Stories of sex work are rarely ever told by the people actually doing the work. And the sex work narrative typically portrays those involved in the industry as victims, martyrs or worse — immoral harlots bent on unraveling the very fabric of society. That’s why the Red Umbrella Project (RedUP) aims to give sex workers a voice: their own. Keep reading »
We can all agree that sex trafficking of women and girls is abhorrent and should be illegal. Maybe we won’t agree about whether consensual sex work should be legal. (I personally believe it should be.) But where do you stand on punishing cab drivers who knowingly drive around prostitutes?
On Friday morning, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation that pins a $10,000 fine on a cab driver who is convicted the second time for knowingly transporting prostitutes to their work. Simply transporting a prostitute or a decoy prostitute would not be illegal, the mayor said, but knowingly driving around sex workers even after getting caught doing so once before would now constitute participating in a ‘sex trafficking operation.’ Keep reading »
Julia Stiles is back on the small screen, only instead of your TV screen, I’m talking about your computer — the actress is staring in a new show called “Blue” on the YouTube channel Wigs. Wigs has enlisted a bunch of fantastic actors to star in their series, which involve multiple mini-episodes that are all usually under 10 minutes. In “Blue,” Stiles plays a single mom who starts working nights as an escort in order to pay the bills, but is shocked to find out one of her first clients is a friend from childhood. Whoops! You can watch episodes 1-5now. [WIGS]
But before that, let’s look back on the other fabulously talented actresses who have played escorts or call girls — i.e. sex workers who play house calls — on film or TV.
Sunday night’s episode of “Mad Men” was a climactic one, and possibly the best episode of the season. Peggy, fed up with being taken for granted by Don, landed a new job at a rival firm and resigned by Sterling Cooper Draper Price. Meanwhile, SCDP’s deal with Jaguar seemingly hinges on Joan sleeping with an exec from the car manufacturer. That Pete dared to bring this proposal to Joan was loathsome. The other partners’ (save Don’s) begrudging support of pimping out one of their most loyal and hardworking employees was disgusting. Even Don’s plea to Joan that sleeping with the exec “wouldn’t be worth it” (which came, unbeknownst to him, just a little too late) was not without room for criticism — his primary motivation was likely his ego’s desire to land the deal on his own merit.
But what of Joan’s decision to sleep with the Jaguar exec in exchange for partnership in SCDP (with a five percent stake)? We got a glimpse at Joan’s current home life as a single mom (her husband, Greg, having filed for divorce last episode), living with her judgmental mother, and it was clear that it’s not an easy, comfortable one. Was Joan’s decision to use her sexuality in the most blatant of ways to get ahead (exchanging sex for money) ultimately a feminist decision? Or was the fact that she was clearly conflicted — and certainly not “enjoying it” — a sign that she was clearly disempowered, whether she came out better financially or not? Jessica and I both had really strong opinions on the subject, so we decided to talk it out over IM. Read our convo after the jump and then share your views in the comments! Keep reading »
President Bill Clinton co-hosted a party with Prince Albert of Monaco and took a photograph with three beautiful young women.
Those women just happened to be porn stars. According to The Atlantic Wire, one woman is Brooklyn Lee, who appeared in the porn flick “Secretaries 4″; another is Tasha Reign, who appeared in “Farm Girls Gone Bad”; and the third woman has been identified as someone named Jennifer Taule. Everyone from Page Six to the UK’s Daily Mail is falling over themselves over “Bubba and the porn babes.”
Why does anyone care? Keep reading »
Well, goddamn, some names definitely seem to lead you down certain life paths, don’t they? Having a name like Fokken might have had a tad bit of influence in convincing these two feisty broads — twin sister prostitutes — into getting into the biz. Identical twin sisters Louise and Martine Fokken have worked Amsterdam’s Red Light District for more than 50 years, first under the control of pimps and then as independent contractors, running their own brothel. They also helped set up the first independent union for prostitutes, so they’re kind of amazing, no? We can’t wait to see the full-length doc about their lives, but we’ll settle for this trailer clip for now. [Meet The Fokkens]
This past March, the Houston Chronicle fired society reporter Sarah Tressler from her job after the city’s rival newspaper exposed her as a stripper. The Chronicle claimed it only fired Tressler because she did not reveal that job — not, say, because it actually had a problem that one of its reporters worked the pole at upscale strip clubs and wrote about her adventures on a blog called Diary Of An Angry Stripper.
Now Tressler, 30, has retained the notorious feminist lawyer Gloria Allred to fight back. On Thursday, she filed a federal gender discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Chronicle, alleging that she’s being unjustly targeted because stripping is a female-dominated field. Keep reading »
Charlie Sheen Problems: the actor is pissy that a stripper joint called Cheetahs bequeathed his name upon their VIP room, in which guests can eat sushi off nearly-naked women for $250 a pop. An outraged Sheen has threatened to sue the New York City “gentleman’s club” for — get this — damaging his reputation by bedecking the VIP room with grinning pictures of his face. Although the Charlie Sheen room has been party central for a year, Sheen’s lawyers just recently fired off a cease-and-desist letter claiming they used his name without his permission. The club’s owners relented, but not without rolling their eyes. Asked the owner, “How could sushi damage Charlie Sheen’s reputation?” Truer words have never been spoken. [NY Post]
A Texas newspaper has fired staff reporter Sarah Tressler after she was exposed — by a competing paper, natch — as a stripper. Tressler, who has a bachelor’s and master’s degree, worked as a society reporter for the Houston Chronicle and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston. But for eight years, she also worked at upscale strip clubs. Keep reading »
The following piece was originally published on The Fix.
Since I was 19, I’ve worked on and off as a prostitute in New York City. I learned a lot about men during my decade of escorting, from seeing the insides of their apartments and uncensored sexual requests, but it wasn’t until I quit drinking and using drugs three years ago that I began to notice that many of my clients shared a surprising characteristic: They were sober.
As soon as I was looking for the signs, it became obvious that I was seeing a disproportionate amount of recovering addicts. Eventually, I would start bringing up drinking just to test my own hypothesis. Over and over again, I would find out that the guys who were paying me to drool all over their junk had been sober for a decade or two.
And most of them were married, too, of course. Keep reading »