Good Parenting

Vanessa Fuchs, proprietress of adult store Sassy Sensations, shares a story:

Fifteen years ago, a visibly uncomfortable woman came into one of her stores looking for help. But she wasn’t there for herself; she was looking for a sex toy for her daughter that would allow her to experiment with her sexuality in a safe way.

“To tell you the truth, I had tears in my eyes. The other customers who were walking around and overheard, had tears in their eyes,” says Fuchs. “I said, ‘You’re amazing. I admire that you don’t feel comfortable in a store like this, and yet you came for the benefit of your daughter.’”

Now that’s sex positive parenting.

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.

Bree Olson’s Still Fighting

It’s been nearly a year since former porn star (and Charlie Sheen “Goddess”) Bree Olson sent her tweet warning girls and young women not to dream of going into porn:

Olson’s tweet was both viral and controversial at the time; but since then, people mostly forgot about it.

bree olson on webcamShe hadn’t been making news, just reacting to it. Like having to proclaim her HIV-free status (over and over again) in light of Sheen’s HIV announcement, and speaking out against sadist James Deen.

Those situations might be enough for anyone to advise against becoming a porn star. But those weren’t the specifics of Olson’s complaints. Remember, the reason why Olson doesn’t recommend women work in the adult industry has to do with the responses of others to her former sex work, to the stigma and whorephobia ~ and resulting discrimination. Such discrimination has crippled her mainstream employment options. The shamming and bullying have taken their toll as well, resulting in depression and anxiety that prevents her from leaving her house. Yet she continues to be an activist voice.

In March, Olson participated in the Real Women Real Stories film project and shared more details about the painful way she lives now due to how people treat her.

There’s nothing wrong with porn, but how people treat you for the rest of your life, it’s not worth it.

… I wish people would treat me like they would treat a married registered nurse with 2.5 kids in Indiana. That’s how I wish people would treat me.

In an article for the Daily Dot, Olson went into greater detail about the pragmatic realities of the sex work stigma.

Things don’t just work themselves out when you get into the industry or leave it. You become a segregated part of society that has no civil rights group behind it. Life is already hard enough, don’t do this to yourself. The money isn’t worth the pain of what society will put you through forever.

Porn didn’t hurt me. The way society treats me for having done it does.

As for her financial situation, how someone so “hot” so recently could be at such financial risk, Olson explains:

There are no royalties in porn. I see ads to this day, and my movies are everywhere on the Internet. These faceless people behind the industry still make millions and face no repercussions, and I am left to try and come up with ideas of how to have my own business because there’s not much else I can do. We are the only entertainment industry that doesn’t offer talent royalties after they are gone. So now I am shunned by society and broke.

…Porn is the one industry where the more successful a woman is, the more she will suffer for the rest of her life.

My biggest regret was leaving the industry. Leaving all of that money and trying to get the world to like me. They still don’t, and they never will. I should have just put in another five years at least so that in more my smart financial years as I was older, I could have saved enough to live comfortably for the rest of my life.

Olson’s continued trying to make a living as best she can. For now, that means making the most of her name & celebrity, if not profitting from her films, via some interesting merch at her official site: OfficialBreeOlson.com.

And, apparently, she’s been doing some work camming. But don’t expect to see too much of her on cam these days. At least not if she gets her wish granted. Bree Olson has a GoFundMe to help her get into treatment.

My name is Bree Olson, and my friends and family know me as Rachel Oberlin.

…Throughout my entire life, I have battled severe depression and anxiety which I have been able to hide through a variety of ways…until now. When I entered into the adult industry at age 18 as an escape from my childhood and to find myself, I never imagined how much worse things could become. I have spent the last decade masking my pain and losing myself even more so as doctors prescribed me mountains of benzodiazapines to make me feel better. I don’t feel better. I’ve never felt worse.

I have been in outpatient therpay since the age of 18 as I’ve tried to fight this dibilatating depression and anxiety. The benzodiazapines are highly addictive and even though I take them as prescribed, my mind and body are physically dependent on them.

As many of you know, drug dependecy is far more than getting off the drug itself. It is about getting out from under the weight of that drug and all the damage it does and finding out who you really are. It is about acquiring the tools to figure out how to cope and really just learning how to live again.

…I want my life back. I want to find out who Rachel Oberlin really is. Bree Olson has consumed my life and I’ve let her because I thought success is money but it’s not.

But money is necessary. Especially if you need rehab and such intensive mental health services.

bree olson Real Women Real StoriesPerhaps you’ve been a fan of Olson’s works. Today, instead of buying or streaming one of her films, send those dollars to Olson’s GoFundMe as a thank you for all the good wank times.

Perhaps you are or have been a sex worker, or the friend of one, and you can understand how devastating the stigma can be for many. Just as sex work isn’t for everyone, leaving brings it’s own set of problems that are too much for some. Even if that’s not been your experience, just a one dollar donation has to be worth the karma, right?

Right.

More Signs Of The Death Of Whorephobia ~ & How You Can Help

Would you like more proof that the US may be changing it’s views on sex work and ending the whorephobia? Lately, more clients and consumers of sex workers are voicing their concerns about the treatment of those who provide the adult entertainment. Once again, Greg Battiste, a self-professed “porn supporter“, has tweeted about the disrespect, censorship, and general discrimination towards sex workers:

While Battiste is clearly describing those in the adult industry whose work is legal (such as porn stars, cam girls, phone sex operators, strippers, etc.), his, in my opinion, appropriate use of the term “sex workers” indicates the broader umbrella of escorts as well as dominatrices & other BDSM service providers, etc.

The truth is, even when the work is legal, there are great barriers in the adult industry. This does not mean just societal disapproval. Such a stigma is more than just a frowny-face, but a terrible reality which still, as Lynn of Phone Sex Secrets recently pointed out, affects such fundamental things as housing and child custody. I could tell you horror stories myself…

But there are other barriers in this work as well. In fact, simply the matter of doing business ~ including being paid ~ remains an issue. And it spills over into all sorts of things, like having your Amazon account removed because someone at the company thinks that book your brother sent you was payment for sex services. Stupid and annoying, yeah; but also discrimination. As petty as it may sound, it quality-of-life threatening for many. How well would your life work without your Prime Membership? Mine would suck! (For more on all the stigmas & barriers, please see here, here, & here.)

It is a start when consumers of adult services speak up for the injustices and voice respect for those who provide such services. And it helps when you share/retweet such things.

But consumers of sex worker services ~ and others in the adult industry, including webmasters, sex toys, and other adult products ~ must also exercise their consumer powers.

Paying for porn and other adult entertainment is a very good start. Apply your purchasing power correctly, by doing business with ethical companies. And remember also to vocally boycott those companies, including banks, social media, wishlist and gift services, etc. who would censor and otherwise deprive sex workers from making their money.

But don’t forget to use your powers as a citizen as well. Remember to vote for candidates and referendums which support sex workers (& sexual positivity in general, which includes women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, etc.). And write letters to those currently in office to urge them to support sex work and sex positive legislation as well.

Who Doesn’t Want A Man Servant?

Remember last year when we told you about that imaginary boyfriend service? Well, there’s an even better service now, which employs humans, not bots: Man Service. Vice‘s Broadly gave us the alert:

While they state that this is not a sexual service, one just has to laugh. First, the fact that you’re not paying for sex is what all escort services say, so as to avoid illegalities. Ditto BDSM service providers. But, really, even if you and your escort, or dungeon master, never do the nasty deed together, the reality is that such things feed your sex life. Even if only via masturbation fantasies. (And, remember, masturbation is sex!)

The real clue here is the emphasis on intimacy. Sure, you can clean up the dirty side by referring to the female clients as “professionals” ~ but the added “with little time to meet men” and “paying for relationships” lines place us right back at paid companionship which is escorting!

While there are plenty of studies and jokes about women getting turned on by men doing housework, these man servants aren’t like the smarmy versions of Deuce Bigalow pushing a vacuum that you may have in your mind…

deuce bigalow lederhosen

Yeah, as you can tell by the gratuitous use of that specific Rob Schneider / Bigalow pic, I’m still on that lederhosen kick! But, no, Man Servants are not like that.

While Man Servants may vacuum, do the dishes, and take out the trash without complaining ~ and compliment you as he does it ~ he’ll be dressed for your fantasies: “Dressed to the nines in his signature suit and pocket square. No banana hammocks here.”

Apparently, the folks at Man Servants decided this was the female fantasy version of the classic male Fi-Fi the French Maid fantasy.

(Have we come a long way, baby? I’m sure other feminists and feminist bloggers will chime in, with many saying, “No, this is not feminism!”)

Oh, and Man Servant services include other female fantasy offerings as well:

man servant duties

But whether the guy is vacuuming, massaging you ~ even without a promised happy ending, or just arm candy, and then goes away, no string attached, until the if or when you hire him again, he is in the business of for-hire companionship. I repeat, that is exactly what escorting is.

This, my friends, is sex work.

This is where many of the feminists I imagine (for I am not going to go look for them), will take great issue. Sadly, many feminists are anti sex work. Even when sex work is all about female autonomy & women’s rights. *sigh*

Regardless of such complaints, this business is mainstream. And it’s real. Even if only limited to a few major cities so far.

Now, the remaining question is this: If such male escorting services are becoming more mainstream and acceptable, is this a step forward for sex work in general?

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

Coins In The Slot (Or, Golden Escort Fantasies)

In Australia, where sex work is legal, a Gold Coast sex worker has been advertising her escort services by touting her past modeling experiences. Sounds like a good marketing ploy, right? Wrong.

golden fantasy escortAn Australian escort, who goes by the name “Wild, Raunchy Blondie” under a “Golden Fantasy” escort listing, has been promoting herself as a “stunning meter maid from the Gold Coast” and an “Original Golden Meter Maid.”

Gold Coast meter maids at Surfers Paradise in 1971Despite how that name may sound here in the USA, the “Golden Meter Maids” have nothing to do with any sort of showers. Instead, the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids are legendary tourist attractions, with a 50 year legacy. Pretty women wearing skimpy golden bikinis & the obligatory high heels who wander around the streets of the Australia’s Gold Coast, aka Surfers Paradise, protecting motorists from parking violations. When the beauties spot a meter about to expire, they plug in the requisite coin and place a card on the vehicle’s windshield which reads, “You have just been saved from a parking fine by the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids.” The coins are supplied by the company ~ who earns plenty more by selling tourists trashy & sexy-in-that-college-frat-boy-way souvenirs.

While it’s rather probably that this particular “Golden Fantasy” had worked as one of the meter maids, she did so having signed a disclaimer vowing not to “bring the brand into any form of ill-repute.”

Bikini_Cooler_meter_maidsYes, the company that brings you $15 cheap plastic bikini can coolers, is worried that their image is being tarnished by sex.

Once a meter maid herself, Roberta Aitchison has owned the 50 year old company for the past 30 years. And Aitchison is zealously guarding her kitschy brand, contacting those she feels violate the trademark and the disclaimer. Including taking action against “Golden Fantasy” over this past weekend.

But Aitchison is facing bigger problems than that. Advanced new parking meters are working to render the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids obsolete. And it’s not just the technology, either. Local business owners are complaining that the meter maids are “in clear breach of the council’s anti-touting laws by selling merchandise to tourists.” That news story also says that Aitchison’s business is struggling to attract maids. Perhaps it’s because potential meter maids know they can make more as sex workers ~ when the meters are running.

Fetish Alert: Weird Vintage Shakers

This + This = This.

weird risque vintage salt & pepper shakers

But I’m not entirely convinced these two shakers are an original set, but rather single shakers put together.

Vintage nude salt and pepper shaker, Mid Century modern pottery, 1950’s nude one piece is the top half of her with salt coming out of breasts, the other are her legs coming out of the ocean/ground with even painted toe nails one hole for pepper