"The mark of an immature man is that he would die knobly for a cause. The mark of a mature man is that he would live humbly for one" - Catcher in the Rye -WARNING WRITER SPELLING CHALLENGED! But Sometimes you have to say "what the fuck!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tarantino Style “Professionals” and the Red Light District

Repost from 10/14/04

Women Opinion and Sex
After some interesting and articulate comments left by Won and Sloth on my Hooters post, I got to thinking about my radical views of the sex industry. Being as I hold a B.A. in Women Studies from Berkeley (I also have a B.A. in History), this kinda makes me a token feminist. However, like the comments from Won and Sloth prove, not all feminists think alike. One issue, with varied opinions is prostitution, pornography and the sex industry. This disagreement can be seen by “famous” feminists such as Andrea Dworkin and Camile Paglia. Some say the sex industry enslaves and objectifies women, other argue that women can reclaim their sexuality through the sex industry and use it for empowerment and financial gain. Nina Hartley, my favorite porn star, is once such feminist.

Buying a Cock Ring in Texas… Personal Consent and Liberty
As an American, liberty and personal consent mean a lot to me. If you want to play with a vibrating dildo in Texass you should be able to. If two gay men want to fuck each other’s brains out in the Deep South, this is their right. If I want to medicate with marijuana, I should be granted safe access. If a busy businessman or Charlie Sheen type desires a quick blowjob to relax, he should also be given safe access. Society should not be dictated by the religious beliefs or morals of others.

Sexin in Amsterdam and the Red Light District
Going to Amsterdam in late 2000, blew my mind. This was a full paid trip for my job as a Cannabis Cup coordinator. The ethics and tolerance of the Dutch amazed and inspired me. Though the magazine funding my trip put me up in my own room, I happily allowed a 23-year-old son of one of the speakers to “bunk” with me. He was this hot, young, punk rock kid, who soon became my assistant and “assistant”. After the Cannabis Cup Awards party, when my official work ended, my “assistant” and I headed to the red-light district. We had hoped to find a live sex show, but since getting there so late, those businesses had closed. We did get to walk down the cobblestone old world roads, and glimpse in the windows of the working girls. Though high from MDMA, cannabis, and lots of sexing with the 23-year-old, I still vividly recall my impressions. Girls in bikinis or evening ware, talking on the phone, or painting their nails, causally sitting in a small window front, on display for the passing crowds. The area seemed clean and highly touristy. I thought to myself “now this is the way to do it”.

American Streetwalkers and Crack Motels
I could never be a prostitute, mainly because I cannot have sex with someone I’m not attracted too. Some grrrls posses that gift, in a sex therapy sort of way, and God bless em! Growing up, prostitution always confused me. Movies like Pretty Woman and American Gigilo glamorized this industry, and was in sharp contrast to what I would see on the streets. My first glimpse of real prostitutes came from urban areas, like Seattle, San Diego, and San Francisco. I would see these women hanging out on street corners or around crack motels. Some of them looked like real trash, dirty, gross, and unclean. The best looking streetwalkers I have seen were in Washington DC, these chicks walk around in bikinis and fur coats and talk on cell phones. More upscale, and aimed at the political crowd. A streetwalker’s motivation for selling her body and soul likely is money and/or drugs. The Pimps Up Hoes Down reality of the business can be truly frightening.

Decriminilization and Improved “Working” Conditions
However, in places like Amsterdam, Nevada, and Canada the seedy element of prostitution has been somewhat been removed. Working grrrls have access to health care, good pay, and even unionization. "I am not blind for such big problems as forced prostitution and venereal diseases; but you can't solve these problems by banning it. On the contrary you solve them by better regulations concerning working conditions, safety and hygiene. Problems like forced prostitution don't have anything to do with the profession as such, but with the mentality of society today. I think the biggest problem is changing that mentality in relation to how we get on with each other as human beings.” Quote from Amsterdam’s Prostitution Information Center former worker and spokesperson Mariska.

The Mustang Ranch and the Happy Hooker
My personal feelings toward prostitution revolutionized after reading a couple books; Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women by ALEXA ALBERT and The Happy Hooker : My Own Story by Xaviera Hollander.

Brothel author Alexa Albert lived inside the now closed Mustang ranch and wrote an excellent sociological study of the prostitutes and the John’s. Starting out being anti prostitution; by the end of her experience and study she favors legalization.

Excerpt from book review From Publishers Weekly
"Perhaps the most prominent legal brothel in Nevada, Mustang Ranch held mythical status in contemporary Western culture until it was shut down on racketeering charges in 1999. As a medical student, Albert was granted rare access to this intensely private world in order to conduct a study on condom use, and lived periodically at Mustang Ranch from 1993 to 1999. Her routine study soon deepened in tandem with her curiosity about the politics of prostitution and about the prostitutes themselves. In this straightforward account, she details the brothel regimen (from the women's relative captivity to what happens during various "parties") and explores the private lives of the women who work there, as well as those of the "johns" and the workers who service the Ranch. Yet the heart of the book lies in Albert's exploration of the sense of family that thrives in the brothel with all the fractious infighting, competition and camaraderie inherent in any community. Her short history of the legalization of prostitution in Nevada revolves around Joe and Sally Conforte who officially owned Mustang Ranch until charges of tax evasion forced Joe into hiding in South America in 1990 while illuminating the confluence of public opinion and economic forces that spurred legalization. Acknowledging her own feelings (which range from disgust to profound respect), Albert convincingly dispels myths about this mysterious world and provides a strong defense for the legalization of prostitution."

The Happy Hooker, now that is one hell of a book. This was probably one of the most graphic, erotic and tantalizing books I obtained at the public library. Now I own it. I consider Xaviera Hollander to be a feminist.

From Publishers Weekly
"Xaviera Hollander has been writing a Penthouse column for 30 years. She chronicled her life as a "high-class New York madam" in 1972's The Happy Hooker: My Own Story, which now returns to print. Frankly discussing lesbianism, bondage, voyeurism and run-ins with lawyers and the FBI, Hollander's book was an international bestseller."

Another Book Description
"How did you first learn about sex? If you grew up in the 1970s, it may have been from a gleefully lusty tour guide named Xaviera Hollander
In the late 1960s -- that era of sexual chaos, when Playboy Clubs and love-ins were competing for national attention -- a beautiful, intelligent young Dutch secretary named Xaviera de Vries moved to New York, grew swiftly tired of her desk job . . . and soon became the most visible and glamorous madam the city had ever seen. As Xaviera Hollander, she published a shockingly candid account of her life behind the brothel door. The Happy Hooker shot straight to the top of the bestseller lists, sold more than fifteen million copies, and made this enterprising young woman an international phenomenon. Thirty years later, these delightfully explicit tales of the '60s and '70s swingers' scene -- including countless jaw-dropping stories of lesbianism, bondage, fetishism, and more -- remain as titillating as ever, charged with the mix of shrewd observation and uninhibited appetite that made Hollander an irresistible storyteller. The Happy Hooker is a classic: the world's greatest book on the world's oldest profession."


"The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men but rather their conqueror, an outlaw who controls the sexual channel between nature and culture."
Camille Paglia

"Punishing the prostitute promotes the rape of all women. When PROSTITUTION is a crime, the message conveyed is that women who are sexual are ''bad'', and therefore legitimate victims of sexual assault. Sex becomes a weapon to be used by men."
Margo St. James

Amsterdam and prostitution

Prostitution Information Center
Excerpt from PIC’s website
"What's PIC's opinion on prostitution? Prostitution is a fact, it has always existed and will never go away. It doesn't matter how you feel about it. Therefore we believe it is important not to forbid prostitution, but to organize it better, otherwise the problems will only become greater.
In many country's prostitution is illegal and men and women are being persecuted. They are forced, by law, to work under very dangerous and unhygienic circumstances. Prostitutes are treated like animals, criminals or trash. But why? Because there getting paid for sexual acts, under normal cicumstances exchanged with mutual respect. Prostitution is a personal choice and nobody should intervene in this choise. Sex isn't dirty and certainly not bad for your health. Most people have sex, and nowadays it looks like everything is possible and permissible, exept getting paid for it. If somebody chooses this profession for him or herself, and works in a responsible and healthy way, there absolutely doesn't have to be any problem with prostitution at all. Because there are problems, it is the task of the government to regulate prostitution in a proper way, so that we can learn to live and let live and respect each other's choices."



Legalized prostitution a position paper

Countries with legal prostitution

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