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Jan 31 2014

Role Play, Burlesque & More! Free Workshops in Los Angeles

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by thepleasurechest

Embrace romance this February by learning some new seduction skills! As always, attendees get 15% off all of their purchases.

My Smutty Valentine: Role Play & Dirty Talk with Kate
Wednesday, February 5th @ 8-10pm – FREE!

Who says that Valentine’s Day has to be all about hearts and flowers? This class will teach you how to please your partner using dirty language, prurient pillow talk, and filthy fantasies, for a truly salacious celebration of love. We’ll help you find the scenarios that make you the hottest, move past giggle fits gracefully, and embody an extra-sexy alter ego.

sex workers uniteSex Workers Unite with Melinda Chateauvert
Monday, February 10th @ 8-10pm – FREE!

Activist Melinda Chateauvert will be reading from her new book, Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to Slutwalk, a provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges our ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom.

Bedroom Burlesque with Kitty Cadillac
Wednesday, February 19th @ 8-10pm – FREE!

Learn how to take it off like a pro! Join Sex Specialist Kitty Cadillac as she shows you how to tantalize and tease your lover in the bedroom. Put on a private show they won’t forget. She will guide you through hot exotic dance moves, sensual glove and stocking peels, and how to give a sexy lap dance. It’s role playing at its finest!

Performance Anxiety – Comedy Night at The Pleasure Chest
Tuesday, February 25th @ 8-10pm

Get your laughs and lube in the same place. Join us for the return of the ever popular Performance Anxiety, a comedy night hosted by Eli Olsberg. For seven bucks, you can enjoy free beer, 15% off your purchases and live performances by some of the best comics working today.

Jun 21 2013

Supreme Court Ends Anti-Sex Work Restriction On AIDS Funding

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by thepleasurechest

gavel

While many of us anticipated a historic ruling on marriage equality yesterday, the Supreme Court weighed in another issue, vital to the concerns of sex workers and global health advocates.

The Supreme Court, in its 6-2 decision, said the federal government cannot require HIV outreach groups to sign an anti-prostitution pledge in order to get government funding. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Court, stated that such a requirement violated the First Amendment. “The policy requirement goes beyond preventing recipients from using private funds in a way that would undermine the federal program,” he wrote. “It requires them to pledge allegiance to the government’s policy of eradicating prostitution.”

For the past 10 years, the controversial policy has complicated efforts to provide HIV/AIDS services to sex workers around the world.  The ruling is seen as a huge win for sex workers and health advocates.

Can we expect more good news from the court next week?

 

Jun 13 2013

Sex Work & the Global War on AIDS

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by thepleasurechest

SexWorkersRates1

Ten years ago, the United States dramatically ramped up AIDS funding, but the funding came with this dangerous string attached: in order to qualify, non-governmental organizations must adopt an explicit policy opposing prostitution.

The US provides nearly 60% of the funds to fight the global AIDS epidemic, but as you can see from this infographic, aid is often prohibited from going where it is most needed. Namely to female sex workers in the Global South. Can the US fight a war on sex work and a war on AIDS at the same time?

More at The Nation.

Jun 03 2013

Brooklyn Cops Stop Condom Busts

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by thepleasurechest

condoms

As we reported back in March, the NYPD has been arresting people on suspicion of prostitution simply for carrying condoms. The practice is especially problematic since the same city also distributes free condoms to help combat STIs. Now there’s some good news out of Brooklyn where prosecutors, bowing to pressure from sex worker advocates, have ordered the police to stop collecting condoms as evidence.

Prosecutors will continue to use condoms as evidence in trafficking cases, a policy that remains controversial among sex worker advocates. Still, this new rule should help to reduce the number of arrests and reduce fears of getting arrested simply for carrying protection.

h/t @Melissa Gira Grant

May 09 2013

Porn Long Reads

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by thepleasurechest

stoya

Yes, sometimes we do actually read the internet for the articles. As proof, we’d like to point you to a couple of great pieces we read recently. First, there’s this amazing profile of Stoya, the internet’s favorite porn star. Kudos to Amanda Hess for showing us another side to one of our heroes.

Also this week, we read “What Do You Desire,” Emily Witt’s marvelous essay about San Francisco, modern love, porn and utopia. Witt uses  her visits to the sets of Kink.com porn shoots to ruminate on her own search for romantic fulfillment. It’s a long read, but worth your time.

If you like reading heady, thoughtful pieces on porn, you’re in luck. Routledge has just announced a call for papers for Porn Studies. It’s described as “the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore those cultural products and services designated as pornographic and their cultural, economic, historical, institutional, legal and social contexts.” It’s about time.

 

May 01 2013

Webcam Models Read Sonnets

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by thepleasurechest

Vice points us to a project by John Reed, a prolific writer with “a healthy interest in porn as both an art form and a cultural phenomenon.” Among his many talents, Reed writes modern day sonnets, and he’s commissioned webcam models to read them. The staging of these readings resembles a typical camshow, but the poems cast the transaction between model and client in a whole new light. You can see the whole series here.

Apr 22 2013

Adult Film Industry Organizes Against Proposed State Law Mandating Condoms in Porn

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by thepleasurechest

unclesamLast November, Los Angeles voters approved Measure B, a law requiring condoms for all porn shoots in LA County. While that law faces appeal, there’s a new challenge to California’s adult film industry. Assembly Bill 332 would enforce a statewide requirement for condoms on all adult film sets.

Our friends at the Free Speech Coalition argue that, if passed, AB 332 would drive the industry out of California. There’s some evidence for this. Since the passage of Measure B, applications for porn film permits in Los Angeles have plummeted, with productions moving to nearby Ventura County. In LA, “only two permits have been issued for pornographic filming so far this year, far off pace for an industry that typically gets about 500 permits annually.”

Aside from the economic impact of a ban, the FSC emphasizes that the adult industry already has effective protocols to protect performers.

“Between April of 2006 and December of 2012 there have been 46,283 new cases of HIV reported in the state of California.  During that same time period only two performers contracted HIV—off set—in their personal lives.  No transmission of HIV has occurred on an adult set since 2004 nationwide.”

They also point out that the bill interferes with a pending lawsuit filed by Vivid Entertainment, challenging the constitutionality of Measure B. Rather than pass yet another law making it harder for the adult industry, the state should wait to see what happens with the suit against Measure B.

The FSC is encouraging friends of the adult film industry to contact members of the Assembly State Labor Committee by phone, fax or email, asking them to oppose AB332 when it comes up for up a vote this Wednesday. The call to action, along with suggested talking points and contact information for the committee members can be found here.

 

Mar 14 2013

Amsterdam’s Oldest Twin Sex Workers Retire

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by thepleasurechest

Louise and Martine Fokkens, twin sisters who have worked as prostitutes in Amsterdam for over 50 years, have retired. The pair were the subject of a documentary released last year called Meet the Fokkens and are currently working on a book. This brief article in the Daily Mail hardly does their storied careers justice, but the Fokkens have some interesting observations about how the sex trade has changed in Amsterdam since legalization.

Louise will continue to see one kinky older client. “‘I couldn’t give him up. He’s been coming to me for so long it’s like going to church on a Sunday,” she said.

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