Sex Industry

The mainstream porn industry has shown it has something of a knack for using serious health and social issues as a way to market itself, but it seems as though indie porn’s hard politics and social conscience are starting to rub off. Suddenly, one of the biggest mainstream porn studios is keen on dipping a toe into porn with conscience by including a testicular health how-to in their high-production Game of Thrones-inspired flick.

Ronnie Ritchie’s comic about empowerment and objectification creates the insidious implication that the consent of sex workers is more deficient than other people’s consent. This is a magic wand argument that lets people routinely argue that any claim of empowerment is actually false, an argument which has very nasty real-world consequences.

The adult media empire WoodRocket has dedicated the most recent episode of its “Ask A Pornstar” webseries to live readings of performers’ hate mail. The six-minute episode contains no nudity, but is completely unsafe for work due to language. It is not fun to watch. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

As a person inhabiting this world, it is your ethical responsibility to take the time to decide how to best work toward something better. Whether you’re donating $50, $50,000, or only able to use Smile or affiliate links to help out, it counts, and it’s worth it. Not for the “feels,” but for tomorrow.

Imagine you decided to tell the story of your sexual assault in an effort to help protect other members of your community. Now imagine someone took your story and turned it into a play. Just how long do you think this play would stick around before going down in flames? Six weeks and counting — and no one seems to care that these accounts belong to real people who never gave their consent for them to be dramatically read on a stage before hundreds of people. Why do you suppose that is?

Photographers who are sensitive to the privacy of their subjects use a number of techniques to capture a moment without revealing the identity of people involved. One of these techniques is the cropping of the face — most often before or after the nose, in order to convey some emotion through the mouth, but occasionally the face is cropped in its entirety. This isn’t necessarily dehumanizing, but the context is extremely important.

It is not that surprising that Alix Tichelman didn’t call the police when her client overdosed, choosing instead to try to erase herself from the scene before fleeing. Whether she knew about medical amnesty in California ultimately doesn’t matter as this protection is very limited and there is no amnesty for sex workers. This is clearly a person who committed criminal negligence out of a combination of ignorance and well-placed fear.

The FBI has seized the escort directory and forum and indicted its owner and administrator on counts of racketeering and money laundering. At present, this effort doesn’t seem connected to a recent crackdown on the sexual trafficking of minors being undertaken by over 400 law enforcement agencies in over 100 cities nationwide. A number of arrest warrants have been served throughout the Bay, though additional details are unknown.

You will never stop sex work with law enforcement. You know how you will decrease sex work? By fighting poverty. You know how you will decrease trafficking? By making it safe for sex workers to come to police to report coercion and abuse. That safety isn’t something you can expect to magically happen on the part of law enforcement, because it won’t. That safety requires rights. And it requires a community and a world that will stand up for those rights.

On April 2, the Labor and Employment Committee of the California State Assembly voted almost unanimously in favor of Assembly Bill (AB) 1576, which would mandate condom use, testing protocols and require adult companies to keep detailed health records of performers. The bill was sponsored by assemblymember Isadore Hall III. Tomorrow, it goes to the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee for a vote. If it passes, it will head to the Appropriations Committee, then hit the state legislature floor.