"So what's the big deal? Personally, I don't care if someone wants to create an online fantasy personna. I don't think it's necessarily bad or unhealthy to explore the different facets of our psyches by writing stories...But I do take exception when someone creates false credentials in order to dupe the gullible. I worked hard to get a doctorate in sex education and many of my colleagues, whether they have academic credentials or not, have dedicated years of their lives to learn about sexuality in order to provide good information."Glickman's comments section has exploded with fighting from sex workers and sex bloggers, including a few from famous escort/blogger Belle de Jour (outed last year as Dr. Brooke Magnanti):
"Why does any of this matter? Why is this not just ‘oh, someone's having a bit of fun?' Because “Alexa” referred men to sex workers, potentially putting them at risk. Because some sex workers were threatened with exposure – perhaps not by Alexa, but certainly due to the situation. Because there are already countless bullshit stories about sex work peddled to the media every day, and someone claiming experience they don't have Does Not Help. Because genuine sex educators fight to have their research taken seriously by prurient morons in mainstream media, and someone who tweets about “teaching your sons and daughters to suck ass and lick pussy” is absolutely not for real."Sexademic" Jessi Fischer -- who actually does have a master's degree from that SFSU program -- posted about Alexa, authenticity, and online anonymity back in late 2009. She now writes about Why the Alexa Di Carlo Thing Matters and posts several screengrabs of Alexa's now defunct blog to illustrate some of the falsehoods.
If someone was blogging about being disabled, and turned out to be able-bodied, there would be an uproar. If an anonymous blogger wrote about being a racial minority or queer, but wasn't, that would be clearly manipulative and unethical: that person would rightly be shunned. But somehow, because it's sex work, people still queue up to say “don't take it so seriously!” Fuck that – we are a targeted, criminalised, marginalised minority who have the right to tell our own stories, and the right to protect that right."
"The thing that sickens me is that we all gave him our pictures willingly. We believed that this person was our peer and our friend. One of us, so to speak, in our little private world away from "old adults". We believed this person was our age, a student like us, in similar situations like us, non threatening and most of us genuinely liked this person. I for one even had a crush on this person at one stage!! To think that the pretty young woman to whom I sent pictures of myself was actually a 40 year old man with nothing but sex on his mind actually hurts."Los Angeles blog Sex and the 405 presents a different view, calling this outing a "Dangerous Precedent":
"Well-meaning members of the sex-work and sex-positive communities came together to enable the exposure of a fraud who could very well be engaged in criminal conduct with minors. But here's an unpleasant thing to consider: what's to stop well-meaning members of another community from coming together to expose a sex-worker, who is, by many state laws, engaging in criminal activity (i.e., prostitution)? Supporting the exposure of anonymous bloggers online sets very a dangerous precedent. This concerns me. As does the idea that the sex-work activism community may be inadvertently silencing the voices of sex-workers who do no meet the criteria of responsible blogging."Sex educator Miss Maggie Mayhem and other blogs have cataloged some of the Alexa blowback by creating a BINGO card of common "this is no big deal" responses to the scandal.
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