Michael's picture

"It's Wrong to Pay for Sex"

"It's Wrong to Pay for Sex", or is it? This is the title of a debate scheduled in NYC on April 21  by Intelligence Squared. It is actually the second debate on this topic that they have held, the first one being in London, UK on November 11 2008. The motion was soundly defeated, 449: 203. While we don't know how the speakers were chosen, the gendering is of interest. In the UK, each team consisted of one male and two females. The US debate will feature three women for the motion and one woman and two men against the motion. Is this significant? Maybe. While paying for or selling sex is not the sole property of any gender, it is the frame into which the dominant discourse has been forced that is highly gendered. 

Will drug addiction + prostitution make Albuquerque residents feel safer?


Editor's Note: M. P. Clark is a new guest contributor at Sex In the Public Square and I'm grateful for her contribution. That it comes on International Sex Worker Rights day is all the more fitting. -Elizabeth Wood


Yesterday, March 2, 2009, the Albuquerque Journal featured on its front page photographs of a number of women reported missing from the area over the last decade or so. Exactly one month earlier, a woman walking her dog discovered a human bone at a worksite being cleared for new housing development in a part of Albuquerque known as the West Mesa. An investigation of the area turned up other bones—five sets, six, then eleven, and now thirteen. Twelve sets of bones are believed to belong to women, the thirteenth to a fetus of about four months old. Yesterday’s Journal article speculates whether there’s a connection between the women in the photographs and the bones.

Click here to read more.

Elizabeth's picture

NCSF Statement on Pro Dom work and Prostitution statutes

NCSF logo

I love the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. The NCSF is one of those organizations you know you can count on to fight for the right to sexual expression even around stigmatized types of sexual expression like exchanging sex for money, or engaging in BDSM.

Prostitution arrests in Dungeons and porn shops (where prostitution may not have been occurring at all) have raised much concern, and NCSF advocates spoke with law enforcement representatives to find out how they're interpreting "prostitution". The findings are troubling and are reported below.

Elizabeth's picture

Protecting the kids - ur doin it rong

Audacia Ray has an excellent post on Waking Vixen that reports on two recent news stories involving teens and sex. The first was the story about teenagers sending naked photos of themselves to their boyfriends or girlfriends and being arrested and convicted of sex crimes. The second is the story of Operation Cross Country, which claims to be an attempt to rescue underage prostitutes but is much more effective at arresting adult prostitutes. In her post she asks this important question:

"Why are child prostitutes being rescued while adult prostitutes are being arrested? Why are kids who make porn of themselves being arrested while adult porn performers legally go about their business?"

Click here to keep reading

Caroline's picture

More on how to protest against Jacqui Smith’s proposals

Further to my post yesterday, I have some more information from the IUSW on how to protest against Jacqui Smith's proposals:

The second reading of the new bill is now on MONDAY THE 12TH.

We must get as many MPs as is possible to speak out against the governments proposals.

This is a draft letter from the IUSW.

Please will everyone concerned with this industry send this to your MP. If you need help finding out who your local MP is IM me and I will give you details. [or check out this site]

Clients can of course change the begining to something appropriate such as concerned member of the public.

This is urgent please do this asap.

Caroline's picture

Jacqui Smith and the New Prostitution Laws in the UK

carolineAs I'm sure you'll be aware, the UK's Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is proposing to change the law on prostitution. Councils would be given more power to close down brothels, clients would be "named and shamed" and  sex with someone "controlled" for another's gain would be outlawed.

It's not a good move, let's face it. Throwing women out into the street and denying workers the right to a safe environment to work in (and this is a Labour government?!), fostering a climate of fear, don't get me started on "naming and shaming..." This is bad news, quite simply. How bad? Read more.

Elizabeth's picture

Sensible women exploring best practices in brothels

Jean and Shirley of the Hampsire Women's Insitute What happens when the women of the Hampshire Women's Institute decide to take a clear-headed look at prostitution to figure out what makes for "best practices" in brothel prostitution? You get the UK's Channel 4 program, A WI Lady's Guide to Brothels, which describes itself like this:  Click here to read more.

Thomas Beckett and Elliot Spitzer

Thomas Beckett: Archbishop of Canterbury and Justice in America.

Does a question generally considered to speak to Church and State have any connection with jurisprudence and concepts of equal justice?

In the 12th Century, Henry II ruled an empire from England across the south and west of what is now France (Aquitaine). By Divine Right, this King of England was the law in every aspect of life. Every aspect save one. The other power in this empire was the Catholic Church.

Henry II ruled with the able hand of his lifelong friend and Lord High Chancellor Thomas Beckett. Even these two powerful men could not hold sway over the dominion controlled by the Church. Crimes and misdemeanors committed in the realm met with the justice of Henry’s court; unless a person holding office within the Church committed that crime. In that case, the Church held authority. More, Henry ruled every aspect of his own life, until it crossed a line of sacrament. There, Henry’s primacy bowed to the primacy of the Church.

Elizabeth's picture

Sex in the voting booth

There is a reason they only allow one person in at a time!

We are suddenly less than a week away from Election Day in the United States an there is sex on the ballot all over the place. I'm especially interested in the following ballot questions that deal with

Elizabeth's picture

First they came for the street workers...

Thanks to Morpheus (of the NYC Alt Events list) and to Doug Henwood I have these New York Post and New York Daily News stories about the recent persecution of NYC BDSM dungeons and the political response of the pro dommes who work in them. This Daily News story details the raid on Rapture, closing it down and arresting one of its workers (who later saw prostitution charges against her dropped as long as "she stays out of trouble"). And this Post story discusses the nascent attempts of dommes to organize, hiring an attorney, beginning the process of forming a political action committee and hopefully, eventually, a union.

Unfortunately one of the arguments being made, and it is very understandable, is that "BDSM isn't the same as prostitution." From the Daily News piece: Click here to read more

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