Tag Archives: lorelei lee

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

AVN 2015: Maitresse Madeline and Lorelei Lee meeting the fans

Last summer, Maitresse Madeline and Lorelei Lee auctioned off a one-hour private cam session that netted them each $42,000. At AVN they sold a very special commemorative picture to celebrate that special moment. In this update, we have a quick chat with one of the dominatrices’ loyal fans.

More Kink Bloopers

We’ve got another round of bloopers for you. Outtakes from some of our most recent shoots as well as some classics. All your favorite Kink stars in one hilarious update.

The SF Bay Guardian Shoot Maitresse Madeline and Lorelei for the Sex Issue

BE sure to grab a copy of the San Francisco Bay Guardian nest week to see Maitresse Madeline and Lorelei Lee in a sexy SciFi photo shoot. We were fortunate enough to capture some behind the scenes footage of the dynamic duo work their magic in from of the camera. Keep and eye for next week’s issue of the paper and for more Madeline and Lorelei be sure to check out Divine Bitches and Eletrosluts

AB1576 – PERFORMERS VOICE FINALLY HEARD – THE BILL IS KILLED!

The adult industry voice was finally heard as Assembly Bill 1576 remained  in suspense today at the Senate Appropriations Hearing. AB1576 was, among other industry damaging issues, a condom mandate bill not unlike Measure B which has proved nothing but a failure for LA County. AB1576 proposed a condom mandate, performer privacy violations and problematic testing protocols which were less stringent that what the industry currently has in place. The troubled bill would have put the industry performers at greater work place risk and moved the larger producers out of California taking millions of tax dollars with it. Ab1576 was drafted  without performer input or consent – a point that was continually hammered home by the over 650 performers who openly opposed the bill. Even with the number performers who vocally opposed ab1576, the bill’s author continued to hold the line that he needed to “speak on behave of those who do not have a voice”.  Today,  performers voices where heard and AB1576 was held on suspense. The industry will continue to enforce its rigorous testing standards using the performer developed PASS system which standards are so well refined we have been able to keep HIV out of the talent pool for over a decade. That is a fact – there has not been a SINGLE on set transmission of HIV in over a decade. The NY Times labelled the adult industry as the “unlikely model for HIV prevention” and throughout the last few weeks, the LA Times has published several articles including an editorial on why AB1576 is a bad bill. Today, sex workers can celebrate an albeit small, but solid victory of validation.

Kink.com’s 10000 Video Milestone

Kink.com celebrates our 10,000th video over the past 16 years. We have come a long way from Peter’s apartment in the Marina to the Castle on 14th St. in the Mission. From Peter starting it all by himself as a one man crew all the way to a full production powerhouse of BDSM.