Australia: No money, no honey

April 21, 2010

Paying for sex is no longer a male preserve. In the final part of our series, Mary-Anne Toy explores the world of male escorts and why more women want their services.

SHE is well educated, well spoken and very well groomed: an attractive blonde in her 30s used to men hitting on her in bars. So why did ”Eva”* pay a man to have sex with her? And how did that encounter lead her, a single mother with a full-time professional job, into secretly running a male escort business?

About two years ago, fed up with internet dating and the desultory randomness of the bar scene, but missing male company, Eva toyed with the idea of using a male escort. Continue reading

India: Neither Victims Nor Voiceless: Sex Workers Speaking for Themselves

By Audacia Ray, RH Reality Check.
Posted January 12, 2010.

Painting a portrait of people in the sex industry as victims without voices only perpetuates their disempowerment.

Since becoming a part of the U.S. sex worker rights movement five years ago, talking about contentious issues concerning bodies, labor, money, and rights has very much become my calling. In the past year alone, I’ve been quoted on CNN about the value of virginity, talked about South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford on WNYC’s The Takeaway, and admonished the Boston Herald for its slurs toward sex workers. Suffice to say, I give my opinion freely and often loudly.

I thought I knew a lot about sex work, rights, and organizing when, in September, I set off for two weeks in India with my colleague Khushbu Srivastava, Program Officer for Asia at the International Women’s Health Coalition. But as much as I am accustomed to being an “expert,” I quickly realized that I knew next to nothing about the nuances of Indian culture and the dynamics of the local struggle for sexual rights and reproductive health. While there are many things that I learned Continue reading

CA: REAL Women refused standing in prostitution law trial

Blog post
From Canadian Women’s Issues

Friday, July 3, 2009

The July 3 Globe and Mail has a story by Kirk Makin saying “An Ontario judge has turned down a request from two religious groups and a conservative women’s group to take part in a constitutional challenge of the country’s prostitution laws.” According to this story, the judge, Ted Matlow of the Ontario Superior Court, “said that the groups would be liable to turn the trial into a soapbox for spiritual views, which would be out of place in a strictly legal proceeding.”

Besides REAL Women, the groups were the Christian Legal Fellowship and the Catholic Civil Rights League. They argued the court should hear a broad range of voices on the issue. Continue reading

A Swedish sexworker on the criminalization of clients

Watch Pye Jacobsson discuss the consequences of the Swedish Model.

Fearless feminism

Jessica Yee talks about sexuality, race, youth engagement – and how they all fit together
Marlo Campbell

“One thing I can say about Catholic school is that it makes really great activists,” quips Jessica Yee, sitting at a downtown Subway restaurant a few hours before her flight back to Toronto.

The self-described “Indigenous feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter” says she found her calling at the age of 10, thanks to an anti-choice presentation during one of her elementary school classes. Continue reading

Tennessee: Prostitution a means to an end for college student

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 , 11:30 a.m. By J.J. Stambaugh

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.

The 19-year-old Roane State Community College student shows up for an interview at Panera Bread on Cumberland Avenue looking like countless other college kids: red hair in braids, a small piercing in one nostril, a “PEACE” button on her coat.

Mary Jayne sips her coffee and explains that she’s a sophomore in the massage therapy program.

Unlike many of her peers, however, she’s already found a part-time career that earns her an hourly rate comparable to that charged by the highest-paid attorneys, accountants and physicians. Continue reading

OK: Sex for chips, anyone?

Posted Friday, June 26, 2009, at 6:35 PM

The idea of any business is to make money. Even if your business is selling sex for money.

Someone should share that information with L. S. Smith. The 36-year-old was arrested for prostitution and fined $1,142 after police caught her engaging in a sexual activity with a man who paid her with a $30 case of potato chips.

I can’t confirm it, but my “research” says she agreed to perform oral sex on the man in exchange for a box of Fritos. Continue reading

Afghanistan: Finnish-Funded Prison Turns Brothel?

published May 6 08:54 PM, updated May 8 11:32 AM

Finnish officials suspect that a new women’s prison in northern Afghanistan, built through Finnish money and political will, may have been turned into a brothel.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs suspects that inmates may have been forced to sexually service guards, employees and their guests.

“We suspect that the prison’s top managers are involved, but we haven’t confirmed this, as inquiries into the matter are still ongoing,” says Rauli Suikkanen, a counsellor at the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Asian and Oceanic Affairs. Continue reading

Hooking Without Crooking

Prostitution is nice work if you can get it decriminalized
by Juliet November

I’m buzzed into the storefront, which is marked only by a street number, and walk through the empty lounge to a garish pink staff room, where about eight women sit around chatting in a cloud of smoke and hairspray. There’s Genevieve, the fortyish French-Greek siren with cascading waves of black hair; and a twenty-year-old Australian farm girl, Anna, who clomps around in her high heels and trades her corset for a Led Zeppelin T-shirt the second she’s off shift. I set myself up at the long, mirrored vanity beside someone I haven’t seen here before, a short woman with flawless black skin and enormous eyes. My ears perk up at her accent. I ask her where she’s from. “Toronto, Canada.” “Me, too!” I squeal, and we spend the rest of the night bonding over quirky Australian expressions. (Fair dinkum? Seriously, what is that?) It’s my second month working in this Sydney brothel, and I’m learning that the biggest pleasures are often the most unexpected.

Rewind to a few years ago. I’m sipping a gin and tonic at a College Street bar with colleagues from the feminist organization where I work, and the subject of prostitution comes up. One woman shakes her head and recites the familiar argument about the shameful exploitation of prostitutes. Another disagrees, saying she loved working as a professional dominant/submissive in a dungeon. I nod, silently regretting that I can only guess what that was like. Then I say something that surprises even me: “I think I may have missed my calling as a prostitute.” Continue reading

Iceland to Ban Stripping and Prostitution

From the strip club Goldfinger. Photo by Páll Stefánsson. Taken in relation to Sara Blasks feature Dancer in the Dark published in the 2006 winter issue of Iceland Review.

From the strip club Goldfinger. Photo by Páll Stefánsson. Taken in relation to Sara Blask's feature "Dancer in the Dark" published in the 2006 winter issue of Iceland Review.

18/03/2009 | 12:31

Minister of Social Affairs Ásta Ragnheidur Jóhannesdóttir presented an action plan against human trafficking yesterday, which includes placing bans on operating strip clubs and purchasing sexual services.

It is hoped that the ban will take effect before the parliamentary elections on April 25.

“Human trafficking is the most disgusting form of international and organized crime that exists in the world,” Jóhannesdóttir said while presenting the 25-point action plan, Fréttabladid reports. Continue reading

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