This goes in the interesting file…

Posted: March 31, 2010 in Blogging, Sex Work

Okay, so preface here:

Whilst chillin’ here in Red Neck Vacation Land, I am still poking around on blogs obviously  (it does rain here in RNVL), and I noted today that BerryBlade commented over here.  She doesn’t read here much, and I can understand why- I check out her blog occasionally (best blog logo image ever) and well, she and I sorta dig the same kind of movies, so I jump over there sometimes to see if she has reviewed something I’ve not seen so I can add it to my Net Flix list…and I think (can’t swear to it) but think she likes video games and once, over at the old joint, commented on some COH screen shot I’d taken or something….er- lemmie check…yep

Anyway, she has a post up about stripping/porn, and I read it.  And I am gonna discuss it now.  And this is one of those times when I do not particularly care who I piss off or who gets angsty with me, friend or foe.  I was pondering commenting over there, but one- not sure how that would go over, and two, my response is likely to be long.

And I will start with this- not a feminist.  So I am not looking at this all feminist-wise.  I think it is pretty common knowledge that 1) if a woman chooses to do sex work, she does, and I don’t give a fuck what anyone says about it.  2) not all women in sex work have chosen to do it, or would choose something else if they had other options, and that shit blows. 3) -nihilist.  4) when it comes to making money and all that shit- well, I’m a total mercenary and I tend to think that ALL carbon based life forms in some way or another are commodities.  Yeah, I am real uplifting and shit…

Anyway….

She has this post up.  Read it.  After reading it, I thought of something I’d written some time back.  Yeah, it was written for totally different reasons- with totally different intent, from a totally different point of view…but I thought of it nonetheless.  And yep, it was one of those things that some folk took as “oh, Ren is saying (any woman who was hot enough would strip, people would feel better if they just were skinny, blah blah blah)” in short, a bunch of shit Ren was NOT saying, but anyway…I wrote it.  And re-read it after reading BerryBlade’s post.  And I thought…hummm….

Because Berry brings up some things that people, on the Pro-Side, Forget.  Things like, why yes, there are clubs and contractors who do not care about hiring underaged girls or women who have been trafficked (Eastern European women are quite popular these days).  Just as she mentions for Australia, well same here in the US- a lot of clubs dancers work solely for tips, have to pay stage fees, have to hustle drinks, and why yes, even have to turn a cut of their tips over to other club staff like waiters, bartenders, so on. Why yes, wearing heels for long periods of  time is painful, and can be bad for you.  Age and scars?  Yep, those things will fuck with your shelf life in the sex industry- sure, I am 38 and have the Coolest Scar in the World and still work (and I will qualify that- I do porn and porn alone these days- I got real tired of the other shit), but I am an exception and have, now, a distinctive look that works for me but puts me in a niche market.  It’s a niche I like, but niche nonetheless.   And she does mention something that I have harped on endlessly- being in the sex industry- especially if you are a woman- can absolutely limit your career opportunities.  It is not something one can generally put on their resume depending on the type of job they are going for.  If you want to be a bartender, or mechanic, or electrician, or many things that count as “trades”, you’re probably just fine.  Retail, you’re fine.  If you want to go all white collar, or apply for something that has a background check or security clearance, or be a teacher, or things of that nature?  Guess what- a career in the sex industry- even just stripping- can fuck that shit straight to hell. 

These are things people forget, or gloss over sometimes, and yep, that torques even me off sometimes.  I mean, I know I personally have never worked with someone who was underaged, or trafficked, or things of that nature- because I bother to look into that shit.  Other people wouldn’t.  I’ve known and worked with some people who loved it, and some people who did not like it at all and only did it because they pretty much had  to.  I’ve seen and met folk from all spectrums and whatnot of the sex industry- and they are all different- but pretty much all of them would say while it ain’t all blood loss and trauma, it ain’t all roses and mad cash either.  There is a ton of bullshit, from all sides, pretty much all the time.

So yeah, Berry and I do not see things eye to eye.  We look at this sort of thing from a very different perspective, but be that as it may- a lot of the things she’s said there- feminist lense/nihilst mercenary/gal/dude/ typical citizen jane or whatever…well, it is….true.

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Comments
  1. Yeah.

    Thing is… well, my cousin the teacher recently reminded me that even being a teacher can be damned dangerous these days.

    Very few jobs are totally non-degrading and/or “safe”–at least, I’ve never found one.

  2. joankelly6000 says:

    I’m afraid you’re going to have to turn in your Evil creds if you’re going to continue to post stuff like this. I don’t make the rules, I just hall-monitor everybody about them to the best of my ability.

  3. Faith says:

    I don’t know how welcome I am to post here, but I believe you said before that you believe that the minimum age limit for entering porn and stripping should be raised?? If so, have you written a post about that before? Would you consider writing one if you do indeed believe that?

    I brought this up on a post on Feministe the other day and was not surprisingly shut down. I dared to state that I really didn’t believe the average 18 year old was equipped to make the decision to enter into an industry that would ruin her future career choices, almost certainly subject her to abuse of some form or another, and subject her to much older men who are more than happy and willing to take advantage of her youth and inexperience to manipulate and control her. While we might not all be able to agree on whether or not the sex industry should exist at all, I’d like to hope that most of us could possibly come to an agreement that, at the very least, no one who can describe their age using the word “teen” should be involved in the sex industry. I mean, how the fuck can we have a society set up that will allow young girls to walk onto a porn set and be brutally fucked by a roomful of men on camera at the age of 18, but refuse to allow that same girl the legal right to buy a beer? There is something very, very wrong with that fact.

    • Ernest Greene says:

      “I mean, how the fuck can we have a society set up that will allow young girls to walk onto a porn set and be brutally fucked by a roomful of men on camera at the age of 18, but refuse to allow that same girl the legal right to buy a beer? There is something very, very wrong with that fact.”

      But there’s evidently nothing particularly problematic or worthy of radical feminist attention about the fact that a woman of that same age can join the army and get her head blown off.

      I sometimes wonder why of all the far more dangerous and indeed brutal occupations for which a woman is considered competent and in which her choice to participate is regarded as valid at 18, sex work is somehow considered the worst possible option.

      Yes, I realize that an occasional objection to the fact that most young women who end up in the military, particularly as enlisted personnel, were also channeled there by economic necessity, but the amount of rad-fem bandwidth devoted to questioning and examining their choices would appear to be about one percent that devoted to the denunciation of sex work as the most vile of social evils and the insistence on the absolute impossibility that any young woman might actually choose to engage in it with at least the degree of agency involved in choosing to expose herself to the horrors of combat.

      Odd priorities indeed. That the youngest soldiers are both the most physically suitable for combat and the most easily led is far less material to the validity of their “choice” to enlist than their “choice” to take off their clothes in nightclubs for a living.

      I suspect there are some young women in VA hospitals at this very moment who might wonder if they wouldn’t have been better off electing for the latter over the former.

      But why should we bother to raise the minimum age for military service when there’s no exchange of money for sex with men involved, only pandemic sexual harassment and the constant threat of rape in addition to the “normal”‘ risks of warfare?

      Personally, I don’t see why a woman of 18 shouldn’t be allowed to buy herself a beer, join the army or work in a strip club if she so chooses. The world is not now, has never been and will never be a vast child-safe day nursery and the ability to navigate is not magically conferred by the forced infantilization of young women for an extra 36 months.

      So no, I’m not part of the “most” that could agree to the terms you set forth for the employment of those you don’t know, or know anything about. I don’t think someone who has repeatedly expressed an urgent desire that the sex industry not exist at all is qualified to dictate its working rules. Somehow, based on my reading of your previous remarks, I don’t see you as a supporter of harm-reduction strategies where sex work is concerned in any case. In light of those remarks, I find your sudden embrace of such an approach just a bit dubious.

      Liked the “brutally fucked”‘ part, BTW. No assumptions implicit there regarding the realities of porn work whatsoever. Nor any accurate knowledge of those realities either. But why let inconvenient facts obstruct the injection of a piece of false and inflammatory agit-prop introduced under the guise of seeking a reasonable common ground?

    • Ren says:

      Faith:

      Anyone can comment here- free fire zone.

      Yes, I have said that I -personally- would like to see the minimum age for being in porn be raised to 21. I think this way because I am not so sure the majority (not all, but many) 18 year olds know shit about life in some ways. However, as Ernest said, 18 year olds can sign up and go to war- which is some seriously dangerous shit. I think the age for being able to join the military should also be 21- just fyi. And yeah, I have mentioned my feelings on that several times, in several posts, which I do not feel like digging up at one in the morning while I am on vacation.

      But, I take issue with some of your phrasing… “I dared to state that I really didn’t believe the average 18 year old was equipped to make the decision to enter into an industry that would ruin her future career choices”

      WOULD is a strong word. COULD is a better one. It’s a nitpick, but you know, I am gonna make it because I freakin’ hate universals. Would implies it is written in stone, and why yes, even though I mentioned HOW future careers can be dicey…its not an absolute. I mean, as a person in the sex biz, well, sure, I might never be in congress…but I don’t want to be. I’d like to -when done with this- be a mechanic. I’m probably okay. Gearheads don’t give a crap about this sorta thing. Maybe some folk think no one, esp. no woman, would want to be a mechanic, but well, I like the idea….

      wrt to older men taking advantage and whatnot- that can happen to ANY young woman – regardless of her job.

      And brutally fucked is so a loaded term.

      • Faith says:

        “Yes, I have said that I -personally- would like to see the minimum age for being in porn be raised to 21. I think this way because I am not so sure the majority (not all, but many) 18 year olds know shit about life in some ways. However, as Ernest said, 18 year olds can sign up and go to war- which is some seriously dangerous shit. I think the age for being able to join the military should also be 21- just fyi.”

        I support raising the age for the military as well. That was part of what I stated over at Feministe.

        “wrt to older men taking advantage and whatnot- that can happen to ANY young woman – regardless of her job”

        True. But the sex industry it is pretty close to a given. I’d say a given, personally. The control and manipulation is also likely to wind up causing quite a great deal more psychological (and possibly physical) damage than in the average job, I believe.

        “And brutally fucked is so a loaded term.”

        ::shrugs:: I suppose. I suppose it’s also at least an accurate one in many cases. I don’t think it makes a tremendous amount of difference, however. Remove the word “brutally” and the premise still applies.

        Ernest,

        I’m all for raising the age to join the military. I’m even all for raising the age of marriage since I really don’t feel the average 18 year old has any real business making such a large decision at such a young age. However, I don’t actually identify as a radical feminist. And I’m not going to bother responding to anything else you have to say. I have absolutely nothing to say to you. I read this blog on occasion and decided to comment because I’m interested in Ren’s perspective, not yours. I have no more desire to interact with you than you have to interact with most feminists.

        • Ren says:

          “True. But the sex industry it is pretty close to a given. I’d say a given, personally. The control and manipulation is also likely to wind up causing quite a great deal more psychological (and possibly physical) damage than in the average job, I believe. ”

          I disagree. There are no such “givens”. There are some shrewd, hardass 18-19-20 year olds out there who don’t take shit from anyone.

          • Faith says:

            I’m not going to nitpick over absolutes. I was pretty tough when I was 18-20, as well. I still don’t think I would have had any business entering the sex industry. I do believe, however, that being manipulated into fucking a stranger when you really don’t want to do so is likely to cause quite a great deal more psychological trauma than being manipulated into making a t-shirt when you really don’t want to. That being said, I’m actually not a big fan of any industry as I’ve said repeatedly. My beef is most certainly not only with the sex industry. My beef is with the entire capitalist and patriarchal society.

        • Ernest Greene says:

          I don’t care at all about how you identify, only about what you say. And I do enjoy interacting with most feminists, other than those who call me vile names and accuse me of crimes I haven’t committed.

          And while you may have nothing to say to me here, you’ve had some things to say about me elsewhere. I read other blogs too.

          (http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2009/03/19/kyle-payne-is-a-sexual-predator/#comments).

          Does this sound at all familiar?

          “I’m all for condemning those misogynistic shitbags too. Anyone wants to make some anti-IACB or Kennerson or Voice or E.G. posts, I’m totally down and supportive.”

          Love the way you and your pals were so eager to tar me with the deeds of convicted rapist Kyle Payne.

          You may be above the fray in spaces not controlled by those who agree with you, but you’re certainly interested in engaging me behind my back. Evidently, you do have some interest in my “perspective.”

          We concur on one thing. I have no desire to converse with you either. I simply refuse to leave your false and defamatory claims unchallenged when you make them in places where dissent from them is permitted.

  4. Ren says:

    oh, and Faith?

    “almost certainly subject her to abuse of some form or another,”

    as a gal in the sex biz, sure enough, I have taken some abuse….but oddly enough, it hasn’t come from pornographers, but rather anti porn activists.

    • Faith says:

      I didn’t necessarily mean pornographers. I didn’t necessarily mean employers period. Although obviously they are often the perpetrators of abuse. I was referring to society and men in general. Engaging in sex work of any variety increases the likelihood of abuse and sexual violence. Sex workers have a higher rate of being victims to sexual violence. We could debate whether that’s something inherent with the industry, or if it’s simply that we live in a patriarchal and sex worker phobic society. But whether or not it is inherent, it is what it is right now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      • Normally, I try not to engage with people who would normally deny my humanity….but this quote by Faith was just too damn hard to resist:

        […] Engaging in sex work of any variety increases the likelihood of abuse and sexual violence. Sex workers have a higher rate of being victims to sexual violence. We could debate whether that’s something inherent with the industry, or if it’s simply that we live in a patriarchal and sex worker phobic society. But whether or not it is inherent, it is what it is right now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

        Right. Just as being a Catholic increases the chance of a young boy being molested. Just as being a gay man increases the chance of him contracting HIV. Just as being Black increases the chance of him going to jail.

        I mean, if we are going to use Faith’s logic that performing sex with men for a fee (or really, simply being in the same damn room with a man with an erection) lieaves a woman more likely to be raped or be otherwise a victim of violence, then why not target all Catholics or all gays or all Blacks using the same irresistible logic??

        Oh, but we’re just talking about MEN and their penises here. That makes it perfectly OK, I guess….right, Faith??

        Sexual violence and abuse didn’t begin with sex work or porn, and they sure as hell won’t end if porn or sex work are wiped clean off the face of the universe, either. The only thing I find “inheritent” is the belief of some to scapegoat innocent people for the crimes of an isolate few.

        I could care less what you think of me, Faith, but you’re just not going to pass nonsense around without being called out on it. Especially when you slander me as a “misogynistic shitbag”.

        Anthony

        • Ernest Greene says:

          “We could debate whether that’s something inherent with the industry, or if it’s simply that we live in a patriarchal and sex worker phobic society. But whether or not it is inherent, it is what it is right now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

          Yes, well, for as long as sex work and sex workers continue to be stigmatizied, most especially by feminists who claim to have some concern for the well-being of sex workers at heart, I’d be inclined to agree that conditions for most sex workers in the world are unlikely to improve.

          Now on the other hand if sex workers had real allies among those with influence on public policy, such as tenured professors at universities and political activists with mainstream media access who could advocate for the decrminalization of all sex work, including the decriminalization of patronizing sex workers (as it’s effrectively impossible to decriminalize one side of a transaction will leaving prohibition in place for the other), perhaps this would change.

          But for as long as there are those who enjoy the benefits of privilege and for whom the stigmatization of sex workers serves the purpose of defining sex workers as an oppressed class who can only be “rescued” by the destruction of their livelihoods, the impetus for positive change is unlikely to originate elsewhere.

  5. From BerryBlades’s article:

    Do you know that every single womon in your establishment is there of her own free will 210%? Do you know that every single womon in your work place is a legal citizen, and not a victim of human trafficking? Do you know how high the turn over rate is?

    The only thing I can think about this is: can any worker be sure about these issues? Because if they can then it is only because their businesses operate fully in the open and there are, like, laws to protect the workers and stuff. Hey – turnover for waitressing or other minimum wage jobs? Also pretty high (I understand that in the US at least, waitresses are dependent upon tips in a lot of places because wages don’t cover the cost of living, too – should restaurants be banned also?)

    ISTR there was recently a landmark court case in the USA where a bunch of strippers took their strip club to court over the whole “charging to work there”/”living off tips” thing and that that working set-up was ruled illegal there? No reason why that ruling couldn’t be applied elsewhere in the world and, look at that, with a law enforcement regime that actually cared about these issues, maybe the business models would change to be more worker-friendly! (In fact, I wrote about that issue a while back on A Femanist View, because similar kinds of working practice exists in the UK too).

    But the approach that anti-sex work folks take seems to me akin to trying to abolish share-cropping by getting rid of cotton.

  6. Roy Kay says:

    ERROR:

    >After all, let’s go back to some 101 and remember that pornography quite literally means

    >The graphic depiction of the vilest whores

    Actually the translation is “prostitute” “writing”. I suppose you could expand “graphos” to mean imaging, which we do now. I have no idea where she got “vilest” from, unless she is deriving a difference between “porno” and “heterai”

    ———–

    Meanwhile, she is way too bile filled to actually give a shit about strippers, lapdancers, porn performers, prostitutes or any other sex worker. Does she even consider the loss of prospect when an 18 year old woman decides on a “career” as a “homemaker”? In many states it doesn’t even qualify your to work as a child-care worker.

    Further, the tenor of her post doesn’t indicate she wants anything but closed options for sex-workers. (Incidently I know of at least one very dangerous lawyer who was a sex worker at one time.) Personally, I favor firing the volunteer corporate lifestyle gestapo on first encounter. Get ’em out of there before they poison the atmosphere.

  7. Eli says:

    Minor nitpick, but as I see it, that stripping limits one’s future career choices says more about society and its messed-up sexual mores than it does about stripping. That’s a bit like complaining that porn is bad sex ed without questioning why porn happens to be the main or only sex ed that many kids are getting…

    • Quoting Eli:

      That’s a bit like complaining that porn is bad sex ed without questioning why porn happens to be the main or only sex ed that many kids are getting…

      EXACTLY.

      Especially since porn isn’t even the most common form of sex ed, or that as an entertainment genre, it isn’t even intended to BE a tool for sex ed. That’s why we have these folks called “parents”, and those things called “books”, and those funky bulldings called “schools”.

      Maybe we need to concentrate on making the other career choices more livable and more meaningful and making them pay an actual living wage, then hating on a stripper who actually uses her body and her skills to make an honest living.

      Anthony

    • Ernest Greene says:

      Again, the elephant in the room is the stigmatization of sex workers, not sex work itself. Many intepersonal skills acquired through sex work could be valuable in non-sex-relataed occupations, but thta experience can’t be listed on a resume. The “resume gap” created by a history in sex work is what limits a transitioning sex workers future opportunities, not the work itself.

      The implication that sex work leaves those who engage in it unfit for any other trade is one of the most odious of the canards with which the whole piece is larded.

      • Eli says:

        one of the most odious of the canards with which the whole piece is larded.
        Culinary metaphor breakdown alert!!! =P

      • Eli says:

        I wonder though… there are valid concerns about working conditions in porn, and no doubt reasonable people can even disagree on the best ways to tackle them.
        But it also seems if one mentions types of porn where these concerns are not an issue – say, drawn porn or CGI porn – then it looks to me they are just replaced by other concerns. As if the specific justifications don’t matter as much as the foregone conclusion that any porn is inherently problematic. It gets depressing, all that negativity…

  8. Ernest Greene says:

    Yeah, well, you got me on the mixed metaphor, but this…

    “wonder though… there are valid concerns about working conditions in porn, and no doubt reasonable people can even disagree on the best ways to tackle them.”

    This has become the standard refrain of “liberal” feminists and their allies who don’t necessarily hate porn, but know for sure and certain that the way it’s made is BAD for women and that there are MAJOR ABUSES in its creation all the time that must be addressed.

    Of course, the fact that none of them actually know or communicate with any women who actually work in porn on a daily basis or have ever themselves put foot on any porn set anywhere doesn’t in any way disqualify them from being part of the solution to all these very bad things.

    FYI, there has been an enormous effort expended over the past ten years in professionalizing the making of porn and limiting the potential for abuse in the process on the part of producers and performers and agents working together with their legal counsel to prevent those very bad things (which still happen anyway, most often in obscure places far removed from the mainstream commercial porn industry). All of this has been accomplished quietly with no help from anyone outside our own work culture and has received no attention, support or appreciation from the outside world, where nevertheless a lot of people who seem equally eager to distance themselves from porn-bashers and pornographers alike.

    I really can’t be arsed to explain all this for the umpteen millionth time, but I will definitely let you know if I think we’re so stymied at solving our own problems that we need the help clueless “reasonable people” to tackle them.

    Oh yeah, about CGI porn, rad-fems have plenty to say about that too. Just check out the segment on the subject in The Price of Pleasure. CGI porn is still porn and all porn feeds demand for all the evil indulgences all men inflict on all women at all times in all places. Just to clear that up for you.

    You think you find it all depressing. What’s really even more depressing than the predictable nonsense of those pruriently obssessed porn haters out there is the tepid, qualified, uninformed, apologetic “support” offered up in opposition to their hate-mongering by those who still buy into about half the bullshit rhetoric the other side spews night and day.

    Find out something about how porn is actually made from people who actually make it before you come forward with further offers of deathless wisdom in the correction of our problematic working conditions.

    • Eli says:

      Ernest, I think you misunderstood what I tried to say. Reading back, I suspect it was my use of the term “working conditions” which wasn’t really the term I wanted to use but I couldn’t really come up with a better one. What I had in mind were the issues like the “resumee gap” we were talking about here. Surely that is a valid concern? And if the root of the problem is societal attitudes about sex, surely reasonable people can disagree on the best solution?

      What I find depressing sometimes is seeing how many people seem more invested in justifying the attitudes about sex than in changing them. Lately I’ve come to see this as rather analogous with child abuse; children who grew up abused often internalize the abuse, come up with justifications, and end up repeating the cycle of abuse when they grow up. The impression I get from a lot of ant-sex and anti-porn “activists” is an overwhelming feeling of either shame (sex is filthy), fear (sex is dangerous) or anger (sex is oppressive), and a lot of rhetoric to try and justify those feelings to themselves. In a way I pity them – it would be a cruel thing to convince a tree that its roots are dirty for being stuck in the mud, and what was done to them was probably just as bad. But I have a problem with them if their coping mechanism consists of externalizing and perpetuating the ideas that sex is inherently dirty or dangerous or unjust.

      (BTW my idea of a solution includes *more* porn (preferably porn that challenges the whole prude-slut dichotomy that societal mores seem based on) along with education. And I’m not exactly “distancing myself from pornographers”, I think.

      Sorry for rambling incoherently, it’s been a long week…)

  9. Ernest Greene says:

    Eli,

    You’re right. I did misunderstand and I apologize. One gets so used to trading punches one tends to punch first and ask questions later, which is no excuse. I’d just been through another round of “When is the industry going to have a comprehensive HIV prevention policy?” bullshit, when in fact we do have one that works better than any other in place anywhere, I just sort of jumped the gun here.

    If you’re talking about a generalized lack of support for performers when they’re NOT working, I’m with you all the way. I reject vritually every accusation regarding treatment of performers while shooting, which is no worse in most respects than the treatment of performers of all sorts in mainstream entertainment, including exposure to physical risk. But when it comes to the off-set part of any performer’s life? There again, as in mainstream, there is much hardship and little support, and at the end of the day, there’s not much in the way of assistance toward some other kind of life. AIM offers out-placement counseling and services to the extent of its limited resources, but the truth is that, however qualified to do other things a performer may be, that resume hole is difficult to paper over. Porn does make a permanent record and future employers may encounter it either before or after a hire, with the same predictable result: the new job goes away.

    Moreover, porn has a way of burning up time with the illustion of minimal work for easy money during a person’s twenties, precisely when good work habits and self-discipline need maximum cultiivation. That’s the time to be laying down the foundations for a good career that will last through a long life, and unless you’re one of those rare, motivated, ambitious performers like Sasha Grey, or Nina for that matter, it’s all too temptiing to just party away the money and tell yourself that tomorrow will take care of itself, which it will but not in a way you might want.

    Two things are really needed to alleviate the transition problem. Social attitudes toward transitioining sex workers must change. For as long as they’re required to either try and conceal what they’ve done in the past, which never works, or foreswear it and align themselves with those who make their livings trashing porn – a demand far more degrading than any ever made on a set – most will do their best not to avoid going out into the big, bad, sex-work-hating outside world and cling to whatever employment they can find in porn for as along as possible, making matters even worse.

    The other thing that’s needed is some sense of collective responsibiliy within the industry for those who have given much and made lots of money for producers but no longer, for whatever reason, can or will work on camera. There are plenty of non-performing jobs in the industry itself, ranging from sales to video editing, for which performers are well-suited, and while some do find their way into those jobs, most don’t cultivate the connections and companies don’t reach out to them to make those positions available.

    I for one believe that if some one has spent a decade of a young life make money for an industry and now finds it impossible to go ont doing so in front of the camera, that industry owes said individual a shot at gainful emplloyment behind the camera. Instead, I see the majority of those jobs going to outsiders crossing over from the Internet to cherry-poick the best opportunities here.

    What I want to see on the glass front door of every production company in this business is “Applications Welcome from Those with Performing Experience.”

    It’s the fucking least producers can give back in return for the McMansions in Encino with Ferraris in the garages peformers have bought them.

    So, in short, we’re on the same page here.

    Speaking of which, really dig your art. Nice mix of Manga and Western styles. I’ll message you about some opportunities Hustler Land if you’re interested.

    • Eli says:

      I understand that I contributed to the misunderstanding, so no harm done. But thanks for the clarification.

      I think a big part of the problem is also the expectation that we coddle people with issues about their sexuality by pretending that sex doesn’t exist. As a result people can rail against porn or sex work as if it exists in a vacuum, as if it’s thrust upon society against its will rather than existing through the patronage of a good-sized majority. Like there’s a general “don’t ask don’t tell” policy about sexuality, which in turn guarantees that the next generation will again grow up with plenty of sexual issues…

      Thank you for your kind words about my comic! My art is based on the Belgian schematic style with some Japanese manga influence. I’m a slow drawer and I have a peculiar sense of humor, but if you think there’s a place for that in one of your publications, that sounds like fun.

      • Ren says:

        Oh, it is fun. I’ve contributed art before as well…and we all know about my sense of humor.

        • Ernest Greene says:

          There are some great things – actually a lot of great things – about working for Larry Flynt. Talk about an eccentric sense of humor. Not many people reliably crack me up, but now that he’s discovered what an appreciative audience I am, he manages it every time. I do my best to return the favor and sometimes it works. The comic mag i started for him with a four-issue committment is now on #18, and as Ren will tell you, it’s definitely not … for just anyone.

          So, more on this later.

          • Eli says:

            I admit being only vaguely aware of porn magazines, so it took your mention of Larry Flint for me to realise you were talking about that Hustler. ^_^;
            That’s so cool, though!

  10. Kelly James says:

    RenEv – Fucking brilliant. Without a doubt the best of the sex work-activist-public intellectual writers that I’ve read and probably of most I have not. Ironically enough considering your nihilist beliefs, I suspect your works may outlive you and that you have the potential to one day be regarded as a great thinker of our time. I added you to my blogroll and liked a particular phrase so much it went on my list of quotes. Awesome, and I’m not one who is easily impressed.

    Now, while there may be some truth in it, Berryblade aka “Aileen Wuernos'” post pissed me off………

    Why? To quote Marshall Mathers…..

    “Cause I’m a criminal
    Every time I write a rhyme
    People think it’s a crime
    To tell ’em what’s on my mind
    Yes I’m a criminal
    I don’t gotta say a word
    I just flip ’em the bird
    And keep going
    I don’t take shit from no one….”

    Riddle me this: what sort of rationale could possibly allow someone to identify herself with a serial killer yet take such personal issue with strippers and porn?

    If X+Y=Z, then that means the author otherwise known as “Aileen Wuernos” must consider consenting sex workers to be the most reprehensible human beings alive; worse than even a serial killer who premeditated the brutal murders of seven people.

    Since the people the real Aileen murdered were all vile sexist rapist men who solicited a prostitute with dicks in hand, I suppose they all deserved it. Wait a minute….if they deserved it, then the hooker in this story (http://deepthroated.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/support-for-a-sex-worker-kidnapped-held-and-tortured-for-10-days/) clearly deserved to be kidnapped, held against her will for ten days, and raped twice a day! Anyone who takes part in the morally devoid crime of prostitution deserves what they get! Cause we all know that ain’t cool, damn it!!!!!!!!!!

    Sound ridiculous? Of course it does. There is a serious problem with this rationale. In fact, it is THE reason why sex work is such a dangerous profession. You see, the perpetrators of violence against sex workers realize society’s prejudices and so target sex workers as a marginalized group who have very little recourse for violations of their individual or collective rights. Yet the fucking advocates, joined by certain former sex workers who are so completely lacking in pride or honor because society has convinced them that they are scum of the earth, who are and will be ashamed of themselves till the day they die, who would rather be labeled victims than criminals, still insist on promoting the very stigma that causes the violence, the stigma that sex workers are victims. Victim my ass. I’ll take criminal over victim any day. Give me my fucking gun and lemme make it worth it first. I’ll start with “Wild Bill” Manis…oh wait, I almost forgot to bring duct tape, a carving knife, and a great big black dildo.

    Who the hell died and made Berryblade/”Aileen Wuernos”, fucking feminist extraodinaire who has never been a stripper, an escort, a hooker, a Domme, a PSO, or made a porn, an expert on what it’s like? Who the hell is she? At the age of 30 and after nearly thirteen years in the industry (I started on my eighteenth birthday cause I wanted to leave home), why yes I do consider myself an expert and while it’s sure as hell not wine and roses it also does not merit repulsion. Sex workers are real people. We live our lives, we laugh, we cry, we have good times as well as bad. I also firmly believe the grim realities should never be glossed, it is certainly not for everyone, and no I do not want my daughter to grow up to be a sex worker.

    That said, to address Berry and her questions: 1) I have worked a “regular job”, at a law firm as a matter of fact. The people I met through that job were of much lesser moral standards then I’ve seen in most sex workers. 2) In thirteen years, I have known a total of two girls working under the age of 18, a total of three who had a pimp, and a total of zero who were doing it against their will. And yeah, I’m sure I know. 3) Yes, I am sexy, damn it! 4) Believe it or not, there is a demand in the industry for both intellect and conversation, and most gentlemen prefer a lady who can at the very least carry a short conversation. 5) At the age of 21, you seem to know exactly what sexuality is not. Do you even know what it is? 6) At least here in Arizona, many women wear very high heels daily, not only strippers. 7) Many people work under an unfair pay structure. Is $6.50/hr fair pay for anyone? That is why I work for myself. 8) Being a sex worker can certainly fuck many career goals straight to hell as Ren so succinctly put it. Do you think that’s right or fair? And since you’re so concerned about saving women, do you think that by publishing an article on the Internet that makes sex work out to be disgusting you’re doing anything to help the plight of a sex worker trying to get out of the industry? Maybe the time you have to spend on activism would be better spent thinking of ways to actually help. 9) The lady at AT&T’s customer service center sure as shit won’t tell you her real name either. 10) Let me get this straight – you’re saying that if I consider sex work to be fun, liberating, or empowering then I do not have a shred of intelligence, compassion, or good traits. Right? Hey, you said it. Read your own article.

    Still laughing?

    My middle finger is up and it is pointing straight at you.

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