Monday, 28 June 2010

Journalists and Justice


Greetings, I'm back home following my trip to Inverness and it was fantastic, lovely clients and sunshine but made all the better by the craic I had with Amanda and Susan. Next month Ellie Lloyd is joining the three of us there, so it will be good to switch off our phones at the end of the day and go for dinner.

I finally got to meet the journalist who had contacted me, what a lovely lady. Kirstin Innes is an arts journalist and usually writes about film, visual art and theatre for The Scotsman, The Herald, The Independent and The List. She has decided to write a fictional novel about a woman who decides to become an escort and so wanted to do some research. ( I have her permission to share that with you ). I hope I was able to help in some way, and to be honest it was more like meeting a friend for lunch, good fun. All the very best Kirstin, I look forward to reading it and I'm holding you to the promise of a signed copy. :)

On Wednesday Thierry Schaffauser wrote a very honest and thought provoking article for the Guardian entitled "Whorephobia affects all women", the link is here :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/23/sex-workers-whorephobia

In particular I liked these paragraphs -

"Whorephobia can be defined as the fear or the hate of sex workers. Sex workers like me would argue that it also embraces paternalistic attitudes that deem us a public nuisance, spreaders of disease, offenders against decency or unskilled victims who don't know what is good for them and who need to be rescued.

In its most violent form, whorephobia kills. Sex workers are far more likely to be murdered than the rest of the population: the recent killings in Bradford are the most recent and saddening example. However, it would be a mistake to think that sex workers are the only targets of these murderers. Attackers often target sex workers because they look like easier prey. Sometimes it is only once a non-sex worker is killed that the police take an investigation seriously. Until sex workers are safe, no woman is safe."


Well said and I absolutely agree. The more we are legislated against, the more we are marginalised, the greater the stigma. As it stands I frequently meet gents who think that prostitution is illegal, it isn't. If society perceive what we do to be against the law, then what hope do we have of attaining our deserved status ?

Unfortunately I was touring and so couldn't get my teeth into the "Comment is free" section after the article, as per usual some of the posts got my blood boiling. Take this little gem ;

"Does any man want their wife, mother or daughter to unite with prostitutes and fight against (alleged) oppression?"

If the Bradford killer had gone on to kill his wife, mother or daughter, he'd be the first person to be shouting for justice. As for "alleged" oppression, consider the case of Hanna Morris, charged with managing a brothel or controlling prostitution for gain after she reported a serious attack. She faces up to seven years in prison.
Two identifiable men, one with a sawn-off shotgun up his sleeve, barged in, threw petrol about threatening to torch the premises and to hold the woman there against her will. But we'll forget about all that and just charge the madam, hmmm ? If that's not considered oppression then we really need to review our definitions.

In fact, following on from the excellent post by Elrond on Punternet, I urge everyone who reads my blog to write or call Portia Ragnauth, Chief Prosecutor Surrey CPS. Ask why women’s safety is being endangered in this way.


LL xx

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Tribune and Tours


Evening all and greetings from home.

A very well written article appeared in the Tribune today by Cari Mitchell of the ECP. Entitled "How society allows the murder of its most vulnerable women", the article explored the effects of increased criminalisation of sex workers, specifically street workers. In increasing the penalties or activities around kerb crawling, all that is achieved is greater secrecy, when the women have to find a new and more inventive way to meet up with their clients, away from the police that should be there to protect them, not persecute them.

There's a link to the article here ;

http://www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/2010/06/19/how-society-allows-the-murder-of-its-most-vulnerable-women/

As a parlour girl many years ago, I regularly attended a clinic for sex workers which provided free counselling, free condoms and free STI checks. There I had the opportunity to meet and speak to a lot of street workers, and they told me how the new legislation ( as it was at the time ) influenced their working lives. It boils down to this - no woman, no matter how desperate for her next fix she may be, is going to get into a car with a man she believes may cause her serious harm or injury. On the escort boards I post on, quite often you'll find a reference to ladies using their intuition and walking away from a client when it just doesn't feel right. There's a classic example of such a discussion here ;

http://www.punternet.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31720

Street workers have told me that they have a 5 second window in which to make that judgement call - when a prospective client pulls up in a car, no longer are they afforded the luxury of trying to size the client up, engage him in a little conversation, decide if he's OK. They just GET IN. So Cari Mitchell's article pretty much mirrors my comments from a couple of weeks ago, the State has blood on it's hands for those women that died. Every one of them. As much as I admire the stance India Knight took about an uber-brothel, in reality that wouldn't work. I think a lot of people in the UK are in favour of legalising prostitution for the safety of the women, but the mentality of "not on my doorstep" applies. So, the solution is to relax the laws and allow for example, two women to work together in a private apartment, where they can provide security for one and other.

In my opinion, the biggest opponent to prostitution in the minds of most people is not the act of money changing hands for sex, rather it is the perceived anti-social behaviour that goes with it. So, surely if the women are working in a flat where they have greater access to support services such that there is no need for drug dealers or pimps to be hanging around, the level of anti-social behaviour is instantly curbed ? Amanda and I have worked in many apartments together in the past, and I can honestly say that none of the neighbours had a clue, the only anti-social behaviour that was evident was our joint attempted abduction of the pizza delivery guy, because he was cute, and well, just because.

Speaking of Amanda, the brazen hussy has a new forum on her site, where you can join and chat to both of us and other decent folks too. The link is here ;

http://www.sensuous-amanda.com/smf/index.php

On that note I'm off. Amanda and I will be in Inverness next week, as will Susan. Next month Amanda and I are off to London with Bristol BBW Claire too, it will be a hoot. If you fancy a sandwich with a difference get booking, day 1 is almost booked out for me already. Hurrah.

Nite,

LL xx

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Blogs and Boobies


Good evening and greetings from Newcastle where I landed today having done battle with every trucker and caravan from here to Swansea, grrr. It's summer time again, and although it's infinitely preferable to driving on snow and ice, it's still a pain in my not inconsiderable backside. ( Yes I know that's a double negative. )

I've spent a lot of time lately speaking about what I do, and my role as an escort. That in itself has caused some cog turning in the semi-complex machine just behind my forehead. An actress got in touch with me, because she is writing a play about working girls and wanted to do some research. So we met for coffee. ( I was fashionably late of course ).

I have to be honest, some of the questions she asked me were quite gritty. She said that I come across as a party girl in my blog and a really good laugh. Erm, I am. She also said that she could find very little reference to the other facets of my life, such as studying and family. The truth is that when I started writing this blog, I didn't know what I hoped to achieve really, you could say it's all marketing but for me it's a blank canvas on which to paint whatever comes to the forefront of my mind. I've never made any secret of the fact I'm a Mum, and an adoring one at that, but I think there's only so much to be discussed on a publicly visible blog so as to be appropriate. There are other aspects of my private life which I've never discussed on my blog, and probably never will. C'est la vie.

Continuing in that vein, this week I'm meeting a journalist who is writing a book on the sex industry. Panic not, I have been reassured that she is looking to speak to me for the purposes of research only and has no interest in "outing" anyone. I've learned over time that actually, some members of the press are very much on our side, or at least want to give us a voice. If I can help in any way I will, because I would rather that we were portrayed in a realistic light, rather than a stereotypical one.

Aside from all of that, I hit the shower the other morning to do my ritualistic handstand before setting off to meet a client. I recently bought some lemon shower gel which is divine and I was enjoying lathering it up until I felt it. I wasn't certain at first, but after a further prod I confirmed what I thought originally. It was a lump, right there in my breast. "No biggie", I thought, "I'll make an appointment with my GP. It feels rather like a pea anyway so it's probably just a swollen gland."

So I hot footed it down to my GP, my new doc is a lady and wonderful.

"I can feel what you mean, it's very hard."

"I know, it's almost like a pea."

"Hmmm, yes. I wouldn't be too concerned about it to be honest, more the mass behind it."

"WHAT MASS ??"

"Please don't panic, I'm sending you to the breast clinic. 2 to 3 weeks for an appointment."

So that's where I'm at. Sure, it could be nowt, and probably is. I phoned my Mother to ask about a history of breast cancer in our family and she assured me that there is no history at all, only madness.

"Only the good die young, you'll be fine."

Cheers Mother.

Nite,

LL xx

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Awards and Antagonists


Good evening, and greetings from home where I have landed from my cruise, which was wonderful. Before I tell you all about that, allow me a moment of self-wotsit. I won an award. Moi. I thought it was a wind up at first but it's quite genuine, hence the rather pretentious badge immediately to the right of my blog. I had an email which read -

"Hi Laura,

I have some good news for you: your site Laura's Life and Thoughts has been chosen by SexForums.com Editors as a 2010 Best Pick! I'm the Editor-in-Chief of SexForums, which since 1998 has been one of the world's largest online adult communities.

Last fall our editors started putting together a program that would spotlight the best adult-themed web publishers for our members. We began scouring the web for the best, finest, funniest, and most informative adult sites and blogs. I'm happy to inform you that your site Laura's Life and Thoughts was chosen by our Editors to represent the very Best the Web has to offer."


Well, I'm chuffed to bits. I'd like to thank my Mother .... ( actually, maybe not. )

I'd like to thank my cats, clients and chardonnay, who made it all possible. :D
Isn't it mad, you type some random guff onto the internet and not only do people read it but they give you an award. I mean, WHAT ??

I'm very thrilled. Thank you. :)

Right, to the cruise. See, it wasn't really a cruise. It was a trip aboard a working ship. She is a member of the Trinity House group, so her main purpose is to service buoys and light houses in the immediate area. That might sound very boring to some of you but trust me, it was absolute bliss. There are only 6 bedrooms on board and we were in the Duke of Edinburgh suite, which was beautiful. To make the guests more comfortable we had two stewards on hand to serve us delicious meals and attend to our every need,so it was true luxury. ( When I say "every" need, one of them was blatantly geigh, the other questionable. )

During the day we lazed around on deck in the glorious sunshine and we had the choice of watching the ship at work or simply doing nothing. Because there were so few passengers on board, there was no "Shuffleboard starting now on Deck B" and for us that was perfect, just total relaxation. ( Incidentally, total relaxation also includes moi, doing my Kate Winslet impression on deck as shown in the photo taken by Mr F above. Oh, the shame. )

To be honest, our fellow passengers were entertainment enough. We had Wing Commander Tristan Smedley Smythe and his lovely wife, ( who really wore the trousers ). He indulged my private desire quite unbeknown to himself by marching through the guest's lounge in the direction of the bar before loudly declaring "BAM" and sharp turning towards his cabin, marching with his arms swinging wildly. I sat agog.

Overall there were five couples ( including myself and Mr. F ) and one single, P. By God was he determined to make his presence felt. He was the most rude, obnoxious, belligerent, pig-headed ignoramus I have ever met. I thought he was wonderful.

He was the type of person I guess would be called a "troll" on the internet, except his chosen weapon was his mouth. I liked him, everything he said came with two kilos of salt and a glint in his eye. He went out of his way to wind everyone up and in the main, the bait was taken, chewed and swallowed. Towards the end of the week his efforts were having minimal effect because he had run out of steam, or offensive material, or both. So he had to up his game.

"I say, I suppose you're all wondering why I'm the only singleton on this Godforsaken rubber dingy. I have been divorced for quite some time and these days I prefer the company of an expensive escort."

There was a protracted silence and to save the day, Mrs. Wing Commander started a loud and animated conversation about her favourite suet pudding. I just smiled.

Come the last day of our trip and I sidled up to P on the lounge deck.

"So this lady friend of yours, does she allow COB ? CIM and OWO ?"

"I ..... um ..... "

"Gargling is just showing off, don't you think ?"

I flashed him a demure smile and sashayed off.

Game, set and match to me. :)

LL xx