If you can’t get to New York to see or perform in our monthly live event, the Blog Carnival is a way for sex workers and their allies to participate in the Red Umbrella Diaries from afar. Every month, I do a carnival of pieces of writing on the upcoming event’s theme.
For the next event, which takes place on October 7, the theme is Healing Touch. Here’s a little something to get you started thinking:
People in the sex trades are usually seen as being in need of public health interventions: condoms, HIV testing, and psychological counseling. But there are also sex workers who fancy themselves to be healers and who consent to participating in the medical profession in order to teach health care professionals a thing or two.
Send me a piece that is up to 700 words long, and I’ll pick my favorite to read at the event – and of course then I’ll put the recording in the weekly Red Umbrella Diaries audio podcast. Your piece can be previously published on your own blog or elsewhere, or you can conceal your identity and email me a piece that you can’t put your name on. The themes can be interpreted all kinds of different ways, I love to see creativity. Send your links or text to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 21st.
This film by the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Worker$ (APNSW) gives an inside look at issues facing sex workers in Myanmar, and tells some of the fascinating story of how sex workers have organised and responded to HIV and to claim their rights.
As a sex-positive, sex-journalist, I am working on a project about the clientel of sex workers. I am currently looking to interview men, women and people of all genders who have experience visiting sex-workers. I am pro-sex work, which will show through. I will of course, protect identities. Interviews over phone and e-mail are fine.
Here are the details about the project. Please, please, feel free to pass this along.
About the Article:Stories about sex-work seems to always focus on the sex worker. Even in sex-positive circles, talking about "john's" can elicit a collective cringe. Is it because we don't get the sex worker clientele's side of the story-- how they think and feel, how sex workers help them? This is the story I want to tell through in depth interviews with some clientele of sex workers.." I would like to represent as varied an experience as possible. This is going to be a very in depth article or series of articles which will run on Alternet.org.
About the Writer: "As a sex-positive, sex-journalist I work to shatter fears, stereotypes and defenses around sex (kinks included.) I find the veritable rainbow of consensual sex among adults valuable, and think there is a lot we can all learn from exploring that spectrum. As a sex-positive person my tone is never judgmental or snarky. My goal is for the readers to become more accepting of sexuality and to get curious about the world around them. I'll be covering things outside the norm but the idea isn't to present a novel sex act in order to entertain or shock. The idea is to challenge the way we think about sex, intimacy and relationships. To incite thought on the topic of sex."
Synopsis:Can hope be found in the most unusual places amongst the most unlikely characters? A young transvestite prostitute, Kusum, locked up in her room, gears up for a regular night like any other. But just then enters Purab, an out-of-a-job English literature teacher suffering from Tourette's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive behaviour, without a clue of the local language. He spent his meager savings to spend one night with a girl, and finds himself stuck with a boy! On the other hand, Kusum is at a loss with this man who seems to her a "freak" madly going about cleaning her room while throwing things at her in the middle of the night and insisting on blabbering in English! Both can’t understand what the other is saying. But as the night proceeds, insecurities, appearances and prejudices slowly give way, but just a little. Will these two people, alike as desperate misfits but otherwise so different, manage to find a connection? Perhaps like a flower bud bursting through a crack in the wall, an unexpected beginning will see them through....
NAIROBI, 11 August 2010 (PlusNews) - By night, Viviane Muasi, 25, is a sex worker in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, but when not canvassing for clients, she spends much of her time convincing other sex workers to test for HIV and use condoms.
Muasi, a sex worker for nine years, is a peer educator with the Sex Workers Outreach Programme (SWOP) - a project run by the University of Nairobi and Canada's University of Manitoba.
"Initially when I came to Nairobi, I was employed as a house-maid," she told IRIN/PlusNews. "I was being paid little, so another woman introduced me to sex work and told me I could make more money."
For us, by us
Through the SWOP programme, Muasi and her fellow educators have enabled more than 3,000 of their Nairobi peers to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
"We know each other and where they [the sex workers] live, so you just visit them at home and ask them to create time and go to the clinic," Muasi said. "They now have skills to negotiate condom use with their clients... we don't want to be infected and we also don't want to infect anybody.
"At first, the police would just round us up and force us to go for [HIV] tests; many commercial sex workers used to hide," she added. "But today, because the call to test comes from one of their own, they have embraced it."
I wanted to let you know that the new call for participants for the Red Umbrella Diaries Blog Carnival is open!
For the next event, which takes place on September 2, the theme is Demand Side.
Here’s a little something to get you started thinking:
Sex workers get all the attention for their exciting, messed up, complicated lives, and everyone wants to know: what made you do this? But what about the patrons, without whom there would be no business?
I’m looking for pieces of writing by sex industry clients, stories from sex workers about their clients, and analytical pieces that turn the lens on the demand side of the business.
Send me a piece that is up to 700 words long, and I’ll pick my favorite to read at the event – and of course then I’ll put the recording in the new Red Umbrella Diaries audio podcast. Your piece can be previously published on your own blog or elsewhere, or you can conceal your identity and email me a piece that you can’t put your name on. The themes can be interpreted all kinds of different ways, I love to see creativity.
I would love it if you would consider forwarding this out to others that might be interested, post it on your blogs, tweet or facebook the information, or otherwise send it out into the world! The participation grows each month, and I'm very excited about the submissions that we're receiving. And as a reminder - the writing can be from blog entries that are years old, or short essays or stories written months ago; it doesn't need to be written specifically for the blog carnival, as long as it fits the theme.
This new short film / PSA is from RedLightDistrictChicago, directed by Serpent Libertine. Flying in the face of stereotypes and slander, the film is a collection of sex workers stating in their own words about why they like their jobs.
A story supported by the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Task Force (SWEAT) and facilitated by Women'sNet in South Africa. I found this to be moving, simple and very much at the core of what it means to be human.