Seattle SWOP

SWOP-Seattle went to Olympia to speak in front of the legislature about the proposed End Demand bill, with the result that Senator Kohl-Welles has a third amendment to add, one which will increase the penalty for buying sex only after the third arrest, a misunderstanding only slightly less appalling than a recent senator’s offer of a hot meal to an activist lobbying against discrimination against sex workers.

Church leaders in Scotland have signed a letter calling for an amendment to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill which would criminalize the purchase of sex in Scotland.  Sex workers and rights activists are protesting, pointing to the recent report which concluded that End Demand did anything but protect sex workers.

This National Post review goes over all the work of controversial Canadian French writer and ex-sex worker Nelly Arcan, who hung herself in her apartment in 2009. Her novel Whore—a bleak account of a sex worker’s life as told to her psychoanalyst—was nominated for both the Prix Medicis and the Prix Femina, two of the most respected French literary honors. (As told to her psychoanalyst, though? Could that plot be more French?)

Trans porn performer, cam girl, and writer Rebeka Refuse talks about her entry into sex work, Marxism, her work with Trans Housing Network and her plan to create small, easily fundable shelters for trans people.

Bonela and Sisonke, two sex workers’ rights groups in Botswana, wrote a letter about the recent support for sex workers’ rights shown by Assistant Minister of local Government and Rural Government, Botlogile Tshireletso.

Simon Leahy, who clearly isn’t friends with any sex workers, is having a porn festival in New York to open up a wider dialogue about sex. The festival includes a film by James Franco; sadly, Miley Cyrus’ contribution was withdrawn.

The Virginia Trucking Association is partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking to help educate truckers about what trafficking looks like.  Not “how to provide best services to young runaways,” or “how to recognize and respond to abusive behaviors,” but “trafficking.”  Okay then.

An Australian man who raped an escort multiple times through fraudulent payments has been sentenced to eight months in jail.




Fees and fines are illegal, kids. (Photo courtesy of Red)

The Willamette Week broke the news that I, Tits and Sass Week In Links editor Red, and my fellow dancer Amy Pitts are suing my former strip club this week after months of tedious and stressful settlement negotiations. Shorter and less informative video clips on the suit can be found here and here, but probably the best coverage so far is this New York Daily News story, which makes more meat puns than I would normally find decent.

Alaskan sex workers are raising money to go to Juneau to lobby the Alaskan legislature. You can support their campaign and learn about their efforts here: Nothing About Us Without Us!

Bengals defensive back Adam Jones was ordered to pay over $12 million for his part in a fight and shooting that broke out at the Vegas strip club, Minxx.  Jones made it rain, dancers started fighting over the money, and eventually shooting broke out, injuring three people, including  one security guard who was paralyzed from the waist down.

New MTA safety ads warn against pole dancing in subway cars: “Poles are for safety, not your latest routine.”

Tits and Sass contributor Naomi Sayers responds brilliantly to an interrogation around C-36 and the assumption that it protects sex workers, while outlining sex work activists’ next steps in a post-C-36 Canada.

Nigerian full service sex workers are offering three days of their services free if General Muhammadu Buhari wins the upcoming presidential elections in February. Clever reverse Lystrata tactic!

Porn actor Jiz Lee writes that people should be as concerned with ethical porn consumption as they are with ethical porn, since illegal distribution not only allows consumers to not pay for workers’ products, it also allows producers to evade the very safety standards set in place to protect performers.

Benjamin Frederickson worked as a HIV positive sex worker in the Midwest and New York for years, documenting his life and his work with Polaroids that are now being shown in an exhibition at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York until February 28th. [READ MORE]


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Catwoman annual #2, via pennyredful’s Instagram

For sex worker comics fans disappointed by Sex Criminals, Capes and Whips made this highly comprehensive and excellently illustrated run-down of Catwoman’s canonical career as a sex worker (with links to her backstory for those unfamiliar), covering almost 20 years and discussing the differing styles of writing, illustration, and approaches to sex work taken by the various authors in charge of her story.

Bay Area sex workers are calling for decriminalization with a strength and energy fueled by the closure of MyRedbook and the loss of safe advertising and screening space.

Melissa Gira Grant and Stoya have a thoughtful conversation with Dazed Digital about sex work, safety, and the way sex workers are silenced and spoken over; watch out for Stoya’s referencing of Tits and Sass.

Like Canadian sex workers, Scottish sex workers are being kept out of discussions of Nordic-style legislation.  SCOT-PEP is protesting their recent exclusion from a meeting:

A sex worker called Cat said: “It’s outrageous to hold a meeting to discuss sex work and to specifically exclude sex workers and sex worker-led organisations.”

Ms Grant said: “The planned meeting is for those who support the principles of criminalising the purchase of sex and as SCOT-PEP have publicly stated their opposition to this, their inclusion wouldn’t be appropriate at this time.

Is that so?

Taking a very different tack, the mayor of Bogota met with Bogota sex workers Wednesday as a part of his ongoing effort to include marginalized populations in conversations that affect them.

Offering corroboration to last month’s piece by David Henry Sterry, “Why Prostitution Can Make More Sense Than Working At Walmart,” Lara Michelle agrees: yes, working in the sex industry can make more sense than working at Walmart.

The Trafficking in Persons report (TIP report) system is not working in Thailand, and hasn’t been for a very long time.  By contrast, the International Labour Organisation has a new strategy which, by not focusing exclusively on trafficking and instead focusing on labor issues, appears much more promising. [READ MORE]


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(photo via Stoya’s Instagram page)


More from Vice on why the closure of MyRedbook is dangerous for sex workers.

Tech Savvy Sex Workers Trade Pimps For Web Pages: despite the cringe-inducing title the article is actually a pretty good look at class stratification among sex workers and the safety offered by internet advertising.

Sex worker advocate Ye Haiyan has been barred from leaving China to attend the World AIDS Summit. This is not the first time Haiyan has been persecuted by the government in her decade of sex work activism, but it is part of a new and larger crackdown against sex work.

25 sex workers were killed in Baghdad this week when a gunman attacked a residential building, leaving behind graffiti that read, “This is the fate of any prostitution.

How the Financial Sector Makes Sex Workers Lives Miserable: the recent closure of porn performers’ bank accounts isn’t the first time the financial sector has worked against sex workers; it’s part of a systemic problem called whorephobia.



Gloria Leonard, 1940-2014. (image via

Gloria Leonard, 1940-2014. (image via

Happy Chinese New Year! Finally, it’s the Year of the Whores.

Rest in peace, Gloria Leonard. You sassy old dame, you.

Hey, guys, remember our friend Alice Schwarzer? The German “feminist” who is vehemently anti-sex work. Yeah, well, turns out she was hiding a lot of her money in a Swiss bank account and she got BUSTED! Schadenfreude.

This could easily be the coolest field trip ever. Wouldn’t it be fun to pay a visit to the Red Light Secrets museum, an educational museum about sex work?

Oh, hell yes. Male escorts and porn workers will compete on Saturday to be crowned Mr. Florida. The contest is a preliminary to the Hookies and serves to fight myth and stigma surrounding sex work.

One Vancouver strip club is willing to throw Mayor Ford a bone.

Can you smell what The Rock is cookin’? And question what The Rock is readin‘?

This Cosmopolitan writer epiphanizes that not all porn workers stay fit and attractive by having “coke-fueled orgies and plastic surgery.” Apparently, they do something called, “exercise.” WELL, whaddya know? [READ MORE]

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