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Lauren founded this blog in 2001.
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15 Responses

  1. other Ryan
    other Ryan September 30, 2005 at 10:07 am |

    Reminds me of the Lusty Lady, a strip club in SF where the workers unionized and eventually bought the operation outright. Sex workers really should have a role in the business side of their business.

  2. Jill
    Jill September 30, 2005 at 10:29 am | *

    There’s a Lusty Lady in Seattle, too. I wonder if there’s any affiliation?

  3. Thomas
    Thomas September 30, 2005 at 11:49 am |

    I’ve never been to Lusty Lady at any location, but I have read about its ownership arrangements. IIRC, Carol Queen worked there. It is my understanding that it is not arranged as a “strip club,” though, but as a peep show with one customer and one perfomer. The glass wall between the performer and the customer changes the dynamic somewhat, and I think more importantly, the dynamic of a one-on-one interaction is different and more personal.

    Some may disagree with this view, but I tend to think, actually, that this arrangement is less inherently objectifying than either “full service” sex work or stripping and lap dancing. When the sex worker has body contact with the customer, she may just be a body to use — a better blow-up doll. When she is on stage, she may as well be a 3-D image. But to talk to a woman behind a glass wall and get off on the experience, men have to be able to tell the women what they want to see (which is self-revelatory) and also, I suppose, expose themselves to and masturbate in front of these women. In all, it seems like a less distanced and a more personal interaction for the customer. I’m not saying that no man is so used to seeing sex workers as mere objects that this dynamic has no effect, but rather that it seems more likely to promote something like a real interactive experience (even though it is being done for money) than some other kinds of sex work.

    That said, I’m still really uncomfortable with a situation where there’s a good chance the woman behind the glass wouldn’t be showing me her body if she didn’t need the money, so I don’t patronize either strip clubs or peep shows.

  4. alleyrat
    alleyrat September 30, 2005 at 12:30 pm |

    I went to the SF Lusty Lady once with a female friend. When the women behind the glass saw us, they tried to get US to take OUR clothes off. Three of them came over to our window , told us we were cute, and asked, “are you lesbians too?”. It was great. I think they were happy to see women. Ther were a lot of sleeeeezy guys in the lobby.

    As for SG, I’ve been hearing stories like this for at least 2 or 3 years. People I know who have modeled for them say the same thing, and journalists have written about Sean Suhl. Genius business man, Republican. A while ago some racist comments he made in a pro-war argument somewhere in the SG journals got circulated around. I’ve heard lots of stories about Missy being used as “front”, and the whole pseudo feminist “empowerment” thing being Sean’s marketing idea, but he needed a woman to be the face of it.

  5. Thomas
    Thomas September 30, 2005 at 1:34 pm |

    Be a real shame if he got run over by a bus. I’m sure lots of folks would miss him. Not me or anyone I know, though …

  6. Bill from INDC
    Bill from INDC September 30, 2005 at 1:45 pm |

    See, this is exactly why I stick with real pron outlets like “Beaverbusters!” and “Massive Milk Mountains.” You know, good quality pron I can read with grandpa.

    Which of you crazy progressives were silly enough to equate having the contents of a tackle box hanging from the model’s face with “female empowerment through flashing the poonani,” anyway?

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with dyed hair, outlandish behavior and ping pong tricks, but the hottest of that genre – for my money – is clown pron.

    And as exploited as those sexy, silly, painted, floppy-footed fuckers are, at least you know the elephants have it worse.

  7. Thomas
    Thomas September 30, 2005 at 1:50 pm |

    BTW Alley, I’ve heard before that the dynamics between women customers and sex workers is very different. If they’re asking you to get naked for them, the whole typical client/provider dynamic was out the window.

    In a similar vein, I once read an account by Tristan Taormino about doing a session with a pro-domme. (I’m sure some folks criticize her for her participation in mainstream porn. I don’t think her experience is necessarily representative, but I also take her at her word about how she feels about her experiences. I’ve met her, and I think she feels how she says she feels.) The pro domme told Tristan that she was a lesbian and really wanted more female clients — and they both do S/M in their personal lives, so it really wasn’t much like a commercial transaction at all.

  8. alleyrat
    alleyrat October 1, 2005 at 10:51 am |

    thomas,

    at the lusty lady, at least when i was there, the only time they let two people into the tiny booth is when it’s two women. so the rules are already different. and we definitely got the impression that the girls who came over to our window were coming to check US out (i assume because it broke up the monotony of their sleeazy guy day) and that they were gay. it felt like the usual facade was just dropped.

    it was winter, and we were wearing heavy coats, and we were squished together in the booth, so we used that as our excuse for not taking out clothes off..

    i do think context is everything. as is power dynamics.

  9. mythago
    mythago October 1, 2005 at 2:19 pm |

    Bill, clown porn is so three months ago.

  10. jules
    jules October 3, 2005 at 1:42 pm |

    Yeah, alleyrat, those women really liked you, and they were really lesbians really checking you and your friend out because they liked you from the first time they saw you, unlike the sham they pull of only pretending to like other paying customers. You’re different from those sleeeeeezy guys in the lobby, they appreciate you as women and they dropped their usual facade just for special you and your friend.

    Sorry to lay that on thicker than peanut butter, but c’mon.

  11. phil
    phil October 3, 2005 at 5:29 pm |

    “female owned left wing” or “republican owned racist male operated alt porn site” of course there’s no other option or reality.
    I can’t believe you people are so close minded and indoctrinated.
    I’m an historian and reading you makes me feel like we’re back in pre-war germany.
    you are scary.

  12. Lauren
    Lauren October 3, 2005 at 8:18 pm |

    Dear Phil,

    When something is in a grey box, that means I quoted it from someone else. Please remember this when you call “[us] people” Nazis.

    I am very sorry that any criticism of Republicans makes us fascists.

    Yours with Hitler,
    Lauren

  13. phil
    phil October 3, 2005 at 10:56 pm |

    is not the republican that bothered me at all, but the fact that in the frase woman and man were used with implicit positive/negative meanings. Now I don’t think that gender is enough to qualify anybody as being good or bad, superior or inferior, left wing or right wing.
    The fact that you accept this assumption as correct and are instead bothered by the fact (wrong) that I may have something against criticising repubblicans makes it pretty clear to me that you are, in fact, believing that genetic is enough to define who’s good or bad.
    and anyway “nazis” and “fascists” are two completely different things.
    Please excuse my english, I’m not a native speaker.

  14. Lauren
    Lauren October 3, 2005 at 11:13 pm |

    Hey, it wouldn’t have been my choice of words at all, but I’m following the case — so there you go.

  15. mythago
    mythago October 3, 2005 at 11:37 pm |

    jules, sometimes sex workers do like seeing women customers (especially if they’re lesbians). Sometimes, of course, “ooh, another girl!” is merely a line.

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