Archive for March, 2008

Selling sex is worse than selling crack: the music industry pronounces (18/03/08)

Should people who have unprotected sex live near schools? (17/03/08)

Anyone convicted in South Dakota of intentionally exposing a sex partner to HIV will have to sign up as a sex offender, according to a bill signed into law today. The AP reports this as though a person has to infect their partner before they become a sex offender, but the law appears to cast […]

Name that pussy (17/03/08)

When I was working on the manuscript of The Wisdom of Whores, I got my knickers in a twist about what to call a girl’s nether regions. In Britain, “fanny” is a nice, friendly word, but in the States fanny means arse. So I asked a couple of American friends what friendly word they used […]

In Texas, masturbation leads to incest (16/03/08)

Help me out here. George Bush says abstinence is the only reliable way of avoiding HIV. So you’d think do-it-yourself orgasms would be the order of the day. It took Bush’s home state of Texas a while to get with the programme, but they finally made it okay to masturbate, legalising dildos just in time […]

Morality and science: are they incompatible? (15/03/08)

Ok, we’re all Spitzered out. I had many reactions to a piece I wrote about the affair(s). Some were baffling — apparently I am anti-Semitic for implying that a man who breaks the very laws he makes might be one sandwich short of a picnic, for instance. Which at least alerted me to the fact […]

Supressing herpes doesn’t prevent HIV: another silver bullet mis-fired (14/03/08)

Another window of hope for HIV prevention slammed shut this week, with publication of a study showing that treating herpes doesn’t prevent HIV. There’s a very strong association between HIV infection and herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2), especially in sub-Saharan Africa. People with HIV are more likely to get herpes, and vice versa. But because […]

At last, there’s a cure for AIDS! (14/03/08)

Heroin tops cannabis as prisoners’ drug of choice (14/03/08)

There’s more smack than dope in British jails, according to newly-published data (pdf) from the Ministry of Justice. In random testing, 4.2% of prisoners tested positive for opiates, 4% for cannabis. In a couple of jails, heroin use was up at 16%. Some people say that prisoners are switching to heroin because it doesn’t hang […]

Calling “These women”: tell us about your disorders… (13/03/08)

This morning The Guardian published an opinion piece (Sptizer’s True Folly), in which I argued that we should promote laws which differentiate between the exchange of sex for money between consenting adults and the exploitation of children and unwilling workers. Here was one of the responses, from kathyw: Oh, please. These women (and the transgendered […]

HIV positively funny? (13/03/08)

South Park is at it again, being funny about a deadly subject. Tut tut.

Spitzer: some better ideas for the lapsed abolitionist (12/03/08)

The New York Times runs “all-sex-workers-are-victims” op-eds. The sex workers, blogging in force at Bound, Not Gagged and elsewhere, beg to differ. They also provide some practical policy guidance. Here, for example, is a list of policy goals from Jill Brenneman of Sex Worker’s Outreach Project East. • Decriminalization of all aspects of sex work […]

American schoolgirls and Asian prostitutes: what’s the difference? (12/03/08)

One in four teenaged girls in the United States has a sexually transmitted infection, according to anew study from CDC. Only half of those girls are sexually active. Among those who have ever had sex, STI rates are 40%. We don’t know how that compares with past rates in the United States, because this kind […]

Put our money where your mouth is: politicians and prostitutes (11/03/08)

Scott Swensen suggests the following Prostitution Pledge for Politicians. As an American politician I will stop all hypocritical, self-righteous moralizing and judgment of the lives of others. I pledge to support legislation that treats all humans as equals and ensure that foreign assistance dollars intended to stop HIV/AIDS are allocated using the very best public […]

Spitzer: cementing a cross-party tradition of hypocrisy (11/03/08)

So New York’s Democrat governor Elliot Spitzer admits to having been a naughty boy. He wanted to have sex with someone who wasn’t his wife, and pay for it. Tut tut. Paroxysms of delight from his enemies at The Wall Street Journal and comment about Spitzer’s staying power and other analysis many other places besides. […]

How to talk to your kids about sex (10/03/08)

American taxpayers are ploughing money into ads telling parents to talk to their kids about sex. Or rather, telling parents to talk to their kids about not having sex. It includes such helpful lines as “Tell me to wait to have sex. And don’t worry. I’ll always be your Muffinhead. Your Punkinface. Your Pookie Bear.” […]

Don’t be a drip: the syphilis sex show (09/03/08)

The wonderful Mid-West Teen Sex Show this month gives us porn. We can all agree that staying at home with a glossy-then-sticky mag is a good way to avoid those nasty infections which you can get if you stay at home with sticky-then-drippy human beings. I hadn’t thought that the mid-West would have much to […]

No taxation without (open access) publication (07/03/08)

Guardian “Bad Science” columnist Ben Goldacre is jubilant that the UK government does policy-on-blogger/columnist-command. So here’s another command: oblige researchers who use my tax money or yours to publish in journals that you and I can read. Not after a year, but right away. I don’t mean only research that is funded directly by the […]

Shouldn’t sex workers have rights every day? (06/03/08)

International sex workers’ rights day passed with little comment — I spent it surrounded by rent boys in Bangkok and saw little celebration. I could have a rant about this, but The Curvature has said most of it for me.

Buffy goes gay. Or not. (05/03/08)

Gay role models are hard to find. But just when we’ve got a vampire slayer that might fit the bill, we’re told she doesn’t. Buffy, Vampire Slayer extraordinaire, has ended up in the buff with another slayerette. Here’s what her progenitor Joss Whedon told The New York Times. “It puts the reader in this ‘Oh […]

How to earn a quick 50 bucks: selling sex in Jakarta (04/03/08)

Want to know why nice girls sell sex? I’ve trawled through hundreds of academic papers pontificating about the motivation for selling sex, I’ve listened to quite a bit of gender-jargon from self-righteous feminists, and I’ve been sjubjected to too much of the sexploitation rhetoric from right-wing religious relics. But I’ve rarely seen a more straight-forward […]

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