Bouncing Boundaries

Real-time picture of me. I should change my profile pic.

Nothing gets my hackles raised more than liars, thieves, and those who give them cover and succor. Even in, no, especially in the demimonde. Are we professionals or not? If we want our industry to be respected and if we want to be a self-regulating industry in a decriminalized atmosphere, then we need to actually act as though we can self-regulate. Otherwise, my pretties, the authorities will not hesitate to regulate for us and you don’t want that. You think it’s bad now? Just wait until petty bureaucracy solidifies the whorearchy.

Many of us who are politically active talk about how the illegality of most forms of sex work attract a criminal element, and usually we’re not referring to our own ‘colleagues’. But what some people are loathe to admit is that the criminal element is found there too. Outing and stalking are criminal acts, regardless of the occupation of the people involved. Would we be okay with these behaviors if clients or third-parties acted the same way towards us? Absolutely not! So why the general apathy or even outright denial when one of our own makes a habit of doing this to other providers? To put it bluntly, there are bad laws AND bad whores and whatever is passing as the sex worker “community” needs to be rid of both.

If standing up against theft and stalking is a turn-off to clients then perhaps they weren’t worth having as clients. And those clients shouldn’t complain when they come across a provider whose idea of professional ethics have more stretch than an old pair of yoga pants. It’s amusing how many love comparing themselves to the courtesans of old, especially legends like Veronica Franco, Ninon de L’Enclos, Nell Gwynn, etc., and not one of those women held their tongues when their contemporaries* showed their asses in a public forum. Yes, they did so with tact and, in Nell’s case, razor-sharp wit, but they didn’t mince words nor did they shrug shoulders and say, “Ah well, nothing to do with me!” But I guess I’ve read different writings on and by those women.

Speaking of legacies, that is the main reason I am so infuriated with these situations. I want to leave this industry in better shape than when I entered it. I do my best to work in a professional way that will have a positive effect even generations after I am or any of us are gone. While I understand that everyone doesn’t think this way, I can’t understand the, “fuck you, Imma get mine, then fuck you again” attitude that doesn’t give a damn about how their behavior effects their colleagues now and what the lasting impression will be both inside and outside our demimonde.

To end this post, a quick note: talking about these issues is not drama. DRAMA is when providers are arguing about who did or didn’t tag them on Follow Friday. Are we clear on that? Great.

 

*And by contemporaries I mean anyone in their social & professional circles, be they fellow courtesans & courtiers, male, female, nobles or royalty.

Posted in Demimondaines, Essentially Claudia, Ethical Practices, Etiquette, Philosophy, The Demimonde | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Cacophonous Chorus: A Playlet

Chorus: SHE DIDN’T MEAN IT! ‘TWAS AN ACCIDENT! WHAT IS A WHORE TO DO?

Demimondaine 1: Perhaps, not steal deposits from clients.

Chorus: SHE DIDN’T MEAN IT! ‘TWAS AN ACCIDENT! WHAT IS A WHORE TO DO?

Demimondaine 2: Perhaps, not out me to my family.

Chorus: *silence*

Demimondaine 2: Nothing to say?

Chorus: “Well, uh…” “I heard about another incident…” “I’m above this drama…” [Chorus exit stage left]

Demimondaines 1 & 2: So much for community.

Posted in Demimondaines, Dialogues, Ethical Practices, Philosophy, The Demimonde, Twitter | Tagged , , , ,

About Birds, Feathers, and Flocking

I know some people believe that anyone in the sex industry inherently lacks an understanding of ethics by virtue of our jobs and that our clients most certainly don’t have ethics because otherwise, how could they participate in such sordid behavior? The horror! Usually, those people are confusing ethics and morals; the latter is subjective and quite honestly, performative. The former involves conducting yourself with honesty and integrity even when no one is looking.

When a client shorts a provider of their stated fee, doesn’t show up for the appointment, doesn’t pay a cancellation fee, etc., their behavior is rightfully called out as abhorrent. Even better if other clients criticize the behavior as well. That client is usually blacklisted and if they do it often enough, word gets around and the list of providers willing to deal with them becomes very short indeed.

When a provider takes a deposit, doesn’t show up for the appointment, and doesn’t return the deposit or make arrangements to rectify this situation (and actually seeing those arrangements through), and does this multiple times then the their behavior should be rightfully called out as abhorrent by their colleagues. The behavior reflects poorly on other providers who require deposits to secure appointments, regardless of whether or not some people think that reaction is fair to everyone else. Of course it’s not fair, but neither is the original situation causing the problem.

We, the sex worker community, talk a lot about how well we can self-regulate the community, using this as a talking point for promoting sex worker rights, especially in a time where criminalization is intensifying its literal death-grip on us. And I do believe we can be good at self-regulating though this gets called into question when, in an attempt to self-regulate, it’s referred to as “bullying” or “being in another person’s business” and other similar deflections. “Don’t steal” isn’t bullying nor is it dictating the business practices of anyone who isn’t a con artist.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I certainly didn’t abandon my ethics simply because I became a professional companion. If anything, my ethics have become even stronger due to the fact that I know this is valid work that definitely deserves to be respected a helluva lot more than it is. But I guess everyone doesn’t feel that way but gosh, we should abandon surprise when the rest of the world agrees.

Posted in Companionship, Essentially Claudia, Ethical Practices, My Favorite Things, Philosophy, The Demimonde | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

When Ignorance is Malice

Well, SESTA* passed the Senate. It’s not that I’m surprised or even disappointed, because I know exactly the whorephobic era in which we live. I’m just tired. But, and I’m trying to agree with the optimism here, a lot of activists who mobilized the sex worker community and kept us all up to date believe some good will ultimately result from this bill despite it passing 97-2. More and more mainstream media voices gave sex worker rights orgs attention and articulated, to varying degrees of accuracy, the global sex worker-led fight for rights.

I’m naturally a pessimist so you’ll have to bear with me here. I saw on Twitter, in several comments from some allies and sex workers alike, the opinion that some of these politicians and prohibitionists who agitated for FOSTA-SESTA were/are acting in “ignorance” of the effects their legislation would have. No. They know damn well what the effects of this law will be on the population they are purporting to “save”. They’re not ignorant, they’re malicious. Anyone in a position of power and exercising that power over you by way of law or law enforcement does not act in ignorance. They have more access to research and analyses than you can imagine; if they don’t “hear” certain voices, it is by design, not by a flaw. Giving anyone the benefit of the doubt is a privilege to be earned and the average politician, law enforcement agency and its officers, and media talking head have not earned that privilege, especially not from a marginalized community.

As it has been pointed out by sex worker activists, this is a resilient community. Our enemies underestimating us will ultimately be their downfall and FOSTA-SESTA will hopefully be the epitaph on the gravestone of their malicious ignorance.

 

Edit (21:23, 3/22/18): I’ve been informed that the Senate passed FOSTA, which was the House bill. In any event, it’s still a monstrosity to be struck down.

Posted in Allies & Activism, Demimondaines, Essentially Claudia, Ethical Practices, Society, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , ,

SESTA Vote is TOMORROW

According to what Lorelei Lee posted on Twitter, SESTA is being voted on tomorrow! Call, email your senators to ask that they vote NO. As Lorelei states in her Tweet, even though it is a strong possibility that SESTA will pass, your senators should still hear your opinion. You are a constitutent and a voter, don’t forget to mention these things along with any other statuses that will be negatively affected by this bill. As I pointed out in my previous posts, FOSTA-SESTA casts a ridiculously wide net and will be a form of Internet censorship and major First Amendment violations. Voice an objection on that basis if nothing else.

Posted in Allies & Activism, Essentially Claudia, Ethical Practices, Society, The Demimonde | Tagged , , , ,

There’s STILL time

I’m not sure what time the Senate convenes on Monday, but there is still time to call or email your senators to ask them to vote NO on S. 1693, the FOSTA-SESTA monstrosity masquerading as compassionate legislation. I’ve called and emailed my senators, Tammi Duckworth and Richard J. Durbin (who are among the co-sponsors of the bill), twice this week. I’m going to get up early on Monday morning to call their offices again. Please call your senators this weekend and leave a voicemail if possible or if not, then email. If you have time early Monday morning to call when their offices first open for the day, do that.

Thank you for your active allyship!

Posted in Essentially Claudia

Quick Update to yesterday’s post

Here is the very quick way to find your state senators: Senators of the 115th Congress. On that site, you can choose your state in the dropbox so you don’t have to scroll to search for your senators. Their office phone numbers and email addresses are provided. Calls are always preferable for activism undertaken for any reason, not just this one. If you’re hesitant to talk to a person in real time, you can always call after hours to leave a message. If you are still hesitant to do that (I get it, not everyone likes using the phone) but you still want to voice your opinion, then please send an email.

Again, the vote happens on March 12, 2018

EDIT: You can use the Resist.bot to send a text to your senators about FOSTA-SESTA if you don’t want to talk on the phone but you want something more immediate and direct than email.

Posted in Allies & Activism, Essentially Claudia, Ethical Practices, Society, The Demimonde | Tagged , ,