Monday, April 30, 2007

Media promoting Call Girls - the book

Download the interview with Roberta and Mistress J last week:

The private world of the Call Girl
What sort of image does the term Call Girl conjure in your mind?

We might imagine it's through a certain desperation – perhaps debt or sexual dysfunction – but there are myriad reasons for choosing to work in this field, and a wide range of women do so very happily.

To dispel some of the myths and take us into the world of the private sex worker, we speak to sociologist and author Roberta Perkins and private sex worker Mistress J.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

International Whores Day Events in Sydney

International Whores Day has a rich history, starting in 1975 when a group of sex workers staged a sit in at a Church in Lyon in France, to protest the discrimination against sex workers.In Lyon, France on June 2 1975, sex workers and their supporters took over a church and staged a sit in over a number of days. The action was in protest against the increasing number of arrests of street sex workers, police harassment of them and the lack of interest shown by the police in solving murders and other crimes committed against them. This action inspired other sex workers around the world to start to organize themselves politically, giving birth to the sex worker rights movement that we have today. International Whores Day has been described as the sex workers Stonewall.

In Sydney this year, Scarlet Alliance: Australian Sex Workers Association and local sex worker groups are putting on a number of events around Inernational Whores Day in Sydney.

There is a workshop for sex workers only for developing skills in dealing with the media (contact me or Scarlet Alliance for more info)


Film Night! Short films by and about sex workers all over the world, and a sneek peak at local talent also! See a few Australian premieres as well as some old favourites. Come and be entertained by sex workers stories on film.

Who: Everyone

When: Thursday 31st May, 7pm – 9pm

Where: 349 Crown Street, Corner of Albion Street, Surry Hills

How Much: $10

International In-Service on International Sex Workers! From Taiwan to Phnom Penh, from Poland to Bangladesh, the intrepid travellers of the Scarlet Alliance Migration Working Party will present on issues at home and abroad. This is a fundraiser for the future travel of members of the Working Party.

Who: Everyone, please RSVP to or 9326 9455

When Wednesday 6th June, 10.30 for an 11am start – 2pm

Where: 349 Crown Street, Corner of Albion Street, Surry Hills

How Much: $50, includes lunch.


Red Umbrella Solidarity Event! This afternoon will be one to remember!!! We ask supporters to show solidarity with sex workers and keep the customs of International Whores Day alive. In Lyon, France, in 1975, supporters of sex workers joined in unity with local sex workers to ensure the sex workers' children were not taken away by authorities. This important gesture of community spirit still means so much today – we would love to see you at Sydney Opera House on the 3rd of June. Bring red umbrella, colourful mask and sense of fun!

Who: Sex Workers and Supporters

When: Sunday 3rd June, 2pm

Where: Sydney Opera House Forecourt

How Much: Free!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another rambly relationships post

I found this online today,

It is gorgeously over the whole lurve thing. Where else can you get your greedy little paws on cards featuring road kill, and the inner message,"thinking of you" or the 'sorry we're breaking up' cards with a cutie love teddy with an axe through its head? Where else can you acquire t-shirts proclaiming "needy and clingy" and "will fuck for attention"? These fashion statements are (almost) guaranteed not to put you at risk of falling into a relationship. If these don't work, consider customising your own tee, with the big headline 'Bunny Boiler'. That ought to do it. I am feeling cynical enough that I've decided that next time I break up with someone, I'll use the fake your own death and skip the State method. Much less likely to result in hostility than if I actually engage in discussion.

On other lurve related matters, a whore friend of mine gave me The Rules (I and II) stating that my thoughts exactly fitted with these writers' on the lurve thing. I was utterly freaked out that this may have been the case, so carefully read both of them, let them sit for a while, then read them over again, taking notes this time, in order to give them a chance, so that my prejudice against 'how to catch yourself a husband' material didn't get in the way. The Rules II, I was happy to see, included a section on same sex relationships. So here is my thoughts on The Rules - for str8 girls, who are looking for a quite traditional marriage, with a quite traditional str8 man, following the Rules, will, in my opinion, almost guarantee it.
The Rules are based on desperately hiding how 'needy and clingy' you are, in order to not scare him away, and never letting him be too sure that he is 'the one'. Pretty damn fail-safe, really. Hide the needy lurve-obsessed psycho aspects that seem to be part and parcel of the female conditioning thing, and he will fall for the new improved version of you. However, there is lots of stuff in The Rules that I don't mind so much, such as keep yourself really busy doing other things, so you don't get relationship obsessed. And based on the idea that you can get the practice right, and then the attitude will follow (or fake it until you make it), act as much as possible as if you were a whole person, with or without a relationship. So, yes, there are aspects of The Rules that fit in with how I see things, however, there is so much about the whole thing that makes me a little ill. The fact that it originally came out about the same time as the 'surrendered wives' movement (the 1990s) has probably affected my view here, also the idea that you should never ask the guy out, pay for anything in the early stages, etc freaks me out.
Obviously, there are quite a few femmes in this town that would agree with those ways of functioning in a relationship, however, while some part of me loves the idea of being a creature unlike any other, some part of me thinks that it should be enough for women to be merely human. That the same notions of chivalry that put us on pedestals also lock us into oppressive, inflexible social roles.
On non-lurve topics, my voice has gone from, according to others, delightfully husky, at the Call Girls Launch on Wednesday night, to non-existent by Thursday morning. In between trying to sleep it off (my remedy for all things), I have be wondering around, loudly whispering, to housemates - which of course means everyone else starts whispering back. It is all very odd, as aside from my voice being gone, I feel fabulous. I'm off to Hellfire tonight, to be very silent and mysterious, however I really need to see MooZoo doing Bovinity. Sadly, I've consumed about 12 large garlic cloves over the last 24 hours to ward of illness, so being bitten by Vampires tonight is unlikely.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Exciting Animal Tails

So there is this moth recently found in Madagascar, that feeds on the tears of birds. It has a long, harpoon like proboscis, which it inserts under the eyelids of sleeping birds, in order to drink from their tears. This latest find joins other moth species who drink the tears of elephants.

The good news in all this that even at my most bouncy and boundaryless, I have yet to decend to this level of creepiness. In other animal news, the Box Jellyfish has 64 anus's. No, I have absolutely no idea why.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Book Launch- Call Girls: Private Sex Workers in Australia

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 / 6.00 for 6.30pm

Roberta Perkins, Frances Lovejoy
Call Girls: Private Sex Workers in Australia
Published by: UWA Press
To be launched by Janelle Fawkes

Venue: gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
Cost: Free
RSVP: gleebooks - 9660 2333

A comprehensive study of women working in the Australian sex industry - usually outside of brothels and often via telephone from home (thus their name). Call Girls provides fascinating and frank accounts from women working in this shadowy, clandestine world: how they became sex workers and run their businesses; what frustrates and frightens them; how they maintain their health; who their customers are; and how their work affects their relationships with partners, lovers and/or families. Call Girls makes for surprising and challenging reading and, most importantly, places the world of the sex worker within political and legal contexts which will surprise and change the preconceived notions of many readers.

About the authors: Roberta Perkins is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at The University of New South Wales. Her books include Being a Prostitute (with Garry Bennett, 1985) and Sex Work and Sex Workers in Australia (1994).
Frances Lovejoy is also a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at The University of New South Wales and is a co-editor of Sex Work and Sex Workers.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.................misuse of the whore word

Gurlesque last night was wonderful in so many ways as usual. Glita's nun piece once again left me both squeally and speechless. Minx Contortionista doing Dietrich. Strawberry Pop being too cute for words. Sex in shower cap (well, it worked for me). Handyboi and Lillian Starr doing Bond. Wife and Domino - the joy of gorgeous activist women. Miss Sindy Ray bunnying. Madam Phantasm bunnying. Zoo bunnying.

However, despite all round fabbiness of the night.... two whole acts felt the need to use the word whore in a derogatory sense. What was even more disappointing, in this community which usually feels quite a whore positive and accepting space for me, is that all three performers involved with those two acts have attended Debby Doesn't Do It For Free performances, and have spoken to us about how much they like what we do. Also,considering the politics of the performers, I doubt they would ever consider using racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic or ablist language, so why the hell would they use whore in a insulting, negative way?

Considering that I - and many of my fellow Debbys - will use the word whore, both in performance and general conversation, I feel I should probably clarify my position on this issue. When a group of gay men will affectionately refer to themselves as a bunch of fags, this has very different meaning or intention than a homophobic str8 man passing by, hurling the same words out in derision. Sex workers are reclaiming language, just as other queers are. However, non-sex workers should be careful about how those words are used. When in doubt, refer to sex work and sex workers. If you are looking for insulting language to describe women's - or anyone's sexuality - may I ask why you want to perpetuate sex negativity? And please stop any euphemisms for sex workers as metaphors for selling out a value system. We don't actually. We provide consensual, negotiated services for a fee. It is only the pervasive sex negativity present in our culture that considers these acts as immoral.

For more, including a snippet on the history of the word whore, see:

Thursday, April 05, 2007


After Oestrus bunnying at Sly with Zoo and others - with the Sydney debut of my fabby chocolate vulvas, and wonderful performances by Wife - who managed to incorporate cats and aproning..... dribble........ and the lurverly Lillian Starr..... I will be hocking my ass on Good Friday for the first time in years. We'll see if guilt over the death of the consort keeps the men away.

I really should be spending tomorrow weeping at the foot of a cross, for he whom I have anointed for burial, and performing menstruation/ fertility rituals with blood red eggs, however, for the sake of my purse, I'll stick to the activities of the profane harlot, this year. After all it's not the right time for this festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

For the non-sacred whore/ pagan types who want to know what I'm on about, leave a comment. And have a nice time over the long weekend, everyone.

Monday, April 02, 2007

It's no use getting into heavy petting. It only leads to trouble and seat wetting

Someone told me this week that I am a huge flirt. I wasn't exactly surprised, However, sometimes when I am bouncing around, crawling all over random people, I am not even seeing it in those kind of terms. I am often crawling over one or more people with definite intent, but sometimes - and this is why I usually give bioguys a wide berth - my exuberant behaviour is directed at the universe in general, and no one in particular - and is open to misinterpretation.

The last time I was living in a huge share house, comprising 5 boys and 2 grrls, the sexual energy in the house was intense. Every person in the house was fucking at least one other person in the house, except one of the guys. The other grrl and I were fucking 3 housemates each (including each other) [hey, I was all of 19 - I have much less energy now]. The guy who wasn't getting any was a good friend of my primary partner, and was on really good terms with me - we'd sit around the kitchen table over coffee for hours and talk about religion and politics.
Then one night, when two of my partners were out on other dates, and the other one was shagging another partner, I was bouncing around the kitchen, a whirlwind of kittenish sexual energy and playfulness, when I realised that my energy was affecting this guy dramatically.... "Look at what you're doing to me!!"He pursued me down the hall. I ran out of the house before things got ugly. This wasn't the first time I was aware of that idea that a woman expressing sexuality is perceived as asking for it, or causing uncontrollable desire in men, but it was certainly one of the most scary incidents of recognition.
The fallout from this - in which most of my housemates agreed that I had callously lead the guy on was almost as scary - this is from a crew of queer or queer friendly punker kids who would be familiar with basic feminist thought. I felt punished by a small, judgemental community. The fact that I was polyamorous and a sex worker seemed to add fuel to the judgements. This, and various other incidents have probably added to my seclusion from the world of str8 non-trans men.
I sometimes wonder if people may think that my lack of contact with men extends from my sex work experience. In fact, my sex work is one of the few places that I feel is safe for me to have contact with guys. My sex work is so heavily negotiated, and so choreographed, that it is probably the most consensual contact I have with anyone, ever. My clients know that anything other than massage, oral sex with a condom and vaginal sex with a condom is all the activities on the menu that is actually a given. Anything else, kissing, cunnilingus, fantasies of any kind, have to be negotiated before we even go in to the bedroom. Some clients will ask me if I would be okay with them choosing me before they make their finally choice. I am not suggesting that all men are rapists, or can't be trusted to respect physical boundaries, or comply with basic standards of negotiated consent, however when I walk down the street to cars full of hooting and hollering men - a regular occurrence for the last 20 years - and when I don't respond, they start yelling abuse instead, I am reminded of popular culture constructions of clients as crazed psychos - who will emulate Jack the Ripper at any chance - and feel like we do clients a real disservice.
I feel like decisions around safety shift all the time for me, and my sense of appropriate behaviour and personal space boundaries are affected by mood, exhaustion and mental health. I certainly don't get it right all the time, and sometimes I'm still the bouncy, oblivious 19 year old who is oblivious to the impact of my behaviour on others, and struggles with self control and propriety. When I am sharp and clear, my sense of these things is really honed, when I'm not, I need a straight jacket, chastity belt and an isolation cell.