Nov 16, 2011
The next X:Meet: happening at 8pm on Tuesday 21st February
Venue: Gloucester Place, Marble Arch, Central London
Call: 07914 703372 for the address
X:talk invites you to come along and just… hang out at X:meet. Just a roomful of people who know how it is to do whatever it is you do. We are sex workers of all kinds and we come together to chill out together, bitch about stuff that is getting us down, or share stuff that makes us happy. The illegal nature of some sex work and the stigma surrounding the whole sex industry can leave us isolated. Some of us find it difficult to talk honestly about our work to our friends outside the industry or our partners. Sometimes even if we have great people close to us, it’s still fun to meet new people in our industry.
Maybe you’ve got questions or networky-type stuff: maybe there’ll be someone in the room that knows the answer. Maybe you’ve got something to share or say: maybe there will be people who can listen and understand. Maybe you just want to have a glass of wine and make friends.
This is a space we can create together. Maybe one day down the line we’ll decide it’s going to be… a book group, or something where we watch films and eat pizza together. Maybe it’ll get political, and people will want to do things about the problems sex workers face to do with the law (or maybe not). Maybe we’ll do… a stitch’n’bitch… or a wrestling club (?!). It’s really open to moving in whatever directions people want to take it in. We’re going to start with some cups of tea (or glasses of wine) and maybe some biscuits and cake, get chatting and see where it takes us.
The X:talk project organises free English classes for migrant sex workers. X:meet is open to ALL sex workers to get involved.
About the xtalk project:
Our project is open to people who sell sex or sexual services – including workers in brothels, escort agencies, outdoors, flats, independents, bars, on the phone or internet, strippers, dancers, models, porn stars and glamour models. We respect people’s choices or circumstances about continuing to work in the sex industry or exiting the industry.
As workers in the sex industry we are often denied a voice, we are considered only passive victims, we are taught to be ashamed of our work, we are made invisible by discriminatory laws that illegalise our work and us, and we are spoken for and about but rarely are we allowed to speak for ourselves. As migrants even more so. Sometimes our voices are not heard even amongst each other because we don’t speak the same languages.
The x:talk project is a sex worker-led workers co-operative which approaches language teaching as knowledge sharing between equals and regards the ability to communicate as a fundamental tool for sex workers to work in safer conditions, to organise and to socialise with each other.
We understand language to be a politically and socially charged instrument of power, which we aim to teach critically and thoughtfully according to the specificity of our classes. Our English classes are organised to create a space where sex work as work can be openly talked about and does not have to be concealed or hidden. Through providing such a space we aim to challenge the stigma and isolation attached to our profession while at the same time we guarantee confidentiality and respect for those involved.