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Last August, we told you about the amazing Red Umbrella Diaries, a reading series and media project conceived by Audacia Ray, stemming from her time co-hosting Sex Worker Literati with David Henry Sterry. While the focus of the readings is to give a voice to sex workers and allow them a space to be heard, it's also an opportunity for sensitive topics in sexuality to be discussed. This month is entitled "Healing Touch" and as Audacia Ray herself explained to me:
"This month's stories are about health, wellness, and the sex industry. The event features Tobi Hill-Meyer, director of the recently released porn film ?Doing It Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project,? and Ducky Doolittle, sex educator, former peep show girl, and longtime Babelander (Yay!) who has struggled with her health since she was a child. Other performers include Laura G. Duncan, who will tell a story about her experiences as a gynecological teaching assistant; educator and writer Sarah Sloane, who will tell a story about sexuality and healing from trauma; and dominatrix Alithea Howes.Every month I also host a blog carnival so that those who can't participate in person can contribute to the event - I pick a story from the blog carnival to read at the live event, and then record it along with the other stories for the Red Umbrella Diaries Weekly Podcast. For the blog carnival this month, I?ve highlighted some some pieces from Touching Base New South Wales, an organization in Australia, where sex work is decriminalized, that strives to connect sex workers and people with disabilities. This particular group of stories are told from the point of view of people with disabilities and their careers about the experience of seeking out and hiring sex workers."
Audacia also makes the interesting point that "doing sex work is very much a caring profession - not too dissimilar from teaching or nursing...in the context of sexual encounters with people with disabilities, sex workers are in a position to be non-judgmental and willing participants in sexual interactions that build skill and confidence." She noted as well that those with disabilities who need a flexible schedule may also find sex work to be a better work option available to them than most. As a whole, the evening aims to speak to the complicated intersections of the sex industry and health. As Audacia rightly points out, "Typically, people in the sex trades are seen as being in need of public health interventions: condoms, HIV testing, and psychological counseling. But the relationship between people in the sex industry and health is much more complex than that."
To explore the topics of sexuality and disability further, I highly recommend the book The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability, which is an illuminating and useful read for all persons, available in stores and at Babeland.com.Red Umbrella Diaries: "Healing Touch"Happy Ending Lounge302 Broome Street8-10 pm.FREE!15% of Bar Sales supports the Sex Workers Projectc="/Media/BLND/BlogMedia/uploads/2010/10/1309600-a.jpg" alt="" width="144" height="216">To explore the topics of sexuality and disability further, I highly recommend the book The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability, which is an illuminating and useful read for all persons, available in stores and at Babeland.com.Red Umbrella Diaries: "Healing Touch"Happy Ending Lounge302 Broome Street8-10 pm.FREE!15% of Bar Sales supports the Sex Workers Project