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Announcing SWAAY: Sex Work Activists, Allies, and You (with stuff you can do to help!)


Furry Girl is starting a new sex works rights project.  There are aspects of this that she is right about.   This has been discussed on here and on Amanda Brookes blog.

Frankly, I want to establish right now that SWAAY is a benevolent dictatorship – if you don’t have a very similar vision to mine, I wish you the best of luck starting your own project instead.

A vast amount of effort gets wasted within many political groups because people can’t even agree on the most basic stuff like the group’s goals and strategy, and participants lack the common sense to just form multiple projects that better suit their needs.


I wish her luck with this project, and I can sympathise with the political machinations which can take over groups, to the detriment of active campaigning.


10 comments on “Announcing SWAAY: Sex Work Activists, Allies, and You (with stuff you can do to help!)

  1. Douglas Fox
    13 February, 2011

    I wish you the best with this project. We need something similar here in the UK/Europe. To often sex worker rights are high jacked by those for whom the political motivation seems more important than the basic human rights issues that are at the heart of the issue. Sex workers are not clichéd caricatures but so often the caricaturisation of our work on both sides of the argument results in the voices of the majority being lost.

  2. Luca
    14 February, 2011

    Funny that you quote this part :

    participants lack the common sense to just form multiple projects that better suit their needs.

    ….results in the voices of the majority being lost
    Which majority exactly ? Oh right…. the invisible silenced one, who are actually not activists. Glad you are here to represent them all ! Thank Douglas.

  3. John
    14 February, 2011

    So what constitutes being an activist then Luca. As I recently heard, your lord almighty has been trying (without much luck) to get sex worker managers and those that don’t agree with your policies out of the GMB / IUSW branch and have a collective of loony left squatters left to run the branch. Just look at the Shelly Stoops video above where she openly discusses the fact that most sex workers are not the streetworker types you and your cronies so love to be part of.

  4. Douglas Fox
    14 February, 2011

    Activism is about more than just screaming at people or holding placards Luca. Sex worker activism is more than a game played by leftist fashionistas for whom sex work provides just another way to show ones alienation, ones alternative lifestyle choice, ones disenchantment with society in the safety and anonymity of the big city.

    Choosing to champion those sex workers least able to resist the manipulation of their voices, presenting sex work in caricature that I agree masturbates the consciences of the liberal left who prefer their sex worker presented as downtrodden clichés will get you attention but it conveniently ignores the aspirations of the vast majority.

    I make no claims Luca other than those gained from 12 years in the business working with escorts who feel ignored and disenfranchised from activism. You may scoff at them but they are the people whose voices I want to hear.

    If this group in America can find a way of giving these people a voice then good.

    For myself I think Harlots readership of 3000+ people per month is proof that there is a constituency out there that connects with sex workers like myself.

  5. Luca
    19 February, 2011

    John, are you ok? wow… “loony left squatters” ? well couldnt be more wrong. Not a single person from the group you mention is a squatter. You never met me or i suppose any of the people you criticize. Honestly, if you re going to comment, please do talk about something you know ok ? Thanks.

    Both of you. I understand you are deeply upset. But please could you try to stop make huge generalisation? It really doesnt do you any favor, and it s intellectually very dishonest.

    “screaming at people? holding placards ” sigh… where does that even come from ?

    As one of the main organiser of the Sex worker Open University , i am failing to see how i am “caricaturing” sex workers. Our next event will include workshops on “How to be a successful independent escort”, “Sacred sexuality, Tantra and BDSM” amongst many other workshops.

    I guess people from Young Professionals in Human Rights disagree with you calling me (?) / us “leftist fashionistas”.
    And so do Turkish LGBT group organising their first symposium on sex work, where i have been invited ?

    Or maybe anyone who dares mention that there is exploitation in the industry is a “leftist fashionista” ?

    Anyway, 3000 people reading your blog. Well done. I think your blog is great and i hope it educates many people about the industry and its challenges. I just have to comment from times to times when you try to ridicule sex workers activists who disagree with you.

    Finally i dont scoff at any sex workers. Never did. I just found funny you keep mentioning that silenced majority. The same way the abolitionist pretend they talk for the majority of sex workers ( voiceless victims whose voice need to be represented ). I m just saying that vast majority must be really glad to have you or some abolitionist to talk for them !

  6. John
    19 February, 2011

    Huge Generalisation Luca !!!!

    My my that’s brave coming from the sex worker camp that wants to alienate those running sex worker establishments from being part of a collective union. It is GMB policy to all workers regardless of position to be part of the union yet Thierry, president (which is just an administrative role not anything much of authority) wants to go in the face of the union he represents and alienate and discriminate people who help. Yes I agree there are some bad sex worker managers about but don’t you think that you and and your friends hugely generalise against us. I think you’re equally as guilty !!!

  7. Douglas Fox
    19 February, 2011

    Dear Luca. Me Upset and why would that be?

    I came into activism to fight for human rights and especially for sex workers rights. I didn’t then and still don’t ask about anyones background or care much about their politics.
    I realise now that I was very naive to expect that simplicity from those who have adopted sex work as their new act of rebellion.

    Obviously we are poles apart politically and that sadly makes cooperation very difficult in many areas.

    I wish you well with the SWOU London project and if it does not discriminate against anyone you are more than welcome to advertise it on Harlots.

    The sacred sexuality sounds especially interesting. As a practising Khemetic and worshipper of Isis any interest in rediscovering aspects of the sacred whore is welcome. It is something I have studied and of course practise.


  8. Luca
    20 February, 2011

    Hi John

    You re putting words in my mouth that was never there in the first place. The only thing i disagree on is the place of bosses in a union, and the use of the term sex worker to describe anyone involved in the sex industry. That s all.

    I ve been working in the sex industry for 15 years, so hardly an act or rebellion. And hardly “new”.

    Thanks Douglas, we ll send you infos about our Sex worker film festival soon ( where we are hopefully showing “A good man” about an man opening a brothel in rural australia to raise money for his tetraplegic wife. So much for generalisation …. )

  9. John
    20 February, 2011

    The thing is Luca it’s GMB policy to allo bosses to join in any industry they represent. You will never win that argument with them

  10. John
    20 February, 2011

    Anyway ……. I’ve decided I’m going to rejoin the GMB / IUSW branch as a sex worker manager. I look forward to the weekly branch updates from the president and maybe an invite to his little tete e tet’s at his little vegan co-operative eaterie venues

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This entry was posted on 13 February, 2011 by in Campaigns and Groups and tagged , .
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