Live! Aya de Leon, Akynos, Jacq the Stripper: Writing about Sex Work

“The second you make someone laugh, it’s so much easier to get money out of 'em!” / Live from McNally Jackson NYC in January 2018!We discussed colorism at strip clubs, #MeToo issues, Spread Magazine, how being a stripper prepares you to write single panel comics, and a certain portrait of Aya's mom wearing a leopard print fur bikini holding a snake! / From I Was A Teenage Dominatrix to The Happy Hooker, classic sex work books have been limited to pretty one-dimensional points of view. In the 21st century, sex work books are as prismatic as the workers themselves. Join sex work journalist and podcaster Tina Horn for a panel on the exciting and nuanced ways sex work is being written about right now. Learn how strippers around the world represent themselves, on topics ranging from snacks to the male ego, in Jacq the Stripper's crowdfunded self published Striptastic. Learn why Aya de Leon chose escort characters as the protagonists of her Justice Hustlers crime series. Learn how Akynos uses both her blogging and performance art as activism. We'll be discussing everything from stigma to genre to branding to high heels in an effort to create a real and honest portrait of the modern literary sex worker. 

/ Jacq the Stripper is a Canadian writer, comedian, stripper and illustrator. She lives in New York City with her wife and plants.Beaver Show, Striptastic, social media... / Aya de Leon is an author, teacher, and activist in the Oakland Bay Area. Kensington Books publishes her sex worker heist series, Justice Hustlers: Uptown Thief in 2016 (winner of Independent Publisher and International Latino Book Awards), The Boss in 2017, and The Accidental Mistress in 2018. She has received acclaim in the Washington Post, Village Voice, Tits and Sass, The SF Chronicle, and The Establishment. Her work has also appeared in Ebony, Guernica, Writers Digest, Huffington Post, The Toast, The Honest Courtesan, Essence, VICE, Bitch Magazine and on Def Poetry. She is also at work on a black girl spy YA novel called Going Dark, and an adult spy novel about FBI infiltration of an African American political organization. She teaches creative writing in the African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley, and blogs and tweets about race, gender, and culture at @AyadeLeon and ayadeleon.com.

kynos is a New York raised stripper and performance artist. For the past decade she has been featured in showcases from New York to Europe. She is a proud sex worker and human rights activist. She has spoken at events such as the 2016 International AIDS conference in South Africa and the AWID conference in Brazil of the same year. Her film Whore Logic has been featured in film festivals such as The Sex Worker Film and Arts festival. She currently has a new bi-weekly variety showcase with her dance troupe Koffee every other Thursdays at Essence bar in Brooklyn. To support her artistic endeavors please support her current gofundme campaign and sign up for her patreon where she will feature writings and a podcast on topics pertaining to her life, sex worker rights and conversations around sex and sexuality. She is currently a grad student at Goddard College in Vermont. 

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