Sex Industry

Trafficking won’t stop until we learn to tell the difference between those who are coerced into prostitution and those who aren’t. Painting the entire red light district in Amsterdam — one of the few places where sex work is legal and sex workers have rights — as a trafficking zone will only result in criminalizing prostitution, putting all sex workers at risk of exploitation. How is this a better option that working with sex workers there to find trafficking victims?

The Houston Press unceremoniously outted Sarah Tressler as a writer, adjunct professor and stripper, suggesting that she’s only doing what she’s doing because she wants a book deal and a movie made about her life. “It’s all pretty much what you’d expect,” he says. “Writing in the style that really, really wants to be described as ‘fearless’ and ‘intelligent’ and ‘funny’ and ‘sexy.'”

The last madam of the Texas brothel best known for the Broadway show and movie it inspired “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” died last Saturday at the age of 84. Edna Milton Chadwell, who owned and operated the Texan Chicken Ranch until it was shut down in 1973 had been hospitalized since October, following a car accident.

In November, Sasha Grey caused a stir after it was discovered that she had volunteered to read to kids at Emerson Elementary in Compton. No matter how poorly our kids are doing academically, how much funding schools have lost, or how much help the National Education Association could use, they refuse to stoop to accepting donations from persons or businesses of ill-repute.

In an incisive piece on Salon, adult performer Lorelei Lee writes about her concerns with the condom ordinance that the city of Los Angeles recently passed. Like many in the adult industry, Lee questions the motivation of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which set into motion the events that would culminate in this ordinance. She takes AHF president Michael Weinstein to task, along with his vocal supporter, Pink Cross-founder Shelley Lubben.

The International AIDS Conference — a gathering of all those involved in working for the eradication and treatment of HIV, as well as policymakers and activists — is returning to the United States after 22 years this July to assess the scientific progress that has been made and lobby for improvements in policy regarding the populations most affected by HIV and AIDS.

The overall desire to help on the part of Google has overridden a lot of details that must be understood if we are going to find a way to rid the world of trafficking and slavery. The most harmful and least understood of these details is the importance of supporting organizations that distinguish between consensual sex work and sexual slavery. Several of the organizations that Google is funding do not make this necessary distinction.

What our nervous sideway glances and jeers say is simple: if you let on that you have sex, you’re a danger to our children, and possibly to society itself. Never mind if you’re a tax-paying, law-abiding, philanthropic citizen otherwise — the second it becomes known that you have sex or are interested in it, you’re immediately labeled unfit.

Director and Taboo editor Ernest Greene speaks out about the Adult Industry Medical leak that has rocked Porn Valley: “I’m not surprised, given the increasingly heated and complex politics of disease-hazard mitigation in porn currently roiling the industry, that this vile act has been appropriated as an excuse to yet again attack one of the most effective community-supported HIV prevention programs in the world by those who covet AIM’s credibility for their own attempts at seizing control of the testing and monitoring process for financial gain.”

It may not be this simple. Or it may be more simple than this. Porn-positive proponents celebrate this victory, clutching it triumphantly. But we can’t help but wonder what, exactly, this debate has achieved? The battle rages on, no closer to resolution than it was before all these publications took hold of the story, eager for the pageviews that any porn-related story promises to deliver.