Archive for the 'LGBTQ' Category


Secure Unattached Relationship Style

I was raised the youngest of 3 girls. But they never hung out with me. They hung out with each other and love each other and still treat each other like normal sisters. My single mom worked a lot and wasn’t really present. So I was raised in an all female household but there was no “goddess feminine energy” to my knowledge. Very masculine actually, and with the addition of being left to fend for myself emotionally throughout, I developed the skill of self love, self companionship and relentless independence.
So I hardly have ANY CIS FEMALE FRIENDS. Not in the last 10 years. And certainly not a pack of girlfriends. I never had or know anything of that life of going out on a girls night. Twice a lesbian annual one, but that also didn’t last long. If I have female friends they are over 60 or trans MTFs. Seriously. Is it something about mating and primal nature? I have my 2 chosen daughters, they are cis female and AMAZING. My daughter Patzy Pat adopted me, I always say. I was about to kill myself that year.
MEN (str8 and gay) ARE ATTRACTED TO ME for mentorship, sex and friendship, coaching and domination. I’ve always had gay/bi guy best friends, but i don’t play the straight girl, its a queership we sail, rocking out cocks out. NO SEX WITH FRIENDS and chosen family. For me, that’s what I believe makes us long term friends and family! I have specialized in MEN’S SEXUALITY primarily and professionally for 17 YEARS. Boys and sexual harassment in schools was my Grad School thesis.
But MEN and my romantic relationships. If they are attracted to stay with me they are OFTEN LOST or seeking more than I can give and are certainly not a reflection of my strength and I am done with unhealthy codependant raising of any baby man, or accepting anything less than the DIVINE MASCULINE who is at least willing to work on self constantly, as I do, as I am. Together, if we are to be together. BESIDES, I AM LOOKING FOR A MAN TO RAISE A CHILD WITH so they must be a wise old divine soul even if their years don’t match with mine. It has always been a BATTLE to get my partners into coaching or counseling WITH ME and I will not do that again. I choose someone who has already had coaching, therapy or counseling! Woohoo!
So it is said that the way we date now is based on our childhoods and previous relationships. I played, existed and ventured alone. I rode my bike alone going nowhere special throughout age 9-11 and starting driving my moms car by age 15! Ride my pinkHuffy around around South SF the same way I do in LA and Tokyo. (It feels that way, so that’s why I love biking. )
I AM PERPETUALLY SINGLE. AM I AVOIDANT? AM I INSECURE?? I was an insecure WRECK in my last relationship 1000% but I ABSOLUTELY KNOW how to not do THAT again. I am pretty sure I am SECURE as a human and a woman…yet SECURES always have partners. Us 3 sisters were raised in the same environment, but BOTH MY SISTERS turned out to be SERIAL MONOGAMISTS with NO significant time BEING SINGLE and me an ALWAYS SINGLE BARELY AND TERRIBLY COUPLED and journeying through a continuum of sexual violence. Unloved and neglected perhaps? This was imprinted AT BIRTH. My dad and 2 sisters weren’t even there when I came OUT.
Does it make me avoidant if at the first few red flag behaviors I can easily CUT YOU OUT OF MY LIFE FOREVER? Not friends with any exes or their mamas.
that’s me. Secure unattacheds are not opposed to pair bonding relationships….just cautious as to who they will actually attach to because, they are SECURE UNATTACHED. So if you are not BETTER, FASTER, MORE AMAZING than me by my damn self then I’m blowing exhaust in your face as I drive away. Is this what they call AVOIDANT? Happy to avoid BULLSHIT AND TRAUMA. Arigato Gozaimasu. Ke’ko desu!
I almost never am attached to another or any group or clique. I have a romantic relationship every 2 years and the last 2 lasted less than 6 months. It has been over 2 years since my last serious relationship.
I am always alone. Most of the time I love it, but sometime I hate it. Right now, it’s getting REALLY OLD AND LONELY. I’d like to be in a romantic relationship in Japan. I’d like to be courted by decent gods and goddess. I’d like to have exciting sex again. I wonder if it will ALWAYS BE THIS WAY and if it is possible to change it or me and what i can do to influence a shift.

Wanna Add Me as Your Friend?

The nice thing was that a lot of Asian woman thanked me for performing afterwards, which was nice.  No one bought any books though.  My dad’s review was pretty harsh, “it was, uummm, a reading of sorts, kinda rap, kinda poetry but if at your  next  performance of this “Ms Wong”, try to leave out holding the notes. You were nervous…With a four star rating scale, I’d give you 2 stars.”  Oh well.  All I can say is,”at least I have a father that I can show my sex work art (the pieces without overt sexuality) and performances” to and I am thankful for that.  The poem is about a few real people at real moments that they may have interacted with me in our lives together, or perhaps they are things that I imagined or internalized or fantasized about…I am an artist AND I am sensitive.  (The latter is the excuse that my sisters give me whenever I attempt to express any legitimate hurt).  if you HURT me, you become part of my intellectual process to heal what you did and therefore will probably appear in my blog, my artwork, my songs…Be warned.  I will change your name but you will know it’s you when you read it.

My real sister recently lent me $500 so that I would be able to stay housed.  That was a huuuuuuuge gesture for her and it meant a lot to me.  I am planning to write her a birthday card, which is coming up soon and try to have a conversation which attempts to convey this appreciation.  And I might even throw in the word LOVE.  perhaps at the end, with a comma at the end so it doesn’t seem so direct, like “I love you.”  which might repel her.  My fake sister was the one who actually hurt me and my real sister lent me money.  My fake sister said all kinds of fucked up things to me on my Facebook and my real sister didn’t say anything.  Real sister and I  had a 20 minute conversation about my sex work transition and my relationship ending and THAT was a pinnancle moment for us.  My family does NOT know how to communicate emotionally.  We do not tell each other “I love you.” Even before my mom knew I smoked weed, she never called unless I called her first.  It was not about the marijuana, the sex work, the rapes…it was just her.  The way she knows how to love.  My sisters and mom are similar.  I grew up with all women, but it certainly wasn’t that same “femme love” feeling that you get when you are an adult in “women only spaces.” No wonder I loved it so much when I first came out as queer.  For the first time, in my first Dyke march I was ENGULFED in a SEA of WOMYN who were loving each other’s feminity, survival and love of each other without shame…

There is a lot of history that my fake sister has no idea about but chose to comment on and that was one of things that was the most offensive.  She said things that were MORE condescending and disdainful than my real sister who I grew up having issues with!  She channelled this voice of who my real sister was before she was married with children.  Real sister has improved a lot since then, and is not quite so quick to serve up biting remarks unless she is pushed to do so.  Even though she gave me money to survive, she still has a lot of clear emotional and other boundaries with me and her kids.  Her kids love and adore me, and her daughter tries, to her regret to imitate me.  But her daughter does not learn her mannerisms from me, as I am not even around them that much to make that kind of influence.  Some personality qualities are inherent and obvious when kids are kids, like me masturbating at 5.  I think smoking pot is like a cerebral masturbation.  My sisters try to shame me out of masturbating, and for a while that worked until I shamefully picked the habit back up at age 9.  i did the same with pot smoking.  Temporary abstinence and unsuccessful “relapse.”  These days, my FAVORITE pasttime is masturbating while stoned.  Marijuana increases the intensity of orgasms without a doubt.   Self pleasure IS survival.  Medicating with marijuana is about self pleasure and self healing.  I’m sure people looked at Bob Marley and said,”dude you’re a loser because you smoke too much weed.” but those people are the minority.  Considering the state of political affairs in Jamaica then, and is no wonder why marijuana is the choice of those oppressed by governments.  Blunts are part of hip hop and Tupac smoked because he was heavily involved in a risky life that no one except those around him could really understand.  Unfortunately, smoking crack, sniffing gasoline straight from the pump, alcohol and tobacco are also the choice of the oppressed, so understandably it gets hard to choose your poison.   If you understand and believe that the FBI and CIA have been responsible for the “suicide”, “homicide” or “death row sentencing” of people of color AND prostitution activists (RIP Deborah Jean Palfrey, Brandy Britton) , then you can understand why someone like Tupac, a second generation Black Panther  who was most definitely followed and watched by the same forces that hold Mumia in death row and the same forces that are PRESENTLY PERSECUTING 8 former BPP men from San Francisco on bogus “confessions” that were attained with torture tactics WORSE than WATERBOARDING.  He unapologetically smoked blunts to his head.  But he was an artist and KNEW from watching his mom on crack as a kid that anything else that he chose to smoke would compromise his art.

Adult families do not usually go into counseling and attempt to heal things that happened when they were growing up together.  Those issues show up in our relationships and ourselves and sometimes we go to our own counseling.   My mother spent a year in a Born Again Christian psychosis but somehow snapped out of it after being committed to a hospital for a couple of days.  She refused to go to therapy afterwards and to this day.  She has rejoined a different church and become active with the Lord again.  I prefer making art, writing and going to low cost sliding scale therapists who allow me graciously to build a tab when times are tough.  Oh, and of course, I medicate daily with marijuana.  She sees me as killing myself with smoking, and I see her as killing me with her rejection.  It’s all a vicious cycle…

To some people, I may be “addicted” to both “drugs” and “prostitution.” But I did a paradigm shift with my own healing about PHEW, TEN years ago I started my healing from sexual assault and childhood trauma with my first rape crisis counselor.    I remember going into therapy when it was “free” as an undergraduate at Berkeley and crying my eyes out til I had a pounding headache.  I remember the issues then were having head to toe eczema that I felt that I could not control.  I could collect a handful of scalp pieces that I collected from scratching my oozing head sometimes.  Sounds really really gross, I know.  It’s was equally as horrible to me and it was my body.  I believe that my eczema flare ups were a distorted way for me to find love, as my mother paid the most attention to me when I was sick with allergies or eczema.  It was one of the ways I could get her to come to my bedside…I stepped onto the stripclub stage and my eczema almost disappeared completely.  It’s been under control without steroid medications or frequent doctor visits for over ten years.

I believe whole heartedly in the mind/body connection.  I use marijuana and other drugs to explore this because it can help to open our chakra sensitivity.  (especially ecstacy) I could perhaps do it sober, with yoga, a raw vegan diet and meditation but I prefer to smoke weeeed.  why? cuz it’s fun.  it makes being alone interesting.  I make art, write, sing and blog instead of feel lonely or bored.  I hardly EVER say the sentence,”I’m bored.” and if that is the case, then I just go to sleep.  I guess I can escape to sleep when I am really depressed before I complain about being bored.

I spent A LOT of time alone as a kid.  Playing with myself (literally!  I started masturbating at 5) , riding my bike around town alone.  And before my last relationship I was single for NINE YEARS.  (think about that in terms of living in a culture which heavily emphasizes monogamous pair bonding).  For me to cope with that reality, I was happy to have discovered mary jane.  My real medicating started after a significant relationship ended when I was about 22.  Sucking on my bong while crying like a baby like it was a mother’s nipple.  It helps you stop being frantic and relaxes you..just like the nipple did.  I bet my mom stopped breast feeding me at 6 months.  I would be very surprised if I found out that she did it for longer.

the women i date are always unattainable, like the love, the comfort from my mother is…they are always not interested, more attached to boyfriends, more fucked up with issues than me…

the men and women that are attracted to me are co-dependents.  Boys that need mommies.  Ironically I play that role to them even though I never really had a nurturing relationship with my own mom.  Women are always said that they look for their fathers through men.  perhaps that is why I always date these “Fix er uppers” that never really change, but that I have to sever ties to before they destroy me.

I smoke about an 1/8th a week, which with a medical card in medical marijuana SATURATED Los Angeles is down to $35.  $140/month if I paid cash for my medicine without hustling and trading which I don’t.  The amount can but probably will not increase over time, which is why they don’t see it as an addiction.   Smoking more marijuana only will make you fall asleep, not get more medicated.  If sleep is the goal, then it’s perfect.

When I was 21, I felt like dying because the physical and emotional pain from my skin condition was so unbearable to me.  I could not imagine a life without eczema.  When I was 23, coming to terms with all the times I survived sexual violence already, I could not imagine a life free of rape trauma.  I had anxiety attacks in overtly heterosexual environments (like “straight”  bars, or cramped elevators with only 1 man).  But I healed and now, I am not well but I am better.  I am able to recognize PTSD related anxiety, the signs of disassociation that occurs and THEN I meditate myself out of survival mode, if indeed it is not a real emergency.  But, as Erykah Badu said it best,” this world is soo traumatic.”

I am exploring this book called “Seeking Safety” which is for those with “drug addiction and PTSD” which in clincial talk is a “co-occuring disorder.”  I want to read it as soon as I get enough extra money to buy it online and see if I can adapt the information to medical marijuana patients.   I have fought against a lot of medical pathologizing and am skeptical about it since “homosexuality” was a DSM-IV listed pathology until the 70s and “gender identity disorder” is a necessary part of a transgenders transition therapy.  “Prostitution” is seen as a risk behavior not work and “Survival Sex” is only relegated to those who are homeless, not those who eat dim sum.  So I read and take in what I like and adapt it to my own healing.  Healing and retraumatization are a constant process and hopefully you get better at expediting it.  Considering all of the trauma that I have survived, i have become the master at expediting my own healing because of my own self awareness of it.  I got mugged once as a sex worker two years ago and I allowed myself to lay in bed all week.

Facebook is a crazy new internet medium that I have found some comfort and obvious discomfort in.  I can’t stop being me.  I will die being me.  What’s on my mind will offend A LOT of people.  One of my cousins is surely getting a new exposure to all kinds of things about me by being my ‘friend.”  But he, like my father, is also a father and is also pretty non judgemental and supportive of me as a person, interested in getting to know me and certainly not interested in making me feel bad because I smoked weed or do sex work.

If you read this and are interested in the real ride outside the blog, the daily updates that are far more personal than what I tweet then add me: Mariko Pasion

I had to spell it with one S to appease Facebook for some reason.  I don’t know why.  It is more intimate than myspace by far.  Even more intimate and revealing than this blog.  I need to feel some sort of safety with the people there.  If you get on my wall trying to judge me or change me you won’t be successful.  I’ll block and delete you because I do not like to be hurt, even  by my “friends”, family or community.  And if you are really impactful I’ll write a song about you…but hopefully you will be impactful in a positive way instead.


Harvey Milk, me and my mom

So this used to be more of a personal blog than a sex worker news worthy piece, so in thinking and overthinking “what should i blog? when should I blog?” i just decided that i work best when i just start typing because typing is so easy for me to do…I just watched the Harvey Milk movie with my mom on Christmas Day. Every Christmas Day we watch a movie together because my sisters spend this day with their partners’ families and historically I have not been partnered up with anyone so I’ve hung out with my mom at the movies!

This youtube thing is very fitting, if not totally inspiring, if we think of Obama as being the representation of HOPE as he has coined himself to be…The “us” es that Milk speaks about…that is me…queer prostitute of color..

It was SUCH an inspiring movie to watch with my mom because it was the best way for me to explain to her exactly what I do as a prostitute activist. I had JUST finished working on the PROP K campaign in San Francisco, and PROP 8 (gay marriage) had just been defeated in CA and Florida which was almost EXACTLY what they were fighting when Milk was running for all the offices that he had run for. The most inspiring thing for me was that he did NOT COME OUT of the closet until after age 40, nor did he START his political career as a historical LGBT activist UNTIL AFTER 40. And here I sit at 32 thinking that I am getting TOO OLD. He had run for offices 4 different times in San Francisco before he won his supervisor seat finally. So, being that we had attained 41% of the vote in San Francisco for decriminalization of prostitution, the first time on the SF Ballot is pretty damn amazing.

During the late 70s instead of talking about gay marriage, they were talking about FIRING GAY TEACHERS. This is pretty ironic for me to hear, since I was a high school teacher for many years, and openly GAY with a big ol rainbow flag behind my desk. I chose to call myself gay and not bi for the purposes of my teaching career because it was easier for me go with extremes than use the hot button word ‘bisexual’ which I felt might read as ambiguous to teenagers. Although, this new generation of queer youth is MUCH more accepting of bi and transgender peers than my generation. I KNOW I was internalizing biphobia, but it was pretty effective for the purposes of running the Gay Straight Alliance in our urban school.

I have met with supervisors (dressed as a street worker) and walked up the very stairs of San Francisco’s City Hall that Milk talked about making a grand gay entrance into, where he was assasinated by Dan White and cried and fought in the very same ways that he did…in the same places…

My mom asked me what the guy I am dating thought about me being bisexual and I said,”I don’t think he has a choice really…it’s not something that you can really control. It’s just who you are.” She asked me why I wanted to watch that movie, and I said, because I’m bisexual, it’s part of my history.

Being the openly gay teacher in the high school that I taught at and getting involved in LGBT youth activism for those years was a replacement for the sex worker rights issues that I had been working on previously to my shift into transitioning out of sex work into the “real world.” The only thing was that I MISSED the sex worker rights movement! I missed the POWER of sex work! So as soon as I finished my first year at that school, I quit and celebrated my reunification with the whore movement…OMG. That was already TWO YEARS AGO.

After watching that movie, I told my mom..”The organization that I am working with…it is VERY SIMILAR to what you see in this movie. The things that we do and what we go through are almost the same.” I said. My mom doesn’t know that I am actually a sex worker. She believes what I tell her, that I am just an ally, a researcher type, a consultant on the issue, not an actually worker. Perhaps she already knows and just consciously buys into the lie because it is easier. But, the important elements of what I actually do are not so important to my mom, because what I wish to share with her about what I do, I AM already sharing with her. I really don’t think it’s important to share the details of the sex work with my mom anymore than I am…Perhaps I might come all the way out of the closet with it, but I don’t think that it is that necessary. When I did the PROP K media stuff, I had to grapple with the fact that my Chinese family in San Francisco would see me on national TV. But the work that I do and the words that I am saying, I have a RIGHT TO BE PROUD OF, and if they watch it and can find some shame to dig up to throw at me, then I will just deal with it then, but no backlash has happened so far. A very few of my cousins know, but not too many. Not many of my extended cousins know about my LGBT activism. I haven’t identified any potentially queer relatives of mine, but there is always one or two that we don’t know we have.

I have worked on my coming out with my mom for many years. I announced being bi to my sisters and mom during some getaway vacation to Napa almost ten years ago. My mom is a born again Christian, it is important to note so progress with her is very different than my dad who is my best friend and supporter of my sex worker politics and of so many things that I do. In the last few days, I’ve been staying at my Dad’s apartment posting Craigslist escort ads and taking calls for work in front of him (going into the other room) but nevertheless..just a glimpse at how very different they are. My dad has read some of my blog, knows about EVERYTHING I’ve done, from the arrest to the brothel and has shipped me books and novels and web links on sex worker activism. Having ONE parent like my dad is enough acceptance for MY WHOLE FAMILY (siblings and their partners included), I am really really lucky to have him. I am learning to love my mother more, as you might infer, we’ve struggled more on our relationship and it has had constant ups and downs through my life, but this Christmas was a symbollic truce of sorts…It was better than watching Nixon or Aliens vs Predator II which is what we watched last year. She says she doesn’t know what it is like to feel discrimination, that she came to this country after the Japanese internment, that she sympathizes with “us” but doesn’t understand what that might be like. I struggle to understand how a woman of color could NOT understand discrimination in this country, but I struggle to understand my mother as well. Perhaps we don’t struggle with each other anymore, we just accept and understand that we DON’T and might not ever understand completely. Perhaps also, she will never know that I consider my fate as a courtesan to be inherited by her, that sexual exchange is passed down from yo mama in many families. I learned how to know that men and their money was the key to my finnancial survival from her, as she had a sugar daddy partner for most of the years of our growing up and that she met my father when she was a hostess in Japan.


DAY 4: 10 girls now, no dates yet

Today was a healthy day if anything. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill that they have in this room with the tanning bed, crunches and some exercises with the 5lb weights. I played the guitar and watched the winning Gold medal women’s volleyball game against China! I LOVE the olympics in case you haven’t figured out. it’s the only time that mainstream America is actually watching all these sports that I actually like. I don’t give a shit about basketball, football; I kind of like baseball but don’t follow it, but every four years America is watching swimming, gymnastics, volleyball and diving. These are all sports that I used to actually train and compete in high school or jr college (long ago..) so it’s really personal to me to be watching these matches. Everytime someone cries win or loose, I cry. Crying for me is like sneezing. If an actor in movie or an athlete on screen starts crying, so do I. It’s also the only time you will see me actually watching prime time television every night.

typical Nevada brothel line-up

google image search: Nevada brothel line-up

I have done multiple line ups and not gotten picked. I’ve done a couple of tours with guys who weren’t interested in “partying” or with one who pretended he only had $100. This really hot blonde girl from Reno gets picked a lot, a tall thin Black girl is doing really good here and a lot of older “down home sluts” who are older, heavier but have what I’m thinking are trucker girlfriend looks–are also pretty popular today. Getting picked is totally random, not based on race, age or body weight but so far, does not include me.

I sold a SWOP-LA t-shirt at least to a guy I took on a tour who was buying up Bella’s t-shirts by the armful. At least I made $20 today.

So far on the CB there every day there are either really hateful guys who are either racist when I’m on (sucky, sucky, me love you long time comments) or “shut up you stupid fucking whore cunt bitch!” which is crazy because these guys walk through the door and I know that this is the group that they are coming from. The other extreme is the literally Holy Rolling trucker who starts preaching the gospel to block us from advertising. Both the local brothels on this block do this every other hour. There is a script to read and we all take shifts doing it.

The girls in the house has increased by 4 and now there are at least 10 of us in line ups which makes it even harder to snag the 2 guys that come through the door every other hour. Looks like its going to be a late night up again. A couple came through this afternoon and she picked the only black girl in the house, who I’ve befriended a bit. I gave her some of my dental dams to prepare for her date, but they never came back. A lot of the girls refuse to do couples and a lot of them do not know anything about domination even though we have an equipped dungeon in the house, which seems to freak out most of the guys that have come through. I’m hoping a sub comes through the door so I can snag him.

Aunt D announced that T, someone who had worked recently overdosed after her abortion and was dead. She started to cry in front of us before line up and it was a very shocking sad start to the day. I didn’t know T, but its always tragic to me when a fellow sex worker falls.

Some of the girls started whispering in front of me so I just walked back to my room so they could talk their shit out loud. I’m trying not to get sucked in to any girl drama, but I always have been a target for some bitch without anger management to feel that she has to confront me. I’ve not yet gotten into a fight even though plenty of girls have gotten in my face and wanted to (but not in the last 10 or so years). There used to 6 or 7 of us and most of us were nice, but now I fear that the estrogen chemistry is about to change.

One of the girls kept saying ‘faggot’ and fag boy and fag over and over again so I had to call her out on it. I did so very calmly and non confrontational like I have done many times as a high school teacher and Gay Straight Alliance advisor. “Wow. You’ve used the word fag like 10 times in just 1 sentence, that’s pretty amazing.” I said. “It seems like you don’t like fags.” I said as I was getting hot water for my tea. “does that bother you?”she said as I was walking away. But me and her have been cool so I didn’t know if my intervention would be considered a confrontation, nor do I know if it would make my rep worse in the house or not.

11pm. no dates so far. at least my cervix gets to heal up.


December was a mighty busy month indeed!

December was a month of travel (Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia, Taipei, Taiwan, San Felipe, Mexico, San Francisco), a month of family, a month of boyfriend drama, best friend visiting from Atlanta, jet lag, living on 1/3 of my usual income somehow, sinking into debt, maxing out maxed out credit cards and honoring SWOP-LA’s first year anniversary and The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (December 17th, 2007).  The video below has footage from my visit with COSWAS (Committee of Sex Workers and Supporters), an AMAZING sex worker organization made of 100s of amazing volunteer allies all pulling for the cause of sex worker rights, and some live footage of one of my prosititution songs “Decriminalize Me.”  It also features Annie Sprinkle and Sharon Mitchell, two amazing sex worker activists in their 50s who got their start in the porn industry in the 70s and have made strides and changes for other activists who have followed like me.  


HELLO KITTY HAS NO MOUTH and Pimpin Ain’t Eazy

“Happy Endings, American Dreams” photomedia series by Mariko Passion, copyright 2007.






The director of Girl Fest, Hawaii takes a stab at feminist critique of the We, Asian Sex Workers postcard seen in the post BELOW this one, which depicts one of the images that I did as part of the “Happy Endings, American Dreams” photomedia series above that I displayed on the ar+space gallery walls.

“…Notice how this girl on the flyer is made to be or at least look underage, wearing a Hello Kitty jacket– a popular youth logo. Keep in mind, Hello Kitty has NO mouth to speak for herself. This girl is sitting on a bed in a brothel. Below her are the credit card logos of visa and mastercard with the words “BUY FINE ART” in caps. This flyer is not only promoting the pimping and selling of young girls, it is COMPLETELY racist, perpetuation the hyper-sexual underage exotification of Asian women and girls.

To be clear, Girl Fest and I have been working for the rights and protections and services of women and girls with no economic option but to have their bodies sold for sex to survive. We want to get them out of the industry and help them heal. However, WE ARE COMPLETELY ANTI-PIMP and JOHN. We are firmly against the legalization and decriminalization of prostitution. This SWOP/APLE Pimp Lobby is subversively anti-woman, under the guise of the arcane term “Harm Reduction.”

Kathryn Xian and Girl Fest Hawaii ( which also ran a Girl Fest San Francisco the SAME week as the Sex Worker Film Festival and the WE, ASW art show represent the anti-prostitution position that believes that women and girls in sex work are not capable of self determination and that sex worker rights feminists are and should be called out for the PIMPS that they are. She uses Melissa Farley as her source for credible information on why prostitution is harmful. Farley believes that ALL sex work is forced prostitution/rape, all women in prostitution have been prostituted and are unable to consent due to their post traumatic stress disorder, and all male clients are rapists and need to be cured of their insatiable, morose desires.

So, Kathryn showed up at one of our University of Hawaii speaking gigs and called me and the rest of the APLE (Arresting Prostitutes is Legal Exploitation) a bunch of pimps, accused us of taking money from ‘the pimps’, and implying that we make underage girls lapdance at our lapdance fundraisers from SWOP. She was just waiting to throw her accusations at the end of our (Carol Leigh, Stacy Swimme and I’s) presentation, upon which she kept saying,”Hello Kitty has NO MOUTH, Mariko! She CAN’T speak for herself!!” and then in classic high school fight style, she stormed out saying “JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE A QUEER ASIAN FEMALE DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T BE A PIMP, MARIKO!! See you on Monday!” …leaving us to deconstruct her accusations without her….


Before Kathryn’s beautiful illustration/performance of the unreasonable hostility anti-prostitution feminists embody when dealing with sex worker activists in feminist spaces like the Women’s Studies Coalition Meeting of the University, she had sent the above analysis in email blast to all the local feminist organizations. I was honored to have been the subject of her deeper examination. That, after all is the POINT of making GOOD ART. If I have made you THINK, (re)think, re-examine and converse about MY work–then I’ve done my job as a post-porn modernist (as Annie Sprinkle might say) artist.  Success!

and now for some thoughts, STRAIGHT FROM THE KITTY’S MOUTH:

First off, calling me a pimp is CRAZY! Not because I have not perhaps technically participated in what could be considered as pimping (I ran a failed escort agency, which never never profited off of prostitution, it was more like an expensive experiment in advertising debt) believe me, so I’m apt to think it wasn’t pimping). PIMP is a an amorphous, ambiguous, misused and misunderstood term that has a pop culture definition (big hat, feather, gold grill, cane..a Black man usually) and a LEGAL defintion (profiting off the avails of prostitution) which makes an escort agent, a stripclub manager, a boyfriend/partner/husband ALL technically able to call themselves pimps. Then there’s the pop culture def which is like the N WORD in that it’s used just as much in songs and movies but has been so far removed from what it originally was that it’s lost it’s meaning because of cultural appropriation and bastardization.  Just like with many racially weighted and charged words, like the N word.

What do people MEAN when they say the word PIMP? And what does it mean to call a SEX WORKER ACTIVIST a PIMP? And to say that in some way, we are being PAID by pimps is even more ridiculous, cuz if any of you know the rules of the game: REAL PIMPS GIVE THEIR MONEY TO NO ONE, especially not to [NO BITCH.]

Pimps and self determined, independent, outspoken prostitutes like myself and the rest of the activists on the speaking tour with me, would certainly not work together financially. We WISH we got funding for our activist efforts by other donors besides OUR CLIENTS. At best, in some situations, like with Pam from APLE who did street outreach for years in Waikiki to girls who DID have stereo typical pimps who wreaked stereotypical violence on their workers, the activists and outreach workers who worked on giving the sex workers some sense of POWER, LOVE AND FREE CONDOMS were at best, tolerated.

Hello Kitty was born and created in Japan in 1976, and is “made in China” these days, making her half Chinese and half Japanese and 31, JUST LIKE ME!! The girl in the image is made to imitate the many, many, faceless, long, black haired, shamed, trafficked Asian sex slave that she thinks I really am in that photo.

To be clear, I have been working on giving Hello Kitty a mouth my entire sex work activist career of 9+ years. In this sense, HK stands for the voices of Asian women’s sexuality, Asian feminism, Queer Asian women even. On a more personal note, I do IDENTIFY with Hello Kitty because of her childlike sexuality, it’s true. But that has always been a part of my specifically very hyper sexual, hyper ethnic style of art making and performance art; ever since I was known as the asian****… If Hello Kitty is the voice of Asian women, Asian sex workers, Asian culture then, in every way, with the work that I do, I try to give HK a MOUTH to speak for herself. We, ASW was a group show, not a solo exhibition and it featured the MOUTHS of many many Asian women from Bangladesh to Chicago, and it seems to me that anti-prostitution events like Girl Fest might do the opposite of allowing the Hello Kittys of the world to speak for hersel[ves].


We, Asian Sex Workers San Francisco 2007:: BIG SUCCESS.

a COOL VIDEO from the show**

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