Archive | February 2012

Out of the harem, into the fire

My relationship with my parents didn’t end because of my sex work — it ended because I wrote about it

TUESDAY, FEB 21, 2012

This article is the first in a series of oral histories by current and former sex workers, in which they describe the moment they came out to their families about their work.
Jillian Lauren

Jillian Lauren

Two years ago, I published a book about my life working in a harem in Brunei. Afterward, everything happened that I was afraid was going to happen. The very first piece of press came out and my mother couldn’t handle it. She called me and said she needed some space. I guess she needed a lot of space because she and my father stopped talking to me entirely.

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Prostitution sweeps on hold since December

Move followed announcement of ‘pattern’ in homicides


Ottawa police have not conducted any prostitution sweeps since Chief Vern White’s announced in December that a “pattern” had been identified in a number of unsolved murders of prostitutes.

Since Dec. 9, when White warned the city’s sex workers to take precautions because of a potential threat – police have been loath to use the word “serial killer,” but the link between killings is ominous – advocacy groups have been calling for a moratorium on prostitution sweeps.

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The sex worker struggle

From Google to Whorespeak: SF’s activists fight a complex, uphill battle but keep the dream of decriminalization alive

02.07.12 – 8:37 pm | Yael Chanoff |

The Lusty Lady in North Beach remains the nation’s only unionized strip club


Google has come under fire in the past year for everything from privacy policies to censorship. But in December, some Bay Area residents were protesting the tech giant for a very different reason. The group that marched in front of the company’s San Francisco office was angry over the company’s donation to organizations fighting human trafficking.

Community groups seek legal advice on prostitution sweeps

Ottawa police refuse request for moratorium on sweeps while they probe possible predator

Six community groups are seeking legal advice after Ottawa police Chief Vern White last week refused their request for a moratorium on prostitution sweeps.
Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, said a consortium of local groups met with police Feb. 8 to argue that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into remote areas away from circles of support.
Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, said a consortium of local groups met with police Feb. 8 to argue that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into remote areas away from circles of support.(CBC)

“We asked Chief Vern White to prioritize women’s safety by putting the risk to the lives of sex workers over nuisance complaints during a time which he has identified poses heightened risk to sex workers,” said Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, in a press release. “We are effectively asking the police to take one operational tool out of their toolbox and we in turn offered to work with police and concerned citizens to effect longer-term solutions to their concerns.”

On Tuesday, Insp. Uday Jaswal told CBC News the police force can’t choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. Jaswal said prostitution sweeps will continue and he added that police remain committed to discussing the issue.

In a meeting with police on Feb. 8, Baxter said the group argued that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into more remote areas away from circles of support.

Their request came two months after White issued a warning that police had discovered a pattern in unsolved assaults and homicides on sex workers in Ottawa.

“We believe the Ottawa police owe a duty of care to sex workers which extends beyond merely warning them about the existence of a predator,” Baxter said. “It also involves proactively working to eliminate practices which increase the risk of harm to this group of women.”

The six groups include the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, POWER (Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau Work, Educate, Resist), the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (SASC), Families of Sisters in Spirit and the AIDS Committee of Ottawa.

[Video] Princess Donna, Lorelei Lee, and Isis Love in Trailer for Public Sex, Private Lives

It’s Princess Donna, Lorelei Lee, and Isis Love in the trailer for Public Sex, Private Lives.

Thank goodness that we live in the era that porn performers, dominatrixes and sex workers can now finally *actually* describe the work they do and what it means for them in their own words (as opposed to the past where others speak – often incorrectly – for these women). No more.

Lorelei Lee

Via Violet Blue

Sex work and disability – Breaking the taboo

By Kate O’Toole and Miranda Tetlow

Guestroom - Rachel Wotton

Rachel Wotton is a sex worker who specialises in working with clients with disabilities. She has clients with cerebal palsy, down syndrome and advanced MS. Some of them have very limited physical function below the neck, others need a computer to speak. But Rachel isn’t a physio therapist, a social worker or doctor – Rachel is a sex worker And as a sex worker, she has specialised in working with clients with disabilities, who she says have as much right to sexual pleasure as any of us. Rachel’s story has been captured in a new documentary called Scarlet Road. You might have seen it on SBS, and it’s about to be released on DVD and tour festivals all over the world.

Edmonton man sentenced to lengthy prison term for sexual assaults on sex-trade workers


EDMONTON – A former Edmonton real estate agent was sentenced Friday to 10 1/2 years in prison for three violent sexual assaults on downtown sex-trade workers.

Olden Yadir Maldonado, 29, was convicted in January of two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm, three counts of unlawful confinement, two counts of threats to cause death and sexual assault.

Continue reading podcast on organizing for sex workers has a podcast on “Constructing change: Everything you wanted to know about organizing but were afraid to ask” which focuses on organizing for sex workers and includes info on community building, knowing your rights, preventing prostitution sweeps. It includes an interview from the Ottawa sex workers’ union POWER about how police patronize prostitutes with a serial killer on the loose. The podcast is by Stephanie Pinch. Click here to listen.

To the would-be sex work abolitionist, or, ‘ain’t I a woman’?


In her AugustOctober, and December rabble blog posts, Meghan Murphy asks why sex workers and our allies don’t want to engage in “genuine discourse” with her and other abolitionists. It might surprise her, but there is an answer to that question.

Let’s begin with the definition of the word “discourse.” Murphy appears to mean a productive conversation. But while sex workers and allies have provided ample feedback in comments both at rabble and on Murphy’s blog, the terms she’s set don’t allow that feedback to register as “genuine discourse.” I don’t want to engage in Murphy’s discourse because her limits to what can be known and said about sex work reflect neither my reality as a sex worker nor the freedom I advocate for. I can’t engage in Murphy’s discourse because I can’t speak within it. If the “debate” is between feminists and the “sex work lobby,” where is the position from which I can make a legible argument on my own behalf?

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The mistaken logic of ‘asymmetrical criminalization’ — a.k.a. the Nordic model of prostitution


An often-acrimonious divide exists between feminists who call for the abolition of sex work and feminists who favour its decriminalization. As a former exotic dancer who is strongly “pro-decrim” based on the evidence, feminist principles, and listening to sex workers, I’m disturbed by what I see as wrongheaded ideology from abolitionist feminists.

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