PAPER: The Art of Tickle Torture

An "expert tickler," MiscAllaneous DomTop has become one of the top ticklers in the dominatrix scene. As in, they specialize in dominating "tickle sluts," who enjoy being tied up and tickled with a variety of implements. In fact, the fetish itself has a pretty fancy name — knismophilia — and is, surprisingly, a lot more common than you'd think, if the existence of sites like TickleDates and OnlyTickling are any indication.

And though most people are quick to judge the "weird" factor of a fetish such as tickling, MiscAlleneous is quick to point out that it's not so different from thinking a particular body part of someone's is sexy. So what else is there to know though about this particular fetish and how a dominatrix who specializes in this sphere operates?

Well, luckily for you, we chatted with MiscAlleneous themselves to clear up a few of the biggest questions we had, such as the true self many subs reveal in the midst of a tickle session, as well as the psychology behind the fetish.

 

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The Art of Tickle Torture by Sandra Song

March 26th, 2019


NPR: Should Sex Work Be Decriminalized? Some Activists Say It's Time

Sex work is illegal in much of the United States, but the debate over whether it should be decriminalized is heating up.

Former California Attorney General and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris recently came out in favor of decriminalizing it, as long as it's between two consenting adults.

The debate is hardly new — and it's fraught with emotions. Opponents of decriminalization say it's an exploitative industry that preys on the weak. But many activists and academics say decriminalization would help protect sex workers, and would even be a public health benefit.

RJ Thompson wants to push back against the idea that sex work is inherently victimizing. He says for him it was liberating: Thompson had recently graduated from law school and started working at a nonprofit when the recession hit. In 2008, he got laid off with no warning and no severance, and he had massive student loan debt.

Thompson became an escort. "I made exponentially more money than I ever could have in my legal profession," he says.

 

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Should Sex Work Be Decriminalized? Some Activists Say It's Time by Jasmine Garsd

March 22nd, 2019


MILLENNIAL POLITICS: DecrimNY - The Fight to Decriminalize Sex Work in New York

Decriminalizing sex work isn’t something you hear much about from legislators. But on February 25, New York State Senators Julia Salazar and Jessica Ramos published an op-ed calling for the decriminalization of sex work in New York. Senators Salazar and Ramos made a comprehensive case for decriminalization, writing:

Criminalization does not address why people trade sex, because most people trade sex out of economic need: to pay bills, make rent, and put food on the table. People often turn to sex work after a life event such as a major health-care bill leaves them economically vulnerable. LGBTQ, black and brown, immigrant and disabled communities engage in sex work at higher rates because they are locked out of jobs in the formal economy.

Criminalization encourages rampant abuses by law enforcement. An estimated 94% of peoplearrested for the loitering for the purposes of prostitution in Brooklyn and Queens are black women. Police so often use the statute to target trans people, including individuals who aren’t trading sex, that Legal Aid filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Criminalization exposes people to exploitation. Prostitution records take people’s choices away, and when people have no choice but to trade sex to survive, they are more likely to be trafficked.

LGBTQ youth, who often run away from home seeking acceptance, trade sex at seven to eight times the rate of other youth in New York City. Young people trading sex for housing and resources is a crisis — no one wants them to be doing so. But entangling them in the criminal justice system does not stop them. We need more youth services, healthcare and housing that affirm their LGBTQ identities — not policing — so young people don’t have to trade sex for survival.

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DecrimNY - The fight to decriminalize Sex Work in New York by Millennial Politics Team

March 21st, 2019


ROLLING STONE: How Cam Models Are Finding Freedom in Cryptocurrency

Two years ago, Gabi was struggling to maintain a career in the adult industry. She worked long hours streaming live as a cam model and producing video content for her online audience, but the job didn’t seem to be paying off.

Since most major credit cards and payment platforms won’t process payments for adult services, including live-streamed erotic content, cam models like Gabi have to use specialized platforms to stream live shows and process payments from fans. Unfortunately, these sites can be extremely competitive, and some use ranking systems to determine models’ visibility on the site based on their time spent online.

“The longer you spend online without making any money, the lower your ranking drops,” Gabi says. “That puts you in a position where you literally have to work for free for days and days and days. Every hour that you spend online without getting tipped, you can just hear the ranking number dropping in the back of your head. It’s extremely anxiety inducing, because the lower you get down in the rankings, the less your chance of making any money to bring your ranking up.” She’d been burned by this system many times. One site, Gabi says, required a 65-percent cut of her tips, in addition to the rights to use her image for advertising purposes as they saw fit. “They advertised me as a ‘Local sexy single in your area ready to fuck for free,’” Gabi says. “Nothing about my services are free.”

Read the full article:

How Cam Models are finding freedom in Cryptocurrency by Sofia Barrett-Ibarria

March 21st, 2019

 


FORBES: How Sextech Pioneers Are Outsmarting Conservative Gatekeepers

For the past several years, sexual wellness has been one of the fastest growing sectors in global retail. The sector’s annual growth (CAGR) is a stunning 6.7%, and it’s projected to reach $122 billion by 2026. And yet, at nearly every stage — from investment to production to marketing — gatekeepers seem intent on hobbling it.

Any sextech entrepreneur will tell you the barriers they face are legion. Facebook and Google largely prohibit ads for sextech, including female sexual wellness products. Major app stores routinely ban apps related to sex, and increasingly restrict even what users say and do. Institutional investors and mainstream conferences often avoid the space out due to conservative boards.

But today’s sextech entrepreneurs aren't mistaking the gatekeepers’ power for invincibility — rather, the opposite. For many, a gatekeeper’s refusal to engage with sextech is a sign of their stagnation and obsolescence, and a weakness that can be used against them.

Take Osé. In January, the Consumer Electronic Show — one of the biggest gatekeepers in tech — famously rescinded an innovation award for the robotic massager, citing a morals clause. The company behind it, Lora DiCarlo, was even denied booth space on the CES show floor.

And yet Osé was possibly the most talked about launch at CES, garnering nearly two hundred press mentions — over $2M in free marketing and advertising, according to Lora DiCarlo founder Lora Haddock.

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How Sextech Pioneers are outsmarting conservative gatekeepers by Andrea Barrica

March 19th, 2019


IN THESE TIMES: When Sex Workers Do the Labor of Therapists

Sky is a professional escort. She’s been working at Sheri’s Ranch, a legal brothel located in Pahrump, Nevada, for a little under a year. A few months back, a man came in asking for a group session with Sky, who prefers to be identified by her professional name, and one of her colleagues. He had come around a few times before. He made it a point to keep in touch through Twitter. This time, however, the session took a dark turn. He came in to tell them he was planning on killing himself.

“We see a lot of clients who have mental health issues,” she tells In These Times. Though, this experience was markedly more dramatic than her usual run in with clients who going through a depressive episode. She and her colleague were eventually able to talk the guy down. They sent him home with a list full of resources that specialize in matters of depression. They asked that he continue to check in with them through social media.

Research suggests that upwards of 6 million men are affected by depression every year. Suicide remains the seventh leading cause of death among men in America. While it’s impossible to gauge exactly what percentage of that demographic frequents sex workers, the experiences of those in the field can offer some insight. During Sky’s last tour at the Ranch, she scheduled about seven appointments. Out of those bookings, only one involved sex. “We do a lot of companionship and intimacy parties,” she says. “The clients who sign up for those bookings are the ones struggling with loneliness.”

And people with depression aren't the only neurodivergent individuals sex workers encounter on the job. Those suffering from anxiety, a common accompaniment to depression, show up frequently. They also see a lot of people who fall on the autistic spectrum. In fact, Sky says she sees men who fall into the latter demographic relatively often.

 

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When Sex Workers Do the Labor of Therapists by Carrie Weisman

March 18, 2019


CARE2: What’s the Difference Between Sex Work Decriminalization and Legalization?

Sex work is illegal almost everywhere in the United States, and that’s part of the reason it remains so dangerous. One study in San Francisco found that 82 percent of sex workers had been assaulted and 68 percent had been raped while working. Another study found that sex workers were 18 times more likely to be murdered than non-sex workers their age and race. Eighteen times.

All too often, sex workers are afraid of going to police and reporting violence, because they don’t want to get arrested themselves. No victim of violence should have to fear legal consequences from reporting a crime to the police.

Regardless of anyone’s individual feelings about sex work itself, hopefully we can all agree that reducing the risk of sex work and violence against sex workers is a worthy goal. But how do we do that? The question is more complicated than most of us realize, but an important step is understanding the difference between decriminalizing sex work and legalizing it.

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What's the difference between Sex Work decriminalization and legalization? by Lauren Longo

March 15th, 2019


THE SLOT: The Fight to Decriminalize Sex Work Exposes Old Feminist Divides

This is an unprecedented political moment for the rights of sex workers, due in large part to the sustained organizing of sex workers themselves. Signs of this are everywhere—last month, Kamala Harris spoke approvingly of decriminalizing the sale of sex between “consenting adults,” a move that Melissa Gira Grant, a longtime journalist covering the industry, wrote“represents a major win for sex workers,” Harris’s past work as a prosecutor notwithstanding. Weeks earlier, Decrim NY, a new coalition pushing for the full decriminalization of the sex trade in New York was launched, led primarily by sex workers, anti-violence activists, and LGBTQ service providers. As part of that effort, newly elected New York state senators Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar announced they plan on introducing legislation to decriminalize the sex trade later this spring. All of this in the span of months.

As Molly Crabapple noted recently in the New York Review of Books, sex workers began organizing around full decriminalization in earnest in 2018:

That April, the US Congress passed FOSTA/SESTA, twin bills that stripped sex workers of the ability to advertise or seek support online by making websites criminally liable for their postings. This impoverished the community, forcing some workers back to pimps or onto streets, where they faced arrest or assault.”

In response, sex workers—both young women and longtime activists—got together and mobilized to fight for full decriminalization of their work.

The complete decriminalization of the sex trade is an approach that has gained traction in recent years, with even groups such as Amnesty International callingfor “the decriminalization of all aspects of adult consensual sex work due to the foreseeable barriers that criminalization creates to the realization of the human rights of sex workers.” But as with every successful movement, there has been a backlash, led by longstanding feminist organizations that continue to assert that sex work is, to use the words of Gloria Steinem, a form of “body invasion.” Full decriminalization, no matter the studies that have been conducted, the first-hand experiences of many sex workers or people otherwise targeted with anti-prostitution laws, and the endorsements from human rights organizations, is still seen as a radical idea, and more to the point, one that some feminists believe is antithetical to the needs of women.

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The fight to decriminalize sex work exposes old feminist divides by Esther Wang

March 12th, 2019


OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS: Sex Workers’ Untold Stories

Throughout the world, sex work is stigmatized as taboo, immoral, and dangerous.

Sex workers, meanwhile, are assumed to be victims—of human trafficking, drugs, abuse, and so on. In both cases, these assumptions are factually incorrect; worse still, they fuel policies and norms which not only fail to “protect” sex workers but, by forcing them underground, imperil their safety and health.

Thankfully, Objects of Desire, a new exhibition, based in Berlin and organized by a sex worker collective, is working to challenge—and dismantle—such misconceptions. By highlighting the ways in which sex workers manage relationships with their clients, lovers, families, and neighbors, Objects of Desire shows the complexity that is all too often lost in public debates about sex work.

Check out the exhibit:

Objects of Desire

Sex Workers' Untold Stories by Erin Greenburg

March 11th, 2019


AMUSE: Sex in Our Strange World - Why Matriarchy Means Better Sex and a Better Society

According to Greek mythology, the Amazons were a race of warrior women who refused to live with men. So far, so sensible. In order to continue their survival, once a year the Amazons would visit the neighbouring tribe, the Gargareans, to have sex with the male inhabitants.

Once the Amazons had got what they wanted, they would discard their lover like a soggy tissue, and return to their homeland – hopefully, pregnant. Nine months later, the Amazons would keep all the girl babies and either return the boys to their fathers or just leave them to die on a hillside somewhere. Brutal.

For most of us, the phrase ‘matriarchal society’ conjures images akin to the mythical sperm stealing, spear snapping, man-walloping world of the Amazons. But, anthropologists are keen to stress that matriarchy is not the opposite of patriarchy. It does not mean a world where women rule over men.

Simply put, a matriarchal society is one where women are not disadvantaged by virtue of being women, where power is shared between the genders, and where mothers are placed at the centre of the culture. And, believe it or not, there are a still number of matriarchal societies around the world today.

Heide Göttner-Abendroth is the leading world authority on matriarchal societies, having founded the International Academy for Modem Matriarchal Studies and Matriarchal Spirituality in 1986. She defines a matriarchal society as operating on four levels: economic, social, political, and cultural.

 

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Sex in Our Strange World - Why Matriarchy Means Better Sex and a Better Society by Kate Lister

March 7, 2019