My book, Getting Screwed: Sex Workers and the Law, seems to be generating interest among the artsy, progressive crowd, judging by the attendance at recent talks I’ve given and the nice review of the book on WBUR radio’s ARTery site. On Nov. 3, nearly 100 people came to Red Emma’s, a progressive bookstore and vegan eatery in Baltimore, to hear me talk about the book and why sex work should be decriminalized in the United States. C-Span even showed up to film the talk and lively Q&A for its Book TV series. And this past Monday night, about 40 people crowded into the back room of Books Inc. in San Francisco’s trendy Castro district to hear me and sex worker rights activist Maxine Doogan (whom I profile in the book) speak.
Doogan talked about the potentially groundbreaking lawsuit her sex worker rights group has filed, challenging California’s anti-prostitution laws. After we spoke, the audience, which included a number of sex workers — this was the Castro, after all — asked some great questions and I signed a few more books.
A similar crowd turned out two weeks ago for my talk at Bluestockings, a progressive feminist bookstore on the Lower East Side. At this event, which attracted around 50 people, I was joined by Julie Moya, a Manhattan madam whom I also profile in my book. Moya turned up with a beautiful bouquet of flowers to thank me for my efforts to clear away the widespread misconceptions about sex work in the United States. It was an astonishing act of generosity given that she is the one who deserves the flowers for her bravery in coming forward and telling her amazing story so that other sex workers don’t have to endure the harassment and legal troubles she has had to overcome.
Thank you, Julie, and all the other sex workers who so generously shared their stories with me for this book.