More States Start the Conversation

In Utah, advocates from the newly-formed Sex Workers Outreach Project, Salt Lake City, brought the conversation about decriminalization to local lawmakers. Said one advocate, "We’re not trying to argue the morality of this. We’re trying to argue the reality of this."

Utah also became the third state this year to introduce a bill which would provide immunity for prostitution charges when reporting being victimized under specific crimes.

Go SWOP SLC and Utah Harm Reduction Coalition!

Tech and Trafficking

Last week an explosive article from Elizabeth Nolan Brown detailed the extent to which the government know the  claims about Backpage were political myths, citing the amount to which the company was willing to cooperate to try and address trafficking on the site.

Prediction: Sen. Kamala Harris, who tried to prosecute the CEOs as California Attorney's General not just once but twice, will not comment.

But the fight to expand liability for trafficking in the tech world has still continued. Facebook recently released a feature that would allow users to clear their history and control more of their personal data on the website, but its roll-out hit a snag. Currently, a lawsuit against Facebook for being the platform of choice in a trafficking situation is moving through the courts and the lawyers have asked to delay the Facebook feature's introduction. The attorney in that case has been making a career suing websites and hotels where people were trafficked into commercial sex.

Changing Narratives and Opinions

New York's Leslie-Lohman Gallery opened a new exhibit, "On Our Backs: The Revolutionary Art of Queer Sex Work," which will run through January 19 and features artists including shawné michaelain-holloway and Bruce LaBruce. The title references the lesbian porn magazine, On Our Backs, which was a parody of the rad fem publication Off Our Backs.

New research out of the UK found that 49% of respondents were in favor of ending penalties for brothel keeping and 44% supported ending criminal penalties for street-based work. Currently indoor work is legal, but street-based solicitation is still illegal, and only 20% of respondents supported keeping current laws.

Workers have always been the drivers to change the face of an industry, and porn is no different. This article explores how cam models have reinvented what porn can be with a more tailored, intimate approach.

The website PornWikiLeaks, which was created for the purpose of outing and doxxing porn performers, was bought by BangBos.com specifically for the purpose of torching, and the film is fantastic.

"We have purchased this site with the intention of shutting it down and  removing all information associated with it," the message reads.  "There's no catch. No hidden thing to getting your personal stuff off of  it. We simply didn't want it out there for the world to see anymore."

Criminal Injustice

In what will be the least-reported part of the Robert Kraft story, the sex workers who were the invisibilized center of the story have been left to pick up the pieces, and have since "lost their jobs, their homes, and their reputations."

A serial predator who targeted trans women for sexual exploitation has been allowed to plead guilty for "paying for a prostitute" in Maryland. And since the legal system has not changed, those are similar charges to what Jeffrey Epstein pled to in Florida in 2008 after victims of his behavior came forward to report him.

A law suit commenced on August 19 with 22 performers alleging they were exploited by producers behind GirlsDoPorn, which specializes in amateur porn. The claims include being brought in under false pretenses, and being promised their content would only be distributed on DVD abroad, but then ended up streaming in the US on their site and on more prominent sites like Porbhub.

Connecting for More

Are you based in Florida and wanting to learn more? Check out SWOP Tamp Bay's upcoming class on September 9 with Amberly:

And for those looking for online support, two IG's that may be worth following, one focused on mental health:

View this post on Instagram

Welcome to my new IG @sexworkmentalhealth! I’ll be posting and uplifting content to promote mental health and wellness for people in the sex industry, especially for navigating stigma in society and from care providers (therapists, doctors, teachers, friends, family, lovers) in order to advocate to get the quality of care you deserve. My second goal is to work towards destigmatizing sex work with care providers, providing education, tools, and resources so all care providers are informed and competent to support sex workers. Follow, say hi, and let me know what resources are most needed! 💛🌈✨#sexworkmentalhealth #sexworkersrights #sexworkiswork #feminism #sexworkisrealwork #sexworkers #sexwork

A post shared by Angelynn Hermes, LCSW (@sexworkmentalhealth) on

And another for sex workers seeking sobriety (one of my new personal favorite feeds):

But finally, a quick reminder that you find allies in the strangest places, sometimes.

And back to the grind.

K.