Since I often read things and want to comment but don’t, here are my comments. A lot of these links came from Tits and Sass since I no longer bother with my Google Alerts.

escort photo documentary

While the story is somewhat unique, the pictures of Eden working are completely recognizable to any touring hourly escort. Locales may differ, there may be a lack of cigarettes and wigs, but everything else is very, very true. Escort work really can be this boring and mundane. Just like stripping. Just like data entry. Just like anything.

Hong Kong escorts and review board exploitation

I remember when I went to HK. I was never on the site because it wasn’t a good fit for me. I was: too old, Western, English-speaker, outcall-only, had much higher rates than the local girls. I had no idea it developed into the terror it has. (TER is probably kicking itself for not figuring out the bad review scam Sex141 pulls.)

HK girls work in limbo. Sex work is partially decriminalized and partially illegal, depending on what, where and how. While the laws seem clearly defined on the surface, sex workers face almost as much police harassment as US sex workers. My firm belief is that anytime there is an illegal aspect to sex work, the workers will suffer. The public and police will exploit the illegal aspects as far as they can, nullifying any legality. This is why sex work has to be completely decriminalized across the board. No exceptions.

Because of this half-and-half system, they have no recourse against Sex141. Because of the market and the laws, the girls are regularly ripped off: unlike sex workers in the rest of the world, they’re afraid of getting the money upfront because the client will run away or call them a ripoff (I did not have that problem with the clients I had in HK — different market). They’re stuck with abusive clients and there is no legal recourse for them. After the murders in 2008, all the one-woman brothels had CCTVs installed and the images of bad clients are regularly printed out and circulated but there is no way to make sure every sex worker has that info. They have problems with clients every day, just like US sex workers.

This is not to say that the girls don’t want to work there because they do. It’s far safer than China and the money is better. The problem, as always, is illegality. The only solution, as always, is full decriminalization.

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national geographic: sex for sale

Some of you are aware that I appeared on a National Geographic documentary that first aired in February. Now the rest of you are aware. Once again, my brush with mainstream media is generally negative. Eventually I’ll learn.

natgeo 2009

NatGeo spoke to me in April 2009 about appearing on their Taboo series. One of their episodes was going to cover sex work. Though I spoke for 90 minutes on the phone with Kate Witchard and emailed with her, they decided not to use me. This was right before I was beginning my travels and I pitched the idea to her, but she told me National Geographic wasn’t interested in following a working escort around the world.

Utter waste of time. I don’t take kindly to having my brain picked for free. (Shortly after, someone whom I suspect was producing the Belle de Jour series wanted to do that too so I quoted a price and never heard back.)

natgeo 2012

Last summer I was approached by NatGeo again. I was not interested. Daniele Anastasion, the producer, assured me this was a stand-alone documentary focusing on the US and the legal issues surrounding prostitution. After back and forth emails, I agreed to a 5 minute phone call that turned into 45. It seemed okay and I agreed to it. Of course they weren’t going to pay me a dime. (It’s a documentary! They wouldn’t do something so icky as pay for interviews!) No makeup provided either. But it seemed like it would be intelligent. It’s National Geographic, after all.

We settled on a shooting date. They weren’t thrilled about having to come to Dallas but since they weren’t paying me to show up anywhere else, Dallas was it. They wanted to shoot an interview — which was the point. They also wanted to shoot “B-roll,” which is silent footage that shows up in the background with interviewed voiceovers. This is where it started getting to be a bit much.

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change is in the air

An article about Michelle Obama as First Lady reminds me of a lot of issues around sex work. The writer (Allison Samuels) points out that public perception of black women are limited to: sassy single mothers, crack whores or victims of AIDS by thoughtless partners. Samuels can’t find portrayals of the very normal black women she knows: college-educated, in stable relationships, non-sassy. Until Michelle.

And I have no doubt that reactions to this article will include cries that Michelle Obama is a “privileged” black woman and does not represent the a majority experience (of course she can’t represent everyone – she is only one person with one life).

Sounds like sex work to me.

The CNBC show has ruffled feathers for various reasons, one of which is the expected sighs over its portrayal of a small segment of the industry. While high-end escorts are indeed a small percentage of sex work, so are street-based workers – who are often used to make sweeping statements about all sex work. The truth is the silent majority of sex workers fall in the middle.

That’s what average is.

I have hopes the show will start a needed dialogue about the spectrum of sex work, as well as change some perceptions. Samuels hopes Michelle can help change perceptions of the modern black woman by starting a dialogue.

There is needed change in the air. I have optimism.

In dealing with some recent issues of my own, a wise friend told me that change — no matter how positive or needed — is difficult and painful. We may not always see the process of change as something good or something we want. We can only focus on the end result of the process.

If Michelle Obama helps the country realize black woman are not caricatures, that’s a step forward. If the show helps the public realize there is a broad range to sex work, that’s a step forward to a realistic view of sex work, opening the possibility to realistic solutions to problems that need to be fixed.

I hope.


Filmed in July, I almost forgot that it was real. But I’m going to be in a CNBC documentary on high-end prostitution. Sometimes I’m excited about it, sometimes not.

It airs tonight at 10pm. I don’t even watch TV and don’t have cable (I was given a TV, but my DVD player is still in storage in another state).

And it seems that the blog post I wrote about “Amanda Brooks” was prescient (thanks to a friend for the link).

FYI: The show will re-air a few more times over the month of November. Go to its web page for the schedule (link above).

disappointed readers?

One side effect from all the slanted attention lately could be disappointed readers and bad Amazon reviews.

Depending on where they heard of the book, if their hands aren’t burned when they touch it, will they be disappointed? Or if I don’t start out telling them how to be a whore and how much to charge and where to find good pimps, are they going to be disappointed? Will my serious discussion on STDs lack the bimbo quality they were hoping for? Will they not appreciate the dearth of “sex with clients” tips? Or my lack of discussing the good strolls in major cities? Are they going to be mad I don’t tell them which brand of stiletto is most comfortable for standing on concrete? Are they hoping to be brainwashed into selling their bodies for money and think the book sucks if they don’t decide to put an ad on CraigsList?

Just an idle thought…