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Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Is More than Grief and Death - San Francisco

Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Is More than Grief and Death - San Francisco | Sex Work | Scoop.it
December 17 is one of the few times that you'll see the deaths of sex workers mourned publicly and sincerely. For the rest of the year, sex workers who die at the hands of clients, police, or pimps are reduced to punchlines or object lessons in one morality or another. One thing that liberals and conservatives share, even in this very polarized era, is that both are much more comfortable speaking for dead whores than talking with live ones.

This year will mark the 10th time that the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers has been observed since 2003, when Annie Sprinkle and Robyn Few organized the first one in memory of the victims of Gary Ridgway, also known as the "Green River Killer." Since then, events have been held every December 17 in memory of the sex workers who have been murdered that year.

I'm not a sex worker, nor have I ever been one, but I've attended these events for years, not only because my friends have always included escorts, porn models, and strippers, but because I write about sexuality, and my work would be dishonest and incomplete if I didn't value theirs. The lives of my friends are important, but so is their work.

By their nature, the events organized around the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers are a mixture of emotions. All have an inevitable core of grief. Often the focus has been on reading the names of the dead out loud, and those reading or in the audience sometimes break into tears. People die in all walks of life, but these names are inevitably the names of those who died because they were considered disposable.

"The people who are most at risk for violence are people working on the street," says Sandy Bottoms, co-director of the Bay Area chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP).

"Those are largely women of color, poor women, trans women, and people who are hit left and right with criminalization for a multitude of things." Bottoms also says that there is a lot of crossover between those remembered on December 17 and on November 20, the Transgender Day of Remembrance. "There are a significant number of names on both lists. You're looking at a pretty specific population that's targeted for a multitude of identities."

In itself, the story of prostitutes and strippers who die violently is an old one. It's the story most beloved by moral scolds, crime dramas, and journalists, who tell it with a mix of crocodile tears and lechery. But there is more to the annual December 17 events than grief and death. Just as importantly, the events are a persistent refusal by sex work communities to be told that their lives don't matter.

Robyn Few's life clearly mattered to many people. 10 years after she co-founded both SWOP and the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, her name will join the others this Monday. Few died this September, not from human violence, but cancer.

And even as they look back on her life and the lives of many others, SWOP is also using the December 17 event to take a step into the future. A new organization, Sex Worker Allies, Family, and Friends (SWAFF), will make its debut at the event. SWOP Treasurer Shannon Williams, who is spearheading the new group, sees it as critical to the movement. The idea, she says, has been floating around within SWOP for a long time, but never acted upon. The 10th anniversary combined with Robyn Few's death made it feel especially urgent to do something special this year.

SWAFF is an obvious analog to the LGBT rights group Parents, Families ,and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Williams embraces the comparison passionately. "PFLAG to me was such a significant aspect of the queer rights movement," she says. "It just changed the conversation. It's such a simple thing.... But at the time, to see a man in a march or on TV holding a big sign saying 'I love my gay son,' was so huge. It humanizes us if people start coming out publicly and saying 'I love my daughter who's a prostitute,' 'I love my wife who's a prostitute.'"

The question is whether our culture at large is ready to change the conversation in that way. One of the most catastrophic things to happen to sex worker rights in California this year was the passage of Prop 35, the "Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act," which broadened the legal definitions of sexual trafficking and created new, harsher penalties. The sex workers whom the act was supposed to protect were left out of the discussion almost entirely, reduced to traditional caricatures of "prostituted women."

One can only imagine how the rhetoric might have sounded different if it ever became mainstream to consider prostitutes part of "us" instead of "them." One of the reasons that the lists at December 17 events are so long is that for all the talk on left and right about rescuing sex workers from exploitation and violence, very rarely do they have the privilege of being able to go to the police or any other civic authority when they face those things. "In any studies where sex workers are asked about their experiences with violence, they all show that sex workers are abused more often by the police than by any other group of people," Williams says. They also face rejection by family, landlords, and employers. Williams herself lost her job as a teacher at Berkeley High School when she was busted for prostitution nine years ago.

The problem is that there really is no conversation about sex work. For the most part, there's only a monologue by media and politicians with the workers themselves meant to stay silent. December 17 events represent a concerted effort to break that silence.
Via PunterPress
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Sex Work
About sex work and help for sex workers, which includes escorts, professional service providers, erotica authors, phone sex operators, adult bloggers, etc. http://www.sex-kitten.net/blog/
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Former Sex Worker Maggie McNeill on Why We Should Decriminalize Prostitution - YouTube

"There is a very common form of rhetoric that's used against us ... that sex work isn't work. That it's a dodge. That it's a scam. That it's a form of exploi...
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Of sex work, dignity and human rights

Of sex work, dignity and human rights | Sex Work | Scoop.it
“The way you tell it, frankly, it sounds like a TV sitcom about happy hookers.”
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How To Spot A Sugar Daddy

How To Spot A Sugar Daddy | Sex Work | Scoop.it

A few easy pointers to get yourself a sugar daddy. easy to follow and its all based on my personal experiences.

 

Overview your choice so you know you're not going down a dead path. If he is dressed nicely that is a good indication that he has money. Now if he is wearing a nice dress shirt he got from a department store he is harder to train then a man wearing say Gucci. (doesn't have to be Gucci but if he looks EXPENSIVE it's a better indicator of money.Seriously, men usually don't pay attention to labels unless they are gay or stacked.) Either way, it's easier to coax money out of a richer man.

 

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Erotic Romance Writers and Poets Pursue Their Ambitions with Secret Erotica

Erotic Romance Writers and Poets Pursue Their Ambitions with Secret Erotica | Sex Work | Scoop.it
With the sheer amount of freely available erotic stories online and the relative ease of modern self-publishing, it is only a matter of time before we find more erotic literature finding its way to the bookstores and our own personal bookshelves. London, England UK - July 17, 2014 /PressCable/ — Erotic literature has been a popular genre amongst (mostly) female readers for many years. However, the recent explosion of the Fifty Shades trilogy and the S.E.C.R.E.T erotica series onto the scene has created many more avid fans of provocative romance. This truth is clearly reflected by the large increase in the number of people trying to achieve success through writing and publishing erotic novels.
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The War on Sex Workers Escalates with FBI Shutdown of MyRedBook

The War on Sex Workers Escalates with FBI Shutdown of MyRedBook | Sex Work | Scoop.it
Logging into Facebook on June 26, I was immediately confronted by dozens of screenshots of a notice with FBI and IRS seals indicating that MyRedBook, a free advertising network for escorts, had been s…
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Sex work and the politics of rape: why the government owes women an apology

Sex work and the politics of rape: why the government owes women an apology | Sex Work | Scoop.it
When Conservative MP Robert Goguen asked Timea Nagy, a former sex worker who alleges she was gang raped, whether the attack was a case of freedom of expression, well, it was hard to know how to react.This all took place during a recent committee meeting regarding Bill C-36, which aims to transform the legality of sex work in this country.
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How the Financial Sector Is Making Life Miserable for Sex Workers | VICE United States

How the Financial Sector Is Making Life Miserable for Sex Workers | VICE United States | Sex Work | Scoop.it

In a recent article, VICE News speculated that the Department of Justice’s initiative Operation Choke Point may be putting pressure on banks like Chase to terminate the accounts of several high-profile porn performers, including Teagan Presley, Stoya, and Chanel Preston. On Twitter many other porn performers claimed that their accounts were being closed, and that they had been offered little explanation beyond being labeled “high risk.” An insider at Wells Fargo responded, “We encourage these industry workers to come to us," according to TMZ. By the time Mother Jones was pushing back with a “Chase representative” claiming that Choke Point was not singling out people in the porn industry, I was exasperated.

By and large, these articles failed to mention the fact that sex workers like myself are shut out of institutions every single day. Whorephobia, the fear and hatred of sex workers, is one of the very first things every single sex worker learns how to navigate.

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How To Write About Sex Without Being Boring

How To Write About Sex Without Being Boring | Sex Work | Scoop.it
Sexuality is one of our most basic drives, but it's also fundamental to our identities as people. Which means sex is the subject of a million cliches, and tons of terrible writing. Not to mention, stupid prejudice. The good news? Science fiction and fantasy writers have a special opportunity to look at sex afresh. Here's how.
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Is "Sex" A Right That Should Be Recognised In Law?

Is "Sex" A Right That Should Be Recognised In Law? | Sex Work | Scoop.it
This question is one posed regularly and often dismissed both by anti sex work campaigners and also by some women and men who presume that the question is somehow a justification for a mythical mal...
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Google reverses 'real names' policy, apologizes | ZDNet

Google reverses 'real names' policy, apologizes | ZDNet | Sex Work | Scoop.it
In a dramatic reversal from policy enforced since it was created three years ago, Google will now allow users to use any name they want across Google services.

Via Deanna Dahlsad
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What I Want to Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars by Conner Habib

What I Want to Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars by Conner Habib | Sex Work | Scoop.it

What I Want to Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars - Why Do You Hate Porn Stars? What Is It About Us that You Don't Like? 


...

It can't be factual. The reason you hate us, I mean. It's fine, not all emotions have to be based on facts. We're human beings, after all. I just wanted to make sure you knew it couldn't be factual.


You might think the thing that upsets you about us is that we're ruining society. And there are studies. You like to start sentences with the phrase, Studies show that...


But listen. The facts? You're going to have a hard time with them.

Gracie Passette's insight:

Awesome-sauce.

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Regulations Force Move: Kink.com has leased office space in Las Vegas

Regulations Force Move: Kink.com has leased office space in Las Vegas | Sex Work | Scoop.it
San Francisco based Kink.com announced today that it had leased production and office space in Las Vegas, and has already wrapped production on two movies.
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Prostitution-Free Zones Under Fire

Prostitution-Free Zones Under Fire | Sex Work | Scoop.it
Members of the LGBT community and allies rally outside the Wilson Building in April as part of a demonstration to build support for a bill that would repeal prostitution-free zones. (Photo...
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Murdered St Kilda prostitute Tracy Connelly was ‘easy prey’ says former sex worker

Murdered St Kilda prostitute Tracy Connelly was ‘easy prey’ says former sex worker | Sex Work | Scoop.it
UPDATE: MORE than 100 mourners have gathered in St Kilda to make a pledge to murdered sex worker Tracy Connelly and other victims of violent crime: you will not be forgotten.
Gracie Passette's insight:

Did not care for this "sex work does attract the worst human beings" line; it would be more accurate to say that "vulnerable populations attract the worst human beings."

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Tearing Down the Whorearchy From the Inside

Tearing Down the Whorearchy From the Inside | Sex Work | Scoop.it
I expected to be criticized for my work -- I'm a porn performer -- from my classmates at Duke. But from my fellow strippers, denigration for "sitting on a dick for a living" stung, if no other reason than that I didn't see it coming.
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Former prostitutes who served US troops sue South Korea

Former prostitutes who served US troops sue South Korea | Sex Work | Scoop.it
A group of former prostitutes has filed a lawsuit against the South Korean government seeking more than $1.2 million in compensation, alleging that it exercised significant control over their activities, according to a report in Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
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Safe on the Streets - The Weekly Wonk

Safe on the Streets - The Weekly Wonk | Sex Work | Scoop.it
A culture of violence surrounds the world of prostitution, but there’s a sensible way to make the profession safer for women: decriminalization.
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9 Stereotypes Sex Workers Are Tired of Hearing

9 Stereotypes Sex Workers Are Tired of Hearing | Sex Work | Scoop.it

We would all benefit from questioning some of these tired stereotypes and tropes so that, hopefully, they won't be part of our conversations again.

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Study: To Lower Rape and STD Rates, Decriminalize Prostitution

Study: To Lower Rape and STD Rates, Decriminalize Prostitution | Sex Work | Scoop.it
A loophole in Rhode Island decriminalized prostitution between 2004-2009. During this time the state saw significant decreases in rape and gonorrhea.
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The flawed thinking behind brothel licensing

The flawed thinking behind brothel licensing | Sex Work | Scoop.it
As a sex worker who has worked across Australia under a range of regulatory regimes, I find it amusing that politicians constantly debate workplaces that they know absolutely nothing about, except that such debate can lead to terrible changes for my work. Currently in New South Wales the sex work debate is centered around whether the then senior Liberal MP Chris Hartcher's 2011 election promise of licensing brothels is worth pursuing in legislation. Since it has already failed as a system for regulation in Victoria and Queensland you would think such a silly idea wouldn’t get very far. However the political lure of licensing as a ’solution’ to supposed ‘crimes’ within the NSW sex industry has gained much more traction than it deserves. 
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Advocates Voices: Sex Workers’ Perceptions of the Melbourne Declaration

Advocates Voices: Sex Workers’ Perceptions of the Melbourne Declaration | Sex Work | Scoop.it
While the Melbourne Declaration includes language regarding sex workers and drug users’ rights, many feel it's not enough. Hear what advocates have to say.
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Why men use prostitutes

Why men use prostitutes | Sex Work | Scoop.it
The reasons why many men pay for sex are revealed in the interviews that make up a major new piece of research
Gracie Passette's insight:

2010 research

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PSO Help: Dealing With Negative Feedback, Ratings &/or Reviews

PSO Help: Dealing With Negative Feedback, Ratings &/or Reviews | Sex Work | Scoop.it

After a few months of running the phone sex review site, some things have become quite clear: some phone sex operators don’t know how to properly handle less than glowing reviews.


Just as you can make the most of your positive reviews, you can make a real mess out of less than favorable reviews. In fact, you can make things even worse.

Gracie Passette's insight:

Excellent advice for anyone in any business, but tailored for savvy sex workers.

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A Cutt Above: A Stripper Memoir

A Cutt Above: A Stripper Memoir | Sex Work | Scoop.it
Finally! A stripper memoir about more than naked women.
Gracie Passette's insight:

Kickstarter page for getting the book in print.

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Gracie Passette's curator insight, July 18, 4:57 AM

Kickstarter book project

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Phone-sex cop now "Cutie Off Duty"

Phone-sex cop now "Cutie Off Duty" | Sex Work | Scoop.it
Police brass didn't like Officer Terra Barrow's old side job as a phone-sex operator, but she says they OK'ed her new risque gig.

Via Dana Hoffman, malek
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malek's curator insight, July 2, 10:12 AM

Confusion!

We take it as a joke, but what about hypocrisy? what about politicians?