Monday, 26 October 2009

Elitism and Empowerment

This evening Douglas Fox has written another excellent piece for Harlot's Parlour :

He addresses a very important issue that has always been on the back burner in the sex industry and that is snobbery and elitism. There is no doubt that it does exist, of that there is no question. The real question though, is how it will affect us. If those who shout the loudest amongst the anti- sex industry groups can drive a wedge amongst us at all, snobbery is an easy target. To quote Douglas himself -

"Sex workers are perhaps one of the most socially diverse groups of workers that you will ever meet which makes us unique. Historically we have a heritage that includes high class courtesans who led fashionable society from glamorous salons that attracted the leading minds of society to penny whores who stalked the London stews.
Many of the most aristocratic families owe their positions and wealth to the bed room skills of some distant relative who caught the attention of a king or Queen and like wise many a poor family survived because one entrepreneurial member chose to use their body to live. Today the international nature of the labour market is recognised in the sex industry although often it is conveniently confused with trafficking by moralists and anti sex work campaigners. The truth is that sex sells and always will what ever the moral or political climate.

The one thing we all have in common is that sex, whither on a street corner or between Yves Delorme sheets, does not change. A fuck is a fuck and a blow job is a blow job. That is the common denominator that links us all in this work and we should not forget that regardless of where we work or the nuances of the culture in which we work or the hierarchical structures in which we operate our job is universally similar in its basics. Accusations of elitism and snobbery directed at us by predominantly middle class moralists who objectify all whores as victims are the worst snobs because they endanger the lives and liberty of every sex worker and that again unites us all against the common enemy, prejudice and ignorance about our work."

I absolutely agree with Douglas. In the passing of any legislation or reformatory measures, due consideration must be given to all aspects of our industry and the hierarchy within. It is simply not acceptable to utilise our differences in an attempt to treat all sex workers as victims. To acknowledge the many different levels within the sex industry is to go half way towards reaching a workable solution for everyone. As sex workers, we need to embrace our differences as well as broad similarities.

One of the most maddening things about being a woman who chooses to work in the sex industry is the refusal on the part of the likes of Julie Bindel to see what is abundantly plain. No matter what level of the industry you choose to examine, there will be women who have chosen that path and have enjoyed the journey they've gone on, together with the freedoms associated with a higher than normal income. Prostitution is the only profession where women's earnings are consistently higher than that of our male counterparts. That in itself is very empowering and allows me as a sex worker the opportunity to make choices I would otherwise not have had available to me.

Hmmmm. Speaking of empowerment and choices, I haven't heard from my slave bitch for a while and I hope he's ok. Strolling towards him in my leather basque with my strap on at the ready is empowerment personified. ;)

Nite, LL xx

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Majorca and Musings

So I've arrived back from Majorca in one piece and it was absolutely fantastic. Most of time we had glorious sun with the occasional overcast day. We checked in on Sunday night and my little delight jumped straight into her swimsuit and I think I met her in the corridor circa Tuesday.

Because she's still 8, we had to sit through the evening's "entertainment" program at the hotel which was so bad it was good, if that makes any sense. Actually, towards the end of the week I became really quite aggressively competitive with the bingo and growled at the over - 60's Sunshine Tour, but it was to no avail and I won nothing. Anyway, the night I was waiting for with baited breath came, yes it was Karaoke night and I layered on my mascara with gusto. It was the end of a long week for the holiday reps and I think they had run out of the will to live as well as decent prizes. I took a brief look around at the crowd and thought that since we were quite possibly the only people under 65, "Touch Me, I Wanna Feel Your Body" by Samantha Fox probably wasn't the way to go. It would have been funny as hell though. No, instead with a heavy heart, I launched into "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and it went down a storm. All of the blue rinse brigade were on their feet, linking arms and swaying to the music whilst singing along tunelessly. Following enthusiastic shouts of "MORE" one of the reps jumped on stage with me and we did a belting version of "Don't go breaking my heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee. So finally, I won that elusive prize. A blue knitted Thomson the Dog mobile phone sock. I'd put it on Ebay but I'm too embarrassed.

The next morning I almost choked from all the enthusiastic smacks on the shoulder blades I got at breakfast from over enthusiastic pensioners and I must say I glowed with pride. See, as awful as it sounds ( and in many ways it was like "Phoenix Nights" in the sun ) I absolutely loved it, because the time will come when herself will be locked in her room dressed all in black "totally rejecting society man" so I intend to enjoy the wonderful years, when she announces loudly to her pals, " That's my Mum on the stage, isn't she cool ?" Long live cool Mums.

So straight from my holiday I literally dumped my suitcase's contents into the wash basket, filled it up again with fresh frillies and headed off on tour to Aberdeen, where I am tonight. It feels quite strange to be struggling down the road to the local shop to pick up some things with Amanda against uber strong winds with a glowing tan. Hmmmm.

My new text books arrived for the next section of my Uni course whilst I was away and all I can say is fugger. ( That's not quite a curse by the way, because it's two words together, see ? ) They resemble the phone book so it's goodbye to late nights on the internet and faffing about on various message boards. It's time to introduce some discipline to my life which feels rather strange, as for a number of years the only discipline in my life involved my thigh high boots and nipple clamps.

Aside from that, I've just organised my tour dates for November and they're now on my site. Following extensive nagging ( sorry, gentle persuasion ) I will be visiting London in early December to do a Christmas shopping trip cunningly disguised as a tour, so for those of you who have been enquiring, as soon as I'm finished this blog I'm off to the laterooms site to see what I can find.

Finally I thought I'd leave you with this wonderful quote from a book Amanda gave me a loan of entitled " Sex Tips for Husbands and Wives from 1894".

"Whilst sex is at best revolting and at worse rather painful, it has to be endured ... One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten ; give little, give seldom and, above all, give grudgingly... "

Amen to that, because the begrudged ( and sometimes their partners ) keep my diary busy. ;)

LL xx

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Sex Workers and Statistics

I thought I'd draw your attention to the excellent article that's been published in The Guardian by Nick Davies. The link is below :

In the article he seeks to examine the "tide of misinformation" that there is around trafficking in the UK. The first major hurdle is in the interpretation of the word "trafficking". Because the word can apply to sex workers moving across borders quite willingly to seek better paid employment, there is no doubt this colours the "figures", such as they are.

But what is really shocking is the way those "figures" have been plucked from obscurity and paraded by politicians and press seeking to satisfy their own agenda.

"Fiona Mactaggart, a former Home Office minister, in January 2008 outstripped MacShane's estimates, telling the House of Commons that she regarded all women prostitutes as the victims of trafficking, since their route into sex work "almost always involves coercion, enforced addiction to drugs and violence from their pimps or traffickers." There is no known research into UK prostitution which supports this claim.

In November 2008, Mactaggart repeated a version of the same claim when she told BBC Radio 4's Today in Parliament that "something like 80% of women in prostitution are controlled by their drug dealer, their pimp, or their trafficker." Again, there is no known source for this."

That level of ignorance around the realities of trafficking is simply staggering.
The part I really liked was the acknowledgement at the end of his article that we as working women have been voicing our concerns and have been completely ignored :

"However, the key point is that on the sidelines of a debate which has been dominated by ideology, a chorus of alarm from the prostitutes themselves is singing out virtually unheard. In the cause of protecting "thousands" of victims of trafficking, Harriet Harman, the deputy Labour leader and minister for women and equality, has led the parliamentary campaign for a law to penalise men who pay for sex with women who are "controlled for gain" even if the men do so in genuine ignorance.

Repeatedly, prostitutes groups have argued that the proposal is as wrong as the trafficking estimates on which it is based, and that it will aggravate every form of jeopardy which they face in their work, whether by encouraging them to work alone in an attempt to show that they are free of control or by pressurising them to have sex without condoms to hold on to worried customers. Thus far, their voices remain largely ignored by news media and politicians who, once more, have been swept away on a tide of misinformation."

Isn't it time that they realised the methods ( such as they are ) that they are using to collect their information are deeply flawed, as is their whole approach to prostitution ? As a result of their efforts are more traffickers being caught and sentenced ? No. Is it enhancing the political stance of the politicians involved ? No, because in continuing to get it wrong time and time again, how much confidence can the man in the street have in their abilities as potential leaders ?

Since The Guardian is the home of Ms Bindel, it will be interesting to see her response. No doubt she'll inform Mr Davies that he is the head of a pimp's charter. It suits the likes of Bindel and Harman to claim that the only reason we shout about the "statistics" is because we don't want them to pass any prohibitory laws. To a certain extent that's correct, but not for the reasons they would have you believe.

We as long standing members of the escort community really do care for the welfare of our fellow sex workers and wish to see every measure in place to protect them. I would suggest that if they want to collate accurate information about the level of trafficking that occurs then they should leave everything exactly as it is, because the evidence is right under their noses. The ads are there in The Daily Sport for all to see, and can be investigated together with all of the other forms of advertising such as the internet, cards in phone boxes etc.

If they push the laws through, then the industry will be driven underground and it will be so much harder to reach the women who so desperately need help. In real terms, the traffickers will just need to more inventive in their sourcing of clients.

Some day, ( and hopefully before I retire ) common sense will prevail over sensationalism.

LL x

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Hotels and Holidays

It's been a very strange couple of days. Very few of my clients have been vanilla. I had a call yesterday from a guy who said " I like to dress up". Now to seasoned escorts that can mean anything from women's lingerie to the full "gimp" experience so I decided to keep an open mind. To put it more accurately, I decided to be naughty and not ask him what he meant by that so as to maintain the element of surprise.

When I opened the door I was greeted by a 6 foot Adonis who wouldn't have looked out of place as a centrefold in Playgirl, in fact it was all I could do to stop myself uttering the mantra " Never underestimate the power of prayer."

That prayer, such as it was, would have been a short lived experience because he emerged from the bathroom resplendent in what can only be described as a pink babydoll with white hold ups which clung to his dark, masculine hair. I have his full permission to share that info with you, it was one of those moments in my career when I had to try and say the appropriate thing and as usual I failed miserably. " My, don't you look... erm ....." It was a very sexy couple of hours mind you.

It cheered me up because I was in an ( ahem ) compromised mood yesterday. I was struggling to finish my assignment in between appointments and as it was so stuffy I had the hotel window open full blast. Outside there was the loud banter of a group of builders regaling each other with tales of sex that never actually happened, and in the corridor the Polish chamber maids were listening to Radio 1 full blast and shouting at each other room to room. It was all I could do to stop myself bellowing " DO YOU FECKING MIND, I'M TRYING TO WHORE AND STUDY AT THE SAME TIME." You could have taken my photo yesterday and used it in an advertising campaign for evening primrose oil. Actually, I can see it now; "Just £3 a month can stop this unbearable face, pick up the phone and donate now."

Today was my Glasgow incalls day it was so busy it was unreal. Apparently Cliff Richard is staying at same hotel but since I have no real desire to meet him I didn't hang about and besides, he's hardly likely to be propping up the bar 'til 2am. I met a man who's been trying to see me for while and I think he's glad his patience paid off because we both really enjoyed ourselves and I introduced him to the joys of my spanking paddle. I sent him off into the Glasgow evening with a big smile and a red backside. I also met a very sexy and very stressed lawyer and he went back to his workload with a considerably brighter outlook on life, hehe.

As for me, I'm off on my holidays tomorrow and I can't wait. I am completely and utterly exhausted, although my studies are up to date so I can go with an easy mind. My ironing pile now has some reinforced scaffolding alongside it but I'm past caring, I've come to the conclusion that it's a treat I can afford so when I come back I'm going to find a regular and reliable ironing lady. I arrive back on Sunday of next week and on Monday I'm straight back on the road, up to Aberdeen until Friday.

I'm so looking forward to the break, no dishes to clean up, no washing, no make-up, no waxing, nowt. It's also a valuable time for me and the little 'un to spend together or more specifically, for me to get revenge for all the times she's grated on the last remaining two nerves I have. I'm horrified to say that they don't have "lovely legs" competitions any more but they do have karaoke competitions and last year I won a bottle of wine for singing "Private Dancer". Singing the lyrics of the song was very strange and I'm sure I caught a knowing glance or two from the male fraternity. The little princess didn't care, I'm sure she was just relieved I didn't do my sparkling rendition of the "Spitting Image" song again.

All together now ....

Hold a chicken in the air, stick a deckchair up your nose,
Fly a jumbo jet, and bury all your clothes ...

I better get going on this holiday before some well meaning member of the public has me sectioned.


LL xx

Buddies and Brothels

That lovely creature Penny BBW of ample busoms and an even more ample heart got in touch with me and asked if I would pen an article for her Escort Buddy's site. Anything for you Penny. :)

Given the current upsurge in discussion around paid sex and the implications for all parties concerned, it might be a good time to take stock of the changing role of the "Buddy".

There are buddies at every level of the industry, whether they are older ladies at a parlour who take newbies under their wings, or escorts who support one and other or street workers who take a note of the registration number of cars their friends get into. The role they fulfil now is by and large one of practical advice and friendship, not to mention the safety aspect.

It is my belief ( and I'm not alone ) that if the industry is driven underground, by virtue of the client or the sex worker being criminalised then the role of the buddy will change irreparably. The focus will be very much geared towards keeping one and other away from detection and the authorities.

It is no coincidence that there is a high rate of violence against street workers and I would suggest that the reason for that is they are an easy target group. In many respects, they are alone, devoid of any monitoring or co-operation with law enforcement groups. If these women were working in licensed brothels, then they would be automatically afforded the luxury of several buddies at once. I appreciate that the suggested system is not immune to abuse, there will be women who will insist on continuing to work the streets, but at least the option would be there. Thinking back to the recent Ipswich murders, if any of the women were offered a safe alternative to continue to ply their trade, then who's to say how many lives could have been saved.

Today I met and had lunch with a new lady who has come to me via the buddy system and I feel an overwhelming sense of protectiveness towards her. She is older than me and probably more worldly wise but when it comes to the joys of escorting, utterly green. It will be my pleasure to guide her as much as I can, as I feel that is infinitely preferable to bailing her out of a police station at 2am.

LL xx

Monday, 5 October 2009

Politicians and Press

Picture the scene, Amanda and I are on our road trip, hurtling down the M6 when I check my emails on my phone.

"Oh my ferking God, there's a reporter from The Independent looking to speak to me."

After Amanda had almost ploughed us both into the central reservation, we took time to think it through. He promised total anonymity, and to quote me directly. I thought about it long and hard and came to the conclusion, "Hell, why not ?" After all, I'd already been to a public meeting with Julie Bindel, how much more difficult could it be ?

Since then, on a number of forums and commentaries on press pieces, it has been alleged that the only reason myself and another couple of ladies spoke to the press was to advertise. As they say in France, I'm afraid that's complete "merde". To my mind, any advertising that was to be gleaned from the whole sorry affair has long since been done by HH herself, whether she intended to or not.

The reality is Harriet Harman and Julie Bindel are two very ill-informed bigots who relied on the fact that any escort would be too afraid to come forward. It's now been proven that that's quite simply untrue.

It is very much a case of lie down and let these idiots label us all drug addicted desperate women or speak up and be labelled a blatant advertiser. I know which I'd choose.

I will get down from my soapbox soon I promise, as soon as desperate, vote searching politicians cease blatant generalisations.


Friday, 2 October 2009

Harriet and Heavenly encounters ( not together mind )

A special thank you to Harriet Harman. No, honestly. Thanks to all the publicity she generated for Punternet yesterday my site traffic has doubled. When I think of the hours I have spent ensuring my listing is included in all the major directories on the internet it galls me to think that all I had to do was email Ms Harman a link to PN.

My phone was so busy today I seriously contemplated outsourcing the calls to a centre in India. My regular readers will know I abhor call centres with a passion, but there's method to my madness. See if I outsource the calls, then that reduces the overheads for my legitimately run business, thus creating a greater taxable revenue. HH will be glad of that, it will come in handy for her next "expenses" claim. Everyone's a winner.

I spent a bit of time today reading some of the comments left on The Times website and aside from finding some of them hysterically funny, I was enthused to find that the vast majority feel the woman is no more than an embarrassment to the Government at this point.

Let's face it, we have an economy on it's knees, soldiers being killed in Afghanistan because they are under equipped, anti-social behaviour and the crime rate out of control, and let's not forget MP's fiddling their expenses, and what is Harman's chosen soapbox at a critical labour conference ? Punternet, a legal website, offering legal services with a special mention to the prevention of trafficking. Excellent. I'm starting to wonder if the Tories are actually paying her, because every time she opens her mouth voters change allegiance.

On a lighter note, last night I had the outcall from heaven. He was a very nervous guy who had only met one escort previously. We had a brief drink and chat on the sofa before heading to the bedroom for two hours of unadulterated bliss. Sometimes when you "click" sexually, it can be so unexpected and that's what makes it delicious. I drove home with a massive smile on my face and thought for the millionth time that the old saying is very true, "Once you find a job you love, you never have to work again."

Edinburgh was fantastic today, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with some old faces and some new and a young man who now fully understands what a seductive "MILF" means, hehe.

I'm off to Southampton tomorrow for the weekend for an industry social, to meet some of the people in this mad industry of ours that I care about very much, so I am thoroughly looking forward to it. ( All of this is of course dependant on whether Amanda and I get there in one piece after a seven hour road trip.)

Speak to you from there,

LL xx

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Questions and Answers

In light of the recent call from Harriet Harman to remove Punternet, I had a question posed to me on the forum :

Dear Laura

Suggestions please. HH is a buffoon, I've also read and commented on your posting about Julie Bindel (similar buffoon). I have a meeting this weekend with Germaine Greer (honestly), not connected with the subject of prostitution, but who knows? Could you suggest subjects I should raise?

I'll copy for you here my reply, my feelings on the current half-baked onslaught we are fielding as sex workers :

Bindel :

What the legislature must appreciate is that prostitution will never be eradicated. Once they accept that and move to a more attainable goal of regulation, we're halfway there. Julie Bindel may call that a fatalistic point of view, I call it realistic.

I'll draw on a crude analogy. Take alcohol as an example. The vast majority of people enjoy it as a pastime and method of relaxation. There are a minority in our society who become addicted to alcohol and it becomes problematic, which in turn leads to anti-social behaviour, etc.

Is the solution then to ban the purchase of alcohol ? No.
If alcohol were banned, we would have a steady increase in the number of illegal back street bars operating with no licence, no restriction on measures or content and no concern for the welfare of the drinkers within. If the sale of alcohol is regulated, what we have is at least basic standards which must be met, regular inspections of pubs and most importantly, facilities to assist those for whom alcohol has become a problem should they need addiction counselling. I would argue that the same can be said of the purchase of sex.

If it becomes illegal to purchase sex, we will be back to backstreet brothels and by virtue of the fact that it has been driven underground, trafficking will be rife.

For me the answer has to be regulation. That means mandatory inspections of brothels, mandatory registration of brothel owners, and mandatory regular STI testing for the women. Am I the only person in this country that thinks it farcical that it's illegal to have a television without a licence, yet anyone can manage a brothel ?

I have already put a solution to Julie Bindel, rather than waste tax payers money and valuable resources on prosecuting clients, is it not better to formulate a working group for the eradication of trafficking ? Sex workers must form a part of that group, as they will have an inside knowledge of the industry. Why send a nurse in to do an architects job ?

Harman :

Her call for the removal of Punternet is no more than an exercise in increasing votes for the not too far into the distant future election, where if even "The Sun" has turned it's back on Labour, they are in deep trouble.

There are many people in the sex industry who would be delighted if the demise of PN were to go ahead for one reason and one reason only, it is the best resource on the internet for sourcing and identifying sex workers and over the years there have been many imitations with those who thought they could do better. If Punternet was taken offline, there would instantly be another ten sites to take it's place, so the effect of the removal of the site would negate any "positive" impact.

As Stella quite rightly said, the site has many advantages for all of us, not least the warnings section for sex workers in relation to dangerous clients. If we accept that prostitution will never disappear in all it's forms and if Punternet and sites of a similar ilk are taken down, what then for the welfare of women ? How do we keep one and other safe, carrier pigeon ?

Punternet has never been about allowing pimps to advertise their trafficked women, on the contrary, Galahad carries on the front page a video clip on how to recognise a trafficked woman and how to report it.

What Ms. Harman must realise in her caterwauling is that the site is perfectly legal, there is no law by which she can have the site removed, so all she can do is call for it's removal and hope for the best. Her solution to that end is laughable. She is going to approach Arnold Schwarzenegger. WHAT ?!? This is the man who has himself been in the spotlight for inappropriate conduct towards women and he's going to save the day is he ? Uh, ok.

With particular reference to Bindel, these women are not true feminists, they pay lip service to the cause as and when it suits their own needs. Keeping it in the sisterhood has long since disappeared, this is very much a case of women turning against other women, and asserting a form of supposed moral supremacy in the process.

Emmeline Pankhurst would turn in her grave.

LL xx