May 14, 2020
DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly was a guest on the Crooked Media podcast “Six Feet Apart with Alex Wagner,” discussing sex work amidst the pandemic. “Six Feet Apart” is a weekly show that explores every aspect of the human experience during COVID-19 and how people are surviving this extraordinary and life-defining event.
In the episode “Sex,” Wagner interviewed three professionals engaged in the sex-work industry in different ways. Alex Boden, CEO of the porn site kink.com, described how the nationwide lockdown has impacted the porn industry. Adult film actress Lotus Lain explained how porn actors may have been better prepared than most for life on lockdown. J. Leigh Brantly has been a movement builder at the intersection of sex work, queer studies, and transgender non-conforming advocacy for a long time. Brantly is a BDSM dominatrix, in addition to their work with DSW and other NYC-based nonprofit organizations.
Boden and Brantly dove into how the kink community — and sex work in general — has had to move online to follow social-distancing protocols, which, as Brantly put it, comes “with problems for some of us and answers for others.” They explored the psychological complexity and intimacy involved in sex work, the changing sexual appetites of individuals during quarantine, and what COVID-19 spells for the future.
“The great thing about sex workers is that we’ve been practicing harm reduction for a lot longer than the general population. … [W]e’re experts in harm reduction, and we’re experts in consent. It’s what we do for a living,” said Brantly.
To listen to the full episode, visit the “Six Feet Apart” web page here.