Norway should rip up a law that criminalizes sex buyers, Oslo's social affairs chief believes, as a new report shows a marked rise in violence against prostitutes working in the city.
Anniken Hauglie (Conservative Party) called for the law to be
scrapped after the city's official help centre for prostitutes, Pro Sentret, released a report detailing deteriorating conditions for sex workers in the capital. Hauglie said:
The reality is that the law has made
it more difficult for women in prostitution,
It's our political responsibility to take this feedback seriously. In my view, the sex buyer ban should be repealed, and I think the parliament should at least evaluate the effects of
The 2009 prostitution law prohibits the purchase but not the sale of sexual services. But the Pro Sentret report indicates that the law has in fact made prostitutes much more susceptible to violence at the hands of their
clients as the sex trade moves further underground. What's more, prostitutes have become less inclined to seek help since the law came into force, with many now perceiving that they too are viewed as criminals, the report says.
Many of the women
also said the new law had scared off many of their more reliable customers, while troublesome and violent clients were relatively undeterred.
According to the study, titled Farlige Forbindelser (Dangerous Liaisons) , 59% of prostitutes in
Oslo have fallen victim to some form of violence in the last three years. Often the violence is extreme. Eleven people have faced death threats, many have been threatened with weapons, or have been exposed to robbery, rape, or were threatened into
participating in non-consensual sex,
Anniken Hauglie said she was appalled by the report's findings:
It's heartbreaking to see the violence they are subjected too, only to then learn that many of them don't
report (the crimes). That means the aggressors walk away and are free to endanger others.
The report is based on interviews carried out from January to March this year with 123 prostitutes working on the streets, out of apartments,
and in massage parlours offering sexual services.
Ireland's justice minister, Alan Shatter, has published a major new document which looks at whether Ireland's laws around prostitution should be changed. He writes:
I am pleased to publish this discussion document,
which is being issued to assist a public consultation process on the future direction of legislation on prostitution.
The criminal law in this area is being reviewed primarily because of the changed nature of prostitution in
Ireland. Prostitution in this country was once mainly a street-based phenomenon. That is no longer the case. The organisation of prostitution is now much more sophisticated, highly mobile and is easily facilitated by the use of mobile phones and the
While there is a significant amount of criminal legislation in this area already, there is always scope for change and improvement. It is important to review the law periodically to ensure it is up to date and
comprehensively responds to altered circumstances.
The document identifies several approaches of law from drecriminalisation to prohibition. It claims to be neutral about the options, but supporters of a particular approach are
expected to say how it will reduce the scale of prostitution rather than explaining how it will reduce the problems associated with prostitution.
Update: Nutters somehow correlate migrant sex workers with supposed
A conference in Dublin on sex trafficking is calling on the government to make it illegal to pay for sex. A review of the law on prostitution is an opportunity to send a strong message to those who control the sex trade in Ireland, according to
the nutter organisers. Trade minister Joe Costello will speak at the conference.
Denise Charlton, of the Immigrant Council of Ireland claims:
We know that 97% of women in prostitution here are migrants, often
tricked into travelling to Ireland under the false pretence of a better life.
Ireland now has a unique opportunity to address a shortfall in the law which has allowed this sordid trade to grow. We are asking all like-minded groups
and individuals to join us and either through public statement or by making a submission to tell the government the only way to end this trade is to cut off supply by prosecuting men who purchase sex.
It looks like Markian Lubkivsky, Ukraine's Euro 2012 director, was right when he said that visiting fans will have no time for sex.
Kyiv prostitutes and experts of nongovernmental organizations say they haven't seen any increase in demand
for sex services since Euro 2012 kicked off.
After the championship started I spoke to girls in Kyiv and other host cities, and none of them said about crowds of clients, said Olena Zuckerman, head of Legalife, a sex workers protection
Some had predicted that prostitution would boom during Euro 2012, as Ukraine has been flooded by tens of thousands of foreign fans. But Zuckerman said the same thing happened in other countries that hosted football events, for example in
South Africa at the World Cup in 2010.
Despite all the expectations there was no growth in either demand or supply of sex services, said Yevhenia Kuvshynova, coordinator of the Convictus-Ukraine charity project, which supports people affected by
HIV/AIDS. Men have no interest in anything apart from beer and football during Euro 2012, she added.
In spite of
the inflow of football fans in Ukraine for the time of the European Football Championship, the number of clients for Ukrainian prostitutes has not increased. Anti prostitution campaigners and public figures were claiming before the start of Euro 2012
that Ukraine would turn into a big brothel. However, it turns out that it is the fighters against prostitution, who create such a negative image for the country.
The local representatives of the most ancient profession in the world said that they
did not notice an abrupt increase in the number of clients during the days of the football championship. Many predict an increase of the number of sex tourists prior to major sports tournaments. However, such prognoses do not materialize in most cases.
That's what happened in Germany in 2006, when several brothels went bankrupt.
égalité All EU citizens should be equally bankrupt
France's minister for women is to organise a consultation on ways to abolish prostitution in France and Europe, she has told the Guardian.
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France's miserable women's rights minister and government spokeswoman, said in an
interview that she would be organising a conference of 'experts' on how to contain the sex-trade and was seeking to meet the home secretary Theresa May for input from the UK.
In France prostitution is not quite illegal, but activities around it
are. Brothels were outlawed in 1946 and pimping is illegal. In 2003 a controversial law against soliciting was introduced by Nicolas Sarkozy, then interior minister, making it illegal to stand in a public place known for prostitution dressed in revealing
Last year, the French parliament adopted a resolution on the abolition of prostitution saying its objective was a society without prostitution .
The consultation would consider recommendations made last year by a cross-party
commission of French MPs that it should be illegal to pay for sex. The MPs had suggested all clients of sex workers, meaning anyone who buys sex from any kind of prostitute, would face prison and a fine.
Canada's foreign strippers claim they will go underground if Bill C-38 becomes law and ends work permits allowing non-residents to work as strippers across the country.
The bill, now headed for its second reading in Parliament, will mean up to 700
strippers in Canada on work visas will have to return home since they won't be able to extend their stays. Either that, or they will seek illicit ways to earn a living, including massage parlour work.
The stripper visa dates back to 1998
and allowed hundreds of foreign dancers into the country each year. In 2001 for example, 660 foreign dancers, mostly from Eastern Europe, were admitted. All they had to do was provide a Canadian job offer from a strip club and prove they were qualified
for exotic dancing.
While the Tories essentially axed that program soon after taking office, roughly 100 of those visas have been renewed each year since 2006.
Under the new regulations, all existing temporary work visas to foreign-born
strippers will be cancelled, all new applications will be denied and all open work visa holders will be barred from working in the adult entertainment industry.
Sydney's Stiletto brothel has won an appeal for permission to expand and become Australia's largest.
Plans to double the number of rooms to 40 were refused last year by the city council. But the owners won an appeal to the Land and
Environment Court this week, with Commissioner Susan O'Neill ruling the Aus$12 million ($12.2 million) development, including a wing for group bookings, should go ahead. O'Neill said:
The issue of a moral objection to
the nature of the activities of a sex premises were raised by some of the public submissions and resident objectors.
As a sex premises is a legal land use and permissible... with consent, moral objections to the proposal are not
Stiletto promotes itself as the world's finest short-stay boutique hotel and Sydney brothel . Its standard hourly rate of Aus$370 includes room, lady of choice and beverages.
A new bill to make prostitution illegal in Scotland is to be put before the Scottish parliament this week.
Labour MSP Rhoda Grant wants to see a bill fast-tracked through Holyrood, claiming it will reduce demand for prostitution by criminalising
those who buy sex. She said the proposals could be passed rapidly through the parliamentary process as the previous consultation meant there was no need to repeat this:
Practical, operational, legal, equality and
financial considerations have been explored to a sufficient degree to test, develop and refine my specific proposal and enable me to proceed towards the development of a bill. I have continued to liaise with organisations on this topic.
Views expressed to me so far, as part of my on-going engagement with a number of bodies, the public and others with an interest in this proposal, confirm that the views expressed during the formal consultation process have not
Currently kerb crawling, running brothels and soliciting for prostitution are all outlawed in Scotland but it is still legal for an adult to pay another adult for sex without any offence being committed.
Government says it will give careful consideration to the new proposals after similar plans were rejected two years ago. Former Labour MSP Trish Godman's proposals in the Criminal Justice and Licensing bill were turned down by ministers who feared
it would make the problem less visible to the authorities.
Grant, a Highland and Islands list MSP, is essentially taking over the Godman proposals, and will tell Holyrood's justice committee this week that she thinks there is no need to go through
the lengthy consultation process that usually accompanies new bills again.
The original bill met with concerns from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), which warned that it could drive prostitution off the street
and into areas where it is harder to identify vulnerable women and enforce the law. Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone told MSPs on the justice committee he was not looking for additional powers in this area.
A Scottish Government
spokesperson said: Prostitution damages the individuals caught up in selling sex and the communities involved. It is a complex issue which requires careful consideration to ensure that any additional measures which may be required to be put in place
are necessary, practicable and sustainable. We will give careful consideration to any bill which Rhoda Grant brings forward on this matter.
Rhoda Grant is to press ahead with her selfish plans to criminalise prostitution in Scotland but her attempt to fast-track new legislation through parliament was blocked..
Holyrood's justice committee ruled that a 12-week consultation on
the measures, which would make it an offence for someone to purchase sex from another adult, must be carried out by Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant who said:
I look forward to hearing the responses to the further
consultation on these proposals.
Overwhelmingly, the feedback that I have received to date makes clear that reducing the demand for prostitution can be achieved by making the purchasing of sex illegal.
look forward to the parliament considering more consultation feedback in the coming months and a full debate on my proposals that will protect Scottish women.
Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, from the Department of Psychological Sciences, Birbeck, University of London, has researched and written about the sex industry. She said the Scottish legislation proposal was not supported by any evidence that it would help
It's McCarthyism in the bedroom
The prisons are at bursting point so to fill them with people who use prostitutes and to give them a criminal record is lunacy.
It would be a retrograde step and would make things worse.
The people this legislation would most harm are the people they are proposing to help.
She said the best way to protect sex workers
was to treat violence against them as a hate crime and build a strong relationship between the police and prostitutes so they felt that if they approached them for help their complaint would be taken seriously
Three high-end nightclubs are among the 48 entertainment venues shut down in a crackdown between April 20 and May 30 for safety violations, prostitution and pornographic activities, Beijing police said.
The three renowned Beijing nightclubs -
Mingheng, Youtang and China Town - engaged in prostitution, while four karaoke bars staged pornographic shows, including striptease dancing, police said.
Beijing police also closed six clubs for supposed safety issues and vowed zero tolerance for
fun activities in entertainment venues.
The integration spokesperson Anja Hagenauer of Austria's SPO party has suggested that performance boxes should be constructed in Salzburg to allow customers to park in them and carry out their business with a prostitute.
controls on the streets of Salzburg have turned the problem of prostitution into one that cannot be seen, and Anja Hagenauer thinks that this is bad for the women selling their services.
She said: Street prostitution is even more hidden now,
and not as open. And the more hidden a thing is, the more dangerous it becomes for the people who frequent it -- both prostitutes and their clients.
The idea with the box-shaped parking spaces is taken from Cologne, where the boxes have been a
success for many years.
Controls and penalties are wrong approaches, according to Ursula Liebing of the Salzburg Platform for Human Rights. She said: The punishment for buying street prostitutes is always discussed in Salzburg, as well as the
safety and order. We need to look at the issue from the women's perspective, and at what is important for them. How can we protect their rights in the best way?
Spanish authorities seem to be taking a pragmatic approach to trying to get the economy moving. The Spanish parliament is planning to life the long standing ban on advertising sexual services.
In a country in which prostitution is legal, the bill
will allow brothels, escort agencies and prostitutes to advertise online and in classified adverts in the print media. There are estimated to be between 200,000 and 400,000 prostitutes operating in Spain.
These are mostly foreign women from an
assortment of countries -Nigeria, Eastern Europe and South America topping the list. Many customers are sex tourists, in the main crossing nearby borders although Spaniards also avail themselves of those touting the world's oldest profession . In
a United Nations report 39% of Spanish men admitted to having visited a sex worker at least once.
There have been calls for prostitution to be outlawed in Spain but many women's groups believe that such a move would force it underground meaning
that fewer trafficked women would be able to seek help.
The city of Amsterdam says it plans to force brothel owners to submit a business plan to the city describing what measures they are taking to ensure sex workers are healthy and not being exploited.
Prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands
since the year 2000, and tolerated in Amsterdam for centuries. But in recent years both the city and national government have been giving way to political correctness.
The city says it will adopt the measures announced by 2013, whether or not a
national law raising the minimum age for prostitutes to 21 has gone into effect.
The nutter women's rights group known for their provocative protests of world affairs, has taken to the streets of Hamburg Sunday continuing their colourful disapproval of the city's sex trade.
According to reports, FEMEN arrived in Hamburg's
red-light district known as Reeperbahn armed with painted faces and strap-on sex toys. The group marched their way from Spielbudenplatz to Herbert Street, their bodies painted with Swastikas and Hitler mustaches, gesturing their way down the streets in
similar fashion to Hitler's regime nearly 70 years ago. As the women marched, they were reportedly chanting, Sex slavery is fascism.
About 200 demonstrators, mainly women's rights nutters marched against Montreal's biggest annual tourist draw, Formula One's Grand Prix.
Marchers hit the streets behind a huge banner slamming the prostitution they see as a parallel Formula One
of Sex Exploitation, as their banner read, stopping near several hotels where they claimed prostitution was common.
In my opinion, prostitution is still a paid rape, Laurence Fortin, a graduate student and sociology researcher, told
Buy Sex - Pay the Price, scream the posters in Brixton Tube. A silhouette of a shady man stands underneath the headline, moodily checking his mobile phone. Lambeth Council and Lambeth police are targeting those who buy sex, explains the
blurb, helpfully reminding commuters that Prostitution is a form of violence against women and girls. Similar posters and billboards have suddenly sprung up all over the borough.
Those unaware of the complex and
contradictory prostitution laws in Britain could be forgiven for thinking that prostitution is illegal. It isn't. And nor is buying sex. Whatever your views on the inherent violence in the practice, there's no getting away from this very simple
fact. Although it's now possible to prosecute punters using the services of coerced or controlled women - a law that's been notoriously difficult to put into practice - only acts of public soliciting, such as kerb crawling, are a criminal offence.
If you choose to buy sex there will be consequences, states the campaign. Except there won't be.
Meanwhile the international press sort of recognise that the mass trafficking concept is nonsense, but this minor setback doesn't stop them using a
sporting event as an excuse for gathering an assortment of oddments about sex workers.
A federal judge has sided with Backpage.com against a Washington state law targeting small ads that would require online publishers to verify the age of those shown in the ads.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez granted a temporary restraining
order to put a halt to the statute, ruling that he'd hear arguments over it at a preliminary injunction hearing June 15.
SB 6251 would force websites to censor user content on the grounds that it would be unviable to actually check the ages of
pictures featuring in adverts. The bill threatens five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine per violation should publishers be caught out by an underage picture.
Backpage explained in the law suit:
expressly states that it is not a defense that the defendant did not know that the image was of a minor, Instead, to avoid prosecution, the defendant must obtain governmental or educational identification for the person depicted in the post.
This means that every service provider, no matter where headquartered or operated, must review each and every piece of third-party content posted on or through its service to determine whether it is an 'implicit' ad for a commercial
sex act in Washington, and whether it includes a depiction of a person, and, if so, must obtain and maintain a record of the person's ID.
Backpage said that SB 6251 contravenes Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which
prohibits Internet service providers from being treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by a third party.
Backpage counsel noted that other states are poised to follow Washington's lead. A similar law will soon take effect
in Tennessee, and the legislatures in New York and New Jersey are considering analogous bills.
The nutter Gail Dines replies to the Louis Theroux proposition that the porn industry is ailing. She points out that it is faring well albeit in a new model involving new ideas and new industry players
such as Manwin.
Nearly 200 sex workers have taken to the streets in Paris to protest against police repression and plans to penalise customers. They marched from Place Pigalle to Chatele.
The sex-workers' union Strass told journalists they wanted: our
views to be taken into account when decisions concerning us are taken .
Morgane Merteuil, of Strass, said sex-workers were being repressed all the time - despite the fact that prostitution is not illegal in France.
The prostitutes say
that new laws such as the ban on vans in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris and the proposal to penalise customers were pushing prostitutes towards working illegally with pimps and as part of illegal networks.
The economic crisis is affecting the sex industry, Dutch BNR radio reports. Sales of sex toys, DVDs and edible underwear are down sharply due to changing tastes, a lack of cash and competition from internet.
In particular, the vast number of free
online porn channels and footage uploaded by amateurs is proving strong competition.
Hanni Jagtman, founder of the Amsterdam sex shop Mail & Female said:
The situation in the porn industry is disastrous, The
industry must look at where it is going or decide to call it a day.
Jagtman also cites changing society attitudes saying:
Women are demanding control over their own sexuality. This means they want
more quality, responsible products rather than dirty books.
Greece's once-thriving sex industry has become the latest victim of the country's debt crisis as Greeks spend less on erotic toys, pornography and sexy underwear.
About 50 people, almost all young men, lined up on Friday as the Athens Erotic Dream
- Greece's biggest sex fair - opened its gates in a nondescript building squeezed against a highway on the outskirts of the capital. The annual show attracted big crowds when it opened in 2008, at the height of Greece's debt-fuelled economic bubble. But
interest has wilted alongside the Greek economy, mired in its fifth consecutive year of recession. The sex industry is feeling the hit. The number of exhibitors has fallen by half since 2008 to about a dozen.
Only a quarter of the 300 to 400 sex
shops that once existed in Athens have survived the crisis, and business looked bleak for those who brought their wares to the sex fair.
The troubles of Greece's sex and pornography trade echo those plaguing its wider economy. The industry largely
consists of small family businesses that depend entirely on foreign suppliers and face tough competition from abroad. Unlike other western European countries, where sex shops can be found in central avenues and shopping streets, Greek sex shops have
failed to go upmarket and struggle to shake off a seedy image.
Just as other manufacturers have suffered from soaring wage costs since Greece joined the euro, local makers of erotic underwear have found it difficult to compete with cheaper rivals
The Chinese and the Turks are killing us, said Lefteris Papadopoulos at his stand at Athens Erotic Dream. Appealing to customers' patriotism, he has called his stand Products Made in Greece , with plastic Greek flags stuck on
Greece was once home to a small but successful pornography production industry. But much of that scene has disappeared after local producers were undercut by free internet pornography and movies from Eastern European countries.
Only one company is left at the fair to promote its latest production.
Another strip club tax is being considered by California's Legislature. AB 2441 is set to place a $10 fee on visitors of establishments that offer alcohol and topless or nude performances.
It's the fourth attempt to tax sexually explicit
businesses in the past four years in California. All of those bills, which would have levied a 20% sales tax were shot down. A tax raising bill requires a two-thirds vote of both the Assembly and Senate.
AB 2441, however, would be the first
legislative action to mandate a fixed-fee pole tax .
JA spokesman for Californian Assemblyman Das Williams said that strip clubs are a good possible resource for funding because there's already a model to tax adult entertainment
establishments. Pole taxes are now mandatory in Texas and Utah, with legislation being mulled for similar tariffs for adult entertainment customers in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. He said that the bill is on track in the
Assembly and could be approved by both houses in September.
Ukraine's capital Kiev is taking steps to curb prostitution during the month-long European football championship, the city government have said.
Ukraine co-hosts Euro 2012 with Poland next month, and stages the final in Kiev on July 1.
Anatoly Holubchenko, deputy head of city government, told reporters that Kiev city government met officials from the interior ministry and state security service (SBU) this week to discuss measures to curb the sex trade, which is illegal in the country. He said:
We have ordered police and the SBU to prevent such activities,
Tourism pamphlets handed out in Kiev often feature advertisements for massage parlours and other thinly veiled sex industry spots.
Local women's rights group Femen,
famous for its female activists' topless public protests, has objected against hosting the tournament saying it will only boost the sex trade.
In 2003, a report was released by Lilith Research and Development, a subsidiary project of Eaves Women's Aid, a London women's housing agency [and active campaign against adult entertainment].
report examined the phenomenon of lap-dancing clubs in the north London borough of Camden and its effects on crime rates from the late 1990s onward. One conclusion that received considerable attention was the statement that following the introduction of
lap-dancing clubs, rape in Camden rose by 50%.
In 2009, corrections to the statistics were reported in the Guardian stating that the change between 1999 and 2002 was a somewhat lower increase of 33%. It still however implies
evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between lap dancing clubs and rape. The uncorrected claims that rapes rose by50% after lap dancing clubs opened and that Camden's incidence of rape is three time the national average are still reported in
national and international media.
This paper presents a broader analysis of the impact of lap-dancing clubs by calculating accurate rates of incidence, analysing statistics from a longer time period, and comparing the results with
crime rates in neighbouring boroughs of London. The rate of rape in Camden is lower than that in comparable boroughs, including ones with no such clubs. The overall trend for London boroughs, while higher than the national average, shows a decrease where
national statistics are on the increase.
Now further evidence has been made available that suggests that Lilith conclusions re increased crime near strip clubs are bollox.
A Freedom Of Information request presumably to Camden Council
was made by a group called Community Safety who wanted it as part of a response to the Licensing Departments consultation on sex establishments in Camden.
This resulted in a summary of the results of an unpublished report. The original
report examined crime near nine lap dancing clubs in Camden Borough. The summary reveals:
Three years worth of data (1 June 2008 - 31 May 2011) was collated of 'all reported crime within 40 metres, and 10 metres of each club.
The clubs are listed below:
Secrets, Eversholt Street
Secrets, Gray's Inn Road
Secrets, Parker Street
The report attempts to determine whether crime around these venues is in any way excessive, or exceptionally different from what would be expected of any other night-time economy venue in Camden.
10 metre buffer zone
The results showed an overall low level of offences with no obvious seasonality.
Of all crime types other theft was considerably higher than other type of crime.
Most offences occurred in the early hours of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
There is not an exceptional amount of crime around these venues at the 10 metre buffer level. The type of crime that is
apparent mirrors what would be expected in any other night-time economy venue.
40 metre buffer zone
The results showed an overall low level of offences with no obvious seasonality.
Of all crime types other theft was considerably higher than other type of crime.
Most offences occurred on Friday evening and early Saturday morning.
As with the 10 metre buffer zone, there is no evidence when examining the 40 metre buffer zone of excessive levels of crime.
Once again, the majority of crimes are other theft which is consistent with night-time economy venues.
There is no statistical evidence for a specific crime problem around lap-dancing clubs in Camden
A country-wide anti-prostitution campaign runs all over Uzbekistan this spring. It will consist of police raids and anti sex worker propaganda on TV.
Prostitution has existed in Tashkent, just like any other city of Uzbekistan, at all times, but
most recently it has grown in scope unprecedentedly.
Experts agree that the main reason why young girls and women are engaged into prostitution in Uzbekistan has to deal with the desperate lack of opportunities for employment in other areas.
This employment situation has been made worse recent changes in the national legislation under which employers have to provide a paid maternity leave previously covered by the state. Naturally, employers in the private sector are not willing to cover
the costs of maternity leaves. As a result, young women of child bearing age have difficulties finding job.
This decision to stop paying maternity allowances from the state budget was made by the government over a year ago, resulting in the growth
of prostitution encouraged by the authorities' social and economic policies. One inevitably comes to a sad conclusion: the main reason of the growing incidence of prostitution in Uzbekistan is the mass unemployment among young girls and women.
course in Western Europe, such an increase in prostitution would be more likely blamed on sexy Rihanna music videos.
More Sex Please, We're British Tuesday 8th May 10pm, Channel 4
A look behind the scenes of one of the UK's most successful online sex toy businesses.
Lovehoney, is a thriving operation that brings
sexual pleasure to the women and men of Britain through the click of a button. Founded in 2002 by Neal Slateford and Richard Longhurst, Lovehoney has seen its sales increase each year to £ 16 millon.
Lovehoney reckon that nearly half of the nation owns a sex toy. The UK sex toy market is worth an estimated £ 250 million. And with high street retailers such as Boots, Tesco and Superdrug now
stocking erotic toys, the market is set to grow and grow.
More Sex Please, We're British meets the people working at the company's HQ in Bath, sending out over 11,000 parcels a week - from adult toys and sexy lingerie, to
erotic literature and games.
The cameras also follow the company as it prepares to revamp the upscale Coco de Mer in London's Covent Garden and break into the USA.
Offsite Comment: Blogging about Sex
Toys in Britain
Even a decade ago, using a vibrator or (worse!) a male mastubator was an admission of failure, a last resort
for the losers in love who had given up on ever having an actual flesh-and-blood relationship. All the lonely people, the Beatles nearly sang, where do they go to come?
But now, according to research group Hewson, the sex toy
market is worth an estimated ?250m a year in the UK. 71% of readers of Fabulous magazine admit to owning a sex toy. There simply has to be more to this sex toy business than singletons furiously masturbating - and there is.
kick-started this wider acceptance of sex toys was that famous episode of Sex and The City. First broadcast in 1998, The Tortoise and The Hare saw Charlotte become a virtual recluse after buying a rabbit vibrator at New York's Pleasure Chest sex store.
The rabbit instantly became the must-have sex toy for women and is now available in more varieties than Heinz has ever baked its beans, including Lovehoney's soon-to-be-launched Happy Rabbit.
Canada's three main anti-prostitution laws appear destined for scrutiny by the country's highest court after the federal government announced that it wanted to appeal a decision that effectively legalized brothels.
In response to a challenge from
three sex-trade workers, Ontario's top court last month struck down the ban on bawdy houses on the basis that it increased the dangers prostitutes face because they are forced to work outside.
The five appellate justices also reworded the law
against living on the avails of prostitution to clarify it would only apply in cases of exploitation because it could otherwise apply to people such as a prostitute's bodyguards, accountant or receptionist.
In its application to the Supreme Court
for leave to appeal, the federal government said the Ontario Court of Appeal judgment creates a legislative void.
This represents a fundamental shift in criminal law and social policy in respect of provisions
that have been in force, in some fashion, since prior to Confederation, the application states.
The Ontario government announced it had decided, after a careful review, to join the federal government in seeking to appeal.
The court suspended its ruling on brothels for 12 months to give Parliament an opportunity to draft a new law, and also put a 30-day stay on the altered living-on-the avails provision. The federal government sought an interim extension of the stay,
pending arguments on a longer stay, likely next month.
The Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence group together with former sex worker Sheryl
Kiselbach can go forward with a legal challenge of Canada's prostitution laws. The court ruling was 9 to 0 to dismiss the Conservative federal government appeal.
The federal appeal argued that the sex worker group and Sheryl Kiselback lacked any
legal standing since no charges had been laid. A British Columbia judge had agreed with the federal government stand but the B.C. provincial court of appeal ruled that the group and Kiselbach could pursue their case because the group had public interest
standing. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the position of the B.C. appeals court was upheld unanimously.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has already struck down some laws that are being challenged by the B.C. group. However, the federal
government is appealing that ruling to the Supreme Court as well.
A Dutch TV advert which warns women not to let their men travel to Ukraine for Euro 2012 because of the promiscuous women has triggered a diplomatic spat between the two countries.
The commercial for a beer dispense made by NLEnergie
urges wives and girlfriends to keep your men at home during this summer's football tournament.
It shows how typing only the letters ukr into internet search engine immediately brings up the result Ukrainian women . The web
page is then filled with scores of images of scantily clad Ukrainian models.
Ukraine's ambassador to Amsterdam Olexander Horin said he was shocked at the image the advert gave of his country. He said:
am asking the company to withdraw this advert immediately.
It is offensive to both the Ukrainians and the Dutch, and sends out the wrong message to people in both in both countries.
NLEnergie boss Harald
It is just a bit of fun that plays on the cliches and Ukraine's reaction is disproportionate.
I shouldn't for a moment think it will stop any Dutch men from travelling to Ukraine
to support their national team, and I will be explaining this to the Ukrainian ambassador when I meet him.
The sex workers of Barcelona organized a protest action against a ban on street prostitution in Barcelona.
The women paraded through the streets with colorful masks and posters expressing their discontent against the authorities of Barcelona.
More than 450 women chanted We are prostitutes and we have rights , EuroMag reports.
They reminded the authorities that they also are members of the society and have rights like the others, but their rights are being violated. The
participants of demonstration ended at City Hall where they read their declaration.
The Czechs sex trade is stagnating and bordellos are desperate to entice new clients; but with Czechs now top clients, the trade is moving elsewhere.
In the 1990s, Prague become a famous destination for stag parties and sex tourists, and a
favored film location for shooting porno. Today, the side streets of Wenceslas Square are still lined with bordellos, but the prostitution trade is now steadily moving into the living rooms of private residential apartments (known as privaty) to cater to
Czech clients, says the head of a non-profit group that aims to protect women in the sex trade.
Recently, there is a new phenomenon. In place of erotic clubs, there has been a rise in the number of large privaty, apartments with many rooms,
which have their own managers. They offer discreet non-stop service, so the client can zip in for example during his lunch break, Marketa Malinova, manager of Bliss without Risk, told the daily Mlada fronta Dnes.
prostitution is technically illegal in the Czech Republic, brothels operate freely throughout the country and women advertize their sexual services openly, and explicitly, without hiding behind classic fronts like massage parlors or the offer of
companionship. According to the Czech Ministry of the Interior, there are over 860 brothels in the Czech Republic, of which 200 are in Prague.
But Malinova says the sex industry is stagnating, and the bordellos have been compelled to come
up with gimmicks to entice new clients and ensure return visits, including offering happy hours, loyalty discount cards and a wide range of massages.
Brothels that cater to day tourists from Austria and Germany can still be found in border towns
and along motorways, such as the infamous E-55. According to Wikipedia, there are over 200 websites for prostitution services in the Czech Republic, up from 45 in 1997, which enable sex tourists to book their travel and appointments to buy sex acts
before they leave home.
A man has been convicted by Belfast Crown Court of prostitution and supposed human trafficking offences. Matyas Pis was convicted of the 'trafficking' of two women into the UK, controlling prostitution and brothel keeping.
It is is the first
conviction for 'trafficking' in Northern Ireland.
Recorder Tom Burgess imposed a sentence of 18 months imprisonment followed by 18 months on licence.
On three occasions, between December 2010 and March 2011 Pis arranged for two women to
work in Belfast as prostitutes. The women said they asked the Hungarian national to book their air tickets, and he provided them with an apartment in Belfast. The women paid the defendant rent for the apartment and paid back their travelling expenses.
There was no allegation that the women were brought or held against their will.
Judge Burgess claimed that even though there was no coercion involved, any case of trafficking human beings was a serious case.
As this was the first
time that the courts in Northern Ireland have had the opportunity to sentence someone for trafficking offences, the recorder set out guidance for the courts to follow until the Court of Appeal has had an opportunity to provide an authoritative guideline.
It's Edinburgh's open secret, known to every resident but not spoken about in polite society. Now a councillor has sparked a debate after confessing to feeling uncomfortable about being on a committee which turns a blind eye to the
Capital's sex industry.
Tory Joanna Mowat said she sat on the city council's regulatory committee and watched sauna licences being approved while everyone knew some of them could involve other activities. And she suggested it might be better if
the council were able to licence brothels openly and use that as a way to stop trafficking and offer support to sex workers. She said:
This is an area I'm deeply uncomfortable with. On the one hand we have pushed
prostitution off the streets so it doesn't stare people in the face, but we are turning a blind eye to what is going on indoors.
If we are going to tolerate the licensing of brothels, which is essentially what we do, perhaps we
should actually license brothels, and part of the regulation would be to ensure that the girls -- or men -- are not trafficked, that they are tested, that they have access to medical support and that workers can go in if they want a way out of this.
At the moment there is an industry the council is complicit in, but it is not doing anything to support those working within it.
Councillor Mowat said she had supported Lothians MSP Margo MacDonald's efforts to
allow tolerance zones.
Edinburgh was the first city in the UK to grant saunas and massage parlours public entertainment licences in 1986. There are now around 20 premises in this category. The blind eye approach was originally intended to
tackle the problem of street prostitution. However it remains illegal to own, manage or run a brothel, anyone convicted could face up to seven years in jail.
Australian Sex Party calls on customs to stop wasting time and money on porn
The Australian Sex Party has accused state and federal governments of directing Customs and police forces to crack down on sexually explicit material, wasting valuable resources that should be used to track firearms and other weapons coming into the
Customs officers now routinely intercept every shipment of X18+ films and Category 1 and 2 restricted magazines that come into Australia. One in every 10 people are either searched or questioned regarding the question that is asked on the
Incoming Passenger Cards about pornography . Federal censorship authorities write over 20 letters each month to state police forces asking them to raid and prosecute businesses for selling federally classified X18+ films and in Queensland,
Sex Party Public Officer, Robbie Swan, said that the waste of enforcement resources on victimless crimes like non-violent erotica was in direct proportion to the lack of resources in tackling gun crimes. Every week
state police forces will send an average of six police officers into an adult shop to raid and pack up an average of 4,000 X18+ films and document them for a court case , he said. Before the case gets to court an average of 100 police hours would
be spent on processing the material and the paperwork to prosecute. Customs officers spend more time looking for porn than they do looking for firearms. We have attended Customs briefings where they bring out magnifying glasses to examine pornography
with up to six Customs agents in the room.
Swan called on the federal Attorney General, Nicola Roxon, to implement the recommendations of the recent Australian Law Reform Commission's enquiry into censorship laws in Australia. If accepted,
these reforms would free up large amounts of Customs and police hours, to focus on more important problems.
While it's difficult domain to penetrate, hard numbers are few and far between, we know for a fact that porn sites are some of the most trafficked parts of the internet.
According to Google's DoubleClick Ad Planner, which
tracks users across the web with a cookie, dozens of adult destinations populate the top 500 websites.
Xvideos, the largest porn site on the web with 4.4 billion page views per month, is three times the size of CNN or ESPN, and
twice the size of Reddit. LiveJasmin isn't much smaller. YouPorn, Tube8, and Pornhub, they're all vast, vast sites that dwarf almost everything except the Googles and Facebooks of the internet.
There are so many myths and misunderstandings surrounding sex that I was puzzled as to which one warranted a whole book. It turns out that Dr Brooke Magnanti (previously known to most of us as the blogging call girl Belle de Jour) tackles most of
them. She accomplishes this heroic task with humour, skill and passion in a book that is as entertaining as it is erudite.
Magnanti exposes the weak, even non-existent, evidence base for periodic moral panics surrounding sex. She
dissects the factoid evidence on the new disease of sex addiction, the sexualisation of children, the way pornography humiliates women, the dangers of porn on the internet, the evils of prostitution and trafficking.
book should be required reading for all newspaper readers, and for anyone interested in understanding how advocacy research manufactures findings that are selective, tendentious, dishonest, even incompetent.
Stuttgart tax inspectors are facing the task of measuring the floor space in all the Stuggart's brothels, after a new per square metre tax was introduced on the oldest profession.
The collectors initially resorted to extensive internet
research to find all the sex businesses in the city, but found their computers blocked from the relevant sites. Once the necessary special permission was granted, taxman Rolf Kiener and his colleagues were initially shocked. It's rather eye-opening
what's out there, he said.
The new tax means that all spaces in the city used to sell erotic pleasures will be taxed by the square metre, including strip clubs, porn cinemas and brothels. Establishments that offer both initial
approach and completion of a transaction will be forced to pay as much as EUR10 per square metre per month.
To save embarrassment, tax inspectors will be measuring up the premises by appointment rather than turning up unannounced.
Two-thirds of Canadians support the legalization of brothels, according to the results of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Postmedia News and Global Television.
The poll results suggest the judicial system may be aligned with the community values
of Canadians more than we thought, said Ipsos Reid CEO Darrell Bricker, referring to the recent Ontario Court of Appeal ruling striking down some of Canada's prostitution laws --- including a ban on brothels or bawdy houses.
a huge amount of shock and outrage (over the ruling), Bricker said.
Asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed that prostitution in brothels should be legal, 21% of the poll's respondents said they strongly agreed and 44% said they somewhat
Meanwhile, 20% said they strongly disagreed, while 15% said they somewhat disagreed.
The pollster surveyed 1,004 adults between March 30 and April 1. The estimated margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out
In its ruling last week, the Ontario appeal court said the ban on brothels forced sex workers onto the streets, putting their safety at risk. It gave the federal government one year to amend the Criminal Code.
The appeal court also
took issue with a ban on living off the avails of prostitution, saying the law was too broad and should be amended to target pimps who exploit prostitutes --- not bodyguards and other support staff.
In the same ruling, however, the appeal court
upheld a ban on open solicitation of customers on the street.
The porn industry is rallying against Rick Santorum's war on sexually explicit material with an online video protest of the Republican presidential candidate.
The satirical clip on Jest.com, entitled Porn Stars Against Santorum ,
follows the conservative's pledge last month to ban hardcore pornography if elected.
Not to be outdone, adult film stars Allie Haze, Chastity Lynn and Chanel Preston feature in the two-minute video, calling for a co-ordinated protest on May 1 to
protest the politician's anti-pornography stand.
Jest teamed up with producers at Los Angeles-based porn industry giant Vivid Entertainment to make the campaign video.
The actresses also encourage viewers to vote for Santorum in the
remaining primary elections, because if he wins the primaries, he will definitely get crushed by Obama. And Obama would never try to stop the porn industry.
A new censorship law in Washington state was first proposed on February 2, fast-tracked through the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire on March 29,
Senate Bill 6251 makes it a crime if a person (or company) knowingly publishes, disseminates, or displays, or causes directly or indirectly, to be published, disseminated, or displayed, any advertisement for a commercial sex act, which is to take place in the state of Washington and that includes the depiction of a minor.
Not much of a problem, right? But the devil here is in the details. Section 2 of the new law reads:
In a prosecution under this statute, it is not a defense that the defendant did not know the age of the
minor depicted in the advertisement. It is a defense, which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant made a reasonable bona fide attempt to ascertain the true age of the minor depicted in the advertisement by
requiring, prior to publication, dissemination, or display of the advertisement, production of a driver's license, marriage license, birth certificate, or other governmental or educational identification card or paper of the minor depicted in the
advertisement and did not rely solely on oral or written representations of the minor's age, or the apparent age of the minor as depicted. In order to invoke the defense, the defendant must produce for inspection by law enforcement a record of the
identification used to verify the age of the person depicted in the advertisement.
One might be tempted to think of this section as a requirement for a sort of 2257 recordkeeping for people who advertise themselves or others as
escorts, but in reality, it's a real Catch-22. Prostitution is still a crime in Washington state, so any person who'd like to engage in that profession and place ads online or in one of the local tabloids will have to reveal---and provide proof
of---his/her true identity to the company placing the ad online or in print, thus risking having the police subpoena such material from the publication/website owner... or simply seize it in a raid ostensibly looking for evidence of underage sex
San Francisco's newest museum is sure to cause a buzz when it opens April 12 -- because it's devoted to vibrators of the past.
The Antique Vibrator Museum is designed to showcase kinky collectibles from the late 1800s to the 1970s, according to
curator and sexologist Carol Queen:
The new exhibit contextualizes the vibrator's role in society and highlights how our attitudes around sex and female pleasure have evolved. It really gives us an appreciation for how
far both society and technology have come.
The museum showcases vibrators collected since 1977 by the proprietors of Good Vibrations, a sex shop chain. The new 300-square-foot museum is in the back of the Good Vibrations shop on Polk
Street . Admission is free.
Brazil's Tourism Ministry announced that it had notified over 1,700 websites which used its institutional logos to promote the country as a sex tourism destination.
According to the ministry, out of the 2,169 websites identified and notified for wrongly using the ministry's logos, 82%
associated the Latin America's biggest country with sex tourism and prostitution. After being notified, 1,100 websites removed sexual contents or went off-line.
Besides notifying the websites, the Tourism Ministry delivered all the evidences of
supposed crimes to the federal police, so that they can be investigated.
Tourism Minister Gastao Viana stressed that his office will continue the identification work, working with other public institutions such as the prosecutor's office and the
police. According to him, it is necessary to fight the association of Brazil with sex tourism.
The sexual exploitation of tourism is a crime and the responsible must be punished, he said, We are capable of properly receiving tourists and
hosting large events. Brazil has a policy of protection and defense of human rights and that is how other countries should see us.
x:talk is a sex worker led co-operative based in London. The group and its supporters are calling for a moratorium on arrests of sex workers in London with immediate effect until the end of the Olympic Games.
charity organisations and campaign groups have argued that large sporting events lead to an increase in trafficking for prostitution. These claims, often repeated by the media, are usually based on misinformation, poor data and a tendency to
sensationalise. There is no evidence that large sporting events cause an increase in trafficking for prostitution.
These claims can lead to anti-trafficking policies and policing practices that target sex workers. In London,
anti-trafficking practices have resulted in raids on brothels, closures and arbitrary arrests of people working in the sex industry. This creates a climate of fear among workers, leaving them less likely to report crimes against them and more vulnerable
to abuse and exploitation. This is an inadequate response to sex work and to trafficking.
x:talk is aware of clean up efforts already underway in London, particularly east London, in the run up to the Olympics. These
include multiple raids and closure of premises. We anticipate that until the end of the Olympic games there will be a continued rise in the numbers of raids, arrests and level of harassment of sex workers.
A series of violent
robberies on brothels by a gang in December in Barking & Dagenham demonstrates the effect that this climate of fear can have on the safety of sex workers. The effect of raids on brothels and closures in the area had eroded relations between sex
workers and the Police with the result that the sex workers targeted by the gang were unwilling to report the attacks for fear of arrest. The gang were able to attack at least three venues in December 2011.
In light of this,
x:talk and its supporters are calling on the Mayor of London and London Metropolitan Police to suspend arrests and convictions of sex workers.
Prostitutes at risk during the Olympics, Vancouver-based study says
British authorities should develop a public-health plan to protect London's prostitutes during the Olympics, Canadian researchers are urging after finding that stepped-up police action and other disruptions during the Vancouver Games kept sex workers
away from their regular haunts, potentially exposing them to more violence and disease.
The survey of about 100 prostitutes before and after the Winter Games also suggested the influx of new sex workers and spike in human trafficking that many
observers had predicted never actually materialized.
In fact, the women surveyed by University of British Columbia researchers said there were fewer clients than usual, and they had a harder time connecting with them, perhaps because of the police
action and other disruptions.
That meant many of the prostitutes could have been forced to less-visible pick-up spots away from colleagues and health services, said the paper just published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. Not only
would that make them more vulnerable to violence, but could increase the risk of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infection, since previous research suggests isolated sex workers are three times as likely to be coerced into unsafe sex, said Dr. Kate
Shannon, lead author of the study. She explained:
They don't have support of other workers around, support of someone to call for help, so they have less protection to be able to safely negotiate condom use. Rather
than this artificial focus on a massive sex-worker boom and trafficking, evidence suggests what actually happens is adverse effects for sex workers.
Researchers with Dr. Shannon's group surveyed 107 prostitutes during the Games, and
about 100 after the event was over, not necessarily the same women and transgendered people, but statistically similar. They reported no particular increase in the pool of sex workers, the number of underage prostitutes or evidence of human trafficking,
the study said.
The women did, however, tell the researchers they had been subject to increased harassment by police, which Dr. Shannon said included being detained without charge, fined or told to move along.
Offsite Article: Mean minded nutters oppose police action against women but want them to harass men instead