Sex Worker Artistes

On Wednesday, the sex worker rights magazine Spread opened its first art exhibit titled, “Sex Worker Visions.” Artists include former SuicideGirl and illustrator Molly Crabapple, sex activist Heather Corinna, exotic dancer and photographer Charise Isis, and former prostitute and filmmaker Anne Hanavan.
So if you’re in or by NYC, get thee to the LGBT Community Center, where the exhibition is being held.

Join the Conversation

  • dante1129

    Most women who work as prostitutes want out. This magazine does not represent the majority of people who are being exploited by this industry. Will their vision include those who don’t want to suck 15 strangers dicks a day?
    They aren’t for open honest dialoge.
    read all about it at

  • gayle

    I agree with dante129. And I’ll pass on the exhibit.

  • Audacia Ray

    Actually, the exhibition does include the perspectives of women and men who have not had positive experiences in the sex industry, and the magazine as a whole strives to include many perspectives and does not promote the sex industry as a good choice for all people. As we grow we are trying to be more and more inclusive of different perspectives. If you have criticisms, please write for us. Seriously. Submission guidelines are here:

  • Jenny Whitlow

    Spread is lame. I can’t believe you’d promote them. Why don’t you just change your name to
    Is that already taken?

  • Patty Valentine

    I have read your magazine and you do not dialogue with feminists critical of prostitution, you mock them, and you don’t list resources available to help prostitutes leave prostitution.
    After what you did to the anti-prostitution writer at the link given above, I’ll pass on your invitation to have my writing similarly manipulated.

  • Jessica

    Hey, think what you will about us promoting Spread. But if you want to comment, please just use one name–it’s kind of lame to post using several names just to fake support for your position. I’m sure there are plenty of people who agree with you–you don’t have to create psuedonyms to make your point.

  • HeyKatie

    “Will their vision include those who don’t want to suck 15 strangers dicks a day?”
    And you call yourself a feminist?
    Of course, ‘decent women’ would not want to do what you find so repellent. Your contempt for prostitutes is not veiled at all – open hatred more like.
    Thanks for the link to Spread, Aug.

  • Eve Ryder

    I have written for $pread and I have referenced bad experiences that I have had and I have *specifically* dialogued with feminists critical to prostitution and had that published in $pread.
    I was a streetworker for many years with good, bad, and awful experiences alike. $pread has been a home for me.
    What I seriously doubt, is whether this poster who claims to know what the “majority of prostitutes” want has any clue what *she’s* talking about.
    I think that some people are just stuck in their ideologies and don’t really care what the truth is.

  • kaitlyn tikkun

    can we work towards a point where we’re not making blanket statements about all people and realize that the subject is far more complicated than a ‘all or none’ framework? absolutist think ends dialoge and curtails critical and reflective thinking. my experiences in both sex work, sex, and relationships have been positive, negative, and ambivalent. there have been amazingly wonderful and healthy times, and completely horrible experiences…that complexity is what life is.
    i feel the core of $pread is the belief that there can be a vehicle to explore what sex work is to the people who are or have done sex work. at that basis, it’s empowering. (disclosure: i am a designer with $pread).
    as a personal example, i’m genderqueer. sex work is something that is available to me when other avenues of paying work are denied me. is that being ‘forced’? it certainly is one of a limited set of options. i’ve also found great emotional awards and have grown through my sex work, it has been overall a healing process for me.
    are people ‘forced’ to work in soulless cubicles in some corporate structure? are there complexities to that situation as well, do people feel that this situation is all good or all bad? what are the nuances of reality? what are the pieces that we can work with, what are the threads of healthy growth that we can trace and nurture?

  • Talia

    As a feminist, a sex worker, and an anti-capitalist, I have come to terms with two things: 1. The sex work I do does not neccesarily comply with my feminist ideals (on what beauty means and how gender roles should be played out) or anti-capitalism (come on, its a paying job). If I had the choice I would do what I love, for free, all the time and I would do it dressed as I pleased. 2. Its a capitalist world and a sexist world. As a woman with bills to pay, I make a choice to capitalize on patriarchy and use it to my advantage. Do I think that doing this makes me more of a feminist? No. For me, feminism is about respect for women’s choices and for women’s ability and agency to make these choices. When people enter into the business by anything other than free will, they need the help of activists to get out. But sex work done by choice should never be conflated with forced prostitution (that’s rape, not labor). From my understanding, $pread looks at sex work from outside of a “right or wrong” framework and includes perspectives of sex workers of all genders (not just those of “prostituted women”).

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  • sojourner

    I don’t think being a feminist means you have to support other women and their choices regardless of what those choices are. This sounds ridiculous to me. What about the “choice� to not get an education? the “choice� to “submit� to your husband, stay with an abusive partner, the choice to wear a burqa? There are plenty of wonderful choices that women make. I believe being a feminist means helping yourself and other women to make informed and empowered choices.