We talk a lot about people who sell sex—men and women—but we rarely listen to people who sell sex. This video was made by male sex worker responding to the Rentboy.com raid. Watch it.
Then read this amazing blog post by Dirk Caber, porn star and occasional escort...
It is not enough to call something criminal simply because there is a law against it. If that law exists, it is in place (or should be) to protect someone, perhaps many of us, from becoming a victim. Rape laws are in place to prevent unwanted sexual intercourse. Theft laws are in place to prevent people from taking our personal property. Laws outlawing murder are there to deter folk from taking away our lives. In all these instances, there is a victim in the crime, someone who loses something, life, property, dignity. Anyone wishing to deprive us of these basic rights is indeed a criminal, and their capture and punishment should be the aim and objective of the criminal justice system.
Who exactly is the victim of escorting?
Reading through the accusations in the complaint, not once is there any mention of any nonconsensual practice. No instance is brought forth of a single human being being harmed, even tangentially, by letting men pay for sex with other men. Contrast this with the often exaggerated claims of trafficking and human slavery that are used to justify cracking down on heterosexual prostitutes, treating willing female sex workers as default victims: this complaint doesn’t even bother with such niceties. The complaint’s objects are portrayed just as sickening depraved faggots violating New York’s prostitution laws, and the only apparent reason the Department of Homeland Security needs to get involved is because it involves interstate commerce. I mean, really; that men have sex with each other and instead of one buying dinner for the other that there happens to be an exchange of cash is somehow a threat to our American borders and freedoms?
The editorial board of the New York Times also couldn't wrap its collective head around why the Department of Homeland Security was involved in the raid. From Saturday's editorial page:
It’s somewhat baffling, though, that taking down a website that operated in plain sight for nearly two decades suddenly became an investigative priority for the Department of Homeland Security and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn. This week, the website’s founder and six employees were charged with violating federal law by facilitating paid sexual encounters.... The criminal complaint is so saturated with sexually explicit details, it’s hard not to interpret it as an indictment of gay men as being sexually promiscuous.
“Based on my investigation,” Susan Ruiz, a Homeland Security special agent, wrote in the complaint, “I have learned that a sling, also known as a ‘sex sling,’ is a device that allows two people to have sex while one is suspended.” Later, she helpfully explained that “the term ‘twink’ is a slang term for a young, gay man with an effeminate manner, thin build, and no body or facial hair.”