Sunday, May 07, 2006

Some business toys are more fun than others, presumably

It’s official: ”Prostitutes, strippers and lap dancers can claim tax deductions for adult toys and lingerie, officials said Friday, as the Australian Taxation Office issued a list of deductible items for the sex industry.

“Condoms, lubricants, gels and oils are among a myriad of other items that these workers can claim against tax” and they can also claim the cost of dance lessons.

Now, I must protest. These ladies, plying their trade, are entitled to tax write-offs up the wazoo…

But what about the romance and erotica writers?

This is blatant discrimination. Oh, sure sure, it’s fine if you actually take money for the physical act of sex, but what if your money comes as a result of portraying sex in an entertaining fashion through the intelligent medium of the written word?

I mean, it’s called research, right? Can anyone write a good sex scene if they’ve never had any? And how do you know the relative merits of one brand of condoms over another if you haven’t had some first-hand experience?

I’m sure that those who write on the steamy side routinely stock up on all the new toys and try them out so they can figure out which is most appropriate for their latest novel. It’s getting into character, right? In murder mysteries, it’s essential to get the police procedure or forensics information correct. But for the up-close-and-personal writers, I can only imagine that they must have to focus their research in other directions.

Now, I have to wonder, if you were writing a book on the ladies of the night, would procuring their services be a tax write-off? And how does this work, exactly? You exchange cash and receipts before bodily fluids?

Now, at the same time that the Australian ladies are reaping the rewards of law changes, Scotland’s pole dancers and strippers are fighting proposed no-touch zones and legislation changes they fear will push lap dancing clubs and such underground.

Some of Australia’s private entertainers might decide to travel to Edinburgh anyway. Strip-tease dance classes in the Scottish capital are now all the rage.

What I really want to know is, do you get to wear a bodysuit under your layers for this, or do they really get you down to your bare essentials in class?

Wonder if they allow spectators. Not that I’m thinking of checking any of the courses out when I’m in Edinburgh in July. No, I shall be focusing my energy on drinking in the OX and trying to interpret the language.

And I wonder how long it will be before sex education classes include a live demonstration and an opportunity for a practical? I mean, it only stands to reason that if in some places, like Guam, everyone’s required to have experience before marriage, then wouldn’t you think that eventually the western world would catch up?

If a marriage counselor recommends experimentation, are you allowed to write off those gadgets? What if your doctor suggests more recreation to improve your fitness? Would it be fair for aerobics to count but not sex? I mean, they keep saying to pick an activity you enjoy...

Opinions wanted.

Don’t let the fact that it’s Sunday stop you. It’s just a day. So what if sex on Sundays is sacrilegious? It’s just like the old saying – it’ll only seem kinky the first time.

Tomorrow’s post… will contain some special news. And that’s all I’m going to say right now, except that it provides a rare opportunity to see the full-figured me.

Sort of.

But with clothes on, so don’t get too excited.

Philosophies on Exercise

Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. Now she's 97 years old and we don't know where the hell she is.

The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven’t lost a pound. Guess you actually have to go.

I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

And last but not least: I don't exercise because it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.


Dana Y. T. Lin said...

I wonder, as a Bunion, if I can write off foot massages. And footwear. Peppermint foot scrubs? Pedicures?

Brett Battles said...

I wish I read this list an hour ago. I just got back from a painful, torturous run. I could have saved myself a hell of a lot of agony had I just started my computer first.

And on the write offs...anything that furthers your work should be a write off. Computers, paper, guns, condoms, trips to the massage palor, whiskey, anger management classes, that stint in the pen...

Sandra Ruttan said...

Bills for a podiatrist, Dana. Don't forget those! And probably toe rings and a foot wax too, if you're hobbit-like.

See Brett, you should be off to Edinburgh to sign up for those strip tease classes. A lot less painful than jogging!

I wonder if Stuart MacBride gets to write off dalliances in the Red Light District? I bet he's tried, cheeky Scot that he is.

For The Trees said...

Rats. I messed up again. I commented on yesterday's post and got both today's post and yesterday's post co-mingled (too much influence about Sunday sex, I guess) so yesterday's comment won't make any sense to anybody except Sandra unless they read today's post first.

I can't get much more convoluted than that, I've misplaced my copy of the Kama Sutra.

I think everything ought to be deductible. After all, we writers often struggle for years to be able to get published, and all that money and time and effort and blood, sweat and tears we shed ought to be a write-off, somehow. It's just that there are NO fiction writers employed by the IRS, it's all about closing loopholes for them. Damn. Tax people got no humor.

The Exercise Philosophies are Excellent! I'd just finished my coffee before I got to them or I'd be muttering under my breath as I washed my monitor now. Great comedy! Too bad most of it is true. Now back to my regularly scheduled programming...avoidance of writing on my story.

Boy Kim said...

"I’m sure that those who write on the steamy side routinely stock up on all the new toys and try them out so they can figure out which is most appropriate for their latest novel."

I have absolutely no doubt that you know exactly what I'm thinking right now.

JT Ellison said...

See, now you know the real reason I don't write romance. GREED! Since I can't write sex toys off, might as well kill a few imaginary folks instead.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Well Forrest, people only need to read yesterday's post, your comment and then come here and all is good, balance restored!

Kim, you're about to become the biggest male erotica writer out there and moving to Edinburgh so you can try some classes?

Ha JT! And the ultimate revenge would be killing off the people who make the tax laws. Multiple motives, long list of potential suspects...

M. G. Tarquini said...

Your attempts to raise your hit count with constant talk about sex toys, lubricants, condoms and prostitutes are PATENT, Sandra.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Hey, I'm just dealing with you elsewhere at the moment, quit interrupting!

I'm not after blog hits - this is literally what I felt the urge to rant about today. The other topic wasn't working for me.

If I really wanted to raise hits I'd have to mention Lindsay Lohan's nipples.

Daniel Hatadi said...

Sometimes I really love my sunburnt country. But yes, writers should be able to tax-deduct their entire life experience. It all contributes to our work in some way or other.

As a side note, pole dancing lessons for the average Flo are all the rage here, too.

Sandra Ruttan said...

You're right Daniel, entire life experience.

I'm going to start working on a travel guide...

Amra Pajalic said...

The pole dancing craze has hit the world. There are all these men's clubs that are now offering classes for women in Melbourne and Sydney. I'm not happy. What is it about women having to do all the work and titilation? Why can't men dress in high heels and stockings? Don't they know that laughter is the best aphrodisiac?

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Tomorrow, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow...that's the only thing I can think to say *blush*

The exercise jokes are great!

Boy Kim said...

hello i like patatoes so can i have some?

Boy Kim said...

That was YP, btw.

JamesO said...

So, let me get this straight. In order to write convincing romance and erotic fiction, you need to buy the toys and hook up with a few whores (providing you can find ones who give receipts). So by that logic, to write a convincing serial killer novel, you need to go on a bit of a killing spree. I can't see it washing with the judge, though you might get to write off the knives as a business expense.

And it begs the question: just what are the research requirements for writing good fantasy?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Amra, I like the way you think! Although the thought of some guys in heels is enough to make me laugh.

James, you're taking the example a bit too far. See, you can talk to pathologists, to crime scene investigators, you can simulate blood spatter patterns and such. I learned how to fire a gun. I've been to the ME's office several times. You can look at pictures and cover it pretty well.

But where's The Hooker's Techniques Picture Book? Not in any bookstore 'round here...

As for fantasy, I think you just watch The Land Before Time. Unless it's a different kind of fantasy.

Boy Kim said...

You need a book to learn about hookers' techinques?

Repeat after me: that'll be £50 sir.

The rest you already know.

There ya go.


Trace said...

I wanna take pole dancing!

I love the kitty pics!

Boy Kim said...

Did I tell you that I'm a fully qualified pole-dancing instructor, OTO?

Sandra Ruttan said...

"The rest you already know."

How would you know?

And boy, you seem to be an expert. Is that really the going rate these days?

Boy Kim said...

Around here it is.

Boy Kim said...


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