Hey friend! Are you, by any chance, a supporter of free speech? If you are here, I should sure hope so. Do you read, post, write reviews, or maybe just lurk on any boards? If you do, keep reading. If you don’t, know that this could severely impact me and all of my colleagues that you enjoy spending time with so you should keep reading anyway. Plus, free speech. As so many of you know, I have a big mouth. Some of my views are distinctly unpopular. But, just like you, I have the right to express them. Let’s keep it that way.
Briefly and from the EFF Action website:
“There’s a new bill in Congress that would threaten your right to free expression online. If that weren’t enough, it could also put small Internet businesses in danger of catastrophic litigation.”
Don’t let the name fool you: the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) wouldn’t help punish sex traffickers. What it would do is expose the Internet content platforms that we all rely on every day to the risk of overwhelming criminal and civil liability for their actions.
SESTA would erode one of the most important laws protecting free expression online. Under current law, an intermediary (like a social media platform or a message board) can’t be held legally responsible for the content created by its users for purposes of enforcing certain laws affecting speech online.
SESTA would extend more criminal and civil liability for sex trafficking to content platforms, thus making opening or running such a platform an extremely dangerous venture. The law would affect any company, organization, or individual that hosts content created by someone else on the Internet: social media sites, photo and video-sharing apps, newspaper comment sections, and even community mailing lists. Small Internet startups would become vulnerable to extremely costly legal threats. So would web platforms run by nonprofit and community groups, which serve as invaluable outlets for free expression and knowledge sharing.”
Please copy and paste the link below to automatically send emails to all your reps. Simply enter your name/address and it will contact your representatives with a strongly worded email demanding they NOT support this bill. It takes approximately 15 seconds to do. Thank you!!
There’s no point in prevaricating: I am unbelievably lucky! I lead a charmed life. In May I hosted my 11th party. Eleven! And it was incredible. Wait, let me try that again: INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! Every party has a star and this one was no exception. One gentleman -let’s call him…. Chuck- brought a chin cock. Don’t know what a chin cock is? I didn’t either until he showed up with one. Nor did many of the ladies. (Google it!) Chuck was the absolute star of the party!! At one point there was a line of ladies snaking down the side of the couch he was reclining on, all waiting for their turn to ride the chin cock. It was so great!! Imaginary snapshots of moments like that fill my imaginary Hall of Fame. Which may be the dirtiest, most lascivious Hall of Fame ever….
The month following a party is usually quiescent. Not this year: June marked the inaugural party in Vancouver. Verona and Catherine are amazing and did a stellar job putting that event together!! It was my first trip to Canada so it only makes sense I went up there for an orgy!!! To keep up the excitement in July, just a couple of days ago, I sent out the ‘Save the Date’ for the September party. I’m pretty meticulous (my spreadsheets have spreadsheets) so as I was putting together info for the Sept party, I realized that the darned thing is thisclose to being sold out. I haven’t even sent the official invite yet!! Don’t get me wrong, if this is the only thing I have to cavil about, life is so very good! There was a moment where I reflected on how much these parties have grown over the last couple years. It makes my heart glow and my panties wet!
Did you know that a couple of the gentlemen arrested in the john-shaming, hubris-filled, and exaggerated TRB arrests have chosen to fight back? Instead of allowing the Seattle prosecutor’s office to streamroll them with threats of additional charges and being put on the sex offenders registry(???? For writing a review of an hour between two consenting adults!), these brave souls have lawyered up and are ready to fight. Here’s the thing: it’s expensive. We would like them to know the community is here both in spirit and monetarily. Please see the note below to find out how you can contribute. If you are not comfortable donating online, I am happy to meet up with you to pick up a donation, ensure it gets to the right hands, and that you remain completely anonymous. The results of these cases could impact our community tremendously. Please read and please, please, please help if you are able. Thank you!!!
You’ve read about Seattle’s Review Board cases in our December 13 and 14 “News and Updates” posts, and Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s articles in Reason magazine about the serial arrests of men who posted online notes about consenting call girls and are now being charged with “promoting prostitution” – a felony.
Now you can do something about this! You can contribute to the defense of two of these defendants who have bravely refused to settle with the prosecutors and have chosen to stand and fight.
Copy/paste the link below to learn more, and to contribute whatever you’re able to their defense:
Give to the Review Board defense
It brings me tremendous joy to turn your attention a website. A website that is concomitantly very special and long past due. www.sexworkclients.org. As many of the workers in the erotic labor industry have mobilized over the past decade, there has been a silence that is nothing short of deafening from our clientele (with rare few exceptions – thank you, Chester Brown).
The myriad reasons for this silence are obvious. The ignominy heaped on clients is real. There is prescious little the DAs office in Seattle seems to love more than so-called “john-shaming”…. even if said activity results in death (RIP Tahoe Ted). While some changes are, naturally, evolutionary, the majority are revolutionary. We, collectively, must instigate change. Just last year the wording of the law in WA state was changed from “patronizing a prostitute” to “sexual exploitation.” That change from something that sounds innocuous (and 95% of the time is between two consenting adults and is harmless) to something that sounds deplorable was calculated. Sexual exploitation dovetails nicely into the prurient narrative that anti’s are resolutely feeding the masses. To speak plainly: it’s time for this shit to stop.
Just like people that work in the sex industry are mothers/fathers, neighbors, PTA members, artists, writers, GoT fans, etc.; clients are brothers/sisters, soccer coaches, accountants, friends, hikers, bikers, etc. People are just people. Buying my time doesn’t make you more or less of a contributing member of society. I, and my colleagues, would greatly appreciate if you used your voice to help us instigate change. You can even do it anonymously. It’s time.
This is a little late but I felt it was still relevant so I wanted to post it. This past 4th of July, I took some time off. Though I’m in the midst of planning my next party, sometimes a bit of reflection is good. I’m not a huge fan of the 4th (we celebrate the annihilation of indigenous cultures and our history of depredation and violence in the US by blowing stuff up – how poetic), I am a fan of cultural freedom. While there are many wrongs that we still need to right, I wholly support whatever societal pluralism allows me to live and work here in Seattle in relative peace. While I will never stop fighting for decrim, having the autonomy to work, play, live in my color-outside-the-lines lifestyle is a freedom I do not take for granted.
There needs to be comity between police and sex workers. The question is: how can we achieve it? The current situation is based on fear. Within the sex industry, there is a long history of abuse and extortion by police. There are many wonderful police officers out there. There are also officers that use their badge as a shield for deplorable behavior. Historically, the relationship between police and sex workers has been contentious, at best. It has led current sex workers to avoid the police at all costs. Because of this, predators target sex workers because they can operate with autonomy and impunity in this community (see the Green River Killer). This must stop.
Several sex workers affiliated with SWOP-Sacremento developed a draft of an immunity agreement that will protect sex workers that have had crimes committed against them in going to the police. It affords them immunity from arrest for prostitution so police can focus on the greater crime – be it sexual assault, battery, etc. SWOP-Seattle has obtained a copy of this draft. I am really happy to be part of a team working on re-writing it for Seattle. Sex workers deserve the same rights as any other people. And if they are robbed or raped, they should have the same ability for criminal redress as anyone else.
In Toni Mac’s amazing TED talk, “The Laws Sex Workers Really Want” there is one line that resonated with me. She queries (I’m paraphrasing here): the questions isn’t: do you want your daughter to be a sex worker? The question is: if your daughter is working in the sex industry tonight, what can we do to keep her safe?
An immunity agreement isn’t about whether sex work is right or wrong. It isn’t about legalizing or decriminalizing sex work. It is about keeping people safe. And I truly hope that the politicians, police officers, and people of Seattle will agree that keeping people safe is a priority not to be ignored.
Yesterday afternoon when Maggie McNeill showed me the cover for this Sunday’s New York Times magazine, I had tears in my eyes. I was SO proud of my amazing friends, co-workers, and activist allies, standing proud on the cover of the motherfucking New York Times magazine. Maggie, Jade Thunderstorm, Endza, Kristen DiAngelo, Sadie, Olivia Fyre, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Bea, Savannah Sly… I’m probably forgetting a few people but my heart damn near exploded. (I also had a moment where I cursed my travel schedule that had me in New York when they were photographing here and here when they were photographing in New York.) Isn’t it amazing that all these sex workers have two arms, two legs, a head…. I mean they look like normal people. In fact, they are normal people. Insane, right?? I know there are some evangelical christians and abolitionists whose heads just exploded.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, go here right now:
You back? Good. The article isn’t perfect but it is as close to perfect as we’ve gotten in any major publication to date. There is one pretty important thing I would be remiss if I didn’t mention. None of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for one very out-spoken and determined dominatrix named Mistress Matisse. She was the fire behind getting this story done and major, major kudos to her for getting it done right.
According to research by reason.com, of the 2,515 Federal investigations into human trafficking from 2008-2010, only 6% led to arrests. This leads me to wonder: what kind of funding was appropriated for this utter failure of a venture? How many millions (and millions) of tax payer dollars were wasted by federal agents chasing their tails?
It also leads me to wonder how this money could have been more propitiously distributed…. Our country is trillions of dollars in debt, schools are drastically underfunded, and many federal employees are on a pay freeze. Yet the government seems to feel it is acting in good stead to run in circles screaming about “the children, the children”!!! You know, those MILLIONS of kids taken from every neighborhood in America that no one has ever been able to find despite multi-year, multimillion dollar search efforts. The ones that are then chained to a radiator somewhere and forced to have sex with 40-50 men a day…but that no one ever hears from nor finds again. As in there is not a single survivor out there of these millions that is willing to come forward to work with authorities to stop this massive scale trafficking ring?!?! I will reiterate here that I find anyone coerced into sex work against their will abhorrent – no matter their age. But isn’t it time we acknowledge that there are some discrepancies in the numbers put forth by abolitionists (the same people that run their non-profits made possible by donations they garner by peddling tragedy porn)?
There has been SO much media coverage lately about the sex industry. Everything from the Rentboy raid to the CEASE Network to increased funding for End Demand. Seattle recently received $1.5 million to fight the very nebulously defined “trafficking.”. Just a day or so ago, Time Magazine published an article focusing on End Demand statagem (http://time.com/sex-buyers-why-cops-across-the-u-s-target-men-who-buy-prostitutes/). In a horrifying tact, they talked to police from one of the most repellant departments in the US – Cook Country in Chicago. This is home to (play Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries here) the The Infamous Tom Dart.
In the brief accompanying video, I came across a woman speaking that absolutely blew my mind. She stated, “One day God sent an angel in handcuffs to rescue me.” Now please keep in mind, this woman was not a 12-year old immigrant being kept in a basement chained to a radiator that spoke not a word of English. She is an African-American adult woman that had a serious of abusive boyfriends she later termed as “pimps.” Since I don’t know her full story, I am in no position to pass judgment. However, a couple questions do come to mind. First, as an adult woman seemingly capable of making informed, coherent decisions, if she wasn’t happy working in the sex industry, why didn’t she stop? And, second, I can understand the cyclical, unhealthy nature of an abusive relationship. It is always easy for spectators to say, well why didn’t you just leave? I empathize. It isn’t always that easy. In harmful relationships, there are almost always multiple forms of abuse. Be it physical and verbal, or verbal and psychological… Or, all of the above. One caught in the web, having no confidence, no money, and no place to go, it can seem like you are stuck with no options. It is terrible, but it happens. What I question is that she mentions a string (which I interpreted to be more than three though I do not have enough information to say this as a fact). That, to me, is a bit suspect. If this woman was so unhappy in the sex industry, why was she going from relationship to relationship dating guys forcing her to work? There is something off about her story.
Even more troublesome is the idea that she was “rescued” by an “angel in handcuffs.” Oddly, my own interactions with ladies that have been arrested in the sex industry (and, thankfully, I have no first-hand knowledge), is that the experience is uniformly negative. It varies from cops being insulting/degrading to physically abusive all the way to officers demanding and claiming to be entitled to sexual gratification because the these woman are just whores anyway. Moving beyond that, once arrested, I don’t know anyone that claims jail is an outstanding experience they can’t wait to repeat…although I suppose this country’s sky high recidivism rates would indicate jail does have it’s appeal. Nevertheless, women that have been arrested for prostitution then face social stigma, familial issues, and then, should they leave the sex industry, have the anchor around their neck of applying for any job in the future with a prostitution charge on their record. Not exactly the stuff of angels.
As many of you have heard by now, my friend and neighbor, Jae, was in a horrible hit-and-run motorcycle accident. She is currently is in critical condition at what is possibly the worst, most ass-backwards hospital in the US located in rural Idaho. As so many know, Jae is Seattle’s charming woman, she is our bobkatgirl… She is the brightest star is our universe and brings laughter, light, and love wherever she goes. And she needs your help. Jae’s partner, Maggie McNeill is with her. Ground control team Mistress Matisse and Savannah Sly are managing to keep everyone updated and giving Maggie the breathing room she needs to deal with her sudden relocation to be by Jae’s side and all the medical bullshit that goes with an accident of this magnitude. A gofundme page has been started to help Jae. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Jae is going to need help paying back medical bills that will be staggering, she needs to be moved back to Seattle where her extensive and loving support system is located, she is going to need help getting back o her feet (literally and figuratively)… if you can help, please go to: http://www.gofundme.com/bobkatgirl The last thing I want to do is pressure people to give when they are not comfortable doing so. However, if you are, and have $10, $20, or $100 you could spare, this is a woman who very much needs it. She has given so much too so many people; let us take this opportunity to give back.