The U.S. State Department has denied allegations from a former department investigator who claimed top officials tried to halt or delay several potentially damaging investigations into prostitutions and drugs.
Aurelia Fedenisn, the whistle-blowing former investigator, also claimed that when the department’s Office of Inspector General tried to expose the interference in the report, the language was scrubbed.
Adobe Photoshop, along with all other Creative Suite applications, just made a move to the cloud. Adobe decided to discontinue software you can actually buy so they can force you to rent the applications for a monthly fee.
A misreading of the verdict in an upsetting Texas case has gone viral, since Gawker claimed: “Texas Says It's OK to Shoot an Escort If She Won't Have Sex With You.” Texas law does not say that, and the jury didn’t either. This story looks very different depending on if you are looking at the law or the reporting.
While laws vary from state to state, prostitution in some form is legal throughout the nation. But sex work is not included among the approved professions eligible for entry under the 457 visa. The Australian Sex Workers Association, also known as the Scarlet Alliance, wants to change that.
A Salon article published today outlines the extent to which Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom there is generally no love lost among the perennially liberal, actually finds common ground with left-leaning SCOTUS colleagues when it comes to a “raft” of Fourth Amendment cases.
The Fourth Amendment, for those who have forgotten, reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Gracie Passette's insight:
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Client demand for unprotected sex is contributing to the HIV epidemic among female sex workers, according to Canadian research published in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Investigators in Vancouver found that approximately three-quarters of sex workers were offered more money by clients for sex without a condom and that 19% accepted this money. Transgender women were more likely to accept extra money for unsafe sex, as were women who experienced client violence and users of methamphetamine.
It’s not a question of time, nor is it a question of money; it’s really a question of discretion. My work requires so much secrecy. I keep secrets for my safety, for my co-workers’ safety, and for the protection of the men who pay us. I don’t write under my real name because I don’t want to incur the wrath of the law. I can never be entirely truthful because so much of what I do is at least legally dubious, if not downright illegal. Saying too much could absolutely ruin my co-workers, my clients, and even myself.
I wish this wasn’t true. Telling true stories of the ho life to a wide audience and showing that sex workers are not the flamingos stock photos portray us as, but are actually real people who stand on two legs and have normal lives is one of the things that will gradually bring us greater acceptance. Being unable to speak openly and freely does no favors for us.
The idea that sex workers are ‘used’ or that their bodies are commodities is a fallacy. But many feminists use this argument to claim that sex work is degrading, anti feminist, commodifies women or is harmful to them. Moralists (who are sometimes indistinguishable from the radical feminists) use the argument to justify looking down on sex workers or pitying them because they’re “degraded”. The radfem myths of ‘false consciousness’ and sexworkers’ lack of agency are also heavily dependent on seeing them as used bodies, as sex slaves.
But if you think that sex workers are used by clients, that idea is actually made up of several patriarchal ideas about gender and gender rules.
Today we are touring Bada Hutong, an area a half mile square that is just south of Tiananmen Square and was the Chinese capital’s red-light district from the time of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) until the communists took over in 1949. In its heyday, this warren of lanes housed more than 300 brothels and 700 opium dens.
There were whorehouses to cater for every taste and budget. In the fanciest, fresh-faced girls sang songs, poured tea and entertained men in much the way geishas do in Japan. These women’s bodies were not bought outright; instead, would-be suitors wooed them with gifts over time. For those leaving such places unsated, however, there were also spots where heavily perfumed and thickly made-up street-walkers openly sold sex.
If there’s a stigma around sex workers, it’s that we have placed them in a box of our own moral judgments, without really knowing anything about them.
What to make, then, of Lorelei Lee, who’s fluent in four languages, holds an MFA from NYU, writes poetry and screenplays, and references William Carlos Williams in herblog? Since emerging from the Kink.com dungeons (literally) more than a decade ago, she’s become not only a featured performer and director, but a poster child for the sex-positive aspects of the porn industry: she’s smart, literate, and firmly empowered by her choice to be a professional “pain slut.”
Lee is a natural choice for the documentary Public Sex, Private Lives, an engrossing film—screening at DocFest—which challenges our assumptions about porn and the women who choose it as both lifestyle and profession. Lee is one of three subjects in the film—the others are Princess Donna and Isis Love—who allow the camera to peer into where they are truly most vulnerable: not in their onscreeen nakedness, but in their offscreen lives.
Like most things in Brazil, prostitution is legal.
Sex work even has its own holiday — June 2nd was International Day of the Prostitute. To raise awareness about safe prostitution and to work against the stigma that surrounds the profession, Brazil recently launched an online campaign called "I'm happy being a prostitute." And then they quickly canceled it.
There are men out there who're turned on by the idea of their girlfriends/wives having sex with other men; some men are turned on by the idea of their girlfriends/wives being paid for sex. You're clearly one of those guys. And you're within your rights to share this information with your girlfriend and to try to convince her to return to sex work. Because your fantasies of sex work---of her doing sex work---turn you on. Again, that's fine. But you could make a more convincing case, PIMP, if you were better acquainted with the realities of sex work.
Fmr. dominatrix: 'My clients would pay me to enact role play scenes that they spent a lot of time fantasizing about'
Melissa Febos became a dominatrix at age 21 and worked in what she calls an upscale New York dungeon for four years.
She is the author of "Whip Smart," which chronicles her years as domineering mistress. She explained to HLN’s Dr. Drew what guys wanted from her.
“My clients would pay me to enact role play scenes that they spent a lot of time fantasizing about,” she said. “Most of these scenes involved me playing sort of an iconic female role -- either mommy, babysitter, cheerleader or the essential sort of dominatrix character with the thigh-high boots and the corset. But there was no sex and no nudity. It was really sort of a private acting job.”
She added, “Most [of my clients] were upper-middle class New York city residents -- a lot of stock brokers, probably because it is an expensive hobby to have, but they really sort of ran the whole spectrum. There were professors and doctors and police officers and just about everybody you can think of.”
Four decades on, women aren’t just admitting to having fantasies, they’re also writing them down and some are even becoming millionaires as a result. But have their fantasies changed or are we eroticising the same things as our mothers and grandmothers before us? Have the changes in society affected what we think about, and how we use our fantasies? How close is reality to fantasy now that the internet makes all manner of assignations infinitely easier than they were four decades ago? Do we accept our fantasies more now than before, or is there still a stigma about female fantasies? Are we making our dreams come true – or still keeping our real desires to ourselves for fear of being judged?
Cliterati founder, Emily Dubberley, is investigating this in her latest book. If you’d like to add your voice to it, please fill in one of the following surveys (you can skip any questions that you feel uncomfortable about regardless of the survey you choose.) Please elaborate on your fantasies as fully as possible.
AN ALLIANCE of sex workers are lobbying state MPs to support a legal bid to decriminalise prostitution.
Labor MP Steph Key has introduced a Bill to State Parliament which would decriminalise all forms of sex work for people aged over 18, make it illegal to discriminate against a sex worker and wipe clean past convictions.
Yesterday, members of the Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, SA South Australian Sex Industry Network and Sex Worker Action Group: Gaining Empowerment, Rights & Recognition joined forces to rally on the steps of Parliament.
A previous attempt to decriminalise sex work by Ms Key was rejected by one vote last November.
"This article focuses on the labor marginalization of black female performers within the pornography industry. Their representations and experiences as sex workers are shaped by a racialized and gendered sexual commerce where stereotypes, structural inequalities, and social biases are the norm. Black women are devalued as hyperaccessible and superdisposable in an industry that simultaneously invests in and ghettoizes fantasies about black sexuality. In light of feminist arguments against the victimization of women by pornography, I have attempted to show that black sex workers, while facing multiple axes of discrimination and harm, also employ hypersexuality and illicit eroticism to achieve mobility, erotic autonomy, and self-care."