Thursday, August 31, 2006

History Lessons


What a shame when George Bush told us that he doesn’t want to politicize criticism of the war that he forgot to tell Cheney & Rummy. Or is is the administration playing good cop, bad cop? Perhaps instead of choosing Camus for his summer reading he should have read some Popper ---The Poverty Of Historicism & The Open Society And Its Enemies.

Let's Just Wait It Out

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Post Script from Toronto: Just Walk it Off!

You may have noticed that we have been acknowledging lots of studies from the Toronto International AIDS Conference. They came from many sources. But not a peep from Lifelong. After all this time, their site is still displaying the meager, if infamous, dispatches. We might have thought that they were just too busy assimilating all the information and applying it to improve their work. No! But they did find time to issue press releases announcing the appointment of six new board members ("confirmed" by whom, one may ask?) and the promotion of the "Director of Insurance Service". That will beef up the corporate structure!

The board appears to still only have one physician which may explain what litte impact all the medical updates are having on their prevention message.

As always their press release ends

Lifelong AIDS Alliance is the leading AIDS service organization in the Pacific Northwest and is recognized nationally for its innovative work

Lord help us! Do they really believe this do you think? Likely it was true when the organization was Northwest AIDS --- but today? That's what makes it so disingenuous when they masquerade the 20th Anniversary AIDS Walk as a celebration , hanging on the coat tails of their successful predecessors and distracting from the reality of a tawdry fundraiser which masks the abandonment of their prevention mission. It is sad that these things have to be said --- given the good work of the Chicken Soup side of their activities. But we are tired of being told that ineptitude should be excused in a charitable cause. They continue to bolster the corporate structure ---- let them take some responsibility.

This comment came from a contributor:



The Legacy


In its article Study: Succeeding generations of gays will have higher HIV rates, the Advocate reports on the study, by the University of Pittsburgh's Ron Stall, which was released at the Toronto International AIDS Conference . It warns that a research publication review has shown that the number of new cases of HIV has been rising about 1.9% per year since 2001.

Only 1 in 12 gay men at age 20 were infected with HIV in North America and Europe in 2001. The rate could rise to 1 in 4 by the time they reach age 30. At age 60, the projections suggest 58% could be infected.

The outlook for black gay men is even worse culminating in the prospect of 75% at age 50.

The article reminds us that this underscores the need to find better ways to prevent HIV infection instead of just treating its effects.

Ronald Valdiserri, deputy director for the National Center for HIV at CDC, is quoted:

"HIV is still an incurable disease. In the United States, 5% [of the budget for HIV] is spent on prevention."

"America is more interested on treating this disease than preventing it. We can't treat our way out of the epidemic, even as a rich country"

http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid35736.asp

Two Faced


I was talking with a friend about the piece in today’s New York Times --- For People with AIDS, a Government With Two Faces. It explained that, with its usual embarrassing form, at the Toronto Conference, the government of South Africa through its Health Minister, was presenting lemons, garlic and beets as alternatives to antivirals which she regards as toxic. The article notes that it matters what governments say because

“some South Africans who can get the antivirals free at their local clinic still prefer herbal medicines. They could live. Thanks to the governments highly reluctant actions. Instead they will die because of its words”

My friend tutt tutted and felt superior to anyone who could be so stupid. He didn’t see how someone could have the knowledge and means to save their life and then choose to be so foolish in what they did. He left and went off to his party & play time!

"They'er Peddling Death"



http://www.advocate.com/currentstory1_w_ektid35310.asp

Monday, August 28, 2006

Condoms? YOU tell us


One of my acolytes came up with an idea. Let's do our own study. I smiled. No one will take it seriously: there is no grant writing, there's no bevy of research assistants, where are the Foundations? what about Pharmaceutical seed money?

Still I could not dampen the enthusiasm. What was the objective? where do we wish to publish? At this point they stopped me. There is already enough of that stuff out there. Wasn't it Lacan who spoke of publication as "poubellication" (from the French "poubelle" for garbage can? Do not be scornful. This is vogue. Have you not heard. George Bush has been reading Camus!

So why are we interested in such a project? Because we don't know and we do want to know: What is the strong reaction to condoms? Why not let people tell us?

Give us your views. A short sentence (even one word) will help. Either use the comments box or for privacy, if you prefer, you can e-mailto:littlemalcolm@google.com

Superinfection

Despite the usual cool reception, a friend is circulating another message which came out of the Toronto International AIDS Conference, it certainly bears repeating:

Cases of HIV Infections With Multiple Strains More Common Than Previously Believed

Researchers reported that eight superinfection cases have been discovered among 57 HIV-positive women in Mombasa, Kenya. According to the study, many of the women contracted a second strain of the virus within one year of their first infection, while other infections occurred up to five years after their first infection

While it is unclear whether the risk of contracting multiple strains of HIV is as likely as being infected for the first time, data are "starting to suggest" that reinfection is a concern, Julie Overbaugh, associate program head at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said, adding that although the study is thought to be the largest of its kind, only 57 women were involved. The findings might be significant for HIV-positive people who seek other HIV-positive people for unprotected sex because they might become infected with a different strain, she said. Related studies among sex workers in South Africa show that people who first test positive for the virus can have two different strains of HIV. "It may be that they got them from one partner, but it looks like they probably got sequentially infected," Overbaugh reports.

In addition, there also are indications that infection with multiple strains of HIV speeds the progression of the virus. So, it is important that even partners who are both HIV-positive use safer sex practices to prevent the virus passing between them, according to Bill Cameron, a professor of medicine at the University of Ottaowa and the Ottawa Hospital The findings of the superinfection studies might have negative implications for HIV/AIDS vaccine development. With multiple strains of the virus, it could not only be mutating but also combining with other forms of the virus to produce a strain "that looks different from either one," Cameron warns.

References:

Evidence for Frequent Reinfection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 of a Different Subtype by Bhavna Chohan, Ludo Lavreys, Stephanie M. J. Rainwater, and Julie Overbaugh
Journal of Virology, August 2005, p. 10701-10708, Vol. 79, No. 16

http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/79/16/10701

HIV & The Elite Controllers



In the current issue of New Scientist (26 August 2006) Andy Coghlan reports in his article HIV-resistant people give new drug clues:

A small but growing band of people infected with HIV seem capable of keeping the virus at bay without antiretroviral drugs

Last week, researchers at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, launched an appeal to identify and analyze at least a thousand of these people to see if their unusual immune systems hold the key to new treatments.

Elite controllers or Long-term non-progressors include a group of Kenyan prostitutes who appear not to become infected when repeatedly exposed to HIV despite not having any detectable antibodies against it in their blood. Studies could reveal the genetic quirks that allow these people to survive.

Also, groups from the Massachusetts General Hospital (led by Bruce Walker) and The University of Montreal Hospital (led by Rafick-Pierre Sékaly) of have already independently demonstrated that a receptor molecule Programmed Death (PD-1) is linked to the gradual burnout of CD8 cells. Standard ant-viral therapy alone does not reverse the gradual burnout of CD8 cells but both teams showed they could revive the cells by exposing them to antibodies that block the binding of the PD-1 receptors. The big question is whether elite controllers owe their HIV immunity to an ability to stop PD-1 accumulating on CD8 cells.

You can find an introduction to the article at
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/mg19125665.000-hivresistant-people-give-new-drug-clues.html


We paused before describing this article lest the Bare Backing brigade distort its message as an excuse to go on spreading the risk. It would be churlish to ask, “What does it matter if they chose to risk their own life?” But it is devastating to contemplate the risk to others --- not to mention the insult to those without access to resources or the denigration of the lives of those who went before.

We also noted (for the benefit of Lifelong and the other xenophobes) this teaches us, yet again, if you cannot accept that there is a Pandemic, then enlightened self-interest should tell you that the world must be part of this solution.

The article ended:

Time is of the essence. Researches in Toronto reported that more than 6,000 people a day became infected with HIV last year. The WHO made a desperate plea for more antiviral to be made available to treat HIV+ people in sub-Saharan Africa – three-quarters of whom still have no access to the drugs.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ooh, Vicar


Just a little memory of darling Noel Coward. Its an interesting piece in itself - unique one might say. But the curiosity is that despite being filmed in 1955, when it came the show was released on CD in 1979 this track was lost!

I am not Malcolm



I don't know about the others but I get asked if I am little Malcolm, Me! Malcolm was a north country lad. He was not a thinker like me ---more of a scribbler --- an Architect. I think that was why he loved going to school in Birmingham: all those imposing Victorian buildings.


But then when he qualified, he went to work for the Development Corporation of one of those dreadful new "cities". The kind John Betjeman wrote of:

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough!
It isn’t ft for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death.

Before you turn up your nose at Betjeman, remember he loved Victoriana too but he was no Victorian relic. Do you recall? ----

He sipped a weak hock and seltzer
As he gazed at the London skies
Through the Nottingham lace of the curtains
Or was it his bees-winged eyes?
[Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel]

Before you get the idea that I am one of those prejudiced folks from the South of England. I should tell you that I began teaching in the Midlands --- the Black Country. Indeed, I had the dubious distinction of teaching in the very building in Bingley Street where Mary Whitehouse had taught. You remember her -- The National Viewers Association I think that's what she called her censorship campaign. I did not know her but the staff room buzzed with tales of Mary. She was remembered as a Moral Rearmament Campaign member who delighted in writing to famous people and collecting their replies as trophies. Here is a little something in her memory:



Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hepatitis C: a clear bold message?









The Prevention Players led by DR. Bob Wood offer their serial presention Great Expectations
Poor Seattle waits but Miss Havershum is stuck in the past.

Let's look at the current aggressive drive to make shure that the message about Hepatitis C is available & visible. This is the what is on offer today from the Prevention Players:

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hepatitis C IS spreading


"Hepatitis C, the “other virus,”
is now spreading sexually —especially
among gay men with HIV"

We are warned in the November issue of Poz Magazine article “C” Ya In Bed [or as a friend more aptly put it: See Ya in the Morgue] by Tim Murphy.

This is a report on a London Royal Free Hospital study which he warns linked noninjection drug use, multiple sex partners and unprotected rough anal sex (fisting, using toys) to sexual transmission of C among HIV positive gay men. It also warn that New York City’s Callen-Lorde Clinic has seen hep C cases rise from virtually none to between 4% and 8% among their gay male HIV positive clients, with more expected: “That’s the tip of the iceberg,” says medical director Gal Mayer, MD.

The Poz article seems to seize on the implication of the issue being only one of rough sex. The Study itself soes not indicate that rough sex should be the sole concern.

According to a presentation, on the actual study, by Mark Danta from the Royal Free and University College Medical School London at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting in San Francisco on November 13, a variety of factors related to sexual activity and drug use have contributed to an outbreak of hepatitis C among HIV-positive gay men in Southeast England in recent years.

The current study aimed to characterize the mode of hepatitis C transmission using both molecular analysis and a case-control examination of risk factors. Because the clusters crossed subtypes and genotypes, the analysis suggested that, this epidemic is not due to a hepatitis C viral change, but rather behavioral and/or environmental factors,” Dr Danta reported.

Similar percentages of men in both groups met sex partners in bars or clubs, at private parties, or in public cruising areas. But men with acute hepatitis C were significantly more likely to meet partners in sex clubs/bathhouses/saunas or on the Internet. The hepatitis C-infected men had a median 30 sex partners in the past year, compared with 10 for controls; in both groups, a majority of these partners were “one-night stands.”

Looking at specific sexual practices, hepatitis C-infected men were significantly more likely than control subjects to have engaged in unprotected receptive or insertive anal intercourse, receptive or insertive fisting, use of sex toys receptive or active analingus (“rimming”), S&M, and group sex; rates of protected receptive and insertive anal intercourse were similar in both groups. The largest difference was seen in the rates of insertive fisting (about three times higher among the hepatitis C - infected men) and receptive fisting (about four times higher).

Reference
Danta M. et al. Evidence for sexual transmission of HCV in recent epidemic in HIV-infected men in South-East England. 56th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, San Francisco, abstract 67040, 2005.



Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Sexual Pleasure has also its Place


I know. It's cruel to mock the French --- but so much fun. To be accurate, this is really not a joke against them. In the original it read very well (so I am told). The humor lies in this automatic translation:

The sexual pleasure has also its place in the prevention against the AIDS

Erotism, art of the love and vocabulary classified X have all their place this week with the world conference on the AIDS of Toronto, where one tries to make sexy the love with condom.

A participant in the workshop in particular offered to share some tricks taught with the prostitutes in Montreal to make the condom more pleasant, but overall the question remained whole'

“To use condoms, it is like eating packed candies… (but) the use of freezing can add a certain softness”, raised a member of the assistance. But about other men worry already owing to the fact that, if the women appreciate more the love with freezing, they are also put to seek more sexual partners

This amused me but it also peeked my interest in what really went. In case you are still confused, it was a workshop at the International AIDS Conference ---Where Is The Pleasure In Safe Sex?

Wendy Kerr is a worker with the Pleasure Project, which has helped health educators in Cambodia to break the shyness barrier in talking about sex and enabled priests in Mozambique to counsel couples to have better sex so that husbands do not stray and possibly become infected with HIV.

Twenty-five years of AIDS activism has neglected that "sex is fun," Kerr said. "Safe sex doesn't have to be dull."

Her team compiled a list of dozens of groups worldwide pushing the Kama Sutra to teach prostitutes how to pleasure clients without penetration and other tricks, and showed British film directors how to use condoms in porn movies "in a sexy way," Kerr said.A short movie clip at the workshop showed women how to apply condoms on penises with their lips and other sex hints.

Alexandra Lutnick of San Francisco-based St. James Infirmary promoted questioning prostitutes about their sexual or work satisfaction in counseling to help them open up, then share safe sex practices with them. Many assumed they have to be victimized to access social services. Some 70 percent in a poll had never told health care providers about their jobs fearing they would be shamed, she said.

"If people feel good about sex, it minimizes risk ," said activist Neha Patel.

Lebogang Ramafoko of non-profit Soul City in South Africa said a May poll of hundreds of African men found that they would seek out daring sex with women other than their wives because they dared not talk to their wives about sex. "All said: 'I can't have this discussion with my wife about pleasure, what makes me happy and experimentation,'" she told AFP. "This inability to talk about sex is fueling the spread of AIDS."

A new study presented at the conference found that men would likely welcome microbicides, now being tested to stop AIDS. "Using condoms is like eating wrapped sweets ... (but) gel use added a certain sweetness to sex," said one unnamed participant in the study But some men worried that if women equally enjoyed sex with the gel, they may seek out more sexual partners, according to researcher Charlotte Watts of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Britain.

Child Workers


In today's New York Times, the front page story by Michael Wines --- Africa Adds to the Miserable Ranks of Child Workers ---- it is reported by the UN's latest estimate more than 49million sub-Saharan children age 14 and younger worked in 2004, 1.3million more than 4 years earlier.

They are prostitutes, miners, construction workers, pesticide sprayers, haulers, street-vendors, full-times servants. Some are as young as 5 and 6 years old.

In Kenya, nearly a third of the coffee pickers were children, a 2001 World Bank Report found. [Enjoy your Latte!]

The article notes that child labor declines with prosperity but 44% of sub-Saharan residents live on less than $1 a day. Add to this the "staggering HIV rate which has created millions of orphans who work to survive and has forced millions more to support dying parents”.

The immediate result is that there is a generation who are "poorly educated badly fed, inadequately supervised by adults and far more likely to become illiterates whose children, like them will toil in the fields, tend roadside stands or crush rocks."

[A recipe for the foundation of democracy building?]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Answers at Last?

Time to Deliver: Bare Backing


RAVES FROM LULU'S

A friend was telling me that, as is his wont (and good luck say I), he had been on Manhunt. No not just for sociological research but for nookie. Not that I don't constantly ask him to write about what he comes across --- it might have more direct impact than the "studies". I keep hearing that we all know that HIV infection is on the up but the public health stats (even though they reflect it) don't show it because people are not getting tested i.e. less recorded infections. My friend was remarking how many people he came across (in just one morning) who claimed to be negative but later admitted they were HIV+ . That did not stop them from wanting sex without a condom.

The trump card was that one gay wanted to meet in Club Seattle, which he did not regard as a problem because, he reported, it is condom optional. Don't get in a tizzy, nobody is advocating closing clubs & bathhouses. Safe Sex is a behavior not a place. And driving it underground would not be “a good thing”. But we do need to be aware (that means cut the bullshit denial!) that bare backing is going on. Not that it is happening by chance with a small minority of the reckless.

It is common. It is widespread. It is already far too acceptable. It is becoming the norm.

So why doesn't Public Health do something about it? Good question. Someone explained to me that they are not in the business of "outreach". That is the job of the non-profits. The non-profits (who used to do it!) seem to be saying that it is the job of Public Health. We do know (as we keep saying ad nauseam) that Lifelong claim to be doing it! Did they learn in Toronto that it is TIME TO DELIVER? Or are they still licking there wounds and feeling left out. What seems so pathetic is that these "professionals" went all the way to Toronto to discover how little impact they are having. If they had but listened, many people (not least ourselves) have been trying to get there attention on this very topic. We want them to be more visible and on message. We don't need them to be moaning about how much attention the rest of the world is getting. It is rather like standing on the AIDS Quilt and saying that people aren't focusing on you. I am amazed that it came as such a surprise to them that the rest of the world does not think that we have such a bad deal. We know the perception is not accurate but at least let's start from where we are! The rest of the world (for the most part) is impatient with us. Many do not like us, to put it mildly. The INTERNATIONAL conference is not the place to bemoan domestic shortcomings. Particularly if you have not fulfilled your own part of the bargain. They could draw the lesson and start being more forthright in the information they put out here in Seattle ---. Deal with the Bare Backing crisis! It is not enough to play the game, on their web site, of find the information.

Frankly those of us who had to stay here and get on with our regular jobs (while still try to get the message out!) are pissed at your rank self-indulgence. You were professional delegates not tourists.

We neither need nor want an apology. We do want you to return home and put into practice what you preach. But, oh big but, leave out the "not gay enough" crap. Have you looked at your messages that are supposed to change life threatening behaviors --- then talk about "de-gayed"? If you remain depressed or burnt out maybe you should find some help. I mean therapy not walking, cycling, bingo, barbecues or pot lucks --- they haven't succeeded so far.

Is it true that when asked if he was supporting the 20th Anniversary (of what?--- the Lifelong walk!) one guy began to sing the Spike Milligan song: "I'm walking backwards for Christmas"?


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the '70s


Forget the swinging 60's. This was the time to be swinging it. At least for little Malcolm. This was his era. There we still coventions to be broken and traces to be over run. And, yes indeed, fun to be had! All summed up in

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.




AIDS without Health Care






In today's New York Times

Fight Against AIDS:
Small Triumphs, Sunny Optimism
and Grim Reality. By ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D.


Dr. Zuger illustrates how patients are being treated for AIDS but still suffer to the extreme from medical conditions that the uninsured continue to encounter.

"Once you start taking care of people, there is no end. It takes a real health care system to treat even a single illness; AIDS drugs given without one are, in the end, just very expensive scaffolding.

All they do is let people live long enough to need everything else — TB drugs and decongestants, insulin and hemorrhoid creams, cardiac catheterizations and hip replacements, mosquito netting, malaria pills and polio vaccines. Idealists would point out that food and water, housing, jobs, autonomy and civil rights should probably head that list."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/22/health/22comm.html

In a very useful article, it is a pity that Dr. Zuger chose to join the band wagon of those who condemn Bill Gates for his vision of changing the world. On an explicitly practical note, we should remember that without the actions of the Gates Foundation there would be no once a day HIV treatment and it certainbly would not be available in these United States!

Monday, August 21, 2006

"ABSTINENCE FAILS"


Also in the August 19 edition
The New Scientist
reports on Abstinence.


Talk about a policy backfiring. The US government's emphasis on abstinence and faithfulness to prevent the spread of HIV may be leading to an upsurge in infection rates, delegates were told at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada.

In 2003, the US government pledged $15 billion over five years to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. Of the 20% earmarked for prevention, it ruled that at least a third must be spent on promoting abstinence outside marriage.

Abstinence is the key element of the ABC program ---Abstain, Be faithful and use Condoms ---- but for many at high risk, the A and B parts don't help. Instead, they siphon funds away from provision of condoms, the one element that might worK.

Jodi Jacobson at the Center for Health and Gender Equity, a non- profit Organization based in Takoma Park, Maryland, says that in some countries as much as 70 % of the prevention budget is spent on encouraging people to abstain from sex or be faithful.

In Uganda, she says, where such policies account for 60% of prevention dollars, there are hints that the strategy is failing and the number of infections is growing.

Uganda used to be the African success story in Prevention.

Would you believe it?



In its August 19 edition
The New Scientist
asked
Why doesn't
America believe in evolution?



A survey of 32 European countries, the US and Japan revels that only Turkeyis less willing than the US to accept evolution as fact

They quote Jon Miller of Michigan State University, Lansing:

"Republicans have clearly adopted this as one of their wedge issues In most of the world, this is a non issue”

The main opposition comes from fundamentalist Christians who are much more prevalent in the US than in Europe

They note that two-thirds of American adults don't agree that more than half of human genes are common to chimpanzees. So, they ask: How would these people respond when told that humans and chimps share 99 per cent of their genes

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ooh,Vicar



I thought I might share a piece of folk art with you.
For me, the fun lies in it being told by the Dean of the Faculty
of Education ( who was also an English Professor)
at fine traditional British University.
He collected it from a Men's Waiting Room at the station
when local trains still operated.
I' ve had every woman on this line.

But there's none I’ve enjoyed so much

As the carriage cleaner from Darly Dale,

The one with the double crutch.


Oh my dears, I am sorry. As the headmaster in Alan Bennett's Forty Years On put it:

When you have to go to the lavatory for humor, then the writing is on the wall.

Speaking of which, I'm told that a father following his son into the men's room chastised him for writing the "dirty word Bush on the wall. He said the drawing didn't even look like the President. I do rather think political self expression ought to be encouraged.

Since I am risqué today: Have you heard the apocryphal story of the self-made Lay Reader who stood preening himself at the imposing bejeweled brass eagle that held the Good Book on its outstretched wings to form the Lectern?
He recited " 'olly, 'olly, 'olly, Lord God of 'osts. . . ." and the bird turned and bit him!

I promise this is the last one but I do feel I'm on a roll today.
A rather careless colleague was preparing to read the Banns of Marriage during the service. Unfortunately, he began from memory while he continued to grope around him for the book --- "I publish the Banns of Marriage between . . . ." the disembodied voice of the verger chimed "between the cushion and the seat".

Well it makes me chuckle.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Helpful Hints for Escorts


For those of you who don't read the comments, we are republishing this information contributed by jennadea.
Much of the following applies to anyone who has gone on line to "hook up", met someone at a party, or at a bar. Even a blind date can result in a physical sexual encounter.

So, perhaps your NON-professional readers might like to read our HELPFUL HINTS FOR ESCORTS:

This line of work finds Escorts frequently visiting unfamiliar places or odd locations, clients can have some outrageous requests, and god knows the immediate reaction would be "Why the hell am I here again?", in a comical sense this can be looked at later as a funny story to tell over drinks, but the reality of alot of these situations is that you can find yourself in seedy or dangerous areas exhibiting potential "on the job" dangers. We'd like to discuss some of these issues to better inform escorts of the dangers they may encounter on the job, and to suggest some strategies for dealing with difficult situations.

PERSONAL SAFETY:

* Do not visit clients who do not have a telephone connected at their residence or who use a mobile phone to book your services.
* Always carry a mobile phone with you while your on the job. A the start of any booking call someone such as a friend, maybe a relative or even your own answering machine. This for obvious reasons will not only serve as a way to find you if you get into any trouble, but will let the client know that your whereabouts can be traced.
* If you are providing a service to a client at their private residence, such as a house, make sure to drive past the house first to check for sign that might suggest "there is something amiss". A good example would be that the driveway is occupied by several cars, or you notice loud music coming from the house. Go with your gut, if you feel something is wrong, call the client on your mobile to discuss your concerns or to cancel the booking.
* Never bring cash or an ID with you to the job.
* Assert yourself! Go ahead we know you have confidence in yourself, or you wouldn't be in this line of work. From the moment you meet the client its important that you establish control and stay in control throughout the engagement. Be polite and friendly - people like you, go ahead and be yourself, this is the easiest way to gain that control - even when the client is behaving like an ass.
* Clearly and directly explain your service to the client. What it involves, how long it will last and how much it will cost them.
* Explain up front to your client that YOU ALWAYS USE CONDOMS FOR VAGINAL SEX, ANAL SEX. That you use adequate precautions for oral sex and with your own sex toys.
* Always receive payment BEFORE you provide your service.
* When the client pays you, give the money to your driver or place it in a safe place. An example is an inner zipped pocket or some other safe place for wandering refund greedy hands. Be aware of your money at all time, "My minds on my money, my money on my mind" - Snoop Dogg
* Tell the client that there is someone waiting outside for, even if you are not using the services of a driver.
* At the end of the job, count you cash and credit slips to make sure they are all there. DO NOT count your cash and credit slips in view of the client. It is obviously a good idea to not accept personal checks from clients because the inevitability of them bouncing. Also when dealing with specific currency, ie: American Dollars make sure to look thoroughly for all of the security measures, ie: a strip, watermarks etc, also be careful with the weight of the bill, alot of people like to use counterfeit money.
* Look through the entire house to check for other people, signs of danger, and all possible exits. A good way I've noticed is to say something like "Wow you have a beautiful house, do you mind if I get the tour?" Or you could always take a "bathroom break" and do a bit of snooping. Being Alert is key.
* Never accept a drink that has already been opened or that you have not personally watched being made. Its not difficult for some "Weasel of a human being" to slip a drug (like rhohypnol) into the drink he's fixed for you.
* Affirm your ability to say NO. No means No. If particular client is distasteful, abusive, or disrespectful, no amount of money is worth having to service them. Make sure and warn then that if the client acts out of line, You will leave.
* TACT! - You want your quickest mental reactions to a client that is acting Nasty or uncouth. Keep your cool level head and be honest, don't buy into a client's bullshit - this should help to diffuse any situation
* If you have to drive yourself, park your car so only the back can be seen from the entry to the clients residence. Usually behind bushes or a tree is a good place, I've also heard some people keeping the radio on to suggest to the client that someone is waiting for you.
* Pens, screech whistles and breath sprays not to mention Mace and Pepper Spray are valuable weapons; they may allow you the opportunity to get away.
* Don't carry guns or knives with you. These can be used against you!
* Pile your belongings by the door or the nearest exist so that you can collect them quickly if you need to get away.
* Refrain from being under the influence of drugs and alcohol during your visits to clients. They can affect your judgment and ability to adequately defend yourself.

WHEN YOU ARE PROVIDING YOUR SERVICE:

* When it comes to being in danger or even detecting an STD, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!!
* If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, GET OUT!, Say something to the effect of "I've forgotten my purse and have to get it from the car." Or "I need to let me driver know you're home and everything is OK", and promptly leave.
* If you absolutely have to defend yourself, do it with the intention of hurting. Its probably a pretty good idea to take a self defense class. If a client does become aggressive or violent let him know you can trace him through his credit card, address, car registration number, etc. Explain to the client that you will not hesitate to report him to the police. At all else kick the guy in the balls.
* If in absolute danger, do not hesitate to smash one of the clients windows or his stereo with a lamp, ashtray, or anything heavy. This will shake things up a bit, possibly startle maybe ever scare the client. It will also be a good beacon for your driver to know that you are in danger and require help.
* If you are performing a fantasy service, before you start you should make sure that know what are in for and that the client knows condoms will be used.
* Check your client for STDS, particularly for crabs, sores, herpes blisters and warts. Condom do not protect you 100% against these diseases.
* Do not use, REPEAT, Do Not Use Massage Oils for lubricant. They break down the condom rubber. Use water-based lube such as wet stuff or KY jelly and wipe off any massage oil before you put the condom on.
* USE YOUR OWN CONDOMS, NEVER THE CLIENTS.
* Be also sensitive to the fact that Nonoxynol 9 condoms cause medical problems for some women (Nonoxynol 9 can remove fingernail polish, so, yeah)
* The placing of a condom with your mouth is useful if the client does not want to use them - It can be rather sexy and not so obvious when your mouth pushes rubber on his cock.
* If you use xylocaine, be aware of the risks. Its not advisable to you use xylocaine for penetration sex. Just remember what cocaine does to the back of your throat, it will numb you to the point you cannot tell if the condom has broken and it numbs the clients penis so it is difficult for him to cum. You don't have to work that hard for a paycheck.
* If the client does not answer in regards to the use of condoms, suggest another activity such as "Spanish sex" (fucking between the breasts) or hand relief with your favorite lubricant.
* If a client refuses to use condoms, LEAVE!
* You never have to anything you do not want to.
* If your feeling stressed... Take some time off, Go to the islands, Travel to another continent, your health and mental condition is precious.

A Few Extra Tips for Escort Agencies

* Let your agency know what service you will or won't perform
* Find out how your agency operates with bounced checks and credit card fraud
* Always phone the agency when you leave or extend a booking. You should have a code between yourself and the receptionist to use if your in trouble.

Tips for using Drivers

* If you are going to service a client, consider employing a driver. Drivers can be more then effective in getting you out of difficult situations. They can be used for safety, convenience, and traveling good distances between towns and cities.
* Ask the driver to accompany you to the clients door. This is a good way to get the client to pay up front with a big hunk of meat next to you. You can then give the money directly to the driver for safekeeping.
* If your booking is in a hotel or a motel, HOLIDAY INN, let the driver know the room number where the service will be taking.
* Make sure you driver waits while you are providing your services.
* Only use a driver you know and trust.
* Arrange for the driver to knock on the client's door at the end of the booking.

Some useful tips for Drivers

* You are being paid by the escort to do a good job. You are security and transport.
* DO NOT LEAVE after you have dropped your escort at the job. Waiting until he/she has finished providing the service.
* Be Prepared to assist the escort if he/she needs you. It may be useful to carry pepper spray or a gun.
* Do not hassle the escort or expect a free service from him/her.
* Respect the escort and follow his/her wishes on the job.
* Know the time when the job is to finish. If the escort does not come out by the agreed time, you should go and see if everything is all right.
* Leave the steering wheel lock off, in case you need to make a fast departure.
* You may need to defend yourself and or the worker against a violent client. A tire iron makes a good weapon.
* Have a code between yourself and the escort to signal if he/she is in trouble. For example a movement of the bedroom curtains, or a fire strategically placed on the front porch.

This information is not legal advice or very original.
But it is useful for everyone who is either a sex worker, or anyone ( male or female or in between) who may have sex outside of a monogomous relationship where both partners know the status and boundaries within their discussed boundaries.

Sincerely,
ViceSisters.com

A Picture of Dorian Gray


Lady Constance's Cultural Corner



Many people obliquely wonder why there are no “interesting” pictures here. The more blunt ask, “Where’s the porn?” We give the impression of being a “sex” site and we are advocate for directness. Well frankly my dears there is plenty of porn available and if you cannot find it then we
wouldn’t be me much use to you anyway. Yes we are in favor of “free expression” (is that shorthand for porn?) and eroticism certainly has its value. Sorry! This little piece is more about the dangers of objectification. Oh dear, can’t you put it in simple English.---Treat yourself like a piece of meat and you will rot! --- simple enough.

The original Dorian Gray showed no outward signs of his “sins”. They were exhibited on his portrait in the attic. Nowadays, we have taken body work and the cosmetic arts to a more extreme level. Your “soul” and your physicality can be degenerating from within yet, superficially, you can look just great.

We do not know its origins, the artists identity, or where it is now, but this is the portrait Matt Gunther. By the time this was painted Steven Matthew Laing (his real name) was well hidden. Steven was born May 28, 1963 in Garden Grove. At age 27 in 1990, he moved to West Hollywood and made his first film.. He appeared in a total of 34 movies. His last film was released in 1995.

I know Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But it has been said that Matt was one of the most physically attractive men in the porn industry --- ever. Added to that he could act. If the legit. theatre objects to that, we must at least acknowledge that he was motivated in his performance. His physical attributes speak for themselves. Unfortunately, he gained a reputation for being “difficult” to work with --- doesn’t that just hide a multitude of sins.

He contracted AIDS, and was confined to a wheelchair for two years due to a muscular disorder caused by AIDS.

In an interview, a current Porn Star Matt took care of Matt Gunther -“Matt was someone I always wanted to have sex with- and one day this poor guy in a wheelchair was admitted for depression”. He recognized him, but as a professional did not tell him he was a fan. Matt stayed about two weeks. Within that time not one person came to visit. He remembers him glued to the pay phone out in the hall and it was painfully obvious “he’d burned too many bridges.” When his benefits ran out, the nurses literally dumped him out on the sidewalk. “I read somewhere that he died shortly thereafter”.

He died from congestive heart failure resulting from AIDS May 27, 1997. His ashes were scattered at sea


Just one last thing. Do not take this as an anti porn message. That misses the point! It could so easily have been someone you care for or even you..


Friday, August 18, 2006

"We have nothing to fear but . . . "

Still Coming


LIFELONG DISPATCHES
from
The International AIDS Conference



Wednesday, August 16, 2006 By David Richart, Director of Programs: extracts

I want to scream, "What about the gay community?" We are still being infected and dying every day in our community and we are so complacent about it. Is it because our brothers and sisters are poor, struggling w/ substance abuse and mental health problems? Some of the people Italk to even say, "I am sick of working with gay men. They know how to avoid the virus and yet they still keep getting infected.” Yes, the epidemic has changed. The face of AIDS is different, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t recognize the sacrifice of those who have died. I hear so much talk about stigma and how attendees are working to break it down in other parts of the world and yet the deafening silence about the devastation in the gay community is overwhelming. Frankly, there is not much talk at all about anything happening in the United States, except what the Clinton and Gates Foundations are doing overseas.
Lifelong is going to try to get a voice at the next International AIDS conference in Mexico City in 2008. As leaders, we will make it our goal to ensure that the American epidemic is remembered, heard and discussed.

RAVES FROM LULU'S

Across the wires
the electric message came.
It is no different.
It is just the same.
SHAME!


Some people are saying that Lifelong is part of the problem. Before you do anything else, why not speak out at home --- here in Seattle for starters? Isn’t that your Mission?

One tiny, tiny point! IF the world wide pandemic is overcome --- won’t the gay community benefit just a little?

On his dispatch, David offers his e-mail address. Maybe it would help if YOU tell him your reactions

Click Here

Come to think about it, you could also tell “de-gayed” Eric

Click Here

Or go all the way and write to Tina (the Director)

Click Here