Mark Your Calendars

November 19-20, 2020

The New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) is hosting a Transgender Day of Remembrance Virtual Summit on November 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST. You can register for the event here.

December 17, 2020

The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is observed annually on December 17. Stay tuned for how we will commemorate this important day. For more information on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, click here.

(Photo: NYTAG)

DSW’s Crystal DeBoise (front row, second from the right) and Frances Steele (front row, far right) pose with fellow advocates and community members at last year’s December 17 event. (Photo: DSW, 2019)

DSW Newsletter #20 (November 2020)

Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

November 9, 2020 For a group too often overlooked and discounted in the political sphere, sex workers more than fulfilled their civic responsibility this election season. Rolling Stone magazine recently...
Read More
Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

October 15, 2020 DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly and Melissa Broudo spoke on a panel entitled “Fighting for Decriminalization in the Era of COVID and Black Lives Matter” at the Woodhull...
Read More
DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

October 21, 2020 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a research brief entitled “Is Sex Work Decriminalization the Answer? What the Research Tells Us.” Developed in consultation with local...
Read More
ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

Mark Your Calendars

November 19-20, 2020 The New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) is hosting a Transgender Day of Remembrance Virtual Summit on November 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m....
Read More
Mark Your Calendars
Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting...
DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s...
ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization
Mark Your Calendars Mark Your Calendars

DSW Newsletter Archive

Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

November 9, 2020

For a group too often overlooked and discounted in the political sphere, sex workers more than fulfilled their civic responsibility this election season. Rolling Stone magazine recently released an article highlighting the work of dominatrixes who capitalized on their sizable and growing online influence to encourage their clients to get to the polls in 2020. Jet Setting Jasmine, a licensed psychotherapist, fetish trainer, performer, and co-creator of the adult film production company Royal Fetish Films, is one of this movement’s drivers. She has an Instagram following of 72,000, most of whom are women of color between the ages of 25 and 45.

Jasmine has long fought to amplify the voices and experiences of women of color in politics and culture. Ten years ago, along with her partner King Noire, she set out to address the lack of equitable representation in adult entertainment. The couple hosted “fantasy flight parties” to help their clients, mostly young Black women, explore their fetishes and desires and quickly noticed a trend. “There was a resounding experience, where it would start out fun, and by the end of the night, there would be these group discussions about how Black and brown people are not represented sexually well in adult entertainment,” Jasmine shared in a HuffPost interview. Additionally, women of color in the porn industry are often paid 50-75% of what white performers make. Jasmine and King now produce content to combat decades of stereotyping, tokenism, and dehumanization of people of color in porn. They also offer sex-positive parenting classes and engage performers in activism campaigns.

When sex workers assumed an increasingly public role in the political discourse leading up to the 2020 election, it’s no surprise that Jasmine was at the forefront. Along with about 20 other performers, she joined I Only Date Voters, a sex-worker-led registration campaign with Bigtent Creative in which sex workers use their influence on Instagram and OnlyFans to encourage their subscribers to vote.

Some sex workers involved in the campaign offered free or discounted content in exchange for proof of voting. Dominatrixes, in particular, are in a unique position of power in their ability to influence their clients. King Court, a financial dominatrix based in Ohio, described her motivation to join the campaign after tweeting to ask her clients to vote for Biden: “As a black woman, I would like to see a change in office … having the power I do have over different submissives, I thought it would be best to use that power to affect change.”

Sex workers are not new to political organizing for presidential races. Hookers for Hillary was a 2016 campaign spearheaded by Nevada brothel workers. The movement provided a platform for young working mothers to speak out about their priorities, including better access to healthcare and increased attention to domestic violence. This year, a group of Atlanta pole dancers shotGet Your Booty to the Polls,” a music video to inspire engagement. Cherie Deville, a famous porn performer, published ErectionSeason.com to help citizens find their state’s voting info.

Ysiad Ferreiras, the CEO of Bigtent, a digital organizing firm, said that “this collaboration is a way to embolden and legitimize [sex workers’] contributions to the political discourse.” Ferreiras told Rolling Stone: “Sex workers have already been working to get out the vote, not just this cycle, but every cycle. Yet their work and contributions have been marginalized — treated as a curiosity at best.”

This movement’s influence cannot be overlooked, particularly highlighting the resilience of sex workers, who have always harnessed their power in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. “[We] are constantly fighting for rights,” says Real Cobra Cummander, another dominatrix organizing on social media. “I describe it as we’re polar bears on ice, and the ice is shrinking. We don’t have many places to go to voice our opinions.” Instagram deleted some of the content she had posted, even though she had edited it to avoid being explicit. “Things like that make it very difficult for us to organize, and that’s why we’re constantly evolving and being creative and resourceful in new ways.”

Polls reflect that the mobilization of the Black vote was decisive in many of the battleground states this year, including Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The voices of those who make up such a critical backbone of President-elect Joe Biden's base must be heeded.

The parallel between Jasmine’s work highlighting the sexual experiences of minorities and uplifting marginalized voices in politics is unmistakable. She and King hope that by changing people’s understandings of adult entertainment, that impact will spread into other sectors. “When Black and brown people are able to represent themselves or have a primary part of the dialogue in how they’re represented, we wind up diversifying the content in so many ways,” she says. Based on the success and profitability of Royal Fetish Films, it seems to be working.

Jet Setting Jasmine is a psychotherapist, fetish trainer, and co-founder and creator of Royal Fetish Films. (Photo: @jasminejetsetting/Instagram)

Jet Setting Jasmine pictured with her life and business partner, King Noire. (Photo: Tarrice Love/HuffPost)

Dominatrix Real Cobra Cummander published a JOI (Jerk-Off Instruction) video on Pornhub to encourage her followers to vote. (Photo: Real Cobra Cummander/HuffPost)

DSW Newsletter #20 (November 2020)

Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

November 9, 2020 For a group too often overlooked and discounted in the political sphere, sex workers more than fulfilled their civic responsibility this election season. Rolling Stone magazine recently...
Read More
Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

October 15, 2020 DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly and Melissa Broudo spoke on a panel entitled “Fighting for Decriminalization in the Era of COVID and Black Lives Matter” at the Woodhull...
Read More
DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

October 21, 2020 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a research brief entitled “Is Sex Work Decriminalization the Answer? What the Research Tells Us.” Developed in consultation with local...
Read More
ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

Mark Your Calendars

November 19-20, 2020 The New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) is hosting a Transgender Day of Remembrance Virtual Summit on November 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m....
Read More
Mark Your Calendars
Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting...
DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s...
ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization
Mark Your Calendars Mark Your Calendars

DSW Newsletter Archive

ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

October 21, 2020

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a research brief entitled “Is Sex Work Decriminalization the Answer? What the Research Tells Us.” Developed in consultation with local advocates and sex-worker-rights affiliates, the report reviews existing evidence on the impact of sex work decriminalization and criminalization, and what this data tells us about the development of public policy. Growing evidence points to the potential benefits of full decriminalization.

The ACLU has advocated for the decriminalization of sex work for more than 40 years. The organization bases its position on the empirical health and safety outcomes of decriminalization, as well as qualitative evidence from the experiences of sex workers themselves. As the issue grows in national and local recognition, this research brief is intended to consolidate conclusive findings on the impact of different legislative models. The report ultimately finds that “research points to negative impacts of criminalization on the physical safety, health, and financial well-being of sex workers.” These indicators are amplified when looking at the impact of criminalization on marginalized communities such as lesbian/gay/bisexual and transgender/gender-nonconforming individuals, people of color, immigrants, and those without adequate financial resources.

We hope that policymakers will heed the ACLU’s expert recommendations: fully decriminalizing consensual adult sex work, limiting police presence within the sex work community and ensuring consequences and accountability for those who physically and sexually abuse sex workers, repealing laws and policies that prevent sex workers from safely screening their clients online, and removing barriers to HIV prevention and other healthcare. We cannot overstate the implications of this report for the holistic safety of our communities. Sex worker rights are human rights.

(Photo: ACLU)

The ACLU has long been one of the nation’s leading advocates for the full decriminalization of sex work. (Photos: @aclu_nationwide/Instagram)

DSW Newsletter #20 (November 2020)

Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

November 9, 2020 For a group too often overlooked and discounted in the political sphere, sex workers more than fulfilled their civic responsibility this election season. Rolling Stone magazine recently...
Read More
Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

October 15, 2020 DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly and Melissa Broudo spoke on a panel entitled “Fighting for Decriminalization in the Era of COVID and Black Lives Matter” at the Woodhull...
Read More
DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

October 21, 2020 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a research brief entitled “Is Sex Work Decriminalization the Answer? What the Research Tells Us.” Developed in consultation with local...
Read More
ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

Mark Your Calendars

November 19-20, 2020 The New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) is hosting a Transgender Day of Remembrance Virtual Summit on November 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m....
Read More
Mark Your Calendars
Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting...
DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s...
ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization
Mark Your Calendars Mark Your Calendars

DSW Newsletter Archive

DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

October 15, 2020

DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly and Melissa Broudo spoke on a panel entitled “Fighting for Decriminalization in the Era of COVID and Black Lives Matter” at the Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s (WFF) 11th annual Sexual Freedom Summit. The event featured human rights advocates, educators and researchers, professionals, movement leaders, and organizational partners all “working towards a time when sexual freedom is fully recognized as a fundamental human right.” This year, the summit took place online, bringing attendees together virtually to explore the intersection of sexual and human rights, identify policy goals, and craft strategies moving forward. The panel contextualized the path toward decriminalization within the pandemic and a national focus on Black Lives Matter and racial justice.

Broudo and Brantly were joined by Monica Jones, a transgender and sex-worker-rights advocate and leader whose activism has shed light on the profiling of trans women of color by law enforcement across the country. The panelists highlighted the unprecedented political context that we are now operating within, and what this means for decriminalization advocacy. Broudo gave an overview of the national initiatives to support the health, safety, and human rights of sex workers. She noted that for the first time politicians are paying attention to decriminalization across the U.S.

Brantly discussed specific legislation being proposed in New England resulting from collaborations between harm-reduction organizations and sex-worker-rights advocates. The bills include the repeal of Loitering for the Purpose of Engaging in a Prostitution Offense (S.2253/A.654), also referred to as the Walking While Trans ban in NY, to combat racist and transphobic stereotyping by law enforcement; the expansion of vacatur laws protecting survivors of human trafficking; immunity from arrest for witnesses and victims of crime who are participating in sex work; and legislation to ensure that all people, regardless of profession, have access to safe healthcare.

Jones talked about her impressive work in Arizona and compared U.S. policies to places like New South Wales, Australia, and New Zealand, where sex work is decriminalized. She highlighted the incredible strides these countries have made in terms of safety and health outcomes, combating trafficking, and aiding collaboration between sex workers and law enforcement.

DSW looks forward to continuing to collaborate with WFF and others to combat the criminalization and stigmatization of sex workers and related communities. You can watch the full panel on WFF’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

(Photo: Woodhull Freedom Foundation)

Left to right, from top: Monica Jones, J. Leigh Brantly, Melissa Broudo, and a sign language interpreter presented at the Sexual Freedom Summit via Zoom. (Photo: DSW)

DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly holds up a sign reading “Sex Work is Essential Work” as the panel comes to a close. (Photo: DSW)

DSW Newsletter #20 (November 2020)

Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

November 9, 2020 For a group too often overlooked and discounted in the political sphere, sex workers more than fulfilled their civic responsibility this election season. Rolling Stone magazine recently...
Read More
Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote

DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

October 15, 2020 DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly and Melissa Broudo spoke on a panel entitled “Fighting for Decriminalization in the Era of COVID and Black Lives Matter” at the Woodhull...
Read More
DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit

ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

October 21, 2020 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a research brief entitled “Is Sex Work Decriminalization the Answer? What the Research Tells Us.” Developed in consultation with local...
Read More
ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization

Mark Your Calendars

November 19-20, 2020 The New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) is hosting a Transgender Day of Remembrance Virtual Summit on November 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m....
Read More
Mark Your Calendars
Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting Jasmine and Other Sex Workers Get Out the Vote Hero(es) of the Month: Jet Setting...
DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit DSW Featured at Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s...
ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization ACLU Research Brief Points to Decriminalization
Mark Your Calendars Mark Your Calendars

DSW Newsletter Archive