fun with language
From Laura Agustin’s Twitter: â€œYou are living in the kind of world in which there are digital harems of prostitutes, available and pushed upon every single population”
It wouldn’t be much fun to push unavailable prostitutes on every single population, now would it? “Every single population” is not defined and I wish it were. There are so many populations that prostitutes aren’t interested in (children, prison inmates, the sick, the homeless, Congress).
Laura has a series of Tweets exploring the zealous anti-prostitution rhetoric and its very creative usage of language. I would have never come up “digital harems” no matter how long I write about sex work (yes, I’m jealous). Even better, the sermon she quotes was delivered by a preacher in Ft. Worth! Eros Dallas has a new slogan in the bag.
I missed this on Twitter but really enjoyed the recap. Sex workers discuss the concept of giving it away with the same arguments tossed at us because we charge for it. While people can always say “It’s smart to charge for it,” when have you ever heard someone say “It’s smart to give it away.” An entire self-help genre is built on the very idea of not giving it away! These books encourage women to hold out for something, whether it’s a wedding ring, gifts or whatever. But the end result is always offering sex in exchange for something the woman wants. Technically, that’s not giving it away! Which begs the question, is there anyone who really gives it away? Or are they just deluded? Is “giving it away” actually part of the old joke to which the punchline is “Now we’re just negotiating on price.”
Two porn actors have recently tested positive for HIV. There is lots of talk about mandatory condom use on set. Most porn actors who have spoken to the media are against it.
The only other legal sex-for-money system in the US are the Nevada brothels. Like porn, they regularly test for STIs, though the brothel I worked for did not test for herpes and Hepatitis C. Porn does not test for herpes and Hep C. Porn is ramping up to a 2-week testing cycle, brothel testing is weekly. Brothels have mandatory condom use. Porn’s condom usage is all over the place. Condoms are a regular sight in gay porn but not mandatory. In heterosexual porn, some companies require condom usage, some leave it to the discretion of the performer and some seem not to give the performer a choice. Unlike porn, where the actors go home after work, about half of NV’s brothels are lockdown.
Why are legal prostitutes regulated to the nth degree but legal porn actors are not?
anti-porn parenting tips
A porn actress found Jesus and now finds Jesus for others. She provides helpful hints for parents as to why their little girls might become a porn actress. She and I agree that bad parenting (especially abuse), contributes to problems. She almost gets it in #4, except she decides to define prostitution vs pornography (in order to let everyone know she’s not a prostitute), instead of focusing on the fact that juvenile prostitution is nearly always caused by abusive parents or parents who have kicked their children out of their home. I’ve said it for years: underage prostitution could be eradicated almost entirely by focusing the law on abusive parents and having more readily available resources for abused or homeless children. (This would also remove underage trafficking and lots of people would be out of well-paying jobs and grant money.)
I’ve finally gotten all my stuff out of storage. The greatest joy has been unpacking my books. Legal Tender was bought in Vegas a few months before I set off traveling. It sat in my “read” pile until it was boxed up. Now that I’m working through my unread books, here it is.
First, my disclaimer. I’m personally prejudiced against the whole idea of brothels as practiced in the US. Giving 50% of my money from every booking to someone just for the privilege of renting a one-star hotel room doesn’t sit well with me. Being told what to do doesn’t work for me either (ask any former boyfriend about that). I’m a control-freak about my working environment and brothels go out of their way to wrest control from the girls working there. Then there’s the whole being-an-employee-without-the-legal-benefits, i.e. Nevada brothel-style “independent-contractor” status that’s accorded to the working girls. If I’m going to work within a heavily-regulated legal system then I want my legal benefits retained. The book looks at a lockdown brothel, so that’s what I’m going to be discussing here.
Rebuttal to my disclaimer is that I personally know several girls who have worked as indies and in Nevada brothels who thoroughly enjoyed their brothel experiences (though most still dislike the flouting of legal employee status and most were in non-lockdown brothels). They were happy with the money they made, happy with their working environments, happy with the brothel customers and overall have a positive impression of working within the strict bounds of their chosen brothels. I do not know any who worked in the brothel I did and had a positive experience. There is that.
I picked up my copy of Legal Tender when I attended a presentation given by the author Laraine Russo Harper. I said nothing, clapped at the end and purchased my book. I disagreed with a lot of what she said but I hadn’t read her book yet. So now I have.
In case people arenâ€™t aware, Nevada brothels work on a system of bells. Thereâ€™s the doorbell that people ring to get in. Thereâ€™s the lineup bell (long, loud, clanging) and thereâ€™s the mingle bell (two or three short clangs). Mingle is no lineup, but a customer in the bar who is fair game. We usually ignore the mingle bell, unfortunately for the lineup-shy guys.
When Iâ€™m lying down, attempting to sleep, the doorbell awakens me (as itâ€™s meant to); the lineup bell is a nuisance and impossible for me to sleep through. Iâ€™m a light sleeper; Iâ€™m sure some girls arenâ€™t. Even when awake, the bells make me jump, as I guess theyâ€™re meant to.
Though everyoneâ€™s shift is officially 1pm-1am, weâ€™re really on call around the clock anytime weâ€™re there. Yes. My sleep schedule is destroyed and Iâ€™m spending a lot of time taking terribly interrupted naps.