TIME Crime

The Spectrum of Choice: Sex Industry Veterans Speak Out

Four women talk to TIME about their experiences in the sex industry

Not everyone who works in the sex trade is a victim. Yet a significant portion of women who work in the sex trade are coerced in some way. And sex trafficking (commonly defined as recruitment, coercion or transport for the purposes of sexual exploitation), is rampant.

According to a 2014 report from the UN-backed International Labor Organization, 4.5 million people are trafficked for sex, generating $99 billion a year in revenue from forced sexual exploitation. Of the 208 human trafficking prosecutions pursued by the Department of Justice in 2014, 190 were for sex trafficking, according to a State Department report on trafficking released in July. That’s over 91%.

In some cases, especially in the United States, the line between trafficking and consensual sex work can get blurry. “I feel myself to be in between trafficking and having a choice,” says Kimmy,* a former prostitute serving time in Cook County jail on unrelated charges. She says she was pimped out by her former boyfriend. “I didn’t realize I was being sold or that I was being pimped…He wasn’t all bedazzled out with rings and fur coat and big car. He was just regular, a regular person.”

“Prostitution is sneaky,” she continued. “I’m so smart but I didn’t know that, you know? I didn’t know that prostitution was prostitution.”

*We’ve changed Kimmy’s first name in order to protect her from possible retribution.

MORE To read TIME’s special report on how one Illinois county is trying a new tactic to curb prostitution and to see more videos, click here.

TIME Crime

The Prostitution Paradox: How One County is Targeting Men Who Buy Sex

"When everybody says 'It's my first time,' that's not true. I'd say about 99% of the people are lying," says Deputy Chief Mike Anton of Cook County, Ill.

It’s rare to see a grown man cry. But in a cigarette-scented hotel room near a Chicago airport, more than a dozen men come and go with wet cheeks and quivering lips. No one had died, no national tragedy had occurred— they had just been caught trying to buy sex.

Across the country, cops are implementing a strategy that has long been debated in Europe: targeting the men who buy sex while trying to help the women who sell it. Some police and scholars say that focusing law enforcement attention on sex buyers reduces demand for prostitution, which strangles the sex industry and curbs human trafficking. But some human rights organizations, most recently Amnesty International, advocate for the decriminalization of all aspects of sex work, including buying sex.

While Amnesty International members were considering whether to recommend decriminalizing sex work altogether, I was with a TIME video team on two buyer-focused sex stings in Cook County, Ill. We thought it would be like an adrenaline-pumping episode of Law & Order SVU, but we were wrong.

MORE To read TIME’s special report on how one Illinois county is trying a new tactic to curb prostitution and to see more videos, click here.

TIME Crime

Watch: This is How a Police Prostitution Sting Works

TIME takes you behind the scenes of a Chicago undercover street sting to arrest "johns"

Since 2009, Cook County, IL has been cracking down on sex buyers and adding social services for prostituted women. Now, they’re coaching law enforcement from around the country to take this new approach: target sex buyers as a way to reduce demand for prostitution.

On a stretch of road near Chicago’s O’Hare airport where prostitutes are known to gather, a female undercover officer stands on the corner in full view of a fellow officer, Officer Dan. He’s responsible for watching her every move. (The officer’s names have been changed to protect their identities and their safety.)

When a car pulls up to her, Officer Dan radios the make and model to his fellow officers waiting in an arrest car. As soon as she makes a deal for sex, usually only a few seconds after the car pulls up, the female officer makes a special gesture and moves away from the car. That’s when Officer Dan radios the order:“it’s a go.”

The john is arrested within seconds, and taken to a holding area. He’ll get an ordinance violation, which is at least a $500 fine, and in many cases their car will be towed, which is another $500, plus a towing fee that’s usually between $200-300. This won’t result in a criminal record, nor will they serve any jail time, unless there’s an open warrant for their arrest on a different charge.

MORE Read TIME’s special report on how one Illinois county is trying a new tactic to curb prostitution and see more videos here.

TIME families

What You Really Need to Know About Egg Freezing

Some call it an "insurance policy" for modern women. But does it really work? Watch TIME's investigation of the latest fertility craze

Egg freezing has been hailed as a game-changer for women, an “insurance policy” to revitalize waning fertility, a breakthrough as revolutionary as the birth control pill. But how well does it really work?

In this week’s issue of the magazine, we took a deep dive into the promises and pitfalls of egg-freezing. If you’re reading this, you probably already know all the facts about how egg quality and quantity deteriorate with age, which is why some women consider freezing their eggs until they’re ready to use them.

Here are eight key takeaways from six months of reporting on whether procedure lives up to the hype:

1) Egg-freezing is taking off among professional women. Doctors say they’ve seen more interest in the procedure since Apple and Facebook announced last year they’d cover egg-freezing in their employee health plans, and younger women are beginning to ask about how they can preserve their fertility. In 2009, only about 500 women froze their eggs—in 2013, almost 5,000 did, according to data obtained from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART.) Fertility marketer EggBanxx estimates that 76,000 women will be freezing their eggs by 2018.

2) While there is no widespread published data on the live birth rate from elective egg-freezing, initial data provided exclusively for TIME by Dr. Kevin Doody, former chairman of the SART Registry, gives us the clearest picture so far. Of the 353 egg-thaw cycles in 2012, only 83 resulted in a live birth. After 414 thaws in 2013, 99 babies were born. Those are the most comprehensive live-birth rates for egg freezing, and they’re just under 24%. (It should be noted that some of these eggs may have been frozen with an older slow-freeze method, which has a much lower success rate.)

3) Elective egg-freezing gained popularity after the American Society for Reproductive Medicine removed the “experimental” label from the procedure in 2012, in part because a new quick-freeze vitrification method radically improved success rates. But in the same document, the ASRM also warned against using egg-freezing to electively delay motherhood, citing lack of data. “Marketing this technology for the purpose of deferring childbearing may give women false hope,” they wrote.

4) That marketing is happening anyway. Fertility companies and specialists are hosting egg-freezing parties and other informational gatherings to encourage women to consider freezing their eggs as an “insurance policy,” and in some cases offer Groupon-style discounts if they commit immediately. One of these fertility companies, EggBanxx, recently merged into a new company, Progyny, that’s privately held and funded in part by Merck Serono Ventures. Merck Serono Ventures is the strategic corporate-venture arm of a biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, which just happens to make three major fertility drugs.

(MORE: You can read the full story here: Buying Time: More women than ever are freezing their eggs to use later– but success rates are lower than you think)

5) Freezing your eggs is expensive. The egg retrieval process can cost $10,000-15,000, and that’s not including storage fees or the cost of fertilization and embryo transfer. And it can be physically grueling as well—patients give themselves daily hormone injections for two weeks before eggs are retrieved from the ovaries. The good news is that the procedure doesn’t take very long—most patients said it was over in about 15 minutes.

6) Nobody knows how many babies have been delivered from a mother’s own frozen eggs. When you ask doctors about success rates, they tend to compare the procedure to IVF (which is done with fresh eggs) or egg donation (which often uses frozen eggs from women in their early 20s). And while anecdotal evidence suggests egg freezing is comparable to IVF because frozen eggs behave like fresh ones, IVF itself is hardly foolproof—even in women under 35, the majority of cycles don’t result in a live birth. But because IVF is such a common procedure, women are often reassured when they hear the comparison.

7) Even young women have a high percentage of eggs with chromosomal abnormalities. And while genetic testing of eggs is technically possible, it’s too expensive to become part of the regular procedure in the U.S.—so genetic testing only happens once a egg has been fertilized and grown into a blastocyst (a pre-embryonic state.) That means women don’t know if their eggs are genetically healthy until they’re thawed and fertilized, which means they could be freezing—and pinning their hopes on—bad eggs.

TIME Books

Kate Beaton Teaches You How to Draw the Fat Pony

"It's a pretty simple drawing, but it seems to pack a lot of punch"

“It’s been called fat pony, it’s been called Shetland pony, it’s got a lot of different names,” said cartoonist Kate Beaton of her beloved equestrian character.

Beaton, the creator of Hark! A Vagrant!, says she first started drawing the pony in 2008. Since then, it’s been featured on Adventure Time and is now a main character in her new children’s book, The Princess and the Pony.

She was inspired by a class trip to the Shetland Islands. “It was like a dream,” Beaton said. “They’re so small! Everything there is small. Their sheep are smaller. It’s a place after my own heart.”

In the video above, Beaton teaches you how to draw her signature pony in a few simple steps.

TIME Books

Kate Beaton: How to Make It as a Cartoonist

The author discusses princesses, ponies and writing her first children's book

I’ve been a fan of Kate Beaton’s work for years, starting with her genius webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, which covers, among many other things, 19th century novels, ludicrous superhero costumes, Canadian history, weird Nancy Drew covers and Shetland ponies. It is—along with Mallory Ortberg’s columns on The Toast—the funniest thing I am aware of on the Internet.

When some of Beaton’s comics were collected as a book in 2011 I put it on Time’s best of the year list. This month she’s publishing her first children’s book, The Princess and the Pony, about a warrior princess and the pony she gets as a gift, who is not a warrior pony. She also has another comics collection coming in the fall.

Beaton is Canadian—she grew up in a small town on Cape Breton Island, which is part of Nova Scotia. Once, at a books festival in Vancouver, I attempted to introduce myself to her, but it turned out to just be somebody who looked like her. Now I’ve actually spoken to her on the phone. She was staying with her parents, who still live on Cape Breton Island.

TIME: So what do your parents do? I assume they’re not Web cartoonists too.

Beaton: No. (laughs) Though they finally kind of know what I do. My mom worked at a bank, and my dad was a butcher. They both retired this year.

A butcher, that’s amazing. That was before it was even cool to be a butcher. Now it’s like a hipster thing.

I guess so. There’s only one store in my town, and he was kind of the meat manager. My grandfather was the person you’d call if you wanted to slaughter one of your animals, so he kind of grew up the old-school butcher way, then he worked in a grocery store.

So how did you become a cartoonist?

Well, I always drew. And was encouraged to do so by my parents. I didn’t think there was going to be any money in that, so I went to school for history and anthropology, and I was going to work in museums. But I did comics for the student newspaper, and this was like the early 2000s, when graphic novels were becoming a bigger thing. You could see that cartooning was something you could kind of keep up. So I just did. And I put the comics online, and they spread through word of mouth, and when they reached a certain point I thought, well, I’ll give this a shot.

That was when webcomics were still a new thing. I can remember writing a story for Time about PvP and Penny Arcade and these webcomic things people were doing.

They were the real trailblazers. People like me really benefited from the work that was put in between the late 90s and the mid 2000s, by those guys, establishing a business model that works. Me and my peers kind of rode hard on those coattails.

This is embarrassing but I’ve never really known what Hark! A Vagrant meant.

Oh, it doesn’t mean anything! I needed a title for the comic. It used to be called katebeaton.com, and then I wanted to remove my name from it, because it seemed a bit grandiose. I just wanted a title that didn’t mean anything but also sounded a little bit bizarre and archaic, a little bit funny. It’s one of those things where you make a decision and then you live with it forever. For a while I was like, I kind of wish I named it something normal.

That makes me feel better. I thought it was a joke I wasn’t getting. Tell me about the pony, of The Princess and the Pony, because the pony’s been around as a character for a while.

I think I first drew the pony in 2008. That’s really soon after I started making comics. And it has always struck a chord with people. You can’t predict what will and what won’t, but the pony was just unprecedented. I don’t know—it’s round, it kind of looks like a pig. I get so many emails with pictures of tiny horses. Whenever people go on vacation and they see one, or there’s one on the news, I get a bunch of emails.

Was there a real life pony that you were drawing a picture of?

No! I took an anthro course, and we took a trip to the Shetland Islands, and there were ponies there. And it was like a dream. They’re so small! Everything there is small. Their sheep are smaller. It’s a place after my own heart. And the horses are fantastic. You’re on the Shetlands, and you’re minding your business, and then you turn and there’s this tiny pony behind a fence. And like nothing prepares your heart for what it feels at that moment. In the book the princess gets the pony as a gift, for her birthday, and at first she thinks, oh God, this is not what I asked for, this is not what I want.

The pony was on Adventure Time, which is amazing. How did that happen?

Adventure Time is full of a lot of friends, peers, people that you know, and they kind of pull references from a lot of places. It’s something like a sharing economy of ideas and art. Pen just told me that they were gonna do that, and I said that’s fine. It was really simple. And he’s purple in the show! It just showed up there. I think a lot of things just show up there.

And then it turns out at the end of the episode that it’s not even a real pony.

Yeah. It’s a wizard. (Laughs) I’ll take it.

And what about Princess Pinecone, did she already exist before you wrote the book?

She was created for the book. I was going to make it the story about the pony, but it’s kind of like an inactive thing, and there has to be an active character, and you’re talking to kids, so it’s probably going to be a kid, and I’m from a family of four girls, so for me it was probably going to be a girl.

And then there was the princess thing, which I had debated, because there’s so much princess stuff out there right now. But when I was a child I really, really liked princesses, and I don’t think that—I remember it was my choice as a child, I loved princesses, it was my choice. Of course things are being sold to you, because a lot of stuff is being marketed at kids, but I loved them, I just did, I drew myself with the cone hats and the dresses and everything.

And so I thought, if I’m going to make this story about a princess it matters a lot who she is and what she wants and what she’s all about. So her name—a lot of princesses are called flower names, like Rose or whatever, so I picked one that was kind like a flower but not really. A little bit more prickly, a little bit off center. And I thought it suited her very well. I mostly wanted a book that would make kids laugh.

And this pony is this kind of inactive, doe-eyed character, in a lot of ways, so the best thing to do would be to put that pony in a world where there’s nothing but action. Everybody just loves battling with each other. It’s a rough and tumble world and the little princess, Pinecone, she wants to be part of it. She wants to get her piece.

So she’s quite an atypical princess, as princesses go. She looks quite different. She’s short and stocky, not that kind of classic elongated Disney body type.

Yeah. So am I. Someone called me burly once and I thought, well, I’ll take it. That’s also I how I draw kids, they tend to be these weird round like Campbell’s soup kids.

So in the world of the book battling is just kind of the general occupation for people?

It’s this weird nonsense world. It’s not full of Vikings, it’s full of whoever—whoever wants to be there, and that’s what they like to do. But they hit each other with like pool noodles and things, which is another thing that kids do, they get in fights with objects that are supposed to be swords but they’re not, and nobody gets hurt. Princess Pinecone’s not afraid, and her size doesn’t really bother her very much, she’s just gonna go for it.

I wrote it really fast, it just seemed like a natural thing. She gets this present she doesn’t exactly want, but we’ve all had that. Parents always do that, they listen, and they’re like oh, yeah, a bike, and they get you the thing that you asked for but not really. But they’re so happy to give it to you! A lot of it is modeled in a strange way on myself, I guess: when I was little I had a lot of those sweaters that just had random stuff written on them, I remember I had a shirt that just had a bunch of bears on it, and it just said exercise on it. It made no sense. I feel like there were these factories just outputting these weird random shirts that kids were given.

So she wants a warrior horse, and she gets the pony instead, because her parents don’t really know. But it’s a story about love in the end, because her parents love her, they want to support her. They show up for the battle later on and they’re cheering for. She understands that it’s not exactly what she asked for, but she makes the best of it. And then it turns out to be the best gift of all, which also happens, because you treasure those things, because of the love that was behind them.

I have two daughters, so I’ve spend a lot of time looking at princess stuff.

When it’s happening, when they’re into princesses, they really are, and you don’t feel like some adman came over and was like, wouldn’t you like this? They choose it, and they choose it hard. That’s interesting to me. I can’t remember ever thinking, God I can’t wait for some prince to scoop me up. I think princesses are just these characters—they’re young, they have a lot of choices, they have autonomy, people listen to them when they talk. They do get to dress nice, and they do get to have ponies. There’s a lot kind of going on there for that archetype. You can see why little girls, or little boys, anybody gets into it. It’s just this tiny powerful person.

Was it different making a book instead of a webcomic?

Oh, yeah. A webcomic—for one thing, I make it, it’s short, I put it up, it’s complete, people write LOL in a box and send it to me, and I’m like, good, job done, amazing. And if it’s bad I just make another one. But this picture book, it’s forty pages, and it has to be a good story, it has to be good art, it has to cater to this brand new audience that I had never really talked to before. It was a learning curve, for sure. A lot of people think they can write children’s books, but when you get down to it, it’s actually quite hard. There’s a lot of story packed into that book, and that was the hardest part. They say that you’re supposed to be able to pitch your book summary in an elevator? The elevator pitch? And I can’t do that. We’d have to go up and down the elevator a few times.

My kids like the book, but they’re especially obsessed with all the different sweaters in it for some reason. Even on the endpapers, where the pony’s wearing all different sweaters. They’ll go through each different pony and talk about its sweater.

That’s another great thing about kids. You can be like, kids’ll love this! And then they’ll zoom in on some random detail, like in the back corner, and they’ll be like, that’s my favorite thing. That’s why Richard Scarry’s books were always so good, there’s so much happening. I don’t know if I could do a Busytown type of thing, but I guess mine falls somewhere in between. It’s not like Jon Klassen pristine, but it’s not Richard Scarry busy.

Did you test-drive the book on some kids before you turned it in?

No. But I have a nephew now, he’s a baby, he’s amazing, so I’m trying to write this next book about a baby. I spent some time with him, tried to understand his baby ways. Which are mostly just putting things in his mouth.

TIME Music

Watch Philip Glass Look Back on Decades of Bringing Music to Art

The iconic composer talks about his longstanding friendship with sculptor Richard Serra, his recent performance inside an art installation and his advice for young artists

Early in his career, Philip Glass gave intimate performances in art galleries and downtown New York City lofts. Today, at the age of 78, the acclaimed composer still hasn’t stopped playing in unconventional spaces.

“The kind of music that I was doing, that my friends were doing, was not welcomed in the concert halls,” says Glass. “But we had no problem playing in museums and galleries, so that’s where we went. And then we never really left them.”

Glass recently partnered with sculptor and longtime friend Richard Serra to organize a concert in which Glass and violinist Tim Fain perform inside Serra’s exhibition, Equal. The installation, currently on view at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York and recently acquired by MoMA, is composed of four pairs of stacked 40-ton steel cubes.

“His work possesses a very strong presence and identity,” says Glass. “So when we put music into a sculptural environment that his work is, it’s a real encounter.”

Yet Glass and Serra don’t talk explicitly about the relationship between music and sculpture.

“We’ve never discussed it, actually,” says Glass. “Yet over the last 30, 40 years—it’s a long time—there have been many times when we have put the music and sculpture together.”

One recent notable performance was in 2008, when Glass performed a solo piano concert at the Grand Palais in Paris inside another Serra exhibit. For their latest collaboration, the decision to put together the concert was simple. Serra had invited Glass to watch the process of installing his new work in the gallery—something Glass often does—and mentioned the idea to him.

“Richard said, ‘What would you think about playing here?’ And I said, ‘I think that’s a good idea,'” says Glass with a laugh. “That was it!”

They agreed to make the event a benefit concert to support House with Heart, an organization for women and abandoned children in Nepal that needed funds to rebuild their facilities following the earthquake in April.

As is evident in his relationship with Serra, Glass values collaborating with his peers in various fields. He advises young artists to do the same.

“When I talk to young composers, I always encourage them to find people their age who make music and make dance,” he says. “Don’t work with the older people. Work with the people your age, because then you’ll grow old with them. You’ll have them for your lifetime.”

TIME Comedy

Why Darrell Hammond Modeled Himself After Eddie Murphy

The comedian with a skill for impersonations on how it all started

Comedian Darrell Hammond’s first impressions came at age seven alongside his mother, who liked doing impersonations of the neighbors. Hammond realized he, too, had a knack for impressions and was soon doing voices of Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, cartoon characters like Foghorn Leghorn and Popeye, and a host of others.

Fifty years later, Hammond’s repertoire includes dozens of celebrities, including Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Sean Connery, all of whom he made famous in the 1990s and early 2000s as the longest-serving cast member in the history of Saturday Night Live. His latest character is Colonel Sanders, the founder and mascot of fast-food chain KFC, who Hammond has resurrected as an off-kilter, mandolin-loving Southern goofball just a bit out of touch with 2015.

Hammond recently stopped by TIME’s offices to discuss his latest transformation, Eddie Murphy’s outlandish impressions, and what it’s like being back at SNL as the show’s new announcer.

TIME Comedy

Watch Darrell Hammond Break Down His President Clinton Impression

It's all about the "vocal crinkle"

Comedian Darrell Hammond is the longest-serving cast member in the history of Saturday Night Live and for 14 seasons was often the sketch comedy show’s go-to impressionist. Before he left SNL in 2009, Hammond honed impressions of dozens of celebrities, but he’s probably best-known for one of them: President Bill Clinton, which was an almost weekly occurrence on the show in the late 1990s thanks to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Hammond, who recently took on the role of Col. Sanders in a new advertising campaign for KFC, is back at SNL as the show’s announcer, and his lip-biting, thumb-wagging Clinton has returned as well. Last week, Hammond stopped by TIME’s offices and shared a few tricks on how to become the former president. (Hint: Perfect a “vocal crinkle.”)

TIME Music

Watch Ciara Walk You Through Her Most Memorable Dance Videos

The second part of TIME's interview with the singer focuses on her fancy footwork

Ciara just embarked on her first tour in six years to promote her new album Jackie, but don’t think the “I Bet” singer has gotten rusty with the choreography. Whether it’s the floor hump from “Ride” or her The Matrix-style back bend from “Like a Boy,” she’s still breaking out her best-known routines on the road.

“Sometimes you get bored of the same moves, but you know that there are those moves that those fans love,” she tells TIME. “And you better not change those moves or you might create a little confusion! It’s those key moments that people remember because they mark the special creative moments you shared. It’s only right that you give them that thing they’ve loved from the beginning of the song or era.”

So when TIME sat down with Ciara to talk about how motherhood influenced her new record, it was only right that we asked her to walk fans through some of her most memorable moves and dance videos as well. See her reflect on “Gimmie Dat,” “Promise,” “Work,” “1, 2 Step” and more in the video above.

Read next: Review: Ciara Stays in Her Lane on Jackie—And That’s A Good Thing

Read next: Ciara: Motherhood Inspired Me to Swear a Lot More on My New Album

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com