Announcing a Fund Raiser for Sexworker Empowerment Projects

The stigma associated with sexwork often makes it difficult or impossible for sexworkers to get the word out, not to mention unsympathetic or hostile treatment from the media. So I was thrilled to get this press release in my in-box today, announcing a fund raiser on February 4 to support Sex Work Awareness and the Red Umbrella Project. They’re putting a training for sexworkers on how to talk with and work with the media.

Help get the word out and pass this along. I just wish this event was here in San Francisco instead of New York!

Contact: Tess Danesi
Cell: 724 484 3387

Anonymous donor offers to match funds raised at February 4th event

Melissa Petro, an art teacher at P.S. 70 in the Bronx, whose writings about having had sex for money, dared to challenge the tired old adage “once a prostitute, always a whore, resigned from her job on January 21st.  That today, in 2011, Melissa, a tenured teacher who had clearly demonstrated competence at her job, should have had to choose between resignation or the likely turmoil of a hearing that could result in her dismissal, is one reason Tied Up Events has chosen to once again support the efforts of Sex Work Awareness and the Red Umbrella Project with their Speak Up Media Training Program by holding a fundraiser on February 4th, 2011 at Madame X, 94 West Houston Street, between Thompson and LaGuardia Place, from 6:30 to 10:00 PM.

Speak Up! is led by Audacia Ray and Eliyanna Kaiser, two former executive editors of $pread magazine who have worked with mainstream and independent media as part of the sex worker rights movement for many years. Speak Up! is the result of need expressed by members of our community for more resources and skills training on how to strategically respond to and interact with media. In 2009 and 2010 Speak Up! was run by Sex Work Awareness (SWA), a public education project that evolved out of work with $pread magazine. This year the training is co-organized by SWA and the Red Umbrella Project.

SWA and the Red Umbrella Project are also pleased to announce the opening of the application period for the third annual Speak Up! Media Training for current and former sex workers, held in New York City at the Urban Justice Center. 2011 training will kick off with an evening seminar on Friday, April 8th and consist of two full days of workshop on April 9 & 10. Speak Up! is able to train 10 people and is accepting applications from Monday, January 24 through Thursday, February 17.

The event at Madame X will be emceed by the only letter in burlesque, N, and feature performances by Reid Mihalko, GraydancerLuna, Brandon B, and Miss Mary Cyn. Tickets will be available for purchase for lap dances by the Luscious Lifestyle Diva, Ms. Yolanda Shoshana, the one and only lifestyle Passionista, Ms. Abiola Abrams, burlesque sensation, Sweet N’ Lo, and the sultry Ms. Savannah Darling. Luna will also provide foot rubs for those for purchase a ticket.

Admittance is $15 pre-paid via Eventbrite or $20 at the door and includes a 2011 NYC SexBlogger Calendar with sex educator and adult film legend Nina Hartley vamping it up on the cover and lots of steamy bloggers heating things up from the inside cover to the very back page, Wet safe sex kits, and a $10 gift certificate to The Pleasure Chest for the first hundred people to register and/or arrive.  To avoid the line, pre-purchase lap dance or foot rub tickets for $15 at Eventbrite (remember to print out and bring your confirmation with you) or pay $20 at the event.

To make the funds raised at the fundraiser go twice as far, a donor, who prefers to remain anonymous, is very generously matching funds up to $1,500.

About Tied Up Events

Tied Up Events, the event planning company, founded by Tess Danesi and Dee (Diva) Dennis, creates and organizes sex positive events. Starting in 2008, with the NYC SexBlogger Calendar, Tied Up Events brought together local activists, filmmakers, writers and educators to raise funds for Sex Work Awareness. Tied Up Events now hosts The Chat Lounge, a free event, meeting the 3rd Thursday of every month at Happy Ending, 302 Broome Street, from 7:30 “ 10:00 PM, features a different speaker to guide discussions covering body image, gender, pornography, identity, orientation, love and relationships, the science of sex and much more. Tied Up Events also is the organizer of Momentum: Making Waves in Sexuality, Feminism and Relationships Through New Media, a conference taking place in Washington, DC on April 1-3, 2011, featuring over 40 presenters who are at the forefront of sexuality today.


For more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with either Audacia Ray or Tess Danesi, please call Tess at 724 484 3387 or email at


Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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