Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Gay Porn and Giving Up

Good Morning, well when I say good, there's nothing feckin' good about it. It is 4.30am and I am wide awake having a tea party with my cats because I can't sleep.

The last time I was awake at this ungodly hour deserves a mention actually, it involved myself and a pal, watching a Gay Police Porn DVD placing bets on whether it would actually go, you know.... there. It did, and we were suitably gobsmacked. In fact she was heard to exclaim - "that is the largest blunderbuss I have ever seen". That was the day I discovered why men enjoy watching two ladies together, but I digress.

I came back from Ireland with some very fetching pressies including a full length cow print pyjama suit, ( just MADE for overnight bookings ), a Jack Dee audio book ( awesome ) and the worst bout of flu I have ever had in my life. I started feeling unwell on the boat on the way back and by the time I had embarked on the drive home from Stranraer I had broken out into a cold sweat and was shivering and achey. To add insult to injury, after I made it to bed I felt like a large rhinoceros had taken up residence on my chest and was not moving for all the sweet potatoes in the world. Wonderful.

Since then, life has been an endless round of cancelled bookings and plans combined with coughing that would make Ena Sharples look like Princess Diana. Have you ever seen the heavily lined grey face of a woman who looks fifteen years older due to smoking ? I have. NOT sexy.

Enough is enough.

Being pig headed has it's advantages so today I am marching down to my GP to announce loudly that I am giving up the evil habit of smoking and that I will require patches, nasal inhalers, and anything else the NHS can offer which will make me less likely to kill someone with my bare hands.

In the spirit of friendship I will forewarn my nearest and dearest so they can dig trenches and don flak jackets, to provide protection from high velocity projectiles.

Wish me luck.

LL xx

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

International Union of Sex Workers - Press Release

The IUSW welcomes the statements by ACPO’s lead on prostitution and sexual exploitation, Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne, that it is time to look again at the laws around prostitution.

Law surrounding the sex industry are complex, confusing and ineffective in targeting harm. In fact, it makes sex workers’ lives more dangerous. There are already general laws to target violence, coercion and abuse, which sex workers are prevented from accessing through fear of the police, as there is an inherent contradiction between the police roles of protection and prosecution.

3,000-22,000 of the estimated 80,000 people who sell sex in the UK do so on street and are criminalised under the Street Offences Act of 1959 if they loiter or solicit; the Sexual Offences Act 1985 penalises kerb-crawling. The Policing & Crime Act 2009 tweaked existing legislation: the requirement for persistent behaviour by kerb-crawlers was removed and a definition of “persistence” for soliciting or loitering was given: twice in three months. That gives this profoundly vulnerable group of women the opportunity to have contact with the police four times a year without fear of arrest.

Over the past 50 years, this legislation has entirely failed to solve the problems associated with street prostitution. The most “successful” outcomes, resulting from expensive long term enforcement, are displacement (for example, street sex workers moved to Norwich as a result of increased police action in Ipswich).

Indoors, it is possible to work entirely legally, but the only way to be free of the risk of prosecution is to work for yourself in complete isolation. Two people working together fulfils the legal definition of a brothel, so the law builds in isolation at the most fundamental level; the owner or tenant is liable to up to 7 years imprisonment.

“Controlling for gain” – legislation on “pimping” – explicitly includes people who are working of their own free will and covers almost every way of working with or for a third party.

Prosecution requires no evidence of coercion, violence or abuse; there have been several recent successful prosecutions where it was accepted in court that the defendant offered a safe, fair and honest working environment to women who freely chose to be there.

Likewise, our legal definition of trafficking fails to meet the standard of either the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking (commonly called the Palermo Protocol) or the Council of Europe Convention on Trafficking. It refers to knowledge and intent, not coercion, deception or abuse.

Catherine Stephens, activist with the International Union of Sex Workers says, “The law doesn’t just fail to target violence and exploitation, it actually facilitates it. Would we be safer working together? Yes. Is that legal? No.”

A community’s worth is measured by the way it treats the most vulnerable. It is time to treat people who sell sex with respect and to prioritise our rights and safety. It is time to decriminalise sex work so people who sell sex have the full protection of the law.

The International Union of Sex Workers:
For our human, civil and labour rights. For our inclusion and decriminalisation.
For freedom to choose and respect for those choices, including the absolute right to say no.
For the full protection of the law. For everyone in the sex industry.

UK Network of Sex Work Projects - Press Release

On the day Stephen Griffiths starts a life sentence for the murder of three women who had been involved in street sex work, the UK Network of Sex Work Projects calls on the government to fund a UK wide “Ugly Mugs” scheme to enhance local schemes and improve intelligence sharing about perpetrators of crimes against sex workers across the UK.

Sex workers are often hesitant to contact police directly due to fear of arrest or public identification and other effects of stigma. “Ugly Mugs” is a system, originally developed by sex workers, which many UKNSWP member projects have adapted to enable the sharing of information about violent offenders, robbers and others who commit crimes against people in the sex industry.

Sex workers can report crimes against them to sex work projects, providing detailed descriptions of the incidents. If the sex worker gives permission, this information is also passed to local police. However, some areas do not operate “Ugly Mugs” schemes, and there is no mechanism for intelligence to be shared UK wide even though offenders may move from one area to another and some sex workers work across different parts of the country.

A new BBC documentary examines safety issues for people who sell sex in the current legal context. It looks at the barriers sex workers face in reporting crimes committed against them and points to a UK wide “Ugly Mugs” scheme as one important way in which local “Ugly Mugs” schemes could be linked so sex workers are more effectively protected and perpetrators caught sooner.

The introduction of a UK wide “Ugly Mugs” scheme has support from amongst the Association of Chief Police Officers.

The documentary, to be screened on the BBC News Channel on December 31st, looks at safety, violence and policing issues in the UK sex industry. Women from Bradford, Liverpool and Blackpool share their experiences of sex work. The programme examines the support that exists for individuals in the industry and looks at the different approaches to policing sex work around the country.

The UKNSWP welcomes the BBC investigation and calls for a re-examination of current legislation.

Georgina Perry of UKNSWP said: “The Policing and Crime Act 2009 continues to criminalise sex workers, creating a culture of fear and distrust of the authorities and preventing the reporting of violent and serious crimes against these vulnerable people. Current legislation fails sex workers, who should be able to receive the same level of support from the police as other members of society.”

“Liverpool has introduced a supportive model of policing where sex workers are protected and intelligence about crimes against them is shared. This has led to a dramatic rise in convictions for those who commit crimes against this group. We hope that this model will be rolled out UK wide. We are also calling on government to implement a UK wide “Ugly Mugs” scheme so that intelligence about violent offenders can be shared between police forces.”

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Evening all, greetings from home where I have finally finished furiously packing for my trip back to the Green Isle for Christmas.

The article that I did with the Edinburgh newspaper was published this week.

As I said at the time of the interview, the journalist concerned wanted to do a day in the life whilst I wanted to talk about the impending proposed changes to Scottish legislation. We met half way I think and the important thing was I got the message across about what Trish Godman is trying to achieve.

Overall I've had overwhelming support and I'm delighted to have such good friends in the industry ( and outwith the industry for that matter ) to support me in everything I do.

I will continue to use each and every single platform I can possibly find to highlight the rights of sex workers and no amount of bitchery will disuade me, it's that simple.

For personal reasons ( relating to my private life ), today has been one of the best days of my life and I have never felt so content and happy. Tomorrow I am off to surround myself with family and friends for five days of blissful rest.

So Merry Christmas to one and all, very best wishes to all my clients and friends and I'll catch up with you when I get back.

Ll xx

Monday, 13 December 2010

A letter to the MSP's of The Scottish Parliament

Dear Sirs,

I write to voice my objection to the proposed changes to the law in relation to the purchase of sex in Scotland, ie : the private member's bill being proposed by Trish Godman. My name is Laura and I am an independent escort. I am not pimped, coerced or working under duress in any way. I am not labouring under any addiction, nor am I the product of an abusive background. I have been a sex worker for some 16 years and it's fair to say I love my job.

The first part of Trish Godman's opening statement makes for interesting reading ;

"People who buy sex do so of their own free will, whereas the majority of prostitutes are unwilling participants in this exchange of cash for sex."

Of what "majority" does she speak, exactly ? Over the years I have met women working at every level of the sex industry and in fact, it has been my experience that the vast majority of those women are happy in their work. Sure, there are days we dislike, the same as every other job, but the only women I have ever encountered who are truly unhappy are those who are drug addicted, or trapped through fear. This proposed legislative change does not take the above into account in any way, it seeks to prohibit the purchase of sex regardless of any circumstances.

Ms. Godman goes on to say ;

"Until the purchasers of sex are criminalised, individuals, families and communities will still suffer and organised crime profit."

How does my job supply "organised crime" ? I work perfectly legally, I pay my taxes and my national insurance and in fact the only people to benefit from the proceeds of my work ( aside from myself ) are the government, in collecting revenue.

Turning to Ms. Godman's next point -

"Some women have paid traffickers to bring them to a new country with the promise of a new life, while others are taken, for example, from poor families. Once trafficked, some women are forced into prostitution and denied contact with their families becoming “invisible” in the new country and denied access to services such as health care they may need. Most are tightly controlled with no freedom. Increasing isolation, fear and language difficulties make it hard to ask for help and escape their situation."

At last, a point on which Ms. Godman and I agree.

No right thinking person in this country would support the trafficking of women as little more than cattle, the practice is abhorrent and the full force of the law should be brought down on those found guilty. For me though, the crux of the matter is this - clandestine activity can only thrive in clandestine conditions. If the sex industry were to be fully decriminalised then it would be increasingly difficult for those who seek to abuse women to operate their despicable operations.

Amongst all of the horror stories of trafficking ( and let's make no mistake about it, it does exist ) there is also a community of sex workers like myself who truly enjoy our jobs and bring happiness into the lives of many men ( and women ) who may be widowed, disabled or in simple terms, lonely.

I say that the solution to the current issue of trafficked women ( and men ) is not to persecute those who choose to enter into consensual sex for payment but rather, to concentrate on those who are working against their will.

Ms. Godman seems to draw a lot of her information from Ann Hamilton and Glasgow City Council. To my mind it is simply not possible to "reduce demand" for sexual services. Ms. Hamilton would have us believe that reducing demand for such services is the way forward in reducing harm to sex workers. I submit that the correct approach is to look at reducing harm to sex workers by taking the stigma and the social exclusion away from the sex industry, so that both sex workers and clients can feel able to come forward and voice any concerns that they may have to the authorities. If the true aim of the proposed legislative changes is to protect the vulnerable within the sex industry then that is the only way forward.

As a woman who passionately believes in the rights of sex workers and also in the rights of women as a whole, I am more than happy to meet you and discuss what I have proposed.

In the meantime, I thank you for taking the time to read my submission and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Laura Lee.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Baggage, Boats and Bagpuss

Good evening all and greetings from Belfast where I arrived today having survived the onslaught of fresh snow. The timing was impeccable, I just arrived in the city as the snow started so managed to evade any dangerous driving. I got the boat from Stranraer and I'm very glad I did for two reasons -

1. Flights were cancelled between Glasgow and Belfast and ;

2. I can't be bothered with flight baggage weight.

Jeez, by the time I've packed all of my toys and laptop I'm already over the limit, never mind including clothes and personal stuff. I sprinted on to the boat having been stopped by Dumfries and Galloway's finest "Polis" for speeding. ( I really didn't mean to, I was singing along to The Pogues and Kirsty McColl ). Had it just been the male cop who stopped me I would have been fine, because he conducted an entire conversation with my breasts. His female partner on the other hand spotted the leather trousers and mop of hair getting out of the car and decided she was going to throw the proverbial book at me. Wonderful.

Never mind, I got the boat eventually and settled back in a recliner seat with a hot coffee to relax, intending to let someone else worry about navigation for a while, when I was startled out of my comfort zone of contentment with a shriek -


On a boat where there were literally scores of people for her to choose from, the one and only resident person of dubious intellect had chosen me, to wow with her various conspiracy theories. Brilliant.

"Did you know that they will let the boat sail if they find fewer than 20 faults ?"

"Is that right, aye ?"

"Oh yes, I mean we could be sitting on a time bomb here."

I could feel all levels of polite tolerance beginning to ebb away at an increasing speed so I excused myself and hid in the toilets for a while. No joy, when I came back she was still there.

In the end I told her I needed to drive to Co. Cork when we got to Belfast so really needed to sleep. Through the divine intervention of someone, that worked and when I woke up from my snooze she had cornered a terrified construction worker on the deck of the boat and was busy lecturing him on the dangers of tar to the lining of the lung. Result.

Never was I so glad to see my sparsely furnished and under heated hotel room, I could have bounced on the bed for joy. I had an afternoon appointment and then headed off to meet a guy I have met a number of times now. He picked me up and we went back to his apartment to play for a bit. In preparation he had some non-alcoholic mulled wine from M & S and some salmon on granary bread too, it was delish. Then the highlight of the evening - he introduced me to his custom made cross in the bedroom.

It was big, it was black and it had restraints at every juncture.

*Cue evil grin*

Without going into detail much fun was had by both parties ( cough ).

So tomorrow is another day, with appointments to fulfill and madness to evade, although the latter never seems to go according to plan.

I forgot to say, one of my Inverness chaps did a field report for me -

Thank you !! I had a great time too.

I'm off to jump into my Winnie the Pooh pyjamas and curl into my Bagpuss hot water bottle.

A girl's gotta have her comforts. ;)

LL xx

Friday, 3 December 2010

Shopping, Snow and Suits

The best thing about being a dominatrix ( inter alia ) is that the customer is always wrong.

No matter how hard he tries, that slave of mine only manages to try my patience. Last weekend as part of our "weekend of hell" we hopped on the train and headed to a town where he wouldn't be known, so we could play. In his "real" life, my subordinate has a position where people brown-nose him all day. I relish the task of taking him down a couple of pegs or two to counteract his sense of inflated ego and I do it with style. First off, I frog marched him to a beauty salon where he had his chest waxed. We told the beautician that he had lost a bet, hence I had to sit in on the session and watch him squirm whilst it was done. It was tremendous fun and actually, I think he rather liked the end result.

From there we headed off for some enforced shopping, it's every woman's dream - to be able to browse the aisles and bark orders at a submissive male to produce a card to pay for the finds. Humiliation must be a part of the process, so whilst we were busy having a very pretty basque wrapped, I quizzed the assistant.

"You wouldn't have him down as a cross dresser, would you really ?"

"Err, no. I suppose not."

"Come to think of it, I don't think you'd assume gay, either."

The look on her face was priceless as she tried to work out if I was serious or not and more to the point if my male companion was mortally offended. He was, and it was delicious.

On to Boots, where I was browsing the lubricants ( as you do ) and I asked him loudly; "Do you need any more lube for the gay gang bang ? Just asking like."

He hung his head and several sharp intakes of breath ensued. Wonderful stuff.

For his final humiliation, to my eternal delight I spied a children's fun fair and sent him down the helter skelter with an assortment of hyper active three year olds. If you knew the man and his demeanour, perhaps you'd understand why the mere memory of that and typing it out has my shoulders shaking with laughter and earl grey tea travelling in the general direction of my nose.

I love my job, and I love my guys, from the "vanilla" guys who bury their heads in my vales and hills to my subs who bury their heads in shame. That said, tonight I resemble Ian Paisley with a toothache. To describe me as "cross" would be to describe Hitler as "having some issues". I am tired, it has been a very busy day in Inverness. I am also wholly fed up, because I fail to understand why we live in a country that can send entire military forces into other countries to flush out extremists from the hills of Afghanistan, but we can't clear some fecking rail tracks. Unbelievable. All trains from Inverness are cancelled tomorrow until further notice.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm just off to the bar of the hotel to find some man in a suit to bitch at.

LL xx