Monday, December 28, 2009

Harassment

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I want to return to the paradox of how prostitutes can have so much different views about their work and their clients. Why do some prostitutes put their clients on a pedestal while others say the clients are pigs or beasts? A question which puzzled me for a long time. Actually I have read the answer a long time ago, but I forgot it, I was focused too much on human trafficking. The answers are given by Metje Blaak and Jo Doezema. I will provide some quotes by them at the end of this post and also name the sources.

They are both Dutch prostitutes who have worked in the Netherlands. If I understand them completely, then it is true that clients aren’t the nicest people and that clients continuously want to transgress the boundaries of the prostitutes. They continuously try how far they can go. Only some clients are nice. Jo Doezema explains that she paints a more positive picture of prostitution because she has been pushed in a defensive position by the outside world. So that’s the answer to my question: the prostitutes who say they like their work lie, the ones who say that they don’t like their work tell the truth.

However, Jo Doezema also explains that although working in prostitution can in fact often be humiliating it doesn’t mean that it is traumatizing or that it will destroy you. This could be true because that’s what a couple of Dutch studies have found: there were no differences in distress levels between the prostitutes interviewed and people who visit a doctor (The first five words of the two reports are ‘de sociale positie van prostituees’, just use google, no need to put a link).

Radical feminist Sheila Jeffreys explains in her book (also on books.google.com) ‘The industrial Vagina: The political Economy of the Global Sex Trade’ (2009) that Jo Doezema blames herself for having ‘to suffer unwanted sex acts which would be called sexual harassment or sexual assault outside the prostitution context’ (page 25, she actually also quotes from the same source that I use).The point Sheila Jeffreys makes is interesting. According to her prostitution is like sexual harassment in the workplace, which is then in fact true like Jo Doezema and Metje Blaak have made clear. Obviously sexual harassment should be prohibited. It is actually prohibited in many countries. But if prostitution is often sexual harassment, isn’t then prostitution in general already practically forbidden? On the other hand like Jo Doezema has explained, it isn’t traumatizing or damaging, so it is also harmless. So then, if you are extremely consistent sexual harassment should be allowed because it’s harmless. So workers in general just have to accept sexual harassment as a harmless part of their work.

(Sorry, I'm becoming really cynical here but Sheila Jeffreys has genuinely raised a very difficult point for those who recognize prostiution as work)

Another point. Let’s pretend, that I am a client of prostitutes. As a matter of fact, I am a client of prostitutes. How far can I go? Well, really far, because it’s harmless what happens to the prostitute anyway, and I pay her so she gets sexually harassed by me and suffer unwanted sex acts. And she has to accept it as a part of her job. Silly isn’t it? I guess prostitutes are made of concrete.

But then what is allowed in prostitution without being harassment? Should a client ask for anything he's going to do? Perhaps. I actually grabbed the Latvian girl I visited by the butt without asking. She couldn´t speak Dutch or English. That was a difficult situation. But even if the prostitutes agrees and the act is unwanted from her point of view, is it then still a violation? Or just a part of the job that she has to accept? Like consensual sexual harassment. I must conclude this is a very difficult issue.

Returning to the issue of prostitutes not being distressed by their work; the point was made by Han Israëls, after analyzing a study by Nel Draijer in 1988, that sexual abuse during childhood didn't have very large negative effects on the affected people in itself. A Dutch article (Heilige verontwaardiging - over het boek van Han Israëls, by Dr Frans Gieles, 2001?) explains this issue. The article explains that Nel Draijer explains herself that because affective neglect is inherent to sexual abuse, the separate influence of experiences of abuse itself is comparatively small. My hypothesis is that the same mechanism might explain why prostitutes are not negatively affected by the sexual harassment of clients. The saying goes that many prostitutes in their childhood have been abused and neglected, and perhaps the same reason that the sexual abuse in childhood in itself doesn't cause any large negative effects is the same why their work in prostitution doesn't cause any large negative effects on them. So, perhaps being raped a 1000 times isn't more traumatizing than being raped a 100 times, or 10 times. Another possibility is that the negative effects of working in prostitution are somehow offset by positive effects like making more money than in other professions. To conclude; perhaps it is too dangerous using statistical evidence to conclude that a certain activity is harmless. So in the end, nobody has proved statistically that working in prostitution is harmless or not. (Nel Draijer's strange findings regarding the harmlessness of child sexual abuse also reflect a meta-analysis done by Bruce Rind and others in 1998, they basically find the same thing. Strange isn't it? Really weird)

Now what Metje Blaak and Jo Doezema have said, some quotes below..

Metje Blaak speaks in the book (quotes translated from Dutch):
Iemand moet het doen – over vuil werk en andere schone zaken (Joeri Boom, 1999) [Somebody has to do it – about dirty work and other clean issues]

Page 75:
Every now and then I received clients who were extremely dirty. They really smelled bad. A bath actually costs 50 guilders, but mostly I deducted some from the price. “Even if it is for free”, I thought sometimes, ”that guy has to become clean first”. There were some of them who sat down on my bed and left a brown stripe behind on the sheet.
Page 76-77:
You don’t do French kissing with a client. And anal sex is taboo. I wouldn’t even do that with my own man. My homosexual neighbour was sort of ready for a stoma. On sbs6 you regularly see porn stars tell how much fun and pleasant anal sex is. I don't understand any of that. They should show that on television firmly. Then the prostitutes will have it worse.

(...)

Clients are just like children. They want to grab everything. You sometimes have to deal with them harshly. Especially when they start biting in your nipples and touch your genitals with their fingernails. You’ll have to wean them off this habit. I trained my regular customers in such a way that they were kind. Women who are lured here and forced into prostitution, don’t know well how to protect themselves. That’s why I wrote Trukendoos [trick box], a handbook for whores. Then they can learn to recognize condom screws [‘condoomritselaars’].

These are dangerous folks. I was left with a tremendous gonorrhea once because of that. With their nails they tear the condom from the top if you don’t look. When aids arose I became really scared of them. When I didn’t trust someone, I made sure that I never stood with my back towards him and that he kept his little hands away from his willie.
Page 78-79:
Everything has become more expensive, but the price of a woman hasn’t gone up. Twenty years ago the windows cost fifty guilders. That’s what you still pay nowadays except that the men demand more and more because they see more and more porn. In the past you lifted your skirt a little and then they almost came. Now the ladies almost lie naked behind the glass.

(...)

There are whores who look down upon window prostitutes. They proudly say: I work at the Yab Yum. But it doesn’t matter at all. It’s just like cleaning the toilet. If you work in a three-star hotel or in a cafeteria, you are supposed to do the dirty work. Just look at the sick girls, the junkies. Up there come rich men who want to have a fuck for ten guilders. They want to completely humiliate such a girl and let her beg.
Jo Doezema speaks in the book:

Live sex acts – women performing erotic labor (Wendy Chapkis, 1997)

Page 119-120:
Another problem with the clubs is that it’s always a struggle with a client because it’s not clear what your roles are. Behind the window it’s clear – you’re a whore, he’s a client. But the whole kind of fake romanticism around the club means that he doesn’t want to think you’re a whore and he doesn’t want to see himself as a client. Not all clients are like that, some are well aware. And they are usually the good ones. But there are no set agreements about what’s going to happen once you get in the room. A lot of clients have the idea that their hours will be filled with sex of whatever sort they want. And because you can’t say in the beginning. “If you want this, this, and this, it's going to cost this much, and this I don’t do,” you are kind of struggling the whole time to keep the clients from doing things you don’t want and try to keep him satisfied at the same time.
Page 120-121:
I think for almost everybody I make it more positive than it is, because everybody has such a negative idea about it already. So you tend to only talk about the good things or the funny things. With most jobs, if you have a shitty day or a bad client or something, people don’t immediately say that it’s because of the kind of work you do and that you must stop right away. But with prostitution, I’ve always felt that if I didn’t convince everybody that this work was fantastic for me and that I really loved it that they would all be on my back to quit.
Page 121-122:
Do I have to give all of myself and not hold anything back in order to legitimately be able to say that I like my work? Sure, there are still times when I put up with something from a client that I don’t want to have happen, either because I’m too tired, or I don’t know how to say that I don’t want it. But I have learned now to deal with that, instead of thinking, “Oh, I’m the worst whore in the world,” I just think, “Okay, next time better.” And it’s not like if a client touches my breasts and I don’t feel like it that I am going to be emotionally and sexually damaged for the rest of my life. Just next time better.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Zondares

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There were some rumours that the blog of the prostitute described here is made by a female journalist, and that the blog zondares.blogspot.com is actually a hoax. I believed it for a while, but her existence is actually confirmed to me by a client of hers. There are some startling similarities between the ideas of the prostitute and the journalist by the way. Perhaps they share many ideas. [UPDATE AGAIN 1-1-2015: I actually returned to the belief that Zondares' blog is as a matter of fact a hoax. I will write something at the end of this piece in red letters.]

There's a new Dutch prostitute who maintains a blog and she tells some very interesting things. She calls herself Zondares which means female sinner. She has worked in many types of prostitution in the Netherlands. She now works in her apartment where she receives her client. She is a voluntary prostitute who enjoys her work. She says in one post that she fled window prostitution because there's lot of extortion out there, and she didn't feel comfortable there because she didn't have a pimp. She herself wasn't extorted but other girls were, so she left.

I asked her about the paradox that prostitutes have so different opinions about the clients. Her explanation was when a client says 'give me a blowjob slut' that it doesn't necessarily mean something negative. The difference is between the women, when women only do it for the money you could get problems like that (that women are shocked by the behaviour of the clients).

For me this turns everything on its head!!!! Should you visit prostitutes to insult and harass them? It is just masochism you know! Actually I completely understand it! Because one of my favorite sex phantasies is to be a woman and then to work in prostitution, where I am fucked and groped by all kinds of filthy construction workers who put their filthy fingers in my precious maidenly asshole!!! That really turns me on I feel so bad that I'm not a woman.

!

Anyway, she also has anal sex every day with her clients and she explains how she solves problems with faeces: just do an enema every morning and standardly insert lubricant. She also has bowel problems because of the frequent enemas. She also has had STD's.

But what I found most interesting was a post about a Ukrainian woman she befriended who also is a victim of human trafficking. It tells us once again how strange the world of prostitution really really is. I translated it completely:

Victim of trafficking in women
Monday 3th, 2009

No, this is not about myself. I luckily have nothing to do with it. I am always as free as a bird. I didn’t start with loverboys, and I always only made money for myself. Nobody takes my money, only the Dutch state!

I got to know a woman who is involved in that. I shall call her N. She was very open on the internet-forum where I came in the past. I met her, and we sometimes drink coffee in the city core. She is very different than I am, but there immediately was a connection when we met each other. Whores among each other, at least we can talk freely.

N is very different than I am, she is a very perfect little doll. She is blond, and she is a chain smoker. She has a very sweet little voice, with which she can speak very good Dutch. She is only here for a couple of years, but her Dutch is actually very good. N is quite intelligent, sometimes she comes with a thought which suddenly bewilders me.

She is a tiny bit of a money-grubber. She is not very interested in the sex. I find it pleasant to work with sex, for her it doesn’t matter as long as she makes a lot of money. She allows basically everything. As long as it brings in money. I do wonder how you can work well with such an attitude. I couldn’t do that, because I have to feel nice with my work. She actually doesn’t like sex that much. If she had a boyfriend and didn’t do this work, she would have had enough with once a week.

N was a nurse in the past, when she still lived in the Ukraine. She didn’t earn enough with that, and she found and advertisement in the paper to be brought to the Netherlands. She says that you must be really stupid not to understand that it is about prostitution, and she doesn’t believe that there are girls who don’t expect it.

When she came here, it was with the Mafia. It sounded very scary to me, but she is not afraid of it. She has worked a lot here, and for low prices. A lot of money was deducted from that for her pimps, whom she calls “operator” ['exploitant' in Dutch]. She at least doesn’t pay taxes. That money was to pay off her journey to here. The pimps had arranged everything, with visas and the journey. To make sure that she stayed with them, they kept her passport. The journey was very expensive, thousands of Euros.

After working a while she heard from another woman who worked for a longer time, that her journey had already been paid off but she still kept on working like that. Then she understood that she never would make money for herself, and she had a row with her operator. He then reported her to the police, and she was deported from the country. I don’t understand precisely what happened then.

She almost immediately came back to the Netherlands again, but now with a different operator. To them she pays less than I do to the tax department. She still however works cheaper. For the money that she pays she is on a really cool website, and she works a tremendously lot.

Regarding condoms N is not very careful, she always gives blowjobs without condom, and she fucks without for an extra price. She does have STD every once in a while. I don’t want to take that risk, but she doesn’t bother about it, which I find incomprehensible. She mixes with her operators like an enormous slut. She lets herself be fucked for free by them, and she goes out with them. I find that not a very good business relationship. It is normal like that with this type of human trafficking.

It sounds very awful to me, with all that Mafia and that you are actually illegal. She finds that she knows what she is doing. She has experienced violence, but not that much. She doesn’t have fear for that, but it did impress her. She doesn’t like her previous operators at all, but when I say that she has to report them to the police, she says that she will be deported then.

According to her you can talk to the police if you are being caught. But you have to prevent that you will report [the traffickers] to the police, because then it becomes difficult to find a new operator. But if you admit that you are in women trafficking as a victim, then you get no after-tax, and then you are not deported! You only have to exaggerate about that you are forced.

It is difficult to follow for me how easy she is about the police, Mafia, STD, and all those nasty things. For her it is normal, and she finds that I have it easy as a Dutchwoman. She doesn’t understand that I pay taxes, because she wouldn’t. She would make the money go away, and adopt all the possibilities to try to get away from paying. She doesn’t find a police record as scary as I do!

We have had a very strange conversation about the operators, where N said that she was comfortable to go into human trafficking herself. It earns very well, and it isn’t very difficult according to her. She hates her operators, but she doesn’t mind becoming one herself. She would like to direct women, and collect a lot of money from that. I don’t understand that. I’d rather like to work very bourgeois in my little apartment.
UPDATE 1-1-2015: Now back to where I left off. I think that Zondares the prostitute doesn't exist after all. I made an elaborate search on hookers.nl, to try to find reviews about Zondares. Zondares claims herself that she has reviews on hookers.nl. She is very consistent about working in Amsterdam. I cannot link any prostitute in Amsterdam to Zondares. I know of two other persons who also desperately searched for Zondares. They both failed miserably. I also searched for advertisements. No results.

One of them proposed that perhaps Zondares had been unmasked before and decided to have her reviews removed. But I think this is not true. I have used the wayback machine to search for old reviews from years ago, and even then I failed.

Now, this client who says he had visited Zondares claims that Zondares doesn't work in Amsterdam! She doesn't even work in the province of Noord Holland according to him. But I have also searched throughout the whole of the Netherlands. There is indeed one prostitute who has some striking similarities with Zondares, who doesn't receive clients in Noord Holland, but actually far away from that province. They have the same working style and both women stop offering anal sex at points in time which are not too far apart from each other. Zondares claims in her blog post that she stopped with anal sex a while ago, but she waited to write about it on her blog because she wanted to prevent people from recognizing her. The prostitute stopped with anal sex roughly two years before Zondares makes mention of it.

Both Zondares and this woman do everything with condom, and they offered anal sex, which is really rare for prostitutes who receive clients in homes. Nearly all prostitutes who offer anal sex also offer oral sex without condom. There are more similarities. Both women scream out loud during sex, and both give dildo-shows to their clients. They both receive their clients in a room with a television which plays porn movies. Their ages also seem to match.

But this woman is actually of German descent, and Zondares claims that she is fully Dutch. There are more differences, this woman doesn't use professional photo's in her advertisements like Zondares says she does do, she doesn't seem to have a breast enlargement like Zondares says she has, she doesn't work fulltime, etc.....

The client who says he knows Zondares, said that he only later realized the prositute he was visiting was Zondares. At first she denied, but later he saw she wrote something on her blog about something they had discussed. And suddenly she admitted she was Zondares. I believed him at first. But after thinking longer and harder, I must conclude that this woman simply could have lied. He didn't double-check if she was really Zondares. He didn't for instance sent an email to the email-address Zondares uses. Furthermore, he told two stories of how he discovered Zondares. The other (earlier) story was that he researched it, he visited her, and promised her not to tell it to everyone. His earlier story suggests that he tried to find Zondares by reading reviews or looking at advertisements, and that he found her this way. This discrepancy suggests that he makes things up along the way.

An interesting point is that he also says Zondares does have reviews! But he says it is useless to search for her, because she twisted many things to make herself unrecognizable. He said the she can only be recognized by somebody who knows her. But I cannot really believe it. He says Zondares doesn't work in Noord Holland. But Zondares is actually very consistent about that she works in Amsterdam (in Noord Holland). For instance, one Amsterdam-based prostitute asked her about the situation in Amsterdam regarding the law, and Zondares answers as if she herself also works in Amsterdam. Zondares also mentions that Christian organizations who have a deal with the municipality - like the Scharlaken Koord - visit her! As far as I know the Scharlaken Koord only has such a deal with Amsterdam and Deventer. Which means that she works in Deventer (if the client is right that Zondares doesn't work in Noord Holland), but the prostitutes in Deventer are really different.

Now if it is true that Zondares twisted things to become unrecognizable, could it be true that she actually is the German woman? Perhaps Zondares is actually German, and she didn't have a breast-enlargement, and she doesn't work fulltime, etc..... There is one crucial reason why I believe this woman cannot be Zondares. Zondares wrote on a forum prior to starting her blog that she gave blowjobs without condom, because she would receive less clients otherwise. The German woman has 6 reviews on hookers.nl prior to Zondares making this surprise admission. None of the clients says she gave blowjobs without condom. I think that if Zondares is real that she doesn't lie about giving blowjobs without condom. Why would you lie about something you are ashamed of? Therefore I think Zondares is probably not the German woman. There is a possibility that Zondares coincidentally didn't receive 6 clients who wanted oral sex without condom, the probability is like 1 or 2 percent or so, not very large.

I don't blame people who believe Zondares is the real deal. What she tells is all very plausible. I surmise that the person who writes the blog could actually be an ex-prostitute. Perhaps she has really worked on de Wallen or in clubs as she has claimed. But then the blog is still a hoax in my opinion. The stories she tells about her clients could be true, but these could have happened decades ago. I think the prostitute in Amsterdam who receives clients in a little apartment doesn't exist.

Now the question is, who has actually written this blog? It could be the journalist Fleurtje van Schaik (which is actually a pseudonym). Other people before me have pointed out the striking similarities between Zondares and Fleurtje. The first person to do so is a former victim of forced prostitution who was once rewarded almost 1 million euro by the court, and who is often attacked by both Zondares and Fleurtje. Both Zondares and Fleurtje research pimps and the women who work for them, and both draw identical conclusions. I have written about these similarities in Dutch on the hookers.nl-forum here (using the name Kris2):

http://www.hookers.nl/showthread.php?t=278603&page=6

Fleurtje knows a lot about prostitution and prostitutes, and she has reportedly worked in prostitution herself. In the past, she has presented herself to several former victims of forced prostitution as a former victim herself. She said she was forced to work in prostitution herself in the period 1987-1990. She later retracted this claim and said that in her reality it was a female friend of hers who was forced to work in prostitution, and that she used her story to gain information from victim organizations and victims themselves.

Both Fleurtje and Zondares claim for instance that prostitutes who work for pimps are responsible for their own situation, and they both see a link between pimp-relationships and sadomasochism. They both say that pimps and prostitutes have a feeling of 'we against the world', that we should respect pimp-prostitute-relationships, that prostitutes can easily walk away from such a relationship if they wanted to, and they both claim to know of 'only' three forced prostitutes!!!! I could go on... but there are many similarities.

It could be true that they simply copy ideas from each other. But I find it striking that Zondares does her own research and then simply copies all her ideas from Fleurtje. Fleurtje has complained once that people are stealing her ideas, but she doesn't attack Zondares for doing so. What I also find strange is that Zondares is very scared of being discovered, but she indicates on her blog that she does show her face to (former) victims of pimps. Isn't she scared that these people reveal her identity? It is however known that Fleurtje shows up at meetings where former victims of pimps share their stories. I think this is what Zondares is talking about on her blog when she says she meets such women.

Furthermore Fleurtje is known for creating fake accounts on several forums in which she lets the fake characters speak with each other. She has supposedly admitted to one person that she created fake accounts on several SM-forums. And a moderator could supposedly determine that she was behind several accounts on the stoploverboys.nu-forum. So Fleurtje has a history with creating fake characters.

Ultimately the idea that Fleurtje is Zondares is merely a gut feeling. Zondares is notably absent on review sites for clients, no advertisement can be linked to her, and there is a woman lurking around who is known to work with sockpuppets, and who coincidentally (?) has almost exactly the same ideas as Zondares has. In my opinion the correlation between the ideas of these two persons is almost 100%. The ideas of Zondares are Fleur's ideas, and Fleur's ideas are Zondares' ideas. Sometimes I thought to have found a difference, but I was mistaken all the time.

There are some objections against the idea that Fleurtje is Zondares. Some people (like Bouche de la Loi or Natalya) seem to know Zondares personally. Don't they see that Fleurtje is Zondares, and reveal the hoax? Are they a part of the conspiracy? I think this could just be the case. Perhaps Fleur actually did the many things that Zondares claims to be doing, and I speculate that Bouche and Natalya accept her excuse that she actually stopped working in prostitution years ago because she wants to remain anonymous, and obfuscates some facts to do so, or something along the line. Another explanation is that Bouche and Natalya are also Fleur's literary creations.

And Fleur seems to be anonymously conversing with Zondares on Zondares' blog. Fleur talks about an episode when she was attacked on the street with a knife by her pimp. But Fleur is known to talk with herself on forums, so this doesn't surprise me.

And you might notice the difference in writing style between Zondares and Fleur. But I also don't see this as a problem. It turns out that most people can easily change their writing styles, to make it unrecognizable. People can even imitate other people's writing styles. (You can look on the internet for the report Adversarial Stylometry: Circumventing Authorship Recognition to Preserve Privacy and Anonymity, that is a report written by Brennan, Afroz, and Greendstadt by the way, published in 2012.) I'm even of the opinion that Zondares clearly doesn't write on her blog the way she normally does. She often peculiarly writes several words as one. She is doing it more and more often. I think she doesn't want people to recognize her real writing style.

Zondares and Fleur also seem to have different characters. Fleur becomes angry very quickly. Zondares is calmer. But I don't see this as a problem too. Fleur just lets her fictional character behave better than she herself would.

As far as I'm concerned, we got a hit. But I can never definitely proof it. Fleurtje herself denies it, and Zondares is locked behind proxy-servers. I think the only way we can know it for sure is when the real Zondares reveals herself and could prove that she actually is the person behind the blog.

There are other possibilities. I'm roughly 60% certain that Zondares is Fleur. I'm 30% certain that Zondares is not Fleur, but another ex-prostitute. I'm 10% certain that Zondares is a working prostitute who writes a blog about a fictitious prostitute. These are my rough guesses. I have made some mistakes already by wrongly identifying some persons on the internet as Fleur, but I was wrong in these cases, so .....

- END -

Friday, December 25, 2009

Registration

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A new law will come to the Netherlands which forces prostitutes to registrate and carry a personal card with registration number and photo along with them which is coupled to their personal data. They have to registrate at the government offices where an official has to determine if the prostitute is a victim of human trafficking or not. Also, clients are obliged to ask to see the personal card of a prostitute he visits or else he is punishable.

A couple of years ago exactly the same idea came to my mind to solve forced prostitution this way. Only, I now know more. It is very hard to determine if a prostitute is forced and Soa Aids Nederland explains that you cannot decide during one contact moment if a prostitute is forced and that a long relation of trust is needed to determine this. Soa Aids Nederland is afraid prostitutes will go underground to remain anonymous (why the eternal fear that prostitution will go underground???!!!!! Isn't a hotel the safest place?). And it can give clients a false sense of safety while victims of human trafficking get a card.

This situation proves to me once again that prostitution can never ever be regulated. Now after 5 years of reading a closet full of prostitution literature I am forced to draw a conclusion what is definitely the best law to deal with prostitution. While contemplating there are several approaches:

1. Prohibition: Bad because it punishes innocent people. For instance, voluntary prostitutes and unaware clients.
2. Decriminalization/Legalisation/A system where prostitution is recognized and some laws are implemented to protect the rights of sex workers: Doesn't work. It gives men a free hand to abuse any person as long as they pay money because now as consumers they are not responsible.
3. Abolitionism: Doesn't work. Innocent people are punished, like some of the harmless boyfriends, children, parents and other people who somehow live of the avails of prostitution while not harming any person.
4. Swedish model: No good idea. It punishes the clients who genuinely visit only voluntary prostitutes who are definitely voluntary.
So, no solution. I genuinely would like a system where prostitution is not illegal per se but where the government doesn't actively license brothels which gives clients a false sense of security. But that is not possible because if you don't prohibit prostitution you are doing just that.

Perhaps another idea: Don't prohibit prostitution per se but extend the laws protecting workers in general from sexual harassment. So: no unwanted sensual touching on the workplace by other workers or costumers. Nonononono, not good. Think about the women who make themselves available for money to medical students who try to practice gynaecology. Harmless. (now that I think about it, aren't these women sex workers too?)

While contemplating harder I think decriminilization is not a bad idea after all. Simply decriminalize prostitution and try to close every brothel where human trafficking takes place. Since we all know (like Metje Blaak of the Red Thread said) that 80% of the prostitutes are coerced by violent pimps and that all brothels allow in victims of human trafficking (like Frank Bovenkerk said), that means all brothels (and also escort agencies) will be closed down, leaving only a small group of independent prostitutes.

So the path for the government to take is:

Full decriminalization of prostitution: Which means formally recognizing prostitution as work with all the rights attached to that, for instance being free of sexual harassment on the workplace. And then close down all the brothels and escort agencies who exploit prostitutes who are coerced, which are basically all the brothels and escort agencies.

This is the final solution (btw not endlösung!!!!!!).

I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

BTW: I also forgot to mention that a couple of months ago two convicted human traffickers have escaped and a couple of some of the people of another Turkish Wallen-gang have also been convicted.

(And in this post I am actually very cynical but I mean every word I say.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Moderator

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I want to come back to the hookers.nl moderator whom I mentioned a couple of posts ago and actually quote some things (translated from Dutch) he said without violating too much copyrights. His words are too important to ignore. (UPDATE!!!! This moderator doesn't seem to have been a real moderator of hookers.nl, that's what a real moderator told me, actually it turns out to be frankkinky)

Twintig jaar prostitutie in Nederland – gerommel bij de hoeren (Panorama, number 43, 21-28 October 2009) [twenty years prostitution in the Netherlands – troubles among the whores]
(...)

Has much changed in prostitution land during all those years? [the moderator visits prostitutes for more than twenty years]
“The Eastern bloc content has increased a lot. The ladies now mainly come from Bulgaria and Romania. In general they are younger than the Dutch ladies, so the average age has gone down.

(...)

But a window prostitute looks down upon a privéhuis prostitute, a club lady then again looks down upon a window whore. That’s because a prostitute from a privéhuis often has PZC [Pijpen Zonder Condoom = blowjob without condom] in her package [actually also the club, escort and home prostitutes but he doesn’t mention that], what is not true for window prostitutes in 90 percent of the cases.

(...)

“I think that the segment of forced prostitution lies between 30 and 50 percent. The government wants to fool us into believing that this lies between 60 and 80 percent, but that is strongly exaggerated. When you look around carefully and pick up the signals, then even the cheerful types are often forced. You observe that they are being cheated by their pimp. Girls who work six or seven days per week, of whom you know that they take a lot of money. If you bring in that much, then you don’t gonna work six days, then you have enough with three or four days. I estimate that the majority of the East bloc women are forced and the girls who work for Moroccan loverboys. Then you have the group who work on a contract base, that is also a form of force. These are girls who have been brought here on false pretences. I heard from girls that they were being told that they were supposed to go to work in a restaurant, but instead of that their passport was taken from them and they ended up in prostitution. What I also encounter a lot are Moroccan girls who are brought here by Dutch Moroccans. They were supposed to go to work in a restaurant, but are then put behind a window with a contract for three years. They have to hand over the money that they earn and get some pocket money to live from. If they want to stop, there are threats that their family will get to know everything. Many girls who work in forced prostitution have the name of their pimps tattooed on their body, often in the neck, around the belly button or on the arm. They ask occasionally how they can remove it later. But they will never admit to a client that they are being forced.”

Why not?
“Most clients simply don’t want to know, or the lady brings herself into danger, because she obviously doesn’t know what the client will do with that information. Shame often also plays a big role.”

What kind of girls are they?
“Girls who in their youth often have been emotionally neglected, who have been disadvantaged and then suddenly are put on a pedestal by a loverboy. When such a girl wants to stop with it, there are consequences. Even beautiful high-class girls on a very educated level spontaneously begin to talk with you about such things. Mostly only if you have a client for years. They come round in an expensive car which they have paid themselves or has been leased on the name of their ‘boyfriend’, but when you ask them what happens when they stop tomorrow, you see them becoming startled. Then you hear that their boyfriend becomes violent. Or that they have nothing anymore, because he has all the money under his management. Only recently I spoke two ladies, very self-confident types. Their ‘boyfriend’ was not their pimp, but when they ended the relationship they did lose all their money. And then maintaining that it wasn’t a pimp!”

(...)
So far the moderator...

And I also want to mention the recent TAMPEP report TAMPEP report; it contains a country report about the Netherlands (page 196-208). They mention that prostitution in the Netherlands is in decline and that where in 2002-2004 there were some 25.000 prostitutes in the Netherland, this dropped to around 20.000 in 2004-2006 and further to some 10.000-15.000 on a yearly basis in 2008 (page 196). It is funny that they give as an explanation to this decline that the government has become more strict on the sex industry while closing down many brothels (page 196). This is interesting because that would mean (if they are right) that a government can actually have an influence on the size of the sex industry, just close the brothels and the number of prostitutes will go down. Perhaps if you close all the brothels that it all will disappear, if the government has the will to do it.

But honestly I would say that a more realistic explanation is that clients simply visit prostitutes less often for whatever reason, perhaps economic reasons, or just the bad news about forced prostitution in the Netherlands.

By the way: TAMPEP also mentions that there are relatively more Dutch prostitutes in Dutch prostitution (40%, see page 196), that the biggest factor for the mobility of migrant prostitution (mentioned by the women themselves) is “coercion by organisers” (page 206), that Dutch prostitutes experience lots of social isolation and exclusion, alcohol and drug dependency, violence from organisers in the sex industry, stigma, clients violence and feel coerced to provide unsafe oral sex, and that migrant prostitutes experience lots of social isolation and exclusion, violence from organisers in the sex industry, lack of access to health and social care services, discrimination and client violence.

We live in a very bad world.

(I still feel hypocritical you know)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Failed

Main

I have to admit that all my attemps to convert Laura Agustín (and all my attempts not to watch pornography) have failed so far.

She keeps on believing that sex traffickers are simply misunderstood and in reality are nice people who help other people out.

But in reality I made a small victory. She admits that clients cannot know the difference between forced and voluntary prostitutes, and those who care better should not visit prostitutes.

Demand: Clients who want to know who’s free (December 3th 2008)

I receive requests from clients asking how they can distinguish between coerced or trafficked sex workers and those more or less freely on the game. Given all the anti-demand and hate-men projects around, it’s a fair question. And, obviously, sensible clients don’t want to be told to just ask the sex workers themselves. Some say that they have met women they believed worked voluntarily, but afterwards it turned out they had been forced into it.

It’s easy to snicker at re-education projects like Johns’ Schools and say what seems obvious, which is that anyone who gets picked up while negotiating with a worker in the street probably just turns to another area of the sex industry, such as the Internet or indoor venues like massage parlours. And I don’t want to exaggerate, as some might, the significance of clients who help rescue people in trouble, but I did write about this once long ago: They Speak, but Who Listens?

The UK’s Home Secretary has proposed legislation not criminalising all buying of sex – the so-called Swedish Model – but only the buying of services from people ‘controlled for another’s gain’, which I wrote about in the Guardian recently in The Shadowy World of Sex Across Borders. And which, I learned yesterday in Copenhagen, is the Finnish Model.

In this context, I would like to come up with some advice to clients. I’m wondering what other working people advise, since I tend to think that any client genuinely worried about this should stop paying human beings for sex and move onto some other form of commercial pleasure. Why? Because, as I write ad infinitum, it is vexingly difficult to distinguish levels of will and choice, except at the extremes of the continuum where pure freedom and pure slavery supposedly exist.

And it is perfectly true that sex workers may lie about or exaggerate their happiness in their work in order to get custom, or be afraid of telling anyone the truth, since that might lead them into trouble if they are found out.

So what do people think?

Laura Agustín
So that means that in a perfect world where all people care about other people prostitution cannot exist.

Now the task for me is, to put that all in practise. My latest visit to a prostitute in April this year was a colossal mistake. And I must also admit that I do actually regularly watch pornography. I do agree with radical feminists that pornography is simply sexual violence caught on film. I can see that with my own eyes. I feel very ashamed that I get sexually excited by all this torture. But unfortunately, my highscore of not watching pornography stands at 3 months, my latest attempt lasted 2 weeks.

My only excuse for now is that all men and women watch pornography (look at all the women who shave their pussies).

Violence becomes the norm anyway nowadays.

Main

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Newsflash - FLASH!!!!

Main

Okay, and now for something completely different.

An article about another sex trafficking gang who operates in Dutch window prostiution.

De Hongaarse connectie (Trouw, December 2nd 2009)

A Hungarian prostitute (29) explains that Hungarian women are violently forced to work behind windows by a loosely organized group of Hungarian sex traffickers. The police estimates that approximately 40 women are victims of this gang. The women are lured by the men by using romantic techniques. Perhaps that you can use google translate or something to read the article.

Another newsflash:

Gerommel bij de hoeren (Panorama, 2009)

A hookers.nl (a punter website)-moderator acknowledges that there is forced prostitution in the Netherlands. He explains that nowadays prostitutes mainly come from Bulgaria and Romania. He estimates that most of the Eastern European prostitutes are forced. Even some high class escort prostitutes (not necessarily Eastern Eurpopean) are among them according to him. He denies that 60-80% of the prostitutes are forced like the government says. He estimates the number rather to be like 30-50%. Use OCR to read this article.

And a Polish madam exploits Polish women in a club in Rotterdam which she owns herself.

Poolse mensenhandelaren opgepakt (De Telegraaf, December 3th 2009)

I forgot to tell about the Koolvis case (use google) where African (Nigerian) women are forced to work in prostitution, but in this case the Netherlands is used as a transit country. It explains by the way why so many African women are registered in the Netherlands as victims of forced prostitution while you hardly see African prostitutes in the Netherlands at all, so the reason is: they are on transit..... (and according to a policemen many African illegal immigrants simply lie about being victims of forced prostitution).

By the way, nearly all the women in the articles mentioned knew that they would work in prostitution.

It is the exploitation you know (but consensual :S ).

Anyway, I'm being a hypocrite (I'm still working on my sex addiction).