Blackness kiss

Not sure if you remember, but Walter won a kiss in the Limerick Competition. And in case you don’t know, he had big plans for that kiss. Big Plans. We went through a few of them, mostly by location, and having ruled out North Berwick, Queensferry and Portobello, we decided to go with Blackness. To Blackness. What a strange, gothic name for a location which has nothing strange or gothic in it.

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We drove for a while. First highways, then roads, then wooded lanes. In one of them, we passed a hen party – a dozen of pheasant girls talking loudly on a stone wall covered in moss and ivy by the side of the path. With each turn the journey was getting more and more surreal.

Walter parked behind some god forsaken church in the middle of a forest, got a backpack out of the boot and we went down a steep forest path. It was dry, still and unexpectedly warm for a September afternoon. The forest was very quiet. We came across a bridge over a little stream, followed the river, passed by a little shady bog and then suddenly there it was. I knew we were going to a beach but it was still a surprise.

Blackness beach is as wild as they come. Not a single soul there if you don’t count two thousand seagulls, and we had no desire to count them. We walked along the forest line for a while until we came to a spot which was less rocky, more sunny and decorated with bunches of cheerfully bright daisies. There Walter threw a plaid over the thin grass (in the true spirit of a non-Scot in Scotland), I took off my shoes, we snuggled up and the kiss started.

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What shall I say about the kiss? The ground was too rocky, the plaid too thin, the wind too strong, the seagulls – the seagulls were being seagulls, I can hate them for it but not blame. Even two can be bad enough, and multiplied by a thousand… Yet it was the most romantic kiss I’ve had so far. A couple of hours later the sun went down, I got cold and hungry and the kiss had to stop.

It was quite dark when we got to Queensferry. We stopped there for a dinner which, for reasons I will not disclose (in this sentence), Walter now considers unforgettable. Apparently, a certain dish they serve there gives one erection of a lifetime – yes, it lasts that long, I can attest this myself. Before that, however, Walter left the table to pay the bill and came back with a single red rose. I still don’t know where he got it, he wouldn’t say. I’ve never been there so have to ask – are men’s toilets decorated with flower arrangements? In Queensferry?

We made it to the hotel eventually. In the morning, after a very short night (I told you it was erection of a lifetime) Walter kindly took a few (more) pictures of me. This involves another man, I’m afraid. A gentleman I’d never met generously supplied me with lovely lingerie and no, he didn’t ask for the photos in return. I suggested it myself. In case you’re in doubt – no, I don’t usually send out my photos left, right and centre. I don’t need to, you can copy them from my website. If it’s not there, then it’s not for everyone. Which is why you get to see this.

 Edinburgh escorts photos

Look closely. It must have been a very good meal if you can have this in bed and still attribute your erection to food. And no, I’m not telling you what restaurant it was.

You know what? I’m glad I ran that Limerick Competition. Some wonderful things came out of it.

Dauphins, divine heroes and decorations

There aren’t enough letters in the English alphabet. Well, enough for the language but not for me. It’s not that I ran out of letters to mark clients by (which, in turn, is not because I have had fewer clients than there are letters in the English alphabet), the problem here is that there aren’t many male names that would start with Z or X or Q. On the other hand, the amount of Daniels, Deans, Donalds, Darrens, Dominics, Douglases… Don’t even start me on Davids and dicks. So this one will be called Prince, and not just because of his princely name. His features, his figure, his bearing, his manners, his voice, his words – everything about him exudes composed and dignified refinement. Not the affected sort, but the one that shows breeding and innate elegance. Composed and dignified refinement comes off him in generous waves and engulfs you until you feel you’re soaking it in through your pores. Yet he’s so light-hearted, easy and romantic that, regardless of his age and royal mien, king is not his title. If there were a stereotype of a retired dauphin, this man would be its embodiment.

On our first date he impressed me with a line of presents. The biggest surprise was not in the presents but in how they were presented. The flowers, the box, the envelope were all done in the same colour scheme and were accompanied with a hard copy of a poem dedicated to me. I love clients with good taste. I always take them as a compliment.

The second date we started at the National Gallery. It was enjoyable because we soon agreed that most classical figure painting can be divided into 2 categories: religious motifs and wanking material. Sometimes these categories overlap.

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Look at this painting. What purpose does it serve? It’s clearly not there to remind you of the pain Jesus went through to save the human kind. So it’s for decoration purposes only. And since throughout most of history women were decorative objects rather than agents, what image is better placed to be decorative than that of a woman? However, if all you really wanted was to decorate a wall, does the woman have to be naked? Probably not.

And in case it’s not obvious, these aren’t just objective images of nude women. They didn’t have Playboy in those days, they had something better: a bunch of tireless blokes who instead of photoshop used their imagination to create something iconic yet ubersexy. Because from an aesthetic point of view that booty ain’t no accident. And if you still feel it doesn’t inspire any wanking in you, consider this. From the Middle Ages till fin de siècle (and even nowadays in case or Ireland) most married men of middle class never saw a naked woman live. Everything to do with procreation happened in the dark, under the sheets, and a good wife would still have at least 6 items of clothing on. If I were one of those men and I got to put this on one of my walls, I’d wank like there’s no tomorrow. Because what we miss in porn nowadays is its user’s imagination.

Edinburgh escortsLook at this beauty. You can choose to be her lover, or one of the young voyeurs, or join them for a threesome, or you could prefer to go for the bloke. And whatever point of view you take, from there on your imagination will provide you with everything you need, including the finer details of your imaginary lover’s body that are not visible on the painting. In case you’re interested, this is Heracles and Omphale, or just another proof that even mythology in art was a cover up for high quality porn. I mean, think of everything Heracles is famous for. Of course, mostly it’s his farming labours (Cretan bull, mares of Thrace, Erymanthian boar, the Hesperides’ apples, Geryon’s cattle, Augean stables) but he also had a brief career as a sperm donor for the 50 children he fathered with 50 sisters. And of all these deeds you choose to paint the moment when he makes out with his wife?

And the apotheosis of wanking material: all sorts of genders in all sorts of races and all sorts of sizes. By a Scottish painter. You can tells Scots have little to do on those long winter nights.

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You can also tell the second date was quite successful after we left the Gallery.

J or The Fortunes of Vice

In some inexplicable way our demonstration on Friday reminded me of her. She had the name of one of the infamous sisters from Marquis de Sade’s writings. I’ll call her J. Edinburgh escorts

I met J in the early summer of 200X. I had just joined a little agency run by an old gentleman. That evening I was sent to Savoy. I was told there would be 2 clients and one other lady. A man opened the door of a little suite and I joined the company in the sitting room.

My client went to sit down on a sofa, I sat next to him. The other man was sitting on a chair opposite us and she was on another chair, three quarters to him, I couldn’t see her face. She was wearing a plain black shift dress and low-heeled square-toed black shoes. Her hair was dark, very short and curly – the hair that I would have if I ever allowed myself to have it cut above my shoulders. She turned to me and stretched her hand.

‘I’m J,’ she said, and smiled.

‘I’m J,’ I replied and touched her hand.

I showed off my new shoes; I bought them the day before, they were made of fabric that was identical in colour and pattern to the bright summer dress I was wearing. My client, the host, served drinks, there were snacks, the men were talkative and funny and soon the conversation was flowing. J spoke little and always very softly; to hear her, everyone had to go silent. I thought it was a great trick.

After a while, the clients went to another room for a quick chat and we were left alone. J turned to me. Her eyes were blue. This is the closest I’ve ever been to falling in love. I looked at her.

‘I love your hair,’ I said and my throat went dry.

‘I love your shoes,’ she replied. And smiled.

The men came back and she left with her client. I ended up staying with mine for the whole night and didn’t get to see J for almost 2 weeks.

Next time it was a little hotel in Park Lane. I had met that client before, when he went on and on about how he would like to see me with a woman. This time I expected to hear it again because this talk seemed to be his favourite fantasy, but it turned out he decided to put his money where his mouth was (erm, yes, both puns). I walked into the room and J was sitting there on the bed, in her black shift dress and square-toed shoes. A couple of months later the old man who ran the agency would tell me that J asked him for that. Her lips and skin were soft and cool. She did everything slowly and quietly, concentrating fully on what she was doing.

She sat on her knees between my legs as I stretched out on the bed, and traced the outline of my thigh with her finger. Then she squeezed it.

‘This is amazing. You’re thin and at the same time so fleshy. So succulent.’

Charles, the client, first got bored, then jealous. Men with this fantasy sometime don’t realise that watching 2 women together means you’re left on your own. He asked J to leave and I stayed for another half an hour. When I walked out of the hotel, J was waiting outside in a cab. I came up and opened the cab door.

J shared a squat in Baker Street with half a dozen other people. When she wasn’t working, she was up all night smoking hash and drawing horoscope charts for political events or daydreaming of the Vestals dancing around the sacred fire. Hedonism wasn’t her hobby, it was her way of living. She liked that I was so determined, she said I added structure to her life. She brought chaos into mine. Her company was a pleasure but I could never know when I would have it again. Eventually I left the agency and soon after that I moved to Newcastle. J was unwilling to keep in touch. Or incapable of it.

When I moved to Edinburgh, I came across her photos on a website of a little parlour in south west London. The rota said she was there every Saturday. A year later her photos were removed.

Last summer, walking along Princes Street, Violet and I passed a girl dressed up as air hostess giving out leaflets. She was about my height, slim, with blue eyes and fair skin. I came up and asked for a leaflet.

‘What do you need it for?’ asked Violet when I caught up with her.

‘I don’t need it. The girl was pretty.’

Violet laughed.

Edinburgh, Friday 19 July, 3pm outside the Scottish Parliament

Most of the text below was shamelessly stolen from ICRSE press-release. If you’ve seen it before, skip to the end. For more information on the protest in the city close to you please go to

 http://jasmineanddora.wordpress.com/

Recent murders and violent attacks on sex workers spark an unprecedented wave of international action calling for an end to stigma and criminalisation. Once again SCOT-PEP and SWOU come together in Scotland to unite people protesting against systems worldwide that fail to protect sex workers from discrimination, violence and murder.

Last week, with one day apart, 2 sex workers were brutally murdered. On Tuesday, Dora, a trans woman and sex worker in Kusadasi, Aydin in Turkey was stabbed by a client. On Thursday, Jasmine, a mother of two children and a sex worker, was also stabbed – by her ex-husband. Those two tragic deaths should be a wake-up call for all of us: human rights defenders, feminists, LGBT activists, policy makers and anyone who refuses a world where people – because they are selling sexual services – are seen as less worthy of human dignity and respect and therefore more likely to be seen as unfit mothers by the state, or to be the victims of brutal and heinous crimes.

Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association in Turkey wrote: “Violence against trans sex workers in different forms has been a common and widespread reality in Turkey. The overall reported incidents of trans sex workers murders has been 31 between 2008 – 2012 in Turkey, constituting the highest number in Council of Europe states. Another case that we have experienced this week was the violent attack of another trans sex worker from Ankara – Ela – who was shot by gun from her arm by one of her clients and she may lose the functioning of right arm. The Turkish Government must take every necessary step to ensure trans sex workers from violence”.

Rose Alliance, a sex worker organisation where Jasmine was on the Board wrote: “Our board member, fierce activist and friend Petite Jasmine got brutally murdered yesterday (11 July 2013). Several years ago she lost custody of her children as she was considered to be an unfit parent due to being a sex worker. The children were placed with their father regardless of him being abusive towards Jasmine. They told her she didn’t know what was good for her and that she was “romanticizing” prostitution, they said she lacked insight and didn’t realise sex work was a form of self-harm. He threatened and stalked her on numerous occasions; she was never offered any protection. She fought the system through four trials and had finally started seeing her children again. Yesterday the father of her children killed her. She always said “Even if I can’t get my kids back I will make sure this never happens to any other sex worker”. We will continue her fight. Justice for Jasmine!”

Sweden, with its reputation of gender equality, transparent government and respect for minorities, is also known for passing the 1999 law that criminalises the clients of sex workers. In considering all sex workers as victims and all clients as abusers, the Swedish state denies agency of women selling sexual services. This paternalistic approach, aggressively promoted to other countries as “protecting women” actually led to an attitude that infantilises women and discredits their choices and experiences, and has led to the violation of the human rights of women. Women caught selling sex are seen as unfit mothers and subsequently have their children forcibly taken away from them, are denied housing and disregarded as victims of false consciousness and male violence, an approach that fundamentally denies their agency and their own articulation of their experiences.

[800x600] ICRSE Protest July 19th

The story of Dora, a transgender sex worker in Turkey was a different setting however noticeably still connected in that stigma and discrimination played a huge part in the impunity with which her attacker would murder her. More conservative than Sweden and with a noticeably poor record on human rights, gender equality and respect of minorities, Turkey is also failing to protect sex workers from violence. Though prostitution is not illegal in Turkey when operated from brothels (one by one shut down by the government to satisfy public morality, and by consequence, leaving more women to work, unsafely, in the streets) the stigma faced by trans women is so high that very few found ways of making a living other than through sex work.

Kemal Ordek, chair of Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association said, “Discrimination against trans women in education and employment sectors is widespread. Many trans women end up in doing sex work under risky environments. Sex work is regulated in Turkey in a manner which paves the way to criminalise those unregistered sex workers – even though the laws does not require so – as any step taken in relation to sex work is criminalised under the Turkish Penal Code. The police are generally one of the perpetrators of violence, pushing sex workers under more risky environments where they are more open to violence from people posing as clients or gangs. The 31 reported murders of trans women in Turkey in the last five years is likely to be far lower than the real number.”

In response to these murders and continual violence, and in memory of Jasmine and Dora, sex workers and allies across the world have mobilised to create a mass spontaneous international day of action and memorial. In London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Lisbon, Helsinki, Canberra, Sydney, Vancouver, Chicago, Los Angeles, in Turkey and in Sweden – a total of over 30 cities over three continents – sex workers will gather outside the embassies of the Swedish and Turkish governments, or in other public places to protest what has been called the state-condoned murders of Jasmine, Dora, and so many others. Enough sex workers have suffered or died because of stigma and criminalisation. We demand change!

Shame on Turkey! Shame on Sweden!

Shame on laws that place vulnerable people in danger of violence!

Violence against sex workers must stop.

If you are in Scotland and you care, please come and join us. Please wear black. Please bring your friends. Please wear sunglasses, wigs or masks if you want to protect your identity. In Edinburgh. In Glasgow. Please be there with us and for us.

The rocky road to not being a virgin

Remember my Bambi client? Well guess what, I saw him again! And then again! He still has his animal magnetism (that of a baby deer) and not a hint at facial hair. Some men are just born lucky.

In the first entry about him, if you remember, I said I hoped he’d get a girlfriend and live happily ever after. This isn’t because I believe that I or other sex workers aren’t good enough, it’s because I think that at 18 he’d better go out and meet girls and learn to build relationships with them and save the money he’s only just started earning for something like a car or whatever boys want these days. And this is exactly what I told him in April, the second time he got in touch with me. My only excuse is that I was on medication, off sick. Because when he replied my e-mail saying that he agreed with me on all points, he was not trying to substitute or escape a meaningful relationship by seeing me, and he made sure he saved a little each month, it was quite embarrassing.

As a sex worker, I get upset when people who know nothing about my life or my work (like Rhoda Grant et al) tell me what’s best for me and explain why what I want to do is wrong. So who am I to decide what’s best for B? I don’t know the first thing about his experience of the opposite sex (well that’s a lie, the only thing I know about his experience with the opposite sex is exactly the first one because I was present) or his life, or his finances. Who am I to tell him how to spend his money? The state thinks he’s adult enough to drive, vote, drink alcohol and have sex and I’m not his parent to have an opinion here. B didn’t seem to be surprised or upset by what I said but felt I had to apologise.

Hi B,

I must apologise. My previous e-mail was disgustingly patronising and it looked like I was treating you if not as a child, then at least as a not-so-mature youngster. I thought of all the virgin clients I had (this is well over 20) and of them only 3 I saw once. The rest I saw at least twice and sometimes 3-4 times. Nothing sets you apart except your age so I think it’s high time I stopped mollycoddling you and let you make decisions based on what you want rather than on what I think is best for you. So I am sorry and I’ll be happy to see you again whenever you are ready.

So in May, when I thought I was well enough, B came to Edinburgh again. I won’t go into details of that date, but somewhere in the middle of it, when things were going really well, I said “oh, excuse me a minute, will you”, then went to the bathroom and threw up. I did feck up a few dates over the years by various stupid things (that’s right, I make sure it’s not on my blog). This, however, was in a league of its own. I was certain B wouldn’t be back, and the 2 thoughts that made it all better were:

  • I didn’t expect to see him again anyway
  • Now he knows what it’s like to pick up a woman in a bar on a Friday night

So you can imagine my surprise when a couple of months later he was back. There was one skill in particular that he wanted to polish, and one experience he wanted to report – that of meeting a girl in a bar. By the sound of it, it was the girl who picked him up, not the other way round, but I’m still very pleased for him. There’s no knowing if I’ll ever see him again but I’m sure he’ll be just fine, he’s a quick learner.

My clients

Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. It’s my clients who make me a prostitute and they do a brilliant job. Again and again. They even write poems about it.

Ever since Rhoda Grant published the results of her consultation (and for some time before that) I kept wondering what was going to happen. Quite naturally, my feelings ranged from “We’re all gonna die!” to “Nah, this ain’t gonna happen” depending on the day of the week. At the end of June, a few days before the bloody Bill failed, I went through my accounts for the first half of 2013. Ms Grant kept stressing that prostitution can’t go further underground, that if clients can find us then so can the police. So I made a list of everyone I saw in the half a year and did some simple mathematics. I admit that it’s not a representative half a year as I was off for 5 weeks with a kidney infection and then took time to get back to work*, but I wasn’t bored enough to go through 2012 accounts to verify my 2013 findings. The short of it is that out of all my dates in these 6 months only 28.5% were with new people. Others were repeat clients. Don’t know about you, I arrived at 3 conclusions:

  1. I seem to be good at my job
  2. I seem to be bad at marketing
  3. If forced, I could take down my website so the police can’t find me, and live off regular clients. Neither ideal nor impossible but does smell of underground.

And then, having made the list, I thought I could look into other things. The new clients. 50% of them I met while in Brighton, Cambridge and London (i.e. wouldn’t have met if hadn’t travelled. Definitely need to put more energy into marketing) and 25% of them all I have already seen again within this half year.

And out of curiosity I also had a look at my clients’ jobs. To be fair, I don’t always know what new clients do, and sometimes with clients I know well I only have a vague idea (e. g. something boring in marine policy making that neither me nor him want to talk about), but I know where the vast majority of my benefactors get the money to pay me, and the two general groups that came up first were

  1. IT dudes**
  2. Academic professionals

I have to face the fact that I mostly attract geeks and nerds. And geriatrics. The group that came up third was “pensioners”. Or I can choose to believe that I tend to attract mature and intelligent men whose unique preferences (and tastes in women) set them apart from the majority.

And finally here are the results of the Limerick Competition:

And in case you’re wondering, the people who took part are:

  • 3 IT dudes
  • 1 academic
  • 1 pensioner
  • 1 sweet man I’ve never met so don’t know what job he has if any.

And the winner is Leonard with

A woman of fixed virtue price

she’ll bind up your heart in a trice

from the top of her head

to the foot… of her bed?

Fuck virtue, let’s celebrate vice!

I’ve been doing exactly that. Right after him we have Walter with

There is this fine lady named Jewel

Whose stubbornness matches a mule.

If you call her a whore 

You won’t get past her door

(AND you’ll have to face ME in a duel).

Leonard gets a free dinner with me as promised. Walter gets a kiss for his knightly inclinations and, quite possibly, something else on top of the kiss to encourage the right type of behaviour and further literary endeavours. And on the subject: am I really that stubborn? I mean, people dedicate poems to my stubbornness! And so many people voted for it! In fact, some people in SCOT-PEP voted for this limerick exactly because of this line. And there was I thinking they’ll go for the one about the parliament… Here’s George’s (SCOT-PEP co-chair) take on things:

Done and chosen my two

Although there were quite a few

That were very clever.

I thought “Well I never!”

Jewel’s so popular. Who knew?

Indeed.

Many thanks again to everyone who contributed to the competition and also to those who took the time to vote. The new poll is here, please vote if you feel that it’s relevant to you in any way.

———————————————————————-

* I have a limerick for that

There is a Jewel in Auld Reekie

Who’s lately been feeling quite peaky

And men everywhere 

Wept with despair

‘Cos they couldn’t meet her for a quickie

 

** I’ve a limerick for that, too!

I’m a man who can’t wire plugs, 

I’m a programmer with software bugs.

I cry in the night,

But everything’s right

When Jewel arrives and gives me hugs.

Ye gods and little fishes

The limerick of the day:

When money is buying affection,

there’s no guarantee of erection.

But Jewel, we know,

will set us aglow,

and without any chance of dejection.

As you probably know, last week there was a debate on prostitution. The leaflet said it was Rhoda Grant (MSP) and Richard Lucas (some obscure personage of some obscure christian movement in Scotland) VS Laura Lee (sex workers’ rights campaigner) and Douglas Fox (IUSW representative).

The debate was held in a hotel across the road from the Parliament; one has to wonder if this location was chosen intentionally. I was a little late, sat there for about an hour and left early when Rhoda was speaking. Outside the meeting room, I got the mobile out of my handbag and dialled a number.

– Are you done? – asked H(ugh).

– I left early, – I said. – Shall I come round then?

– Sure, see you in a minute.

I put the phone back into my handbag and go to the lifts. 30 seconds later he opens the door, I step in and he gives me a kiss. I get home really late.

The following afternoon Walter comes to pick me up for lunch. At the restaurant, our drinks served, he asks:

– So, how was it?

– Boring. I left early.

– Not the feedback I expected! And what’s this Rhoda like?

– Well, she’s like… How do I put it into words? She’s a little… A lot, actually… I don’t know… She’s like a fish.

– Out of water?

No, it’s not that. It took me a while to figure out why it was exactly a fish that came to mind, but now I know. When you look at a pretty little gold fish in a tank, opening its mouth and making little air bubbles, you get the same level of passion and interest. And the same amount of information. The only time she came up with something fresh was when Douglas asked how the legislation will be enforced and what sort of evidence the police will look for. She admitted that the women would have to be tracked down (all hail decriminalisation a la Grant!) and as for evidence, well, the police would come up with something. That was the point where I got bored.

Walter went to pay the bill and, waiting for him, I looked around the restaurant. 3 tables away from me Douglas Fox was chatting to a woman who was scribbling his words down. I waved at him. He gave me a blank stare. Oh well. Walter returned, I told him about Douglas and we marvelled at the coincidence. Although frankly, considering how many beliefs Douglas and I share, it wasn’t a surprise at all that we ended up in the same restaurant. We got up to leave and as Walter opened the door for me, he whispered: “He looked at your bum!”

– Errm… Douglas??? What, is there a stain on my dress?

I turn round trying to look at my own bum. Walter rolls eyes, probably the first time in the years I’ve known him:

– The waiter! He totally looked at your bum!

Once inside, we have a shower and move on to the bed. There Walter picks me up (naturally, I scream and demand that he puts me back down), kisses me and throws me on the bed. What’s it all about? If you remember, some time ago Walter pulled that trick off the first time and although it was a little different to actual throwing, it was rather exciting. And this time it’s even better. The bed creaks, as if to complain; clumsily, on all fours over the duvet I make my way back to the floor and demand (again! Some women just won’t give you a break, will they?) that he throws me again. He does as told and jumps after me.

I haven’t said it before on the blog, but Walter is one of those clients who turns my job from a nice pastime into a rewarding endeavour, a hard task that’s totally worth taking. For a very long time our relationship was a teacher-student one, with him asking questions and me doing my best to explain things I’d never even tried putting into words before. When I met him, he had very little (and mostly negative) experience of sex. But he was eager to learn, with a clear goal he set himself from the start. I’ll never forget the kiss he stole while we were waiting to be seated in a restaurant on one of our first dates. Such a small thing but it was a big step for him at the time. And, step by step, he is now at the stage where he knows how to make love to a woman, he knows how to take the lead and he feels comfortable with it. I don’t think he thought it was possible 2 years ago. And all this time he’s been unwittingly teaching me back things that I lack: humility, open mind, putting trust into people. Prostitution is a nationwide educational programme focussed on safe sex and personal growth. You should be investing into it, not criminalising it.

And in case you’re interested, here‘s (much) more about the debate from Douglas Fox and the article about each panelist by the lady-scribbler in the restaurant.

Competition – updated AGAIN

For the long-awaited Limericks Competition go to the Monthly Poll page. Please excuse its appearance: limericks were only allowed as one line text by the format of the poll. I tried other versions of polls, other providers of poll service, html tags and even tried uploading the limericks as an image, and I’m afraid that what you see there is the best-looking and least-complicated option. If you know the secret to how to break each option in the poll into individual lines – please please tell me.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the contest, you did me proud. 

The limericks you see in the poll are only about a half of everything that I received. Some people sent only one or two, others sent a dozen, and although there were so many brilliant ones, I felt that to make the competition a little fair (and to help the reader get to the end of the competition list) I should limit the amount of entries by one person to 3. It was hard to choose just 3 from, say, 8 great verses, and it’s harder still to keep the remainder to myself (apart from the very personal one. These are between me and the author only, I’m afraid), so the limericks that aren’t in the competition will be published later. Maybe I should release them one a day? That’ll last till the end of the competition.

Votes: from 1 June to 30 June, the entries are listed in random order, you can choose up to 2 limericks (simply because it would be hard to pick just one), 1 vote per IP address. I know it’s not too hard to vote from work and then from home, but I hope that voters will try to be fair. I won’t be casting mine: I’m a bit of a biased party here. Also, of all the limericks I received one stood out to me as an immediate winner. I did not include it in the competition because, as I said, this one already won my heart:

There is nothing about Jewel I would alter –

Nor would Mariner, Leonard, or Walter.

We all worship her,

She’s our shining star,

And her loveliness will never falter.  

Most limericks in the competition touch on my work in one way or another, and the affection between some of the lines is obvious. But this one is so special to me because it brings up the side of my work I enjoy most – my clients – not as faceless “them” or even “us”; it shows that all of my clients are individuals, very different people, yet they have something in common: their good taste (and not what you thought it was). And their fondness for me. The author has not featured on this blog yet although it’s been over half a year now since I first saw him. I hope to finish his entry soon. He’ll go by the code name of The Scot.

And the prize, of course. Since no-one made a suggestion in this respect, let’s stick with the dinner with the winner*. I’ll be giving away 2 of these: one to the actual winner and one to The Scot. Unless, of course, The Scot’s other limerick wins; I haven’t yet decided what to do in this situation. But I never thought I’m so bloody generous anyway.

Independent Edinburgh Escorts

*THE SMALL PRINT: a dinner with the winner is a dinner date between the person whose limerick gains most votes (The Winner) and Jewel (that’s me!) that includes at least 1 hour of private time for outcalls, or 2 hours (plus deposit) for incalls which is charged as per usual; the dinner at a place of the winner’s choice (his kitchen is just as good a place if he thinks he can cook and can manage something gluten-free) will be provided by the winner, with Jewel contributing her time (around 2 hours) free of charge in recognition of his literary achievements. This generous offer expires on the day Jewel decides to retire.

Amnesty International, branches and hookers – UPDATED

Updates: the Facebook page I mention and link to in this entry was removed on June 1, 2013, most probably through the actions taken by Amnesty International UK/ Scotland: it’s highly unlikely that Paisley Branch removed the page that advertised their anti-prostitution campaign on 3 June just because they suddenly changed their mind. This shows that occasionally the joint voices of sex workers and their allies can and do change the course of events. We are grateful to everyone who took part in this.

Right, as most of you know by now, Rhoda Grant published the results of her consultation. Many interesting submissions there. I’ll concentrate on just one, the submission by Amnesty International Paisley Branch here. Amnesty International Paisley Branch support Rhoda Grant in her noble crusade and provide us with their view on prostitution based on their experience of one female ex-sex worker whom only one member of the Branch met personally.

The issue I have here is not that Amnesty International supported the proposed legislation. They didn’t. In fact, they are now emphatically denying any connection with the consultation or this submission. Here, for example. And here. As an organisation they have the right to have a policy on sex work and act according to this policy. Or not have such a policy and not act, which is the case. Fine by me. Paisley Branch submitted their response independently of the main body of the organisation and they stated right at the beginning that “this response does not reflect the policy of Amnesty International UK”. This I have trouble with. If you’re submitting a formal response to an official body and the views in that response do not represent the views of the organisation on whose behalf you’re responding, then maybe you shouldn’t be responding on behalf of that organisation. Maybe you should be responding in personal capacity. Maybe you shouldn’t be trying to pass your personal opinion as unofficially endorsed by an internationally recognised organisation.

And there’s more. Let’s read this submission beyond the first 2 sentences. Page 1:

One of our members works in a prison with women offenders and she relates to a conversation she had…

Considering that this response came from an organisation, it looks like the whole organisation consists of a bunch of rumourmongers and their cats who gather twice a week on a bench in the local park. But let’s read on:

… a conversation she had with a young woman who had experienced prostitution of her own volition. The young woman was adamant that she was not a victim and that it had been her choice. Without wishing to patronise her in any way, her forearms were covered in so many scars it was impossible to see any unmarked flesh. To those of us who have been fortunate to have had a (fairly) stable childhood, where abuse has not damaged our understanding of bodily boundaries, her defence of ‘not being a victim’ has a hollow ring.

These lines are so wrong on so many levels it’s hard to choose where to start. So, we have a young woman in prison. She admits (to one person, as far as we know) to have been a sex worker and to have entered sex work of her own volition (and then this one person goes and tells this to everyone on the bench who wants to listen. And then the bench people make it public in writing, under the words “Amnesty International”). But when this story is passed around, they literally objectify this woman. They reduce her, her integrity and her experience of her own life to her appearance and the fact that she was a hooker. She was adamant that she was not a victim but who cares? She clearly was because – scars. The list of assumptions here:

  1. The scars are the result of self-harm.
  2. Self-harm is the result of prostitution.
  3. Involvement in prostitution is the result of childhood abuse.

Without wishing to patronise her in any way? Seriously? Amnesty International Paisley Branch robbed this young woman of her agency, re-invented her experience of her life and started shouting on her behalf over her head. And all because her bodily boundaries seemed to be different to their idea of the right type of bodily boundaries that decent people should have. Which means she doesn’t know what’s best for her. Somebody! Quick! Look up the definition of “patronise”!

And last, but just as important one – “her defence of not being a victim”. Why do we sex workers always have to defend ourselves to avoid being made victims to avoid having to be saved? I don’t know how to put it better, but actually we were having a fab day until you came to save us! The young woman in question was in prison! Whom do they think she was trying to “defend” herself from? Her imaginary pimps? Because of course they will kidnap her from prison and force her into voluntary prostitution again, right? Or from the opinion of some bigoted, er, malicious woman? Maybe she was simply telling her life story to someone she thought she could trust, but there you go. If you end up in prison, don’t talk to strangers who tell you they represent Amnesty International. Especially Paisley Branch.

This submission provides endless material for desperation. Paisley Branch even mention SCOT-PEP in a way that makes you think of dirty old men and coercion. Just take my word for it, the remaining 6 pages won’t put a smile on your face. But if you’re still curious, here’s another blog on this submission by a Glasgow lady.

Amnesty International did not respond to the consultation and I’m sure they aren’t proud to have their name attached to the document that shows such humane attitude towards one young woman. But the harm is done. To the young woman in prison. To many other young women who have scars on their forearms. To Amnesty International. To sex workers in Scotland. Because you can imagine the juicy joy of Rhoda Grant each time she now says “Oh, but Amnesty International supports my Bill!” In the main body of her consultation summary Amnesty International is mentioned 7 times, quoted 6 times. In 2 of the quotes the identifier “Paisley Branch” is omitted – in paragraphs 100 and 147. And even if it weren’t. How often, when you see words “Amnesty International Paisley Branch”, do you consciously think “no, this isn’t the organisation, it’s the bench people with cats”? I’d be fecking mad if I were a decent representative of AI.

And there’s more good news! Amnesty International Paisley Branch now campaign against prostitution. No, of course they don’t say it in so many words. They call it campaign to get people to talk to their MSPs with the view to support the Bill to criminalise purchase of sex; the Bill that Amnesty International did not support because HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS NOT THE FOCUS OF THIS PROPOSED LEGISLATION (par.22 of the consultation), PROSTITUTION IS. And prostitution is something that Amnesty International have no opinion about. But Paisley Branch believes that human trafficking is “inextricably connected” with prostitution, therefore they need to “shut up shop in Scotland”. Here, you can like them on Facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/AmnestyPaisleyCampaignAgainstHumanTrafficking

And in case you’re wondering how this happened, here’s the story of how the bunch of bench people with cats seem to be on very friendly terms with no-one less than Trish Godman herself, with active help by Jan Macleod, Gunilla Eckberg (gasp!) and the rest of sing-along anti-hooker front heroes: “the Paisley group were heartened to see the acknowledgement of the link between human trafficking and prostitution”. Amnesty International should watch their branches better. Even a small rotten one can damage the whole tree.