Cult of Gracie

Valiant Gnostic Of Sexuality

May 25, 2012
by Gracie
2 Comments

“You’ve been a whore. You’ll never get rid of that name. So be one.”

Meet the Fokkens, a documentary about Louise and Martine Fokkens, 69-year-old twin sisters who have worked in prostitution in Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District for over fifty years. They freed themselves from the control of their pimps, ran their own brothel, set up the first informal trade union for prostitutes, and are utterly charming.

Official website here; ABC news coverage here.

April 20, 2012
by Gracie
0 comments

More Sex Trafficking Myth-Information

Nicholas Kristof says, “The biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States appears to be a Web site called Backpage.com.” Not exactly sure why he can say that; but I’ll let him continue for now, because he’s hell-bent on getting to the financial bottom of things:

This emporium for girls and women — some under age or forced into prostitution — is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media. Until now it has been unclear who the ultimate owners are.

That mystery is solved. The owners turn out to include private equity financiers, including Goldman Sachs with a 16 percent stake.

Goldman Sachs was mortified when I began inquiring last week about its stake in America’s leading Web site for prostitution ads. It began working frantically to unload its shares, and on Friday afternoon it called to say that it had just signed an agreement to sell its stake to management.

After more discourse on the corporate side, and discussion on legal action designed to make BackPage and therefore Village Voice Media more accountable (put a pin in this point for now), Kristof gets back to what I think he believes is his point:

I think the most important single step is for prosecutors to focus more on pimps and johns. Closing down the leading Web site used by traffickers would complicate their lives, and after so many years of girls being trafficked on this site, it’s time to hold owners accountable.

Closing down “the leading website used by traffickers” might complicate the lives of those using sex slaves; as may the legislation (whether you think it has too many loop-holes or is unfair to legitimate businesses in the adult sector). But that’s a pretty ignorant view of how sex trafficking works.

Most johns and hobbiests aren’t into sex slaves. These guys are completely different animals than sex slave users and owners. If you knew anything about how marketing works, you’d know that your typical seeker of sex services is going to be freaked to find himself in the presence of a sex slave. There aren’t ads for “sex slaves” or “trafficked women” or “underage girls.” There he is, meeting the woman he thought promised anal sex and maybe a swing from a chandelier, and what the hell! There’s a crying girl, a minor, an abused woman there… Perhaps too drugged to even speak. Not only is he feeling ripped-off, but there’s vomit in the back of his throat and perhaps tears in his own eyes… But how is he going to report it? Just saying you were shopping for sex makes you a criminal. That’s problem number one in shutting down sex trafficking: The fact that sex work is a crime and therefore holds every participant, willing or not, hostage.

Going after BackPage or any other publication for doing big business in adult entertainment isn’t going to solve that problem.

Nor does the largest sales volume in prostitution ads mean that’s where the biggest number of sex slaves can be found. The sex slave trade is an underground business. A silent business, unless you know where to look… Unless you know a guy who knows a guy. It’s like child porn not being a part of the regular porn business. Saying, “Where the legal and consensual sex is, that’s where the illegal sex slave stuff is,” is like saying that the local gas station with the most cigarette sales must also sell the most pot. Yes, the criminal stuff is out there, but it’s not a part of the regular business dealings.

What all these attempts to root-out sex slavery are doing is harming legitimate adult work. Not just those consenting to prostitution, but those who provide completely legal sex services, such as phone sex and erotica. Many of these folks are already vulnerable in our society, from the criminally penalized and abused by the system escorts to the struggling woman trying to pay the bills. If BackPage has the reported 70% of the revenue from “prostitution and body rubs” ~ generating at least $2.6 million from in 23 U.S. cities ~ where are all those business folks going to place their ads?

They might be forced out of business; but the sex traffickers won’t.

This is what happens when folks with little-to-no experience with the realities of sex work try to solve the problem of sex trafficking. While we all admire the sincere effort, they just don’t know what they are dealing with. It would be better to have those with sex work experience assist in the solutions. But, again, until sex work is at least decriminalized, that can’t really happen. Only then can we begin to discuss the possibility of accepting that there are women not only willing but eager “to be gagged, choked, and ‘triple penetrated’ on camera”, or off; for pay, or for free. We must learn how to separate sex-loving women from the professional sex workers, those who choose sex work from the victims of sex slavery.  Accurately identifying them, the folks who use and abuse them, is the first step in saving them.

Kristof invites comments on this subject at this post at his official blog, where you will find many well-educated in the subject voicing concerns.

March 12, 2012
by Gracie
1 Comment

Positive Sex Worker Series

LA Sex & Relationships Examiner Suzi Fox has begun a series of articles and interviews featuring sex workers and their sex work ~ and, yes, it’s positive! The series began with this quote at the start of the first article, Night Moves ~ The Life of a Phone Sex Operator, a three-part profile on Lynn, the phone sex operator behind Phone Sex Secrets:

For 20 years of my life I witnessed people, religious groups in particular, spinning stories about those who worked in the adult entertainment industry. They were very adept at stereotyping the sex workers with comments like: the people in that industry have been molested as children, as if that in and of itself lured them into such a “bad life”. They would suggest “these misguided people” were demonized, twisted, perverted and the reason husbands fell into sin and left their wives. Many of these religious people pride themselves in “exposing the darkness”. I thought it might be a nice twist to expose some of the darkness they have been promoting. It’s time to slay the stereotypes that have been created to keep the minds of people in boxes, lest they realize the truth. I have conducted these interviews in a non-judgmental way without preconceived notions or ideas about who they are and what they do.

This is the first article of a series in which you will read true life interviews of those who are Phone Sex Operators, Cam Girls, Dungeon Workers, Strippers, Escorts and more. You will hear their stories and for the first time ever you will know the truth about them, their relationships and their work. I invite you in to take a look at their world from their perspective.

Yours truly is also included in this series (Undercover Lover Part One, Part Two, Part Three) and a few others you might be familiar with are also slated for interviews, so keep an eye out on the series and feel free to add to the conversation with your comments ~ it’s nice to support positive sex work media coverage.

March 9, 2012
by Gracie
0 comments

A Spring Cleaning Campaign For Your Ass?

I received the following “SocialMoms Rambo Alert” from a gal pal (I’ve been sworn to secrecy, so I won’t say who; she fears retaliation from said Social Moms).

She forwarded the emailed alert (below) to me saying, “Gracie, some people may have caught onto the ‘Everybody poos, everybody screws; get over it’ notion, and they aren’t going to be shy about it. At least not when it comes to the poo… They aren’t exactly encouraging when it comes to sex talk or even sex ed over there. But this is fine.”

Springtime Blogging Opportunity

Did you know that 1 in 4 households use adult flushable wipes in their regular bathroom routine? SocialMoms is looking for women who regularly incorporate flushable wipes into their bathroom routine and would be comfortable writing a thematic blog post on this subject. We are thinking about integrating the notion of this type of bathroom routine into a Spring-themed post.

If you’re up for advocating a new bathroom routine to your readers that incorporates flushable wipes, please let us know by filling in this form.

If we have enough positive responses and the opportunity firms up, we will reach out to you with more information.

Thank you,
The SocialMoms Team

Between “poos” and “screws,” is “poo” the least understood of the two?  …The importance of hand washing, maybe. But is talking about what you wipe your behind with really the best use of our time? No.

Women, moms, humans ~ especially those who have the luxury of computers and Internet access ~ ought to have bigger issues to rally around and organize attention and advocacy for than what product is used to wipe yer bum.

But ours is a capitalistic society, and so, clearly, SocialMoms.com thinks it would be a grand idea to capitalize on the big numbers involved in Big Corporate Poo Money, and, should things “firm up” (ARG!), they’d like to wipe-up a tidy little sum for themselves and, I’m guessing, their members.

But still, it’s an odd little campaign.

A spring cleaning campaign for your ass… Does this mean we are moving one set closer to a spring cleaning genitals campaign? Or does this mark a step backwards, illustrating just how little adults know about how to take care of their bodies? Or maybe it shows just how far some folks will go to make a buck, even as they avoid frank talk about human sexuality.

 

March 9, 2012
by Gracie
0 comments

Read What Your Leader Reads: Cult Of Gracie Link Round-Up

I’ve restarted The Marketing Whore ~ Hip-Hip-Whore-ay! Aside from doing that, and a few posts at Sex Kitten, I’ve had little time online this week. But here’s what I’ve been reading…

I originally was going to post this link at The Marketing Whore with a comment about social media profiles, but decided it really was more of a commentary on a loss of critical thinking: Twitter Twits: Baby Birds Eating Puked Pablum.

At Bust, discussion on whether or not a series of safe sex ads are part of the slut-shaming agenda. Personally, I don’t think so; they are just direct, honest ads and being so frank about sex spooks people.

To end things on a super positive note, Amber Tamblyn kicks ass.

March 6, 2012
by Gracie
1 Comment

History Repeats Itself; So Do Buffoons

Not just over centuries, but over a few decades. How on earth do people forget? The recent actions of Rush Limbaugh are his stock in trade.

Let’s ruin his $tock by taking action via his livelihood. A good starting place to really Flush Rush, the human helium turd, is BoycottRush.org.

Image via Kitsch Slapped ~ where there’s more on Newt too.

February 28, 2012
by Gracie
3 Comments

Oil Isn’t The Only Slick Smarmy Thing In Williston, ND

Oil boom town Williston, ND, makes news again, this time for a party ~ specifically a singles dance set for Memorial Day weekend.

The following article (save for the links I’ve added for your convenience) is as published in the Fargo Forum, a publication which has a nasty habit of blocking their news a day or two after being published, and so I quote the whole article in order to discuss it. Party seeks to bring women to Oil Patch:

A Williston-area truck driver has the solution for oil workers with nothing to do and a shortage of women.

He’s throwing the “Party in the Patch” over Memorial Day weekend, advertising in Chicago, the Twin Cities and elsewhere to attract women to his weekendlong singles dance.

Organizer Troy McKinley said his goal is to attract one to two women for every five guys at the event.

“This is not going to be a sausage fest,” McKinley said. “I’m trying to avoid that, to put it crudely.”

McKinley got the idea from the 2001 movie “Herman U.S.A.” about a Minnesota town with 78 bachelors who advertise for wives and are inundated with women.

McKinley, a Minnesota native who has lived in the Williston area for three years, is using that same concept to draw single ladies to the party.

“I’m telling them to come out here and meet the guys out here who are making money working in the oil field,” McKinley said.

He said he already has women lined up from Chicago, and he’s going to continue advertising.

The event, May 25-26, will be 25 miles south of Williston just north of Alexander on a 110-acre campground that is being developed, McKinley said.

The event’s website, partyinthepatch.com, is selling tickets for the event and camp sites. McKinley also is reserving as many Williston hotel rooms as he can.

Tickets cost $150 for the whole weekend for men or $20 for women.

One event planned is a bachelorette auction, with proceeds going to the local sheriff’s office and the fire department, McKinley said.

Other confirmed events include speed dating, arm wrestling matches, ultimate fighting and a dance contest.

McKinley said he tried to hold the event at some locations in Williston but was met with resistance.

“They flat out accused me of bringing prostitutes and strippers into town for this thing,” McKinley said. “They got downright hostile. I was floored.”

The event will not have strippers, McKinley said. He also will provide security and a shuttle service to Williston to prevent drunken driving.

“I want this to be as safe as possible,” McKinley said.

Williston Mayor Ward Koeser and representatives from the Williston Chamber of Commerce said Friday they hadn’t heard anything about the event.

McKenzie County Auditor Linda Svihovec said the organizers have not come before the county commission and an application for a liquor permit has not been submitted.

McKinley said organizers plan to serve liquor Friday and Saturday and work with the local Eagles Club to obtain a liquor permit. The event is for ages 21 and up.

As he works on the details of the event, McKinley said people are telling him to expect as many as 4,000 to 5,000 attendees.

“I want this to be the biggest party this area’s ever seen,” McKinley said.

I hope this North Dakota event, inspired by a movie which was inspired by a real life story, ends better than those people who continue to make the pilgrimage to this area because they know where the buried treasure from the film Fargo is ~ and die.

Herman USA

But already somebody’s got their numbers wrong in this story… The film says 85 single men; this news story says 78 ~ which might be referring to the actual story of bachelors in Herman, MN, but clarity matters.

So do numbers.

Which leads me to the real issues here.

#1 Why would this party automatically be assumed to be a “sausage fest” without such promotional activities to secure women for the menfolk?

Despite the mythinformation out there

“I’ve heard the ratio of men to women here is 87-to-1, so this is awesome.”

…While the exact ratio isn’t known, there’s no question that with the influx of mostly male oil workers, Williston is testosterone heavy.

The ratios are known. Not only do the women outnumber the men in Williston, but there are more single women than single men.

Sheesh. And they say women can’t do math.

Maybe the local women don’t like parties ~ or at least not parties with these local men ~ but…

#2 Why is it automatically assumed that the only women who would come for the party would be prostitutes and strippers?

I mean, they apparently didn’t show up for the $2,000 a night gigs, so why would anyone think they’d travel all that way and pay $20 to have locals buy them drinks ~ drinks there currently aren’t any permits for?

Any decent sex worker worth her rate is as savvy as any other woman worth her salt; they’ll do their research and likely decide this party isn’t worth the trip.  Which means they may just have plenty in common with the local women.

Maybe we should just bus the Williston women elsewhere in the Midwest for a real party. *wink*

February 7, 2012
by Gracie
0 comments

File This Under “Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows”

Sugar daddy dating site SeekingArrangement has endorsed Mitt Romney for the GOP Nomination:

[A]t a Mitt Romney rally in South Carolina, Ruth Williams, a 55-year old jobless woman met Romney and told him of her financial troubles. So while other presidential candidate may have offered only words of consolation or encouragement, Mitt Romney took action, reaching into his own pocket and giving all the cash in his wallet to Ms. Williams.

So, while there are many qualities that would make Mitt Romney a great candidate for President: be it his experience, his reliance on logic over illogical party politics, or his amazing good looks. It is this single act of sugar daddy-ism that sets him apart from all the other candidates.

In our country, where words have been spoken much louder than action. It is time for us to show Washington that action does speak louder than words. Because of his small but powerful act of kindness, SeekingArrangement.com is endorsing Mitt Romney as our pick for the Republican nomination.

Ruth Williams, an unemployed woman with a sick son, received a whopping $50 from Mitt Romney ~ which makes this the cheapest political sell-out, in terms of dollars and ideals, I’ve ever seen. It’s men like Romney who have created this state of joblessness and poor health care in this country.

January 10, 2012
by Gracie
0 comments

When “Free” Isn’t Liberty. And Equals Poverty.

In Things That Need To Stop, Kara addresses nearly everything related to the subject of reviewing sex toys ~ from censorship and corporate credibility (or lack thereof), to the issue of quality (i.e. phthalates are bad) and the old insecurities that arise when a partner whips-out a sex toy. Each and every one of her 23 points are worthy of reading and discussing; but there’s one I have to focus on now…

It’s her point #3 (which, as the author admits, is related to #4, #9, and #15 as well as, I daresay, a few others).

3.) Expecting fantastic reviewers to NOT get paid for their work. At the end of the day IT’S WORK! Not fun. Well okay it *is* fun…but a shit tonne of free dildos & lube don’t pay the rent. Ya heard!

If I had a dollar for every time someone wrote and asked me to review something, offering a “free” product as payment, I’d have a lot more money to put toward my consumption of booze and time to rage on twitter. Unfortunately you can’t buy drinks with dildos, sure you can stir them but with many being rather girthy it gets kind of messy and wastes alcohol. And we all know wasting alcohol is just stupid.

All jokes aside, at the end of the day it’s reviewers that take countless hours out of their day to write the review, spread it through social media outlets (where your company had no pull), answer questions about your product to help generate sales, directed sales to your site, offered search engine optimization that built up your online rankings and given you direct access to a target market that would have otherwise been inaccessible – with all of it done UNPAID, except for that “free” dildo of course. Maybe it’s just me but that just doesn’t seem fair. Nor does it make the dildo something that was “free”.

So here it is and I’ll say it again: people need to get paid for their work.

Whether it’s paying for the actual content, offering up an affiliate program (where they can make a commission), or creating some form of a reward system so they can save money on other products. The actual way of making it worth our while doesn’t really matter to me, it’s getting people rewarded for their work that does.

The subject of people getting paid for their work, especially writers on the Internet, is a complicated one. If blogs and websites lower the barriers of publishing, and therefore often mean self-publishing enterprises or studios and production companies of one, just where and how does one get paid? It’s something everyone is struggling with right now. Not just because of the economy, but with this new digital world where publishing and productions are products becoming seemingly more ephemeral in light of the technology and the sheer volume of it all. This is especially true for those who wish to avoid payola.

Now it’s less “publish or perish”; it’s more like publish and perish.