Home The Week in Links The Week In Links – April 5th

The Week In Links – April 5th


A  Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee member uses a device for detecting fake currency, made available to sex workers to check their clients' bills (Photo by BBC News)
A Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee member uses a device for detecting fake currency, made available to sex workers to check their clients’ bills (Photo by BBC News)

A Florida escort was arrested on charges of attempted murder for nearly biting her client’s penis off. It’s possible that this woman was just fulfilling a treasured universal sex worker fantasy, but I think it’s more likely there was an assault on the client’s part that we’re not hearing about.

Two teenage girls drowned in an attempt to escape a trafficking protection center in Thailand.

A bizarre French law that prohibited “passive solicitation”–which was defined as women wearing “revealing clothing” in “areas known for prostitution”–was overturned by the Senate. Now there’s some discussion of France adopting the Swedish model of criminalizing clients, which sex workers’ union Strass is opposing.

Maisonneuve attempts to parse a “fucked up paper maze” of new laws clamping down on migrant strippers coming to Canada.

Ontario street sex workers, represented by advocacy groups like the PACE society, are demanding a federal hearing by the Canadian Supreme Court, which will soon be deciding whether current laws criminalizing activity associated with prostitution are unconstitutional. They hope that their stories will influence the court to abolish these laws for good.

The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee is running a program to help Calcutta sex workers identify counterfeit bills.

Swedish police set up a dummy sex ad, then claimed the hundreds of people who responded were “more curious than interested in buying sex.” Yes, it was obviously an intellectual exercise for all of them.

A Canadian student was stopped at the border to the US twice during her travels,interrogated for hours without food or water, and ultimately refused entry because she was carrying condoms and lingerie. She was accused of being a sex worker and berated for committing adultery. Rabble.ca posted her personal account of the ordeal.

The French government came up with some paternalistic reasons not to pass a measure that would subsidize sex surrogates’ services for the disabled, which were insulting to both sex workers and disabled people: a national ethics council ruled that authorizing sex surrogates would “merchandise the human body” and could leave recipients “emotionally vulnerable.”

18 people were arrested in Egypt on suspicion of posting online ads for a phone sex line.

Dutch legislators are debating laws that would prosecute clients for not reporting suspicions that sex workers are abused or trafficked.  How about improving sex workers’ working conditions rather than putting pressure on consumers to regulate them? You know, like any other industry.

A recently passed bylaw bans brothels from the New Zealand town of Lyttelton. The reasoning behind this boils down to the usual whorephobic  sex panic and think-of-the-children rhetoric.

Another sporting event–the World Cup, this time–another opportunity for panic about trafficking.

Here’s more in-depth reporting about the cards being handed out to Vancouver’s survival sex workers informing them of their rights with the police. The cards, meant to simultaneously educate sex workers and hold police accountable, were created by Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV) and the Pivot Legal Society.

Vice asks sex workers how they would design the perfect condom.

An Australian man who murdered Wollongong sex worker Rebecca Apps with a tomahawk has been sentenced to at least 14 years in jail.

A Glasglow escort and rape survivor calls for the decriminalization of prostitution in Scotland in order for sex workers to be able to report attacks to the police without fear of arrest. The pseudonymous Molly is one of the organizers of the Sex Workers’ Open University’s Sex Workers’ Rights Conference,  organized in response to attempts to adopt the Swedish model in Scotland. Scottish sex worker and candidate Laurie Lee also argues against criminalization of clients in an op ed in the Independent.


  1. Oh the Canadian woman’s story of being harassed at the border makes my blood boil: “Are you looking to be sexually assaulted?…it sure seems like you are.” Um, I think she just was.

    • Yeah, that story was awful. Yet, I’m also kinda miffed by how much feminist attention this story is garnering, whereas the sort of ill treatment migrant sex workers get is glossed over.

  2. I did actually notice that the Maisionneuve article didn’t quote a single stripper, and as I keep explaining to people – the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada is not actually on our side. as someone who worked in strip clubs in the 90s when they handed out visas like birthday cards – the AEAC wants the stripper visa program for one reason – to attempt to glut a labour pool and exert downward pressure on working conditions – which was exactly the result.

    I have no strong feelings about sex workers working under the radar in different countries because in my experience the industry is pretty elastic and that is part of the point of the job – that you can, if you are inclined, move to Australia or Germany or Japan or Singapore and do the job there. That is major perk I really really loved, so I’m not about to say someone else is immoral because they are doing it. I also have no strong feelings about reducing immigration barriers – I totally approve. But I find it totally disgusting when the government and employer are complicit in temporarily importing workers who have limited rights of residency not because there is an actual shortage (a shortage of strippers. I guffaw all over the place) but because they want to provide worse and crappier working conditions. I find it disgusting when they do it with domestic workers, I find it disgusting when they do it with farmworkers, and I find it equally disgusting when they do it with strippers – slightly more so because it is totally inappropriate and an abuse of the visa program to bring someone in to freelance.

    If there is a “shortage” it is because your club sucks. Pay a stipend (like what clubs used to do) improve your marketing and the foreign strippers will show up illegally, without a visa, just like they do everywhere else.

  3. When I was travel stripping I crossed back and forth into Canada a couple times from the US though not to strip there. When asked about my occupation, I said stripper and it was not a problem going in. On the way out I claimed the cash I had but when they searched my truck/home they asked me about the wad of cash I had hidden and completely forgotten about. Then I told them I was a stripper again and they all laughed at me. Not horrible but not great.


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