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Why Does The Women’s Movement Hate Some Women?

It has to be said that the wider women’s movement still excludes sex workers and even actively campaigns against them. Always in the fictional framework of fighting trafficking. Which, as we know, really is not the issue that people make it out to be. Horrific when it happens, but just not that common.

Society will have to find ways of changing their attitudes and legal approaches to the broader sex industry. But logic is unlikely to have any place in the conversation. Politicians do not act on fact. Except in Switzerland, where Geneva escorts work in a safe legal environment. They act on what they perceive to be the public’s opinion; which is demonstrated by who shouts loudest and threatens their re-election or promotion chances. A single example will demonstrate the point.

A loophole made sex work, practiced behind closed doors, legal in the State of Rhode Island between 2003 and 2009.Baylor University economist Scott Cunningham and his colleagues found that during those years the sex trade grew. But Cunningham points to some other important findings: During that time period the number of rapes reported to police in the state declined by over a third. And gonorrhea among all women declined by 39 percent. Of course, changes in prostitution laws might not be the only cause, but Cunningham says, “the trade-off is if you make it safer to some degree, you grow the industry.”

Rhode Island made sex work illegal again in 2009, in part under pressure from some anti-trafficking advocates. That’s the thing; the debate about sex work always gets linked to trafficking, and always with no facts or facts made up on the spot from a sample of one. Facts will not sell society or politicians. And politicians will not move ahead of society. 

But society is moving rapidly toward the acceptance of prostitution and sex work. This can be seen easily in the volume of big budget and high profile television programmes and films centring on or featuring sex work; The Girlfriend Experience (film and TV), The Client List, The Deuce, Hung, Harlots, Secret Diary Of A London Call Girl, Game Of Thrones, Tipping The Velvet, Cathouse, West World, After Porn Ends, Hot Girls Wanted and Hustlers. 

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The Sex Industry In Europe

Mainland Europe has been viewed as progressively liberal in its perspectives toward the most seasoned calling. Also, truly that has been valid. The women of the Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergere, and the streetwalkers in Montmartre and on the Champs Elysee are set up French social symbols and have been deified from Toulouse Lautrec through Picasso and forward.

The Netherlands has the house of ill-repute windows in the De Wallen shady area of town of Amsterdam where anything has been practically allowed as long as the ladies were regarded and safe. And in a far more hidden way, the mature London escorts of Classic Courtesans ply their trade.

Germany and Switzerland, regardless of their Calvinist and Catholic roots, have both legitimized houses of ill-repute and prostitution since a long time before Germany turned into an assembled nation in the eighteenth century. In the nineteen twenties (the period of the film Cabaret) prostitution was completely acknowledged and upheld as a social decent. Houses of ill-repute and clubs were regularly one and the equivalent. The main time Germany prohibited prostitution was during the Nazi time. The ace race needed to attack France and Holland to discover monetarily secured sex.

The late nineteenth century saw a nadir for the sex business, yet that has changed over the most recent twenty years. The accessibility – universality – of pornography, has made it standard and even popular. There was a rush of “hooker chic” during the disco time, however this is an a lot more prominent and likely irreversible marvel. We have moved from VIPs engaging in sexual relations tapes discharged and getting to be more extravagant and increasingly well known (Pamela Anderson) to individuals getting to be big names since they discharged a sex tape (Kim Kardashian) and now individuals are transferring their home recordings as a “side hustle” to make a couple of quid on the off chance that it gets enough perspectives on YouPorn.

It is a prosaism to discuss the hyper sexualisation of society and the media. Be that as it may, that doesn’t imply that it isn’t valid. Sex is prominent all over the place and in pretty much every specific circumstance. This makes one flood of weight for change in the public arena.

More weight for change originates from ladies properly guaranteeing responsibility for bodies, their unrestrained choice to self-assurance and their sexuality. Ladies from each heading of the socio-world of politics are seeing sex fill in as a litmus trial of ladies’ entitlement to pick what befalls them and survey their opportunity inside society. At the point when Amnesty International backers for the decriminalization of all sex fill in as a right to speak freely issue and to battle sex dealing, there is something changing on the planet.

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Italy’s erotic revolution in art joined the lusty to the divine

In the Sistine Chapel, you look up at Michelangelo’s Last Judgment and see muscular angels hurtling through space, nude or with just a scrap of cloth tight across their buttocks. Then after leaving the Vatican, you browse a bookstall and find an illustrated sex manual, designed by another great artist, where your eye is drawn to the same figure driven by a different impulse (Figure 2).

Fig 2. Unknown artist’s copy of Marcantonio Raimondi’s I Modi, ‘Toscanini volume’, c1555. Private collection, Milan

Explaining this extraordinary resemblance inspired me to write Eros Visible: Art, Sexuality and Antiquity in Renaissance Italy (2017). On the book jacket (Figure 3), another of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel nudes strikes a provocative pose and swivels his eye to meet yours, as if to say: What do you make of this? The answer is that a little-recognised ‘erotic revolution’ swept through Italy between 1500 and the post-1550 Counter-Reformation.

Fig 3. Sistine Chapel detail from book jacket, Eros Visible by James Grantham Turner

Of course, some pictures were condemned as erotic even before 1500: Girolamo Savonarola, the fiery moral reformer of the 1490s, ordered his followers to toss them onto the ‘bonfire of vanities’. But broadly speaking, during the Middle Ages, depiction of sexual activities was confined to the low, comic or grotesque style, while nudity was extremely rare in high art (except in scenes of Hell), and figures tended to be slender rather than voluptuously rounded. Classical nude sculptures were sometimes destroyed or branded as the devil’s work. Courtly love was exalted, but lust and libido were condemned. Erotic feeling was most vividly expressed in mystic accounts of the ‘bridegroom’ Christ and his ‘bride’ the human soul.

The beauty of classical art was more highly valued in the early Renaissance (the 15th century), as was the love-theory of Plato. However, this led to an even deeper split between the pure ideal and base reality, between sacred and profane love. Neoplatonism polarised the celestial and the earthly Venus, and insisted that bodily experience must be expunged from true love. Beautiful figures in art were still mostly draped, and rare exceptions such as Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus were kept for private viewing and interpreted as strictly celestial. The questioning and collapse of these rigid distinctions is the erotic revolution.

Like most revolutions, this one was hardly total. It differed from the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s in that it didn’t change social history, and no new contraceptive device liberated women from the endless cycle of marriage or prostitution. A more accurate phrase would be ‘erotic-aesthetic revolution’, radically changing the way that Italians conceived, created and thought about art. Great changes happened in the art world, which included the emergence of powerful patronesses, even though female artists and models were few. Passion and amore were valued as the wellsprings of creativity – not a distraction or pollution. Channels opened up between inspiration and arousal, between sacred and profane, between what is now separated into ‘art’ and ‘pornography’. Artists felt licensed to express all the passions and ‘motions of the soul’, not merely the chaste ones. Critics endorsed this by praising works that cause ‘whoever gazes’ to feel ‘an amorous fire/in their heart and their gestures’. Beauty was discovered in earthly as well as celestial love. Erotic response became the guarantee of the ‘living’ quality now most valued in art.

One way I measure this revolutionary change is by tracking key words such as lust or lascivious in writings about love and art. Philosophers of the Platonic school worshipped the celestial Venus – ‘chaste, orderly, superior, divine and spiritual’ – but denounced the lower, corporeal Venus as the root of all evil, ‘inferior, disorderly, variable, lascivious, animal, obscene’. Savonarola insisted on burning all ‘lascivious pictures’ (pitture lascive). Yet within an amazingly short time, lascivia was used without disapproval.

The writer Pietro Aretino justifies the Renaissance sex manual (Figure 2) by arguing that poets and artists have always amused themselves by making cose lascive, ‘lascivious things’. The patroness Isabella d’Este enjoyed art that was lascivo ma honesto, ‘lascivious but honourable’. In turn, artists were encouraged to bring out the ‘lascivious’ in their subject matter and in their sensuous brushwork, capturing the ‘living flesh’ and the excitement of falling in love. A wonderful description of Titian’s Venus and Adonis (Figure 4) praises the bisexual ‘mixture’ of masculine and feminine beauty in the ‘lascivious’ Adonis. The same Aretino promises the powerful ruler of Mantua a statue of Venus so ‘alive’ that it will ‘fill every viewer’s mind with libido’.

Fig 4. Venus and Adonis, Titian, 1554. Museo del Prado, Madrid. Courtesy Wikimedia

Leonardo da Vinci boasts that one of his religious paintings provoked ‘lust [libidine] in the owner’. For Leonardo, this is not a matter of shame but of pride in the superior power of painting, which ‘moves the senses more readily than poetry does’, and ‘depicts libidinous acts so lustful that they have incited viewers to play the same game’. The red-flag words libidinosi, lussuriosi and incitare shed their moralistic overtone. Leonardo in effect denies the fall of Adam and Eve and the shame that makes us hide the genital organ: ‘man is wrong to feel ashamed to name it, much less to display it, always covering and hiding what should be adorned and displayed with due solemnity’. Aretino justifies erotica in the same way:

What’s so bad about seeing a man mount on the back of a lady? So the animals should be freer than us? It would seem to me that the thingy that Nature gave us to preserve herself should be worn round the neck as a pendant, and in the cap as a medal … They should establish Holidays and consecrate Vigils and Festivals for it, not shut it up in a bit of cloth or silk.

Artists went ahead and visualised those ‘festivities’ (Figure 5).

Fig 5. Triumph of the Phallus, Francesco Salviati or follower, c1540. Private collection, Stockholm. Courtesy the author

This might all seem a phallocentric game that only elite males could join. In fact, I have found countercurrents to the alleged repudiation of female sexuality in accounts of the arousing effect of painting and sculpture. In Aretino, the viewer is ‘filled’ with the libido streaming from the Venus statue. Titian’s Venus melts and softens the viewer rather than giving him a hard-on: he ‘feels himself growing warm and tender, and the whole of his blood stirring in his veins’. Certainly the recipient is assumed to be male (the canvas was painted for Philip II of Spain, after all) but face-to-face with Venus’s bottom he is ‘penetrated to the marrow’.

As a final example of the revolution in action, consider another plate from that album of sexual postures, this time a lady mounting a man, a 19th-century reconstruction based on a tracing from a now-lost engraving (Figure 6).

Fig 6. Detail from Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck’s reconstruction of I Modi, c1850. Courtesy British Museum, London

The posture comes from one of those ‘lascivious things’ that amused the ancient Romans, but the modern Roman artist made a scene of it: Aretino, who wrote sonnets on the whole set of positions, imagines the man yelling: ‘Cupid, you little fuck, stop pulling the cart!’ This ‘lascivious’ print then inspired one of the most entrancing images of the High Renaissance: Parmigianino’s love-god carving himself a new bow (Figure 7). Parmigianino’s Eros/Amor turns to lock eyes with us, and his implicit question is still: What do you make of this, do you like what you see?

Fig 7. Detail from Parmigianino’s Amor (or Cupid Fashioning his Bow), c1530. Courtesy Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

At first, the answer was No. The art historian Giorgio Vasari, who celebrated the erotic art of his day, later condemned that posture manual as ‘ugly’, though without having seen it. The Counter-Reformation that started with the 1545 Council of Trent aimed to stamp out the sensuous and ‘lascivious’ elements that had allegedly contaminated religious art – especially Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. But reactions generate counterreactions so that, over the centuries, the lush sensuality of the High Renaissance has been celebrated, deplored and celebrated again repeatedly. Even now, after that other sexual ‘revolution’ of the 1960s, historians swing between a cerebral, idealising, Platonic approach and a deliberate campaign to put the body back into art, to value the erotic experience (of both sexes) and to question the division between ‘art’ and ‘pornography’.

James Grantham Turner

This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.

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A Few Clients Have More Cash Than Sense

A few clients of sex laborers may pay for extravagance breaks and occasions, or pay for enormous introduces and burn through cash just as it had no genuine significance. These customers believe that they can inspire a sex specialist with their cash and they endeavor to utilize their cash to induce whores to treat them betterly. Actually the dominant part of prostitutes love picking up a rich and liberal customer, and yet they will likewise have less regard for a client who does not know the estimation of their cash. That is particularly obvious in light of the fact that prostitutes buckle down to procure their cash and can dislike it when men burn through cash without considering.

There is an old English articulation which says in regards to individuals “they have more cash than sense”. It is regularly expected to identify with the sort of individual who purchases things that they don’t have any genuine requirement for. Sound frameworks, garments, sports autos, occasions, sports gear. I am certain that you know the sort of man that I am portraying. This sort of conduct is as pertinent to sex in the very same path as it does to toy and things. All high-class whores will have the capacity to effortlessly discuss the way that a few clients have more cash than sense.

Each high class prostitute comprehends that she merits whatever any client pays her for her sexual administrations, camaraderie and time. A decent Tenerife escort girl can likewise completely welcome that a few clients don’t comprehend the estimation of the cash that they are spending. A few clients of escort offices pamper prostitutes with over the top blessings with the expectation that those things will convince her into treating them superior to typical customers. That may mean giving them additional time or into offering sexual administrations that they may not ordinarily offer – rimming, butt-centric sex, oral sex without a condom or possibly discharging in her mouth. Or on the other hand those customers may trust that they will receive time with their most loved escort gratis as an end-result of the cash that they have spent on endowments.

A few clients of sex laborers may pay for extravagance breaks and occasions, or pay for enormous introduces and burn through cash just as it had no genuine significance. These customers believe that they can inspire a sex specialist with their cash and they endeavor to utilize their cash to induce whores to treat them betterly. Actually the dominant part of prostitutes love picking up a rich and liberal customer, and yet they will likewise have less regard for a client who does not know the estimation of their cash. That is particularly obvious in light of the fact that prostitutes buckle down to procure their cash and can dislike it when men burn through cash without considering.

A few clients of escort offices spend a considerable measure of cash for their attractive time with wonderful escorts, and the smart customers know that in the event that they don’t fare thee well, they will incorporate up troubles with what’s to come. Whores with no heart will continue booking sessions with those customers rall the best approach to where the money runs out and the and charge cards never again work. In any case, the most expert escort ladies will quit meeting a customer who can never again bear to meet with them. Sex experts may engage in sexual relations with men for cash, yet that does not imply that are terrible individuals. Great escorts would prefer not to be the reason for monetary issues to wreck the life of a man that they have been paid to engage in sexual relations with.

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Young People And The Word “No”

I read an article this week that made me feel beyond deeply depressed and fearful for our young people. As a professional in the sex industry I have absolutely no issues with sex. Have it, do not have it. Do it this way, that way or the other. Men and women, women and women, men and men. Two at a time, threesomes, moresomes. Who cares as long as all concerned are over the legal age of consent and actually give their consent? I do not care whether the sex is free, or paid for. You can be an amateur or a professional sex workers and I will not care. But I do have a simple rule. It is not enough that no means no. More importantly, yes means yes.

In a recent survey by the Family Planning Association in England found that fifty three per cent of people that were surveyed thought that it was unacceptable for someone to change their mind about having sex and say “no” once their clothes had come off. Even more worrying and disturbing is the finding that sixty one per cent of those aged between fourteen and seventeen years of age agreed with this view. Thank about that for a moment. Sixty one per cent of youg people in England think that once a girl (or boy) is naked that they are obliged to have sex and no longer have the right to say no. Jesus, people. Even the sexiest mature escorts London can supply have the right to withdraw their sexual consent and say no if they are with a client and do not want to follow through for whatever reason. Of course, the client will quite justifiably want their money back, but even for professional sex workers no means no.

I have always thought that “no means no” is the wrong message anyway. It would be much better to work to the rule that “yes means yes”. Not refusing something is not the same as directly requesting it. If I say say “yes, I really want a vodka” that is a request. If you offer me a vodka and I do not say anything that does not mean that I am going to drink it with relish. The same with sex. If I say “stick your cock in me now and fuck me hard until I come” that is what I call consent. If I do not say anything, that is not consent, it is just not saying anything. Not the same thing at all.

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How Stigma Affects The Safety Of Sex Workers

I adore TED talks. Even the bad ones are good. Some of them are stunning and fantastic. One from (of all people) Fulbright scholar Dolph Lundgren nearly broke my heart. Especially as he was a resident of Marbella with his family for many years. The talk explains what happened and why he is no longer with them and lives in Los Angeles. But it was so human that it shocked me. And some on psychology, emotions and human relationships have been incredibly enlightening. I have never before heard of the TED Radio Hour, which is on National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States. A friend introduced me to it and I was surprised to find a really interesting talk there from a British activist for the rights of sex workers in the United Kingdom and far beyond. I think her talk should be obligatory listening for anyone who works in our industry, who is a client of our industry, or knows someone who works in the industry or pats for sex. You know, basically everyone!

juno mac giving ted talkJuno Mac is a sex worker and activist based in London. She works with the Sex Work Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM), a collective of sex workers focused on advocating full decriminalization of sex work, campaigning for better working conditions, and educational resources for sex workers in the United Kingdom. Her talk on how stigma compromises the safety of sex workers is powerful and full of insights even for professionals who have been in the business for as long as I have. It is well worth a listen for everyone. And it will open most peoples eyes to how preconceptions, misconceptions and ignorant views on the industry impact on the safety of sex workers.

When you cannot call the police after a rape or assault because you are more likely to be treated as a criminal than a victim, even being threatened with jail or (illegal) deportation, how does that make you safe? And surely it must drive women to be “protected” by pimps and exploiters if they cannot expect the law and civil society to take care of them. And if “women like that” are asking for it, how can they expect to be safe? In Spain we are fortunate not to have the same issues. We have our own and they are very complicated, but most of the ones that Mac discusses do not apply here in enlightened Spain.