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Organising with Backlash

Posted at 10:00 on 1 Mar 2017 by Pandora / Blake

I had a great start to 2017 when I became a member of Backlash's management team in the role of co-spokesperson alongside Itziar Bilbao Urrutia. Backlash is the UK organisation that defends freedom of sexual expression among consenting adults in UK by providing legal, academic and campaigning advice, and they are keen to publically lend their support to the campaign for sex worker's rights and the full decriminalisation of sex work. Fittingly my first act as co-spokesperson was to release a statement about the Women's March in response to some see-sawing on the Women's March Washington policy statement last week  around sex worker solidarity. 

Our laws around porn, obscenity, BDSM and sexual expression massively affect sex workers. Obscenity law is a sex worker's rights issue, and a labour rights issue, as well as affecting all our sexual liberties. I'm glad that Backlash are willing to stand up in solidarity with all sex workers, and I'm proud to be organising with them to defend our rights and freedoms.

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Tags: age verification, backlash, Digital Economy Bill, kink activism, sex work

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The Naked Truth Film Club

Posted at 19:56 on 17 Jun 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Last night I attended the second Naked Truth Film Club screening, a new adult industry event organised by Terry Stephens, chair of UKAP, the UK porn producer trade association. Like most of us who organise within the adult industry, he's interested in destigmatising porn and raising public awareness about the realities of porn, combating the myths and misconceptions that percieve erotic labour as exploitative. The film club screens relevant documentaries in Central London, with a panel of sex workers hosting a Q&A after the screening.

The first event was a few weeks ago, and showed UnSlut: A Documentary Film, an American documentary about slut-shaming and teenage sexual bullying. It doesn't mention the adult industry but examines slut-shaming more broadly, looking particularly at the way that it affects young people. The documentary was born out of The UnSlut Project, an internet initiative that invited people to submit their own stories of being bullied or shamed because they were perceived as being slutty or sexual. The project brought people together to share experiences - some who had never told anyone before - and offer support, solidarity and healing.

The documentary follows a number of women telling stories of sexual assault, slut-shaming and bullying. It's a serious subject, and the film is powerful; definitely not light viewing. One girl, Allyson Pereira, was asked to send a nude photo to her ex-boyfriend, who then shared it with the rest of her school without her consent. She was bullied and ostracised by her town as a result of this violation. The most harrowing story was that of Rehtaeh Parsons, who was drugged and gang-raped at a party. Her assailants took photos, shared them, and she was labelled as a "slut" as a result. The subsequent slut-shaming and bullying followed her despite changing schools several times, compounding the trauma of her assault. Eventually, at the age of seventeen, she took her own life.

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Tags: camming, events, reviews, sex work, slut-shaming, stigma

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What I'm up to - autumn edition

Posted at 01:06 on 5 Nov 2015 by Pandora / Blake

I'm back in the UK for three short weeks before I go travelling again, and I can't believe how quickly the time is passing. There's an awful lot going on at the moment - almost all of it good! Here's a brief snapshot of my autumn:

Sexual Freedom Awards

I've been nominated for a Sexual Freedom Award! I'm a finalist in the Publicist of the Year category for my work promoting ethical porn and campaigning against censorship and for sex work law reform. It's an incredible honour to be named - in fact I've been aware of the awards for ten years, and it's a bit of a dream come true. Thank you so much to those who nominated me - you know who you are. ♥

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Tags: Australia tour 2015, English Collective of Prostitutes, media, politics, sex work, Sex Worker Open University

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HULA House at the Crossroads Women’s Centre

Posted at 02:09 on 18 Sep 2015 by Pandora / Blake

After a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe and four FOUR STAR reviews, Permanently Visible are bringing their critically acclaimed, Art’s Council England funded show, Hula House to Crossroads Women’s Centre this month.

Hula House - part of Calm Down, Dear the Camden People’s Theatre (CPT) festival of feminist work - is an interactive, site-specific performance, offering an intimate insight into the lives of UK sex workers.   

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Tags: English Collective of Prostitutes, listen to sex workers, politics, sex work

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Can porn empower women?

Posted at 12:09 on 5 Mar 2015 by Pandora / Blake

Last Sunday I participated in a debate at the Women of the World festival entitled "Can porn empower women?" In my three minutes I didn't have time to go into the full complexities of that question - so I'm going to do so here.

Debating "porn" is difficult because the word means different things to different people. Some people use it to mean "sexy media I don't like", and the word "erotica" to mean "sexy media I do like". So I want to start out with a definition: porn is media that is intended to sexually stimulate the viewer. It doesn't necessarily have to involve nudity, or sex (whatever THAT means).

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Tags: Fairtrade porn, feminist porn, Feminist Porn Awards, Gender politics, labour rights, Politics, Porn Film Festival Berlin, sex work, Sex worker rights

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Erotic magic (expand, contract)

Posted at 01:49 on 19 Jul 2014 by Pandora / Blake

Annie Sprinkle: the Neo-Sacred Prostitute

It's too hot for spanking sessions. London in the summer means hot tubes, buses, crowds and sweat. I love the heat if I can spend the day in my cool flat with the patio doors open, or out in the open air, but public transport and busy streets are pretty unpleasant.

The heat makes me lazy. Getting up in the morning before a day of domme sessions, I feel flat and lethargic. It's a deliberate effort to psych myself up, find my toppy mojo. My usual pre-work grooming rituals help me get into a work headspace - showering, shaving my body hair even if it won't be visible. An elegant summer dress, matching jewellery, and I feel more prepared to face the world. Presence is assembled slowly, layer by layer.

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Tags: Annie Sprinkle, being a fucking hippy, conscious kink, energy play, erotic magic, kink, London, sex work, Spanking sessions

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