Archive for the 'sex work' Category

A’dam…sleeps…alone…tonight…

sexist advertising

Yesterday, Amsterdam’s government announced that they intend to close down even more coffeeshops, brothels, and sex shops in the city’s center. So visit while you can. I hope they don’t wipe the center entirely “clean.” For the sake of tourism, I don’t think they will. But they do need to flush the place of shady drug dealers.

Here’s what pisses me off, though: it seems like the government legalized everything without proper regulation. They were a little too laissez- faire about it. Now all the people who are legally working in windows or selling pot with a license will get screwed trying to look for new work. Meanwhile, the pimps and hard dealers will simply move elsewhere. It’s easy to work as a pimp or dealer anywhere! It’s not like they have to file paper work or reassess their resumes now; unlike their law abiding “underworld” counterparts. Mind the epic fail up ahead, Job Cohen.

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by the Postal Service

“Girl, I’ll love you… tonight.”

I  was taking a break from reading religious texts and banging out seriously typo-ed posts (thanks for the heads- up, Martlock) when I discovered this classy “Eros Centre” standing a mere three blocks from my house. Leiden doesn’t have a red light district, but it’s still in the Netherlands. I was bound to run into a brothel/ sex club eventually.

At first glance I thought it might be a dance club or a sketchy singles bar, but the hours posted on the door were something like 12:00-16:00. Probably not a dance club. There’s no Grolsch or Heineken sign above the door. And it literally has red lights out front.

Like most things seedy and inappropriate, this made me miss my undergrad thesis.

Speaking of seedy and inappropriate, this Diplo/Spank Rock remix is great. It’s re-fried 2 Live Crew with a catchy Beach Boys sample. Beautiful.

Download Put That Pussy On Me (Diplo Tonite Remix)

Very Young Girls

It might be weird way to spend July 4th, but I’d really like to see this movie at the IFC Center tomorrow. As the title suggests, it’s about Very Young Girls involved in prostitution in New York City. Many of them started at the age of 13. I usually gravitate towards alternative narratives of sex work (i.e. people who willing get in, male prostitution, fetish work etc.), but unfortunately, there is a large and ugly reality involving trafficked women and girls that needs to acknowledged.

“She needs more of ze punishment!”

So you know how this blog has turned into a sex scandal newsfeed as of late? Yeah, that’s not ending today, thanks to this Max Mosely story courtesy of the Times.Now, I’m the last person who thinks that people should be punished for their fantasies, especially if they are carried out between consensual parties. But I can understand why they would want him to resign; this is some scary, awkward stuff to know about someone. Here are some highlights, put in bold for you perusal:

Few scandals in recent years have provoked as much anger and dismay across Europe as the saga of Max Mosley, the overseer of grand prix motor racing who made tabloid news last weekend in a front-page exposé and accompanying Web video showing him in a sadomasochistic orgy with five supposed prostitutes in a London sex “dungeon”…

The video showed Mr. Mosley counting in German — “Eins! Zwei! Drei! Vier! Funf!” — as he used a leather strap to lash one of the women.

“She needs more of ze punishment!” he cried in German-accented English. One woman appeared to search his hair for lice while another called off items on an inspection list. Mr. Mosley, naked, was bound face-down and lashed more than 20 times.

It quoted – Mosley associates as saying that the prison garb worn by the women were “American convict uniforms” and as dismissing the Nazi allegations by saying, “The scenario was more Alcatraz than Auschwitz.” (Because that makes it OK…?*)

*Italics mine.

This unmade my day

How did this sweet little Oxford math prodigy become a $260/hour prostitute?

No idea. I mean, yes, her father was the Joe Jackson of mathematics. He pushed those children way too hard in one area of life, and in the end, it wasn’t worth it. He was probably also sexually abusive, which ruins people in ways that we are only starting to understand.

According to the website she works through, Sufiah Yusof aka “Shilpa Lee” is “available for booking every day from 11am to 8pm.” That doesn’t leave time for anything else, except prime time television. Everything is gone. It’s absolutely terrifying to think that something led her to completely die inside like that.

So exciting!

As a New Yorker who’s writing about hookers, I can’t tell
you how exciting this is. (Granted, I’m writing about Dutch hookers in 1992.) I have nothing against Spitzer, and I don’t take any joy in his demise, but this is still a very satisfying time for this to happen.

So here’s a roughest of rough sketch of what I’m writing about: two prostitutes. A is female, in her thirties, works in a window. B is male, in his teens and works on the street. Both of them either live in or have family in the Bijlmermeer district, right around the 1992 crash. There’s lots of sex, a sprinkling of drugs, and somber lack of rock and roll. It’s very fun to write.

Fashion Week, Dutch Style

This is an older story, but I’ll tell it anyway:

As of January 21 of this year, the city of Amsterdam commandeered 16 windows and turned them into high fashion display windows. The Red Thread is probably pissed. Fashionistas are thrilled.

I’m personally with the RT on this one. If it was a few places here and there, I’d understand. But sixteen windows? That’s excessive. Target. The. Crime. Not the tax paying women. It’s sort of like the age lowering thing; I know it’s meant to fight pimps and drug dealers, but they should really target the pimps and drug dealers.

Raising the Prostitution Age

Dutchnews.nl had an interesting little article today: “Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin is to consider whether the legal age for prostitutes can be raised from 18 to 21 years as part of a package of measures to combat forced prostitution, reports ANP news agency on Wednesday.In November MPs rejected a proposal by the right-wing PVV party to raise the age for prostitutes.”

This makes me really wish I could read Dutch, cause then I could look at Telegraaf or Volkskrant and get some kind of opinion on this. I wonder if age is the real issue behind the trafficking. Is an 18 year old that much more malleable than a 21 year old? It’s only three years. I wonder if the proposal is misguided and overlooking a major issue here. No, they shouldn’t be Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver young, but it’s so easy to fake an age that all the government might end up with is a false sense of security.

Shouldn’t they go after the pimps rather than making it harder for prostitutes to work?


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