September is a stellar month: not only does it have the Bi Pride UK Festival and Bi Visibility Day coming up, it’s also Sex Worker Pride this week. Given two thirds of adult entertainers identify as bi or pan, we’ve put together a list of 5 ways we can stand bi our queer sex workers, and support these fabulous humans who are part of our community.
Learn About Them
How can you support a community you know nothing about? There are tons of amazing sex workers and adult entertainers from the queer community doing amazing things. From queer content creator and founder of DisabilityAfterDark, Andrew Gurza, to the activist projects from the Black Sex Worker Collective, to bisexual wet and messy model (and VR strip Beat Saber legend) Penny Banks, if you can dream it, there’s a queer sex worker who’s doing it, and doing it fabulously.
Whether you watch adult entertainment or not is up to you, but if you do, pay for it. Like Ruby Rare told us in Issue 6, it helps stamp out exploitation, all while helping your favourite entertainers to pay the bills. Not to mention, it’s just fairness: sex work is work, and requires a lot of time, energy, skill and resources. Do your bit, and make sure if you’re enjoying their work, you’re giving them the credit they deserve.
Let Them Entertain You
Queer sex workers are phenomenally versatile folks who are creative in unlimited ways. Take Sexquisite Events: all this month, they’re putting on a host of digital performances of NSFW (Not Safe For Work), written and performed by sex workers and friends. The show explores their daily lives, lived experiences, and challenges damaging narratives that surround sex workers (including a queer sex workers’ guide to sex work). Theatre and sex work rolled into one – what’s not to like?
Respect and Protect Them
One of your friends making crass jokes? One of your brother’s mates bragging about that sex worker from his lads’ tour in a gross way? New date thinks sex workers are ‘dirty’ and starts throwing queer slurs around? Shut. That. S**t. Down. Sex work is work, and sex workers deserve our respect and protection – and it starts with you to step up, do the work, and advocate on their behalf.
If you want to support sex workers, get involved in charities and associations looking to help them. SWARM Collective (Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement) does amazing work around sex workers’ rights, and organisations like National Ugly Mugs provide great resources for sex workers to do safety checks and aim to end violence against sex workers. Follow your favourite entertainers on social media, listen to their stories, check out the organisations they recommend, and fight for their rights in whatever ways you can.
Of course, we’ve only picked 5 things for this list, but there’s always more you can do: talk to your friends who you know are doing sex work; offer judgement-free support; avoid stigmatising sex full stop; educate yourself on the signs of exploitation and human trafficking; avoid porn that uses transphobic, racist or misogynistic slurs; and share content by some awesome queer adult entertainers who are paving the way. There are so many things you can do that will make a huge difference to all our queer sex workers, whether you want to enjoy sex work yourself or not, and Sex Worker Pride is as good a time of year as any to get started.
Written by Maddie Jones