The “Recent” 8 year War on Sex and Why You Should Be Paranoid

woman in corset with hands tied focus on the frontOver the past several days the world has seen a fundamental shift in regards to online escorting and prostitution within the United States. With the raid and seizure of Backpage and the passage of FOSTA, it might seem like a war on sex workers has just begun, however, this last battle has been going on for at least the past 8 years.

Within the past several weeks the following websites have either shut down or removed aspects of their services in regards to online escorting;

  • Reddit
  • TheEroticReview
  • Backpage
  • CraigsList
  • EEIC
  • MyProviderGuide
  • CityVibe
  • FetLife
  • Pounced (dating site)
  • NightShift

I am sure in the coming weeks, this list will continue to grow.

Some mainstream sites changed their policies in regards to how their services could be used to possibly counter their use by sex workers;

  • Microsoft – Skype/XBox
  • Google Drive

I am sure I am missing some sites and services, but the point is that wide swaths of the Internet have been instantly censored. However, the truth is that this is war has been waged against online escorting and prostitution for the past 8 years. Everyone is probably aware of the issues that Backpage had in the last two years, however here is a short list of other sites that have been raided and/or closed in the last 8 years;

FOSTA is only the most recent battle. You can also add the CLOUD Act into the mix of  legislation that can be used to prosecute sex workers and website operators. On the horizon is California Senate Bill 1204, which will expand the definition to pimping/pandering to include language that would make anyone, including websites, pimps, for just encouraging prostitution. I anticipate other states will begin to introduce new legislation to combat online prostitution under the guise of fighting sex trafficking

This is a war of epic proportions. As an adult industry attorney with 14 years of experience in adult, I have never personally seen this type of an coordinated, long range attack on pornography. This is a reminder of the days of Reagan and the late 1980s and early 1990s.

To truly understand what the government might be doing now, I would highly recommend reading “The Government vs. Erotica The Siege of Adam & Eve” – it will provide a reference point for what happened during the last war on pornography.

What is occurring now and what has happened over the past 8 years certainly has the same signs and tactics the government used in the 1980s. Even the language being used by the politicians sounds very familiar.

In November 1987, President Ronald Reagan pledged in a speech to anti-pornography activists to put the “purveyors” of obscene magazines and films out of business. “Your industry’s days are numbered,” he warned.

California Senator Kamala Harris’s statement on FOSTA;

“For those who continue to support sex trafficking online, our message is clear: your time is up”

I do not want to sound paranoid but this could be the next siege. The difference between then and now, is that the government did not have the ability to so easily electronically eavesdrop and collect evidence on its citizens the way they do now. Now they actually openly admit to eavesdropping and collecting evidence;

They didn’t have the ability to work around the search and seizure prohibitions imposed by the US Constitution under the Fourth Amendment. Now they have the CLOUD Act;

And they didn’t have the targets of their raids and investigations openly discussing their activities on social media. They didn’t have everyone using one or two email services that could easily be subpoenaed. Those under investigation didn’t use online communication services that could be asked to privately snoop and record conversations without a warrant or wire-tap order. The government didn’t have AI to search for, identify and track social media influencers. The government didn’t have the ability to crack a cell phone and get your call list. They actually had to go before a judge and ask for search warrant to inspect AT&T’s phone records.

Be smart, keep discussions private. Keep them off line. Try to keep them in person.

Educate yourself, protect yourself. Contact and support those groups that support escorting and prostitution (these links are not an endorsement or imply that I have any affiliation, nor is it exhaustive);

Here is a more comprehensive lists of sex workers’ projects around the US and the world;

And absolutely talk to an attorney that understands these issues. If you cannot afford to consult with an private attorney, Red Light Legal was established primarily to assist sex workers;

If you are located in Las Vegas, or can attend, I would also suggest my free seminar on Saturday, April 21st at 11am to be conducted at the Erotic Museum.

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