1. I’m teaching Sex Workers’ Writing Workshop this upcoming Saturday November 9th from 2pm-4pm at The Center for Sex & Culture. If you’re a current or former sex worker, please come write with us! More details below.
2. CSC is doing a truly awesome art exhibit of safer sex posters from the 80s and 90s tomorrow (Friday) night, November 8th from 7pm-10pm. Again, please come out! More details below.
All my best & happy November,
Sex Workers’ Writing Workshop
Saturday, November 9th, 2-4pm (usually 2nd Saturday of every month, 2-4pm)
Center for Sex & Culture, 1349 Mission Street, San Francisco (at Grace Alley)
Sliding scale $10-$20 (more if you can, less if you can’t, **nobody turned away** — if you’re broke you should still come write with us!)
Workshop facilitated by Gina de Vries
This is a writing workshop for current and former sex workers to share their writing and get honest, non-judgmental feedback. Workshop participants are not obligated to write exclusively about sex work, but writing about work in the sex industry (as well as writing about other topics) will be welcomed. This is a place where people can write and share about their sex work experiences without having to censor themselves or explain every detail. Beginning writers are encouraged to attend along with more seasoned wordsmiths.
Sex Workers’ Writing Workshop is all-genders. We define the term “sex worker” broadly, as people who have exchanged erotic labor for money/food/shelter, including but not limited to:
+Street and Survival Sex Workers
+Escorts and Personal Companions
+Sensual Massage and Sensual Body Work Providers
+BDSM workers; pro-dommes, subs, and switches
+Adult Film Actors; Porn Models and Performers; Nude Models; Cam Girls and Boys
+Exotic Dancers; Strippers; and Peep Show Workers
+Phone Sex Operators
+And many other Sex Workers and Adult Entertainers!
(If we’re forgetting your area of the industry in this definition, tell us!)
**Email questions, volunteer inquiries, etc, to email@example.com.
**While we can’t guarantee a scent-free space, we ask that all attendees please refrain from wearing scented products to ensure that workshop members with chemical sensitivities can attend.
**We ask that our non-sex worker friends, lovers, partners, allies, and clients respect that this space is FOR SEX WORKERS ONLY.
INSTRUCTOR BIO:Gina de Vries founded Sex Workers’ Writing Workshop in 2008. She has taught, lectured, and performed everywhere from chapels to leatherbar backrooms to the Ivy Leagues to community colleges. Ze is the founder and co-curator (with Elena Rose) of Girl Talk, a critically acclaimed multi-media performance show promoting dialogue about relationships of all kinds between queer trans women, queer cis women, and genderqueer people. Her publications include That’s Revolting!, Bound to Struggle, Baby Remember My Name, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, $pread: illuminating the sex industry, Curve, Coming & Crying, Take Me There, The Revolution Starts at Home, and Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?. Gina holds a Master’s in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Ze is currently finishing up How To Have A Body, a book of experimental prose about, well, how to have a body. Find out more at ginadevries.com, and keep track of her on the daily at howtohaveabody.tumblr.com.
The Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco is thrilled to announce its exhibition SAFE SEX BANG: The Buzz Bense Collection of Safe Sex Posters, featuring a selection of nearly 100 posters donated to the Center for Sex & Culture (CSC) by graphic designer and safe sex activist Buzz Bense. Co-organized by CSC gallery curator Dorian Katz and New York-based writer and curator Alex Fialho, in close collaboration with Bense, the exhibition opens November 8, 2013 from 7-10 pm and runs through January 31, 2014.
These posters do more than chart the tragedy of an epidemic, of an outsider community reeling from grief, loss, and the decimation of a blooming culture of sexual liberation. The history of these posters is a story of a fight against stigma, hatred and ignorance; of a community stepping up to take care of its own; of finding a way to extinguish fear and build pride and self-esteem; and of devoted efforts of committed activists to communicate a path to health and survival.
~Buzz Bense, donor of CSC’s safe sex poster collection.
Buzz Bense has collected and produced safe sex posters aimed at members of the queer community since the mid-1980s. In March 2012, Bense donated his collection to CSC of over 150 unique posters, accumulated primarily during his time as a graphic designer with various safe sex advocacy groups and as founder of the San Francisco safe sex club EROS. Circulated at a moment when the queer community experienced the initial ravages brought on by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, these posters comprise a striking aesthetic collection of graphically innovative design that explicitly visualizes diverse LGBT communities and safe sex activism.
SAFE SEX BANG: The Buzz Bense Collection of Safe Sex Posters spans from 1982 into the 2000s, from San Francisco to New York City stateside and internationally to Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Canada. Highlights of the exhibition include the “Play Fair!” brochure produced by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in 1982, considered “the first queer positive, safer-sex pamphlet” (on loan from the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco); six bus shelter posters produced by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation –including an example of the well-known Bleachman campaign– and STOP AIDS Project that demand attention through their large-scale format; four powerful posters from the Brothers Network, a San Francisco based organization aimed at empowering and educating gay and transgender members of the African-American community; five seductively colorful posters designed by the Australian artist David McDiarmid, other examples of which are included in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and multiple posters and condom packaging designs produced by Bense himself, including campaigns for National Condom Week and Mayer Laboratories.
The double entendre of the SAFE SEX BANG exhibition title speaks to the means through which many of the posters impart their message of prevention: as sex-positive images of queer sexuality that have both an advertising immediacy and an informative sense of impact. The living history of this archive presents the visual means through which the LGBT community has attempted to educate itself about safer sex practices during the height of an ongoing health epidemic that continues to effect all of us today.
Founded in 1996, the Center for Sex & Culture is a non-profit located in San Francisco’s South of Market district whose mission is “to provide judgment-free education, cultural events, a library/media archive, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum.” CSC has had a gallery program for two years that exhibits contemporary art as well as art and ephemera from its special collections. CSC Gallery Hours: Monday 11:30 am - 3:30 pm and by appointment. CSC is located at 1349 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 for additional information or to schedule an appointment to view the exhibition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sexandculture.org
Reception: Friday, November 8, 7-10 pm
World AIDS Day Event: Sunday, December 1, 1-4 pm
Exhibition Catalog Release Party: Friday, January 24, 7-10 pm