Red Umbrella Project

Amplifying the voices of people in the sex trades

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Why I visit prostitutes

"Last June, the FBI seized myredbook under the accusation that the site was helping traffic women. The sex workers I knew were all concerned when this happened. Without self-monitoring networks like myredbook, their world is more dangerous. Unfortunately, there are still cases of women who are trafficked and women in prostitution against their will.  That should never be tolerated. But it’s a shame to see law enforcement painting with such a broad brush. Sex workers have lost their safety network. Clients have lost a resource to know when an advertiser is reputable.  Even the police lose a resource; they could monitor sites like myredbook to catch traffickers. Now those criminals are underground and harder to find." 

Filed under sex work sexwork sexworkers prostitution johns

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naked-yogi:

praxis89:

“They say I have a sweet ass, nice tits, a real pretty dress. They say I’m their future wife, or I’d look good with their dick in my mouth. They try (and probably succeed at times) to take pictures down my shirt. They ask if they can get my number, they ask where I live, why I’m not smiling, why my boyfriend lets me walk around by myself. Then they ask why I’m such a bitch, if my pussy is made of ice. They say that they never do this, as though I’ve somehow driven them to inappropriate behavior and deserve it. They say they’re just having fun, trying to pay me a compliment. Pretty frequently they get mean, slipping into a loud tourettes-like chant of bitch-whore-cunt-slut.
Before you try to tell me that it’s because I take my clothes off for a living, let me tell you that this started way before I was 18. Let me tell you that every single woman I know has at least one truly terrifying story of street harassment and a whole bunch of other stories that are merely insulting or annoying. Let me remind you that in a room of pornography fans, who have actually seen me with a dick in my mouth and who can buy a replica of my vagina in a can or box, I am treated with far more respect than I am walking down the street.”
—Stoya

I have always loved this quote.

naked-yogi:

praxis89:

They say I have a sweet ass, nice tits, a real pretty dress. They say I’m their future wife, or I’d look good with their dick in my mouth. They try (and probably succeed at times) to take pictures down my shirt. They ask if they can get my number, they ask where I live, why I’m not smiling, why my boyfriend lets me walk around by myself. Then they ask why I’m such a bitch, if my pussy is made of ice. They say that they never do this, as though I’ve somehow driven them to inappropriate behavior and deserve it. They say they’re just having fun, trying to pay me a compliment. Pretty frequently they get mean, slipping into a loud tourettes-like chant of bitch-whore-cunt-slut.

Before you try to tell me that it’s because I take my clothes off for a living, let me tell you that this started way before I was 18. Let me tell you that every single woman I know has at least one truly terrifying story of street harassment and a whole bunch of other stories that are merely insulting or annoying. Let me remind you that in a room of pornography fans, who have actually seen me with a dick in my mouth and who can buy a replica of my vagina in a can or box, I am treated with far more respect than I am walking down the street.

—Stoya

I have always loved this quote.

(via laundertoe)

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I remembered Tomorrow from my first naïve trip to Portland. The first day I met her she was singing with a cardboard sign in her delicate hands, creatively making up freestyle songs, asking for spare change. She was beautiful and her singing voice was angelic. I never forgot her because of her sweet smile, her nickname, and her captivating voice. Other days you could find her sketching her art in a tattered notebook and selling the pages for a dollar each. When the group of homeless youth had bid me farewell, Tomorrow had ripped out a sketch from her notebook and folded it into my pocket with an encouraging smile. In the chaos of my travels, her sketch was lost but the sentiment never was.
I remember one night when the stars lit the sky up the sky and I skipped my curfew at the group home with this girl Cory who was a few years older than me and well versed in the world of tragedy. Cory had perfect cheekbones and an elfin look about her, a Tank Girl-esque haircut, and a sleeve of tattoos done mostly by her friends. I had a crush on her as soon as we met and after hanging out a few times she had invited me on an outing with a bottle of vodka to meet up with her gang of friends, other teenage queer kids, gypsys, prostitutes, and misfits who formed their own memorial night for Tomorrow.

Lily Fury

Read the rest of this story and more sex worker memoirs in Prose & Lore: Issue 3

Filed under Sexwork sexworker redup Red Umbrella Project street kids portland violenceagainstsexworkers

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Why do individuals make the decision to engage in sex work?
There are a million answers to this question, and we don’t see authentic portrayals of what it means to be a sex worker very often. For this reason, sex workers rights organization Red Umbrella Project and Free Association Films brought together seven queer sex workers to tell their stories at NYC’s Joe’s Pub. The result? A film called “The Red Umbrella Diaries.”

Oh look, our doc is the featured story on Huffington Post Gay Voices today!

Why do individuals make the decision to engage in sex work?

There are a million answers to this question, and we don’t see authentic portrayals of what it means to be a sex worker very often. For this reason, sex workers rights organization Red Umbrella Project and Free Association Films brought together seven queer sex workers to tell their stories at NYC’s Joe’s Pub. The result? A film called “The Red Umbrella Diaries.”

Oh look, our doc is the featured story on Huffington Post Gay Voices today!

Filed under redupdoc sex work queer memoir storytelling documentary Red Umbrella Project redupnyc

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I still believe that walking into Glamour and into the heretofore-unthinkable sex trade couldn’t have been possible in any other city in the world, that something in the city’s hard, neon-bright walls of artifice engineered an ease of fluidity in identity, of slipping from one shape to another, in and out of masks. It happened in Tokyo, I tell myself now, because I decided that I could be someone else there, someone who could take a job in the sex trade. Me: the shyest, most awkward girl, who’d never even had a boyfriend, went to work in Tokyo’s nightclubs as if it were just a mask I was trying on. If I stopped to think about it long enough, I could come up with 100 reasons why I chose a club named Glamour. The word’s association with shape-shifters, for starters; or its origin in the Scots’ language. The reality is that I was broke, out of work, and someone at my guesthouse suggested it.

- Karen Gardiner

Read the rest of this story and more sex worker memoirs in Prose & Lore: Issue 3

Filed under sexwork sexworkers strippersonly prose&lore redup redumbrellaproject memoir

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Project ROSE aims to change lives, traumatizes sex workers instead, critics say

“It’s a very isolating job,” she said. “Because of initiatives like Project ROSE, it makes it extremely difficult to create a community to make it safer. It pushes sex working even more underground.”

Filed under sexwork sexworkers monica jones projectrose prostitution