Tuesday, October 11, 2011


There is, in second wave feminism, all of this language about objectification, self-objectification, gender performance, cultural conditioning...

And then there's the lipstick feminist backlash against this language...

There is discussion of gender as a biological mechanism and as a social construct.

And academic language, whether by Levitt or Venkateesh or Vohs or Regnerus, which reduces female sexuality to a commodity - actually, a double commodity - both sexual access and sexual purity are commodified.

Sex Work, was for me, a decision that the former commodification was better than the later - certainly more liberating and lucrative. It was, night after night, demolishing that commodification of sexual naivity and passivity and purity.

It was stabbing romance - the type of exaggerated, disney romance, that waiting-to-be-saved-by-my-prince-charming romance women learn in film and literature - in the very heart. The Girl Friend Experience performs fairy-tale romance as fungible, reproducible, camp.

It was also, night after night, performing femininity. A slightly exaggerated, more complementary femininity, a more accommodating femininity, a more cheerful and motherly and slutty and submissive and compliant and eager femininity, to be sure, than in real life, but a derivative of it none-the-less.

Sex work was quarantining every aspect of my gender and sexual identity into a magnified, amplified performance. Prostitution is fantasy, it is a performance, an intimate performance.

It was a kind of quarantine, a pergatory, a holding cell for stereotypes and media representations of what I should be and what I had learned through interactions with men, of clothing and style taste I had learned through magazines. It was a quarantine, a pergatory, a holding cell of a certain paradigm of gendered interactions, and as a performance, one in which I was detached from and not complicit in.

Performing sexuality and gender alienates ones sexuality and gender. My sexuality and gender were performances, instances of gender performance which my mind recorded and played over and over and over again as I laid in my own bed and walked in my own shoes and watched my classmates interact and talk.

It was only through this alienation of gender and sexuality, detached observation of it, and reclaiming of the aspects I liked and did not like, that the way in which I interact with men, my affects, my body language and the tone of my voice, my clothing, my grooming, that all of these things, in my real life became choice.

Identity Politics

What is so luscious about the identity of a sex worker is that it is perhaps the most diverse sexual and professional identity out there.

What it actually means, what the erotic (if it even is erotic) within sex work is, what being paid to do things is, what type of power dynamic it is is so unambiguous, perhaps simply because mainstream academia and media representations of sex work are so ludicrous. They are ludicrous particularly for a white, educated, middle class woman with a mind of her own, who is not too flustered by stigma doing escort work. They are, however, equally ludicrous for a black woman who voluntarily does street work during festivals. Equally, for an Asian migrant worker.

Categorizing it as antifeminist, objectification, oppression, violence, rape, immoral, dehumanizing actually gives that freedom...simply because it's so off. Similarly, categorizing it as another form of service labor, asexual, is equally off [or can be]...

And the money part--the fact that the incentive for sexual activity is something so universal--draws an incredibly diverse range of circumstances, sexual orientations, lifestyles, backgrouns for women (and men) into the industry.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Real men don't buy sex...

 They just cheat on Demi Moore with women who are explicitly shipped to add scenery to expensive clubs and who accept drinks and food, rather than greenbacks, as payment.

If you haven't heard, Ashton Kutscher, Demi Moore's husband and spokesman of the "Real Men Don't Buy Sex" campaign was seen conuddling with two attractive women at a San Diego club and is reported to have a love child through a fling...

Perez Hilton got the scoop on the Conuddling from party promoter Gavin Naumoff (think escort agent):

    "Sara’s a great girl. My job is to round up hot girls and bus them into clubs in San Diego or Vegas. The girls get free booze, food, whatever, and they attract rich and famous guys to the clubs. It’s a two-way street. The girls get to meet rich men and the guys get what they want, [which is] Sex, obviously."

    "Ashton was picking out girls who were 'hot tub worthy or not.' He would send his friends to hand-pick the prettiest girls from the dancefloor."

    "I saw Ashton dancing with several girls, including Sara. Fluxx has the reputation for only allowing the prettiest ones in. Ashton was clearly up for a good night."

Is it just me...or does rounding up hot girls, trafficking [cough, excuse me] and busing them to clubs in San Diego and Vegas...sound a lot like...

And "picking out girls who are 'hot-tub worthy...' is it just me, or does this not sound like a Bunny Ranch line up?

Anyways, saw the tabloid cover 'Ashton Kutscher's Love Child' while trudging to CVS for cigarettes post-drinking, and almost choked laughing.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Problems With Slut's Lib Movement

This bugged the hell out of me 6 months ago when a large number of my friends asked me to take part in the SlutWalk.

The SlutWalk, if you haven't heard of it, were in reaction to a Toronto police officer's suggestion, following a series of rapes, that "women should avoid dressing like sluts" to remain safe.

My initial reaction to this was: how is that statement any different from the following statement. Considering the increase in armed robbery in this neighborhood, men should avoid dress that conspicuously advertises their wealth to remain safe?

Right. I don't think a businessman in a Brooks Brothers suit and 400 dollar tie deserves to get robbed at gunpoint.

I don't think a girl who dresses like a whore deserves to get raped.

But seriously, I do think the dandy-ed up businessman (or woman) walking through an urban area deserves to get harassed by beggars. And I do think the tarted-up chick deserves to get harassed by drunken men.

What is the end-goal, anyways, of being able to wear hot pants and string-kinis and hooker heels in public and not get unwanted attention? What is the end point if this occurs?

Either, it means that men cannot express physical attraction under any circumstances. OR it robs women of the ability they possess to consciously use appearance and attire to influence the way in which they are perceived.

What is so seductive about being a woman is the ability to code-switch...simply by throwing on a hijab, or a conservative suit, or glasses and sweatpants, or a mini-skirt.

And what slutwalkers and second wave feminists alike do not get is that the sexualization of certain women does not lead to the sexualization of all women.

This all became overwhelmingly blatant one evening working in a strip club. The manager, an attractive brunette in jeans and an oversized tee-shirt, was sitting with a group of clients, regulars. She chatted with them...and she was simply, one of the boys. They all talked. They all looked at the dancers. They all resumed speaking. It was the most gender-neutral exchange I've seen in my entire life.

The funny thing about being in a strip club is that it is perhaps the only place a woman can go alone, drink, and not receive male attention.