averting eye contact with her, because I didn’t want to be bothered before a busy night at work. I figured she would get the hint and go away.

Instead of leaving me alone, she got closer to me. She loudly and excitedly explained to me that her group does a lot of work in Portland at the vegan strip club, and they’re always bringing vegan cupcakes there. The other cupcake girls were standing a few feet away, staring at me while she attempted to interact with me. I politely told her that I hate that vegan strip club, and that I don’t like to be bothered with cupcakes while I am working. It took her a couple of moments to process that I wanted her to leave me the fuck alone, and get away from me in the dressing room. When she finally got it, she and her cupcake girl friends walked to the back of the dressing room, snickering.

Several minutes later when I went to my locker to put away my things, I looked up to see her snickering at me again, as though it was funny that I wasn’t feeling sociable while changing in the dressing room. She stared at me for several moments while I was at my locker. I was happy when they left.

For reference, the woman who talked to me was in her twenties, slightly overweight, Caucasian, with small eyes and brown hair.

I do not like your group or your volunteers. You are patronizing and rude. There is no reason why I should feel harassed or intimidated by a gang of snickering women who aren’t even strippers, while I am in the dressing room. The way that she approached me as I took my clothes off was creepy and unwanted. I doubt most strippers want to make friends with someone who behaves like a born-again Christian in the dressing room, while mostly naked in front of the mirror. The small amount of space that she allowed between her body and my mostly naked body in front of the mirror, under the fluorescent lights, while her friends stared on, was very upsetting.

I don’t quite understand why your volunteers choose to spend their time attempting to befriend strippers in the dressing room, when there are starving children and battered women who really need and want help in Las Vegas or elsewhere. I am an independent, financially stable, goal-oriented woman, a proud Atheist and vegan who knows how to care for myself. In the workplace, I am sometimes stressed out, as anyone in any workplace is. I wish for you to never approach me again in the dressing room in the way that you did the other day. It did not help me at all, and instead caused me stress and anger, as I am often stressed and angered by patronizing people who do not understand strippers and attempt to save or help us, believing we are victims. I do not want your disgusting cupcakes.

I think the volunteer who approached me had a streak of sadism, otherwise she wouldn’t have continued to talk to me as though she was a Stepford wife, all the while snickering and impeding upon my personal space while my clothes were off. Her vibe was as upsetting to me as any customer who doesn’t know his or her boundaries, and continues to bother me after I have expressed discontent at their presence.

Leave me the fuck alone you sadistic, patronizing freaks.


jenny heineman January 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm

That’s really fucking horrible. When I lived in Vegas, I heard mixed reviews of the Cupcake Girls there. I hope they are amenable to your letter. I don’t understand why they’re allowed in the dressing rooms…?!


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