Category Archives: Love and Lapdances/Queen of Clubs

Posts related to the Queen of Clubs series.

Being “out” is a privilege

So recently, I stumbled across a great post by Jenny Zhang.

Jenny Zhang

& a lil taste of why convos abt sex work shouldn’t be dominated by white women but often are https://t.co/1E0Lj6f0BO pic.twitter.com/8PZdSBuCJv

— Jenny Zhang (@Jennybagel) March 16, 2016

And it’s spot-friggen-on for one of the most crucial and difficult things about the representation of people in the sex industry. People don’t often think of the danger of being out, or the possibility of there being “degrees” of being out, but they totally exist.

I’ve been there. I’ve been coercively “outed” to my family, and lost family members because of it. I’ve hidden it from other family members, and lived in fear of the ones who knew tattling on me, just to see me wounded. I’ve been fetishized by non-sex worker friends, and condescended to by therapists. I’ve compartmentalized, the word for creating a double life with boundaries between the elements that are restricted to one part of my life, to prevent my landlord from finding out about my work, out of the fear that he might kick me out if he took it badly. I’ve been sexually assaulted for being “out” by non-work personal dates, who decided that if I was that kind of skank, surely I was up for anything, and if I was saying “no”, it didn’t mean anything.

The trust I place in those who know of this part of me, and my own defiance in insisting that as many people as possible should accept it as a part of me has been used to hurt me. It’s been used to say I am incapable of making good decisions, and to justify invasive aggression toward my (unrelated) mental illness. It’s been used to coerce me into unwelcome sexual conduct. It’s been used to draw misleading statements about my mental health and my general worth as a person, and to undermine my autonomy. By putting this part of myself forward, I’ve invited the whore stigma to be a force not just in my old professional life, and not just in internal parts of my present life, but in all of my life.

But I am lucky. Plenty of people  are isolated from seeking support or recognition from non-industry friends and family by causes much more coercive or dangerous than I was. Being “out” has its dangers, and so much of the time, that gets lost in the rhetoric. Being “out” is a brave act, and I adore all of the people I have met who demand the world see the entirety of them, even the controversial bits. But it’s not for everyone. And until we recognize why that is, and what additional barriers may face others with even more marginalized identities and less social or economic capital, we’re gonna be skewing the framing of the discussion.

To an extent, it’s not simply that the “out” sex workers are the ones doing this; this kind of erasure happens elsewhere in the discussion, too. When anti-trafficking/anti sex work prohibitionists/”abolitionists” discuss sex trafficking as something that primarily happens to innocent white girls who were kidnapped at the mall, or submissive foreign girls who can’t speak for themselves, they are doing it. They are erasing the very real fact that much sexual trafficking is done by friends or loved ones with few other options or similar experiences themselves (Read Alexandra Lutnick’s “Domestic Minor Trafficking Victims” for an eye-opening look at what underage sex trafficking in the US looks like outside of the mainstream narrative) and that even the TERM is vague, and encompasses a lot of situations that people would not consider trafficking, such as Amber Batts in Alaska, who was convicted of trafficking for providing screening services for non-trafficked women of legal age, no force, fraud, or coercion involved. They’re erasing that many of those foreign “sex slaves” would say radically different things than what the prohibitionists say for them. They are erasing the fact that trans women working as sex workers face much more coercive and mentally draining and sometimes violent conditions than CIS women tend to, and that trans women of color face even more hostility, yet.  And that many men are exploited in the sex industry, too, especially young gay men from homophobic families, or young men with the same background of abuse or neglect that leads many young women into the industry. They are erasing the fact that they are worsening the conditions that make it more difficult for society at large to allow non-privileged people to advocate for themselves by controlling the narrative in such an exclusionary way that doesn’t address the root causes of exploitation.

They’re creating a specialized narrative that leaves the vast swath of sex workers and trafficking victims alike out in the cold. Because when we’re looking for an innocent white girl with sad eyes, we’re arresting, incarcerating, and/or ignoring legions of black girls who have learned to keep quiet, because they won’t be granted the presumption of victimhood or innocence. We’re legislating the bathroom behaviors of trans people, rather than guaranteeing them freedom from discrimination in employment that could help them find opportunities outside of the sex trade. Or rather than helping them pay for “elective” medical care that can ease their dysphoria and health issues associated with transitioning. We’re ignoring exploitative and predatory practices in other industries, such as the hospitality and agricultural industries, and the bureaucratic hell that traps many migrants in exploitative situations.

The prevalence of this outsider narrative leads to biases that can ruin lives, victimizing people all over again, or putting power into exploitative systems. It leads to us charging trafficking victims like LaTesha Clay as adults, and incarcerating them. It leads to us throwing billions of dollars at “awareness” based on flawed statistics, and undermining HIV outreach by requiring HIV-targeting NGOs to disavow one of the communities that that they had relationships with for the public good: consensual sex workers. It leads to us propagating an unhealthy, racist, xenophobic, and colonialist policy that makes it impossible to recognize what consent (or lack thereof) looks like, when it’s not a little white girl under discussion.

It leads to predators like Daniel Holtzclaw feeling entitled to prey on poor, often majority non-white communities, and surprising the country on the rare occasions they are held accountable.

Being “out” is a privilege, and I’m determined to uplift as many other voices as I can. Because the dangers it’s presented to me aren’t as severe as they could be, and because what I see in the absence of my voice, and voices like mine, is far worse. My job here isn’t to talk until you listen- it’s to uplift as many other voices as possible so that the wider world can see beyond the narratives perpetuated by people even more privileged than me.

To follow along with all of my discussions on the subject, follow my facebook profile. I frequently share relevant links there.

 

Edit: I misquoted the name of Alexandra Lutnick’s book; the proper name is “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking” instead.

On the expectation of exploitation in sex work

I’m recovering from some personal issues, but my mind’s as active as ever. And there’s been something on my mind for a while. So here goes.

I’ve slowed down on publishing Love and Lapdances, although I do have a lot of material ready to go. Too many other projects demanding my attention, and Love and Lapdances is a niche project, in part because it’s so far from the stories the market usually bears about sex workers. It’s more a labor of love than a for-profit endeavor, and that sometimes means it takes a backseat.

So, to satisfy my own desire to share my insights, I’m going to be trying to blog a little more, explaining some of the thoughts that make it into the subtext, the little things I hope people carry with them after reading works like the newly-released Bad, Bad Thing, and Love and Lapdances, which star sex workers.

First up, let’s talk exploitation, the thing that comes first and foremost to most people’s minds when they think about sex work.

Continue reading On the expectation of exploitation in sex work

Dancer Playlist: Candy

Candy’s music’s all over the place. From upbeat pop, rap, and EDM, to songs tinged with bittersweet longing and tragedy… She’s a wild card. You never know quite what you’ll get, since it’s whatever feels fun to her in the moment.

Candy knows what she’s doing, and her music reflects that. Powerful women stalking their prey, and dancing without a care. She can be out of control or brazen at times, but that’s part of her charm.

Continue reading Dancer Playlist: Candy

Dancer Playlist: Lia

I’ve been so swamped with new stories, I’ve gotten behind on sharing playlists and such with you guys! Starting with Lia’s.

Lots of classic rock, and a handful of newer songs with an updated classic rock vibe. Lia doesn’t try to play to current tastes- she picks the stuff that makes her customers feel young. If she gets a younger DJ, it might take a little negotiation to get a fuller playlist for a busy night shift, but her songs will be a respite for older guys who’re put off by all the pop and rap stuff. And there’s money to be made in that.

Love and lapdances!

Katie

Continue reading Dancer Playlist: Lia

A little on the importance of respectful representation.

Okay. So some of you’ve noticed that I’m *ahem* outspoken on some issues, such as issues related to sex work, domestic violence, etc.

And the why for that’s what I want to talk about today.

Trigger warning for discussions on sexual abuse, self-harm, mental illness, all that stuff.

Continue reading A little on the importance of respectful representation.

Dancer Playlist: Marina

Marina’s music, well, it’s kind of comforting all-purpose stuff. Stuff she heard her dad listen to, and stuff that doesn’t make her customers feel old.  She doesn’t get a huge kick out of the playlist, so long as it makes those around her relaxed. And especially with the amount of time she spends traveling in rural areas, that means she’s really open to country, classic rock, and classic soul- though on that last one, I don’t doubt she’d have a comment about the slow music not being good for the overall club money. She’s a DJ’s darling, for her flexibility, in that way. Kirk’ll never have to tell her that the crowd’s just “too old” for her playlist.

Continue reading Dancer Playlist: Marina

Queen of Clubs: Lia now available!

QoCTogetherText2Finished

Woohoo! Moving right along through Season Two.

Lia’s a strange one to write- she’s, in many ways, the Queen of Clubs’ moral compass, nurturing new dancers and standing defiant for her boundaries in the face of an industry that’s changing and demanding more from her. She’s the voice of experience, and also one of the loudest voices of condemnation, for the girls who don’t behave in ways that separate them from prostitutes, who she dislikes. It’s kind of a tough line to walk, especially given my own preference for supporting all sex workers, regardless of which facet of the industry they work in.

This is where the Queen of Clubs stuff starts getting interesting. Now that we’ve spent time with enough of the girls that you can start seeing where the cliques are, and the frictions. It’s kind of a circus, keeping it all straight in my head, but it makes for fun reading with lots of easter eggs. Lots of fun details tucked away in there.

Love and lapdances!
Katie

Queen of Clubs: Lia
 Amazon, B&NiTunesKoboSmashwords.

Queen of Clubs: Rhapsody and Cora 2 are now available!

 Because I regally suck at talking about stuff right when it comes out. I’ve been updating links, and talking to those of you on my mailing list. But life got in the way of sharing the news here. Not all the vendors have these stories yet, and I’ll continue updating the Queen of Clubs series page with links, as they become available.

Queen of Clubs: Rhapsody*
Available from Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords.

  *  Formerly available exclusively on Amazon as part of the Seven First Kisses bundle. 

Queen of Clubs: Cora 2
Available from Amazon, B&NiTunesKobo, Smashwords.

Rhapsody stars three people who’ll be emerging in series of their own: the hero and heroine of the story move onward in the Rex Roderick, Sex Detective series, coming soon. And another character moves on to become the heroine of her own tale in the Princess of Thieves series, coming soon.

Cora 2 returns to Cora and Kirk, but with a lot of new drama… You’ll know where it picks up, if you read Tori.

Okay- I had a lot of fun with these. Rex is largely my attempt to step outside my boundaries a bit, creating something with more action-centered plots, and a film-noir tone. Because variety is the spice of life. It’s steamy, and smutty, and a blast to write. And Anna, of Princess of Thieves, is one of my favorite characters to write, because of how she carries her wounds with her.  Their stories have a little work yet before they’re ready to get chucked into the world, like baby birds shoved out of their nest so they can learn to flap their wings.  But they’re acoming. (Wow. I’ve never written that phrase out before. It looks weird in text.)

And Cora 2… well, I’m a sucker for twisted webs, and I couldn’t resist following up with her, with how the job has changed her, and where she’s at, finding herself. You’re gonna see a lot more continuity here on out, though each story’s still pretty accessible as a standalone. She’s kinda a taste of where the new season’s going. Soon, too, I’ll be sharing Lia’s story with you. Just a few weeks away… So ARC readers, mailing list readers, stay tuned for news on that. Or join my facebook group to get some additional notifications and teasers.

Love and lapdances!

Queen of Clubs: Marina, Marina’s Makeup

So. I know I’m not caught up on these yet- I still have to do Crystal’s, Tori’s, Malia’s looks, and photograph Cora’s. Illustration takes time, even if you can crib off someone else’s sketch.

IMG_4800a

But Marina. The most cutthroat girl at the Queen of Clubs, determined to present the best possible fantasy she can…. Suffice to say the babe’s got some bedroom eyes. Not for the faint of heart, or the office. Reminder- for a guide to terminology used and techniques I may refer to, check here. For a (slightly) more daytime appropriate look, use a less sticky primer, and for greater vibrancy, use a tacky one, or pick shadows you can foil. I went with option A.

A minor disclaimer on this one- I had some issues with my primer, that coupled with my tedinitis, and my brows being severely ungroomed… Well, my look may make the look a bit different than the chart. For Marina’s bone structure, she’s got a little more lid than me- you can see I mostly have browbone, so my crease contour is different. Joys of designing looks for a variety of facial structures. I’ll just wink and say that’s an example of how you can tailor one of the facecharts to your own features.

Stay tuned for Tori and Crystal’s vintage looks, and Cora’s largely daytime look, when I get caught up and manage to whip those eyebrows into line!

Continue reading Queen of Clubs: Marina, Marina’s Makeup

Queen of Clubs: Krissy & Athena- Krissy’s Makeup

For those who’re new to my makeup tutorials, check out this post for some how-to’s.

A note before we begin: I used some other tricks on my brows, since I wanted them to be candy-colored to match the makeup, not my natural hair color. Ignore my choice of color. The important thing is to fill in any weak spots in your brows, so they’re strong enough to match the eyeliner. Another note- my lower lashes are really thick and hold onto pigment and mascara, so it looks like I’ve done shading at the outer edge of my lower lashline. That’s not the case. It’s just mascara that I was too “eh” to remove. Most of you won’t want to use heavy mascara on your lower lashes.

IMG_4605a

Krissy is a bit of a makeup chameleon. She’s not afraid of color, not afraid of boldness, and doesn’t really have one look. But something both vintage and punk like this suits her nicely, using bold color and shape rather than a dark smoky.

Continue reading Queen of Clubs: Krissy & Athena- Krissy’s Makeup