Prostitution itself is a technology, a communication system, as much and at times more than it is a system for organizing sexuality. It signals. Walk for a moment through a red-light district in your head and you won’t see sex—just its red-hot flares.
— A new excerpt from Playing the Whore up at Guernica for publication day. (Or, get the whole thing.)
Mail day. 84 packages bound for you.
Opponents of the sex industry, from the European Women’s Lobby to reactionary feminist bloggers, like to claim that sex workers have the audacity to insist that their work is “a job like any other.” By this, it’s safe to say, anti–sex work activists are not simply agreeing with sex workers that the conditions under which sexual services are offered can be as unstable and undesirable as those cutting cuticles, giving colonics or diapering someone else’s babies. What sex work opponents actually have in mind when they cringe at the idea that sex work could be “a job like any other” is that sex work does not—and cannot—resemble their work. When anti–sex work crusaders think of “jobs,” they’re thinking of their more respected labor administering social projects, conducting research and lobbying. To consider sex work to be on the same level as that work breaks down the divisions that elevate some forms of labor while denigrating others. The real message of anti–sex work feminists is, It’s the women working against sex work who are the real hard workers, shattering glass ceilings and elevating womanhood, while the tramps loll about down below.
— Let’s Call Sex Work What It Is: Work | The Nation (excerpted from Playing the Whore)
Caty Simon interviewed me for Tits and Sass, illustrated with my cat. It’s huge and wonderful.
"The politics of it all seemed mystifying…"
Auspicious NYT headline for International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.
Theorizing the Web 2014 will feature three special, highlighted panels. Our keynote this year is panel on race and social media; we also have a panel on theorizing big data, and are now thrilled to announce a panel on sex work and the web.
I’ll be moderating this panel, with a very cool line-up: Emma Caterine from Red Umbrella Project, Brian Fuss from HOOK Online, N’jaila Rhee from This Week in Blackness After Dark, and Stoya from Adult Performer Advocacy Committee. Learn more and then join us in April.
Anonymous asked: Really? So was time spent prepping self-reported? Do you know when this Lusty practice ended/how it started?
No tracking — it was just an automatic 30 minute’s pay bonus, paid out (if my memory serves) per shift. I’d have to dig up meeting minutes to know for sure, but I think it ended around 2003. (also hi! maybe I know you? yr coming up anon.)
I might be remembering wrong but I’m PRETTY sure that when I worked at the Lusty Lady in 2009-2012 we still got paid for prep time, but only 15 minutes, and since we clocked in with an old school timeclock you obviously had to actually be there and clock in at least 15 minutes before your shift started. Some girls ran in literally one minute before their shift, so it wasn’t automatically added to your pay.
It may have been re-introduced — during those first years after the Lusty bought out the previous owners, the staff voted to roll some of these benefits back for budget reasons. But you’re right, I do think we had to clock in ahead of the shift to get that pay. (Also it’s been ten years since the first time I set foot there, but I still have dreams about turning up late to a shift, the clock already on the nine. Obvs I’m traumatized for life.)