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Dogs & Dollars

When Honey Badger’s dog Mavis PieMan Draper’s on stage, it’s a minimum of one treat per song tip.

Want to submit your pet and (not so) petty cash photos to us? Email info[at]titsandsass.com

Who Makes Your Money: WePay and Eden Alexander

eden01Eden Alexander’s current fundraiser is live here.

This weekend, a Twitterstorm erupted when payment processor WePay shut down a medical fundraiser for porn performer Eden Alexander. Alexander found herself in an unforgiving position after the complications she experienced from an allergic reaction to a prescription drug were misdiagnosed when a doctor assumed that since she was in the sex industry, her symptoms were those of drug use. The delay of proper care meant her condition worsened, and she couldn’t work. Like other self-employed Americans, Alexander doesn’t have sick days, and friends who were helping care for her set up a fundraising page on GiveForward to raise money for her.

GiveForward is a WePay-powered site where people can set up medical fundraisers. WePay came across tweets from Alexander’s friends offering adult materials in exchange for donations to Alexander’s fundraiser (yes, a payment processor was monitoring a user’s social media). They decided that this qualified as accepting payments for prohibited pornographic materials and shut down the fundraiser. Kitty Stryker, one of Alexander’s friends who set up the initial fundraiser, wrote about it here.

And then they experienced the wrath of Sex Worker Twitter and that of some allies with large follower bases. Coverage of the incident showed up on Gawker and The Rumpus, in blog posts by feminists and sociologists. Thanks to Molly Crabapple’s strong influence across Geek Twitter, Patton Oswalt tweeted about it. By Saturday afternoon, WePay had issued an official statement about the Alexander fundraiser, giving as their reason the offering of adult materials as rewards, and offering to help her restart her campaign. They did not mention if they would shut it down again if, say, a friend of Alexander’s, maybe another adult performer, offered a video or a photograph to someone who donated. This is something out of the control of a person who starts a fundraiser, although the founder of WePay said just the fact that Alexander retweeted those unasked-for incentives implicated her in a hypothetical exchange of funds for porn.

Pay Your Damn Taxes: Happy Tax Day!

just file

Happy Tax Day! I don’t know why we got an extra day after Sunday to file, but it’s not like it made a difference for me, because I thankfully have an accountant handling my mess. If you are a sex worker who is maybe confused about how to handle filing, how to determine if you’re an employee or self-employed, or why you should file at all if you’re paid entirely in cash, please look at our post from last year, “Five Reasons Sex Workers File Their Damn Taxes.”

Melissa Gira Grant spoke to Buzzfeed about sex workers and taxes.

We’ve had a series of posts about how strip club owners have been tripped up by failing to pay their damn taxes.

Here’s a post by Story about her helpful accountant.

And here’s one I wrote about my own tax issues.

You might like to check out the Tax Domme, who is very knowledgeable about the industry.

Strip and Grow Rich also provides helpful tax advice for strippers.

If you’re on the fence about filing or nervous because you haven’t filed in the past, it’s really not as scary as you think. And it’s definitely better to deal with it yourself than to be made to deal with it down the road. Please feel free to post any tax-related questions in the comments and we’ll be happy to give you our (totally not professional and completely informal because we are not tax professionals et cetera) thoughts.

Quote of the Week

I never allowed myself to depend on one client entirely . They had to understand that their money was not the commodity—I was the commodity, and they could only buy access to me if I was willing to grant them the transaction.

Arden Leigh about her time as a pro-domme in The New Rules of Attraction

New York Court Rules 4-3 Lap Dances Not Exempt Artistic Performances, Can Be Taxed

image via google

Albany strip club Nite Moves challenged a 2005 audit by claiming that lap dances were exempt from taxation, just as ballet performances are (I wrote about some of the sillier commentary inspired by the case). Their appeal wound up in front of the New York Court of Appeals, and today they ruled against the club, 4-3. From the decision*:

Clearly, it is not irrational for the Tax Tribunal to decline to extend a tax exemption to every act that declares itself a “dance performance.” If ice shows presenting pairs ice dancing performances, with intricately choreographed dance moves precisely arranged to musical compositions, were not viewed by the Legislature as “dance” entitled a tax exemption, surely it was not irrational for the Tax Tribunal to conclude that a club presenting performances by women gyrating on a pole to music, however artistic or athletic their practiced moves are, was also not a qualifying performance entitled to exempt status. To do so would allow the exemption to swallow the general tax since many other forms of entertainment not specifically listed in the regulation will claim their performances contain tax-exempt rehearsed, planned or choreographed activity.