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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I’ve been blogging here since 2005. I’ve enjoyed it and enjoyed the commenters who have come and gone (there are several whom I miss and hope they’re at least lurking). People have noticed that I’ve been fairly silent here since 2011. Coming back to the States was a bit of a shock and once re-acclimated, I began focusing more on my personal life and building my company. Or maybe I just find the States boring.

The company is moving forward, slowly, which is the normal speed for it. But exciting things are on the way: a new ebook, more blogging, a collaboration with a new author, reprinting Book 1. Seeing my baby growing makes me very happy. Makes for dull blogging though at some point I will do a series on self-publishing for sex workers.

Escort work is still fun but certainly not where the majority of my time and energy are directed. Mostly I’ve just been living my own life. Again, this makes for dull blogging. There are news bits and plenty of things that interest me sex work-wise but mostly…I’ve said a lot of what I want to say on relevant issues. Those poor horses are good and dead by now. Continuing to drum away is repeating myself and I hate doing that.

Continue to stick around for the random bits, a few rants, some thought pieces (my favorites). Not sure where this blog is going but it will continue to go and find its own way, as always. It still won’t ever become a sex blog or client expose. It will always be an atypical escort blog. So if that’s your thing, have patience.

ps: escort plagiarism

— If you’re an escort struggling to uniquely express yourself online, maybe try Better Than Great by Arthur Plotnik.

— One could view The Prestige as a tragedy about stealing another’s idea.

— A good friend of mine is trying to rework her site. I really don’t know why she’s trying so hard. She could save so much time and energy by just finding a site she really likes and copying it. Everyone’s doing it!

— If you’re not convinced by the complaining about escort plagiarism you’ve read here, just Google the phrase “Intimacy and closeness are things I crave.” I don’t what poor girl wrote it first (Chelsy Heyden?), but I feel sorry for her.

— At least one escort explains in her FAQ that others steal her text and photos. Really wish IDoNotHaveaBrain was still around with their “Original Content” badge. Would be even easier for them to check with Copyscape. Sigh.

— Escorts should invoice plagiarists. According to the February 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest, freelance rates for webpage writing range from $40-$125/hr (or $0.21-$2.62 per word); email copywriting $64-$125/hr (or $300 per email!); online editing $25-$100/hr (or $3-$4/page). A pretty nice bill when you add up someone taking your entire ad-text and your website pages! Even better if they take some blog posts too — more billable work for you!

— Geisha Diaries made a post about this very topic the same day I did. They offered some good ideas on content-protection.

often imitated and duplicated — since 2002

The escort world is rife with plagiarism. This is no secret among escorts. One of my naïve goals in writing Book 2 was to give escorts a way to learn how to write for themselves. There are new escorts who have read my books and taken the lessons to heart — the results are easy to see on their personality-driven sites and ads. There are others who took my examples a bit too literally and I have spotted them sprinkled over websites, much to my chagrin. And then there are those who just decided to go directly to the source (me) and lift whatever they feel like taking. How nice of me to do all the hard work for them!

I have a habit of this — I’ve changed escort-text everywhere I’ve worked. I’ve worked under different names and have found my writing appearing elsewhere (and obviously these girls had no clue whose text they stole). And people have seen fit to taken whatever they want from my book’s site too. I’m long past being amused, flattered or anything except completely and totally furious when I find my work stolen. Dragging around a truckload of others is very tiring work. I keep thinking that if I stop writing, they’ll have to go elsewhere for their ideas and words. It’s becoming the more tempting option, frankly.

It seems the issue is getting worse as more girls get online. Many seem to think that Internet = free for some reason. Some surely know better and yet still they steal.

In the online world, words entice, often more than pictures. Words = money to escorts. Copyright violations are violations on a serious level.

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sympathy for the she-devil

Years before I ever self-identified as an activist (I usually considered myself “an army of one”), I emailed Michael Connelly complaining about his book Chasing the Dime. A client had given me a Harry Bosch book and I really enjoyed it. When I discovered Connelly had written a book about the murder of a callgirl, I bought it immediately. I finished the book only because I’m a stubborn cuss. Then I hurled it across the room, with great force; and dug up his email address.

I complained because the callgirl who was the driving force behind the entire book was dead before page 1. She was murdered by an advertising mall that reminded me of CityVibe. (I’ll assume Connelly’s research led him to create a company that was a combination of CityVibe and Eros with a whole lot of stereotyping thrown in. Believe me, I don’t think the CityVibe folks go around murdering their Verified Escorts, no matter how flaky the girls are.) The girl even did some BDSM scenes for online consumption, which included the horrors of having hot wax dripped onto her torso by her female modeling partner and the obvious faking of facial expressions for money. I asked Connelly why he felt the need to murder his callgirl, why couldn’t she have been alive at some point in the book, why did she have to be such a victim?

His assistant replied that Connelly was building sympathy for the character. I immediately shot back, commenting that not only was that lazy writing, people are capable of being sympathetic while alive, even callgirls. I never heard back and honestly did not expect to. Why would his assistant waste time arguing about a fictional dead callgirl with some partially-fictional blonde escort in Dallas?

That exchange has always stuck in my mind. Connelly has obvious fictional talents; I enjoyed his Harry Bosch book and millions of other people have enjoyed that entire series. The main character in Chasing the Dime wasn’t very sympathetic, should he have been killed too? On the other hand, this character was so intrigued by the callgirl that he solved her murder. That doesn’t happen too often in real life. Obviously the cops were less than concerned, which reflects reality precisely.

That the only way an experienced crime-writer like Connelly felt a sex worker could ever possibly be a “good girl” is to be a dead girl is profoundly disturbing to me. Millions of people read his books and they’re absorbing his message: the only good hooker is a dead one. The only way they can feel sorry for us is if we’ve paid for our sins with death. Even the mundane details of the girl’s life (she drank milk! she has a good credit rating! a cute little house! a pet! a family who misses her!) are presented as exotica. As if she is somehow completely removed from all normal human existence, as though she was created, lived and worked in a vacuum. Her murder was her only connection to the “real” world in the book.

For Connelly, the problem is that he could not have sympathy for her as a normal, living human being.