A judge in Ontario has overturned key Canadian anti-prostitution laws, finding they force sex workers into the streets at risk to their safety.
She ruled with three prostitutes who had challenged bans on brothels, pimps and solicitation.
The ruling applies to Ontario province but could, if upheld on appeal, allow the rest of Canada to follow suit.
Finding the laws unconstitutional, Justice Susan Himel called on the Canadian parliament to regulate the sex trade: These laws... force prostitutes to choose between their liberty, interest and their right to security of the person, she
Plaintiff Terri Bedford, described in court documents as a prostitute who had been beaten and raped while working in the streets of Windsor, Calgary and Vancouver, said: It's like emancipation day for sex trade workers. The federal government
must now take a stand and clarify what is legal and not legal between consenting adults in private.
Justice Himel found national laws banning brothels, forbidding solicitation of clients, and banning Canadians from managing sex workers as pimps or madams violated a provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteeing the
right to life, liberty and security .
The ruling will not go into effect for 30 days, giving the government time to appeal if it chooses.
Update: Canadian government appeals for unsafer sex work
Canada's federal government will appeal an Ontario court decision that has cleared the way for legal brothels across Canada, the justice minister says.
Prostitution is a problem that harms individuals and it harms communities and this is why I am pleased to indicate to the House that the government will appeal and will seek a stay on that decision, Injustice Minister Rob Nicholson told
This week an actress called Titanic is about to get her chance at dubious stardom with the launch of the first all-black, all South African pornographic film.
Mapona Vol 1 was produced with strict rules on condom use and HIV tests for the five-member cast. It is said to be a response to popular demand for local black porn and sexual education .
Sexologist Dr Elna McIntosh praised the effort this week for eroticising safe sex , reflecting genuine black middle-class interest and using actors with mostly normal body shapes.
Produced by adult website Sondeza, the DVD movie will be promoted at the Sexpo adult sexuality, health, and lifestyle exhibition in Midrand.
Titanic, who says she is in her 20s and grew up in quite a religious family , admitted that they opposed her new career: It's my life, and I loved the experience. I can play a role in providing people with sex therapy. People can learn
a few things. I have fun, so why not?
Not bothering with even a pretence of a story-line, the film simply shows a series of explicit sex scenes in settings including a bedroom, a living room and a car in an outdoor parking lot.
A New Zealand woman who uses male prostitutes believes there is a market for a brothel for women, and is applauding Pam Corkery's plans to establish one in Auckland.
Although the 48-year-old property investor says it is easier to pick up men in local bars and nightspots, they do not give the same level of intimacy or respect as male prostitutes.
Sometimes, a woman just needs to feel like a woman, and you're not going to get them from blokes you meet at bars who usually stink of alcohol and just go wham bam, thank you ma'am. I know I'm paying, but I know I'm getting what I paid for.
She uses a male escort about once a month and says she's looking forward to the day when she could take a pick from a selection at a brothel.
Another woman Lola told the Weekend Herald: It's about time society faced up to the fact that female sexuality is just as strong as that of men, and that women who choose to pay a sexual partner are not defective.
Dr Calum Bennachie, who has researched issues affecting the gay and lesbian communities, said New Zealand had about 180 known male sex workers, but believed fewer than 20 would want to work in a brothel, where they would have to share their
Ms Corkery, a former MP and broadcaster, is planning to start a brothel for women. It would start as a TV reality series, but continue to operate after filming was completed.
Strip clubs in the Toronto area are complaining that police have stepped up undercover operations with the supposed goal of ensnaring trafficked performers.
The increased surveillance, they say, is the result of a new campaign against human trafficking launched earlier this month by Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and the Royal Candian Mounted Police (RCMP).
HMembers of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada told the Toronto Sun that the undercover operations are especially unfair in light of the fact that there have been no recent arrests involving strippers who were trafficked or forced to
Our members are concerned and don't want undercover officers targeting dancers in their work environment, association spokesman Tim Lambrinos told the paper. Everybody in the bar becomes a suspect.
Business, he added, will suffer if the word gets around that the man or woman sitting next to you might be a cop. People will stay away from our clubs if they know the police are there, he said.
The Spanish journalists' federation FAPE (Federación de Asociaciones de Periodistas de España) has backed a call by parliament for the media to stop carrying advertisements for prostitution.
Parliament has now adopted a proposal urging Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government to take action against the practice within four months.
Spain was about the only country where serious newspapers published advertisements announcing the services of prostitutes, Socialist legislator Carmen Monton said.
The conservative opposition also criticized the hypocrisy of media writing critically about prostitution - which is semi-legal in Spain - and nevertheless publishing sex ads.
The FAPE considered the parliamentary proposal insufficient, because it only called on the government to press the media for a voluntary code to regulate themselves. The journalists' federation urged the government to state-funded advertising
from any media obtaining a part of their financing from the exploitation of women.
The Australian Sex Party have outlined their key polices re state media censorship:
* To establish a national classification scheme that includes uniform ratings for explicit adult material across all jurisdictions and through all media (including computer games, magazines and films)
*To legalise the sale of and making of X rated films nationally
* To move away from privileging narrow moulds of sexual taste, acts and cultures to expressly include depictions of fetish (currently excluded from Australia's X rating) in a new rating category called Non Violent Erotica
* To actively promote the responsible enjoyment of erotica, endorsing positive messages about consensual and safe sexual activity, and condemning non-consensual sexual activity and sexual violence
*To develop a best practice model with recommendations for the ethical production of pornography that is rewarding and positive for the contributor
*To provide training for all appointees of the Classification Board and Classification Review Board in the latest developments around sexuality to bring them up to date with a pluralistic range of adult sexualities,
subcultures, behaviours and body types
* To introduce R, X and NVE ratings for computer games
In a bid to discourage Nigerian girls from working as prostitutes abroad, the Benin traditional ruler, Oba Erediauwa, has urged the Swedish government and other industrialized nations to help rebuild Nigeria's economy so there will be more job
opportunities for the youth.
The Benin monarch said this would reduce the number of desperate young women used as sex slaves across the globe.
Hundreds of Nigerians, including a large number of young girls had, in recent times, been deported from European countries for several offenses, especially prostitution and human trafficking.
He also wondered how people engaged in trafficking and international prostitution are able to obtain visas and other travelling documents. He told the envoy that prostitution was alien to the Benin culture and it was time for western countries to
do something to stop the ugly trend.
The Esogban of Benin, David Edebiri, appealed to the Swedish envoy to find ways of empowering Nigerians in order to reduce poverty among the people, saying that prostitution is triggered by poverty.
Prague authorities are proposing to legalize prostitution in the Czech Republic, the Czech capital's deputy mayor said.
According to Rudolf Blazek, the mayor's office has prepared a draft law legalizing prostitution, which will soon be submitted to the parliament.
Practicing prostitution would be considered legal if a relevant business license is obtained. The interested parties must pay taxes, have insurance and pass mandatory monthly health examinations, Blazek told journalists. The bill
stipulates that only women older than 18 would be allowed to work as prostitutes in brothels, in their own homes or on-call by clients. At the same time, the draft law prohibits public advertisement of sex services.
According to Prague authorities, there are at least 70 illegal brothels in the Czech capital alone, and over 800 throughout the country. In addition, there are almost 200 websites for sex services in the Czech Republic, up from 45 in 1997, which
enable sex tourists to book their travel and appointments to buy sex acts before they leave home. Prague has the world's first online brothel, Big Sister, where customers get free sex with the sex acts being broadcast on the Internet.
In 2005, the Czech government approved a law to license prostitutes and confine the trade to certain areas as part of an effort to curb prostitution and reduce organized crime. However, the parliament failed to approve it.
A Christian Democratic politician has called for Sweden to open government-controlled brothels, drawing a sharp rebuke from her party colleagues.
Sofie Jakobsson announced on Thursday that she supported the introduction of municipal or state-controlled brothels in Sweden, naming it one of the top three political issues that are most important to her on her website.
Jakobsson is the second delegate on the Christian Democrats' ballot for the municipal council election in Borgholm. Jakobsson backs the proposal as a measure to combat human trafficking, but party colleagues reacted strongly against the proposal,
saying it is contrary to the party line.
The Christian Democrats are the party that most clearly out of all parties has stressed the importance of the law [against] buying sex and that it should be forbidden to buy sex in Sweden and other countries, said Maria Fälth,
chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Women's Association.
That Sofie Jakobsson says she wants to legalise brothel activity is something that conflicts with the party line as well as the Christian Democrats' core values and vision of humanity. Her statement is highly inappropriate, she added.
Adult businesses will be discouraged in future from opening up in Galway's The West to protect local 'sensitivities'.
Councillor Catherine Connolly told a meeting of Galway City Council that she hoped that there would be a total clampdown on the sex business in Dominick Street.
She got assurances from planners that the 'concerns' of [some] local people would be taken into consideration in each individual change of use application.
She expressed concerns that particular commercial developments, such as lap dancing clubs and adult shops in Dominick Street were having a negative impact on the residential amenity of The West: The Jes school is around the corner and it is
absolutely unacceptable that that these businesses would be on a street passed every day by pupils.
Malaga City Hall is set to ban street prostitution imposing fines for sexual practices carried out in public areas of up to 1,500.
Some local business associations and residents in Malaga City demanded that street prostitution be banned completely, especially on the industrial estates where it is commonplace.
Residents and businesses claim they don't want to ban prostitution as everyone has a right to do what they desire with their body ...BUT... they do want to make sure that it is transferred to a more suitable area.
Prostitution in Spain is not illegal and the council has found a way around this by proposing a local bylaw not referring to prostitution, but sanctioning sexual activity in public. If all goes ahead as planned, it could be introduced by October.
Lighting fires on the street will also be banned, something which is linked to prostitution, as many of the women who work on industrial estates light fires to keep warm in the winter.
Street Prostitution has been outlawed by Alicante City Council in new bylaws set to curb the sex trade in public places. The move sees the threat of fines and possible criminal prosecution to prostitutes and clients demanding sex.
Penalties range from 750 for offering or requesting sexual services in the street and is doubled to 1,500 if the offence takes place within an ultra forbidden area - within 200 metres of a school. The punishment rises to 3,000 for
having paid sex in a public place.
And while prostitution is not illegal, the council has taken legal opinion before introducing the new legislation that would mean having sex in public would be on a par with indecent exposure or disorderly conduct.
Independent Deputy Silviu Prigoana has submitted to the Romanian Parliament a new legislative initiative regarding the regulation of prostitution in brothels.
The motivation relies on the attempt to legalize prostitution and this way clarify the social situation of persons that, either way, activate in this sector by integrating them in the social insurance, health and pensions system , Silviu
Prigoana explained in a press release.
The initiative rules that any person who is at least 20 years old and physically capable can offer prostitution services. Those requesting these services need to be at least 16 years old.
The initiative reads that the Health ministry should authorize doctors that can decide whether a person is able to practice such a job.
The person that engages in such activities has the right to dignity, to refuse clients or services requested and to give up this activity at any moment without payment of penalties or notice period.
Brothels, in the draft law, function as commercial companies that have contractual relations with authorized individuals.
Such a law, according to Silviu Prigoana, would increase the control over AIDS and other diseases associated with sexual activities, would protect persons that practice prostitution and will protect the society overall from a series of collateral
facts related to prostitution like human trafficking, physical aggressions, rapes, fiscal evasion, drug use.
Like Thailand, the Philippines, Brazil and many other countries outside of the United States, prostitution is permitted and looked upon with general acceptance in Costa Rica.
In order to control the propagation of venereal disease and AIDS, prostitutes are required by the government to undergo regular health checkups by the Ministry of Health or Ministerio de Salud in order to practice their trade legally. Most
upscale brothels make sure their employees have their health papers and tests up to date.
It is therefore not surprising that many foreigners are attracted to Costa Rica because of the availability of women.
For some people, Costa Rica is a sexual paradise. Many older single retirees choose Costa Rica for this very reason. I heard some of them remark that because of the availability of young women here, they feel like they have discover the Fountain of Youth.
In San José there is a myriad of bordellos, cabarets, escort services, massage parlors and bars where an older man can find female company. One Costa Rican remarked jokingly when questioned about the number of whorehouses in San
José, In order to put a roof over all of the houses of ill repute, you would have to cover the whole city.
The world famous Blue Marlin Bar at the Hotel Del Rey is open 24 hours and is the sexual epicenter of the city. The 104-room Del Rey is a neo-classic building in downtown San José and offers all the amenities of a luxury hotel. The hotel
is rumored to have the highest occupancy rate in the country for a very good reason.
The Pink Palace, as it is often called because of its pink façade, is the place to meet women of the night and experience the most sizzling nightlife in Central America. Most evenings are standing room only in the bar.
Hundreds of shapely Latin women strut their stuff show off their wares. Customers have their choice of beauties from Costa Rica, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. All shapes and sizes are available for a variety of tastes.
Many male guests come to Costa Rica for a couple of weeks and never leave the hotel. Everything they need is right under one roof. Men who have been to brothels all over the would who say they have never been in a place with so many beautiful
women from which to choose.
Beate Uhse Chief Operating Officer Serge van der Hooft is banking on 3-D porn movies to lead a sales revival at Europe's largest sex-shop chain.
After free-of-charge online productions led to a slump in revenue from videos and DVDs, van der Hooft aims to start a fightback with multi-dimensional films such as Octopussy , a parody of the James Bond classic that was released
this year: We will definitely invest in this business, the 33- year-old executive said in an interview at the company's Dutch wholesale center in Almere. The sale of erotic movies on DVD fell within a few years from top to flop because
of the surprisingly fast emergence of free porn on the internet.
Hardcore movies, a major profit generator of the Flensburg, Germany-based company, declined to 17% of revenue last year from about three-quarters 15 years ago and a third in 2006. With customers no longer willing to pay as much as 100 euros
($128) for a film as they did a decade ago, margins have shrunk, van der Hooft said.
The 3-D version of Octopussy , in which Danny Mountain plays the character James Bone, went on sale last month in Beate Uhse stores and outlets which the company supplies as a wholesaler at prices ranging from 59 euros to 79 euros,
depending on location.
The chain also sells titles such as Roma 3 , an erotic costume drama in which rebuilt ancient temples and palaces serve as backgrounds.
With large illuminated lettering affixed to its pasty white facade proclaiming Adult Movies, the all-night Ueno Okura Theater has been entertaining fans of erotic cinema for nearly five decades.
The two-screen building, however, closed recently due to safety concerns and aesthetic problems resulting from its aged interiors.
But the theater widely regarded as Japan's top outlet for soft-core pink pornographic films will continue inside a new complex across the alley and begin targeting a different type of cinemagoer: women.
Female customers can't typically come to this kind of place because they feel embarrassed, says the theater's bespectacled general manager, Hidekazu Saito. But we want them to come without hesitation.
Due to unfold Sunday in the new theater complex was a special ladies only event featuring a speaking engagement with three adult-film actresses (Chisato Shoda, Maki Tomoda and Riri Koda) and the screening of two new films. These include
director Tetsuya Takehora's Shiofuki Hanayome no Sei Hakusho (White Paper on a Gushing Bride's Sex Life) , a coming-of-age story about a young woman seeking love.
The new building is accommodating to female sensibilities. With a well-lit lobby and bright red and blue signs covering its sloping concrete exterior, the new Okura creates a more modern atmosphere compared with the drab tile flooring and faded
earth-tone wall coverings of the old structure.
Ueno Okura TheaterPink films, or pinku eiga, date back to the 1960s. These short films (usually running for 60 minutes) are made by small companies, most notably Okura Eiga, which operates the Ueno Okura, and differ from conventional porn flicks
in that the story lines are generally more broadly developed.
Originally the Okura opened under the Toei film company in 1951. It was 11 years later that it screened Flesh Market, a tale of torture and bondage directed by Satoru Kobayashi that is typically considered to be Japan's first pink film. By
1971, it was entirely dedicated to the pink genre.
Around that time, the Okura was one of eight theaters in Ueno offering erotic entertainment. That number slowly dwindled over the next few decades as home video crept into the market.
Longtime fans should not be disappointed with its reincarnation. The number of screens has increased by one to three, the former basement theater has been relocated to the second floor, and a wheelchair space and headphones for the hearing
impaired are provided.
The recent closing of numerous long-running theaters in Tokyo was not a deterrent in deciding the fate of the Okura. Saito believes that if the theater were simply closed the genre would slowly die. If we lose this, we'll lose pink films, he says.
This is to save them.
While many are still coming down from the excitement of the World Cup, Zodwa Sangweni is one South African who was disappointed by how the much-hyped event turned out.
A sex worker in Johannesburg, Sangweni said despite predictions that sex business would be booming, the World Cup season was actually a bust: We didn't work well, there was no money, she said. Maybe for those who work in hotels but for
us on the streets, we didn't get any business.
Ahead of the global sporting spectacle which has a reputation for off-the-pitch debauchery many were speculating that the real winners of the event would be sex workers. An influx of as many as 40,000 sex workers was anticipated. However,
just as there were fewer spectators than planned, so too for sex workers.
According to Sangweni, there were no new faces in the streets of Johannesburg on which she works.
Cape Town wasn't much better, noted Dianne Massawe, Advocacy Officer at the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), who said that most Cape Town sex workers she spoke with told her business was slower than usual.
Massawe is waiting for research being conducted by Stellenbosch University to find out the real numbers of foreign workers who showed up for the World Cup, but after speaking to sex workers and looking at the number of sex advertisements in South
African publications, it looks like the influx was insignificant and overhyped.
As far as the 'Great trek' of sex workers, most foreign sex workers were already here prior to the World Cup, she said. The many Zimbabwean sex workers are here because of unsteady economic climate in their country.
Henry Trotter, an expert on the sex trade and author of the book Sugar Girls and Seamen, which explores issues of dockside prostitution in South Africa, agreed, noting that most World Cup fans weren't interested in paid sex: Most of the
tourists were soccer fans and were here just for the soccer, he said. We may be mistaken in our stereotyping of soccer fans by assuming that they always have sex on their minds.
Trotter said he's found that there isn't much of a demand for paid sex in South Africa by foreign visitors to the country: most of the market is local men. He attributes this to the reputation South Africa has as the country with the highest HIV
and AIDS prevalence in the world.
An Ontario Superior Court judge is expected to rule in September on a challenge by three sex-trade activists, who are seeking to repeal Criminal Code provisions that make it illegal to run a bawdy house, communicate for the purposes of
prostitution and live off the avails of prostitution.
They argue that these laws put lives at risk because they drive prostitutes onto the streets and limit their ability to talk to prospective clients to determine if they might be dangerous.
When you force us to work under the gun, under the radar, in the dark with no one knowing who we are seeing, how long we've been gone of course it's going to be dangerous, said Valerie Scott, a former Toronto prostitute and one of the
But critics of decriminalization say repealing the laws will normalize prostitution, potentially lead to sex tourism, and will do little to curb the cycle of violence maybe just move it indoors.
Whatever the judge decides, the case likely will be argued all the way to the Supreme Court.
Violence against prostitutes has made headlines across the country in recent weeks. In Ottawa, a 36-year-old prostitute was found stabbed to death in a parking lot. In Halifax, police said a 29-year-old prostitute managed to escape from the trunk
of a moving car after being sexually assaulted and threatened.
Over the next few weeks, as students start filtering back for the new term, we'll no doubt witness the return to our streets of the dreaded slogan T-shirt. Personally, I've never quite been able to grasp this quaint custom
of wearing one's heart on one's heart. No matter how noble the sentiment, going public with your polemic leaves you open to ridicule and the occasional slap if the dictum is provocative enough. When I was a student, such sloganeering tended to
be simplistic: No to war! or Yes to peace! For the hip post-feminists of the new millennium, there was a low-cut novelty T-shirt (available in pink for that added sprinkle of irony) that pulled no punches with its These tits are
real! declaration, and underneath, in italics: Touch them and see! Once, and only once, I observed the command and felt the full, stinging force of girl power, right across my cheek.
It's an unusual campaign pledge: a strip club in every town. That, however, is what Adriely Fatal, a stripper and erotic actress from north-eastern Brazil, is promising voters as she hits the campaign trail in search of a place in
With general elections taking place in October, four adult entertainers are preparing to battle it out for a seat in Ceara state's local assembly, aiming to rock the political establishment by forming a powerful sex lobby within
Leading Ceara's campanha erσtica is 23-year-old Fatal, who also promises to focus on hospitals and education and is campaigning outside the local football stadium, where she dances on an open-backed truck dressed in skin-tight shorts.
Fatal claims that the latest opinion polls show she already has around 10,000 votes in the bag. If she can increase that to 12,000, her campaign manager, who was inspired by the Hungarian porn star La Cicciolina, elected to Italy's parliament in
1987, believes Fatal will soon become Fatal MP.
It seems there is little interest in investing in pornography these days in Spain, and X-rated cinemas have closed down, as viewers now only have to access the internet to find a wide variety of films, often for free and in the comfort of their
own living rooms.
Several decades ago, the porn industry in Spain was booming, but over the years, it has been on the decline, mainly due to the internet and illegal downloading.
In 1999, according to statistics from SGAE, seven out of every 1,000 cinema-goers watched adult films and takings were close to four million euros. Ten years later, these figures have fallen to 1 in every 1,000 and takings of just 903,000
The Spanish pornography industry complains that if there was more control on illegal internet downloading, they may once again be able to make money out of porn, as well as keeping control on films to keep them within the boundaries of the law.
A Bahraini woman, who owns what is believed to be the first sex shop in the region, fears she could run out of business following a new government ban on sex toys.
Khadija Ahmed is now considering leaving the country: There isn't a reasonable cause for banning the products because it's not immoral and they don't go against our religion, she said.
I pay a lot of money to ship my products to Bahrain and as soon as they enter the country, Customs officials confiscate them or force me to send them back - so I have to pay again to ship them here again, she said.
I have lost thousands of dinars and my business is suffering as a result, despite having a large customer base who call me on a daily basis asking for more products.
They tell me that my products have helped their marriages and the success of my store proves that there is a demand for such products among married Bahrainis. My products aren't illegal. They are widely available in
Bahrain's markets, but the only difference is that I collected them under one roof .
The woman who runs the Khadija Fashion House in Jidali, is now planning to appeal to the highest authorities to reverse the ban. She is planning to write to His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa in the hope that
he will intervene.
Some female Asian tourists have been flocking to massage parlors in Cebu City that offer a different kind of service called yoni, according to Rene Joseph Bullecer of Aids Free Philippines.
Although it is not yet as popular as the male equivalent, lingam, Bullecer said Asian tourists, mostly Koreans, avail the services of yoni or massage of the female genitals.
This is what the Asian (tourists) have been looking for. Filipino men touch their private parts, he said. These young women are looking for something. They don't want women to do the massage. They want men. Kasagaran Asian costumers ang
hilig ana (Asian customers usually avail of that).
Yoni is the Sanskrit word for the female sex organ and is loosely translated as sacred space or Sacred Temple, according to the www.whitelotuseast.com. According to the website, the massage was a form of safe sex and was used to
assist women to break through sexual blocks or trauma.
Yoni, as well as lingam, is being offered in at least five massage parlors and spas in uptown Cebu City, said Bullecer. At least 25% of the massage parlors in Cebu offer lingam. He said he didn't have the exact number of massage parlors that
Free porn available on the internet is hitting erotic shopping empire Beate Uhse where it hurts in the bottom line.
The Flensburg-based German business posted a loss for the first half of the year, with pre-tax losses of 6.1 million after a profit of 686,000 in the same period of 2009.
Named after its founder, Beate Uhse became a huge player in the erotic industry in Germany and abroad, but is now trying to alter direction towards more lifestyle products, a change which is taking longer than anticipated, the company said on
The previously strong DVD sector has shrunk dramatically in the face of competing free sex films available on the internet.
New products such as bedclothes and towels have been introduced as part of the new concept, while the mail-order business has been split into soft and hard sections, although this has not helped performance.
Arch over Jomtien's main road.
I wonder how this got council approval?
Thailand is known for its anything-goes sex industry, and stag parties are simple to organize and host. But what about a hen party, that final blowout before a women commits herself to the institution of marriage?
In Thailand, there are no Chippendales dancers or legitimate businesses you can just call up and order male strippers from. Everything is behind a veil of secrecy, therefore an investigation was needed. But the biggest question was where to
First of all, it's incredibly difficult to get past the faηade of Thai conservatism. Most of the newlyweds I spoke to said the hen parties their friends held for them were quiet little outings to the beach. Nothing like those drunken
stripper-filled nights out on the town many women in the West love to hold for their friends.
So there I was, without a lead. This story seemed to be headed nowhere fast. Until a gay friend tells me there is a beach in Jomtien outside of Pattaya about an hour and a half away from Bangkok where women can hire male strippers to dance at
their chosen venue. For Western men, head to the beach
Pattaya is a seaside resort renowned for its sin, a prostitution and mafia-filled den of inequity that would make the perfect backdrop to a bad Hollywood movie, possessed by a foulness so evil that Darth Vader would feel intimidated here.
[Get on down there]
We soon find what we are looking for. Sure enough there are Eastern European-looking men loitering around the front of bars. Prices for the men of course vary, but they are willing to dance -- illegally, we might add, so hire at your own risk as
I'm pretty sure they don't have work permits -- for either men or women.
The lesson I quickly learn in all this is that Bangkok's gay community is the best place to head if you want to plan a wild bachelorette party.
As soon as I'm back in the city, another gay friend calls to say he heard about my assignment and tells me to tag along to a hen party he is hosting for one of his female friends. Calls are made, a tux is dry-cleaned and a few days later I find
myself face to face with the dangling scrotum. 'Take it off! Take it off!'
The pretense of the party is a small gathering of friends, together for a wine-tasting course. What the guests don't know is that the waiters are actually strippers -- and do the job quite well, one might add.
If you want to hold a hen's party with strippers your best bet is to hire them from a gay bar and hold the party at a private venue. Or, if you don't mind being surrounded by men, just take your crowd to the gay bar.
We advise against checking out Bangkok's lady-toy bars, which offer male escorts for hire. Not only is prostitution illegal in Thailand, but, as a recent Bangkok Post article explains, customers can be intimidated by the waiters and
security staff and hassled to buy high-priced drinks for themselves and their dates . The scene can also get pretty shady, with reports that the men for hire often expose their genitals -- some wearing a condom -- whether on the stage or
approaching female customers at a table. That's probably a bit more full on than most ladies want from a harmless hen's night out with the girls.
Sex workers in Vila Mimosa, Rio's red light district fear they may be forced out as the city revamps for 2014 Wortld Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Rio's business association, Firjan, estimates that some R$250bn (£89bn) in public and private money will be invested in the city over the coming six years.
While most are celebrating the city's regeneration, Vila Mimosa's prostitutes and their employers are growing increasingly nervous that the city's makeover may see them driven out by mooted plans to bulldoze the area and replace it with a
platform for a high-speed rail-link between Rio and Brazil's economic capital Sao Paulo.
Vila Mimosa is a place where money talks. The residents' association claims the red-light district, which is open around the clock, receives around 4,000 guests each day. The local commerce as a whole is said to generate around R$1m each
For those who run the local clubs sweaty bars with names such as Queen 46 and Men's 44 it is a lucrative business. The former owner of one club said bar managers could draw an annual salary of up to £35,000 from their pontos
or points a sizeable wage in a country where the minimum monthly wage is around £185.
Life is less kind to the women who work here, earning as little as £10 per program , many of them trying to pay college fees or support their families.
Prostitution is not a crime in Brazil and for tens of thousands impoverished women from the wealthy south-eastern metropolises to the isolated frontier towns of the Amazon it represents a viable if often dangerous means of survival. A recent
UN report suggested there could be close to 20,000 South American prostitutes working in Europe.
Not all of the women in Vila Mimosa oppose the move. I'd go happily. Have you seen it in there? said Monique, the 64-year-old manager of one of the area's houses . She pointed out onto Rua Sotero dos Reis, where more than 70
brothels cram into squalid alleyways, buzzing with gyrating bodies. It's horrible. It stinks and the access [for cars] is bad. Maybe the next place will be better.
The proliferation of more convenient saunas in Rio's downtown business centre had hit the area hard, she claimed. In the olden days it would be packed now with lawyers, oil executives, all sorts, she said, looking around at her half
empty bar: Now just look at this place.
Men will go anywhere [for sex], said a 21-year-old prostitute, who works under the name Julia: Men are addicts this is an addiction.
Canada has upped the ante for running a brothel with the possibility of an additional charge: being a member of a criminal gang.
The federal government put through several regulatory changes to the Criminal Code in the middle of July. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced the changes on Wednesday.
The definition of a criminal organization is three or more people engaged in committing serious offences for profit. Thanks to the cabinet fiat, serious offences includes close to a dozen new crimes. While most of the
regulatory changes announced to the Criminal Code affect gambling, betting or drug trafficking, the government also included keeping a common bawdyhouse.
NDP MP Libby Davies says it's outrageous that the Conservative government has quietly enacted new organized crime regulations which include making bawdyhouse offences a serious crime while Parliament is on summer break.
Christine Bruckert, a professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa who has studied sex work, says the change in regulation could affect massage parlours, brothels, dungeons, bathhouses even swingers' clubs. Bruckert calls the changes
a slippage in the discourse around trafficking, where anxiety about women being trapped by international pimps is now being applied to unrelated situations.
The Calcutta high court is set to hear an interesting petition on the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), 1956.
The petition has been filed by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), an umbrella association of Kolkata-based sex workers.
The association wants changes since it believes this law violates the fundamental rights of citizens. It also wants clients of sex workers to be exempted from criminal prosecution.
Section 4 is full of contradictions, noted criminal and human rights lawyer K Gupta said. Under this section, those dependent (parents, husband, adult children) on the income of sex workers can be prosecuted if they are aware that the money
has been earned through prostitution, Gupta said. However, the beneficiary cannot be prosecuted if h/she is unaware of the source of income. But it is quite difficult to establish this distinction and in most cases law-enforcement agencies
take advantage of this.
Besides, this section is self-discriminatory, or contrary to other laws that make it mandatory for a son or daughter to look after their dependent parents. In a way, this section discourages a sex worker from spending her money to look after
her ailing parents or educating her adult son or daughter. Under section 4, people benefiting from the income of sex worker can be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison, Gupta said.
Similarly, another self-contradictory clause in ITPA is the one that makes it a criminal offence to hire the services of a sex worker. Prostitution has not been defined as a criminal offence in our law. If the service is not illegal, then how
can clients be criminals? We hope this historical petition will try to seek answers to all such questions, the lawyer said.
Sex workers at a well-known brothel in the Peruvian port of Callao mounted a protest against what they decry as unfair competition from foreign colleagues.
Some 300 prostitutes wrapped in sheets from the El Trocadero bordello demonstrated in protest against the presence of foreign women.
Prostitution is legal in Peru for adult women, but they must register with municipal governments and carry health certificates, while brothels require licenses.
A representative of the protesters calling herself Bella told RPP radio that they have filed a complaint with immigration authorities against another nearby brothel because they have foreigners there without their papers in order and
with no license to work here.
An hour costs 120 sols ($42), but for them (the foreign prostitutes) no; since they're desperate to make some money, they only charge 80 sols ($28) per hour .
The Cebu City Council will draft an ordinance regulating spa and massage parlors that offer lingam massage to their clients, Vice Mayor Augustus Young said.
Young said the council committees on health and tourism will draft the guidelines to ensure that lingam massage won't lead to prostitution. Young said restrictions will include age limits and licensing of attendants.
He said he talked with some doctors who confirmed that lingam massage is recommended for those with prostate cancer.
I didn't hear any complaints that lingam was harmful. That's why you have to look at both sides, But let's impose a sin tax on it. We welcome lingam but with the condition that it won't violate public morals, he said.
But Mayor Michael Rama said he had to wait for the City Anti-Indecency Board (CAIB) recommendation on the issue.
City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva said a recent inspection of nine outlets offering lingam services showed that three of them offered extra services to customers.
In a Provincial Board session, the owner of the Authentic Lingam Massage Venture in barangay Mabolo, Cebu City insisted that they were not engaged in prostitution. Owner Honey Yoo told board members that the massage involved only the areas
between the anus and the perinium, and not the male genitals. Ejaculation is just incidental, she said.
The Spa and Wellness Association of Cebu clarified to the board that their members don't offer lingam massage. Association president Johnnie Lim said they would continue to bar lingam massage from their outlets.
A crackdown on China's fast-growing sex industry has prompted a backlash, with sex workers demonstrating for the legalisation of prostitution and an outcry about the treatment of women suspects.
The protest in Wuhan is thought to have been the first of its kind in the country. The small group of women asked onlookers to sign a petition calling for an end to discrimination against sex workers and the scrapping of anti-prostitution laws.
Our society has many problems that are neglected by the public and prostitution is one of them, Ye Haiyan, the activist and sex worker at the forefront of last week's demonstration. She said police had detained her for a few days for her
part in the protest.
Prostitution is widespread and blatant in China, despite frequent crackdowns. Many hotels, hairdressers, massage parlours and karaoke bars make little effort to disguise illicit activity. The World Health Organisation has estimated the country
has 4 million sex workers, but academics have suggested the figure is higher.
In May, state media said police had arrested 1,100 suspects from high-end establishments in Beijing alone. But pink-lit hairdressers and massage facilities appear to be operating unhindered in the capital and elsewhere.
Ye, who tweets and blogs under the name Hooligan Sparrow, said the police campaign was harming the health of workers. She launched the Chinese Women's Rights Workshop, distributing condoms and Aids-prevention pamphlets to brothels in Wuhan. But
she said that sex workers were now reluctant to use condoms for fear they would be used as evidence of prostitution. On her website she said she also decided to speak out after seeing women publicly humiliated following police raids.
Zheng Huang, of Shanghai Leyi an NGO supporting male sex workers said the crackdown was the most significant for at least a decade. He believed prostitutes have become more vulnerable because they are moving around to avoid police. He said:
Sex workers just need to regain the rights they are supposed to have rather than asking for more rights. For example, many prostitutes do not dare to call the police when they get robbed, because they are afraid of being arrested for their job.
Handcuffed, shoeless and tied to a rope, these girls are being led through the streets of China as part of a police crackdown against prostitution.
But the images of the girls being frogmarched down the Guangzhou road - with their shoes removed to stop them running away - have shocked many in China.
An outraged Chinese woman named Wan Yu took the images on her mobile phone and posted on the web.
A police spokesman defended the broad daylight action saying that the public humiliation of the women and their customers would have been a further deterrent to other people considering getting involved in prostitution.
Update: Police Slavers Banned from Displaying their Wares
It's taken a while, considering public opinion had already turned against the practice years ago, but the Ministry of Public Security has finally issued an edict saying that police around the country are no longer allowed to publicly shame
prostitutes and johns as a method of stopping the acts from happening.
According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Public Security, provincial security departments must absolutely not conduct activities such as prostitute parades, or anything else that would undermine human dignity, while cracking down on
prostitution in their respective cities.
Guangdong police in Dongguan came under fire after they released pictures of prostitutes they caught handcuffed and barefoot, led through the streets on a rope. Dongguan police backpedaled quickly, arguing that they hadn't meant to publicly shame
anyone, and this was just standard protocol that happened to be photographed and that the media put up.
The Thai sex trade is driven by overweight, unattractive, middle-aged divorcees, right?
Wrong. A Fabulous investigation reveals it's now 20-something Brits paying for sex.
Nick and Gary are on a boys-only holiday with a difference. Their girlfriends think they're on a golfing trip, when in fact they have come to Thailand solely to have sex with prostitutes.
The young men, both 21 and chefs, are in the beach resort of Pattaya for the first time on a two-week break. Good-looking, with decent jobs and gorgeous girlfriends at home, they are not the sort of guys you expect to see paying for sex on the
seedy streets of Thailand. But in the 24 hours since they landed, they've already handed over cash to two prostitutes.
Unashamedly, they compare it to trying to secure a one-night stand. While they might buy girls drinks all night only to get blown out in Tenerife, here they know if they fork out money, they're guaranteed sex at the end of the night.
Three months into a crackdown against prostitution and gambling, a senior officer says police have a clear idea of how the businesses are carried out in Beijing - and a firm resolve to stamp them out.
Qian Jin, vice-head of the Security Corps within the city's Public Security Bureau, told METRO that the operation that started April 14 has involved 9,000 police officers. Qian said 100 officers hit the streets each night along with 30
plain-clothes colleagues. They have hassled 2,000 KTV (karaoke) clubs and bath houses in the city looking for people enjoying themselves.
Qian said: We are determined to put an end to the following five illegal activities in the entertainment places. I am referring to organizing, housing and offering prostitution; staging obscene shows; setting up casinos; operating irregularly;
and managing a business without qualified documents, such as the permits from the environmental and cultural departments.
Qian said the police raids on KTVs have found that many are operated irregularly , incorporating such things as security doors and alarm systems to make people aware of raids who are deeper inside the building. Some, he said, have closed
for redecoration during the crackdown but have continued to provide sex services for their members.
He said police have also uncovered other deficiencies in the businesses such as broken equipment, poor security practices, a lack of required video surveillance technology, loose management practices and even illegally stored knives and rubber
staffs kept as weapons.
He continued that police will step up the crackdown by continuing to target KTVs and bath houses, this time concentrating on checking employee authorization cards (IC cards) and ensuring workers do not have criminal records connected to
prostitution, gambling or drug addiction: The IC card is a magnetic card carrying their real names that can show if they have a criminal record, especially for pornography. If so, according to Chinese law, they are prohibited from engaging in
the entertainment industry . They are required to swipe their cards when they go to work each day, so we can get a timely grasp of their tracks.
Qian said entertainment places must also employ qualified security guards from formal security companies who have received state training.
Also, entertainment venues are required by law to have a fully functioning CCTV system capable of storing a clear image for 30 days. They are, however, not allowed to set up cameras near the entrance and exit to watch out for the police, he said.
Businesses that fail to meet these obligations can be fined and have their business licenses suspended for up to six months. And enterprises that have their licenses pulled twice in the space of two years and those that have them pulled three
times in total will have their licenses revoked, he said.
Police plan to carry out a one-month clean-up of city bars. Since the crackdown and the tighter regulation of the city's KTV clubs and bath houses, prostitutes have begun to flow to the bars and have continued to engage in prostitution, Qian said.
The Spanish government has put itself on collision course with the national press with the announcement that it wants to ban adverts offering sexual services from their classified sections.
The adverts, which fill at least a page in most of Spain's dailies, are worth 40m (£34m) a year to the newspaper industry.
President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero made the announcement during this week's state of the nation speech, claiming it was part of a strategy to fight the people trafficking and sexual exploitation: As long as these
advertisements exist, they contribute to the idea of this activity as normal .
If the ads are banned, newspapers will want to be compensated and, worryingly for Zapatero, El País, a staunch supporter of his socialist party, is the paper that earns the most from this form of advertising. With its left-liberal
sensibilities and readership profile, El País is the Spanish paper that most resembles the Guardian, and yet it earns 5m a year from advertising prostitution.
Yolanda Besteiro of the 'Progressive' Women's Federation was scathing about what she regards as the newspaper's hypocrisy: No media outlet can proclaim itself a defender of human rights when it publishes this kind of advertising, which makes
them directly complicit in this type of slavery .
The most openly religious daily, ABC, also runs the ads. El Publíco is the only national that does not run them as a matter of policy. Spain is the only European country where the quality press carries adverts for sex. Prostitution
is big business in Spain, worth an estimated 18bn a year.
People working in South Africa's sex industry expected an influx of customers during the World Cup but instead, tourists have been flocking to the country's museums.
The World Cup has been devastating, the owner of a Johannesburg escort company told CNN. We thought it was going to be a cash cow but it's chased a lot of business away. It's been the worst month in my company's history.
The escort service's madam also added that she can't wait for the fans to leave. No one is interested in sex at the moment. I think we've had three customers who travelled here for the World Cup which has seen my group's business drop by 80%.
I enjoyed watching the games, but I can't wait for everyone to just go home now.
Zobwa, a prostitute and chairperson of a group that represents 70 prostitutes in Johannesburg told CNN, People went to the bars and stadiums to watch the games and afterwards they went home. They didn't bother themselves with coming to us.
Back in March, South African officials expected 40,000 prostitutes would be flooding into the country but Zobwa said she has left the city because the money just isn't there.
On the other end, museums and art galleries have been booming with international visitors. The Apartheid Museum received three times the number of expected patrons while the Johannesburg Art Gallery has seen an extra thousand people.