The Downfall of Alexa Di Carlo
I woke up this morning to discover this in my twitter feed:
RT @TheFakeEscort: Alexa di Carlo “really” a man named Thomas “Pat” Bohannan. Deets: http://exposeabro-alexa.blogspot.com
Since I was well aware of the controversy surrounding Alexa’s blog www.realprincessdiaries.com (now offline) was listed as the Between My Sheets top sex blog of 2010, I’m not surprised that things finally came tumbling down for Alexa. That level of notoriety often leads to the sort of scrutiny that filters the truth from the lies.
I’ll admit that when I first read the Real Princess Diaries, I bought into the story. The writing was really good, both in terms of the technical proficiency and the stories. I know a lot of real-life escorts are very careful to keep their online personnas separate from their personal lives, so it didn’t set off any immediate warning bells. Similarly, quite a few online sex writers work anonymously in order to avoid losing their jobs or other problems. Also, most of the how-to information was more or less accurate. Certainly, I’ve read plenty of worse sex advice from self-proclaimed sexperts, so the occasional inaccuracy didn’t really stand out to me. So I invited Alexa to participate in the Good Vibrations Sex Educator Profile Series and posted her profile.
However, last December, after reading an article on Carnal Nation and and talking/emailing/tweeting with quite a few people, I started doing a little digging. Part of what made this take a while is that different people had different pieces of the puzzle. I heard about Alexa’s attempts to infiltrate sex worker rights organizations from one person. I heard about how Alexa spent time on youth sex ed message boards and set up a now-defunct website from someone else. Then I discovered that the photos that were ostensibly of Alexa were lifted from a cam girl’s website. And then it occurred to me to check Redbook, a website devoted to advertising and reviewing sex workers. Even folks who don’t advertise on the site almost always have client reviews, so it was clearly suspicious that nobody had reviewed Alexa. Perhaps none of these, other than using someone else’s photos, would be enough to put it together, but when all of the pieces were laid out, it was clear that Alexa wasn’t who everyone thought she was and I removed her profile. For the details, click on the image above.
For the last year, I’ve been keeping track of the developments.Each time someone pointed out an inconsistency or something that cast doubt on something Alexa wrote, that blog post would suddenly disappear. Mostly, though, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. That happened this morning, when a site went up claiming to have the facts behind Alexa. It says that Alexa is a guy named Thomas “Pat” Bohannan. While I can’t vouch for the accuracy of everything there, I had been told last year that Alexa’s IP address came from Philadelphia, as described on the exposé site. I also knew that Alexa had been behind the website Caitlin’s Corner and had been banned form Student.com and Scarleteen.com, as described.
Alexa’s Fetlife profile has been mostly stripped, along with what appears to be another site run by the same person, The Sensual Exhibitionist. Here’s a screen capture of the site taken from Google’s cache. Longtime readers of Alexa will see that the background and writing style look pretty much the same. Remember- just because you delete something doesn’t mean it’s gone from the internet.
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. A lot of people do it and have fun with it. And a lot of people read these stories and enjoy them. For that matter, I don’t even care when people give anonymous sex advice. Some of it is accurate and some of it really isn’t, but I figure it’s up to the reader to do due diligence when researching anything online.
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. I feel a lot of anger when someone pretends to have done the work in order to make it seem as if they know what they’re talking about.
It also upsets me when people misrepresent sex work. Usually, people make it seem as if it’s much a much worse career than it might be, especially when they want to ban it. But it’s also problematic when people glorify it because it creates a misrepresentation of the challenges and difficulties that sex workers face. In turn, this romanticizes the profession and makes it more likely that people will decide to try it out without knowing how to protect themselves. Plus, sex workers have always struggled with people who talk about them without listening to them. The motto “not about us without us” fits here- if you’re not a sex worker, don’t spout off about what it’s like. Listen to sex workers and be an ally without speaking for other people. They can speak for themselves.
Is “Alexa” gone for good? Maybe. But dealing with things like this on the internet is like playing whack-a-mole. If this guy (or whoever is behind Alexa) doesn’t start another site, someone else will. And I’m sure that no matter what the evidence, some people will refuse to believe it, perhaps because they hoped that the fantasy was real or because it’s hard to admit when you’ve been duped. In either case, I’m glad that the truth is coming out and I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops.
Very well written.
Fantasy is fun, but I prefer real life. Genuine, authentic, honest – those words are so much sexier than “fraud.”
“Alexa”/Pat threatened to out me in January – I’m grateful I was able to do it myself on my own terms.
People so entirely miss the point. The whole purpose of erotica is to create a believable fantasy. The more believable, the better. People flocked to Alexa’s blog and tweets because the fantasy she created was so vivid and so fleshed out.
I honestly can’t understand the outrage people are expressing. Especially from other providers of erotica. I see envy and jealousy at root here, not solid reasons for objecting.
What got me thinking about Alexa was when she moved to Florida but started commuting to Philly for a weekends-only graduate program in something-or-another. Seemed fishy to me and now with the revelation that she is actually a he and living in Delaware, perhaps that was a cover story to explain the IP address location.
She left a comment on my blog not too long ago, I went back and checked, sure enough it came from the Philly area, on a weekday.
Thanks for writing this.
You’re missing my point. I’m not objecting to the erotica. I’m objecting to someone creating a false personna in order to pretend to have a level of credibility that they don’t. It tricks people into believing the information beyond the level that they would if they knew that it was being given by some random dude who’s never been a sex educator or an escort.
Also, when something is presented as a fantasy, people know that it’s made up. When it’s presented as real life experiences, that makes it more likely that they’ll mimic it, and possibly end up in dangerous or hurtful situations. It’s irresponsible.
That’s why I object to what this guy has done. It’s not a jealousy issue, at least for me.
You can create a harmless fictional or semi-fictional persona WITHOUT fabricating specific educational credentials you don’t have (name of school, etc. and relying upon that to establish trust you don’t deserve & set yourself as an expert you are not), WITHOUT stealing images to use on your blog & fake escort portfolio from a real sex worker who specifically does non-nude, tease-only projects, WITHOUT putting real sex workers at risk by using your fake fucking self as a reference to so they’ll see you or others as clients when you have not been vetted by a real sex worker, WITHOUT telling real sex workers and real sex educators how to do (and not do) their jobs, etc.
“Alexa” did all that and more, WITHOUT one morsel of apology, expression of remorse, or admission of any wrongdoing whatsoever, instead consistently manipulating her rabidly loyal fans into thinking S/HE is the person wronged.
I’m 100% with Trixie on this one. There have been anonymous blogs in the past that turned out not to be authentic (Shirley Shave for instance) – it’s disappointing for sure, but it’s a whole other world when someone puts themselves forward NOT as telling their own story, but as an actual source of counselling and advice.
To claim to have academic qualifications you don’t have in order to gain others’ trust is unethical. We bloggers do not have a written code of conduct, but there is certainly a code that most people adhere to, especially in sex blogging.
I hesitated to comment on Alexa in the past, because I knew before coming out there were people who doubted me too. It’s frustrating to hear people call you fake when you know you’re not, but cant fight back because you have a life and career to protect.
However, it’s worth pointing out (and this is true for many anonymous or pseudonymous sex bloggers) that you have to gain trust. Obviously my agent and publisher believed in me, as did a couple of people in sex education in London who met me in person. And crucially people whose opinions I respected (Trixie and Matisse for instance) believed in me and supported me. So it’s possible to be anonymous and still prove your bona fides to the people who count. The person writing the Alexa blog has never done that, even though plenty of discreet, trustworthy people tried to reach out and make it happen.
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.
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.
At Desiree this summer I was very aware of how privileged I am to have the support to be fully out as an ex-sex worker to the world. I don’t take the position lightly. What offended me most was knowing someone like “Alexa” was riding the coattails of what I and countless others have achieved with real work, hurt, sweat, graft, fear, and love. Making a mockery of us, as if sex work is something anyone can do. It isn’t.
Very few people, since the brouhaha of last December, still were taking Alexa literally. That doesn’t mean that her site and tweets weren’t enjoyed by many, even among those who were pretty sure that it was all an elaborate game (as so much in sexuality is, no?)
Real cause for genuine outrage here is pretty flimsy, at least with the facts as we KNOW them, not surmise them. Belle, you say it “matters” because Alexa referred men to other sex workers, thereby exposing them to danger. We don’t know that, frankly. I’ve seen tweets indicating that Alexa referred this man Pat, but that doesn’t instantly equate with danger, I’m sorry. Secondly, you say it matters because sex workers were threatened with exposure. Nothing ties Alexa to that, and much of that instance (expose-a-ho) seemed to be in response to people “outing” Alexa her/himself, so it’s ugly all the way around in this little escapade. Finally, it matters because “someone claiming experience they don’t have Does Not Help.” Why? People claim things all the time, particularly on the web. Lots of people found Alexa’s blog and tweets to be entertaining, enlightening, helpful. So almost by definition, your statement that it “Does Not Help” is Wrong.
98% of Alexa’s blog was erotica, with NOTHING to do with her sexuality credentials as an educator. You can call it bad erotica if you’d like, that’s a matter of YOUR judgment, but lots of people seemed to disagree, and the site was clearly garnering lots of views. The whole aspect of “Alexa was offering people advice based on false credentials” seems way overblown to me. Come on. Anyone and everyone can get on the net and blog about how to give a blowjob. She was hardly giving her posts greater weight by claiming to be in a PhD. program in sexuality.
But aside from all that, let’s look at the extreme ugliness that’s brewing today about all this. Ironic that this ugliness is being fanned, at least in large part, from people (sex workers) who themselves justifiably value their anonymity and privacy. Here’s what I mean: sometime last night, “@ExposingAlexa” sent out what appear to be hundreds of tweets to everyone (I think) who was following @Alexa_DiCarlo. These tweets took the form: “@addressee “Alexa di Carlo” is really a man named Thomas “Pat” Bohannan. Details: http://exposeabro-alexa.blogspot.com”
Interestingly, ALL of those tweets are now gone. (Go look: http://twitter.com/#!/ExposingAlexa — they were taken down sometime earlier today) But since people retweeted them, the traces remain that this is what happened. Why would @ExposingAlexa do that, hmm?
Think about it: this shoot-and-run approach by @ExposingAlexa’s would be a really effective way to leverage the web into a public stoning of a personal enemy–or just a way to make mischief (this is, after all, the Internet). That may not be what’s happening here, but I think we all need to be skeptical of being manipulated into mob action by an orchestrated campaign, unverifiable or suppositional claims, etc.
I now note that @ExposingAlexa is tweeting that I’m a troll. So, no tolerance of any opposing thoughts here, eh? More aspects of the public stoning.
Thirding Trixie and seconding Belle. Yes, it’s fine to be whoever you want to be….until you start putting out mis-information (like on Caitlin’ Corner…that there are not such thing as transmen, only transwomen???) and dangerous advice, some of which was given under Sex Work 101.
I have written under a pen name. I have worked under other names, yes, all of that. I have met literally dozens of bloggers and sex workers in real life; sometimes I know their real names, sometimes I don’t. However, if you are not willing to truly reach out and make connections to the rest of the world, yet want to be an “expert,” I’m sorry, it just isn’t going to cut it.
I’m not happy to see people outed usually…but for someone to profit off of lies, wrong/dangerous information, and trying to out others? I have an issue with that.
@DelightAndDole Are you a sex worker? Because if you are not I’m wondering how you feel qualified to dispute what Belle (who is a former sex worker) is stating as the reason why Alexa/Pat put sex workers at risk.
Who are you to say that Alexa referring her ‘clients’ to other sex workers did not endanger them? I’m really not understanding how you feel qualified to dispute this unless you yourself are a sex worker.
Lastly, I am one of the first people on that twitter account followers list and I did not receive any twitter spam message. I saw the same tweets that everyone else saw and I RT’d it.
Please do not belittle the actual risks and fears to sex workers safety simply because you liked what Alexa/Pat wrote.
Well said, Diva! I find it ironic that those who most completely bought into the Alexa persona—which was inextricably that of an escort and not just that of a promiscuous young woman—are so quick to dismiss countless established sex workers and sex workers allies raising concerns. Basically, they’re saying that their right to enjoy fabricated erotica is more important than the well-being of a community of highly stigmatized and vulnerable people. (This is putting aside the uncontested content theft and faked academic credentials, which are also big problems.)
Just like everyone else weighing in on this, I have no objection to someone making up a persona for themselves on the internet. That would be akin to telling novelists they can only ever write autobiographies. But I will not excuse the fact that Alexa’s fame-hounding implicated truly innocent people (like BlueEyedCass, whose picture is now forever associated with an alleged prostitute, and the grad students at SFSU.) It was selfish and completely unnecessary. And what about all that super weird stuff about trying to engage in sexual discussion with teenagers? That’s just not okay.
It’s ridiculous that a handful of people keep saying “who did it hurt?” when the harms have been detailed again and again. What they really mean is: “who was hurt *enough* to justify ruining my fantasy?” And no answer anyone can give will satisfy them.
I completely agree with Belle. If this was a person who lied about a handicap, injury or minority, there would be an uprising. No one would be accusing people of being jealous. I call bullshit.
I also wonder if DelightAndDole is a sex worker. She doesn’t seem to feel the sense of urgency that this sort of violation invokes in a sex worker.
All sex workers create themselves on line. When I blogged as a Dominatrix, I embellished. It was erotica for marketing. I talked up the sexy things I thought would attract the kinds of clients I wanted to see. THAT is what we all do.
But to lie about credentials? To get people to trust you, open up to you with personal information. To refer clients, even if it was just himself is NOT ok. All sex workers have the right to screen their clients for safety, as well as interests. Bypassing that is a huge violation of trust. It makes you wonder if you can trust the next referral you get from someone you’ve never met – which is a great deal of our referrals! This makes one less likely to check credentials and more likely to find them selves in a dangerous situation.
@Monica: No, that’s not what I’m saying. I do think “Alexa”, assuming all this is true, did a number of things that I find less than laudable, and even creepy. But the language here, and the mob mentality, is pretty distressing too. There’s a difference between doing a creepy thing (basically, faking a referral (of oneself to a sex worker) and hurting someone. It’s not clear (although it’s being inferred and then presented as fact) that Bohannon referred people other than himself to sex workers.
The mob mentality is jumping to all sorts of other conclusions: that Alexa was behind Expose-a-Ho (unproved and, to my mind, unlikely), that she/he “implicated” the grad students at SFSU, etc. (By the way, it was someone here on the net/Twitter/blogs, trying to expose Alexa, who went after the grad student roster at SFSU and even (falsely) concluded that Alexa must be a particular male grad student there! Ugly behavior, again, with ugly results. As far as I recall, Alexa never specifically mentioned the institution where she was allegedly studying–it was clear it was SF, and perhaps even the rough area, but the institution itself, by name, was not mentioned).
The sex worker community is doing itself harm by its reaction to anyone remotely defending Alexa. People are accusing this person Bohannon of all sorts of damnable things without proof; at the same time, people are recommending that one go to his employer and actively attempt to ruin his life. I see that as extreme and worrisome and self-defeating. In a microcosm of this, people have also tweeted that I myself am yet another incarnation of Bohannon, or just a troll; one person tonight told me I was just “too stupid” to understand. Speaks volumes.
Basically, I’m holding up a flag that says, “hey, y’all are totally out of line, no matter what Alexa may have done.” So go ahead, call me whatever you want.
@Diva, I’m not a sex worker, no. I’m always a little confounded when a group thinks that the only people qualified to have an opinion on anything related to them are people within the group itself. I’ve followed this controversy, and Alexa’s blog and tweets, all the way along. I’m an intelligent, well-read person, and I certainly have the right to form my own view without having that dismissed as inappropriate simply because it’s out of step with the received thought of the sex worker community.
It’s also notable that people here claim two rather contradictory things: 1) that “everyone” could tell (and knew, across the board, because sex workers can easily tell a fake) that Alexa was a fake; and 2) sex workers accepted referrals from her. OK, I’m not a sex worker, but if I were, it seems I’d be pretty cautious about whom I’d accept referrals from. So I’d like to hear something more than rumor and supposition about what specific incidents happened along this line: was it once? Twice? Was it always Bohannon, or were there multiple clients whom Alexa referred? Otherwise, all of this is just people running wild in their imaginations.
One thing I have time tonight to explain, AGAIN, to this DelightAndDole character:
Screencap of just one of an assortment of places where he claimed she went to SFSU: http://twitpic.com/30dgqo (click “view full size, see right sidebar)
And this (already linked to a ton of times, you “intelligent, well-read,” doesn’t-know-when-to-quit pest) from someone who would have been her cohort if Alexa existed and really went to that school & was part of that program: http://sexademic.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/alexa-dicarlo-anonymity-and-sex
We don’t want to waste time feeding the trolls, but to clarify to everyone else…
“Alexa” fanboy “DelightAndDole” is too dense (or lazy) to differentiate between our twitter account (@ExposingAlexa) and another anonymous anti-“Alexa” twitter account, @TheFakeEscort. That other twitter account took it upon themselves to contact tons of people on twitter this morning to tell them about our blog. This is what DelightAndDole is talking about as he runs all over the internet accusing us of spamming twitter, then deleting our tweets, and lying about it as a part of this gigantic high-level conspiracy and “mob” against his beloved fantasy dream”girl”. DelightAndDole is just mistaking us for another twitter user, @TheFakeEscort. Oopsie! Next time, pay attention to the facts before screaming “lies!!!”
@Expose-a-Bro, thanks once again for calling me a troll just because I disagree. I’m also lazy, dense, a conspiracy theorist, and regard Alexa as my “beloved fantasy girl.” So much for dialog.
My point stands: this is mob mentality. @TheFakeEscort and @ExposingAlexa are different? Does it even matter? And, who’s to verify that? You’re both anonymous. Both of you swung into action on Twitter pretty much at the same time, in the late evening of Friday into the early morning of Saturday, notifying everyone possible in an orchestrated campaign pointing at Bohannon. Why should we believe that you two are different, just as YOU happen to believe that Alexa and the person behind Expose-a-Ho were one and the same? You even started out your reaction to me by accusing ME of being another Bohannon identity. You’re not being rational, and I have to wonder what your motives are. Either way, you’re clearly demonizing any opposition, either as obviously a sockpuppet or fixated on Alexa as a “beloved fantasy dream girl”.
I see this orchestrated, anonymous campaign as quite intentionally (and successfully) designed to stir up a crowd to Bohannon’s door, replete with pitchforks and torches and tar pots. I think that’s pretty ugly, and I’ll continue to speak out against it. Sorry, Trixie, if that makes me a pest in your eyes. Dissent is always pretty pesky, isn’t it. It’s SO much easier and nicer when everyone agrees as we all head off to the public stoning.
And no one is addressing my factual questions: just what did Alexa allegedly do in terms of referrals to sex workers? Just Bohannon as a client, or others? Not rumors or supposition, facts.
@D and D: I don’t see where I called you any names, particularly since I never even mentioned your name. I think you’re purposefully ignoring the vast majority of what’s been said about this fraud, although I can only speculate as to why you’re doing that. Sadly, I don’t see why “Alexa” would have ever quit her whole host of creepy/unethical/dishonest behaviors without this outing. I think it’s right for the outing to make most people uncomfortable, because privacy is important and we all value our own, and I understand how someone could object to it. But many sex workers told Alexa in no uncertain terms that she was creating strife and unhappiness within the community she (“she”) claimed to represent, and you’re minimizing the complexity of the issue by continuing to characterize those women as hysterical, mean, and jealous.
Alexa was caught out lying in a way that created problems for a lot of innocent people, like those I already mentioned: BlueEyedCass and the poor male SFSU student whose name got dragged into things during the first round. S/he didn’t care. The person behind Alexa was borderline delusional, totally bound up into this entirely false identity and too wedded to it to change any of “her” tactics. It was clear that Alexa poured hundreds if not thousands of hours into myriad internet projects and self-promotions, and that’s only what’s made public. We have no idea of knowing how much time s/he spent emailing and chatting with fans, reading up on the escort business, etc. Anyone who invests that much time in creating an alternate universe, and then proceeds to live there, is not going to go away quietly. So as far as I can see the only course of action you’re suggesting was for everyone to let the grotesque facade continue, regardless of what shitty impacts it had.
Furthermore, you’ve been pretty hostile to the vast majority of sex workers who’ve weighed in on this, and I don’t think you have any right to demand information about who saw Alexa’s “clients” where and when. Several sex workers are feeling freaked out, vulnerable, and violated. If I were one of them, you’d be the last person I’d feel comfortable sharing my experience with. Good luck demanding answers from a group of people for whom you’ve made it clear you have absolutely no respect.
Dole: I told you last year when you kept trying to engage me via twitter and I’ll say it again, you can pay me for phone sex or hot chat or a webcam show if you want me to go along with your hyperbolic misogynist fantasies of whore-witches conspiring to tar & feather PatBo before burning down his house, or to pretend I think you’re really smart and interesting.
For $4.99 a minute I’ll even show you my tits while I tell you how stupid I am, how you’re right and I’m wrong, how it’s you and people like PatBo who have so much to fear while we women are ugly hysterical fiends with a terrifying vendetta based on pure jealousy. I will not shave my pussy bald for you because I know it could never hold a candle to Alexa’s delicious waxed mons, but I’ll act like I’m really turned on by your bizarre double standards and tell you your twisted fears and concerns are really rational and intelligent. I’ll apologize for my role in this travesty and the losses you and your imaginary friend have suffered.
I know “Alexa” made you feel special for free, but that’s because HE IS NOT A REAL SEX WORKER and got off on manipulating your dumb ass.
If you’re looking for gold stars and cookies, you’re barking up the wrong trees. Why don’t you give it up?
Wow. I think Trixie’s diatribe speaks for itself.
@Monica, I wasn’t “demanding” anything except perhaps that people might look for facts instead of suppositions and wild rumors. We’ve heard one allegation, to the best of my knowledge, that Alexa referred a client (who may or may not have been Bohannon) to another sex worker. That’s somehow been turned into “proof” that Alexa was putting sex workers in danger. I was simply asking for facts.
As for accusing anyone of being hysterical, mean, or jealous: well, just read Trixie’s rant above. With material like that, I don’t think I need to make any “accusations” at all.
I’d also point out that there’s a pretty key omission in your declaration that “Alexa was caught out lying in a way that created problems for a lot of innocent people”. The problems for a lot of innocent people were created by those who kept trying to “out” Alexa, not by Alexa herself. SHE never said anything about a poor male grad student at SFSU, for example, and SHE never mentioned BlueEyedCass. All that was revealed by the flailing of the witch hunters.
And by the way, disagreeing with someone/anyone doesn’t mean, in my world, that I have “absolutely no respect” for them, as you accuse me of. Again, that’s demonizing the opposition here. Part and parcel of the mob mentality.
DelightandDole, I want to add something else to this, and by virtue of being someone whoever Alexa is harassed and harangued in the past — because years before any of this, I refused to allow them open access to young people somewhere they very much wanted to have it, something within the guidelines of that space for everyone, but a guideline this particular person was VERY angry about since it would not give them the access they wanted — I’m afraid that I’m going to do it anonymously. That’s not the way I usually do things, but I simply get harassed enough and don’t like to open myself to more when it’s not necessary.
Not only do I feel the concerns of sex workers on this issue are and have always been SO much more than valid, please remember that this individual had other incarnations before the Alexa persona (though there was some overlap).
Through those personas (Alyssa, Cathy, Caitlain, perhaps others, for all I know) this person posed as a same-age peer to young people, and was a member of a handful of young adult communities, including one this person themselves created about sex where they kept interactive areas CLOSED to the public, areas where conversations were held with them and teens — and no other older adults, so far as I could tell — about their own sex lives (often with a lot of pretty inappropriate innuendo for someone not a peer to be fiddling with), disclosures most, if not all of them, likely would NOT have made to someone who was not the peer they presented themselves to be. And yes, in those spaces, as in others, this person stated schools and credentials that were clearly false, and life and relationship experiences that also were/are likely false. Intentionally so.
Ironically, it looks like more than a few young people in those spaces called this person out on their sense they were not authentic and noted inconsistencies with age listings and other things, more so than older adults. Unsurprisingly, this person also often wound up banned from these communities by moderators.
If you don’t find that really major, I’m not sure anyone can explain to you why it is. It’s certainly major for other youth workers and educators, especially in sexuality, but even more so, it is and was incredibly major for the young people this person tricked into sensitive personal sexual disclosures and discussions.
@D&D Actually in this instance I do think you have to be or have been a sex worker to understand. Sex workers from what I see are a marginalized population that in many cases are targets of violence because of their occupation. Have you ever seen or heard the list of names that is read each year on December 17th?
I don’t think someone such as myself or others who are not sex workers can fully understand what their risks or fears are like and to in anyway fluff off their real concerns is wrong.
Being well read does not mean you have 100% of the actual information that is behind all of this. If you’ve seen any of the blog posts popping up today you’ll see there are many who are in shock about this and who were put at risk. Please don’t tell me that PatBo was a harmless guy who just wanted to meet sex workers because you don’t know. None of us know or will ever know that.
You must be joking when you accuse me of key omissions:
Alexa didn’t have to mention BlueEyedCass because she stole BlueEyedCass’s pictures. She therefore directly implicated BEC by appropriating her visual identity as “her” own, including not only pictures of her body but of her face. Anyone who stumbled on BEC’s site after seeing Alexa’s would make the connection, no maliciousness or intent of any type required.
Ditto the decision to place Alexa (the persona) in a small graduate program whose actual members were all identified online with personal backgrounds and photographs. It’s insulting and disingenuous that you keep trying to displace all responsibility for Alexa’s lies onto the individuals smart enough to know that Alexa was complete BS. (It’s also entirely unconvincing.)
Everyone who tries to engage with you in good faith fails, because you’re only interested in creating an echo chamber. How unhelpful and what a waste of everyone’s time when there could be useful conversations taking place about a wide variety of the issues at hand.
First hand accounts from women who were set up with Pat (see also comments): http://www.justcallmeten.com/2010/10/first-post-its-a-doozy/
Apologies for the second post, but I had to add that it’s also ridiculous of you (D+D) to imply that I’m leveling some personal attack by assessing the level of regard you’ve shown toward a variety of sex workers on this issue. Your twitter feed shows you calling them “jealous twits” and “witch hunters” for voicing their opinion that their community had been violated. And in this very comment thread you’ve maintained that “jealousy” is the motivating factor, while numerous individuals keep trying to (politely) point out the valid concerns that have been at issue for almost a year now with regards to the Alexa persona. They’re wasting their time (yes, I am too) because you continue to disregard any explanations you don’t like.
I understand you are in the minority with your opinions, but that doesn’t mean you’re being victimized by everyone who disagrees with you. If you’d like to direct me to some evidence of you being respectful to a sex worker (I’m sorry, but an “I miss you Alexa” tweet does not count,) I’d be happy to correct my impression. I’ll assume your apologies for the actual demonizing and misrepresenting you’ve been doing are forthcoming.
As one of the people that Expose-a-Ho/Alexa/Pat Bohannon targeted in his lame ass smear/expose` campaign, I’m sad that people are still cheering for this douchebag. Its really alarming to me just how weird the story has gotten with this guy and I honestly don’t feel safe right now, especially after reading how he tried to reference himself? WTF? or attempted to talk to pre-teens about sex? EW?
I was “punished” before for speaking out about this and I’m sure some shit slinging will come my way for opening my mouth again, but I don’t really give a fuck. Dear Pat: I hope DEMA fires your ass, I hope your wife leaves you and I hope the media gets a hold of this story so that you really feel EXPOSED.
I met “caitlain/alexa” (Cathy for short) about 5 years ago on the myjellybean forums. Not too long after I joined, they shut down the sex and relationship advice section and I got an email from her saying that she had started up her own sex advice forums and that I was welcome there.
So I went to C3 (caitlain’s corner community) and eventually got access to an 18+ forums she had on there. However, not everyone was 18+, including myself (I was 17). One person was probably bout 15/16 (and was very very close to Cathy) but the rest were 17-almost 18 or above. Nude photos were posted on a regular basis. Both of members and of erotica/porn.
Following the timeline, 2+ years ago I got an email from her saying that she was contemplating escort services since there wasn’t much in terms of dancing work in SF, where she was going to go for her Masters in Human Sexuality. She sent me a demo of her site asking for suggestions.
So Cathy and Alexa are the same person indeed. A friend on the c3 forums sent me a link to the blueyedcass stuff and said that Cathy was stealing her photos. I found it a bit hard to believe because there were times where she posted photos of herself that looked like they were right from her phone. Later I found that they were from Cass’s twitter. I’ve tried contacting Cass to see if they are the same person (because wouldn’t she reply if she recognized the email address?) Nothing.
I asked Cathy about the sites and she said that it was something she started doing when she was in her teens, her family knew, friends knew, etc… I asked what she’d do if someone made the connection. She said she’d deal with it if it happened, but didn’t think it would because the demographics were different (oh how wrong she was).
Anyway, I’m not sure what the point of this is really. I’m more worried about that 15 year old on c3 (who I won’t name) and Cathy had her wrapped around her finger for a while.
However the (then) 15 year old has said that she was emailing back and forth with Cathy/Alexa one time and Alexa emailed her from that Thomas name. She’s been suspicious for a while.
I feel foolish that I trusted this person when I was younger. And I hope (as do a lot of the people on c3) that none of the photos posted on the 18+ forums go anywhere on the internet.
@Monica, if anyone is playing the victim here, it most certainly is not me.
You obviously didn’t look carefully at my tweets, because there most certainly are ones that are “evidence of me being respectful to a sex worker.. I won’t lower myself to point out the specific ones, because I frankly don’t get the impression you will pay attention anyway. And no, I wouldn’t assume any apologies from me are forthcoming to you. Interesting way to argue, though. Moreover, I’m not being disrespectful to sex workers in any way. I’m pointing out that intense emotion is carrying the day over FACTS, and saying that a lot of this is maybe being intentionally orchestrated by unknown, anonymous people with unknown motives who mounted a planned and synchronized attack designed to stir people up by taking advantage of areas where they are vulnerable.
In any dispute, one way I look at it is to see who is being hateful, vengeful, and nasty, and who isn’t. The post by expose-a-bro, and much of the dialog on twitter and on blogs, is pretty darned creepy along those lines. And it’s stirred up the mob quite successfully, as he/she/they intended, to the point where no one seems to really care about facts over supposition.
We’re clearly all talking past each other here, and the “Trixie rant” approach (circle the wagons and attack) is way more prevalent than sober and more useful responses such as the one above from “Not Today”. So I doubt I’ll weigh in any more. It’s pretty clear that y’all have made your minds up, irrevocably.
[…] original “Expose A Bro” blog page, with additional supporting evidence and stories via Dr.Charlie Glickman’s blog, Debauched Domestic Diva, Nameless Chaos, Always Aroused Girl (AAG), Random Rim Jobs (Parts 1 and […]
I can vouch that Alexa was passing off pics of Blue Eyed Cass as herself. She sent them to me privately and said “please don’t tweet or share”. Digging on the web led me to Cass who is NOT Alexa. Alexa/Pat/whoever was using Cass’s photos and passing them off as herself. Period. No ifs ands or buts about it.
parsh: I hate to respond to you anonymously since you already got burned by someone anonymous. However, Charlie knows who I am and he and others can vouch for me. I’m a very visible and dedicated longtime youth advocate, particularly around sexuality issues, including abuse. With sensitive things like this, the least someone deserves is to have a real idea of with whom they are interacting. I’m sorry I’m not personally offering you that now. [Note- I can definitely vouch for Not Today and everything she says. Charlie.]
I want to make sure that you and anyone else know that IF any of you shared things like nude photos of yourselves as minors with this person who was an adult, photos solicited in any way by that person — which, if they made a forum asking for said photos to be posted, they did — you were victims of a CRIME. A very serious crime, here in the states.
I know any of this is obviously scary and embarrassing, but if this is the case for any of you, there very much are systems in place to protect you and your privacy if this individual kept your photos or other personal details.
There are ways to protect yourselves in this now. Anyone could visit their local police station (daunting, I know, but so is having something private in the hands of someone who, if nothing else, we can all clearly know is not on the up-and-up), call legal aid or your ACLU branch, or go to a department of children and family services about this. My best advice would be to contact your local ACLU chapter first. They have young people’s backs, and are just excellent advocates (I’ve been an ACLU client myself and have nothing but good things to say).
Okay? You don’t have to just hope this person protects your privacy. You can take action and get help to steer you through channels to make sure you’re as protected as possible.
I’m not from the states and I’m not a minor anymore. I didn’t post anything that wasn’t covered up or didn’t have my face blurred, but I will pass the information onto other who are in the states and did post explicit photos. Thank you 🙂
Also know that even if you are not a minor NOW if a) you were then and b) the site was served in the states, which I believe it was, you still have recourse here. In other words, it would still be a crime on behalf on an adult who was living in the states.
If you want a contact like the ACLU in the country where you are, you could email the ACLU for a referral.
Cheers for the giggle this a.m. Trixie – agreed, when someone is paying they can get any of us to say anything they want. But off the clock our thoughts are our own, and that’s the nice thing about sex work – no one asks you to sign a non-compete clause on your way out the door 😀
Let’s face it, this isn’t a debate. There’s some halfarsed “Teach the controversy”-style trolling going on, but who cares? I’ve yet to hear verifiable sex educator or sex worker step up to defend the fake blogger, and that’s because they won’t. There are some who are more “meh” about it, and some who are more measured in their responses, but no one with credibility is suggesting Alexa is or ever was an actual sex worker or an actual sexuality grad student.
Again, for me, this is about what Alexa claimed to be in terms of an educator and a trusted source. (I agree the stolen content is concerning too, but since I’m not a visual content provider, I’m less exercised about that.) Shirley Shave was fake, but Shirley Shave wasn’t handing out advice and contacts about how to get into the biz. People are reacting with passion to this because they know the difference between harmless fantasy, and creepy Walter Mitty. Alexa was Baron Castleshort-level bullshit.
Also, “envy”? With 5 international bestsellers and 4 seasons of Billie Piper getting her kecks off in my name – and a real-life, not-made-up doctorate – trust me, I envy no one. Certainly not anyone pretending to be what I actually am.
Whaddya gonna do, trolls? Out me? *snort*
I met “Cathy” aka Caitlain/Alexa when I was 16 (4-5 years ago) on a teen forum. Same story as Parsh up there. She (he) spoke to me several times about my sexual encounters and explicitly told me to share naked pictures of myself (which I did on occasion) on the caitlainscorner forums. to my memory I posted one semi nude photo when I was only 17 because she said it was fine as long as my nipples and vagina were not visible in the picture. I had photos of myself performing sexual acts because we were all trusting of the others in the forum.
I trusted Cathy and considered myself close to her. After reading this http://twitpic.com/30px40/full I can almost guarantee that she is really this Pat. So many things in that description were things she said all the time, right down to the feel of denim on her privates, sleeping naked and enjoying italian food. Pat is 100% Cathy/Alexa in my opinion.
I have only found out about this today but it sickens me and I feel awful for ever beleiving Caitlain.
fred: whomever this person is or is not, I want to make sure any of you understand and know that ANYONE who is an adult soliciting minors in that way has committed a serious crime.
Again, I strongly encourage any of you with these stories to act in your own protection now and contact the ACLU, law enforcement, or a child protective agency. You do not have to know who this was or was not to report this, you only have to know all of what you already do: where it happened online, screen names, emails, etc. Finding out who this is/was is on those agencies, not on you.
I also don’t mean to belabor what is undoubtedly a painful point right now, but hopefully it’s already obvious that if and when someone pushes you online for personal sexual disclosures or images in a space that is not/cannot be moderated by anyone, and/or where there are legal minors involved, it is very important you TELL SOMEONE, however embarrassing or scary that may feel. That’s for your own safety and the safety of others.
In the case anyone else in parsh or fred’s position is reading but not posting, by all means, TELL SOMEONE who can go through the proper channels to take the appropriate action.
Such fascinating discourse, and I must say I am a bit shocked at some of the comments.
What I think is important to note here is that this man, if he is indeed Alexa (and the evidence I’ve heard directly from the mouth of one of his victims indicates to me that he is, or is at least very much involved), is a continuing threat. And he is not just a threat to “sex workers” (though if it were only sex workers that were his victims, this would still be enough), but is a threat to all women. What he is doing is misrepresenting his credentials and experience, luring women from all walks of life into sex work as would a pimp, and then taking advantage of those women as a John.
I, personally, am a well-educated, sex-positive individual who has been married to my husband for more than nine years now. I am not a sex worker, have never been a sex worker, and have no plans to become a sex worker, but I related to Alexa. I only began corresponding with “her” when I began my own blog earlier this year, and shared many an intellectual and flirtatious conversation with her in this time. I had missed out on the hullabaloo from last year and on the surface sensed no red flags of suspicion as to her authenticity. As embarrassed as I am about it in hindsight, I lauded her experience and intellect to friends.
In this time, Alexa even propositioned me to meet with her client — offering him to me as an experience, given my liberal sexuality. Sure, I may have said no, but I could just as easily have taken the bait. As it is, I feel victim enough over the deceit and the trust that she was able to develop even with me. It’s fucking sick and this person needs to be stopped.
What worries me is that, likely, a majority of his victims are sex workers and are not ready to have a shitstorm rain down upon them for their choice of career. And because of this, he’s going to walk free to reinvent Alexa under another name, with another flashy website and more intellectual stimulation, all ready to lure in new victims, be them women or children.
I find it just unacceptable to sit idly by to watch and wait for this to happen.
I think Belle de Jour’s comment about Alexa sums up my anxiety about this whole sad case: ‘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’
I was approached by Alexa when running Caitlin’s Corner and was under the initial impression it was a genuine advice site for young people – with a young woman writing it who wanted to connect with other sex educators. When I saw the site some of the advice given didn’t strike me as sticking to good practice however and so I didn’t feel able to support it. Colleagues also shared their concerns and people distanced themselves from the site. Given the allegations of requests for naked pictures and possible harm to minors I sincerely wish more attention had been paid. I would support other posters in this thread by saying to anyone who was asked to provide such images to report this.
Sex education is hard enough at the best of times without people claiming qualifications they don’t have and giving advice that may be misleading or unhelpful. While in some cases blogging or writing online may need to be anonymous, when working with young people – particularly on potentially sensitive topics – is something where we cannot risk people claiming to be something other than they actually are.
It worries me young people were seeking advice from a site that seemed to be hosted by a genuine sex educator and was at best not a genuine advice site and at worse a place of potential abuse.
Parents, the media, the moral majority and many working in health/education are already anxious about sex education – often seeing it as corrupt or abusive. It only takes one case of someone claiming to be something they are not and falsifying qualifications to give power to those who oppose sex education.
There is a place for fantasy in sex blogging but not when it puts sex worker’s safety in jepoardy, young people’s wellbeing at risk, when it presents misleading information under the guise of ‘sex education’, or when it harms the reputation of genuine sex workers and educators.
This has been a sad and sorry case, although the lessons learned from it for sex educators are to be far clearer about what to expect from sex advice sites/blogs and to alert people about where potential abuse/exploitation may arise. It’s disgraceful we should have to do this but sadly it seems necessary.
I can only repeat the point from the start of this post, genuine sex educators work professionally, ethically and transparently. We do not seek to abuse, exploit or misrepresent. Particularly with young people, the vulnerable or those dealing with difficult or sensitive issues.
I am writing here because I’ve noticed others from C3 posting their stories and I feel compelled to share.
I met Caitlain on MJB. It was around the time that the sex & sexuality thread was going no where and eventually got deleted. A few of us started our own free forum where all of us could ask questions freely without being hassled and Caitlain offered me a moderator position on her forum.
After being there a very short time, she allowed me access to what was supposed to be an adult forum where people posted information that was not suitable for minors. I never posted revealing photos of myself before I was 18.. but the fact that this person tried to hard to get others to share photos. It sickens me.
She encouraged people to be open about their sexual escapades and even encouraged them in some instances. She would flirt shamelessly with girls on the forum and in one instance she talked about some of us meeting.
I feel like such an idiot for trusting this person.
Wow, the fraud’s finally been exposed. For years, I’ve tried to expose this person, but the people on her sites often didn’t believe what I had to say. “She”‘d magically make private messages to them disappear and ban me from even coming on to the sites. I could only prove it to people that I could convince to talk to me on another site. There were a few, but most were faithful followers. When I threatened to expose her, a few times, “she” went into hiding and magically “was too busy with school and couldn’t work on “her”
site” and stuff like that.
I’m glad somebody got the whole story and shut this thing down. “Her” advice was bad and often contradicted medical advice.
Fuck this psychopath.
I don’t know much about this blogger. I trust the views on this issue of other previously anonymous sex bloggers (and sex worker in her case) such as Belle de Jour.
But I think a little too much is being made about the ‘fake qualifications’. I have noticed amongst sex educators a certain snobbery around ‘qualifications’. Obviously some people have benefitted from training in a field and this has added to their expertise, but equally there are sex educators with no formal qualifications, and ones who do not even go so far as to identify themselves as sex educators but who share their extensive knowledge and experience.
AND I know a fair few of ‘qualified’ and ‘respected’ sex educators whose advice and expertise I do not trust or respect at all.
I am not into people who lie and boast about qualifications or experience they do not have. But I am not so interested in someone’s bits of paper, real or fake, as I am in the quality of information they give and the spirit in which they communicate with others.
@Quiet Riot Girl: I fully agree- you don’t have to have academic credentials to be a great sex educator. And having the credentials doesn’t make you a great sex educator. But to pretend to have credentials in order to dupe people is wrong.
Some of what is being disclosed here can ABSOLUTELY be reported and, if you were a minor who an adult sexually solicited in the United States, can likely still be investigated and result in charges even if you are no longer a minor. I know it’s easy to get caught up in feeling ashamed or foolish, but please recognize that the behaviors some of you are reporting on the part of this person are NOT YOUR FAULT.
Here is a basic link for reporting internet crimes: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/reporting.htm
NO ONE who is disclosing some of what is being disclosed here needs to know who exactly this person was. All you need to know is who YOU are and where it happened, and then someone will go through the appropriate channels to investigate this properly.
Obviously, as with any crime where you’re a victim, you need to decide for yourself what feels best for you and what you think will serve you best, but this is one valid option for taking care of yourself and doing what you can about this in a way that is most likely to correctly identify this person and potentially result in appropriate charges.
Truth be known….I was one of them who was taken in hook, line, and sinker about “Alexa diCarlo” as a sex worker and a “sexpert”; even to the point of, when the allegations first surfaced, pretty much dismising them in pretty much the same forms as “jealousy”. Based on the solid evidence brought out, though, the truth of this ruse, though still hard to swallow, is nevertheless obvious.
Like Quiet Riot Grrl, though, I would be a bit careful about overemphasizing “Alexa”‘s “sex education credentials”…..mostly because “she” didn’t assume any professional creds as an actual sex educator (save for “her” entering some indescript and nonexistent sex ed program at San Francisco State). Like every other part of the ruse, this was more of a trich designed to grant “herself” the authority to get into the minds of her potential victims (whether as “Alexa” or as “Cathy”/”Caitlin”) and asume their trust in “her”. As “Alexa”, “she” was far more to play the “educated/ethical slut” who simply used her allegedly earned “sexpertese” as a high-end escort to get into the hearts — and ultimately, panties — of his targets.
It seems to me that the real scam in all this was that “Alexa” was using and expropriating the persona of a mature, sexually expierenced, and free spirited woman — basically, the most common stereotype of the “good nympho” — as a means to decieve and win over people and cloak “her” predatory behavior.
The fact remains that there are actual, real, live women who do indeed live that “lifestyle” but with genuine consideration for the risks involved, who don’t have anywhere near the platform that “Alexa” had; and those women will suffer a great deal of the aftereffects of “Alexa’s” sick little game.
Nevertheless, I want to caution against using this episode as an excuse to slam sexually progressive/sexually active women who do blog their real-life experiences and promote more open discussion or safer sex practices. As easy as it is to condamn men like Pat Bohannan for playing his role fantasies on his victims; we have to remember that real women and men do engage in sexual activity that some may interpret as beyond the pale and dangerous; and that our goal as progressive sex educators and activists should be NOT to prejudge them, but to give them the tools to practice their chosen activity in a safer and more sane and humane fashion.
Finally, I want to make perfectly clear that it is the lying and deception and the misuse and misappropriation of other people’s true experiences and credentials that makes this such a tragic scandal. There is nothing at all wrong with roleplaying or even developing a persona to vicariously recreate your favored personal sexual fantasies, as long as everything is open and transparent that this is, in fact, a fantasy for personal entertainment only.
Just my quarter’s worth…
Charlie-Her entire persona was fake. It stands to reason-deductive, actually-that the credentials were fake as well and part of the branded persona. Anyone trusting her credentials-or the credentials of any stranger or as remittancegirl pointed out, ANY HOOKER AT ALL-needs their head checked.
The Alexa entity is poised uniquely to eviscerate the online sex work industry and cause much hurt to its pr efforts; given the extremes to which “Alexa” was…pursued, I know what I’m hoping for…
@Anthony Actually, SFSU has a Master’s Program in Human Sexuality. Here’s the link. It’s not a huge program, but it is very active and many people within sex education and sexological circles are familiar with it. Not that that takes away from your other points, but it is worth being clear about the fact Alexa was pretending to have academic or professional credentials in order to make people think that she had credibility.
A lot of people feel foolish and embarrassed for trusting this person, men and women, young and old. It’s not your fault for liking and trusting someone who worked (and continues to work) SO HARD to groom victims, to MAKE you like him. He invested tons of time, effort and money into tricking people; even the smartest and most experienced people can be taken in by someone who is so driven devote his life to fooling people into trusting him.
There are a lot of people older than you folks from c3 who are thankful to read your stories because they too were tricked by this person but being older also thought it was their own faults and that whatever happened to them could have been worse. Your stories – and every single person who has the guts to tell them — help everyone else know that only ONE person is responsible for so many bad feelings and trusts betrayed, and that one person is Alexa/Caitlain/Pat. Your stories help dispel lingering doubts other people have about the seriousness, persistence, and reach of this person’s many frauds.
Every single time someone is brave enough to tell what happened to them, a few more people come out after reading it and more is revealed.
It’s unfair how many victims of this person feel bad — bad about themselves, and sorry for him — while he continues to insist he never did anything wrong. HE DID. And he shouldn’t be able to KEEP doing it. Every one of these stories is important because a few of them put together and reported could stop him for good from grooming other victims in the future.
I know “victim” is a serious word and these situations could have been much worse, but that doesn’t make what he did to you and others okay, acceptable or tolerable. There are victims of fraud who have only had money stolen from them; this person stole much more than that.
I’m not sure of the tangible legal options, but I am sickened and dismayed about what seems pretty inappropriate contact with minors under 18. One must wonder if he was attempting those connections online, what other attempts might he have been making offline? My concerns go beyond simply bad advice and direction of young and impressionable girls, and I feel warrants further scrutiny from the authorities IMO.
This type of thing is exactly what contributes to the disruption of developing sexual agency in individuals, contrary to what Alexa/Caitlyn/Pat was claiming to advocate.
To those that were duped in ways beyond simply falling for the fantasy: I hope that you understand that this has nothing to do with age or inexperience-grown adults with more life experience were duped as well. Predators (and at this point I am considering Pat to be a predator) are well versed at how to lie and deceive, to the point of having some not EVER want to believe otherwise. I hope that you are able to process all of this and eventually move forward, taking the gifts of the knowledge gained in this and leaving all the hurt and mistrust behind.
@Anthony @quietriotgrrl and others: in case it isn’t clear, while by all means, sex educators come from a host of different tracks, and have varying credentials, education and training what VERY MUCH MATTERS, especially with young people, is a) transparency and authenticity and b) that any credentials, education and training BEING claimed are bonafide.
No one HAS to have a given degree to work in this field in many different ways, which makes manufacturing false credentials — already patently unacceptable no matter the situation — particularly insipid.
[…] and gleefully celebrated the demise of a valued sex workers rights publication, $pread Magazine. He threatened to expose another sex blogger. He purposefully mislead and misinformed his large online audience about important sexuality […]
This looks to be what was deleted from his blog..
@E You seem to be referring to something Remittance Girl has said or written but I can’t see a link/quote. I don’t think you should put words into people’s mouths who aren’t directly participating in this discussion here, not without proper quotes/citations. Especially as it is such a sensitive/emotive topic…
@Hiding, what you posted was scraped without permission from my blog.
Here’s the link to the post, including screencaps, of what “Pat” posted and then immediately removed:
[…] – The downfall of Alexa Di Carlo Exposeabro – […]
I read the response from “PatBo.” Curious that the only person who claims to have spoken to “Alexa” is the person accused of being “Alexa.”
Show of hands: is there anyone who doesn’t think Delight & Dole” is yet another “Alexa” alt?
If anyone has any questions about my experience with Alexa/Pat, you can email me at email@example.com (my anon email)
I’ll be happy to answer questions
@Steve: Oh, yeah, we ALL are. Anyone who is so bold (or foolish) as to express concern about what’s going on here absolutely must be Alexa in disguise. That would include @remittancegirl, @explodedsoda, et al.
Typical. Proves my point. MOB MENTALITY.
I have no reason to think that DelightAndDole is Alexa. A lot of people have said things similar to what DaD has, so there’s no reason to attack him. Steve- please be respectful in your comments.
I woke up Saturday morning, checked my Twitter feed, did a little other checking around on Twitter and lo-and-behold I found the original tweet publishing the link to the ExposeABro site. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked and read what I found there. With each word, my jaw dropped a little more. To say I was shocked was an understatement. To say I was disgusted can’t even be described. But the more I thought about it during the day, the more things made sense.
I first joined Twitter in early 2010 and thus missed all of the December drama that I have now done by best to catch up on. Through friends on Twitter I first found Alexa and began following her messages, posts and Tumblr images. I was and still am friends with “her” on Fetlife.com (I haven’t checked today if the account still exists.) I personally know one of the women who “Alexa” referred to her “client.” I heard a real time description of the their encounter face to face from the woman within hours of the encounter. No, I will not disclose her identity, fake or real. While she did say the “client” treated her well, I found some things questionable about how it was set up and the follow up to it. I kept my mouth shut because it wasn’t my place to say anything.
As “her” schooling became more random, moving to Florida and yet commuting to Philly on the weekends for classes, I found myself scratching my head more and more regarding her posts. The constant requests for a write up of “her” birthday gangbang without any post going up made me question things. When “she” locked her Twitter account I continued following her because I was entertained at the very least.
A few weeks ago I unfollowed her as part of a new vow to work on my mental health and detach myself form overly sexualized Twitter accounts that were contributing to my sex obsession. As someone who now speaks out against “Alexa” I don’t dare to request to follow the account. I won’t be allowed in I suspect.
When I first learned of all of this, I was amused. I got my giggles. We all like gossip and this was the juiciest gossip I’d seen in awhile. But the more I thought about it, the more disturbed I became. What disturbs me most of all of this is that whoever is behind this account and identity that has seemed to continue over time in many variations and names has used a position of trust to prey on young girls and women. The allegations of predatory actions on young underage girls is particularly alarming. We, as a legal society, have a legal age of consent for a reason. Without the debating the moral efficacy of such things, the fact is there is still those laws on the books. As someone who is also graduating from law school and anticipating being a prosecutor in the near future, I also am alarmed from a legal perspective, not only for the underage girls this person seems to have victimized but the sex workers (amateur or professional) that this person has also lured and victimized.
Bottom line is something like this is not right and we, as a sex blogging community, need to make a stand and say we will not tolerate these things. We will not tolerate predators in our midst and will continue to be vigilant about looking for them and weeding them out. If that comes out of this whole brewhaha, then I am please. People create online personas all the time. I, myself, use a pseudonym to maintain my anonymity to protect any future legal career. But I don’t use this pseudonym to victimize people and say upfront that I don’t associate with underage children. When I recently received a comment on my Formspring.me account that insinuated the questioners were underage, I reiterated this.
Question where your entertainment and information comes from. Be on the look out for predators wherever they are. Just because they hide behind a computer and a fake persona doesn’t make them any less of a predator or any safer. Be conscious. Be aware. If you have been victimized by “Alexa” or others like him/her there are resources for you and we, as a sex blogging community, are here to help you and support you. You are not alone.
[…] and gleefully celebrated the demise of a valued sex workers rights publication, $pread Magazine. He threatened to expose another sex blogger. He purposefully mislead and misinformed his large online audience about important sexuality […]
If you have been victimized by Pat Bohannan – whether as a minor or adult – please report it to the federal authorities. It might seem daunting and embarrassing, but it’s the only way to keep him from being able to hurt or harass more people in the future.
He has already been reported anonymously, but if you’re a victim willing to tell the authorities your personal story, here’s the place to do so:
Love and support to everyone scammed, cheated, lied to, and violated by Pat Bohannan.
I was another minor who knew cathy. can someone who knows about the legal implications of me reporting this email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
once i was no longer a minor i still was a part of it and im scared i will be at fault for not reporting this earlier.
@aagblog: I have the same copy of Pat Bo’s post on my phone cached from earlier this Monday morning. You also copied it from that blog so it’s not your intellectual property nor does it require your “permission” to repost. Stop bullying outsiders (e.g. http://champagneandbenzedrine.blogspot.com) who are also trying to weigh in on this whole fiasco.
Here is Remittance Girl’s piece on this subject:
If you are going to refer to other people’s ideas it is always helpful to include links to what they have actually said to avoid confusion, people!
Caitlin’s Corner and other such sites-they required those registering to be of a certain age, correct?
The “victimized” sex workers-their affidavits will say what again?
Think about it, and be careful before any of you self-incriminate in this campaign.
QRG, I had left an unapproved response; it was very sarcastic.
I thought you were joking, as I would of anyone who uses the sensitive/emotive ploy…
That’s all I will offer on my reference of another entities inference from this point on.
No, Caitlain’s Corner did not require anybody to be of any certain age to sign up, except 13 to comply with COPPA laws when they were relevant.
For those concerned about reporting:
Again, the ACLU is an excellent contact for you. They’re lawyers, so your conversations are protected by law, and they very much understand these issues.
I am not a lawyer, but I can say that my impression of the law in a situation like this is that unless any of YOU were soliciting explicit photos from minors, you don’t have to worry about getting in trouble for not reporting until now. As well, this sounds very much like there was one adult here who a) was doing the soliciting, and b) was recruiting very intentionally and expressly for this purpose, in a way that was knowingly misleading and fraudulent. My strong sense is any of you, especially if this person began talking to you, inviting you into these private spaces, as minors makes very clear who was responsible for what went on.
I know it’s scary to report, and it’s a decision everyone has to make for themselves around any kind of abuse. But given all of you are the only ones that know what went on, information that could assure the protection of many people and also justice for any of you, I’d strongly encourage you to at least give reporting very serious thought, and if you’re unsure, to talk to a legal representative — at the ACLU or otherwise — to find out what it means so that you can make a fully informed decision.
Nobody got this wrong. Trust me. I know of some of the stuff that this person said to minors, and it was pretty wrong. And I know that there were pictures traded. People admit to these things behind closed doors. It happens, and it did happen, and this person is a criminal.
I personally would advise against seeking out justice through the media or the internet. I’d advise using the channels of the legal system and the child protection system. They’re imperfect, to be sure, but I’d say far less so than the alternatives.
By the way, can we ask that since people who were earnestly victimized by WHOMEVER this person is have been making difficult disclosures that scare them, that anyone questioning their being victimized take it somewhere else?
I think the least anyone can do is recognize there are clearly people here, including young people, who were refused safe space by someone very intentionally, and aim to provide them that now.
I agree with Not Today’s sentiment. Charlie, please consider possibly declining to publish comments that insult or give sarcastic advice to the individuals who used to visit Caitlain’s Corner? I think your blog is becoming the hub of story-sharing for those who were taken in by this dishonest person, and I would hate to see the space destroyed by the few who think showing off their cynicism is more important than being a decent human being. There’s a time and place for everything, as they say…. Such people can always write their own blog responses if they feel so passionately about defending such behavior. “E” is attempting to foster fear and misinformation. Surely that’s not what we need more of in this conversation?
By the way, it bears stating: convincing someone to enter prostitution is a felony. Actually engaging in prostitution is a misdemeanor. Sex workers do have recourse within the law. One incident of trading sex for money does not render them a non-citizen, nor does it mean they will carry a permanent record or serve jail time. Please reach out to those you trust for more information about what you can do to protect yourself and your peers.
I had already held back one very sarcastic comment as E mentioned. And I have deleted another. If anyone has questions, feel free to read my comments policy.
The only persons guilty of fostering fear or misinformation are those whose knee-jerk reactions to “Alexa” lend to immediate supposition and accusation with little substantial evidence; in lieu of evidence, Alexa’s detractors have used emotion to target one person and distort matters from “This may possibly be Alexa” to “He tried to out hookers, he fooled kids and worse: hookers, if he were honest he’d at least give up more info about the real Alexa wouldn’t he, he said sex workers were dumb well whose dumb now”-I mean, it falls short of “Nanny nanny boo boo”. The issues involving minors are very serious especially if anything beyond intent can be proven, but that is and should be the only issue.
Also, to clarify: the Chris Hansen comment was sarcasm. 🙂 & :/ It’s draconian to presume that fantasy immediately translates into harmful certainty. Please look into the Esquire article regarding Dateline and a Murphy, TX official…who was destroyed for no reason, except a bit of entertainment.
Victimized hookers are non-existent in this instance; you met a client based on a referral(hopefully screened additionally*), the exchange either did or did not take place. There is no “screening method” for him to fool; there is no sure or solid screening at all, actually.
*I only added this as the insistence that Alexa’s referrals were a betrayal indicate a complete or over-reliance on provider reference, which is unsafe.
@Zoey, What that other site is doing is pulling in my content via RSS and publishing all of it, every day, on their own site, for the purpose of getting more hits and making their site attractive to advertisers. This is called “scraping,” and it is different from sharing. You can see all of my posts that they’ve scraped here: http://www.healthwd.info/tag/aag This is what I objected to, *not* the sharing of PatBo’s post.
Anyone and everyone can republish the message PatBo put up and then took down. Clearly it is not my work and can be shared at will.
This is an interesting post, Charlie. Thanks for writing it. Ironically enough, I had enormous twitter flame wars with the Alexa persona over her representation of sex work because, as you say, historically, it has been incredibly misrepresented.
Meanwhile, I would like to make a clear and adamant response to E’s comment about my blog post. You have misquoted me, and misquoted me very badly, and I resent it.
E quoted me as saying “Anyone trusting her credentials-or the credentials of any stranger or as remittancegirl pointed out, ANY HOOKER AT ALL-needs their head checked.”
This is what I said (in reference to ‘Alexa’s’ email recommendation of a client) “the tone and content of the letter reads a lot more like a piece of bad fantasy porn about happy hookers and their clients than any real recommendation from working girl to working girl”
It upsets me greatly to have it implied that I would show disrespect to male or female sex workers, or have it suggested that I believe being a sex worker would in anyway delegitimize or invalidate their professional or academic qualifications.
I am an unwavering advocate of the legalization of sex work. I believe that sex workers deserve the same level of respect from society and protection under the law as anyone else, in any other profession.
My main objection with what seems to be the prevailing opinion here was on the manner in which the person who has been accused of masquerading as Alexa has been outed. Not because I think the person who has done some of the things ‘she’ has done was in any way acceptable, but because prevailing attitudes on sex and sex work in this country are so problematic, that to accuse someone falsely of this is, literally, to ruin their life. The person ‘outed’ in this way has no legal recourse should it turn out that they are NOT, in fact, the guilty party. They cannot face their accusers, they can’t have their day in court. I simply feel it could have been dealt with in a manner that was less damaging, should the person accused be an innocent.
Remittancegirl, I was penning a Steve Martin-style “Open Apology from a Former Hooker” to post to your blog post, though I’d not wish now to sully your blog with it. Should I decide to post it at all, I will do so on my blog and will inform you of it.
“The fact that anyone is depending on accurate and important information off a call-girl’s blog or twitter feed says much more about our inability to be discerning in sourcing information than it says about her.” -From your blog post.
Please indicate, as though I were five or at least Dubya, how exactly my reference(references may be personalized) of your inference(that trusting a hookers blog indicates poor judgment)implicates you as disrespectful…as all I can surmise is that the use of the word hooker is bothersome. If so, well…as a former hooker, I take no offense to the word. God Bless Xaviera Hollander!
Hello E, Yes, it was the ‘Hooker’ think that confused me because the only place I used the word was in the place I quoted. You are perfectly within your rights to use that term however you like. I, however, am not.
@E From what I can tell, Remittance Girl isn’t arguing that it’s the fact that a sex worker is offering information that makes it suspect. It’s the fact that it’s from a blog/twitter feed, especially an anonymous one.
Your comments seem to imply that you think that sex workers are less trustworthy simply because they’re sex workers. If that’s what you mean to say, then please refrain from making such claims here. It’s disrespectful and untrue. If that’s not what you mean, feel free to clarify.
@RG – Apologies! I hadn’t noticed your use of the word at all, or I would have been more direct.
@C – I hope no one trusted me during my sex work phase(well, beyond the extents they reasonably must to benefit the client-companion relationship)! J/K, sort of. I was under the impression that RG’s point was similar to yours-with an extra kick. Why trust Alexa when trustworthy and vetted sources are available?
My sympathies remain with Alexa however, until something beyond bruised egos and sick intent can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Your sympathies remain with a sick and twisted human being.
Her name was never Alexa to begin with. That was her hooker name.
It may not have even been “Caitlain” or Alyssa.
She was stealing photos from some girl in NY (Who has taken photos of her mail with the NY address while “Alexa” was supposedly in San Fran and Florida.) As far as I know (and I’ve been in contact with this person for 5 years) she never went to NY in the 5 years I knew her.
And I watched as “she” flirted with a 16 year old, when she had to have been 23 at the time. I said it wasn’t appropriate and that caused problems with her. Apparently she was really 33. And a man.
The 16 year old she was flirting with and constantly emailing back and forth with, received and email from “Alexa” under PatBos email address.
Your sympathies remain with the wrong person.
i am an actual former sex worker, i actually think what “Alexa” did RE: minors is sick, but at the same time, i agree with a LOT of the “trolls” points (delightanddole) and i think the outing of “Alexa” is a travesty the sex work community will regret, and rather than debate it here, i will be writing about it at greater length on my blog, follow the link above if interested! i’m still doing my research now but aim to have something up tonight or tomorrow.
[…] the recent and very ugly Alexa DiCarlo scandal, but in the event you don’t know about it here’s a great page of information. As a tip, be sure to read the comments because they’ll tell you even more about what was […]
My story of how I know Alexa, beginning when I was 16
Just another reminder to anyone and everyone who is disclosing being victimized by this individual: please consider reporting, for yourself and for the sake of others.
Something to know, if you don’t already, is that shame and embarrassment so typically keeps people from reporting victimization by someone, especially around sexuality. With or without an acute awareness of that, that tends to be something people who abuse or manipulate others know, and know is likely to provide *them* safety and keep others in danger.
It’s very clear that whoever this individual is or is not, they have had at least several different personas, and tend to make new ones often. So, because Alexa/Caitlain may be personas they no longer feel able to use or aren’t using does not mean they will not make others, or even that they have not already made others well before this time they have already been using. I don’t mean to sound scary when I say that, but it is clearly a very likely reality, particularly if this person is not investigated legitimately, which is unlikely to happen without formal reporting to some type of law enforcement agency or children & family services department.
I completely understand how scary reporting like this can feel, and how daunting it can be, especially if someone is worried they, themselves, may have some culpability. In the case that’s where any of you are at, you can always start with an ACLU rep, legal aid or a lawyer through some other avenue to get what you need to make an informed choice.
No one can ever say who reporting is right for when we’re talking about a person who has been victimized, but what we can always say is that many people do find they feel a lot better if and when justice is actually served, and someone harmful to other people is held responsible and access to potential future victims is made far more difficult to them.
My heart goes out to all of you disclosing here who are scared, angry, ashamed, confused and/or feeling sick. Please know that you probably have legal recourse to help you with those feelings, and avenues through which to get justice and/or help.
I agree wholeheartedly with what Parsh has said. This person deserves no sympathy.. not after what I have personally seen….
To all those claiming that Alexa could have been stopped without the outing: Many tried that approach in December of last year, but because there was no “proof” this fraud was allowed to continue to the possible detriment of many.
I won’t rehash all of the points made about the possible harm already done to sex workers, impressionable youths or those interested in entering sex work because it’s been talked about at length.
However, I would like to state that we don’t know how this might have escalated if some type of intervention did not occur. Many serial killers and rapists crimes continue to escalate in violence as they seek to have a more “intense” experience. Starting by merely deceiving sex-workers may have later lead to rape or murder.
Also, the individual behind RPD had another site set up dedicated to “her” work as a provider. This included a form page requesting information from hobbyists including their names, phone numbers, employer information and email addresses. This collection of information could have been used for a variety of nefarious purposes.
That about collecting personal information from potential clients is a really good point people keep failing to take into consideration. It should give pause to those who place all the important on PatBo-as-Client’s privacy and none on the kids’ and sex workers’ (and people he GROOMED to be sex workers who might not have been otherwise, not to mention the identity borrowing/content theft of Cass). If that’s the only perspective you care about then there you go: yet another group of people he manipulatively extracted personal information from using deceptive means: by posing as someone he isn’t. Anyway, I am so glad someone brought that up.
i care considerably about the fact that someone, most likely the man accused, interacted with minors. what angers me is that people would not have had a problem with this if he was female. NO ADULT SHOULD BE GIVING SEX ADVICE TO MINORS, MALE OR FEMALE, ESPECIALLY A SEX WORKER. the C3 forum was STILL INAPPROPRIATE when it was a twenty-something female graduate student. so while i care about what “alexa” has done, i care about it regardless of who the person is, and whether or not the person is male. let’s not forget that women can also be sexual predators.
but this has not yet gone to court. identity theft, pimping, whatever you want to accuse this guy of, in this country you are innocent until proven guilty.
it’s disgusting that one man be singled out when, let’s be real, nothing he did physically harmed anyone! there are lots of predators who actually meet up with adolescents, and rape them. there is no evidence he actually met any minors.
there are thousands of people out there on the internet pretending to be someone they are not – it’s a life lesson that should be learned sooner or later, not to trust people whose authenticity you can’t technically verify.
and picture stealing! i see plenty of blogs stealing photos! i’ve had mine stolen, and had to fight to get them taken down. but guess what? if they hadn’t complied i could have taken them to court.
all of these allegations are things that should be played out in court, not through vigilante justice on the internet. it’s not fair for one person to be singled out and maligned while people who do far worse walk the streets relatively free of ridicule due to their victims adhering to the government-sanctioned means of alerting citizens to their whereabouts.
there’s got to be a reason why every victim of rape, especially every escort victim of rape, doesn’t go and make a website exposing their assailants. i’ve been raped by a client and i know there is a reason *i* haven’t done that. this person isn’t even a violent offender and he is being treated in a way that all of us would object to being treated, regardless of the fact that in many states we are considered sex offenders ourselves, due to our occupation.
Beth: You are aware that MOST sex education for minors (and people of all ages) involves adults as teachers and sources of information, be that in classroom settings, community programs, in healthcare, family settings or via internet services, yes? There are also peer-based education programmes, but to state that “no adult should be giving sex information to minors” is basically to suggest that minors should not be receiving any sexuality education, a position most people, worldwide, do not hold, particularly those invested in positive sexual and reproductive health outcomes for young people.
You are also aware that in most nations, harm done to people is not only considered harm if it is physical, yes? Most of our criminal and ethical systems, and certainly our social service advocacy systems, recognize that physical injury is not the only type of harm that can be done to a person, nor the only type of harm that is recognized as anywhere when unacceptable to criminal.
I very much agree with you that ideally, this should be taken up by the courts. At this point, I am personally aware of at least two reports that have been filed, so one hopes that is what will happen, for everyone’s sake. Most likely, more reports than only the two I know of myself have been filed.
However, a critique of what you find histrionic in approach with further histrionics of your own is unlikely to support what you seem to be asking an advocating for. Speaking in ways that may silence people who have been victimized, too, is unlikely to support anyone in making reports. So, you may want to give some more thought to your own reactions and words.
i should have clarified that i meant independently. MOST sex education for minors are programs that result from an organization’s collaboration, not just an independent person running a forum and then adding moderators.
in REAL sex forums for minors, i would expect there would not be invitations for photo sharing and commenting on each others’ photos OR links to 18+ photo sharing. none of this is appropriate, no matter who is running it.
obviously there is more to crime than the physical components. what i am trying to point out is that people who have committed far worse crimes than this (by legal standards he would do far less time than a rapist for example) live freer lives than this guy currently does, after doing their time. and this guy still hasn’t been proven guilty of anything by anyone but vigilantes.
if reports are being filed, all the more reason this shouldn’t be on the internet. i’ve yet to hear from an actual lawyer regarding this, and i would love to so i’m asking around right now. there’s got to be a reason why i couldn’t write about the crime committed against me if i wanted to press charges. i know that information disclosed outside of court that can color a jury can be thrown out of court by the defense even if it is solid proof, that happens all the time.
it seems like if it was legal to do this there would be lots more pages out on the web maligning people. perhaps now this guy can sue back, and if i were him, i know i would.
and if you want to talk about histrionics, let’s talk about this:
“However, I would like to state that we don’t know how this might have escalated if some type of intervention did not occur. Many serial killers and rapists crimes continue to escalate in violence as they seek to have a more “intense” experience. Starting by merely deceiving sex-workers may have later lead to rape or murder.”
i don’t even know where to begin in explaining how infuriating this statement is. you just can’t go saying this shit about a person who is for the time being innocent of any crime – and who is not in any way indicated in have committed any such serious crime. he’s hurt nobody physically, yet he is being compared to serial killers.
THAT is histrionics if i ever did see.
@Beth: What a lawyer will likely tell you is this: IF all or any of this is true about THIS individual, it is completely lawful. If all or any it is NOT, then whatever is not knowingly true and in good faith on the part of the person publishing these statements, is defamation/libel which is very much NOT lawful. In cases like these where someone sought to make themselves a public figure, it can complicate matters, however. The laws offer less protection in these respects for public figures.
You can find out more about all of this in regard to the law here: http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/defamation
By all means, your clarifications regarding sex education make a big difference, as that’s a radically different thing to be saying than your previous statements.
Not all sex educators, mind, on the internet or otherwise, have the fiscal or administrative support of larger organizations, and many sex educators and therapists do work without those nets, including with young people. However, there are absolutely ethics and best practices in this that those of us who network together, do our homework and have some training will tend to agree on and follow, which yes, by all means, would not include engaging in felonies which are not only crimes, but also are highly unethical and would easily be understood to likely sexually traumatize a client/patient, rather than helping them. The thing you are stating absolutely are things those of us who are bonafide take as givens, and are bare-bones basics we’d say should apply to everyone.
And yet, so many young people are not going to know these things, and an adult claiming to be who they are not on far more than one level, including claims of credentials and institutional support they don’t have, telling them those things are acceptable obviously is going to (intentionally) obfuscate their understanding of best practices.
I don’t think any of us can make any assumptions about what this individual’s life is like right now unless we happen to know this person. I think the very best thing we can all do at this point is a) file a legal report if and when we know or suspect the person named OR any of the web personas involved in this committed a crime, b) wait that out and see what shakes out from that and c) recognize in the meantime that individuals disclosing actual or potential victimization should be supported and directed to the proper channels so that all of this can be investigated and handled in the ways most likely to serve everyone best.
@Beth: Those statements you are quoting were not mine.
i’m trying to point out that you’re singling out my “histrionics” because you don’t agree with me, when far worse histrionics are flung all over the place.
and we do know that his life is relatively ruined, at least sure sounds like it, since he made this statement and someone caught it: http://www.healthwd.info/news/a-message-from-pat-bohannan/
i think it’s unacceptable to do this to a person, even if he is guilty.
@Beth: I’m not going to police everyone’s hysteria here. This is not my blog. I spoke to you because some of what you were saying was so high-key (and reads as all the more so with loads of caps, exclamation points and a lack of punctuation), particularly about subjects which I’m very knowledgeable about.
I’m not going to personally make or publish any assumptions about that individual’s (rescinded and republished) statement, particularly when I have no way of knowing for certain if this individual is the person responsible for all of these fraudulent web personas.
Personally, the statements I am going to give credence to here are to people disclosing being personally put in danger or defrauded by *whomever* as using these personas, because I don’t see what they could have to gain, and because I suspect that this is the first place they have felt able to make those disclosures. Quite clearly, much of my support in that has also involved, and will continue to involve, doing my level best to direct them to the proper avenues through which to seek justice.
No one has the power to undo the way this information was brought to light. That’s a choice one individual clearly made, one they will be and are responsible for, and which I can only assume they ill accept responsibility for. All I believe the rest of us can do at this point is make the best of it by directing any involved parties, including Mr. Bohannon, to the channels and avenues which have the ultimate authority to sort this out and make determinations about what was done, to whom, and what should result as a consequence.
The same obviously holds true for you. You seem very concerned defamation has occurred here, which is obviously absolutely possible, and which you absolutely have the ability and option to report of your own accord.
(I realize “hysteria” is loaded and carries implications I’m not comfortable with. That was a poor choice of language on my part. Let’s switch that to something like “high-key responses.”)
you, not today, stated “I don’t think any of us can make any assumptions about what this individual’s life is like right now unless we happen to know this person.”
any of us who are sex workers know exactly how he feels right now being publicly maligned, because we are constantly faced with the threat of outing ourselves and we would know how it feels if it were one of us. and it’s intriguing to me that you can easily write off the statement of defense he made, but not the equally-anonymous statements of others that condemn him here.
someone or some people DO have the power to undo this – they can take the shit down.
as far as ME reporting on this dude’s behalf… why would i do that? this doesn’t effect me. however, i did see people claiming that all sex workers agree on the treatment of this individual and i think it’s important to make it clear that that is absolutely false.
in all fields people fake credentials all the time. especially on the internet, people lie about everything. singling out and maligning one individual for something tons of people do without repercussion is wrong, wrong, and wrong.
Are you saying that because a lot of people do it, we shouldn’t call someone out for doing it? That doesn’t seem like a solution either.
yes, precisely. i don’t have the solution, but i am pretty passionately sure that this is NO good solution.
Then what do you suggest we do?
If we do nothing, then things get worse because there are no repercussions to misrepresenting credentials. If we call someone out, then (by your lights) we’re being unfair because we didn’t do that with everyone. If we try to speak with someone privately (as I know quite a few people did with Alexa), then either we scare them into stopping or nothing changes. If nothing changes, we’re back at the beginning. And calling everyone out who misrepresents themselves isn’t possible, simple because of the scale of the problem.
So what’s left? If there is no good solution, then what is the value in pointing out that what someone does is wrong? Unless you’re hoping to inspire someone to come up with an alternative, or unless you’re trying to come up with one yourself, it seems like an ineffective way to respond.
my ideas? i’d hope people smarter than me would have some. but mine are:
that these people take their evidence to a lawyer and off of the internet, and prosecute appropriately. then, after a guilty verdict has been made, i believe they are free to report as much as they want on the trial, the evidence they found, and the man who is guilty.
i even think that the expose-a-bro website could be up, with his name/workplace blurred out, just to demonstrate that all of this information was collected but is being protected for legal and/or ethical purposes, and that would still be a step up from where we are now, a bunch of – by society’s standards – sexual deviants attacking another sexual deviant. it would still demonstrate that “alexa” is phony: there were enough similarities between the page he put up with his torso image and biography and this character alexa/caitlain to make it clear without actually putting his name out there.
I could barely believe the long term status of this deception so I did my own checking, pretty simple given the existence of archive.org. As far back as 2004 Agent69 on Student.com – http://www.student.com/profile/contact.php?the_profile_name=Agent69 -, who is Caitlin and thereby is also “Alexa” was giving out her own brand of inappropriate sexual information to teens.
I only had the stomach to look at one of the entries; How to Eat Ass seemed a good place to start (and end) since PatBo talks, in his PSE Blog, about his love of that activity, and Alexa, in her email to the poor woman who ended up meeting PatBo, had also stated, “He also really knows how to eat ass – probably my best client for that.”
This link is to Caitlin/Cathy/Alexa/Pat’s journal at Student.com. http://web.archive.org/web/20041221204205/http://journals.studentcenter.org/journal/agent69 The language is highly inappropriate and there is no mention of barrier methods; it’s all just a helluva juvenile sounding mess peppered with LOL’s and :-O’s. Compare that to how a reputable sex ed resource for teens, Scarleteen, talks about analingus – http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/what_exactly_is_a_rim_job.
I bring this up because while I’m struggling with how ExposeABro went about the outing of PatBo, this person was not going to go away easily. Someone who spent at least 6 years creating and maintaining multiple incarnations is someone very invested in their extremely sick deception.
“Gee. We just HAD to march on down to the courthouse, yank that guy out of his cell, and string him up. After all, law enforcement just wasn’t DOING anything!”
Seriously, Charlie? We don’t live in a lawless, anarchy world where whatever the mob decides to do is justified if the person they’re after is evil.
Again, if you allow for people to be shut down like this (through anonymous mob action), for the alleged “protection of the community” (for this is what you’re arguing), you open the door to all manner of such actions. And these will be mostly perpetrated AGAINST sex workers, against porn, against “deviance”, against whatever the right wing decides is icky and thus harmful to the community.
We really don’t want to go down that slippery slope. Beth had a rational, reasonable, thoughtful answer to what could have / should have been done. Then again, I’m sure people are starting to dismiss HER as an Alexa sockpuppet too, eh?
Charlie, as a mental health professional-even though based specifically in sexuality-why have you not spoken against Trixie’s extremely dangerous stretch of “He deceived, and therefore may end up committing murder”? Given what sex workers encounter doing their jobs, one could argue that Trixie is at more significant risk of such eventual behavior-where the Alexa persona has backed off, Trixie(and others)have used conjecture and speculation to destroy a person with little to no substantive evidence.
I’m just sayin’.
People DO fake credentials in all fields. However, sexuality – the way “Caitlain” ran with it on Caitlain’s Corner – often involved medical advice. When you’re faking credentials and giving out medical, legal, or psychological advice, you’re really doing a disservice to everybody and it’s much, much worse than saying you graduated with a 4.0 in computer science when you actually got a 3.9. I mean, really, this is a huge deal. When people pretend to be experts on stuff that they’re not, it can hurt people. And that is what she did.
As for “Cathy” being around since 2004, I think she was actually around before that, maybe 2003. So yes, this person faked their life for 7 years, most likely. I think it just got more complicated in time. First it was a way of getting teens to trust him, then getting their pictures and hearing about their sexploits and fantasies. After that, he realized he could take it up a notch wit the Alexa thing – and used some of them for advice on what his website should look like. Alexa can be an escort, and get this guy in the door. And if he also wrote a blog as Alexa, it makes it seem even more realistic.
He built layer upon layer upon layer to move up to the next level. For seven years. And anybody that ever tried to out him was threatened/harassed/insulted/discredited in some way. Just look at the whole “Expose-A-Ho” thing for evidence of that.
Please stop putting words in my mouth. Can you point to where I’m saying that we had to string someone up?
You’re right that Beth had a good answer. And she posted that comment after I specifically asked her what she would suggest. She said that there were no solutions, I listed a few possible choices that people could make, and she offered something else. It was a good example of a civil dialogue.
What we’re really talking about is shaming someone into stopping what they’re doing. Shame and anger are two very (and unfortunately) human ways that people try to control and influence other people’s actions. Please note, before you get angry with me again, that I’m not saying that they’re good responses, just human responses. And for that matter, your anger at me and other folks, here and elsewhere, is quite palpable. Given that many of the people who are doing things that you disagree with are coming from a place of anger, you might want to suggest ways people could respond constructively instead of reacting. It’d be more constructive than what you’re doing.
Beth: on your suggestion about doing an expose like that but without directly identifying someone by name, I’m in agreement. I do think that would have been more sound. I also very much support that bringing this information first to law enforcement would have been ideal (though I also have no idea if anyone did already do that well before this, which they may have, for all we know).
Alas, that’s not what seems to have happened or were the choices someone made here, and since (one presumes) none of us are either the individual who wrote the expose nor the individual who created and defrauded people with these personas, we don’t have any control over what that person chose to do. All I believe we can do now, not being that person nor the individual who created these personas, is either stay out of it entirely or choose to respond as best we can with the situation there is to respond to.
Actually, I’m not a mental health professional, although I’m not sure how that’s necessarily relevant.
Unless I’ve missed something, Trixie’s comments (here, here, here, here, here, and here) don’t say anything about “He deceived, and therefore may end up committing murder”.
So what are you talking about?
Apologies to Trixie-it was OMGKoala who made the remark:
“However, I would like to state that we don’t know how this might have escalated if some type of intervention did not occur. Many serial killers and rapists crimes continue to escalate in violence as they seek to have a more “intense” experience. Starting by merely deceiving sex-workers may have later lead to rape or murder.”
It’s like…really? Good grief. Mental health professional was the wrong phrase, I guess. What profession is sexuality education umbrella’d under? It seems someone who focuses on sexual health and education would have an interest in their clients mental well-being, or is that incorrect? Consultations made me assume counseling and guidance were part of your interactions, at least in some regard. OmgKoala’s comment is irresponsible, imo.
That I incorrectly attributed a very important point to the wrong person…considering the brevity of the comment…and the situation…ummm, either that was better weed than I thought or that mistake was really funny. :))
it seems, not today, that you simply want me out of the conversation because i am a voice of dissent.
you say what we can do is “choose to respond as best we can with the situation there is to respond to.”
that’s what i am doing – speaking out and seemingly the ONLY sex worker speaking out against this atrocity.
E: pass that this way. and yes, OMGKoala’s remark is over the top outrageous facepalm quality irresponsibility if i ever have seen it. makes me ashamed to be a sex workers rights activist when i see the way these people talk sometimes.
excuse me – let me fully disclose here. i am a retired or on hiatus sex worker (undecided). feel free to argue to discredit me for not being working at the moment, if that suits your taste.
but really, i’ll keep making my dissent known as long as this lunacy continues.
@Beth: I have no interest at all in excluding you or anyone else from this conversation. I also have no idea why you think I would give you more or less latitude based on the fact that you’re not an active sex worker right now or why you think that’s at all relevant to our exchanges.
I also most certainly have no interest in silencing voices of dissent, here or elsewhere. You don’t know me, so you can’t know how incredibly far off that is from the truth, but let me assure you that even the idea of that in nearly any situation is abhorrent enough to me that I’ve dedicated some years of my life to assuring everyone had the right to do exactly that.
To assure you of that in the way I think I can best in this particular exchange, I’ll just go ahead and exempt myself from the rest of this conversation.
My “putting words in your mouth” was meant merely as an analogy, and I intentionally couched it as an unrelated (but analogous) scene to indicate that. It’s unfortunate that you took it literally.
My reading of your remarks was that they were shrugging off the mob action as being necessary in this situation to protect the community. (“If we do nothing, then things get worse because there are no repercussions to misrepresenting credentials”). I disagree, for the reasons I stated.
The oldest tactic in the book is to tell someone in an argument, “gee, you seem really angry.” It elevates you and puts them instantly in the position of defending themselves. Am I the only one angry on this topic? Am I even the most angry of the commentators? Obviously not: go back and reread Trixie if you don’t agree. So why would you specifically address that comment to ME, Charlie?
Yes, the notion of anonymous mob action and people who feel self-righteously and nobly empowered to “out” individuals they don’t like or whom they find offensive: all that makes me indeed angry, and fearful, and pessimistic about where we’re all headed as a society. So call me crazy. If the same things don’t concern you and make YOU a little angry, as a sexuality educator and (I’d think) someone who supports alternative sexualities, I personally find that kind of surprising. But hey.
Thanks for clarifying what you meant. I hope you can see how the way you wrote it made me think that you were attributing those words to me.
And no, I’m not suggesting that the only way to respond is through a mob. I was saying that if nobody does anything, things slide downhill. I could have been more clear if I had phrased it that way, rather than using “we,” which could easily sounds like I’m advocating for a group response.
You & I have each phrased things in ways that the other has heard differently than we intended. Whether that’s the result of our heated emotions, different communication styles, or something else, it does seem to get in the way of our hearing each other. I’m not sure what to do about that, other than ask you for clarification. I’d appreciate it if you did the same.
The reason I addressed that comment to you, to be honest, is that your anger has been coming out at me. Trixie’s anger was directed at you and I figured you could respond to that as you chose. I’ve had lots of different thoughts and emotions in response to this situation. I’ve felt anger, both at Alexa and at the way that this all came out. I’ve been working on a post about exactly that and I’ll be curious to know what you think.
[…] Okay, so if “Alexa” isn’t doing anything actively non-consensual or predatory — if we give this person the benefit of the doubt, if we assume that the accusations about pictures of minors are unsubstantiated (and I’m not sure I do) — then why should we care? Well, as fabulous educator Charlie Glickman says: […]
@Someone: How long did it take Blogspot to respond to your subpeona for information on the “Expose-a Ho” blog? Is the Expose-a-Ho blog the only evidence you have of threatening/discrediting, per your claim? Also, where is the evidence of having charged for any of the advice she gave? Are you positive that *all* identities/entities are connected intentionally? What is your proof? Is every 16-yr-old example you’ve found truly a minor(or, truly had been in this accused instance), and not a 45 yr old getting off as well?
@OMGKoala: How long did you observe the accused individual? Can you please link to scientific &/or academic works that illustrate cases of sociopaths similar to the accused, or that at least discuss these specific behaviors?
Are you positive Alexa collected the data? It could have been a fake form.
“To all those claiming that Alexa could have been stopped without the outing: Many tried that approach in December of last year, but because there was no “proof” this fraud was allowed to continue to the possible detriment of many.”
Interestingly, in both instances Alexa backed off while the witch hunters danced and chanted BURN BURN THEY HIDE THAT MEANS GUILT MWAHA! In the first situation, she returned and was then forced undercover again-if she was a known fraud, as you argue, why bother to go after her a second time? She had already been exposed. There was nothing further to expose, but plenty to destroy.
Charlie, if a facade is a facade how can the credentials have been a misrepresentation?
[…] Read brief source… […]
[…] and now I feel dumb and creeped out. Belle de Jour and Dr. Petra Boynton reflect on this scammer in this comments thread. More here and […]
Finally, I am so glad this perv is exposed. But frankly he needs to be in prison. The reason so many of us were alarmed is because we *knew* that something was terribly off about the entire situation. That is what had so many people alarmed. Because friggin alarm bells were going off. We *knew* this pattern meant that more creepy ass *wrong* shit was jumpin off with this guy pretending to be lil “caitlin” and “Alexa”. Please let me know if this guy is getting reported to the authorities. I would like to see this case go to the feds. If you need any help with pushing this issue forward, let me know. I am pretty easy to find off this blog.
Ahhh, E..I do believe that you are doing some wishful thinking there.
The main reason “Alexa” disappeared the first time in December 2009 was it was revealed that she had lied about (1) being a professional sex educator; (2) stealing photos from other sites, and (3) being enrolled at San Francisco State’s Sexuality Studies program. She did attempt to offer a cryptic “defense” of herself, but that was more like a “fuck you” than anything else. And rememver: she could have readily kept her blog open and defended herself, but SHE made the decision to shut down then….just as she did with the allegations last week.
Like I said, I’m not in the position of saying whether or not PatBo really is a pedophile or a sexual predator; people like Furry Girl, MonicaMayhem, and the folks at Expose a Bro are the ones making that accusation. What I am in a position to conclude based on the evidence provided is that either “Alexa” /”Caitlain”/”Cathy” was in fact a human being who played a lot of people for suckers with her games, including Bohannon…or, Bohannon simply invented all these personas to pursue HIS twisted roleplay fantasy game. Either way, real people were deceived and hurt pretty badly, and someone has to be held accountable.
Now..I’m kinda skeeved at the reaction of some who are cheering and high-fiving themselves that they stopped a pedophile and that anyone who didn’t totally back them when the first exposures of “Alexa”/”Caitlain” were made public were simply enablers of “her” predatory behavior. On the other hand, I’m just as skeeved at the reaction of folks like DelightandDole, who seem to think that there was absolutely nothing going on, that PatBo was merely an innocent bystander, and even that “Alexa” really did exist and was even a victim of the supposed “mob mentality”. As it stands, the evidence does point to PatBo as an instigator and enabler..but let’s cool the rhetoric a bit on convicting him until we see more. The impacts are bad enough without resorting to hyperbole and rumor.
[…] The Downfall of Alexa Di Carlo by Charlie […]
Well, Anthony, I’m sorry I “skeeved you out”, but that might have several causes that you haven’t considered…
1) that you simply haven’t been paying attention. Rather than my saying anything of the sort that you claim (that there was absolutely nothing going on, that PatBo was an innocent bystander, that Alexa really did exist), I actually have said JUST the opposite, from the moment the Expose-a-Bro thing came to my attention. E.g., I wrote, “Very few people, since the brouhaha of last December, still were taking Alexa literally. That doesn’t mean that her site and tweets weren’t enjoyed by many, even among those who were pretty sure that it was all an elaborate game (as so much in sexuality is, no?)” You can disagree with my view of whether her site was enjoyable or OK, but please don’t claim that I said there was absolutely nothing going on.
2) That you’re simply following along with the many rabid commentators on this board and others, who lump anyone who disagrees with any aspect of the PatBo outing into one group, and then accuse that group of blindingly “defending Alexa.” If you read the boards, again and again, you will see people like me spreading their hands and wondering why they have to continue to write things like “I never said that ‘Alexa’ was in the right…”
3) That you’re actually part of this problem. While maintaining that there was no witch hunt, you yourself do things like blindly accuse people you disagree with (e.g., me, at least twice) of being an Alexa alias (e.g., here and here ). You seem unable to imagine anyone disagreeing with the “outing” who isn’t themselves Alexa/PatBo, and that would appear to indicate, well, rather limited thinking.
Otherwise, I’m awfully glad you’re now, finally, calling for a cooling of the rhetoric and stopping “resorting to hyperbole and rumor”. That’s what I’ve been calling for from the start. But hey.
I’m a sex worker, have been for a decade. I have been reading about this for a month, and I don’t believe Pat is Alexa. I just don’t. You can believe I’d let a shmuck take the downfall for me. I have been able to advertise and hide on the internet extremely well. Impressively, because i follow rules of privacy on the net from the 90s, not the 00s. I can be barely be found. If this perp is guilty, let him hang. But as a sex worker, and a proud feminist, I must say, he is too thorough for this to smack of reality. He’s a scapegoat, and too bad on him. But, better him than her.
We anomalies exist on the inernet, and that is all.
And you’re wrong, sex worker. A lot of people believed Alexa (then Cathy) was a man back in 2003. We never gave up that belief, and we knew it’d eventually come out. Alexa is not a sex worker, just some weird perv that was into teens and then branched out from there. As someone that was there when the whole “Cathy” thing started – which is where this all grew from – I can tell you, assuredly that there is no sex worker. Just someone playing games and making things up. Whether it is a man or not, I can’t say for sure, but I have always known the person was fake. And Pat is likely the person behind this all.
Hi. I just wanted to say that I have some military training in cryptology and detecting lies. Delight and Dole, I have no idea who you are or if you could reasonably be Pat Bohannan but I can say that you indeed DO share some SIMILAR speech patterns with HIM. YOU like to CAPITALIZE words that you feel are IMPORTANT to EMPHASIZE to prove a POINT. However, there are tons of people who have this habit so I cannot fairly say beyond a benefit of a doubt that YOU are HIM. I can’t know if you are lying unless I were to speak to you face to face which kind of ruins the point of being anonymous on this site. All I can say is that you two share that habit…
I have to say as an web admin myself what he states about being the admin contact on the fake websites is entirely plausible, I am myself the admin contact on hundreds of domains and have little idea (or care) what the websites have on them, its just a hosting technical contact and nothing to do with ownership.
The books, well maybe he really did have an interest in them and it is a little crazy sex workers would point at someone and say in effect is slept with a sex worker so must be guilty.
Having read his reply I can’t help feeling there is something to this and maybe he has a case to answer but the evidence is underwhelming to say the least.
Yes, indeed… I do find his evidence underwhelming.
No surprise there. RPD always read like a male fantasy
I had a falling out with the person I knew as Caitlain/Alexa in July of 2008, and yes, I suspected “she” was a “he” but was never quite sure.
Perhaps, this, thinking back, is why we had a falling out.
This information does however offer closure.
There was a recent iteration I’m fairly positive was the same person, this time on Literotica that when by the user name “HeyItsDani”… I found out about this person, because someone saw my photos on Literotica and asked if that was me. (The “Dani” person in question stole almost EVERY SINGLE PHOTO from my tumblr, FetLife, and mobypic accounts and posted them, weaving together some elaborate story of some–surprise, surprise–sexually liberated, well-spoken, and exhibitionist sex worker.)
Thankfully, once I was given a link to the thread where all my photos and videos were posted, it didn’t take long before both myself and a team of real-life friends got the moderators to pull “her” work off the web.
Mostly I was just infuriated that my photos were being used in that way.
As of today, however, there is still a profile for this person on Literotica though, which uses one of my photos in a cropped version. http://www.literotica.com/stories/memberpage.php?uid=1344932&page=bio
It’s frustrating, but clearly it seems to me that Alexa is likely never to be gone for good.
I know that this thread has long since gone past its afterlife, but I have to resopnd to DelightandDole’s accusations against me in order to finally close this epiode.
The reason why I have accused you of being an Alexa alias is because, quite frankly, you SOUND and ACT like one. All you have done here throughout this thread is to personally attack and strawman those who provided the evidence proving that Pat Bohanan was indeed the inventor of “Alexa diCarlo”; and to make insinuations and insults towards people like me who were taken in ‘by “her” persona. How else would you expect me to react??
Yes, I am well aware of the potential harm of forced outing on sex workers…but in this case, the ends of outing someone who was using his fake personas for potential harm to real sexworkers and to vulnerable adolescents more than justify the means. Doesn’t mean it does so in every case, but the evidence of Bohanan’s actions clearly put him as enough of a risk to justify the actions of Expose-A-Bro.
I have really no grudge whatsoever with Remittance Girl, who did approve the comment I originally made there (while redacting all traces of Bohanan from there). And, I will retract my charges of you, DandD, being an Alexa sockpuppet. But, I reserve my right to my belief that considering the evidence that has been accumulated proving beyond all doubt that Pat Bohanan is indeed ‘Alexa diCarlo”/”Caitlain”; I still have to wondeer why you are so insistent in your claim that Alexa is still a real human being?
And…oh, BTW…it seems that “Alexa” might be making a comeback.
All this comment section prove is that people like to be outraged
Dug this up as a sex worker who was suspicious of Alexa back in the day. Couldn’t help but notice lots of SWs who were against her experienced harassment.
Anyway, “Jake”, people like to be outraged about things that are outrageous. Like some snake sidling their way into a marginalized community to con people. I’m happy to be outraged by that.