Category Archives: Press

SIOUXSIE Q TO JOIN FSC AS DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND INDUSTRY RELATIONS

[FSC]

The Free Speech Coalition is pleased to announce that adult performer, writer, and activist, Siouxsie Q, will join FSC as its newly appointed Director of Policy and Industry Relations. Siouxsie has been working with the Coalition in an ad-hoc manner since February.

“With her hard work helping to secure our Cal/OSHA victory in February, Siouxsie quickly proved to be an invaluable and truly dedicated member of the team,” says Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition. “She has a deep and nuanced knowledge of the issues the industry faces, and a passion for political work and grassroots organizing that will be essential to our industry’s future success.”

 

San Francisco Entertainment Commission OKs Permit for Events at The Armory

[ABC7]

The San Francisco Armory won a permit to begin operating as a full-time event and concert venue from the Entertainment Commission Tuesday night despite protests from neighbors rattled by noise and rowdy patrons at recent events.

The Armory, a historic city building and headquarters for Kink.com, contains a 40,000 square foot event space known as the Drill Court. The Mission District facility, which has had a permit to hold one show or event a month since 2013, now plans to become a full-time entertainment venue with a capacity of up to 4,000 people.

The Armory can operate concerts from the hours: Sunday through Wednesday until 11p.m., Thursday until midnight and Friday, Saturday and holidays until 2 a.m.

Lotus Lain talks to adult performers at Cal OSHA hearing

On February 18, California’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board voted 3-2 against new rules for the production of adult films. BK teamed up with the incredible Lotus Lain to speak to an array of adult performers. Check out their reactions to defeating the new regulations.

Calif. Officials Vote Against Condom Rules for Porn Productions from BehindKink on Vimeo.

 

 

An open letter to NYT in response to their coverage of yesterday’s Cal OSHA hearing by Lorelei Lee

[Medium]

Dear New York Times,

My name is Lorelei Lee and I’m an adult film performer who has worked in the industry for fifteen years. I read your article, “Actors in Pornographic Films Fight Proposal to Enforce Safety Regulations,” and I am writing to say: how dare you.

Nearly 100 of my fellow performers and I took an unpaid day off from work to testify at yesterday’s meeting of the Cal OSHA Standards Board. Some woke at 4am to fly to Northern California. Some drove seven hours from Los Angeles, and some flew across the country from their homes in other states. We were there to speak from our hearts. We were there to make substantive points about a newly proposed regulation that was written without our input, with disregard for our actual safety, and in opposition to the views of doctors and epidemiologists from institutions like the CDC and Emory University. Yesterday’s meeting represented the culmination of years of our efforts to organize and speak out for ourselves, to become part of the political process that wants to regulate our bodies.

We were not, as your article described us, “a parade.” We were not there to put on a show, and our clothes, which your article focused on — pointing out that we were “fully dressed,” as though our wearing clothes was a joke — were not costumes. How dare you gloss over the real and cogent content of our public testimony to focus on our “form-fitting” dresses and “stiletto heels.” We are not cartoons, and your description of us as “colorful” demonstrates both a bias in reporting and an utter failure to hear my coworkers’ articulate and nuanced criticism of the proposed regulation. This regulation would not have been “more stringent” as your article describes, but would have substantially weakened the state-of-the art testing system we rely on, and which your own paper has previously described as a “model for HIV prevention.” This regulation would have pushed our industry underground where workers like me have fewer resources and less protection against all manner of safety violations beyond STI transmission, and, if passed, would have alienated us from the very government body assigned with our protection.

I’m not writing to you simply because I am angered by the mistakes of one reporter. I’m writing to you because the way journalists describe us matters. The way you talk about us has a direct impact on our ability to advocate for ourselves and on the tremendous stigma that we face every minute of our lives. When we are fighting for our bodily safety, this dismissal of our humanity by a journalist amplifies our daily risk of harm. It invites violence against our bodies by implying that we are not real, whole people. You know this. You report about frequent violent crimes against sex workers in your own paper.

I promise you that my coworkers and I already know what most of the world thinks of us. We know that you are surprised to see us out and dressed in daylight. We know that you think we are fictional characters whose voices are always scripted, who only speak in explicit imperatives and double-entendres. We know that most of the world would prefer we not interrupt that fictional image with our actual voices. We know that most of the world will not believe us when we speak anyway.

Time and again we’ve been told that because of the labor we do with our bodies, we must not have fully developed brains as well. We’ve been told that we could not possibly know what is good for us, that we are hapless victims, that we are brainwashed or exploited. We are told by the media and by people we love that they do not believe we value our own bodies.

And yet, we were the ones — adult performers — who created and implemented the protocols we now use to protect our bodies at work. It was performers who, in the late nineties, saw their coworkers dying, saw the people in their community falling victim to both HIV and to a doubled stigma — a stigma that still thrives — that says HIV positive sex workers are to blame for their own seroconversion. To save the lives of the people they loved, performers on all sides of the industry worked to create systems that could keep us safe. For some performers this means using condoms at work, and for some this means a stringent testing system that both protects our medical privacy and enables us to know our status and the status of our partners — something that is rare among civilians. Over the last decade and a half we’ve worked with doctors and epidemiologists, we’ve increased the stringency of our protocols immediately with each new advance in medical science. These protocols are not mandated by anyone except us. How dare you imply that the fact of us wearing clothes is somehow more compelling than our decade-long struggle to protect ourselves and the people we love.

We already know what most of the world thinks of us and yet we continue to fight. We meet at each other’s houses to go over the fine print of draft regulation and to plan our battles. We travel and we take time off from work. We out ourselves publicly and we share the intimate details of our lives with lawmakers. We stand up at the podiums of hearing rooms in front of Cal OSHA or the California State Legislature and we beg them to listen to us. We beg them to work with us to create the kind of regulation that will enable us to care for our families, to live, to keep our bodies and the bodies of those we love safe from harm. We are not above begging, and we know that as long as papers like yours continue to publish articles like this one we will have to continue to beg and plead and pray that we can crack through a thousand years of bias and stigma and be heard. We are not a parade. We are a battalion, and we are fighting for our lives.

Sincerely,

Lorelei Lee

Calif. Officials Vote Against Condom Rules for Porn Productions

[XBIZ]

On February 18, California’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board voted 3-2 against new rules for the production of adult films.

The final draft of the proposed regulations, known as § 5193.1, not only required condoms for all filmed sex, but also “barrier protection for eyes, skin, mouth and mucous membranes.” The proposed regulations were initiated six years ago by Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The vote on whether to issue a safety order over the rules was made by five members of the state’s OSH Standards Board, which sets standards within the Cal/OSHA program.  The board needed four votes for the amended § 5193.1 to be included in California’s Code of Regulations.

The board heard more than five hours of testimony from more than 100 in the adult industry urging a “no” vote on § 5193.1, many of them performers, directors, talent agents and sex experts at the hearing in Oakland.

Much more from this historic day to come very soon.

Calif. Officials Vote Against Condom Rules for Porn Productions from BehindKink on Vimeo.

 

FSC Asks for No Shoots on February 18, Date of Cal/OSHA Vote

Free Speech Coalition is requesting that adult producers refrain from shooting on February 18, the date of a critical Cal/OSHA meeting, so that large numbers of performers may be free to attend and testify. Cal/OSHA is expected to vote on regulations that would require condoms for all penetrative sex, including oral, as well as dental dams and goggles.

“It is crucial that performers are available to speak at this final Cal/OSHA meeting, because Cal/OSHA weighs heavily the voice of the workers,” said Jeffrey Douglas, Board Chair of the Free Speech Coalition. “So we ask that producers not book shoots for February 18, so that any performer who wishes to attend can do so.”

In October 2015, Cal/OSHA issued the final language for the regulations, and declined to remove the controversial condom and goggle requirements. Without a strong performer showing at the hearing, the regulations are expected to pass.

The meeting will take place at 10:00 am in the Harris State Building, 1515 Clay Street in Oakland, California.

Performers or producers who wish to attend the meeting should contact the Free Speech Coalition at(818) 348-9373, or by emailing info@freespeechcoalition.com.

[AVN]

Madison Young Premieres ‘Reveal All Fear Nothing’ at SF Armory

From AVN:

Performance artist, author and director Madison Young, known for her feminist take on hardcore erotica, offers an alternative to the usual Valentine’s Day fare with the world premiere of her new theater piece, Reveal All Fear Nothing: A Journey in Sex, Love, Porn and Feminism. Directed by Sophia La Paglia, the performance will take place February 12-14 at the San Francisco Armory. Inside the Armory, which is home to Kink.com, a theater has been constructed in the building’s Roman Bath set. The pop-up theater will seat 100 audience members each evening.

Reveal All Fear Nothing is a multimedia performance and experimental theater piece, written and performed by Madison Young and developed in collaboration with feminist artist Annie Sprinkle. The piece—a modern adaptation of Sprinkle’s theater piece Post Porn Modernist—and aims to crack wide open the underground worlds of BDSM, pornography and kink, all while demystifying and celebrating these often misunderstood and misrepresented communities and movements.

You can purchase tickets in advance at EventBrite.com

X_Madison Young_GES_BK_4-13-14 (LR)-42 Madison Young_GES_BK_4-13-14 (LR)-67

Eric Paul Leue Appointed Head Of The Free Speech Coalition

Director of Sexual Health and Advocacy at Kink.com, Eric Paul Leue has officially been appointed to Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition! He will take over in a very important time for the FSC and the adult industry; with new Cal/OSHA regulations which would require eye protection, dental dams and condom when shooting adult film, and a ballot measure which would allow private citizens to file lawsuits against producers and performers who don’t appear to comply with the regulations.

 “It’s an incredible honor to be able to lead the charge of the Free Speech Coalition, at a time when the adult industry is fighting for its very survival,” said Leue. “When it comes to free speech, performer safety, and sexual health, we cannot let the moralistic and anti-scientific arguments dictate policy. I will fight to keep our industry safe and legal.”

Here’s Leue at the Cal/OSHA protest put on by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)  in Oakland last year. Eric has a long history as an activist in the LGBTQ and Leather Communities and wanted to dispel the propaganda AHF was spreading at the protest:

[FSC]