Category Archives: Sex Work

Current or former sex workers: Why did you start doing sex work?

From the meeting on 1/23/14:

Reasons why women (all sex workers, but as their name suggests, WWAV focuses on female-identified people) choose to do sex work. They want a variety of sex workers represented in this project, so they have requested help from us. What they need is brief explanations/quotes from us about why we chose to go into sex work.

If you are or ever have been a sex worker (anyone who works in the sex industry, regardless of the type of work you do or its criminal status), we want to hear from you!

You may submit anything from a short sentence to a story.

You may use the comments section of this page to submit your answer anonymously. Thanks!

“The Eye of the Beholder: How Bad Data, Scrambles for Funding and Professional Bias Shape Human Trafficking Law and Policy” – Dina Francesca Haynes

Via Interdisciplinary Project on Human Trafficking

The Eye of the Beholder: How Bad Data, Scrambles for Funding and Professional Bias Shape Human Trafficking Law and Policy – Dina Francesca Haynes

“One of the most cumbersome issues stymieing anti-trafficking efforts over the past twelve years since the adoption of the Palermo Protocol and the subsequent US Trafficking Victim Protection Act (TVPA) is that far too much of the discussion has centered on sex. Media, politicians, movies, celebrities, prosecutors, law enforcement and even academics have focused their attention almost exclusively on human trafficking for sex.

So much discussion of human trafficking now centers around sex, most audience members attending a talk or reading about human trafficking expect that sex trafficking will be the focus of discussion, even when the discussion is specifically slated to center on human trafficking into domestic servitude, for example. Because the audience has been primed by the media focus on trafficking for sex, they envision an entirely different sort of “victim” when experts talk to them about human trafficking. The audience is prepared for (and expects to hear about) sex and so other areas of human trafficking are ignored, regardless of the fact that the varieties of ways in which humans have been exploited by traffickers abound. In the United States, for example, victims of human trafficking have been forced into severely exploitative labor (domestic service, nannies, agriculture, factory work; cleaners and maintenance crews); misled about the work that would be available and then trapped by their debt and/or lack of immigration status or visa portability (teachers, welders,); adult sex workers deprived of their earnings and coerced or forced into work that they do not wish to do and children forced into sex work and other types of indentured or forced labor (hair braiding). Internationally, people are trafficked from their countries of origin to countries of destination for all of the foregoing reasons, as well types of forced and indentured labor as yet unknown in the United States (camel jockeys, massage on the beach, inherited servitude). People are also trafficked within the interior of their own countries.

…a growing number of “experts” and politicians perpetuate the uncertain statistics and the conflation between human trafficking and prostitution, and these are shaping anti-trafficking policy. Some of them believe that ending prostitution will actually eradicate human trafficking, while others have the primary objective of abolishing prostitution, and merely use the attention and funding currently available to human trafficking as a vehicle by which to achieve their objective.”


San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival – Call for Submissions-Spring 2012

Call for Submissions-Spring 2013

The San Francisco Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival — Biennial, since 1999

Deadline, February 15, 2013

The San Francisco Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival began screening in 1999, providing a forum for the accomplishments of sex worker film and video makers and to screen works about sex workers and the sex industries from around the world. The Sex Worker Festival provides an opportunity to recognize and honor prostitutes, dancers, porn performers and other sex workers, who have historically been a dynamic part of arts communities.
To date, the Sex Worker Festivals have screened nearly more than two hundred works and generated much interest in the media. In addition, the festival presents performances and events including Whore College, the Roaming Hookerfest, Whores Bath, Whore-A-Palooza, Modern Asian Sex Slavery: The Musical with Mariko Passion, Natural Born Hooker by Konrad Product, Kirk Read’s Army of Lovers presents Formerly Known As, and much, much more. Films and videos for the Festival focus on sex workers’ rights; organizing efforts and working conditions for strippers; global sex work and sex work as a labor issue on the international agenda; sex workers as artists; queer sex workers; sex work and gender identities; sex education, sex art, porn and erotica; portraits of strippers, prostitutes, doms, madams… We encourage diverse participation and diverse perspectives.


Qualifying Entries:

Films and videos must be:

1) directed or produced by someone who has worked in the sex industries or
2) about any aspect of sex work.
Please note: We are interested in art, experimental work, music videos, narratives, documentaries and all works that challenge conventional stereotypes and stigma regarding prostitution and other forms of sex work.
Upon filmmakers consent, all such works will be included in our location-based library of films about sex work, available for researchers and activists. If your work does not fit into these categories, please don’t submit it.
Entry forms are available online at our website. A separate application must accompany each work.


Entries may be sent on an ongoing basis. The deadline for the 2013 Festival is February 15, 2013, however later entries will be considered. (Please email us and let us know you sent it, or send us a link to the online video.) The festival will take place in the late Spring of 2013 (Dates TBA). The festival also sponsors ongoing screenings at festivals around the world and we accept work on an ongoing basis. Call 415-751-1659.

Entry Fees:

A separate entry fee and application form is needed for each work. The entry fees are:
$10.00 for the first film or video, and $5.00 for each additional film or video.

Checks or money orders should be in U.S. funds. Entry fees will be waived based on financial need upon request. Fees are waived for makers in developing countries with no access to Sterling or US dollar currencies.


Screening: NTSC DVD or links to online videos (preferred), miniDV , or Film-16 or 35mm (by special arrangement only)
Preview: Preferred: DVD and web links for viewing online. Also accepting NTSC videotape, miniDV.


Foreign language film and video should be made available with the original language soundtrack and English subtitles, however we will consider works in that have not been subtitled.


Entries will be reviewed by a panel of sex worker film/video makers.

Mailing Information:

Include address label on both tape and container. All submissions must be shipped prepaid and packed in proper containers to arrive at the Sex Worker Fest offices no later than 2 weeks before the festival or other screening dates (to be announced). DO NOT send films for preview. Do not send submissions in fiber-filled envelopes, as the dust damages equipment.

If a film is invited to participate, the film must be shipped prepaid, insured and packed in proper containers. The San Francisco Sex Worker Festival will be responsible for return shipping charges for 16 and 35mm films. The Sex Worker Fest will not pay for international shipping for domestic films (USA). The Sex Worker Fest does not assume any liability for damage to prints due to improper containers or otherwise. 16 mm and 35 mm films (only) in our possession will be insured against damage or loss while participating in the festival.

Upon acceptance, film cassettes and videos sent from outside the United States must be accompanied by a commercial invoice or b&w, value of shipment and sender’s name and address. Cassettes should be marked: ‘For Festival Screening Only.’

Publicity Materials:

Materials (photos, pict files, etc.) of films and videos selected for screening become the property of the Sex Worker Fest and can be used to promote The Sex Worker Fest and the programs of The Sex Worker Fest in all mediums including film, television, radio and the internet.

Paid Study for Trans Folks in the Sex Trade ($50 phone interview)

Confidential paid study–Forwarded via the SWOP-USA national network:




WHO: Transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming sex workers and those with experience in the sex trade


WHAT:  One-hour interview by phone or in person about your experiences with the health care system for a study about the healthcare needs of trans* sex workers, as well as a brief 15 minute survey regarding demographics, health status, and experiences in health settings to help guide the interview.




CONTACT: Ursa Oristaglio

(617) 851-7125


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SWOP in Other Cities

Other SWOP Chapters (Sex Workers Outreach Project in Other Cities)


More SWOP Chapter Contact Info