Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night Coverage ~ And You're Invited

You are invited to attend XXBN's Election Night Coverage.
When: November 4th, from 10 p.m. to Midnight (Eastern)

Where: On XXBN ~ listen live, talk in the chat room, & even be on-air!

Why: There's this little thing called a presidential election, as well as lots of local elections going on that night and we'll be bringing you the news, results and (fingers-crossed!) the laughs and sighs of relief. (If not we'll be crying, ranting, barfing... possibly renting U-Hauls to cross a border...)

Who: Along with you, of course, Gracie Passette & Jill Brenneman will play host to the always fabulous Nina Hartley, Jessie Daniels, and Prop K Proponent, Maxine Doogan ~ as well as a slew of other sex positive & liberal folks.

What: We'll be talking politics, propositions, and elections ~ on national and local levels.
Please join us ~ no need to RSVP, just be there.

Have something to say, pray, or, if you're really on a rant, spray? You can even join the show by calling in at 646.200.3136.

If you're looking for more info on Prop K, check out Amber Rhea's list of coverage & resources.

Image credits: Sadie Lune I Want You Poster Prop K Poster, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-10-09 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 10 Oct 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-10-08 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 12:00 AM CDT

  • Hooker raped and robbed - by justice system? « Bound, Not Gagged
    A DEFENDANT accused of forcing a prostitute at gunpoint to have sex with him and three other men got lucky, so to speak, last week. A Philadelphia judge dropped all sex and assault charges at his preliminary hearing. Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni instead held the defendant on the bizarre charge of armed robbery for - get this - "theft of services."
  • Being Amber Rhea » Blog Archive » New media filling the void, for passion and (maybe, sometimes) profit
    this is where new media comes in and fills the void. No use waiting for mainstream media to get on the bandwagon and catch up; we all know how long THAT takes, if it ever happens at all. Instead, we can use the tools that are now available to us to get accurate information out there quickly, in our own voices, unpolluted by editors who are "uncomfortable" with certain topics or downright ignorant, and reach people who otherwise might not be reached (and they will have a voice, as well!).

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-10-06 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 07 Oct 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-10-03 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 04 Oct 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Friday, October 3, 2008

The Flip-Side Of Sex Worker Discrimination

Lingerie model Joy Sartin claimed she kept her money in her bra because she didn't have her purse with her, and she was only offering to pay a traffic ticket with it; but Portland police Officer Cody Berne testified that she offered him the $270 from her bra after he explained her car would be towed because her license had been suspended for drunken driving. The jury found her guilty.

I'm not sure if a Cleavage Caddy would have helped her any.

Joy is called a lingerie model, but she was on her way home from working at Xotic Tan, a strip club. Isn't calling her a lingerie model a bit less than accurate? Oh, wait... Joy's been complaining that the only reason the officer assumed she was proffering a wad of cleavage cash was because of her profession. So that explains the lingerie model title.

What really strikes me in all this mess is this: Joy said "For someone to [attempt to bribe an officer], they'd have to be out of their mind, and I'm not out of my mind. I'm smart and intelligent, and I wouldn't do something like that." But I think all smart, intelligent, sane drivers know that you cannot pay for your ticket with the officer at your car window. Precisely for the reasons involved here ~ anyone can (and will) say anything. So you pay at the ticket paying counter, please, not out your open car window at the site of the ticket. (Or, like I did, hire a lawyer.) No matter how inconvenient it is. But you can't scream discrimination when you in fact are the one offering to bend (over) the rules.

You know I totally support sex worker rights (and those of single parents), but the irony of claiming discrimination against sex workers under these terms is huge. And not lost on me.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-10-01 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 02 Oct 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy

Edition #9 of the Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy is up and Sex-Kitten's very honored to have two posts selected by Radical Vixen, this edition's carnival host.

I'll be hosting the 10th Edition on October 6th at XXBN's blog ~ you can see what I'm looking for here.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Am The Hostess Goo Goo G'joob

I just hosted the 74th edition of Carnival of The Liberals, which was insanely full of excellent submissions; go & see.

Also, I'm pretty jazzed to be hosting Cult Of Gracie Radio tonight with guest Amber Rhea. (That's tonight from 9 to 10 pm central/Chicago time.) Hope to hear you there!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Amber Rhea Joins The Cult

On Wednesday I'll be chatting with the pole dancing, sex positive feminist with a Bachelor's degree in linguistics and a Master's degree in internet technology ~ Amber Rhea.

Amber is also co-founder of the Georgia Podcast Network, co-host of the award-winning podcast Mostly ITP (which focuses on people and issues in Atlanta), main organizer of PodCamp Atlanta 2007, & organizer of Sex 2.0, an 'unconference' focused on the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality.

One of the things that impresses me most about Amber is that she gets sex work ~ despite never having worked 'the game', despite being 'young' and not a crone. She truly has wisdom beyond her years.

You can join the raunchy-fun and the ranty-goodness on Cult of Gracie Radio at 9 p.m. central ~ listen live, hang out in the chat room, and call in at 646.200.3136.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Delicious Links (Catching Up)

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-08-21 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 22 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

Links for 2008-08-22 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 23 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

  • Sex,Life & Frilly Bits: On Abortion & Bloggers That Write About Abortion
    Before you discuss abortion, please make it clear whether you're male or female and if you have experienced an abortion because if your information is based on third party assumptions, I really don't want to waste my time reading hypotheticals – because it insults my intelligence (as a woman who has had an abortion).

Links for 2008-08-25 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 26 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

Links for 2008-08-26 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 27 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-08-19 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 20 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

  • Is the print book destined for death? « Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog
    So before we go starting up a Kindle fatwah, we need to gain some perspective. People who like print books will always buy print books. The marketplace cannot ignore such a large percentage of readers. However, those who prefer the transportability, the varied features, and the ability to store a multitude of titles, not to mention being able to bookmark them, will add the Kindle to their reading repetoire.
  • Official Google Blog: Time to "Free the Airwaves"
    For quite some time we've been talking about the potential of the unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels ("white spaces") to provide affordable, high-speed wireless Internet connectivity nationwide. For this to happen, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must allow unlicensed use of this spectrum. If you care about the future of the Internet, now is the time to take action. The FCC has completed its field testing and is expected to make a ruling in the coming months.
  • A Slip of a Girl: Too Hot For Teacher ~ A Slip Of A Girl's Ultimate Guide To Putting On Hose
    While I've written this for help with the summer heat issues of hosiery in mind, please note that this works equally wonderfully in all seasons.
  • Waking Vixen " Blog Archive " I Meet the Business End of Citibank's Anti-Adult Business Policy
    "In a situation like this, I essentially have no legal recourse - the Citibank policy doesn't go against any protected rights. Businesses are totally within their rights to discriminate against people who work in any sector of the adult industry, regardless of the legality of that work. But I can (and did) take my money elsewhere, and I told them exactly why."
  • the wheels come off — day 5 - After Hours| random discourse from a retired escort
    "Drunk people with issues is one of the reasons I burned out on stripping. This is even scarier to me because the system has forced me to depend on these people for my safety. There is no safety if their minds are altered. There is no such thing as a bouncer in this brothel. I wish there were."
  • Serpent Libertine -- Sex Worker Profiles: Amanda Brooks
    "Amanda is a pretty public figure in terms of sex worker activists. She wrote The Internet Escort's Handbook, is a member of SWOP-EAST, and has appeared on Fox News and Bill O' Reilly."

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-08-18 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 19 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-08-17 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 18 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

  • Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive What do the freaking tech bloggers want? «
    Over the past few days there's been a consternation about the future of PR. Mostly based on my rant about PR the other day and how it's so refreshing to hear about a new company from its users first, especially when those users are very excited about the product.
  • One Life, Take Two
    Jefferson—blogger, educator, and dear friend to so many of us—is at this moment fighting a court battle with his ex-wife, who is seeking full custody of their three children. Jefferson's love for his children has been well-documented on his blog One Life, Take Two for years. His ex-wife has stated in court that he is a "great" father who loves his children. However, among her claims is that his bisexuality makes him an unfit parent.
  • MotherhoodMetamorphosis: Sex Ed - From The Kid
    Hands on her hips, she turned to me and said, "I just don't understand why they have to put the fur there."

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-08-14 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 15 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-08-11 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 12 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Nina Hartley Joins The Cult ~ Of Gracie

This week, Wednesday, August 13th at 9 PM (central), on Cult of Gracie Radio I'm interviewing the lovely Nina Hartley.

(If you know little about Hartley, you can get some basic info on her tremendous career here at the XXBN blog.)

I'm a huge fan of Nina Hartley's ~ something she must know by now in the few telephone conversations we've had scheduling the show. I'm impressed with her valiant advocacy as a leader in the sex positivity movement. Her history as a sex positive feminist includes:

* Founding the the Feminist Anti-Censorship Task Force, known as FACT.

* Starting the Pink Ladies Social Club, a club which supports women (performers, writers, makeup artists, directors etc.) who works in the adult industry and works to fight the stereotype of female sex workers as bimbos &/or victims coerced by men into humiliating themselves.

* Being a member of the Board of Directors for the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, an organization that works to advance sexual freedom as a fundamental human right by protecting and advancing freedom of speech and sexual expression), but with her wisdom in faith and religion.

Hartley is also to be acknowledged for her wisdom in other areas, such as faith and religion. Here's a bit from Sheldon Ranz's interview with her in Shmate: A Magazine of Progressive Jewish Thought, Issue #22, Spring 1989, pp. 15 - 29.
SHELDON: How do you feel today about being Jewish?

NINA: I feel very lucky. I believe very strongly in the heritage of Jews as educators. I feel very strongly of the fact that if it wasn't for the Jews, half the world would still be illiterate. Along with the Diaspora -- the spreading of Jews all over the world -- came the spreading of reading and writing all over the world. I'm extremely proud of my people's contribution to world knowledge. Certainly, the basis of Judaism, in questioning and analyzing, has stood well. I would like to know about Jewish religion as history....but as an atheist, I see no reason to practice any religion -- Judaism, Christianity, any religion -- because it is organized superstition and it certainly is the opiate of the masses. There's no doubt about that in my mind. As history, in the history of the world, Jewish history is very important.
You can listen to the show live here. (If you missed the show, the same link will let you listen to the archived show & download the podcast.) As always, live on-air calls will be taken at 1.646.200.3136.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Today's Delicious Links

Today's Delicious Links


Links for 2008-08-08 [del.icio.us]

Posted: 09 Aug 2008 12:00 AM CDT

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Friday, August 1, 2008

It's Not The Number Of Hats...

Writing and blogging at so many sites, having so many projects, it's an awesome mind-f*** some days. Who am I? Where am I? OK, so I always know who I am; but let's be honest, I have a life, duties and several gigs outside of being Gracie Passette.

Gracie is not a persona; but once a sex worker, even if not always a sex worker, you'll either always have a double-life issue or end up simply denying your past. I can't, won't, do the latter; but often I have to compartmentalize my own life into "sex worker" and "non sex worker".

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that much of my life is spent censoring those experiences for the safety of myself and others. Most of my energy, however, is spent trying to diffuse the essence of me into palatable chunks for others ~ and trying to find peace with that.

My thoughts, attitudes and beliefs have been shaped by my experiences, naturally. But unnaturally, I am often unable to defend my passionate stance with evidence because it would be troublesome. It makes for a weak argument, even a weak conversation; so on those occasions I avoid such conversations.

Such muzzling is a choice to protect those in my circle who could be hurt because of my actions. Such consideration & respect for others has little reward other than the self-knowledge that I've taken one for the team. Such love and respect, however, feels disrespectful to myself. I know why I do it; but chafe at the notion that I should have to. Murder and violence are more acceptable than any intimate transaction I've ever had, personal or professional. And I find that more horrific than I can express today (without getting too far astray).

Sometimes I envy those who have one blog/site/project. All the sides of themselves (that they care to share) are in one place; mine are compartmentalized into an array of blogs/sites/projects. It's not just the marketer in me (who, because she's been busy marketing, has had little time to post her thoughts on the process) which arranged things that way; the anthropologist in me knows that such organization is needed for those who are far more able (or willing) to compartmentalize themselves that way.

While I cannot separate my thoughts on human sexuality from my politics, my feminism from my spirituality, my business smarts from my knowledge of what is human in society, many folks prefer such things.

Cult of Gracie started because some regular columnists at Sex Kitten were less than comfortable discussing politics &/or religion at the site. Fearing my strident and opinionated views would be the only views presented & therefore somehow (mistakenly) attributed to "all Sex Kittens", I moved them to their own home. People in the adult industry don't want to dig through erotica, sex how-tos, and personal narratives regarding sex to get to the marketing tips ~ even though such discussion could very well help their business. (Conversely, the people who read erotica, sex how-tos, and personal narratives regarding sex, would be wise to know how their consumer rights are diminished, threatened, and their minds, perhaps, manipulated.) Etc. etc. etc. (And when I work for/with other groups, my own personal views may need to be expressed elsewhere so that I am not appearing to speak for the group ~ or become a space hog with my constant blitherings.)

Because others desire such compartmentalization, even the ability to be linked to by others is affected. Many who link to this blog or to Marketing Whore would not, could not, link to Sex Kitten. Which really is rather absurd when you realize that all the sites have credibility simply because of who I am, what I've done, what I've learned from my experiences, and, most definitely, the opinions I've gleaned from synthesizing it all. But the fact remains: People prefer things neatly compartmentalized.

These are all very practical choices. Choices, like those to remain silent to protect family & friends from bad things & thoughts, I consciously made. But there are days...

Days when I loathe it all. Loathe myself for doing it.

It's not (just) the number of hats vs. time (for that is worth mentioning), but the dilution or diffusion of myself which I despise.

I am not, nor ever will be, as simple as any blog header or columnist profile may suggest.

And my professional Gracie Passette resume isn't even all of me.

When I think of this, I tell myself that many people have the same problem ~ to some degree or other. And just when you'd think that would end my pity party...

It only makes it worse.

I see how women especially live lives in tiny little boxes, keeping or presenting neat & clean versions of themselves to protect and serve others, never really being able to show all their sides ~ letting them reflect upon themselves and upon their own inner light as one big sparkling, multifaceted diamond.

My aversion to such dimming-down of women was largely a part of why I started SK; we shouldn't have to hide/repress/deny the reality of our sexual selves ~ not to be a good daughter, wife, mommy, employee, consumer, or citizen. We are who we are ~ every last bit of it. And we should not have to deny ourselves that.

On days like today, I feel that I am doing just that. I can call it "practical", "considerate", "savvy", "appropriate", or whatever else I like... But I still feel like a hypocrite.

It's not the number of hats I own or even wear; it's that I don't acknowledge them all. Each remains cloistered in a place, a costume, a situation... Relegated, not celebrated.

There are enough valid constraints to me being who I am. Just being a woman in this country which, while it celebrates its self-proclaimed liberation of women in Iraq, denies me & my sisters adequate health access, fundamental rights to control our own bodies, and true equality should be enough to make me stand up and scream, "I am who I am! Every last bit of me!"

But instead, I find myself folding, compartmentalizing, dividing, diluting, diffusing myself... When does trying to stay neat & tidy for the sake of others go from practical & considerate to undermining & abusive?

If I cannot wear all my hats at the same time (to try to do so would be spiteful and as uncomfortable as it is impractical), how do I manage to show them all off?

Or is this all rather like asking how to be a polite activist.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jennifer Cody Epstein On Women Finding Their Way

I'm interviewing author Jennifer Cody Epstein regarding her book, The Painter from Shanghai, on Cult of Gracie tomorrow. Her fascinating and engaging novel is based on the life of Chinese prostitute- turned- post- Impressionist Pan Yuliang, who stunned China and much of the West in the 20's and 30's by defiantly painting herself in the nude, which went against pretty much every Confucian ethic of the time. We both thought you might like a little bit of info to whet your appetite, so Jennifer kindly agreed to a guest blog:

Growing up, reading obsessively from Woolf and Wolfe, H. James and James J., I’d always imagined patterning my own first book along the same lines. I saw it—quite modestly--as another lyrical, semi-biographical coming-of-age story; something that would draw from my own experiences as a glum, uptight teen in Wellesley, MA (the original home of prep) and somehow morph them into a luminous work of great wisdom and beauty. So how (you might wonder) does one get from that premise to my actual first novel, The Painter from Shanghai, which is based not on myself but on a woman who began life as a prostitute in pre-revolutionary China, broke away from the brothel to become an official’s concubine, and ultimately achieved both acclaim and notoriety for her overtly sensual paintings in a time of conservative backlash?

Well, it certainly wasn’t by design. At least, not at first.

The truth is, at first I actually did start out writing my own story; a not-so-lyrical tale of growing up in a suburb; of (privileged) existential angst; of family drama and expat shenanigans. I stopped for several reasons; the most prominent of which is that I simply didn’t find any of that particularly interesting or original. By contrast, when I first saw a Pan Yuliang painting (a Matisse-esque self-portrait showing her in a window, her face serene and yet somehow subtly challenging) I immediately recognized a woman who was both of those things. I’d also learned by that point that writing about someone else gives you much more freedom; largely because in autobiography, you—the subject—must try to be objective about the things that drive any good story: where the real tension lies. Where the climax should come. At what point you have reached your natural conclusion. Like most people, I suspect, I’m still trying to work that stuff out. But the process is likely far more interesting to my (very excellent) therapist than it would be to potential readers.

It’s true, of course, that taking on a story so (quite literally) foreign to my own was—at least initially—almost as daunting as publicly taking on myself. And yet, after doing some research and tracking down more Pan paintings, what had seemed a startling premise grew into a truly thrilling challenge. To be sure, most Chinese and art historians I spoke to agreed that there was very little factually known about Pan Yuliang’s life. And yet in some ways that was all the more liberating. For one thing, it led me to depend in large part on what had brought me to Pan Yuliang in the first place: her painting. The more I found of it the more they (and she) fascinated me; these gorgeous and defiantly Western compositions (often nude, often herself nude) that had so shocked her countrymen in the last century that Pan herself ended up in permanent exile, in Paris. The images—whether lush pears or lithely curved female bodies—spoke to me of an unrepentant fascination with beauty; with female strength; with sexuality; with the often-fuzzy lines that delineate culture, nationality, morality and artistic voice. If Pan Yuliang’s somber self-portraits (in only one I’ve seen is she actually, openly smiling) gave me a clue to her temperment and harsh past, her vibrant palette and fanciful blendings of post-Impressionism and guohua, of Eastern discipline and Western romance and perspective, gave me insight into her dreams, longings, her unique artistic eye—or at least, so I liked to think. At any rate, in many ways they were the strongest sources I had.

So in the end, I ended up working largely through those images; searching lines and hues and expressions for clues into the life that Pan Yuliang might have lived when she painted them. It was, as I imagined it, a life of beauty, pain and drama; of more than a hint of real darkness. Of a lush love of form and color. Oddly enough, though, as I pieced together this portrait I also--in the process—painted my own, after all. It wasn’t the Woolf -esque meditation on shattered homes and lost loves and painful lessons in the wake of adolescence. But it was a larger story, equally important to me and immeasurably more colorful; a story of an artist, finding her way. Creating her work out of unlikely and—initially—vastly alien materials. In Pan’s case, those materials were nude bodies and Western techniques and the boldly unrepentant tones of the Fauvists. In mine, they were foreign countries (China) and subjects (art; prostitution) and a shaky determination that—at very least—somehow--I would see this thing through to the last word.

And in the end, I suppose, we both succeeded. Despite an Asian art boom that is largely leaving out women, and a life that ended in poverty, illness and obscurity, Pan Yuliang is now experiencing a renaissance in China; the museum in Anhui Province (to which she left all her work when she died) recently has restored many of her paintings, and has dozens of them proudly on display.

As for me—well, Painter may not be a breakout bestseller. And I’m still just a girl who grew up in a rich suburb. But my book is being greeted warmly by the press and readers, which is gratifying. Equally importantly, it’s familiarizing more people in the West with an extraordinary woman and her work. Not least of all, it’s getting me on Cult of Gracie—something I’m fairly certain my own coming-of-age story would probably not have been able to accomplish.

J

About Jennifer: A Brooklyn-based writer, whose nonfiction and fiction work has appeared in numerous publications, spent ten years writing this, her first book. The work explores such issues as body as art, body as profit, Shanghai in the 20's and 30's, the true nature of sexual love.
Listen live to the show here, Wednesday, July 16, at 9 P.M. (central); and call in with your questions and comments at 1 (646) 200-3136.

UPDATE: Miss the show? Listen to the archived show here. (The same link lets you download it as a podcast too!)

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

That Dame, Gloria Brame

I'm very excited to have Dr. Gloria Brame on Cult of Gracie Radio tomorrow, July 9th (at 9 P.M. central), on XXBN.
About Gloria: Dr. Gloria G. Brame is a licensed clinical sexologist, a leading international authority on BDSM and fetish sex, and a long-time kinky person. You can find out more about Gloria at Sex-Kitten.net: Gloria Brame Discusses Sexual Freedom in America, BDSM in Film, as well as the review of her book. More information on Gloria is available at her website, GloriaBrame.com, and her blog, Inside the mind of Gloria Brame.
Here's a recent bit from her blog; a post titled At Home With The Brame-y Bunch:

Setting: the three of us sitting on my bed, discussing how we'll have paid off our mortage in 10 years. 10 years! Wow. On so many levels.

Ketzl: (confident) "Of course, by then, we'll have a successful poultry and goat operation going."

Me: (wistful) "If only I had the time, how I'd love to have a dog rescue by then."

Will: (pensive) I would like to start a prostitute rescue.

Click here to listen to the show live, and call in with your comments and questions for Gloria at 1 (646) 200-3136.

UPDATE: Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio with Dr. Michael Goodyear

Tomorrow, June 11 (at 9 p.m. central), Cult of Gracie Radio has Dr. Michael Goodyear, MD, PhD, as the guest.

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Canada's Dalhousie University, his main focus there is in responsible human research governance, particularly the ethical aspects of research. His active interest in issues of women's health have lead him to a longstanding involvement in women's health and studies (including family planning, social justice and ethics), and the problems associated with those on the margins of society.

No wonder then that he would become interested in the issues & myths surrounding sex work.

Well-versed in the research, as well as the ethics and methodology of research, Michael's put his skills and knowledge to use in identifying social determinants of marginalization and speaking out both for decriminalization and against the myths of sex work.

An avid supporter of sex workers' rights, Michael moves past academia, actively seeking out & speaking out.

He speaks directly to the matter of why decriminalizing sex work, especially that at the street level, is a feminist issue:
Public health measures must be built on evidence based best practice. Only by moving sex work outside of the criminal justice system, focussing on public health and social care, can we achieve this and help to break the cycle of violence. Criminalisation of sex work that limits access to care contravenes UN guidelines on human rights.

Remedies for social issues surrounding prostitution lie not in legislative measures but in social determinants such as wage disparity and access to welfare that limit women’s choices. Labour politicians frequently state that the moral fibre of a society must be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable members, yet their policy discriminates against the most disadvantaged.
Michael Goodyear speaks on the inaccuracies of sexually transmitted infections in sex work (found via Dr Petra Boynton):
Unfortunately the discourse in public health, and in particular that concerning services to individuals involved in commercial sex, are more likely to be informed by opinion than by evidence. In addition repeated exposure to messages reinforces and polarizes previously held prejudices.
And he speaks sanely regarding an issue that drives me insane ~ the perpetuation of myths:
It is unfortunate that the Gazette insists on repeating tired myths about sex work, without checking its facts. This is a very unbalanced article. The German World Cup story has now made its way into the archives of urban myths. Even anti-trafficking organisations such as Prevent Human Trafficking are expressing concern about the constant reporting of untruths. "It seems that this estimate originated with unsubstantiated statements made by a few antitrafficking groups which, though they have no basis in reality, have somehow gained legitimacy through repetition".
This includes challenging Melissa Farley & her "findings" on several occasions:
Melissa Farley is one of those people who are convinced there is a connection between sex work and trafficking, but mainstream researchers do not.
For more information, see his Marginalization of Women and Sex Work page.

With all of this, I'm surprised that I had not discovered Michael earlier. (We "met" at my post at Sex In The Public Square). But then, as Michael himself has noted, the myths are passed along far more enthusiastically than the truths.

Click here to listen to the show live, and call in with comments and questions at 1 (646) 200-3136.

UPDATE:

There were some issues with BlogTalkRadio's server/site, and so the show will be downloaded, edited and uploaded to adjust for that. (Hopefully it is all recorded.) Meanwhile, please be patient with the "dead air" gaps ~ the show did go on (even longer than scheduled).

And look for the return of Dr. Goodyear on a future show. (Please fee free to listen to future Cult of Gracie shows , and past shows , as well! lol) Many thanks to him for sharing his information and his patience during a glitchy show.

Also, Elizabeth at Sex In The Public Square has posted her thoughts (&wonderful questions) on the show.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Two XXBN Shows Today

On Sunday, June 8th at noon (central), Renegade Evolution will be on XXBN discussing The Conviction of Max Hardcore for Obscenity Charges, Language, and Sex Workers & Normal People.

Click here to listen to the show live. You can call in at 1 (646) 200-3136.

Then, at 7 p.m. (central), Holly Pottle interviews Jill Brenneman regarding her vision for Sex Workers Against Rape, a campaign she is in the process of starting. Topics to be discussed include sex workers rights approaches to stopping abuse and how the criminalization of prostitution encourages abuse. Jill will also discuss how she transitioned from being part of the sex work prohibitionist segment of the feminist movement to a leader in the sex workers' rights movement.

Click here to listen live, and call in with comments and questions at 1 (646) 200-3136

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio Show Line-Up

The current line-up of show guests for Cult of Gracie on XXBN:

June 11 Dr. Michael Goodyear, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Canada's Dalhousie University, whose main activities are in responsible human research governance, particularly ethical aspects of research. He is interested in issues of women's health ~ and is an avid supporter of sex workers' rights.
About Michael: Michael has a longstanding involvement in women's health and studies (including family planning, social justice and ethics), and the problems associated with those on the margins of society. Well-versed in the research, as well as the ethics and methodology of research, Michael's been very active in identifying social determinants of marginalization and speaking out both for decriminalization and against the myths of sex work. For more information, see his Marginalisation of Women and Sex Work page.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

June 18 Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, award winning author of Horror Sinisteria, with titles published at Ephemera Bound*.
About Andrea: Called “One of the most unique and twisted authors of our generation,” Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc is a best selling, three-time award winning author of Horror Sinisteria. From ghosts to the paranormal, from the Occult to pirates, Andrea can write it, write it well and keep her fans and critics begging for more. A force of nature, Andrea has blazed a path through a genre most often dominated by men. She is routinely sought out for appearances at everything from private functions to public venues to conventions, where she appears as a celebrity guest.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

June 25 Jack Hafferkamp, of Libido magazine and Libido films.
About Jack: From 1988 to 2000 Jack Hafferkamp published/edited Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility with Marianna Beck. Since then he has operated Libido Films, which specializes in gender-equal explicit erotica. Libido films have been honored at the annual Erotic Awards in London and featured at New York's Cinekink festival. Jack holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, specializing in Erotology, which is the material culture of sex.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

July 2 J. Eric Miller, author of Decomposition * (Epilogue by Susannah Breslin) & Animal Rights & Pornography.
About Jason: Mild mannered English prof by day; author of shocking, dark, subversive fiction by night. Jason's works, as their titles imply, explore taboos.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

July 9 Dr. Gloria Brame, a licensed clinical sexologist and leading international authority on BDSM and fetish sex.
About Gloria: Dr. Gloria G. Brame is a licensed clinical sexologist and a long-time kinky person. You can find out more about Gloria at Sex-Kitten.net: Gloria Brame Discusses Sexual Freedom in America, BDSM in Film, as well as the review of her book. More information on Gloria is available at her website, GloriaBrame.com, and her blog, Inside the mind of Gloria Brame.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

July 16 Jennifer Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai, a novel based on the life of Chinese prostitute-turned-post-Impressionist Pan Yuliang, who stunned China and much of the West in the 20's and 30's by defiantly painting herself in the nude, even though it went against pretty much every Confucian ethic of the time.
About Jennifer: A Brooklyn-based writer, whose nonfiction and fiction work has appeared in numerous publications, spent ten years writing this, her first book. The work explores such issues as body as art, body as profit, Shanghai in the 20's and 30's, the true nature of sexual love.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

July 23 Tom Paine & C. the husband and wife of Polyamorously Perverse fame, who continue to amaze & educate as Tom discusses the private & intimate details of their road of exploration & discovery ~ one which often exposes the unforeseen with brutal, if poetic, honesty.
About Tom & C.: Tom Paine and his wife, who goes by the initial C., confronted the problem of a sex life that had gone flat by re-inventing themselves with an open relationship. They have explored swinging, polyamory and simply working on keeping themselves attractive to the other, with the result of a reborn sensuality that other couples would envy. Currently they play with a single woman they call the Strawberry Slut, but both have the option to see other people should the situation arise. Tom writes a blog called Polyamorously Perverse, and is currently exploring options for turning the blog's story into a book.
Miss the show? Listen to the archived show (or download it for later listening) here.

Confirmed guests, with dates not yet scheduled:

Amber Rhea, co-founder of the Georgia Podcast Network, a portal site for Georgia-based podcasts, and the founder of Sex 2.0, an "unconference" focused on the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality.

Still working to reschedule with Dr. Susan Block, sex educator, cable TV host and author, regarding what we can learn from bonobos.

Another session with
Dr. Jane Vargas, a PhD in human sexuality & expert in tease and fetish, talks cross dressing.

*Disclosure Note: Gracie Passette is an editor with Ephemera Bound.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Obligatory Trafficking Post

Mention you are a sex worker and you'll have to answer to the trafficking issue. Here are some facts, along with my rant:

Today's trafficked slaves are also used for labor purposes which have nothing to do with sex. Isn't that equally horrible?

Human adults and children are sold for everything from farming & mining to sweat shops & begging ~ even "domestic servants" ~ and they are imprisoned and even disfigured so that they cannot runaway. Why doesn't anyone hold Merry Maids accountable for the enslaved maids, or ask a farmers union if they think they should put an end to farming because there's a trafficking problem? Where's the public outrage at these industries?

There's none.

Because it's ridiculous to hold an industry accountable for the actions taken outside of the industry, for a problem past its own scope. Slavery is the issue, not the industry itself. And so it should be with sex work. In fact, keeping prostitution illegal & stigmatizing sex work only helps those trafficking as they use the fear of police action to keep individuals from trying to get help.

And even when these companies and industries have slaves, folks just don't care about it like they do sex trafficking.

Hell, Nike knew of it's own sweatshops, and when the buying public discovered such facts they continued to buy the shoes; no one thought it necessary to put an end to making shoes or even Nike's way of making shoes with slave labor. This information didn't prompt the government to any great action, or even stop the consumption of Nike products because hell, it was only slavery.

It's the new corporate colonialism; it's fine if workers are locked in, can't use the toilets and work 12+ hour shifts with a 10 minute break.



Nike worked to keep consumers happy too. Brand your logo with a celebrity face and mention how you add to economy, and voila! you are no longer offensive. People will buy anything, even at these prices ~ and I do mean the cost in human lives.



Maybe sex work just needs the right celebrity endorsement. The dollars of adult entertainment are already known to be pretty staggering... Perhaps we need to have a 1.7 billion dollar advertising budget to get our message out.

By the way, guess the demographic of the average Nike slave? Women aged between 19 and 25.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Myth Me?

People continue to spread myths about sex workers ~ and I continue to debunk the bunk.

Missed me, missed me? Now you gotta kiss me.

And if you don't agree with my debunking of sex worker myths, then I think you know where you can kiss me.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio With Amanda Brooks

Today Amanda Brooks, a retired escort (and former stripper) and author of The Internet Escort's Handbook series, will be on Cult of Gracie radio at 9 pm (central).

Amanda is also an activist, serving as a board member of SWOP-East and, as a board member of Desiree Alliance, she writes at the popular Bound, Not Gagged blog.

I'm very excited to have Amanda on the show. Not only is her book is brilliant, but I've found her to be amazing, passionate and dedicated ~ she even started Pledging Action, SWOP-East's response to the anti-prostitution pledge that international organizations were required to abide by in order to receive USAID funding. (Pledging Action gives condoms to international organizations that support sex workers.)

Amanda can even hold her own against Bill O'Reilly on his home turf of the The O'Reilly Factor (Monday, May 26, 2008).

Amanda's been on TV three times, each time on FOX... Where the conservative sexploitation never stops, like this gem: When most schoolgirls were playing with their Barbie dolls, Amanda Brooks was dreaming of growing up to be a prostitute.

Here's a clip:



Please join us tonight. Listen to the show live here ~ call in questions welcome!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Put Away The Prostitutes

Earlier this year I adapted the classic poem First they came... to fit today's political apathy. So I was delighted to discover that punk rock band NoFX paraphrased that same poem in their song Re-gaining Unconsciousness on the album The War on Errorism (2003).
First they put away the dealers,
keep our kids safe and off the street.
Then they put away the prostitutes,
keep married men cloistered at home.
Then they shooed away the bums,
then they beat and bashed the queers,
turned away asylum-seekers,
fed us suspicions and fears.
We didn´t raise our voice,
we didn´t make a fuss.
It´s funny there was no one left to notice
when they came for us.




The lines, "Then they put away the prostitutes, keep married men cloistered at home," is so indicative of the puritanical prohibitionist plan; as if prostitutes are to blame for male desire.

Shouldn't a married man's own vows, to his partner if not his priest and/or government, mean enough for him to abstain?

No.

Men are too weak to be able to resist; just knowing women are available is like the mythological siren's call, luring him from the safety of the ship to the waters and rocks below. He can't help himself, he's only a man.

So put away the prostitutes, they are dangerous.

...But if women are so damned dangerous (and I do believe it is all women, not just sex workers), then what laws and courts can limit them, what jails can hold them?

Or, indeed, keep the weak men away.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

What You Did On My Summer Vacation

What I did on my vacation isn't likely going to interest you as much as what others did on my vacation, so here's the skinny. (Does anyone use "skinny" anymore? I'm so not hip.)

Don't worry, teach, this report is all about me. *wink*

The board at SWOP East has put me in charge of public relations (for the hip kids, the title "media coordinator" may make more sense to you). Which means you'll be seeing/reading more of me, including at SWOP East's blog and it explains (partly) Cult of Gracie Radio's move to XXBN.

I'm super excited to join SWOP East. So much so that the honor of being asked to join such a great organization (and such tremendous women, yet) out-shone what should have been a common sense reaction of, "What? More work?" and had me happy to join forces with them. The work & women make me feel like I can successfully squeeze more juice from each of days.

Also while I was gone, Radical Vixen posted her interview with yours truly. It had occurred so long ago, it was almost like reading an interview with someone else ~ but someone I agree with. *wink* I'd like to publicly thank Vixen for her Sex Worker Solidarity series too; it's an admirable, much needed, project and I am thrilled to have a part in the discussion.

I also discovered that Jaded Hippy had selected my post, Abolition and the Saving of Sex Workers, for inclusion in Third Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy. Very cool to be noticed for the carnival, and to be in such marvelous company, thanks!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Quote For Today

Wisdom from Gloria Brame:
Consider this irony: as a sex-worker, you don't just hear about vigilant anti-sex prosecutors and family-values-touting pastors -- you suck their cocks.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Abolition And "Saving" Of Sex Workers

The well-intentioned, misinformed, and even the righteous haters all proclaim to save us ~ sex workers and society itself ~ from the sin and abuses of sex work.

On one hand, there are the myths which blame the sex worker for taking ~ nay, making society run this path to ruin. Like the cliched woman who seduces a man away from his family & home, sex workers force uninterested citizens to fornicate. It would be silly if they weren't so loud & insistent in their claims to condemn the lives and livelihoods of those involved. The mere notion that "a sex worker is out there, somewhere" does not induce partaking of her services, nor even having sex in general.

It's the continual misrepresentation of the facts of sex work and the sex industry which perpetuate gross myths.

Just one of which is the matter of rape.

And as Jill and I discussed during my last XBN interview, the claims that sex workers cause & teach men to rape is ridiculous. It's frightening that such out-right lies (and they are out-right lies, not supported by any facts, studies or findings because rape has nothing to do with sex) are still touted as truth.

On the other hand, there's the myth that all sex workers are to be saved from their situations. Some sex workers are victims of trafficking; but that's not all of them. As discussed, some sex workers have drug issues; this can be found in any industry or occupation. And some sex workers have abuse in their pasts. As Jill and I also discussed in my last interview, abuse knows no limits ~ no economic limits, no professional limits. Like drugs, abuse cuts along all layers of society.

The stereotype that "all sex workers are," or have been abused, physically or otherwise, only further stigmatizes and victimizes survivors of abuse. It forces them to remain quiet on the issue; or, for those who admit such things (and by virtue of standing up, become the tallest nail to receive the hardest pounding), it adds to their past pain of reliving via telling the tale (again & again) as well as (and this is what kills me) acts as if the abuse victim had ability to make the choice to become a sex worker.

Now, you may think this sort of well-intentioned absolution is kind, but it's not. This thinking wipes away any notion that the survivor has any ability to think for herself, to evaluate and make choices. It's as if the abuse has now retarded, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, the victim, reducing her to nothing more than an unthinking, unresponsive statistic. How insulting. It would be insulting enough for anyone, but for a person who has survived and overcome? It's horrific.

This proves the need for more sex worker media. And the need for mainstream media to actually interview actual sex workers, in many areas of the industry, in order to begin to glimpse the magnificent differences and the honest realities in our profession. Free speech is supposed to protect all speech, even if it's on taboo topics; and one presumes that those viewing media want the real story.

Since the US is a nation of gluttons, who, feel both entitled to excess as well as duty bound to create laws which will protect them from themselves, the debates on "society" and "culture" should continue.

Even if I believe that we must first become a better parent to our children, monitoring, modeling, and then mentoring them on their way to becoming both educated consumers and tolerant of others, even to the inclusion of the rights of others to participate in things feared to result in damned souls. (Isn't that what god is for, to decide in the end?)

So, leave the judgements of things which do not harm another to your individual deity, please. Laws are to protect us in this world; the afterworld, should you believe there is one, may be what you live your life for, but souls are not what we legislate for or against.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

High-Five Fridays #15

#1 I could just make this week's high-fives all about me and the lovely ladies (that I know of) who helped promote the first Cult of Gracie Radio show, but then I'd be out of fives for the week, and after skipping last week's, I'm behind enough in passing along the positive links... So, I'll cheat a bit here and thank them all in #1 here: Ms. Angela (who also sent me a wonderful card celebrating the event ~ how utterlly charming is she?!), A Slip of a Girl (who also posted a too kind review), Secondhand Rose, Silent Porn Star, and Trailer Trash Angel. (I think that's everyone; if I missed anyone, please let me know!)

#2 I haven't officially met Ren, of Renegade Evolution, yet; but now that I'm officially part of SWOP East I hope to soon. Meanwhile, a high-five to Ren for just being Ren.

#3 Speaking of Ren, at first glance you might think "It's. Not. About. You." is all about Ren. But then you'd be missing the real point.

#4 Of Happy Madmen & Radio gives me pause... On one hand, it's actually amusing to read ~ who doesn't like to mock the idiocracy of yesteryear? On the other hand, have we come a long way in furthering our understanding and treatment of the mentally ill?

#5 Lina's classic post, Why Christianity hates sex (possibly), deserves a high-five ~ even if it's a bit belated.

Find out how to give your High-Five Fridays here!

The purpose of this meme is to give high-fives to 5 people, posts, blogs and/or websites you've admired during the week. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 5 high-fives on Friday. Trackbacks, pings, linky widgets, comment links accepted!

Visiting fellow High-Fivers is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your High-Fives in others comments (please note if NWS).

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio

Cult of Gracie Radio launches Wednesday, April 23, and (other than the first week in May, for my much deserved vacation) will air Wednesday evenings at 9 p.m. (central time). All shows are live and you can call in ~ so who knows what will happen?

Here's the show calendar:

April 23 Dr. Jane Vargas, a PhD in human sexuality & expert in tease and fetish, talks cross dressing.
About Jane: After dating a fetishist, she started X-traordinary Talk as a hobby. It grew very quickly and she quit her job as a magazine editor to grow the business which is now nearly 15 years old. She earned her PhD in 2002, with a dissertation on the sexual expression of tease (as distinct from flirtation and seduction) and how tease has manifested in artwork thru the ages. All while raising two strong, feminist daughters.
Update: Dr. Jane Vargas Post-Show Notes here.

April 30 Randall Radic, also known as 'Father Felony' or 'Daddy Radic,' is the Ripon, CA pastor who pleaded guilty to embezzlement after he sold the First Congregational Church without the knowledge of his congregation.
About Randall: His recently released memoir, The Sound Of Meat (published by Ephemera Bound*) covers his earlier life as a professional swim coach and priest, including his eight fiancees & two wives. "I used to try and save souls without ever examining my own," says Radic. Now, with this memoir, he puts pen to his mission, voice to his sin, sadism to his redemption.
Update: Randall Radic Post-Show Notes here.

Update: Note shows after my vacation will run on XBN.

May 14 Dr. Susan Block, sex educator, cable TV host and author, discusses what we can learn from bonobos.
About Suzy: A familiar face on HBO's late-night programming through her #1 Nielsen-rated specials, Radio Sex TV with Dr. Susan Block as well as her episodes on Real Sex, she's not only an educated sexologist, but a hot chick with a grand sense of humor to boot.
Listen to the show live here.

May 21st Call In With Gracie Passette

Ask me anything, or hear me ramble about issues that matter to me. *wink*
About Gracie: If you don't know me, check out my bio & keep reading the blog.
Listen to the show live here.

UPDATE: There's been a change in the line-up. Tonight at 9 p.m. (central) Cult of Gracie on XXBN will have as guests DJ Ashba and James Michael from the band SIXX:A.M. See more info here.

May 28th Amanda Brooks, a retired escort (and former stripper) and author of The Internet Escort's Handbook series.
About Amanda: Amanda is also an activist, serving as a board member of SWOP-East and, as a board member of Desiree Alliance, writer at Bound, Not Gagged.
Listen to the show live here.

June 4th Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed & maker of lesbian porn films.
About Searah: Frustrated with the lame sex toy scene in her hometown, Searah Deysach, with help from her friends and family, opened Chicago’s first woman-owned sex shop Early to Bed in 2001. Now Searah spends her days spreading the good word about sex positively and the joys of masturbation through her store, writings and a busy schedule of talks at colleges and community groups. She is also the sex columnist for (the now defunct) Punk Planet Magazine and the online community ChronicBabe.com. She lives in Chicago with her girlfriend and their bunny.
Listen live here.

June 18 Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, award winning author of Horror Sinisteria, with titles published at Ephemera Bound*.
About Andrea: Called “One of the most unique and twisted authors of our generation,” Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc is a best selling, three-time award winning author of Horror Sinisteria. From ghosts to the paranormal, from the Occult to pirates, Andrea can write it, write it well and keep her fans and critics begging for more. A force of nature, Andrea has blazed a path through a genre most often dominated by men. She is routinely sought out for appearances at everything from private functions to public venues to conventions, where she appears as a celebrity guest.
June 25 Jack Hafferkamp, of Libido magazine and Libido films.
About Jack: From 1988 to 2000 Jack Hafferkamp published/edited Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility with Marianna Beck. Since then he has operated Libido Films, which specializes in gender-equal explicit erotica. Libido films have been honored at the annual Erotic Awards in London and featured at New York's Cinekink festival. Jack holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, specializing in Erotology, which is the material culture of sex.
Confirmed guests, with dates not yet scheduled:

J. Eric Miller, author of Decomposition & Animal Rights & Pornography.

Jennifer Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai, a novel based on the life of Chinese prostitute-turned-post-Impressionist Pan Yuliang, who stunned China and much of the West in the 20's and 30's by defiantly painting herself in the nude, even though it went against pretty much every Confucian ethic of the time.

Dr. Gloria Brame, a licensed clinical sexologist and leading international authority on BDSM and fetish sex.

*Disclosure Note: Gracie Passette is an editor with Ephemera Bound.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

On XBN Again

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sex Worker Rights Broadcast Network Interview

I'm going to be on XBN: Sex Worker Rights Broadcast Network, on Saturday, April 5th at 9 p.m. (central). XBN is a SWOP East Media Project, and I'm really proud to be asked by Jill.

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