thank you!

A quick and very belated note to thank everyone who donated to help Jill Brenneman. Serpent Libertine put this together and I thank her as well. She’s a tireless activist, no doubt busy compiling the data gathered from the Adult Industry Truth Survey. People donated to help Jill hit the goal we set for her, and then exceeded it. A few donations have come along after the fact and they’re always welcome. Jill’s Medicaid keeps getting cut and her medical expenses are large. She requires expensive medication and frequent doctor’s visits, almost all of which has been paid out of pocket. Her doctors help when they can but the state is working hard to cut benefits. All of this is to say that every dollar is appreciated.

help an activist

My longtime friend Jill Brenneman is in dire need of financial help due a terminal medical condition. I’ve mentioned Jill on here now and again. She was part of SWOP-East and has an unusual history. Part of that history can be read at Sex Workers Without Borders, part of that over at Bound, not Gagged and part of it over at Maggie McNeill’s blog.

Jill has made the incredible journey from sex trafficking victim, to anti-prostitution activist, to sex worker rights activist. She is responsible for bringing many sex workers into activism (including me). She’s a living example of the harm our current laws cause to both trafficking victims and sex workers. She’s had a long speaking career, engaging and challenging her audiences, often opening minds.

Now she is slowly dying and needs our help. Her needs are simple but necessary. We’ve started a fundraising campaign for her at Indiegogo. Anything you can contribute helps. Any way you can pass this along to others helps. Anything that can be done to ease her suffering helps. The fund-raising goal is modest and if we can exceed it, so much the better. It goes to making what’s rest of her life that much easier.

In her own words, below, she fully explains her medical condition. There is no cure. Though she has Medicare, they take every opportunity to deny her coverage and she has co-pays for all of her health care, which is extensive right now. Obviously, she cannot work in any capacity. She can barely stand up and walk.

I’ve been watching her degrade since April and in mid-May she received her terminal diagnosis. I’ve done what I can to help her but I’m one person and live far from her. Thank you in advance for helping my friend.

Read more

two conversations about rape

I’ve been trying to fit these two conversations into some sort of context since they occurred but there really isn’t one. What I’m about to relate isn’t going to be news to any female readers and likely will echo sentiments that some male readers believe. All I can say is that both of these conversations made an impression. Not always a good thing.

Read more

just add water

“Ode to Instant Gratification” by Guerilla Haiku Movement, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Reading a self-help book that I unpacked (back when I was unpacking my stored stuff), I ran across the disparaging phrase “instant-gratification relationship,” which was lumped together with such things as drug abuse and alcoholism. Such relationships weren’t mentioned again in that book (which I have since donated). Looking online shows that some people use this phrase but not many.

What got me started was simply wondering what defines an instant-gratification relationship? Sex, apparently. There is no other definition, though there should be. Or maybe another euphemism should be chosen.

Of course this assumes the sole point to a “relationship” is sex. Naturally, one would expect my proud assertion that I’m in the professional instant-gratification business. That’s true…and not true. The relationships my clients (and those of many of my friends) yearn for are hardly instant, they require time to build.

Then I think about the traditional marriage, or even the traditional romantic relationship. Hardly instant-gratification by anyone’s standards. In fact, to hear the partners in these relationships speak about them — hardly any gratification at all. So what if I want instant-gratification from someone whom I’ve decided is going to be exactly that? They have every right to deny me gratification if it’s not for them and I have every right to find it elsewhere.

Read more

photographing food

“Interior of a Hong Kong Pizza Hut” by me

After reading Blake’s fun post on food photography, I’ve pondered just how much I’ve photographed my meals.

That would be once: for StuffSexWorkersEat. Not only did I forget to take my camera to breakfast several days in a row, when I did finally bring it, I forgot not to eat my food before taking the momentous picture. A food photographer I am not. I felt even more furtively creepy taking pictures of my unsuspecting, innocent meal than I do taking pictures of people who willingly pose for my camera.

I have photographed a few menus, like at the mango dessert shop and Pizza Hut, both in Hong Kong. I’ve sometimes taken pictures of the interior of a restaurant, for various reasons. But the food? I just eat it.

The first time I ate at Enso Kitchen I wished I had brought my camera, but my friend kindly took photos with her phone and later emailed them to me so I could have a memory of that meal. Honestly, every meal there was photo-worthy, but I never again asked for documentation.

Read more