Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Gay Porn and Giving Up


Good Morning, well when I say good, there's nothing feckin' good about it. It is 4.30am and I am wide awake having a tea party with my cats because I can't sleep.

The last time I was awake at this ungodly hour deserves a mention actually, it involved myself and a pal, watching a Gay Police Porn DVD placing bets on whether it would actually go, you know.... there. It did, and we were suitably gobsmacked. In fact she was heard to exclaim - "that is the largest blunderbuss I have ever seen". That was the day I discovered why men enjoy watching two ladies together, but I digress.

I came back from Ireland with some very fetching pressies including a full length cow print pyjama suit, ( just MADE for overnight bookings ), a Jack Dee audio book ( awesome ) and the worst bout of flu I have ever had in my life. I started feeling unwell on the boat on the way back and by the time I had embarked on the drive home from Stranraer I had broken out into a cold sweat and was shivering and achey. To add insult to injury, after I made it to bed I felt like a large rhinoceros had taken up residence on my chest and was not moving for all the sweet potatoes in the world. Wonderful.

Since then, life has been an endless round of cancelled bookings and plans combined with coughing that would make Ena Sharples look like Princess Diana. Have you ever seen the heavily lined grey face of a woman who looks fifteen years older due to smoking ? I have. NOT sexy.

Enough is enough.

Being pig headed has it's advantages so today I am marching down to my GP to announce loudly that I am giving up the evil habit of smoking and that I will require patches, nasal inhalers, and anything else the NHS can offer which will make me less likely to kill someone with my bare hands.

In the spirit of friendship I will forewarn my nearest and dearest so they can dig trenches and don flak jackets, to provide protection from high velocity projectiles.

Wish me luck.

LL xx

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

International Union of Sex Workers - Press Release

The IUSW welcomes the statements by ACPO’s lead on prostitution and sexual exploitation, Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne, that it is time to look again at the laws around prostitution.

Law surrounding the sex industry are complex, confusing and ineffective in targeting harm. In fact, it makes sex workers’ lives more dangerous. There are already general laws to target violence, coercion and abuse, which sex workers are prevented from accessing through fear of the police, as there is an inherent contradiction between the police roles of protection and prosecution.

3,000-22,000 of the estimated 80,000 people who sell sex in the UK do so on street and are criminalised under the Street Offences Act of 1959 if they loiter or solicit; the Sexual Offences Act 1985 penalises kerb-crawling. The Policing & Crime Act 2009 tweaked existing legislation: the requirement for persistent behaviour by kerb-crawlers was removed and a definition of “persistence” for soliciting or loitering was given: twice in three months. That gives this profoundly vulnerable group of women the opportunity to have contact with the police four times a year without fear of arrest.

Over the past 50 years, this legislation has entirely failed to solve the problems associated with street prostitution. The most “successful” outcomes, resulting from expensive long term enforcement, are displacement (for example, street sex workers moved to Norwich as a result of increased police action in Ipswich).

Indoors, it is possible to work entirely legally, but the only way to be free of the risk of prosecution is to work for yourself in complete isolation. Two people working together fulfils the legal definition of a brothel, so the law builds in isolation at the most fundamental level; the owner or tenant is liable to up to 7 years imprisonment.

“Controlling for gain” – legislation on “pimping” – explicitly includes people who are working of their own free will and covers almost every way of working with or for a third party.

Prosecution requires no evidence of coercion, violence or abuse; there have been several recent successful prosecutions where it was accepted in court that the defendant offered a safe, fair and honest working environment to women who freely chose to be there.

Likewise, our legal definition of trafficking fails to meet the standard of either the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking (commonly called the Palermo Protocol) or the Council of Europe Convention on Trafficking. It refers to knowledge and intent, not coercion, deception or abuse.

Catherine Stephens, activist with the International Union of Sex Workers says, “The law doesn’t just fail to target violence and exploitation, it actually facilitates it. Would we be safer working together? Yes. Is that legal? No.”

A community’s worth is measured by the way it treats the most vulnerable. It is time to treat people who sell sex with respect and to prioritise our rights and safety. It is time to decriminalise sex work so people who sell sex have the full protection of the law.

——-
The International Union of Sex Workers:
For our human, civil and labour rights. For our inclusion and decriminalisation.
For freedom to choose and respect for those choices, including the absolute right to say no.
For the full protection of the law. For everyone in the sex industry.
ONLY RIGHTS WILL STOP THE WRONGS.

UK Network of Sex Work Projects - Press Release

On the day Stephen Griffiths starts a life sentence for the murder of three women who had been involved in street sex work, the UK Network of Sex Work Projects calls on the government to fund a UK wide “Ugly Mugs” scheme to enhance local schemes and improve intelligence sharing about perpetrators of crimes against sex workers across the UK.

Sex workers are often hesitant to contact police directly due to fear of arrest or public identification and other effects of stigma. “Ugly Mugs” is a system, originally developed by sex workers, which many UKNSWP member projects have adapted to enable the sharing of information about violent offenders, robbers and others who commit crimes against people in the sex industry.

Sex workers can report crimes against them to sex work projects, providing detailed descriptions of the incidents. If the sex worker gives permission, this information is also passed to local police. However, some areas do not operate “Ugly Mugs” schemes, and there is no mechanism for intelligence to be shared UK wide even though offenders may move from one area to another and some sex workers work across different parts of the country.

A new BBC documentary examines safety issues for people who sell sex in the current legal context. It looks at the barriers sex workers face in reporting crimes committed against them and points to a UK wide “Ugly Mugs” scheme as one important way in which local “Ugly Mugs” schemes could be linked so sex workers are more effectively protected and perpetrators caught sooner.

The introduction of a UK wide “Ugly Mugs” scheme has support from amongst the Association of Chief Police Officers.

The documentary, to be screened on the BBC News Channel on December 31st, looks at safety, violence and policing issues in the UK sex industry. Women from Bradford, Liverpool and Blackpool share their experiences of sex work. The programme examines the support that exists for individuals in the industry and looks at the different approaches to policing sex work around the country.

The UKNSWP welcomes the BBC investigation and calls for a re-examination of current legislation.

Georgina Perry of UKNSWP said: “The Policing and Crime Act 2009 continues to criminalise sex workers, creating a culture of fear and distrust of the authorities and preventing the reporting of violent and serious crimes against these vulnerable people. Current legislation fails sex workers, who should be able to receive the same level of support from the police as other members of society.”

“Liverpool has introduced a supportive model of policing where sex workers are protected and intelligence about crimes against them is shared. This has led to a dramatic rise in convictions for those who commit crimes against this group. We hope that this model will be rolled out UK wide. We are also calling on government to implement a UK wide “Ugly Mugs” scheme so that intelligence about violent offenders can be shared between police forces.”

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Evening all, greetings from home where I have finally finished furiously packing for my trip back to the Green Isle for Christmas.

The article that I did with the Edinburgh newspaper was published this week.

http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/topstories/In-depth-Vice-girl-reveals.6660172.jp

As I said at the time of the interview, the journalist concerned wanted to do a day in the life whilst I wanted to talk about the impending proposed changes to Scottish legislation. We met half way I think and the important thing was I got the message across about what Trish Godman is trying to achieve.

Overall I've had overwhelming support and I'm delighted to have such good friends in the industry ( and outwith the industry for that matter ) to support me in everything I do.

I will continue to use each and every single platform I can possibly find to highlight the rights of sex workers and no amount of bitchery will disuade me, it's that simple.

For personal reasons ( relating to my private life ), today has been one of the best days of my life and I have never felt so content and happy. Tomorrow I am off to surround myself with family and friends for five days of blissful rest.

So Merry Christmas to one and all, very best wishes to all my clients and friends and I'll catch up with you when I get back.

Ll xx

Monday, 13 December 2010

A letter to the MSP's of The Scottish Parliament


Dear Sirs,

I write to voice my objection to the proposed changes to the law in relation to the purchase of sex in Scotland, ie : the private member's bill being proposed by Trish Godman. My name is Laura and I am an independent escort. I am not pimped, coerced or working under duress in any way. I am not labouring under any addiction, nor am I the product of an abusive background. I have been a sex worker for some 16 years and it's fair to say I love my job.

The first part of Trish Godman's opening statement makes for interesting reading ;

"People who buy sex do so of their own free will, whereas the majority of prostitutes are unwilling participants in this exchange of cash for sex."

Of what "majority" does she speak, exactly ? Over the years I have met women working at every level of the sex industry and in fact, it has been my experience that the vast majority of those women are happy in their work. Sure, there are days we dislike, the same as every other job, but the only women I have ever encountered who are truly unhappy are those who are drug addicted, or trapped through fear. This proposed legislative change does not take the above into account in any way, it seeks to prohibit the purchase of sex regardless of any circumstances.

Ms. Godman goes on to say ;

"Until the purchasers of sex are criminalised, individuals, families and communities will still suffer and organised crime profit."

How does my job supply "organised crime" ? I work perfectly legally, I pay my taxes and my national insurance and in fact the only people to benefit from the proceeds of my work ( aside from myself ) are the government, in collecting revenue.

Turning to Ms. Godman's next point -

"Some women have paid traffickers to bring them to a new country with the promise of a new life, while others are taken, for example, from poor families. Once trafficked, some women are forced into prostitution and denied contact with their families becoming “invisible” in the new country and denied access to services such as health care they may need. Most are tightly controlled with no freedom. Increasing isolation, fear and language difficulties make it hard to ask for help and escape their situation."

At last, a point on which Ms. Godman and I agree.

No right thinking person in this country would support the trafficking of women as little more than cattle, the practice is abhorrent and the full force of the law should be brought down on those found guilty. For me though, the crux of the matter is this - clandestine activity can only thrive in clandestine conditions. If the sex industry were to be fully decriminalised then it would be increasingly difficult for those who seek to abuse women to operate their despicable operations.

Amongst all of the horror stories of trafficking ( and let's make no mistake about it, it does exist ) there is also a community of sex workers like myself who truly enjoy our jobs and bring happiness into the lives of many men ( and women ) who may be widowed, disabled or in simple terms, lonely.

I say that the solution to the current issue of trafficked women ( and men ) is not to persecute those who choose to enter into consensual sex for payment but rather, to concentrate on those who are working against their will.

Ms. Godman seems to draw a lot of her information from Ann Hamilton and Glasgow City Council. To my mind it is simply not possible to "reduce demand" for sexual services. Ms. Hamilton would have us believe that reducing demand for such services is the way forward in reducing harm to sex workers. I submit that the correct approach is to look at reducing harm to sex workers by taking the stigma and the social exclusion away from the sex industry, so that both sex workers and clients can feel able to come forward and voice any concerns that they may have to the authorities. If the true aim of the proposed legislative changes is to protect the vulnerable within the sex industry then that is the only way forward.

As a woman who passionately believes in the rights of sex workers and also in the rights of women as a whole, I am more than happy to meet you and discuss what I have proposed.

In the meantime, I thank you for taking the time to read my submission and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Laura Lee.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Baggage, Boats and Bagpuss


Good evening all and greetings from Belfast where I arrived today having survived the onslaught of fresh snow. The timing was impeccable, I just arrived in the city as the snow started so managed to evade any dangerous driving. I got the boat from Stranraer and I'm very glad I did for two reasons -

1. Flights were cancelled between Glasgow and Belfast and ;

2. I can't be bothered with flight baggage weight.

Jeez, by the time I've packed all of my toys and laptop I'm already over the limit, never mind including clothes and personal stuff. I sprinted on to the boat having been stopped by Dumfries and Galloway's finest "Polis" for speeding. ( I really didn't mean to, I was singing along to The Pogues and Kirsty McColl ). Had it just been the male cop who stopped me I would have been fine, because he conducted an entire conversation with my breasts. His female partner on the other hand spotted the leather trousers and mop of hair getting out of the car and decided she was going to throw the proverbial book at me. Wonderful.

Never mind, I got the boat eventually and settled back in a recliner seat with a hot coffee to relax, intending to let someone else worry about navigation for a while, when I was startled out of my comfort zone of contentment with a shriek -

"HIYA!"

On a boat where there were literally scores of people for her to choose from, the one and only resident person of dubious intellect had chosen me, to wow with her various conspiracy theories. Brilliant.

"Did you know that they will let the boat sail if they find fewer than 20 faults ?"

"Is that right, aye ?"

"Oh yes, I mean we could be sitting on a time bomb here."

I could feel all levels of polite tolerance beginning to ebb away at an increasing speed so I excused myself and hid in the toilets for a while. No joy, when I came back she was still there.

In the end I told her I needed to drive to Co. Cork when we got to Belfast so really needed to sleep. Through the divine intervention of someone, that worked and when I woke up from my snooze she had cornered a terrified construction worker on the deck of the boat and was busy lecturing him on the dangers of tar to the lining of the lung. Result.

Never was I so glad to see my sparsely furnished and under heated hotel room, I could have bounced on the bed for joy. I had an afternoon appointment and then headed off to meet a guy I have met a number of times now. He picked me up and we went back to his apartment to play for a bit. In preparation he had some non-alcoholic mulled wine from M & S and some salmon on granary bread too, it was delish. Then the highlight of the evening - he introduced me to his custom made cross in the bedroom.

It was big, it was black and it had restraints at every juncture.

*Cue evil grin*


Without going into detail much fun was had by both parties ( cough ).

So tomorrow is another day, with appointments to fulfill and madness to evade, although the latter never seems to go according to plan.

I forgot to say, one of my Inverness chaps did a field report for me -

http://www.adultwork.com/ViewFieldReport.asp?FRID=36989

Thank you !! I had a great time too.

I'm off to jump into my Winnie the Pooh pyjamas and curl into my Bagpuss hot water bottle.

A girl's gotta have her comforts. ;)

LL xx

Friday, 3 December 2010

Shopping, Snow and Suits


The best thing about being a dominatrix ( inter alia ) is that the customer is always wrong.

No matter how hard he tries, that slave of mine only manages to try my patience. Last weekend as part of our "weekend of hell" we hopped on the train and headed to a town where he wouldn't be known, so we could play. In his "real" life, my subordinate has a position where people brown-nose him all day. I relish the task of taking him down a couple of pegs or two to counteract his sense of inflated ego and I do it with style. First off, I frog marched him to a beauty salon where he had his chest waxed. We told the beautician that he had lost a bet, hence I had to sit in on the session and watch him squirm whilst it was done. It was tremendous fun and actually, I think he rather liked the end result.

From there we headed off for some enforced shopping, it's every woman's dream - to be able to browse the aisles and bark orders at a submissive male to produce a card to pay for the finds. Humiliation must be a part of the process, so whilst we were busy having a very pretty basque wrapped, I quizzed the assistant.

"You wouldn't have him down as a cross dresser, would you really ?"

"Err, no. I suppose not."

"Come to think of it, I don't think you'd assume gay, either."

The look on her face was priceless as she tried to work out if I was serious or not and more to the point if my male companion was mortally offended. He was, and it was delicious.

On to Boots, where I was browsing the lubricants ( as you do ) and I asked him loudly; "Do you need any more lube for the gay gang bang ? Just asking like."

He hung his head and several sharp intakes of breath ensued. Wonderful stuff.

For his final humiliation, to my eternal delight I spied a children's fun fair and sent him down the helter skelter with an assortment of hyper active three year olds. If you knew the man and his demeanour, perhaps you'd understand why the mere memory of that and typing it out has my shoulders shaking with laughter and earl grey tea travelling in the general direction of my nose.

I love my job, and I love my guys, from the "vanilla" guys who bury their heads in my vales and hills to my subs who bury their heads in shame. That said, tonight I resemble Ian Paisley with a toothache. To describe me as "cross" would be to describe Hitler as "having some issues". I am tired, it has been a very busy day in Inverness. I am also wholly fed up, because I fail to understand why we live in a country that can send entire military forces into other countries to flush out extremists from the hills of Afghanistan, but we can't clear some fecking rail tracks. Unbelievable. All trains from Inverness are cancelled tomorrow until further notice.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm just off to the bar of the hotel to find some man in a suit to bitch at.

LL xx

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Legumes, London and Legalities


Evening all, I'm at home after a blissful afternoon spent rolling around with a new client, it was heaven in hold-ups. This weekend I'm off with my slave for some fun of a very different kind, involving hot wax and perhaps some root vegetables, heh heh. No more than that I will say ( for now ) but I'm away Friday to Monday.
( Which reminds me, I will be in London at the end of January, 27th and 28th - if you'd like to arrange a booking, do drop me an email. )

Before I come up with new and more inventive ways of antagonising my long suffering sub, I thought I'd share a link to this article with you, which I picked up on Punternet;

http://goodmenprojec...e-professional/

It's written by a lady called Charlotte Shane and below are some of the best quotes that had me nodding so hard I thought my head was going to disengage from my shoulders.

"Coercion is wrong, kidnapping is wrong, and hiring someone underage is wrong. There are men (and women) in the world who want to inflict suffering on others, and hiring a sex worker gives them an easy way to do it.

But I’m tired of seeing men and women buy into the lie that male sexuality is inherently violent and sadistic. My experience as sex worker has taught me the opposite.

Yes, I’ve met men who didn’t respect my boundaries and who harmed me, inadvertently or purposefully. But such men were few and far between, and I refused to see them again.

Not every man who visits a strip club, watches a clip of porn, or pays for sexual companionship wants to commit an act of violence against a woman. Rapists and murders are the ones who want to rape and strangle people; some of them hire escorts, some don’t.

When Melissa Farley tells The Economist that men who hire prostitutes “are not nice guys looking for a normal date. They regularly attempt to rape and strangle women,” she’s not talking about my experience. Farley’s cloudy thinking rests on the belief that a man’s sexual interest in a woman is fundamentally disrespectful, fundamentally abusive, and fundamentally wrong.

But what’s wrong is the stigma surrounding sex work. In the professional world, there is no other service arrangement in which clients are accused of hating those whom they hire. Not janitorial work, furniture moving, notoriously dangerous meat-factory work, or any other job that requires use of the service provider’s body in grueling, unhealthy ways.

There are many important conversations to be had about the sex industry, but I don’t believe those conversations will be beneficial unless they move beyond cartoonish depictions of villainous, lustful men victimizing innocent and vulnerable women.

I’m not claiming that my experience is representative of all sex workers, or even all sex-working women, but I know my experience is not entirely anomalous. I don’t regret selling sex for a variety of reasons—one of which is that it’s allowed me to meet many good men. And in doing so, it’s forever changed me for the better."


Well said and I couldn't agree more.

I was brimming over with enthusiasm having read a sensible and thought provoking article when the email I was dreading came in. Trish Godman is once again trying to push through some legislation to make it illegal to purchase sex in Scotland. The proposed bill in all it's glory is here ;

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/bills/MembersBills/documents/20101122CriminalisationofPurchaseofSex.pdf

..... so it looks like it's to battle once again, black leather gloves and PVC boots on for my sub for the weekend, and thereafter - gloves very definitely off for the prohibitionists and abolitionists.

LL xx

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Gorging and Graham Norton


Good evening all, it's another chilled out evening at home for me, having spent the early evening with a gentleman who took the time to read my profile and when I went to meet him greeted me with a box of "Black Magic". Splendid, girl cat and I are gorging ourselves in luxurious fashion whilst boy cat is out on patrol, defending the family honour, ( or something ). I've never in my life met a cat who likes licking raspberry parfait like girl cat, but there you are.

A couple of links for you, firstly Madam Becky did an interview which I thought was fantastic -

http://punternet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/12836-madam-becky-on-5-live-news/

Good on her for speaking out, I know she does a lot of work in public speaking to dispel some of the popular myths around prostitution, she is to be applauded for her courage. Also, my friend and yours, Jeremy Kyle, did a program which apparently "confronted the sex industry". Hmmm, I'll let you make your own mind up, here's the link ;

http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=191221

Finally, "Stap me vitals" !! All my prayers were answered when I picked up a copy of The Daily Telegraph and discovered that the agony aunt du jour was none other than ( wait for it ) Graham Norton. REALLY.

Here is one of the letters that was sent to him recently ;

"Dear Graham,

I'm thinking of sending my husband on a detox for a couple of weeks. He's getting fat and lazy and I've heard there's a fantastic clinic in Austria that deals with this. He's a successful freelance photographer so it's not going to be a problem for him taking the time off work and our children are at boarding school so they don't have to know anything about it. The course is expensive but I'm perfectly happy to pay for it and to drive him to and from the airport. That said, I know he'll try to resist.

Have you any ideas how I can coax him to take a step in the right direction ? I feel he's really not making the best of himself at the moment."


Well, as you know, I love a challenge and I feel compelled to write to Mr. Norton. The thing is, it has to get past the editors but at the same time I need to be suitably outraged or indignant at something or other.

Any ideas ?

LL xx

Friday, 19 November 2010

Belfast and blatant baiting


Good evening and greetings from Belfast where I am chilling out after a hectic couple of days. Today got off to a blinding start when I met a gentleman who asked me out for lunch but before I could tuck into my chicken fillets he had a nibble or two from moi, in fact it was quite a moment, lying back and being pleasured whilst enjoying the beautiful panoramic views of Belfast from his apartment.

It's apparent that the festive season is almost upon us, even the timewasters / idiots are in a good mood. Usually they hack me off, but this was new and unusual ;

"Hello, is that the Irish girl with toys?"

"Yes it is, how can I help you ?"

"Do you have a Bob the Builder truck with matching hard hat ?"

Ordinarily I would hang up, but quite honestly all I could do was guffaw, in fact
he did too, so it would seem we have a new breed of timewaster - the good natured variety.

The internet is pretty much essential for what I do, it allows me to speak with clients and let them know what I'm up to and of course there are message boards, as with every industry, where I can chat to fellow escorts and clients too. There's no doubt the internet has enhanced the sex industry, not least because of the excellent Saafe site, which provides support and advice for new escorts.

There is however, a dark side, those who post under hidden identities to cause trouble and try to belittle others. Recently a discussion began on Mumsnet about prostitution and there is no other word to describe it, gobsmacked is how I felt when I read the replies by some of the women. The first experience I had of such a debate was way back at the EHRC debate -

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/Scotland/give_prostitution_the_red_light_report__pdf_.pdf

It was watching Catherine Stephens speaking that night that inspired me to become an activist and campaign for the rights of sex workers. On the night itself, I was unable to challenge Julie Bindel or any of the other speakers because all questions had to be pre-submitted. There was an "open" questions and answers session at the end but although we had raised our hands, funnily enough the speaker never came to us. That night truly shocked me for a lot of reasons, I witnessed women turning on women and I couldn't believe the closed mindedness of the participants. What I didn't know, was that was nothing.

Since then I've had a few roastings on CIF, a radio call in show and a few emails from God fearing Christians for good measure. I've come to understand that they're not hurling insults at me personally, rather "The Prostitute" and I represent what they fear or in extreme cases, hate. I say "hate" because if you have 20 minutes or so to spare, the link to the Mumsnet thread is below and it is a real eye opener.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1080476-How-do-you-feel-about-prostitution

Amongst other things, as sex workers we were told that we ;

" ...collude in the oppression of hugely vulnerable women by virtue ( and I use that word very loosely) of their chosen profession."

Wow.

My response ;

That is absolutely untrue and one of the most offensive statements I have EVER read. I am an activist, working towards the decriminalisation of the sex industry so that there will be regulations which can be enforced. No woman in her right mind would ever support ( morally or otherwise ) the pond scum who traffick women against their will and make their lives a misery.

What we need to do is bring prostitution out of the dark ages, it is because there is so much stigma attached that the underground activity of trafficking thrives. Women are afraid to come forward and report attacks and seek help, because they will forever be on police file as a "known prostitute". This will stop them applying for other jobs in the future.

As a woman who was "outed" I felt first hand the stinging hypocrisy of the do-gooders who thought they were morally superior to me. Since then I have worked hard to gain recognition for the women who choose to enter our profession and more importantly, I have campaigned for better legislation to protect the women who are forced into it.

Any number of posters can make any amount of assumptions about me or my fellow prostitutes but you have NO RIGHT to suggest for one minute that I or any of my fellow prostitutes condone or even collude in the oppression of fellow women. To suggest that we approve of women being treated like little more than cattle is nothing short of disgusting.


Ho hum.

If there's one thing I've learnt on t'internet, it's to respond to reasoned debate and ignore blatant fishing expeditions, those who try and bait. In the end, it's been my experience that given enough rope they usually hang themselves in spectacular fashion anyway. This must be why I have so many boy pals, you see boys don't bitch, they punch the "offender" squarely on the jaw and less than half an hour later they are to be found chuckling together at the bar. Way to go.

Anyway, rather than storm onto Mumsnet and tell them all to "suck my trousers", ( don't ask, just nod ) I plan on being a busy girlie this evening. I have not long said goodbye to one of the most handsome firemen I have ever set eyes on. ( If you believe in karma, he was my payback for the Bob the Builder call ).

He says he's off to do a night shift; this hotel room is not going to catch fire by itself. ;)

LL xx

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Octopi and Other thoughts


What is it about paid sex that turns your average suited and booted middle class client into a raging lunatic ? I've never been able to fathom that one. They will enter the room and do the mandatory perfunctory greeting ; "Hello darling, David. We spoke on the phone", followed by a divorcee's air kiss. As soon as the briefcase is set to one side, the cuff links are undone and the cash exchanged, "David" will undergo a metamorphosis resulting in Olly The Octopus.

( I don't expect the menfolk who read my blog to understand that analogy, just trust me, it is a very real phenomena. )

"Oh you're a dirty girl, aren't you ? Look at you there, all draped in your dirty lingerie, you're just begging for it, aren't you ?"

"Yes, but if you could get off my hair and probably stop digging your nails into my love handles that would be lovely".

Splendid stuff and all variants of delicious madness, which is why I love it.

Anyway, fabulous news and just erm .. news.

Fabulous news: With the George square lights and skating rink about to be put on, it's that time of the year for: "Neds on Ice!" no doubt we'll see some of the best tracksuit and buckfast drinkers Glasgow has to offer. Fantastic.

Chelsea, Chardonnay and Destiny will once again adorn the ice and dazzle us all with their triple spins and Elizabeth Duke sovereign rings. I'm nominating Glasgow for City of Culture 2011 if someone else hasn't got there before me.

News : Continuing in the vein of honesty - I had a "moment" the other day and decided to telephone the governing body of the subject I'm studying. Because I'm now in year two, it would be a bit of a waste of everyone's time if I get to the end of my studies and some egg head decrees "Actually because of your dark and murky past you may not proceed".

Imagine then if you will, the face of the lady in "enquiries" when I called.

"Hello, my name is Laura. I'm a student in year two. I am also an escort. Will that be a problem on qualification do you think ?"

( I just know she couldn't wait to tell Linda in accounts. )

"Err, no, provided you meet with our professional standards."

"Splendid".

Unfortunately, she also went on to explain that after I qualify I will need to do a three year doctorate. Oh joy. So the upshot of it all is, if I want to see this thing through to the end I will be in my early forties when I qualify. Brilliant.

I'm not sure why that has freaked me out so much, after all I could still have a 20 year career thereafter, but I had a timeframe in mind and that wasn't it. So it's heads down in prossying and in books for a longer time than I imagined, but hey ho, that's life, right ?

Finally and before I google "life coach online", I spent last weekend in York and it was fantastic. I was with Mr F on Friday night and some other chums over the weekend too. I dragged some willing "volunteers" on a ghost walk but I'm afraid the only ghosts we saw were the apparitions calling themselves "teenagers" on their way to the pub.

Game season is in full swing ( something I learnt to my detriment the other day on my way to my pal Caitlin's house - suicidal grouse a go-go ) so when we got to the restaurant in York our choices were game, pigeon, or game. Having had the opportunity to meet the fantabulous Sabrina of York, we had a chuckle when the harrassed waitress emerged from the kitchen shouting " GAME - WHO ORDERED GAME ?"

Perhaps if she'd shouted "WHO'S ON THE GAME?" it would have had a ring of veracity about it and more of a response.

LL xx

Monday, 8 November 2010

Note to anti-prostitutionists: Sex worker movements are nothing to sneer at


I am reproducing this post on behalf of Laura Agustin, because she would like as much publicity as possible.

Ordinarily I avoid ideological debates, but this time I had to chime in, because the author of a nutty Swedish book actually lied about me in it. I don’t mean she distorted my ideas - that is conventional amongst feminists who feel they are engaged in a battle to the death about prostitution. No, this was a lie about me and my life: she described me as an employee of the Network for Sex Work Projects, and the company publishing her book didn’t get anyone to check her facts - even about living people, which is reprehensible. Since I am independent with a highly precarious income, and because my opinions are only my own, I could not allow the lie to go uncontested.

The book’s an attack on two activities: commercial sex and surrogate motherhood. The drivel about me is a very small part of the book, which also provides an egregiously selective and ideologically driven version of the history of sex worker rights movements. I decided to use the publishing opportunity to provide a more honest, if still very brief, version, complete with links to the evidence - probably the first such thing published in Sweden. The original book title can’t be translated exactly but means something like Being and Being a Product - the idea of commodification.

Here now is the English version of the piece, with its original title, changed (of course!) by the Newsmill editor to Kajsa Ekis Ekmans okunnighet om sexarbetare är skrämmande (KEE’s ignorance about sex workers is frightening). I would appreciate everyone disseminating this, please: Nowadays it is possible to virally combat disinformation.

Radical feminist pleasure in sex worker misfortunes: not a pretty picture
Laura Agustín, 24 October 2010, Newsmill.se
At international events, radical feminist campaigners point and whisper about their enemies: She’s paid by the sex industry, you know. Or by the global pornographers. Or: She’s a known associate of traffickers. Disinformation as a technique is common in espionage, malicious election campaigns and rabid crusades to manipulate the emotions of an uninformed public. Disinformation means the deliberate telling of lies or the omission of key information.

If Kajsa Ekis Ekman in Varat och varan did not deliberately lie about me, then her research ability is very bad indeed. I have lived in Malmö for two years, my blog with its contact form is easily found. Ekman could have checked her facts with me personally but chose not to.

I am not, as Ekman claims, ‘an employee of the lobby organisation (anställd av lobbyorganisationen) Network of Sex Work Projects – which she could also have verified on their website. I am an independent researcher, writer and speaker, working freelance and best known for Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry (Zed, London). Ekman avoids mentioning this title, called by The New Statesman ‘one of the most important books on migration published in recent years’. Neither this book nor the previous one, written in Spanish, are correctly described, in Ekman’s words, as ‘books about trafficking as a media myth’ (böcker om trafficking som mediemyt).

Anyone looking at the the publisher’s website can see that Sex at the Margins does not say we should ’stop talking about trafficking’ (sluta tala om trafficking), but rather that all migrant women who sell sex do not feel themselves to be total victims and that to drastically label everyone that way disempowers the migrants whilst increasing the power of people – like Ekman – who believe they Know Best how everyone else should live. I did not ‘christen trafficking victims “migrant sex workers” (döper traffickingoffer till »migrerande sexarbetare«) however. Ekman failed to notice in her own research that Tampep, funded by the European Commission, began in 1993 (long before I appeared on the scene) as European Network for HIV/STI Prevention and Health Promotion among Migrant Sex Workers.

Citing quotations out of context is a standard tactic of unscrupulous crusaders. Given that I have published 50-odd articles and essays, apart from a blog, Ekman clearly went out of her way to find a paragraph that, removed from its context, would make me sound like a monster. When asked to write for a book called Women and the Politics of Place, where other authors were writing about women’s attachment to local geographies, I made an argument about cosmopolitanism as a ‘place’ migrants inhabit (thus the title ).
Lies about me are ultimately unimportant (though I do treasure my independence): my reputation will not be ruined by an ideologue’s rantings. Leopard Förlag say they publish history, social debate and popular science (historia, samhällsdebatt och populärvetenskap). Ekman’s must belong to the debate category, since she is no historian. But for any category, Leopard had the editorial duty to check claims about living persons and prevent authors from engaging in disinformation - or doing such poor-quality research. Did Leopard not send Ekman’s manuscript out for review?

Distortions and omissions about a social movement are more important to uncover. Ekman pretends to give a history of a complex movement she despises, rights for sex workers. But ethical, competent historians, whether academics, journalists or popular writers, simply do not manipulate their material through selections and omissions in order to make a political point. When I am sent papers to review or edit that bristle with this kind of selective presentation of facts and polemical tone, I return them for rethinking, restructuring and rewriting. In a case like Ekman’s, I do not list all the errors, omissions and out-of-context citations – it would take too long. Instead, I provide some examples and expect the author to understand the lesson and do the research properly.

For many serious activists, theorists, researchers, social workers, epidemiologists, psychologists, policymakers and feminists the world over, the struggle of marginalised people who call themselves sex workers to have a voice in debates that concern them is nothing to laugh at. The movement focusses on health rights, sexual rights, labour rights, individual rights or human rights, according to the time and place.
Eurocentrically, Ekman focusses on a few countries near Sweden, but this rights movement has roots all over the world: Empower was founded in Bangkok in 1985, in 1986 in Uruguay, the New Zealand Collective of Prostitutes in 1987, Rede Brasileira de Prostitutas in 1987, among numerous examples. Many of these groups were set up before the Internet made it easy to ‘network’, advertise or disseminate information on problems and principles. DMSC, founded in Kolkata in 1995, now has 65 000 sexworker members from the most disadvantaged social classes. AMMAR has been part of national labour union CTA in Argentina since 1996.

The movement does not have a single centre or directing board. According to local cultures and needs, arguments for rights as sex workers are couched differently. Sometimes the argument revolves around sexual rights, as with the South American project Ciudadanía Sexual. Sometimes, human rights are the basis of demands, as with Cambodian activists’ protests against police that force people into compulsory rehabilitation programmes. None of the organisations claims to represent sex workers as a general category; all know this would be impossible in the criminalised, stigmatised contexts where most people sell sex. What they do is bring together people with similar values, interests and demands, sometimes physically but often online. Note that some of these activists call themselves prostitutes, suggesting that Ekman has not understood that this movement’s core is not about changing words.

By reducing this movement to the only aspect that matters to her – ideology - Ekman distorts – or failed to understand – the history of debates on Violence Against Women at the UN level. She seems not to know that an official statement was made on trafficking and prostitution in the Vienna Declaration on Violence Against Women in 1993, in order to distinguish between genuine victims and people not totally coerced. She appears ignorant of the lively and conflictive prostitution debates at the Beijing Conference on Women in 1995, whose final Platform for Action called for fighting forced prostitution and trafficking, not prostitution itself. Omitting these key events in contemporary feminist history, Ekman makes Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Radhika Coomaraswamy’s use of both terms, sex worker and forced prostitution, sound like part of an arbitrary and sinister conspiracy.

In Sweden Ekman can get away with sneering at harm reduction, but she cannot begin to comprehend its importance in the rest of the world. Does she really believe harm-reduction theory and practice should not be used to decrease the incidence of HIV amongst marginalised populations in Asia? Grassroots networks of both drug users and sex workers have increasingly been influential in fora such as the International Harm Reduction Association, using principles of sexual self-determination and bodily autonomy. Scarlet Alliance, founded in 1989, is a network of sex worker organisations participating in Australia’s Federation of AIDS Organisations and using health promotion approaches, including peer education, community development and advocacy. Sex workers in Ghana receive HIV-prevention support on the basis that they are a Most-at-Risk Population, like men who have sex with men and transgender people.

The Ghanaian sex workers call themselves a union, by the way. Ekman tries to debunk the very idea of labour unions for sex workers through selective research in Europe, particularly through a parochial hatred of the Netherlands (long associated with several kinds of harm reduction). Although she claims to have spent two years on this research, most of the information she presents is available on organisation webpages. Her insinuation that the whole movement has been engineered by a few Dutch activists is sign of a true neocolonialist mindset: implying that people outside Europe are incapable of organising themselves or choosing the principles they believe in.

Ekman cherry-picked the European history, too – unless she simply failed to discover it. Sneering that the ICRSE ‘don’t really act anywhere’ (agerar inte fackligt någonstans), Ekman reveals an inability to comprehend that advocacy and social movements without significant funding function online in most of the world, through email discussion lists, skype conference calls and social networking software. Ekman sees only part of the ICRSE website, because she is not a member. Although she ridicules an early conference held in Brussels in 1986, how did she manage to omit a direct ancestor of that event held in Brussels in 2005? The ICRSE was founded at this conference attended by 120 sex workers and 80 ngo allies from around Europe.

There is no need for me to exaggerate what has been achieved in a movement beset by opponents at every turn. There is also no excuse for Ekman to sneer, in an unfeminist, unsolidary way, at the efforts of activists who do not happen to share her manichean world view. Why does Ekman want to smear this movement? Why does she hate people who advocate for their right to self-determination? Why does she lash out at people attempting to reduce the spread of HIV? Why should she appear to gloat when a sex-worker union (Comisiones Obreras in Barcelona) fails to attract members?

By focussing on Europe, Ekman tries to make all sex worker unions sound ridiculous, but she fails to understand that traditional trades unions are but one method for organising and advocating for rights. It may well be that classic trade unions are not the associative model destined to characterise the sex worker rights movement. Unionisation in all industries has weakened and diminished in most countries. In the case of the sex industry, the effort is severely impaired by numerous factors Ekman doesn’t understand. When businesses operate in informal economies, workers are hard put to negotiate with them. When people who sell sex are migrants without work permits and legal status to live somewhere, unions seem irrelevant. While the stigma attached to being a prostitute is so strong, most don’t want to label themselves, register with the state or otherwise assume a professional identity.

Ekman’s errors about London’s IUSW (part of the national GMB trades union) could have been avoided through a little real research rather than reliance on an old quarrel in the British blogosphere. She could even have consulted me, as I was once an active member. The man she accuses of running the show never did; the figure she provides on membership is seven years out of date. Since the GMB allows managers to join all its branches, the fact that an escort-agency manager joined is less significant and sinister than Ekman would like readers to think. She seeks to discredit STRASS in France by citing data from an abolitionist group without giving the date of its document, which anyway cannot be found at the webaddress she provides (note 167).

Ekman’s pleasure in other’s misfortunes - schadenfreude- is deeply unattractive. In a recent decision in Ontario that struck down several discriminatory aspects of prostitution law, the judge observed about ‘expert witness’ Melissa Farley:

Dr. Farley’s choice of language is at times inflammatory and detracts from her conclusions. . . Dr. Farley stated during cross-examination that some of her opinions on prostitution were formed prior to her research. . . For these reasons, I assign less weight to Dr. Farley’s evidence.

The judge would undoubtedly dismiss Ekman’s evidence, too, as should all critical readers.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

A time for honesty .....


Good evening and greetings from Inverness where Spandex Susan and I have arrived
having sailed up the A9 belting out some hits from my new "Celine Dion's Greatest Hits" album. Amongst her many talents, Susan is a karaoke queen so we enjoy a joint warble as the mood takes us, caring not a jot for the bemused looks from fellow motorists.

Halloween is almost upon us and the annual search for my little darling's costume gets more difficult with every passing year. It was so easy when she was two and I could stuff her into a pumpkin costume. Everyone thought she was adorable, gave her some sweets that I wouldn't allow her in a blind fit and it was "fait accompli" until the following year. But not this year, oh no.

" I want to be Cheryl Cole."

"Um, she's not very scary though, is she ?"

"Derrr, dead Cheryl Cole obviously."

Right. Why couldn't she be a feckin' witch like every other little girl ? I could have wept. So we set off on yet another shopping trip ( reason number 3,417 why I'm glad I'm an escort ) and at some point along the way we managed to gain another little princess who had been furnished with cash from her grateful ( if not cleverer than I ) parents whose daughter wanted to be a dead cheerleader. Great.

I was browsing the make-up whilst the girls tore the shop apart looking for their elusive costumes when I heard it. It's a sentence I always knew would come up, and I always thought I'd be prepared.

Princess of Other Parents : "I love dressing up, don't you ?"

My little cub : "Oooh, me too. You should see the clothes my Mum has, my Mum is Laura Lee."

After I picked myself up from the shop floor I realised I needed to break up that conversation, and quickly.

"RIGHT, WHO FANCIES MCDONALD'S ?"

Squeals of delight followed and after I had dropped the other little lady off, I sat down with mini-me.

"We need to talk".

There has always been a moral dilemma for me in what I do, in that I love my job but I am acutely aware of the prejudice and stigma that exists and the way children can behave towards each other. For that reason, prior to that moment, I had never told my mini teenager what I do.

On the other hand, I am an activist for sex worker's rights. I advocate the decriminalisation of my job so that in time, society will become more accepting of us as individuals and also as a group. So hiding it from my daughter makes me a hypocrite and hypocrisy doesn't sit well with me, AT ALL.

I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of it but suffice to say my daughter now knows -

- that I would never lie to her unless I absolutely had to and it was for her own protection, although she knew that already.

- that I am an escort and I provide companionship for men, ( bear in mind she is still of the opinion that sex is appalling, long may that last. )

- that some people find what I do morally reprehensible and in fact despise me for it.

- that I would never do something which I consider to be morally wrong, ergo my choice of profession.

- that my profession is the reason we had to leave our last home town, so it's not that I'm ashamed of what I do, but it's probably best if we don't blast it around at the next parent-teacher meeting.

In time, and as she gets older, she'll come to understand fully what the term "escort" means. I'll deal with that as it comes. For now, I'm so proud of her I could burst.

“Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.”

LL xx

Friday, 22 October 2010

A letter to Margo MacDonald

Dear Ms. MacDonald,

Firstly let me apologise for not being able to meet you in person. It would have been a privilege but unfortunately on the date of the meeting I will be away with a long-standing client in The Highlands.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out the downsides to being a sex worker in Scotland. The law as it stands is nonsensical in my view. One lady working from an apartment is permitted whilst if two ladies work from that apartment ( for mutual security and support ) it is considered a brothel.

Historically, sex workers have been easy targets for psychopaths because we have been isolated from the main body of society through -

A ) our enforced working practices, working in a clandestine fashion; and

B ) the stigma we encounter through our career choice and ;

C) the fact that we are seen as easy targets, unlikely to report any attacks to the police.

I find it incredible that the law as it stands places sex workers in such appalling danger. I frequently work from various apartments and hotels and am so discreet that I have never had an issue, I do not cause "anti-social" behaviours or draw attention to myself in any way.

I fail to understand why the law as it stands persecutes adults who indulge in paid for consensual sex.

I also fail to understand why there are such glaring differences in the different regions of Scotland, at the moment it would seem that the law is being applied very differently depending on where you are. In Edinburgh, there has always been a level of tolerance which is to be applauded, the parlours that operate there have done so for many years and as I understand it, pay an annual licence fee to Edinburgh City Council. Far from interfering in the day to day running of parlours, I am told that the police will visit the parlours on a regular basis and check that the girls are there of their own volition and quite happy in their work. That is the way it should be.

Conversely in Glasgow, at the moment parlours are being shut down en masse and the police have been raiding various "working flats". Why is there such a stark contrast ?

There is no doubt that is there is an issue with trafficking in Scotland as there is throughout the UK but those who oppose prostitution have a history of grossly inflating already unreliable statistics to suit their own agenda. The solution is not to further criminalise the sex trade but rather to decriminalise and regulate it, so that those who seek to circumvent the law can be more easily apprehended, after all they have to advertise somewhere. As it stands I can purchase a newspaper with the numbers for any and all of the local working flats therein, if there is another attempt to prohibit advertising such as the previous suggestion tabled by Trish Godman then the whole industry will be driven further underground. At that point, I believe, the real "nasties" will appear, offering "protection" for ladies.

The sex industry is never simply going to go away, no matter how Ann Hamilton would have us believe that "reducing demand" is the solution. It is simply not possible to reduce demand for sexual services, what we should be looking at doing instead is reducing harm to the many sex workers in the UK, caused in the main by shoddy legislation.

Finally, why is it acceptable to have a record of a woman as a "known prostitute" when it comes to applying for jobs and completing a "disclosure Scotland" check ? I don't see any other legal occupation being recorded in such a manner.

Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss any of the points I have raised, I would be delighted to speak to you.

Yours sincerely,

Laura Lee

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Whore with more


Yep, that's me.

One of the first things I say to a new lady becoming an escort is -

"The most important attributes are a good sense of humour, the patience of a saint and an open mind."

Since I've come back to the helm I've met some lovely guys but my fondest memories will always be the more "quirky" bookings.

One of my all time faves was a former champion wrestler, ( when I say champion, it was at regional level and many years ago ). He began the appointment by flinging me on the bed and pinning my legs behind my head. This was so he could pleasure me with his tongue, apparently. The fact that I had no sensation from the waist down at that juncture was by the by.

Eventually, my legs were released and he began to gently tease me into a state of erotic arousal by plummeting his tongue in the general direction of my middle ear. Divine.

The final act of immeasurable passion was the kiss, ( wrestlers do everything in reverse, you know ). If I had to describe it, I would say it was akin to the dying breaths of a deeply distressed goldfish, flapping about on a pavement, combined with the odd sharp nip with his incisors to my top lip. I tried, I REALLY tried to kiss him back but there was no rhythm or sense to it all and by the time I had caught up with him he was busy slowly suffocating me by placing his mouth over my entire nose.

It's at times like that that the phrase - " I never did mind about the little things" comes in very useful. A relaxing post coital cuddle later, he left with a smile firmly plastered across his face whilst I headed for the bathroom in search of some "deep heat".

LL xx

Addendum : He was one of the loveliest men I have ever met, and the woman who settles down with him with be very lucky, she just needs to hold him by the ears and teach him how to kiss.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

On the road again and Orangutans


Good afternoon, having been purple, then blue, green and finally a very fetching shade of autumnal yellow, I'm back. I cannot begin to tell you how good it feels to be going back on tour tomorrow, I thought I was going to go stir crazy at home. ( Amanda suggested a live feed but I told her quite bluntly what she could do with that idea. ) It was quite something when the dressings came off, suffice to say that I don't know what I'd do without the wonderful support of my family and friends.

I used the time wisely and caught up with some studying, lots of sleep and finally finished off the piece I was doing with a journalist in Edinburgh. She wanted to do a "day in the life" of an escort and I wanted to talk about the nonsensical legislation, so we met half-way, although I haven't seen the finished article yet.

I mentioned before I went off that there was an article in the Daily Mail which raised my hackles, ( quelle surprise ). There's a link to the article here ;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1315501/Prostitution-How-did-oldest-profession-career-choice-middle-class-girls.html

I did compose a response but it never appeared, humph. Happily, a gentleman who reads my blog sent me an email in response and I have his permission to share some of the content with you ;

Like you I was disappointed at Melanie Phillips column in the Daily Mail(which I do normally read- tune out the worst of the rabble-rousing and it’s a good read). Like so many commentators who pontificate on the subject she apparently sees nothing wrong in being very selective in what aspects she selects to support her arguments while disregarding vast swathes of information that doesn’t suit her purposes.

For a start I’m baffled how on earth she can claim that Chloe from the X-Factor is glamorising prostitution- class and glamour are not the first words that come to mind when I see a photo of her! As for banning her from the programme, something that no-one(either for or against) that I saw mentioned in that debate was how Simon Cowell could have prohibited her from working while appearing on the X-Factor given that prostitution isn’t illegal. Would have been an interesting case if she’d taken him to court for attempting to restrict her earnings. Although I think it unlikely that she was declaring her income to HMRC...though they’ll be taking an interest now!

Like so many writers on the subject Phillips has picked out examples of escorts from the media that her readers will be familiar with, while using the figures about street workers drug habits, pimps and being victims of violence to reinforce the poor image of sex industry workers.

She claims that one of the problems with prostitution is that “it treats the female body with at best indifference and at worst contempt.” I accept that my experiences and my mentality about it won’t be the same as all punters, but I certainly wasn’t indifferent or contemptuous about the ladies I met(I defy any man to be indifferent when alone in the boudoir with Dollymopp...), and I hope they felt the same. I like to think that attentive and pleased would be better descriptors.

It’s been mentioned before how these ardent feminists rabidly shoot down any comments or arguments that don’t agree with their viewpoint- “you’re involved so you don’t know what’s best for you”, “as a man who buys women you’re biased” or “you’re a man so you can’t comment on this” for example(the latter 2 I’ve had thrown at me when I’ve commented on various stories. And no, I don’t buy women, they’re kind enough to allow me to spend some time with them), Surely feminism started because women wanted to make their own mind up about what they want to do and how they do it? Rather than as we have now, being told by other women(as opposed to men) what they can do.

Phillips also writes that it’s terrible how morals are changing so that things that were previously frowned upon such as prostitution, having kids out-with marriage or homosexuality are now being accepted. I find this interesting in a paper that also rails(rightly in my opinion) against current day politicians issuing grovelling apologies for slavery, Empire etc on the basis that standards, morals, call them what you will, have changed over the last two hundred years and so can’t be judged as immoral by us now from our different standpoint. Things change, and by not accepting that we hold ourselves back.

One of the final lines from Phillips, which I feel sums up both her article and modern aggressive feminism was “these early feminist warriors all agreed prostitution was a form of slavery.” Then as now, nobody seems to have asked the ladies themselves what they thought...


Very well said Sir, and thank you for your kind best wishes too. :)

While I'm at it, thank you to everyone who has sent me get well wishes, I really was and am very touched. I now have enough Thornton's chocolate to open a small wholesalers, but am down to the coffee ones that no-one likes, although girl cat licked a couple of them, ( we were recovering on the sofa together). I really must review hygiene standards in this abode of mine.

Tomorrow I'm off to Carlisle with Spandex Susan ( her new title ). After that it's Belfast and then up to Inverness with Amanda too, I cannot wait to be with the girls again, I've missed them so much it's unreal, although of course I will deny that vehemently. ;) A card arrived this morning from Bristol BBWClaire with a very rude key-ring therein, it had me howling with laughter, nutty woman. Thank you.

Ok I'm off to pack my frillies and commence the longest beauty session in history, so that I begin to resemble a woman again as opposed to an orangutan.

LL xx

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Pussycats and Painters


Afternoon all, whilst I was in Newcastle, Susan and I wandered around some shops and I bought a new book to read whilst I'm resting up over the next couple of weeks -

"Women who kill", by Vanessa Howard.

- quite fitting really for my mood at the end of a tortuous week.

Girl cat went to the vets this week to be neutered and came back very much the worse for wear, in fact it's fair to say I have never felt so sorry for a little creature in my life. She was stumbling around being sick repeatedly and to make matters worse, boy cat took great exception to her, presumably because she smelled of the vets. Oh joy. Much of the next couple of days were spent on kitty patrol trying to stop him hissing and growling at her, although as Godawful as she felt, she hissed right back at him, she's a gutsy wee lady - one of the reasons I love her to pieces.

It was with a heavy heart that I hit the road with the girlies for the last tour before my time off.

We arrived in Newcastle and were rather excited because we had booked a new hotel which looked great on the net ( our usual was fully booked ). We walked into reception and my first thought was "Oh s*%t". It was Deadsville, Tennessee, population = two very nosey receptionists who were growling at us over their screens. ( We had obviously interrupted their quality time on Facebook. )

Not to be deterred, we booked in and headed off to our rooms, the whole place was undergoing renovation and as I stepped out onto my floor I was met by two grinning Geordies, resplendant in white overalls and a dazzling array of tattoos.

"Oiya".

Good grief.

They were right outside where my gentlemen callers would have to come out of the lift to get to my room. I could have wept. Not only that, but it was the first hotel I have ever stayed in where the chamber maids are still cleaning rooms at 4pm !?! They were cheerful souls though, cracking "funny" jokes amongst themselves and singing along to their portable radio with gusto. I happened to be passing on my way to breakfast whilst one of them was singing along to "Careless Whisper". He was making a pretty good job of it too, falsetto if you don't mind. I tutted loudly - "How gay".

You can just imagine the response I got to that, to insinuate a Newcastle man is anything approaching "soft" is to take your life in your hands. The lift doors closed in the nick of time methinks.

There's so much more I wanted to talk about like Ontario throwing out their laws on prostitution ( splendid ) and the recent article in the Daily Mail by Melanie Phillips ( anything but splendid ), but as I'm going to have quite a lot of time on my hands over the next couple of weeks, there's plenty of time for that.

For now I need to rationalise my fears about tomorrow in my mind ; it's quite routine, but it's my woman bits, I think that's what's scaring me the most. I need to get it into context and remember the women who didn't get the same news as I did and are facing an uphill battle.

I found this quote this morning and rather liked it ;

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything…
But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the better of her…
But a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…
A woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be unexpected blessings, and capitalises on them.

A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face…
But a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…
But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.


LL xx

P.S : You may have noticed I have done my availability diary and tour dates right up until the first week in December. Some may call that being anally retentive, I call it being organised.

Money and Power: Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Scotland


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCYIJCGO2Gw

Interesting viewing.

"9 out of 10 sex workers want to exit the industry".

Well of course they do, when they are working on the freezing cold streets night after night, with no support from the police forces, let alone local government agencies. Instead of asking desperate, drug addicted women who work on the streets what they thought of their overall circumstances, perhaps they should have taken the
time to ask a reasonable representation of the sex industry as a whole, to include independant escorts and those women who choose to work from home / a flat.

One of the women interviewed said that she had been attacked and raped in the past, and that some of the other women known to her had endured far worse. Instead of blaming the "sex industry" for the horrendous crimes perpetrated against these women, why not take a look at the shoddy legislation instead ? Had these women been allowed to work from a flat in pairs so as to increase the safety aspect, would those attacks have happened ?

The core problem with the sex workers interviewed is that the sex industry is for them, a means to an end. There is no acknowledgement of the fact that for many other sex workers it is an informed decision taken on their part after much research.

Andrea Beavon, domestic abuse co-ordinator for Scottish Borders Council said -

“People feel that it is a choice women have, but the reality is that it is a tool used by the sex industry to make you think it is okay."

Actually, for me it is ok, and it has been for years. What is not ok, is to continue to persecute consenting adults who indulge in paid sex. The resources utilised in doing so would be far better placed seeking and maintaining help for those women who are drug addicted and who place themselves in danger night after night because the law prohibits them from working together in safety and because they have a crippling addiction to feed.

"Alastair Robertson, training co-ordinator for Forth Valley Violence Against Women partnerships, who also features in the seven-minute film, said men have to take more responsibility for their actions.

He said: “Men are the ones with the choice here - they choose to view porn on the internet, or buy a prostitute.."

Actually, the men do not "buy a prostitute", they rent our skills. The next time I have one of my subs hog-tied with clothes pegs on his nipples, I'll remind him of how downtrodden and abused I feel, shall I ?

Linda Thompson, from the Women’s Support Project said -

“These results show the normalisation that is taking place in this country - sexual exploitation is just widely accepted, and it should not be."

Sexual exploitation is NOT acceptable and never has been. Sex workers who campaign for decriminalisation do so because those who feel victimised or pressured into the industry will be enabled to come forward and speak to the authorities. What benefit is there to a woman who has been attacked to go to the Police at the present time ? They may investigate and even catch the perpetrator, but the reality is that the complainant will be on police records as a "known prostitute", so if and when she did wish to apply for a job, a "Disclosure Scotland" check will go against her.

So as it stands, the current legislation -

1) Makes it impossible for a sex worker to work in safety, and

2) Ensures that if said worker looks for an exit, many attempts to do so will be blocked.

For those claiming to be concerned with the welfare of sex workers, there is something very wrong with that structure.

LL xx

Monday, 27 September 2010

IUSW Press Release


The International Union of Sex Workers
Monday 27th September 2010

“It’s time to accept prostitution” – say the British public.

A survey carried out as part of yesterday’s BBC1 Sunday Morning Live discussion, featuring Catherine Stephens of the IUSW, Bel Mooney of the Daily Mail and Mehdi Husan of the New Statesman showed overwhelming public support for accepting prostitution:
71% yes, 29% no.

This echoes a government funded Ipsos MORI poll in June 2008: almost six in ten (59%) agreed that "prostitution is a perfectly reasonable choice that women should be free to make". [1]

In the Sunday Morning Live debate, Stephens repeatedly argued that policy that solves problems is based on evidence and in reality, not on ideology, dramatic individual cases and stereotypes.

Stigmatisation of sex workers plays a large part in violence and trafficking.

Clients are not the problem: evidence shows that the majority of robbery, abuse and physical or sexual violence experienced by sex workers comes from those who do not pay for sex. [2] Many assailants express hatred of sex workers and appear to feel their actions are legitimated by the social attitudes of abhorrence for commercial sex.

More than a third of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation report that fear of being exposed as a sex worker played a part in the coercion they experienced. [3]

In a study of nearly 500 sex workers, researching issues of power, exploitation and control, 1 in 4 women said that they had, at some point, felt physically threatened. More - 30% - had experienced "other threats “…in almost all cases, [this] was the threat of being publicly exposed as a sex worker.” [4]

Catherine Stephens, a sex worker for 10 years and an activist with the International Union of Sex Workers says, “It’s time to start treating women with respect and equality, regardless of their sexual behaviour. It’s time to give people in the sex industry the same human rights as other citizens, so we can work together for safety, and call the police without fear of arrest. It’s time to decriminalise prostitution.”

References:
[1] http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/poll.aspx?oItemId=2308
[2] Violence and Sex Work in Britain, Hilary Kinnell, Willan Publishing, 2008
[3]Globalisation of Crime: A transnational organised crime threat assessment, UNODC, 2010
[4] Beyond gender: an examination of exploitation in sex work, Suzanne Jenkins, Keele University, 2009
See Sunday Morning Live Sunday 26th September 2010
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00v1pns/Sunday_Morning_Live_Episode_11/

Friday, 17 September 2010

Porter and Prostitution


Greetings from Inverness where I have landed having deftly avoided the Pope and his entourage, I hope he'll find it in his heart to forgive me when I throttle the drunk piper directly under my window.

I'm trying to catch up on - well everything really, because I have been very busy, the scaletrix of escorts this past while. I've been up and down the M8 "like a bride's nightie",( one of my Nan's fave expressions ). I'm not complaining mind, especially on foot of my outcall the other night to a tall handsome doctor, oh yes. True job satisfaction, the beauty of doctors is they know what a clitoris is and further, they're aware that sinking their teeth is not going to induce a state of arousal, more aggression than anything else.

Speaking of aggression, what is WRONG with some people ? I'm aware that when I'm working hard and am tired I can get narky, who doesn't ? I've never seen the need for outright rudeness, however.

"Big Issue ?"

"No thanks mate."

"Well fuck you then."

Je-sus. How to make friends and influence people, NOT. In stark contrast to that pillar of society outside my local supermarket, this week I began doing an interview with an Edinburgh based newspaper, which is a work in progress and will probably be out in a couple of weeks. That's all I'm allowed say for now because believe it or not, apparently journalists steal ideas and stories from one and other. Gawd, you live and learn.

Speaking of journalists, I watched "Gail Porter investigates prostitution" with huge interest. All credit to the presenter, she went into the project with a very open mind and was prepared to consider any and all angles, at least that's the way it came across. Once again the focus moved to trafficking, where the police raided a flat to find one lady of 51 who was working quite legally. What interested me more was the attitude of the police after the lady had been removed from the property.

The officer concerned was very quick to point out that in his opinion, no woman would ever choose to be a prostitute. Au contraire, I can assure you I made an informed decision to become a prostitute and have never regretted it.

I was interested in what Ms. Porter went on to say too -

"Most of the women seemed very strong, or at least they tried to be strong."

I think for the most part you do need to be a strong woman, unfortunately in the not too distant past I have witnessed a couple of ladies go into mental breakdown / burnout and it's frightening to watch the speed of their demise. It's precisely for this reason that I feel decriminalisation would be beneficial. Sex workers should feel able to come forward and ask for support services in the same manner as any job which is personally demanding. Unfortunately, I think stigma and fear of publicity holds some back, which is very wrong.

In the end, Ms. Porter said -

"I'm no expert, but I do believe we should be making changes to the law to make it safer for women.

In the UK, it is illegal for two women to work together in a brothel*. To me, this is completely ridiculous, as it forces women to go out on their own, which is more dangerous. As if the job isn't perilous enough.

They should be able to work together and have the same working rights as everyone else. I also believe criminalising women is wrong - it doesn't help anyone.

In New Zealand, the whole system is decriminalised. There, women can work together in brothels and they are protected.

Prostitution has been around for a long time, and no doubt it will continue, so we need to protect these women and do everything we can to make a terrible situation a bit more safe."


Well said.

I'm off to Carlisle next week and will catch up with you there.

LL xx

* Not strictly speaking true, it is not illegal for two women to work together in a brothel, a prostitute cannot be charged with any offence related to prostitution just because she is working in a brothel. What is illegal is owning/running/managing etc. the brothel wherein the prostitutes work. ( Thank you to Punternet for that. )

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Touring and Thespians


To err is human. To consistently feck it up is an art form.

It is the above thought that consoled me as myself, Faye and Susan trudged around Belfast with our suitcases, effectively homeless, thanks to moi. ( To be fair, it wasn't ALL my fault. Well, not really. )

There are two apartment buildings in Belfast with the same name, see ? So we all booked the same place, labouring under the illusion that we would be in a high rise anonymous block, where you could potentially have a large scale gang bang and no-one would notice. Err, no. We got out of the taxi and noted with dismay what can only be described as a boarding house. ( Think 1970's Brighton sea-front, complete with lace doilies and rubber yucca plants.) The gentleman who ran the house had an office approximately 10 yards from the door to what was to be my room and he had the door ajar too, noisily slurping soup. Whoops.

We made panicked gestures to each other in the hallway, you know, the one that mimics a beheading. My phone was going like HMRC's overpayment helpline, buzzing away whilst on silent in my handbag, so I had an idea.

"Err, Susan, that was your Mum I just missed on my phone there, I hope she's not trying to get you URGENTLY."

Hint taken.

Now I knew that Susan in her murky past had taken some acting lessons, but I was in no way prepared for the performance to come. She turned her back on all of us and "made a call". ( I was praying to anyone who would listen that it wouldn't ring in her ear. )

With that she swung around with the dramatic style of a Jane Austen understudy and burst into tears. ( I don't mean in any small way either, we're talking sobbing. )

"I'm soooo sorry".... (sniff, choke) .... "I've just had a call and" ....(wail, consoling pat on the back from Faye ) .... "I have no choice ".... ( loses all control at this point as her body is racked with sobs ) ...

... "WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO GLASGOW." ( hurls herself at the wall and howls )

Faye and I did the decent thing and clucked around her making soothing noises and rubbing her back whilst she howled and blew her nose noisily.

Needless to say, afore mentioned landlord abandoned his soup and with some soft words to soothe us, sent us on our way. He even called us a taxi. We made it as far as the kerbside to wait for the taxi before the three of us disintegrated into fits of crotch-grabbing giggles. The girl had done us proud. :)

Eventually we found another hotel and had a brilliant tour, ( thank goodness because I think the girls were ready to dangle me from the balcony by my ankles. )

I finally had the chance to meet a lady I have been chatting to online for years now, Violette, it was a pleasure. ( I did try and defend Irish men and their apparent allergy to showers and baths but some things are just indefensible. )

LL xx

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Trials, Travel and Trafficking


( Apologies in advance for this first part, I think I should leave erotic writings to Marc Nobbs, he does a far better job than yours truly, ahem. )

I lay back with a steely determination and exhaled deeply, this was going to require every inch of my fortitude. A tiny bead of sweat which had begun life on my forehead hurried down my face in a frenzied race towards the delicious dip between my breasts, pooling there and rising and falling with my rapid breaths. With an animalistic cry, I raised my hips in expectation, awaiting the pain and the endorphins of pleasure that would surely accompany my efforts, making my whole body quiver and shake with anticipation. I tried to ignore the screaming that was emitting from my muscles until I could bear it no longer and exclaimed ...

"YOU SAID IT WAS 30 FECKIN' KILOGRAMMES !!"

Yes, I'm back in the gym.

It's murder.

You'd think, wouldn't you, that when they insist on a 45 minute "assessment" where they take you around the various complicated items of machinery and devise your program, that they could spare a further five minutes to point out the rather large step between the cardio area and the free weights section. For as much as they seek to protect your welfare by ensuring your safety on the machinery, the latter piece of information would have prevented me going flat on my face in front of various muscle men who really should spend more time exercising and less time checking out the new chubby chick in the mirror. MORTIFIED.

( As an aside, I have never been able to comprehend how anyone could possibly meet a potential partner at the gym, the "no make up and ribena berry" look is never going to be a good basis for any form of sexual attraction.)

Anyway, Spain was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. We rented a car and with me driving we crossed the Pyrenees into France. That was a challenge, it was a very small and windy road, up the mountains and back down again and required acute concentration whilst Mr F did the navigation. It's bad enough that they drive on the wrong side of the road, but the fast lane is on the wrong side too, and to add insult to injury they go the wrong way around roundabouts. Ye Gods !!

We made it without serious injury or summons apart from when Mr F took over driving for 5 minutes and launched us into someone else's wing mirror, I was going to take the proverbial for quite a while for that. However, when you consider that halfway up the ( very steep ) mountain, after a brief stop at a monastery, I put the car into reverse instead of into first and almost reversed us into the Medditeranean, I decided to shut it. ( The picture above is the view from the monastery, very beautiful. )

On a more serious note, since I came back, I watched the two parts of - "The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers". I was very interested to see the forces that be in action, how they went about investigating alleged trafficked women and how the process of justice was applied.

It was presented as if it had been filmed by and for radical feminists, the overall impression was that the 67 "traffickers" apprehended were just the tip of the iceberg, with the final quote being - "If this is happening in Cornwall, where else is it happening ?" ( not an exact quote, and let's just gloss over the fact that in two years, not one successful prosecution was brought about as a direct result of Pentameter 2, shall we ? )

My problem with the program overall is twofold -

1. It was fantastic that "Lily" was rescued and the people who brought about her misery locked up. I can only hope that she starts to rebuild her life and her confidence and that those who caused her so much pain get their real "justice" whilst locked up.

Lily's freedom was not brought about by Pentameter 2 however, nor was it through tireless Police investigation. Lily was saved by a client, who blew the whistle when he sensed she was unhappy and there against her will. No-one felt the need to point that out whilst they were jetting half way around the world to have a conference with foreign police which could have been done over the phone.

2. Mr and Mrs. Middle England will have viewed that program with open mouthed horror and should any decision ever have to be made in the near future about the continuing legality of ANY forms of prostitution, there will be no prizes for guessing which way their vote will go.

But, it will be a mis-informed vote. Where are the programs that show the positive side of prostitution, the women that make a conscious decision to enter the sex industry and in fact, celebrate their right to make that choice ? The program will create a moral panic and outrage, to further entrench in the minds of the general public that the current approach is correct, and getting results. It isn't. It's not.

In my opinion, the solution is to legalise sex work in all of it's forms, to allow brothels to operate, where regular police inspections can be done on an ad hoc basis, and without warning. (It is accepted that there will be illegal brothels, but they have to advertise and the full force of the law should be applied to underground activity which seeks to circumvent stipulated regulations.) In legalising brothels, channels of communication can be opened up between the authorities and the only other members of society who may ever come into contact with those women who have been trafficked, the clients. It's clear from "Lily's" case that what WILL work is a situation where a client can feel comfortable in approaching the police with information which may lead to the arrest and conviction of the scum who traffick sex workers.

LL xx

Monday, 23 August 2010

Publications and Pigeons


Evening all, greetings from home where I am chilling out avec moggies.

First things first, hurrah for The Highland News !! They ran the story last week and reported accurately and fairly, I think all of us who were mentioned were very impressed and pleased with the article. Less impressed, it would seem were the womenfolk of the West Coast. One of those lovely ladies placed a call my way last night which had me creased up with laughter. Thank you for informing me I'm a "dirty hoor", thank goodness for that, I thought I was a traffic warden. Further, if I'm going to hell then I'm sure I'll be in good company, after all, that's where all the interesting people go and finally, I know prostitutes who wouldn't use that type of language. Wash your mouth out.

Last Saturday we had a social evening and it was fantastic, we raised a toast to our departed friend and had a ball. ( I'm still at a loss to understand how a member of the male contingency managed to pick me up, I'm no Kate Moss. ) I drove home afterwards with a huge grin on my face, not least because when I left her, Amanda was wearing one of the gent's ties and suffocating another with her boobage in a bear hug. The originator of the tie was bellowing "FOGHORN - LEGHORN" at varying intervals, ( as you do ). Since I no longer drink, the latter parts of any evening are all but lost on me now, so when it gets to the part where a glassy and teary eyed volunteer launches into "Danny Boy" or starts mourning the green, green grass of home ( in spite of the fact they've only ever been to Wigan as a boy ), it's probably time to go.

( As a complete aside, it is a little known fact that Irish people only know the first two lines of "Danny Boy", after that they mumble. FACT. )

Speaking of faux-tragedies, Susan and I arrived in Carlisle the other day to begin our tour and as I pulled into the carpark I noticed a pigeon in the middle of the road. Most pigeons would fly away but he wasn't budging so I got out of the car. He was clearly very badly injured, operating on one leg and unable to fly. I tried to scoop him up but he wasn't having that, so in the end with some gentle "hooshing", I got him to the side of the road. We checked in and went for coffee but my conscience was getting the better of me. I asked the waitress ..

"This might sound strange, but could I have some bread ? It's for an injured pigeon 'round the back."

"Oh, the poor thing, hang on, I'll go feed him."

So I tipped her and thanked her and waited. Eventually she appeared back ...

"I've searched high and low and can't find him."

*sigh*

I wandered off to see if I could locate pigeon ICU. Oh I found him alright, except he was about an inch from the ground, a car had got him and he had gone to the great Pigeon Fancier's Club in the sky.

GUTTED.

Amanda did her "Mother comforting voice" thing at the social, you know, the one you use when you have to explain to your four year old why you had to flush the goldfish down the toilet.

"Sometimes, animals just know when it's their time, and they just erm ..... decide to end it all."

Comforted by the notion that it was in fact a suicidal pigeon, tomorrow I am off with Mr. F to Spain for a week.

Before I go to the delayed departures nirvana, I thought I would let you know that my friend Claire has finally gotten off her backside and started blogging, there's a link to her blog here ;

http://bbwclaire.wordpress.com/

Enjoy. Never again will I bring her to my local Tesco's, where they have now negated the need for an announcement system.

I'll catch up with you when I get back from Catalonia, where they have just outlawed bull fighting. What am I supposed to do for a week then ? ;)

LL xx