delve a little deeper....
It's been so long! I am a terrible blogger I know and along with being far less available than I used to be due to other work commitments I feel like I have lost touch with so many people.
Having two careers can be hard work sometimes, I love both escorting and my 'civvy' work but sometimes it's hard to balance the two. It's much harder for me to be available at short notice if either I am on a deadline or my head is full of the things I have to get done to feel I can give my best to my clients. I suppose what I am saying is, if you want to come and see me as much notice as possible really works best for me!
I know plenty of escorts are available at short notice, and I used to work that way too but I'm finding it much harder now so don't be offended if you have been trying to book me and I keep not being available or am not answering the phone!
In other news, Fanny Price will be in my neck of the woods next week and we will be available for evening bookings next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Again, some notice will be nice and as we often get booked up quickly when we are together so do get yourself booked in asap! Noone wants to miss out on some hot girl on girl action, or the joy of having your cock sucked by two eager willing tongues! Pics, info and prices here!
I'd love to be saying that I am happy that we are moving into Spring, there have been a couple of times in the last week I though Ahh Spring is here, but lo and behold it has decided to go cold and snowy again! With some luck it will warm up soon and those of you who hibernate for winter will be back again! :)
Criminalisation by the back door
It was announced this month that Redbridge Council are seeking to criminalise sex workers by introducing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to the borough which will allow police officers to issue £100 fines to those attempting to purchase sex.
This move comes after several years of debate and research into the issue of areas of Redbridge residents complaining about sex workers in certain areas of the borough, Ilford road being one of them.
A PSPO is designed to allow local authorities to criminalise non-criminal behaviours, such as creating alcohol free zones, or more sinisterly to remove the ‘problem’ of homeless people such as banning sleeping rough or begging in certain areas.
Liberty, a movement that campaigns to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of people states on their website that they oppose PSPO’s because they are too widely drawn, with vague definitions of what can be criminalised, and carry disproportionately punitive sanctions.
The Guardian has also written about the subject of PSPOs and how they make predefined activities within certain areas prosecutable.
In November 2016 Redbridge Council produced a report following investigation into prostitution called Routes out of Prostitution Scrutiny Working Group, led by Redbridge Councillors with organisations such as the police and sex work outreach groups including Open Doors, but less encouragingly Rachel Moran’s SPACE International.
Moran’s views on sex work have been widely criticised by sex workers and her personal account of her own sex work is believed to have been fabricated. Moran supports the Nordic model (sometimes know as the Swedish model) which criminalises clients and is not what the majority of sex workers want. I wrote about why the Nordic Model doesn’t work here and the English Prostitutes Collective also wrote about the problems of the Swedish law here. Maggie McNeil wrote about Rachel Moran here.
In addition to Moran Helen Easton, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, London South Bank University and Roger Matthews were also consulted, both co wrote ‘Exiting Prostitution - A Study in Female Desistance’ with Julie Bindel in 2014 who has horrific views on sex work.
Also assisting with the investigation was Helen Johnson, who along with Easton and Matthews are part of the Stand Against Sexual Exploitation network, an organisation very much in favour of the Nordic Model.
With such people who are openly opposed to any kind of legislation in favour of safer sex work the investigation into what would work best for the sex workers of Redbridge was always going to be about criminalising clients and ending demand.
The report does make clear that the welfare of the women is important and when discussing various models of sex work law disregards the ‘American model’ as it penalises women.
Unfortunately, the report also states:
The “Nordic” model first implemented by Sweden in 1999 is the remaining regime type and represents a growing trend in terms of international acceptance with France and Northern Ireland now joining with Norway in passing legislation. This would make the purchase of sex illegal but would decriminalise the sale of sexual services. Although there are some countervailing arguments this would be the best option for the Council to pursue by encouraging the flexible use of the existing law.
The draft recommendations go on to say:
The Working Group calls for the Nordic model, or the sex buyer law, to be enacted. Until this becomes law, agencies are urged to use existing legal powers and pathways to reduce demand and to provide support to women involved in prostitution.
The assumption that the Nordic model will become law shows a level of either arrogance or the group has been misled by the people it has consulted with, which is hardly surprising.
There is no mention in the report that World Health Organisation (WHO), Amnesty International, UNAIDS and the Lancet who are all opposed to criminalising any aspect of sex work. Who have stated that “All countries should work toward decriminalisation of sex work.”
There appears to have been no consultation with sex work groups such as The English Collective of Prostitutes or SWARM (Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement) or the International Union for Sex Workers all who are opposed to criminalising sex workers and against the Nordic model.
The simple summary is that there are already laws that protect people from violence, abuse, rape, slavery and non-consensual trafficking.
Again, the report states as part of its draft recommendations;
The main area of contention in policy terms lies between complete decriminalisation and the adoption of the “Nordic Model” or “Sex Buyer Law” which would criminalise the purchase of sex but not soliciting. Evidence is contradictory and contested with sincerely held views on both sides particularly in terms of safety for the women involved, the involvement of organised crime and the extent of trafficking. There is, however, a very broadly based consensus that women involved in prostitution should be de-criminalised and should be regarded as victims rather than perpetrators.
Yet again, criminalising clients of sex workers is considered the way to go and the wider issues that that brings to sex workers, especially those who operate on the streets has been ignored. Simply, criminalising men who pay for sex means sex workers means less clients which leads to women having to make riskier choices such as offering unprotected sex or services they do not want to do to make ends meet, going with men they are concerned might be violent and soliciting in dark, deserted places which increase the risk of attack and being unable to call for help if needs be.
How ever much a group bangs on about not criminalising sex workers and that it wants women to be safe, but wants a Nordic style law in place has not understood the potential risks that criminalising clients brings.
There is also a lot in the report about the high numbers of Romanian sex workers on the street and concludes that organised crime and modern slavery go hand in hand with this. There doesn’t seem to be any actual evidence that that is the case.
Leader of the council, councillor Jas Athwal said that Redbridge is hoping to use PSPO fines to eradicate or at least reduce the “prostitute problem”.
Another councillor Khayer Chowdhury, vice-chairman of external scrutiny panel is quoted in the Ilford recorder as saying: “I call on residents to work with us and the police to help us keep Ilford safe and clean, and also send a strong message to those who commit crime - we will show total zero tolerance to your activities and we will relentlessly pursue you and lock you up if you come to Ilford and commit crimes.”
I think these two quotes sum up the attitudes to sex workers nicely…
Whilst the report and other documents I have read pertaining to this go to great lengths to state they want to help and support the women involved there is evidence to suggest the real issue is that local residents find sex work icky and they don’t want to see it in their area.
The local police have also been going to great lengths closing brothels in the borough, so they clearly don’t much like indoor sex either. The Ilford Recorder reported one brothel a week is closed down in Redbridge and in a 16 month period during 2015-2016, 50 brothels were closed in the borough.
If a brothel is closed down does someone magically pay the rent and bills and put food on the table for those who worked in them? No, these women will either move to new premises or end up having to work on the street.
In April 2017 in a Redbridge Cabinet meeting it was reported that
The proposed Strategy continued to address the issue of on-street prostitution in the Borough’s hotspot location but widened the focus of the work to include off-street prostitution and all related activity.
In Redbridge Prostitution Strategy 2017- 2021 - A strategy for prevention, exit and enforcement drafted in March of last year it states:
Traditionally within Redbridge and elsewhere, prostitution related enforcement has been directed largely toward the women involved. Although the Borough did take this approach historically it has proved an ineffective way to reduce prostitution and its related effect on residents.
Following the work of the Routes Out of Prostitution Scrutiny Working Group, Cabinet have agreed that the focus of enforcement activity should shift towards those purchasing sexual services in the hope that this will reduce demand.
It can be very difficult to prove the offences listed above, therefore a significant amount of enforcement activity is now related to ‘Achilles heel ‘offences in order to disrupt prostitution related activity within the Borough. It is hoped that this approach will disrupt both the on and off street market.
It might appear positive that the approach is shifting from those selling sex to those purchasing sex, but in reality, disrupting demand has an impact on those selling. By including off-street sex workers it is clear the problem Redbridge Council has is with prostitution, not just the anti-social behaviours that goes with on street sex work.
The reasons that ending demand (if such a thing were possible) does not work and is offensive to many sex workers as it considers that all clients are violent rapists and that sex workers do not make their own choices about doing sex work and how they do it. A common discourse is that no woman could possibly want to do sex work, especially on the street. This may be the case for some individuals, but the wider issue is really about poverty. Making sex work harder for women forces them into further desperation.
Zahra Wynne summed up ‘End Demand’ in the UK Huff Post in April 2016;
The problem with End Demand is that it wrongly assumes that all sex workers are exploited and abused, and forced into their profession. It also makes great mention of underage girls and does not give much regard to consenting, adult workers. Essentially, they equate all sex work with human trafficking, which is an entirely different and abhorrent issue. The idea that sex work is inherently exploitative does not sit well with both sex workers and choice feminists - those who have chosen to undertake sex work are tired of being rendered voiceless victims, and do not feel that they should be equated with victims of sex trafficking, who of course need protection.
Some of the measures already undertaken in Redbridge seem to be working though, The Ilford Recorder sent out a reporter in October 2017 to accompany police officers patrolling in the Ilford Lane area. The headline was ‘Where are all the girls?’
The article doesn’t answer that question, but probably to other areas and into the brothels that keep getting closed down, but the police appear pleased with their work. One police officer revealing “There are girls that are not coming back, and if they do we give them a community protection notice (CPN) and then if that does not work we arrest them”.
So much for the strategy of not targeting the women.
Of course, much of the discussion around sex work in Redbridge (and other places) is simply that local residents don’t like it and have complained of groups of men hanging about, used condoms and other litter and women have complained they are harassed and catcalled, particularly in the Ilford Lane area.
The real giveaway about the attitudes is the public consultation about bringing in the PSPO I mentioned at the start of this. The way to sneak through the Nordic Model…
As part of the council’s strategy a PSPO is being sought and to do that consultation is required and evidence gathered to justify the PSPO.
The Prostitution PSPO is presented as a way to reduce the anti-social behaviour around sex work in Redbridge such as about the associated noise, sex litter and the widespread use of stickers on street furniture.
The introduction to the public consultation survey states that concerns have been raised by residents and elsewhere regarding prostitution.
The proposed measures in the PSPO are:
· No person shall be verbally abusive to any person or behave in a way which causes or is likely to cause harassment alarm or distress to another person.
· No person shall urinate, defecate, spit or leave litter in a public place. This includes the doorway or alcove of any premises to which the public has access.
· No persons shall gather in groups of two or more whilst engaging in nuisance or criminal behaviour. This will not apply to persons waiting for a scheduled bus at a designated bus stop unless they are engaging in nuisance or criminal behaviour.
· No person shall post stickers which advertise prostitution’
· No person shall attempt to buy sexual services from another person
There is no mention of the support of sex workers, exit strategies for those who want to leave sex work, investigations into coerced human trafficking or forced sex work. Nothing about the importance of keeping the women who work on the street safe or the complications around the criminalising of sex workers and/or their clients.
In fact, Councillor Sheila Bain, Cabinet Member for Civic Pride, said; "We want our residents to feel safe and secure when they’re going about their daily lives. We can’t allow the issue of street prostitution to go unchallenged and that is why we’re asking residents and businesses across the borough if they would like us to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to help us protect them."
So, there is it. It is all about the residents and keeping them safe, protecting them; nothing about the safety of sex workers. Nothing about the women who face being forced to work in less safe areas and make faster decisions about which clients they should go with. Nothing about the fact that these measures will make women less likely to contact the police if they have been attacked, robbed or raped.
The way the PSPO has been worded is designed to horrify people, of course we don’t want people to be able to do these things on our streets. It’s a natural reaction from almost anyone, No one wants people defecating in the street or to be the subject of harassment.
The wording of this PSPO is evocative and does not address the complex causes of street-based prostitution. In contrast to the existing criminal law surrounding soliciting, PSPOs can only lead to fines, and are therefore likely to draw vulnerable women into the criminal justice system and a cycle of debt.
These measures are also an attack on homeless people of course and will be used to harass and fine them too.
The questions continue in this manner the first one being:
Do you support the introduction of a PSPO to ensure that no person shall be verbally abusive to any person or behave in a way which causes or is likely to cause harassment alarm or distress to another person?
The responses (to all the questions) are yes, no or not sure.
How many people are going to respond no to that question?! This has nothing to do with sex work or the clients of sex workers and everything to do with arseholes.
The next question is on a similar vein, asking whether they support a PSPO to deter people from urinating, defecating, spitting or leaving litter in a public place? Again the answer most people would choose would be yes.
The third question asks:
Do you support the introduction of a PSPO to deter people from gathering in groups of two or more whilst engaging in nuisance or criminal behaviour?
Street workers often work in small groups for safety and support. It’s important to have someone looking out for you if you are going to get into a stranger’s car or go to a quiet deserted area to service a client. Having someone know where you are is essential. Potentially this part of the PSPO would force women to work individually. Of course most people reading this would agree that they think that this should be supported.
The forth question asks:
Do you support the introduction of a PSPO to deter people from posting stickers which advertise prostitution?
Seriously? Do the police really not have anything better to do? This is a direct attack on those who rely on these methods to find clients. Those who may not have or afford internet access or advertising. These measures are NOT about supporting women who work on the street. It is about criminalising them.
The fifth question asks:
Do you support the introduction of a PSPO to allow police and council enforcement officers to fine those who are seeking to purchase sex and/or commit any prostitution related anti-social behaviour in public spaces throughout the borough?
If this PSPO is enforced, the police will be able to fine and possibly arrest sex workers who operate in public and this will also cover anything that the police might deem as anti-social. Again, these measures are not about the safety of sex workers, it is about criminalising them.
This survey will produce the results Redbridge council want. It is horribly weighted and a prejudiced attack against the most vulnerable in society. They will be able to say the public support the PSPO and it will happen. Further to this Redbridge council are hoping that these measures will be extended across London.
This backdoor to introducing the Nordic Model is worrying. It is starting with women who work on the street who are much less likely to have a voice to protest or stand up for themselves. Already Redbridge is targeting brothels which is one of the safest ways for women to work, how long until it moves it independent sex workers sharing a flat or an escort letting out her room whilst she is not working- both technically brothels in the eyes of the law.
Call to action
Complete the survey answering NO to all the questions, if you can, complete the boxes as to why you are opposed to this measure.
You do not have to live in Redbridge or even London or the UK to complete it. They do not ask for any details at all so it is totally anonymous.
The deadline is Sunday 11th March.
Here are some people at Redbridge Council you can write to.
Councillor Sheila Bain firstname.lastname@example.org
Leader of the council, councillor Jas Athwal email@example.com
Other members of the working group are: Councillor Emma Best, Councillor Gwyneth Deakins, Councillor Zulfiqar Hussain. Councillor Taifur Rashid, Councillor Tom Sharpe. and Councillor Neil Zammett (Chair)
Councillor Khayer Chowdhury is vice-chairman of external scrutiny panel.
All email address are firstname.lastname@example.org
The postal address is
C/O Town Hall
128-142 High Road
Following on from my blog yesterday about Melissa Douglas's blog/Huff Post article complaining about how men kept thinking she was a prostitute there was a bit of a twitter storm over it. I'm not taking full responsibility/credit for it because plenty of other sex workers were calling her out on her attitude and words. She dealt with it by blocking them and not engaging with anyone about it. Her only tweets on the subject was to complain she was being harassed and threatened.
Eventually Douglas issued a statement in response to the Huff Post article, which luckily I screen shot because this morning she has locked her account.
Douglas massively misses the point I and many others were making about her article and really doesn't help matters by starting it Dear Prostitutes and their patrons.
I have no idea whether she read my blog or not but I'm going to assume she had seeing as so much of her traffic came from a result of the blog and my tweets. One of the first things I said and with a link to a helpful article was about how the word prostitute carries negative connotations and why sex workers largely prefer the term sex workers. Of course saying 'patrons' implies that the only people (men) who could possibly support us are clients...
I decided to write her an open letter in response.
Dear Travel Writer and your patrons,
Since the start of time sex workers have been harassed, stigmatised, demonised, sent to prison, abused and murdered. We have lost our jobs, homes and access to our children.
My blog was written from my personal experiences of being a sex worker and how I felt about the insulting insinuations you made in your blog. I didn't intend to offend but I did mean to criticise. I believe if travel writers choose to live their lives in a certain way or engage in a particular profession and use their platform (allegedly of millions) to make incorrect assumptions about my profession I have a right to make comment. I felt you made derogatory comments about my profession and so did many, many others. I wanted to put you straight, to offer advice.
While I support that you are entitled to do and write what you please, you must acknowledge that sex workers are not a separate breed of creature and indeed we are aware that this profession is not for everyone and maybe surprisingly to you, as women we also do not actually like men assuming sex is on offer and that we too have a discomfort in being approached by men for sex in most situations. We are not out there looking for sex all the time, we have social and private lives. For me, sex is part of my business but also on my own terms and when I choose to do so and who with.
This blog and indeed sex work Twitter is a forum for sex workers to speak out about their concerns and experiences and that is exactly what we did yesterday. It was a perfect opportunity for you to learn and to correct your horrible assumptions. You could have made it right. Instead you chose to block, ignore and play the victim.
I don't know what it is like to be a travel writer and I don't understand the struggle you face. I am not a travel writer. I am a sex worker. It must be terrible being paid to travel around the world and get paid for staying in luxury hotels and have to write about it. Many sex workers only have to have sex to do this and don't have the bane of writing about it afterwards.
No one is denying that you wrote from a personal perspective and whilst you can not encapsulate every possible perspective you did offend. You may not have meant to but you chose not to acknowledge that you did offend and did not choose to right your wrongs. You can't please everyone, but you could have made millions of sex workers feel better about your article. You could have learned from our feedback.
By not engaging in any further discussion I have to assume that your opinions have not changed, you are not sorry you have offended at all. You haven't edited the blog or asked The Huffington Post to remove it. Your unwillingness to comprehend what we are trying to achieve or prove is disappointing. You are demeaning all women who are actually threatened and harassed both online and in the real world.
Your blog and access to the Huff Post has great potential to talk about the experiences of women traveling alone and call out the men who pester. You could have talked about cultural differences in how men behave or how women are expected to behave across the world. As a guide for female travellers you could have advised how to stay safe, how to deal with harassment and been grateful that hotel concierges are checking that random people aren't walking into hotels unquestioned. Instead you chose to blame and mock sex workers and then close your ears from their voices.
You are indeed a random travel writer who has represented your demographic badly. Wouldn't you prefer to be a significant one whose voice can make a difference?
Aside all the frustrating and dangerous things about being a sex worker a constant source of annoyance is how other people see sex work and how they write about it in the name of cheap thrills and fast hits. If it's not salacious tabloid pieces of celebrity dalliances with sex workers it's the outing of sex workers, usually accompanied by the horror that a mother/nurse/school secretary dare be a sex worker alongside her 'day' job.
I'm not a prostitute. I'm a female solo traveller by Melissa Douglas, published in the Huffington Post yesterday gave me a whole new set of annoyances. It manages to be stigmatising, insulting and ignorant all in one go. Apart from anything, anyone who writes for the media should know that sex worker is the correct and preferred term for a prostitute. Here's an article outlining some of the problems surrounding media use of the term prostitute
Douglas starts her piece by telling a story of how a hotel concierge stopped her when returning to her room after a night out to check she was a guest in a hotel. Nowhere does she state he actually accused her of being a prostitute, maybe he thought she was but actually, it's his JOB to make sure people who aren't guests are not wandering around hotels at night.
Her reaction seemed dramatic to say the least, she was furious (she's probably the sort of person who tells traffic wardens they are jobsworths when they ticket her for being parked illegally), couldn't sleep and had to go down to the reception desk and make a complaint.
Douglas also felt she needed to add that "For the record, and since I know we live in a society of “victim blaming,” I was dressed conservatively - a long skirt, a trench coat and heels; though I am a believer of the school of thought that women should be entitled to dress as they please without being victims of ignorance and prejudice."
So she feels the need to ensure she doesn't offend anyone by adding women should dress how they want and that she was dressed conservatively. Because obviously prostitutes do not. The insinuation is there; prostitutes dress sluttily or at least she has a perceived notion of what sex workers look like. She says she doesn't want women to be the victims of ignorance and prejudice but only if they are not sex workers, who let's face it are consistently victims of ignorance and prejudice.
But's here's a secret she was dressed exactly like a prostitute does when entering a hotel late at night! Does she think we traipse through a hotel off to see a client in a boob tube, mini skirt and a pair of white stilettoes? No, because most sex workers want to be discreet and not draw attention to themselves. In fact, trench coats are really useful for covering up a revealing outfit. Sorry love, but yes you did look like a prostitute.
She then states "There just seems to be something about a woman that takes care of her appearance being by herself in certain locations that rubs people up the wrong way. As though it is completely out of the question that she could be in a luxury hotel by herself as a result of her own successes. "
In the piece the only word italicised is own. One assumes that if she is still banging on about the awfulness of being mistaken for a prostitute the emphasis on own implies that the success of prostitutes isn't their own. Really? So who makes sex workers successful? Usually themselves, by being really fucking good at their job along with marketing, branding, writing, planning photoshoots, looking after themselves and careful financial planning. I know more sex workers with accountants than non sex workers! It isn't an accident when a sex worker is successful, it's hard work alongside the risk of being outed, assaulted or murdered not to mention tolerating the stigma and stinky men!
She also repeats this notion later; "As a woman in her late twenties who earns her own money...". Maybe she thinks most women don't earn their 'own' money or that sex workers don't make their 'own' money. Is it not their 'own' money because they get paid for sexual services? Does she think we all have pimps we give our money to?
Sex workers are in luxury hotels because they are successful, they can afford a room to entertain clients or they have secured a booking with one through their own hard work.
An odd claim is then made; As though a woman wearing makeup couldn’t possibly have an interest in history, culture, and world issues.
What has this to do with the price of fish? Who thinks this?! Melissa Douglas must have terrible friends and associates. Most women I know wear make up and most of them have some interest in history, culture and world issues or all three. Has anyone ever actually said women who have an opinion on a world issue don't wear make up?
I think this line says a lot about the credibility of this writer. who incidentally, seems very keen to let her readers know she is well travelled, well groomed, successful and attractive which is rather odd in itself.
There's also the underlying notion that prostitutes are none of these things. I expect Douglas thinks we are all ignorant and thick and couldn't possibly do anything other than sex work. Nearly all the sex workers I know have degrees, many have come from or still work in professional fields or are studying. Even sex workers who don't have formal qualifications are savvy, business minded and bright. You have to be to do this job. It's not just about waiting for the phone to ring, slipping on crotchless panties and sashaying into hotels like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
What's more, I have never been identified as a prostitute whilst in a hotel and I actually am one and from a quick ask around none of my sex working friends have either. She may be surprised to discover that sometimes I visit hotels for leisure or for business other than sex work. I have also travelled solo many times in my life too. Like plenty of other women who also happen to be sex workers.
But poor Melissa Douglas spends her life being mistaken for a prossie. I'm worried for her. She says "I cannot count the number of times that I have been approached and offered money for sex in Korea. Most of the time, I was dressed in the most unflattering attire and buying groceries or doing the recycling. "
Because prostitutes never buy groceries or recycle...
Also, I hate to be cynical, but, Since 2004 it has been illegal to both buy and sell sex in South Korea. In 2007 35,000 men were prosecuted for buying sex. There is still a thriving sex industry, but in countries where buying sex is illegal, men are super careful about how they obtain sexual services. They don't go around asking random young women for paid sex and they know the areas that sex workers do hang out and how to find a sex worker without the risk of being arrested.
As for the "lecherous looks", "eyes burning into me" and "silent judging" that poor old Melissa has experienced is either because she is deluded, most people are too busy thinking about themselves to care what other people look like or she is experiencing something that ALL women experience at some point, being hit on by men. It's nothing to do with looking a certain way and more about entitled men who think a women busy minding her own business might want to sleep with him.
Maybe I'm being unfair on Melissa Douglas and should give her leeway because of her youth and naivety, and honestly one of the joys of getting older is that you care less what anyone, especially strangers think of you.
She also perhaps needs to think about her stigmatising and stereotyping of sex workers which is frankly shitty and as a woman who writes for a female market she should think about how othering a group of already stigmatised and maligned women fits into her brand. Maybe think about those who actually do sex work and the pressures and dangers of that. Be outraged that sex workers don't have fair safe laws around their jobs, be an ally and if you are going to champion women they don't throw some of them under the bus or make unfair assumptions about their lifestyle choices.
There aren't many great things to write about Hounslow, other than me being in it isn't the sort of place that brings in visitors. There's a tired shopping centre, an Asda (whose car park has just been closed), lots of planes going over and Hounslow Heath, which frankly is just a large bit of scrubland whatever their website tells you about it being a "Local Nature Reserve and Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (of Metropolitan Importance)" I really wouldn't make the effort to see it.
What Hounslow does boast is three, yes THREE Poundlands. I have no idea why we need three Poundlands, especially as the high street also boasts a brand new PoundWorld, a 99p shop and a 97p shop. Seriously, the three Poundlands are literally five minute walks away from each other. You may have seen the press this week about Poundland's new sex toy range. Sex toys, in Poundland, for a quid?! Yes, indeedy!
Actually, they first released their pound bullet vibe a few years back (how did I miss this?!) but now they have extended their range further. It's called Nooky. Of course it is.
The range apparently includes a finger stimulator, a cock ring and a vibrating cock ring and lube. There's also his n hers libido stimulant pills called 'Vitality', herbal Viagra basically which claim to perk you up and of course the women's come in a pink packet and the men's in blue (don't get me started on gendered colours nonsense). They've also been doing condoms for years too apparently.
So, Fanny Price and I had a Twitter conversation about this exciting revelation and made a promise to test out these Poundland treats and as she was arriving today I set out to do some shopping this morning thrilled that I had not one, not two but THREE local Poundlands to choose from!
As it turns out I had forgotten I'm actually quite shy about buying sexy stuff. I get my condoms online partly because I can get them cheaper in bulk but also because I'm pathetic about buying them in person. Hell, whilst I'm in confession mode, I still feel a bit weird about buying tampons...
I find the sex stuff shelf easily in the same aisle as the 3 packets of no name paracetamol for a quid, Pound nail varnish and Polish shower gel but there are people about. Feel awkward. Is it because it's a bit tragic to be buying condoms in Poundland? Maybe a bit, but to be honest I'm the same in Boots. Incidentally, no cashier has ever said to me 'Getting plenty then!' with a saucy wink or looked sympathetic whilst I buy two packs of heavy flow Tampax so God knows where this comes from.
Decide too many people are about so buy a packet of Opal Fruits (or whatever they call then these days) and some batteries (for my vibe ironically enough). I then discover that this Poundland has self service checkouts! Hooray! I can buy pound sex toys and no cashier will be there to judge me!
I headed off to Poundland number Two because there were no bullet vibes, finger stimulators and I had decided that I wasn't going to eat any 'Vitality' stimulants so thought I'd see if the other Poundland had a better range. It didn't, and in a burst of bravery I grabbed a cock ring and some condoms and headed off for the self check out. Oh. No self check outs at this branch. This is obviously the less good Poundland. Found myself in front of a checkout and fronted it out. If she looked funny at me I'd say I was a journalist and it was for an article. Of course she didn't bat an eyelid. Well maybe she did, I wouldn't know because I was busy making no eye contact whatsoever.
Feeling yet more confident I headed back to Poundland One and grabbed a vibrating cock ring and lube and headed for the nice private self check out only to be ushered over to a real life person because there was a queue at the self checkout. Probably other people buying shamefully cheap marital aids.
So, having not found any bullets or finger stimulators and not fancying the pep pills however natural they claim to be, I have:
A vibrating love ring
A Joy Ring (non vibrating)
Some 'Tingle'- Stimulating Lube
Twelve pack of Sure condoms (flavoured and coloured)
Fanny and I are going to attempt to live tweet our testing out session later tonight so do try and join us on @Minxy_Lydia and @MissFannyPrice_ #QuidHoes.
In further 'What The Fuckery Poundland?!', look what else they sell...
I shall be working with Fanny Price on 5th & 6th October. Please book in advance because we are always very popular when working together! :)
Our duo rates
30 minutes- £140
45 minutes- £180
1 hour- £220
90 minutes- £340
2 hours- £400
One thing I have learned in life is that the penis often works as a separate entity to the rest of a man's body. Hard ons at inappropriate moments, coming too quickly, not being able to come and sometimes not being able to get hard in the first place.
All men suffer from at least one of the above at some point in their lives and for some it's just because they've drunk too much one night and for other it's a long term often upsetting problem.
I've learnt a lot since becoming a sex worker. When the sexual satisfaction of a man is pretty much what you're paid to do, along with the obvious benefits of giving a chap such a good time he comes back again and again you tend to start to figure men out a bit.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) used to be known as impotence and is basically is the inability to get and maintain an erection that is sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. According to the NHS it pretty common and half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree and most men will experience it at some point in their life.
Of course there is a big difference between the severity of ED, it may be an occasional occurrence and for others it is a long term condition.
Some of the long term causes of ED are:
It can also be caused by drinking too much, drugs or good old fashioned nerves. Then there is when a bloke has got so excited about coming to see you he knocks one out before he sets off to see you and then can't manage it again. This isn't ED, it's twattery.
Of course I should be saying if you come and see me then you'll have a massive hard on and be able to come 28 times because I'm so damn hot, but the reality of it is that this isn't always the case. As much as we are not sexbots who can get wet and orgasm at the drop of a hat our clients aren't either, however excited and pleased they are with us it doesn't always go to plan.
One of the things I learned early on in my hoing career is that when things don't work penis wise IT IS NOT MY FAULT! I used to feel like crap if a chap had to leave without popping his load. Obviously I do all I can to ensure my clients are relaxed and feel at ease with me and I will try every trick in the book to coax a hard on or an orgasm out of a client but there are some things as a client you can do to help me.
1. Talk to me! If you have a medical issue that prevents you from getting a hard on or orgasming TELL ME! Don't be shy, I have seen and heard it all before and I want you to have a good time. Madly wanking a cock that won't come is awkward for us both, especially if you know it's not going to come to fruition.
2. If you insist on taking drugs (coke comes to mind) don't expect to come however bloody horny you are. You're just annoying and I have no sympathy.
3. Relax. Stop thinking about it. The more you bash away at your penis in a panic the less likely it is to behave. Nerves and panic do not appeal to penises. Do something else, talk to me , play with me, relax, Stop thinking about getting a hard on.
4. Viagra might get you hard, but it will often prevent you from coming. Tell me if you're on it, if you don't want to that's fine but don't expect a fast orgasm, if at all. Maybe only take half a pill at a time.
5. If you have a really filthy, taboo thing that you think might help matters then do share with me. It's unlikely to shock and if me pretending to be your mummy or your dog helps then I'm all for it!
If you can relax and enjoy our time together without feeling any pressure to perform in a certain way then you'll take away some great memories (wank fodder) and my work is done!
It's not a new observation, but not one I have written about before. People are uncomfortable by the word prostitute. I say people, I mainly refer to others in the sex industry. Go and look at any number of sex workers website, no one refers to themselves as a prostitute and most clients refer to 'seeing an escort'. Prostitute is used as an insult, we may jokingly refer to 'prossying' , but very few women actually stand up and proclaim to be a prostitute. If I'm honest, I prefer 'escort' or 'sex worker' over prostitute, but I don't have any qualms in referring to prostitution as a concept and it's fine when the industry is referred to in academic terms, although sex worker is the accepted term these days and the media are also shifting to sex worker (unless it's a shitty tabloid piece).
So, why are people squeamish about the word prostitute? The dictionary definition of prostitute is:
1. One who solicits and accepts payment for sex acts.
2. One who sells one's abilities, talent, or name for an unworthy purpose.
tr.v. pros·ti·tut·ed, pros·ti·tut·ing, pros·ti·tutes
1. To offer (oneself or another) for sexual hire.
2. To sell (oneself or one's talent, for example) for an unworthy purpose.
The etymology of the word is in is derived from the Latin prostituta. Some sources cite the verb as a composition of "pro" meaning "up front" or "forward" and "situere", defined as "to offer up for sale".
Another explanation is that "prostituta" is a composition of pro and statuere-to cause to stand, to station, place erect with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing"
The Online Etymology Dictionary states the definition, as used from the 1520's as meaning
"to offer to indiscriminate sexual intercourse (usually in exchange for money)," from Latin prostitutus, past participle of prostituere "to expose to prostitution, expose publicly," from pro- "before" + statuere "cause to stand, establish," from PIE root *sta- "to stand," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing"
The Online Etymology Dictionary states that prostitute as a noun means "harlot, woman who offers her body indiscriminately" (usually for money).
Interestingly, if I may pop off at a tangent for a second; pornography etymologically denotes the "depiction of prostitutes" Originally, porno meant, "bought, purchased, exported, sold".
According to Ernest Klein, in his Klein's Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, "The Greek element originally meant 'bought, purchased', and is related to another Greek word that meant, 'I sell', or 'I give for equal value.'
What strikes me is the use of the word indiscriminate. This means without care, or randomly, without thought which to be fair is how a lot of people view prostitutes, that's we'll let whoever wants to come along and fuck us. Whilst I appreciate there are some women in that position, usually though desperate poverty or because they are being forced to; for most UK based sex workers this isn't the case at all.
Most of us are very careful who they see and most have some kind of screening. Personally, if someone can't send a proper email or text mentioning a date or time and some kind of politeness then I won't entertain them. In fact, being called 'babe' can be enough for me to ignore a potential punter! (I really hate it). I also have other work which I do around escorting so if I'm on a deadline or have a meeting then no can do.
I wonder if the implication that prostitution is someone who fucks anyone is why so many women feel awkward about the word or whether it's simply because they feel it lumps us all together with those women who are standing on street corners trying to get enough money for their next fix. Clients can be icky about it too. I've had men tell me 'you're not a prostitute! You're an escort, that's different!' It's sweet I suppose, but more about their internalised squickiness about what they are doing...
It isn't really, a prostitute sells sexual services for cash whether she is charging £20 or £2000. But, essentially most people are left slightly queasy about the word prostitute; escort, call girl, companion, courtesan, concubine and so on are far nicer words that imply luxury, class and I think choice. Choice to offer sex yet turn down those they don't want to see. Don't get me started on sugar babies who tend to be in total denial that they are sex workers let alone prostitutes!
Whilst I am sure there are plenty of women who are happy to say 'I am a prostitute', in some kind of reclaiming of the word you won't see it in any of their marketing!
I will be spending the day in Tooting on Thursday 17th August and be available to all you lovely south Londoners!
I'll be in a discreet hotel about 10 minute walk from Tooting Broadway station.
Please let me know if you'd like to make a booking so you can ensure your spot!
I shall be available in Exeter from 3rd- 5th August!
I'll be in a city centre hotel, about a 10 minute walk from Exeter Central station.
Please book me in advance to ensure you can see me and that I pack the goodies you might need to make your booking utterly perfect!