by Furry Girl

04.13.15

"One of the most common – and offensive – questions that porn performers get from viewers is, 'what are you going to do after this?' It’s as if porn star can’t exist, be looked at and wished upon, without viewers imagining that same star collapsing. Or perhaps better said, some fans have trouble meeting porn stars without expressing their anxieties of having watched. Another way of saying, 'What will you do after this' is 'I’ll stop watching you some day!' or 'One day you won’t be desirable anymore!'

It’s just rude for fans to ask that question. But it is important for performers to be able to have an answer."

-- Conner Habib in How To Be an Ex-Porn Star: 10 Tips on Taking a Break on connerhabib.wordpress.com





by Furry Girl

04.22.14

"'Authenticity': It's one of feminist porn's favorite words.  It pops up frequently on Bay Area-based websites such as The Feminist Porn Network and The Crash Pad Series.  The Feminist Porn Awards decree that in order for a film to win, it must 'depict genuine pleasure, agency, and desire for all performers.'  But I'm beginning to wonder if "authentic" is just another genre of porn, like 'MILF' or 'casting couch,' that places performers in a box for marketability...

Along with [Arabelle] Raphael, I fear that the concept of 'authenticity' has entered the feminist porn movement into a dangerous game of respectability politics.  I would like to see more emphasis placed on fair labor practices than on whether or not I have a 'real' orgasm.."

-- Siouxsie Q in Authentically Yours: Feminist Porn Gets Political on sfweekly.com

The piece would have been more aptly titled, "Why feminist porn is just another apolitical industry that sells stuff."





by Furry Girl

02.01.14

"One of the more remarkable results of the rise of industrial capitalism was that, for the first time in human history, the poorest classes of people gained access to luxury goods.  Another remarkable result was that wealthier people who claimed to be allies of the poor told them this was bad for them.  Recent developments in American popular music demonstrate that this paradox lives on.  Last Sunday night, Macklemore and Lorde, artists who have built their careers upon songs attacking the desire for luxuries among African-Americans, received the highest commendations from the music establishment in the form of multiple Grammy awards.  Their songs continue a long tradition, rooted in progressivism, of protests against the pleasures of the poor."

-- Thaddeus Russell in The Progressive Lineage of Macklemore’s And Lorde’s Attacks On the Pleasures of the Poor on reason.com





by Furry Girl

11.23.13

"The problem is that female competition and aggression don't always look like the male versions...

Females tend to threaten each other with social isolation rather than violence.  Among social animals, being cast out of the group can mean death, or very few chances to mate.  Among humans, perhaps the most social animals we know, the 'mean girls' phenomenon is a perfect example of low energy competition.  Nobody is beaten, but we know for sure who has lost the battle."

-- Annalee Newitz  in Evolution is steered by aggressive competition between females on io9.com





by Furry Girl

"If you make a thousand dollars a week, every week, you’re still only making around $50,000.  This is by no means money to sneeze at; it’s more than my mother ever made, and she had a Master’s degree.  But consider that according to Wikipedia, in 2006 the average weekly wage in Manhattan was $1,453.  A thousand dollars a week is good sex worker money.  It feels rich to me and always will.  But in New York City, it doesn’t even make you average. You will be able to pay your bills.  You can save.  You might even be able to afford health insurance next year.  You will not be able to go on shopping sprees at Nordstrom’s.

Writing checks to my landlord and Time Warner certainly feels luxurious to me, but it’s not … seductive.  It’s just baseline what I should be able to do with a fucking job."

-- Calico Lane  in The Myth of Seductive Money on misscalico.com

The comment I left:

Excellent post.

I have never made the sums of money everyone assumes from the insta-rich reputation of online porn. I started in 2002, not 1996, so the bubble for my part of the industry had already burst by the time I was 18. I was happy to make a lower middle class income at a job I love (because I’m a genuine pervert), but as you said, a grand a week doesn’t add up to an income that hooks you like heroin. I went on a date once with a guy who assumed I must make “a few hundred thousand” a year. I burst out laughing. My best weeks were when I earned $2000, but then I also had plenty of $500 weeks, too. I know so many other sex workers who are also approximately lower-middle class, but no one ever thinks of us when drawing up the dichotomy that the only two ways to be a whore are if you’re a destitute, abused street-based worker selling $10 blowjobs for crack, or an elite escort who accompanies celebrities and bankers on trips to Dubai. Most sex workers seem like we’re somewhere on the spectrum of working-to-middle class.

The punchline is how often professional feminists and other such types (who often quietly came from wealthy families themselves) and who make more money than I ever did in porn accuse me and sex workers like me of being some sort of privileged elite who, unlike “real” women, don’t “really” work. Shit, I wish!





by Furry Girl

11.22.13

"I cried on the way to the hospital. It was the third time I ended up there on account of my erection. I'd considered myself drug-free for the latter half of my life. But I'd spent my entire twenties consuming erectile dysfunction pharmaceuticals. Over the past two years, on a more-than-frequent basis.

It was normal by default. To be a male porn star meant that you swallowed pills or shot up your dick.

I didn't think of it as fake. I'd found my process of arousal and allowed a sense of sincerity into much of my work. But the fear of failure always loomed. The work-flow of modern porn did not allow for the unpredictability of human performance. My psyche didn't allow for it either. I'd wrapped up my identity in the ability to fuck anyone under most any condition.

The choice came to either fuck like a god until I couldn't fuck at all, or to bring my sex back down to earth. An emergency room doctor had my attention once he'd opened a hole in my penis and let it bleed out. 'You keep doing this and you're not going to be able to get an erection, period.' There was something in his voice. It suggested that I'd already gone too far.

'What the fuck am I going to do?' I said out loud while driving home. It was meant for something greater than myself - a god I didn't believe in."

-- Danny Wylde in Transition on trvewestcoastfiction.blogspot.com  Also see his post, RIP Danny Wylde

Danny dislikes me, but I wish him all the best in his transition into new things, because I'm sure he'll be great at at.





by Furry Girl

07.25.13

"Here's what I, personally, have observed about the sex industry: If, before she ever enters the sex industry, a woman is an emotionally troubled person with poor self-esteem and a history of bad decisions, she'll continue making bad decisions and suffering the negative consequences while she's in the business.  But now, some of them will be sex-work-related decisions and consequences, so it's easy for people to say, "Well, obviously it's because she's a sex worker.  See what an unhappy, damaging life it is?"  And she'll probably agree with them, because it's easy for a troubled, low-self-esteem person to buy into the victim mentality.  That way, she can then avoid taking any responsibility for her choices.  So she's tucked neatly into the victim pigeon-hole, and everyone thanks goodness they don't have to examine any potentially unsettling ideas any further.  Their pre-existing beliefs have been confirmed and they feel righteous.

Now, she could fuck up her life just as badly if she were a waitress at Denny's.  But that's not as sexy, so no one writes newspaper articles about that.

You see, the work itself doesn't fuck you up - it just magnifies what's already there."

-- Mistress Matisse in an untitled post on mistressmatisse.blogspot.com

This is probably my favorite thing that she's ever written.  It's from 2004, and these observations completely match my experiences in the sex industry as well.





by Furry Girl

02.02.13

"No one, but no one, has 'free choice'.  If you think otherwise, remind yourself what you wanted to be when you grew up, and reflect on how exactly you ended up where you are now.  Did you freely select from all career choices in the world, ever?  Or did you choose as best you could from the options offered by your abilities and (more crucially) your circumstances?  You know, like [famous pimp] Iceberg Slim did?

Some folks seem especially resistant to acknowledging the truth about work, so I'll underline it some more.  Entire towns in the North weren't full of miners because everyone there just happened to have the aptitude and preference for that sole job, but because it was the only job going.  NE Scotland isn't full of fishermen because they have a particular concentration of people whose life's dream was to catch fish, but because that's what the job market offers.  Everyone's outcome is the product of limited choices, from streetwalkers to the Queen.  And no one's suggesting she needs to be 'rescued' from her lack of career options.

If you want to improve someone's options, you address the things that constrain their choices in the first place.  Poverty, addiction, education, to name a few.  Not take away the only choices they have."

-- Dr Brooke Magnanti, in Radfems, racism, and the problem with "pimps" on sexonomics-uk.blogspot.com





by Furry Girl

06.18.12

"We know the prime users of alternative medicine worldwide - it's those middle-aged, middle-class, educated women with a high disposable income.  The younger end of this group is also likely to take their children to naturopaths and cranial osteopaths, to avoid having them immunised and to medicate them with shop-bought homeopathic and herbal remedies.  Alternative medicine offers these women a way to take control, to be remarkable in their day-to-day lives and to make them feel as if their needs as individuals are being attended to.  It touches them, both physically and emotionally, at a point in mid-life when many women in our society say they are beginning to feel invisible...  Marketing executives have been quick to appreciate the strong appeal of CAM for women.

[...]

Alternative medicine knows precisely how to make every user feel special.  CAM [Complementary and Alternative Medicine] says you are unique so your treatment needs to be carefully calibrated to reflect your individuality...  What matters is you, not your illness symptoms or even whether you actually have any identifiable illness or symptoms.

[...]

It is an abiding paradox that alternative medicine is used most keenly by the generation of women who, in the form of the women's liberation movement of the 1970s and 1980s, asserted that it was 'our bodies, our lives, our right to decide' and rejected paternalistic medicine in the delivery room and beyond.  Yet these same women now want to be told what to do by a shaman."

-- Rose Shapiro, in her book, Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All.

My favorite part of this book was the commentary on the gender politics of pseudoscience, and the embarrassing fact that women will gleefully line up to empty their wallets for any woo-woo nonsense that holds their hands and tells them that they're beautiful and unique snowflakes.

Quack "medicine" should be decried for the same reasons as scented vaginal douches (which also profit from purposefully exploiting women's insecurities).  Instead, the very people who would balk at shame-centric, unhealthy "feminine hygiene" products are the same people in the "natural alternatives" section of the pharmacy picking up another expensive a tube of sugar pills that promises to truly appreciate their specialness.





by Furry Girl

06.12.12

"But Sexual Harassment law was never designed to protect women from merely feeling uncomfortable.  In a typical workday, men and women alike face many sources of discomfort: atheists face clerks wearing crosses; able-bodied people face colleagues in wheelchairs; Fundamentalist Muslims and Jews face professors dressed with arms and legs uncovered; the infertile face coworkers' desks with photos of their kids, and parents are given time off for parenting events such as piano recitals.

No, the law is designed to simply create a level playing field of opportunity—not of emotional experience.  It doesn't require anyone to be a mind-reader, it doesn't undo the normal uncertainties of social interaction, and it doesn't require anyone's social skills to be smooth as silk.  Occasionally feeling offended is still considered part of the cost of being out in the world.

[...]

The topic is particularly poignant when the people involved are progressive political activists.  If we expect to go out and communicate effectively in a world that is often hostile to our ideas, we need to have the emotional skills to tolerate a wide range of responses.  If we can't even handle a friendly sexual invitation in a genuinely safe environment without losing our composure, how can we tolerate the rough-and-tumble of the world out there?"

-- Dr Marty Klein in Sexual Harassment or Unwanted Sexual Attention? on sexualintelligence.wordpress.com

 





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