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'It Was A Wonderful Adventure’: What It’s Like When You Retire From Sex Work

on Friday, 24 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Broadly

by Sirin Kale

fter a decade as a professional dominatrix, Mistress Suz knew it was time to get out of the game. "I got old," she says bluntly. Whilst her regular clients didn't mind having a 40-year-old dominatrix, the physical exertion got to be too much.

 

"My body was too old for it," Mistress Suz—now aged 50—remembers. "I developed a bad case of tennis elbow from wielding a whip for ten years. Then a torn rotator cuff." At a critical juncture in her life and uncertain how to proceed, Mistress Suz did what many a recent divorcee or failed novelist has done before her: She checked into a Buddhist monastery.

 

"Going to a monastery was a dream of mine," Mistress Suz explains. Two months later, she was running the monastery kitchen. The professional sadist had found her new calling as a professional cook.

 

And Mistress Suz had a talent that made her an asset to any kitchen willing to employ her—namely, her advanced rope work skills. When asked to truss a turkey breast by her head chef, Mistress Suz wowed him with how quickly she caught on. What her new co-workers didn't know was that Mistress Suz was unusually adept for a reason. In fact, she'd used the same technique on innumerable male submissives throughout her previous career.

 

Not all sex workers are able to put a decade of training to such spectacular use, but all pick up transferable skills that they can use in their future careers. Few sex workers stay in the industry for their whole working lives, and they leave for diverse reasons—often returning for short or extended stints from time to time.

 

"People leave for lots of reasons," explains Raven Bowen of the University of York. Prior to entering academia, Bowen spent decades working as an advocate with sex workers in western Canada. "If people get pregnant or fall in love, they often leave right away. Middle-class sex workers might be able to make a plan when they transition out—dabble in some square jobs, then gradually leave."

 

Another common motivator is a child approaching their teenage years—sex workers who aren't out to their families become fearful that their kids (and his or her cruel classmates) will find out what industry Mom really is in. Rarest of all are the clients who live out the Pretty Woman fantasy and settle down with a client, although Bowen tells me this isn't unheard of. "Clients have been central to many sex workers' experience of 'sexiting' (leaving sex work)," Bowen explains. "They may refer them to resources or even sometimes invest in their transition."

 

Many sex workers view the industry as a short-term stepping stone to a regular (or "straight") career, and aim to retire from sex work when they've amassed enough money to fund tuition or open a small business, for example.

 

"Some women work for one or two years and they know they don't want to continue after that so they'll save all their money," explains Laura Watson of the English Collective of Prostitutes. "They keep their expenses low because they're just saving money to do what they want to do afterwards, basically."

 

I ask what careers they transition into. "A lot go into beauty, opening nail bars or that sort of thing," Watson responds. The crucial thing—if they're working in a country where prostitution is illegal—is that they don't have a criminal record. With a criminal record, leaving the industry can become impossible. "We worked with a sex worker who was in prostitution temporarily to cover the costs of having a disabled daughter," Watson recalls. "The money was for specific items, for a short period of time. Then she got a criminal record and was basically unable to leave prostitution. That's why decriminalization is so important."

 

"I have a Roth IRA [a special retirement account] and a client of mine is going to help me invest a crap ton of my savings for the future," writes West Coast-based sex worker Shay over email. "I hope to be a millionaire by 45," she adds, although she acknowledges this is unlikely. Shay charges $400 an hour and $2,000 for overnights, and has a clear strategy for exiting sex work. And as any freelancer knows, having a good accountant is key. "Bookkeeping is a must. I'm terrible at it. Also, there can be no trail. I'm also terrible at that. Tax law is complicated. I know an accountant that specifically works with sex workers. She's an angel."

 

"Just like anyone, sex workers want to save for retirement, a home, or a career pivot," explains Marie Thomasson, a 37-year-old financial planner living in LA who specializes in helping sex workers manage their finances. "As sex workers' most marketable asset is often their body, and that's pretty much a depreciating asset, it's important to look at earnings as 'front loaded' in their career in sex work. If they choose to leave the industry or retire, planning is huge. It's critical to have a budget and adequate reserves." Keep a cool head while giving lots of head, Thomasson says, and a financially prudent sex worker might expect to retire by 35 or 40.

 

If you want to retire by 40, though, you've got to look after your physical and mental health. Shay has a secondary strategy for ensuring her professional success in a competitive and oftentimes physically arduous industry. "An aspect of retirement that is often overlooked is one's health," Shay comments. "In my nine months as an escort I've seen absolutely beautiful, brilliant women throw their lives away because they couldn't handle the money." ...

Will Tacony Music Hall turn into 'sex-positive community center'?

on Friday, 24 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Plan Philly

BY JAKE BLUMGART

The Victorian redbrick Tacony Music Hall is an icon of this working class riverfront community in the lower Northeast. The stately bulk of the building is breathtaking, standing out from its plainspoken neighbors on Longshore Avenue. It’s the kind of building that causes newcomers to the neighborhood to stop and gaze upward in awe.

 

Over the decades, the Tacony Music Hall has housed retail, a library, literary society, and community organizations, and its assembly hall hosted performances and public events. It has, of late, been a real estate office and home to Tacony Community Development Corporation. Now in its third century of existence this historically-designated structure is slated for a unique new use.

 

If all goes according to plan, the Tacony Music Hall will be Philadelphia’s first sex positive community center.

 

There are a lot of rumors swirling around the neighborhood about what that means exactly. Will it be a nightclub? A swingers’ venue, like the Saints and Sinners venue that Councilman Bobby Henon helped shut down in Holmesburg last year?  

 

Tacony Music Hall (file)

Tacony Music Hall (file)

“All you hear is rumors, nothing concrete,” says Joseph Sannutti, president of the Tacony Civic Association. On vacation in Texas, Sannutti hasn’t been appraised of the latest community meetings on the subject, but he said that’s what he’d been hearing before he headed south.

 

“We were told it was going to be a lesbian, gay, transgender club—that’s their business,” says Sannutti.  “But we also heard it’s going to be a nightclub, where they sell booze and stuff. We are completely against that all together.”

 

The new plans for the music hall have been quietly coming together for the past few months. Now with a ZBA hearing scheduled and the community abuzz, PlanPhilly sat down with Deborah Rose Hinchey, one of the principal organizers behind the project, to talk about the future of the Tacony Music Hall.

 

“I had a neighbor come up to me at the space the other day and ask if we are a sex club,” says Hinchey. “I didn’t anticipate the rumors. I realized we had to get into the neighborhood and explain that we are not a swingers club or a sex club.”

 

Hinchey and her team aren’t planning an LGBTQ community center either, although she said the model for the new organization is based on spaces like the William Way Center in the Gayborhood.

 

The Tacony Music Hall will serve as a space for those who subscribe to the philosophy of sex positivity. It’s an expansive umbrella that encompasses a lot of preferences and practices, which Hinchey described as inclusive of everything from polyamory, or the practice of engaging openly in concurrent sexual relationships, to bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism (BDSM). The key organizing tenet is that sex of pretty much any kind is good and healthy as long as it’s consensual.

 

The community center slated for the Tacony Music Hall will hold movie nights, offer classes in different relationship practices, and parties that cater to a variety of alternative sexual communities.

 

Sannutti and the Tacony Civic need not worry about crazed late night dance parties though. Hinchey said alcohol and drugs would be explicitly banned from the space.

 

“A lot of these communities currently operate largely in bars and illegal warehouses,” says Hinchey.  “Because of the stigma attached to them, these communities have largely been forced into the shadows and the shadows are dangerous.”

 

Hinchey and her compatriots want to open up a space, dubbed the Philadelphia Music Hall, for people to explore sexuality outside of mainstream society in a safe and consensual fashion. They believe that booze or drugs of any kind would imperil that mission.

 

“Consent is a problem when alcohol is involved--any intoxicant really blurs the line,” says Hinchey. “We want people to make educated, consensual, and risk aware decisions. Not allowing intoxicants in a space infinitely improves the safety of that space.”

 

Not only do intoxicants complicate consent, but they also discourage the participation of sober individuals and expose these marginalized communities to interference from the state.

 

In addition to a ban on the sale or ingestion of intoxicants, no one under the age of 18 can enter the Philadelphia Music Hall. Participants must review the organization’s rules and regulations—such as no touching anyone without their explicit approval—and sign a waiver agreeing before entering.  

 

The sex positive community center will only occupy the top two floors of the three-story building, with the first floor available for rent to other businesses. Currently a daycare and the Tacony CDC operate on the ground floor. ...

"Ex-Polyamorous Trio Granted ‘Tri-Custody’ of Their Child by a New York Judge"

on Wednesday, 15 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

The Cut

By Lisa Ryan

A New York judge has granted three people who had previously been in a polyamorous relationship “tri-custody” of their 10-year-old son. The New York Post reports that the Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge H. Patrick Leis III’s ruling is the first of its kind in the state.

 

Long Island couple Dawn and Michael Marano, who got married in 1994, befriended their downstairs neighbor Audria Garcia in 2001, according to the Post. Garcia had been living with her boyfriend at the time, but after they broke up, she moved in with the Maranos and “began to engage in intimate relations,” the ruling states. Dawn Marano had been unable to conceive, so Michael Marano and Garcia conceived a child together — a son who was born in January 2007, according to court documents.

 

Per the Post:

“It was agreed, before a child was conceived, that [the Maranos and Garcia] would all raise the child together as parents,” the judge said.

Garcia’s pregnancy was covered by Dawn Marano’s insurance, and the two women attended doctor appointments together and took turns feeding the baby at night, according to the Post. Eventually, Dawn and Michael Marano split up, and Garcia and Dawn Morano began a romantic relationship.

 

Later, Michael Marano sued Garcia for custody, and Dawn Marano filed for divorce. Michael Marano and Garcia agreed to joint custody, according to the Post, but Dawn Marano then filed another lawsuit “to secure custody rights for [the boy] because she fears that without court-ordered visitation and shared custody, her ability to remain in [the boy’s] life would be solely dependent upon obtaining the consent of either Audria or [Michael],” Judge Leis wrote. ...

Preconference Institute on Consent and Kink at SSTAR

on Wednesday, 15 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

Russell Stambaugh, NCSF Kink Aware Professionals Advocate, and Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson, will be presenting on the 30+ year history of kink safety and consent campaigns at the Annual Conference of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) in Montreal, Quebec April 20, 2017.
 
This is a 3 CE preconference institute, and you won't need to miss a minute of the excellent SSTAR main program. It includes their research report on the 2014 Consent Violations Survey examining consent violations in a kink context.
 
This is designed for anyone interested in becoming a kink-aware clinician and those seeking to understand what teaching consent may or may not accomplish with kinky people.
 
We hope to see you in Montreal!

"My Kids Make Me Feel Proud To Be Polyamorous"

on Sunday, 12 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Romper

by Margaret E Jacobsen

Over the last four years, my family dynamic has changed because of divorce and polyamory. I'd always wanted a large family, but I believed was only attainable by having lots of kids, and polyamory was never something I thought of because I grew up in a religious and conservative environment that placed monogamy on a pedestal. Anything else was a sin; adultery. So when I began to explore non-monogamy, I was most surprised that the two easiest people to explain polyamory to were my children because my kids make me feel proud to be polyamorous. As my ex-husband and I eased into non-monogamy before separating, I remember my 4-year-old daughter asking me when I'd have a boyfriend outside her dad. I laughed and asked her why she asked me that, and she said, "I just want more adults to love me!" That comment has stayed with me and has served as the foundation for how I talk to my kids about polyamory.

 

The first time I talked with my children about polyamory was when my ex and I told them we'd be separating. I remember feeling slightly nervous about it, wondering if it would confuse their then-4-year-old, and then-5-year-old brains, but I'd promised myself that if I was going to practice non-monogamy, I was going to include my whole family. After all, this decision wouldn't just affect me; it'd affect all of us. So I told my both of my kids the truth: even though I was still married to their dad, I'd been dating other people, particularly my current partner, someone they'd already spent a lot of time with. When we told our kids we were separating and the reasons why, both my kids just said, "Oh, wow! We love him, that's so cool!" I remember breathing a little bit easier as we went to bed; there were no secrets between any of us anymore. It's always been important to me to have my kids be a part of this lifestyle change, and I was amazed by their reactions.

 

 

Our conversations about polyamory are different than they were when they were younger. My kids don't see a difference between polyamory and monogamy — they just see people practicing love in different ways.

After that initial conversation together, my daughter had a few more questions about loving multiple people. She wondered why more adults don't have multiple partners, which opened up a discussion about how our differences give us strengths and also set us apart. I told her that even though I felt like I was capable of loving and caring for more than one person, her dad was opposite of me, and both of those things were acceptable and valid. When we had a mother/daughter overnight trip to a hotel in town, she laid in bed next to me and said that loving a lot of people made sense in her head, and she likened it to having lots of best friends. It was amazing to hear my 5 year old express such a grown-up view on relationships and love. ...

 

"POLYAWARE"

on Sunday, 12 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

HPR

by Faye Seidler 

I’m polyamorous and I live with my two girlfriends, who both mean the world to me. They contribute to making me a better person by challenging me when I’m wrong, supporting me when I try something new, and comforting me if I fail. It has been a relationship built on trust, consent, family meetings, and more happiness than I’ve ever had at any other point in my life.

 

That said, it’s really hard to share any of that with people I meet. It’s easy to talk about my girlfriend, it’s easy to come out as lesbian or trans, because we have narratives for that. Even if someone doesn’t like it, they understand what it is.

 

But if I come out as poly, I also have to prepare to spend time in a possibly awkward conversation, trying to justify my love and how we live. It’s a conversation I often avoid having with anyone other than those I consider friends, because the frustration just isn’t worth it otherwise.

 

That is why I am incredibly thankful for PolyAware, an organization in our area dedicated to educating individuals about poly issues. They also provide a plethora of resources and even support for individuals looking to explore what it means to be poly. I had the honor of sitting down with the members of PolyAware, among them Ashton Shepard and Andrew C. Tyson, for questions.

 

High Plains Reader: What does it mean to be polyamorous?

 

PolyAware: Polyamory is the non-possessive, honest, responsible, and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously. Polyamorous individuals are like most people: they seek a fulfilling love life, only theirs can involve multiple partners while a monogamous individual has only one. It isn’t about whether polyamory or monogamy is better, it is about what is a better fit for each person.

 

HPR: What are the primary functions of PolyAware?

 

PolyAware: PolyAware is an education and advocacy group for polyamory in the Fargo-Moorhead region. We increase awareness of polyamory for anyone who wants to hear. We support legal movements to increase the rights and protection of polyamorous people. We offer support to polyamorous people in the community and we keep confidential information confidential. If it’s not small talk, we assume it’s private.

 

The members of PolyAware fill in where needed to accomplish those functions. Some of our tasks include scheduling events, advertising for events, coordinating with the Pride Collective, presenting at events, networking, giving advice, and posting interesting articles on our Facebook page.

 

HPR: What are some of the misconceptions people have about polyamory?

 

PolyAware: Polyamory is not cheating. Cheating implies breaking the rules, and we negotiate our own rules. Polyamory is not swinging. Swinging focuses on recreational sex, and polyamory focuses on romantic connections. That said, some poly people also swing. Polyamory is not religious, though some people practice poly as part of their religion. Polyamory is not sexist, though some people practice poly in a sexist way. Polyamory is not easy. It requires a great deal of communication, trust, and self-esteem.

 

HPR: What are some unique challenges in polyamorous relationships?

 

PolyAware: We like to say love is infinite but time is not. Juggling schedules can be a bear. Managing feelings of jealousy can be difficult and require constant communication and consent.

 

It’s hard to find supporting religious communities, but some pagan groups tend to be welcoming of poly individuals, and a few other congregations are discerning their stance on welcoming polyamorous folks as well.

 

Also, polyamory is less well understood than gender and sexual minorities, with many individuals accepting someone in the broader LGBTQ+ spectrum, but rejecting them for being poly. It unfortunately is an issue where people can be at risk of losing their friends, families, jobs, housing, spiritual communities, and children just because they have two or more significant others.

 

Further, polyamory is not a protected class under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and we’re likely going to be waiting a long time before polyamorous individuals can enjoy marriage equality and the privilege of having all our loved ones be able to visit us in the hospital or sharing legal custody of children in our households. ...

"Are Sex Parties Legal? We Spoke to A Veteran Promoter To Find Out"

on Sunday, 12 March 2017. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Thump

By Sophie Weiner

Over the past few years, alternative sexual culture has gone from niche to nearly mainstream. The first two films in the BDSM-themed Fifty Shades of Grey series each made over $100 million at the US box office. Polyamorous relationships are also becoming increasingly commonplace—in a 2015 study by the legal data startup Avvo, 4% of American respondents classified themselves as currently in an open relationship, and only 45% of men (and 62% of women) said they were morally opposed to them.

 

Sex parties—events where participants can have sexual experiences with other attendees in a safe and consenting environment—are also growing in popularity. Ben Fuller, the founder of Modern Lifestyles, a ticketing service for swinger parties, told Quartz that his business has increased by 81% over the last two years.

 

But just because these subcultures are becoming less taboo, doesn't mean that the authorities see them that way. There are still laws on the books in many states that prevent kink and BDSM—an acronym for Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism—from being practiced openly. Non-kink sex-positive events are also stifled by these laws, which prevent these events from openly advertising and charging for tickets.

 

We asked Deborah Rose, a Philadelphia-based veteran promoter of sex-positive events, to explain the regulations surrounding the industry, how promoters get around some of these barriers, and strategies for making the scene better and safer for participants.

 

THUMP: How would you define a "sex party"?

 

Deborah Rose: I think that it would be a mistake to call a sex-positive space a "sex party, because they're usually not just sex-centering. Some of them are, but most of them aren't. Most of the communities who go to these kinds of parties call them "play parties" more than anything else.

 

There are many different iterations [of what a sex-positive event can be]. They can vary largely in size. There are parties in people's private homes that range from five to 10 people, and then there are really large-scale events that can be 150 people on a Saturday night in a warehouse or at a music venue. Largely, those parties exist in BDSM, kink, and fetish communities.

 

The swinger communities tend to have what are commonly called "sex parties." But they largely don't have those in warehouses—they have their own clubs. We see swing clubs in most major cities, and those are established, for-profit businesses that facilitate a sex-positive space in a really specific context. Those communities are largely straight, white, and heteronormative.

 

What are the laws surrounding these kinds of events?

 

The most common misunderstanding is that the laws are the same everywhere. Actually, the biggest problems that these communities face is that the laws are different everywhere you go.

 

In major East Coast cities, they vary wildly. Most cities do have a swingers club, which facilitates sex parties that are completely above-board. They're licensed clubs. It's a special licensing they seek from the zoning board or from licensing and inspection that allows them to operate as a completely confidential, private, members-only club. When people come in, they don't buy a ticket for the night. They buy what is branded as a "membership," so that they buy into this membership, which allows the clubs confidentiality [and therefore protection from prosecution for potentially violating vice laws].

 

On the East Coast, "vice laws," sometimes called "blue laws," are laws that govern people's moral behavior. In Massachusetts, Pennsylvania—recently in New York, it was changed—you cannot facilitate sex or facilitate "abuse" in any way, which makes it so that it's almost impossible for a promoter to organize a party without opening themselves up to liability. Vice laws typically regulate sex, alcohol, and drugs.

 

When we talk about BDSM, kink, and fetish communities, those communities have largely been relegated to spaces that are not zoned and licensed. Because in many East Coast cities and in many East Coast states, you [legally] do not have the ability to consent to "abuse". So, facilitating these parties or participating in these communities can be illegal and can open you up to prosecution.

 

For swinger parties at licensed clubs, is it at all apparent in the laws or paperwork that sex will be happening at these locations?

 

Swingers clubs largely try to avoid explicit language on what we call the "public-facing internet" or "public-facing media." You go to the clubs and you understand what is happening there, but they don't advertise sex.

 

The other thing they don't advertise is alcohol. One of the biggest liabilities for a promoter is to allow alcohol into their spaces, because then you are involving whatever liquor control board—whatever organization that governs alcohol within your community—into your space. Anytime you mix alcohol and sex, you're automatically opening yourself up to a huge liability. Especially if you're taking money at the door.

 

So, the way swingers clubs circumnavigate that is almost all their spaces are BYOB. They have a bar--you bring your alcohol to them and they will serve it to you--but they are not selling you alcohol.

 

Aside from swing communities, which do have a lot of alcohol inside their community, most of the sex-positive communities that organize play parties shy away from alcohol because of the liability that it brings [due to intoxicated people who can't consent or who may be a danger to others or themselves], and because of the level of regulation that it brings. It shines a light on what is already a space where we don't want too much exposure.

 

Could a sex-positive event be prosecuted as operating an illegal brothel?

 

In some states, parties that sell tickets or charge a cover at the door definitely open themselves up to prosecution for facilitating prostitution. Promoters sell tickets to events ahead of time to mitigate this issue.

 

You mentioned that because of some of these laws, it is difficult to throw any parties with a kink or fetish element. How do people get around that?

 

In the states where it is illegal to "facilitate abuse," they largely don't. Massachusetts is a really good example of this. Massachusetts has a very large kink community that does not participate in that culture within Massachusetts. They travel to Rhode Island, Vermont, and Connecticut, where events are more easily facilitated, and where the laws are slightly more friendly to these spaces. On the East Coast, the most active kink and fetish communities are in Baltimore and DC; because spaces are able to exist there legally, they're able to license themselves, and exist above board. Maryland and the District, as well as Pennsylvania, benefit from more relaxed laws in this regard.

 

What's different about the laws there?

 

Ironically enough, the law that makes it so that you cannot consent to or facilitate abuse is the Violence Against Women Act, which is an incredible law written to protect domestic violence victims. But what it also does is make it so that the police can prosecute somebody without the consent of the victim. So, in states where that doesn't exist, we're more able to provide spaces for kink and fetish communities to flourish. But in states where it does exist, [the kink community] is largely stifled, for fear of prosecution.

 

You mentioned that the laws are also a little more relaxed on the West Coast.

 

Absolutely. States on the West Coast have more progressive ideas about sex and sexuality in general. Maybe not pervasively within the culture, but definitely within the laws. Because that exists, the best centers for sex-positivity and for sex-positive culture exist on the West Coast.

 

In San Francisco, The Armory [building in the Mission, owned and operated by BDSM-focused porn production company] Kink.com provides one of the best sex-positive spaces in the country. The other best space in the country for sex-positive culture is in Seattle. Both of these spaces exist above board and have both for profit and non-profit entities that serve communities. The laws that exist allow them to participate in communities that facilitate discussions about sex-positivity and provide spaces for these communities to grow in a way that is not available to us on the East Coast.

 

Are there any organizations out there trying to advocate for sexual freedom and sex-positive spaces as a First Amendment right?

 

Free expression is really what we're talking about. There's an incredible organization that exists within kink communities called the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, or NCSF, which exists to help all alternative sexual communities. Their goal is to raise awareness about alternative sexual practices and the way these communities govern themselves, and to add resources for people to explore their sexuality in safe ways.

 

They've created consent workshops and incident response structures; they advocate for sexual practices to be removed from the DSM, and they are lobbying Massachusetts, Virginia, and Kentucky to see BDSM and kink as a sexual practice rather than a paraphilia. They're an organization that has stood up for kink and sex-positive communities all over the country. ...

"Donald and the Dominatrix: How the White House Inspired a BDSM Movement"

on Sunday, 12 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

If critics of President Trump have noticed an uptick in female devaluation, it's not reflected in the S&M scene

Salon

by CARRIE WEISMAN

Soon after Donald Trump joined the presidential race, a professional dominatrix named Tara Indiana announced her plans to follow suit. “If a carnival barker like Donald Trump can run for president, why not a dominatrix?” she said during an interview with GQ. Her slogan? “Whipping America back into shape, one middle aged white man at a time.”

 

Her platform included decriminalizing all consensual sex acts between adults, funding scientific research to show that S&M is a sexual orientation and adding “kink” into laws dealing with discrimination. She also favored the idea of the prohibitioning of middle-aged white men from holding office without permission from their Mistress, and requiring men to carry purses so they can look after their own belongings.

 

“The women in my field, we don’t live as victims. When we want to make change, we make changes,” says professional dominatrix and sex educator Sandra LaMorgese. “When we want to influence the world around us, we take action.”

 

“Women are feeling a little powerless right now,” she notes. And she’s right. In the weeks following election, sex therapist Kimberly Resnick Anderson noticed a steady decline in sex drive among her female clients. They appeared irritable and easily annoyed. Often, it was the men in their lives that bore the brunt of these developments. Anderson dubbed the phenomenon The Donald Trump Bedroom Backlash. “The misogyny displayed by Trump throughout his entire presidential bid. . . has undermined the hard-fought progress to de-objectify women,” she wrote in a think piece on the subject. “This general malaise can easily zap libido and ruin your sex drive.”

 

But there are those in the sex-o-sphere who haven’t abandoned their prowess. Instead, they’re using it to get even.

 

In an interview with Vice, Indiana explained, ““I’ve noticed being in the scene for over 25 years, that fetishes and kinks come in trends, just like fashion, music, et cetera. And these trends tend to be reactions to the social and political zeitgeist.”

 

“When I got into the business in 1989 your garden variety slave was into foot worship, and cross dressing. I see this as a reaction to changing gender roles and a need to work through those issues. Then when AIDS started to affect the straight community, things like heavy medical, blood sports, and scat became popular. People were tired of ‘safe sex’ — they wanted to do things that were dangerous and risky. “ ...

 

 

 

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