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    Find us at: XConfessions LA

    Find us at: XConfessions LA

    We're beyond excited to be attending XConfessions LA this coming weekend presented by the Berlin Film Society, and can't wait to witness all the amazing work that Erika Lust will be showcasing! Keep up with us on our social media to see exclusive clips from the live performances, amazing host Shan Boodram, director Q & A, and DJ set by Coco Disco! This might just be our most amazing event yet!

     

    Video by Berlin Film Society, event curated by FoxWolf Productions

    For more info on Erika Lust and XConfessions  ~~
    https://xconfessions.com/

     

     

    FOSTA and Sex Work Legislation Models:
    A Primer

    FOSTA and Sex Work Legislation Models:<br> A Primer

    What is FOSTA, and why are sex workers speaking out against it? We were wondering the same thing, so we did some research on the much-contested bill. While we were at it, we also looked into models of sex work legislation found in other countries, to find out which (if any) approaches have actually worked.

    So, what is FOSTA?


    FOSTA is short for the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, also known as H.R. 1865. This bill started as a measure to allow private lawsuits and criminal prosecutions against websites and Internet platforms for posts by their users on sex trafficking, but was later amended to include all sex work as well. Despite protestations from net neutrality and sex worker communities alike, FOSTA passed in congress on 2/27. You’ll often hear about the bill in conjunction with its Senate counterpart, SESTA, also known as the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers act, passed in November and currently on hold. Both have been criticized for conflating sex trafficking victims with sex workers, who often rely on the Internet to practice harm reduction techniques.



    The distinction between sex trafficking and sex work has been addressed many times before, notably in Amnesty International’s 2016 Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. This research and policy was cited often during our research on sex work legislation models. We found that the models are generally divided into four categories:


    Legalization

    Where it’s practiced: Nevada, the U.K., France, the Netherlands, and Germany

    What it’s about: Prostitution is only legal in legally-designated areas or venues, and sex workers must comply with strict criteria like registration and forced STI screenings. Transactional sex is technically legal, but many of the surrounding activities are illegal, like streetwalking, soliciting, and “brothel keeping,” which can be as loosely interpreted under the law as two prostitutes working under the same roof.

    Why it doesn’t work: Policies like these often lead to “backdoor criminalization,” a two-tiered system that caters to the economically privileged and criminalizes already-vulnerable populations who are more likely to be engaged in sex work to begin with. The poor, LGBTQI individuals, people of color, undocumented migrants, and others are forced to operate outside the law because they cannot afford things like permits or frequent medical tests.



    Partial criminalization, aka the Nordic or Swedish model

    Where it’s practiced: Nordic nations and Northern Ireland

    What it’s about: Partial criminalization seeks to “end demand” for sex work by criminalizing not the selling, but the purchasing of sex.

    Why it doesn’t work: There’s no evidence to the contrary-- there’s just as much prostitution in Sweden as before, without any improvement to the lives of sex workers. Notably, it impedes their ability to screen their clients, who are more likely to remain anonymous out of fear. Sex workers have also reported feeling stripped of agency over their own bodies, which are essentially treated as crime scenes under the law.


    Full criminalization

    Where it’s practiced: Roughly half the world, including Russia, South Africa, Kenya, China, Iran, and most of the U.S.A.

    What it’s about: Full criminalization subjects buyer, seller, and third parties to penalty.

    Why it doesn’t work: This eradicates incentive for sex workers, trafficked or consenting, to work with law enforcement in reporting harmful behavior against themselves or others. Unfortunately, abuse at the hands of law enforcement is common under criminalization as well.


       

    Decriminalization

    Where it’s practiced: New Zealand

    What it’s about: Decriminalization removes punitive measures from laws around sex work, treating it as regular employment. Sex workers pay taxes, are accountable to the state, and allowed to work together in numbers.

    Why it does work: This model is endorsed by Amnesty International, other human rights organizations, and most importantly, sex workers themselves. The laws surrounding prostitution in New Zealand were written in tandem with sex workers, specifically the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective.

    There’s just as much prostitution as before the law changed, but consider that prostitution is “the world’s oldest profession,” with no end to demand in sight. Regardless of whether or not prostitution itself is a moral issue, sex workers have the right to be safe on the job. In New Zealand, 96% of street workers report that they feel the law protects their rights. Without the threat of legal reprisal, sex workers are more likely to work with law enforcement and report violence against themselves or others-- which also helps to combat sex trafficking.




    With the introduction of FOSTA into the U.S.A.’s criminalization-based approach, it will be much harder for sex workers to screen for clients online. They will be pushed back out onto the streets, or may become reliant on third parties, like pimps, to procure business. Even more than before, sex workers will be forced to choose between their safety and the law.


    Amnesty International pretty much summed up our conclusion on the matter in that 2016 policy: “The conflation of human trafficking with sex work can result in broad and over-reaching initiatives that seek to eradicate all commercial sex as a means to end trafficking. Such approaches… violate sex workers’ human rights, and… make sex workers and people who have been trafficked more vulnerable to violence and harm. Additionally, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that such approaches are successful...”

     

     

    Sources
    https://theslot.jezebel.com/house-passes-online-sex-trafficking-bill-that-critics-s-1823374389
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/09/stop-sesta-whose-voices-will-sesta-silence
    https://thinkprogress.org/house-bill-endangers-sex-workers-advocates-say-7a47ce9b2b4f/
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol30/4062/2016/en/
    https://www.ted.com/talks/juno_mac_the_laws_that_sex_workers_really_want/transcript
    https://medium.com/filibuster/criminalisation-doesnt-work-for-sex-work-6e70ddf9f813

    Love Yourself First

    Love Yourself First

    “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

     Lucille Ball

    Tips for using Clone-A-Pussy kits to enhance and strengthen self love:

      To set yourself up for success. Read the directions several times and pay attention to important details like timing and water temperature.
      • First create a cozy, relaxing atmosphere. Light some candles, put on a Joni Mitchell record, and maybe even prep with some yoga or deep breathing.
      • Minimize distractions and allow yourself too look within and open yourself to the journey you are about to embark on with your body.
      • Allow yourself room to make mistakes, you can purchase extra molding powder to give yourself a second try if that makes you feel more confident.
      • Follow the directions and create your vulva mold. (enjoy the experience, it's a fun one)
      • Take a post-molding bath to clean off any remaining molding powder. This is a good time to thank your body for carrying you through this world every day and looking damn fine doing it!
      • 24 hours later - reveal your mold.
      • Take note of any thoughts or judgements that come to your mind. When you meet your vulva face-to-face, make a conscious choice to only speak to yourself as you would to your best friend.
      • You can put your vulva mold in a frame, bedazzle it, or even use it as a paper weight, but most importantly let yourself feel gratitude for how amazingly beautiful, powerful, and unique your vulva is. After-all, there is no one quite like you and yours.

       Photos by Colette Pomerleau

      Portland Featured: Cameryn Moore

      Portland Featured: Cameryn Moore

      Cameryn Moore is an award-winning playwright/performer, sex activist and educator, sidewalk pornographer, and a long-time phone sex operator. We caught one of her workshops in Berlin last year and were enamored by her unconventional ways to communicate and celebrate sex positivity.

      Read more

      A Conversation with Laura Meritt: Founder of PorYes, the European Feminist Porn Film Awards

      A Conversation with Laura Meritt: Founder of PorYes, the European Feminist Porn Film Awards

      Photo of 2017’s award ceremony courtesy of: Hebbel am Ufer Berlin

       

      We were met with vulvaric greetings and talked with Laura Meritt, a sexpert with a doctorate in communication sciences, shop owner of Sexklusivitäten, a Berlin sex shop for women in, and cofounder of the PorYes European feminist porn film awards.

      Since 2009, PorYes has been hosting workshops and lectures as well as awarding erotic filmmakers with sparkling oysters.

       

      Jizz Lee at the 2015 PorYes. Photo credit: Lothar Schulz

       

      Clone-a-Willy: What is the story behind the beginning of PorYes, aside from finding a positive move forward from the sexist, mainstream pornography?

       

      Laura Meritt: PorYes was founded in 2009 to raise awareness of the sex-positive feminist movement, which [has] actually already [existed] since the ‘60s. There are really clear criteria for [the] feminist porn, like diversity, consent and [fairness] which we want to mediate apart from pornography as well. An important request of the sex-positive movement is to question what we love, what turns us on, [and] why without any alternative. It is about breaking open the conditioning of the pleasure.

      Education is a task of feminist porn too. Female ejaculation, safer sex, communication and even basic information on what we call ‘pleasure organs’. The whole sexual anatomy is still not taught, so many people have no idea what they could all do with it. Lustful sexuality is not explained; the so- called education still predominantly refers to the mediation of knowledge for reproduction. This silence to lustful sexuality in the middle of society contributes to the importance highness of the mainstream pornography in this area. We want to change that!

       

      Clone-a-Willy: How do you choose jury members as well as speakers for the panels?

       

      Meritt: The jury is a group of feminists from different backgrounds and [age ranges]. Our Chairwoman matronizing the award is Ula Stöckl, a national film prize recipient and the first German feminist film maker. [Stöck is] currently a professor in Orlando (USA). The publisher, Claudia Gehrke, is a pioneer of female lust. [Gehrke is] the first German publisher to publicize sexuality and credit women with a particular status. Corinna Rückert did her doctorate on women’s pornography and is a well-known erotic writer. Margaret von Schiller, as a former program coordinator at the Berlinale Panorama, continues her engagement for the perspective of women in film. [I am]  a sexpert and sex positive feminist, supporting knowledge and exchange about sex, politics and gender.

       

      Clone-a-Willy: How were the films for this year's screenings chosen? What are you most excited about with these particular choices?

       

      Meritt: We pay attention to a mixture of diverse cultures and generations to continue the sex positive story of pornography. The filmmaker María Llopis is from Spain. In the beginning of the 2000’s, [Llopis] co-founded the feminist collective, “Girls who like Porn”. Dorrie Lane is a nominee from San Francisco; she invented a vulva pillow [demonstrate to] her daughter what the vulva looks like. [Lane] made inspiring films for masturbation. Ms Naughty is from Australia [and] focuses especially on hetero people, [relieves] men from performance pressure and reveals a wide range of variety for all sexes. We have two black activists from Berlin on board: Sky Deep, who processed the history of her ancestors, in a vampire movie. Bishop Black breaks down gender boundaries with a lot of humor. The diversity shows feminism is for everyone. Feminism is not just sexy and not just for women. There are a lot of feminismen. They can compliment each other perfectly.

       

      Clone-a-Willy: Highlights from past years' parties?

       

      Meritt: Our "Freudenflussteam" always animates in the most delightful ways and comes up with a lot of lovely ideas. The concept is you are the stage! This means that everyone can perform a sexperiment joyfully. In this way, unexpected performances happen, which, in addition to some planned ones, create great enthusiasm. From there, a pussy ballet or a moaning choir might appear, in which everyone can participate. A darkroom behind a lit wall allows [audience members] to witness shadow games. The pole-dance-bar invites you to play. Through bondage, guests might be tied together with ropes. Everything is allowed as long as it ́s consensual and pleasurable.

       

      Clone-a-Willy: How did the award ceremony go this year? Did any moment exceed your expectations?

       

      Meritt: We were overwhelmed by the interest of so many people at the awards and all of the events [this year]. We had a full house in our new location, the Hebbel Theatre. People appreciated the mixture of information and entertainment, the humorous feminist input and the diversity [within] age, culture, approach and gender. The diversity of "masculinities" and different gazes were a big topic for people who participated the first time in [PorYes].

       

      We are really happy to see the movement grow, raise consciousness about alternatives and change the porn industry.

       

      Clone-a-Willy: What are your plans for next year?

       

      Meritt: We [are noticing] more sex positive [film] productions in Berlin, which is great. As we always care for different generations and cultures, we [are beginning to scout for new] pioneers from Europe, but we will not tell you.

       

      To find out more about PorYes:

      http://www.poryes.de/

       

       




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