SFSI Seminars: Teaching and Talking About Sex Work
SFSI Seminars is proud to present:
Teaching and Talking about Sex Work with Shannon Williams and Hunter Leight
When: Tuesday, May 27, 8-10pm
Where: Center for Sex and Culture (1349 Mission St, SF)
As sex educators, it is important that we have non-biased, nonjudgemental, fact-based attitudes towards the buying and selling of sexual services. Shannon Williams and Hunter Lieght are Bay Area sex workers and sex educators who will be speaking about how to approach the issue of sex work in sex education classes, how to work with clients who have either paid for sexual services or been paid to provide sexual services, and when it might be appropriate to refer a sex coaching/sex therapy client to see a sex worker.
Many forms of sex work are criminalized in the United States, and all forms of sex work, legal and illegal, are heavily stigmatized. There are negative stereotypes about the kinds of people who sell sex, the people who buy sex, and what these transactions look like.
But these are actually very common activities. In the San Francisco Bay Area alone, approximately 10,000 women advertise sexual services onmyredbook.com each day. When you add in the people advertising on rentboy and backpage, the huge number of people working in massage parlors, all of the employees of local strip clubs, the people working in the thriving local indie porn industry, phone sex operators, online cam show performers - the number of people currently working in the sex industry, combined with the number of people who have done a stint in the sex industry at some point in their life, is staggering. And we know that paying for sexual services is a perfectly normal activity - the vast majority of adults have watched porn, many people have been to strip clubs, and according to the "Sex In America" survey, 16% of adult men have paid for sex.
So as sex educators, when we are talking to a room full of people, we should be assuming that there are people in the room who have worked in the sex industry and that there are people in the room who have been consumers of sexual services. And if we work with clients one-on-one, we should assume that some of our clients have bought and sold sexual services. But because of the intense stigma against these activities, most people will not admit to having done them, even when directly asked.
About Hunter Leight and Shannon Williams:
Hunter Leight (pronounced Light) has been working as a prostitute in the San Francisco Bay Area for 6 years. She served as media spokesperson for 2008's Proposition K to decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco and has been in leadership with the Sex Workers Outreach Project since then. Shannon Williams is a SFSI trained sex educator and has been doing sex work for almost 20 years. She also works with the local chapter of SWOP. Shannon and Hunter have been speaking together in college classrooms, presenting together at conferences, and cajoling together at political events for the past four years.
About SFSI Seminars:
Ever wanted to learn more about how to teach or work with a certain topic, but can't find the right workshop? Sex educators, therapists, and health field professionals work with a constantly evolving body of knowledge. Join SFSI for a night of education on and exploration of a certain topic, led by a specialist in the field. Never stop learning!
Center for Sex and Culture (View)
1349 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|