Tagged: sex

Up Close & Raw: Whore Films

Friday, 15 July 2016

Press Release: charlatan clinic

 

Up Close & Raw: Whore Films

 

Charlatan clinic are proudly showcasing the first public screening of Whore Films at Capitol Cinema in Balmoral for two nights only, 20th and 21st July. All six short films:  ‘Underage Sex Worker’, ‘Married Woman’, ‘Illegal Migrant’, ‘Rent Boy’, ‘Transgender’ and ‘Refugee run in succession for one hour and delivers a snapshot of each street sex worker based on true life experiences in Karangahape Road, Auckland.

 

The ‘Whore’ project was initially a theatre work performed nationally throughout 2014. All six monologues were then adapted to screen by Melissa Fergusson and mentored by writer, Donna Banicevich-Gera. Whore Films were produced on lo-to-no budget filmmaking in 2015 and were made for ‘social change’ and to challenge public stigma.

 

Charlatan clinic is supported by LYC (Love Your Condom), Four Eyes Media NZ, Roccabella Jewellery, Clash Boutique, Paper Bag Princess, Splice & iTICKET.

 

Tickets available from https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2016/jul/whore-films

Limited Door Sales $15 Student/Equity, $20 Adult

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Project Whore: Interview #15

1. What are your thoughts on prostitution?  Open minded. Totally opposed to the practice of forcing people into prostitution. But if it is the persons choice and free will then I have no issue with someone deciding to work in the sex industry. Their reasons are their own and it’s not for me to judge them. 

 

 

2. Have you slept with a sex worker before?  

No – I have never had sex with a sex worker before. ( I was in a relationship with an ex sex worker for a few months) but I have paid to be with a sex worker and been masturbated by a sex worker but not sexual intercourse. 

 

 

3. Why or why not?  

Mixed feelings – happy to have paid for services in the past when I wanted to, but didn’t want to cross an emotional/moral line I had put in place on the grounds of self preservation. Although I feel open-minded and remain so, there is something in me that feels I would be letting my own set of standards down if I paid for sex, but like I said happy to pay to be masturbated. a fine line I know…….. 

 

 

4. What does the word ‘whore’ mean to you? 

Many things but a perjorative term. Someone who ‘WHORES’ themselves out for fame…money…love….sex.  

 

5. Do you belief in monogamy? 

I’m trying to……. 

 

 

6. Have you been solicited to, by a sex worker in the street? Male or female? 

Yes ….female and transgender. 

 

 

7. Do you think sex work is a choice? 

I think it should be ….it isn’t always. There are numerous documented cases across the world of people being forced into sex work. In New Zealand I would imagine the vast majority do it through personal choice. I believe people should be allowed to have the choice to be a sex worker. 

 

 

8. Are you heterosexual, bisexual or gay?  

Heterosexual. 

 

 

9. Are you tempted to pay for sex, if you want to experiment? 

Yes. 

 

 

10. Lastly, do you judge others who visit sex workers regularly? 

I try not to but somewhere inside me I would find myself questioning why they couldn’t find happiness without the need to regularly visit a sex worker. I 100% support their right to choose to do so though.

Behind The Scenes: (Day 2) ‘Rent boy’

Director: Melissa Fergusson

DOP: Tim Butler-Jones

1st AD/Sound Technician: Rob Ipsen

Rent boy: Lee ah yen Faatoia

Homeless man: Gabriel Henry

John: Michael Hallows

Art Department: Lina Cruz

MUA: Angela Crumpe

   
    
  

   
   
 

     
 
 
 
 

Project Whore: Interview with Social Worker ‘Natalie Thorburn’

  

1. What are your thoughts on prostitution?

Wow, that’s a really broad question. The sex industry is really multi-faceted and complex. I think overall I take a neutral stance on sex work – I try to balance being anti-exploitation with being pro-sex workers’ rights. 
2. Tell me about your present role as a social worker. Who are you working with/for?

My background is predominately in sexual violence. At the moment I’m in private practice as an ACC-registered counsellor and social worker, working with survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence. I’m also a lecturer in the social work programme at MIT, and do some private research work as well. 
3. Do you think sex trafficking exists in New Zealand?

Yes, I do. 
4. What is your stance on the word ‘Whore’?

It’s an initially quite confronting word. I tend to tense up when people use it colloquially because it can have derogatory overtones, but I also see it as affirmative action – kind of like the word ‘cunt’. I can see how reclaiming it, as a population, is a way of fighting stigma. 
5. Do you work with NZPC (NZ Prostitutes Collective) in anyway?

No, although they have been helpful in the past when I was doing research into underage sex work. 
6. In your opinion – do you think “sex work is work”?

Yes, absolutely, and should be respected as such. However, there are also situations where sex workers are exploited to the point where they’re essentially working as slaves, rather than free workers. 
7. You have recently been broadcast on radio & television talking about underage sex work. Has this had an impact on society do you think?

Underage sex work, or the broadcast? Probably not. 
8. Even though prostitution was decriminalised in NZ in 2003 – Do you think there is still a lot of stigma surrounding sex work in this country?

Of course. Like any type of stigmatisation, it takes a lot longer to subside than what it does to change the law. I think a lot of people see it as a by-product of immorality or personal failing – the type of attitudes that were around in the 1800s still stay strong in some people’s minds. I think there’s also a lot of ignorance about the reality of sex work, which leads to (largely negative) assumptions about the industry. 
9. Is sex work a choice?

Well, that’s the million dollar question! I’m not sure a single answer could sufficiently answer that question! For many sex workers, yes, it is. For others, its the result of an oppressive social structure that places people in marginal positions where there are few other viable alternatives. For still others, abuse or exploitation means they never got to a position where they could make that ‘choice’.
10. With all the (humanitarian) social work you do in education, rape crisis & counselling – how do you look after yourself?

All the usual ways – I have supervision, I debrief with friends, I schedule time away from the intensities of work, and I have been known to seek therapy when things become overwhelming. Having said that, I also feel that this kind of work gives energy and life as much as it takes it. Working with any kind of injustice or trauma can be challenging – but things like good sleep, good food, good sex, good friends, and good down time can safeguard against a lot of it. 

Project Whore: Interview #14

1. What are your thoughts on prostitution?
Interestingly, when I was younger, I lived in Amsterdam for about a year. I had a cousin living there. He gave me the guided tour of the Red Light District. Coming from the UK, we didn’t have anything like this. It was 1980 after all. To cut a long story short, it felt more like a tourist attraction with all the girls behind the windows. So there didn’t seem anything untoward about it really. They were just girls making a living. Selling sex. Like selling cigarettes or booze. They paid tax. Had regular health checks and were part of the Amsterdam backdrop. Part of the furniture. However I am more aware now that some of these girls are increasingly being exploited by their “pimps.” I understand that something like 200,00 girls a year are trafficked into the sex trade. Amsterdam being part of that. It wasn’t such an issue back then, but I have learnt that the Red Light District had become more dangerous for girls and customers alike, due to infighting about drugs between gangs. However, recently, the Red Light District has been “cleaned” up and is safer now. My thoughts about prostitution are that, I don’t believe it to be a social or moral problem per se. I believe there should be better controls for the girls (or boys). Treat it like a business and the less unsavoury characters might find it harder to exploit people. I think the sex trade could be run as a health-orientated activity. Like a clinic. Need sex. Got to your sex clinic. You have specific needs?? We can provide that service. There should still be protections in place. For example, don’t have the “clinic” next to a school. Maybe Home Visits. And if it is legal, then the girls don’t have the fear of criminality and then can prosecute those “johns” that misbehave. Making it safer. For customers and girls alike.

2. Have you slept with a sex worker before?
Yes. In Amsterdam. But surprisingly I suppose, never thought about it in the UK. Must have been the exotic atmosphere of the Red Light.

3. Why or why not? 
Why? I was young (early 20’s and thought it was a thing to do. A rite of passage.) In reality I never had a problem finding girls. In the 70’s that was all we did. Party and get laid. No drugs, just motown, sex and booze. Great times. My motivation to sleep with the prostitute was that she was stunning. A physical fantasy if you like. So much more beautiful than any of my girlfriends. She was a bit older. Would have been totally out of my league.

 

4. What does the word ‘whore’ mean to you?
It is a word I might have used to describe someone who would have sex with anyone but also with no sense of dignity. Anyone, anywhere, no regard to health or others opinion. I dislike it now and wouldn’t choose to use it. It is a word in the vocabulary of people with very judgemental attitudes. I hope that I have grown to a point where I recognise people’s behaviours can be put in a more appropriate social context.

5. Do you belief in monogamy?

 

Yes. If monogamy means being married to one person at a time. Do I believe in fidelity? Yes. one girlfriend at a time. I honestly believe in the idea of trust as the cornerstone of a relationship. I would find it difficult to date anyone who confessed to having other boyfriends while dating me. I have had girlfriends that I suppose you could call a “friend with benefits.” We understood we weren’t dating and might not see each other for a while or we lived apart from each other.

6. Have you been solicited to, by a sex worker in the street? Male or female?
Yes. Earls Court, London. She offered a blowjob in a doorway.

7. Do you think sex work is a choice?
Sometimes. My “stunning” prostitute in Amsterdam was French. She told me she could earn much more in 2 12-hour days at the weekend than any other job she might be good at. Plus 95% of the time, she would pick her own customers.

8. Are you heterosexual, bisexual or gay? 
Heterosexual.

9. Are you tempted to pay for sex, if you want to experiment?
I might have years ago. Though having said that, I never have. I am a bit long in the tooth for all that now. Have done pretty much all my experimentation many years ago.

 

 

 

10. Lastly, do you judge others who visit sex workers regularly?

If by “judging”, you mean, do I think of them negatively? No. I might wonder why they might want to do it regularly. Maybe they have difficulties forming relationships. But that is not a reason to “judge” them. I know that a City Council in the UK has sponsored a Disabled 21 year-old with Learning Difficulties to visit a prostitute in Amsterdam as part of the philosophy of allowing the disabled to be more empowered and exercise their Human Rights. Is that wrong? I don’t think so. There are hundreds more examples of people that don’t have the ability to exercise their sexual health in many different ways. Should we deny them access too? So, no, I wouldn’t “judge” them.

Project Whore: Interview #13

1. What are your thoughts on prostitution?
I don’t really know. It just is. Its a need I guess for some. I think its a bit of a dangerous job perhaps. I think it also gets glamourised in the movies. I think the reality is quite different from the image. But I think for some its also a conscious decision, a lifestyle choice, and some would even describe it as a calling.

2. Have you slept with a sex worker before?

Yes

3. Why or why not?

The first time I got dragged in there by an acquaintance and practically told I needed it. We didn’t have sex but ended up talking for an hour. Then he told me I was a woos and so kind of pressured me to go back and do it “properly”. It seemed like she was doing everything to make the experience as disconnected as possible. It was really quite a cold weird and uncomfortable experience. 

I did go once again because I guess I just wanted to have sex. And I had broken up with a girlfriend and hurt her badly and I feel sometimes sex complicates relationships and people get attached so I just wanted to have sex with someone who wouldn’t. That was a rather horrid experience too. 

After that I went a few times to some different people that specialised in certain fetishes that I became interested in. I guess I found it hard finding someone who was into them. And wanted a detached experience. Again the experiences were quite different than my expectations but I guess I enjoyed them to some degree. They didn’t involve sexual intercourse. 

4. What does the word ‘whore’ mean to you?

Well its generally a derogatory term. Mind you a lot of words can be used in various ways with various tones. Sometimes people almost say it as a term of endearment to a friend. But for the most part it is a very derogatory term used to describe someone who sells themselves for sex, or sells their body, or used to describe someone who is particularly promiscuous.

5. Do you believe in monogamy?

I think it depends on the person you are with. Yes and no. I believe you an chose monogamy, but its up to you both to communicate what you want out of a relationship. Sometimes monogamy can work. Sometimes I guess its nice to be in a relationship where you have a bit more freedom, but sometimes that can bring about more problems than its worth. Or sometimes one person agrees to an open relationship because they desperately want to be with that person and although they really want monogamy with that person, maybe the person doesn’t want monogamy with them. Relationships are complicated and can take on many and various forms. 

6. Have you been solicited to, by a sex worker in the street? Male or female?

Yes I think probably both. If they were male it would have been transexual or transgender. I have never been with a prostitute though that works the street. I have only been to an escort agency or establishment of some sort. 

7. Do you think sex work is a choice?

Yes and no. For some people it is. Ultimately everything is a choice. But I think for some people they don’t have awareness of choice or they don’t have the choice to get out of it. However, having said that in other countries possibly even in NZ there are women who are sold into it, bought into it, forced into it, bullied into it, beaten into it and it isn’t much of a choice for them. I think it depends on the individual. I certainly think that side of prostitution is both immoral and illegal and needs to stop. But there are sex workers who enjoy what they do and almost find what they do a calling for them. 

8. Are you heterosexual, bisexual or gay?

I would say for the most part heterosexual. If there is a sliding scale probably 99.97%. But i have had the odd moment in my life where I have felt an attraction to a guy. I have never followed through on it though. And I don’t think I particularly ever will because I think it would potentially complicate things for me lol. Don’t really want to open that can of worms. 

9. Are you tempted to pay for sex – if you wanted to experiment?

Yes that’s been most of the reasons why I have. Sometimes I think going to see someone who does this kind go thing for a living, particularly if it is a lifestyle choice for them and it is a conscious decision for them, then I don’t see anything wrong with it. Sometimes it can be better because there is no sense of attachment after and noone hopefully gets hurt because you are both on the same page. You both know what you are there for. 

10. Lastly, do you judge others who visit sex workers regularly?

I try not to judge people at all. I don’t really know anyone who does if they do. It depends I guess on their intentions, motives, reasons. It depends on the situation. Even then I’d like to think I wouldn’t judge the person but their actions and would be curious as to why they were that way.

Project Whore: Interview #12

1. What are your thoughts on prostitution?
I believe that it is an industry. A market niche that needs to be fulfilled.  There will always be people willing to pay for these services and they serve a purpose. It allows people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to satisfy their biological needs however does so in a more artificial fashion.
2. Have you slept with a sex worker before?

No
3. Why or why not?

I have never had the need or want to.  
4. What does the word ‘whore’ mean to you?

It is a slur. A hateful word used to dehumanize sex workers whilst also used to belittle and demean female sexuality.
5. Do you believe in monogamy?

To a degree. It is the best option for a vast majority of the population. However, it is not the only way of going about things.

6. Have you been solicited to, by a sex worker in the street? Male or female?

No.
7. Do you think sex work is a choice?

In some cases it is and it can be a choice. However for a large section of the industry it is not which is tragic.
8. Are you heterosexual, bisexual or gay?

I identify as Pansexual. Similar to Bisexual but more personality oriented. In some senses it means I am “Gender Blind” to who I find attractive. Human beings can be exquisitely beautiful regardless of their chromosomes.
9. Are you tempted to pay for sex – if you wanted to experiment?

It crossed my mind when I had male hormones coursing through my veins. However even then it was still something I wasn’t particularly interested in. Sex was never a priority to me. Even more-so now that I am on hormone replacement therapy which has essentially “hit the reset button” on my sexuality.
10. Lastly, do you judge others who visit sex workers regularly?

No. People are paying for a service which they require. So long as it is gone about ethically I am in no place to judge another persons lifestyle choices.