The Week in Links—September 12th

by Red on September 12, 2014 · 2 comments

in The Week in Links

This is a burner. (Picture via Flickr user Peter Wells and the Creative Commons. )

This is a burner. Skip the burner app and just get a burner phone. Bonus: Dick pics will barely be recognizable. (Picture via Flickr user Peter Wells and the Creative Commons. )

Sex workers in Cape Town protested to emphasize the five murders in two months and demonstrate against police harassment, pointing out the vulnerability caused by their illicit status and calling for decriminalization of sex work in South Africa.  The trial of Zwelethu Mthethwa for the murder of 23-year-old sex worker begins in November.

The Atlantic shoots down that oft-cited and inflammatory statistic “the average age of entrance into the sex industry is 13,”:

Average age of first intercourse for the children we interviewed [210 children total] was 12 years for the boys (N=63) and 13 years for the girls (N=107). The age range of entry into prostitution for the boys, including gay and transgender boys, was somewhat younger than that of the girls, i.e., 11-13 years vs. 12-14 years, respectively. The average age of first intercourse among minority boys and girls was younger than that of the non-minority youth we interviewed, i.e., 10-11 years of age for minority boys and 11-12 years of age for minority girls.

(emphasis added)

Tits and Sass issued a correction earlier this week about the authorship of “Sex Work And Partner Violence: How We’re Forced To Negotiate Our Own Abuse“: the piece was written by our new contributor Ruby Rue, not by Victoria Joy.

The potential influx of clients attending different conventions at Nova Scotia’s new, as-yet-unbuilt, convention center is causing the traditional speculation about a boom season for sex workers, though also acknowledging that the construction phase and first ten years of operation will “create almost $190 million in tax revenues and nearly 30,000 ‘person years’ of employment” which should in itself be a plus for local sex workers.

Disregarding the findings that big sports events may not be the client draw that newspaper headlines always assume they are, Dennis Hof plans to open a brothel in Glendale, AZ  in time for the Superbowl. Check out the link for the inexplicable accompanying illustration: are those cleats popping out of her backseam?

Warning!  Burner apps recycle phone numbers, which presents some problems for sex workers who use them. A researcher inspecting features of a VOIP burner app got the former number of an escort, whose clients hadn’t been updated with her new number.

A sex worker’s information led to the arrest of a robber in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; despite her lack of connection or investment to the robber, the NewsDay still frames it as a Bridget O’Shaughnessy-style betrayal with the noir-like headline “Sex Worker Sells Out Robber.”

A sex workers’ collective in India, Shakti AIDS Prevention Sangam, has collaborated with the government to implement a one-stop shopping or “single window” program to help sex workers get the government documents and aid they need, with much success.

Public health programs in India around AIDS are not doing as well; the combination of a change in the structure of government and less international funding to India due to its declining HIV rate mean that Indian organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS are months behind in funding.  The directors of some programs are paying out of pocket while others watch their employees leave.

The conversation over Canadian bill C-36 continues; this Globe and Mail op-ed points out the narrowness of the view that sex work is inherently exploitative and damaging to women.

Sex workers want to rebalance the debate on C-36 with their voices, which have largely been left out.

Terri-Jean Bedford, one of the sex workers behind the overturn of the law criminalizing sex work last year, spoke at a committee hearing Wednesday and was forced out of the chambers as for violating her allotted time.  Though she later apologized, her statement pointed out the bias behind her ejection:

“I was barely able to read my speech because I was so angry at the government for parading victims with repeated irrelevant information and then organizations who were shilling for government handouts on which they are dependent,” the statement said.

The Asia Pacific Times points out the obvious, that not all sex workers are the same and they can’t be dealt with by being lumped into one category.  (Ebru Ustundag, an associate professor at Canada’s Brock University, agrees, and gave a talk on the subject last night.)

A follow-up on the sex worker response to the play Ugly Mug and the appropriation of sex worker stories and survival tactics to create middle class entertainment.

A Thai politician lectured university students on police corruption and graft in relation to the sex industry.

The Somaly Mam debunking makes it to Marie Claire, in a bit of slightly purple prose.

And again in “sex workers don’t live in a vacuum and their incomes also support the economy”: Sex workers’ ads financially support the publications that run them.

A new sex work book is out this week, a collection of essays and studies on male sex work called, memorably enough, Male Sex Work.  Sample tidbit:

Oscar Wilde referred to sex with the young working-class male prostitutes (ages 16–20) he favored as “feasting with panthers” because “their passion was all body and no soul.”

A new study has been published, on sexual abuse trauma, street-based sex work, and sexual assault.

The project director of the Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance writes about why “rescue” is neither a productive word to use nor a productive mindset to hold.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda September 13, 2014 at 9:14 am

Isn’t a burner app kind of defeating the entire purpose of a burner phone?

How exactly does Dennis Hof plan on operating a legal brothel in Arizona? As far as I can tell from the article, he has no actual plan, this is a media stunt. Am I missing something?


Caty Simon September 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Wondering re: Hof myself.


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