Tag Archives: sex workers

The Soapbox: Porn Stars Learn They Can’t Bank On Chase

chase-bank-042214

I’ve written before about issues around payment processors and the sex industry, how businesses like Paypal, WePay and Google Wallet were shutting anyone they suspected of sex work out of using their services.

Well, turns out that a trickle down effect is happening within the banking world, as Chase recently sent letters out to hundreds of porn performers telling them their bank accounts would be shut down May 11th. Perez Hilton posted a photo of one of these letters from adult performer Teagan Presley, and while I am somewhat loath to link to his blog, I think it’s important to read the language. You’ll notice that Chase never specifically cites adult work in their decision, just that they “reviewed the account and determined that we will be closing it on May 11, 2014. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.”

I’m sure they’re terribly sorry. Just as they were really apologetic for refusing to process payments for Lovability CEO Tiffany Gaines. Her crime? Selling condoms, because they’re “adult-oriented material”. The same adult oriented material, of course, as Trojan, who could process their payments with no issues through Chase, but never mind. As long as they’re really sorry about it. Keep reading »

“Ice Road Truckers” Star Tim Zickuhr Accused Of Kidnapping Sex Worker

  • Tim Zickuhr from the History Channel reality show “Ice Road Truckers” has been charged with kidnapping after allegedly restraining and beating a sex worker whom he had hired after accusing her of stealing money from him. The woman, who goes by Snow White, was able to get him to call one of her friends,  who just so happened to be a cop, to supply the money. Smart lady. Zickuhr has been charged with first degree kidnapping, extortion, and coercion. What a disgusting story. [TMZ]
  • Something called KODE Magazine claims that Lindsay Lohan told them during an interview that she’s dating a “married” guy “with kids” who once sent a jet to pick up her. [Daily Mail UK]
  • New couple alert: Richard Gere and Padma Lakshmi are going out. [Page Six] Keep reading »

The Soapbox: “Game of Thrones,” Thanks for Employing Porn Stars

The Soapbox: "Game of Thrones," Thanks for Employing Porn Stars

I’m just going to say it upfront: I’m a massive fan of “Game of Thrones.”

I know it’s problematic, controversial around its portrayals of women, and arguably more violent on screen than required (see last night’s rape scene for an example). And I know there’s been plenty of excellent critiques arguing that “Game of Thrones” is feminist, or isn’t feminist, or asking if it matters whether it’s feminist or not. I’ve appreciated the commentary on racism and “GoT,” as well as in fantasy in general. Through this I have learned a great deal on how to be a fan of problematic media while still maintaining a critique; there are certain ways where the book and the show differ that make the show more sexist, and in other ways less sexist, than the original material. I’m glad, actually, because if I never engaged in anything I found critique-worthy I think I’d self-destruct! Keep reading »

The Soapbox: How PayPal & WePay Discriminate Against The Adult Industry

pay pal sex work

I was packing my bags, looking forward to a week trip to the Feminist Porn Awards and the Feminist Porn Conference, having finally earned enough through my Patreon patron-funded writing to travel and have a bit of a cushion when I got back. Payments would be processed at the beginning of the month, and I welcomed the assurance of my first paycheck that would pay my rent. I was finding it refreshing to be making a living (albeit barely) through getting paid to write on my experiences in the sex industry, giving me some hope that I could transition out and still survive financially. Finally I was getting paid for my writing… not in “exposure,” but in rent money!

That’s when I got an email from Patreon, saying that the payment processor PayPal had threatened to shut down all integration with their site because it contained “adult content.” The email stated:

“[A]s you can imagine, this would be detrimental to creators — hundreds of thousands of dollars were to be ‘frozen’ unless we flagged all adult content pages, made them private, and removed Paypal functionality from their individual pages… I’m so sorry that we had to do this without warning you first, but it was SUCH an emergency! We simply had to take action to avoid a situation where creators would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars of legitimate pledges.”

Patreon emailed all of our patrons to warn them and suggested we also email them to ensure payments went through as usual at the beginning of April. While Patreon was open to artists creating work that was adult in nature, their hands were tied. And not in a kinky way. Keep reading »

Porn Industry Shuts Down As Yet Another Adult Film Performer Tests HIV-Positive

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Another adult film actor has tested HIV-positive, making this anonymous person the fifth case in the industry this year. Filming has shut down for a third time since this summer as doctors trace the outbreak. The Free Speech Coalition, which is a trade group for the porn industry, announced the halt on filming on Friday.

“We are taking every precaution while we do research to determine if there’s been any threat to the performer pool,” said Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke. “We take the health of our performers very seriously, and felt that it was better to err on the side of caution while we determine whether anyone else may have been exposed.” All coworkers this anonymous person has come in contact with on and off set have been notified so they can be tested as well.  Keep reading »

France Considers Sex Work Law Punishing Johns

todays lady news
  • France’s parliament is reviewing a proposed bill today to curb sex work by punishing the johns with a $2,000 fine while protecting the sex workers. Prostitution is currently legal in France. [France24Huffington Post]
  • Civil rights activist Faya Rose Toure was arrested in Selma, Alabama for protesting the construction of a monument to the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.  What the fuck, Alabama?  Really?  [AL.com] Keep reading »

Bloggers Take Joss Whedon & Equality Now To Task

joss whedon feminist TLN
  • Blogger Melissa Gira Grant critiques Equality Now, which recently had a speech by Joss Whedon in which he discussed feminism, for its anti-prostitution stance … [Talking Points Memo]
  • … and blogger Flavia Dzodan critiques the contents of Whedon’s speech itself. [Red Light Politics]
  • Here’s Dream Hampton’s response to the murder last weekend of Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old girl who was shot to death after she got in a car accident and knocked on someone’s door for help. [YouTube]
  • bell hooks and Melissa Harris Perry held a conversation today at The New School that was streaming live online.  I cannot wait to watch it this weekend!  It should at the link here and also on The New School’s YouTube page soon. [ColorLines] Keep reading »

The Soapbox: The Case Against Sex Offender Registries

Verdict: Guilty!
trent mays malik richmond
Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond have been found guilty of rape. Read More »
Sex Offender Talks
A convicted sex offender tells his side of the story in "Vanity Fair." Read More »
"Hot" Sex Offenders
Texas paper runs article on the 10 hottest sex offenders. Read More »
sex offender

There’s no defense for rape. And there’s no defense for defending rape — be that minimizing the crime, blaming the victim or focusing so exclusively on the perpetrators that the victim is rendered invisible, as in CNN’s coverage of the Steubenville guilty verdict. As I read over the case, the verdict, the media response and the backlash to it, I feel sick and I feel sad. Like the rest of you, I want these boys to be made to understand exactly what they did. I want everything that was taken from the victim to be restored to her, somehow. There is no defense for the crime of rape.

There is, however, a good argument against sex offender registries. Keep reading »

The Red Umbrella Project Helps Sex Workers Write Their Truth

Sex Work Past
melissa petro photo
Is it OK for an elementary school teacher to have been a stripper? Read More »
McNugget Prostitution
Woman tried to exchange bjs for nuggets. Read More »
On Sex Work & Feminism
Actress Billie Piper talks about sex work and feminism. Read More »

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 »

Should Cabbies Be Punished For Knowingly Driving Prostitutes?

On Sex Work & Feminism
Actress Billie Piper talks about sex work and feminism. Read More »
Sex Work Past
melissa petro photo
Is it OK for an elementary school teacher to have been a stripper? Read More »
Call Girls Onscreen
Meet the women who've played call girls in film and TV. Read More »

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 »

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