Bangkok police have taken legal action against a film company for putting up a stall selling sex toys
for filming purposes on Khao San Road.
The film makers had been given permission for the shooting of the Indian film Happy Bhag Jayegi Return on Khao San Road. According to the Bangkok Post the station gave permission because the company promised that the film-making would
promote Thailand with a positive image.
From 9.30am to 11.30am on Wednesday the crew had women wear swimsuits and placed stalls of swimsuits and adult toy signs on the road. After being reported, local police halted the film-making.
Police charged the crew and the film producer with causing public embarrassment and untidiness, blocking a road, and showing pornographic materials.
The police quoted actresses as saying that the scene was supposed to take place in China, with no mentioning of Khao San Road.
Happy Bhag Jayegi Return (2018) is a sequel to the comic-caper of the same title made in 2011. Indian actresses Sonakshi Sinha and Diana Penty star in it.
A new tour operator has launched in the UK offering adult-only, hedonistic holidays to cater for swingers and nudists.
According to the Uniquely Adult website , the tour operator based in Royston provides a selection of superior, sexually-stimulating, all-inclusive holidays to serve the needs of travellers who want to encounter a freer lifestyle when on their
The company offers a variety of packages starting at entry level and moving onto a clothing-optional holiday option. The party package is for those seeking a discreet playground for adults to satisfy their sensual side, while the wild at heart
tour includes wet and wild foam parties.
Uniquely Adult, which arranges holidays primarily in Antigua , Jamaica and Cancun, also offers a no limits package for swingers who love it in groups whether in the Jacuzzis or the playrooms.
We met her at one of the quieter bars in Hua Hin, the closest beach city to Bangkok, where women of various ages hung around pool tables in miniskirts and spiky heels, waiting for their next client to choose them. It was Valentine's Day.
With long, black, shiny hair and dark skin, Dao was older and friendlier than the other women. She was the only one who smiled at me, an American woman out of her element. Like my husband, who stood beside me, every other patron was male.
I ordered a Singha beer and took quick sips, hoping for a buzz to calm my shaky hands. That's when she approached us.
Beate Uhse AG, the troubled German sex shop chain, has received a 2.7 million euro loan from financial investment firm Robus
Capital to help keep the company afloat.
The cash infusion gives the management room for maneuver in order to further promote the reorganization, Beate Uhse told German regulators.
Beate Uhse's application for insolvency, which is equivalent to Chapter 11 in the U.S., allows for a plan of reorganization to keep the business running and pay creditors over time under jurisdiction of the court system.
Many Thai women become sex workers not because they are poor, but in order to escape poverty. In doing so they have become providers and heads of households, and they deserve respect for that accomplishment.
Women in Thailand hold the responsibility and pride of supporting the family. In modern times the needs of the family cannot be grown by hand, but rather women must find cash to provide. Opportunities for women with no qualifications and no
capital are limited. The work we can find is undervalued and is always the same every day. There are few surprises and no bonuses.
A small number of us, after many minimum wage jobs, decide to apply for work in karaoke lounges, massage parlours, brothels or bars ... we decide to become sex workers. We are making a choice between the options available to us. We cannot choose
options that do not exist.
Corrupt authorities use the law to make us pay for our human rights.
As sex workers we earn at least double the minimum wage. We make enough to support five other adults in our families. The work can be hard and sometimes boring, but it is rarely the same. There are lots of surprises and many bonuses.
In the modern form of sex work in Thailand we apply for our jobs and are hired or rejected. Our workplaces have regulations. There is no pimp, mafia, or gang -- there is only the motorcycle taxi guy and the business manager. Our work concerns are
similar to those of other workers, e.g. inadequate paid leave, lack of social security coverage, occupational health and safety.
We work to buy land and build houses. We work to pay taxes (including bribes to corrupt police), to finance the university fees of our brothers or the rental costs of shops for our sisters, and to cover any other emergencies. We become the bread
winners and so make many of the big decisions for our families. Sex workers also build up the country. As far back as 1998, the International Labour Organisation reported that we were sending $300 million home to rural areas each year, larger than
any development project. We are also the backbone of the tourism industry, which makes up around 10% of Thailand's annual GDP.
Sex work has become a way out of generational poverty for us and our families that also boosts the country's wealth. We don't do sex work because we are poor, we do sex work to end our poverty.
Adapting to survive
Sex workers in Thailand have been organising, resisting and responding to change for centuries.
Each generation of sex workers has had to invent and learn new skills that in earlier years were never imagined. We adapted to the end of slavery and the arrival of a cash economy. We keep track of world events, politics, economics, and sports to
understand our customers. We learned about passports, visas, and travel. We used post cards, telegrams, pagers, emails, mobile phones, web cams, and now apps.
We want to know, if society were asked to think of us, not as criminals, immoral women, or helpless victims, but as humans, mothers, workers, and family providers, what laws and systems could be imagined?
We have also greeted many new customers over the years. Starting with the Chinese migrants of the late 1700s, the list also includes Japanese soldiers during world war two, GI's from the US during the war in Vietnam, American and other allied
troops on leave from their wars in the Gulf countries. Despite being denied schooling we learned new languages -- Chinese, Japanese and English. We learned about dealing with the trauma of war. We learned the customs of many countries. Today we
meet more than 15 million men from every corner of the world when they visit amazing Thailand each year.
Society has relied on sex workers to keep working, bringing in the money to mend the problems.
In 1960, when the Suppression and Prevention of Prostitution Act first made it illegal to buy or sell sex, we had to learn another new skill -- working on top of criminal law. We quickly learned that corrupt authorities use the law to make us pay
for our human rights; the right to work, the right to safety and justice. We learned that criminal law is a way to suppress our rights -- it is not designed to promote them.
In the late 1980s the country was building up its tourism and industry. Thailand welcomed millions of tourists. Thai sex workers travelled throughout the world, while our neighbours from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and China were coming to
Thailand to build a better life. Moving to work is our path of resistance. We refuse to accept the situations or conditions we were born into and dream of a better life. Migration is our solution, not our problem.
However, instead of the governments working to promote safe migration the Anti-trafficking Law landed on top of us. We learned that anti- trafficking law does not improve our working conditions, increase our options, or end our poverty. It does
not reduce armed conflict in our homelands. It does not reduce corruption. It does not increase support for children and minors. It does not demand governments or society respect us or our basic human rights. Crucially, anti-trafficking law and
practice do not reduce trafficking or provide justice to workers in such situations in any industry, including the sex industry. We know this, because our organisation detailed the impact of anti-trafficking law and practice on sex workers' human
rights in its 2012 community research report, Hit & Run.
The need to stand together
Instead of being admired as activists, leaders, workers, and providers we are called bad women, criminals, and victims. We are portrayed as weak, stupid, and childlike. Our contribution to the family and the country is ignored, or redefined as a
burden or exploitation.
Increasing stigma and law has destroyed the links between us. Our friends who stayed working in the factory, on the land, or in a shop have become distant and afraid of associating with bad women and criminals. Organisations that used to cooperate
together have become confused both at national and international levels. Women's groups are not sure whether to work with sex worker organisations or not. They are unsure whether to see sex workers and their organisations as criminals, as victims
of criminals, or as equal partners deserving of respect. The women's movement is fractured. Projects had their funding threatened when the George W. Bush, the former US president, introduced the anti-prostitution pledge in 2003. This pledge was
declared unconstitutional in 2013, but only for organisations working in the US. It requires that organisations funded by USAID must not take any action or position which could promote, support, or advocate the legalisation or practice of
prostitution) Sensational reporting and hysteria have reinforced the confusion, resulting in many groups becoming afraid to stand openly with sex workers.
And so we must stand together.
For 30 years we have been organising as Empower -- Thailand's national sex worker organisation. Around 50,000 sex workers have been a part of Empower. They advocate for their rights and against stigma, their efforts helped by their presence in
work places, health counselling, and trainings in spheres such as Thai literacy, health education, English language, IT, and legal rights. We are sex workers working in all sectors of the industry. We love our work, hate our work, and, like most
workers in any job, are often somewhere in between. We are just starting out, or have years of experience, are planning to change jobs, or retire. We are Thai, ethnic minorities, and migrants from neighbouring countries.
We want to know, if society were asked to think of us, not as criminals, immoral women, or helpless victims, but as humans, mothers, workers, and family providers, what laws and systems could be imagined? How should the state treat women who are
head of the family?
While we wait for an answer all around the world, people are still asking: prostitution -- good or bad? Legal, illegal, decriminalised -- what is best? The debate goes on and on while we are still providing for our families, building up the
country, advising each government that comes along, trying to stand up with others all while continuing to work on top of a mountain of stigma and laws.
Empower is a Thai sex worker organisation that has been promoting rights and opportunities for sex workers since 1985. It is led and largely managed by sex workers in Thailand. The majority of its support comes from international donors e.g. Mama
Cash, American Jewish World Service, but Empower also receives contributions from the Thai government as well as our own fundraising.
The 15th annual CineKink NYC has set its 2018 Kinky Film Festival for March 14-18, and it will feature a specially-curated program of films and videos that celebrate and explore a wide diversity of sexuality.
In light of the growing #MeToo movement, and drawing upon the emphasis that CineKink has placed on consent in their programming over the years, a screening titled Consent Counts , as well as a related panel discussion, are already slated for
inclusion in the festival.
In addition, plans for CineKink NYC include a short film competition, audience choice awards, a Bring It! adult entertainment showdown, panels and workshops, a kick-off gala, and a sizzling Afterglow play party to wrap the festivities. A tour is
set to take place in the months following the festival, showcasing audience favorites from the NYC selections.
The festival line-up and schedule for CineKink NYC will be announced in February.
Ofcom's latest TV Broadcasting Licence Updates reveals that Playboy TV is no longer licensed for TV and satellite broadcast in the
UK. Presumably this means that the service has ended on other UK TV distribution services too.
The softcore service ended for the UK on 1st December 2017, but is continuing for other countries.
And perhaps the strangest aspect to the story is that no one seems to have noticed.
In a recent interview Ben Koh, CEO of Playboy Enterprises made a comment that could mark the end of Playboy's 60
year-long run. He said:
Historically, we could justify the [magazine's] losses because of the marketing value, but you also have to be forward-thinking. I'm not sure that print is necessarily the best way to communicate to our consumer going forward.
At its height, Playboy sold more than 7 million copies. The circulation of Playboy is now down to under 500,000 copies.
After Hugh Hefner's death, his son, Cooper Hefner who serves as COO of Playboy Enterprises tried to refocus the magazine towards younger readers with more of an FHM style. The magazine initially stopped all the nudity, but later reintroduced
topless girls (and transgender girls). It seems that the new approach hasn't been a hit.
Toronto once had more than 60 bars with nude dancers, only a dozen remain, the rest have been replaced by condominiums,
restaurants, and housewares stores.
Demand for homes downtown and for the retailers that serve them is driving land prices to records, tempting owners of the clubs, most of which are family-run, to sell at a time when business is slowing. It's a similar story in other North American
cities, where the demand for exotic dancers is cooling amid the rise of free porn and live video chats on the internet.
The latest example in Toronto is Remington's Men of Steel, a male dance club behind a heavy door, which is closing this year, to be replaced by a 98-story condo.
In Toronto, massage parlours have proliferated elsewhere in the city, while arduous rezoning regulations and a rule restricting new strip-club licenses mean that once a joint shutters its doors, it isn't likely to be replaced.
The fading of the strip-club era can be seen in a five-block area along Yonge Street. It was once dubbed Sin Strip for its neon-clad bars, sex shops, and movie theatres. Today, there are about 20 development applications for condos and commercial
buildings on the stretch.
I don't think we'll be around in 10 years' time, according to Bill Greer, general manager and three-decade veteran of the Brass Rail Tavern.
Australia's Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell has gone into bat for Australia's sex industry, slamming the banks for
discriminating against legal businesses by withdrawing or failing to provide financial services. Carnell said in a statement:
It's hypocritical that banks do not provide services to the adult industry when businesses are appropriately registered and regulated. Access to banking services is essential for a legitimate business to operate.
Carnell was responding to a recent report by the Eros Association, which found the vast majority of adult industry businesses experienced unfair treatment by financial service providers .
The association estimates there are more than 1000 adults-only businesses in Australia employing around 25,000 people, with the overall industry turning over $2.6 billion annually.
One respondent quoted in the report, the operator of an adult retail and wholesale business, said their merchant facilities were withdrawn after more than 20 years with the same bank.
Globally we saw a 2.4% increase in percentage viewership by women in 2017 as women made up an ever larger part of the overall viewing community. This is trend we've seen consistently in recent years. Not only are more women
coming online, they're coming at a greater rate than men are.
The real story might be emerging markets. South Africa and Saudi Arabia both saw double digit percentage of women in their audience, reflecting changing attitudes towards adult content, particularly among younger viewers.
Globally, women now make up 26% of the audience. Of course, some countries those number still have a ways to go.
The top search results for overall in 2017 were:
Growth Markets, 2018
Globally, porn traffic to xHamster grew by 8.9% last year. However, certain patterns were discernible. Traffic in Southeast Asia spiked, as more communities came online. Countries that had previously blocked porn sites saw
their traffic spike, while others, facing anti-porn legislation, mandatory filters and blocks, or campaigns against porn, saw traffic fall. (The US was among the latter, perhaps to increasing censorship in corporate networks :-( )
The greatest growth was in South Korea, where porn has been traditionally banned, but where the population is currently experiencing a sexual revolution. Traffic tripled in the past twelve months.
We've also seen a shift in who we're watching. Continuing a trend we've seen in years past, viewers are shifting away from lighter complected ethnicities, like German, Italian and French, to more Mediterranean nationalities.
(Japanese still dominates searches, but even it is down 37% from just a year ago.)
When it comes to figuring out the sexual habits and preferences of American adults, researcher Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has found, a deep dive into Google search data reveals some surprises -- showing that the type of porn Americans search out
online often bears little resemblance to how they behave, or anything they would admit to, in public, even in anonymous sex surveys.
Stephens-Davidowitz, author of the 2017 book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are , discussed his discoveries about America's surprising sexual tastes in an interview with the online
news site Vox;
Porn which portrays violence against women is surprisingly popular -- among women.
Huge numbers of men are more attracted to overweight women than skinny women.
Married women are obsessed with finding out if their husbands are gay.
Married men should be asking whether their wives are gay.
The one common theme running through all of the author's research is that, judging by Google searches for porn, people's sexual tastes and fantasies are far more unusual than they ever admit -- except to the Google search engine.
It is really amazing how much tastes can vary. There are women who just watch porn featuring short, fat men with small penises. There are men who just watch porn featuring women with enormous nipples, Stephens-Davidowitz said. The data from porn
tells us that everybody is weird. Thus, nobody is weird.
A Japanese adult industry group is set to make it easier for porn stars to leave their past behind them as they transition to life after porn.
Japan's Adult Video Human Rights Organization will be asking production and distribution companies to comply with a new guideline allowing actresses to halt the sale of adult videos they have appeared in. Actresses can exercise this option once
the film has been commercially available for five years, or five years and six months after the film was recorded. Additionally, companies will also be restricted from using any of the footage in other products, such as pornography omnibus
releases should an actress ask for a halt in sales.
These measures have been added to make it easier for actresses to transition out of the adult video industry and not have their reputation follow them into more chaste professional pursuits or private family life. Should an actress choose not to
ask for sales to be halted, the distributor's right to sell the film will be automatically renewed in increments of one year at a time. Adult video companies associated with the Intellectual Property Promotion Association are requested to comply
with the guideline for films featuring actresses who enter into contracts from April 1, 2018
Pornographic production companies will also be required to explicitly explain that Adult video production is the filming of sexual intercourse and There is a risk that other people will find out about you appearing in an adult video, and there is
also a risk of sexually transmitted infection. Advocates of the new rules assert that many women enter into contracts to appear in adult videos without fully comprehending what the work entails, and so only after the actress receives a through
explanation and signs separate forms of understanding and intent will production companies be allowed to enter into a contract with her to film pornographic content.
While the regulations are not government-mandated, compliance with them is the only way for films to be certified as an appropriately made adult video by the IPPA.
A Florida lawmakers are sponsoring a bill in the state's legislature to officially declare porn a public health crisis. If the bill, House
Resolution 157, passes, Florida would become the fourth state to classify adult entertainment as a threat to public health.
The resolution was introduced on the floor of the Florida state house this week.
Utah, South Dakota and Virginia have passed similar anti-porn resolutions. Though the bills create no new laws regulating porn, they could allow state governments to make policy changes and create prevention measures to alleviate what the
lawmakers behind the measures claim is the imminent health dangers posed by porn.
As AVN.com reported earlier, those measures could include making deals with internet service providers to block online porn, once repeal of net neutrality rules takes effect sometime in 2018.