Dear NY City Council,

Shutting down advertizing puts both consensual sex workers and victims of third parties out on the street.  It doesn’t help anyone.  If anything, advertizing provides a record for LE if the victim wants to report (if LE would actually help victims instead of arresting everyone, like they do most of the time).

I recently reported my trafficker or whatever you want to call him to the cops.  Despite it having been several years ago (more than five), I saved an old email I had sent Craigslist about it (this was before Erotic Services got shut down and all they did was take the ads down), but it had information about him and his email in it, from which we found a web presence eventually leading to his name, address, and date of birth.  The statute of limitations has run out on the actual pimping or whatever (which I think is fucked up) but they are going to investigate his current activities and try to build a case against him that way.  I hope they don’t arrest or sleep with any sex workers or trafficking victims in the process, because I was actually hoping to do more good than harm with reporting him.

In any case, I hated to see Erotic Services shut down for all the reasons I mentioned above.  Even if it put him out of business, which I doubt, because of all the collateral harm from the sex workers and trafficking victims undoubtedly put out on the street.  Same with Backpage.

Please, don’t.





I saw this question posted (retweeted) from somewhere on Twitter a week or so ago, and I’ve been meaning to talk about it.

You see this kind of question pop up a lot in various ways – replace “sex worker” with “trans woman” or “bisexual” or “socialist” or whatever and you still have basically the same question, which always reads to me like “Would you date [insert subsection of humanity that I, the asker, can’t imagine anyone (normal) wanting to date]? Be honest. I want you to confirm my prejudices and/or titilate me with your bizarre sexual proclivities”.

Because you don’t typically see people asking “Would you date an electrician/admin assistant/high-school teacher/dentist? Why or why not? Be honest. I’m curious.”
Because none of those professions comes with an entire baggage-train of social stigmas that presume the people working in those fields are sub-standard, or even sub-human – that they…

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Very true. There’s a whole spectrum in what people are earning.

The Anti- Sex Trafficking Movement and the Sex Workers Rights Movement Need to Work Together

First, I will address the anti- sex trafficking movement:

  • The fight against trafficking would be greatly aided by the decriminalization of prostitution.

Some trafficking victims have co-workers who do not identify as trafficking victims, who would be better able to help their co-workers escape exploitative situations if they were not at risk of arrest as a result of doing sex work.  Same with customers; if they did not fear arrest it would be easier for them to help those who disclose that they are in exploitative situations escape them.

  • The fight against trafficking would also be aided by the destigmatization of prostitution.  Furthermore, no sex worker or trafficking victim deserves the hate and shame that is dealt out to sex workers in this world.

Trafficking victims are often perceived as sex workers, or may even belong to both groups of people at different times in their lives, and neither group deserves that stigma.  The hate and shame keeps the industry underground as well, and makes it more difficult for sex workers to openly work to help people in exploitative situations.

  • Arresting sex workers and human trafficking victims is traumatic and a violation.

Trafficking victims are often arrested multiple times without ever being identified as trafficked.  Arrest is (or can be) traumatic for both sex workers and trafficking victims, and neither group does anything to deserve that.

  • The funding of raids causes more harm than good.

Raids are especially traumatic and are often accompanied by human rights abuses.  They lead to the arrest and deportation of both sex workers and trafficking victims who are not identified as trafficked.  Both sex workers and trafficking victims are treated as criminals.  Furthermore, many sex trafficking victims escape on their own or with the help of someone they know.  Even those who do not escape this way may have left if they knew they had somewhere to go.  Funding shelters, making the shelters safe (as shelter systems often aren’t) and funding good, voluntary social service outreach programs would be a more effective method of fighting trafficking and would have fewer unintended negative consequences than raids.

Next I will address the sex workers rights movement:

  • Trafficking is a horrendous crime.  Nobody should be subject to that kind of violation, and all decent people should work to end that suffering.

This one kind of goes without saying.

  • People in the anti-trafficking movement are capable of being great allies.

GAATW, many member organizations, and other organizations are already supportive of sex workers rights, for many of the reasons I have given above.  Other organizations may come around.

  • The anti-trafficking movement is relatively well-funded and is given quite a bit of public support.

Not only can those in the anti-trafficking movement be great allies, they are relatively powerful ones.

In short, we can better accomplish all our goals by working together.

Nothing About Us Without Us

This is coming from a Harvard administrator.  And as far as I know she is not someone who has any experience doing porn.  I don’t trust calls for changing your buying patterns that don’t come directly from the workers in the industry.  You may not be doing people the favor that you think you are.  That said, if there was worker support I’d be behind it.  And as someone who has done skeezy amateur porn, and been taken advantage of by skeezy amateur pornographers, maybe even support it.

Pickton and the humanity of sex worker victims

Except for the phrase “prostituted women” (which I have never heard anyone involved in sex work or the sex trade use, just anti-prostitution academics and their lackeys), this is actually a very good post.  Sex workers are human, sex workers deserve love and respect, sex workers deserve freedom from violence.

Sex work is to sex trafficking as sex is to rape.

I read that somewhere and I think it’s a really apt comparison.  Both sex trafficking and rape can include various degrees of coercion but any degree of coercion is wrong.  Sex work and sex are both things that one should never force another person into–and they become horrible, traumatic violations when one does–but they are not bad things for a person in and of themselves.  Both sex trafficking and rape require you to be the perfect innocent victim to be believed by society, and society sees all the perpetrators as monsters, probably of color, who kidnap young girls from shopping malls, which is not accurate.  And so on.