While researching documentaries I found this 20-minute film on male circumcision as an HIV intervention in Africa. Full disclosure: I'm having trouble getting the doc to load myself, so I didn't watch it. But it's recommended by some smart people, so I figured I'd throw the link up here and see what people think.
After my time in Africa I wrote my own article about male circumcision as an HIV intervention. Some people thought I did a really great even-handed job, and some people thought I was incredibly biased. Do your own research before you make any conclusions.
Yep, koalas get the clap too. Or, wait, the clap is gonorrhea isn't it. I always mix up the slang for that stuff. Anyways, let's learn about koalas over at My Sex Professor:
Koalas dont do much. They sleep 18-22 hours a day, sit around in trees, and eat heaps of eucalyptus leaves. But during their few waking hours, they manage to get chlamydia. Really. ... Humans and koalas are affected by different strains of chlamydia (humans have chlamydia trachomatis, koalas primarily have chlamydia psittaci) but both strains have the potential to make their host infertile. Conservationists are concerned that chlamydia psittaci will reduce their already-threatened numbers since it is estimated that over 80% of koalas are infected in some populations. Humans with chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics but according to some researchers, antibiotics can disrupt koala digestion, making it difficult for them to digest eucalyptus. Even if they were able to process the antibiotics, it can be difficult to treat wild koalas. Because, you know, theyre so fast.
I like this one, though I have some hesitations. It describes a situation in which the submissive set a hard limit ahead of time -- "I don't want to be caned" -- and then started begging to be caned in the middle of the encounter. I have done scenes like that in which the submissive would ask for something that's known to be a hard limit, but who didn't actually want to do it -- who trusted the dominant partner not to do it despite the begging. Because it's a hard limit.
So, I don't know. I wouldn't personally escalate past a hard limit during a BDSM encounter, not even if my partner was begging for it. I'd wait to discuss the matter later. But it seems to have worked for this woman and her partner, and the experience overall sounds good, so ....
Anyway, here's how it started:
I was told that the submissive was feeling that he probably wasnt actually a submissive after all, but was really a dominant, because of his feelings about submission relating to his experiences with the abusive dominant. According to the host of this second party, he thought Id be able to help his submissive friend resolve some of these issues.
As I understood it, I was essentially being asked to sort out a submissive man who was traumatised and confused.
I thought that was one of the most utterly bizarre things Id ever heard.
Why was he asking me to do this? Everybody knew I was the most complete beginner ever to come out of complete beginnerness. Id only done one scene in my life, ever. I was thinking to myself wtf??
I was so new I still had the shiny wrapping on. I still had the tags on me even, fer fucks sake. They dont come any newer than me. I was still under warranty. I was still within the 14 day returns period.
[Hat tip to A Kinkster's Guide, I think]
Arthur Sedille was up-front with police: He would often put a gun to his wife's head during fantasy sex play at their Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, home.
But Sedille said he didn't know the gun was loaded when he pressed it to his wife's head and pulled the handgun's slide back during sex on the night of December 21.
Now Sedille, 23, is facing the possibility of a murder charge in Canadian County, Oklahoma, in the death of his wife, 50-year-old Rebecca Sedille -- who died when the handgun went off in their bedroom.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Oklahoma City police, Sedille said the shooting was accidental. He called 911 afterward, according to police.
I don't know anything about guns, personally. But from what I understand, this is a pretty ridiculous mistake to make. One BDSM forumite says:
If this is correct and not a random misstatement by the Drive By Media, then Sedille loaded the gun and shot her. Racking the slide strips a round from the magazine and inserts it into the chamber. It sounds and feels different when there is ammunition involved, than when the piece is empty.
At a minimum, it is manslaughter - murder through stupidity. I'd be thinking hard if I could get Murder 2 to stick.
I moved my personal blog to [ clarissethorn.com/blog ] (findable at [ clarissethorn.com ] if you're too lazy to type the last 5 letters). Please update your subscriptions, links, etc. Thanks for reading! (I would like to thank Hybrid for its "Live Angle" album, without which I would never have made it through the night.) Click here to receive new posts to my personal blog by email. Click here to subscribe to my RSS feed via Google Reader, Yahoo, or various other services.
I'm amazed that the idea of a dating site for STI-positive singles never occurred to me before. But of course they exist. For example, PozMingles:
The best, largest, most active and most trusted personals network for people with Herpes, HPV, HIV and other STDs in the world.
70 million people are living with STDs in the U.S. alone, as well as an estimated 400 million people worldwide. Are you one of them?
When you have Herpes (HSV-1, HSV-2), HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), HIV / AIDS, or any other STD, it can make you feel like you are all alone in the world. Do you wish there was a place where you didn't have to worry about being rejected or discriminated?
This is a warm-hearted and exclusive community for singles and friends with STDs. Although set up as a dating and social website, it has become a caring community of a million people.
I didn't realize this, but apparently ...
I find it interesting that the female version of Viagra a product called Zestra still can't advertise on most television stations, apparently because erections lasting four hours are acceptable prime-time conversation, but allusions to female sexual desire are not.
You may have seen the story on ABC's "Nightline" this fall: two female entrepreneurs in California developed a botanical-oil-based product that in clinical trials was 70 percent effective in enhancing women's sexual satisfaction, according to Zestra's makers.
Now, you would not know it from the $300-million annual ad campaign for erection-enhancing ads for Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, but women suffer more sexual dysfunction than men do 43 percent to 31 percent, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In other words, the potential market for flagging female libidos is huge. But here's the irony: When the makers of Zestra went to 100 television networks and stations to buy ads, the vast majority refused them. The few stations that did take their money would run the ads only after midnight or during the daytime [which is very different from the advertising patterns for Viagra -- Viagra ads run blatantly in daytime, for example].
The stations "told us they were not comfortable airing the ads," Zestra co-founder Mary Jaensch told "Nightline." The double-standard here men, you deserve sexual pleasure, and women, what's wrong with you hussies? is breathtaking.
Figleaf points out:
I think "if" is the key word here. If society was really interested in women with higher libidos then you'd expect to see more interest in products like Zestra. But on the other hand if society found the prospect of women's libidos simultaneously inconceivable and intolerable you'd... see pretty much the behavior we're seeing.
I don't have my thoughts completely clear on this yet, but I think it's worth adding something else. This pattern of expectations is bad for both women and men, because while it suppresses female sexuality, it also forces men into a paradigm in which penetrative sex (and therefore, having an erection) is the only "legitimate" or "real" form of sex. I recently noted disturbing patterns of Viagra overusage and asked: Would guys be overusing Viagra if they felt comfortable trying out other forms of sexuality? If they didnt feel less manly when erection failed? What if everyone, male female or other, felt totally cool with having sex that might not necessarily end in a male orgasm? That was pleasure-based rather than accomplishment-based?
This book looks interesting, though a few comments in the author's interview on the Ms. blog made me feel a little uneasy. I will look forward to seeing what women of color bloggers say about it. Here's the Ms. interview:
Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality and Popular Culture by Tulane University professor Shayne Lee (Hamilton Books, 2010) revolutionizes the politics of black female respectability. Instead of writing about how hypersexualized representations hurt black women, Lee celebrates black female pop culture icons who purposefully hype uninhibited sexual agency. He defends Karinne Steffans, Tyra Banks, Alexyss Tylor and other women who have been publicly accused of promiscuity. He argues that their attention to masturbation, vagina power, multiple sex partners and reverse objectification will help black women reclaim their sexuality. In a candid conversation with the Ms. Blog, Lee asserts that pro-sex black women are the new sexy.
Q: How did you became interested in erotic revolutionaries?
Shayne Lee: I became intrigued by the ways in which third-wave feminists fought for their right to be both empowered and sexy. I thought that message was missing within black academic feminist thought. Then I realized that pop culture was full of these individuals who werent really career feminists but who embodied the kind energy that I thought was powerful from third wave feminism. So thats when I came up with the idea for Erotic Revolutionaries.
Q: How does your male privilege help or hinder your erotic revolutionary endeavors?
Shayne: Ive been told by people that I shouldnt have written Erotic Revolutionaries because Im a man. But I dont think any one [person] can represent the female voice. Gender is fractured by class, by beauty standards, by social positioning in ways that I dont think one voice can represent other women. So in that way, I feel safe as a man to objectively, or at least the best I can, look at black women in pop culture for the ways in which these women transcend the politics of respectability.
... Q: Because of these erotic revolutionaries, we have all this pro-sex talk that weve never really had before in these public spaces and yet no talks about safe sex and STI prevention. Whats up with that?
Shayne: The people in pop culture that Im focusing on, their job is not to be sexual teachers. Their job is to express themselves and how they feel at particular moments. I do think theres a place in the feminist movement, and I do think theres a strategic way that you can inform the public in ways that protect from sexually transmitted diseases but Im very nervous about requiring or holding artists to the fire for not doing that because thats what activists and advocates are supposed to do.
Q: What is it like talking about black erotic revolutionaries with college-age white women?
Shayne: The really hard theoretical conversations and the comments that blew my mind were generally made by the white gender studies students who had already been exposed to a broader range of feminist ideas, whereas many of the black students just kind of [generally] rejected it by saying these erotic revolutionaries are just trying to be hos. That kind of disappointed me, but at the same time thats one of the themes of my introductionthe ways in which there is more pressure on black women because of the hypersexualization of black female bodies, the legacy of slavery and segregation, and television having this horrible record with black female bodies. I do think there is more pressure on black women to maintain a certain kind of dignity.
Who's surprised? I'm not. But there's some other interesting stuff in there. Here's the working paper:
This paper analyzes the relationships among same-sex marriage bans, social attitudes, and measures of public health and welfare. We hypothesize that same-sex marriage bans may foster intolerance for gays and increase the social costs of same-sex partnerships, which may raise incentives for risky homosexual behavior. We also hypothesize that same-sex marriage bans may codify and signal traditional family values, which may raise the benefits of heterosexual marriage and reduce incentives for non-marital sex. Using micro- and state-level data and a variety of estimation techniques, we find evidence that same-sex marriage bans reduced tolerance for gays and increased the syphilis rate, a rough proxy for risky homosexual behavior. Moreover, we find some evidence that same-sex marriage bans reduced tolerance for non-marital sex and reduced abortion and teen pregnancy rates, although the effect on teen pregnancy appears very short-lived. We found no consistent evidence that same-sex marriage bans impacted marriage or divorce rates.
In other words, gay people are more at risk when same-sex marriage is banned and stigmatized. I'm not surprised by this. And straight marriages are not actually endangered by same-sex marriage, no matter what the anti-gay-marriage people try to tell you. I am also not surprised by this.
It is interesting to see the effects on other societal arenas, though: for example, making gay marriage illegal appears to reduce the abortion rate. I'm not enormously surprised by this either, but it's worth mulling over. I would personally guess that this happens because women become more scared and anxious and stigmatized in re: getting abortions when they live in a more sex-negative culture -- not because women need abortions less. And being too scared or anxious and stigmatized to get an abortion one wants is bad for women, not good -- although I'm sure someone in the family values crowd would try to spin this one to claim that "hey, women are getting fewer abortions, this means that gay marriage bans are good for women!"
I found this via the amazing MetaFilter, which also has a rundown of some other interesting sex-related papers from these authors.
There's an exciting new post on my personal blog ... and note, I particularly want to hear from other submissives/switches about this one! How do you process anger? Did you develop words for pain before encountering the larger BDSM subculture?
I like pain. I like submission. What do these things actually mean, though? I don't like it when I stub my toe, for example, and there are quite a lot of authoritarian situations I don't like either. Emotional reactions, in particular, can get really complicated. So I need more precise words than "I like pain" and "I like submission."
This is not a new problem, and around the BDSM subculture there are more precise terms that are frequently used. But when I was first exploring BDSM and didn't yet have access to the community, I started coming up with my own vocabulary for what I liked and what I didn't like. The primary words I came up with -- words that I still use a lot in my own head, and that I sometimes try to explain to my partners -- were "clean" pain and "dirty" pain.
There are now 145 comments on my most recent Feministe cross-post, Whore Stigma Makes No Sense. Many of them are interesting. One of them inspired me to post a long quotation about sex work and stigma to my personal blog:
Catherine Campbell's Letting Them Die describes a community HIV/AIDS project that took place in a South African community called Summertown (not the community's real name). It is really an exceptional description of the difficulties inherent in the promotion of sexual health. It's also got a lot of interesting discussion and commentary on sex work and whore stigma, and the experience of sex workers who were interviewed for the study.
I want to emphasize right now that I don't always agree with the writer's approach, though I always find it interesting. This is a loaded topic, and I am very aware that there are many issues within the following quotations. However, I think there is a lot of wisdom as well. Quotations follow:
I've been thinking a lot about fashion lately and how to dress to impress, and this article is kind of amazing.
LEANDRA MEDINE, a fashion blogger who lives with her parents on the Upper East Side, was thumbing through the hangers in her bedroom closet on a recent Monday morning, pulling out the sort of items that she calls sartorial contraceptives: a blouse with erect shoulder pads from Zara; a floral, curtainlike blazer by Zimmermann; high-waisted lime green trousers by Opening Ceremony; drop-crotch utility pants; an ostrich-feather miniskirt; a cape.
Since April, Ms. Medine, 21, has been publishing photos of herself wearing these pieces on her blog, the Man Repeller, as well as shots of similarly challenging recent runway looks: fashions that, though promoted by designers and adored by women, most likely confuse or worse, repulse the average straight man. These include turbans, harem pants, jewelry that looks like a torture instrument, jumpsuits, ponchos, furry garments resembling large unidentified animals, boyfriend jeans, clogs and formal sweatpants.
Glossy magazines have taken notice. Lucky has asked Ms. Medine to guest-blog. Harpers Bazaar assigned Ms. Medine a feature in its December issue titled, Can You Be in Fashion and Still Get a Man? And women in New York who have become fans of her blog have begun using it as a verb, as in, I am totally man-repelling today.
It occurs to me that you could also read Ms. Medine as being extremely choosy rather than man-repelling. She's deliberately selecting for men who "get it" when it comes to high fashion.
Other legal experts also question whether Greaves' right to free speech would come into play if there's a trial. If the government is willing to prohibit this book from being shipped and sold in Florida, they ask, what would prevent officials from prosecuting a bookseller who ships and sells Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, a novel about a pedophile?
Always Aroused Girl is one of those big-deal sex bloggers that I started hearing about long before I decided to be a sex blogger myself. She's got a really high profile and a good reputation. And now she's providing space for sex bloggers (or anyone else) who want to write anonymously to go ahead and do so:
In the almost-five years of this blogs existence Ive gone from knowing (in a meat-space sense) exactly zero of my readers to knowing dozens upon dozens of them. This is a good thing for everyone as it increases trust; those who know me in the flesh can vouch that I am, as stated, a perfectly average forty-ish woman and not a leering old man. Or a twenty-something sexbot. Alas that I am not the latter, for that sounds like loads of fun.
But it comes with a negative side as well. Many, many times I want to say things that I simply cannot for fear that I would hurt, discomfort or annoy a reader who knows me in real life. How many times have I wished for the anonymity of Autumn 2005, when not a soul knew my name, face or friends! I know this feeling is anything but unique. Bloggers without number of the sexy variety and otherwise have shared with me the same complaint: As readership goes up, so does the fear that ones words could inadvertently hurt someone who might read them.
With this in mind I propose a solution. Im calling it AAGs Home for Wayward Bloggers, or The Blogger Anonymity Project. Got a rant you cant post on your own site because of possible repercussions? Want to sound off without sharing your name? Need the freedom to express sadness or some other difficult emotion without setting every tongue awag? Or would you simply like to avoid your mom reading about what you stuck up your ass last Saturday night?
A sweet story about a woman who has had an open relationship with her husband for a long time ... but she's been the only one having other relationships, while he just started his first. And she's dealing with lots of anxiety ... but it sounds like she's doing pretty well nonetheless! I was most interested by her philosophizing at the end of the tale:
Non-monogamy is not more enlightened than any other conscious choice one makes in their life. I think that CHOOSING monogamy is better than just blindly accepting societal standards, but I am a believer in making fully aware decisions on everything in life. I see the positive sides to monogamy, especially now that I am not the totality of my husbands sexuality. I had been struggling for years to help him see that, but it was threatening. I had literally been the one for so long that the idea of someone else peeing on my tree (hey! Dont you judge me!!) shook me. It shook me so hard that it made me realize that my idea of us together forever based on love was bullshit.
We are together because we CHOOSE to be. And it is a choice we make every day of our lives. My husbands monogamy allowed me to live with the illusion that I was a special snowflake to him, based on nothing more than his lack of fucking other snowflakes. But now, it is about us, not fucking. When fucking is not THE tie that binds us together, we have to examine what IS. Why am I with him? Why is he with me? What do we bring to each others lives? What is the unique connection that he and I share?
To be honest, I am scared to death. I feel a bit like I am tempting the fates. But I dont believe in fate. I believe in choice, responsibility, and trust. And I know that know matter WHAT the future brings, I can handle.
Non-monogamy gave me the chance to choose my husband again and again. And I trust him enough to let him make that same choice.
Relevant posts on my personal blog:
* You dont always know what youre thinking
This article is entertainingly subtitled The Menace of Ladypee:
I wasn't surprised when my friend Meghan, a well-informed environmentalist and feminist, asked me, "Is it true that birth control in our water is destroying the environment?"
It's an unsettling question. Hormonal birth control, like any other modern convenience, carries with it an environmental "footprint." As a supporter of reproductive health and environmental sustainability, I take the question of birth control's impact on the environment seriously, as I do the environmental impact of the food I eat, the transportation I use, and the products I buy. However, I also know that birth control is an easy target: a well-known, unfortunately politicized, and persistently controversial topic that makes for tantalizing headlines even when the evidence backing up a claim is thin.
Navigating the minefield of myths, misinformation, and urban legends surrounding sexuality and contraception can be challenging, especially when the science around an issue is complicated and opponents of birth control use that confusion to their advantage.
This is a case in point: Claims that birth-control pills are the sole or primary source of synthetic estrogen in water and therefore the cause of reproductive problems in fish or people misrepresent the science, plain and simple. New findings from researchers at UCSF help explain why.
An exciting new review by me at Elevate Difference (formerly the Feminist Review blog):
The Memory Of Love By Aminatta Forna
Atlantic Monthly Press
The Memory of Love is a slow and beautiful book. I'm not the biggest fan of art that proceeds at such a deliberate pace, but this is definitely at the top of the heap for such books; the descriptions are lovely and precise, every detail picked out with absolute care. I loved the representations of African life, which felt honest and authentic. Having recently spent a year in Africa, I had lots of moments of recognitionfor example, the racism of many international aid workers is often well-depicted (although its carefully not attributed to the good expatriate characters, which struck me as simplistic). The authorwho is biracial and was raised in the United Kingdom and Sierra Leonealso includes some good post-colonial critique, but it rarely feels like the critique overpowers the narrative.
The book is set mainly in 2001 in Sierra Leone, with three main characters (all male): a dying university professor, a brilliant young surgeon, and a British expatriate psychiatrist. They're complex characters with intriguing perspectivesparticularly the professor, who survived very un-heroically through turbulent times, and is not painted in a sympathetic manner at all. The whole story forms a vivid, touching portrait of warits devastating, multifaceted effects on human beings; its numb aftermath.
It seems like an odd choice for a female author to tell a story primarily through male characters, however, and it's a little bit difficult to know how to review such a book as a feminist. Interestingly, The Memory of Love fails the Bechdel test (to pass, it would require "at least two women in it, who talk to each other, about something other than a man"). There are at least two women in the book, but I can't think of a scene offhand in which they talk to each other. Of course, the main characters are male, so how could there be such a scene?
Those of us who actually practice BDSM didn't need a study to tell us this is true, but maybe we can use it as another weapon in the fight against stigma ....
Obviously, I do not think that BDSM will increase closeness for people who don't want to do it -- but for those of us who love it, it really does contribute to intimacy. And now I've got a freakin' study to prove it. Here's the abstract:
In two studies, 58 sadomasochistic (SM) practitioners provided physiological measures of salivary cortisol and testosterone (hormones associated with stress and dominance, respectively) and psychological measures of relationship closeness before and after participating in SM activities. Observed activities included bondage, sensory deprivation, a variety of painful and pleasurable stimulation, verbal and non-verbal communication, and expressions of caring and affection. During the scenes, cortisol rose significantly for participants who were bound, receiving stimulation, and following orders, but not for participants who were providing stimulation, orders, or structure. Female participants who were bound, receiving stimulation, and following orders also showed increases in testosterone during the scenes. Thereafter, participants who reported that their SM activities went well showed reductions in physiological stress (cortisol) and increases in relationship closeness. Among participants who reported that their SM activities went poorly, some showed decreases in relationship closeness whereas others showed increases. The increases in relationship closeness combined with the displays of caring and affection observed as part of the SM activities offer support for the modern view that SM, when performed consensually, has the potential to increase intimacy between participants.
Relevant posts on my personal blog:
* There It Is
Aha! Don't Ask Don't Tell has been voted out of existence. And via Towleroad, an LGBTQ blog that I just recently found, here's an excellent Q&A about what the repeal actually means, including:
QUESTION: I am a gay service member, can I come out?
The way the repeal has been written, DADT is still technically the law even after the Senate repeals and even after the President has signed the legislation. There will be an implementation period in which DADT is on its way out, but is still law of the land. That should give some of us caution about coming out. If you are concerned about this implementation period -- a fair concern given the history of the military's treatment of gays in the past -- use your judgment. There are policies in place that suggest that discharges may be less likely, or may not even happen. But that will be up to the DOD and the service branches. Nothing in the law right now says that you should come out.
QUESTION: I was in the Armed Services and was discharged for being gay. Can I re-enlist?
I already know of people who will try to re-enlist, and there is no logical reason why you should be turned away. I imagine that after the bill is signed, the service chiefs or the Department of Defense will issue memoranda to service recruiters saying that they should admit openly gay individuals who seek enlistment. Out of sn abundance of caution, I would wait for those explicit directives.
QUESTION: How long with the implementation period last?
There is no answer here, especially given that Secretary Gates has made it quite clear that he sees orderly implementation taking a while. I would expect at least 6 months and up to a year for full implementation of open service. That time will be needed to craft new rules on all sorts of things. Given that these new rules will affect newly open gay service members, there may be some benefit to waiting to re-enlist or waiting to enlist inn the first place until those rules are written down. Again, this advice is out of an abundance of caution.
An excellent piece in the Guardian by the awesome sex work activist Audacia Ray (and folks, please let's not pretend this stuff only happens in the Third World):
The first time Kyomya Macklean did sex work, her client turned violent after she refused to have sex without a condom. As she fought back, she remembers him saying: "I can kill you bitch! After all, you are just a slut who sells your body to earn a living." As he assaulted her physically he continued to berate her, saying: "Even if I killed you, nobody would judge me of murder because you are nothing but a prostitute and a kisarani [the Lugandan word for curse]."
As the oldest of 19 children in a family in which her father had seven wives, this young Ugandan woman opted to do sex work to pay for her education. After her violent introduction, she continued to do the work and she organised a group with other sex workers. In 2008, she co-founded Wonetha with two other adult sex workers who had also experienced harassment, insults, stigma, discrimination and arrest without trial. They would like to see sex work decriminalised, and the human rights of people who engage in the sex trade upheld. To this end, Macklean's story and the stories of four sex workers from Uganda and Kenya are captured in the booklet When I Dare to Be Powerful, published by Akina Mama Wa Afrika, an African feminist organisation whose name means "solidarity among African women".
... Although grassroots organisations are making progress, the work has been stymied by government officials. Last month, a Sex Workers Leadership Institute was set to take place in Kampala, Uganda. It was shut down by the country's minister of ethics and integrity, Nsaba Buturo. In a letter to the hotel hosting the conference, Buturo states that "prostitution is a criminal offence in Uganda" and as a result "the hotel is an accomplice in an illegality". But as Amnesty International points out in a public statement opposing the shutdown of the conference, the Ugandan Constitution affirms the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. The enforcement of this discrimination against sex workers makes it impossible for them to improve their situations.
Just days later, the district police commander in the town of Kasese in western Uganda incited a contingent of police officers to raid bars and streets where sex workers congregate. On this night, the police delivered beatings to everyone they thought was a sex worker. About 20 women spent the night in jail and the women who were not detained were forced to pay fines. Following the assaults, some got treatment in hospitals. There were, however, no charges made against the women. The roundup was a way for the police to assert their dominance and stigmatise people they suspected were sex workers.
Denial of access to HIV services, restrictions on organising, and police crackdowns do not make it possible to eliminate the sex trade; instead they perpetuate stigma and discrimination. The global sex worker rights movement emphasises that it is possible to make the sex trade more hospitable to workers, but that institutional violence is one of the major barriers.
Since American sex icon Annie Sprinkle established the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in 2003, sex workers from around the world have organised vigils, community gatherings and speakouts on 17 December to mourn victims of violence in our communities. The event was originally created in the wake of the Green River serial killer. But violence doesn't just come in the form of bad clients more often, it is delivered by the institutions that are supposed to protect and improve the lives of citizens.