Going down in the downturn

More women are turning to sex work in a bad economy. Does it beat working at McDonald’s?

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Editor’s note: “Pinched” is a series about life during a recession.

Jun. 22, 2009 |

“Boob play,” “pics of kitty,” “topless housecleaning” and “hypno role play.” The list, scribbled in a lined yellow notebook, is followed by a double-underlined figure: $725.

It’s 9 a.m. on a Friday and 30-year-old Marie is sitting on her couch clad in Donald Duck pajamas, munching on buttered toast and staring at her cellphone like she can will it to ring. If someone calls in response to the ad she posted this morning on Craigslist, she can add $75 to her projected income for the month. Continue reading


Vancouver: Murder charges laid in suspected condo brothel stabbing

Monday, June 22, 2009

The city’s 14th homicide occurred during the robbery of a “defacto brothel” in a Yaletown highrise, said police Monday as they announced the arrest of two suspects.

Justin Lam and Derick Chin Wai Wong, both 20-year-old Vancouver residents, are scheduled to appear in provincial court Tuesday, charged in the June 11th stabbing death of Jeffrey Qi Feng Bian.

Lam is charged with first-degree murder and Wong is charged with manslaughter in Bian’s death. Both are also charged with robbery, unlawful confinement and using an imitation firearm in an indictable offence. Continue reading

RI: Sex workers testify at Senate hearing on prostitution bill

10:23 AM EDT on Monday, June 22, 2009

By Lynn Arditi
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — An Asian woman who said she works in a “spa” took the witness stand in a Senate hearing room Thursday night and asked why lawmakers want to outlaw indoor prostitution.

The woman, who identified herself only as “Jul,” wore jeans and an Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirt. Her long, highlighted hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She said she is 31 and is supporting two children and a sister. The money she earns serving men –– construction workers, judges, lawyers –– who are “depressed or who just can’t meet girls” is more than the $7 an hour she could earn, she says, with no education working a “normal job.” Continue reading