NYC’s Second Annual Sex Worker Cabaret – June 12 2011

Join us for the Second Annual Sex Worker Cabaret on Sunday, June 12, 2011!
>>> Buy Tickets Now!

Sex workers take the stage to tell their diverse stories through performance, narrative, puppetry, burlesque, comedy and more. This event starts with a curated selection of video works about sex work around the globe, and then features an all-star lineup of eleven performers.

Producers Sarah Jenny and Damien Luxe are proud to present this Sunday evening cabaret showcasing some of the most vibrant creative talent in the sex worker community. The cabaret is in homage to Annie Oakley’s Sex Workers Art Show (1997-2009) and takes place during LGBTQ Pride month, a time to reflect on the importance of community. Come listen to tales of self-determination, and bear witness to survival and celebration as sex workers eloquently — and at times raunchily — speak their truths.

With MCs Sarah Jenny and Damien Luxe and DJ Sirlinda!

WHEN: Sunday, June 12, 2011
TIME: DOORS @ 7:30PM, VIDEOS @ 8PM SHOW @ 8:30PM
TICKETS: $12 in adv. or $15 at the door (Click here to purchase tickets online.) Goodie Bag from The Pleasure Chest for first 50 tickets sold online!
WHERE: Public Assembly, 70 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY

For more information, please visit www.sexworkercabaret.com

Sex Worker Literati Reading Series Launching August 6th in NYC

SWLweb
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.

Speak Up! Media Training Materials as PDF

speakupcover On April 18, 2009 Sex Work Awareness had our first Speak Up! Media Training for the Empowered Sex Worker in New York City. All the attendees got to take home a big packet of training materials, and now we’re making that 45 page manual available to the public with a Creative Commons license.

Here are some of the subjects covered in the PDF:

    • Typical variations of mainstream media stories about the sex industry
    • Deciding to be part of a story
    • Crafting your message
    • Interview tips and tricks
    • Writing press releases, letters to the editor, and op-eds
    • Strategies for events and earned media
    • New media best practices and took kits

The manual also includes lots and lots of examples of both mainstream media and content produced by sex workers.

Click the cover image above to download!

Is there something you’d like to learn more about? Are you a sex worker support organization that is in the midst of a media onslaught? Think your community could benefit from a media training workshop? Get in touch with us.

And also, I tweaked the Sex Work Awareness website:
Sex Work Awareness

 

And added an email list to the mix. Check out what the first email announcement looks like here and then sign up if it strikes your fancy.

Sex Workers, Resistance, and the Media Panel at NYC Grassroots Media Conference 5/30

grassroots

Join us at the 6th Annual Conference:HOPE to ACTION
Saturday, May 30, 2009

9am-6pm: Hunter College, 68th St & Lexington Ave

Registration is now open — save cash, register early! 

Sex Workers, Resistance, and the Media panel/workshop

Sex workers are frequently maligned and misrepresented in the mainstream media, where stories are most often about scandals, busts, violence, health and safety risks, exploitation, legislation, and moral judgment. This panel of present and former sex workers who are activists and media makers will address the ways we are represented in mainstream media and what sex workers and their allies can do to challenge and remake the way we are perceived. We will present media projects created by sex workers and discuss challenges encountered in the process of distribution and building an audience for our work. The workshop will conclude with making a short PSA video about how sex workers and allies can work together.

Audacia Ray is a media maker and activist who is passionate about sexual rights, and is the author of Naked on the Internet. Audacia is a former sex worker who was an editor at $pread magazine who co-founded the advocacy and support organization Sex Work Awareness. Dacia has been writing her personal blog, Waking Vixen, since 2004.

Megan Andelloux works as a board certified sexual educator , sexual rights activist and author in the book: We Got Issues! She is the founder of a Sexual Resource Center, located in Providence, RI where she hosts workshops, speakers, and activist events related to sex positive issues. Check out her website.

Monica Shores is Managing Editor of and frequent contributor to $pread magazine. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Nerve.com, The Rumpus, DCist, Popmatters, Alternet, and Make/shift magazine. She also pens a bimonthly column for CarnalNation on sex worker rights.

“Erotic Services” Denied: Craigslist and Attorneys General Are Putting Sex Workers At Risk

This is a collaborative press release – please distribute and repost widely!

Contact:
Dylan Wolfe – Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK), swank@riseup.net
Will Rockwell – $pread Magazine, will@spreadmagazine.org
Audacia Ray – Sex Work Awareness (SWA), aray@sexworkawareness.org
Susan Blake – Prostitutes of New York (PONY), pony@panix.com
Michael Bottoms – Sex Workers Outreach Project – New York City (SWOP-NYC), info@swop-nyc.org

With Craigslist’s recent announcement that its Erotic Services category will be discontinued within the week, hundreds of thousands of erotic service providers will become more vulnerable to dangerous predators. Eliminating erotic listings as Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and others propose will only drive us further underground.

Policing the masseuses, phone workers, pro-dominants, and escorts using Craigslist fails to protect those of us who are coerced into the sex industry. Preventing the use of Craigslist advertisements also eliminates the advantage of screening clients online, which makes for a safer work experience by filtering out potentially dangerous individuals. Furthermore, keeping us offline hinders police investigations of violent crime. In the Boston murder of Julissa Brisman, it was online tracking that enabled the police to identify the suspect. One has to wonder: are the Attorneys General examining the evidence or simply enforcing their moral values?

“Removing the erotic services category from Craigslist does not help prevent violence against escorts and other sex workers. It only pushes me and people like me out of the places where advertising is available,” said Jessica Bloom, a sex worker from Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK). In the face of increasing criminalization, we insist upon respect. As mothers, daughters, brothers, and members of your community, we claim that sex work is real work, work that we are entitled to conduct in safety. As such, we must be accorded the human right of full protection under the law.

Call for Applications: Speak Up! Media Training for the Empowered Sex Worker

Along with some former $pread Magazine staff members, I’m the co-founder of Sex Work Awareness, an organization that works toward the destigmatization of sex workers. Our work is partly focused on creating better information and resources about sex workers for the public and for journalists. Our online project Sex Work 101 is the tip of that iceberg. Sex Work 101 has been dormant for a while, but I’ve got some content for it now and will be updating it once a week. Last week I posted an answer to the question Does the average sex worker practice safe sex?

Public education is just one part of the work of Sex Work Awareness. We also aim to train sex workers to safely respond to media requests, craft a message, and make their own media products. To that end, we’ve created a workshop: Speak Up! Media Training for the Empowered Sex Worker (click to read more about it and download a PDF of the application form).

I’ve taught several versions of this workshop over the past few years, but I’ve never gotten the chance to teach a day-long version of it. On Saturday, April 18th, my co-facilitator Eliyanna Kaiser and I will be doing just that here in New York. The workshop will cover topics like when to say no to media, outness, crafting your message, interview techniques, and basic skills for creating text, video, and audio.

This is a day-long seminar in which meals will be provided. The workshop is limited to ten participants on the basis of a submitted application; each participant will receive a Flip camera and a $50 stipend. Only self-identified current and former sex workers are invited to apply, to ensure that all feel comfortable during the seminar. The workshop is lead by two English speakers, so participants must be fluent in English.

I know lots of people will be bummed that the workshop isn’t in (fill in place). We can’t offer to cover travel for anyone coming from outside NYC, but we have a limited amount of space to put people up if theydecide to shoulder travel costs. We are planning on traveling to other cities eventually, so if you are not in the New York City area but are interested in participating in a future workshop, please get in touch. We have limited time and resources, so if you truly want us to come to your city to do this workshop, your community needs to be invested in helping make it happen.

This workshop is financially made possible by the fundraising efforts of the Sex Blogger Calendar and the generous support of all our sponsors, especially Njoy. I know $20 for a calendar doesn’t seem like much (and now they’re actually on sale for $10 each), but it has made a huge difference for the ten sex workers and former sex workers who will be able to attend this workshop and get the training and support they need to seriously kick ass.

Deadline for applications is March 10th, and we’ll inform people of acceptance on March 17th. Please circulate this widely!

Working Hearts: Blog for Sex Workers and their Partners about Unpaid Realtionships

Hey all,

Consider this your official invitation to Working Hearts: www.workingheart.blogspot.com,

the blog I recently started to create conversation and support for sex workers and their personal partners around sex workers’ unpaid love/sex relationships.

I would absolutely love it if any of you wanted to write a blog post, please just send me an email and write “post starts here:” right before the part you want me to publish.

Currently the blog has a few posts from a couple of different people and some informal polls, the current poll is about trying to leave the industry and the factors behind the decision to leave.

Partners are also welcome to post, eventually I will probably create a separate site for partners, but for now I’d love this to be a place to discuss opinions and experiences around relationships, answer each other questions and help support each other around this important topic that to me seems crucial to our health and quality of life as a community.

Audacia Ray interviewed me about Working Hearts for her Village Voice blog  Naked City in the interview series Four on the Floor, if you’d like to read more about why I’m doing this and what my thoughts are on the subject, check it out.