When I was touring a few months ago, and Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage, was arrested, I had about $800 of credit in my account. I started spending and not replenishing because I knew BP wouldn’t last much longer. As of today, I have less than $200 in my account. I have no way of getting that money back, that I know of, but at least it’s still there and it’s not very much, really.
I subscribed to The Nation for a couple of years, long ago, and generally liked Katha Pollitt. But, like many otherwise intelligent people, she goes sideways when the topic of sex work comes up. Her essay, mostly taking issue with Melissa Gira’s book Playing the Whore, has a lot of juicy bits I want to chew on. Heather Berg has a completely different, and very valid, view of Pollitt’s article here.
It doesn’t matter to Pollitt that sex workers are not a monolithic group, nor does she recognize that some sex work writers might actually be leftists themselves. She is highly offended that the ideology of the sex worker rights movement doesn’t follow what she thinks it should follow. She gets downright insulting when she attacks the term “sex work.”
If you haven’t heard, two activists have come together with the help of DePaul University to create the first sex worker-run survey of sex work. This is an academically-reviewed study and they plan to publish the results in academic journals as well as mainstream media. Serpent Libertine and Crysta Heart are friends of mine as both activists and sex workers. I’m extremely pleased of their efforts against the anti-sex trafficking agenda. It’s not an easy feat to get a university behind a project run by sex workers. (Maybe one day they’ll tell us how they did it?)
The website — AdultIndustryTruth.com — is full of information about the survey, which runs through July 2014. The survey is open to anyone who works with sex in the US. The website and survey is engineered for anonymity and safety.
This particular survey concerns the issue of consent and coercion. This is truly the gap that separates sex work from sex trafficking (and something I’ve discussed in real life with others). Consent makes the difference to sex workers and their experiences; it should make the difference in policy but unfortunately, it currently does not. The AIT survey aims to help illustrate that difference.
As a sex worker who has chafed at the attention people like Melissa Farley get with their “research”, I’m thrilled to see sound research accomplished by sex workers. Nothing about us without us gaining a small foothold in the US.
Follow the button below to take the survey, feel free to repost this information anywhere you can. The larger the results, the more accurate the information will be.
At this point, it’s faded into dust. Old news. Everyone’s moved on. Except me, obviously.
a personal history with craigslist
I’ve used Craigslist to find living quarters, household odds and ends, sold/swapped items, attempted to navigate the Personals (and still read them just for the laugh, not for the penis pix) and yes — advertised my Erotic/Adult Services on there, both in the US and several other countries.
Any provider will tell you advertising on CL was hit-or-miss. Not only was it stronger in some cities than others, it was certainly stronger in some countries than others. And sometimes the geographical differences were distinct for non-financial reasons: like the number of thick-skulled, hyper-romantics in Asia who confused the Erotic Services section with the Personals vs the crudity of London punters responding to the ads (they were not confused, BTW). One thing never changed: a literate ad with a decent picture stood out in every city, every country. (And then I got to watch how literate the other ads would suddenly become, usually mangling the English worse than their own, original writing.)
It was very much an open market and in many ways, the Internet version of standing on the street. Or perhaps sitting at the bar. At best.