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SWOP-LA T-shirts

18 Aug

We’ve been asked about t-shirts, and I am proud to announce that they are finally coming! Here is the mock up of the design, and when we have them in our hands we’ll post some pictures of our members and allies modeling them!

Swing by our booth at Exxxotica for the first chance to buy one! They’re printed on American Apparel Baby Blue T-shirts in sizes S-XL. $20 each.

Declare your support for sex workers in California and help out a good cause! Start some conversations and tell the world you support sex workers rights!

SWOP-LA on TSRnetwork.com

28 Jun

Watch Serene Sin and Jessie Nicole talk about Sex Workers Outreach Project, and Swap & Swab 4 SWOP-LA specifically!

Support Kimberly Kupps

21 Jun

On June 3rd, 2011 Kimberly Kupps and her husband were arrested and charged with 13 counts of obscenity for allegedly distributing porn over the internet in Lake Wales, FL for operating a porn site. The Polk Country Sheriff’s department ran a three month investigation, including downloading 6 movies from her website as evidence. She was both running her own website, kimberlykupps.com and selling videos over clips4sale.com specializing in the big boob market. Her husband reports that the couple made about $700 monthly from this venture.

Yes. You read that right. The Polk County Sheriff’s Department spent three months investigating a couple running their own porn site focused on large breasts using tax dollars.

“We want a wholesome community here, we don’t want smut peddlers,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, “and if they try to peddle their smut from Polk County or into Polk County we’ll be on them like a cheap suit.”

This attitude is completely unacceptable. Sex workers are a part of every community. Criminalizing someone working from their own home, with consensual partners, of their own volition, is inexcusable.

Please support Kimberly and donate to her defense fund. The attorney’s are putting in time pro bono, but court cases are egregiously expensive. Let’s show Polk county that our community sticks together, and we support our colleagues and friends.

http://kuppsdefensefund.com/

SWOP-LA Tables at Slut Walk LA

16 Jun

SWOP-LA table (and hot ladies)

SWOP-LA wants to say a big thank you to everyone we had an opportunity to speak with about what we do and out next event at Slut Walk LA. We love that you took the time to not only attend this important grassroots event but that you took the time to talk to us about sex workers and the challenges they (we) face. It was really great to see all those people turn up and let their voices be heard. Slut shaming and rape culture needs to stop and sex workers are often easy and frequent targets. SWOP-LA is dedicated to ending the stigma and violence against sex workers so having a table at this event was very important to us. We loved the interaction and loved being there along side N.O.W. Yep that’s right N.O.W! The speakers were moving and inspiring although listening to how someone was violated isn’t always easy to hear, listening to how someone over came their personal adversity is something we can all benefit from. Plus a sexy dance party broke out, who doest love that!

Whore Tea

1 Jun

One of the main priorities of SWOP-LA is to build a thriving community.  Currently we are a small group and we are working hard to expand our community for sex workers and supporters.  There are currently consistent meetings for those who are interested in being a part of SWOP-LA, and we are working towards holding regular meetings of a more social nature for those who are currently sex workers.  In the future when we have a larger community, we would like to have a few different group meetings that are geared specifically for former members and for those who are interested in becoming sex workers.  However, as it stands, we are still quite small, so our main priority after general business is to create a space where current sex workers can come together and feel comfortable discussing sex work and all the trials and tribulations that come with this kind of work.  Keeping a space for current workers is important for the comfort of potential newcomers and current participants.

Our first current sex worker social was held this month at a local tea house, and was called Whore Tea.  The venue was charming, as was the tea and refreshments.  Our group consisted of three women, including myself.  One women works as an escort, another as a burlesque dancer, and I work as an erotic masseuse.  As always, it is nice to be open and honest about the work I do.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget how hard it can be to live with a secret, as I am not public about my work as others may choose to be.  Even if the conversation is not about sex work, just sitting among other sex workers relieves an underlying tension knowing that everyone present will not judge me based on the work that I do.  There are unique stressors working in the sex industry and it is extremely important to have the support of those who have direct knowledge of what it is like to do this kind of work.  Although having supporters is wonderful and invaluable, there is a sincere need to have a place where sex workers can have more than sympathy-they have true understanding of the nature of the work.

The next sex worker social will likely be held in an open outdoor picnic-type setting, as to maximize privacy and allow members to feel comfortable discussing topics that may not be appropriate for a general public setting.  Hopefully in the near future we will have a larger group and we can arrange for private restaurant rooms.  These socials are going to be a great place to socialize and hang out with other sexy people who are bold enough to use their sex appeal to generate income.  Hope to see you at the next event!

-Dara

Why SWOP? – Ashley Nicole

1 Jun

When I first thought of titling this article, I thought of, “Why SWOP Is Important To You?” or “Why You Are Important To SWOP?”.  Well, since the case is both, I decided on the short title.

First, you need to know what SWOP is.  SWOP itself stands for Sex Workers Outreach Project.  We are the chapter that represents the Los Angeles area.  Our mission is a social justice organisation, part of a national network, dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.

Second, SWOP is composed of current and former Sex Workers, those in other adult occupations and their allies.  Our membership is made of all genders and sexual orientations, as well as races, colours, creeds and religions.  Yes, religions!  The stereotype of sex workers as godless heathens is just that.  Although, we do have our share of proud Heathens, Pagans, Wiccans, Goddess worshippers and Goddess worshipping Christians besides the standard faiths.

Our most basic work, and why SWOP is important to you, is our anti-violence efforts.  Our multi-state network of sex workers and advocates address on a local and national level the violence that sex workers experience due to the criminal status of their work.

From the SWOP-USA Mission Statement:

Operating in one of the most prominently violent societies today, sex workers in America experience this phenomenon pointedly in the context of their criminal status. Yet, sex workers are seldom afforded protection or recourse from violent acts committed against them because of the precarious, often graft-ridden relationship between sex work and law enforcement. Society tolerates violence against sex workers because of the stigma and myths that surround prostitution. Only until these falsehoods are corrected and sex workers are legitimized will we be able to effectively prevent and minimize the structural and occupational challenges of sex work.

We also advocate for sex work to be recognized as real work, legitimate work.  This puts an end to sex workers being vulnerable to police abuse and discrimination in the wider community.  Also, it will allow sex workers to develop occupational safety and health to protect themselves in the workplace and resist police abuse.

The goals of SWOP should also be important to the LGBTIQ community, as well.  For one, generally, the two communities share the pain of violence afflicted against them.  Secondly, many sex workers are queer, particularly transwomen, and they receive a heavy share of the occurrences of the violence, rape and murder among sex workers due to transphobia and hate.  We should work arm-in-arm for anti-violence and tolerance.

These issues should also be of concern to those in the BDSM scene, and especially women who work as professional dominatrices.  While Pro-Dommes are not sex workers, many jurisdictions have written legislation that treats them as such, thereby making it difficult for them to work, as well as subject to police harassment.  Also, clubs, public or private, can run afoul of either the law or the police because they don’t understand the nature of the BDSM scene.  Pro-Dommes can also be the victims of violence as well, making advocacy and protection important for them, too.

So, why are YOU important to SWOP?  Like with any other activist or advocacy group, the number of people in the group, the efforts of those people in the group, the funding of the group, influence the effectiveness of the group.  The more you increase the effectiveness of the group, the better chance there is to achieve the change that you are advocating.  If you are someone who has experienced the violence and discrimination written about, you should indeed get involved.  If you are someone who believes in human rights and human dignity, you should get involved.  If you are someone who believes in freedom of choice in work and lifestyle as fundamental, natural rights, you should get involved and join SWOP today!

Ashley Nicole

Filmmaker

Queer Activist

Gynarchist

Libertarian

Sex Worker Ally

2000 Republican Nominee for State Assembly

Political Rebel/Social Revolutionary

SEX WORKERS CALL FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT DURING PORN WIKILEAKS CRISIS

18 Apr

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

SEX WORKERS CALL FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT DURING PORN WIKILEAKS CRISIS

Last week it was discovered that the website Porn Wikileaks, in an egregious breach of privacy, published the full legal names and other personal information of over 13,000 people they claim to be performers in the porn industry. The information was taken at least partially from the database of the AIM Medical Associates P.C. This deplorable publication not only names current and former porn performers, but others who had been tested at AIM facilities as well.

The cruel shock to those who find themselves on Porn Wikileaks is intensified by the language used on the site. Each entry begins with: “[performer name] born Real Name [legal name] is a pornographic whore, and Hooker.” In the forums members encourage each other to add to the growing list of ID cards and to contact family members and employers to “give those cunts what they deserve.” The site is aggressively homophobic, sexist, transphobic, and offensive on many other levels. This is especially threatening in an environment where sex workers are already frequently targeted as victims of violence.

One of the most disappointing aspects of this story has been AIM’s response. While quick to defend their own organization, calling themselves victims of a security breach comparable to the hacking of the Pentagon and virulently noting that not all the information on the site came from them specifically, there has been no discernible effort made to notify the victims that their information has been made public. A current sex worker, who wishes to remain anonymous after having already been outed on the site, believes that “AIM has either lost sight of or is indifferent to the victimhood of the thousands who have been viciously outed and left vulnerable to the harsh consequences of anti-sex worker sentiments.”

The actions of those who manage and contribute to Porn Wikileaks are reprehensible, but this does not excuse AIM’s responsibility to protect the privacy of their patients.

“We’ve had to set up a quiet network of people personally informing anyone they know that could be affected” says Jessie Nicole, director of Sex Workers Outreach Project – Los Angeles. “We are extremely disappointed in AIM’s response, and feel they need to do more to address the needs of the community they serve.”

Sex workers want a medical center tailored to the specific needs of the sex industry, including protection of anonymity. When sex workers are outed, not only are any future jobs outside of the sex industry threatened, but so is their physical safety. SWOP-LA encourages anyone who has been affected by this atrocity to contact their local sex workers rights organization. Jessie Nicole emphasizes “we can address this crisis together as a community, and come up with a viable model for a medical center that could prevent this type of threat from reoccurring in the future.”

To contact SWOP-LA:

swopla@swoplosangeles.org

http://www.swoplosangeles.org

Sex Workers Outreach Project – Los Angeles

5042 Wilshire Blvd. #202

Los Angeles, CA 90036

swopla@swoplosangeles.org

Director

Jessie Nicole

(424) 253-6223

jessie.nicole@swoplosangeles.org

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March 3rd Recap

7 Mar

So this is a couple days overdue, but I wanted to make sure I had permission for the pictures!

Continue reading

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

5 Mar

Hello everyone!

Please be patient while we restructure our website. We’re working to make it more easily navigable and to provide more resources for sex workers and sex work activists alike. As we are comprised solely of volunteers, it may take a couple days before we debut the makeover.

Expect to see something shiny and new by Wednesday, March 9th. In the meantime – we invite you to check out some links to other SWOP chapters.

Thank you for your understanding! Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns!

xoxo

SWOP-LA

swoplosangeles@gmail.com

Domina Panel – March 20th, 2011

4 Mar
An intimate discussion with Professional and Lifestyle Dominate Women, moderated by Rev Mel, of TSRnetwork.com. This panel discussion of Los Angeles’s Lifestyle and Pro Dominas will discuss, parenting kinky, making your passion your profession, managing the business of kink and much more.

Screening of the Documentary: BDSM: It’s not what you think

Fashion show of Syren and Stormy Weather Fashions, bar and refreshments.

This is a free event and is open to the public.

The event is sponsored by The Stockroom and Eros.com, and Eros will be providing advertising discount coupons for all attendees. This is also a charitable fundraiser for the Woodhull Freedom Foundation and the Women’s Leather History Project for the Leather Archives & Museum.