New Sex Workers’ Rights Blog

Caroline recently emailed me to fill me in on a new blog project that sounded cool and important, and which I thought might interest many Feministe readers. (Full disclosure: Jill and I will be occasionally guest blogging.) Check out Caroline below:

Hi people! I’m Caroline Shepherd. Cara has very kindly given me the chance to guest post to let me tell you about my new blog.

It’s called Harlot’s Parlour; it’s a group blog for sex workers and allies to discuss sex, sexuality and sex workers rights and issues in the UK, Europe and beyond. As well as writing about current issues in sexuality and sex work, we’re going to be writing theoretically about sex work and feminism, looking at how sex work is portrayed in the media and the law.  Here’s the first post that introduces the writers (some you’ll know, some you won’t) and contains all the information on how the blog came about.

I hope you all pay us a visit, we’re pretty excited about this!

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3 comments for “New Sex Workers’ Rights Blog

  1. Butterflywings
    September 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    PLEASE reconsider guest blogging there.
    Douglas Fox, another contributor, is well known in the UK for being a misogynist pimp who is less about sex workers’ rights (which I fully support) and more about being able to pimp women. I absolutely think sex workers should be able to work in safety – Fox doesn’t. He thinks pimps belong in the same union as sex workers. I have never heard of a union where bosses and workers can both join.
    Also, the blog gives very dodgy ‘safety’ advice. Clingfilm and mouthwash will protect against STIs?!!

  2. September 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Douglas Fox is an activist with the International Union of Sex Workers and is a member of the GMB trades union’s branch for people who work in the sex industry. The IUSW campaigns for the human, civil and labour rights, and the full protection of the law for everyone who works in the sex industry and for the inclusion of sex workers in decisions which will affect our rights and safety.

    Objections to Douglas’ participation seem as fact based as Butterflywings’ comment “the blog gives very dodgy ’safety’ advice. Clingfilm and mouthwash will protect against STIs?!!”

    What the post (“Risk reduction tips for street sex workers”) actually says, intermingled with extensive advice on condom use, is:
    “If you do take risks, gargle with antiseptic and DON’T brush your teeth straight away as small cuts could then transmit infection.
    … Use dental dams for analingus (licking around the asshole) or for oral a customer does on you. If you don’t have them, you can cut up a condom or a piece of non-microwaveable cling film. You can get HepA from licking around the asshole”

    Compare with the advice THT give on HIV be transmission through oral sex (
    The headline is “Oral hygiene and safe sexual practices can help stop it being transmitted.” and the page continues “The risk factor is largely due to your oral hygiene. If you have ulcers, dental bleeding or lacerations then theoretically the infection could reach your bloodstream…. * use a barrier such as cling-film, a dental dam, a Femidom or a sheet cut from a condom … * look after your oral hygiene.”

  3. September 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Butterflywings — I know nothing about the guy, I’d have to look into it more. As for mouthwash, that sound dodgy to me, but Catherine is absolutely right about clingfilm — it actually does work as a dental dam, as long as, as the article says, it’s non-microwavable. This is actually a pretty well known fact, and a common safer sex tip, seeing as how actual dental dams are so incredibly hard to find.

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