Main | Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Massage w/Unhappy Ending

After a threatened picket by the National Organization of Women, the publishers of New York Magazine have agreed to drop the escort and massage section from the back section of the magazine, becoming the 15th NY-based title to cease taking the thinly-veiled prostitution ads due to pressure from NOW.
The feminist group called the magazine the "marketing arm of the organized-crime world of prostitution and human trafficking" because of ads touting "Asians Gone Wild," "Asian Bliss" or "Hot Latinas."

"We worked to educate them on the connections trafficking and the existing sex industry," said Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW-NYC. "Numerous publications have come to the conclusion that it's not a business they really want to be in."

New York magazine became the 15th publication this year, including Time Out New York and the New York Press, that agreed to end the "escort" and "model" ads that are often codes for prostitution.

New York Magazine says they will lose $10,000 a week in advertising. Gay bar rags like HX and Next Magazine probably make even more from prostitutes, but I'm pretty confident that none of those guys are being trafficked into the city in the holds of Chinese cargo ships, although you never know. Still, the presence of those bar rag hooker ads scares away most mainstream advertisers who would otherwise love to reach an affluent, nightclubbing, urban gay male audience.

Is NOW right to pressure publishers on this issue? Does the gay community have a similar moral obligation to police its titles? Or is the issue of male prostitution enough removed from organized crime for us to recognize it as a valid, even positive aspect of gay life?

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