Melon Farmers Original Version

World Sex Sells News

2008: Jan-March

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Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec    

19th March   

Chile Warms to the Dollar...

Night club accepts US dollars at pre-slump rate
Link Here

Bikini-clad pole dancers, mini-skirted hostesses and a deal on foreign exchange await customers at Passapoga, a Santiago nightclub, who pay with U.S. dollars.

At banks and foreign-exchange bureaus, $1 fetches less than 430 pesos. Passapoga pays 600 pesos.

This campaign has had considerable success, said Jaime Retamal the club's manager: Customers come from all over, but a lot from the U.S.

The dollar has lost a quarter of its value against the peso in the past three years. Passapoga is discounting the exchange rate to discourage Americans from cutting back on nightclub visits.

Drinks and exotic dances cost customers the same price in dollars as in 2004, when the demand for copper, Chile's biggest export, surged.

Passapoga's special exchange rate means a 14,000-peso drink with one of the club's 50 hostesses costs $23, instead of $32 at the market rate.

Patricia Kart, a Passapoga hostess for 2 1/2 years, said workers agreed to the plan even though it reduces their commissions. The promotion is bringing in more customers, she said.

We have to take what the house gives us, and our job is to do what it takes to make the clients happy, Kart, 28, said in a telephone interview from the club: They are very content.


17th March   

Update: On Target...

Legalisation of prostitution in Western Australia looks likely
Link Here
Full story: Legal Brothels in Australia...Movement to legalise brothels in Australia

Independent MP Shelley Archer has decided to support Western Australia's State Government's Prostitution Bill, assuring it will be passed by Parliament.

The legislation attempts to regulate the sex industry by requiring brothels to be licensed and allowing workers to receive standard workplace conditions such as worker's compensation.

Ms Archer says has told the Legislative Council she decided to support the Bill because she believes new laws are needed to help prevent the sexual exploitation of Aboriginal women and children.

A toxic trifecta of drugs, alcohol and pornography is fuelling a culture of violence against women and children. They are being bashed, raped, disabled and killed, their lives are marked by desperation and terror.

Given the reality of the situation this Bill at least provides some protection against exploitation of the women involved and some capacity for communities to control the operation of brothels.


11th March   

Dublin Unfair City...

3 Years jail for a well run business?
Link Here

A Dublin man has been jailed for three years and fined €24,000 for running a brothel in Dublin.

Martin Morgan was convicted in February of organising prostitution and running a brothel at a Bachelors Walk apartment between August and October 2005.

The court has heard that the brothel was a very well-run commercial operation, with a turnover of just under €3.5m-a-year.

Martin Morgan was arrested along with an English woman when Gardai raided the Bachelors Walk apartment as part of Operation Quest on October 10th, 2005. She was jailed for 12 months last year after pleading guilty to allowing the apartment to be used as a brothel.


10th March   

Sexual Chemistry...

Swedish chemists to sell sex toys
Link Here

Sweden's state-owned pharmacy chain Apoteket said it plans to help satisfy Swedes by adding sex toys to its shelves.

The one-year sales trial will start in June at 50 selected Apoteket stores around the country. It was not clear what type of products would be available.

Apoteket said customer surveys had showed that many Swedes found Apoteket a natural vendor for sex-related products. We want to de-dramatize the use of sex help tools, and help people to a better sex life, with or without a partner, Apoteket spokeswoman Eva Fernvall said in a statement.

The selection of sex toys has been developed in cooperation with the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education.


9th March   

Promoting Extreme Liberalisation...

Philippines authorities raid sex gadget shop
Link Here

Four days after a sex gadget shop that promised “guaranteed satisfaction” opened at a new Bacolod City mall, Philippines authorities raided the establishment.

Vibrators, condoms, sex dolls, and other paraphernalia were seized by police and City Legal Office personnel.

Police commander, Senior Inspector Luisito Acebuche, said they coordinated with the CLO to stop the sale of the sex gadgets after receiving complaints.

The police bought a gadget for P500 from Luigi Tan before they moved in and confiscated the shop’s merchandise, Acebuche said.

The display and sale of the sex gadgets are in violation of the Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code, prohibiting the show, sale, and distribution of pornographic materials, Acebuche said. Penalty for the offense ranges from a prison term of six years or a fine of P6,000 to P12,000, or both, he added.

Lawyer Vicente Petierre of the CLO said that aside from violating national laws, the shop was also operating without the necessary permits from the city’s permits and licensing division. Petierre said the mall management could not be held liable for the offense because it did not know of the actual products that the shop owners would sell when they rented them space since they did not declare them in their application.

Father Aniceto Buenafe, head of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod, said business proprietors must be sensitive enough and respect the highly conservative and religious culture of most Filipinos.

Such commercial ventures promote extreme liberalization and they could send the wrong message to consumers, especially the youth, and contribute to moral degradation, he spouted.

Buenafe also called on parents to inculcate the right and correct moral values in their children.


9th March   

Veiled Threats...

Tajikistan to raise penalties for prostitution
Link Here

The Tajikistan police ministry wants to criminalise the sex industry as the Tajik interior ministry announces tougher penalties for prostitution.

Interior Minister Mahmadnazar Salihov said his staff were drafting a special bill that would soon be sent to parliament.

Sex workers currently face relatively mild penalties under “administrative” or civil law, which rarely go beyond police warnings and rebukes. The minister said this approach had failed to solve the problem. We must make those engaged in prostitution answerable under criminal law, he said.

According to official figures, there are at least 500 women working as prostitutes in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

But while police and government officials appear to be putting their faith in harsher laws, sociologists interviewed by IWPR cast doubt over whether these measures were the right way to address the problem. They listed other factors, including poverty, social change and lack of education as key contributory factors in the sex industry.

Qurbongul Qosimova, who heads a local charity called Najoti Kudakon (“Save the Children”), says tightening up the laws on prostitution will not address the plight of vulnerable women. In Qosimova’s opinion, it is not prostitutes who should be punished, but the men who go to them. She would like these clients to face hefty fines and to be named and shamed on television and in the newspapers.


8th March   

Update: Advertising the Mean Minded...

Israeli proposal to ban all forms of advertising for prostitution
Link Here

Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On is set to unveil legislation that will potentially ban all media - including promotional pamphlets and "business cards" - from advertising prostitution services and providing possible clients with access to the sex industry.

Gal-On's introduction of the bill coincides with International Women's Day on March 8th.

The current law [on prostitution] gives legitimization to the advertising of sex clubs and prostitution in all variety of media, commented Gal-On, who heads the Knesset subcommittee on Trafficking in Women. Her bill has the backing of more than 20 other lawmakers from across the political spectrum: Such promotion in newspapers or with pamphlets and business cards are an inseparable part of the trafficking in women chain.

She continued: Allowing potential clients to receive information about the sex industry only increases women's suffering and generates millions of shekels a year for criminals.

Drafted by the Hotline for Migrant Workers legal adviser Nomi Levenkron, the legislation is intended to widen the existing scope of punishment for those who advertise and promote prostitution; increase jail time from six months to three years for those found guilty of advertising sex services; and up fines meted out.

These new restrictions have been created in order to protect the public sentiment on the basis of moral justice and not to eradicate prostitution completely, said Gal-On: The law will not ban prostitution but only makes it criminal to... promote the services."

Gal-On noted that despite a 2004 ruling against the country's three largest newspapers for advertising sex services, such ads were still regularly published: Ten years have passed since the original law banning the advertisement of sex services was implemented and nothing has changed.


6th March   

Singing for Supper...

Karaoke bar scene in Burma
Link Here

The karaoke bar scene may not be uncommon in many parts of Asia, but was until recently rare here in isolated Burma, where economic desperation is increasingly pushing young women into a sex trade that hides behind the facade of karaoke bars and massage parlours.

At the bars, known locally as KTVs for "karaoke television," young women in their late teens and early 20s entertain clients in private air-conditioned rooms furnished with sofas and karaoke equipment.

Waiters enter only when customers order food and drinks, or if the women ring a bell to alert the management that a client is getting out of hand.

Workers at KTVs say sex is not necessarily on offer, but they add that in the private rooms boundaries can be vague. It's hard to control men in this kind of room, 22-year-old Kay Kay says: They are so wild when they get drunk. I need to hold both his hands to protect myself. Sometimes I need to ring the bell to call for help from the waiters .

Customers vary from teenagers to adults. Sometimes they come with friends, occasionally even with family, to venues that blur the line between casual entertainment and brothels.

Ostensibly hostesses are paid to keep customers company, encourage them to buy drinks, and to sing for them.

Prostitution is illegal in Burma, but it began to take root underground after the ruling junta abandoned socialism for a market economy in 1996.

Myanmar is one of the world's poorest countries, where even urban professionals scrape out a living on less than a dollar a day. Salaries for civil servants, for example, start at about 20,000 kyats (about $17.50) a month. Many industries have been decimated by decades of economic mismanagement by the military, coupled with the effects of Western sanctions imposed over the regime's failure to make good on promises of democratic reforms.

KTV girl, Cherry, says she decided to work in the karaoke bar after quitting her low-wage job at a garment factory. Girls can earn more in tips in one night at the karaoke bar than they earn in a month in factory jobs.

Many of the girls working in Rangoon's KTV bars have come from Burma's impoverished countryside in search of better opportunities in the city.

The bar that employs Cherry and Kay Kay provides them with free room and board, and a base salary of 20,000 kyats, or about $17.50. The basic salary is similar to what I earned at the factory, but here we get tips from customers. Sometimes we earn 30,000 kyats ($27.00) in one night just from the tips.

The women are not allowed to leave the bar before its 2 am closing time, and then they are driven back to the hostel.

The stigma attached to the bar girls remains strong, and many parents would rather see their children join the millions of Myanmar migrants heading overseas to search for work.

I can support my family well. One of my brothers will graduate from university very soon, says Cherry: I don't need to work very hard like I did in the factory but you know customers treat us just as bar girls, they look down on us. The reputation of a bar girl is not so good in this community.


24th February   


Madrid red light area being sold off
Link Here

A Madrid group is bent on transforming the Spanish capital's red-light district, moving prostitutes and drug dealers out and trendy clothing shops and restaurants in.

The business association set up last year, called AcTriball, has bought or leased property in the central district that was used for brothels or had been abandoned. It rents the sites at affordable rates to modern outlets willing to set up shop in this historic but run-down area.

AcTriball charges only around 20 euros per square metre for rent, compared to the 200 euros per square metre demanded on the nearby Fuencarral, whose funky stores draw youths from across the capital.

The old red-light district, a broad stretch of narrow streets with buildings not more than five storeys tall, is now plastered with white signs with bright green lettering making the retail spaces for rent under the scheme.

Most of the stores now house either sex-shops, small food stalls or boutiques offering cheap long-distance telephone calls aimed at immigrants.

The scheme has the blessing of Madrid's conservative mayor, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, who has boosted police patrols and spent 500,000 euros to have video surveillance cameras installed in the area.


21st February   

Update: Olympic Bedroom Sports...

Just popping down the Co-op dear
Link Here
Full story: Sex Workers in Canada...Canadian sex workers campaign for safety and legality

A group of Vancouver sex-trade workers has incorporated the country's first sex industry co-operative with the goal of setting up a legal brothel.

The official documents incorporating the West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals arrived in the mail this week. So far, the co-op has 13 directors, including prostitutes, porn stars and exotic dancers.

Susan Davis said: We're just looking for an opportunity to demonstrate what we believe will be the impact on the health and safety of the entire community by bringing it indoors.

Ultimately, the co-op would be like a safe place for prostitutes to conduct business, as well as a place to offer education and skills training to sex-industry workers.

The group will be lobbying the federal government for an exemption to federal laws against prostitution in order to open the brothel, preferably near the Port of Vancouver. Co-op directors are in the process of drafting a proposal for the federal government that would exempt the co-op from the Criminal Code prohibition on prostitution.

Davis admits the group has an uphill battle convincing the federal Conservative government to approve a brothel but she is confident. Davis believes there is support for the project, even within the political community. Ideally, the brothel would be in place by the 2010 Olympic Games, she said.

From Focus on the Family

The federal government has effectively dashed the hopes of some MPs that it will decriminalize prostitution and allow Vancouver “sex-trade workers” to open a brothel to coincide with the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

We are not in the business of legalizing brothels, and we have no intention of changing any of the laws relating to prostitution in this country, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson told the Commons status of women committee.

A majority on the committee had urged the government to amend the Criminal Code so that only those who exploit or buy sex from prostitutes would face prosecution. But Nicholson refused.


21st February   

Stimulating Preaching...

Adult DVDs disguised as religious preaching in Algeria
Link Here

Algerian police have uncovered a criminal group that made pornographic DVDs and put well-known Islamic preachers on the covers to disguise the films.

Police said tens of thousands of copies of the erotic films were sold in the capital, Algiers, and that many customers bought the discs in good faith, innocently unaware of their contents.

Police said in a statement: Apart from illegally producing and selling forbidden products, they blasphemed against our religion, misled their buyers, and hurt their religious feelings.


19th February   

Update: Licensed to Repress...

Amsterdam continues campaign against sex industry
Link Here
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers

Amsterdam, previously famed for its red light prostitution district, on Wednesday gave escort services six weeks to apply for official city licenses.

The order is part of a campaign against the sex industry, which was legalized in the Netherlands in 2000.

To obtain a license, escort agencies must have a fixed address and telephone number, and must guarantee that prostitutes are healthy and work in safe conditions, the city said.

Escort agencies have six weeks to comply — or face being shut down.

Council spokesman Edwin Oppedijk said the city estimates that 120 escort agencies, which until now have escaped monitoring, will be affected by the licensing order. Around 1,200 prostitutes who operate solo won't be affected.

So far only a handful of the estimated 60 escort services have requested a license. It was unclear how the new ordinance would be enforced.


9th February   

Update: Christian Freedom Thieves...

Philippines bans porn, sex shows and the words 'christian' or 'muslim'
Link Here

The Philippines House of Representatives has approved a bill that seeks to prohibit both print and broadcast media from using the words "Muslim" and "Christian" as a means of describing a person suspected of committing a crime.

The bill's main authors said the measure's objective is to penalize media practitioners by imposing a fine of at least P50,000 whenever the words Muslim and Christian are used: It is hereby declared unlawful for any person to use in mass media, the words Muslim or Christian or any other words that would denote religious or ethnic affiliation to describe any person suspected of or convicted for having committed criminal or unlawful acts."

Hataman, a human rights advocate, said the bill would go a long way as this would reduce connotations of discrimination in the practice of religion.

The bill provides, however, that only editors of newspapers and broadcast stations will be penalized.

Four other measures were approved on third and final reading at the House, including House Bill 2420 amending the Family Code of the Philippines, HB 2811 penalizing those exploiting women and glorifying sexual violence in advertisements, HB 3305 banning obscene porn materials and live sex shows.


9th February   

Thinking of the Matriculants...

Legalising of prostitution unlikely for the South Africa World Cup
Link Here

The proposal on prostitution being legalised during the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa was described as “immoral” by several political parties.

This after an ANC MP George Lekgetho suggested that this is one of the things that would make the tournament a success during a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture in Parliament.

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, leader of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Reverend Kenneth Meshoe described the proposal as a joke and that it was upsetting to promote something of that nature. “There is no way we as the ACDP can support this.

The main opposition party DA's MP Sydney Opperman echoed Meshoe's sentiments saying the legalisation of prostitution would be totally unAfrican. We can't use sex tax because of bankruptcy. We oppose the proposal because it is immoral and we are faced with major challenges such as HIV and Aids as well as teenage pregnancy. What kind of a message is this to jobless matriculants, Opperman said.


8th February   

Update: Winter Olympics Unsafe...

Canadian government dismiss safety for sex workers
Link Here
Full story: Sex Workers in Canada...Canadian sex workers campaign for safety and legality

Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has flatly rejected calls to decriminalize prostitution and dismissed as a non-starter a Vancouver group's hopes of opening a "co-op" brothel in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics to provide a safer working environment for sex-trade workers.

We are not in the business of legalizing brothels, and we have no intention of changing any of the laws relating to prostitution in this country, Nicholson told the Commons status of women committee.

Nicholson was responding directly for the first time to a majority recommendation from the committee that federal prostitution laws be amended to stop charging prostitutes and start prosecuting only those procuring sex, or exploiting the prostitutes, such as pimps and bawdy house owners.

The recommendation, which won the backing of Conservative, Liberal and NDP MPs, was among more than two dozen the committee made last year after a lengthy study to crack down on trafficking in human beings in Canada for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

We have laws with respect to street soliciting or soliciting in public places that criminalizes completely the activity - the individual that is trying to purchase that service and the individual that is offering it. And (those) will continue to be the laws of this country, Nicholson testified.

Liberal MP Maria Minna said later she was disappointed by Nicholson's response: He doesn't get it, the Toronto MP said: The men don't get charged. Who gets the record and gets thrown in the clink, it's the woman. She's the victim.

The British Caledonia Coalition of Experiential Communities, which includes male, female and transgendered sex-trade workers, has said it wanted federal support to open a co-op brothel. Spokeswoman Susan Davis said the group was looking for an exemption along the lines given for the Insite safe-injection site in Vancouver.


7th February   

Update: Age Old Repression...

Netherlands considers increasing minimum age for prostitutes
Link Here
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers

The minimum age for legal prostitution may go up from 18 to 21. Netherlands Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin will have the desirability of this measure investigated.

In The Hague, sex bosses themselves have raised the prostitution age to 21 to prevent young girls running into problems. Party for Freedom (PVV) MP Fleur Agema praised that initiative and asked the minister last November to raise the legal age.

PVV's plan was earlier rejected by the Lower House. But prostitution 'capital' Amsterdam has meanwhile supported raising the minimum age. The nature of the profession demands a certain degree of maturity and a higher age goes with this, the city council executive believes.

Christian democratic (CDA) Minister Hirsch Ballin announced he would consider the measure as part of a "package of measures" whereby the cabinet wants to tackle prostitution more stringently.

Youth and Family Minister Andre Rouvoet is also positive on the PVV proposal. Prostitution has been a legal profession in the Netherlands since 2000.


4th February   

Bali Bollox...

Urging prostitutes to change jobs and find religion
Link Here

The Indonesian tourist island of Bali is stepping up moves to against prostitution.

The deputy-governor of the province, Alit Kesuma Kelakan, claims to have been ostracised since he raised the problem of AIDs and prostitution in Bali.

Kelakan said he had initially considered the idea of legalising prostitution on Bali - one of the most popular destinations for tourists from all over the world.

But the local community's opposition to legalising prostitution forced him to reconsider his plan and to focus on monitoring the main red light districts instead.

We have opened clinics and are offering medical checks and help for those who have contracted AIDS/HIV, he said: We have also begun to distribute condoms and are trying to teach prostitutes about the risks of sexually transmitted diseases.

We are encouraging prostitutes to change jobs and to find religion, he added.

Unlike other parts of Indonesia, where brothels are legal, prostitution is illegal on the island. Despite this, there are well known red light districts on the island, most of which are in the main tourist spots.

A study carried out in Bali last year by the Kerti Praja Foundation found that there are at least 8,800 prostitutes with some 85,000 customers.


31st January   

Update: Mayor of Kilkenny...

I'm not an old prude...BUT...
Link Here

An ad interim licence has been granted to Whispers Entertainment Ltd to open a pole-dancing club. Whispers Entertainment Ltd are now open for business in the Widow McGrath's Pub on Parliament Street from Friday January 25.

Solicitor for Whispers Entertainment Ltd, Patrick Casey said: I can confirm that the club is opening for business in Kilkenny on Friday and the owners look forward to running it in a business-like manner, as they have been doing in Waterford for the last four years without any difficulty. During that time the business hasn't received any garda complaints, convictions or prosecutions.

It's the beginning of the end for Kilkenny city. I'm very saddened and disappointed by the decision to grant a licence, but it is now out of our hands, said Marie Fitzpatrick, the old prude Mayor of Kilkenny: It's also going to take a lot from the tourist trade that we depend on here, as well as adding fuel to the drinking culture. I also believe the crime rate for assaults on women will go up.

I know people will think I'm being old fashioned, but someone has to stand up for morals. I'm not an old prude, I'm not anti-social and I'm not against alcohol ...[BUT]... It's just the long-term effects for Kilkenny city I'm concerned about,

However, not everyone shares the same opinion. Manager of the Watergate Theatre Ger Cody doesn't think the pole-dancing club will have a major effect on the local theatre which is located across the street from the new club: If it wasn't for all the publicity many people wouldn't even be aware of it. Whoever wants to use it, they'll find it and for those who don't want to use it, life will go on.

I remember the exact same debate when the adult sex shop was planning to open on Parliament Street,
said Fine Gael Cllr Pat Crotty. It's not even a storm in a tea cup and in six month's time people won't even remember it.

Counsel for Kilkenny Borough Council also told the court that they had not received a reply from An Bord Pleanála having referred the matter to them on January 3.

The local authority is seeking an opinion from the planning authority as to whether or not the application from Whispers Entertainment constitutes 'a development' which would indicate a change of use of the premises. Superintendant Pat Mangan told the court on Tuesday morning that a response from the planning authority is expected within six weeks.

Update: Renewed

15th October 2008. Based on article from

They've no choice, do they? That's lap-dancing club owner Dave Coughlan's response when asked whether the people of Kilkenny have now come to accept his controversial club, Whispers .

Whispers Sports Bar and Pole-dancing Club received an annual licence for its city centre venue without a murmur recently -- at least in comparison to the uproar that ensued after the granting of the first ad-interim licence.

There were no formal objections to the renewal of the licence before the court, though objections from the local authority, disgruntled residents and the former Mayor Marie Fitzpatrick had formed strong opposition the first time around.

Update: Failed

8th November 2008. From

Nine months after opening in a storm of nutter controversy, Kilkenny's first and only lap-dancing club has quietly closed its doors. The new Secrets Lap Dance Club has taken over the premises.

A spokesman for Secrets said the company had bought the lease for the club off Whispers and had already applied for, and been granted, a new operating licence: They weren't doing very well and we've got a bit more experience .


27th January   

Update: By Design...

Further repression of Amsterdam's red light area
Link Here
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers

Amsterdam has unveiled its "Red Light Fashion" project, having converted 16 buildings that used to house prostitutes in the city's ancient red light district into studios for young fashion designers.

But many neighbors are displeased with the high-class newcomers in an area that thrives on its seedy reputation, and even the designers say they are taking a risk.

Amsterdam politicians are convinced that radical change is needed in the red light district, and are spending lavishly to bring it about.

The city paid $40 million to buy the 16 buildings from a businessman last year. Altogether they housed about a third of the windows where prostitutes beckon to customers and take them into a small adjoining room for sex. The designers are living rent-free in the studios for the first year.

Jan Broers, who owns Royal Taste hotel and pub directly across the street, and operates several of the remaining prostitution windows, said it was unfair to force some businesses to undergo heavy financial vetting while others are given space rent-free.


26th January   

Update: Seeing Red...

Amsterdam to close more iconic adult entertainment
Link Here
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers

Amsterdam's Casa Rosso theatre, one of the most famous landmarks of the "red light" district, has become the latest sex club to be threatened with closure as part of a drive to stamp out criminal activity.

Amsterdam's city council intends to withdraw Casa Rosso's licence just weeks after it forced the Yab Yum brothel, another famous sex industry stalwart, to close.

In December, the council announced plans to repress Amsterdam's historic red light district which draws thousands of tourists. It has withdrawn permits from dozens of sex businesses it accuses of links with organised crime.

Update: Bananas

16th February 2008

The iconic Banana Bar has also become a casualty of the supposed concerns of criminal activity


22nd January   

Frustrated in Kilkenny...

Irish council battle to ban lap dancing
Link Here

The news that Kilkenny city was to have its first lap dancing club was something for the local papers, hardly worth stopping the presses of national publications for.

Now, after two months of legal wrangling, the case could become one of national significance, potentially giving local authorities the power to decide whether such premises should be allowed to open.

Kilkenny Borough Council is serious about stopping this club. Last week, it called in An Bord Pleanala, who have been asked whether or not the proposed club constitutes a "development". If it does, the operators will have to apply to the council for planning permission.

With every councillor opposing the development, this would block the opening of the club. The case has been adjourned until January 22.

Councillors have rounded on the proposed club, which the operators, Whispers Entertainment Ltd, say will feature girls from Ireland and Europe. Whispers want to transfer their licence to a pub formerly known as The Widow McGraths on Parliament Street, with a sports bar downstairs, and women dancing and stripping for men upstairs.

Some feel that the authorities are becoming too strict. Artist and creator of Kilkenny Arts Week Ramie Leahy said: Where is the fun in Kilkenny now? They've become too conservative. You can't get a drink anywhere after half past one -- and now this.

Cllr McGuinness said: I'm a young politician, but I don't want this in Kilkenny because I think it is both morally wrong and bad for the image of the city. We're trying to get rid of stag parties, not encourage them.

Mayor Fitzpatrick said: Everyone I have met is against the opening of the club. People in Kilkenny don't want it. Parliament Street is one of the most historical and cultural parts of the city. She pointed out that lap dancing clubs get men worked up and then turf them back out on the street, frustrated.


17th January   

Update: Foundation 1012...

Fighting the closure of Amsterdam's red light area
Link Here
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers

Owners of sex-related venues have joined forces to protest municipal plans to reduce the size of Amsterdam's red- light district.

Foundation 1012 (named after the postal code) says the municipality's argument that the new policy is necessary to curb ongoing crime, is "nonsense".

Jan Broers, who rents out many brothels to prostitutes,  is one of the initiators of Foundation 1012: The current policy is not directed against criminals, but at established entrepreneurs in the sex industry - a legal, licensed and tax-paying business sector in the Netherlands. This is outrageous .

Alderman Lodewijk Asscher wants to close down many sex-industry sites and replace them with luxurious homes and cultural venues. On January 19, Asscher is due to open 16 former prostitution windows where some of Amsterdam's top fashion designers will temporarily display their latest creations


16th January   

No Barfines in Angels City...

Police take action in Philippines city
Link Here

The Angeles City Police Office (Acpo) has launched a campaign to stop alleged prostitution in the entertainment establishments in the Philippines city, which is blamed for making the city "the source" of AIDS & HIV in the country.

Last Sunday, Angeles policemen were on their second day of making the rounds of establishments catering to foreigners just outside the Clark Freeport Zone.

Superintendent Pedro Ramos, deputy city director for administration, started the campaign over the weekend to make bar owners
strictly comply with the "no barfine" rule or face the full force of the law.

Letters enjoining owners and operators and warning them of the consequences were distributed to establishments in Barangay Balibago, Malabañas, up to Anunas.

Ramos advised the entertainment business owners to strictly observe the "no barfine" policy, and/or any form of prostitution activities in their establishments.

He explained that this is to totally eradicate such immoral acts in the city in order to prove to the international community that the information is baseless and untrue.

We have already started campaigning on anti-prostitution by way of rescuing minors in the streets of Balibago and will soon be launching operations on sexually oriented establishments in the city, he said.

Ramos hoped that the concerned business operators would cooperate in this campaign to avoid apprehension of investors and managers who may be caught and charged for engaging in illegal and immoral activities, which also exploit Filipino women.


10th January   

Update: Gone to Hell...

Famous Amsterdam brothel closed by council
Link Here
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers

A Dutch judge has ordered a leading Amsterdam brothel to close, supposedly as part of a campaign to cut links between the sex trade and organised crime.

The judge upheld the city's complaint that the Yab Yum Club had been taken over by the Hells Angels biker gang.

The brothel, which describes itself as up-market and exclusive, denies this.

In December the municipality decided to withdraw the Yab Yum Club's licence. The club, which operates from a 17th-Century canal house in Old Amsterdam and charges clients about $500 (£250) a time, challenged the move.

The mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, has said that although prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, there is too much of the sex trade in the city centre.


9th January   

Heaven and Hell...

Argentina gets sexed up
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The nation that gave birth to the tango has become even more sensual -- but this time, it isn't the men who lead. Women are at the forefront of a new sexual revolution, reflecting a general trend.

Adrián Sapetti, head of the Argentine Society of Human Sexuality, says the feminine assertiveness began 30 years ago with the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, a group of mothers of political dissidents who for three decades protested the disappearance of their children during the military dictatorship of 1976 to 1983.

Suddenly, Buenos Aires is beginning to feature sex shops exclusively for women that shy away from the typical sex-in-your-face aesthetic. Sheherazade, a coquettish shop in the heart of upscale Barrio Norte, looks like a boudoir, with a table set for two with flowers and candles, and feminine green shades on the windows to protect clients' privacy.

Neighbors in the majestic 19th century residential building are unaware that the roughly 600-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment on the second floor is a sex shop, says Claudia Schweitzer, who owns the shop with her sister, Maria Alejandra.

Sheherazade does not advertise its address, and appointments are private and arranged with a phone call a few days in advance. In the two years the shop has been open, the sisters have learned that women feel freer to ask about sexual toys or try on lingerie in a private setting.

At Moria Restó y + Club, men are welcome but generally don't go alone or in packs. Couples and groups of women are the most frequent patrons. There are two dining choices: Heaven, where shows are a little toned down -- or Hell, where performances are hot and get even hotter as the night progresses.

Heaven is white, with a soft bluish light providing an almost ethereal look. Performers strip, but not all the way.

Hell is red and almost dark. It has a dancing pole and a giant clear water bowl in which male dancers dip their partners and then themselves. Nude is the norm. The last performance of the night is live sex.

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