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December 17: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

December 17, 2008

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

The International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers is an annual event that occurs on December 17th. This year the national Sex Workers Outreach Project has organized a march in Washington DC. Check out their informative web page for more information. There are also smaller vigils happening in other cities for those who can’t make the trip. Here in NYC, there will be a candlelight vigil from 7 to 8 pm on Wednesday, December 17th in Washington Square Park. The event is co-sponsored by the Sex Workers Outreach Project, Sex Work Awareness, $pread Magazine, and Sex Workers Action New York.

I’m MCing the event and giving a short speech, and there will be a reading of the names of sex workers murdered in the past year.

It’s always a pretty somber and kind of difficult event to be present at, but I do think it’s worth our time and energy to bring attention to the volume of sex workers murdered every year, while also looking forward to a future where less of that happens.

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Sex Work

December 14, 2008

I found myself at the Oyster Bar last night, talking to young man and the conversation somehow steered to sex work. He found this an odd turn of events since I first introduced myself as a boring accounting person, then mentioned sex toys which led to this discussion of sex workers and the very basic rights that they as workers, as human beings, deserve but do not get.

As I spoke, I realized how much I had learned about sex work since getting involved with the calendar project. In my tunnel vision, I had really only considered the sex workers I know. All of whom are educated, smart, middle to upper class women doing what they do because they enjoy doing it. It’s a choice and one, because of their relatively comfortable life styles, support systems and education, they can leave at anytime. Of course, I knew that there were others in different and dire circumstances, but until doing my research it didn’t seem to effect me.

But it does. The way we treat sex workers affects us all. As thinking, caring and compassionate human beings we need to realize that when we marginalize anyone, we marginalize ourselves.

The fact that the US ties HIV prevention funds to the signing of an “anti-prostitution” pledge has had a profound effect on the poorest people on this planet, those with the least resources have seen what little they had to rely on simply vanish. For some, the world’s neediest nations, a bed to sleep in, a place to bathe and use a toilet, medical attention and condoms, as well as places to feel a sense of community, these all have gone away due to lack of funding. Watch the video “Taking the Pledge” to learn more about the impact of that policy.

There is a lot to learn about sex work and sex workers and I suggest you do what I did, educate yourselves by going to the following sources.

The Sex Workers Project

SexWork101

SWOP

Bound, not Gagged

And, you can do more to help. If you’re in New York, you can join us in Washington Square Park on Wednesday, December 17th, from 7PM to 8PM for a vigil to end violence against sex workers. Wear red. Go here to find where you can participate in your own city.

Of course, you can buy our awesome calendar. Every cent of profit goes directly to Sex Work Awareness.

You can help us in our efforts to make December Sex Work Awareness month by asking two friends to write something that enlightens us about the realities of sex work and the issues sex workers face. Let’s spread the word, we have a voice here on the internet and we can use it for more than sex toy reviews and erotica writing. We can use our voices to make a difference, to spread hope and love and enlightenment.

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Thank You

December 2, 2008

Alas, the proper time to give thanks to the many people who contributed to making our release party so successful has come and gone and all has been quiet here on this blog. Personal issues have interfered with my ability to actually do more than think the thanks, while I haven’t written the post acknowledging all of you, you’ve been in my thoughts constantly (aided by the constant nagging of one debauched Diva).

There are so many people to thank that I am going to do this in no particular order.

First, there’s Lorraine who manned the calendar sales table all evening and each time I saw her always had a lovely smile on her beautiful face. Thank you, Lorraine. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope I get to see more of you (and not in a pervy way, well…).

Thanks to Will, who helped sell calendars all night and safe guarded our funds and who contributes to making Elizabeth so happy. And thanks to Elizabeth who signed calendars, sold calendars and was always ready to pitch in wherever needed, including texting me reminders that Will had money we needed to retrieve.

Thank you, Amanda, for keeping a watchful eye on all the sexy, raffle items all evening. Amanda never left her post once. I even saw her shifting her gaze to the prize table while men tried to chat her up. That’s dedication. You rock, Amanda.

Many thanks to BadBadGirl, Dangerous Lily and That Toy Chick for helping to get more items into the gift bags that Catalina, Rebecca and I spent the prior evening stuffing. One hundred gift bags takes up a lot of room, let me tell you. They made sure we got the last of the goodies into those bags and handed them all out for us in record time. 100 gift bags were gone in less than twenty minutes. Thank you, ladies, for making the trip, BBG all the way from the west coast, and sharing our special night with us.

Thanks to the amazing, sexy Jezebel Express for her help with the raffle. Jezebel’s unique brand of crowd control should be patented…when the crowd gets wild show them your ass! Thanks, Jez, I only wish I had actually seen the burlesque acts. From the crowd’s reaction, I’d say Weirdee Girl, The Luvely Rae, Darlinda Just Darlinda and of course, Jezebel, did a spectacular job. I need a private show, ladies! Thank you all so very much.

Thanks also have to go out to Desiree and Mariella who came early and helped set up, stuffed bags and generally helped to make order out of chaos. Mariella wheeled the FYN’s Rolling Toy Trunk, generously donated by Vera, which was stuffed with goodie bags from the hotel to the White Rabbit, carefully navigating her way through the streets of the LES.

Match was a huge help. Not only was he a sponsor on our calendar, he was also responsible for that lovely shower photo idea that got our pre-party started and then he got some awesome photos of Diva’s cleavage. He helped throughout the night whenever we needed him whether it was tightening our corsets, stuffing goody bags or schlepping boxes to and from the White Rabbit and even made sure the Impatient NYC cab driver didn’t take off without Diva. Thank you, Match, for all that and helping make both our pre-party and after-party so much fun.

To Jessica of Vergenza who was one of our first supporters and we were so happy that she was able to share our special night with us looking adorable as ever in her cute but oh so sexy outfit.

Thanks to the Thompson LES Hotel for making our stay there really wonderful. They gave us some great rates and extended the same rates to our sponsors. They safely held onto our many boxes and deliveries and even supplied us with a helpful bellman and a luggage cart to get all those boxes over to the White Rabbit. The staff at the Thompson always had a smile for us, got us the best cheese platter I have ever had and removed the erroneous charge for the Kiki DM intimacy kit (as if we needed MORE sex toys when we had not only boxes of some of the most stellar toys on the planet but also the creative genius behind Njoy toys, our main sponsor, the generous and wonderful Greg Delong, and all his crew, Chris, Jason and Dee) that was missing from the second room we got when we realized we needed much more space.

Thanks to Axe who gladly offered his services to us that night. Without him working so hard selling raffle tickets and delivering the prizes for us our raffle would not have been the success it was. We already have you on the list for next year.

The lovely Gem, who we found online and generously worked her hair and make-up magic on Diva, Elizabeth and me for the party and under the crazy pre-party conditions in our hotel suite. Gem is truly a gem.

Natt Nightly for those badly needed foot massages after standing all night long in our sexy high heel shoes. Don’t be surprised if Diva takes off her shoes next time you see her.

Thanks to our amazing photographer and friend Stacie Joy who along with her friend Norman Blake captured some of the most memorable moments of the evening.

Thank you to all our sponsors who donated prizes for our raffle and gift bags and to those of you who also attended our party.

A special thanks to Njoy who not only paid for the printing of our calendars but then personally delivered them along with the raffle’s grand prize – The Njoy Eleven.

A final thank you for all of the people who attended our party helping so generously to support Sex Work Awareness and making the night a huge success.

We would now like to share some of our good fortune and sponsor love with all of you. The first 50 people who order a calendar will receive Level Two memberships to CrashPadSeries.com valid for the entire month of December courtesy of Pink & White Productions.

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PayPal and Sex

November 24, 2008

Some of you may have noticed with have moved from selling our calendar through PayPal to Audacia Ray’s store on her site Waking Vixen. This change was made last Monday after our account had been put on review for the second time by PayPal.

Last Sunday we received an email from PayPal stating that our account was under review and they were requiring additional information for four transactions that occurred on October 1st, 2nd and 3rd. We were able to provide the additional information they requested and our account was fully reinstated within the hour. This however was the second review we had received since opening the account. When we first opened this PayPal account we received a phone call from them questioning what exactly we would be selling.

We believe what has caused PayPal to twice now review our account is the word “sex” in both our email address and the actual calendar title. Because of this we made the decision last Monday to move the purchase transactions over to Dacia’s store. We were lucky that someone involved with this calendar already had a merchant account that made this possible.

It is obvious to us and many others in this community that PayPal is not good to use for anyone in the adult industry. We were aware of others who had had their accounts frozen and their funds taken by PayPal for what PayPal felt was a violation for their TOS. We did not think when we set up our Paypal account we would have this problem because there is no nudity in our calendar. As a matter of fact our calendar shows less skin than the Sport Illustrated calendar does but we do not want to take the risk of having the funds in our account seized.

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Calendar Release Party Tomorrow!

November 13, 2008

Tess by Stacie Joy

Thanks to the miracle work of the pervy angels over at Njoy, the calendars have made their way over land and through the sky and probably over the sea to the Njoy-plex. They will be personally delivered to us tomorrow at our secret headquarters. All but for a box of 50 that showed up on my doorstep last night.

And let me tell you, all the time and effort, stress and insanity of working on such a tight time schedule was worth it. The calendars are beautiful and I am so proud to be the producer of this project and to have had the ability to work with all the smart and sexy pin ups and our fabulous sponsors.

So come party with us and share in the fun, use some of your hard earned bucks for a good, sex-positive cause, Sex Work Awareness, enjoy some sultry, sexy burlesque performances by The Luvely Rae, Weirdee Girl, Jezebel Express and Darlinda Just Darlinda and maybe win a fabulous prize or two. It’s all happening at White Rabbit, tomorrow between 6:30 and 9:30. Remember that the first 100 people get Babeland gift bags crammed with goodies from many of our sponsors and the first 100 people to buy calendars get a FREE bottle of Sliquid Silk, a $14.95 value, making your calendar purchase practically free. We even have other goodies to pass out among the best (or naughtiest) behaved among you.

Take a look at all the press we’ve been getting and think about arriving early because we don’t want you to miss out on any of the merriment and mayhem.

Please bring cash to purchase your calendars and raffle tickets. You know you can’t resist the charms of scantily clad ladies. Don’t forget you get to touch Tess’s bountiful boobs or spank/be spanked by Rachel when you purchase a calendar. We are such a giving group of women. All for the cause, people, all for the cause.

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New calendar trailer video!

November 10, 2008

Here it is, the second of two sneak peek videos of the sex blogger calendar shoot! The launch party is this Friday, November 14th from 6.30-9.30 at the White Rabbit (145 East Houston, NYC).

At the party you can meet all your favorite sex bloggers, buy a calendar ($20, all proceeds support Sex Work Awareness), and enter to win one of the many glorious raffle prizes.

The first 100 people in the door get goodie bags and the first 100 people to buy a calendar will get a free bottle of Sliquid Silk!

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Calendar Party Countdown

November 2, 2008

Our party is less than two weeks away and we hope to see many of you there. Get there early, we expect a crowd and only have 100 gift bags and we know you are going to want yours.

Due to popular demand, with your calendar purchase you can choose between tickets to Spank (or be spanked by) Rachel or to Touch Tess’ Tits. We’re givers.

The raffle prizes keep growing thanks to so many wonderful supporters who believe in this project and believe that being sex-positive extends beyond the walls of their own bedrooms. So check out the list on the About The Raffle page and see what you might win. Raffle tickets are $2 for 1, $5 for 3 and $10 for 10. Cash only. Bring the green!

And since our calendar was shot at the fabulous NYC burlesque venue, The Slipper Room, what could be better than to bring a bit of va-va-va-voom directly to you. Performing at the party are Jezebel Express, Weirdee Girl, The Luvley Rae and Darlinda Just Darlinda. We’re hoping to lure one of our own pin ups into performing the burlesque act she’s been working on. Have any ideas who that would be? You’ll just have to wait and see! And it will be so worth it.

And since so many of you are giving in so many ways, we’d like to ask for some volunteers to hand out gift bags, sell raffle tickets (scantily clad only need apply), refill our drinks (oops, how’d that get in there?) and generally make sure that chaos is somewhat contained. If you’d like to help out, email me (urbangypsyt@gmail.com) or my able bodied assistant with the growing boobs, I mean, seriously, have you seen Diva’s recent HNT’s, (debaucheddomesticdiva@gmail.com). If anyone wants to try their hand at DJ’ing and has an iPod full of super sexy music, bring it on. Again, just email either of us.

We really want all of you out there to be at the party, but if you happen to be out of town, across the country, across the ocean or otherwise unable to attend, you can go to the Purchase A Calendar page and order yours now. They will ship out after the party!

See you all soon…