know what you’re thinking , as you read the title to this blog. “Whooooaa there, open letters are no longer a thing.” Just because someone on Twitter decided two years ago that they’re no longer a thing, I’m afraid that’s tough. That’s the beauty of having your own blog y’see, you dodge the Cool Police, to an extent anyway. You can use your own blog to post pictures of cats, cupcake recipes, hell you can even make incendiary remarks. Example – “If you put the number of super-injunctions in Northern Ireland end to end, you could circle the North Pole, twice. Fact.” Continue reading An Open Letter to Teenagers – The Laura Lee blog
There is a lot to be said for the sensible, evidence based approach to policing adopted by the PSNI in Northern Ireland when it comes to sex work. When I say evidence based, they look for actual harm before bringing down the sledgehammer of the law, their goal being “keeping people safe”. It may amaze some readers to learn that sex workers are people too. The PSNI get it right on many levels, it’s far better for them to know who is working and where, so that they’re aware of any issues which may arise in the future, and through many meetings in formulating our alliance, they also guaranteed that they don’t record on file that a person is a “known prostitute”. That practice is adopted by a number of police forces, and is highly dangerous. Firstly, it stops sex workers identifying themselves and coming forward to report crime, and secondly, it prevents exit. It will come up on a background check, although the person has committed no crime. Continue reading Guardians of the Peace – The Laura Lee Blog
If there’s two things guaranteed to grab my attention, it’s cunnilingus and cake. What, you don’t think you can enjoy both at the same time? Of course you can. Pay no heed to the countless magazines which tell you how to improve your sex life by introducing oils produced by devout mute Buddhists or hooking one leg over the nearest available chandelier. I can guarantee you the vast majority of those “you’re doing it wrong” authors think it’s exotic if they manage some doggy on the ad break during Coronation Street. Ignore them. Continue reading Laura Lee Blog – The Great British Bonk Off
This is a devastating time for sex workers in Ireland. This is a very dangerous law.
We are appalled that this Government is going against international expert opinion to bring in a law which jeopardises our safety, removes our bodily autonomy, and puts us at further risk of poverty. The Bill criminalises the purchase of sex to the tune of up to 500 eauro for the client, increases penalties to up to 5,000 euro and/or a year in jail for people working in pairs and groups, and includes measures to take sex workers’ fees as Proceeds of Crime. This has been a very thinly veiled moral crusade. Continue reading SWAI Statement on The Passing of Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill – Laura Lee Blog
There’s no doubt about it, 2016 has been one hell of a year, for a lot of people. In some ways it feels like it will never end, and we all hope that the cries of “happy new year” will prove to be prophetic. I have a lot to be grateful for though, particularly driven home this week. Whilst in Dundalk I met with one of my long standing regular clients, I’ve written in the past about how good some of my clients are. I’ve known some for a very long time and we’re good friends as well as regular partners. They’re also very adept at picking the right time to call, I still don’t know how they do that. Continue reading A Christmas Message From Laura Lee!
No doubt by now, you’ll be familiar with the traditional discourse around sex work, particularly in Ireland. Sex workers are either poor coerced, trafficked women (and it is ALWAYS women) or we’re clever and manipulative, exploiting others for our own gain. More than anyone, I know how difficult that is to read, when those who have never even met you try to speak to your core as an individual and make all sorts of assumptions, more often than not for their own benefit. These are very difficult times in Ireland, fear is widespread and working conditions under constant threat. Yet still, we remain a very strong community, looking out for one and other. Continue reading Step Up and Help Sex Worker Safety – Laura Lee Blog
With the current climate in the Republic of Ireland, it has never been more important to know where you stand if and when you come into contact with the authorities. At SWAI, we are committed to supporting you in every way we can, so please do get in touch. The following is a summary of your rights and a guide on what to do. Continue reading Sex Workers, Know Your Rights – The Laura Lee Blog
Since the introduction of Lord Morrow’s law making it illegal to purchase sex in June 2015, Northern Ireland has seen radical change to the sex industry, but not in the way it was sold as a measure to “End Demand”, tackle human trafficking or even obliterate the industry completely. Trafficking was and is already an offence in its own right. Rather, the only people to have suffered have been sex workers, you know, the group the law was supposed to “save”. So what’s changed? Continue reading Laura Lee Blog – Repeal the Morrow Law, Now!
You’ll often hear me complain loudly about my time on the corporate hamster wheel that is retail banking, and for good reason. Fewer souls have been destroyed in the eternal fires of hell. Thankfully I have a lot more self-respect in my current occupation, but I will always be thankful to banking for some basic life lessons. For example, it’s useful to know how to step back from a situation and not attach your adversary to his desk with an industrial stapler, a skill I perfected in many bank managers’ offices. I also learned the art of effective communication. Continue reading Laura Lee – The Importance of People Skills
What’s the difference between the Edinburgh pandas and sex workers? I’ve never known a sex worker yet with a penchant for chowing down on bamboo. Personally, I prefer to apply bamboo liberally to the backsides of Edinburgh’s pillars of society. The real difference is far more sinister, if a member of the public wants to view the Edinburgh pandas, they need to wait, pay and show respect. Sex workers? Lately it seems like it’s a free for all, with respect being the last thing on the voyeur’s mind. Continue reading The Victimisation of Sex Workers – Laura Lee Blog