As a sex worker, opting out of politics, current events, updates to social media platforms and the status of laws and legislations isn't an option. Our work and day to day lives are, unfortunately, heavily affected by changes in all of these areas. The sex working community has been rallying for decriminalization on a local, national, and even global level for decades, long before I even stepped into my first whore heels. Now there's a push for progressive action in not only decriminalization, but active rights and protections, potential unions, accurate and beneficial media representation, less digital censorship and for moving the power and profit gained from the industry directly into the pockets of those doing the work. Weekly, we'll be gathering some of the latest political and pop culture headlines making waves in the community.
"Dom Strippers" are taking the strip club scene by storm, bending the gender stereotypes and flipping it on it's head. Girl Flexxx, who is based in Detroit but performs all over the country, is one of many POC Masc Lesbian strippers who are integrating into the male strip clubs, and appealing in a massive way to the LGBTQ+ community and cis straight women. While this seems like a new, radical concept, Dom strippers have been around since the 1990s. Read the full article covered on Slate, here.
Kimberly Klacik, a former Republican nominee for Maryland's 7th Congressional District was recently accused (possibly outed?) by prominent conservative Black activist Candace Owens, of previously working as a stripper in an ongoing social media fued between the two of them. Both women have been criticized by the Black community for their controversial stances on race-based issues and policies. Klacik addressed Owen's claims by dismissing the rumor, while also showing empathy to current strippers. Read more coverage on Newsweek, here.
Zack Weiner, 26, a City Council candidate running in Manhattan has found himself, quite literally, tied up in a (sexy?) scandal as a result of leaked video footage of his participation in a sadomasochism session at Partheon Studio in Midtown Manhattan, that was posted on Twitter via an anonymous account. The tweet seems to have come from a "friend" of the Dominatrix, however the Domme remains unnamed, as well as the motives of this expose. Weiner owned his appreciation for BDSM, but claimed the session was with an "ex-girlfriend" from 18 months ago. This whole thing gave me major deja vu to Showtime's Billions, which I recommend a watch. Full story covered by the NY Post, here.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills is set to decide if her state will become the first in the nation to partially decriminalize prostitution, a move "intended" to help those trapped in the sex trade. *cough* ALLEGEDLY *cough* The legislation, if enacted, would add momentum to a nationwide lobbying campaign that is pushing states to combat commercial sexual exploitation by reducing penalties for those who sell sex — and increasing punishment for people purchasing sex. However, we know that criminalizing the clients, or the purchase of the services, does nothing to protect the actual workers, and could do more harm than good. Read more on Politico, here.
The Victorian government seems to be moving towards a decriminalization of sex work and looking to regulate the sex industry “through standard business industry laws” following a review conducted by the Reason party leader, Fiona Patten, in 2020. The review concluded that the current system left many unprotected (duh) and the government is now expected to release the report and table proposed legislation by the end of the year. This change would set Victoria to be the next country to join the Northern Territory and New South Wales as jurisdictions that have decriminalized sex work. But the question is, how does sex work exist under "standard business industry law" and what does that change look like for the workers? Read the full story covered by the Guardian, here.
And finally, if you're like me, you've been anticipating the release of Zola, the A24 adaption of the infamous 148-tweet thread by A'ziah 'Zola' King, that went viral in 2015. The thread told the story of a weekend in Florida gone horribly wrong (do any weekends in Florida go right?) that stemmed from a betrayal by Zola's 5-minute friend Jessica, a white women who invited her on a strip trip for a quick cash grab. "The story," as it's been famed, quickly takes a dark turn, and A24 jumped on the opportunity to take Zola's account of the events and adapt it to a feature-length film. I'll be doing a more in-depth review on this, but Rolling Stone spoke with King on her involvement with the film, which you can read here.