I know some folks are kind of aware of what’s been going down in the industry but for those of us who are only marginally if at all plugged in: 


Last week the President signed into law a pair of acts collectives know as SESTA/FOSTA 


They claim to fight sex trafficking by giving tools to law enforcement but the reality is that it targets all sex workers, irrelevant of our own status as consenting or even legal such as  in Nevada. 


There’s a clause in the Communications decency act that says a website cannot be held liable for illegal content posted by third party users. If I sell you a stolen bike via craigslist, it’s not Craigslist’s fault that you bought a stolen bike. If I promote the anarchist’s cookbook over Facebook, it’s not Facebook’s fault if someone builds a bomb. This act eliminates that protection but not in the cases of the stolen bike or the bomb builder but in the case of ANY possible instance of sexual labor, consensual or otherwise. 


Guys. This is fucking big. This is an attack on online freedoms and the freedom of speech as well as on anyone taking control of their sexuality and using it to further their own goals. There are dozens of op-eds popping up about it if you google it and many of them are questioning the real motivations. Who really benefits from this law? Because it’s not anyone I know.


There’s a group in Seattle preparing to launch a huge pro- SESTA/FOSTA PR campaign so keep an eye out for it and stay skeptical. 


After Backpage removed it’s adult services section, I posted a list of my favorite six advertising platforms. Of those six, one is gone, one is so slow as to be not useful, one is not accepting new advertiser profiles, two are cost prohibitive for many but are still around, and one has severely cut back on what posters are allowed to say. 


I also linked to others’ lists. Of 41 advertising options posted by the cauldron NYC, 18 have gone down, either through neglect or as a direct response to SESTA/FOSTA. Of the remaining 23, thirteen have limited utility due to regionality and difficulty of use or are not accepting new members and only ten out of 41 advertising options are still viable. Of those ten, none are free and few are cheap.


Worst of all, the two private blacklists I know of are also cutting back on what people are and aren’t allowed to say. One isn’t even allowing incident descriptions anymore. Knowing the details of a black mark is a critical part of deciding which risks to take and which to avoid at all costs. Only those of us living well in the clear can afford to take no risks at all.


This is not going well. You’ll be seeing more vague comments, fewer reviews, and just a general shyness in all industry interactions. You who know me will see how that level of side-mouth-talk irritates the bejeezus out of me but at least my options are open much wider. 


One local and immediate short-term solution is literally just giving people money. The Coalition I’ve spoken of is accepting donations for an emergency fund to support sex workers who were living on the edge before this happened and are reaching the end of their resources. Monthly phone plans, immediate food needs, utility bills, etc. It’s going through a few trusted individuals who have direct exposure to marginalized communities but if that’s not in your comfort zone, simply scheduling an appointment with a lady you already know or paying a girl’s full rate even if she’s running a special are ways to help. 


I’m ok. I’ll be ok. Actually, a lot of us are going to be ok. Tuesday evening I gathered with a dozen or so providers and about sixty percent of us are ok. But that’s 40% of us scared for our future and one of us has died as a direct result of the loss of advertising and safety mechanisms. Over a dozen have died nation-wide in deaths directly related to losing safety mechanisms and more will go.


There are calls to action coming from many sides. I can’t put everything everywhere. If you care about the incredible women who fill little pockets of your life with pleasure and joy, you’ll care about this. Survivors Against SESTA is full of up to date information and resources as is the sex workers subreddit and so poke around, see what’s up. We’re still around, it’s just going to be a bit harder for the next little while.


Once again I’d like to thank the generous, kind, consistent gentlemen who have allowed me breathing room so I’m not afraid. I appreciate your continued patronage.