Photographer Chris Arnade has been documenting the faces of addiction in Hunts Point for quite some time, and recently was there with… his telescope. He writes, "I have forgotten how wonderful it can be to show someone the rings of Saturn for the first time. Or the craters in the moon. I had my telescope in my car and Takeesha and Deja had seen neither. Sometimes people are disappointed, growing up seeing images from the space telescope. Not these two. They loved it. We got the oddest looks."
He told us this morning that "Takeesha was particularly excited, especially about the rings of saturn. Honestly was not much different from anybody else who I have shown who is smart and curious. I found the reaction of the johns more interesting. They would slow down and just stare out their cars. Takeesha would shout at them, 'Hey, you want your dick sucked or you want to look at Saturn?' She has a great sense of humor that way.”
Arnade also noted that he used to be an “astronomy nut,” with a small telescope guiding him through the sky from a cow pasture… “what an odd journey to end up in Hunts Point with a much larger telescope.” He’ll now be setting it up there “about twice a month, to show the neighborhood kids, adults, etc.”
This is kind of how I feel when I’m showing people stuff through my telescope and just informing people about what they’re seeing and how that object got to where it’s at now. One thing that didn’t sit right with me about this article though was the comment "Honestly was not much different from anybody else who I have shown who is smart and curious." As if the photographer was expecting something else. Either way this is a great way of going out into the community and using knowledge for good, I love how it acted as a bonding tool for people of completely different socioeconomic statuses.
"Takeesha was particularly excited, especially about the rings of saturn. Honestly was not much different from anybody else who I have shown who is smart and curious…"
Geez, it’s almost like sex workers are people too… amazing!
god how fucking condescending
I wish men felt extreme social pressure to remove most/all their body hair.
not for any egalitarian reasons; men’s body hair is gross and it would just make my job more pleasant.
Botswana’s blitz on sex workers took off over the weekend with at least 30 women arrested as part of a campaign to curb the influx of sex workers and gays in the southern African country.
.Botswana recently embarked on a campaign that prostitutes will either be detained if they are locals or deported if they are foreigners for their “disorderly and indecent” behaviour.
Acting Botswana Police Services (BPS) public relations officer, Mr Dipheko Motube insists the campaign must be treated like any other operation targeting emerging crime trends. “Sex work, like any other offence, is worrisome in this country.
It’s one of the offences that are prevalent in this country, but we treat it like any other offence,” Mr Motube said.
Also I do notice that the tumblr feminist circle jerk will embrace sex workers so long as they are not whores. Remember when the same people who talked about how sex work was just a brutal degrading experience (without ever having done it) were reblogging Stoya with breathless praise? Also apaz if you are a stripper n make sure u snark in exactly the same way n tell saucy work stories n MOST OF ALL don’t demonstrate any inconvenient anger at, you know, the non sw-ing contingent of tumblr smarter-wiser-and-more-jesus-upped-than-you feminists, you can totally be all buddy buddy with the gang*.
The most important thing of course is, if you’re a sex worker, don’t actually be a prostitute. Especially not an angry one.
Don’t even try to tell me there aren’t any whorephobic, bigoted ideas about acceptable kinds of sex work at play here.
What I Mean When I Say I’m Sex Negative:
- sex positive feminism has little room for rape/assault survivors
- sex positive feminism has little interest in helping people who don’t want their sex-life to be a coping mechanism for trauma
- sex positive feminism prioritizes individual pleasure over critical thinking skills
- sex positive feminism should be critiqued!
- not all “kinks” are okay
- people are allowed to not care about your sex life
- people are allowed to not enjoy sex
- people are allowed to be scared of sex
- no one needs to have or enjoy sex to prove how empowered they are
What I Don’t Mean
- I’m going to yell at individual adults who have consensual sex.
- I’m anti-sex
- I’m anti-kink
- I’m against coping mechanisms and survival
To add a few of my own as a sex negative sex worker:
- that sex positive feminism tends to glorify sex work and in doing so silences sex workers when we speak out about the problems with sex work that sex posi feminists don’t talk about
- sex posi feminism perpetuates seemingly positive stereotypes about sex work but ends up harming sex workers
- sex posi feminism prioritizes aspects of sex work that are supposed to be the “better” parts of it without understanding outside oppressive forces (see: having orgasms at work is great!)
- sex posi feminism tends to ignore outside oppressive forces in general like racism, transphobia, classism, etc.
Some idiot from Return of Kings.com has decided to post this absolute atrocity - five steps towards fucking a stripper. It’s exactly as you would imagine it; full of idiotic tips such as “Don’t spend money”, “Tap into her daddy issues” and “Befriend the bouncers”.
To any fellas reading this, let me just say that every single one of these pathetic methods has been tried on me before. Like, a lot of times. Every ~trick in that book has been tried on me, and then some. Do you know what I do, whenever anyone from the club expects me to fuck them? I laugh in their face. Loudly. Uproariously.
A week ago, a beautiful nineteen year old Kiwi boy tried all of these moves, and then tried to pull me close and ask me to go home with him.
I laughed in his face.
Last night, a business executive offered me seven thousand dollars to go back to his place for the evening and ‘just dance’ for him.
I laughed in his face.
Last month, a guy tried the trick mentioned in this article’s comment section - he sat front row, refused to tip me, told me with a sardonic smile (an attempt at being alpha, I assume) that I should ‘try someone else sweetheart, maybe we’ll hang later.’
I laughed in his face and got him physically thrown out of the club.
LADIES, LADIES, LADIES. Please remember who is in charge of the club, and that is YOU, that is US. We create our own boundaries, we decide what is and is not okay regarding communication and how we are spoken to, and what is NOT okay is freeloading fucking pervert morons assuming that we want to fulfil their piss-poor, boring stripper fantasies.
Repeat after me, please:
- I am not a commodity.
- I am not only a stripper.
- I did not get into this industry to cater to the fantasies of boring, pathetic little men who think they can assert dominance over me because of what I do.
- Men who come into the club looking to pick up are disgusting.
- I will do better by my industry than that.
- I will do better by myself than that.
- I will do better by my coworkers than that.
- Taking my clothes off for money does not mean I lack self respect - playing into the hands of disgusting men who do not view me as a human being, on the other hand, does.
- I will fuck people who are attracted to ME, not the person I am at the club/the idea of fucking a stripper.
- Pick up artists must die.
Trigger warning for sex tourism
PARADISE: LOVE - TRAILER
On the beaches of Kenya, they’re known as “Sugar Mamas:” European women who seek out African boys, selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian and mother of a daughter entering puberty, travels to this vacation paradise. She goes from one Beach Boy to the next, from one disappointment to the next, and finally she must recognize: on the beaches of Kenya, love is a business.
So are we supposed to feel bad for the white lady or nah?
why does the media keep tryina make me feel sorry for rich, amoral white ladies? I can’t do it…
I see these women a lot when I go to Mombasa. They’re literally just sex tourists and I side eye this film for trying to humanise them
I AM SO ANNOYED right now. I am so annoyed right now.
this is disgusting
also a good reminder that it isn’t only white men who engage in sex tourism
WHITE WOMEN ARE AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN COMPLICIT IN WHITE SUPREMACY
This stuff is very rampant all over Africa and the Caribbean. In Jamaica, they call it “rent a rasta” or a “rent a dread”. Divorced white women are blowing their alimony payments on “rent a rasta” in Jamaica. See a trailer for a documentary of it here.
In Nigeria, there are small pockets of women from the UK who have “rent boys” in cities like Port Harcourt, Uyo and Calabar. They prefer those places because they are very hospitable to foreigners, and it isn’t as congested or hectic like Lagos for instance. They can come and go as they please, and the likelihood of them getting scammed is much lower. They have boys the posted up in flats, and they visit them several times a year.
Make no mistake about it though, these women are predators. Their rent boys are usually young, around 18 and 19. You will rarely see them with men over 25. The younger ones are easier and cheaper to maintain, and they have high sex drives, which is why they are there. It’s a commodification of a taboo; sex with a black person. They get to live out their wild fantasies, and then they go home to their mundane, boring lives.
I’m always weary of white people in Africa in general. Be it ex-pats, vacationers, NGOs, UN peacekeepers, church groups or anyone else. There always seem to be ulterior motives with them, no matter how benevolent they appear on the surface. They will find a way to impose their sexual will and desires over people who are less fortunate. In the DRC, UN “peacekeepers” were violating young girls. Child prostitution was rampant, and many were leaving girls pregnant. See here. This type of thing is widespread.
When white folks go to some tropical getaway where only black and brown folks are, the impetus for a lot of those trips are cheap thrills and cheap sex. They didn’t fly half way around the world just to lie down on a beach. Especially if it’s a solo trip. They could have done that in locales much closer to home. 50 year old white men don’t go on solo trips to Kenya, the Dominican Republic or Thailand to take in the culture and to see the beach. They go for cheap sex, often with minors. White women are following their lead.
Anyway, what irks me about documentaries that focus on white women who partake in sex tourism is that they always try to humanize them, or make them out to be helpless women looking for love. No, these women are predators who are exploiting young men for sex. These dudes are poor. These white women aren’t going after the movers and shakers in society, or people with money in the countries they visit. They know what they’re doing and their targets are the poor and vulnerable. They wave a few bucks in their face so they can have their way with their bodies. This is what it is.
Prohibitionist feminists and anti-traffickers, along with certain law makers and Christian religious groups, are highly invested in promoting the idea that sex work is about cis women as prostitutes and cis men as johns. The erasure of the realities and the size of the participation of trans and male sex workers in all areas of the sex industry, and of women (both cis and trans) as clients, is a strategic decision that enables prohibitionists to deploy emotionally laden images of female purity, threats to the home/men’s property rights of women’s bodies, sin, the transmission of disease, and the intentionally Christ-like need to rescue lost souls. Relying on these emotionally charged narratives causes a wide variety of people to have a knee-jerk reaction that aids their prohibitionist cause and obfuscates the actual issues facing sex workers, clients, and lawmakers.
When you bring up the extensive participation of trans and male sex workers within the sex industry, prohibitionists and anti-traffickers are very quick to write off these workers’ experiences as unimportant because to examine them would make their arguments fall apart completely. Similarly, prohibitionists and anti-traffickers strategically focus on street-based sex work, purposefully downplaying and ignoring all other areas of the industry (such as escorting, brothels, BDSM work, phone sex, massage parlours, strip clubs, and porn) despite the fact that street-based sex work makes up only about 20% of the sex industry. By highlighting the risks of street-based sex work, without discussing how the criminalization of prostitution increases and potentially even creates this risk of violence and exploitation, prohibitionists and anti-traffickers again can elicit an emotional reaction from their audience, making it extremely difficult to have a fuller conversation about the realities of street-based work.
It is also interesting to note that anti-traffickers spend almost all of their time discussing sex trafficking, despite the fact that this is statistically one of the smallest areas of human trafficking. According to the available research, human trafficking is located primarily in agricultural work, live-in domestic care (nannies and maids), and construction work. The cases of trafficked live-in domestic care are both deeply troubling and also deeply telling of the priorities of anti-traffickers. Live-in domestic care workers are generally employed and exploited by upper-middle-class and mostly white people — the very same people we find populating the majority of anti-trafficking organizations. It doesn’t take much imagination to understand why this topic would be less attractive for anti-traffickers’ efforts, given that not only is it less easily sensationalized but it also hits too close to their well-appointed homes.
A final point of interest I want to mention is the connection between anti-trans radical feminism and the prohibitionist feminist/anti-trafficking movement. Notoriously anti-trans feminists such as Janice G. Raymond, who spent the 1970s-90s campaigning against the “transsexual menace,” have in recent years switched their focus to fighting the spectre of sex trafficking. Raymond, for example, currently runs one of the largest anti-trafficking organizations in North America. This connection between anti-sex work and anti-trans ideology and activism shouldn’t be ignored, as it is quite informative not only of the ways that both of these communities are inherently linked in the public consciousness but also of the potential for solidarity work between trans and sex workers’ communities. Prohibitionist and anti-trafficking feminists are just as invested in regulating women’s bodies and lives as the misogynists they claim to be fighting. They not only attempt to regulate who count as women, they also regulate what women should and should not be allowed to do with their bodies and their lives.
A truly pro-choice feminism must unquestionably respect and advocate for womens’ right to self-determination, including gender self-determination and employment self-determination.
People make a lot of fascinating assumptions when I disclose having done sex work as a trans teenager. A lot of people assume that I had a violent home and ran away. Some people assume that I was sexually abused as very young child. Occasionally, people assume that I was being pimped by someone, or otherwise coerced into doing sex work. They give me sympathy (pity) and, I think, hope that I will trust them enough to disclose the salacious details of my life that they are sure will rival those of JT LeRoy.
When I challenge any of these assumptions, or discuss how empowering sex work was for me as a young trans person struggling to find any kind of validation in my life, they become less sympathetic. Feminists sometimes discount my experiences as not being like “real sex work,” whatever that is, because my life does not fit neatly into their ideas about sex trafficking.
Occasionally, people get angry at me for not being repentant, for not opposing sex work. Usually, I laugh in their faces and then verbally tear them to pieces.
Sometimes, sex work-friendly activists who’ve never done sex work themselves get really excited about how I felt positive validation through sex work. But they make a lot of assumptions, too. They often assume that I was older when I did sex work. That I made a great deal of money. That I didn’t have negative experiences. When I challenge these assumptions, they looks upset and I worry that they might change their opinions and join the hordes of “anti-trafficking” people. It’s a tricky line to walk between being honest and not losing “allies” who are much needed in the continued struggle for sex workers’ rights.
It would be really nice if people who haven’t done sex work could understand that the vast majority of sex work is deeply neutral, even when youth are doing it or people without status or with precarious status. Most people who do sex work have ambiguous relationships with the work. Sometimes it can be fun and rewarding, sometimes it can be frustrating or even dangerous, but largely it’s somewhere in the middle. And all of those experiences are equally valid. None of them stop being “real sex work” simply because they do not conform to the one end of the spectrum we’ve decided to set up moral camp at.
also so much for scorning ahistoricism when sooooo much total disregard is deliberately affected by these women of the roles sex workers have played in our communities over time, as mothers, lesbians, trans women and sole breadwinners (not to mention the different countries and cultures they dwelled in and the different races they were) whilst dealing with some of the most horrifically targeted misogyny out there. and literally NEVER talked about except as victims who needed to be rescued.
Also I do notice that the tumblr feminist circle jerk will embrace sex workers so long as they are not whores. Remember when the same people who talked about how sex work was just a brutal degrading experience (without ever having done it) were reblogging stoya with breathless praise? Also apaz if you are a stripper n make sure u snark in exactly the same way n tell saucy work stories n MOST OF ALL don’t demonstrate any inconvenient anger at, you know, the non sw-ing contingent of tumblr smarter-wiser-and-more-jesus-upped-than-you feminists, you can totally be all buddy buddy with the gang*.
The most important thing of course is, don’t actually be a prostitute. And especially not an angry one.
Don’t even try to tell me there aren’t phobic, bigoted ideas about acceptable kinds of sex work at play here.
I know I shouldn’t get hung up on it and these people aren’t worth it, but the absolute transparency of it is just really gross. Like people who used to write about it being important not to be whorephobic assholes bro-ing down with the most whorephobic bloggers on their new blog, like literally the ones who write impassioned posts about how disgusting it is and how so many cocks will spoil you, but these supposed allies are super chummy because of the ‘challenge’ or something and like so many times I have mentioned a particular blogger to purported allies knowing they follow her and they’ve kinda avoided it and gotten hand-wavy dismissive even though she literally uses her dead sister’s life story as a prop to serve her ‘all sex work is terrible exploitation and therefore all sw on tumblr are fair game to ridicule haha these silly wimminz you’re so pathetic n dum THE TRAGEDY OF PROSTITUTION’ (I guess if you say pithy things about misogyny & asexuals that sorta thing is ok but if you say righteous shit about misogyny but are a whore then you’re an insult to the cause) & actually that is a really big thing on here that empathy and compassion is only extended to the theoretical SEX SLAVES no one has actually met or encountered and any sex worker they actually have interaction with is just a ridiculous silly super privileged nit wit who deserves to be ruthlessly mocked for talking about labour rights n shit (unless they are stoya or strippers who toe the line appropriately) because LOL labour rights in prostitution DON’T THESE SILLY BITCHES KNOW THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE IN SUCH AN INHERENTLY EXPLOITATIVE INDUSTRY they’re too exploited to even know it poor dears now let’s all point and laugh and make fun of the words they use to describe the discrimination they experience which we are indulging in right now. ~~FEMINISM. ~~SOLIDARITY.
there are so many conditions on being allowed into the club. and being a hooker wipes them all. there is no concession on that, not even a little bit, no matter what in other ways convictions and beliefs and experiences are shared. (oh yeah and remember when misandry became ~dangerous and ~unproductive when trans women and hookers embraced it and it wasn’t just a good cis girl thing anymore even tho we all had really compelling reasons for needing it which spoke directly to our experiences of misogyny and abuse?)
you all reblog Gail Dines cheerily, ignoring she is violently transphobic and whorephobic and abusive to the women close to her, whilst never giving the time of day to porn performers own testaments about their work.
you all reblog gifsets of upper caste women whose idea of “rescuing” girls from sex slavery is to take them from their sex working mothers and put them into something they politely call the “second generation prevention program” - like literally take these (not actually having sex with anyone!) children from their mothers and putting them into the system because having a whore for a mother is worse than having no mother at all.
you would all rather die than acknowledge sex work activism unless it’s by white women you can make fun of, which is a really sneaky way of erasing activism by people of colour.
when a sex worker dies there is absolute radio silence from all of you.
but when a t shirt says “every porn star is someone’s daughter” you all get SO EXCITED BECAUSE IT HUMANISES US even though it is gross to define a person by their relationship to (implicitly) a man.
and you all pick the easiest targets, ALWAYS, whilst claiming you’re the easiest targets.
I literally don’t even know why I’m writing this, I know it will make no difference at all. I guess just to let off some steam.
Please don’t send me 101 questions about sex work. I do not blog to act as an educational resource for new sex workers or curious bystanders who maybe possibly might do sex work one day. This is a personal blog. I long ago stopped being willing to give advice on the matter and no where in my blog does it indicate that I’m prepared to receive such questions. When there are dozens of blogs on sex work 101 that openly advertise they are willing to take questions it is just bloody lazy and thoughtless to ask an obviously tired, cranky, jaded and over it sex worker to take a big chunk of time out to answer a really LOADED query - and EVERY query about sex work is loaded. And exhausting to tackle. I’m sorry I only did that stuff when I was a much bigger obnoxious twit but bad luck.
Just think, you know?
I am much happier to answer questions face to face but check with me first. And know me a little bit too, thanks.
christ I hate threads like this, cos the talent & skill of a sw becomes an entry point for people to wallow in good whore bad whore rhetoric. it’s okay to be a stripper so long as you’re an elite pole dancer and like, not even really take your clothes off. sorry guys, you’re a bunch of whorephobic assholes, placing conditions upon when it’s acceptable to be a sex worker and you can all go get fucked.
Okay, hello, question time if you don’t mind.
I just read an article that made a more than fair complaint about comics. It said, basically, that even sympathetic portrayals of sex workers in comics tend to focus exclusively on the idea of ‘damaged’ or ‘broken’ sex workers. And of course, the vast, vast majority of the sex worker characters are also cis-women in comics, with little representation of anyone else on the gender spectrum.
Everyone wants to be represented fairly, and few people enjoy stereotypes, particularly those which seem to be based on the writers’ own thinly-veiled tastes and desires. And constantly portraying every sex worker in this manner is clearly offensive.
For whatever reason, I have a great, great many sex workers of all kinds among my readership, and they’ve been pretty great about letting me know when things are going wrong (though sometimes it takes a bit to sink into my often-stubborn head, sorry). But the most prominent sex workers I have written, Jeannette and Liana, I believe don’t fit the ‘broken,’ thing. Rather, they have made their choice and are among the happiest and most joyful characters I write. Neither do they feel shame for it, even when people try to place shame on them.
Doesn’t mean I know the topic as well as I should, obviously, but I am happy at least to present a couple sex workers who don’t fit that previously mentioned stereotype.
But I am sure there are others, maybe better portrayals of sex workers in mainstream comics.
So throwing it out there…if you have been involved with sex work and are comfortable sharing, what portrayals of it in comics have you found most truthful or most agreeable?
Conversely, which ones have you found to be the most wrong or offensive to your experience?
And finally, ARE there any sex workers in mainstream comics who aren’t cis-women?
Thank you, very curious to hear from you.
I really don’t have the energy for this sort of discussion anymore but something I’m tired of is the idea the only good portrayal of sex workers are the ones who’ve made the choice and are “happy” with it. The happy hooker stereotype needs to die as much as the broken one. The truth is for the majority of sex workers this is a job, plain and simple and we have as many complicated and conflicting emotions about it on any given day as anything else. I’m also tired of only seeing positive portrayals being high class super attractive ones with education and blar de blar. More diversity would be great. Like a street worker portrayed in an authentic, humanising, complex way although I trust literally NO ONE to do that.
Also, um, there’s nothing wrong with being broken. per se. just that it’s exhausting and demeaning when that’s your ONLY representation. tbh, to make a big fuss over characters not being broken seems really gross to me cos I am broken and I know lots of people who are broken. Not necessarily broken by sex work, but sometimes it does contribute in some ways and that’s part of the complexity of our lives (of anyone’s lives). It’s gross when sex work is depicted as being inherently something that will break people who work in the industry, but I don’t know, exploring how managing stigma and criminalisation and discrimination can fuck you up or contribute to existing trauma, those things are important. Again I don;t actually trust anyone to do this right.
I commented on the shittiness of Liana’s kidnap storyline back when it happened so I won’t go there again. And Junior killed a street sex worker in a really disgusting way in the beginning of SS, a ssw who was also portrayed in a really gross, classist, mean-spirited way so there’s that.
also thekingofbreakfast decided to derail a topic specifically about sex workers and what WE want to make it ALLLL ABOUT HIIIIMMMM and his manpain over TEH JEALOSU!!111!! so you should definitely ignore him. what an asshole.