delve a little deeper....
You may remember last year I wrote about The Invisible Man project? It was also written about here. Well it transpires that the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art (GoMA) are hosting an exhibition based on this.
According to a spokeswoman from Glasgow City Council..."We would encourage as many right-thinking adults in society to see it as possible. It does provide a unique insight into the reality of prostitution and how horrendous it is for the women involved."
Hmm. So an exhibition to promote what is wrong with prostitution with NO input from actual sex workers, using cherry picked quotes from reviews without context and without the consent of the women who are referred to?
Many women do not have reviews, some ask not to have them displayed on Punternet (the site the text is stolen from). Some women recognise they can help establish a good reputation and some don't give a toss either way. Of course this is not mentioned anywhere. We have no idea what is said is true or not. They could have been written by a rival escort or agency or be exaggerated or made up. Yes, some of the things written are horrible, but hey, it's the internet, man writes mean thing about woman is hardly exclusive to sex workers and the preposition of the Invisible Man project is that these women are forced or coerced or unhappy in their work is of course a pile of shite.
There are many more great reasons why this project is so wrong that have already been written by me and others but please go HERE to read about why GoMA should remove the exhibit and sign the petition whilst you're at it please!
In the meantime I shall leave some reviews here...
On entering the main lobby and walking toward the main hall, I was stopped with an outstretched arm by an Eastern European piece of hired muscle. "Where are you going" he demanded. "For a drink" I replied. "Zerr ar no valk ins allowed" he told me..... translation "There are no walk ins allowed"!!! I therefore informed this gentleman wearing the cheapest suit I had encountered for some time that I would take my business elsewhere.....and I did.
This is definitely the place to be (the lounge) if you want to compare dirty jeans, trainers and the constant flashing of mobile phone cameras. The attitude of some of the staff and their inability to clean their shoes were another highlight.
Now this woman has a serious attitude problem and does not speak perfect english we are in England after all. I am fluent in 3 languages and my husband in 2 but she doesn't either want to understand us or just can't.
Lobby is nice, but rooms are not. I even switched rooms and still bad. Stained walls, carpet, and bathroom. Loose floor boards under the carpet, it took 15min to get hot water, and the water pressure was so bad it was hard to get the soap out of my hair. The bath towels smelled of urine.
It's like expecting a trip in a Rolls Royce and then being ferried around in a Toyota, even though you've paid Rolls Royce rates. This place lacks typical hotel infrastructure and must be very cheap to run. There is little character and atmosphere. The big trick is how the staff like Monica and Magda are constantly all over you, distracting you from pondering the shortcomings.
The bathroom was cheap. The toilet didn't flush properly and the shower and tray were akin to something out of a budget hotel, very cheap and plasticy. Not what you expect at an advertised room rate of around £2,000 per night
And the reviews? From Trip Advisor about top London hotels.
1. The Ritz, London
2. The Savoy
4. Le Meridien, Piccadilly
5. Hotel 41 (Trip Advisor's #1 rated luxury hotel in London)
6. The Berkeley.
I discovered the other week that I had received traffic to my website via Mumsnet. I had a look on their and did a search but could not find any link to me or this website at all. I thought it was probably something to do with this post which was my response to the Invisible Men Tumblr as I had quoted some thoughts from mumsnetters and linked to their thread about it.
Anyway, I found I had a few more hits whilst looking at my Google Analytics page today so thought I would investigate further and (after some faffing!) found that I was indeed linked on the Mumsnet thread. However, it appears whoever linked me had their post removed and possibly some comments were also removed as there was a swathe of deleted posts just before someone does mention my blog and then towards the end of the thread I am mentioned by name.
I am not inclined to join Mumsnet to give my own response so here is an letter to them. If anyone who is a member does want to link it or cut and paste it to the thread I don't mind.
I have no idea if whoever linked my blog piece on the website The Invisible Men did it because they found it a useful addition to the debate or if they wanted an excuse to be further outraged by it. Interestingly the post that linked it is not there anymore and of course I have no idea why.
I would like to clarify a couple of points.
1) I wrote the blog in an attempt to show that one needs to look further than a few lines of prose to get the whole picture. I also wanted to give my own personal view on reviews.
2) I have never thought that ALL sex work comes from a good place. I am aware my experiences in sex work are largely very positive, but I know not everyone's are. I am as appalled as any human is by abuse and suffering. I am not in denial that everything for all sex workers is hunky dory. Equally, I know not all clients are a respectful as mine.
One of the things that most annoys me is the RAGE against prostitution and the men who pay for sex from people with NO IDEA and those using flawed statistics and parroting from the anti prostitution lobby.
I don't expect everyone to share my opinions, and I can quite easily see why it would be hard for some women to comprehend how I do my job. However, my opinions made from my experiences in the industry and very valid and very real.
I could have joined mumsnet to defend myself, but I am not a mother and I don't feel it's my arena to join. Based on the comments directed at those who are clearly opposed to all forms of prostitution and the insults directed at those who have tried to put across their views there would be no point. These people have made their minds up and nothing I would say would make any difference. Besides I have better things to do with my time!
A new link to my original post has now been put up since I started writing this blog and someone is obviously 'spying' on me because I have been accused of lurking and a link to my twitter feed has been added.
In response to some of the things said about me:
Now she's lurking and insulting people publicly. Really vile. It's unbelievable someone can think like that.
I have a commercial interest in finding out where my website hits are coming from and I was of course intrigued why I was appearing on Mumsnet. Hardly my target audience. Also, who have I insulted? OK on Twitter I said: And no wonder men pay for sex if they are married to moralistic, sex is yucky, narrow minded old bags!
OK, a bit unfair I admit, but yeah, men do pay for sex when they are in a relationship with women who don't give their partners affection, kindness and time. Yes, and sex too, but it might surprise many people that it's not all about sex.
Other than that I have not insulted anyone personally (unlike a couple of Mumsnetters!) or any more than that one tweet shown above.
It's interesting that whenever pro-pimp/punter apologists post something they think exculpates them, they simply demonstrate their revolting beliefs and lack of intelligent thought. They make the case against themselves better than anyone else.
Seriously? My beliefs are revolting? Which ones exactly? Lack of intelligent thought? OK, fine you think that without knowing anything about me! So it's OK for you to insult me but not me you?!
Apparently we are just bitter, ugly and no good in bed. She'll be claiming our husbands all wish they could pay for her services next.
Again, you have no grounds for this accusation. I have never said that. Lying is a particularly unattractive trait sweetie.
It would be of course very easy to insult those who don't agree with me, I could easily say "Ha ha, some of your husbands pay for sex!", but I won't.
I know many many husbands pay for sex and statistically some of those on that thread do have partners who cheat or see escorts. I don't actually condone cheating myself and I think it's a shame so many people are in long term relationships that aren't open and honest enough for intimate issues to be discussed. I don't laugh or sneer at the wives whose husbands I see. I don't feel anything. It's not my place to judge someone else's relationship.
Let me summarise again the point I was trying to make regarding the Invisible Men tumblr. I'll try and be clear so the hard of thinking can comprehend:
Ultimately, many women enjoy sex work. I am not rude about monogamous, sex free relationships so why should anyone feel they can be judgmental about my choices?
I also do not feel I can discuss a job that I have never worked in and pretend that I know just what it is like and how someone doing it must feel. Therefore kindly fuck off with your half baked, inaccurate, mythical fairy tales borne out of your own insecurity and sexual suppression.
You may or may not be aware of THIS webpage. The point it is trying to prove is a little vague. The site says:
Before I start with this blog I need to say I know I am coming from this as a privileged escort. I choose who I see, I don't have to see everyone who calls me, noone controls me and I genuinely love my job. I am fully aware many women do not have this and whenever I write about how fortunate I am or about issues regarding criminalisation I try to be mindful of this. So, before I continue, I AM aware that some men are twats and some women are unhappy and abused. I am just putting an alternative view on the Invisible Men project.
Each day on this website there is a picture of a mask with words taken from the Punternet review section.
Now reviews, they can really help with establishing an escorts reputation and certainly increase hits to a website. My reviews have always been pretty kind and complimentary. They usually give me a warm fuzzy glow and I am not offended by them or feel objectified by them. Again, I am lucky I get to see lovely respectful clients.
However, I must admit sometimes I read reviews and I do feel for the woman. They can be brusque, demeaning and personally insulting to a woman. On the other hand, like in any service industry there will be good and bad and views are subjective. The point of 'bad' reviews is to let people know what to expect in the same way that we might research a new laptop, restaurant or tattooist.
Choosing an escort can be tricky. I have heard many stories of men finding it hard to get a reply from women on Adultwork. There are tales aplenty of bad service and of men being ripped off or threatened by heavies as as well as a concern from many men that they might pick someone who is trafficked, forced or really doesn't want to do the job. Trust me, most men are not abusers and most men want no part in using the services of an unwilling woman. They also have to look out for themselves. They are parting with a lot of hard earned money, they often nervous about discretion and might have a limited time slot. As a minimum they need an escort who will be where she says she is at the agreed time, provide the services he requires and make him feel she is enjoying it too. On top of that he might desire a safe area to park his car, a woman who is able to converse in good English or who has natural boobs.
It's not uncommon to hear of women stretching the truth about their age or dress size. Whilst I believe sexiness goes deeper than how old you are or how much of a tummy a customer has a right to make these choices. If you really fancied a steak and chose a restaurant which promoted it's wonderful aged Scottish steak then showed up to find that they were only serving vegan food that night, however yummy the bean and lentil stew might be you're going to be pissed off.
Review sites exist to help men choose the right escort for them and to check out if she is what she says she is.
The Invisible men project has clearly cherry picked quotes to shock and outrage. The graphics help create an image of faceless women with no features and are nothing more than a price tag. There has been much applauding of the project and from the responses on this Mumsnet thread it's clear the aim and result was to shock and disgust people. Comments include:
"certainly gives the reality of prostitution. so sad."
"Well, yes - because they are using women as objects - they might as well be toasters for all they care."
"Really sad - this is the reality of prostitution. None of that happy hooker nonsense."
"You can't respect men like this. There is no way the women they pay to be with respect them or think anything much of them, regardless of what these deluded freaks might think."
"Nooo, the basis of the argument is that men who use prostitutes are utter cunts."
And before I get accused of cherry picking, there were a couple of attempts by posters to question the project, but they were quickly shouted down and 90% of the comments were expressing disgust and supporting the project.
This New Statesman article by Helen Lewis attempts to be unbiased but clearly is supportive of the project and only looks as far as the words written and without any context.
And what of lovely things men say? No examples of them at all. Here are a few quotes from my own Punternet reviews:
Thanks Lydia for reminding me how good sex can be.
We had a chat about this and that and Lydia gave me another blowjob, however, I decided to wank myself over her tits, a brilliant end to a great great first punt!
To say that Lydia specialises in this (anal play) would risk ignoring all her other lovely skills, but she was careful, gentle and considerate as she introduced me to some new experiences.
Beautiful sparkly eyes with the naughtiest glint in them, a wonderful smile and a cracking figure: curves in *all* the right places and the *most* fantastic boobs it has been my pleasure to come across...
Treat her with the utmost respect gents, Lydia is one in a million.
with great natural boobs and a friendly, intelligent face.
Hardly insulting or objectifying are they?! Do they sound like monsters who hate women? No.
So let's look at some examples used on the project and see them from a different stance..
"She expertly began oral on my bare cock slowly at first then with a little help at a faster pace occasionally holding her head down impaled on my cock while she gagged and choked but never wavered - extremely professional young lady!"
You know, there are women who enjoy gagging and choking (not me though, but I know some who do!). Who is to say whether she enjoyed it or not. I have found the original review and it ends:
"Very nice friendly & willing young girl thoroughly recommended!"
Doesn't sound like she was miserable and unwilling to have this done to her does it? Those who are appalled by this review are judging it on their own personal sexual preferences. Here is another...
"Disappointing started with OWO which she reluctantly performed"...."she wouldn't kiss nor would she let me touch her fanny"
Yes, this does sound as if the woman was unhappy in her job. The writer of the review ends with a question over whether she does the job by choice or not. The tone of the words doesn't suggest he relished the booking, for all we know he went home and felt like shit about it and vowed to research harder next time. His review, if it is a true reflection on what happened is a fair warning to other men, whether on a harsh 'Don't waste your money lads' level or a saddened 'Don't be part of this poor woman's unhappy life' level we don't know.
One more- Look at this:
Sounds pretty horrible when reading doesn't it? Sounds as if she was abused and used. Here is the full report
The reviewer says:
Nicha is very attentive. I was undressed, caressed, kissed and made to feel at home
Many WGs have said the head of my cock is quite large and Nicha certainly had problems getting it into herself. Once in though, she rode me like the Pony Express.
whenever I pulled my cock out and thrust it back in, she cried out in pain, but never asked me to stop. Fake of course but done so well that it was fantastic.
Nicha is quite lovely, has a fantastic body and good tats if that turns you on. She fucks like an animal, got soaking wet from all the cunt juice and will take a bit of rough. The woman is practically perfect.
Doesn't that full review make it sound like a two way street? The reviewer sounds Ok doesn't he? Yes, the language is graphic but I don't think he is the sadistic, rapist brute he comes across in the few words The invisible Men project chose to use. I'm fairly confident Nicha enjoys this kind of sex or at least is highly professional.
The anti prostitution movement will do anything to try and further their cause. I have written enough about my personal feelings of the job and have always made it clear that I am not blinkered to the suffering and abuse of others and I feel that help should be given to those who are abused and desperately want out. I don't deny their are some nasty men who pay for sex, but will always make the point that many are lovely and 'normal'.
Why can't everyone see there are many sides to the industry and those who use dirty tactics such as The Invisible Men Project use their time more productively?