Oh aye?

Sure, lapdancing is one aspect of the commodification of heterosexuality under late capitalism, and something that would not arise in a genuinely liberated post-capitalist social formation. Ultimately, socialism will put paid to the Spearmint Rhinos of this world.

Dave\’s Part.

The thought that men wishing to look at naked women will be erased by a change in the economic system is absurd.

As is the thought that some women will stop taking advantage of that male desire.

I\’m  a classical liberal, I\’m one of the people that thinks the current set up isn\’t perfect. But this sort of …aaah, forget it. There are hopeful idiots all over the place.


Prostitution laws

From PA.

The case of the four women involved in the High Court action, who are all nationals of Moldova and now live in the UK, was that they were victims of an unlawful conspiracy to traffic them into the country from Moldova "for the purposes of sexual exploitation and prostitution".

Mr Justice Treacy said the Dulghieru couple were "significant players in that conspiracy" and had been convicted of criminal offences and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.

At London\’s Isleworth Crown Court in November 2005 Gavril Dulghieru, then 36, of Tooting Bec Gardens, Tooting Bec, south west London, was jailed for nine years after admitting conspiring to traffic in prostitution, trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitation and plotting to facilitate unlawful immigration between February 23, 2003 and April 30, 2004

Tamara Dulghieru, then 31, was jailed for five years after being found guilty of immigration, fraud, forgery and money-laundering offences. She was cleared of trafficking in prostitution and doing so for sexual exploitation.

Mr Justice Treacy said that each of the claimants was tricked into leaving Moldova and thought they were coming to the UK to work as dancers.

But the reality was that the conspirators intended to "sexually enslave" them by keeping them captive in London and putting them to work in brothels.

So, we\’ve got laws under which those who traffic women into the UK for the purposes of sexual slavery can be investigated, charged, tried and jailed.

Remind me again why we\’re changing the laws?


Meanwhile Alfie Patten, the 13 year-old star of the latest freak show, revealed he was taking a break from thrice-nightly sexual intercourse after discovering masturbation.

He added: "I don\’t want to miss out on an important part of my childhood."

Cake and eating it too

Ninety per cent of "solidarity pacts" a year are now being made between people of the opposite sex, despite them being specifically designed for homosexuals, who are not formally allowed to marry in France.

The Civil Solidarity Pacts, or PACS according to their French language abbreviation, take just 15 minutes and can be performed by a court clerk.

Just as significantly, they can be ended with a single letter from either partner, without any claims on the other\’s money or property.

It appears that when offered the opportunity people would like the benefits of a legally recognised relationship. Benefits, housing and so on. But not the potential costs of asset sharing and alimony (child support is of course already dealt with).

You will note that this is not an option which has or will be offered in the UK. Indeed, the push is entirely the other way. That those who simply live together, without any legal contract, should be liable for asset splitting and alimony even if they don\’t get the benefits and the housing while together.

Wonder why the powers that be here are so insistent that people shouldn\’t have what they want?

Cause or effect?

Cinema tickets offered in exchange for sexually transmitted infection test.

I realise that I\’m some decades away from my own teenage mating rituals but isn\’t this slightly the wrong way around? Offering a free ticket if you get tested for an STD?

Isn\’t that date at the cinema a prelude to the opportunity to acquire an STD?


Although January may have the reputation as the peak month for relationships break up, new statistics show Saturday night is due to be the year\’s biggest night for first dates.

People tend not to stay at home too long mourning the last relationship these days, do they?

Thus the peak month for breakups is going to be the peak month for first dates…because, not although, no?

Sir Johnny Porritt Bt. CBE

All hail the power of the pill!

Just at the time when people are at last waking up to the near impossibility of securing dignified, free and genuinely sustainable lives for the 9 billion people who will inhabit the planet by 2050, along comes one of the men who might justifiably claim to have done as much to liberate women as any other to repent of his wicked, ungodly genius. So let’s try and get the balance sheet straight here. If I was Karl Djerassi, I would like my epitaph to include reference to the number of unwanted births that had been averted through the use of the Pill over all these years. That would remind people just how much we have to thank Karl Djerassi and his colleagues for.

Hmm. Not quite as many births as our Johnny might think actually.

Ninety percent of the differences across countries in total fertility rates are accounted for solely by differences in women\’s reported desired fertility. Using desired fertility constructed from both retrospective and prospective questions, together with instrumental variables estimation, it is shown this strong result is not affected by either ex-post rationalization of births nor the dependence of desired fertility on contraceptive access or cost. Moreover, despite the obvious role of contraception as a proximate determinant of fertility, the additional effect of contraceptive availability or family planning on fertility is quantitatively small and explains very little cross country variation. These empirical results are consistent with theories in which fertility is determined by parent\’s choices about children within the social, educational, economic, and cultural environment that parents, and especially women, face. They contradict theories that assert a large causal role for expansion of contraception in the reduction of fertility.

So if contraception is only 10% of it, what\’s the other 90%? Err, economic growth actually. Growth in its wider sense, not just money. Longer life spans, vaccines, reduced child mortality, these lead to a lowering of desired fertility.

Put it another way. When we\’re rich enough to stop children dying like flies then women don\’t have to spend their entire (and short) adult lives having them in order to have a reasonable chance of passing on their own genes. Which is, as Darwin pointed out, the meaning of life. As they don\’t have to spend their entire and short adult lives doing so, they don\’t.

Put it yet another way. Contraception is just fine and dandy, but you\’ve got to want to use it before you will use it.

A tale from the shires

Related by one of my co-workers.

Wealthy, fiftyish man, trophy wife, shags about. She decides that she\’s not going to put up with it.

Leaves a note. "If I\’m not enough for you, I\’m leaving. We\’ll deal with lawyers later. Oh, BTW, I\’ve left your dinner in the oven on a low heat."

Hmm, he thinks. Even at this sort of time she\’s still thinking about me. He opens the oven on a low heat to find…



….a ham salad.


It\’s a terrible thing, this emancipation of women

"However, Hojatoleslam Ghasem Ebrahimipour, a sociologist, told Shabestan news agency that the trend was due to the availability of premarital sex, and feminism among educated women. "When a woman is educated and has an income, she does not want to accept masculine domination through marriage," he said."

You\’ve got your rise in the age of first marriage, your rise in the divorce rate, all explained right there.

All this piffle about "valuing marriage", about minor  tax breaks here and there, about the perniciousness of no fault divorce, about mandatory counselling, even about children being better off with married parents. All tinkering, all pissing in the ocean.

Once women are economically independent (and let us all praise that particular development, the vaguely liberal capitalist economies of the past 40 years or so being the first ever to provide such opportunity) or even potentially so then marriage as an institution or activity becomes a choice, not a necessity.

And as ever with choices fewer people will make them than took that path of action when they had to.

That "fractured family" is, I\’m afraid, simply a by blow of the increase in freedom and liberty of the post WWII period.

Gross Absurdity

One minor absurdity.

Lap dancing clubs may be closed if they are located too near "inappropriate" sites such as schools, under transitional powers contained in the policing and crime bill published yesterday.

Run this by me again? Why is near a school an "inappropriate" place for a lap dancing club? Is anyone seriously suggesting that schoolchildren will thereby be tempted to visit one? Or work in one? Or tha t anyone would be stupid enough to allow them to do either?

Or have we simply got the knee jerk reaction that "for the children" justifies any silliness?

And a gross absurdity:

The main source of contention now is the new power to criminalise men who buy sex from women who have been trafficked or otherwise exploited. The wording of the bill introduces a "strict liability" test, under which a person who pays for the sexual services of a "prostitute controlled for gain by a third person" is liable for prosecution. It says it will be irrelevant where in the world the sexual service is to be provided, or whether the man is aware that the woman is being controlled for gain.

Under British law it will now be illegal to visit a brothel in Germany, where brothels are legal? What have these people been smoking?

Christmas presents

She once gave Carrie, then aged 15, and her grandmother matching vibrators for Christmas, but the grandmother said she didn\’t want to use it because it might short-circuit her pacemaker and anyway she\’d lived all this time without having an orgasm, she didn\’t plan to start now.