Thursday, September 28, 2006

On Pissing and Providence

I should know by now to never brag and to never say never. Last night at the Sly Fox I was bragging that I'm never piss shy - sex work broke through any culturally enforced discomfort about urination. I'd rather piss on a client than do penis in vagina sex - particularly as golden showers earns me more, so that's pretty good insentive to get over any weirdness.

Anyway, the golden shower grrrl who was proud of managing to piss on one guy 3 tim
es in a 45 minute session (he paid extra, he was a fun regular client who had a great sense of humour, and he wanted to video the event but was having technical difficulties) was today stuck in the toilets at my non-sex work job waiting for two seven year olds (one of their mum's works on the same floor) to leave so I could do what I was there to do. So I can piss in the mouth of a 50 year old male stranger, but not in a cubical next to two chattering little girls?

I think I was swept into a seven year old state myself, and full of the mortification that comes with any bodily function at that age, and as a femme, I think that horror of being an unpolished flesh puppet full of physical reations that you don't have complete control over is still very close to the surface. Thank the Goddess for guiding me towards my whorish path - without that glorious earthiness, and regular reality checks, I'd be a mess of neurosis!

Different people have different conceptions of the divine - to me the Universe (made up of Goddess, God, the Divine Hermaphrodite and others) primarily has a sense of humour. Every time I make a definitive statement about myself, I find the opposite occuring. Beautifully humbling; however it makes me live in fear that I'll turn around and start having lots of free sex with bio boys.

Maybe it's all that reading about the trickster deities of various 'tribal' religions. Or maybe the Divine exhibits all the qualities towards us each as individuals that we expect. So those Christians that believe in an awesome fearful God get what they ordered;and a pagan whore with a sense of humour that gets me in trouble experiences a group of deities that jerk the rug out from under me in order to keep me from getting too comfortable.

I like it my way - as a queer person, I want to embrace destablisation with pleasure.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Eye watering eye candy

Oh my! Pretty pictures of corset piercings!

Animal crackers in my SLIT

Went to launch of SLIT Magazine's animal issue this Saturday with posse of whores - Decriminalise Debby, Discredited Debby and Sienna. I did pink pussy number just to wear new pink leopard print tail. Sienna did grey donkey - with eeyore ears and nose, Discredited did girrafe in order to wear spunky new gold boots - complete with giraffe plushy toy head nipples, Decriminalise did pony (of course) with pony plushy puppet as headwear and excellent improv hoof gloves. The only thing better than hanging with whore posse is whore posse in furry drag.

Pretty soon after we got there - and before many others had come in - I was introduced to an improv snake woman (snakeprint pants and some face paint) who responded with "Oh...another cat". AS IF YOU CAN HAVE TOO MANY CATS IN A ROOM!!!!!!!! I didn't bother responding, but I do try to be appropriate - and what could be more appropriate than a pink pussy at a SLIT launch? Hmmmph! *Sound of pure femme disdain*

I knew about maybe 30% of the launch attendees, enough to chat to. It's finally starting, after two years in Sydneytown - the first year mainly taken up with navigating financial aspects of surviving in big city with totally different sex industry and in trying desparately to resusitate a relationship that should have been compassionately euthanased - to feel like I might have a niche in this huge scary place.

The cow show was a highlight - leather, cow print body paint, 'branding', silly mooing song and milky udders all adorable. There is a silly playfulness and lack of contrived sexuality about SLIT launch performances that I really enjoy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Whore Stigma (part one)

Spoke today with one of my favourite fellow whores, Sienna. We discussed her mother's recent comment about the sex worker rights movement as a 'quite an industry construct' and about how we (the sex worker rights movement) worked hard to get sex workers involved.

I still find it incredible that women (whether sex workers or not) can discount the need for a sex worker rights movement. The impacts of the
whore stigma is felt by all women, whether professionals or amateurs, chaste or unchaste. I recognised in this comment, the distant voice of my own mother, who aside from her Catholic objections to my sex work, experienced my outness and activism around this issue as a further confrontation to her value system. Not just a whore but a whore who refuses to be shamed into silence.

Good girls are kept from straying by consequences attached to sex work. Around Australia, the consequences can include a criminal record, having the Family Court remove your children from your care, individual registration as a sex worker with either the police or government department, being evicted, having sexual assault considered to be par for the course, crimes again sex workers treated as less-serious than those against non-sex workers as well as social ostracism.

Obviously, in other countries the consequences of sex work can be death.

As long as we maintain the divide between good girls and whores, and punish the whores, good girls will be forced to restrict their behaviour in order to avoid those consequences. What does that mean for good girls? I'm reminded of a Reclaim the Night chant that has always been special to me, "Yes means yes. No means no. Whatever we wear, whereever we go" The concept of stranger danger keeps women afraid and restricted in their everyday lives. Don't leave home after dark, don't dress too slutty, don't be intoxicated in public, don't be loud or draw attention to yourself, don't talk explicitly about sex, don't swear, don't be unladylike.... Don't be whorish. Even though the majority of abuse experienced by most women (including whores) will be perpetrated by their partners or other family members, most women restrict their behaviour for fear of consequences.

I was reading this article written by Sasha, a sex worker activist about her experience at the Toronto 2006 AIDS conference that highlighted for me the systematic way that the whore stigma opporates. A newer incarnation of the consequences of deviance has emerged through the neo-conservative movement in the US and other Nations - the use of money to enforce Christian morality. Absolutely chilling.
I was particularly moved to angry tears by certain sections:

"In 2003, the Bush government created a policy that forces nations to sign a "prostitution pledge," preventing organizations that empower sex workers from getting US HIV/AIDS funding."

"Thursday is a press conference called "New Findings on the Impact of the US Prostitution Loyalty Oath on HIV Prevention," moderated by Jodi Jacobson. Activists Melissa Ditmore from New York, Gabriela Leite from Brazil and Hazera Bagum from Bangladesh -- who just the night before won a Red Ribbon award for her work with the organization Durjoy Nari Shangha -- are on the panel. The havoc wreaked by US policy is enragingly transparent in all the literature given out by international groups (condom shortages in sub-Saharan Africa; outreach workers in Cambodia fired for treating sex workers; sex workers turned away from clinics in Thailand) but it is Bagum, breaking down in tears when telling of the 16 drop-in centres (DICs) around the Bangladesh capital that have been closed in order to comply with the pledge, who really drives the point home for me. The DICs not only provide a place for thousands of women to get condoms -- the number they're selling now dropping from 73,000 to 30,000 per month -- but somewhere for them to rest, wash and gain literacy skills and moral support."

I find the 'industry' focussed on the abolition of sex work - the organisations that construct sex work as violence against women, that kidnap and deport sex workers, that set up the spectacularly unsuccessful but very well funded exit and retraining programs to save sex workers from themselves to be far more bizarre and 'impressive'. The ability for the 'rescuers' to discount the voices of sex workers and their lack of concern about providing real economic alternatives just blows me away....