I don’t like the Kienholz exhibition.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2009 by swarmup

I dont like the kienholz-exhibition , a reminescence to a gentrified area,
where “whores” become a part of a tourist freak & folk show.
The exhibition is a typical one dimensional idealistic kitsch reflection
of sexworkers life, the dolls should look “like humans” (citation
catalogue) . Redlight-Imaginatio ns by almost all artists of the centuries
were a result of being part of a freak show because they were loners,
depressed and tend to solidarise with so called deviants. Usually it
reflects the artist loneliness, self-complaint why life is so unfair and
projections, reasons why artists (and philosophers) feel usually so
familiar with sex workers, the only women affordable for him during their
time. The artist & the muse, the artist & the whore, all male phantasies,
mixed up with a flair of romance & kitsch.

its kitsch not art, wet dreams of middle-class hypocrats who are going to
criminalise sexwork at the same time (the policy and crime bill is in the
last step of the legislation) and gentrify soho like amsterdam.


A Review of the New York ‘Pay As You Go: Sex Worker Shorts’ Film Fest

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 by swarmup

by Heidi Hoefinger

On a rainy Saturday night in Brooklyn (October 24, 2009), sex workers, allies, activists, academics and media makers got together for a New York sex worker film festival titled ‘Pay As You Go: Sex Worker Shorts.’ Hosted by Union Docs—a public space for non-fiction projects—and curated by activists and media makers, Audacia Ray and Sarah Jenny Bleviss, the sell-out event consisted of two programs of short documentaries produced by sex workers and their allies from around the world, with a panel discussion in between. The panel of sex workers, activists, and media makers explored the possibilities of using documentary and experimental media-making in the fight for sex worker human rights and the reduction of stigma and violence related to sex work. The event was so popular, the organizers had to turn many people away. Every available space in the venue was filled, including people sitting in the aisles, and standing in the back.

The first film, titled SANGRAM: Sex Work Organizing in India (2009), by Audacia Ray & SANGRAM (with support of the International Women’s Health Coalition) focused on an influential sex workers movement in the Sangli district of rural south India, an area which has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the country.  This short 6-minute informative documentary illustrated the ways in which sex workers have become agents of change in local, national and international policy development and health systems.

The next film, You Must Know About Me (2009), by HOPS and WITNESS, was shot in Macedonia and focused on interviews with sex workers from Skopje. Behind protected identities (changed voices and blacked-out images) they discuss their lives, working conditions, and the violence and discrimination they encounter from some clients and police, as well as the major November 2008 raid that took place there, where sex workers were arrested, detained, forcibly tested for STDs, and then exposed in the media. The film was a moving depiction of the sobering realities of everyday life of street sex workers in Macedonia.

This was followed by a thought-provoking autobiographical film about the sometimes unclear line between rape and consent, aptly titled The Line (2009), by American Nancy Schwartzman. The filmmaker reveals her own tale of a one-night stand in Israel that goes horribly wrong when her friend and co-worker violently sodomizes her. The 30-min film follows her on her quest to deal with the issue by talking to police, psychologists, survivors, activists and sex workers in Nevada brothels, and finally climaxes with her confronting her attacker back in Israel (which she records on hidden camera). The film draws attention to the complicated issue of consent, and asks, Where do we draw the line? (Ironically, she too ignores the issue of consent when she films him without permission with a hidden camera, but this is an issue we never got to discuss!)

This intense auto-documentary film was followed by one of my favorites of the night—the witty and humorous experimental video by Damien Luxe called Working Girl Blues (2009).  Accompanied by a blues song that she writes and sings, the film considers different jobs and highlights some of the pluses and minuses of each. She concludes that jobs in art and sex work have the most pluses!

Next on the line-up was the informative film Prostitution Free Zone (2009), by PJ Starr and the Alliance for a Safe and Diverse DC. This film focused on the attempts of Washington D.C. to gentrify certain parts of the nation’s capital by moving targeted people and populations out of areas where they normally congregate. Constitutional rights to freedom of assembly are denied to those sex workers and drug users who hang out in the new Prostitution Free Zones. In addition to interviews, the film uses, mostly successfully, a ‘dramatic re-enactment’ by local film icons to highlight people’s concerns and issues in those areas.

The first program of films was then followed by the panel discussion on using video and media as advocacy tools. Chairing the panel was Audacia Ray, the Program Officer for Online Communications and Campaigns at the International Women’s Health Coalition, co-host of the monthly reading series Sex Worker Literati in New York, and an adjunct professor of Human Sexuality at Rutgers University. She is the author of Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing In on Internet Sexploration. Audacia is a former sex worker who was an executive editor at $pread magazine for three years and is a co-founder of advocacy organization Sex Work Awareness.

Other panelists included Violeta Krasnic who is a human rights advocate, trainer for NGO management, and video producer. She is the Program Coordinator for the international human rights organization WITNESS, and helped produce the video on Macedonian sex workers. Panelist Nancy Schwartzman is a filmmaker (producer of the auto-documentary The Line) and activist against rape and sexual violence. She is the founder of NYC-Safestreets.org which engages community organizations and business to create safer streets, particularly for women. PJ Starr is a sex worker rights activist and filmmaker of documentary and fictional videos about the life and politics of sex workers. She produced the film Prostitution Free Zone. The final panelist, Damien Luxe, is a multimedia artist, performer and activist, who produced the film Working Girl Blues. She was involved in $pread Magazine from 2006 until 2009, taught media production workshops at the Desiree Alliance Conference 2007 and 2008.

The panelists each talked a little bit about themselves and their work. There were a few questions from the crowd. One male audience member stirred some debate and interesting responses from the panelists when he questioned whether they were campaigning for sex worker rights or human rights. Taking the victim stance, he felt that human rights should be the focus, rather than sex worker rights, since sex workers are essentially victims, and sex should always be between two loving adults. The panelists essentially told him to take his morals and shove it!  PJ Starr’s response was the most diplomatic, and received applause, when she explained that although the sex he engages in might be loving and moral, not everyone’s sex is, and we must respect the human rights of all people, regardless of the morality of the sex they have!

The room was heated up and ready for the next program of films. The first film in the second half was a selection of segments from the full length French documentary by Jean-Michel Carre, called Sex Workers (And Proud of It) (2009). The male and female sex workers in this film spoke honestly, and in many cases, humorously, on screen (no identity distortion) about the politics, power and meanings of sex work.  Their brutal frankness and dry sense of humor caused many laughs from the audience.  I was left wanting to see the entire film, as only 15-minute selection was shown.

This was followed by another 15-min selection from the full-length documentary by Tara Hurley called Happy Endings? (2009). This film delved into the Asian (mostly Korean) massage parlor industry in Providence, Rhode Island, where a 25 year old loophole has made the exchange of cash for sex legal as long as its behind closed doors—a loophole that that current mayor is fighting hard to change. The interviews with Korean masseuses, clients, politicians, and police were informative, however, the voice and image distortions were poorly done and quite distracting and made it hard to concentrate on the content. The rep for the film did pre-warn the audience about this, but the alien voices and swirling distorted heads still made the viewing experience difficult.

Next was an enlightening documentary on the development of $pread Magazine called In Our Own Image (2009), by Mandona Productions. $pread Magazine is an example of what happens when sex workers themselves become the reporters and publishers of sex trade news. The film discusses the magazine’s aim to change the way media itself approaches sex work, and reveals the hard work, effort, time, sweat and tears devoted to making each publication a reality.  Many interviews in the film were with current and former employees of $pread, many of whom were in the audience, and/or the producers of some of the films on the program, so the film got a very enthusiastic response from the audience!

Following this was another short clip (trailer) of a full-length documentary called Central American Sex Workers Organizing (2009), by Claire Thorne, which is to be released in 2011. We hear the voices of sex workers from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala discussing everyday life, violence, trafficking, transphobia, and marginalization, which all speak to the complicated relationship between the market economy and empowerment through sex work.

Finally, we got to the moment I had been waiting for all night: the screening of the short film produced by Ellie Gurney about our London-based Sex Worker Open University (2009). (Yay!!)  The film highlights the first-ever Sex Worker Open University that took place in March-April 2009, where hundreds of sex workers, activists, academics, artists and allies participated in a demonstration, in workshops, discussions, debates, and art exhibits. We see clips of the demonstration in Piccadilly Circus against the Policing and Crimes Bill, of the feminist anti-prostitution debate, of  the erotic dance and self-defense workshops, of discussions around clients, safe spaces and emotional safety and of the photography exhibit of prostitutes across Europe by Mathilde Bouvard. The film presents an alternative image of the sex worker as empowered, rather than victimized.

There was a very positive response to the film by the audience. I spoke a little about Sex Worker Open University and our plans to host a London Sex Worker Film Festival in February 2010. I also handed out a flyer with info about sex worker activism in the UK (basically just listing websites for X:Talk, IUSW, SW5, ECP, and the MySpace page for SWOU). There was a great deal of excitement about the London film fest, and lots of people approached me for the information flyers. Many people were interested in staying informed, and keeping the transnational sex work activism links open and active.

The final film of the night was another autobiographical experimental video titled 69 Things I Love About Sex Work, by Canadian Isabel Hosti. The video is set to music, and features mainly slow-motion images of her having sex with various clients (client faces never shown), and her list, of 69 things—one at a time—that keep her ‘happy and healthy’. Among lots of other perks she enjoys in her work, the list includes things like hooker art, hotels, girl calls, shopping, alcohol, drugs, and room service. Her honesty and positivity were refreshing, poignant, and humorous—while the images of her having sex, giving blowjobs, and erotic dancing with ‘real’ clients was almost disturbing, in an intriguing, voyeuristic kind of way. The combination of honest images with honest text worked really well. This, and the other experimental film about the pros and cons of work by Damien Luxe, were my two favorites of the night, as they were made by sex workers themselves, and had a slightly more artistic appeal, as opposed to the serious and heavily politicized angles of some of the other documentaries in the program. But that’s just me…

Overall, the event was a huge success—so successful that they are actually running the programs again at the same venue (UnionDocs) on November 7, 2009.  A portion of the proceeds go to benefit SWANK, Sex Workers Action New York, which helped conceive and support the event.

What is “good sex” ? Response to Joy, speaker for Autonmous feminists, at the London Anarchist bookfair

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 by swarmup

“What is good sex?”  Such a fraudulous question. 
I ll leave you to ponder intellectually about what good sex is, whilst i ll go cane  a clients’ balls or change an adult-baby’s nappies.

Griselidis Real was right. Women are afraid of prostitutes because we know things they dont. We know about men. About sex.  We dont have this idealised dream of what sex should be. Or what men should be.
We dont talk about hypotetical, conceptual, theoritical sex.  And we dont tell other people how they should use their genitals, and how they should feel when doing so. We just have sex.

Yeah sometimes, rarely, it s “bad sex”. A client who is going to hold your head when you suck him off, so he can cum in your mouth though you havent agreed on that. A client that wants to play it like a bad porn movie where i ll be the cum starving whore. Three guys showing up when only one booked and get aggressive. Yep, i ll give you that. It s bad sex. But it s not even about sex is it ? it s just relation ship. Mis-communication. Lack of respect. Feelings of vulnerability hidden behind walls of aggressivity. And thats mainly what manhood is about.

I ll give the right to anyone to discuss as long as they want theories about good and bad sex. But dont let that be used as an argument against prostitution. You have no idea what happen between a client and a hooker. Yeah there are bad scenarios, but most of the time it s just simple human connection, warmth, a few minutes shared with someone who wont judge you, will caress your cold cock and let you go without asking you anything. It s simple, sometimes funny, often a bit sad. Cos men are sad. You already know that. They re small, and try to look hard, and their body isnt weak, they just survived a cancer or their mum passed away.  They re lonely, and grey, and humans. Maybe they are the Oppressors. Holding 95 % of ressources and wealth. They might be rich but they re miserable. They feel as much as the fancy printer from their top floor office. 

And spending an hour with a rent boy or a working girl, is a tiny attempt to reconnect with a world they were forced to leave. A world where people still listen to each other. A world where,  even just for an hour, one person is uniquely there for them. You may see that as a sign of their power and domination. For me it s the opposite. Neediness. Lack of power.
They have the suit and tie. But i have the Lips. They have the Money. But i have the Heart.

Keep reading book Joy. I ll keep sucking men.

Sex worker Open University : the documentary

Posted in Uncategorized on October 28, 2009 by swarmup

Watch it here ! Vote for it and comment !


Sex Worker Open University, april 2009.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2009 by swarmup


The Sex Worker Open University project brings together sex workers, academics, activists, artists and allies to explore the richness, diversity and contradictions of the sex industry. We want to give a voice to sex workers, whose lives are too often stereotyped and voices too often silenced. We want to challenge media sensationalism, which, hand in hand with the UK government, often represent us as victims or criminals.

Some politicians, religious representatives and part of the feminist movement claim that all sex workers are victims and that all sex work is violent or immoral. But many sex workers are feminists and we support the right of all consenting adults to express our sexuality as we wish and to enjoy the same rights as other workers.

For many of us, sex work is a choice.

We are full member of this society, with skills and abilities, whether erotic massage, healing, BDSM, acting and performance skills, entrepreneurial talents, strip tease or a compassionate, attentive and non-judgmental ear.

We know that in the sex industry there are, like in many other parts of the service industry, forms of abuse, exploitation and violence. We also experience every day how criminalisation increases our vulnerability and oppression.

We refuse to let the issue of trafficking be used to criminalise us all, and we fight for support for all migrants as well as victims of
trafficking and against their deportations.

We support the right of any woman, man and transgender person to exit the sex
industry, and see the core problems for many who wish to exit not as sex work itself but poverty, lack of education, domestic violence and the criminalisation of drug users.

Our time has come. A society that recognises, accepts, respects and values sex workers is a fairer and more mature society. Join us at the Sex Worker Open University!

Friday, 10 April 2009

A great success ! thanks everyone !

The organisers of London’s first Sex Worker Open University (April 1-5 2009) would like to thank everyone who participated for making the event an enormous success. Over 200 sex workers, sex workers’ rights activists, allies and visitors from the UK and abroad took part in workshops, discussions, actions and art exhibits over five days.

On the eve of the SWOU sex workers took to the streets for a ‘Speak Out’ against the criminalisation of the sex industry at the Eros Fountain at Piccadilly Circus, co-organised with the x:talk project. The university then held its launch event at Queen Mary, University of London, where sex workers, activists and academics made presentations and showed films about sex workers’ movements around the world, from Argentina and Costa Rica to New Zealand, Canada, Cambodia, Denmark, Germany and the UK. From action and academia to activist art: we followed up with the opening of the photography exhibit ‘Prostitutes of Europe’, featuring black and white images of sex workers from 12 European cities by Mathilde Bouvard. The photos gracing the main hall of the London Action Resource Centre (LARC) in East London formed the backdrop for two days of skills exchange and discussion, from practical sessions (erotic dance, self defence, emotional safety) to information and debate (feminist anti-prostitution arguments, anonymity, sex worker outreach projects). The event closed with a plenary on ‘where to go now’ and a party with sex worker performances at Ramparts Social Centre,

The SWOU was featured in The Evening Standard, The Independent, The Guardian and London Lite. Press coverage of sex workers coming together to share experiences and skills, and make noise and politics offered a welcome alternative to the normally negative, stereotypical and sensationalist media representations of the sex industry.

A special thank you to all those who ran workshops and made
presentations, organised, set up and cleaned the venues, baked cakes,
cooked food and ran the bar, DJ’d and performed, travelled from far and
wide to join us, and otherwise helped to make this amazing event happen. The enthusiasm and solidarity generated by the weekend will now carry us forward to new projects: a sex worker magazine, a social networking site (www.swarm-up.org) and a sex worker film festival in London in autumn 2009. To keep up with the latest and get involved, visit http://sexworkeropenuniversity.blogspot.com/ or email swoul09@yahoo.co.uk.

Posted by Luca D. at 05:31 1 comments

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Hello and Welcome. Program.

Welcome to the Sexworker Open University blog!
Our events will take place between Tuesday 31st of March and Sunday 5th of April at Queen Mary University, Mile End and London Action Ressource Centre, Whitechapel.
Email us if you would like to propose a workshop, facilitate a discussion, or volunteer ( door, bar, flyering etc ..) : swoul09@yahoo.co.uk
Thanks !

check this website for an overview of the pros and cons (and a very detailled historical timeline) in the sexwork debate : Prostitution ProCon.org

Details of workshops and facilitators

Here are some informations about some of our action, workshops and the facilitators:
Tuesday 31st of March
Speak Out + Stand Up for Sex Worker Rights

2pm at the Eros Fountain, Piccadilly Circus

Workers in the sex industry and their allies are speaking out against the Policing and Crime Bill. This Bill will further criminalise those of us in the sex industry in the UK, whether we work by CHOICE, CIRCUMSTANCE or COERCION.
It criminalises our clients, increases penalties for soliciting and imposes measures for forced rehabilitation. It is based on a lack of evidence about the sex industry, and without taking the views of sexworkers and our organisations into account. The Bill will make it less, not more, safe for us to work, whether as strippers, escorts, working girls, maids or models. It is crucial that the current climate of fear, raids, deportation and arrests be met with solidarity and a demand for justice. It is time to make sure our voices are heard. Join us.
This speak out is called by x:talk, a sex worker-led project which provides free English classes for migrants in the sex industry.For more info go to http://www.xtalkproject.net/.
To add your name to the Speak Out please email: xtalk.classes@gmail.com please distribute this information to all networks.

Wednesday 1st of April:
Presentation, videos and debate.

“Sex workers in Denmark organize” – fighting for their rights!
by Zanne La Bestia, sex worker for more than 20 years, and co-founder of the danish sex workers interests organization – SIO.

The situation for sexworkers in Germany”, Ariane de St Phallus

“The situation for sexworkers in New Zealand” , Clare.

“Prostitutes of Europe”, Mathilde Bouvard.
Presentation by the artist ( see below for more info. Opening on Friday 3rd of March )

“Sexworker movement in Costa Rica “, Megan Rivers-Moore.
Sex workers have been organising all over Latin America in unions, collectives and organisations for over fifteen years. Looking specifically at examples from Costa Rica and Argentina, but drawing on the experiences all over the region, this talk will look at the successes, difficulties, trials and tribulations of generating sex worker political action.

"Feminism and the sex work movement"
Laura Schwartz is a member of Feminist Fightback, an anti-capitalist activist
network. She will talk about organising as a sex worker ally in the feminist
movement, arguing that 'feminists need sex workers just as sex workers need

Video and presentation by Nick Mai.
Nick Mai is Senior Research Fellow in Migrations and Immigrations at ISET, the Institute for the Study of European Transformations of London Metropolitan University. He is currently leading a 2 year-long ESRC funded project on ‘Migrants in the UK sex industry. His main research interest isthe nexus between sexuality, gender and migration, with particular reference to the relation between migration and international sex work.Nick undertook research on these topics in Albania, France, Greece, Italy,Morocco, Romania, Spain, Tunisia and the UK. Nick will be showing his first short documentary about young migrant menselling sex in Seville, Spain and will talk about the research which encompassed it.
Choice of videos representative of the international struggle for sexworkers’ rights.
Friday 3rd of April:
Art opening
“Prostitutes of Europe” is a socio-artistic project with a European dimension. Through a European City Tour, Mathilde Bouvard was getting in touch with sexworkers who willingly work in this field, taking pictures and recording their testimonies. She was to Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Stockholm, Budapest, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Geneva, London, Bern and Marseille. From these meetings stayed testimonies, photos, and sometimes, simple moments of sharing, which we shall find on no wall. From this photoreport ensues a selection of 45 black and white photographies, with 3 paintings and written testimonies. The photographies reflect a different glance on the prostitution, far from the usual stereotypes. The prostitution, as said Pascale, ancient sexworker of Bois de Boulogne- Paris: “ It is far from being a piece of pavement. It is a whole life. A way of life.” The exhibition is completed by videos and sound creations by Clémence Demesme (Brussels) and Claire Fenateau aka Mamajih (Paris- London), as well as a complete information about prostitution with help of associations(“Hydra” in Berlin, “Les Putes “ and “A.N.A” in Paris, “Aspasie” in Geneva, “Espace P” in Brussels, “ECP” in London…).

The project: The purpose of this project is to create a series of exhibitions, from which a part of any profits made will be given to these associations, in order to allow them to continue their work under the best available conditions. These associations do take an important part in social inclusion work for people confronted to difficult life conditions, as well as in the health prevention (AIDS) and free medical assistance. Association like “Espace P” in Brussels is also working on promoting a better understanding between local neighbourhood and sexworkers, by trying to establish greater tolerance through open dialogue. . Also it should allow a large public to become more aware of the social and human aspect of this activity (the prostitution) and its complex situation in Europe. The project is supported by the European Community. The exhibition is already set for Paris (and will be a part of “Assises Européennes de la Prostitution” in “Théâtre de l..Odéon” in March 2009), Berlin, Brussels (“Maison du Livre” December 2008, and will take part of the International Day for AIDS),Geneva ( Automn 2009, and will take part of the creation of the information center Griselidis Real, Avignon, London and Liège. The material will be diverse: photos, written testimonies, pictorial compositions, sound creations and videos. It will add to it a whole information campaign about prostitution. Indeed, confusion persists too often between sexual slavery / white slavery and individuals who choses volontary prostitution and fight to gain recognition for their right (Grisélidis Réal). Eventually, we will include information about associations.. work, through papers, conferences, workshops…

Saturday 4th of April,
Workshops and debates.
 Self defence for sex workers by Vinny and Clare
Many self-defence workshops focus on situations where there is other people around, lots of space, and everyone is on their feet. But what if you’re already lying down, on your knees, or up against a wall? This is workshop developed especially for sex workers, with scenarios specific to sex work.
The tutors : Vinny is a transman who is trained in a mixture or self-defence, boxing, exercise and fitness. He is a qualified Boxing tutor and also qualified exercise and fitness instructor. As well as being involved in many community projects. His accomplice is Clare Katjuscha, who lives in Berlin making queer smut films and working as a hooker. Shes worked in everything from seedy dark brothels, fetish clubs to upperclass escort – and realised pretty quick she had to learn to fight.
“Trans-friendly Boxing, Self-defense and Fitness” : www.myspace.com/t_boxing

Erotic Dance, by Solitaire
Solitaire has been working as a striptease artist in and around London for six years. Originally trained as a journalist, she followed her life’s dream to be a stripper after seeing an advert for London School OfStriptease. She has been nominated in the Stripper of the Year category at the Erotic Awards twice, and sat on the judging panel for three years running. In addition to dancing, she models, teaches and writes. Her website is http://www.solitairelondon.co.uk/. For this event, Solitaire will be teaching an erotic dance workshop, showing you how to use your body to seduce and entrance through the medium of dance. The workshop is women-only – sorry, boys!

Tips for wannabe sexworkers by Luca D.
After many years working in the sex industry, I have met many people who wanted to start either as erotic masseur, escort, pro-dom or in porn. This workshop will be an informal discussion on how to start working in the industry, what is the legal situation in the UK, which practical and emotionnal parameters you shoul take into account etc… This workshop is also a proof that, contrary to the abolitionist victimising and limited view, sexwork can be, and is often, a choice for many people.
Luca D. has been working in the sex industry for many years, is the co-founder of the Sexworker Open University and an activist for queers’ rights, sexworkers’ right and social justice.

Taking the feminist anti-prostitution argument seriously, by Carrie Hamilton
The ‘all prostitution is violence’ argument, often put forward by self-proclaimed feminists, simplifies the realities of the sex industry and the experiences of many sex workers. At the same time, sex workers’ rights activists often dismiss anti-prostitution activists as ‘rad fems’ or ‘prudes’. At this workshop, I propose we move beyond the name-calling and look more carefully at the feminist anti-prostitution argument. Radical feminism continues to offer an important critique of gendered power relations and the sexual and economic exploitation ofwomen in all societies. Feminists of colour also rightly critique the widespread racism and class exploitation in the global sex industry. Sex workers’ rights activists must engage with these issues seriously if we are to build a strong, inclusive political movement.

Carrie Hamilton is an activist and academic who’s been around feminist and queer circles for more than half her life. She’s also a former sex worker and long-time ally of sex workers and all those who want to make the sex industry a safer and smarter space.

Some like it rough / Working as a professional submissive, by Clare.
Despite some perceptions that everyone working in BDSM are dominas, many choose to play the receiving end instead. It’s a concept which seems to horrify many supposedly liberated people…This workshop is a basic intro into concepts of subbing, the differences between bottoming in personal life and doing it in a work relationship. And focusing on important physical and emotional safety tips + infos.
Clare Katjuscha lives in Berlin, makes queer smut films and does both vanilla and BDSM sex work (mostly as submissive – but not always!). She also writes about sexwork, migration and the myth of sexworkers as passive victims.

 Keeping yourself emotionnaly safe.
Dr Vas Deferens is a sex therapist and psychotherapist with almost thirty years experience of working with gender and sexual minorities. His day job is Director of Pink Therapy – the UK’s largest independent therapy organisation to specialise in gender and sexual minority therapy. He will be sharing techniques from Thought Field Therapy (Callahan Techniques), one of the most exciting developments in therapy work – and the cornerstone of energy psychologies and meridian therapy.
Sunday 5th of April
Workshops, debates and party !

Identity and Anonymity by Zanne La Bestia

Presentation of sexworkers projects and outreach ( groups to
be confirmed )
The Porn Industry and Safer Sex
A discussion re working practices, particularly around barebacking in gay porn. Is it safe for Models? (The Testing Question)
And does it set a good example to porn consumers (The Sex education Question)
What do sex workers think?
Featuring Christian Marshall, director of Hardcore Film & TV Series


Wrestling, by Miss Karabina
Get down and dirty and learn some moves, locks and grips of this highly demanded fetish service !

Survivor, healing and sexwork, debate facilitated by Luca D.
One of the argument used against self-representations of sexworkers is the idea that most sexworkers were victims of child abuse and are therefore not able to speak for themselves. We will look at how this dubious and unverifiable argument does nothing for the empowerement of sex workers and/or survivors of child abuse. We will also look at sexwork as a form of healing, for the client and the service provider.
Luca D. is an erotic masseur, BDSM-kink escort, as well an activist for sexworkers’ rights, queer rights and social justice.

Closure debate : Vision of the future of the sexworker movement in the Uk.
This last workshop will be an opportunity to give a feedback on the Sexworker Open University and dream of the future of the sexworker movement. One of the aim is to create a list of demands to the government and talk about the creation of a sexworkers and allies’ magazine.

Film ( to be announced )
Other workshops ( to be confirmed ) :

Sexworker movement in San Francisco and the U.S



Sunday 5th from 9 pm til late : to be confirmed

At RampART social center, Rampart Street

15 -17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)

DJs and Performances … check this space for more infos !!!


Our new blog !

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 27, 2009 by swarmup

Hello !

After our blog being blocked from Blogspot without explanation, we are back online!

Swarm Up is a London based international collective of sex workers and ex-sex workers, allies, artists, academics involved in different projects such as Sex Worker Open Univeristy,  Sex worker Film Festival and others … 

We aim to fight against the stigmatisation of sex work and the stereotypical representation from mainstream medias as victims or criminals, our complete decriminalisation as well as the decriminalisation of our clients and for a real debate about sex workers’ rights.

Our first blog is the content from the Sex worker Open University. Follow us closely for all the infos about our projects !


Swarm Up!