Veronica Monet is a Certified Sex Educator (SFSI), a Founding Member of
the Association of Sexual Energy Professionals (ASEP), and a trained
volunteer for the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV). She
recently relaesed her book,
Sex Secrets of Escorts - Tips From a Pro
(ISBN: 1592573681 Alpha Books 2005), available at
list below includes confirmed presenters and will be updated as more
Porter is completing a
B.A. in Women's and LGBT Studies at UCLA and will begin graduate level
Women's Studies course work at Claremont Graduate University in the
fall. Porter's free time is spent lecturing on queer genders in
introductory Women's Studies courses at colleges scattered
about Southern California and in seminars offered at The Gay and Lesbian
Center of Long Beach. After dark, Porter works as one of the promoters
of the monthly queer dance night Club Butchin' L.A. in an effort to
create greater queer solidarity in Los Angeles.
Lusty Ladies: Analyzing Identity
and Relationship Management On and Off the Clock
Sex work continues to be an occupational choice stigmatized
and devalued by a significant portion of society. As such, documenting
the experiences of individuals employed in the sex industry serves as a
vital tool in the continued effort to legitimize sex work as a viable
and worthwhile employment option.
The Lusty Lady Theater in San Francisco, California presents
a unique opportunity for researching sex work because of its status as
the only unionized worker-owned strip club cooperative in the United
States. Utilizing interviews with two self-identified queer femme
dancers at the Lusty Lady, participant observation, and literary
analysis several issues are explored in analyzing the lived experience
of dancers at the theater. First, the Lusty Lady’s unique status as a
unionized worker-owned cooperative directly effects the immense autonomy
dancers are given in choosing their own name, costumes, and persona as
well as discretionary choice in refusing services to unruly and/or
abusive customers. Additionally relationships between coworkers,
specifically queer femme identified women, are exceptionally tight-knit
which directly contributes to a positive and emotionally safe and
supportive work environment.
Concurring with similar published research on the Lusty Lady
San Francisco, the relationships between coworkers foster a
noncompetitive work environment where employees freely exchange advice
on improving performance. In addition, dancers tailor their shows to
fulfill the specific needs of the customer(s) (and also to maximize
profits) and their performances often vary significantly depending on
the perceived gender of the customer(s) engaged in the encounter. Of
related significance, just as the interpersonal relationships between
dancers facilitates employees gaining new insights relating to their
sexuality, customers also have the potential to contribute to the
dancers’ increased comfort and growth pertaining to the performers’
sexual identities. Finally, stigma associated with employment at the
Lusty Lady arises not only from those outside of the dancers’ social
network, but specifically for queer employees, hyper-glorification
occurs additionally when female-bodied masculine queers within their
social network glamorize and exoticize employment at the Lusty Lady
which further isolates queer dancers from communities outside the sex
Emily van der Meulen
Emily van der Meulen is
a board member of Maggie's: The Toronto Prostitutes' Community Service
Elya Durisin is a board
member of Maggie's: The Toronto Prostitutes' Community Service Project.
Keisha Scott is the
Administrative Coordinator of Maggie's: The Toronto Prostitutes'
Community Service Project.
Abstract: Sex Work
Regulation and Activism in Toronto
For more than 25 years, sex workers across Canada have been fighting for
our rights and well being, challenging the laws, stigma and stereotypes
that reduce our social worth and expose us to exploitation and violence.
Maggie's: The Toronto Prostitutes' Community Service Project, originally
founded in 1986, is a Canadian organization run by and for women, men
and trans people working in the sex trade. Our mission is to assist sex
workers in our efforts to live and work in safety and dignity. The
speakers on this panel have worked in many different sectors of the sex
industry and are representatives from Maggie's, Canada's oldest sex
worker organization. We advocate the complete decriminalization of the
industry and we support labour rights for all sex workers.
Emily van der Meulen will discuss and critique of the current regulation
of sex work through Canadian federal law. Her paper, Sex Work and the
Criminal Code of Canada, will focus on the 4 sections of the Criminal
Code that stigmatize the sex industry, discriminate against sex workers'
basic human and labour rights, and obstruct sex work organizing for
improved safety and employment standards. These sections include: the
bawdy-house laws of s.210 and 211; the anti-'pimping' laws of s. 212;
and the communicating laws of s.213.
Elya Durisin will follow with The Municipal Regulation of Indoor Sex
Work in Canada, a paper discussing the licensing and regulation of
indoor sex work in some Canadian municipalities. In the absence of
federal initiatives to amend criminal legislation on prostitution,
municipal bylaws are appearing as a local form of prostitution law
reform. Proponents of regulation say that licensing will provide sex
workers with some of the social benefits of standard employment, however
in practice licensing can present challenges to sex work being
understood as a work relation and treated as legitimate work.
Keisha Scott will close the panel with Maggie's: A History, Then and Now
. This paper presents a brief history of Maggie's and highlights our
current and future projects and activities. As a government funded
grassroots organization, Maggie's receives many benefits from core
funding. At the same time, we face the challenges of sex worker
mobilization and representation from diverse sectors of the industry.
This paper, then, concludes with a discussion of strategies on how to
build bridges between various sectors in our efforts to foster
successful community building that will bring us closer to
Damien Luxe works with
$pread Magazine as Art Director, has toured the US and Canada as a
multimedia performance poet, and works currently in NYC as an
independent, outcall fetish worker.
Sarah Jenny is the webmistress of $pread Magazine, a seasoned Dominatrix with 6 years
experience working in various facets of the sex industry and over a
decade in online entrepreneurship.
Abstract: Clicking Past
Craigslist: A Crash Course in Using Internet Media for Sex Workers
New Media isn't the wave of the future, it is the reality of
the present. In this workshop, we intend to relay vital how-to
strategies for people who are interested in learning how to use the web
for making money, either directly (internet-related businesses) or
indirectly (marketing strategies). Participants will leave with the
knowledge bank and insight of how to utilize this medium to increase
income, marketability, and/or visibility.
The workshop will be divided into two main categories:
"DIY" (Do-It-Yourself): How to make your own webpage, write
your own marketing copy & ads
"Non-DIY" (Not Doing-It-Yourself): Using existing webportals,
services, blogging (guerilla journalism), and utilizing
existing internet businesses.
Basic HTML, marketing strategies, advertising, and methods of
receiving payments will be covered. Basic legal concerns and history
will also be addressed.
Participants will leave with the confidence and knowledge
necessary to Use the web for profit and presence! Links to resource web
pages will be provided as permanent reference to attendees as well as a
jumping off point for their endeavors.
Sex Workers' Outreach Project, USA
Abstract: "The Importance
of Organizing Globally"
Workers Project, New York, NY
Associate, Sex Workers Project
Outreach Coordinator, Sex Workers
Outreach Worker, Sex Workers Project
Abstract: "Problems and
solutions: Educating the public and cultivating allies for sex workers'
Presented by The Sex Worker Project and the NSWP"
Heather Tucker is a 25
year old women’s studies student at HSU (focus in International Studies,
minoring in French and film), a former sex worker for 1 year in San
Diego, and an anti capitalist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic issues
I would like to address women’s positioning within the current
global economic context of United States empire building through
discussing women in the sex work industry. I would like to discuss
violence against sex workers as well as the criminalization of sex
trafficking. Further, I seek to show how the criminalization of sex
trafficking furthers police violence against sex workers and feeds
women of color to the prison industrial complex.
Meredith Fortner is a stripper getting her masters in Women's Studies at
Texas Woman's University in Denton, a liberal oasis in an otherwise
political wasteland of a state. She has been a fan and avid reader of
sex work literature since she was sixteen, and finally decided to enter
the business for herself last May. She is fascinated by all
intersections of feminism and sexuality, and is specifically interested
in the effects that sex work has on identity, both internal perceptions
and external stigma.
I spent a decade analyzing stripping from my safe, outside/r,
academic-feminist perspective before realizing I could not understand
its subjective realities without first gaining embodied experience.
Having previously relied on second-hand knowledge to indulge my
fascinations, I was stuck in polarizations of dis/empowered and
pro/anti-sex work feminism; after having used my body as a primary site
of inquiry I’ve found power dynamics within stripping extremely liminal
and complex. Challenging my preexisting theories, strip club patrons
aren’t just pedestalizing female sexuality; some customers use money to
wield power in ways infeasible outside the club. Moreover, strippers’
experiences continuously defy binaric categories of dis/empowered: the
compartmentalization of self resultant from utilization of “real”
aspects of our subjectivities during willful objectification challenges
normative ideas of what constitutes “proper” feminist consciousnesses
and “healthy” psyches.
Strip clubs are spaces wherein men can reify temporary patriarchal
control through commodification of women; buying power lets them
objectify us while perceiving our subjectivities however they wish.
Successful strippers control reality by embodying a fantasy: we make
men believe we are happy, engaged, and wildly attracted to
them—despite our true feelings. Thus, strippers highlight and
express certain aspects of our subjectivities while simultaneously
hiding or suppressing others, morphing our identities and blurring
our markers of authenticity. Our vigilant performance of eroticized
objects entrenches customer control over our expressed selves while
destabilizing our perceptions of reality, making authenticity an
epicenter of discourse. Though strippers constantly engage real
aspects of our sexual personae, some encounters feel more real than
others; blurring the line between performance and authentic
experience, these unnerving moments cause a subjective
compartmentalization necessary to preserve our self-integrity. As
the distinction between “real” and “realness” fades, strippers’
identities come to inhabit a liminal space between our customers’
expectations of authentic objectification and our own manipulation
of our subjectivities.
M. Hirano, asian princess
Hirano, asianprincess is curator of the show We, Asian Sex Workers in
the Sex Worker Fest which runs from July 14-22 at Ar+space Gallery.
Gennifer has been showing her visual and performance art work in
galleries and art spaces for 7+ years. She is an educator on issues related to prostitution, sex work,
race, gender and class in her art and as an activist.
Her spoken word songs speak directly about the politics of violence
against women, war and peace, and sex workers rights. Visit
McElroy, trade name Xtascene, is a community health worker, a former
sexworker (until someone makes a big enough offer), an afropunk and a
welfare QUEEN. She's a staff writer and teacher at POOR Magazine's Race,
Poverty and Media Justice Institute. She edits the zine systemBitch. She
has a love/hate relationship with her cats, and a hate/hate relationship
with all forms of oppression and pedantry. She can be reached at email@example.com.
family was involved in the business and she grew up believing that
"People are people, no matter what they do." Kenya has volunteered for
many years for Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. She
primarily provides in-home support, taking care of people in a
domestic context and has since the age of fifteen.
Our Communities: On and Off The Streets
This panel explores issues of issues sex worker
rights and community in the context of sex workers from diverse
communities. Moderated by Laure McElroy (from Poor magazine) this
session will help create a space of respect and understanding across
lines of race, class and work venues which often divide us.
is the author of "How I Learned to Snap", a memoir about being openly
gay in a small southern high school during the late 1980s. Kirk worked
as an intake counselor at the St. James Infirmary, a free heath care
clinic for sex workers.
He will be performing at the Sex Worker Festival on July 22nd at Lick My
Kitty: Kitty Kastro Memorial Cabaret.
M. Lamar is a singer songwriter and performer whose work has been
presented in art galleries, museums, night clubs, recital halls and on
the street. Most recently Classically trained as a counter tenor Lamar
recently relocated to New York City from San Francisco. Lamars' unique
blend of opera, folk , and gospel with politically and sexually
provocative song lyrics has made him a new favorite in the anti folk
music scene in the lower east side of Manhattan. He will be performing
at the Sex Worker Festival on July 22nd at Lick My Kitty: Kitty Kastro
currently is currently seeking an independent degree that combines art
and non-profit administration. Jeff began working as an escort after he
met someone who disclosed. "I'm the kind of person who really likes to
immerse myself in things," say Jeff.
video will be screened at the Roxie on July 21st. His exhibit, Dis
Closure, is on display at the St. James Infirmary. There will be a tour
in the afternoon on Sunday, July 22nd.
and producer, Konrad left home at fifteen, got on the game and never
looked back. Pornographer, poet and playwright, Konrad Product worked at
William Morris Agency, MTV and Samuel Goldwyn Films. Favoring leisurely
afternoon movies, Konrad Product has seen virtually every film about
hookers. His play, Natural Born Hooker, is featured on Thursday Night
at CounterPulse as part of the Sex Worker Festival.
Gay Male Artists in the Sex Worker World
This panel includes a number of writers and
artists featured in the San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts festival
including Kirk Read, Mattilda a.k.a. Matt Bernstein Sycamore, Konrad
Product, Jeff Ball and Reginald M. Lamar. Each artist will discuss his
work and experience as an artist and sex worker in the context of sex
work, sex work culture, and in the world beyond.
Rivera is a proud queer trans-identified woman. Alexis has been involved
in the Transgender community for the past 12 years. She has participated
as a Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV/AIDS and,
for the past 5 years, chaired the Transgender Service Provider Network.
She moved to San Francisco to join Transgender Law Center and she
emphasizes issues for sex workers in her work.
Sommers is a transgender activist and artist. She has had numerous
careers in her 21 years including floral arranger, secretary and, of
course, escort. As a young person, she has organized other young people
in many contexts. At the Desiree Alliance Las Vegas Conference, Natasha
developed a youth program. Emphasizing community building, Natasha is a
great support within her communities. Her many long years of experience
in the industry give Natasha a special perspective about many
populations of which she has been a part.
Ching is a long term and dedicated San Francisco activist. One of the
featured activists in the San Francisco documentary "Screaming Queens:
The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria," Tamara was recipient of the Harvey
Milk Individual Community Service Award. Tamara has had a great deal of
experience with sex workers over these years and has many stories to
tell and much wisdom to impart which she does as a valued mentor in San
Abstract: Issues for Transgender Sex Workers in The Bay Area
The Bay Area has a strong and diverse transgender sex worker
community which includes many who have been on the forefront of
civil and human rights for transgender people. This panel will
include some of these Bay Area transgender activists and sex workers
who will discuss recent issues as well as their own unique
contributions to the rights of transgender people.
Amanda Brooks is a former stripper and retired independent escort. She's
writing a four-part series of reference books for Internet escorts. The
first book is out and the second is being finalized. Find out more at
www.TheInternetEscortsHandbook.com. She's written for $pread
Magazine and consulted for an as-yet-unproduced British TV show. Amanda
is a board member
of SWOP-East and
ESCO Marketing Services, Inc. She's enjoyed radio interviews with both
Carol Leigh (The Scarlot Harlot) and Libertarian Radio. A native Texan
until late 2004, she lived in Dallas and currently lives in California.
Safety for Sex Workers through Personal Privacy – Legal and Relatively
Simple Ways of Being “Hidden” from Clients and Stalkers
A straightforward how-to piece using legal techniques of
misdirection and misinformation gleaned through my own experience and
research. The concepts of having an alternate name and an alternate
mailing address are simple ideas. The trick is in learning how to
achieve them. An untraceable cell phone, credit card and even business
bank account is essential for sex workers with more complex business
needs. None of these methods will hide you from the IRS or the
government, but they are enough to keep predators at arms length, which
is something most sex workers want. [This presentation will probably
include a handout.]
Abstract: Dating a
Client and Retiring for Love – One Escort’s Journey Through a Minefield!
It’s every escort’s biggest taboo and every client’s biggest
fantasy. As intelligent people assume, it’s not an easy relationship to
have. But nothing prepared me for what my retirement would bring. I was
unprepared for the mental and emotional repercussions of leaving a job I
loved. I’m still learning to adjust. I would like to speak honestly
about retiring for love. I felt I made this trip alone. Although I know
plenty of girls have done the same thing, no one talks about it.
Eventually of all us retire (though not for the same reasons); I would
like to offer my experiences to those who have questions or may be
facing the same decision.
Abstract: Is the
Internet a Boon to Sex Workers? – Pros and Cons of How the Internet Has
The advantages that the Internet brings are numerous: great
networking opportunities, greater chance to express one’s self,
clientele with higher income and education, more discretion, more safety
and much more business control. The disadvantages are not as obvious at
first glance: review boards, “hobbyist communities,” not knowing who is
on the other end of the e-mail, being discovered online when you don’t
want to be, barriers to getting online, the tightening net of Internet
search engines/indexing/ archiving. This would be a discussion of the
good and bad points of the Internet revolution. I leave the final
decision up to the individual listener.
Melissa Ditmore is the
Coordinator of the Network of Sex Work Projects
Kristen Freeland is a
Program Associate of the Sex Workers Project
Abstract: Problems and
Solutions: Educating the Public and Cultivating Allies for Sex Workers’
This two-part workshop
first presents diverse issues facing sex workers locally and globally,
followed by suggestions for advocacy with the media and the public.
The workshop will open
with a discussion of problems faced by sex workers, including
information and insight from outreach by the Sex Workers Project (SWP).
This will be followed by a showing of the Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP)-produced
film “Taking the Pledge” about the effects of the U.S. government’s
Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath upon sex workers around the world. The
film presents a platform for discussion of the political and personal
implications and responses to U.S. federal government policies including
the anti-prostitution pledge, law enforcement raids, and ‘demand.’ The
discussion will also be informed by preliminary results from the
forthcoming SWP report on raids in the U.S.
The second half of the
workshop will be devoted to ideas for cultivating allies and promoting
solutions to the problems discussed, utilizing the media toolkit
developed by SWP with input from sex workers across the US and around
the world. The toolkit is a resource for discussing these issues – both
the local issues faced by sex workers in their own towns and the more
general political issues such as U.S. policy - with people who are new
to sex workers’ concerns in the interest of developing political allies
for broad-based advocacy. It includes resources and talking points for
working with the public, the media, and policy makers.
Rebecca has studied women in pornography from both an economic and
feminist perspective for nearly 6 years. Her senior honors thesis at
Wesleyan University was a thorough analysis of the economic, feminist,
political, and social factors impacting women in the industry. It
received a score of High Honors from the prestigious College of Social
Rebecca currently works for a New York-based management consulting firm
and in her free time writes about the pornography industry in her blog,
Porn Perspectives (http://pornperspectives.typepad.com).
Power Suit: Women as an Economic Force in the Pornography Industry
An examination of the evolving economic role of women in the pornography
industry, with special attention to the influence of technology and the
implications for feminism.
spending seventeen years in the Bay Area experiencing its culture as
well as completing her BA at UC Berkeley, Nicole Albertini-Norris moved
to London, UK to do her Master's in Gender, Globalization and
Development at City University London. She is currently completing her
dissertation on anti-prostitution laws and how they affect
anti-trafficking measures either positively or negatively. Nicole is
planning on moving back to the Bay Area upon completion of her Master's
Abstract: Legalizing Prostitution in order to Fight
Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation: A Critical Evaluation of
The policies introduced and implemented in the on-going
battle to end trafficking of women for the purpose of sexual
exploitation has resulted in further marginalization of women in the sex
industry. Neglecting to draw the line - however fine it may be - between
“voluntary” and “coerced” sex work ultimately violates women’s human
rights. This paper is a critical study on the negative effects of
anti-prostitution policies on women’s rights. In addition, the
advantages of recognizing prostitution as legitimate sex work will be
assessed. Ultimately, no matter how much policy-makers would like to
abolish the sex industry under the guise of fighting trafficking, the
reality is that an alliance between sex workers and anti-trafficking
policy makers would prove more productive.
Darby Hickey is co-director at Different Avenues, a program working for
the health, rights and safety of people at risk for violence, HIV and
discrimination. Our work addresses broad issues of homelessness,
informal and formal sexual exchange, and social justice. Darby is also
involved in organizing for trans rights in DC, and participates in
various movements including for media justice, racial & economic
justice, and more.
Skytrinia Berkeley is Peer Educator/Organizer at Different Avenues,
where she helps to facilitate the venue outreach project that reaches
young women of color working in commercial sex locales. She is a
passionate advocate for the rights of marginalized communities, and
excited to learn and share about organizing and working for justice.
Abstract: Sex Worker
Leadership Institute Roundtable
This session, facilitate by Skytrinia Berkeley and Darby
Hickey of Different Avenues, will gather participants desires and needs
for activist skills. We will use participatory activities to get people
thinking about what training areas are priorities for sex worker
activists, as well as the skills and topics people feel they already
have or would like to improve. The outcomes of the workshop will be
taken into account for the planning of the fall Sex Worker Leadership
Institute in Washington DC - which participants will learn more about as
Abstract: Do your own Research!! How DC sex workers and allies are
gathering the data themselves
Darby Hickey and
Skytrinia Berkeley will provide an overview of the community based
research project currently underway in DC that is examining how DC
commercial sex policies affect people. Participants will learn about the
planning, preparation and execution of the research project, and how
they can work to create a similar project in their area if desired.
Lastly, we will talk about the importance of research to achieving
advocacy and organizing goals.
of community radio KWMR, pesticide activist, Founder of Orlo Arts and
Ecology, Co-author of Brainlines, Founder of Baring Witness, co-author
of Redefining Seduction, Women Initiating Courtship, Partnership and
Peace, Co-producer of documentary film Baring Witness, Founder of
Global Orgasm for Peace and Founder of Evolutionary Revolution, Founder
of The Dolley Madison Award...I'm on my forth husband (no children),
huff puff and moving through my 77 year and still having Sunday Sex!
Live-in author, poet, builder, pesticide activist, co-author of
Brainlines, Co-author of Redefining Seduction, Co-producer of film
Baring Witness, co-producer of Global Orgasm, and Sunday sex
Abstract: Your Feminine
Power holds the Secret to Global Peace
Based on Charles Darwin's Sexual Selection, the only solution
to peace in the western world must come from women - especially women
who have intimate access to Alpha Males. Discussion: Your visionary
path, Sexual Selection, culture myths, The Male Mask, Kindness, Alphas
and Betas and Partnership, and redefining global progress.
Marilyn Perry is a third-year doctoral student in English at the
University of California-Riverside. For the past six years, Marilyn's
central research has focused on life writing/art/performances/publicized
personal expressions produced by sex workers in contemporary societies.
Additional projects that keep her brain buzzing include: explorations of
(female) sexuality and sacred prostitution in the work of Neil Gaiman,
re/presenting trans performativity and queer jazz in print, and the (re)clamation
of the Wicked Witch of the West as an American feminist icon.
Abstract: “‘Read me,
Read Me, Oh Yes, Read Me!’: “Naughty Bits”, “Annie”-o-tation, and the
Body in (P)Arts in Annie Sprinkle’s Post-Porn Modernist
Materials included in this presentation draw on a particular
section of Marilyn's doctoral research. The talk will touch upon the
following ideas: Sprinkle’s relationship with her readers, invitations
of audience “participation”
(particularly in reference to the Sprinkle Salon section of Post-Porn
Modernist), personification of the text to aid in the establishment of
sexual and authorial control, communal (or possible cummunal) life
writing and performance, the multiple self, the use of metatexual
elements as souvenirs, and Sprinkle’s subversion of traditional notions
of celebrity, sexuality, activism, and pornography. As a whole, the
essay proposes that Sprinkle not only redefines the aestheticization of
sex and art but that she also defies the traditional practice of
bringing meaningful objects into our homes by changing the nature of the
“precious commodity” to include that which our society insists we
should purposefully overlook and find distasteful. In addition, it may
be argued that, in reframing the pornographic ideal through the physical
“grotesque” (making reference to Susan Stewart’s work on “the domain of
lived sexuality”) and removing stigmas of voyeurism, Sprinkle aims not
only to alter the way Western culture treats sex workers but also to
revolutionize the way we think about that portion of our population on
A range of theories are used when engaging with the above -
from feminism to life writing to sex positivism and beyond,
concentrating particularly on the benefits to be found in the
fragmentedness of the scrapbook subject and its eradication of
traditional boundaries of the self, the printed word, the reproduced
image while also considering a variety of additional deconstructions of
the notion of the autobiography/er as a singular, controlled entity,
embracing the discontinuities at work within many postmodern personal
Perceptions of Sex Work
The paper will address the perceptions of
individuals in society when it comes to various Sex Workers. The Desiree
Alliance conference of 2006 in Las Vegas created an open forum for sex
workers, academics and others in the community to discuss many of the
issues relevant to sex workers. While attending this conference many
ideas were brought to light and the current research explores one of the
various issues that were addressed at the conference. During the
conference, one such sex worker stated that she was tired of being asked
questions by researchers about why she was doing what she was
doing. Instead she asked for the researchers to go to society and ask
individuals that are not in the sex business why they had their negative
perceptions of people that work in the sex business. From that
conference, the following research was born. The research delves into
why individuals in society have certain preconceived perceptions of
individuals in the sex business. The current ongoing quantitative
research has interviewed 60 individuals to date (more are being added
daily) that have completed the multiple choice and short answer
questionnaire. The questionnaire has examined responses on issues such
as why people look down on sex workers, what has influenced opinions and
where these ideas have originated. The research further adds to the
existing body of knowledge on why and where negative perceptions come
from as well as tries to validate if these ideologies are just a myth.
The current research to date provides proof that individuals are more
accepting of sex workers than they are willing to admit. Behind closed
door and under the guise of research individuals have divulged their
true feelings. Giving further validation to the adage that the “moral
majority is really not that moral”.
Naomi Akers has worked with the sex worker community in San Francisco
for over 12 years. In her life, she has worked in a variety of sex work
venues, both legal and illegal including—several Nevada brothels;
escorting/internet dating in San Francisco; and as a stripper, massage
parlor worker and street walker in San Francisco and Los Angeles. As of
August 2006, she is the Executive Director for the St. James Infirmary (SJI),
a free medical clinic for sex workers where she has worked since 2002.
In May 2007 she earned her Master in Public Health degree from San
Francisco State University. Naomi’s areas of interest center around harm
reduction approaches, social justice and health as a human right,
particularly for Sex Workers, and drug users. As part of her MPH
studies and as a project for Legal Services for Prisoners with children,
Naomi recently conducted an oral health assessment of pregnant prisoners
at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, California. In the
summer of 2006, she completed an internship project assessing San
Francisco Exotic Dancers health needs. For her Culminating Experience,
Naomi completed an evaluation of podcast Social Media designed for
independent Sex Workers with Internet access. For more information or
to download her work, please visit:
podcast social media as a health promotion tool for independent sex
workers with internet access." May 2007
Sex Worker/Adult Entertainer who work collectively have lower
rates of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) then Sex
Worker/Adult Entertainer who work exclusively as independent Sex
Worker/Adult Entertainer (Cohan, 2006; Ditmore, 2002). Thus
increasing the number of Sex Workers/Adult Entertainers who engage in
collective work has the potential to decrease HIV/STI rates for the sex
worker/adult entertainer community. The purpose of the project was to
evaluate if a podcast made by current/former Sex Worker/Adult
Entertainer about the benefits and challenges to networking would be
pertinent to independent Sex Worker/Adult Entertainer who have Internet
access, and if listening to this podcast would make workers more likely
to network. The evaluation tool for this project was an on-line survey,
with primarily quantitative as well as key qualitative questions. During
a three-week evaluation period, 216 people listened to the podcast and
27 people completed the survey. Of those people, 8 identified as
currently doing independent sex work/adult entertainment. Exactly half
reported they learned a benefit in addition to a challenge to
networking; 75% said they would benefit by networking with other
workers; and over 60% said they were morel likely to network with other
workers. About 90% said they would recommend the podcast to their
workers and subscribe to the podcast in the future. Evaluation results
were shared with the community through a discussion format on Episode 2
of the podcast as well as through email links to the summary survey
 Independent sex work is defined as “independent
in-call/out-call, independent massage, phone sex, web-cam and street
based sex work” while collective sex work is defined as “escort (for an
agency), massage parlor, exotic dancing and
bondage-discipline/domination-sadomasochism (BDSM).” Collective sex work
means workers who work in groups, for agencies or in established venues.
Massage parlor workers and strip club entertainers are examples of
collective sex workers who work in established venues (Cohan, 2006).
assessment of SF Exotic Dancers." Summer 2006
For the last two years, the San Francisco Commission on the
Status of Women (COSW) has been hearing testimony from former and
current dancers about the current working conditions of strip clubs.
There has been a tremendous amount of disagreement between former and
current dancers about the working conditions of strip clubs. While the
majority of current dancers state conditions in the strip clubs are
fine, some former dancers say that risk for sexual assault, HIV/STI
transmission, illegal stage fees imposed by strip clubs and coerced
prostitution are primary health concerns for dancers. In an attempt to
discover if the claims of former dancers are applicable to current
dancers, a health assessment was conducted with current exotic dancers.
Thirteen women (13) were interviewed using a structured survey with key
qualitative questions. Results revealed that the majority of dancers
did not think risk of HIV/STI transmission, fear of sexual assault or
the existence of private booths are a work related health risk. Nearly
half of the sample thought that stage fees were or might be a work
related health risks. The lack of healthcare, the shoes that dancers
wear, standing on their feet all day, the number of shifts dancers work
a week, not making enough money, cleanliness and location of the club,
customer harassment, and being treated badly by other people because of
what they do were reported as work related health risk by the majority
of exotic dancers in this sample.
Desiree Alliance conference organizers are committed to support for
representation and inclusiveness of cultural, racial, economic, age, and
gender identity. Please read our Diversity
Statement and join our efforts to build a respectful, diverse, and
strong sex worker movement.
Alliance is a coalition of sex workers, health professionals, social scientists,
professional sex educators and their supporting networks. We seek to
encourage a better understanding of human sexuality by promoting ethical
and unbiased research into sexual subcultures; to promote saner and more
sensible approaches to policies relating to adult sexual health and
behavior. We use this information to educate and empower the public to
have healthy and rational attitudes about sexuality.
Alliance is a Project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a