Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Our sexwork podcast has been launched!

I am remarkably excited that the long-talked-about podcast with sex workers that I've been wanting to do for more than a year now has finally come together.

Here's our first episode. With any luck, we'll be doing a new episode at least once a month.

All episodes will be looking at sex work as a small business, as there is so much the work has in common with any other small business. Yet that aspect is never touched on in the public discourse about sex work, where it's drowned out by shouting about victimization, exploitation, trafficking and abuse of women - the standard themes when talk turns to sex work out there in the world.

Our first episode features three of my favourite people, all sex workers from Greater Victoria. We wanted to kick off the podcast on June 2 to mark International Day of Action for Sex Workers' Rights. (It's got another name, as you'll see if you click the link, but I'll leave controversial labelling to be used by those who identify with it.)

Among the most pressing issues for this year's campaign were two new laws in the U.S. known as SESTA and FOSTA - The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act - so that's the subject for our debut episode. Those laws are wrongly being used to shut down online sites that adult, consenting sex workers use to advertise, screen clients and take safety precautions, and have serious implications for sex workers all over the world what with US companies dominating so many online services and domains.

To be clear, nobody in our podcast or any sex worker or rights activist I've ever met is in favour of sex trafficking. We want exploitation, violence, coercion and victimization in the sex industry stamped out as much as anyone. But tune into our podcast to learn the unintended consequences of lumping sex trafficking in with adult, consenting sex work.

We'll be featuring conversations with sex workers, clients and agencies in the coming months. Hope you'll listen in! One of the greatest harms that come to sex workers is stigma, and we can't eliminate stigma without helping the public understand that underneath that distracting word "sex" lies a complex, misunderstood business that's very different than what so many people imagine.

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