Escort Advice: Should Escorts Pay for Access to ‘Bad Client Lists’ Like National Blacklist?

Today I’m answering a question from a newbie escort. She’s just starting out and, understandably, she’s researching how to stay safe. “Bad client lists” are one of the resources available to escorts, though their usefulness is widely varied depending on the type of list, whether it’s maintained by a for-profit business or by volunteers associated with a sex workers’ rights organization, and the geographical focus of the list. Here’s her question:

Hi, Annie.

I hope you are well.

I am reaching out to you specifically because you have such a great explanation for screening on your website. I am a newbie in Toronto hoping you will take a minute to keep me safe by sharing any blacklist type sites you use for screening clients (besides TER, P411 and getting references). I am thinking of paying to get access to the National Blacklist and wondering if there are others.

Essentially, I really don’t want to run into any aggressive types that could hurt me.

Thanks for being a shining example of “doing things the right way”. I hope life is treating you well.

And my answer:

National BLACKLIST Safety Tool for Escorts - NationalBlacklist.com
National Blacklist – Serving the .01% of the Escort Community that Pays for an Overpriced Subscription
Fuck National Blacklist. That site hasn’t been relevant in like 3 years (at least).

Plus, I don’t now anyone who has ever paid for a membership. And it’s not cheap–I think it’s downright comical that they’re charging $20/month or $150/year, considering the fact that there have been a total of 8 posts for Toronto this year, and 8 last year. And that includes a post about a client who was “annoying,” a post about one who “sent a dick pic,” and a post warning that a guy is a “no show” who “stinks of B.O.” (can she smell him through the phone?). Then again, I can only see the first few words of each post, so it’s possible that those guys really are dangerous in addition to their obnoxiousness, dick pics, and disagreeable body odor. But I’m not paying $20 (to a company that hasn’t updated its website in at least 5 years) to find out.

And that’s the problem with this type of site. Unless EVERYONE has access to a site like that, it’s pointless. Any provider can be victimized by a bad client or a cop, but if she doesn’t have access to this list, you’ll never know that it happened. I think that it was once possible to add names/numbers/etc. even without a membership, but even so, since it was of so little use unless you actually paid for a membership, nobody really bothered with it.

That’s the biggest problem I have with paid blacklist sites–even if a lot of escorts DO pay for access, they’re always going to alienate the most vulnerable among us: those who can’t afford a membership, or who don’t have a bank account, etc.

There’s a site called VerifyHim in the US. It’s a paid site, and they use misleading scare tactics to convince providers to sign up, and I’m not giving money to a company that does that. But *a lot* of providers love it.

Honestly I don’t know of any blacklist sites that would be worth it. A few years back there was a free site called ProviderBuzz, but it disappeared very suddenly and without explanation. I’m guessing they got sued for libel. It wasn’t public–you had to first prove you were a legit provider before you were granted access, but I can still see how someone could argue that they were the victim of defamation due to accusations posted on the site.

Verify Him - VerifyHim.com Because Your Safety Matters
VerifyHim.com – Enter your grandmother’s phone number. See all the warnings from escorts she’s raped! You need our service! Oh wait, just kidding, that was just a demonstration of what you *would* see if your grandma raped escorts. Thanks for the $$, though!

There’s BadBoyReports.com, but again, I don’t know anyone who uses it. And I’m not sure who runs that site, but it looks like anyone can make an anonymous post about a client. And that’s great because any provider, regardless of her financial resources, can warn others about a bad client without worrying about the risk to her reputation. But that also means the site is open to submissions from anyone–enemies of the client, angry girlfriends or wives of the client, providers who, for whatever reason, want to prevent a safe, respectful guy from seeing other providers, etc. Everything on that site is published publicly, so a simple Google search of the client’s name will bring anything on the site right up, so I don’t think it’s too farfetched that someone seeking to humiliate a guy might put him on that site.

Even when they do work, the problem with lists like these, at least in the US (I don’t know how this works in Canada), is that the owner of the site is, at least to some degree, responsible for the content on the site. As you can imagine, there aren’t a whole lot of people who are willing to take legal responsibility for what providers might post about clients, nor are there many people who are willing to be the target of a “bad client’s” rage when he discovers he’s been blacklisted on your site.

Some providers use the providers-only section of local forums to exchange info on clients. For example, in my area, there’s a “Providers-Only Infoshare” section of ECCIE New Orleans where providers can post about clients they’ve had bad experiences with. Usually, this means he was dangerous, a thief, or a cop. However, it’s moderated by “hobbyists” (plus one provider), and posting the guy’s real name or contact information is prohibited. So, you see posts like,

“Do not meet with this guy; he’s a rapist:
D**e B*r*e
(504) 2*5-**42
*d**rs4*8@gmail.com”

The provider must obscure letters and numbers so that the guy’s identity remains hidden. Because, after all, even rapists deserve anonymity in this business–having his identity revealed could ruin the poor guy’s life!!!

You can send the provider who posted that warning a direct message requesting the guy’s complete info, of course. But that system only works if you’re constantly on the site, watching for those posts, and the guy happens to be contacting you around the same time. Also, you’d have to check every single area’s local Providers-Only Infoshare forum, contact each provider for the full info on the bad client, etc.

If that works for the providers who use that resource, that’s great. But for me, it’s pretty useless.

Mugs, a project of UK NSWP
In the UK there’s a project called National UglyMugs run by UKNSWP where providers can post warnings about dangerous clients. To my knowledge, we don’t have anything nationwide like that here in the US. I’m not sure what Canada has to offer. I would suppose it has a lot to do with the laws in each country and how they could be applied to something like this.

Some places have private “Bad Client” email lists they circulate via email. You might want to check with any sex worker organizations in your area. Maybe Maggie’s Toronto? Oh damn, I just checked. They have something called “The No List.” You should contact them to get access. I would definitely use that resource if I were you, but only in addition to other screening methods.

Honestly, I trust my own screening much more than any of these lists. The absence of a guy’s name on a list doesn’t mean he’s safe, and good screening will filter out most of the guys who providers eventually make reports about. That said, if Maggie’s Toronto is maintaining a list, get access, and use it! Don’t waste your time or money on National Blacklist, though.

UKNSWP’s National Ugly Mugs project was recently named a winner of the FSI Small Charity Big Impact Awards:


Oh look, a police officer who supports National UglyMugs explains how a sex worker organization’s efforts are helping to stop serial sexual predators.

American lawmakers and law enforcement, are you listening?

It’s #GivingTuesday! Give to causes you love!

Today is Giving Tuesday, and just in case you’re feeling generous, here are some causes I very passionately support. Click the organization’s name to go to their website to donate.

Bonus: If you schedule an appointment with me today or tomorrow and make a donation of $50 to one of the causes I support, you can take $50 off the total “donation” to me.

  • Youth BreakOUT!

    Their website is getting a makeover right now, but I can vouch for the fact that this is an awesome organization that has been fighting the criminalization of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans for years.

  • Women With a Vison – New Orleans

    You’ve probably heard me talk about them in the past. Here’s a bit about them from their website:

    Women With A Vision, Inc. (WWAV) is a community-based non-profit, founded in 1989 by a grassroots collective of African-American women in response to the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities of color. Created by and for women of color, WWAV is a social justice non-profit that addresses issues faced by women within our community and region. Major areas of focus include Sex Worker Rights, Drug Policy Reform, HIV Positive Women’s Advocacy, and Reproductive Justice outreach.

    Women With a Vision is the organization that ultimately got the Louisiana Crimes Against Nature by Solicitation law–a law that required anyone convicted of offering oral or anal sex for money to register as a sex offender FOR LIFE–changed, and got hundreds of names removed from the sex offender registry. If that’s not a win for sex workers, women, LGBTQ people, and fairness in general, then I don’t know what is. Check out their website for other awesome stuff they do/have done.

  • The Louisiana SPCA

    I love the LA-SPCA. They do everything from low-cost (sometimes free!) spay/neuter and vaccinations, to investigating reports of animal cruelty, to taking down dog fighting rings, to providing free dog food to low-income households or homeless individuals who need to feed the dogs in their care, to taking in unwanted dogs and providing them with food, shelter, medical care, a home if possible, and humane euthanasia if not. I support them because they do the dirty work that is a consequence of other people’s failure to take responsibility for their animals. Also, if you’ve lost a pet and you go up there to make a report and chat with the people at the front counter, you’ll see that, in addition to all the regular work duties they have, they spend their spare minutes of the whole damn day checking Craigslist and various Facebook pages and groups for missing pets in an effort to reunite pets and their owners. That’s pretty damn cool.

  • Humane Society International

    Street dogs are a huge problem in the developing world. Rabies kills tens of thousands of people each year, and the vast majority were infected after being bitten by dogs. Street dogs contribute to unsanitary conditions in places with substandard water and sanitation access, and vehicular accidents (and human deaths and injuries) by roaming the streets.

    And that’s just the effect they have on the human population. I’m not the type to prioritize the needs of animals over those of people, but I do think that we have an ethical obligation to prevent the suffering of the animals we interact with every day. Street dogs die of horrific diseases (in addition to rabies, there are other painful infections like parvovirus, heart worms, distemper, etc.), starvation, traumatic injuries, intentional and unintentional poisonings, and violence perpetrated by humans. But because the dogs are either stray or owned by families for whom spay/neuter and vaccination are cost-prohibitive, no matter how many die, there are always tons more sick, starving animals roaming around. In some countries, citizens are encouraged to shoot strays or kill them in whatever way gets the job done, but this doesn’t come close to solving the problem.

    Humane Society International is working on spay/neuter and vaccination programs for street dogs in developing countries and encouraging better relationships between humans and the street dogs around them. Even if you aren’t a dog person, this is huge: spay/neuter reduces the amount of nuisance animals, and vaccination programs reduce human deaths from rabies. And encouraging empathy for other sentient beings can only have good effects in the community. Everybody wins!

    In addition, Humane Society International works to shut down puppy mills, implement more humane living conditions (and more humane slaughter) for livestock and working animals, and all kinds of other good deeds. Like I said, I am realistic about the plight of animals in the world, but I believe that we should work toward systems that prevent and/or limit the suffering of the animals we eat, use, and profit from. This attitude gets me in trouble with a lot of people, strangely enough.

    Anywayyyyy…on to another organization that promotes a worthy cause that many, many people vehemently oppose:

  • SWOP-USA (Sex Workers Outreach Project USA)

    From their website:

    Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA is a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of people involved in the sex trade and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.

    On the national level, SWOP helps build stronger communities and a stronger movement through technical assistance, funding, and direct support and advocacy. On a local level, our chapters address structural, cultural, and interpersonal violence individuals in the sex trade face by working to change attitudes, change policies, and create alternative community-led systems of support.

    One of these days, the US will come to its senses and decriminalize sex work.** Then, and only then, will all escorts, street sex workers, full-body sensual massage practitioners, fetish pros, et. al. be free to work safely and without fear of exploitation, violence (in the form of not only assault, but arrest/imprisonment as well), or the life-altering affects of being “outed.” Sex workers will have financial opportunities that are currently all but closed to us (home ownership, securing loans, starting small businesses with employees and payroll). Maybe we’ll even be able to unionize for health benefits! Wouldn’t that be something?

    But today is not that day. Until then, we have organizations like SWOP-USA and Desiree Alliance for the purpose of organizing, networking, activism, and advocacy. Oh, and Amnesty International, which supports full decriminalization of sex work.

    **Sidenote: If you’ve never heard me talk about decriminalization of sex work (maybe you’re new here? LOL) and you’d like to read a long, angry screed er…impassioned tirade, check out my Open Rant to Sexwork Prohibitionists Everywhere or my client-prompted explanation of decriminalization vs. legalization.

  • Desiree Alliance

    As I mentioned above, Desiree Alliance is one of the organizations that advocates for sex workers and promotes activism for sex workers’ rights in the US and beyond. They also hold a national conference every two years. I attended the Desiree Alliance conference in Las Vegas soon after I started working as an escort, and it kinda changed my life. From their site:

    Contribute to the Scholarship Fund to assist with Desiree’s commitment to social justice, inclusion and leadership for all sex workers from the most to least marginalized among us. These social justice efforts are central to Desiree’s mission and to the sex worker movement in general. ANY amount is greatly appreciated as a token of your support for social justice in the sex workers movement.

    You can donate to Desiree Alliance here.

More on my “Philanthropy and Causes” page.

Open Rant to SexWork Prohibitionists Everywhere

OK, I normally don’t show this side of myself here on my blog, but I think it would be disingenuous not to right now, given the recent (August 11th) announcement by Amnesty International that they now officially support decriminalization of all forms of sex work worldwide.  They’ve been discussing this for a while now, much to the chagrin of prostitution prohibitionist groups and the celebrities they’ve convinced to support them (under the guise of the “anti trafficking” cause).

Sidenote:  the term “sex worker” refers to anyone who works in the sex industry:  escorts and courtesans, exotic dancers, cam performers, porn actors/actresses, full service providers, professional companions, pro-dommes, street workers, sensual massage providers, phone sex operators, etc.  The term does not apply to people in the business who do not provide the actual services (strip club managers, porn producers, escort agency owners/managers, etc.).

Feminists?

As a sex worker and an activist, I often run into prohibitionists who are absolutely married to the idea that no woman would ever choose to engage in full service sex work, and that any woman who does engage in it is being exploited by a man–be it her “pimp” or her “john” (yes, they use those words, even though those words aren’t really in widespread use among sex workers themselves).  They see sex work as inherently exploitative to women, and they see women as victims in need of rescue.  I refuse to call these people feminists–anyone who insists on infantilizing women and denying them agency is not a feminist.  Anyone who refuses to help women by working to secure labor rights for all workers is not a feminist.  Anyone who advocates police brutality against and confinement of poverty-stricken women so that they can be “reeducated” and “rehabilitated” into sweatshop workers is. not. a. fucking. feminist.

“But what about the men?”

“But wait,” you say.  “What about male sex workers?  Are they being exploited, too?  And for that matter, what about trans girls (‘TS’ in the biz, or ‘T-girls’)?”

I can answer that in one (sort-of) word:  LOL.

Prohibitionists prefer to ignore the fact that men are also sex workers.  It doesn’t fit their neat, clean predator/victim paradigm.  As for trans women, well…most anti-prostitution prohibitionists don’t consider them women at all.  I’m not sure they even know that trans guys exist.

In their world, there are three kinds of people:

  1. heterosexual, male-assigned-at-birth men
  2. basically asexual female-assigned-at-birth women
  3. “enlightened” prostitution prohibitionists, er, “anti-trafficking activists”

Oh yeah, and then there’s us.  By “us” I mean the people who support sex workers rights, and the rights of all adults to have consensual sex–to share our bodies in one of the most basic, personal, human ways available to us.  This is a basic human right that people of all stripes have been fighting for for years (even in the US, there are states that still have anti-sodomy laws on the books!), and anyone with any sense of logic and/or justice supports that right…except for when it comes to women and the exchange of money, because it’s just plain easier to see the fairer sex as weak, naive, innocent, and pure than to acknowledge that adult women are sexual beings with agency and ideas, desires, needs, and goals independent of men.

The “Pimp Lobby”

And you know what the prohibitionists call us? The “Pimp Lobby.” Because they refuse to believe that we are speaking our minds, or that female providers would actually–gasp!–defend the rights of adults to engage in consensual sex, regardless of the reason. They actually believe that we are “lobbyists” for “pimps.” They believe “pimps” control us sexually, financially, and ideologically. They believe that we are paid or coerced by men to pretend we have chosen this work. I’m not sure how they explain all the research (with sound methodology even!) that points to full decriminalization being the best approach, but I guess denial is a powerful thing. Powerful enough to convince prohibitionists to ignore evidence and soldier on with their mission to force a moralistic view that results in harm to real people.

…Or maybe they don’t really believe it.  Maybe that’s just their way of convincing people to ignore us. Maybe that’s their way of persuading the public to completely disregard what is said by the people actually doing this type of labor–the very people these prohibitionists spend time and energy ostensibly trying to “protect”–since we don’t, in fact, want or need what they say we do.  Pretty sinister.

So yes, you could say I’ve got a lot of pent-up anger for these people.  Especially since they refuse to listen to sex workers who speak out, and instead insist that our voices don’t count because we’re the privileged ones, the exceptions to the rule of poor imprisoned girls who are raped multiple times a day for their pimp’s profit.  Nevermind the illogical nature of this claim (Where are these millions of imprisoned girls?  Why are they never found?  And are there really that many men willing to pay to rape a woman?  As far as I know, the vast majority of rapists just rape–they’re not going to pay another man for something they can do for free.).

“I’m not a sex worker, but I played one in a movie once…”

Anyway, so on an article about all the Hollywood celebrities (some of whom played prostitutes in movies!  So, ya know, they know all about the reality of sex work) who signed an open letter penned by CATW International urging Amnesty International not to adopt any policy that supports the full decriminalization of the sex industry, one particularly stubborn person in the comments section posted a link to a document titled “Prostitution Statistics,” referring to it as “cold, hard facts” (good lord, please take a research methods course, stat):

(Update: As of December 2016, the University of Hawaii has removed that document from their website. It appears that happened sometime within the last year–I don’t want to flatter myself, but I kinda hope someone on their web admin team noticed the sudden uptick in links to that page, which appeared to be nothing more than some undergrad’s improperly-sourced, slapped-together assignment. Too bad they didn’t do that before it was cited as a legitimate source by various nonprofits all over the internet. Still, if you’re interested, here’s an archived copy of it via the Wayback Machine.)

I couldn’t help myself.  I went on a rant and couldn’t stop, and it became a rant to every and any of these people I’ve encountered or will encounter EVER.  And here it is:

Oh, honey…those are not “facts,” much less cold, hard ones.

I’m sorry, this is going to sound incredibly condescending, but what’s your education level? Because no one who knows a damn thing about research would post that link in an attempt to gain footing in an argument. That looks like an undergrad’s report on prostitution, sourced entirely from hooker rescue projects and modern “white slavery” hysteria. How the hell would they even come up with “Most prostitutes have been victimized, at some point in their lives, by sexual violence. More than 90% suffered childhood sexual abuse…” What? And really, why would that be the focus of anyone’s research? What would that accomplish? How would that help anyone? Sex workers don’t need to justify their reasons for engaging in consensual sex; their government needs to justify its reasons for criminalizing consensual sex between adults.

And this: “At least 2/3 of prostitutes began working in prostitution before the age of 16” has been thoroughly debunked. The origins of that (and other similar “stats” you’ll hear, like “The average age of entry into prostitution is between 12 and 14”) are hard to track down, but as far as we can tell, they originate from a survey done in the early 80s with a very small sample size of participants taken exclusively from a program that worked with minors who had exchanged money for sexual services. As in, everyone participating in the survey was under 18, because that’s who the program/facility was there to serve. And then they averaged those numbers, claimed they were representative of the experiences of sex workers in general, or someone else misunderstood them. So the highest possible age of entry would be 17. Of course the average would be low. They never asked any adult sex workers their age of entry. And the media, law enforcement, advocacy groups, and people like you have been running with that number for 30 fucking years.

What you don’t understand is that your view of sex workers shows a fundamental disrespect for women. When someone’s oppressed, you don’t help them by infantilizing them; you help them by arming them with rights, and by supporting them in their fight for those rights. You don’t want people to be exploited for their labor? You support them in their fight for labor rights, fair pay, legal protection, etc. I said it before, but maybe you didn’t catch it: no one gives a shit about all the human trafficking going on in agriculture, fishing, construction, and hotel housekeeping companies, but let’s say they did. You don’t want women slaving away, cleaning hundreds of toilets for 18 hours a day, while their boss holds their papers and their paychecks, all to pay some “debt” to a “job recruiter”? Let’s talk about immigration policy. Let’s talk about fair wages and labor laws. That’s what we’re talking about, after all: exploiting sex workers for their sexual labor. You don’t want women to have to have sex with men they don’t want to have sex with and then be forced to hand over their earnings to an abusive “pimp”? Fine. Decriminalize their work so that they don’t need “protection” (in the form of an abusive man who makes them work all day and takes their money) from police. And decriminalize their clients so they don’t need “protection” from, say, a man who can rest assured his victim won’t go to police to report him, and even if she did, she wouldn’t know his name, anyway. When your work and your clients aren’t criminalized, you can easily “screen” your clients before meeting with them—your client won’t be afraid to disclose identifying info because he’s not afraid of being arrested for meeting with you. You can also employ a bodyguard or driver without your client freaking out and thinking you’ve brought some dude there to kick his ass and rob him (because, when you and your client are not committing a criminal act, you can assume that both of you are law-abiding citizens, especially if you’ve screened him in advance), and without you AND said bodyguard/driver fearing that cops will mistake him for a “pimp.”

I understand you’re fighting what you think is the good fight. Apparently, at some point in your life, you joined up with some rescue project and did some “work” that seemed incredibly important and life-affirming to you at the time. I don’t want to take that away from you—for all I know, you helped some people. But if you care about justice in the world, you will continue to educate yourself about the issues you claim to care about, no matter how much it hurts to find out you’re wrong. Decrim is the safest thing for all of us. Not just me (or other women you dismiss as “too privileged” to know anything about the business we’ve worked in for years). For ALL of us.

There is no dichotomy of “happy hooker” and “sex slave forced to endure rape for someone else’s profit.” This topic is incredibly complex and nuanced. No, not everyone enjoys sex work. No, not everyone finds it empowering. No, not everyone would choose something else were it available (I wouldn’t). Yes, some of us were sexually abused as children (as were many teachers, lawyers, home makers, doctors, social workers, etc…). Yes, some of us started very young (though most of us start when we’re in our 30s or 40s). The point is that it doesn’t matter what our individual situations are, criminalization hurts ALL of us. And yes, that includes the Nordic model.

I get where you’re coming from, though. When I first started working, I heard about the Nordic model, and honestly, I thought it sounded pretty damn good. I hadn’t been working long enough to understand how the business really works, and I sure as hell hadn’t discovered the sex workers’ rights movement. I was still indoctrinated with the media images and the statistics gleaned from sloppy, often unethical research. I didn’t have a “pimp,” and I didn’t know anyone who did, but I still assumed that the vast majority of sex workers were being forced to fuck dozens of men a day while some evil bastard kept their money and beat them for fun. So yeah, the Nordic model sounded awesome. Put those evil, money-grubbing fuckers in jail!

While I didn’t have a “pimp,” when I first started escorting, I did have a “manager.” He was the guy who answered the phone and directed clients to one of the 10 or 15 girls at the agency. We set our own prices, and we spent as many hours as we wanted with each client. We sent him $100 for each client he referred to us. I didn’t even meet him in person until maybe 3 months after I started working for him, and by then I was already preparing to strike out on my own as an independent.

Did you catch the fact that my manager would have counted as one of those “evil, money-grubbing fuckers” I imagined getting their due via the Nordic Model? I didn’t. Did you catch that I was, if you go by the definition of the loudest voices in this conversation, a “trafficking victim”? I didn’t catch that, either. I would NEVER claim to be one, but by THEIR definition—one of the many absurd ways prostitution prohibitionists define “trafficked”—I was a trafficking victim. They count all third parties as traffickers. If you are a sex worker helping to support your unemployed/unemployable/just f-in broke partner, non-minor child, or other adult family member who lives with you, that person can be considered a trafficker. If you are a migrant worker who voluntarily crosses borders to work independently, you are counted as a trafficking victim.

Soon after that, I realized how wrong I was. But I admit I had a weird, visceral reaction to letting go of my “Jail the pimps!! Go after them!” position. I sort of wanted to cling to it. I don’t know why. Did I enjoy the boogeyman simplicity? Maybe. Or was I just trying to avoid the feeling of finding out I’d been had? I’m not sure. But I guess that’s what happens when you learn more about a subject, and you realize that the facts contradict what you’ve always thought to be true—what sources you’ve trusted have always told you was true.

And the longer I’ve been in the biz, and the longer I’ve been an activist for sex workers’ rights, the more I’ve learned. There’s tons of data. There’s a reason Amnesty International, the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women support us. And honestly, if you were to work in this business, you’d understand that common sense supports us.

The truth is, this is a very, very old problem steeped in racism and xenophobia. In the 1910s they referred to it as White Slavery (see the Mann Act), and now it’s sex trafficking. Nevermind the fact that there are more than enough willing sex workers that there’s really no need to force women into it (I hate talking about supply and demand, because it’s so much more complex than that, but in the simplest of terms, the supply already meets the demand. Trust me, usually people are whining about how they aren’t getting enough business). And nevermind the fact that, even if supply didn’t meet demand, people don’t want to pay to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with them. Rapists don’t pay to rape people; rapists just rape. But we cling to this idea that there are zillions of women all over the world being kidnapped, drugged, and forced into prostitution while men profit. Why, even though the numbers (upon inspection, and not just taken at face value) show us that this isn’t true? Well, because a lot of people have a vested interest in keeping this moral panic alive. Follow the money: it usually leads to those pushing an agenda centered on female “purity,” or those who are directly profiting, i.e., the rescue industry (Hey there, Somaly Mam!).

Please, please just stop talking about this until you’ve taken the time to listen to sex workers all over the world (Even in Eastern Europe and SE Asia!). Because you know the way you feel about your perspective? Like it’s a desperate situation and you have to fight, fight, fight for those who are in danger, are suffering injustices, and have far less privilege than you do? Yeah, that’s how I feel, too. Except people listen to you, and I’m the one who will have to deal with the consequences. They hurt me, they hurt my friends, and they hurt people all over the world every day. You’ll be able to walk away thinking you accomplished something, score 1 for the good guys, etc., and you’ll never have to look back, and you’ll never have to fully comprehend the mess you’ve made. And you’ll leave us to clean up, and then you’ll wonder why we’re so fucking angry with you.

BTW, it may not please you to know that sex workers in poor, “developing” countries can and do organize for their rights, but it’s true! And look what they have to say about decrim! Listen to them!)

And here’s more on “supply” and “demand,” in case it interests you. Here’s one on myths about sex trafficking and sex work (mostly about the Olympics, the World Cup, the Superbowl, and other major sports events being huge attractions for sex traffickers, etc., but there’s a lot of other good stuff in there, too) I found pretty fascinating too when I first got started on my mission to kick ass and take names until hookers all over the world are free to hook safely.

And here’s a flippin’ awesome rant about the rescue industry and two of the biggest figures in it (Nikolas Kristoff and Somaly Mam).

*

And of course I got no response.  I never do.


#rightsnotrescue

Via Ava Grace in Brisbane:



And here’s a little bit of perfection from Ava St. Claire:

Today is International Sex Workers’ Rights Day 2015!!

Did y’all know that March 3rd is International Sex Workers’ Rights Day?!

In case you don’t know what the term “sex worker” means, here’s a non-exhaustive list from SWOP-NOLA, the New Orleans chapter of Sex Workers’ Outreach Project:

“Escorts, Professional Companions, Service Providers, Strippers, Exotic Dancers, FBSM / Erotic and Sensual Massage Practitioners, Pro-Dommes, Fetish Professionals, Cam Models, and Adult Entertainers of all types, genders, races, and sexualities”

If you know me well (or if you’re cool and like-minded and it happened to come up in conversation when we met), you know that I am a committed supporter of this cause.

Here’s a brief timeline of some of the major events of the sex workers’ rights movement from NSWP (Global Network of Sex Work Projects):

History of the NSWP and the Sex Worker Rights Movement: North America and the Caribbean

Today, sex workers’ rights organizations all over the world are celebrating all the victories won by brave, dedicated sex worker activists and allies.

SWOP-NOLA is having an event this weekend to celebrate:

International Sex Workers’ Rights Day 2015 in NOLA!

International Sex Workers’ Rights Day 2015 in NOLA!
International Sex Workers’ Rights Day 2015 in NOLA!

So…Happy International Sex Workers’ Rights Day!!! Enjoy it with someone you enjoy ;)

Shout-Out to a Great Friend and Awesome Provider (or so I’ve heard…)

I’d just like to take this opportunity to recommend a friend of mine, Veronica Rose in New Orleans. She’s a highly reviewed provider, and she’s lots of fun. I met her in March of last year at a picnic here in New Orleans to celebrate International Sex Workers’ Rights Day 2013, and we’ve been friends and dog-walking buddies ever since. We have different styles, interests, and personalities, but there are a few traits we share:

  1. We’re both hilarious.
  2. We both love animals. Dogs, especially. Preferably big ones.
  3. We’re both on the shorter/more petite side. (I’m 5’4″ and she’s 5’1″, which makes me feel super tall when we hang out!)
  4. We’re both pretty damn sexy.
  5. We both LOVE our jobs and the people we get to meet through our work. ;)

She’s super outgoing and fun (and yes, I can vouch for the fact that her pics are accurate and current. I just saw her on Lundi Gras, and I doubt she’s changed much in 8 days). Anyway, if you get a chance, check out her website, and if she sounds like the type of girl you’d like to spend a few hours with, you should give her a call (or shoot her an email, whatever).

As for me? I have a dinner date with her tonight (calm down guys–I mean we’re actually eating dinner at a restaurant. This isn’t a euphemism for some kind of sexy pillow-fight-cunnilingus party, though I can’t blame a guy for fantasizing…). But I get to hang out with her for free. ;)

One of the perqs of the job!

Philanthropy and Causes


~~Philanthropy and Causes~~

The following are some of the many nonprofit organizations and causes I support.

Louisiana SPCA
LA-SPCA.org – Louisiana SPCA: Unleash Your Heart

“As a nonprofit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering, we have been committed to serving the needs of the people and animals in New Orleans and across the region for more than 125 years.”

 

SWOP-NOLA: Sex Workers Outreach Project-New Orleans
SWOP-NOLA.org – Sex Workers Outreach Project – New Orleans

The New Orleans chapter of SWOPUSA (Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA) is currently on hiatus!!

 

Women With a Vision - New Orleans - wwav-no.org
Women With a Vision – New Orleans – wwav-no.org

“Women With A Vision, Inc. (WWAV) is a community-based non-profit, founded in 1989 by a grassroots collective of African-American women in response to the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities of color. Created by and for women of color, WWAV is a social justice non-profit that addresses issues faced by women within our community and region. Major areas of focus include Sex Worker Rights, Drug Policy Reform, HIV Positive Women’s Advocacy, and Reproductive Justice outreach. We envision an environment in which there is no war against women’s bodies, in which women have spaces to come together and share their stories, in which women are empowered to make decisions concerning their own bodies and lives, and in which women have the necessary support to realize their hopes, dreams, and full potential. Originally focused on health promotion and community outreach, we have expanded our focus to include policy-level initiatives that negatively affect women and communities of color within Louisiana and elsewhere. Women with a Vision, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, based in New Orleans, Louisiana.”

 

National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Louisiana Chapter
Louisiana Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

“The National MS Society works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Louisiana and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.”

 

Team Gleason:  Let's Put Our Heads Together and Find a Cure for ALS
Team Gleason: Let’s Put Our Heads Together and Find a Cure for ALS – TeamGleason.org

“Our Mission:
1. Help provide individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services.
2. Create a global conversation about ALS to ultimately find solutions and an end to the disease.
3. Raise public awareness toward ALS by providing and documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with muscular diseases or injuries.”

 

Touching Base: Sex Workers and People with Disability Coming Together
Touching Base: Sex Workers and People with Disability Coming Together (Australia)

“Touching Base Inc is a charitable organisation, based in Sydney NSW Australia, that has been active since October 2000. Touching Base developed out of the need to assist people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other, focusing on access, discrimination, human rights and legal issues and the attitudinal barriers that these two marginalised communities can face….This website contains some material of a sexual nature suitable for adults only. Currently, Touching Base does not receive any government funding.”

New Year, New Resolutions

Last year I made a few New Year’s resolutions, and I’m pretty proud to report that I actually kept them! They were:

  • Work out regularly
  • Do yoga regularly
  • Make a website
  • Make Greek yogurt a part of my daily balanced breakfast ;)

I’m still working out–I actually kept with it! I found that, for me, the key was to make it as easy and convenient as possible for myself. I only work out for about 20-30 minutes, and I read the Short Fiction inThe New Yorker (generously gifted to me by a particularly awesome client) while doing so. This way, I’m doing two things at once, which makes me feel like I’m being efficient, haha. Also, the story distracts me from the fact that I’m doing something not only strenuous, but boring.

As for yoga, about halfway through the year I started taking weekly yoga classes. I cannot extoll the virtues of (good) yoga enough. There’s nothing like that post-yoga-practice “high.” It’s amazing.

Obviously, I made a website. This, I have to say, might be my proudest accomplishment this year. I never thought I’d be able to figure this kind of thing out. I remember when I first bought the domain and hosting back in March. Wow. I’m ashamed to admit it took me DAYS to figure out how to point a domain to a server and then download the software. And that’s before you even start making the site.

Greek yogurt: OK, I know this one sounds hokey, but that stuff is really good for you! Live cultures are great for keeping your digestive system balanced. Also, I went years without eating many animal products–I’m not big on dairy products, and I rarely eat meat other than seafood (and I only get seafood about once a week)–and I finally realized that it’s just too difficult for me to get enough protein from a plants-and-seafood-only diet.

So, what’s in store for 2013? I’m not quite sure yet. I want to set sensible, reachable goals.

I’d really like to learn how to work on cars, but as you can probably gather from that statement, I have no idea what that entails, and I’m sure it’s far too complex for me to figure out in my spare time.

Maybe I should aim to get back into photography? I wanted to take a course, but I missed the deadline to sign up. :(

I’m really at a loss on this one. Obviously, I should continue with the progress I’ve made on my previous goals. For instance: a few years ago, I decided to start donating money to a different worthy cause each month–that’s one I’m still doing (Check out the one I chose this month: Pets of the Homeless), and will continue to do. And there are things I always need to work on, like writing more, etc. But it’s fun to have a new project to work on. I had a client recently who writes a quick note on a postcard and sends it off to a friend every morning. Perhaps I’ll do that. I love snail mail, and I know others do, too. I know I loved getting this little gem in the mail a couple months back. I’m just afraid that the whole “do this every single morning” thing will be too tough and I’ll get discouraged. My morning “routine” is, um, not very efficient. I’m actually surprised I was able to add the Greek yogurt commitment in there for an entire year; it’s more of an accomplishment than you might think, lol.

Well, if you have any suggestions (or especially cool resolutions of your own that I might be able to adopt as well), feel free to comment or shoot me an email!

Chick? Or goat? Or how about a sheep? No, it’s not what you think (get your minds out of the gutter!).

I guess I should have posted this BEFORE Christmas…but this is one of my favorite charities. If you haven’t heard of it, well, I’m gonna be the one to change that. I can’t even count how many people have received flocks of chicks, flocks of ducks, a goat, or a couple sheep from me in the past few years: Heifer International.

One day I’ll buy my mom a heifer. One day…(probably for her birthday this year, lol).

In all seriousness, it’s a great “gift” for the person who has everything, and it’s especially meaningful for anyone who is a fan of “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.”

This year I bought a couple goats from Oxfam, a similar organization.

I also threw in some manure for a certain someone who appreciates that sort of humor. I just couldn’t resist!

So yeah. Next time you’re shopping for that hard-to-shop-for-friend, think about buying him some chicks (the feathered kind). If you’re lucky, he’ll see the humor. And either way, you’ll be helping someone feed and support their family for years to come.

I’m Back from the Power Outage, or My Trip to the 1800s Courtesy of Hurricane Isaac

Hurricane Isaac sure made a mess of the wires around here, but after nearly a week without power (or internet), I’m back on the grid! Sweet, sweet air conditioning!

However, I’m still without internet, so I’m visiting coffee shops and friends’ houses as often as possible so that I can answer your emails in a timely fashion. I think I’ve just finished replying to all of the emails I’ve missed over the past week, but if for some reason I’ve overlooked yours, please feel free to scold me via email or the comments section of this post, lol. Cross your fingers that my internet comes back soon!

And before I sign off, I want to send a shout-out to the lovely gentleman who surprised me with an adorable pair of heels from my Amazon Wishlist. I’m so excited to wear them now that I’ve recovered from my brief trip to the sweltering, boring, frustrating 1800s, hahaha. I love when packages arrive on my doorstep unannounced (no pun intended…well, maybe a little ;) ).

Hope everyone fared well in Isaac. Please keep those who suffered damage and loss in your thoughts, and if you’re feeling generous, you can donate to the American Red Cross.

New Links and Lovely Ladies I Admire

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the set of links on the right side of this page labeled “Other Companion Blogs.” These blogs are authored by ladies I admire for their intellect, sensuality, and wit, and I think they’re worth a read. If you know of any other interesting blogs (by escorts or otherwise), please feel free to suggest them here–or you can contact me privately, if you’re too shy to do so out in the open. ;)

I’ve also updated my Links page. In addition to adding a link to the SWOP-NOLA website, I also posted links to Cecilia Dahl, Minxylydia, and Nicole Kelly. If you’d like to do a link exchange (of a site OR a blog), please email me!.

Sh*t People Say to Sex Workers

I love this video by Scarlet Alliance SO MUCH, and it cracks me up every time I watch it.

(By the way: the term “Sex Worker” refers to any individual working in the sex industry whose job is to provide an erotic experience for the client. The word is used for escorts, professional companions, travel companions, massage parlor workers, porn actors and actresses, strippers, lap dancers, peep-show performers, and even phone sex operators. I am an escort and a professional companion; therefore, I am a sex worker.)

Sh*t They Say to Sex Workers

 

The ones I hear the most often:

“So, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done?”

Continue reading “Sh*t People Say to Sex Workers”

This swirly script is entirely inappropriate for this post.

Last night, someone broke into the office of Women With A Vision and set fire to their files and office equipment–everything they use in their mission to “improve the lives of marginalized women, their families, and communities by addressing the social conditions that hinder their health and well-being.”

WWAV fought to change the law (Crime Against Nature) that required sex workers to register as sex offenders, effectively preventing them from securing housing, straight jobs, social services, etc. Apparently, someone had a problem with that.

Women With a Vision is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and contributions are tax-deductible.

wwav-no.org

Continue reading “This swirly script is entirely inappropriate for this post.”