November 30, 2004
Let's Hope It's a Good One Without Any Fear
This would be the time for a be-of-holiday-cheer update. I’m not in that place.
I’m getting a lot of mail from concerned phone sluts who don’t know where the re-election of the current administration leaves us. Certainly, there would appear to be a positive step in the resignation of Ashcroft, but Gonzales is not a beacon of hope, exactly, especially considering his positions on many civil liberties issues. But the fact is that both liberals and conservatives use anti-porn agendas to their own purposes. Prince fans shouldn’t forget Tipper Gore and her Parents Music Resource Group. The Dems are not always the good guys when it comes to porn. In fact, it’s hard to know who is on our side and who isn’t.
And that’s a fundamental problem when the country seems to be creating a rallying point in their war against all things erotic. It’s not entirely logical to think that we’re in more danger suddenly because Republicans have secured their foothold for another four dismal years. Rather, the danger is in the continued march of fundamentalist Christian doctrine lobbying their way into our government institutions. Indeed, they are now masquerading their prejudices as science.
Over the last few months, we’ve learned that some of the loudest crusaders against homosexuality have homosexual issues themselves, as well as family members that they disenfranchise along with the rest of those they persecute. Likewise, we’ve learned that the most pious spouters of anti-sex propaganda often engage in the services of prostitutes, the company of mistresses, and any number of other activities they seek to deny the rest of us. So why are these people continually given a platform? Why do we let them pass? And is our continued silence an invitation for them to continue to warp the law to fit their own agenda?
Now, because freedom of speech is such a pain in the ass to people trying to tell others how to live their lives, we have the brave new world of Erototoxins. For those of you who don’t read Karl’s Blog the Erototoxin debate is being waged by people like Judith Reisman (do a Google, you’ll love her) who are seeking to prove that porn causes a chemical reaction in the brain that is the equal to the effects of a drug. And, since the government has already begun to regulate what drugs we can and cannot take for recreational purposes, porn, and, indeed, anything that creates such a chemical response, should also be liable for those effects.
They want to be able to sue Hustler for making people “addicted” to porn. They liken this to lawsuits against Big Tobacco. Translation: Who would Jesus sue?
In the history of slippery slopes, this one has the potential to be slicker than Vaseline on linoleum. Think about the level of censorship that is possible if we can attribute it all to chemical reactions in the brain. Pro sports. Sexual fetishes of any nature. Kung Fu movies. Today it’s Erototoxins, but tomorrow it could be Nascartoxins or Hockeytoxins. Porn and all sex trades have always been on the outside of the censorship battles for a reason we are the service that people want, but that society likes to collectively condemn. As such, porn is a desire that needs to be socially defendable “on principle” so that the hard conversations never take place.
But those like me, who hide in the closet, we’re not helping things. It’s hard to reconcile because I’m not a coward at heart. At first this job was transitory. It was fun. It was self-indulgence. Imagine getting paid to do what you love to do. Yes, I know there’s a dark side of the industry, but I also know that there are dark sides to all industry. There ain’t no free.
But I’m a woman with friends and family and a professional career that I might need to fall back on some day. I don’t like the idea of explaining to my father that I talk to men about sex for a living. Nor my grandmother for that matter. I don’t like the idea of sitting across a meeting table being smirked at because someone on the other side objects to my history. It isn’t about shame, but convenience. It’s the path of least resistance. For my family, this is a courtesy. They would be uncomfortable and I prefer to shelter them. For business it is an unfortunate necessity. In the consulting business, reputation is everything. Without my reputation, all my experience can be rendered nill. And I could rage all day that I’m not ashamed and have nothing to apologize for, but that won’t make a potential client meet my price. Flies with honey, as they say.
And even if those were not issues, there would be the safety factor. Being in the closet protects my safety. I’m a woman living in the 21st century and that means I’m more than a little responsible for my own safety and sexual well-being. Choosing to work in this trade should not put me at a higher risk, but it does. Not like erotic dancing or escorts, certainly, but it is something I have to be aware of.
There are a lot of reasons to stay in the closet. It doesn’t affect my self-esteem. It doesn’t hurt any aspect of my life. It isn’t about shame. It’s about smart. If tomorrow jumping out of the closet meant that I could quell this anti-sex propaganda. I’d likely do it, even with the consequences. But as things like senate hearings indicate, my point of view doesn’t matter. I’m the enemy of this particular crusade and, therefore, suspect. I’m a carrier of Erototoxins and part of the disease they’re so eager to diagnose.
So it is up to the non-sex workers. Will they write to their congresspersons and complain about the use of Senate time and money on examining things like Erototoxins when we’re in the middle of a war? With all the problems facing us in terms of real disease and crime, is this really where the focus should be?
I don’t get to make that decision.
So, those of you who have written concerned about what this means, well, I don’t have the magic answers. I’m staying in business until I can no longer stay in business. I’m a card-carrying member of the ACLU. I’m writing my representatives to let them know that I disapprove of their participation in pushing a fundamentalist agenda in lieu of legitimate governing. And I’m going to keep talking to men about taboo, edge-pushing erotica. Because it’s what I like to do and fuck them anyway.
I shall endeavor to have a post up soon that engages in proper amounts of holiday cheer. But, you know, it’s my blog and I’ll bitch if I want to.
For the moment, if it’s holiday cheer you’re gunning for, you’ll have to settle for my new story, An XXXmas Karol. It does its part to offend your inner Santa.