Former Spearmint Rhino dancer sues club in labor dispute

By Scott Hadly (Contact)
Thursday, July 30, 2009

A former exotic dancer for the Spearmint Rhino in Oxnard has sued the adult nightclub chain in federal court, saying she and other dancers should be given rights as regular employees.

The woman, who is referred to in the suit as Jane Doe 2, is one of two women who say dancers at the company’s clubs in California and Nevada worked like regular employees but were treated like independent contractors.

“It’s commonly done in clubs,” said Hart Robinovitch, the women’s Arizona attorney. “They have them contract out their services, but under federal law if someone job matches the characteristics of an employee they are an employee.”

The two women are seeking back wages, tips, attorney fees and damages, but no amount is specified. Continue reading

German prostitutes defend ‘flat rate’ brothels

Reuters | 07/27/2009 3:37 PM

BERLIN – Prostitutes in Germany are fighting back against attempts by conservative politicians and some irate residents to stop popular “flat-rate” brothels.

Officials in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg launched moves to stop one brothel with a “flat-rate” fee system because they viewed it as inhumane for women to provide unlimited sexual services all day for a one-off 70 euros ($100) fee.

But a group of 77 prostitutes bought advertising space in two national dailies to argue that this was simply a ruse to get brothels banned altogether.

“Get off our backs — no ban on brothels with or without ‘flat rates’,” read the headline in the quarter-page adverts. Under the guise of ‘humane working conditions’, they are in reality plotting to ban brothels and threaten our livelihood.” Continue reading

German brothels’ offer: unlimited sex for flat rate

July 29, 2009

In Germany, where prostitution is legal, the global recession has pushed brothel operators to come up with this innovation: unlimited sex for a fixed price.

It’s prostitution’s take on all-you-can-eat dining.

The daytime rate is $100 for all the sex — as well as food and drink — that customers want between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. At night, the price rises to $150.

German brothel owners are trying to boost business that’s dropped by about 30 percent since the recession. They’ve also tried to entice customers with offers including 10 percent discounts for men who show up on a bicycle or who use public transportation.

Some German politicians don’t like it. “This is an outrageous violation of human dignity,” Heribert Rech, the Baden-Wurttemberg interior minister, told London’s Times Online.

“So-called flat-rate sex is an immoral development which cannot be tolerated in our society.”

See original at Chicago Sun Times

Congressman Attacks NIH Funding for Study on Prostitutes

July 24, 2009

Studies of sex workers and drug abusers are an easy target, and today a conservative member of Congress took pot shots at three such overseas projects—all part of the U.S.-funded effort to understand and halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA) was successful in stripping the relevant grant money from the House of Representatives bill that funds the National Institutes of Health.

Issa, who sponsored an amendment to kill the grants, criticized them as repetitive and wasteful—saying it isn’t necessary to buy a $9000 plane ride to Thailand to observe prostitutes’ behavior. (One of his targets was an NIH-funded Continue reading

Mommy does Dallas

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 14:09 PDT
From Salon’s Broadsheet

Here’s a knotty — and partly NSFW — saga from the city by the bay. Back in April, Matt Smith of the San Francisco Weekly revealed that California state government funding designed to make businesses more competitive had (long story short) gone to subsidize job training in multimedia technology — for the employees of, a pornography business that runs BDSM and other fetish-related websites. “California’s government has been subsidizing torture-based pornography,” Smith wrote.

“I choose to do porn. But I meet people a lot who have seen my asshole before looking in my eyes, and the exposure of my name truly made me feel scared.”

But that’s not the story! Smith’s piece — an arguably not-so-rich blend of reporting and opinion, which actually lost this funding — made a lot of people angry, including a Hollywood-based fetish and bondage model/dominatrix/actor/blogger known as Mz Berlin, who, along with her peers, took serious issue with Smith’s apparent conflation of consensual (if unconventional) sex with non-consensual abuse. Continue reading

SA: ‘Children used for sex’

July 08 2009 at 12:04PM
By Fouzia van der Fort

Children are being smuggled underground to have sex with illegal miners who live and work in disused mine shafts, says the director-general for the Department of Mineral Resources, Advocate Sandile Nogxina.

Nogxina was presenting a departmental report to a public hearing on illegal mining at parliament on Tuesday.

Johnny Ramrock, secretary for the portfolio committee of mining, told the Cape Argus this was the first the committee had heard of underground sex work involving children.

Last month 86 bodies were recovered after an underground fire broke out in Harmony Gold’s disused Eland Shaft at Welkom in the Free State. and more than 300 illegal miners were arrested. Continue reading

Child labor in Lebanon: A breakdown

Posted July 6th, 2009

Lebanon has the highest proportion of working kids aged 10 to 17 in the world, with over 100,000 children in the country who are victims of child labor and illicit trafficking. Rights groups say better coverage of the often misreported story could help inform people about the realities of child labor.

BEIRUT, July 6, 2009 (MENASSAT) — In Lebanon, there are over 100,000 children who are victims of child labor and illicit trade, vulnerable to exploitation and working in hazardous conditions. Lebanon has the highest proportion of working kids aged 10 to 17 in the world.

Omar is a 14 year-old shoe shiner from Syria. His hands, face and clothes are covered in dirt and he can sometimes be seen squatting in a corner on the sidewalk with a look of deep sadness.

Normally, he wanders up and down the different posh neighborhoods of Beirut, sometimes for eleven hours a day carrying a shoe cleaning kit while begging for clients. Continue reading

RIGHTS-SOUTH KOREA: Prostitution Thrives with U.S. Military Presence

By Zoltán Dujisin

SEOUL, Jul 7 (IPS) – With the presence of U.S. soldiers, flesh trade is flourishing near the Camp Stanley Camptown close to Seoul.

Since 1945, U.S. troops have been stationed in the Korean peninsula, with their current strength estimated to be 28,500. The country plunged into civil war between 1950 and 1953 and since then, U.S. troops have remained there, claiming to act as a deterrent against North Korea, the country’s communist neighbour. Prostitution in the region is a direct result of their presence, local observers say.

Russian and Chinese troops also had troops stationed on the Korean peninsula in the aftermath of the civil conflict, but “have since left the area while U.S. troops are still here, in almost 100 military bases,” Yu Young Nim, the head of a local non-governmental organisation which provides counseling, medical and legal care for sex workers, told IPS. Continue reading

Craigslist goes Stag

By Juliette Tang

Let’s face it: Craigslist’s new “Adult Services” listing is pretty much just like the old Erotic Services one, but with a new name, a higher price tag, more inconvenience, and no more nude photos. But there’s a new Web site coming to town that might change the face of online soliciting for good: Stagslist.

Unlike Craigslist, Stagslist publicly accepts its role in facilitating online sex work. Stagslist exists solely as an online listing of erotic and adult services and gigs, with the difference being no monitoring, no charge, and no personal verification. For some sex workers, the lack of verification on Stagslist (Craigslist currently requires a phone number, a credit card charge of $10, plus a working Craigslist account) will be liberating. Stagslist offers greater privacy and a forum to post whatever you want, because they won’t screen or modify your ads. And for other sex workers content with Craigslist’s verification system, who feel that it offers a barrier of protection between them and the outside world, Craigslist’s Adult Services listing will still be an option. Continue reading

TX: Busting brothels proves difficult

Despite residents’ complaints, Houston officers struggle to build cases and close illegal venues
Copyright 2009 Houston Chonicle
July 6, 2009, 11:11AM

Bart Jones remains frustrated that sexually oriented businesses, including illegal brothels, are open for business in his neighborhood after authorities closed a nearby strip club earlier this year.

“There’s too much crime associated with those businesses that we don’t want to spill over into where our children play or into our neighborhood.” said Jones, president of the Briargrove neighborhood association. “It’s been our long-held hope that we could eventually run them all out.”

Jones rallied neighbors to support authorities closing the Penthouse Club at Westheimer and Winrock in January, but says another topless bar, an adult bookstore and “massage parlors” remain nearby. Continue reading