Toughing It Out

Guest Columnist: Mike Crawford — June 13, 2016

Guest Columnist: Mike Crawford

The Honest Courtesan

Mike Crawford is a sex worker, sex workers’ rights activist, and occasional writer.  He tweets about sex work and social issues, and occasionally posts pictures of whatever record he happens to be listening to at the moment.

It’s All Greek to Me

Sex work is a female-dominated field, so much so that the existence of male sex workers is often omitted entirely in any discussion of the topic.  I hope that offering some perspective on being a male sex worker  will not only be informative, but will also highlight the very troubling, highly-gendered way common arguments and tactics are used to advance the prohibitionist agenda.

There is less stigma associated with being a male provider

Mike CrawfordThis should hardly be shocking as there simply is no “fallen man” trope to link to male prostitution.  Sure, sex addiction has become the new go-to for men to hide behind when they’re [often…

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SWOP Behind Bars — April 11, 2016

SWOP Behind Bars

The Honest Courtesan

SWOP Behind Bars is a new project, which attracted my attention soon after its formation; I think it’s incredibly important so I asked the organizer, Alex, to explain the project herself.  I’ve already donated a copy of my book (and will donate more to other prisons as the project expands), and I’ve given Alex carte blanche to use any of my columns in the newsletter she compiles for our incarcerated sisters.  As a former librarian, I well know the power books have to change lives, yet they’re so inexpensive; please consider donating at least one book to this program, and read on for other ways you can help. 

prison art 955No one really knows how many women who are imprisoned have done some form of sex work, but estimates run as high as 70% and it’s difficult to ignore the probability that the criminalization of sex work has a major impact on the prison population.  Almost 6800 women…

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On Sex Work & Survival: Why We Must Stand With Alisha Walker — April 10, 2016
National Findings — April 8, 2016
Melissa Gira Grant Puts Heroic Escort Heather Through The Buzzsaw On Buzzfeed — April 7, 2016

Melissa Gira Grant Puts Heroic Escort Heather Through The Buzzsaw On Buzzfeed

The Honest Courtesan

This is an important article by my friend Mistress Matisse, cross-posted from Medium.

Notorious MGGIt’s ironic that journalist Melissa Gira Grant decided to write an article on how media attention can cause chaos in someone’s life, because in the life of a West Virginia woman named Heather, Melissa Gira Grant has become an agent of exactly that sort of chaos.

It began late last summer, when serial killer Neal Falls contacted Heather through her escort ad, and when they met, he tried to murder her. Heather fought back against Neal Falls and killed him. In doing so, she removed a dangerous predator from the world. Charleston police say she almost certainly saved the lives of other women Neal Falls would have gone on to kill.

At some point, a few weeks after the attack (she does not specify when), Grant says she came to Heather’s house and spoke with her…

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Wild Aunts Guide to Life —

Wild Aunts Guide to Life

I wrote this Guide To Life when my first niece left for college to mitigate potential crisis.  I have been asked for it several times since so I thought I would post it

1. Don’t lose your keys. Ever. It’s also a good idea to not lose your ID, your purse and your phone but stuff happens. If you focus on never losing your keys you probably won’t lose the other stuff. Make photocopies of all your Identification documents and keep them in a safe place.
2. Don’t walk in parking lots, garages or around the campus by yourself. Ever. Especially at night.
3. Don’t trust everybody.
4. Trust your gut. If you don’t feel 100% about something or someone – walk away.
5. Make a safety plan for everything. Put your friends on notice that you have one and encourage them to do the same.
6. Don’t talk bad about other people. Even if they talk bad about you. Particularly other women.
7. Don’t get pushed around physically, spiritually, emotionally or psychologically. Ever.
8. Don’t drink and drive. And don’t ride with someone else who has been drinking. Ever.
9. Don’t let your friends leave you by yourself if you don’t feel safe. Don’t leave your friends by themselves and if one if them disappears for more than 15 minutes go look for them with another friend. If they are gone longer than 30 minutes – notify the person in charge. If the person in charge doesn’t do something appropriate – call 911. You’ll only have to do this once and then everybody will know they shouldn’t disappear without letting someone know where they are going and when they will be back.
10. Treat yourself well and put yourself first.

I love you.

Aunt Alex

The “Everyday Abolition | Abolition Everyday” Project — March 11, 2016

The “Everyday Abolition | Abolition Everyday” Project

Everyday Abolition/Abolition Every Day

Everyday Abolition | Abolition Everyday is creating our first ZINE! Click here for more info or to submit!

EA | AE about our collective power and creativity. The power we have to resist the prison industrial complex–and the possibilities that are revealed when we commit to transformation.

Everyday Abolition is an international political art collaboration between Chanelle Gallant and Lisa Marie Alatorre collecting stories, art, and interviews highlighting the ways PIC abolitionists practice, and live PIC abolition in our work, organizing, and personal lives.

Starting in February 2013, we began collecting submissions and conducting interviews with self-identified PIC abolitionists – a community of strong, resilient, brilliant, and committed people – whose stories and words tell us what it means and what it takes to live abolition, everyday.

We are sharing their genius on this blog as a living collection that we will add to for (at minimum) the rest of…

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Diary #289 — January 12, 2016

Diary #289

The Honest Courtesan

Maggie on KIRO 1-6-16Last week was so incredibly busy I’m amazed I was able to keep up with everything I had to do.  I knew at the beginning that it would be busy work-wise because I had a solid schedule of appointments, but I had no way of knowing that on Wednesday the pigs would barge into the lives of Seattle sex workers, uprooting one of our major advertising venues and shitting all over our reputations to the press.  Of course, the excuse was “sex trafficking”; Korean sex workers in the area were denied agency, claimed to be “trafficked”, and a number of their clients, bookers and other associates were arrested.  Naturally, nobody has seen any of these supposed “victims” or been allowed to talk to them, but the sheriff of King County nonetheless felt qualified to say that the members of SWOP were “delusional” for saying that advertising boards help us to build…

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Too Close To Home — January 8, 2016

Too Close To Home

The Honest Courtesan

Given the takedown of MyRedbook and Rentboy, and the repeated assaults on Backpage, I couldn’t say that the seizure of Seattle’s The Review Board by local cops in conjunction with the FBI was shocking; in fact, as I told the first reporter I talked to about it, my initial reaction was “Here we go again.”  Of course, there’s one big difference between this case and the earlier ones:  I was currently advertising on TRB, and in fact the screenshot of the board which was included in the cops’ press release included the headline of my most recent ad, with my name right there for anyone to read.TRB seizure

From my point of view, the way the news unfolded was this:  I had just arrived home on Wednesday afternoon to prepare for a date when one of my sex worker friends texted me to tell me she had tried to sign onto the board…

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Wild-Eyed and Spittle-Flecked — January 6, 2016

Wild-Eyed and Spittle-Flecked

The Honest Courtesan

Nothing is more horrible than my self in the mirror of hysteria.  –  Karl Kraus

screaming womanAs I’ve often pointed out, moral panics don’t slowly subside; on the contrary, they pick up speed as they go, with the claims growing ever wilder and the official responses growing ever more extreme, until they fly apart and hurl debris in every direction.  In the terminal stages of such a panic, many of those who failed to voice their skepticism in the early days are at last moved to open their mouths; however, others double down and continue to vomit out whatever evil nonsense the hysterical narrative demands, with their eyes bulging and froth flying forth from their lips.  Domina Elle sent me this prime example of the genre in early December, but once I started trying to edit it down for inclusion in a news column I realized it deserved to be…

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