My interview with Michelle Goldberg for The Nation
So today an article was published in The Nation, an American political magazine I did an interview with a while ago. The article focuses on the question if the Nordic model is better than legalizing prostitution. You can find the article here.
I'm very pleased with this article since first of all my words haven't been twisted, something many sex workers have complained about throughout the years, but after two interviews I can honestly say my experiences thus far have been good with journalists. But another reason I'm very pleased with this article, is because the article doesn't seem take sides, something rarely to been found these days in journalism, especially in American journalism, so my compliments to Michelle Goldberg for that.

The article focuses on the question if buying sex should be illegal or not, and it compares the Dutch prostitution model with the Swedish prostitution model. But in stead of picking sides for either one of these, Michelle Goldberg choose to leave the decisions to that up to the audience in a very clever way.
In stead of choosing for the Swedish model and thereby criminalizing sex work or choosing for the Dutch model which leaves more room for error, basically the answer is left up to the reader, to decide if whether or not people would see me (yes, me!) as a victim or not. Of course you could choose to see me as a victim, but then again I would strongly disagree with you. If I'm a victim of anything at all, I'm a victim of the constant stigmatization of being seen as a victim. In other words, if you see me as a victim, you turn me into one as I don't consider myself to be a victim, nor does anyone else I personally know who know my story.
I also think it's a bit of a weird idea that people can be a victim of something, even though they strongly disagree on it, just because other people tell you that you're a victim. Isn't that forced victimizing instead of forced prostitution?

The true answer is of course that I am not a victim of anything. Even though technically the law sees me as a victim, I have not experienced anything I would consider to be a crime or wrong. So in the end this says perhaps more about the faults in our laws, then the faults in prostitution. And I can point out directly the law I am talking about, which is from the Dutch law book article number 273f 1 sub 3 (source) which states one is guilty of human trafficking when one:
  • Recruits, takes with or abducts a person with the intention to make that person available in another country for sexual acts with another person in exchange for payment.
This particular article mentions nothing about being forced or exploited. Yes, it talks about being abducted, which is obviously a crime. But recruiting someone by default for prostitution is in my eyes not a crime, unless that person is being misled or exploited, but those things are already crimes regardless of this article. But the weirdest one, is that 'takes with' is also a crime. So regardless of the fact whether or not a person agrees with it, as soon as you take someone with you to another country to work in prostitution (forced or not!), it's automatically human trafficking. 
And this is precisely the article I'm talking about when I say that officially I'm a victim of human trafficking, but that I'm not really a victim. After all, if someone would make a law that states you are a victim if you buy chocolate, then technically that makes you a victim by law, but just because the law sees you as a victim doesn't mean you really are one. 
I find it hard to believe that this is a mistake the policy makers missed out on when they created the law, especially since this law is in effect since 15-11-2013. So it's not like it's a very old law or something, it's actually brand new! 
So apparently the policy makers in The Hague automatically seem to think that any woman receiving assistance to come to another country to work in prostitution is a victim of human trafficking. A strange thing, since I cannot recall this being the case for any other jobs in Holland, except for prostitution. In fact, recruiting and or taking people with you into other countries to perform work in exchange for payment is exactly what many employment agencies do. So why is it just human trafficking when it comes to prostitution, and not for any other jobs?

The Swedish people in this article state that prostitution has been reduced, yet my question is: are you fighting crime or a profession here? After all, shouldn't human trafficking be going down rather then prostitution, wasn't that the whole point?
But more importantly, how can one try to save victims if one can not find them? After all, yes, prostitution may have been reduced, at least, the prostitution that is visible. But then again, that's pretty much a logical reaction to the criminalization of the clients, thus forcing prostitutes to go underground. 
Yes, Holland has higher human trafficking statistics, but then again, that isn't that weird if it's easier to find it because it is legal. And just because the Swedish people can't find it, because the criminalized it, doesn't mean it isn't there. Or just like those people always claim that warn you about human trafficking: 'open your eyes'. 
It is logical that if things are legal, more people will also feel safe to report crimes happening, and that when things are not legal, people will be reluctant to report crimes, since they could end up in jail themselves. After all, if a client in Sweden comes across a victim, he would never go to the police to report it, since he's the criminal over there, while here in Holland there have been many reports from clients, of which fortunately only a small portion turned out to be actual cases of human trafficking (read more about that here).
It basically comes down to this. Would you rather have your daughter having sex somewhere else, with someone you don't know and can't check upon, causing the possibilities that your daughter may get in trouble? Or do you allow your daughter to experiment her sexuality safely at home, so you can keep an eye on things, and make sure things don't happen that you both will regret later?

Prostitution will continue, with or without the approval of governments, the same way it has always done. The only question is, do we provide safety for these women, both those who do this job willingly and ensuring they have a safe environment to work in, and the victims by making them easier to find by making it legal. Or do we let them stand alone, stigmatizing prostitutes who choose to do this job as victims by default, and thereby also making it more difficult to identify the real victims from the girls who are not victims. That is, if you can find them at all, since prostitution goes underground and is very hard to trace back?

Another interesting thing is that somewhere in the article it mentions: 'Do we want a society where it’s OK to buy another person?' In my eyes it just shows how much those people don't understand anything about prostitution. My clients don't buy me. They don't own me. They hire my services, which is something different then 'selling my body' as so many people often say about prostitution.
It just shows how much those people have no clue as to what this profession is, or how it's done in reality. No client buys a prostitute. Buying implies that you own it, that you can do with it what you want, and if you're tired throw it away or do whatever you want with it. That is however not the case. You can buy a phone. You can take that home with you, use it as you please, destroy it if you feel like it. 
A service however is something another person offers, like for instance a massage. We also don't say about a masseur that he is selling his hands. A masseur offers a service, a service he performs with his hands, just like how a prostitute offers a service, a service she provides with her body. You can't take it home with you afterwards, you can't do with it what you want. It is the person offering the service that decides what happens, how and when, since they are the professionals and they know what they are doing. A client can have requests, just like a client can request a certain type of massage, or massaging one particular part of the body they have problems with for instance. But in the end it's up to the masseur to decide how he does that, and if he does that at all, just like how prostitutes decide this.

Some other interesting notes I found about the article was the mentioning of my boyfriends 'jewelry'. His necklace and bracelet (a gift from me for his birthday) where apparently no match for my unmentioned pure gold necklace and diamond engagement ring I got from him. 
Or another interesting note that the article mentions the killing of a sex worker in 2009 in Holland. I seem to miss the importance of it, or it must be to prove that sex work isn't entirely without risk. But then again I wonder how many jewelry shop owners get killed when they get robbed, does that also prove jewelry shops aren't safe? Just because one person got killed, how sad that may be, that doesn't mean it's unsafe. Yes, sex work brings risks, but just because it brings risks doesn't mean we shouldn't protect it, or even worse, make it completely unprotected by implementing the Swedish model, causing no protection from the police whatsoever. At least we get protection from the police, which is something I can not say for all those sex workers working in Sweden. 
And the fact that Sweden was not able to present a victim to talk to in the article, which is weird, since isn't that what it's all about? Holland has been open enough to let the journalist talk to a sex worker which it promotes so much, yet Sweden was not able to present a single victim to talk to. Is that because they're scared of what the victim might say? That perhaps the Swedish model did not work in her favor, as it became more difficult for the police to find her, because all of her customers where too scared to report it to them? Or is it perhaps because Sweden has trouble to find victims in the first place, meaning they can't find them at all, which would really worry me, since that would mean that all those victims out there still haven't gotten any help!

Let me make one last thing very clear for you people. I am not a victim. I don't care what the law states. Just because the law states for example that homosexuality is forbidden, doesn't make it right, does it? 
So why should I accept a law that states that I am a victim, because other people HELPED me, rather then forced or tricked or exploited me into prostitution? Since when is helping someone a crime?

Dutch version
The opposition
For years there has been now a debate about prostitution. Should we keep it legal? Should we adopt the Nordic Model? Should we criminalize clients of only forced prostitutes? How many forced prostitutes are there? How much crime is happening in prostitution?
They're all questions I've already giving answer to. But what's so interesting about the debate on prostitution, is the absence of prostitutes themselves. Sex workers get completely ignored, and the only sex workers who's voices are being heard are those who've become victims. It's interesting, I get to hear so many times from politicians, opinion makers and other people who seem to oppose prostitution rather then human trafficking, the fact that I'm just one girl.
So what if I'm just one girl? So is the girl who's story ends up in the newspaper about how she was forced! Just because it's one girl, doesn't mean there are more of those! So stop shutting me down as 'one of the few lucky girls' who don't get forced, because that's absolute bullshit! I've been doing this job now for more then 4 years, I know almost every girl working in the night in the Red Light District, I've talked with them, I know their personal situations, I know what drives them to do this job. It's absolute bullshit to claim these girls are forced by a pimp. In fact, there hardly are any pimps out there to begin with.

Of course there will always be people claiming girls are 'forced by financial circumstances'. Yeah, duh! Of course they are, just like everyone else is forced by financial circumstances to do his or her job! It's called capitalism, look it up! If you don't like it, you can always move to North Korea, where they have communism, the opposite of capitalism!
And then of course there are those people who claim that this job was not our free choice. Well, let's be honest here. How many people here did the job they actually wanted to do? I bet most of you aren't doing the job you always dreamed about! Does that mean you got forced into this job by financial circumstances? Yes, absolutely, because that's how the capitalistic system works. Does that mean you hate your job? Perhaps for some, others might not hate it, but accept it as a necessary evil.

There are so many people who claim shit that's either completely one-sided, but many times also completely false. Or the most difficult thing I have to try and explain, people that claim both one-sided stories and use lies mixed together. Often they'll rely on false statistics and support those false statistics with one-sided stories. And when I'm talking about a one-sided story, I mean stories like how Renate van der Zee tells them.
Renate van der Zee may talk to a prostitute, ask her how the work is going, if it's a difficult time now with the financial crisis and all. Then she'll ask some more things, like how much she charges to come in, etc.
In the end you'll end up with a story of 'how bad the situation for women in prostitution is', because 'they're struggling to make the money for their room, due to the low prices and financial crisis', etc. (example here)
Renate van der Zee simply tells only one side of the story prostitutes tells her, and because there are too few people to tell otherwise, people will accept what she says, because she at least talks to prostitutes. Too bad though she only shines light on one side of the story, the side that she likes to show, the bad parts about my job. The things she doesn't mention, she leaves out because she can't use them in her story to 'prove' how bad and 'incredibly inhumane' prostitution is. She's a complete bitch, but then again, so am I for her, so I guess that makes us even.

And Renate van der Zee is just one example like this. Other examples of people who use a mix of lies and manipulation of true stories are people like Gert-Jan Segers and Frits Rouvoet. Frits Rouvoet is especially an interesting one. Claiming to safe women from human trafficking and pimps, while actually just helping out girls who want (or her talked into) quitting the job. Because if Frits Rouvoet would really be 'saving victims', I wonder why he never takes these women to the police to do a prosecution for her 'pimp'. Would that really be because those girls are so terrified of their pimp (but apparently not terrified enough to tell Frits Rouvoet and run away with him), or is it because there is no pimp forcing her? By the way, how come that those 'cruel' pimps, like how you always hear about in the media, that beat the shit out of a girl to force her into prostitution, are no match for an old man? Does Frits Rouvoet secretly take karate lessons to beat the fuck out of those guys keeping a girl as a slave, or does he wear a shotgun under that long coat of his?
If the girls are so forced like Frits claims, and how you always hear from the media. And if those girls are really so trapped in their situation by an aggressive pimp, then how come Frits Rouvoet never ever got beat up?

Frits keeps telling everyone that there are so many victims, but if he knows those girls like he claims, why doesn't he go to the police and report it? Sometimes I really do hope that new law that criminalizes clients of forced prostitutes makes it, because that would make Frits Rouvoet just as much a criminal as all those clients that purposely go to a prostitute that's forced. If Frits knows there are forced girls, but he doesn't report it, he's just as much an asshole as those 'supposed' clients who visit forced prostitutes knowing they're forced.
But Frits makes it even worse! He even claims to know a group of boys that purposly visit prostitutes who are forced. He even claims they know exactly which ones are forced, and then go to those girls, to force them to do it without condom (source here). What I'm really surprised about is the fact that apparently Frits Rouvoet knows this group of guys, and still hasn't reported them to the police, so the police can try and find out which girls are forced and which girls aren't. But I think I know the reason why Frits doesn't tell this to the police. The reason is because it's not really true. First of all the group he's talking about, is a group of boys of 17 years old, as he mentioned somewhere else. There are no girls working here that would take in 17 year old boys, simply because they're too young to go inside. There's a rule you have to be at least 18 as a client. If you get caught with a client that's not 18 yet, you not only loose your room, but your job as well. In short, there's no way in hell any girl would ever take these guys in.
My guess is, Frits hears tough guy talk, and either believes it (which kinda shows his ignorance), or immediately thinks 'this could be a good story to tell the media' (which means he knows it's not true). Either way, the story is complete bullshit. Either the guys he's talking about 'think' they know which girls are forced, or they're just trying to act cool and tough, in both ways it ain't true.

It's virtually impossible for a client to know if a girl is forced, like how also Esta Steyn from Stop The Traffik confirmed to me (begs to ask the question though why does Stop The Traffik want to create awareness about something people can't find out anyway?). I've already talked this over in my post here, that's it's almost impossible for a client to find out. The girls that are really forced are good at hiding it, and the so called 'signs' could apply to any prostitute, making them worthless to try and identify a forced girl. It's the same problem the Nationaal Rapporteur keeps having, she can't figure out which ones are really suspicious cases and which ones aren't, so she just reports them all as suspicious cases (all 1200 of them!) not to be blamed afterwards for underestimating the problem (source here).
What I always wonder is, if people know there are so many forced girls, why don't they help them if they know it so well? I mean, isn't it cruel to know girls that are forced, but not helping them and in stead run to the media to report about it? I don't think that's true. My guess is very simple, these people want to get rid of prostitution, they don't like it because they believe it's morally wrong, either from a feministic point of view or a Christian point of view, and they'll spread as many bad stories (both lies and true) as they can come up with, to make prostitution look bad in order to make it illegal again. They don't give a fuck about those girls who are really forced, they're just meat to be used by them as leverage to achieve their goal. So who's using who now?!

But I do have to admit one thing. Those people that love to tell bad stories about prostitution, in order to criminalize it, they're right about one thing. The sex industry has been neglecting the victims. After all, the sex industry has done very little to almost nothing to stop human trafficking. All they've done so far is trying to stop laws that would make it worse for those girls who are forced, which at the same time just happens to work in the advantage of the girls they're advocating, the prostitutes who aren't forced.
The last thing the sex industry achieved to stop human trafficking, was legalizing prostitution in 2000. But after that, they've only admitted there are a few girls who are victims, and that's kind of it. The opposition however, together with the people that are neutral in this debate because they don't know enough about it, have started up so called 'rescue organisations'. Regardless of the fact if those rescue organisations do a good or a bad job, at least they're trying to rescue girls, I'll give them that. Unlike the sex industry, which has not had one single anti-trafficking organisation set up since the problem became big in the media.
And I also know why. The sex industry knows very well, just like me, the problem really isn't as big as a lot of people claim. But out of fear of proving the opposition right with their horrifying trafficking stories, the sex industry has been too busy telling the other side of the story. Every time some idiot comes up with a story about how huge human trafficking is in the prostitution, and how most girls are forced, the sex industry jumps in defense mode, trying to repair the damage by nuancing the story that not most girls are forced, just a minority.

If the sex industry would set up a anti-human trafficking organisations, to fight trafficking from inside, they're scared people like Renate van der Zee and Gert-Jan Segers would claim they're right, even though they're not. The sex industry is too scared to try and explain everything, out of fear that the explanation is too complex for the general public. That's partially also because people like Renate van der Zee keeps pushing the sex industry in this position. They always claim people are 'ignoring' human trafficking, or saying 'it doesn't exist' or are 'belittling' the problem. That's complete bullshit!
But the sex industry feels like they're being attacked on a problem that's by far not as big as the opposition claims, and feels that at the moment they start fighting it, they're admitting to the words of the opposition. After all, why would you start to fight a problem, while you claim for yourself it's hardly a problem at all? They're too scared that nuancing the story, and fighting human trafficking, might be confusing the general public, and they spend all their time explaining the other side of the story the opposition didn't mention, to protect their own interests, their moral code.

In my eyes the solution to human trafficking would be more simpler. I already wrote a part about how to prevent human trafficking, which is one of the many steps in fighting human trafficking here. But the other step has to come from within the sex industry itself. The sex industry has to form their own anti-trafficking organisation. That organisation would be much more powerful and effective in the sex industry, since it draws it's power from within the sex industry, rather then from outside. The sex industry also knows better then anyone else how to maneuver itself, and how to get contact.
The benefit of doing this from within the sex industry, that not only would the contact between the advocates of sex work and the sex workers themselves be better, it would also shut up the opposition. Let them talk about all their horror stories. Try and find that relatively small group of girls that are victims, help them out quick, and the opposition would have no ammunition to fire on us anymore. If we fix the problems ourselves, there's nobody to criticize us for it. But only telling the other side of the story the opposition lacks to tell about for self preservation, is neglecting that which is most important, namely a healthy sex industry, which is after all what everyone's after, except for the opposition who would have nothing to base their stories on anymore.

Yes, human trafficking happens in prostitution, probably a lot more then it does in other industries. But let's face it, prostitution hasn't been accepted as a legal job for that long, so give it some time to get on it's feet. The constant pounding from the opposition, namely anti-trafficking organisations, politicians and opinion makers with their own agenda's, aren't helping with that. Fixing the problem from within is the best solution, as there lies the most knowledge about the problem and the industry, and there's also the most interest to get a healthy industry. Sex workers organisations shouldn't just be focused on improving the situation of sex workers that aren't forced. I know that's not their intention, but that is what they're focusing on. Unfortunately also forced girls are sex workers. Those girls need to be helped by sex workers organisations as much as other sex workers need to be helped in getting more rights.
Sex workers advocates shouldn't be picky about who they're advocating. Don't be picky about advocating just those sex workers who you want to defend, and those you wish not to defend. Either you advocate sex workers, or you don't, but don't just advocate those sex workers which aren't forced. Do more then just admitting trafficking exists, act on it. Don't just stand there and talk, do something! Get us our rights, and get those forced girls out of here! You can blame others for not doing their jobs right as trafficking organisations, or not providing the right statistics, but if you don't do anything yourself you don't have any right to blame them, because at least they're doing something. Even if it's less then 8%, those girls still deserve as much help and attention as we (the free sex workers) need from sex worker advocates and organisations, even though fortunately we're more then 90% of the entire industry. Help us make our industry better, by taking out the rotten apples, and nurturing the healthy ones!

Dutch version
Article in the newspaper
So today I got my first interview posted in a newspaper. It was the Dutch newspaper Het Parool which had the courage, and journalist Corrie Verkerk who was smart enough to look me up and ask me to let me give my comment on the recent news that politicians want to criminalize clients of forced prostitutes.
This is the article:
English version of the article can be found here
I'm quite happy with the article, since it precisely states what I'm thinking, and I'm happy Corrie was able to see past everything and was smart enough to focus on telling the truth and report it.
Some people have commented on the fact that at the end of the article they mention a client who 'thinks' he can see if a girl is forced. But I think the reason this was put in the article, was exactly because of his 'tip' this client gives about how to spot a forced prostitute, which is about spotting bruises, which is exactly what I've debunked in this article. The 'John' as they call it in English, basically says he sees a bruise as a definite sign of being forced. Yet earlier in this article, I've already explained that I've also got bruises sometimes, and yet I'm not forced. Of course this goes all the way back to my article about '9 Signs of forced prostitution', in where I debunk most of the so called 'signs' clients should be able to use to spot forced prostitutes. Obviously this anonymous client from hookers.nl took that very serious, which just shows the impact these dumb 'signs' have on clients, and how mindless they'll accept things other people say without thinking twice. A typical example of not being able to think for yourself.

Truth is of course that a client could never see if a prostitute is forced. There's just no way to tell, unless she explicitly tells you. But even then you'll have to be careful not to mistaken a sarcastic joke for the truth, because sometimes I also get so bored of these questions, that I sometimes also sarcastically say to people that I'm forced and I only get to keep 2 Euro's of what I make for my 'pimp'. Obviously this isn't true, but it does show how tired we get from getting these questions all the time, and how sarcastic you get from them all the time.
Because let's be honest, how many people here have never had a bruise in their entire life? Or even worse, how many people here had a bruise somewhere, and still went to work? Does that make you forced? Of course not, that's just idiotic! 
There are girls that break their legs, that doesn't mean they're forced, even though that's automatically what a lot of people will assume, but that just shows how automated this idea is of a prostitute doing things against her will. We only need a slight hint to automatically trigger something in our minds that says a prostitute is forced. It's a testament to the strength of the marketing campaign anti-trafficking organisations have done. It's so stuck in our minds that when you see a prostitute with a bruise, you'll automatically assume she must be forced. Something you don't assume when for instance you see a secretary with a bruise or a broken leg. Then how come people assume this with a prostitute? Simple, only because that's the information that has been fed to us from day one. Repeat it often enough, and people will automatically make that association. it basically comes down to brainwashing.

In the article it also mentions the discussion I was having, or trying to have, with SP parliament member Nine Kooiman, one of the initiative takers of this new proposition law. It wasn't so much of a discussion, since she stopped listening to me after like 4 Tweets, and has since completely ignored my responses, even though I gave her an invitation to come to talk to me. She also hasn't responded to me after this article was published in the newspaper by the way, even though my boyfriend send it to her in a Tweet, and many other people retweeted it.
It's a typical example of how politicians refuse to listen to people from the field, people with experience, and the people who it actually concerns, and how they completely focus purely on what's written on the page, in stead of what happens in reality. When I asked her for instance how this new proposition law would help those victims, all I got was a 120 page research document. Apparently she's so knowledgeable about this matter, that she can't even describe how this would help in her own words, and needs to completely and mindfully rely on a document which says it will help.
Oh, and by the way, how many prostitutes did that research document talk to again to see if it would be a good idea? Exactly! None! Yet again, a research has proven itself to be completely useless, by talking and referring to everyone else, except the people which it's all about, the prostitutes!

What did the research base it's idea on that it would be a good idea to criminalize clients of forced prostitutes? Well, how surprising, the research of the Nationaal Rapporteur Mensenhandel. An organization which counts every girl that looks suspicious in the eyes of customs as a victim. Marijke Vonk already wrote an entire article on this, which you can find here. It proves with facts that the Nationaal Rapporteur counts virtually everyone that passes customs as a victim, even though there's no good reason to assume she is a victim, or for that matter even has anything to do with prostitution at all!
I'm 100% for sure that I'm also one of those 1222 'possible victims' they speak about in the report of the Nationaal Rapporteur. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm in there multiple times, since the Nationaal Rapporteur doesn't look if the same people are counted twice, which automatically results in higher statistics. In fact, I'm pretty sure almost every girl form the Red Light District in Amsterdam is counted once or more in this report, for the very simple reason that almost every girl from the Red Light get's pulled over by customs for questioning.
So far this year I've only been pulled over two times, but then again, I've also only traveled home only two times, so that makes pretty much sense. They pull you over, and they start asking you questions about where you come from, where you work, if you know where you life, if you have a boyfriend, what's his phone number, if someone comes to pick you up form the airport, what kind of work your boyfriend does, if you give money away to other people, etc. etc.

So the fact that this research document Nine Kooiman presented to me as 'how this would help victims', is completely based on false statistics is completely ignored, just like how she apparently has completely ignored me. She'd rather trust in a document that's based on false statistics, and that didn't talk to anyone with any field experience, and completely ignored the people which this new law will affect.
It just shows how much she really cares about prostitutes. I guess she only cares about those prostitutes on paper, and not the real ones talking to her. Kinda disappointing, but then again, not really surprising, after all, they're politicians, they're paid to lie stuff.
I guess politicians like Nine Kooiman should take more advise from people like Laurens Buijs and Linda Duits, who recently wrote a great article on how politicians completely ignore prostitutes, to create policies they 'think' works, because a piece of paper (or actually 120 pieces of paper) says it (read their article here).

Fortunately there still are people out there who listen to prostitutes, and who deserve our gratitude. These people are people like Marijke Vonk, Laurens Buijs, Linda Duits, Corrie Verkerk and of course ex-prostitutes who speak out for us, like Mariska Majoor and Metje Blaak. Those are the people that count, that people should listen to, and not politicians who just do things based on pieces of paper, either that be a report, like Nine Kooiman does, or based on some very old pieces of paper called a Bible, like Gert-Jan Segers does as also this article proves. Don't treat us like numbers on a piece of paper, treat us like regular people and talk with us!

Dutch version
Prostitution vs Porn
Pornstar Sasha Grey also forced?
It's weird that so few people have notices this, but everyone is always talking about prostitutes as sexworkers, people who make money with sex, but aren't pornstars sexworkers as well? In fact, aren't pornstars just exactly the same as prostitutes just with the addition of a camera?
Sure, pornstars have sex with male pornstars, which are also sexworkers, so it's basically two sexworkers having paid sex with each other, but isn't that more like double prostitution?

Then I always wonder why all those rules, myths, lies, statistics, stories, etc. Are always about prostitutes, and never about pornstars? How come in porn there are never Eastern European trafficked women? After all, why only make money with only one client at a time, when you can make money with just shooting one video and selling it to thousands of clients at the same time, right?
And how come clients of prostitutes in countries like Sweden are being criminalized, while clients of pornstars (viewers and producers) aren't? After all, isn't Sweden one of the major porn producers in the world? And how come every rule they apply to sexworkers all over the world, never goes for pornstars?
It's almost as if porn is immune to the stigma and problems the sex industry struggles with. Pornstars aren't being stigmatized as victims like other sexworkers are, even though they could just as well be forced into work as other sexworkers. Don't worry, I'm not implying that pornstars are forced, in fact, I'm implying that a pornstars is just as often forced to work as other sexworkers are, perhaps a little less since other sexwork is illegal or poorly legalized in most countries.

I remember when back in the 90's porn was something shady. Something people didn't talk or ask about. I remember back then there where people saying most pornstars would be forced to perform in front of the camera. Of course, now we know better. Those pornstars aren't forced, heck no! Those pornstars do their job either because they love sex and love making money with it, or because they just want to make money with it. In fact, the reasons to go into porn are largely the same reasons as other sexworkers have to do their job.
The only real difference of course between other sexworkers and pornstars is of course, that pornstars aren't shy to show themselves to the rest of the world, and other sexworkers rely heavily on keeping their identity hidden from their clients. Sure, pornstars use false names, but still, if a family member comes across a video of yours, your completely recognizable, which isn't the case with other sexwork since they usually don't allow pictures or videos unless explicitly stated otherwise.
But there could be the key to the reason why pornstars don't suffer the stigma other sexworkers suffer from. Pornstars aren't camera shy, like other sexworkers are who try to protect their identity. And therefore it's much easier for a pornstar to debunk stories about being forced or trafficking, then other sexworkers. A pornstar can simply state it in front of a camera for the rest of the world to see, while other sexworkers would never do this to keep their identity hidden.
In short, pornstar can simply say publically that people are lying about trafficking in their industry, while for sexworkers this is much more complex. And that's exactly what policy makers are taking advantage of. They know prostitutes can't talk back, and that's why they treat sexwork different from porn, even though it's basically the same thing.

Perhaps this could be the answer as to why porn isn't treated the same way the rest of the sex industry is. Because porn talks back, while the rest of the sex industry rely on privacy, and politicians take advantage of that to criminalize parts in order to 'save us'. After all, why would trafficking happen in every part of the sex industry but porn? Or is it perhaps the case that trafficking is largely happening due to the poor position politics have put prostitutes in, with all their regulating and law making to 'reduce trafficking', which only makes trafficking worse?
Maybe politicians should try to treat the sex industry more like the porn industry, after all, how many pornstars do you know that are forced? How many pornstars do you know that where victims of human trafficking? And funny enough there's hardly any regulation on human trafficking specific to porn, very much unlike in the rest of the sex industry which is always being treated different.
After all, there are many Eastern European girls performing in porn, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Czech, etc. How come those girls aren't forced, even though they're being asked to (sometimes) do way more extreme stuff then prostitutes are? But other sexworkers from Eastern Europe would all of the sudden be forced on a grand scale? Is that because all the girls from Eastern Europe who have no trouble to make money with having sex, collectively decided to do porn? Or is it perhaps the case that Eastern European women, just like women from all over the world, do just as much porn and other sexwork?
In short, how come all those Eastern European sexworkers in porn aren't forced, but in other sex industries all of the sudden they are? Isn't that a little weird?

Sexwork is making money with sex, that includes prostitutes and pornstars! Porn is a sex industry, just as much as prostitution is. There is no difference. Then how come all you people stand in line and cheer when a pornstar comes over, and jerk off on her, but whenever you see a prostitute you shy away for her like she's dirty and a sad, poor, exploited victim?

Dutch version
Dumb politicians
Today they announced that three political parties, ChristenUnie (Christian political party), PVDA (labor party) and SP (socialistic party), are going to work on a plan to criminalize clients who know a prostitute is being forced, and yet still use their services (article here).
This seems to be the first step towards the feared Nordic model (read more about that here), which criminalizes all clients, and not just those who use the services of a prostitute that is forced. It's also no wonder that the initiative for this plan comes from the Christian parliament member of the ChristenUnie, Gert-Jan Segers, who openly admits that he is against prostitution.
According to Gert-Jan Segers clients can know that prostitutes are forced, which is funny, since the last campaign against human trafficking from the Dutch government just proved that clients (who the campaign was targeted at), have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Only 7% of their reports to the police actually turned out to be about something criminal, of which by the way only 57% of those 7% where actually about human trafficking related cases (read here). In short, only in about 4% of the cases when clients 'think' they're seeing human trafficking, it actually turns out to be really the case, and in more then 93% of the cases this turns out to be not the case.

But the real question is of course, are there any clients at all that visit prostitutes who are being forced, knowing that they're forced and still use their services, or is this just an idea politicians have from their clouded minds? Do we have any statistics about how many clients knowingly visited a prostitute who was forced, and still continued to pay for her services? No!We have no data at all about that, or if that's even happening at all!
I strongly doubt at all, that a client would still continue using the services of a forced prostitute if they knew she was being forced. I doubt this for the very simple reason that many of my clients ask me about this, an not just me but most of the girls, if I'm forced, and they're very worried about this. The general idea that apparently a lot of politicians have, that clients don't care if a prostitute is being forced or not, is completely wrong and very, very, very far away from the truth!
In fact, clients are one of the few people in this world, that actually care about prostitutes. Not the rescue industry, who's more interested in financial profit than actually caring about prostitutes, not the politicians who have their own political agenda, not the police who only want to hear from prostitutes that they are forced even if they're not, nobody but clients and a few smart people that have figured out the truth for themselves, actually care about us.
So what problem are we fighting here exactly? The problem of clients who visit a forced prostitute (which is a pretty small chance to begin with), and knows she's forced (which is almost impossible for a client to know), and still continues to use her services (which I strongly doubt since that's a huge turn off for almost every client). Does this problem even exist? And if so, how 'big' is this problem?
Shouldn't we first figure out if this problem is really there, before we start fighting a problem that maybe even doesn't exist, or happens on an extremely small scale? Especially since all of the side-effects this law may have, which could cause more problems than it solves. How can you fight a 'problem' of which you don't even know if it exists at all?

The idea of course is to 'fight human trafficking'. But in what way does this plan contribute into fighting human trafficking? All it does is that it criminalizes a (maybe even non-existent) part of the clients, and it doesn't save any victims, nor does it catch the pimps that do this. In fact, it will only scare clients to visit a prostitute, scared of meeting a prostitute and finding out she's forced, with as a result that if they don't report it they can go to jail. Clients don't want to go to jail, they don't want any trouble at all, it's one of the main reasons they go to visit a prostitute, because they don't want trouble and that's exactly what a prostitute offers, her time with a client without any trouble or complaining about it, in exchange for money.
Clients don't want to become a police man, they don't want to have to check every time they go to a prostitute, to find out if she's forced or not. We have the police for this already, who have been professionally trained for this. And how come that a client should be able to know if a girl is forced or not, if not even the police can find these women? Why do politicians expect the clients to become a part-policeman because our own police can't do their own jobs good?
Or is it perhaps the case that the police can't find these supposedly thousands of girls that are being forced, because there are just not that many forced girls as some people claim? Are politicians perhaps trying to find something that rarely exists, and when they can't find it they demand harder and harder policies in order to find those things that are rare to be found? After all, it's Gert-Jan Segers who keeps yelling in the media that 50 to 90% of the prostitutes are forced, even though we already know that this claim is completely false (read here). This is also been proven time after time when the police does raids and can hardly find any of these women they claim are forced.

But I get more the idea that this is exactly the intention Gert-Jan Segers has with the initiative. Not to really help those victims or fight human trafficking, but more to scare clients away from prostitutes, in an attempt to reduce prostitution by itself, which just happens to be his personal goal. What do you know, what a coincidence!
And what would the result be for those victims, who these politicians are supposedly trying to help with this new initiative? Would this free them for their brutal pimp? No, since they'll just scare away clients, all it will achieve is that those forced girls will get less clients, to which their pimp will demand from them they work harder for their cash, with as a result that they'll be more in trouble then they where before because they don't bring in enough money. In short, this law would just make the life of those forced prostitutes more of a living hell then it was before.
And what about the side effect of this initiative law? The majority of the prostitutes, who are not victims of trafficking, will just get less clients, since they're too scared to visit a prostitute and go to jail. With as a result that we, the majority, become a victim of a law that's intended to save victims, which it doesn't achieve.

Why don't those politicians start fighting the real problem of human trafficking? The pimps, and not the clients or the prostitutes! Why don't they increase the punishment for pimps who force or exploit prostitutes to such a huge punishment, that those guys will think twice before doing it all. Make the punishments so hard, that nobody would even dare to try it! Give them jail for life, in such a shitty jail they'd rather die then stay there for the rest of their lives.
Right now the jail time in Holland for crime, not just human trafficking but almost every crime, is so low that it doesn't scare anyone. And the conditions in jail are so good, it's almost more like a hotel then an actual jail. Jail isn't supposed to be 'fun', having a PC, TV, game computer etc. Whoever thought of this in a jail must have been deeply stupid! Jail is supposed to be hell on earth, not just to punish people, but also to scare people so much with the prospect of going there, that they'll never even want to try it.
But these days the jail is considered to be 'fun', some criminals actually intentionally want to go to jail, as a break away from their 'work' for some time, without having to pay for the food or the shelter they get in jail.

And even if this law makes it through the parliament. How the hell are you going to prove that someone 'knew' a prostitute was being forced? Are they going to hire mind readers to see if the person knew this already or not? In terms of evidence, this law is already doomed to fail. It's impossible to prove if someone knew something already or not, which just causes longer trials, more court cases, leaving judges in Holland less time to judge on actual crimes than these.
And who's going to judge if someone 'knew' a prostitute was being forced? Nobody can say about someone else what he or she knows or doesn't know. So the only result this will have, is that innocent people will go to jail because they didn't know a prostitute was forced, yet someone else decides for them that they 'did know'. How can that ever be called justice?

I don't know what these politicians are thinking. Well, except for Gert-Jan Segers, who isn't too smart at hiding his real goal, which is to reduce prostitution in stead of human trafficking, and is poorly disguising as 'saving victims'. What I'm really surprised about however, is how dumb the other politicians are in not being able to see this. It's so obvious, and yet they're so blind. I guess they would be like one of those clients who visit a forced prostitute, and says afterwards they didn't know. How can you not see this if it's so clear, dear politicians?

Update 13/07/2014 14:00
Just read from Nine Kooiman from the SP who's one of the politicians working on this plan, that this would for instance only apply to girls working in shady conditions, like a garage or something like this. But since that would by default fall under illegal prostitution (which is illegal already), then why don't they specify in that new plan of theirs that this law only applies to clients who visit illegal prostitutes, and leave the professional legal working prostitutes alone with this stupid rule?

Dutch version
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    Romanian prostitute working in the Red Light District in Amsterdam (De Wallen), speaking out for the truth behind prostitution. Blogging about prostitution, human trafficking, forced prostitution, politics and all the myths surrounding it. Member of PROUD, the Dutch union of sex workers.