I know this may not be popular - but honest -

"I have to agree with PETA - it is a complicated and heart wrenching issue. ;

Montreal has banned BREEDING pit bulls. If they had banned breeding poodles, that would be great for poodles and overall.  We’d be rejoicing. They’ve banned pits because someone was killed, but any ban on breeding any dogs right now is a fabulous thing.  It’s a start, it helps, it will help pits and the homeless animals crisis way into the future. 

Montreal has also imposed conditions on ownership:  If anyone thinks that people who can’t afford a dog should have one, take a minute and think it through. What happens when that dog breaks a leg, gets parvo, needs shots, isn’t sterilized, and so on? We know: they get turned into a shelter, usually by that time too old, sick, injured and undesirable for anyone to want to take.  And remember, just as PETA sterilizes all pits free of charge in our own clinics, and provide free vet care for pits and other animals every single day of the year, there are funds in Montreal and elsewhere that help people truly on a fixed income who truly care for their pits or any other animals.

Finally, yes, pits in the Montreal shelter may be euthanized.  The fact is that as long as more dogs keep being churned out, there will be dogs who will be euthanized, pits or not pits.  SO, if anyone can provide a good home for a dog, hurrah, encourage them to do it. They can reduce the sum total of dogs being euthanized by adopting a pit elsewhere if they are hooked on only having a pit for some reason (as if dogs must look a certain way to be loved or wanted), or by adopting a different type of dog in Montreal – there are enough to go around, more than enough - thereby saving a dog life somewhere. 

Please read PETA’s position, above, carefully, before buying into the counterproductive hysteria that does absolutely nothing to solve the very real problems faced by shelters and homeless dogs. "

As we learn we must change ...


Contempt - 1st of my wine series available now

The Canadian Icon and an upstart winery. On paper, they were worlds apart but little did either know they had much in common when in 2015 Pamela Anderson happened upon a bottle of hatch Brut Rose. Taken by the rebelious design and unquestionable flavour, a long seeded idea was hatched. An enthusiast of the luxury of Champagne while also being a Canadian patriot at heart, Pamela decided that wine was a great medium to showcase her interests in drama, glamour, art, love & fashion.…Contempt was the concept 'I wanted these wines to convey a feeling, a message, a warning something romantic, real, with a pink edge'.
It was a meeting exactly one year ago between Pamela and hatch winemaker Jason Parkes, a person known for his own artistic leanings that the partnership was cemented with a mutual love for art and rebelion, loud music and glamour. But most of all, wine. We are excited to debut along with Pamela 'Contempt', a beautiful sparkling wine made from the classic Champagne varieties grown along the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, the home province of Pam herself.
'The fine line - Contempt ends where love begins; forgiveness, always a battle.'
Wishing you Love,

www.thehatchwines.com/product/contempt-brut-rose/   (Shipping to Canada only)

Dazed - Pamela Anderson: Sensual Revolutionary

Text Isabella Burley - Photography Zoe Ghertner - Styling Emma Wyman

Text Isabella Burley - Photography Zoe Ghertner - Styling Emma Wyman

‘My favourite times are when I completely lose the way I look’ – the postmodern artist better known as Pamela Anderson on entering the most radical stage of her career yet

Taken from the 25th anniversary issue of Dazed: 

“When she exits a location, Pamela leaves behind sparks of electrostatic, radioactive biodiversity.” — Ed Ruscha

It’s almost sunset in Malibu. Hidden behind an unsuspecting lane, in front of an imposing treehouse, is a surreal vision of a blonde bombshell rolling in the sand. For a second, the world appears to melt around her: every move is hypnotic, considered and intense, as she morphs between sensual poses and piercing stares transform into infectious smiles. This is a woman who exists in an unknown state somewhere between fantasy and reality, and everyone surrenders to her powers. We’re witnessing the postmodern artist better known as Pamela Anderson at work.

“My favourite times are when I completely lose the way I look and I’m unrecognisable even in the mirror,” confesses Anderson. “Some people still think that I’m a cartoon character from some of the past stuff I’ve done.” Right now, we’re drinking champagne from paper Starbucks cups – an appropriate metaphor, considering Anderson’s penchant for extremes and a career so idiosyncratic, only she could pull it off. “It’s hysterical, some of the things I’ve done…”

Pamela Anderson has been on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (courtesy of Richard Prince), her breasts and other body parts have been immortalised by pop provocateur Jeff Koons, and Ed Ruscha calls her “a true artist”. She’s also famously pole-danced to Elton John’s “Bitch Is Back” in Las Vegas (a routine that saw her pulled from primetime television), stripped live on SNL, and has two perfume lines: Malibu Day and Malibu Night. She was the leather-clad femme fatale in Barb Wire, did a handful of reality TV shows (“the worst decision an actress can make”) including E!’s Pam: Girl on the Loose!, and even danced on ice (demanding £1,000 a second). “Sometimes, you have to laugh at yourself,” she smiles.

For an entire generation, Anderson is the ultimate chemical-blonde centrefold. In fact, she’s done so many Playboy covers, she’s lost count. “Everyone says that it’s 14, but I swear it’s 15,” she exclaims. Either way, it’s record-breaking.

“I really miss the Playboy days,” she confesses. “It was wild… It was my university: sex, art, philanthropy, and just being around really talented, wonderful people. On Sunday nights we would all watch movies and stay around for the jacuzzi. I even used to call Hef (Hugh Hefner) up in the middle of the night and ask him, ‘What are you doing?’ He would say, ‘I’m eating a peanut butter sandwich. Come on over!’ It was really innocent. I mean, we weren’t too innocent… but it was very free, and nothing compares.”

In January, Anderson defined the end of an important era for the erotic title, fronting Playboy’s last-ever nude issue. It was official: the internet had killed Playboy. “It was a real honour,” she says. “I never thought I would do a cover again. I remember when Hef called me, my son was next to me and he said, ‘Mom, you’ve got to do it!’ So I did.” A few weeks later, wearing nothing but a metallic choker that read ‘SEX’, she was shot by Ellen von Unwerth and interviewed by James Franco. Naturally, a moment of such significance demanded special attention: the issue came packaged in transparent, wipe-clean plastic, a reminder that this was an object of sexual significance, to be treasured and never be left to gather dust.

“Pamela possesses a rare combination of beauty, sex appeal and personality, and it’s made her a true pop-culture phenomenon,” explains Hefner, now in his 90s. “I believe she is the Marilyn Monroe of her generation. More important to me is her personally, she is a dear friend and a very special lady. I love her very much.”  

“One time (at the Playboy mansion) my kids said, ‘Mom, do you know what Hef does for a living? He takes pictures of naked girls!’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, let’s get out of here!’” — Pamela Anderson

Hefner has been an influential figure in Anderson’s life, and the two share a powerful bond even to this day. “I remember when I first met him. He walked into the room and stole the show. It was beyond rock-star!” she gushes. “Hef has always been a pioneer, setting the stage for all of us. When I saw him not too long ago it was hard to see him in a walker. He’s always been this strong person – and I know that he’s still strong, but to see his body fall apart is hard.”

“My kids have been going (to the Playboy mansion) since they were born,” Anderson continues. “Hef would always tell them things like, ‘Your mom couldn’t afford clothes when she got here!’ One time, I think they kind of realised what was going on and they said, ‘Mom, I was just at the grotto. Do you know what Hef does for a living?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, what?’ ‘He takes pictures of naked girls!’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, let’s get out of here!’”

Anderson has always possessed an incredible self-awareness. It might be this that intimidates people about her: she’s never apologised for owning her sexuality. Three decades after she first became a sex symbol, why start now? “I flipped the script,” explains Anderson, who revealed in 2014 that she had been a victim of sexual abuse as a child. “I really did. I was trying to take the power back from my life and things which had happened to me in my past. I felt really out of control and felt, not like a victim, but that I wasn’t in charge. When I started posing for Playboy and doing things in LA, I realised I was living my own life. It was really empowering for me to be that girl. I was always so painfully shy, and when I could break through that, it was just like, freedom. Then you couldn’t stop me from walking down the street naked!”

Was there a defining moment that changed her perspective? “Yes. The first Playboy cover I did (in October 1989),” Anderson replies. “(At first) it wasn’t nude, but I had someone reaching in and adjusting me and I was violently ill. I was really sick. Then it hit me, right there. I was like, ‘I can do this.’ It’s just what society puts upon us. It wasn’t like I was doing anything graphic. Then, I started appreciating all the nude pictures of women on the walls and I thought, ‘They’re so beautiful – what is wrong with this? There’s nothing wrong with it.’”

“I hope to find a great director to take me away – but also promise to bring me back. That’s a fear of mine... I’m creating my own myth, but I’m not in control” — Pamela Anderson

Recently, Anderson has entered the most radical stage of her career. Taking on a series of unexpected projects that are worlds apart from her one-dimensional ‘plastic’ persona, she’s been exploring the malleability and fluidity of her own identity. Not only is she consciously unravelling the mythology of the sex symbol; she’s subverting the concept entirely.

Her most extreme project to date is Luke Gilford’s dystopian short “Connected”, where Anderson goes make-up free to have a mid-life crisis. The film is a brutal commentary on ageism, but that didn’t stop the 49-year-old from taking the lead. “We really went for the crazy,” she enthuses. “It was really broken down… (Luke) was lighting me with these overhead ultraviolet lights and sniggering in the corner – I’m like, ‘You have no idea.’” When stills from the film surfaced online in February this year, a string of headlines followed – one even began with “Pamela Anderson battered and bruised…”  

“I really wanted to deconstruct (with ‘Connected’),” continues Anderson. “We showed it in a lot of art galleries and got a great reaction. Now I feel like I’m coming out of that. We’re in the reconstruction phase. I want to show that women can be glamorous at any age. We’re not all just looking for that pill or SoulCycle that’s going to make us younger. You can still be sexy at 49 years old. I get (magazines) that come up and they’re like, ‘OK, you’re going to be in a dirt room with no make-up.’ What?! So why would I do that? Why would I put myself in that situation? Who’s this good for?”

Legendary director Werner Herzog also wants to work with Anderson. “I remember when I told my friends Ed Ruscha, Richard Prince and Jeff Koons that I’d gotten a letter from Werner Herzog, they were like, ‘Pamela, you have to do this!’” she recalls. Originally looking to cast her in Vernon God Little, a darkly comedic film adaptation of DBC Pierre’s 2003 novel about a Texan loner who kills six classmates and then himself, Herzog now wants to write an original film for her.

“(In the letter) he told me, ‘Don’t ever audition for anything,’” Anderson explains. “‘If someone can’t see what you’ve accomplished and what they can pull out of you, what are they gonna do? Mediocre directors, people that don’t know you, are going to consider you a B(-list) actress or think that you’re not able to do these things, but I can see it. I want you to know that good people can see it.’ I was like, ‘Yes!’ I couldn’t have dreamed up something more fabulous than that, or a director I’d want to work with (more)… apart from maybe David Lynch.”

As Pamela Anderson has been immortalised by pop culture, the art world has followed suit. In fact, she possesses a greater understanding of visual culture and aesthetics than most of her celebrity counterparts. Plus, she’s an avid collector.

“What we see in the magazines is a mask, a blow-up doll, but underneath is a very beautiful, empathetic, mature person,” said artist Marilyn Minter in 2007. Interested in deconstructing the illusion of Pamela Anderson fabricated by magazines like Playboy, she created a series of intimate, hyperreal portraits of Anderson drenched in water and in the raw. “I have so much respect for (her)… Sure, Pam is a product of her culture, but she’s not a victim. Instead, she uses her circumstances to be successful. She lives from the way she looks.”

“I don’t believe in borders. Don’t follow the bewildered herd. Just think for yourself. Stand on your own and don’t fall into all the propaganda” — Pamela Anderson

For Ed Ruscha, Anderson is both postmodern art and a postmodern artist. “(She) has the outlook of a person who is wide-open to the world, which defines her as a true artist,” he says. Naturally, as an adopted American icon (Anderson was born in Canada), she’s also been the subject of his work. “He’s said so many nice things about me, I don’t even know how people get hold of him to ask,” laughs Anderson. “He did (a piece with) my name, P-A-M-E-L-A, speeding out of a window with skid marks because he said I was always going too fast! Richard (Prince) also gave me ‘A Study of a Nurse’ (from his Nurse Paintings series). It’s a showgirl nurse. (It says something like), ‘She is demanding. She is passionate. She’s easy,’ or whatever it was. I don’t know if it was describing me, but it’s perfect.”

But Anderson has never settled for being a silent icon. She’s outspoken and a fearless activist – some might call her a threat, but that’s all part of her appeal. For several decades, she’s campaigned for human, environmental and animal rights through the Pamela Anderson Foundation – last year, she even auctioned the engagement ring given to her by ex-husband Rick Salomon to save the rainforest in Papua New Guinea. “Have you read The Shock Doctrine?” she asks. “Naomi Klein is a friend of mine, I helped her release her last film on climate change. We had these conversations about fear and it being a way to control people. I don’t believe in borders. Don’t follow the bewildered herd. Just think for yourself. Stand on your own and don’t fall into all the propaganda.”

One of Anderson’s biggest female role models has been fellow activist Vivienne Westwood, who describes her as “a tremendous woman”. The British designer invited her to be part of her SS09 fashion campaign, shot by Juergen Teller in Malibu. At the time, Anderson was still building her house, so Teller and Westwood stayed on a blow-up mattress in her trailer. The shoot captures candid moments of Anderson at home in the trailer park, reading Plato, hanging out with Queens of the Stone Age, and even posing with her own laundry. (Yes, you read that correctly. Pamela Anderson does her own laundry – could she be any more fabulous?)

“I wish there were more people like (Pamela) in this world, because then the world would be a better place,” says Westwood. “I’m not talking about her looks, I’m talking about her spirit. Pamela is one of the most intelligent women I ever met. She’s extremely sexy, and what’s wrong with that?”

“One time I couldn’t go to Vivienne’s store opening in LA because my kids were driving me crazy,” says Anderson of her sons, Brandon and Dylan. “So Vivienne came over, went into Dylan’s room with her orange hair and said, ‘I’m so proud of you. Never listen to authority. You made your mother completely insane. I want you to keep doing that to every adult you ever meet.’ I was like, ‘Noooooo! That’s not what I wanted you to say.’ They all went to the Arctic together on a Greenpeace mission and Vivienne was yelling at everybody. Brandon said, ‘Who is this woman you keep sending me on things with?’ And I said, ‘One day you’ll figure it out.’ Now he’s like, ‘Mom, Vivienne created punk rock.’ I was like, ‘I told you one day you’d figure it out! These are all very colourful, wonderful people that Mom knows and that are going to colour your entire life.’”

“Sure, I have a good time, but I mean, I have kids. I’ve rolled out of bars covered in champagne before, but sorry, you know, who hasn’t? Who hasn’t, right?” — Pamela Anderson

It’s fair to say, Pamela Anderson has always been interesting. But in person, it’s her unique ability to laugh at herself that has the power to draw you in. “I don’t look at the tabloids, but they can be really ruthless,” she says. “Sure, I have a good time, but I mean, I have kids. I’ve rolled out of bars covered in champagne before, but sorry, you know, who hasn’t? Who hasn’t, right?” Naturally, we’re in fits of laughter.

Anderson has openly referred to herself as “a work in progress”, a feeling that shines through more than ever. There are no limits to what she can achieve. “I’ve always wanted to write erotic short stories,” she confesses. “People tell me I should. Everyone says I’m a pretty good sexy storyteller!”

When she’s not speaking out against domestic violence or teaching you how to be a sensual vegan (also the name of her inaugural cooking show), Anderson enjoys railing against what she sees as a desensitised generation. “The least sensual thing is a computer,” she said in an interview last year. “How does anyone learn to make love? We need to start a sensual revolution. To start feeling our feelings again.” This declaration turned into a personal social experiment. For six months, Anderson went without a computer and mobile phone. Would she ever try online dating? “Even if I never date again, I will never go on the internet to find somebody,” she quips. “I’m like, ‘What’s going on? Isn’t this supposed to be fun?’ I’ll do anything for it! I’ll dance around naked. Let’s play characters! Let’s talk in different accents. Why is this so serious? It’s hard for me to stay in a relationship that isn’t like what I experienced at Playboy. It’s like, ‘Relax. Have a glass of champagne!’”

Next on Anderson’s agenda is a cameo in a film adaptation of Baywatch, the TV show that turned her into an American sweetheart. “I still have one (red swimsuit) and it still fits,” she says. “I try it on every once in a while.” After that, she has a role in a James Franco-directed horror film, tentatively called The Institute. In it, Anderson plays a patient at a mental institution. “As far as I’m concerned, my husband dropped me off at a country club,” she says of her character. “I’m numb and vacant – medicated. I may as well be on the Titanic, (I’m so) oblivious to the deviousness of the doctor (played by Franco). It’s like Groundhog Day, starting over and over. I’m inspired by (Franco’s) voracious appetite – I wish I could segue mine into something more productive than sex and love.”

“I’m trying a few different hats on now,” Anderson continues. The champagne has run out, and she’s neatly scrunched up her Starbucks cup. “I hope to find something in film where I can trust someone, a great director to take me away – but also promise to bring me back. That’s a bit of a fear of mine. I live in a dream. I’m creating my own myth, but I’m not in control. I tend to overanalyse things. So this probably means nothing at all to anyone else…”

Hair Marki Shkreli at Tim Howard Management, make-up Fara Homidi at Frank Reps using NARS, nails Marisa Carmichael at Streeters using Formula X, photographic assistant Katelyn Reeves, fashion assistants Ioana Ivan, Virginia Fontaine, Sam Schwartz, production Connect the Dots www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/32796/1/pamela-anderson-dazed-25-zoe-ghertner

PLEASE! Magazine - The LA Issue



We meet the unofficial symbol of California, the very lovely Pamela Anderson. Long gone are the days of running on the beach in a red bathing suit: Pamela is making her come-back into the film world, and the result is more than unexpected. We chat about image, social media, and posing for the last ever nude Playboy cover.

Photography: OLIVIA MALONE || Creative direction and styling: SOKI MAK || Words: FLEUR BURLET |

“The most fun I ever have is when I look nothing like myself.” This statement is coming out of the mouth of a 5ft6, baby-blonde, soft-spoken bombshell and international icon, perched barefoot on a chair eating a kale salad. Around her, a busy team is preparing for the Please fashion shoot, set in the stunning Goldstein Residence in Beverly Hills. Pamela Anderson, fully made-up and waiting to be called on set, is wearing a spectacular wig crafted by hairstylist Sami Knight. “Sometimes when you’re well known people think you’re showing a different side of yourself in a movie or a photoshoot. But I always explain that no, this is a character, it has nothing to do with who I am really. It’s a complete departure—just like this!” she laughs as she gently tugs at her wig. “I look nothing like this!”

Pamela Denise Anderson, born in Canada,shot to fame when she was cast as one of the lifeguards in Malibu-based TV series Baywatch, broadcasting her image as the stunning beach babe with larger-than life breasts all through the world and the generations. A true American icon, she has posed for more than 15 Playboy covers, and made cameo appearances in countless US movies. In real life, Pamela—Pammy for her entourage—is warm, polite and surprisingly loquacious, delivering a constant stream of chatter in a girly, slightly breathless, distinctively Californian voice. As Frenchies, we couldn’t not mention her collaboration with accessories designer Amélie Pichard, our own little national treasure, that launched in Paris at the beginning of the year. Shot by David LaChapelle, the campaign for the Amélie Pichard x Pamela Anderson shoe collection—a subtle mix of sexy classics with an American twist—features the actress in all her glory, shot against cinematic backdrops in that typical LaChapelle saturated style.  “Amélie is so talented!” she gushes. “She’s an incredible young artist, and such a savvy business woman. I wanted to invest in her and see what would happen.”

The line is 100% vegan made, a particularly important factor to Pamela: a fierce animal rights activist (we all remember her particularly striking, and unclothed, campaigns for PETA—“I’d rather go naked than wear fur”), she launched her own line of vegan-made UGG-style boots, which she created when she learnt with horror about the way the original shoes were made. She doesn’t understand the public’s reluctancy to buy into the vegan way of life: “Maybe it’s ahead of time,” she shrugs. “People have this conception that vegan is not luxurious, when actually it’s even more luxurious because it’s even harder to put together. Then again, there aren’t many glamorous vegan shoes out there, except Stella McCartney. And now Amélie!”


Fashion isn’t the only area Pamela is willing to explore. May this year marked her return on screens : she starred in a short film by budding film director Luke Gilford, a striking departure from the roles we’ve been used to see her in. “I’ve learned that I like to play characters other than myself,” Pamela says. “I get so many offers to do cameos in films, it was always easy to do and convenient because I had young kids and didn’t want to be away from home long, but it wasn’t really that satisfying. I haven’t applied myself theatrically to anything before, because I was just running around in a bathing suit, then having kids, and one day I thought, this is the time. Let’s do this, let’s get really raw and start from there. Luke had to really fight for me, because no one believed I could do it.”

“I haven’t applied myself theatrically to anything before, because I was just running around in a bathing suit, then having kids, and one day I thought, this is the time.”

In Connected, Gilford’s 10min-long short film, Pamela plays Jackie, a spin instructor and strict follower of the “green way of life” (complete with excessive yoga, juices, supplements and meditation), trying to give her life a new meaning. She joins an eerie cult like convention in order to get connected to the rest of the world. Aside from the plot line, the most striking element of the film is Pamela herself—her character is pictured as startingly vulnerable, brutally exposed in an almost clinical way. In one powerful scene, Jackie studies herself in the mirror, scrutinizing every particule of skin, hunting for wrinkles and any other sign of ageing. “The film is a metaphor for how women are treated after a certain age,” Luke Gilford explained to W Magazine after the film’s release. “Of course, it’s larger and more universal than just women, but it speaks specifically to women and beauty—and how after a certain age, they are just kind of discarded.” A strong issue to tackle, and a brave step for Pamela. She remembers catching a glimpse of herself in the monitor, after shooting the mirror scene in which she is lit with ultraviolet light. “I saw a little flash that was stuck on the screen, and I was kind of shocked,” she laughs. “It was actually eerily kind of cool looking, if you can take yourself away from the fact that you’re the one in the picture. It’s a really bizarre image, but it was good to do.” She brushes away the topic of ageing, insisting that the real core of the film is evolving as a woman: “We come to a certain point in our lives when our children have grown up, possibly our marriage has ended, and we’re trying to find meaning in our lives. So we want to be connected to other people, but also want to meet somebody, to have a relationship, because you’re watching your kids grow and feeling very alone in a world where social media means you don’t really need to be alone anymore. I think we’re all kind of struggling with that.”


The topic of social media comes up a couple of times during our interview. Pamela admits to regularly submitting to digital detoxes, leaving her computer and phone alone for several months in order to “reconnect”. She has her own personal Instagram account, but only follows her sons. As a mother of two millenials, Brandon, 20, and Dylan, 18, the growing importance of image is something Pamela is very concerned about. “It’s a really strange time. Sometimes girls will come over to our home, and my kids will go, They look nothing like their pictures! And I’m like, Of course they don’t! These 17 or 18-year-olds are manipulating their images, putting out how they want to be seen. Where do you go from there? What are they going to be at our age?” We come to the topic of Playboy, and the magazine’s choice to no longer feature any nude pictures, in response to the mass-availability of similar pictures on the Internet. “People are getting so desensitized,” despairs Pamela. “Everyone is taking pictures of themselves, retouching them and putting them out there, and no one knows who you’re really seeing. How do people even know how to make love anymore? It’s taking more and more for people to be aroused, it seems as though all this is disappearing, and it’s very scary. Everything is so visual now, it’s all about the Internet.” She remains attached to the magazine’s ideals: “Playboy wasn’t sleazy. It was fun, sexy, and innocent too. I’m only just realizing that time might be over. It’s so sad.” Pamela, a frequent visitor of the Mansion, was called in to pose on the cover of the last ever “traditional” Playboy, released in January 2016. She had posed 15 times for the magazine throughout her career—more than anyone in the magazine’s nude history—and never thought she’d be at it again. Until the day she gets the call from “Hef”, who remains a good friend. “I was standing next to my son Brandon, and he goes, You have to do it! Of all the things you get offered, this one you HAVE to do, Mom! So I say, Ok Hef, my son says I can do it.” And just like that, history was made. Connected will be made into a feature film later this year. Watch the short version on vimeo.com/lukegilford

“How do people even know how to make love anymore? Everything is so visual now, it’s all about the Internet. It’s taking more and more for people to be aroused.”

Please! Magazine 20 - The L.A. Issue

Video killed the RADIO star ....

Talking Porn With Pamela Anderson and Rabbi Shmuley

The co-authors of a viral op-ed go deep about the dangers of pornography addiction

By Ken Kurson

If Zelig’s gift was to be in the right place at the right time, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has developed a knack for being in a strange place at a strange time. Right now, that place is a taping of the Dr. Oz Show on the Upper West Side, just a few hours after Donald Trump made news by revealing his medical records to the television physician.

America’s Rabbi is visiting America’s Physician, accompanied by former Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson. The rabbi and the actress have formed an alliance to address the harm being caused by the ubiquitous availability of porn. It’s everywhere, it’s free and it’s ruining families and even minds. In an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal that ran just after Anthony Wiener humiliated himself and his wife for what will hopefully be the last time, the prolific rabbi and the woman who might just be the most universally known sex symbol since Marilyn Monroe attacked the culture of porn. In calling for a “sensual revolution,” the duo blamed porn for “a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness given how freely available, anonymously accessible and easily disseminated pornography is nowadays.”

Their joint story went viral, with many readers commenting on the obvious dissonance of someone so well known for having appeared in a sex tape with her former husband, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee— a tape that was stolen from the couple, and from which she derived no material benefit, she is quick to point out—chastising others for viewing pornography. Indeed, of the hundreds of comments on the Journal’s site, many were sarcastic or expressed dubiousness about her sincerity, and some nastily attributed her viewpoint to aging out of being desirable herself.

Well, that last part is just ridiculous. The Canadian-born Anderson remains, at 49, a “total smoke show,” in the admiring words of the fellow who served as campaign manager for Rabbi Shmuley’s ill-fated Congressional run in 2012. But the rest is equally suspect. For one, Anderson has a long track record of forcefully advocating for causes she supports (including occasionally in the Observer). But for another, the instant dismissal of the idea that a beautiful woman might just have something meaningful to contribute to an important discussion kinda proves her point.

The Dr. Oz episode is slated to run later this week and in a lengthy interview with the Observer, Ms. Anderson and Rabbi Shmuley go into deeper detail about what brought them together on this issue.

So we’re here to talk about what’s on everybody’s mind all the time, pornography. It seems like everybody in the world read this article. So why don’t you tell me the genesis of why you two decided to attack the subject?

Rabbi Shmuley: We had seen that Pamela as a supporter of Israel speaks out very positively about Israel, even honeymooning in Israel, and my organization wanted to honor her and thank her. She gave an amazing speech and what everyone saw is that while Pamela Anderson is arguably America’s most famous sex symbol of the past 25 years she has a great mind, great heart, very insightful.

So we became friends. We started meeting for coffee in California when I’m there a lot visiting my father, and I was amazed at her insights about relationships, which is what I write about. So when the whole Anthony Weiner story broke there was a tragic quality to it. I think people see it as, ‘Oh if you hate Anthony Weiner you’re happy to see him self-immolate. If you hate Huma Abedin you’re happy to see her suffer.’ But there’s a little boy stuck in the middle and his parents are now divorcing. I was only four years older than that boy when my parents divorced. So I called up Pamela and I said, “You know, what we’ve been talking about, the loss of sensuality, the addiction to pornography, men’s need for this constant fraudulent erotic stimulation consumed this guy. What do you have to say about it?” And I started taking notes and everything and wrote it up and showed it to her. She said, “That’s a good piece.” We submitted it and it went gangbusters from there.

Pamela, why is this topic near to your heart?

Pamela Anderson: Well, I’ve been writing for a while now on sensuality and I have this book called The Sensual Revolution that I’m working on, and I see the disconnect and the lack of human interaction and technology. I think from my perspective I can really see the worst of it. I feel like I’ve seen just even being me and having this kind of objectification, and kind of taking it as a compliment at first and thinking ‘this is great and this is love’ to be called sexy and wonderful, but to see my relationships really suffer because either porn addiction or maybe being cast into this relationship as a caricature, I just really felt disconnected from my partners. It’s going completely the wrong way. I’m used to Playboy and this really wonderful kind of free spirited sensuality, sexuality, but I think it’s taking a really dark turn. I have two teenaged boys, and I realize that it’s a little bit hypocritical because I’ve been in Playboy and because of the tapes that were stolen, but those were home movies that were stolen and people made money on them and they weren’t anything for the public to see. It just really struck me and I feel a real lack in my own sexual life, and I felt like gosh if I’m feeling this way so many women must feel this way.

This really blows my mind, because if you’re saying this—you, the very definition of a sex symbol in the post-World War II era…

Rabbi Shmuley: Don’t leave me out of that as well. I kind of define it as well. We’re kind of a team here, you know.

Funny. But is the point that if even Pamela Anderson has her partners less interested than they ought to be because of the intrusion of porn, then how does Jane Jones possibly hope to hold the interest of her fellow?

Pamela Anderson: Neglect is a form of abuse too and is a way to control somebody. And to make them feel less than and not worthy or not sexy, and a lot of times with women I think that maybe you get into a relationship because of a certain image. I’m still trying to figure it all out as we’re discussing it, but I find that committed relationships and loving relationships are the way to have the best sex and the best sexual connection, and women are very sexual creatures, so when you’re ignored and people withdraw from you to go into a basement to watch porn, it’s devastating.

You mention you’re raising two teenage boys. I have a teenage son and I just don’t want him to think that that’s what love is and that’s what marriage is.

Pamela Anderson: And that’s what people do say to me:“That’s how people learn how to make love.” I say, “What?” Oh boy. Really? That’s how to become a very bad lover if that’s how you’re thinking. People that are addicted to porn sometimes are addicted to prostitution and when you are hiring people for sex that’s very self-indulgent and not about giving to another person. So I worry too about my kids looking at that or dating sites or you know, swiping the girl left to right. I want them to experience real love, real passion and to be able to treat people respectfully, and I always tell them if you disrespect women you disrespect your mom.

Rabbi Shmuley: A few years ago, I did a debate against Larry Flynt who I met on the Judith Regan show on Fox. We did it live with a thousand people with Roseanne Barr as the moderator. And he said to me, “I know what you’re going to say to me—retrograde Victorian prudishness arguments against porn..” I said, “I’m not going to say any of that. I’m going to say porn is just a bore. It’s so boring.” He said, “What do you mean it’s a bore? Look at all the money I made in porn.” I said, “A smart businessman pays a woman once and he uses her 12 times as a centerfold and he saves a lot of money. You have to pay 12 women, because once a woman takes her clothes off it’s not as interesting the next month or the month after that. In other words, pornography is only interesting in variety and men are being addicted to variety. They cannot focus. There can’t be a single erotic target and women notice this.” My friend Dennis Prager always says, “You know guys go out with women today and their heads are like roving radar towers. Every time they are speaking to a woman they are kind of saying is there anyone prettier to speak to? So they can’t focus. Women feel that.”

To repeat what Pam said that neglect is a form of abuse. I’ve always believed that in relationships the sins of omission are much more serious than the sins of commission. I do marital counseling, andI have seen wives forgive their husbands for affairs and all kinds of bad stuff, but they don’t forgive them for neglect because there’s no relationship if there’s been neglect.

So let’s get to some prescriptions though. What do you do? What are some solutions here?

Pamela Anderson: Well, just to be aware that this is going on and be aware of your own habits, your own relationship. Pay attention to the people that you love because we all want to grow old with somebody and that takes nurturing and love and commitment and taking care of that other person, and teaching our children. There’s no way we’re going to get rid of porn. I just want to remind people that making love in committed monogamous relationships is much sexier and is much more intense and much better in every single way.

Rabbi Shmuley: Yeah. We don’t live in Iran. No one wants to live with a revolutionary guard barking down the door saying, “You looked at porn!”

Pamela Anderson: Just think about what’s going on right now and how can I make my relationship stronger and better and experience these really wild sexual experiences within a relationship. Because porn is an addiction. Literally. Women come up to me and they say, “Thank you so much for saying this. I’ve been in a relationship, my husband is addicted to porn, he hasn’t touched me in 14 years.”

Why do you think that this article took off so strongly?

Rabbi Shmuley: I think there’s two reasons. The first is definitely the wives and the girlfriends are sick of it and they fear that they can’t say anything because they will come across as prudes.

Pamela Anderson: And I’m no prude. I’m no prude.

Rabbi Shmuley: A couple of pictures, what are you bitching about? What are you complaining about?

Pamela Anderson: Everybody is doing it.

Rabbi Shmuley: So the wives are afraid to say anything unless they come across as scolding. But it even resonated with the guys. We got tons of emails from guys, because I think men do what something more. They do realize that they are becoming, whether the word is addicted, which would imply a loss of self-control, they want something better. This is bad sex. Porn is bad sex. That’s why people feel a loss of erotic attraction to their spouses, their relationships. And the average guy who is masturbating to porn and not making love to his wife he knows he’s got an issue. He knows he’s got a problem. He knows it’s kind of weird. You have a real live woman naked in bed with you and you are fumbling for the computer. Another reason is it broke a taboo, because our society is supposed to be so egalitarian, so libertarian, so free that you’re not allowed to criticize anything like that. So when we came along, a Rabbi was a little bit more predictable, but when Pamela also came along and said, “You know there’s something so much better than this. This is kind of for losers.” And we weren’t trying to put anyone down, we were saying it’s loser sex. It suddenly resonated that God Almighty this conversation is suddenly being had. The taboo was shattered. We can now talk about this and the conversation began.

Pamela Anderson: Yes, it’s been a great conversation. Like I said, I’ve had people stop me on the street and say ‘thank you for bringing this up.’ I want to say one thing about Playboy. Porn killed Playboy like video killed the video star. You know porn killed Playboy. It was that titillating kind of voyeuristic girl next door, still lots of clothing on, just kind of being a little bit risqué and it spun out and people wanted more and more and more and it gets very dangerous. I also work with a lot of people that help survivors of sex traffickers and I feel like this is a dangerous turn and it’s all connected, so we need to take a self-responsibility of what we are watching and imprinting upon ourselves. We need to talk about it and get to a better place.

I’m glad to be able to look you guys in the face and say I never watched your sex tape. And it’s not because…

Pamela Anderson: I’ve never watched it.

I never watched it because I thought it was intruding on your privacy.

Pamela Anderson: Yeah. It was two people in love. It wasn’t two people trying to be famous, trying to make money off of something.

And I’m such a huge Motley Crue fan too. It was like a double fan. I didn’t watch it because of that and subsequent ones of other people too. I just don’t do that.

Pamela Anderson: We were offered so much to… We just said no, absolutely no.

That’s a grotesque invasion.

Pamela Anderson: It was pretty devastating.

Rabbi Shmuley: I think bootleg copies of some of my sermons have done far better to be perfectly honest.

I want to thank you for Borat as well.

Pamela Anderson: Thanks. We did a few different endings and that’s what we came up with, yeah. I found that since I did that actual movie I’ve been offered roles on a daily basis pretty much just to play myself, cameos as myself, which is no fun for an actress. But it’s been kind of like here and there with raising kids and stuff like that, but now I’m kind of ready to get into some more fun roles that are not playing me.

Rabbi Shmuley: Who is your dream guy?

Pamela Anderson: I’ve been turned off completely. My kids are just going to the university and like I said, it’s that spark I see in someone’s eyes. It’s not going to be someone I meet on the internet. It might not be here, it might be back home, it might be in Canada. I’m not saying just American men; I’m saying that when I came to do Playboy I think some people kind of looked at me as a different person. I just kind of generalized and thought Canadian were better lovers.There’s something more sensitive and sensual about people that are…

Rabbi Shmuley: It says in the Bible that when Queen Esther meets Ahasuerus the King and he has his harem and she has to win him over, because otherwise her people are going to be decimated in a genocide, that God engineered that it was winter so that the friction of bodies was so much more pleasurable. So I think the fact that 99 percent of Canada is under an artic layer of ice most of the year, definitely.

Pamela Anderson: [Laughs] I think that’s it. That’s my calling. I’m going back.

The Tides Are Changing, The Currents are Shifting

Posting by Captain Paul Watson

The announcement this week at the Oceans Conference in Washington D.C. by Leonardo DiCaprio that the technology is available to locate illegal fishing operations at sea is most welcome. Also welcome, is all the announcements and promises by more than a score of nations and NGO’s of commitments to protect marine eco-systems.

Sea Shepherd applauds all these parties for the following announcements this last week.

1.  The United States announced the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii to cover an additional 1,146,798 square kilometers, creating the world’s largest marine protected area and permanently protecting pristine coral reefs, deep sea marine habitats, and important ecological resources. 

2. The United States also announced the establishment of a new marine monument of 12,725 square kilometers covering New England Canyons and Seamounts. 

3. The Seychelles announced that it will establish up to 400,000 square kilometers of marine protected area (30 percent of its EEZ) by 2020 as part of a comprehensive marine spatial plan for its entire EEZ via a debt swap of up to $27 million with its Paris Club creditors and the Government of South Africa, with the support of the Nature Conservancy and private capital investors interested in marine conservation. 

4. The United Kingdom announced the designation of a sustainable use marine protected area throughout whole of St. Helena's 445,000 square kilometer maritime zone and the final establishment of the marine protected area around the Pitcairn Islands that it proposed in 2014, which permanently closes more than 99 percent of the 840,000 square kilometer maritime zone around the Islands – 40,000 square kilometers more than originally planned. 

5. The United Kingdom also announced a roadmap to determine the exact location of an evidence-based fully protected marine protected area around Ascension Island covering at least 220,000 square kilometers by 2019 and a commitment to establish a regime for protecting the waters across the entire 750,000 square kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone in Tristan da Cunha by 2020. In total, this amounts to 1,455,000 square kilometers in new MPA commitments. The United Kingdom furthermore pledged more than $22 million (EUR 20 million) over the next four years to support the implementation, management, surveillance, and enforcement of these new marine protected areas. 

6.  The Federated States of Micronesia announced its commitment to expand out to 24 nautical miles around each island its marine protected area that prohibits commercial fishing, therein protecting an additional 184,948 square kilometers of its ocean waters. Canada reaffirmed its commitment to meet marine conservation targets, including the commitment to protect 5% of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by 2017 and 10% by 2020. Contributing towards this goal and building on previous actions, Canada announced plans to protect sensitive benthic ecosystems in the Gulf of Maine through fisheries closures in Jordan Basin and in Corsair and Georges Canyons, amounting to a total area of over 9,000 square kilometers on Canada’s Atlantic Coast. These new protection measures in the Atlantic join the soon to be established Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam Marine Protected ‎Area in Canada’s western Arctic and the Hecate Strait/Queen Charlotte Sound Marine Protected Area, on Canada’s Pacific coast. The protection of these marine areas on Canada’s three coasts, combined with Canada’s plans for a National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound in Canada’s Arctic, will total over 58,121 square kilometers of new marine protection by 2017 for Canada and the world’s oceans. 

7.  Ecuador announced the creation of a no-take marine sanctuary in the Galápagos Islands Marine Reserve, which prohibits fishing in an additional 40,000 square kilometers around the northern Galápagos islands of Darwin and Wolf. The marine sanctuary will protect the area with the largest concentration of sharks on the planet. 

8. Cambodia announced the establishment of its first marine protected area, which covers 405 square kilometers in the waters of the Koh Rong Archipelago. 

9. Palau announced the final establishment of the National Marine Sanctuary it proposed in 2014. The Sanctuary, which encompasses Palau’s entire EEZ, prohibits all extractive activities, including foreign fishing and mining in 80% of the area, and the remaining 20% of the sanctuary will be developed into a domestic-only fishing zone to ensure food security for Palauans. 

10. Colombia announced that it will quadruple the size of the Malpelo Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, which hosts one of the world's largest aggregations of sharks, so that it will cover an additional 20,237 square kilometers. Malaysia announced the establishment of the 10,000 square kilometer Tun Mustapha Park marine protected area and a project to build Park enforcement capacity with $250,000 from the United States and $50,000 from WildAid. 

11. Costa Rica announced that it will expand the protected waters of the Cocos Island National Park by almost 10,000 square kilometers, which will nearly quadruple this area in an effort to safeguard white-tip sharks, whale sharks, and hammerhead sharks‎, among others. Malta announced the designation of nine new marine protected areas comprising roughly 3,450 square kilometers, covering an area significantly larger than the country itself (316 square kilometers). 

12. Sri Lanka announced the 292 square kilometer Veduthalathiv Nature Reserve marine protected area, as well as nearly 800 square kilometers in four new marine protected areas of habitat for marine mammals, coral, migratory and shore birds, and other marine life: the Mirissa and Kayankanni MPAs, part of the Gulf of Mannar, and the Jaffna Lagoon Sanctuary. Sri Lanka will set aside an additional 86.05 square kilometers of Associated Marine Protected Areas in lands bound by marine ecosystems: the Nai Aru lagoon and Nandikadal sanctuaries. 

13. Korea announced the designation of the 91.2 square kilometer Garorim Bay, one of the only two habitats for endangered spotted seals in Korea and important spawning ground for many species of fish, as its 25th marine protected area, achieving progress on its commitment to increase the number of MPAs to 32 by 2020‎. 

14. Thailand announced a 10 square kilometer pilot protected area for dolphins in Trat Bay, with expansion potential for the entire Trat Bay of 880 square kilometers, and enhanced protection for dugongs and their habitats, including opening a marine mammal rescue center in Phuket in 2017 and establishing a 400 square kilometer dugong protected areas in Trang province by 2020. 

15. Morocco announced the creation of three marine protected areas, in Moghador, Massa, and Albora, covering 775 square kilometers on the Moroccan Atlantic and Mediterranean shores as well as plans for a fourth in M’diq along the Mediterranean by 2018 where trawling will be banned. 

16. Norway announced three new marine protected areas, totaling 170 square kilometers, to protect an inshore coral reef, an estuary, and a rich and diverse open coastal area in the counties Rogaland and Sør-Trøndelag, and ten additional marine protected areas to protect cold water corals. 

17. Lebanon announced its intent to establish a 30 square kilometer marine protected area in Naqoura and Ras ech Chaqaa. Kuwait announced marine protected areas around Garouh, Kubar Island, and Um-Al-Maradim Islands covering 0.158 square kilometers to protect beaches, shoals, coral reefs, and other marine life. 

18. Monaco announced that it has provided approximately $563,000 (EUR 500,000) to start a newly created trust fund set up with France and Tunisia that will provide long-term financial support to marine protected areas (MPAs) designated by Mediterranean countries; this fund will enhance existing MPAs, encourage the creation of additional MPAs, foster capacity-building, and complement existing initiatives. 

19. Australia announced that it will provide an additional $41.95 million (AUD $56.1 million) over 4 years to strengthen the management of its marine protected areas, the largest representative network of marine protected areas in the world. This funding will develop modern approaches to management and support research to better understand the ecological, social, and economic values of Australia’s marine reserves. 

20. Sri Lanka announced that it will establish a sea turtle conservation complex at Dodanduwa in the Southern province to treat and provide a sanctuary for injured turtles and educate the local community, to be completed this year. 

21. France announced the expansion of the marine reserve in the French Southern Lands in the Indian Ocean by 550,000 square kilometers, as well as its commitment to create a marine protected area around Clipperton Island. France also committed to a target of protecting 75% of its coral reefs by 2021.

These are wonderful and welcome developments but there is one thing that has not been properly addressed.It is one thing to declare large areas of the Ocean protected and it is quite another thing to actually protect these areas.There is simply a lack of political and economic motivation to actually make good on many of these promises.The Marine Sanctuary already in place in the Galapagos has failed to stop the taking of some 300,000 sharks each year or to curb the rising catches in local waters to feed ever increasing numbers of eco-tourists.Costa Rica’s Cocos Island has been a sanctuary for decades but the poorly equipped rangers on the island do not have the resources to defend the areas already designated as protected. Sea Shepherd has reported the locations of illegal fishing operations for decades without any response from regulatory agencies until recently, and that only in response to us making a great deal of noise with high seas chases and confrontations.Indonesia and Chile have been taking action with the destruction of illegal fishing boats but most everywhere else on the high seas, the poachers plunder the sea with impunity reaping billions of dollars in illicit profits. Sea Shepherd’s efforts to stop illegal fishing have been successful despite a lack of funds and support although I do appreciate and acknowledge the cooperative support of Mexico, Gabon, Ecuador, Italy Sao Tome Principe and Indonesia.We also acknowledge the recent actions and cooperation of Interpol.And yes things are being done, but not enough, not nearly enough and not fast enough.

Our Ocean is dying.

Fish have been diminished by 90%. The seas are becoming increasingly more polluted with chemicals, plastic, oil, radiation, not to mention the impact from climate change. Marine mammals and birds are starving.These announcements and these commitments are wonderful and are certainly a huge improvement on the way things have been over the last generation. It demonstrates a rising concern and we don’t want to diminish the importance of these commitments.We just need to understand that these commitments are not complete solutions. More must be done and sooner, much sooner.Finding illegal and unregulated fishing operations is not that difficult and all the more easier with the technology announced by Mr. DiCaprio. However the key is enforcement and that means patrols, deterrent sentences and an end to corruption that allows these illegal operations to survive. We have seen and experienced this corruption first hand and it goes to the highest levels in many countries.Sea Shepherd was not at the meeting in Washington D.C. – it was not a meeting for pirates I was told which is understandable. Besides we’re not big fans of meetings.We don’t need meetings, we need action. We have ships. We have volunteers and most importantly we have the courage, the imagination and the passion to make a difference.For the coming year Sea Shepherd will continue to intervene against illegal activities around the planet with ships and crew in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Pacific and the Southern and Indian Ocean.Next year will be the 40th year since I established Sea Shepherd as an anti-poaching organization.We do what we do with the resources we have available within the boundaries of the law and practicality.Our tactics may sometimes be controversial but these tactics have proven to have been successful. We get results without causing injury. We shut down illegal activities and we save lives as we protect the integrity of marine sanctuaries around the globe.We have no problem with being controversial. I like to call ourselves the ‘ladies of the night’ of the marine conservation movement. Many people may agree with us and what we do secretly but would rather not be seen with us in the light of day. And that is okay because the strength of a movement, just like an eco-system lies in diversity.However more and more outspoken support comes our way with each passing year as people see our predictions unfolding and they see the results of our interventions.Last year, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Interpol praised Sea Shepherd actions in shutting down Southern Ocean Toothfish poachers.Encouragement and support has also come from the governments of Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia and from the Navy and police in Italy, Honduras, and France and from the President of Mexico.

At this moment over a hundred Sea Shepherd volunteers are at sea on nine different ships.  Many other Sea Shepherd volunteers are in Costa Rica, Honduras, Florida, Japan and the Danish Faroe Islands.After forty years without causing a single injury to any person our tactics of aggressive non-violent intervention have proven effective.Sea Shepherd is a growing global movement and we are thankful to the nations that attended this meeting in Washington for expanding the protective areas thus allowing us some extra degree of authority in stopping the criminals who continue to exploit the Ocean without respect for the laws of nature or the laws of humanity.

The bottom line is: If the Ocean dies, we all die!


Polaris - National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline

Sex Trafficking of Latinas Flourishes in U.S. Cantinas and Bars

New report highlights the need to fight the sex trafficking of young women and girls from Latin America in cantinas and bars across the United States

(Para leer el comunicado de prensa en español haga clic aquí.)

Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors, released a report today shedding light on an underground sex economy that is operating out of U.S.-based cantinas and bars and is exploiting young women and girls from Latin America. The report, More than Drinks for Sale: Exposing Sex Trafficking in Cantinas and Bars in the U.S., details how these commercial-front brothels continue to operate largely unchecked by posing as traditional bars or nightclubs. Meanwhile, their victims are trapped in an industry characterized by unimaginable violence and exploitation.

From December 2007 to March 2016, Polaris identified 1,300 potential victims from Latin America in cantina-related cases in 20 U.S. states and Puerto Rico through its operation of the National Human Trafficking hotline and Befree Textline. In the same period, federal law enforcement prosecuted several such cases in Houston, but much more work is needed to end this kind of trafficking.

Deceived and enticed with false promises of good jobs, love, or a better life, victims are lured to the U.S. and forced to engage in commercial sex. Powerful criminal networks and individual traffickers use brutal threats, physical violence, and other severe forms of abuse to keep their victims compliant. The report reveals how, too often, law enforcement and immigration officials miss the signs of trafficking in cantinas – and a critical opportunity to help victims get out.

Click here to download the report.

“Every day in the U.S., young women and girls are held prisoner by criminal networks that sell sex in cantinas and bars right in our backyards,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris. “If we want to stop the victimization of Latina women in these highly abusive venues, we have to change the equation for traffickers by disrupting the business model and making the crime high-risk and low-profit.”

“Once communities understand the horrific exploitation victims of sex trafficking in cantinas experience, of course they want to end it – but they need to know how,” said My Lo Cook, director of Polaris’s Strategic Initiative, Mexico. “Law enforcement need training and resources to identify more victims and effectively pursue cases, and service providers need to be equipped to respond to the unique trauma experienced by these victims in a way that is culturally and linguistically competent.”

More than Drinks for Sale is based on data gleaned from Polaris’s normal interactions with individuals contacting the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline and BeFree Textline. The report looks at several specific business models in cantina-based sex trafficking throughout the U.S. Key findings include:

Who are the Victims? Victims are overwhelmingly young women or girls from Latin America.

  • 96 percent of potential victims were female, typically from Mexico or Central America.
  • 63 percent were minors. Traffickers in cantinas are eager to target young girls.

Who are the Traffickers? Traffickers are typically Latino males and may also be U.S. citizens.

  • 67 percent of traffickers were male, but nearly a third were women.
  • 70 percent were of Latin American descent, and at least 35 percent were U.S. citizens.

Means of Control: Threats, physical abuse, and sexual abuse are rampant in cases involving cantinas and bars. Traffickers often use multiple tactics to control their victims.

  • 62 percent of potential victims were confined or physically isolated in some way.
  • 51 percent reported economic abuse – including wage theft or the imposition of unattainable debts – but the real figure is likely much higher.

Recruitment: Traffickers trick and lure vulnerable young women and girls fleeing violence in their home countries or seeking better opportunities into violent trafficking situations in the U.S.

  • 34 percent of potential victims were recruited through smuggling-related tactics. But some victims may not even realize they are crossing the border illegally.
  • At least 29 percent received fake job offers, only learning the real nature of the work on arrival.

Access Points: Victims occasionally have access to people and agencies who could help them.

  • 31 percent reported commercial sex clients as a primary point of access to help.
  • 14 percent interacted with law enforcement or immigration officials, but in most cases, this contact did not lead to their identification as victims.
  • 19 percent reported accessing health care services, but the real figure is likely higher.

More than Drinks for Sale outlines specific steps various stakeholders can take to fight sex trafficking in U.S. cantinas and bars, as well as in a broad range of venues. Polaris stresses the urgent need for bilateral cooperation between government agencies and law enforcement, and between service providers and community partners on both sides of the border.

To receive help or report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or send a text to Polaris at “BeFree” (233733).

About Polaris
Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world's leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org