Friday, September 17, 2010

2 different types of prostitution in South London

Last month I did a post about my experience with a beautiful £150-an-hour prostitute in Streatham. I hesitate to call her a prostitute because her thing is sensual massage. She doesn't do penetrative sex, but she does do hand relief. Looking at her page it seems she does oral sex too, but only when she feels like it. She doesn't take all her clothes off.

I emailed her again. I told her that although things didn't work out as I had hoped, I didn't think that my time with her was a regrettable experience or a waste of money. I said that I had learned that I am aroused by words and ideas and not by touch. I asked her if she had ever done domination.

I have fantasized about being dominated by a beautiful woman but never experienced it. She could choose what she wanted to do to me, or she could have chosen from a list of things I could have shown her. One of the things would have been for her to ride on my back as if I was a stallion. I would be naked and on all fours. I thought it would be a lot of fun. It would have been worth £50 for half an hour. She wouldn't have had to have sex with me and she wouldn't have had to take her clothes off; I knew she wouldn't have liked that.

She replied to my email, and started by thanking me for my 'kind words'. She wrote that domination is not her thing, and that it's the opposite of her personality. I wasn't sure what she meant by this, maybe she has fantasies about being dominated. I would have thought that she might have been willing to pretend for half an hour for £50. But she only does what she likes doing.

I'm glad that she doesn't do anything that she's not happy with. That is how prostitution should be. I hope that the majority of prostitutes in the UK are like her.

As I said in the post, her flat is not that far from Tooting Bec Common. I have been to the Common several times this summer. Not because I was expecting to see any prostitutes there. I did it because it is a pleasant place to be. It always has been, even when people were complaining that it was strewn with used condoms and drugs paraphernalia. I have never seen drugs parphernalia there, except once when I saw what looked like an improvised crack pipe. The only used condoms were in the undergrowth on a particular part of the Common. You would only ever have seen them if you had gone into the undergrowth.

When I went to the Common a couple of weeks ago there were no prostitutes there. Yet when I went into the undergrowth there were as many used condoms as there ever were. The only conclusion I could come to is that prostitutes are continuing to frequent the Common, but only at night. So it seems that all the police activity has achieved is that prostitutes are going there at night instead of during the day.

So how is that an improvement on what we had before? Instead of women being able to meet up on the Common during the day, share information and keep an eye on each other, they have to go to this secluded place in the dark. I might be tempted to go there at night just to see what is going on, but I'm not going to do that. It would be just too dangerous.

I've just been having a look at the part of the Metropolitan Police website here. It talked about complaints from local residents.

"This was causing distress to local residents, mainly women, who were either being approached by men or finding used condoms and other associated debris in their front gardens or on Tooting Common."

Well, there is just as many used condoms on the Common as there ever was, and in the same places. As for condoms in people's front gardens, I don't know if that ever happened. I don't believe that women who were not prostitutes were approached by punters. I'm sure that sometimes bored teenage boys go into red light districts and shout things at women, but I don't believe punters ever approached ordinary women. That's not how it worked and I never saw that.

The one thing that the $150-an-hour prostitute in her flat and the street girls on Tooting Bec Common have in common is that their lives are made more dangerous by the law. The woman in her flat cannot have another with her for safety or it would be called a brothel. The women on the Common have to risk their lives at night in secluded places.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

some interesting photos

When I saw this picture I recognized it as 61 Dean Street, a walk up in Soho. It was the only walk up with a big yellow sign saying MODEL. This sign is no longer there. I have written about 61 Dean Street before. The police tried to close it down but failed to do so.

The Home Office are using this picture as part of a campaign to discourage men from using prostitutes. It's ridiculous because a man isn't going to be convicted of rape if he goes to 61 Dean Street, or anywhere else that I know of. He's not even going to be convicted under the new law that was introduced last year. Nobody has been convicted under this law. All this campaign and this law will achieve is to scare off the best customers - the more law abiding ones - of the women who work in these places.

A couple of days ago Clayton Littlewood was back on the JoAnne Good show on BBC London. He talked again about how he got to know the women working at 61 Dean Street. He had a shop underneath. He knows that they are not coerced. I found this photo here.

When I saw this picture I recognignized it as one of the walk ups in Greek Street. I found it on the POPPY project site. This walk up could be one of the sleaziest in Soho. Nice shade of blue though. I have written about it before.

What amuses me is that there is nothing on the web page to say that this is a walk up (or brothel, as they are often termed). I'm sure there are some people who look at this page and think that this is the entrance to the offices of the POPPY Project itself.

This was an image that could be seen as part of a series of images (some of them apparently subliminal) at the beginning of each of the 3 episodes of the C4 television documentary 'The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers'. It is used by a few anti-trafficking blogs or sites. It is intended to get people to think that vulnerable girls are being treated like meat. The sex industry needs 'fresh meat' so that it can continue, punters can be kept happy and pimps can continue to make profits. This kind of propaganda is not going to help people to understand the issues and come to sensible decisions about how to help those women who are genuinely trafficked.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers

I watched the final episode of Channel 4's The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers last night. The testimony of the trafficked women, and one in particular (Lily), was very upsetting. There is no doubt that trafficking to Britain does exist, and that when it happens it can be horrific. We can argue about the numbers, and whether the numbers are increasing or decreasing, but we can all agree the police are doing a good job in stopping these slave traffickers.

The facts of trafficking are concerning enough, and I wonder why it is that programme makers feel the need to say things they must know are untrue, use information selectively and imply things that they probably don't believe. Why do they feel they have to use sound effects, background music and jerky blurred images to create a mood? Call me old fashioned but I like a documentary to present me with the facts and let me decide how I want to feel about them.

There are not 4,000 sex slaves in Britain, as stated in the programme. That's an old figure from 2006 that was not true then. Even if that statistic was believed in 2007 when Pentameter was in operation, the programme should have stated what we know now. They could have used the recent ACPO figures. They could have said that the 4,000 figure had no basis in reality.

If it was really true that there are 4,000 sex slaves in Britain today, which the programme makers seemed to be saying but may not have meant, on what basis do they insist that the problem is getting worse? If it was 4,000 in 2006 and it is 4,000 today that would mean that the problem is not getting worse.

They seemed to think this was a very important thing to say. At the beginning of episode 2 the narrator - Helen Mirren - said October 2007. The Government tasks Britain's 55 police forces to tackle the growing number of women trafficked into the country - for sex.

This was immediately followed by a police officer who said Forget drugs, forget cash, forget anything else. Human trafficking is becoming one of the biggest crimes and one of the biggest cash earners for organised crime groups there is.

This was followed by a sequence of images and sounds. They had this in each of the 3 episodes after the first minute or so. One of the images was a strange image of 2 rows of naked girls all in a foetal position and all facing the same way like sardines in a can. I guess the purpose of this was to suggest vulnerability. Another image was of a child's cot, with rumpled sheets and a teddy.

One of the sounds was someone talking about 25,000 sex slaves. Did the programme makers want to imply something that they did not mean? The MP Denis MacShane had said there were 25,000 sex slaves but this figure was discredited. The programme makers didn't think they could get away with saying 25,000 but thought that they could get away with 4,000. If someone pulls them up on it they can say they didn't actually say that. I expect they would say that they are just reflecting media concern at the time, but it doesn't help viewers to understand the issue.

On my video recorder I can look at a recording frame-by-frame. When I did this to the fast-cut sequence of images shown towards the beginning of each episode I noticed that many of the images were of only 1, 2 or 3 frames. To me they look like subliminal messages. You can't get shorter than 1 frame. I thought this was illegal, but apparently it is not. It is certainly manipulative, and designed to create a mood. They want to horrify, and perhaps to titillate too.

The makers of this programme want people to believe that the problem is getting worse, even though there is no evidence for it. They want people to believe the problem is large scale, even though there is no evidence for it. There are several reasons they might want to do this. It makes for a better TV programme, with more concerned people talking about it and wanting to see it. It makes people think that particular police actions are justified. And it changes people's attitudes towards prostitution, with fewer people thinking it should be legalized. This programme obviously had an agenda.

Lily was not rescued by operation Pentameter. She was rescued by a punter. Yet there was no indication in the programme that this was the case. Most people watching the programme would assume that the police smashed down the door of a brothel and rescued Lily and other girls. They made the decision that men who use prostitutes will have to be portrayed as callous bastards. The police have to be portayed as heroes rescuing vulnerable girls from nasty traffickers and punters.

If we don't get to the truth of issues we will never be able to make things better. In fact, we will often make things worse. Would the punter who rescued Lily have been willing to do so if the law had existed then where he could have been prosecuted for having had sex with Lily? I would also like to know if Devon and Cornwall Constabulary's Serious Organised Crime Investigation Team (SOCIT) would have been able to prosecute the traffickers had Pentameter never happened. They probably would have. So to present Pentameter as a great success is wrong.

If you want to find out more about Lily then you can look at the 3 articles covering the issue on the Plymouth Herald website, where they call her Sue.

Sex trafficking gang jailed for 17-and-a-half years 05/02/09
Sordid world of sex slavery 06/02/09
Long jail terms for brothel pair 17/02/09

Only one of these articles even mentions operation Pentameter, and that's just a paragraph tacked onto the end of the article. They do mention the punter (and his wife) who rescued Lily/Sue. So the Plymouth Herald have made a better job of reporting what happened. I found the links on Stephen Paterson's blog.