Posted at 12:21 on 11 Apr 2016 by Pandora / Blake
I have big news! No, it's not the relaunch of Dreams of Spanking... I wish. But it's almost as exciting. I am now crowd-funding my political activism on Patreon, to help me afford to keep doing the important work I'm doing around censorship, porn and sex work.
Patreon works like the old-school patronage model. You pledge a certain amount a month (it's all done in US Dollars, I'm afraid) - say $5, the cost of buying me a coffee at my desk. The pledges add up until I can afford to turn down some paid work next month, and do more activism in its place. I pay my rent, you get a campaigner fighting your corner with renewed enthusiasm, everyone wins.
I'm doing this work already: I literally have my response to the age verification porn consultation open in the tab next to this, which I've been writing on and off all week and need to finish before midday tomorrow. (Don't forget to fill out the survey yourself, if you haven't already!) I've done umpteen public speaking appearances about porn law, censorship and the impact of criminalisation already this year, and more invitations keep coming in. There are new videos of me speaking about these issues going up on Youtube regularly, helping to spread awareness to a wider audience.
The more I do, the more important I realise this work is. And right now, I seem to be placed in a good position to do it. I have media prominence (the one silver lining of ATVOD destroying my life's work, I guess!); conference and event organisers have heard of me; and I have an academic background that gives me confidence wading into the denser bits of porn legislation.
This wasn't how I expected my life to pan out - I was looking forward to settling into a long term career as a kinky smut-maker. But this is where I am right now, and I want to make the most of it. I don't have a porn website to run, and at this point in time I'm receiving lots of interview requests, public speaking invitations, and other opportunities to stand up and be heard on issues I care about.
The problem is that this sort of activism work doesn't pay. So that's where you come in.
If you pledge to my campaign, I get to keep doing the work I believe in, and you get a representative who isn't burned out. Activism is emotionally as well as mentally draining (and it can be physically exhausting too, when it involves public speaking - I thought making spanking films was an adrenaline rush but hell, talking to a lecture hall full of people is much scarier!). For the last year and a half I've been trying to juggle political campaigning around paid work, and not really managing enough of either to be sustainable. But the political work I'm doing all benefits kinky, porn-loving, sex-positive folk like yourself (at least that's the idea), so if some of you are able to chip in a bit towards my running costs, I'll be able to focus more on the things we both think are important.
Since announcing the campaign on Twitter, I've been bowled over by the response. I've already surpassed my first funding goal, which means I can now afford to commit to publishing two brand new political articles a month on this blog, discussing sex work law reform, porn criminalisation, working conditions in the sex industry, and other issues relevant to your interests. I'm now close to reaching my second funding goal, which would enable me to commit to two additional public speaking opportunities, debates or media interviews a month, challenging misinformation and stigma, and making these topics available to a more mainstream audience.
If you can help, I'll be forever grateful; if you can't, I get it, I really do. Either way, it would be a massive help if you could share the link to my Patreon page and spread the word on blogs and social media. I'm working on this consultation response for the rest of the day, so every pledge that comes in will be like a fistbump of solidarity, giving me the strength and support I need to keep going.