Feb 5, 2011
Networking and Sex Working Awareness
Hm. Twitter will not work for me at the moment. It's been a day and a half, and when I load the page it says it's "Done" but there's nothing there. Is this an issue everybody's having, or is it just me?
Anyway, so I can't advertise my new FB page on Twitter. So I'm gonna do it again here. HEY YOU! Go LIKE ME on Facebook! I can promise no NSFW photos and only small words like "porno" and "sex" in my updates, so you won't get stared at by your next-cubicle-over coworkers. Really. A promise is a promise.
At any rate, last night I was super-excited to attend the "Sexy, Speak Up!" fundraiser at Madame X on Houston Street. The fundraiser was to support "Speak Up!" media training for sex workers. I attended as press for WHACK! Magazine (and you'll be able to see the super sexy footage there within a few days), so I can't give all the horny details to you here, but I was excited to meet a whole lot of really amazing people, from burlesque dancers to a Ninja Sex Poodle & Ronin of Love to the founder of the CineKink festival, Lisa Vandever! Oh hell yeah, networking is my middle name, baby.
The most exciting part of the evening for me, though, was getting an invite to Momentum, a conference in April in Washington, D.C. which is "geared toward anyone interested in intelligent conversations about the influence of new media on sexuality." Presenters will include Ducky DooLittle, Dr. Carol Queen, Dr. Ruth, Dylan Ryan, and Tristan Taormino. Suffice it to say, I'm going. And it's going to be absolutely incredible.
I'm a big fan of what Momentum and Speak Up! both are doing: opening up the conversation about sex workers and those involved in the sex community to themselves. Speak Up! trains sex workers on how to deal with the media on all levels, from talking to journalists and media about their own work in conscious and empowering ways that give all sex workers a better image, to using social media and the internet to their best advantage. Sex workers are still the one class of person that many of find it easy and nonprejudicial to look down upon and speak about with contempt. But, as cofounder Tess pointed out to me last night, sex workers are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons. They are human beings with lives and minds, and it's absolutely behind the times to treat them as anything else. One important way to elevate them out of the dregs of society, where so many are willing to leave them, and to shine a light on the fact that they are thinking, breathing human beings is to give the power of positive representation directly to them. And I'm all about it.
I just read a great article on these same ideas at GoodVibes magazine, by Penny Barber, about raising children to understand sex workers are people, and it really rang true with what I talked about last night. More to come on this topic, I'm sure. In the meantime, give that article a read; it's great stuff.