EVERY HO I KNOW SAYS SO is a response to the total lack of accessible online resources for people looking for advice on how to be a good date or lover or partner to a sex worker. We want to support our lovers to continue unlearning the internalized stigma against sex workers, especially in intimate relationships. We think that sex workers themselves have valuable advice and direction to give to people who get into intimate relationships with us. This is the direct message we want to give to our lovers: “We hope that this video is useful to you in your journey to becoming a sex worker-positive and supportive lover and person in the community!!! By continuing to work on your attitudes about our work and educating yourself, you are showing us that you care. We love you!”
Location: Happy Ending Lounge, 302 Broome St, NYC (Pink awning says “Xie He Health”)
Cost: 21 and up – FREE
STARRING Veronica Vera, Lauren Wissot, Chelsea G Summers, Michael Pollack, and E.V. Fleurima, aka Ckiara Rose
Hosted by Audacia Ray
15% of the bar tab supports PROS Network (Providers and Resources Offering Services to sex workers)
Veronica Vera’s multi-faceted career began with several years on Wall Street. Then she decided to earn an honest living as a sex journalist, porn star, erotic model, prostitutes’ rights activist. Her collaborations with artists include Robert Mapplethorpe. Veronica testified in Washington for freedom of expression. In 1992 she created the world’s first crossdressing academy, Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls and wrote the book of the same name. Her second book is Miss Vera’s Crossdress for Success. She continues to offer classes in higher heeled education at her NY academy and college campuses, fields offers from reality show producers and works on her memoir.
Lauren Wissot is a NYC-based, award-winning filmmaker and freelance film and theater critic whose work can be regularly read at “Filmmaker” magazine, Slant Magazine and Theater Online among other publications. Her erotic memoir Under My Master’s Wings, about her time spent as the personal slave to a gay-for-pay-stripper/porn star, is available from Random House sub-imprint Nexus Books. Currently, she’s looking for film and writing opportunities in Amsterdam since she plans to relocate to the city this fall. Please visit her blog www.beyondthegreendoor.blogspot.com.
In order to fund her Ph.D. habit, Chelsea G. Summers worked most of the go-go ’90s as a stripper. Later, she found herself uninspired to write her doctoral dissertation and thus she began writing her award-winning blog, pretty dumb things, in March 2005. Since then, Chelsea’s work has appeared in magazines like GQ and Penthouse and in multiple anthologies. She has been interviewed by the legendary Susie Bright for her Audible.com show “In Bed With Susie Bright,” and her work has been featured in fine online publications such as Filthy Gorgeous Things.com. Chelsea is currently working on any number of projects, when she isn’t suffering from paralyzing crises of confidence. Chelsea lives and sometimes writes in glamorous New York City.
Michael Pollack grew up in Huntington, Long Island and graduated from Huntington High School in 1964, and got his BA from Syracuse University in 1968. While attending Syracuse he was the business manager for the “unofficial alternative” school newspaper, The Promethean. Their largest advertiser was the Civic Follies Burlesque and hence he started my involvement with porn. After graduation Michael stayed in Syracuse and while managing the Civic, attended the forming of the Adult Film Association in Kansas City in 1969. He spent the 1970’s in porn; the 1980’s in the video business; and for the last 20 years he has been selling foreign language books to schools.
E.V. Fleurima, aka Ckiara Rose, is of French Haitian paternal heritage and Miskitu/Nicargauan and Sudanese maternal heritage. She is the author of Ckiara Song of Men Slaves, a poetic biography that tells the story of her life as a sensual dominant and sacred whore. http://ckiararose.com/
The PROS Network (Providers and Resources Offering Services to sex workers) is a coalition of sex workers, organizers, direct service providers, advocates, and media makers. We exist to collaborate on programs and campaigns around sex work-related issues in the New York metropolitan area. We work with people of all genders who, by choice, circumstance, or coercion, engage in sexual activities for money, food, shelter, clothing, drugs, or other survival needs. Grounded in principles of social justice and human rights, the PROS Network embraces a non-judgmental, harm reduction approach. Check them out on Facebook.
Canadian journalist Victor Malarekâ€™s book The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It is a distinctive contribution to the ongoing conversation about sex work. While we tend to focus on the women who work in the sex trade (as Malarek himself did in his earlier book, The Natashas), here he trains his lens on the men who patronize prostitutes, arguing vehemently — and occasionally convincingly — that the demand side of the transaction is really the problem.
This argument is premised on an â€œunwavering realizationâ€ Malarek has proudly come to: â€œprostitution — all prostitution — is not about choice.â€ Researching his previous book seems to have clued him in to the hypocrisy of the whole situation: the fact that sex workers are stigmatized and demeaned, while the men who seek out their services literally get off easy. Itâ€™s a reasonable, and entirely welcome, point. But to make it, Malarek rests on easy assumptions, particularly about the women involved in the sex trade, who he uniformly portrays as victims. He makes his case with a sensationalist zeal that is often moralizing, sometimes condescending, and nearly always guided — and defeated — by sweeping generalizations. I wonder, though, if a decidedly mainstream takedown of menâ€™s sexual privilege could really have gone any other way. (Perhaps tellingly, male sex workers are all but absent from these pages.)
[via Melissa Gira]
This is a collaborative press release – please distribute and repost widely!
Dylan Wolfe – Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK), firstname.lastname@example.org
Will Rockwell – $pread Magazine, email@example.com
Audacia Ray – Sex Work Awareness (SWA), firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Blake – Prostitutes of New York (PONY), email@example.com
Michael Bottoms – Sex Workers Outreach Project – New York City (SWOP-NYC), firstname.lastname@example.org
With Craigslistâ€™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?
â€œRemoving 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,â€ 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.
**EDIT** an addendum. I just typed this up in response to a Facebook friend asking what he could do to help. Here are some suggestions:
You can totally help, mostly by speaking up and jumping into the fray!
Legislation about consensual adult sex work (not trafficking, coercion, or child prostitution) mostly happens on the state level – since youâ€™re in NY, you can find your assembly person here: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/ – write to him or her and tell them how you feel about the risks created and perpetuated by continued criminalizing of sex work and cracking down on advertising
Write letters to the editor of newspapers that publish misguided pieces about how the elimination of craigslist erotic services will â€œhelpâ€ women
Comment on blog posts and online articles (if youâ€™ve got the stomach for it!)
And check out the very excellent and thorough reports on research done by the Sex Workers Project to arm yourself with statistics
March 10, 2009 – The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom NCSF is a proud member of the Stop the Arrests Coalition. Spokesperson Susan Wright has participated in organizing meetings and spoke out atthe Sheridan Square Rally on February 21st, 2009, against the false arrests of gay men and professional Dominatrices for prostitution.
There is good news from a meeting on March 6th with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly pledging to curb the stings against gay men see articles below. NCSF is continuing to press for a cessation of arrests of professional Dominatrices, and has written to Commissioner Kelly to ask for a meeting about the NYPD’s change in policy after 14 years of legal operation, which has resulted in a number of arrests of Dominatrices and owners of BDSM houses since Fall 2007.
NCSF opposes the prosecution of pro-dominants under prostitution laws. Consenting adults engaging in safe, sane, consensual SM, fetishes, and cross-dressing services do not pose legitimate health or safety issues for local communities. What these adults agree to do in private is no one else’s business.
Members of the Stop the Arrests Coalition include: Queer Justice League, Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Sex Workers Outreach Project, Urban Justice League’s Sex Worker Project, and FIERCE New York.
[via Miss Calico]