Friday, 18 March 2011
...from the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.
It looks as if:-
1. It will not be implemented unless both WGs and punters are criminalised.
2. The Committee thought it was totally impractical anyway.
"Purchase and sale of sex;
Trish Godman MSP has been holding a public consultation on her proposed Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex ( Scotland ) Bill. This looks to criminalise the purchasers of sex and related selling activities and seeks views on a number of areas including penalties and whether to criminalise the purchaser only or the purchaser and seller. The Criminal Law Committee is submitting a response. It notes the intention of the Bill to reduce demand for the purchase of sex in Scotland, and to strengthen existing legislation in order to make Scotland an unattractive market for prostituting and related trafficking.
On the main question, the commmittee feels on balance, that if the bill were to be passed, both seller and purchaser should be criminalised, as this would be consistent with the gender balance in previous legislation and also would allow intervention and support with regard to those involved in prostitution.
The committee welcomes any objective which reduces the risk of harm to women involved in prostitution, but has concerns with regard to the practical effects of this proposal."
Meanwhile, herewith an excerpt from a letter I received this morning which I really liked ;
As instructed I followed the link http://weareequals.org/blog/guest-blogger-belle-de-jour/ blog, and I now have you to blame for my high blood pressure! I must have scanned most of the ~200 replies and the only one I agree with is Eva’s. Who is M. Smith? Who is Eva? Smith has a self-destructive approach if his intension is to educate people. Rather aggressive and insulting in many replies and particularly to Dr M.
Perhaps it’s important for you to know who I am. Well nobody really. A well established scientist at the University of *********, who has never enjoyed the company of an escort or any other sex-worker. But there are a few things that get me really annoyed. Bad data, bad statistics, biased documentation, poor scientific methodology any form of prejudice or injustice. I think most of the documents I’ve seen from the anti-lobby qualify for all of the above.
Previous high blood pressure was caused my T. Godman and that document ‘Challenging Demand Scotland’ which she frequently uses to justify her Bill, along with documents from news papers and TV shows. Not exactly peer-reviewed academic research! I did respond to her Bill, although got stuck on question 1 and found myself constrained by not being able to express my view within the boundaries of the questions. But why only 38 individuals? You must have more clients than that? Why did they not reply? There are problems with the sex industry but they can be tackled in a more sympathetic, helpful and constructive manner. This Bill will not achieve its aims.
There is also so much information within the peer-reviewed journals that there is no excuse not to be well informed. It’s rare that you can delve into another research area and understand the articles. Most of the time you need at least a couple of degrees and years of specialisation before you stand a chance. So even less excuse for MSP’s to be so ignorant! Perhaps I’ve been selective but most peer-reviewed papers are very positive about your occupation and equally aware of the problems and their solutions. But I should read the anti-lobby even if their research is not peer-reviewed and financially supported by anti-prostitution groups: As long as you know, its OK. I don’t wish to be accused of being biased.
I really don’t know how you survive, and I apologise for this rant! – Don’t know why I find the need to contact you other than to demonstrate support.
Sir, your support is very much appreciated and the voice of common sense is always welcome.
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Belle de Jour ( or Dr. Magnanti to give her her "proper" title ) was recently invited to submit a blog to the we are equals blog. The link is here for you ;
....and the main crux of her text -
When we think of the battles for women’s equality, we tend these days to dwell on issues like childcare or maternity leave. If the focus shifts outside of the bubble of middle class privilege, it is to consider the plight of women in developing countries, many of whom are denied basic rights such as education. Surely, we think, all the fundamental battles have been won; surely in the Western world the problem now is tweaking the makeup of boardrooms or discussing the right height of kitten heel for a female MP. We’ve done it, we think. We’re nearly there. We’re winning.
And yet there is still a large, and largely silent, population of women in this country whose rights are compromised on daily basis.
That group is sex workers.
While not all people who engage in sex work are women, the vast majority are, and when laws and policies are written, they are usually written to address female, heterosexual sex work. Anti-trafficking efforts focus on women; so, too, does outreach for streetwalkers.
And yet we fall down on some of the most basic equalities when it comes to this group of women. Consider, for instance, the case of Newcastle policeman Stephen Mitchell, convicted of raping women he met in the line of duty. Women with pasts, sometimes addicts and streetwalkers. But women nonetheless. He terrorized women for seven years before being brought to justice.
When sex workers are attacked by serial murderers, the discussion of ‘prostitutes’ rather than ‘women’ absorbs the press. As if, somehow, by having exchanged money for sex – an act which is legal in this country – one forever relinquishes the right to expect not to be murdered. Yes, sex work is sometimes dangerous. But perhaps we, as a society, should be asking ourselves whether our endless judgment of sex workers, rather than doing anything to stop violent murderers, is exacerbating the problem.
Earlier this year, in Florida, policeman Jimmy Dac Ho confessed to handcuffing and killing an escort after he refused to pay her. Former colleagues recalled Ho as sexually inappropriate with his female co-workers, and a string of domestic abuse allegations caused him to lose a previous job. It’s small wonder, then, that sex workers can feel mistrustful and suspicious of the police.
In Surrey, brothel madam Hanna Morris rang police after two armed and masked men robbed her establishment. She was the one who was arrested. The criminals who broke in were never pursued. It seems a perverse action to say the least, and does nothing to reassure women who may already be vulnerable to crime. If the police won’t help them, if the media and public label them, how can we call this society equal? I’m afraid to say that even people whose morality you may disapprove of deserve the full protection of law. That’s kind of how it’s meant to work in our society.
Unfortunately for those who think sex work should be criminalised, there is ample evidence to show that this ends up putting women in an even worse position. Afraid or unable to call on the police. Less likely to assert themselves with potentially dangerous clients. And as seen in places like Cambodia, at higher risk for infections like HIV. It’s an uncomfortable truth we must face up to – making sex work illegal puts women at risk.
For me, women will be equal when any crime against a woman is investigated and prosecuted the same regardless of her occupation and regardless of her sexual history. Human rights are human rights, full-stop, for women – all women – including women in sex work.
Bravo, very well said. I thought it was a very articulate and reasoned piece highlighting the continuing imbalance in the perceptions of sex workers as workers and women deserving of the same rights as all other workers.
As I have become accustomed to, some of the comments afterwards in the ensuing debate left me sliding from my chair in shock. Take this for an example ;
Here’s a thought, prostitutes: stop selling what does not belong to you exclusively. You don’t have MY permission to make my sexuality– or my sister’s, or my daughter’s, or my friends’, etc– your product for personal profit. When you make all women less safe in the world because of what you do, I don’t really care about your special need for “protection.”
WOW !! I don't need to ask for anyone's permission to do what I do, I think you'll find. As for making all women in the world feel unsafe, oh please. If I want to sit in my greenhouse as part of my huge house in Shropshire and cross-stitch all day, that is my perogative. Equally if I want to work in the sex industry quite legally and enjoy the freedom of being self employed not to mention the financial security, that too is my perogative. To me, that commentator is showing sheer hatred towards sex workers in that they are saying that they don't care what happens to us. For someone who purports to be concerned with the safety of "all women", I find that statement to be indicative of the marginalisation and stigma we encounter as sex workers all the time. "LET'S PROTECT ALL WOMEN, BUT NOT PROSTITUTES BECAUSE THEY DESERVE WHAT THEY GET".
Luckily and before I lost the will to live ( I do that a lot, you may have noticed ) another commentator brought up the valuable studies of Dr. Suzanne Jenkins, a lady I had the pleasure of meeting in Manchester.
You may want to look at a more recent research paper published by Dr. Suzanne Jenkins, from Keele University, Staffs on prostitution. BEYOND GENDER: AN EXAMINATION OF EXPLOITATION IN SEX WORK. Available at http://www.sexworker.at/phpBB2/download.php?id=479
Facts like 72% female escorts like the work for the independence, 67% for meeting people and of course 93% for the money.
When asked about client relationships 54% put the transaction as an equality, 26% that the client was vulnerable. Only 6% saw that the client had power over them.
77% of escorts felt their clients respected them, and a similar number also respected their client.
72% of escorts felt their self confidence had been increased.
56.6% of escort felt they had never been exploited by their clients, while only 3% were exploited often.
The abolitionists are very fond of throwing around statistics that are suited to their own agenda, almost always derived from aged studies on street workers. The findings above go a long way towards dispelling those myths.
Finally, this comment caught my eye -
Yes us former prostituted people all know the views of the uknswp who do not represent the majority of prostituted people in this country or on a global scale. Just as the prostituted people know what their views are – or should I say the minorty views they are interested in hearing. They, like other people who propose to represent prostituted people are more interested in putting the concerns of a tiny few forward. It allows them to live in la la land. They are linked with the IUSW for example who recruit abusers from Punternet and encourage them to lobby their MP’s to legalise! Most of these rights groups are made up of a tiny minority of people who do not have regular intense bodily contact with tricks, lots of them work in the fetish industry or like Magnanti, work in the big money mainly white middle class trade.
I am truly sorry that the commentator's experience of the sex industry has been such a negative one, like any other industry it has several complex tiers. Having suffered the abuse she did, I can only conclude that she was working largely against her will, which is not the experience of the vast majority of sex workers.
I may work in the mainly middle class trade now but I have worked in parlours many years ago and have experienced many different aspects of the industry. Her criticism of Magnanti appears to be largely that she purports to speak for all sex workers, but she doesn't. She speaks and has spoken about her own experiences in the sex industry and has said that she considers herself very lucky in her time there. I can say the same thing too, I speak for myself - having said that I have over the years met many, many sex workers at all levels.
I DO have regular intense bodily contact with my clients and as a frequent contributor to Punternet I take great exception to her assertion that we seek to "recruit abusers" to help lobby MP's. I have met a great many of those so called "abusers" and not always as clients, sometimes at socials, etc. Abusers they are not, regular professional men who enjoy the company of women for pay would be a better description. The fact that some of them use their professional expertise to advise on matters of law, etc. on the forum shows that they care for the welfare of WGs and how to protect them when the law fails.
I do not live in "la la land" thank you very much, I live in the real world. I know that if decriminalisation were to be permitted then the abuses like those suffered by the above commentator would be dramatically reduced if not erradicated completely through regulation. I do not seek to throw around grandiose generalisations about the sex industry, neither should the last commentator. I am a realist and I know that abuses happen but I also know that right across the board, at every level of the industry there are women who are truly happy in their work.
It is not for anyone else to tell me how I feel or what I ought to do, I am an independent woman and am well capable of articulating my own feelings or needs.
Thursday, 10 March 2011
In the grand scheme of things, I'd rather not have been around when Shakespeare was writing one of his masterpieces. With all that backstabbing ( metaphorically and physically speaking ) that was going on, by the end of one of his productions, almost the entire cast has been murdered or they've gone stark raving mad. I remember with a tremendous fondness being brought to see Zepherelli's production of Romeo and Juliet and being absolutely gutted at the end. "Nooooo, don't do that, she's not really dead, she's .... Oh." ( As I recall, the whole excursion was almost ruined by a couple of eegits who bellowed during the love scene "Good man yerself" but a steely glare from Sr. Bernadette soon sorted that. )
After that we went on to do The Scottish Play, and Lady M remains one of my favourite characters to this day. ( I don't suppose it occurred to anyone to tell her that all the sweet perfumes of Arabia would do nothing to help a psychotic episode but then it was centuries ago. )
The reason I'm having fond Shakespearian thoughts is because on Saturday, J took me to the Theatre Royal in Glasgow to see King Lear and it was wonderful. When the lead character carried Cordelia onto the stage for the final scene, I must admit my waterproof mascara was tested to the max. ( In fact I made my excuses and made for the ladies after curtain fall, only to run into a regular client and his wife, but she was too busy exchanging air-kisses with the creme de la creme of Glasgow society to notice the animated wink he sent my way - cheeky sod. )
A few things have had me deep in thought lately, not in a maudlin way though.
About a month ago I had a serious falling out with a lady who means a lot to me, I lost my temper ( as did she ) and since we are both of a similar Celtic disposition ( for which read - feisty, hot headed and stubborn as mules ), a silence ensued that I know affected me deeply, perhaps her too, although it would kill her to admit it.
Then I went on tour to Newcastle and Susan and I watched the news coverage of the events in Japan unfolding with slack-jawed horror. These people were having their entire lives taken from them, their homes, their families, their everything. It really put my own gripes into perspective and so I did the unthinkable, I wrote a very long and very open email which in all honesty could have been summed up in one word - "Sorry".
Within 18 hours, came the reply, equally as laborious but which could be summarised as "It takes two people to have a row, so I guess I'm partially to blame too". ( If you knew the lady concerned, that really is an incredibly generous concession to blame, more than I expected actually. ;) )
Sometimes, to apologise and offer the hand of friendship is to be the bigger woman and I'm very glad I did.
Monday, 7 March 2011
Afternoon all, I'm not long back from a weekend hob-knobbing around the Yorkshire dales where I found the most wonderful shop title, hence the sign above. I came back relaxed, smiling and happy, ( as was my gentleman companion ).
Tour de Ayrshire came to an abrupt halt this week when my bicycle and I parted company rather suddenly and I landed in an undignified heap in the park, much to the amusement of some neds and their pitbull. I have since decided to stick to power walking and the gym, since overall they would seem to have less of a detrimental effect to my health, which is kinda contrary to the whole point of it all. *sigh*
Good news fellas !! Ellie Lloyd is on tour in Glasgow this week. Catch her while you can, she is a very popular lady, and with good reason. Here is a link to her site :
Meanwhile, I have been busy updating my availability diary which is now done until the end of April. On Wednesday I'm off to Newcastle to tour for three days which I'm looking forward to as always - Howay, I love my Geordie men. :)
Saturday morning I need to get up at silly o'clock and head back to sunny Glasgae because I am booked overnight and am being treated to the Arts and dinner. ( Memo to self - pack best dress and preferably iron it the night before ). It will be fun to wake Susan at that hour, she growls like a pre-menstrual lioness but she loves me really.
Finally on Sunday I have an evening engagement with a new gent, so I will be on my best behaviour, ( sort of ). If you take a peak at my availability diary you might notice I am touring very little in April, that's because I have two longer engagements in my diary, one for six days and one for a week so to tour in the middle of all that would just be too much. Also, I am moving house, ARRRGHHH !! The thoughts of it alone are enough to induce a cold sweat, black sacks and boxes with cats hiding therein, it's an additional stress I can do without.
So for today, I'm doing the guilt thing. This is what happens when you try and sub-divide yourself by eight.
1. Tonight I have promised my little princess a girl's night in, I have an outcall but it's only for an hour, so after that we are going to make the world's largest bowl of popcorn and I am jumping into her bed for the night for the "treat" that is "Glee" and other even cornier cheerleading movies.
2. Having done this blog I am off to the supermarket to get some fresh cod for my moggies because unfortunately as soon as boy cat spots my suitcase in the hall he does his best impression of a draught excluder at the front door and when that doesn't work, howls like a baby.
3. Finally I suppose I should email my Uni tutor and apologise for the late entry of my assignment, ( again ).
Still - as I say to some of my older gentleman callers, better late than never. ;)
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
I'm going for a nice ride today. :D
( No, not that kind, wash your minds out. ) As part of my ongoing quest to shed weight in time for the end of March measurements I have a shiny new bicycle. Today for the first time in 25 years I am going biking. I'm going to make a start in the local park whilst the children are at school so there's no-one around to laugh aside from Edna and Eunice walking their West Highland Terriers and as a dominatrix I have practiced a glare for them that would stop a clock.
As an aside I am really enjoying the new series of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl". Last week's episode featuring the adult baby had me crying with laughter. In truth in all my time as an escort I can say I've met a maximum of three adult babies and only one of them was in the FULL regalia of nappy, bonnet and bib. Role play is surely one of the best parts of what I do, and the most fun. Sometimes guys have a rough idea of what they'd like to achieve, other times they hand me a script, quite literally.
One such client has very kindly given me his permission to publish his script which Amanda and I did in Inverness recently - ( it's cut and paste so don't blame me for change in tenses etc. ) -
You and Amanda (my fellow flatmates) are trying to get to sleep when I arrive home late with some mates. After a couple of hours of beer and music my mates finally make there way home leaving me surrounded by empty beer bottles, a half eaten pizza and crisps on the floor.
I feel a bit tipsy and decide to leave the mess until the next day.
The next morning your not at your best due to a disturbed sleep and when you see the state of the living room you come into my room "If you haven`t "tidied up when Amanda and I get back you will be sorry" you say sternly, I turn over and mumble " Yea OK"
I did not feel like getting up and decided to lie in bed a bit longer. It was only when I heard you and Amanda return that I realised I had spent all morning in bed.
I knew I was in trouble now as I heard you march towards my room. "What do you think you are doing still in bed, I told you to to have this place tidied before we got back now get up and clean this place right now."
" Why don`t you and Amanda make a start and I`ll get up in a bit" I replied in a offhand manner.
"You insolent lazy young man we will make a start don`t you worry but not clearing up your mess, we are going to make a start on spanking your bottom."and with that you whisked the covers of me and tucked at my pyjama bottoms.
I resisted saying "No Laura" but you easily slid my pyjama bottoms down over my hips.
"Get over my knee now" you commanded as you sat on the bed
I thought about refusing but I knew you could overpower me so I lay across your knee apprehensively fully aware that my bare bottom was in full view.
SMACK, SMACK, rang the sound in my ears every time your hand landed on my bottom.
My bottom stung with every slap "OUCH, OUCH STOP", I protested but you continued spanking.
Then the door swung open "Good for you Laura thats exactly what he deserves"
I looked up to see Amanda with a big smile on her face " Oh don`t let me stop you Laura I am so going to enjoy watching until its my turn".
Then my spanking recommenced the slaps coming harder and faster SMACK, SMACK, SMACK. I squirmed and reared but I was held firmly OW, OW OUCH".
"You are a inconsiderate and lazy flatmate" you scolded as you spanked.
"My goodness that bottom is getting quite red now" Amanda remarked I could sense she was eager for her turn but you continued spanking me for some time before eventually stopping.
"Now Amanda I`ve warmed this bottom up nicely for you would like to take a turn?" " Oh yes please" was the reply as I stood up and rubbed my bottom.
You got up and now Amanda was sitting on the bed "Now its my turn" said Amanda as she patted her knees and told me to bend over
I bent over Amanda`s knees thinking that at least she wouldn `t spank so hard.
"Keeping me awake last night, lying in bed all morning and not cleaning up your mess thats just not on" said Amanda as she settled into a slow rythm of firm but not hard smacks.
"But I was just going to get up and start cleaning up" I protested.
"Don`t listen to him Amanda do you know he even had the cheek to suggest that we start cleaning as he wasn`t ready to get up."
"Oh he did did he, well we will just have to teach him a lesson Laura and with that Amanda starting spanking vigorously.
"Ow, Ow, Ouch" I cried out as the stinging slaps reigned down on my burning bottom.
I struggled in vain across Amanda`s knee as I watched you leave the room thinking at least Laura is satisfied only to be dismayed to see you return with a spanking paddle.
"Here Amanda try this" you said as you handed Amanda the paddle.
There was a pause in my punishment as I waited in anticipation for the paddle to land. Slap, the first blow made me gasp then Slap, Slap the paddling began each smack making me jerk "OUCH, Oww, Stop" I cried.
Amanda continued to paddle me until I stopped struggling "there maybe that will teach you" she said as she handed you the paddle.
I got up and started to pull up my pyjama bottoms only to hear you say "I`m not finished with you yet, bend over the end of the bed"
"But Laura I`m sorry" I said as I slowly bent over the bed.
"You will be when I`m finished" you replied as you smacked my bare bottom with the paddle hard. I tried to protect my bottom with my hand only to find my hand pinned down on my back as the paddle repeatedly smacked my reddened cheeks .SMACK, SMACK "Oh no ouch" SMACK "Stop" SMACK. " Alternating between the paddle and your hand you continued to spank for some time untill I said "I`m sorry I `ll be a better flatmate".
"Good thats exactly what Amanda and I want from you" you said as you put down the paddle.
"I think Iain has learned his lesson now Amanda don`t you " I heard you say as the spanking eventually stopped.
"I should think so thats a very red bottom" was the reply
"OK Iain up you get and remember that bad behaviour in this flat will always result in a good spanking, that applys to all of us of course" you said as you smiled at Amanda.
"Yes thats only fair" Amanda replied sheepishly
As I gingerly pulled up my pyjama bottoms over my scarlet bottom I wondered if the opportunity to spank Amanda or Laura would ever arise. One thing I was sure about however, there would be many spankings to come and that I would be on the recieving end of most of them.
Honest to Gawd, it was like an Eastenders script, the craic we had doing it was immense and my client went home delighted with himself with a very red bottom.
The "true" life of an escort, how I love thee.
Right, I'm off to polish my helmet. ( Stoppit !! )Wish me luck, I really don't fancy spending the evening in A & E.
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Hello and firstly let me extend my apologies for not blogging for a while - it has been crazy busy for me in every aspect and I feel like I'm being pulled in 8 different directions at the moment.
Firstly, it may interest you to know that there is a radio play coming up on BBC -
" The Escort's Tale " which will be broadcast on Monday 7th March at 2pm on BBC Scotland. You may notice some subtle similarities with this writer. *cough*
Secondly I'm doing a piece for a BBC breakfast show about the current increase in women and men turning to prostitution as a way of financing their studies. I have asked that my bit be pre-recorded, sorry but I don't do mornings and I'm also worried that the worst bout of nerves will hit and I'll go blank. I'll let you know when it's going to be aired - I myself will be hiding under the duvet with a cat or two.
Lastly, I would like to indulge in a bit of a rant. On my Adultwork page I have a section marked "Availability Diary", it's there FOR A REASON. I am busier than ever, tonight I am in Glasgow, Thursday I am in Perth and on Friday I am off to Yorkshire for the weekend. You'd wonder then, why I still get the calls - " Can I see you for half an hour th'noo ?" NO YOU FECKING WELL CAN'T. I don't do half hours in Glasgow anyway, only on tour, which they'd know if they'd read the feckin' profile properly, and I also say that I need notice, since on awakening I look more like "The Living Dead" than anything approaching desirable.
Speaking of desirable, I've said it before and I'll say it again - this is a very bitchy industry. The latest crop of whispers have reached my ears, started as usual by a couple of ladies with the emotional maturity and intellectual ability of a reduced price limp Asda cabbage. Ladies, I'd like to invite you to remove your Primark stockings and stick them in your foul mouths, no-one is interested in your inane mutterings anyway. Bitch on, because at the end of the day the only people who have become known as those who act in a bitchy, self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way are your good selves. The rest of us point and laugh.
On that note I have a dinner date to get ready for, I'm off to wrestle my last remaining seamed stocking from girl cat.