Thursday, November 17, 2011

documentary on BBC Radio Leeds today

I listened to the documentary 'Love for sale' on BBC Radio Leeds today. Two British women (Charlie Daniels and Julie Bindel) went to Nevada to find out about the legalized brothels there. They went to four brothels, The Love Ranch, Moonlite Bunny Ranch, The Mustang Ranch and Wild Horse.

The documentary didn't answer the most important question for me. Julie Bindel on Woman's Hour last week linked Nevada brothels to slavery and incarceration. She said that the women working there are institutionalized. Nobody said on Woman's Hour, in Bindel's Times article, or in this documentary, that the women only spend part of their time at these places. They will spend a number of days there per month, and a number of days elsewhere.

I've looked at different places on the internet to find out about this. One site says they spend a week to 10 days working each month, and they don't work every month. Another says it is two weeks per month. These brothels are way out in the desert, often hours drive from cities, so the women stay there while they are working. When they're not working they are far away.

I would like to know what they do while not working. Do they enjoy leisure at their homes? Do they holiday? Do they have their own businesses? Perhaps some of them work as prostitutes elsewhere. I would like to know how much money they have in the bank, what investments they have, and if they own their own homes. Whatever the answer, they're far from institutionalized.

At the end of the documentary, the two women were asked for their impressions of what they had seen. Bindel used the phrases "state sanctioned rape", "cess pits" and "hell holes". She also described the Nevada brothels as a "failed social experiment". You wonder where all that came from, because the documentary itself didn't give that impression at all. In fact, they seem to be living in luxury.

When asked if legalized brothels are acceptable because they keep women safe, she said they are not safe because anything can happen behind closed doors. There was a discussion of the issue on Radio Leeds after the documentary, and Bindel gave her little theory that the presence of prostitution in society increases the objectification of women and will result in increased violence against women. There is no evidence for this and it doesn't make any sense.

At the end of the discussion Bindel said that the women she met were the most emotionally damaged women she had ever seen. Again, you wonder where that comes from. The documentary didn't give that impression. The women who were interviewed seemed well balanced, although it could be that some of the women could have been damaged previously by working in parts of the illegal sector.

During the discussion, Bindel said this:-

"You cannot make a law for the minority, you have to make law and policy for the majority. If you have a group of privileged women who are lucky enough to have a home in the Cotswolds, putting her children through private school; she's never been raped, she's never been pimped, she's never contracted HIV. Good luck to her, we'll never meet her."

And later she repeated herself "we cannot make laws to suit the privileged minority, we just can't." I could agree with her on that, because I know that all the evidence shows that the vast majority of women involved in prostitution are not coerced. Most women involved in prostitution are not drug addicts or pimped or trafficked. However, I think we can create laws that benefit all women involved in prostitution. We should not have to force women to choose between working alone in a flat legally but not safely, or working with other women in a flat safely but not legally.

Obviously the majority of sex workers do not have a home in the Cotswolds or send their children to private schools; Bindel is just being patronising about sex workers in saying that. The majority of sex workers however are not coerced and do it because of the considerable monetary rewards. She says 'we'll never meet her'. I've met lots of affluent sex workers. Unfortunately, even the affluent sex workers run the risk of rape and contracting HIV because Bindel is standing in the way of a change in the law that could allow women to work together legally and safely.

What's more, she knows damn well that all the evidence shows that the majority of sex workers are not exploited. She knows that women are safer working indoors with other women than on the street or in a solitary flat. She's not stupid, she's looked at the research. I think she is being dishonest. She treats people with contempt and misinforms them.

I think Bindel doesn't want legalization of prostitution for the same reason that lots of people don't want legalization of drugs. The fact is that if we allowed heroin addicts to have access to pharmacologically pure heroin then there would be few deaths from accidental heroin overdose. Street heroin varies greatly in strength. Some would say that heroin is such a terrible thing that you just can't legalize it, and they'll tell you all the horror stories, but the point is it doesn't have to be that way.

If you got rid of all the drug dealers you could end the twin problems of drug addiction and street prostitution in one go. But they've tried zero tolerance, and it doesn't work. You just force things further underground where they can't be regulated.

Big brothels out in the desert of Nevada have nothing to do with anything happening in this country. The legalization of brothels in the UK would mean that 2 or 3 women could work safely and legally from a flat. The women of Ipswich can't do that yet. Bindel in the discussion said that what has happened in Ipswich is the way to go. Women have been forced off the street and into flats. However, women working alone from flats are not safe, as the examples of Sheila Farmer and Hanna Morris show. All it would take is another serial murderer to come on the scene and it will start all over again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

debate on Woman's Hour this morning

On Woman's Hour today on BBC Radio 4 there was a discussion of prostitution. It started with the presenter Jenni Murray stating that in the past decade there may have been as many as 140 women working in the sex industry who have been murdered. There was then a report on legalized brothels in Nevada, part of a report to be heard on BBC Radio Leeds later this month.

The discussion was between Jenni, criminologist Professor David Wilson and feminist Julie Bindel. Both Jenni and David Wilson seemed primarily concerned with the safety of women, whereas Julie Bindel seemed concerned with more esoteric issues. She made much of the fact that the prostitutes in Nevada are forced to have blood tests and that they are not usually allowed off the brothel site while they are working there. She linked this to the Contagious Diseases Acts of Victorian Britain where some women were forced to have medical examinations if it was suspected they might have sexually transmitted diseases and often incarcerated in locked hospitals for treatment.

She said that Josephine Butler campaigned to have the Contagious Diseases Acts abolished all those years ago and legalized brothels would be a return to those times. Nobody today would agree with the Contagious Diseases Acts and I don't see how making an HIV test a requirement of employment is somehow returning to them. The fact that women are not usually allowed off site is something that is specific to that type of brothel in Nevada and is not relevant to the discussion of legalization.

This seems to me to be an attempt to manufacture outrage. Finn Mackay on a recent debate on BBC Radio 5 live said that prostitution is the buying and selling of the bodies of women. She also talked about men's perceived right to buy sexual access to women. I have never bought or sold a woman's body. What I have bought is a service or some time. I don't believe I have a right to buy sexual access to a woman. It's all about negotiation, just like other services. Trying to link prostitution to slavery might make some kind of sense in the feminist groups that Julie Bindel and Finn Mackay frequent but they don't make a lot of sense to most people.

In New Zealand sex work has been decriminalized and they discussed the effect of this on the safety of sex workers. Julie Bindel said 'New Zealand in its government report 2 years after this experiment admitted in its report that the women feel no safer under decriminalization and in fact reporting violence has not made it easier'. This didn't seem to be true to me. I have looked at the wikipedia entry for this and I could find nothing corresponding to anything she said. Just the opposite.

She says that she believes sex workers should be decriminalized, but she didn't mention that - as a supporter of the Swedish Model - she believes that men who buy sex should be criminalized. She said that drug addicted women would never be selected for work in a brothel, which is true. However, women can set up flats to work for themselves, or there could be managed zones or tolerance zones.

Julie Bindel doesn't believe in safe zones. She said that the Mayor of Amsterdam had said that they were 'rife with traffickers, drug dealers and underage and trafficked women'. I'm not really interested in the opinions of the Mayor of Amsterdam, I want to know the facts. My experience of street prostitution is that when women can do what they like then half the women involved are not drug addicts. It's only when there is a police crack down that you develop a situation where all street girls are addicts, because these are the ones who are most motivated to continue in the face of opposition. I have never seen an underage girl. There are no teen runaways and no trafficked women either. Trafficked women, the few that there are, have always worked indoors.

I'm not a fan of the Dutch system, I prefer the New Zealand system, but - as Professor Wilson pointed out - prostitutes have never been the target of serial killers in the Netherlands. You can listen to the discussion here.

On the 21st of October there was another discussion on prostitution on Woman's Hour. Alan Caton of Suffolk police was debating with Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon. Alan was saying that street prostitution no longer exists in Ipswich. We heard a recorded interview with a former street girl called Lisa who said that most of the women she knew who had formerly worked on the street were now working from flats. Dr Brooks-Gordon said that a woman working as a prostitute from a flat on her own is not safe. When women try to work together for safety they are often prosecuted for running a brothel.

There is an article in the Times newspaper on 14th November about the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, one of the legal brothels in Nevada. It's interesting but not relevant to prostitution in Britain. We wouldn't get brothels like that here but we could get flats where women legally and safely work together.

That would benefit different types of prostitutes. Firsly street workers who no longer wish to work on the street. Secondly, women who have worked in flats alone but know that it isn't safe. Thirdly, women who work in what we normally think of as brothels and who decide they want to keep the profits for themselves and they don't like being told what to do.

For that to happen, people will have to put as their priority the safety of women. Academics such as Professor Wilson and Dr Brooks-Gordon already do. Some police officers such as Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne, who is the ACPO lead for prostitution and sexual exploitation, do too. Other police officers such as Detective Superintendent Alan Caton want to say that they have made prostitutes in Ipswich safe from serial killers when they haven't.

I don't think that feminists like Julie Bindel and Finn Mackay are ever going to change. They are too caught up with their ideology. The influential feminist writer Andrea Dworkin in her book 'Intercourse' wrote "Physically, the woman in intercourse is a space inhabited, a literal territory occupied literally: occupied even if there has been no resistance, no force; even if the occupied person said yes…". Bindel and Mackay seem to be applying this principle. If they don't accept heterosexual sex as valid then they are never going to accept prostitution.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kim of 8 Greek Street

I was in Soho this afternoon and as I walked past the door of number 8 Greek Street I looked at the names next to the doorbells. I saw that Amy is there and I saw the name Kim too. I don't remember seeing the name Kim there before. I remembered that someone called Kim is well recommended on the PunterNet forum.

I went onto the internet and I realized that this is a different Kim from the one discussed on the forum. There was a report on her in the Field Report section. The report was very complementary so I decided to try her.

I was in luck because Kim has everything. She is very pretty and has a natural beauty. I'm sure that most people think all Soho prostitutes have too much make up and a fake tan. That's not true of the ones that I have seen. She is from Spain and has black hair and a slightly dark skin colour typical of Mediterranean people. She is very slender, almost verging on being skinny, and has long slender legs. She told me she is 20, but she looks as if she could be 18.

I took off my clothes and lay on the bed. She got onto the bed with me but didn't take her dress off. It was a very sexy dress so I was happy for her to keep it on. She put the end of my willy in her mouth and started sucking on it. This was without a condom, something quite unusual for Soho. I said I would like to see her pussy, so she took her knickers off. I looked at her pussy while she was sucking me, and I started touching it.

I wanted to try something a bit different. I got up off the bed and told her to sit on the edge of the bed. I stood on the floor in front of her and put my willy in her mouth. This was like one of my favourite fantasies. I often fantasize about two teenagers having a blowjob in a bedroom or bathroom at a party, with the girl sitting and the boy standing in front of her. The fact that Kim was wearing her sexy dress made it better. Her slender legs were wide apart, her dress was up round her waist, and I could see her pussy. I could also see her from the back in the big mirror on the wall.

Several times she wanted to kiss me on the mouth. I gave her a little kiss on the lips, but didn't try to snog her. Partly because if I tried to snog her she might have said no, or might have asked for more money. Partly because if she's been sucking lots of cocks without a condom I don't really want to be putting my tongue in her mouth. Some of the other women at 8 Greek Street have sucked my cock without a condom, but they always washed it in the sink first of all.

Kim is like a dream come true. I hope I will be able to see her again.

UPDATE August 2012: Kim is now working at 18 Newport Court. She is now a blonde and calls herself Jazmin. I no longer believe that she is any good. See my post about Jazmin.