A real ballbusting union?

07Oct08

The domination professionals in New York City are striking back. This is in light of recent increasingly frequent raids on BDSM parlors.  I have mixed feelings about this. I find it hard to believe that any professional dominant would be unaware that their business is borderline illegal and subject to prosecution under existing prostitution laws.

And isn’t that what the sex workers rights movement has been arguing for some time? Prostitution laws are sexist, racist, and classist, enforced by justice and legal systems that are equally discriminatory. It doesn’t matter if you’re beating people up for money or fucking for cash, if you are targeted, you are subject to this inequalities.

I think this discussion is rooted in who identities or doesn’t identity as a sex worker. Many assume you have to have sex with your clients to be a sex worker or involved in the movement. This is not so. As we discussed at the 2008 Desiree Alliance conference, anyone who trades an erotic experience for money or other considerations of value can identify as a sex worker. Anyone who does so is also subject to prosecution under prostitution laws.

I would strongly encourage any professional dominant who doesn’t consider zemself a sex worker to reconsider the goals of the movement. Sex workers rights activists want unionization, self-regulation, decriminalization, and other legal considerations. We’re stronger when we stick together, not when we fracture based on who fucks and who doesn’t.  (I see the same thing when talking about porn performers.) The only difference is that professional domination has an air of hipness to it, less stigma than escorting.

But my heart does go out to professional dominants in NYC and other places who have been busted. To them, I say, know your rights. Educate yourself the same way you would if you were fucking for money instead. Have an emergency response plan. Have a lawyer you can call. Have a support network of people to help you through a bust and the resulting court complications.

We’re all in this together.

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