Sex Worker Literati Reading Series Launching August 6th in NYC

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Photo by Sinead McCarthy, design by Sinclair Sexsmith

Best-selling author David Henry Sterry and sexuality rights activist Audacia Ray, both former workers in the sex industry, are proud to announce Sex Worker Literati, a new free monthly reading series that features sex workers, former sex workers, and people with stories about the sex industry who will read, monologue, perform, and shimmy their ways into your hearts, minds, and naughty bits. The series kicks off at 8 pm on Thursday, August 6 at the Lower East Side staple Happy Ending (302 Broome Street), which fittingly enough was once an erotic massage parlor. On the first Thursday of every month, Sterry and Ray will showcase a diverse set of performers who have stories to tell about the business of sex.

The reading series is inspired by a new anthology edited by David Henry Sterry and RJ Martin, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Work & Money published in July 2009 by Soft Skull. After Sterry asked Ray to contribute a piece to the anthology, they began to discuss collaboration possibilities. The results are the Sex Worker Literati reading series and the website hoshookercallgirlsrentboys.com, which features writings by sex workers, sneak peeks at the book, and videos featuring anthology contributors.

The Sex Worker Literati inaugural reading on August 6 features six performers from all corners of the sex business. Blues diva and pinup girl Candye Kane, Times Square wild girl Jodi Sh. Doff, Scandinavian/African rent boy Damien Decker, and ex-teenage ho/ award-winning filmmaker Juliana Piccillo are all contributors to the anthology. They will be joined by renowned artist and former nude model Molly Crabapple, who is the illustrator and co-author of the graphic novel Scarlett Takes Manhattan and former go-go dancer and porn producer Sam Benjamin, author of Confessions of an Ivy League Pornographer.

Those in far-away lands who are unable to attend the reading series in New York will be able to enjoy some of the performances online: videos, photos, and stories will be published on hoshookerscallgirlsrentboys.com. We are also planning events for the anthology around the country, so check the website or become a fan on Facebook to find out more.


August 6th Inaugural Reading Line Up


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Molly Crabapple is an artist, author, and the founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a 90 city chain of alt. drawing clubs. Called a “Downtown phenomenon” by the New York Times and “THE artist of our time” by Margaret Cho, Molly has drawn for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Marvel Comics. During college, she was a professional naked girl. Her first graphic novel, Scarlett Takes Manhattan, is out now from Fugu Press.

Candye Kane may still be a well-kept mainstream secret but in most underground circles, her diva status is legendary. She has been making music professionally for over two decades and toured worldwide since 1992, performing for amazingly diverse audiences. She played at the French Embassy in Rome for the President of Italy, headlined the Rhythm Riot, a rockabilly and R&B festival in the UK, and belted it out alongside Ray Charles at the Cognac Blues Festival. She slayed em’ at the Cannes Film Festival, kept them enthralled at New York Gay Pride and most recently, helped organize a thirteen city tour of the Netherlands for special needs kids. Learn more and hear her sing on her website.

Jodi Sh. Doff, writing as Scarlett Fever. Scarlett Fever was born with the first issue of BUST and has gone on to publish in Penthouse, Playgirl , Bust, Tear (Italy), Olive Tree Literary Review, Cosmopolitan, Stim.com and CommonTies.com; been anthologized in Best American Erotica ’95, Bearing Life (Feminist Press – as Jodi Sh. Doff), Between the Sheets (Penthouse Anthology), and The Bust Guide to a New Girl Order . She has been active in prostitutes rights, harm reduction and outreach. Scarlett has been working on a memoirs of her ten years in the pre-Disney Times Square topless business for what seems like forever. She is proud to have been a chapter of “historical reference” in Lily Burana’s Strip City. There is also a serial killer love story, with some rather disturbing parallels to her own life, in the works. That said, Ms. Doff grew up in the suburbs as someone else entirely.

Sam Benjamin is a graduate of Brown University (1999), a former go-go dancer, and the director of over one thousand Los Angeles-based interracial gangbangs, gay and straight. His book, “Confessions of An Ivy League Pornographer,” is a memoir of a youth well spent.

Damien Decker‘s writing has appeared in $pread magazine and the anthology Unhoused Voices. He has been featured on The Daily Beast and is currently working on a memoir. Damien was born in Zambia but moved as a young child to Scandinavia to become one of the first black people in northern Europe. He recived his degree in USA and is a former college, semi-pro, and national team athlete. Damien is a multilingual jack-of-all-trades who speaks fluent Swedish, Norwegian, English, plus enough French to not starve when in Paris and enough Swahili to know when mother was angry. He currently resides in New York.

Juliana Piccillo is a soccer mom, filmmaker, writer and sex worker’s rights activist. She has an MFA in Creative Writing.

One Response

  1. Thanks for the post. Super interesting!

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