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29th September   

Updated: Popular Fun in the Philippines...

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40% of male visitors reportedly seek the sexy nightlife
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philippis gogoIn comments that were quickly denied by the Philippine government, U.S. ambassador Harry Thomas claims that 40% of male visitors to the country go there for sex.

Thomas told a forum of Philippine judges and officials:

We know that 40% of foreign men who come to the Philippines, including from the U.S., come for sexual tourism. That is not something I'm proud of. That's not something you should be proud of.

Thomas said the sex trade is popular in karaoke bars and clubs along Roxas Boulevard, a main thoroughfare in Manila that also houses the U.S. embassy. He added:

Corruption allows these notorious establishments to continue to operate. Local officials will look the other way or accept favors. These officials are doubly guilty.

Tourism assistant secretary Domingo Enario disputed the claims and said: We are not sure where his statistics are coming from.

According to AFP, the allegations come as the country is embarked on a campaign to increase tourism to the country from an all-time high of 3.52 million visitors last year to a target goal of 6 million by 2016. Whether a crackdown on the sex trade will make that target number more or less achievable remains to be seen.

Update: Politician gets in his two-penneth

29th September 2011. See article from journal.com.ph

Law enforcers should dismantle large scale sex tour syndicates to effectively purge the rampant sex trade and prostitution in the country, claimed Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.

It is the sex tour organizers and operators who are responsible for the upsurge of prostitution in the country, Pimentel claimed.  Sex tourism refers to a program organized by travel and tourism-related establishments and individuals which consists of tourism packages or activities, utilizing and offering escort and sexual services as enticement for tourists.

Pimentel appealed to law enforcement agencies to intensify their anti-sex trafficking campaign by focusing on Internet sites that openly promote sex tourism in the Philippines.

Are there ANY such large scale operations organising sex tours? From my experience, people organise their trips via totally mainstream travel and accommodation services that have nothing to do with sex. Then when they arrive, they independently start off their quest for fun via the easy to find nightlife areas. No need whatsoever of a guide or pre-booking or anything like that.

Update: Apology

29th September 2011. See article from bbc.co.uk

The US ambassador to the Philippines, Harry Thomas, has apologised for saying that 40% of male tourists visit the country for sex.

His remark during a conference last month led to a local outcry, with officials unhappy at their country being portrayed as a sex haven.

The US embassy confirmed Thomas had now expressed regret for his comments.

In a text message to a Philippine minister, he said he should not have used the statistic without proof.

 

29th September   

Offsite: Don't Tell Mama...

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Berlin is the fun capital of Europe
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insomnia berlinHow did the German capital become Europe's sex tourism mecca for gays and straights alike? A tour of underground clubs, dark rooms, bathhouses.

Insomnia

To gain entry to the erotic club called Insomnia on Alt-Tempelhof Street, you ring the bell and hope the door opens. After you pass the test and shed any extraneous clothing in the locker room, you enter a square space that is painted red. And there you find people dancing, nice music and a laser-light show. Most of the men are dressed. Most of the women are a bit scantily clad. On Sundays, mass orgies are held here, and the price of admission varies: 80 euros for a man, 40 for a couple and no charge for women. But for the regular Saturday bash, admission is 17 euros across the board.

Things seem a little dull, but when I go to order a drink at the bar, I notice that a man's head is planted between the legs of the panty-less girl beside me. Massive curtains hide several dark spaces, where there are beds and a Jacuzzi for naked bathing, plus showers for before and after.

On the other side is a corridor with pictures of naked women lit with ultraviolet light and huge sculptures of female genitalia. In the corridor, a woman in a leather suit with her breasts exposed lies in a hammock. Her legs are held by chains and someone is performing a sex act on her before a curious audience of five men and two women. A middle-aged midget goes up to the upper level, holding two leather leashes attached to the neck of a tall and slender young woman who walks ahead of him. Entry into this level is restricted to couples.

Kitkat

Kitkat is Insomnia's kinkier and more famous cousin. Sitting at the entrance to this club is Kirstin, who runs the place with her husband Thur. She oversees the selection process. Anyone who shows up in simple jeans and a T-shirt will remain outside.

There are two dance floors, both with oppressively loud techno music. A few young women are dancing in just their panties and bras. A naked couple is making out on the couch. Here, too, you find a big age range: a couple of Russian youths in army trousers and berets, shirtless, alongside 60-somethings sitting naked on armchairs. Some are playing with themselves, one is asleep. A man in a leather dress puts his hand on the crotch of a woman in high stiletto heels, who is kissing another man. On the walls are neon-hued paintings of men with enlarged penises and of naked women.

At Kitkat you can do anything, as long as it's consensual. It's the sex community center, says Dr. Gadi Taub, 46, a senior lecturer in communications and p ublic policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Good-looking men and women, ugly men and women, gays, straights, old people, young people - it's wonderfully democratic. You go in there for the first time and you think you're dreaming. They don't need bouncers to toss people out because people respect one another, in keeping with the rules of the place: You can try anything and touch anyone - it's the local parallel to 'What's going on?' - but if he moves away from you, you don't go after him.

Berghain

At 3 A.M., I head over to Berghain, the city's most famous techno club. Top DJs, music that's a feast for the ears, thumping bass that really gets inside you. But it's just as famous for the long line at the entrance, the tough selection, and the fact that what happens on the dance floor, in the bathrooms and in the dark rooms is just as exciting as the music. In one room on the first floor, aside from the amazing sound, everything is more intense - especially at peak hours when it fills with gay men engaged in solo, couple or group sex and it's hard to move around without bumping into a bare chest or buttock. On the ground floor you can also find straight couples fucking. Not everyone bothers to hide; right on the dance floor there are couples and threesomes going at it in advanced stages.

For the last decade or so, the Berghain has been operating out of a power station located on the edge of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg quarter. The proprietors are also the owners of Lab.Oratory and at certain parties during the year (for New Year's and Easter ), the connecting door between the two spaces is opened. Then the last days of Pompeii are likely to pale in comparison. But my German friend still isn't that impressed.

That's the difference between locals and tourists, he says. The locals are used to it all, the tourists are keen to go back home with a souvenir. Some buy a postcard, others tell everyone how they saw people fucking at the Berghain club.

...Read the full article

 

28th September   

Promoting Moral and Mental Degradation of Football Fans...

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Topless protest against all society's evils embodied as Euro 2012
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fremen vs euro2012 The Ukrainian women's movement FEMEN has staged a topless protest against what they say are UEFA's plans to turn economically weak Ukraine into a destination for sex tourists from around the globe.

Ukraine is to co-host Euro 2012 together with Poland next summer, but FEMEN see nothing good in a major football tournament coming to their country.

Four of the movement's activists shouted slogans like Ukraine is a brothel and Euro 2012 without prostitution .

A statement on FEMEN's blog said something a little but too complicated for the translator:

FEMEN consistently criticizes UEFA for its policies of corrupting the fans and artificially cultivating fanaticism, aggression, moral and mental degradation in them. The European plodder, who does not go beyond the 'football-beer-bang' formula, is the portrait of a 'superhuman', according to the football bureaucracy. For the 'high' right to host Euro 2012, the Ukrainians are obliged to give away all of their little wealth to be plundered by Platini's charges, with the most famous of them being the women.

The movement demands that European football's governing body initiate an awareness campaign against sex-tourism and financing of the sex industry among fans, and also want customers of prostitutes to face criminal charges.

Update: And again at the opening of a new sports stadium

10th October 2011. See article from dailymail.co.uk

Topless women were arrested at the opening ceremony for the Euro 2012 stadium in Kiev after they invaded the pitch as part of a feminist protest. One woman had to be carried off the pitch by a steward, wearing only a pair of black leggings with two flowers painted over her breasts.

The Ukrainian activists, Femen, who have a history of getting their kit off to promote their causes, believe the tournament will increase sex tourism in their country. Bare with me: A steward drags a topless activist off the pitch at the Euro 2012 opening ceremony in Kiev

The demonstrators said in a statement: Femen demands that UEFA initiate an explanatory campaign for football fans about the impermissibility of sex tourism and funding the sex industry, and the Ukrainian authorities criminalise the visiting of prostitutes.

 

24th September   

Update: Worrying Times...

Beijing police in large operation against escort businesses
Link Here  full story: Nightlife in China...Sexy nightlife in China (except for the Olympics)

chise police raidBeijing police have implemented a major operation against escorts working in hotels and expensive residential buildings.

The move is though to be significant as it may lead to action against foreign patrons of prostitutions, and possibly involve foreign investors and diplomats, observers said.

The police have arrested a total 112 sex workers including 27 foreign nationals from raids on four businesses.

The case involved the highest number of foreign arrests in Beijing... The crackdown aims to eradicate all social evils that go against the city's endeavors to advocate a healthy, civilized and high-minded lifestyle, the police said in a press release.

The operation involved 340 policemen, who have seized 10 vehicles and 100 mobile phones and 60,000 printed fliers used for soliciting customers.

The usual price for sex workers' services vary from $100 to $400, but escort girls provided by escort companies may charge a lot more. Some hotels, massage parlors and karoke music joints are known to provide similar services.

 

23rd September   

Update: Believing Any Old Nonsense...

US religious investors set to protect the London Olympics from the marauding band of trafficked sex workers
Link Here  full story: Trafficking Hype...Trafficking figures hopelessly over exaggerated

christian brothers investment services logoUS religious organisations are gearing up to save London from the mythical hoard of 40,000 trafficked sex workers that travels the world's major sporting events.

The prime movers in the Olympic initiative are Christian Brothers Investment Services, a US fund manager that specialises in investing the money of Catholic institutions.

The project is also backed by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a broader US Christian coalition that speaks for investors, and, in the UK, the Church Investors Group, which encompasses the investments of the Church of England and Church of Ireland.

At the heart of their 'concerns' is the mostly mythical issue of human trafficking, which 'often' takes place for the purposes of prostitution. Major sporting or cultural events tend to bring in an influx of visitors and these periods have been linked with increases in trafficking, prostitution and sexual assault.

At last year's football World Cup in South Africa and at the US Super Bowl this year, Christian Brothers and the Interfaith Center fired off letters to publicly-quoted hotel and leisure groups asking them to detail their policies for avoiding association with this sex trafficking thing. After the South African campaign, hotel chains Hyatt, Accor, Carlson and NH Hoteles introduced training programmes for staff; and Accor, Carlson and NH signed up to an industry code of practice on countering sex trafficking.

At a meeting in Paris last week, Christian investor groups from around the world agreed to work more closely together. The London campaign will be one of their first joint initiatives. The UK and Irish churches have agreed to begin writing to UK-listed hotel groups - along similar lines to the previous South African and US campaigns.

In a statement announcing the tie-up, Richard Nunn, the chair of the Church Investors Group, said: It is important we use our voice as investors to hold companies to high ethical standards.

 

23rd September   

Update: Street Walking Protest...

1600 Korean sex workers protest against repressive laws
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in South Korea...South Korea criminalises prostitution

South Korea flagHundreds of South Korean sex workers have rallied to call for the abolition of laws that increased penalties for prostitution.

About 1,600 sex workers chanted slogans calling for the laws to be scrapped at a rally in Seoul. The prostitutes mostly wore baseball caps, sunglasses and masks to hide their identities.

Police said the rally was peaceful.

Prostitution is illegal in South Korea, but is widespread despite continued government repression.

 

21st September   

Fun in Andaman and Nicobar Islands...

Local journalist hypes the islands as a hotbed for prostitution
Link Here

andaman and nicobar islands flagThe Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal and is a Union Territory of India.

A 'shock' report by journalist Zubair Ahmed has highlighted the islands' potential for holiday fun.

How times have changed at the once staid Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Now Ahmed writes:

Hordes of girls from Diglipur, Havelock and even Little Andaman come to the city for prostitution. Everyone accepts it.

Worse, sexual favors are now being widely used by smart workers who exploit the weakness of their bosses for money, appointment, transfer, relatives' appointment, promotions and also to get even with rivals in service.

The malaise has reached a stage where it has started hurting the simple, innocent and hardworking women employees who wish to remain faithful to their husbands and family values. It is being discussed in drawing rooms and in coffee houses; though in hushed tones.

These are a few incidents sufficient to gauge the depth of the abyss the Island society has plunged into. The rot in the society is visible to the naked eye.

Nothing prevents two consenting adults from having sex in government guest houses and bathrooms; it is not a cognisable offence either. But when sex of senior government officers moves up from their groins and occupies the space in their brains, it assumes maniac proportion and become a matter for public concern.

Without accountability and fear of God, we cannot expect a major change.

 

16th September   

Offsite: Suspending Disbelief...

Tragedy in Italy when Shibari bondage goes wrong
Link Here

Complete Shibari 2 Douglas Kent Italian engineer Soter Mul and his girlfriend Paola Caputo were avid practitioners of Shibari, an ancient Japanese erotic art.

Shibari involves the use of thin pieces of rope to bind the submissive partner in ways that are meant to be both artistically beautiful and also heighten the sensation of his or her orgasm.

But last Saturday night, the couple was looking to spice things up even more. They met up with a friend of Caputo's at a local pub in Rome and, after drinking heavily and smoking hashish, the three headed to the parking garage where Caputo worked as daytime attendant. The dimly lit space was closed and desolate, the perfect setting for a kinky sex act. Mule strung the two women, with their consent and help, from a rafter with strategically placed soft ropes. He used their weight to counterbalance them, each with one foot on the ground. When one woman moved, it tightened the ropes and intensified the sensation for the other, and vice versa.

Everything was fine until the less-experienced woman fainted. The force of her sudden dead weight quickly lifted and strangled Caputo, even though Mule quickly tried to cut his girlfriend free. She died of asphyxiation, and the couple's new friend nearly suffered the same fate.

Mule was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, and later released on house arrest.

...Read the full article

 

16th September   

Offsite: Are Dicks Politically Correct?...Err...No...

Does sexual equality change porn?
Link Here

norway magA new study investigates the link between a country's relative gender equality and the degree of female "empowerment" in the X-rated entertainment it consumes.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii focused on three countries in particular: Norway, the United States and Japan, which are respectively ranked 1st, 15th and (yikes) 54th on the United Nations Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM).

To simplify their analysis, their library of smut was limited to explicit photographs of women from mainstream pornographic magazines and Internet websites, as well as from the portfolios of the most popular porn stars from each nation. Then they set out to evaluate each image on both a disempowerment and an empowerment scale, using respective measures like whether the woman is bound and dominated by leashes, collars, gags, or handcuffs or whether she has a natural looking body.

Their hypothesis was that societies with greater gender equity will consume pornography that has more representations of empowered women and less of disempowered women.

 It turned out the former was true, but, contradictory as it may sound, the latter was not. While Norwegian pornography offers a wider variety of body types -- conforming less to a societal ideal that is disempowering to the average woman -- there are still many images that do not promote a healthy respect for women, the researchers explain.

In other words, Norwegian porn showed more signs of female empowerment, but X-rated images in all three countries equally depicted women in demeaning positions and scenarios. This, the researchers surmise, suggests that empowerment and disempowerment within pornography are potentially different constructs.

...Read the full article

 

10th September   

Update: Miserable Campaign...

China starts 2 month repressive campaign targeting porn sellers in large cities
Link Here  full story: Pornography in China...Always under the cosh

China flagThe Chinese government has started a two-month long tirade against pornography.

Despite previous crackdowns, pornography, especially that on compact discs, are showing a tendency to rebound as many sellers hawk porn videos right outside computer shopping malls, an official statement said.

According to the National Office against Pornographic and Illegal Publication, the repressive campaign will run from September 5 to November 5 and will focus on enterprises, stores, websites and merchants that are involved in the sale of porn disks in large cities.

During the campaign, local anti-porn offices have been asked to cooperate with press and publication bureaus, police and local government departments to close down major operators.

 

10th September   

Offsite: New Zealand's Legal Brothels Gear up for a Busy Rugby World Cup...

But there's no need of the trafficked 40,000 that supposedly follow international events
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in New Zealand...New Zealand's experience from legalising prostitution

mm club logoSex workers in New Zealand expect to be rushed off their feet as 95,000 sports fans arrive for the Rugby World Cup, with brothels across the country doubling condom orders for the tournament.

Mary Brennan, a dominatrix who runs a bondage brothel in Wellington and is known as Madam Mary to her clients, said she had already received pre-bookings from South Africa, England, Ireland and Canada.

The English are known to be particularly deviant, she said, citing the public school background of many England rugby fans. Whenever I hear an English accent I know there'll be some good business there.

New Zealand introduced some of the world's most liberal prostitution laws eight years ago, when sex work was decriminalised, allowing brothels and street workers to operate legally New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective coordinator Catherine Healy said many visitors during the September 9-October 23 tournament would be surprised at how openly the industry operates.

...Read the full article

 

8th September   

Fun in China...

China: Sex, Censorship and the Rise of People's Porn
Link Here  full story: Pornography in China...Always under the cosh

Peoples Pornography Surveillance Chinese Internet Much of the discussion surrounding Chinese Internet culture has centered on the rise of online human rights activism, but the emergence of an online erotic culture that openly describes individuals' personal sexual activities has also been evident in recent years.

Associate Professor Katrien Jacobs' research at The Chinese University of Hong Kong on People's Pornography has investigated the culture of Do It Yourself amateur porn on the Chinese Internet, as well as the interplay between pornography producers and consumers within the state's censorship mechanism.

Below is a transcript of an interview conducted by Ronald Yick and Oiwan Lam about the upcoming publication of Professor Jacobs' new book, People's Pornography: Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet.

Global Voices (GV): Can you explain what you mean by People's Pornography in your book?

Katrien Jacobs (KJ): First of all, the term People's Pornography covers the meaning of DIY pornography, which reclaims pornography by amateurs. But it also refers to pornography made in China. It sounds satirical because officially there is no Chinese pornography, it is officially banned, even though everybody knows that there are many porn sites, including amateur porn, in China.

GV: Since you are an expert in the research of DIY pornography in western societies, can you compare the culture in China and in the West?

KJ: In the developed western society, alternative culture is strong and you can see artists or members of weird communities making websites to promote their own kinds of pornography in different ways. Sites like Beautiful agony, which only depicts orgasm as seen from people's faces, is a kind of critique of commercial pornography, which is too much focused on genitals. That's the background I came out of. I've met people who are interested in or actually making those sites. Of course this culture has very soon been commercialized. So you also have a DIY porn movement that is not really for people, by people, it's just promoting girl next-door look, a kind of amateur look. So in the West, there are two competing movements, i.e. the real amateurs and the commercial forces.

In China and in Hong Kong, you do have people who upload their own videos and photographs. Sometimes on designated sites like the Pornotube, which is the Youtube for pornography. These sites are open to all people in the world. Of course, people from mainland China cannot get access to these sites and it is still much more uncommon for people to participate in DIY porn movement. But we've noticed that younger people have started makig their sex videos in secret places or hidden places, like empty classrooms, medical rooms, elevators, or just corridors. This kind of porn is definitely being made in China right now and being uploaded, because I found lots of videos compiled or archived on various websites. For sure the movement is very scattered and people say it's quite juvenile. But I think it is a sign of change.

GV: You've used the term erotic liberation in your book - what do you mean by that?

KJ: First of all, I see liberation in the fact that people can have access to pornography and the second point is that, people can express their cultural and sexual identities through pornography. So in these young people's videos, it's powerful for them to have sex somewhere and film it and upload it and share it, despite the fact that this is totally forbidden and officially banned in China. But nevertheless it's happening. We shouldn't think it so seriously, in terms of political liberation because after all these people are just having fun. But they are breaking law by being naughty in two different ways, by doing sexually what they want, and by uploading it. Their excitement comes from that double kind of breaking the rule.

GV: Are they aware of being subversive in spreading their pornography?

KJ: The interviews I did in mainland were netizens, but not necessarily those netizens that are uploading. I did also interview netizens in universities. It's really interesting, they are completely aware of the Chinese war of pornography, that the Chinese government bans pornography, controls pornography, or uses pornography towards controlling the Internet. However they can find what they're looking for by jumping over the Great Firewall and share their secret websites with each other.

But sexual minorities are more vulnerable as they are still having a hard time being recognized in China. And for them to launch a porn movement would be probably out of the question.

GV: In recent years, more and more amateur porn has been uploaded online. Chinese netizens like to uncover the identity of those performing in sex videos, in particular when they involve corrupt government officials. What's your view on that? Do you think it is related to gender and power relations in China?

KJ: Yes, of course. If they can catch the corrupt government official, they may have indeed challenged the power relations and exhibited their own power. But it is problematic, because in terms of sexuality, so often they will also try to just go for people's hidden sex lives. I really don't think that we can do that because even if this person is a party official, with too much power, I still think we cannot judge his or her sex life. I would prefer people complain more about the lack of sexuality.

I think Han Han's comment about propaganda of impotence is very interesting. What has been promoted in the mainstream society it that we should not have pornography, maybe we can have sex, but we cannot have pornography. We should not document our joy, our orgasm. His idea challenges China's history of asexuality. To attack the officials for having illicit sex affairs can hardly change the corrupted system.

GV: What is the relationship between the anti-censorship battle and sex activism in China?

KJ: In China, netizens seem to be aware of the pornography war, the fights of pornography, the fights of filtering software. In fact, the Grass Mud Horse, a symbol for fighting against the filtering software in 2009, is a sex related expression. The rapid spread of Grass Mud Horse was a powerful moment in the netizens' fight for civil liberty, or freedom of expression. In China, more than in other countries, the fight of sexually explicit media is at the heart of netizens' struggle.

Of course, for people who are very into political dialogue, they do not want to deal with pornography questions, or even with sexuality questions. So to some extent, I think the discourses are marginalized, but if you look at it closely, you can find it's actually in the middle of whole debate and the female bloggers are at the heart of it. For example, bloggers like Muzi Mei and Liumangyan (sex workers activist) are two very good examples of what females and feminist bloggers who are doing around sexuality and they wouldn't try to separate political activism from sex activism.

I think there is male tradition of political activism that separates the sexual questions from the political questions and there is the tradition of female bloggers, more exhibitionistic and more down-to-earth, and so I think they are from different angles. When I was writing my chapter on bloggers, I just noticed this kind of gap between the male tradition and female tradition, and I couldn't really deny that it was there.

...Read the full article

 

8th September   

Like Clockwork...

Swiss study finds that regulation is the key to reducing problems associated with sex work
Link Here

Switzerland flagEva Buschi, a professor at the School of Social Work of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, interviewed managers of sex establishments for a study entitled Violence in the Sex Business and concluded that lack of regulation was a major problem for both sex workers and the establishments themselves.

In other businesses workers get contracts, in which the tasks to be performed, the price and how long they should take are clearly laid down. In the sex business today this is mostly not the case, she told swissinfo.ch.

One problem is that managers of sex establishments are afraid of falling foul of the law forbidding the promotion of prostitution, she explained.

But the study shows that violence is a daily reality in the business. It occurs among customers, between the managers and the workers, and among the workers themselves. However, the managers of the businesses often downplay the issue. They tend to see their main problem as social stigmatisation.

Given that the legal sex business generates a turnover put at 3.5 billion Swiss Francs ($4.4 billion) per year, Buschi says it should be approached pragmatically, ensuring that workers are given the best possible conditions.

If sex work is professionalised, it will help destigmatise the work, and be easier to draw a divide between legal and illegal sex providers, the study says. Both owners and clients will find it harder to put pressure on the workers, and that in turn will give them extra protection and make it easier to confront problems. The greater the pressure on sex workers, the greater the danger that they will, for example, accept a drunken client or agree to perform their services without a condom.

The authorities in Nidau in canton Bern have already introduced conditions for granting permits to would-be sex establishments. The move was regarded as a possible model for the rest of the country.

The managers of the establishments have to guarantee that the women are declared as sex workers and not as tourists, and that they are in the country legally. They must give the women information leaflets in their own languages about their rights and duties -- including that they must declare their earnings to the tax authorities. Nor must the managers charge excessive prices for rooms or slap on unreasonable extra charges. In addition, the local advisory centre must be given unlimited access to the sex workers.

The police can make unannounced visits to check that the rules are being followed.

 

3rd September   

Offsite: Trafficking in Bullshit Figures...

Authorities locate just 0.4% of supposed trafficking victims and not for want of trying
Link Here  full story: Trafficking Hype...Trafficking figures hopelessly over exaggerated

huff post world logoInterest groups, the media, and the U.S. government have given very high estimates of the number of persons trafficked each year into the sex industry or other labor arenas. In some instances, the numbers appear to be pulled out of thin air, as in a Washington Post editorial (June 28, 2011) declaring that trafficking is understood today as a global phenomenon exceeding 20 million cases each year. Or consider a November 2005 episode of Oprah, in which it was claimed that millions of children are trafficked into prostitution each year. The U.S. Government's figures are lower -- 800,000 worldwide victims (down from an estimated 4 million in 2000) and 14,500-17,500 domestic victims (down from a high of 50,000 in 2000) -- though the sources of these figures have never been disclosed.

There is a stark difference between the official estimates and the tiny number of victims identified and rescued each year or the number of traffickers brought to justice, both domestically and internationally. Worldwide, the State Department reported in 2010 that only 0.4% of the estimated number of victims have been officially located and assisted. No one would claim that the official estimates could possibly match the number of identified victims -- given the obstacles to locating victims in illicit, underground markets -- but the huge disparity between the two should at least raise doubts about the alleged scale of victimization.

...Read the full article

 

3rd September   

Offsite: Eight Years On...

Examination of legalised sex work in the New Zealand town of Tauranga
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in New Zealand...New Zealand's experience from legalising prostitution

New Zealand flagSince the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act, prostitution is a legal activity.

Eight years on, business is booming for sex workers in Tauranga.

The majority of working girls make more than $1000 a week. Some make that in a shift.

There are five registered brothels in Tauranga, compared with four in 2003.

You are allowed to offer commercial sex services from your house, provided you are the only person operating there.

Brothels must only open in areas permitted under council bylaw and a certificate of compliance and an operator certificate, is needed.

Tauranga brothels are monitored by way of complaints about non-compliance but the council says few complaints have been received.

...Read the full article

 

31st August   

Bonn Appetite...

German city reuses parking machines to issue sex workers with a one day permit to work
Link Here

bonn The German city of Bonn has introduced parking meters for prostitutes in an attempt to tax the world's oldest profession.

Prostitutes working the streets of the old West German capital now have to buy tickets from converted machines that once dispensed parking ticket.

A one night permit to work will cost a prostitute back £ 5.30, irrespective of the number of clients they have.

The machines also tell users the times of day when a ticket is necessary.

Monika Frombgen, a spokeswoman for Bonn city council, said the ticket machines would bring street prostitutes into line with their peers who are taxed when working registered brothels. She said: This is an act of tax fairness . Prostitutes in fixed establishments such as brothels and sauna clubs already pay tax.

Inspectors will prowl the streets and any prostitute caught without a ticket will receive a warning for a first offence, but after that faces the possibility of a fine or a ban from working.

 

30th August   

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting...

Amusing to see that the local brothels are expecting an upturn in trade for the event
Link Here

langtrees brothel Sex workers are hoping to cash in on overseas and interstate visitors to Perth during October's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Perth madam Mary-Anne Kenworthy said sex workers would be out in force while more than 50 heads of state and their entourages are in town. She said she would double her workforce and expected to double her profits.

The eyes are lighting up. The dimples are out again, Ms Kenworthy said with a laugh: I have the potential to increase my turnover 80 to 100 per cent during CHOGM.

The event runs from October 28-30 and will attract at least 1000 media representatives from around the world.

Ms Kenworthy said the city's roaring sex trade would not be hidden from the CHOGM dignitaries because it was very likely that Western Australia would then be in the grip of a parliamentary debate about legalising prostitution. Attorney-General Christian Porter said Perth had nothing to be ashamed of for debating prostitution during CHOGM.

Ms Kenworthy said she planned to spruce up her Langtrees establishment in Perth and employ at least 20 more sex workers. She would also expand escort services and charge $4000 a night for her best girl . It won't be that sort of clientele where they just need the physical sex. It will be more the mental sex because of the age of people," she said somewhat cheekily.

 

27th August   

The State of the Nation...

Campaigners claim a 4% increase in Irish sex workers
Link Here

Ruhama According to the miserable anti-prostitution campaigners of Ruhama, there has been an increase in the number of women becoming involved in prostitution in Ireland.

The campaigners claim that the number it saw last year increased by 4%, a quarter of whom were new sex workers.

Ruhama also claim that while the numbers being trafficked into the country for sexual exploitation has remained around the same level, there has been a significant increase in on street prostitution.

It is predictably calling for the introduction of new legislation to criminalise people using sex workers.

On any day Ruhama says 1,000 women and girls work in apartments, hotels, private clubs, massage parlours and on the streets of cities and towns all over the country.

In its annual report the organisation says it helped two hundred and four people last year, an increase of four per cent on 2009. About 51 of those were claimed to be new to the trade, and it claimed about about 70 had been trafficked.

 

22nd August   

Risky Fun...

Increasing number of arrests for street prostitution in Scotland
Link Here

Scotpep The number of arrests for street prostitution in Scotland has nearly doubled in the last three years.

A total of 30 women and three men were charged with prostitution-related offences since January. Last year, 67 people were charged with either soliciting, loitering or importuning while selling sex on the streets in the force area, compared with 37 in 2008.

The figures, released by Lothian and Borders Police, showed that 127 arrests for either soliciting, loitering or importuning were made in 2006. The number fell to 50 the following year then 37 in 2008 before starting to climb again over the past three years. Loitering charges are usually made when police officers observe an individual and believe they have reason to suspect they are selling sexual services.

During 2010, a total of 42 men were charged under kerb-crawling laws in Edinburgh, compared with just 23 in 2008.

Prostitute support group Scotpep said the rise in arrests may have been sparked by police acting on complaints from residents rather than a rise in the number of sex workers. Estimates made by Scotpep last year put the number of women working on the streets at between 80 and 100.

Police chiefs said they were vigorously enforcing laws enacted in 2008 which made kerb-crawling a criminal offence and that may account for an increase in charges.

Rob Kirkwood, from the Leith Residents' Association, said: Prostitution in the Leith Links area is now practically non-existent. There was a woman working here on Tuesday night, but she was the first person I had seen in months. The rise in arrests doesn't indicate a return to problems in Leith Links. I think it shows that the police are taking a pro-active approach to policing an issue which can devastate communities.

 

21st August   

Update: Encouraging Enterprise...

Italian mayor proposes that sex workers should work for the country, not the underworld
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Italy...Street prostitution to be outlawed in Italy
Italy flag The mayor of a small Italian town has suggested the legalisation of prostitution in an attempt to address economic crisis.

Altopascio Mayor Maurizio Marchetti has proposed the creation of red light districts throughout Italy to combat budgeting shortfalls, ANSA reported.

Today this is a totally illegal industry where you see employment of between 70,000 and 100,000 people, according to estimates. I can already imagine the criticism, but I am asking everyone -- is it moral for a person to work illegally earning 10,000 euros a month and feeding a criminal underworld, while there are people who are working honestly and cannot get to the end of the month?

 

5th August   

Offsite: Cable Blues...

US satellite and cable TV companies suffer a drop in porn revenue
Link Here

Wall St Journal logo Cable and satellite television companies have a pornography problem: Their customers aren't watching enough of it.

Companies' revenue from highly profitable adult video-on-demand and pay-per-view services has been slipping, as the genre's consumers spend more time browsing porn on the Web.

The trend is prompting TV executives to pull back the curtain on how porn contributes to their businesses, a topic they have been loath to discuss publicly.

Satellite provider DirecTV cited lower adult buys as a cause for weaker pay-per-view revenue in its second quarter earnings. That followed Time Warner Cable Inc.'s admission last week that shrinkage in the adult category was responsible for more than a third of a $14 million drop in video-on-demand revenue. While only a sliver of the cable company's $4.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, porn is one of TV providers' most profitable segments.

...Read the full article

 

5th August   

Offsite: Driven Out into Drive In Booths...

Zurich sex workers squeezed into fewer red light areas
Link Here
Switzerland flag The Sihlquai red-light area is one of about a dozen areas in the Swiss financial capital where sex workers are permitted to ply their trade, and most of these women have their papers in order, pay their taxes, and travelled from eastern Europe legally to sell their bodies in one of the richest cities in the world.

But a backlash is brewing as Switzerland opens its borders to more foreign workers, which in turn brings more sex workers, forcing a radical re-think of some of the most liberal prostitution laws in Europe.

By early next year, these women may be forced from the Sihlquai and relocated to Switzerland's first drive-through red light district in an industrial area on the fringes of the city. Based on a similar model in Germany, customers will pull off the road and into a meticulously organised compound, cruise by women standing in a designated area displaying their bodies, before picking one up and backing into one of about 10 sex boxes complete with privacy walls and a security alarm.

It is part of an overhaul that includes reducing the number of areas in the city where prostitutes can legally work from 11 to three and introducing police interviews for migrants hoping to get permits to work as prostitutes in the city.

While advocacy groups working with the prostitutes fear that the policies may drive more women underground, the city insists they are necessary to both protect the women and calm public anger over the social annoyances that curb crawlers bring.

We're just trying to find a way to live with the phenomenon without having too much harm done, says Claudia Nielsen, the Zurich city councillor for health and environment. We have no certainty that it will work out. What we know is we can't continue the way it worked up until now, and we also know we can't forbid it.

...Read the full article

 

4th August   

Update: Britain's Adult Internet Trade to be Driven Offshore...

Ed Vaizey looks to restrict UK internet porn to credit card holders only
Link Here

Ed Vaizey Repressive controls to prevent children from accessing hard-core pornographic material through video-on-demand (VoD) services will be secured as part of the comprehensive review of communications legislation currently being undertaken, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has announced.

Rules are already in place which mean that video which the BBFC would classify as R18, pornography which is explicit and sold in licensed sex shops, but not illegal, can be made available through VoD services only if excessively restrictive controls are in place to prevent children from accessing it.

The Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) is the internet censor for VoD services and enforces rukles which ensure that any material which 'may' seriously impair children's physical, mental or moral development, but probably doesn't must not be freely available. Access controls such as pin protection must be put in place if R18-type content is to be made available on anytime television services or internet websites that include video.

But, in the light of an Ofcom report which recommended a precautionary approach to protecting children and new legislation, the Government has committed to securing the present controls and looking at whether the legal position should be bolstered further by future-proofing legislation as part of the current review of communications policy.

Vaizey said:

The Government is clear that children must be protected from harmful content, on television or online. We have made it a priority to address the concerns of parents that their kids are being exposed to material that's not appropriate for them to see.

Without a doubt we want to make sure that video-on-demand services carrying adult material cannot be seen by children and it's already a legal requirement that any such content has access controls.

But the communications review gives us an opportunity to consider whether there's more we should do to ensure children remain protected and to limit access to potentially harmful material, such as introducing unclassified material into the statutory framework.

A starting point is Ofcom's report to Government, Sexually Explicit Material and Video On Demand Services which has just been published.

The review will look at the availability of both R18-type material, and video content which is stronger than that classified as R18 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) but still might be made available to adults.

Ensuring the effectiveness of restrictive controls on VoD services will also complement the recommendations made by Reg Bailey in his independent review of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood, Letting Children Be Children.

 

3rd August   

Sugary Sex Work...

US website under suspicion for hooking up sugar daddies with sugar babies
Link Here
seeking arrangement logo A US website has been accused of promoting prostitution by helping cash-strapped college students pay off their debts by dating older men. SeekingArrangement.com offers its sugar babies the opportunity to collect money through dates with older, more financially set men.

One of the site's users, Taylor, said she was paid $350 to have sex with a man more than twice her age. Taylor said: I just wanted to get out of that situation as safely as possible, pay off my debt, and move on.

Brandon Wade, the founder of Seeking Arrangement, told the Huffington Post that business is booming: Over the past few years, the number of college students using our site has exploded. A growing number of strapped college students are finding their way to 'sugar daddy sites to help pay the bills

And Seeking Arrangement isn't alone - several other sites operate under the same pretenses.

And this raises the question: Are Seeking Arrangement's 800,000 members guilty of prostitution?

Ronald Weitzer, a sociology professor at George Washington University, said: Under the banner of sugar daddy and sugar baby arrangements, a lot of prostitution may be going on.

Las Vegas lawyer Allen Lichtenstein said the legal parameters of prostitution are clouded: Any relationship that is an ongoing one that's not purely about sex but may have a sexual aspect to it, you can't really classify as prostitution.

 

3rd August   

Back Taxes...

Czech Republic proposal to tax prostitution
Link Here
Czech Republic flag A Czech lawmaker has proposed to raise budget income by introducing a tax on prostitution.

This move may increase annual budget income by 10 billion koruna [about $570 million], the radio quoted Jiri Rusnok of the Public Affairs party as saying.

Other parties in the ruling coalition, the Civic Democratic Party and TOP09, are so far reluctant to support the idea, saying that the state shouldn't be turned into a pimp.

Though prostitution is not outlawed in the Czech Republic, pimping and organizing brothels is prohibited.

 

29th July   

Thankfully Few Sex Workers Are Found to be Coerced...

43 victims of Labour's criminalisation of buying sex
Link Here

New Lanour, New Prison A law intended to criminalise men who use prostitutes has led to 43 convictions in England and Wales in its first year of operation.

Police say the law is difficult to enforce as it relies on women coming forward to give evidence of coercion.

The law, officially known as Section 53A of the 2003 Sexual Offences Act, is meant to reduce the number of men buying sex by striking fear in men lest unbeknown to them the sex worker has been coerced.

The law allows police to prosecute men who have sex with women even if they did not know the woman had been forced to work as a prostitute

Greater Manchester Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne, who is the Association of Chief Police Officers' lead on the issue of prostitution, said he was surprised at how many convictions there had been because the law is difficult to prosecute .

Speaking to the PM programme on BBC Radio 4, Byrne said:

The whole law in relation to this particular part of policing is confusing. We are calling for a simplification.

We are looking at a range of options in dialogue with the Home Office to try and simplify things and to look at good models of practice in other parts of the world.

Acpo ludicrously claimed last year that at least 2,600 prostitutes working in brothels in England and Wales had been trafficked from abroad, almost one in 10 of the estimated 30,000 working prostitutes. But even after raiding 100's of brothels the police can find hardly any trafficked women.

The figures are rightfully disputed by people working in the sex industry. They argue that most women are engaging in consensual sex, simply to earn money.

Niki Adams, from the English Collective of Prostitutes, says the law does not address the fundamental issues:

I don't think this law should be used at all. It undermines sex workers' safety and it targets the wrong people. It targets clients who may be involved in consenting sex rather than the rapists and traffickers who should be targeted by the police.

Despite the police's call for clarity, the government told the BBC that it has no plans to change the law on prostitution.

Convictions under Section 53A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 by area:

  • London: 19
  • South West: 11
  • North East: 7
  • Humberside: 3
  • East Midlands: 2
  • West Midlands: 1

 

23rd July   

Updated: Surprise Surprise...

Anti-prostitution activist 'research' correlates sex buyers with more general offending
Link Here

prostitution research and education logo Anti porn activist 'research' has clamed that men who pay for sex are more likely than non-buyers to commit a variety of offenses, including violent crimes against women.

The Boston study was based on face-to-face interviews with 202 men conducted by the campaign group Prostitution Research and Education and led by Melissa Farley, a well known anti-prostitution activist.

Buyers and non-buyers of commercial sex from the Boston area were paired by age, education and ethnicity to compare their perceptions of women, after voluntarily joining a research study. Men who paid for sex more often reported having committed felonies and misdemeanors, including crimes related to violence against women and those related to substance abuse, assault and weapons.

The 'study' considered behavioral tendencies between men who buy sex that are different from their non-buying peers. For example, significantly fewer sex buyers, 47% against 70%, reported that they were taught about respect for women in sex education classes. Almost 75% of the sex buyers reported they learned about sex from pornography, whereas only 54% of the non-buyers did so.

The two groups also held significantly different attitudes regarding whether prostitution was consenting sex or exploitation. Men who bought sex were significantly less empathetic toward women working as prostitutes.

61% of sex buyers and 70% of non-buyers currently had a wife or girlfriend. The were recruited using an advertisement in a local free daily newspaper.

Offsite: Disputed

23rd July 2011. See  article from  salon.com

san logo Newsweek is trumpeting its exclusive coverage of a new study on men who pay for sex with the grabby headline The John Next Door. Too bad the research -- which set out to compare sex buyers with men who don't buy sex -- absurdly lumps together johns with porn watchers and strip-club visitors. Also? It was conducted by self-declared prostitution abolitionist Melissa Farley -- whose methodology when studying johns in the past has been rightly criticized -- but the magazine's coverage doesn't bother to mention that until more than halfway through the article. The piece egregiously fails to mention that the stridently anti-porn activist was arrested on multiple occasions in the mid-'80s for entering stores that sell Penthouse and destroying copies of the magazine in protest.

...Read the full article

 

22nd July   

Take Your Pick...

Zurich have built drive in boxes for the privacy of sex workers and their customers
Link Here

Switzerland flag The Swiss have now built drive-in sex boxes in which prostitutes can entertain punters in private.

The lay-bys were built by council staff after householders whose homes overlook Zurich's red-light district lodged thousands of complaints.

Police spokesman Reto Casanova said: We can't get rid of prostitution, so we have to control it.

 

21st July   

Update: Early to Bed...

Amsterdam sex shops and peep shows forced to close at 10pm
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers

Amsterdam window shopping Sex businesses in the famous Amsterdam Red Light district De Wallen must in future be closed after 10.00 p.m. The sex business owners have lost their appeal against the decision of the city council to introduce the closing times.

For 40 years, it was tolerated that brothels, peep shows and sex shops in the Red Light district could stay open until 2.00 a.m. At the beginning of the current year, however, the city council decided that the Shop Opening Times Act had to be enforced ant all sex shops had to close at 10.00pm.

Fourteen owners of 23 sex shops brought a case against the city council, but saw their argument rejected. With the appeal court ruling the collective route is now closed. Individually, a business can however still look and see if it is possible to remain open for longer, said lawyer Rob IJsendijk.

 

21st July   

But Where?...

Taiwan continues to debate legal red light areas
Link Here

Taiwan flag The Yuan, Taiwan's legislature, has decided to hold public hearings during its next session on a controversial amendment that would allow the establishment of legal red-light areas in cities and counties in Taiwan, according to lawmakers.

At issue is a draft amendment to the Social Order and Maintenance Act that would legalize prostitution in specially designated areas.

The Executive Yuan adopted the amended bill, which rules that those involved in the sex trade, including prostitutes and those who seek out their services, outside special designated red light areas would be liable for a fine of up to NT$30,000 (US$1,040).

The current law prohibits sex work as harmful to social norms of behavior and punishes only sex workers, mainly women, who are subject to a maximum of three days detention or a fine of up to NT$30,000. However, those who solicit the services of a prostitute cannot be prosecuted. Earlier this year, the Council of Grand Justices of the Constitutional Court ruled that existing regulations concerning prostitution violate the Constitution, and therefore ruled that they should be annulled, a ruling that takes effect on 1st November 2011.

However, the proposal has received only a lukewarm response from local governments, with surveys conducted by local media suggesting almost all of the 22 cities and counties around Taiwan are not interested in establishing legal red light areas, because of concerns about the supposed impact on social order.

 

20th July   

Supreme Dignity...

India's Supreme Court considers conditions required for sex workers to carry on their trade with dignity
Link Here

India flag In a move which could lead to the formal regulation of prostitution in India, the Supreme Court is mulling laying down conditions conducive for sex workers to carry on their profession with dignity.

A bench presided over by Justice Markandey Katju, which had earlier talked about rehabilitation of sex workers, has sought suggestions on formulating conditions which would enable those who wished to continue working as sex workers to do so with dignity. Holding that the right to live with dignity was a constitutional right, the bench constituted a panel comprising senior advocates and NGOs to look into the problems faced by sex workers and give suggestions to protect their fundamental rights.

To ensure effective implementation of rehabilitation and other schemes, the court directed the Centre and state governments to undertake surveys to ascertain how many sex workers wanted rehabilitation and submit reports to the panel constituted by it. It is estimated that there are over 3 million female commercial sex workers in India.

Though prostitution per se is not illegal, the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 makes certain acts relating to prostitution an offence. The absence of proper provisions for regulating the profession, however, often paves the way for harassment of sex workers by the police.

The court had decided to enforce the right of sex workers after it came across a case of a brutal murder of a prostitute in Kolkata in September 1999.

While upholding a life term for the convict who had killed the prostitute by brutally banging her head against the floor and the wall several times, the court had on February 14 directed the Centre and state governments to prepare schemes for providing vocational training to sex workers and sexually abused women. It had further sought compliance reports from the Centre and state governments.

Society must have sympathy towards the sex workers and must not look down upon them. They are also entitled to a life of dignity in view of Article 21 of the Constitution, Justice Katju had observed.

The bench said the plight of women had also been depicted in a poem by Urdu poet Sahil Ludhianvi. The poem had taken the form of a song - Jineh naaz hai Hind par, woh kahan hain' - in the famous Hindi film Pyaasa, Justice Katju pointed out.

 

15th July   

Miserable Argentina...

President bans newspaper advertising for prostitution
Link Here

Argentina flag Argentina has banned prostitution adverts in newspapers.

President Cristina Fernandez said women needed protection from violence and sex trafficking. The ban specifically applies to any advertising text or images that, in the Government's words, abuse, defame, discriminate, dishonour, humiliate or threaten the dignity of women.

Her decree has predictably drawn nutter praise from women's groups and the US ambassador.

But some opponents fear her Government will use it to punish opposition media this election year by removing an independent source of revenue.

The decree also creates a monitoring office to track advertisements nationwide and warn newspapers to remove offending ads.

Fernandez specifically took aim at the newspaper Clarin, a frequent antagonist. She cited the opposition paper's Area 59 section as particularly unethical. Area 59 has included columns of ads for escorts, gym teachers , massage therapists and underwear models offering pleasures without limits . Until now.

 

13th July   

Update: Victory Over Glasgow Moralists...

Glasgow lap dancing club win appeal against loss of licence on grounds of nudity prudery
Link Here

parliament house edinburgh A lap-dancing bar where the nudity was too much for Glasgow's moralist councilors has won an appeal against the removal of its drinks licence.

The Glasgow venue previously lost the licence after inspectors reported a series of breaches of the city's code of practice on dance entertainment , including performers removing bikini bottoms and having physical contact with customers.

However, judges in the Court of Session in Edinburgh have said the breaches had nothing to do with the sale of alcohol and could not be used as a reason to refuse a licence.

The Truffle Club in Drury Street was part of the Spearmint Rhino group at the time of the inspection and is currently operated as Platinum Lace. Simon Warr, chief executive officer, said: I am naturally very pleased, the decision to refuse the application was totally disproportionate.

A spokesman for Glasgow licensing board said: We will be considering the terms of the decision.

Lord Eassie, sitting with Lords Clarke and Wheatley, said five minor breaches had been listed:

  • The code required a risk assessment for the personal safety of dancers and while this had been done, a member of staff during a visit by a licensing standards officer had not known where the document was kept;
  • Flyers, in the form of small cards, had shown the upper torsos of two women, yet any advertising was not to feature exposed breasts or genitalia;
  • Drinks promotions had been e-mailed to registered patrons, but immediately withdrawn after an officer had pointed out that they conflicted with the board's policy on happy hours and cheap alcohol;
  • An officer had seen two dancers remove their bikini bottoms to knee level. The women were from Edinburgh, where they were accustomed to different practice ;
  • Several dancers made considerable contact with patrons whilst performing , but the only contact allowed was the hand-to-hand payment of money at the end of a performance.

Update: Angry

3rd December 2011. Based on article from  minivannews.com

At a meeting of Glasgow's licensing board chairman Cllr Stephen Dornan, said he was angry laws around alcohol are powerless to do anything about lap-dancing clubs.

The council is again pursuing changes to the Civic Government (Scotland) Act.

A Scottish Government spokesman said the judgment's implications are being considered, to see what action may be required to ensure appropriate regulation of lap dancing bars .

 

13th July   

Backwoods State...

Louisiana downgrades anal sex and blow jobs from a felony to a misdemeanor
Link Here

Louisiana State Seal A new bill sponsored by State Senator JP Morrell, Louisiana has partially decriminalized the acts of soliciting oral and anal sex, which, according to an archaic statute that considered those acts felonies, forcing those found guilty to register as sex offenders and to carry driver's licenses and I.D. cards featuring the words SEX OFFENDER in bright, orange capital letters.

The laws were used to target sex-workers who were largely female, African-American, gay and transsexual, while white heterosexual streetwalkers were rarely subject to the outmoded law punishing unnatural carnal copulation. Being busted for solicitation of crimes against nature meant greater difficulty in securing housing, employment, treatment and services.

The anti-nature crimes will be changed next month from felony to misdemeanor status, meaning that first offenders paying for anything other than vaginal intercourse face up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $500. And it now requires two convictions to be tagged with the sex-offender label.

Almost 40% of registered sex offenders in Orleans Parish are on the registry due to a Crime Against Nature conviction, so it's an important step in the fight against legal discrimination against minorities, especially when it's between consenting adults.

 

13th July   

Update: Fiery Protests...

South Korean sex workers prepare for the ultimate protest
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in South Korea...South Korea criminalises prostitution

South Korea flag The pimps and prostitutes of Yeongdeungpo start the day as if preparing for a siege, stocking their brothels with flammable liquid and gas containers. Large, red-lettered signs warn police that they're willing to die to protect their livelihoods.

We can turn on the gas and light the flames, said a 47-year-old pimp who would only give her surname Sohn. We know that we don't have much chance of winning ... but we're ready to die fighting.

Nearly seven years after tough laws began driving thousands of South Korean prostitutes out of business, the sex workers of the Yeongdeungpo red-light district in Seoul are fighting back, spurred by what they say is an unprecedented campaign of police harassment. Since April they've staged large, sometimes violent, protests that provide a glimpse of the tensions in this fast-changing country as ambitious urban redevelopment projects encroach on old neighborhoods once known for their nightlife.

Rallies by sex workers against police crackdowns crop up occasionally in South Korea, but the protests in Yeongdeungpo, which have drawn hundreds of other prostitutes, pimps and supporters, have been unusual in their size, organization and fury.

The district's 40 to 50 prostitutes describe their fight in life-and-death terms. At a recent protest, about 20 topless women covered in body and face paint doused themselves in flammable liquid and had to be restrained from setting themselves on fire.

Prostitution was banned in South Korea in 1961, but police rarely enforced the law. Tougher legislation was created, however, after a 2002 fire killed 14 women confined at a drinking salon and forced to entertain and sometimes have sex with customers.

About 259,000 people, 70% of them male customers, have been arrested since the new laws took effect in 2004. Nearly 4,000 prostitutes have left their brothels, while 1,800 remain, and seven of the country's 35 major red-light districts have disappeared, according to police records.

 

13th July   

Offsite: Trafficking Hype...

Crusade against trafficking may be missing the point on sex industry
Link Here

irish examiner logo A BBC investigation has that found up to £ 500,000 every week is spent on prostitution in the North, while the Northern Ireland police estimate there are 88 brothels in operation. Cue predictable outrage from every quarter. Presumably, the figures south of the border are even higher.

According to the BBC, Many of the women working in the brothels have been trafficked from abroad. They are held captive and forced into prostitution. Sensational stuff, eh? Images of hundreds of dark ladies held in manacles, unshackled only to perform their immoral services, spring to mind.

Examine the fine print, however, and you discover that the average number of women in each of these brothels is not 25 or 50 but just 2, practically a cottage industry, in other words. So there are 170-odd whores in the North, not counting those who work the streets, servicing an adult male population of something like 700,000? Well, blow me down.

...Read the full article

 

7th July   

Miserable Joy...

Canadian private members bill to criminalise the buying of sex
Link Here

Canada flag Canada's Winnipeg MP, Joy Smith, will introduce legislation to criminalize the act of buying sex.

The new bill will be modelled after the Nordic model of prostitution, which views women who sell sex as 'victims' and those who buy sex as 'criminals and oppressors'.

Smith said she has the backing of the PMO for her new bill.

Currently the law in Canada targets those who sell sex, rather than those who buy it.

That, however, is potentially going to change depending on the outcome of a court case in Ontario where a judge struck down three anti-prostitution laws, including keeping a common bawdy house, communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails of prostitution. The decision has been put on hold pending a government appeal against the case.

Although private member's bills are often considered the lowest of priority and get less time for debate than bills introduced by cabinet, Smith has succeeded in the past to get her bills passed.

 

6th July   

Australia Recommends...

Asian sex workers commended for being very attractive and good at their work
Link Here

Thai sex workers Sex workers from Asian backgrounds are fuelling the growth of specialist brothels that offer more exotic services for significantly less money than their Caucasian counterparts, Australian industry sources say.

A review of prostitution laws by the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission found 20% of that state's legal brothels were staffed exclusively by Asian-born women. And police intelligence suggests an even higher proportion of illegal prostitutes are Asian. The situation is the same in other states, a finding of the review that is backed by research from the University of NSW.

The number of Asian sex workers has definitely increased in the last 10 years, Christine Harcourt, author of The Law and Sexworker Health Project, said. More than 50% of women working in Sydney brothels are Asian. There is no suggestion of any sex trafficking. [Asian woman] are very much in demand, Dr Harcourt said: They're very attractive women, they're very good at their work. Australian-born sex workers are usually pretty choosy.

But the national sex workers association, the Scarlet Alliance, said there was no evidence an increasing proportion of prostitutes were Asian. Elena Jeffreys, from the alliance, said the emergence of Asian-only brothels was a reorganisation of the industry .

The owner of two all-Asian brothels in Sydney believes price is the main reason men visit her establishments. It's competitive, said the proprietor, who asked not to be named: There are quite a lot of Asians working ... customers want to see Asian lady in the shop, they like the Asian lady, their appearance.

Former NSW sex industry consultant Chris Seage, who now runs Brothel Busters, which investigates illegal brothels for local councils, said nearly all illegal brothels in Sydney were owned or operated by Asians. He believes legitimate sex workers are an even mix of Caucasian and Asian-born women. Seage said an hour with a Caucasian woman at a Chatswood brothel would cost $300; it would cost $150 with an Asian woman at a brothel in Willoughby.

 

6th July   

Update: Lost Love Land...

Chinese authorities convert sex theme park into a propaganda show venue
Link Here  full story: Love Land...China's first sex theme park

love land China's first sex theme park has undergone complete censorship by the authorities, and instead of risque shows, it now features performances of propaganda songs praising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Two years after Love Land was first launched in Chongqing to howls of protest and hordes of curious onlookers, few traces of its ribald displays remain.

Its iconic statue, a revolving pair of legs adorned with a skimpy red G-string, has disappeared. A water fountain with breast-like carvings and urinals shaped like a woman's mouth have been removed. Descriptions of various sexual techniques to please your partner have also been cleaned out.

Love Land, which was part of a larger theme park named Foreigner Street, stood no chance against the puritan drive of the CCP in Chongqing. There was no way Bo Xilai would have allowed the sex theme park to stay, said a Chongqing businesswoman in her late 20s, referring to the city's top leader. Bo, who came to Chongqing in late 2008, had called for the Communist Party to focus on the nation's spiritual health, as he cracked down on anything to do with adult fun.

 

2nd July   

No Fun in Canada...

Strip clubs banned in Saskatchewan
Link Here

Saskatchewan flag Bare Essentials is a burlesque troupe that performs twice weekly at the Gaslight Saloon, a bar on the gritty northern outskirts of Regina in Saskatchewan.

What guy doesn't like to drink booze and look at girls? said Kevin Pattison, who started Bare Essentials after getting laid off as an iron worker in September.

He decided a show that pushed the limits of liquor laws, but didn't break them, would sell in Saskatchewan. It doesn't really matter if she's taking off her clothes. As long as she's sexy and doing a good job up there.

A decade ago Saskatchewan's last alcohol-serving strip club closed after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal against the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority rule that prohibits any striptease performance or wet clothing contest.

The ruling left Saskatchewan as the only place in Canada where stripping is banned where booze is sold, making erotic dancing an endangered species in the province with a lone dry strip club in Regina's industrial district the last remnant.

Since then, at least six bars have been fined or suspended after varying attempts to skirt the stripping prohibition, according to reports obtained under freedom of information laws. The bars have been hit with fines and suspensions for bringing in travelling shows that have wet T-shirt contests and whipped cream wrestling. In several instances, notices of violations have come after a dancer removed a layer of clothing backstage despite there being no nudity.

Lawyer Ron Dumonceaux, who fought the losing case to strike down the law as unconstitutional 10 years ago, said the regulations are smart from a legal perspective. Saskatchewan avoids the constitutional challenge because stripping itself isn't prohibited. But the ban in bars essentially doesn't make it economical to run a strip club, he said, which can't operate successfully without the profits from liquor. They don't directly prohibit exotic dancing --- they make it uneconomical, he said.

 

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