Sex Work Index

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mergers and Updates

This is not the announcement you are all awaiting, but still something significant.

The Courtesan Connection today has officially adopted and merged with The Sex Work Index, an attempt to create a collaborative index of information on the Internet of use or interest to Sex Workers, and those researching sex work issues. This means that an organization that adopts these entities will have two tools that help inform, educate, and share information through out the on-line Sex Worker Community.

In preparation for, and to facilitate adoption of both of these sites, your feedback and suggestions are encouraged. Please feel free to leave a comment, or send an email.

As currently there is but one person working on both of these projects, on a part time basis, updating will be limited. For The Courtesan Connection, the primary updates will occur on the Wordpress Blog ( ), as I am somewhat more comfortable with that platform. The Blogspot blog ( ), will have some updated posts but links there will be updated last. Those of you that have emailed requesting their blog address to be changed or to be added to the blog lists, it has been noted and will be addressed. Please be patient.

For The Sex Work Index, currently the Refinements (Categories) need revision, and the index itself needs updating. Adding links to the Sex Work Index is easily done using the Google Marker extension . Please see The Sex Work Index blog for more information.

To celebrate this Happy Marriage, I intend on spending Valentines Day job hunting, dealing with indifferent public servants, cleaning the refrigerator, and formatting a new hard drive after going to my regular wage-slavery. Feel free to toast the screen and give your significant other a kiss for me as the occasion may allow.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Statement of Purpose

Sex work is a topic that remains difficult to talk about. Really until the advent of the Internet, what articles and literature on the subject there were primarily came from religious, political, or legal institutions, or was behind-the-shelf fantasy, with the occasional sensational tell-all book thrown in. Most of this material was produced with a clear bias and agenda. It focused on the moral corruption of women, the spread of disease, and other social problems. Rarely did it break out of stereotypical portrayals of those involved in exotic dancing, massage, or escort work.

With the advent of the Internet and blogging, there are now many authors of both sexes that question and discuss if western society's perception of sex work holds true. They freely and clearly contradict those who state no one would ever willingly chose to be a prostitute, challenge the assertion a stripper must have been sexually abused as a child, and demand logical, convincing evidence of the harm attributed to their acts. Indeed, rather than shame, they often show a great deal of pride in the professionalism, creativity, and skill they demonstrate in their work. These people, through message boards, blogs and organizations, openly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of what they see as a profession that deserves acknowledgement and respect.

At the same time, the issues of abuse, violence, trafficking and exploitation of human beings remain real problems. These issues, though not entirely driven by the sex trade, have clear links to it. Political, legal, ethical, and social issues also come from sex work. Issues that for the most part, have been ignored.

Since development of the Internet, there have been repeated efforts to catalog or index sites related to sex work, mostly for the use of those seeking these services. Occasionally, academic sites have gathered links, such as Prostitution Resources, only to lose relevance and value as the sites they collected perished. Blogs such as The Courtesan Connection, attempted to gather related blogs, but remained limited by the same problem. Search engines have provided some assistance, but due to the overwhelming amount of material that is focused on marketing sexual services, sites with information on more thoughtful subjects still remain difficult to locate.

With Google's development of Custom Search Engines, it is now possible to create a specialized collaborative index of sites and information relevant to sex work while remaining current and updated. It is with this in mind that the Sex Work Index has been initiated. It is our hope this proves sustainable and useful to the sex worker community, advocates, researchers, and those seeking insight and knowledge.