Archive for the ‘The sex trade’ Category

You’ve come a long way, faghag… (09/07/12)

On a quick sabbatical from my sabbatical, I’ve dipped back to London for the month of July. How better to spend my first Saturday night than at my local theatre, watching a show called “Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!”. The night before, I indulged in the things I’ve missed most over the last nine months — […]

Spanish wisdom, from hookers (and me) (27/03/12)

Spain. With the possible exception of the one I’m trailing around now, it’s my favourite country on earth. For many reasons, including a sense of social solidarity and the fantastic pragmatism of Spanish women. Madrid’s sex workers have been displaying both, refusing to sell sex to bankers until those blood-suckers start lending money to the […]

The last word in HIV prevention (and farewell for now) (25/10/11)

Much has been going on in the world of HIV, sex and drugs in the last month or so; the US marines recruiting at gay community centers, more mysteriously disappointing study outcomes for PrEP, encouraging news about the effect of microbicide gels against herpes, a new super-easy condom with a brand name that will put […]

Taxing times for Bonn’s street hookers (31/08/11)

Selling sex is an odd profession, full of fiercely independent mavericks who are happy with a very flexible life outside the mainstream, while equally happy to moan about marginalisation. And there’s a fair bit of moaning going on in Bonn at the moment, after the local government installed “pay and display” tax machines for people […]

Proud in New York (25/06/11)

Last night, I was sitting in a Brooklyn restaurant chatting with a Famous Artist and his life-partner, the Respected Historian. In just about third bottle territory, a huge cheer went up from the table next to us, crowded with 20-something year-old straight hipsters. The cause of their excitement was an incoming Tweet: gay New Yorkers […]

Sex workers (and their grannies) speak up (31/01/11)

On the one hand, Canada bans Dire Straits. On the other, it fills the streets with posters aimed at extricating sex workers from social non-existence. Halifax group Stepping Stones is running an ad campaign reminding people that hookers are mothers, daughters, brothers, friends. They are also PhD students, civil servants, dental hygienists, actors and many […]

Church tells my council not to moralise (08/12/10)

The East London Borough of Hackney is trying to wipe lap dancing clubs and sex shops out of my back yard. I’m pleased to see men of the cloth joining me in pointing out that since the businesses are perfectly legal, it is not the goody-two-shoes local councilors’ job to abolish them. The Vicar of […]

Men in dresses: Pope approves trannies too (24/11/10)

The kerfuffle surrounding the Pope´s comments on condoms continues. As the gender of hookers allowed to use condoms switched in translation, the Pope´s spokesman was asked to clarify. Apparently, HIV-infected people can use condoms to protect their partners: “Whether it’s a man or woman or a transsexual.” Of all the men I know who regularly […]

No wonder Obama’s cool: chicks with dicks department (11/11/10)

The New York Times has cottoned on to the unpredictable glories of Indonesia. But they’ve got it just that little bit wrong. Here’s what they have to say about US President Obama’s childhood minder: “His nanny was an openly gay man who, in keeping with Indonesia’s relaxed attitudes toward homosexuality, carried on an affair with […]

Stigma soup: HIV testing at the borders (28/10/10)

Can you protect your nation from HIV by testing immigrants for the virus? Even the United States now thinks that’s a daft idea; it finally dropped its HIV testing requirements for immigrants earlier this year. Now South Korea has followed suit, sort of. The country will drop HIV testing for some, though it has announced […]

Men who have sex with me: typo of the week (15/10/10)

While I try to find time to do justice to the looming decriminalisation of sex work in Canada, I offer this wonderful correction to a blog post about the hideous HIV rates among gay men in the states. Apparently, I’m not the only gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body. Thanks to RH for […]

Another Evangelical hypocrite bites the dust (02/07/10)

Meena Saraswathi Seshu was a well-to-do Indian do-gooder who was determined to save India’s sex slaves from their evil traffickers. To her immense credit, illustrated in this nice profile in The Lancet, (pdf here), she changed her mind when she learned the facts. Not so the US Congressman who tried to bully her organisation SANGRAM […]

UK Election special: Vote down the nanny state (05/05/10)

After I heard David Cameron promise to make policy that went with the grain of human nature, I suggested that Britain’s sex workers should vote Tory. I wasn’t joking, though I haven’t had that much luck convincing friends in the business. Now, though, George McCoy has given us a proper analysis of candidates’ position on […]

Happy hookers: come celebrate in Chicago (30/04/10)

It looks as though the effort to throw more sex workers and clients in jail in Illinois will fail, at least in this legislative session. What better way to celebrate than by coming to a party in Chicago on Saturday night. Wear your best gold thong, and be ready for 90′s hip-hop up the wazoo. […]

Do Chicago sex workers need Swedish laws? (20/04/10)

I’m in Chicago for the month of April, just as the Illinois state Senate tries to increase the penalties for buying and selling sex. The bill (which passed the House unanimously last month) will make it a felony to buy sex, so that any vet, doctor, lawyer etc convicted of the crime will lose their […]

Swedes make sex boring, even in Brazil (19/03/10)

Another thumbs down for the Swedish model. Not the leggy blonde, not even Sweden’s moralistic approach to the sex trade. This one is the Swedish research model, which has managed to turn the fascinating subject of on-line rating of hookers by Brazilian punters into something indescribably dull. Actually, that may not be fair. I think […]

Note to UK sex workers: vote Tory (11/02/10)

Yesterday, I sat at the TED conference in California and watched David Cameron pledge to make policies that support prostitutes. He didn’t say it in those words, exactly, but he did promise firmly to make policy that “goes with the grain of human nature”. That would be a massive change for the UK: Labour’s old […]

Seasonal cheer, and new year challenges (26/12/09)

Christmas in London — what better way to celebrate than carol singing in the streets of Soho with singers from Westmister Abbey and the International Union of Sex Workers? The Rector of St Anne’s parish in Soho swished out in front in long robes and fuschia beret but it was this banner, carried by Nico […]

Hot sex in Copenhagen (07/12/09)

What’s unsustainable about paying fo sex? I guess it depends on what your budget is, and how randy you are. As Copenhagen turns its thoughts green, its mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to Copenhagen hotels urging climate conference delegates to: ‘Be sustainable – don’t buy sex’. In response, the city’s sex workers are offering free […]

PhD in Epidemiology? Sexy at last (17/11/09)

Epidemiologists don’t often hit the headlines. While forensic scientists are celebrated in endless mini-series, the bug hunters merit just the occasional, mercifully long forgotten film (anyone remember Dustin Hoffman in Outbreak? I thought not). As a job, it’s just not very sexy, and most of us who plod away at it keep our wild sides […]

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