Whether or not you believe Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a hotel maid in New York City this spring (and I, personally, believe that he did), we can all agree the former head of the International Monetary Fund is a sleazy dude. Not long after he was accused by Nafissatou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant, of forcing her to perform oral sex, a French journalist named Tristane Banon spoke out and said Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her back in 2003 when she came to interview him at a Paris apartment. Not too long after, the French newspaper Le Parisien reported that Air France had an unofficial policy of only allowing men to work in first class when Strauss-Kahn flew because he routinely sexually harassed their stewardesses, like the time he allegedly told one woman, “What a nice ass!” So I’m not too surprised to read on Slate.com that France’s Journal du Dimanche newspaper claims the ex-IMF chief has allegedly been linked to a French prostitution ring. Keep reading »
Tag Archives: sex work
Lawyers in the New York Attorney General’s office are used to cracking down on bad boys. But in Alisha Smith’s case, bad boys may have been paying her top dollar for a public spanking from “Alisha Spark,” her dominatrix alter ego. There are also allegedly photographs of “Alisha Spark” on the internet posing in skintight, latex fetish gear. According to an investigation by The New York Post, the 36-year-old Manhattan lawyer performs at BDSM events for pay — which has caused the AG’s office to suspend her from her job. A source told the Post her employers are concerned she may have been paid for doing this sex work — not just because it could be potentially embarrassing to her employers but because workers are supposed to get approval for any outside work for which they would earn over $1K. Even, uh, kinky work. Keep reading »
“The Playboy Club” is the number one TV series I’m excited about this fall. How could I not be psyched for (another) show about the ’60s and the fight for women’s equality? Feminist icon Gloria Steinem, who went undercover as a Bunny/waitress for a magazine exposé in 1963, is calling for a boycott of the show, but I truly hope it will instead provoke lots of discussion and have some teachable moments.
So, I read with interest an interview with actress Amber Heard in Playboy magazine. As the star of the show, she does not have an easy path ahead of her. In every single interview, she will be asked her opinions about Playboy Clubs and women who worked as bunnies/waitresses — on some level, to justify the show’s existence. Keep reading »
Fireworks weren’t the only thing exploding over 4th of July weekend: that’s also when The New York Post published a scathing front-page article about the hotel maid who accused ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault which, among other things, called her a prostitute. The paper quoted an unnamed source “close to the investigation” who said, “There is information … of her getting extraordinary tips, if you know what I mean. And it’s not for bringing extra f**king towels.” It basically insinuated the woman was being pimped out by her union.
The newsprint probably wasn’t even dry before the hotel maid, a refugee from Guinea who lives in the Bronx, filed a libel lawsuit against the Post. Now, as media reporters, like Erik Wemple at The Washington Post, look closer at the Post‘s so-called reportage, the prostitution allegation looks even fishier. Instead, it looks more like a smear to make this woman just look like some whore. Keep reading »
- When my ex was invited to a bachelor party weekend in Montreal, where the strip clubs are apparently insane, he wanted nothing to do with it. I would not have cared if he got a lap dance, I think. But Marie Claire now wants to freak us the eff out by telling us how many guys have sex with prostitutes during bachelor party festivities. Gee, thanks, Marie Claire! Check out some horrifying quotes, like the one that follows. “I assumed strippers would paw me, then I’d go home and have sex with my wife,” said one dude. “But after the stripper got me excited she said ‘For $100, I’ll finish you off.’ It was like Zeus reaching down from heaven. When a girl is literally unzipping your pants, men can’t say no. We’re not built that way.” [Marie Claire]
- Target released an “It Gets Better” video. Does that make up for the fact the company donated campaign money to an anti-gay candidate? [Queerty]
- Rapper 50 Cent knocked singer/actress Jill Scott’s weight on Twitter. [Essence]
Warning: the following blog post will make you stabby. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the ex-chief of the International Monetary Fund who is accused of sexually assaulting a New York City hotel maid, may argue in court that the victim was a prostitute who threatened to blackmail him. The Sun reports that Strauss-Kahn’s defense team will claim the maid “seduced” him and then demanded cash for sex. The defense may also argue that Strauss-Kahn’s semen found on the maid’s clothes indicate what went down was consensual, not a sexual assault (although that logic makes no sense to me).
In November 2009, Dr. Brooke Magnanti bravely outed herself as the “Belle du Jour,” a former sex worker whose blog Diary of a London Call Girl went on to become a smash hit book and Showtime TV series, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl.” A specialist in neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology, Dr. Magnanti only revealed herself to be Belle because an ex-boyfriend was threatening to do it for her out of spite. She had worked as a prostitute in 2003 and 2004 to support herself while finishing up her doctorate.
These days, the 35-year-old research scientist at Bristol University is penning another book, this time under her own name. Sexonomics: An Examination of Third-Wave Feminism Through the Prism of the Sex Trade will be published in spring 2012. Keep reading »
“When I first started playing [Belle/Hannah], when I first read the script, I found it very hard to believe that those kind of women in that profession really [could be feminists]. I was quite judgmental about it. I thought ‘I’m not entirely sure that there’s any way that you could be that way and feel liberated and independent and call yourself an out-and-out feminist.’ It’s a very gray area. What happens with the character of Belle is that it starts off being, ‘This is who I am, this is what I am, it’s all fine, I’m in control,’ to feeling like she questions her ideas of feminism, and mostly down to the relationships that she forms with Ben and other people. It’s something she starts to question more and more. Actually nowadays, it’s really hard to define feminism in a way, because it’s hard saying ‘we’re strong women, we’re career women, we make our own cash, and [yet] we wear provocative clothes, and say provocative things,’ and the whole idea feels slightly flawed now to some extent. … It is a massive kind of compromise. In one breath it’s like ‘this is my life’ and, on the surface, very enviable, but it would take a certain kind of person to be able to do that as a profession.”
— Billie Piper, who plays Hannah/high-class prostitute Belle on “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” on being called out by her boyfriend Ben’s mom about not being a good feminist. Do you agree with her? [TV Squad] Keep reading »
Call girls: they’re talented writers! First there was Dr. Brooke Magnanti, whose identity only became known after her blog, Diary of a London Call Girl, became wildly famous and spawned a book and TV series. Now there’s an anonymous East Coast-based woman going by the nom de plume “Charlotte Shane.”
“Charlotte Shane” pens a blog called Nightmare Brunette about her experiences in sex work. In a stellar piece on Salon.com, “Charlotte” explains she tries her hardest not to glamorize prostitution like Hollywood. “I never intend to glamorize my profession, and I don’t list expensive gifts I receive or lavish items I buy for myself,” she wrote. “I avoid rhapsodizing about exotic vacations or name-dropping hotels. I never disclose my rates and I don’t claim every encounter ends in mind-blowing orgasms — or any orgasm at all. That type of sensationalistic hype is really only good for selling books or selling face time on TV shows, neither of which I’m interested in.” She tries to be honest about what working as an escort really is: a job. Keep reading »
College students need to support themselves somehow. And in China, it’s becoming increasingly popular to make a living selling your body. Prostitution in China is on the rise — particularly among college students — and girls get paid not on a nightly basis, but a yearly fee.
Annual fees start around $5,000 for more homely girls, while the pretty girls — the ones who usually attend drama school — garner the most attention, and are the most expensive. Those girls can make around $25,000 a year, but the price is high: Unprotected sex is rampant among college prostitutes, who don’t want to view the sex work they do as actual prostitution. Keep reading »