Throwback Thursday: Controlling Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts

Controlling Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts was published here on SK on 08/27/2008; sadly, it is still relevant.

Snippet:

When bodies & their parts are controlled, we diminish not only autonomy in the physical and legal sense, but the constraints send the message to all that those beings those bodies & parts belong to are not free & equal beings.

Again, Me With The Sex Work & Feminism Stuff

In I’m A Sex Worker, But I’m Not…, three sex workers, @SiouxsieQJames, @theMickeyMod & @VenusLux, point out how their lives ~ like many sex worker’s lives ~ are contrary to the mythology.

What’s most amazing about this short video is the fact that escorts and porn stars are both included. Like actually together! Normally, as I have noted before in The Great Porn Star ~ Sex Worker Divide, porn stars typically take great efforts to not be included in the sex worker category, instead hiding behind their status as actors and actresses. While this actor/actress distinction has historically protected them from legal prosecution, there are many who prefer the “loftier” terms simply because it elevates them from prostitutes. In other terms, they suffer from whorephobia.

But it’s important to note that in terms of human history, the distinctions between “actress” and “prostitutes” have been few. In fact, for many years, the two terms were interchangeable. (And you can find the history still in the traces of face powder on the vanity!) Today, the Hollywood/Whore meme continues.

Even after actresses managed to get a foothold on the stage, and later film (briefly women ruled at the box office in the 1920s-30s until actresses and women’s roles suffered the most from the The Motion Picture Production Code), they continue to suffer and bemoan their autonomy and inequality. There’s Hollywood’s gender pay disparity, of course. And the continued lack of good and/or leading roles for women, especially for those over a certain age or with visages and body types which are not considered “beautiful” (white). This is often attributed to the power structure in Hollywood, where the true power is held by directors, producers, distribution, etc. ~ which is, largely, made up of (white) men. No wonder so many women in the profession prefer the terms “actor” be applied to their work: so that no gender distinctions & dismissals occur. [Given how much porn stars try to identify as actors and actresses, it should not be such a surprise then that the porn industry is just as gender-screwed (and racist too) as Hollywood.]

Just as actresses struggle to achieve equality with their male counterparts, to maintain the autonomy of their work and their bodies, so do sex workers. In fact, actresses and sex workers are not all that different.

Yet, while many have profited from playing the role of sex worker, many actresses and celebrities have taken to loudly speaking out against decriminalization ~ even when the science doesn’t back up their claims. It is such a shame that our actress sisters do not remember their history, do not see the fact that sex worker rights are women’s rights. The lies about sex work hurt women! And women’s rights are human rights, humanist. Who doesn’t want equality for all?!

Maybe one day, people will see that sex work is just work. There are signs it is happening… Slowly, minds are changing. Ironically, sadly, it is slower to change among women. But there is still hope.

For more on sex work & sex workers, go here, here, and here.
Yes, I do the tweety machine! @GraciePassette

An Interview with Erika Lust on Crowdsourcing Feminist Porn

“Even though I love coming up with my own scenarios for films, it feels way more communal and diverse to let people tell me their erotic visions. Ordinary people have extraordinary stories to tell, and they are a joy to shoot.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: harlot.media

Love Erika Lust! Here’s my interview with her too.

See on Scoop.itLet’s Get Sex Positive

Of Boobs On My Twitter Timeline & Women’s Rights

I met an old friend for lunch today. As is the new polite norm for such lunches, he took a moment to deal with messages on his phone before putting turning it off & putting it back in his pocket. Since he’s been around long enough to know about me & my previous work as an escort, I used that time to check in on Twitter. It is, after all, International Sex Worker Rights Day (similar to International Whores’ Day, International Sex Worker Rights Day is held on March 3rd, the anniversary of the 2001 festival held by 25,000 Indian sex workers). Because this is such an important day, my friend finished his phone check before I ~ prompting him to take a peek at my phone.

Him, with a wink and a whine: I like it better when your timeline is full of boobs.

Me, with playful exasperation: You want more Trump? More sex worker “rescue”?

Him, terrified at my response, using small words & precise language so that I can comprehend: No! Real breasts. Implants are fine too.

He punctuates his thoughts with an eyebrow wiggle.

I arch an eyebrow as a warning.

Him, a bit alarmed: What?

amazing rack of kaylee pond camgirlMe, after a sigh: All those boobs you want to see, well, they are attached to women–

Him, interrupting: Yes, but they are choosing to bare them–

Me, interrupting: Yes, yes they are. But every woman who opts to flash some cleavage or completely bare herself has to fight for that right. Whether she’s a cam girl, a porn star or indie porn maker, an escort promoting herself, or “just” (I did use air quotes) a woman who wants to show them off for whatever reason of the moment ~ any woman who does so faces consequences.

This is not just about being ogled or objectified ~ not even about being denigrated or slut-shamed for it. Aside from the cultural reactions, social consequences, there are legal constraints as well. If a woman cannot even expose her breasts to feed a baby, what do you think happens when she flashes them on Twitter? Not to mention that Twitter is one of the few social media sites which even allow such things…

But if a woman cannot, under the law, freely choose to sell sex services, then how much does any woman control her own body? If sex workers cannot actually consent to how we opt to display or use our bodies, how can we expect any woman to be able to control her own genitals, her reproductive rights?

We see the erosion of all sorts of rights ~ every day there’s new legislation, another story of violence, more proof of how unsafe it is to be a sexually autonomous woman. This is why sex worker rights are women’s rights. It is all about feminism. It is about LGBTQ rights. It’s about sexual autonomy, the right to control our bodies, no matter our religion, color, race, whatever you think divides us. Sexual autonomy for all is about equality for all.

Him, silent and clearly sorry he brought it up. Perhaps wondering just why he wanted to lunch with his opinionated female friend…

I let it all sink in for a minute.

Me, calming down from my rant, trying to be more concise: All those breasts you want to see? They are attached to women who are fighting for so many rights. So, yeah, my timeline has lots of “angry” stuff too. To me, those stupid people and ideas are the real “boobs.” Because all of that bullshit affects women’s lives. Every. Day. And all of that affects whether or not pics of breasts are even taken to be shown on Twitter.

Him, nodding: I get it.

Me, arching my eyebrow again: So really, you should be thanking me for posting and sharing all that other stuff too. Because it supports the women who show off their breasts to you. And you should be supporting that stuff too.

He smiles, a bit sheepishly.

Me, admonishing him gently while tossing him a kinder bone to chew on: Oh, and by the way, you’d better be paying for your porn too. Just as you will this lunch.

Of course he did.

Reading List:

Along with coverage of sex work & sex workers here, here, and here, please read the following:

#SexWorkerRightsDay on Twitter

Breasts Are Complicated

Pay For Your Porn

Image Credits: The spectacular rack of one of my fav cam girls, Ms Kaylee Pond. Via her Tumblr ~ and to pay for your porn, see her on cam here!

Women, Including Feminists, Can & Do Like Rough Sex (We Knew That Already!)

Mashable discovers the reality that feminists can, indeed, like rough sex:

Of the 1,500+ self-described “kinky” women Jennifer Eve Rehor studied in 2011, the majority were found to have participated in “at least one of the following activities for their own sensual or erotic pleasure: physical humiliation, deprivation, punishment (physical), breath play, obedience/training, verbal abuse/humiliation, other forced activities and service-oriented submission/domestic service.” They did so in the role of the receptive or submissive partner.

For the record, the dominant partner(s) needn’t be male in these scenarios. Nor does rough sex necessarily imply penis-vagina intercourse. Feminist women can and do experiment with power structures well beyond male-female play.

Before you dash off and read the post, we’d like to remind you that we have copiously covered this issue for ages. (Besides, isn’t more confounding that a feminist can belong to most any popular religion?!) And we even discussed rape fantasies and actual rape in our discussions. Here are some of the more recent Sex Kitten posts on the subject of feminists & BDSM:

There’s No Such Thing As BDSM Romance? More BDSM Myth-information

Rape Fantasies Are Normal, Even If You’ve Been Raped

Say It With Me Now: “BDSM Is Not Violence”

BDSM, Porn, & Rape

See also, these interviews with feminists on BDSM: Erika Lust and Miss Fussypants.

Oh, and don’t forget our book ~ yes, actual paper! Sex-Kitten.Net Presents The BDSM Issue (2005).

Now go see the article at Mashable: Can you be a feminist and like rough sex? (Yes!)

Chastity Belt Hysteria: Fart Humor, Fictional History, & Female Hygiene

The Telegraph has a great article on the history of the chastity belt: The odd truth about ‘locking up’ women’s genitalia.

As professor Albrecht Classen, author of The Medieval Chastity Belt: A Myth-Making Process, tells us, the story of the chastity belt begins here:

The first ever depiction of a chastity belt comes from a 1405 drawing in a work called Bellifortis. But as this book on engineering also features fart jokes, Classen believes it was included as a joke. Since then most other literary references to the belts are either allegorical or satirical.

first ever depiction of a chastity belt

He believes subsequent historians were so quick to believe them as fact because rumours spread due to the “perverse nature” of the idea and the fact that it was “so intimately connected with sexuality, the gender relationships, and power structures within the family.”

In other words, chastity belts were so sexual and taboo that “satirical authors and artists, political propagandists, and later collectors and curators quickly and then firmly embraced the idea that the chastity belt actually existed in the Middle Ages and was in widespread use.”

And Sarah E Bond, assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Iowa, eloquently elaborates:

The truth about chastity belts is that they are largely a fiction constructed in the Renaissance and Early Modern periods in order to conjure a more “barbaric” middle age that had come previously.

And that, my friends, is how history is often written ~ to make modern life seem more enlightened.

Yet, how easy it is to blend such mythology with misogyny. …How many so-called conservatives seem to be more than a bit unstably nostalgic for curtailing women’s rights today?

Before anyone gets any ideas that the US should provide health insurance for chastity belts for women (Hey! They wouldn’t need birth control then!), Classen also discusses the fantasy v. reality of chastity belts:

He explains that it is highly improbably men in the Middle Ages ever used chastity belts to control their wives’ chastity because it has never been documented and “would be contradicted by modern medical research…. because a woman would not even survive the consequent hygienic and health problems after several days”.

So, no, patriarchs; such plans to control women and their sexuality remain ill-advised. Not that such facts seem to stop you.

However, my kinksters, feel free to include chastity belts in your safe, sane, & consensual play. It certainly is one way to go mythically Medieval on her ass.

The Complex Realities of Sex Work

Olivia Grace is a sex worker based in Toronto who took issue ~ make that issues ~ with a recent Vice interview with a sex worker hobbiest. She felt her original response to the piece wasn’t enough, so she sent this piece in too…

The other day, Vice released a very lazy reporting job that wasn’t edited and talked to precisely the wrong person. I am talking, of course, about the article “We Interviewed a Sex Industry Hobbyist – the Worst Kind of John.” This article is written in opposition to that.

The person they interviewed is based in Montreal, sees agency girls (I’m willing to bet real money for a half hour at a time) and then has the nerve to tell them to get out after the act is done. The organization seems to have decided that this person is worth listening to, although one of my followers on Twitter just couldn’t get through the article because the guy was too much of a troll.

By a troll, I mean a person who actually has nothing good to say, who the SP (Service Provider) is unsure if he engages in the hobby because he loves sex or hates women, is a misogynist and is only a customer of agency girls who are young and, for the most part, naïve. This is not the preferred type of client, and would definitely not get through my pre-screening process. There’s a slang word for that on Twitter: a slobbyist. Let me explain.

When you first start out, you really have no idea which way is up, and so the agencies do have a great deal of power over you. You accept the 60/40 or 50/50 cut, you’re young, it’s quick money, whatever. For some girls, they find agencies that are a perfect fit. That was not my particular path – I went independent a couple of years ago and, although I have to pay for my own marketing and self-care, I have been happier for it. I speak from my lived experience, however – I cannot speak for anyone else.

we-spoke-a-sex-industry-hobbyist-the-worst-kind-of-john-body-image-1434032816That should not be used to silence me. I have met several guys at events thrown by review boards – remember, this is an interview of a “hobbyist” who is actually a troll, but on a review board – and that is typically where they congregate. SPs (Service Providers) don’t have to like the boards, but they are good, safe spaces to advertise, to be heard, to be seen, and to communicate with other service providers about bad experiences, etc. It’s all about safety and advertising for me, as much as the big debate currently on (Caramel or Nutella? Which would you rather lick off an SP? To be clear, I voted Nutella).

These events (those thrown by review boards) are also often opportunities to network with other independent SPs, so I spend an equal amount of time chatting to colleagues and clients. Plus, it’s just a good time to look pretty, which is rare in the isolating life of an independent.

Now onto the objections I have with the article. He says that once a girl has been in sexwork for around 10 weeks, she’s seen around 100 clients, so I’m going to assume he’s talking about agency girls. After 10 weeks, he says, she loses her “authenticity.” She becomes an “actress” (which is repurposed bovine waste, because all of us – no matter the flavour – are actors: just choose your own fantasy). He says that mature indies “try” to market themselves. We don’t try – we do. The language used in the article (“hooker; whore”) was and is problematic and should have been replaced with “sex work” or “sex worker.” Specific words mean specific things – there is a movement going on to try to reclaim those words. Unfortunately, you can’t use them unless you’re one of us. Surely this organization can replace foul, outdated language with words that are more respectful and fairer to hear.

Many of my friends and clients on the review boards are decent human beings – they wouldn’t get through my screening process if they weren’t. To be completely honest, I don’t get a lot of clients from the review boards, but those whom I know and I trust are also, reasonably, upset. They treat the ladies they see with respect, and would never dream of buying into this guy’s dogma (see, lecture, leave). To interview one man on one board in one city with one opinion is wrong and doesn’t for a moment make that opinion true for all. It suggests that everyone on review boards is the same. Well, that simply isn’t the case.

Wait! There’s more. Besides giving out a misrepresentation of those involved on the boards, this article will have real-life impacts on the independent SPs and agency girls. This article plays straight into the rescue industry’s hands. It does all the workers who do sex work voluntarily a massive injustice, and the antis can say, “But we read Vice! That article with those poor girls! Remember when they interviewed a board member in Montreal?”

Listen, if we wanted the press (who, frankly, don’t understand the complexities of sex work) to paint a grim picture and lack of respect, then we would ask for it. What we are asking for is respect. I was on side with Vice until this article came out. I have worked with them. It puts their reporting back into the Dark Ages with regards to sex work. There is a lot of advocacy left to do, and I (and hopefully other SPs) will do it. But we will not do it in light of this article – it puts the whole concept of investigative reporting to shame. We do not need a further body count.

Hoping for more,

Olivia Grace

Follow me on Twitter: @OliviaGraceSP.

Ms. Grace would like you to know the following, sent from the Vice interviewer: “The language in the Vice Q & A (interview not a classic article format) is the hobbiest’s, and I unfortunately can’t alter quotes. I would never say ‘hooker’ or ‘whore’, for instance. Publishing this is in no means an endorsement of his views, I just want that to be clear.”

Image Credits: Photo by Cédric Puisney, via Vice.

Hold The Phone! It’s Time For A Sex News Round-Up!

Sean Ferguson on phone Normally, I just curate/post all the short bits & bobs in sex news at Scoop.It; but as several recent stories seem to have connections & require more context and comment, here’s a sex news round-up.

To keep the phone idiom going, let’s start with phone sex news. Phone sex consultant, Lynn, was doing some research for a client and discovered that of all the countries in the world, the one from which the most (Google) searches for “femdom” and related fetishes is… (drum-roll) Syria! Talk about your cultural taboos & hypocrisy. The connections to the Arab Spring and current terrorist events are pretty obvious too. (While you’re there, you may wish to check out some of the rude things phone sex callers do to their PSOs. Shame, shame!)

Remember last year, when we talked about the whole “men like to mate when the weather is cooler” thing? Well, on the flip side, economists look at climate change (aka global warming), less sex, and what it may mean for the planet’s population.

No mention of climate change as the reason, but folks in Japan are having less sex. Well, at least they are having less sex with other people, anyway. For we know the Japanese are heavily into masturbating (all that JAV porn, tentacle porn, and other delicious Japanese weirdness) ~ and masturbation is sex. While we might suggest that all the fab Japanese kinky masturbation material is to blame for less interest in sex with a partner, experts say the systemic gender inequality is the culprit. And this so-called sexual apathy is going to fuck up the world economy.

The sexism in Japan may be horrible, but overall it is better than China’s general attitude towards women, where the single child rule has led to putting girl babies up for adoption ~ and female infanticide. Surprise! The pay off is a large gender imbalance, creating a plethora of “bare branches”, as the bachelors are called. One economist’s suggestion? Let men share wives. Note the patriarchal tone ~ including in the ensuing outrage. Who knows, perhaps matriarchy will be the result?

Matriarchy in China isn’t merely a matter of crossing one’s fingers and hoping either. Already, Chinese men are willing to dig deep and spend $2,500 on sex dolls, not only as a replacement for a female in their lives, but so as not to seek sex workers or otherwise commit adultery and anger their wives. No mention of women who may prefer sex dolls of their own.

Speaking of women and their power, anthropologist Dr. Sarah B. Hrdy has been studying the topic of female aggression. Yes, she found we have it. One of her statements, “that suppression of female sexuality is by women, not necessarily by men,” confounds a bit ~ as it rather suggests that women in a male dominated patriarchy aren’t compelled to comply to male standards.

However, in that same article, Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson, a psychologist at Stetson University, stated that research shows women are not so much affected by media images as they are by the appearance of peers and other women around them (even more so when men are in attendance). This rather supports what I wrote years ago ~ at least as far as the media images part goes. See: Body Image In Art, Porn & Media.

But Ferguson & others still seem to align with Hrdy’s position; i.e. that women act as “mean girls” to control one another. Ah, but since they repeat themselves, I will as well. Women are still living in a male dominated society and therefore will seek to survive and thrive under the paradigm of the patriarchy.

While I still have you on the line (Get it? I’m back to the phone puns!), I’d like to direct you to this article about virtual sex options (it also has excellent tips on privacy & safety for clients too).

Image Credits: Sean Ferguson at Temptation of Eve

A Review Of Jack’s Blowjob Lessons

Jack’s Blowjob Lessons by Jack Hutson, with Tanya J, boasts of being “The Worlds #1 Blowjob Guide.” No one knows what that means, exactly; or if it’s even true. The truth is, what is most known about this book is its sexist nature.

There’s that whole “submissive female serving dominant male” tone, a derogatory tone towards sex work, and the author actually bashes feminism. Such a sexism certainly temps folks to toss the baby out with the bathwater; many reviewers have.

But I also come from a marketing background. Smarmy as it is, Jack’s clearly aiming his book at insecure women, using threats to strike fear into their hearts. For Jack tells you, no matter how much you and your man may love one another, your relationship is at risk if you can’t give him good head. Your man will leave you. Or (presumably worse?) he may seek the services of a sex worker (in the book, he calls them “professionals”; on his website, he refers to them as “street hookers”). While I do wish women were more confident in themselves and their relationships than to fall for this sort of “man capturing” or “relationship saving” sort of thing ~ or just let the loser walk ~ there, sadly, is a hungry market for this. “Sex may sell” ~ but fear motivates actual purchases.

jacks blowjob lessonsThis is why I am trying to look past the sexism and other problems, and review the book’s contents to see if there’s anything worthy here… Just because Jack’s never had the pleasure of a feminist’s fantastic bj, it doesn’t mean you & your lover should miss such things.

The book focuses primarily on proper cock sucking attitude ~ including getting him to feel like a King, why “teasing is bad”, and rather role-play-esque blowjob “styles.” Also covered are Jack’s opinionated tips on positions; instructions on how to use hands, tongue, mouth, and other parts of your body to intensify his experience; dirty talk; and how to deep throat (with tips from a “former porn star” referred to as “Tanya J”).

Basically, the book outlines and walks you through the many options of the before, during, climax, and after of a providing oral sex to a man. There are some helpful tips and advice in here. However, due to the author’s whole “woman, submit to your man” thing, the tips can get lost… Honestly, the book almost reads like sex fantasy fiction for sissies, whose fantasies often seem misogynistic.

It is unfortunate that Jack makes the mistake of bashing feminists. And it is a mistake to believe we feminists can’t love cock or the humans attached to them. Just as it’s a mistake to believe feminists can’t be sexually submissive. (I am a feminist who loves cock, men, and being submissive!) Yes, there are some practical tips in the book, especially if you are trying to deliver a submissive cock-sucking performance or elicit a good face-fucking; but it’s difficult for even this submissive to read without feeling icky.

If you think you can overlook all the sexism, or are the sexually submissive sort (in general, or just wish to role play), and believe you can glean something from the tips, note the following: The book (stated as being a 160 page ebook; the PDF copy I was sent only has 154) is a pricey $47 & only available at the author’s website ~ but before I send you there, I should warning you that it has embedded video with audio that begins as the page loads. Here’s the site.

Also it is very important to mention that Jack doesn’t know jack about sexual health. So, if you are interested in this book, be wise and advised about STDs/STIs, use of condoms, sex in public places, and other related health matters.

As with all our reviews and/or sponsored posts, neither review product, payment, nor payment in kind affects the honesty of reviews or any editorial decisions.

“Anyone Can Be Sexy; It Is A Matter Of How A Person Feels About Himself Or Herself”

It was 28 years ago this month that the July issue of Playboy went on sale. One of the most notable features of this issue of the magazine was the pictorial of Ellen Stohl.

Ellen Stohl in peach on bed

The young woman who got the gig by sending in a letter:

My name is Ellen Stohl, I am a model/actress, who three years ago was injured in a tragic auto accident. At first, I had given up hope of pursuing my career, but after a few months and a lot of learning, I realized a wheelchair should not make a difference. Since that realization, I have been working twice as hard to achieve my career goals not only for myself but also to teach society that being disabled does not make a difference. The reason I choose Playboy for this endeavor is that sexuality is the hardest thing for disabled persons to hold onto. Not to say that they are not capable, but rather that society’s emphasis on perfection puts this definitive damper on self-esteem. Well, I believe it is time to show society the real story. Anyone can be sexy; it is a matter of how a person feels about himself or herself, and personally I feel great.

Her wish was granted and the July 1987 issue was the first in which a disabled woman appeared in a Playboy pictorial.

july 1987 playboy Ellen Stohl

upskirt lace Ellen Stohl playboy

At the time, this issue was known as “the uncomfortable issue.”

Associate editor Kate Nolan said, “On the surface, it’s a noble statement: People with disabilities still have their sexuality. But do you think we’d run pictures of someone who was really, seriously deformed? Of course we wouldn’t. This is a safe kind of exploitation. We’re saying, ‘We’ve got pictures of someone who is disabled. Buy our magazine and look at the pictures.’ But the woman looks ‘normal.’ So we’re protected, in a way. I really think we’re opening ourselves up to charges that we`re no better than Hustler. The idea sounded horrible to me when I first heard it, and I haven`t changed my mind.”

But the decision wasn’t up to Nolan; it was, despite the tone of later interviews which made it sound like Hefner was hip, up to Playboy’s editorial director Arthur Kretchmer. This was his stated reasoning:

“We all so easily dehumanize people,” Kretchmer said. “We categorize people because it’s easy. We categorize people in wheelchairs as ‘cripples,’ and we all get on with our lives and forget about them.”

“I may be naive, but I don’t see this as exploitation. The word ‘exploitation’ comes up in other contexts when people criticize Playboy, but in this case I think we’re on the side of the angels.

“I think we are honoring Ellen Stohl’s faith in us. We are allowing her to be whole–to be sexual–and I think it is a wonderful tribute to Playboy that we are the magazine to which she wrote.”

“I agree with Kate Nolan that this would all be different if Ellen Stohl was terribly disfigured. In that case, we would be putting on what would be called a freak show. We’re not doing that.”

Kretchmer may have seemed brave at the time, but if he was so against dehumanizing people why would he so blithely label others as “a freak show?”

In the end, Stohl’s photos were beautiful and their publication was a first step. But many more steps would need to be taken ~ still need to be taken ~ in order to show that anyone can be sexy.

Stohl did an interview with CBS in 2011, and she’s still on the mission ~ including posing nude. She also has a website, EllenStohlStory.

Ellen Stohl playboy Ellen Stohl vintage retro red lace bra bush