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The Oldest Profession Gets a New Look 

Wednesday, May 18 2011
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Prostitution might seem like a simple issue. “It’s bad.” Okay. But it gets complex when you take a closer look. Some people are forced into it, their health and personal safety in constant jeopardy. And that is bad. Yet some women and men truly enjoy doing it. They maintain that if it weren’t criminal, prostitutes would have legal health and safety protection, there would be less of a market for human traffickers, and the old, moralistic stigma surrounding sex and pleasure for its own sake would be lessened. Carol Leigh advocates for this kind of change. She’s also the coproducer with Erica Fabulous of the San Francisco Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival, which annually gives self-proclaimed whores (including prostitutes, porn performers, exotic dancers, and others) a forum to express themselves, learn from each other, and generally go hog mad celebrating what they do. Leigh says since its beginning as a film event in 1999, the festival has grown to include other visual arts, performances, workshops, educational efforts, and political organizing. Tonight at the Roxie, porn star and sex worker Derrick Hanson teams up with musical aficionado Tom Orr in Love for $ale: A Sweet Talking, Street Walking Bawdy Burlesque Cabaret, which benefits the St. James Infirmary, a facility dedicated to sex worker health. Throughout the festival is Roaming Hooker Fest, which has groups in a van projecting movies at various locations and giving out safer-sex materials. Film and video screenings include Transfrancisco by Glenn Davis as well as Mutantes: Punk Porn Feminism, whose stars include Annie Sprinkle and Lydia Lunch. Sprinkle also leads “What the Fuck Is Ecosex and Why Is It So Hot for Whores?” The presentation explores several things we didn’t really know about before, including “green porn” and “eco-phone sex.”
May 20-29, 2011

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Keith Bowers

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