Archive for the tag "prostitution"

A good year for Whores, say the BBC and I (03/02/14)

Last week I found myself at the House of Lords in London, discussing what the BBC World Service means to the world. The World Service stands for accuracy in reporting, a lot of very clever people said, it represents fairness and impartiality, it tells it like it is. So I was thrilled to see that […]

A sad day for Indonesian sex workers (04/05/12)

Wednesday was a sad day for Indonesia, and for me. It marked the death of Endang Sedyaningsih, who encompassed what is best in the women everywhere: courage, determination, integrity, compassion and humility. It is a rare combination at the best of times; in the Indonesian cabinet, where Endang held the position of Minister of Health, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Troll of the Year Award: Am I a fungus or a Marxist? (28/05/10)

I have several loyal readers whose comments regularly make me laugh: this, for example. And I almost never refuse a comment unless it’s trying to sell a cure for AIDS or the commentator is too much of a pussy to give an e-mail address. But this one, from a fount of indignation calling Himself “Derrail”, […]

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 […]

Traffic jam: where are all the bonded hookers? (21/10/09)

Finally, a major paper has bothered to deconstruct the mythical numbers that are bandied about to justify the UK government’s idiotic conflation of sex work with sex trafficking. The fact that raids on over 800 brothels didn’t net any traffickers doesn’t mean that there isn’t anyone in the UK selling sex against their will. But […]

A parliament of whores? Access denied! (29/06/09)

Writing in the Guardian, Cath Elliot trumpets the unanimously warm reception for a new attempt to lock men up for buying sex. She’s proud of her own contribution to the debate, she says, though the hyperlink she gives for that contribution simply takes us to a remark about the International Union of Sex Workers which […]

Finally, (parliamentary) Wisdom FOR Whores (19/05/09)

It’s an exciting day in the UK. While you’d be forgiven for thinking that all MPs worry about is their expenses, they’ll in fact spend this afternoon debating the policing and crime bill, which deals with airport security, public drunkenness. Oh, and prostitution. It seems that home secretart Jaqui Smith has been listening to sex […]

Sex in London: tonight’s special offer (11/03/09)

Hookers, cops, abolitionists, health workers — we’ll be getting hot and heavy tonight at a debate on the sex trade. More specifically, a discussion of how best to tackle the small but vicious portion of the industry that consits of women (and men and transgenders? though we don’t seem to think of them as “victims” […]

For Obama’s inauguration, DC hookers get vaccation (17/01/09)

Many people are thrilled that the Bush Years are almost over. Few more so than sex workers, who have essentially been declared not to exist under the administration’s HIV funding rules. Though many are disappointed that Mark Dybul will stay at the helm of PEPFAR for a while, some of us hope that he’ll do […]

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