Monday, 10 March 2014

A level playing field


When I became a sex workers' rights campaigner, I knew that when I stuck my head above the parapet there would be consequences. I knew there would be mockery, name calling etc. but that's okay with me. I'm a very strong woman, and when I'm let off the leash I'm fierce too, especially when it comes to the rights of our so often stigmatised group.

I was ready for it all, and boy did I get it in spades. In particular, the Irish abolitionists have been hard work, and they fight dirty. I'll never prove it was them of course, but I now find myself in the middle of a tax investigation which I could really do without on top of studying, working, parenting and campaigning. I'll get through it in time, it's just tedious.

In Ireland, to have a current sex worker prepared to go on camera and talk openly about the realities of the sex trade is as rare as hen's teeth and it is a valuable media platform which must not be wasted, not for a second. By waste, I mean that nothing should stand in my way of getting the most important message across which is that my twenty years of experience are absolutely nothing like what Rachel Moran and The Magdalene Sisters (Ruhama) have been peddling, in order to continue with the sales of her book and of course their continued funding.

In her evidence to the NIA, Moran was asked to comment on my evidence as a woman who said she enjoyed the sex trade, and her response was a lofty - "We call them the pimp's union." In addition, Jim Wells and Co. alleged that I'm funded by pimps and am effectively a front for pimps, all of which is absolutely untrue.

I came to the conclusion that in order to be an effective spokesperson for sex workers, I need to stand on my own two feet and speak from my life experience without abolitionists screaming - "PIMP LOBBY", every time I open my mouth. You see, I don't mind if they shout and bawl at me, truth be known I enjoy a robust "debate". But when a constant stream of hate is propelled my way because of the actions of others, that's not fair. And since I appeared at the NIA it has been absolutely vile, with comments about my daughter "coming of age" and one man who speculated whether I had a special uncle who liked to play games in the wendy house with me - I wish I was joking. This, (he said) is the only reason he could see why I "hang out with pimps".

That was the last straw.

For those reasons I have decided to step back from the IUSW, my health and welfare and that of my daughter come before anything else. Always have, and always will. Rest assured, I'm not going anywhere, I will campaign for sex workers' rights until the day they put a tag on my toe (wonderful expression). In fact, later this month it looks like I'm off to Westminster and of course the Labour Party Women's Conference is coming up too.

All I ever needed was a level playing field, because justice and truth have always been on my side.

LL xx


11 comments:

  1. You seem to dismiss the experiences had by Rachel Moran, why don't you accept that she had a different experience than you did in the sex industry?

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    1. Have a read of this - http://lauraslifeandthoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/how-do-you-solve-problem-like-ruhama.html

      And then this -

      http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/played-out/

      Personally I think she did work, but for a very short time and has blown her story out of all proportion for the benefit of abolitionists and book sales. The trouble with liars is that they tend to embellish as they go along, and her assertion that there was a brothel in Dublin specialising in underage girls was the last straw for me. Total fantasy - I knew a lot of the cops back then as did several of my colleagues and I can tell you right now, we would have collectively burned that place to the ground.

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    2. Laura you forgot that just before her "pimps lobby" statement Moran said she would love to meet you. Which is odd because if she was not a complete fraud she would know you quite well from all the times you came looking for a lift home when I finished work.

      (What? You never hear of young wan's dropping in to late night workers to save on taxi fare before? Ye may think we are pound dogs or alien guinea pigs from space, but we always felt and acted like regular people, usually stopped into 24 hour supermarket on way home too...if Tesco had opened 24 hours then I would have had hoors hanging out the sunroof every night...).

      I really, seriously do not see how Moran could have such a different experience to me 15 yards across the street, same physical type and build...

      ...and you know what, even if she had that would not give her the right to define and dictate *MY* choices, *MY* future, particularly as Moran claims she worked the streets off her box on heroin, while I always worked clean and sober so there is a really good chance my recollection is a lot more reliable and accurate.

      I don't think she was ever a sex worker, otherwise she would never have been daft enough to claim (in Stormont) that she got out of cars ands knelt on tarmac to do oral sex!

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  2. Hi Laura :)

    I'm hoping you could answer a question for me, I suppose it looks a bit selfish but it affects a certain Escorts ability to earn. You see I visit an in-call London Apartment which is advertised on the internet. I'm not quite sure who it's run by and if it's an Agency or Group of Indepentdent Escorts, but then that's none of my business. A different girl works each day, I phone and speak to a booking Manager and then 'see' this lovely adorable English Lady for 'companionship' etc. Nothing sordid, a woman greets me, leads me to the bedroom of this one bedroom flat to be met by 'R' (call her R). We lay naked together, I give her a back massage, maybe give her oral and she gives me a hand job finishing with a chat and cuddle. No penetration sex or oral on me, I just don't like the thought of how much she's probably hating sucking off a stranger, same for sex as well. You see I'm single and just enjoy being with and stroking a beautiful young woman. We have become sort of friends, as close as you'll ever get with an Escort!
    Now my question is, how will Mary Honeyball's paper affect me? 'R' will have been closely following this Legislation and now I suppose I'm to be a sex offender! Anyway if I have to stop then I have to stop but I don't really want to spend a whole booking discussing the law with her. I should imagine it would freak her out. So please give me the rough outline of what could happen. It's very discreet but unless they're stupid, neighbours will know what goes on, I've no idea if this is a brothel inside a Company running hundreds of brothels but is there a chance the Police will be lying in wait one day? I'm not stupid and know the word Escort really means something else, 'R' describes herself as a Lady of the Night anyway. But this high class, in-call, discreet, flat isn't technically in the eyes of the law any different to a hooker on the Street. Criminal record and loss of job? Regards A

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    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for reading and I'm glad you felt you could ask me a question, you're free to at any time.

      Firstly, the establishment you are visiting is in the eyes of the law, a brothel. If more than one sex worker uses it, even on alternate days then it is a brothel and if you engage in any kind of sexual activity for money, then for the purposes of Honeyball's paper you have indeed "purchased sex",

      But take heart, Honeyball's paper was designed to influence a change in Europe towards the overall view on prostitution, and individual member states are still entitled to enact their own individual laws. That means that right now, you are not committing an offence.

      If there ever was a raid on the property then it will be the case that the police will be looking to catch the agency owner and charge them, not to mention cash in under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

      There is an APPG group in parliament at the moment pushing for a piece of legislation which would make it illegal for you to pay. The good news is that there are three times the numbers of sex workers' rights organisations ready to fight back and I really don't see it coming in.

      By all means keep an eye on my blog and I'll keep it up to date with what's happening, but in the meantime, go forth and enjoy, it sounds like you've met the right lady if a friendship has formed too.

      All the best xx

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    2. Thank you for replying and yes please blogs would be useful telling what sort of Law will come from this paper and what sort of criminal I will be labelled.
      I suppose to my shame I should have been following this issue more closely, but you know how it is I like to keep this side of my life totally secret. Friends employer and relatives I can't imagine as being pro prostitution ........ I had my suspicions it was a brothel and a lot could depend on its neighbours I.e. what parents may think. Regards A

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    3. I totally understand about the need for discretion. Interestingly though, in my experience most people are pro sex work per se, just not pro trafficking etc. and they just need to be taught the difference. Best wishes :)

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  3. I think your an inspiration at the age of 64 I have started my escort career and to to think for 46 years I have been giving away for free!

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  4. Heya Laura,
    Every time I read about the Dirty tactics and threats of the Radfem/and abolitionist, it just proves that they don't have the proper evidence or argument to back up there "facts" or "studies"
    I am concerned about the safety and privacy of your life and other WG's and there families, due to all these hateful threats and comments. The hate toward you and other WG's makes me sick and angry, but again it just proves my point that they have don't care about you or other WG's or women's safety rights, and that It's all ideology, and it's the ideology that matters to them, not the safety of women.


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    1. Well, aside from physical attack, there's not a lot more they CAN do. I'm out in the press, my family and friends all know, they've reported me to the tax man, so what's left ?

      Yep, I'm in the middle of an investigation which would make your toes curl. I'll get through it. I too, am constantly taken aback at just how disgusting the antis are, the safety of women means nothing to them, it's all funding.

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