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Why We Don’t Vet Stories, Sources, and Contributors The Way Traditional Reporters Do

Image via Sebastian Wiertz (flickr user wiertz)

Because the barriers preventing sex workers from being heard are already high enough.

Writers have professional training in one arena, sex workers have professional training in another arena. Sex workers aren’t always equipped with the skillset to pitch to traditional editors. TAS functions as the middle ground, bridging that gap.

Traditional publications interested in publishing sex workers have frequently leaned towards the salacious (and only quite recently has that started to shift). TAS is a space for covering the everyday minutiae of our work.

Because sex workers are also often members of other marginalized communities that are also systematically denied agency and disbelieved as common practice.

Victims of rape, victims of police violence, positive workers,  the working poor, intravenous and street drug users, trans identities, street workers, black bodies, and “no human involved”s are all members of the greater sex worker community.

Because, until recently, the smell test hasn’t failed us.

We regularly reject pitches from contributors that sound fishy. The outing of “faux ho” Alexa DiCarlo is an example of what a sex worker that doesn’t pass the test looks like. Lily Fury was able to embed herself because 99% of her life added up. She was indeed a street worker, an escort, and a heroin user, just as she wrote, with a sex worker community pedigree going back to the Suicide Girls. She has bylines in a variety of publications and, until then, she had verifiably positive rapport with many sex working activists and writers.  She worked hard on her digital blackface. By the time we first interacted with her invented personas, they too had many sex workers who vouched for them. We, until recently, had a positive working relationship with her and no reason not to trust her.

Because we don’t want to be the gatekeeper of who is or isn’t allowed into sex worker spaces.

That’s why we don’t ask for “reciepts,” a video chat, or verification from a second party. That kind of monitoring could create a slippery slope in which those with the most social capital oversee who can access our spaces.

Because we don’t want to know your legal or professional identity.

As it states in our General Submission Guidelines, we actively encourage our writers to use a pseudonym. Sex workers mask their identities for a variety of reasons—mainly that the social penalties for being outed are high.

We, of course, will protect the privacy of our writer’s identities as best we can, but the less we know about your legal or professional personas, the less information we will have to submit should we be subpoenaed or audited.

Tits and Sass at SXSW PanelPicker


Mad Men to Magic Mike: Sex Work in Popular Culture from Tits and Sass

Hello, readers! If you’re the sort of person who’s interested in these things, Tits and Sass has a panel proposal up at the South by Southwest PanelPicker. We’d greatly appreciate your support. If you enjoy reading us chat about Mad Men and Magic Mike, along with our discussions of why it’s not cool for pop culture figures to joke about how sex workers were abused as children, you’ll want to see this panel happen. Please go vote for us and help spread the word.

We’re Trying Something

moneyduffelAs you may know, Tits and Sass is an all-volunteer operation. Our editors and writers do everything on the site as a labor of love for our community. But we’d like to be able to change that by paying the people who do the work you see here, so as a small experiment we’ve signed up at Gittip to see if any of our readers are interested in supporting us with small cash gifts on a regular basis. If you click on the button in the sidebar over there, you can donate to the site by signing up to give us a buck a week or a lapdance a month or whatever you feel like. Anything we receive will go directly towards supporting the site! If you’re interested in contributing in a different way, please contact us at info@titsandsass.com.

Call For Contributors

We here at Tits and Sass would love to expand our roster of smart and witty writers. If you’re interested in joining the team as a regular or occasional contributor, send a bio along with a completed post that could serve as your first post on the blog (500-800 words is a good length) and/or writing samples of your previous work to: info at titsandsass dot com. Please be sure to stipulate what name you’d like to use, what site or blog or Twitter account you’d like linked to, if any, and an image that can be used as a userpic. All disclosures of current or past sex work will be kept completely private.

Here are some regular features we’re always accepting reader submissions for:

Stripper Music Monday
Are you a strip club stripper? Consider contributing here. You could post a playlist with commentary, write about one specific song, review something new you think strippers would be into, talk about your all-time favorite stage set, about the music at your club if it’s different from what people think about when they think about “strip club music,” whatever you feel like doing. Maybe write a little about the atmosphere and clientele of the club and how that plays into your choices, how much freedom you have to play what you want, that sort of thing. But as long as it’s about the music you play at work, we’re happy! The rest is up to you.
Stripper Music Monday submissions should be sent to bubbles at titsandsass dot com

Stacks and Cats

See above for examples. Pictures of your cats (or dogs, or fish, or whatever) with your sex-work-earned cash. Just email us a photo with proper attribution.

We Know You’re Reading This

from the amazing site, Blackboards in Porn

Hey there. In case we haven’t reminded you enough recently: we are always interested in submissions from our faithful readers who are current (or former) sex workers.

Just get to get your creative juices flowing (ugh, sorry), here are some topics we are interested in right now:

Take a look at our guidelines and then send your submissions and ideas to info at titsandsass dot com. (Don’t forget to check our last batch of topics because we are still interested in those as well.)