Wednesday, July 8, 2020


While I never objected to the federal government prosecuting me for tax fraud (because that was exactly my crime), there was a laundry list of ways they managed to offend me during the 5 + years I spent being preyed upon by prosecutors and the system.

Today, I'm only going to describe one manner in which I felt wounded by the government as I'm sure listing all would hold the attention of very few readers (y'all have things to do and lives to lead).

At one point in my adult advertising career, I was providing the New York Press, an alternative weekly here in New York City, with 10% of its advertising revenue. And being a friendly, hands-on kind of guy, I knew a lot of the higher-ups at the paper.

One day I was introduced to the editor, who commissioned me to write a cover story about the NYPD stealing hookers' money during simple vice busts. The story never ran (not worth describing why here) but I established a relationship with that editor, who quit shortly thereafter and went on to work at the Village Voice, NY Daily News and Daily Beast - all major news media.

While researching the escort industry a few years later, Harry found my escort blog and upon realizing "Hey! I know this guy!" he contacted me to ask a few questions. Seizing the opportunity, I asked him to hook me up with the Daily Beast. He gave me the name of the editor-in-chief to whom I forwarded a couple of blog posts.

She responded favorably and assigned me an editor who instructed me to pitch him with ideas. If he liked one, he would have me finish the piece and then publish it on the website. I was effectively in the door.

Three or four pitches later, I scored with a theme claiming that networks like the Lifetime Channel running movies about infamous madams (The Mayflower Madam for one) was a much more effective vehicle for recruiting prostitutes into the business than pimps who did the job just one girl at a time. An effective film could attract a division of prospective applicants. His response was "this is great. Now flesh it out for me." I was going to have my first published piece in The Daily beast.

Shortly thereafter, I had a meeting with my prosecutor, who sat me down in front of a few pieces of paper and asked "who are these people?" Initially clueless as to his mission, I put on my glasses to discover the feds had hacked my email account and wanted to know about a few specific individuals who had contacted me. Fortunately, those emails came from sources I either didn't know personally or had stopped doing business with. So the feds didn't glean much info from that line of questioning.

But when he was done, the DA then declared "oh, and by the way! You can't write for the Daily Beast about the escort business." I was stunned. Yes, I was a tax cheat. And yes, the government seized 92% of my life savings. I took the prosecution and seizure in stride. But violating my first amendment rights? Was this the United States of America?

Plus, they'd read all the emails. They knew the subject of the prospective piece and had obviously read it. There was nothing within to undermine the USA. It was just a simple statement that media recruited prostitutes into the business in a much more effective and societally acceptable manner than did a simple street pimp.

I said nothing but vowed to continue on my intrepid path to getting published at The Daily Beast, figuring there wouldn't be hell to pay given my citizenship in the land of the free and home of the brave.

But a funny thing happened. After the editor's enthusiastic response, I could never get him on the phone or convince him to respond to my emails ever again. My inference was that the DA made a call and killed me dead at the Beast. Nice.

Anyway...all's well that ends well. The original editor at the NY Press got a job at the Beast. And when I called him from prison to let him know that Paul Manafort was my celly, the dude flipped. He wanted me to write something from prison but I was afraid of what the warden might do when he found out. So Harry promised to give me some work after I got out and he's been good to his word.

The point is not that I eventually did get to write for the Beast - but how the US government violated my first amendment rights to shut me up while I was being prosecuted - even though the piece said absolutely nothing contrary to the US government's mission - which is presumably to ensure the civil rights of its citizens (yeah, right).

To wrap this up...guess what. I'm now going to publish the piece that never made it to the Daily Beast website. You can be the judge of whether it was worthy of publication on their esteemed website or not.


We read, hear and watch a lot of bull shit in the media about traffickers who lure girls into the escort profession. Maybe it's true...and maybe it's fiction. But I gained a little insight this afternoon that might really turn the mainstream on its ear.

I was on the phone with an old buddy yesterday - an independently-operating escort who calls herself Candy - when somehow the conversation turned to that old rite of passage thing (the usual sexual abuse mythology which is generally true)...and then to how she got lured into the profession in the first place. And you might find the seminal recruitment tool sublimely enlightening.

No, it wasn't a big, bad pimp driving a $100,000 Benz - or a foreign broker who "turned her out." It was THE LIFETIME CHANNEL that did the job! Yup! The girl was just 14 years old when one night she watched THE MAYFLOWER MADAM (the story of Sydney Biddle Barrows) on the "chick channel" - and there is where she found her calling!

Now Candy is no dumbbell - at least academically speaking. En route to her destiny, the Sweet One enrolled in UCLA on scholarship. But once out in the world on her own, the lure of that fantasy so groomed by that movie she'd seen just a few years back, beckoned. And so she dropped out within weeks to pursue her particular dream - one of making the big bucks in the escort game. And sure enough at just 18 years of age, Candy was living in her own cozy apartment, shopping till she dropped, and earning 900 bucks a day to pay the way!

This I find fascinating. While law enforcement pursues any number of facilitators and traffickers whom they think are the culprits, a freakin' cable channel just might be doing more to glamorize the escort world and recruit young girls into the profession than the people they're spending all that money to track!

And what about "PRETTY WOMAN" the movie? How many women decided to give it a go based on that fucking fairy tale? I mean...come on! Who wouldn't want to marry a handsome trillionaire?? Put me in a wig and sign me up! Ya think maybe a few girls entered the rank and file based on that bull shit?

But that's not all of it! The media aids and abets the process in less obvious and more workaday ways. New York City's most notorious madam runs three separate places and is in constant need of new faces to titillate her endless list of regular customers. And while a significant percentage come from word of mouth and friends of her current employees, the lion's share find her via the help wanted ads she runs on a daily basis. Yessirree! The boss lady recruits via the Internet - yet another medium attracting young ladies.

While her ads are fairly obvious, others are not. Emma, a beautiful Korean girl, found the business from the help wanted pages of a Korean daily. Worded in such a way as to hoodwink the paper itself so the owner could run the ad in the first place, Emma answered thinking she'd only be giving massages. When she called, the boss asked "You know men, right?" She got the picture right away!

But really…recruitment to the business can happen in any number of much more organic ways. Take Sexxxy Sadie, a college-educated Jewish woman born (by her own admission) with a healthy appetite for carnal fun. She had a job writing insurance policies and one day commuted to a prospective client who as it turned out owned a massage parlor. He liked her…asked her out on a date…and then gently enlightened her. She never worked for him…but shortly thereafter, checked the help wanted ads in the Voice adult section and started work making the big bucks…all of which brings us back to the media as recruiters.

When it comes to The Great American Hoochie Mama, the "hood rats" hit the bricks the old fashioned way. Race or ethnicity notwithstanding (not all hood rats are women of color), these girls tend to get pimped by a smooth-talking player. He could be in the club. Or he could be driving down the boulevard in a tricked out ride. After the initial overture, Homey might run some ads for her if he's an enterprising individual, or more often than not, will place her with an escort agency where she'll receive roughly 50% of the money she earns…and then go home to turn her share over to "daddy!"

New York City is chock full of foreign escorts…especially of the Asian variety. How does recruitment work with them? Suzie, a phone girl who's managed virtually every massage parlor in the Big Apple, reports that recruitment back in the home country starts at what is called a "hostess bar," a ubiquitous and completely legal enterprise peculiar to their culture.

In an American bistro, a waitress takes your order…slings it on the table…and then presents you with a check. But a Korean hostess bar is different. Often a bunch of businessmen will get their own room in which to drink. Their waitress not only pours their beverages…but sits and chats with them - and might even perform a little karaoke for their entertainment. While nothing illegal or sexual goes on, the leap to massage parlor work from the hostess bar isn't quite as pronounced as going directly into the fire. And in fact, the hostess bar serves as a sort of minor league training ground. Once working as a waitress, the girl networks with her colleagues and customers and sooner than later discovers other options to make bigger bucks. And so it goes in Korea…and China as well according to Suzie.

Clearly, recruitment tools - be they old school or media-driven - supply workers for a business that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The world's oldest profession has that moniker for a reason.  Its survivability rivals that of a cockroach in a nuclear war! But really...when you think about it...isn't all the media coverage/glorification of the trade as culpable as any pimp or trafficker? It's such a powerful recruitment tool! Pimps do it one girl at a time. But Lifetime? Thousands and thousands! Not to mention Hollywood! OMG! Don't tell me networks and movie companies don't profit! How much do you think Gary Marshall earned on Pretty Woman?

Of course, the constitution protects people like Gary and networks like The Lifetime Channel. Thus, they get to earn millions without regard for how many mixed up young girls they entice into the business while at the same time, some dude who posts an ad on an adult directory site as a favor to his favorite escort to gain her favor, runs the risk of arrest for so doing...all of which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Nor does the wack-a-mole mentality of law enforcement which seems to target buck privates and not the commissioned officers.

In a perfect world, this would all be legal. But that's a discussion for another day. I'm not saying that it's time to censor any of the media in this arena...just that recognizing how escorts are enticed into the business is more complicated than it seems. There are many forces at work (some unrecognized) doing an excellent there doesn't seem to be a shortage of practitioners despite law enforcement's best efforts.

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