Monthly Archives: December 2011

Kitty Stryker’s stunning video interview at Sex on Trial

Sex worker Kitty Stryker tells in an intimate video interview by Lola Sparkle for Sex on Trial that the policing of sex takes place “multiple different levels” including through the state and the self.

She says:

You have a government deciding what is acceptable practice in public and in private, you have schools deciding what is appropriate to teach and what is not appropriate to teach. You have society deciding what sort of sexual practices are acceptable to promote or to encourage or to advertise and which ones are not… and of course we police each other [via] cultural biases

She argued that sexual hegemony is an obstacle for many disabled individuals and there sexuality. On her own experiences, Stryker comments that as a sex worker, there seemed a discomfort from society regarding the fact that she received money for sex.

Kitty has a major in Psychology and Anthropology, and has used her education to become what she describes as a ‘contemporary courtesan’. Over the last few years has aided people with discovering or rediscovering their sexualities, including those with disabilities of various kinds.

Kitty also writes for the recommendable blog Purrversatility, which addresses sexual issues in the manner that all decent and proud people should do- with no holds barred.

Kitty describes herself as “an advocate for sex and disability activism and a fierce queer femme, a happy broke-ass ho working with the Sex Worker Outreach Project in Oakland, California”.

She has additionally worked with the Bureau of Erotic Discourse and is a founding member of Kinky Salon London. Furthermore, Stryker has received an Erotic Award for her London-based Ladies High Tea and Pornography Society groups and has have done multiple documentaries and interviews about her work.

The video interview was shown during the ‘Sex Police’ discussion that has raised a plethora of vital questions: What counts as ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ sex? Who decides this? How is it regulated? What happens if one is outside these boundaries?
Mutiny and Critical Sexology’s Sex on Trial is still going as this blog goes online and the night is still young.

Mutiny and Critical Sexology is well under way at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green, east London. The Mutiny evening will kick off with speed debating at 6.30pm but you are welcome to pop in any time tonight. Tickets £5 and £3 concession on the door.

 

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Cari Mitchell joins the jury at Sex on Trial

 Cari Mitchell will join the Mutiny tomorrow, Thursday, December 8, at Mutiny and Critical Sexology present Sex On Trial, held at the Resistance Gallery. The spokesperson for the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) will be addressing the issue of police raids on sex workers. 

With government legislature increasingly criminalising prostitutes, Mitchell has publicly emphasised the importance in addressing the motives behind individuals’ involvement in the sex industry. In April 2010, Mitchell published an article in The Guardian entitled Sex Work Should not be a Crime, arguing that:

Police powers to arrest women deemed to be loitering or soliciting have been reinforced [and] raids have escalated… the financial reasons driving many women [into prostitution] have been ignored

The English Collective of Prostitutes campaigns for the decriminalisation or prostitution, financial alternatives, and the rights and protection of sex workers. Through this organisation Mitchell provides information, support and a voice for those working in the sex trade- both on the street and indoors.

From prostitution to pornography, the sex industry will be a broadly covered area at tomorrow’s Sex on Trial, in which 150 people a set to attend the event organised by Mutiny and Critical Sexology.

‘Contemporary courtesan’ Kitty Stryker – who has previous received an Erotic Award for her London-based Ladies High Tea and Pornography Society groups – will also be addressing the Mutineers (by pre-recorded video interview) in Part II, which questions what – or who – determines ‘normal’ sex and sexuality.

Thursday evening will see these above matters incorporated into a night of great sociable atmosphere. Like previous Mutiny events – which have seen Democracy, Violence, Love, the Media, and Money (amongst others) brought into the dock- there will also be free food provided, general discussions on the old ‘S word’, music, art, performance and ‘speed debating’- where all are free to engage in exhilarating exchanges of perspectives with fellow Mutineers. The event will open at 3pm at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green.

Entry to the afternoon seminar is free. Tickets for the evening event are £5 buy-one-get-one-free in advance online at jointhemutiny.org or £5/3 on the door. If you attend the afternoon seminar event you will be entitled to concession price entry to the evening event (£3).

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To Gaze at a Postcard: Alex Brew Puts Sex on Trial

By Alex Montague

Exhibiting artist Alex Brew has published a series of tongue-in-cheek postcards subverting the traditional British obsession with sex to add a LGBT twist. The postcards have been supported by Mutiny and will be given free inside the now famous goody bags at Sex on Trial.

Brew will also be presenting a talk on the Michel Foucault based theory of the gaze – the assertion of power through glaring or ‘ogling’. Mutiny’s Sex on Trial will be held at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green on December 8 2011, as a collaboration between Mutiny and the London based seminar series Critical Sexology.

Brew has done a lot of work incorporating the subject of sex into the world of art. Her photography has been displayed at universities, galleries and squats across the UK. Her creativity has delved into areas often uncomfortably for many female, or even male, visual artists, and her project Asking For It, which was held at the 2008 Ladyfest London, experimented with making male strangers the subject of human-form based photography.

Her 2010 exhibition Me Maskuline focused on a variety of artists spanning three decades who all focused on their own relationships to masculinity. Brew has spoken on the subject of sex before, including the 2010-2011 seminar series ‘Pornified: the sexualisation of culture?’ The British Library and the Women’s Library have both catalogued her work.

For her Sex on Trial postcards, however, Brew has taken to using old images and editing the dialogue to entirely change the meaning and the socio-political and cultural connotations. The culture and powers roles are reversed.

The postcards in question are all of the typical British seaside ‘blue’ humour; documentations of the ‘How’s Yer Father’/Carry On side to the national character. Yet the speech bubbles Brew has superimposed entirely revolutionise the images’ meanings. This beautifully emphasises the impact of the new attitudes- which Sex on Trial will in itself demonstrates- upon how one’s evaluation of sex.

Sex on Trial will be a carnivalesque mix of ‘speed debating’, video interviews, and alternative egalitarian discussion, along with music, poetry and theatre performances. The evening will see lively and informative discussions asking: What is ‘healthy’ or ‘normal’ sex is? Who decides this? Matters such as sex education, consent, sexual revolution, and activism through appreciation of each other’s sexual and relationship differences.

For those attending Sex on Trial, Alex Brew’s Postcards will be available for all in the goody bags that previous Mutiny Trials have also involved. For those that have not yet purchased tickets, please do so here. Sex on Trial will also provide free food for attendees, alongside the food-for-thought feast that shall dominate the evening.

Entry to the afternoon seminar is free. Tickets for the evening event are £5 buy-one-get-one-free in advance online or £5/3 on the door. If you attend the afternoon seminar event you will be entitled to concession price entry to the evening event (£3).

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Youth practitioner Ester McGeeney puts Sex on Trial

by Alex Montague

Youth practitioner Ester McGeeney will discuss pleasure and sex education at Mutiny and Critical Sexology present Sex on Trial at Bethnal Green on December 8.

Ester is currently studying her PhD in Sexual Pleasure, Young People and Sexual Health, in a studentship funded by the Open University and the young people’s sexual health charity Brook.

Laura Harvey, who is on the organising committee, said: “Ester’s work has concentrated on the dominant view of young people and practitioners towards ‘good sex’ and the impact this has on the delivery of sexual health services for the young. McGeeney examines sexual pleasure with regards to ways in which it can be incorporated into understanding sex and sexuality.”

Ester has also been involved with such projects as the British Sociological Association funded Researching Inequalities: A Theory for Everything?; a one day conference in May 2011 which created a forum exploring the current state of inequality and ways for researchers to consider the practices and methodologies.

Sex on Trial is a collaboration between Mutiny, who have previously hosted various ‘On Trial’ events including Love, Violence, Money, Sexual Education, and Democracy, and the seminar series Critical Sexology, which is approaching its tenth anniversary.

Sex on Trial will see Mutineers calling to question such issues as ‘healthy’ and ’normal’ sex, consent, and sexual revolution. This will all be brought into a night of general discussion, music, art, performance and ‘speed debating’- where all are free to engage of swift but fruitful exchanges of perspectives.

The trial will also incorporate Skype interviews with the likes of Kitty Stryker and Sara McClelland into a group discussion that differentiates with the norm of seminar and speaker-and-audience style meetings, instead taking an egalitarian approach to a subject matter many feel our society still needs to come to grips with.

The event will open at 3pm at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green. In the first half of Sex on Trial, hosted by Critical Sexology and supported by Mutiny, Ester will adapt this broad and extensively researched knowledge of sexual pleasure towards the subject of sex education. This ability will succeed in being beneficial for all attendees in discussing sex freely amongst the one hundred plus gathering.

For those that have not yet purchased tickets for Sex on Trial, please do so here. Sex on Trial will also provide free food for attendees, as well as generally succeeding as a thrilling social event with an impression menagerie of minds, beliefs and openness.

Entry to the afternoon seminar is free. Tickets for the evening event are £5 buy-one-get-one-free in advance online at jointhemutiny.org or £5/3 on the door. If you attend the afternoon seminar event you will be entitled to concession price entry to the evening event (£3).

 

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