What is KinkOut and their mission?
Kink Out is a fundraiser that brings together the intersection of tattoo, kink, and sex worker communities. The sold out event had kinky performances and services that included boot blacking, bondage, and flash tattoos. All of the proceeds were donated directly to Lysistrata Mutual Care Collective and Fund. Lysistrata MCCF is an organization that provides financial assistance to marginalized sex workers struggling to work because of illness, homelessness, arrest, or abusive and unstable working conditions. The event raised over $35,000 that will go directly into emergency funds for sex workers, which is incredible. The current need for resources is urgent because FOSTA/SESTA shut down most of the websites that sex workers use for affordable or free advertising. This further endangers sex workers, and forced many into street-based work.
Images via Grace Naw
What is SESTA/FOSTA?
In April, the government passed two bills called FOSTA/SESTA, which is a law that makes websites criminally liable for the content their users post. Almost overnight, sex workers lost nearly all of the sites they used to advertise and safely screen clients. The internet provided a safe and affordable way to vet and screen clients prior to meeting, and most of the advertising sites that are left are expensive and restrictive. The bill was meant to target sex trafficking, but instead has actually exacerbated the problem, and as a result more sex workers have been forced on the street. Most directly impacted are marginalized groups such as people of color and trans sex workers. This is why the community is coming together so strongly and working to not only provide immediate support to those who need it, but also begin the political conversation about Sex Worker’s Rights.
Images via Yana Toyber
How is this conversation starting?
Up until recently there was not much of a platform for sex workers to have their voices heard, but in the wake of FOSTA/SESTA, the community is organizing and fighting back. This summer, New York congressional candidate Suraj Patel held the first ever town hall meeting to listen to sex workers and their struggles. Although this is not the first time sex workers are fighting for rights, I do believe history is being shaped as sex workers from all over the industry are coming together to show that they will not be silenced.
Images via Allen Henson
If you want to learn more check out the hashtags on IG #sexworkersrights #FUCKSESTA/FOSTA #RightsNotRescue #LetUsSurvive
Lenore Black is a sex witch and kink & sexuality mentor living in Brooklyn.