David Henry Sterry

Author, book doctor, raker of muck

David Henry Sterry

Tag: sex worker Page 2 of 3

Chicken: 10 Year Anniversary Edition: “I Loved this Book”

“I loved this book. It is a hilarious and fascinating look into the shadowy world of sex for hire, but also a deeply moving, empathetic, finely written portrait of a young man coming of age, struggling with both emotional and physical survival. Colorful, bizarre characters, and an authentic narrative voice had me hooked from page 1. It is not for the feint of heart as it is graphic sexually – but i did not feel gratuitously so. i found the descriptions interesting in an almost Kinsey report way – all the odd things people do privately that they have no idea others are doing is poignant. For any one who has had to battle addiction or courageously face their own demons this book is right on target. It also makes it so painfully clear how easy it is for young people to fall through the cracks – david is a lucky survivor of his tale and a truly articulate, comic but powerful writer.”

To buy, click here.

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Publisher’s Weekly Review of Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent, Ten Year Anniversary Edition

Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent, Ten Year Anniversary Edition

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“Ten years ago, this debut memoir from Sterry burst upon the literary scene with an energy and inventiveness that captured his little-known subject matter—teenage life in Los Angeles as a rent boy working for a benevolent pimp named Sunny whose “rich, generous, horny friends,” Sterry explains, “pay good money to party with a boy like me.” Now back in print, Sterry’s memoir still crackles with its unsparingly honest approach: “I catch myself in the mirror, seventeen-year-old hardbody belly, pitprop legs, zero body fat, and huge hands. I’m seduced by the glitter of my own flesh.” Scenes from Sterry’s early dysfunctional family life not only add pathos to this tale of fall and resurrection but assure readers that he never sees himself as better than his clients, such as Dot, the wealthy 82-year-old, whose only desire is to experience cunnilingus for the first time—a desire that Sterry readily fulfills. “Even though I have no home and no family except for a bunch of prostitutes and a pimp, even though I have no future… at least I’m good at this.” (Oct.) – Publisher’s Weekly

Amazon  Indiebound

Sex Worker Litquakerati: Hookers Tell Tall Tails & Burlesque Dancers Shake Booties

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Litquake: The Make-Out Room October 17, 3225 22nd 7 PM

Ex-teen rent boy David Henry Sterry will ride herd over this cavalcade of seamy, steamy stories, with an all-star lineup of the finest burlesque dancers and sex-working writers money can buy; PhDs and high school dropouts, soccer moms and hot dommes, $5,000-a-night call girls and $10 crack hos, penthouse escorts and hard-working rent boys.

In the exchange of sex for money a window opens into the soul
Come take a peek

Bert Avila’s work has been featured in This Bridge We Call Home, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys and Johns, Marks, Tricks and Chickenhawks. She lives in the Bay Area and is a well-respected linguist.

Sam Benjamin attended Brown University where he deciphered post-modern theory, drew comic books, and made videos, eventually becoming a pornographer. Sam has an MFA in writing from Cal Arts, and is author of the memoir American Gangbang: A Love Story.

Sherril Jaffe is author of The Unexamined Wife, Expiration Date, and You Are Not Alone and Other Stories, winner of the Spokane Award. She received the Josephine Miles and PEN awards and a MacDowell Fellowship.

Lilycat often traps people into telling their life stories on FCC Free Radio. Her stories have appeared in Chemical Lust, Whipped, More 5 Minute Erotica, Surprise, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys, and elsewhere.

R.J. Martin, Jr.’s work has appeared in anthologies, magazines, and books. He served as director of development at SAGE. He was presented with a Certificate of Honor from the City of San Francisco. He has a master’s degree from San Francisco State University.

Chris Moore was born and raised by a television and drug-abusive wolves masquerading as parents. His work has appeared in crude and obscure zines and on bathroom stalls. He can be found in San Francisco.

Carol Queen is co-founder of the Center for Sex and Culture. Her books include Exhibitionism for the Shy and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture. Her novel The Leather Daddy and the Femme won a Firecracker Award. sexandculture.org

Dylan Ryan is a porn star, writer, performance artist, social worker, body-working yoga teacher, and bacon lover. Her writing has appeared in Bitch Magazine, The Huffington Post, and on CNN.

David Henry Sterry is author of 16 books and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Huffington Post, The London Times, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. davidhenrysterry.com

Kitty Stryker co-founded Consent Culture and helps produce the live sex show “Cum & Glitter.” See her at SXSW or Regents College discussing the intersection of sex and technology or therapeutic prodomming.

Chicken: 10 Year Anniversary Edition

Chicken

Purchase the Book

Paperback : Amazon.com | Barnes & Nobles | Indiebound | Softskull | Powells
Ebook : Kindle | Nook | iBookStore | Kobo
Audiobook: Audible.com
Signed Book : Contact me

Discuss the Book

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“Ten years ago, this debut memoir from Sterry burst upon the literary scene with an energy and inventiveness that captured his little-known subject matter—teenage life in Los Angeles as a rent boy working for a benevolent pimp named Sunny whose “rich, generous, horny friends,” Sterry explains, “pay good money to party with a boy like me.” Now back in print, Sterry’s memoir still crackles with its unsparingly honest approach: “I catch myself in the mirror, seventeen-year-old hardbody belly, pitprop legs, zero body fat, and huge hands. I’m seduced by the glitter of my own flesh.” Scenes from Sterry’s early dysfunctional family life not only add pathos to this tale of fall and resurrection but assure readers that he never sees himself as better than his clients, such as Dot, the wealthy 82-year-old, whose only desire is to experience cunnilingus for the first time—a desire that Sterry readily fulfills. “Even though I have no home and no family except for a bunch of prostitutes and a pimp, even though I have no future… at least I’m good at this.” (Oct.) – Publisher’s Weekly.This is the chronicle of a young man walking the razor-sharp line between painful innocence and the allure of the abyss. David Sterry was a wide-eyed son of 1970s suburbia, but within a week of enrolling at Immaculate Heart College, he was lured into the dark underbelly of the Hollywood flesh trade. Chicken has become a coming-of-age classic, and has been translated into ten languages. This ten-year anniversary edition has shocking new material.“Sterry writes with comic brio … [he] honed a vibrant outrageous writing style and turned out this studiously wild souvenir of a checkered past.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times“This is a stunning book. Sterry’s prose fizzes like a firework. Every page crackles… A very easy, exciting book to read – as laconic as Dashiell Hammett, as viscerally hallucinogenic as Hunter S Thompson. Sex, violence, drugs, love, hate, and great writing all within a single wrapper. What more could you possibly ask for? -Maurince Newman, Irish Times

“A beautiful book… a real work of literature.” – Vanessa Feltz, BBC

“Insightful and funny… captures Hollywood beautifully” – Larry Mantle, Air Talk, NPR

“Jawdropping… A carefully crafted piece of work…” -Benedicte Page, Book News, UK

“A 1-night read. Should be mandatory reading for parents and kids.” -Bert Lee, Talk of the Town

“Alternately sexy and terrifying, hysterical and weird, David Henry Sterry’s Chicken is a hot walk on the wild side of Hollywood’s fleshy underbelly. With lush prose and a flawless ear for the rhythms of the street, Sterry lays out a life lived on the edge in a coming-of-age classic that’s colorful, riveting, and strangely beautiful. David Henry Sterry is the real thing.” –Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight

“Compulsively readable, visceral, and very funny. The author, a winningly honest companion, has taken us right into his head, moment-by-moment: rarely has the mentality of sex been so scrupulously observed and reproduced on paper. Granted, he had some amazingly bizarre experiences to draw upon; but as V. S. Pritchett observed, in memoirs you get no pints for living, the art is all that counts-and David Henry Sterry clearly possesses the storyteller’s art.” – Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body – Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body

“Like an X-rated Boogie Nights narrated by a teenage Alice in Wonderland. Sterry’s anecdotes… expose Hollywood at its seamiest, a desperate city of smut and glitz. I read the book from cover to cover in one night, finally arriving at the black and white photo of the softly smiling former chicken turned memoirist.” -Places Magazine

“Snappy and acutely observational writing… It’s a book filled with wit, some moments of slapstick, and of some severe poignancy… a flair for descriptive language… The human ability to be kind ultimately reveals itself, in a book which is dark, yet always upbeat and irreverent. A really good, and enlightening, read.” – Ian Beetlestone, Leeds Guide

“Brutally illuminating and remarkably compassionate… a walk on the wild side which is alternatively exhilirating and horrifying, outrageous and tragic… Essential reading.” – Big Issue

“Visceral, frank and compulsive reading.’ –City Life, Manchester

“Sparkling prose… a triumph of the will.” -Buzz Magazine

“Pick of the Week.” -Independent

“Impossible to put down, even, no, especially when, the sky is falling…Vulnerable, tough, innocent and wise… A fast-paced jazzy writing style… a great read.” -Hallmemoirs

“Full of truth, horror, and riotous humor.” -The Latest Books

“His memoir is a super-readable roller coaster — the story of a young man who sees more of the sexual world in one year than most people ever do.” – Dr. Carol Queen, Spectator Magazine

“Terrifically readable… Sterry’s an adventurer who happens to feel and think deeply. He’s written a thoroughly absorbing story sensitively and with great compassion… A page-turner… This is a strange story told easily and well.” – Eileen Berdon, Erotica.com

“Love to see this book turned into a movie, Julianne Moore might like to play Sterry’s mum…” – by Iain Sharp The Sunday Star-Times, Auckland, New Zealand).

Excerpts

Featured Books by David Henry Sterry

chicken-10-year-anniversary-cover-198x300 Master-ceremonies-cover-199x300 essential hos
johns mort HobbyistFinalPRINTCover5.375x8.25inchesCMYK300dpi confessions

Sex Worker Literati: NYC, KGB Bar, Sept 15

KGB 7pm 85 E. 4th St. NY

Ex-teen manchild rent boy David Henry Sterry will ride herd over a cavalcade of seamy, steamy stories with an all-star lineup of the finest sex working writer/performers money can buy. Sex Worker Literati showcases writers from the sex business in the follow-up to the groundbreaking and internationally acclaimed anthology Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys, which shocked America by rocketing onto the front page of the Sunday NY Times Book Review. The new book is: Johns, Marks, Tricks, & Chickenhawks, and features PhDs and high school dropouts, soccer moms and hot dommes, $5000 a night call girls and $10 crack hos, penthouse escorts and hard-working rent boys.  

In the exchange of sex for money a window opens into the soul
Come take a peek

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David Henry Sterry: Muckraker, writer, paid to pleasure 82-year old grandmom

Jill Morley: Documentarian, boxer, paid to kick men in the balls

Mary Cyn: Burlesque hotty, writer, paid to service sweater fetishist

Hawk Kinkaid: Spoken word spitter, activist, paid to service men

Jodi Sh. Doff: Provocateur, writer, X-Times Square dirty girl

Dominick: X-Italian stallion stud for hire, rent boy blogger

Jennifer Blowdryer: Fabulist, rocker, worst sex worker in history

Aimee deLong: Midwestern beauty, writer, neat freak showgirl

Perry Brass: Southern Jew, publisher, writer, X-rent boy

Essence Revealed: Actress, writer, dirty dancer

Dear John Letters: An Anthology of Stories from Hookers, Customers, and Assorted Sex Workers

Interview with David Henry Sterry for Johns Marks Ticks & Chickenhawks in San Francisco Weekly by Chris Hall

http://bit.ly/10uB55x
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David Henry Sterry Sex Talk Radio 4 Johns Marks Tricks & Chickenhawks

Great conversation w/ Jon Pressick on Selling it, buying it, sex books $ love on Sex Talk Radio 4 Johns Marks Tricks & Chickenhawks

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/49778184/david_henry_sterry.mp3

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Johns Marks Tricks & Chickenhawks Beautiful Review from Publishers Weekly

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johns coverThis collection of personal essays by sex workers and their clients vacillates    wildly from hilarious to depressing but never strays from being utterly captivating. Among the more amusing stories are a client with a “sweater fetish”, a woman who paid for her family’s Christmas presents by stepping on a man’s testicles in a pornographic film, and the dominatrix who got fired because she could not remove a client’s tooth. The phone sex operator asked to do cartoon animal voices for a caller is also not to be missed. Candid essays cover everything from the anonymous “captain of industry” with an appreciation for transsexual prostitutes, to the human misery of a pimp who turned out his own girlfriend. Some pieces are more meditative: Fiona Helmsey recalls meeting a kind client at a bachelor party who later died on 9/11, while Dr. Annie Sprinkle discusses her 40 years in the sex industry and her wish for “a more compassionate sex-positive society” in which “prostitutes and johns would be government-subsidized”. Though obviously not for the faint of heart, this book contains some courageous, raw, and intelligent writing that breaks taboos and smashes misconceptions. (Apr.)

http://v2.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59376-507-1

to buy the book: http://amzn.to/Yg0Lp8

book trailer: Who Really Buys & Sells Sex

 

Having Sex with Craigslist Prostitue/Escort/Ho/Industrial Sex Technician: A True Story

This is from a reading I did at Litquake, in Vesuvio’s, the historic North Beach literary watering hole.

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Rosabelle Selavy Takes Her Clothes Off @ Sex Worker Literati

Big Black Stud Does Monkey Love: Sex Worker Literati Presents Stephen Lloyd

Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys Gets Big Love

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Purchase the Book

Paperback : Amazon.com | Barnes & Nobles | Indiebound | Softskull | Powells
Ebook : Kindle | Nook | iBookStore | Kobo
Signed Book : Contact me

Discuss the Book

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Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys featured on the cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review.  Written by Toni Bentley. To buy the book click here.


“An eye-opening, occasionally astonishing, brutally honest and frequently funny collection from those who really have lived on the edge in a parallel universe…unpretentious and riveting — but don’t worry, their tales are also graphic, politically incorrect and mostly unquotable in this newspaper…”

“Lele,” a piece by Jodi Sh. Doff, who “grew up in the suburbs as someone else entirely,” recalls Henry Miller’s in-your-face exposition. She tells of a night at Diamond Lil’s on Canal Street, where “Viva’s sitting onstage, legs spread wide.” While her customer is buried and busy, she holds a cigarette in one hand, a drink in the other, and chitchats with a girlfriend about another girlfriend. “Every two minutes or so Viva taps him on the head and he hands her a 20 from a stack of bills he’s holding, never looking up.” We see in this wonderful set piece the whole money/sex connection enacted with raw charm and an immediacy that reaches far beyond this strip club, as the man’s stack of 20s, one by one, becomes hers. Multitasking Viva holds them “folded lengthwise in her cigarette hand.”

“Very brave, very moving.”

“This collection is a wonderful reminder that good writing is not about knowing words, grammar or Faulkner, but having that rare ability to tell the truth, an ability that education and sophistication often serve to conceal. While we are all, I suppose, in the business of surviving, some really are surviving more notably than others. The collective cry for identity found in this unsentimental compilation will resonate deeply — even, I suspect, with those among us who pretend not to pay for sex.” – New York Times


“Sterry — who has written a number of other books, such as “Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent” and “Unzipped: A True Story of Sex, Drugs, Rollerskates and Murder” — spoke with Express about his idea for the collection, America’s most commonly held misconceptions about the sex industry and whether the book should go in the ‘entertainment’ or the ‘educational’ portion of your bookcase.” –Express interview in the Washington Post 


“’Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Money and Sex’ is graphic in nature, but full of raw, unfiltered and enlightening tales regarding a side of life not many want to know about; the sex trade. What’s so fascinating and downright addicting is that many of the entries are from individuals one would wrongfully assume to be illiterate, stupid or unworthy to hear from. While proving the stereotype wrong, each contributor delivers his or her side of a lifestyle with poise, passion, nuance and heart.

Real and undeniably shocking, “Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys…” made its debut to encore readers last winter, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. So, it’s one of the most impacting reads yet to strike my world. It widened my eyes, opened my heart and oddly made me want to listen to Madonna’s “Human Nature”—and that’s a good thing.” -Tiffanie Gabrielse, Top Five Reads: Tiff ranks her fave favorite page-turners Encore Online


“This kaleidoscopic portrait of sex work in America is all the more striking for its breadth.” –SF Weekly


The sprawling project offers insight into seemingly all aspects of the sex trade: high-profile celebrities like Xaviera “Happy Hooker” Hollander and Nina Hartley make notable contributors, but it’s the unknown writers who will stick. The selections from the book’s closing section alone, written by members of a writer’s workshop for sex workers, range from triumphant to harrowing, making up for a lack of style or form with passion. Aside from exposing the complex web of relationships among phone sex operators, dancers, massage parlor workers, prostitutes and their customers, the book is heavy with raw emotions ranging from celebratory to shameful, giving armchair sociologists plenty to ponder. It’s not all dark and heavy: Sterry’s own account of his experience as a birthday present for an 82-year-old grandmother is touching and sentimental; veteran performer Annie Sprinkle is characteristically blunt, funny and honest. This volume houses some real gems.” – Publishers Weekly


“The prose in this volume is fresh and the tales are both heart-rending and hilarious, sometimes simultaneously. What’s most striking about the volume is how relevant these intimate and detailed chronicles are for any reader, whether they’ve sold their bodies or just their souls. It’s not just about sex. Rather than ghettoizing prostitutes, strippers and porn actors, editors David Henry Sterry and R.J. Martin have brought together essays from a broad sampling of sex workers, keeping it balanced. There are gripping accounts of writers who struggle to pay bills and get their lives together, who have families, who are human beings. How this crew differs from the straights is they all opted for sex work rather than a drone job.” – New York Press


“In these dark days of brokedom, who amongst us hasn’t lingered a bit too long in the Etc. section of the Craigslist job postings? I mean, I do have dainty feet with nicely trimmed toenails, and if I could make my rent just by stepping on some random businessman’s face, well who’s to judge?? Granted, I am not brave enough (or hard up enough) to go through with such an evening’s work (just yet), but the selection of writers featured in the anthology, Hos Hookers, Call Girls, And Rent Boys were not only brave enough to do it, and keep doing it, but were equally brave enough to write about it.  The first hand accounts, interviews, and poems featured in this book are so well written and organized, that the fact that they all center around the exchanging of sex for money falls into the background, and what’s left is an intimate offering of on-the-job gossip and late night horror stories that have you wanting to spend more time with the writer than the three or four pages a pop you’re given with each one.” – Kelly McClure, Bust Magazine


“In a reading that brought down the house at Busboys and Poets, Sterry’s rendition of “I Was a Birthday Present for an Eighty-Two-Year-Old Grandmother” was both incredibly funny and a fascinating anti-ageist commentary on the things we’re all afraid to ask for (namely, women asking for oral sex).” – Allison McCarthy, Womanist Musings


“Sterry and Martin have managed to bring together a crazy quilt of essays, and work the fabric of the anthology into a rich tapestry… Some of the narratives are polished and savvy, some are as hard and rough as drug addiction that dogs a body and soul. Others reveal a tarnished realism about the painful truths of being in the life. The most compelling are those which give voice to the most vulnerable, in the chapter written by sexually exploited youth. Helping Daddy Pay the Rent is a devastating indictment of societal neglect and despicable acts of parental desperation combust in one abused child that will tear at your heart… The writing is diverse and eclectic, a mirror into the nature of the industry itself. Sex workers with advanced academic degrees, porn stars and anonymous phone operators, exotic dancers in various states of gender and undress, have more in common than sex for money; they are united in their courage to tell their stories. They unabashedly relate their emotions, actions and reactions, in situations from victimization to domination, hunger to satiation; size twelve stiletto wearing cross dressers, full body massage providers, plaster casted exhibitionists all tell their tales in gripping first person I-live(d)-it-so-there’s-no-sugar-coating-it manner. Hearts, heads and other assorted body parts, seedy strip joints, broken down bars and spirits, upscale hotels and high rollers are exposed with unflinching candor and gritty authenticity, bringing to light the world of industrial sex workers.  This book is more than an interesting and affecting read. In its entirety, in its insistence that the gamut of personal histories about sex/money/power/frailty is a reflection of the human condition, it speaks to a broad audience. A bit of paraphrasing may serve to place the content in its most valuable context: Roman philosopher, Terence, said nothing in humanity can be alien to man; and renowned psychoanalyst Carl Jung said that light is revealed by uncovering shadow. HHCG&RB presents the universality of ancient archetypal themes playing out in modern day scenes, and in doing so, uncovers shadow for all.”  –Barnes & Noble.com


“Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys is an extremely valuable and necessary book, not because it tells you what your perspective ought to be, but because it provides more perspectives than pretty much any other book on the topic. It covers more ground than I would have imagined possible. What I love is the fact that, for once, so many different voices are represented within the same space…I can’t help but feel that it should be required reading… precisely because it addresses, head-on, so many of the issues and schisms that have kept those conversations stalled for so long.” – Tiger Beatdown


“There’s something unique about being a member of the sex worker club, an instant camaraderie that bonds one to people who would otherwise be strangers, and this chemistry is something of which Sterry can’t get enough. You might be one of those people who doesn’t believe that sex workers are interesting. You may downright resent the cultural fascination with those who take money to titillate and masturbate strangers. Maybe you’re convinced that the only thing these men and women have going for them are passable looks and a wildly miscalibrated moral compass, and that paying attention to their déclassé life of the body glamorizes underachieving and turpitude.
If you belong to this camp, you probably don’t actually know any sex workers—at least none who would come out to you, and why would they? You’ve made up your mind about them already. You say things like: “Stripping is 1) a way to make a lot more cash than other “unskilled” service jobs [and] 2) incredibly degrading,” then add, “I’ve never been a stripper and I don’t know any strippers.” Never, for that matter, will you actually ever know anything about strippers, because they aren’t going to talk to you. Sex workers just don’t feel comfortable around you. But many do feel comfortable with David Henry Sterry, a former gigolo best known for his memoir Chicken, and what they share with him should convince even the grouchiest non-believers that sex workers are an engaging, unusual tribe. In Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys, Sterry and co-editor R.J. Martin have assembled an array of poems, interviews, and essays in a professed attempt to humanize sex workers. The mission is an admirable one, but raises the question of how many individuals who don’t already believe in sex workers’ humanity are going to pick up this hefty anthology. It also masks the true motivating energy behind the collection, which is Sterry’s exuberant love of his fellow pros and his desire to celebrate their histories and personalities. There’s something unique about being a member of the sex worker club, an instant camaraderie that bonds one to people who would otherwise be strangers, and this chemistry is something of which Sterry can’t get enough. He refers frequently to this sense of kinship and stresses the uncommonness of his access to such candid and diverse workers. (This bragging about connections ultimately seems a little silly, given that many of the book’s contributors are well-established go-to writers like Audacia Ray, Annie Sprinkle, and Xaviera Hollander.) Sterry’s enthusiasm also manifests as frequent, ill-advised introductions to pieces written by individuals whom he personally knows. As he details first meetings with contributors such as Surgeon and mochaluv, the focus is directed on himself rather than the person he’s touting, and it creates the impression that the writing itself isn’t good enough to hold one’s attention—that without knowing how beautiful Lorelei Lee or Carla Crandall or April Daisy White are, we won’t care about their essays. We do care, though, because in addition to being porn stars and prostitutes, many of these people are talented writers with strong voices and precise observations. They’re natural born storytellers who manage to encapsulate an aspect of their experiences in wonderfully succinct (Sebastian Horsley: “Brothels make possible encounters of extreme intimacy without the intervention of personality.”) and stark, unsentimental ways (Brenda: “I have been arrested eight times for prostitution. It messed up my life.”) Among the most effective pieces is Melissa Petro’s “Mariposa,” an essay on her time spent in Mexico as a white American stripper, an unforgettable script-flip of the highest order (our girls go there to make money?)  Candye Kane reminisces about her sweet and genuine childhood friendship with an exotic dancer, while Sadie Lune explores the decadent excitement that comes from self-consciously inhabiting the role of an archetypal whore. Sterry himself reflects on his session with an 82-year-old woman, an encounter he initially dreads but eventually delights in: ‘I am making this happen. I have such a sense of joy and satisfaction.’ The standout offering, however, is Juliana Piccillo’s “Vice,” an exploration of her relationship with an invasive and needy client that rendered her alternately gratified and repulsed. Piccillo relentlessly mines the conflicting emotions that come with clients who want to play the white knight, a common but relatively undiscussed topic in most sex worker literature. “His fatherly concern co-existed with his hard-on,” she writes. “He left me to reconcile this.” She also admits to coming unintentionally (and practically unwillingly) while working in a job that generally disgusts her, and not wanting to leave in spite of hating the routine—paradoxes that many prostitutes shy away from acknowledging. Some of these essays barely even explicitly address sex work, particularly those culled from SAGE (Standing Against Global Exploitation) workshops. The focus is instead on struggles with addiction, particularly clear and affecting memories, and current personal relationships. The inclusion of these selections may be the book’s greatest, albeit most subtle triumph. It serves as an invaluable reminder that hos and rent boys aren’t as prone to filtering their complex lives through the sieve of clients’ orgasms as are the civilians who debate about and condemn them.” – The Rumpus

Excerpts

Featured Books by David Henry Sterry

chicken-10-year-anniversary-cover-198x300 Master-ceremonies-cover-199x300 essential hos
johns mort HobbyistFinalPRINTCover5.375x8.25inchesCMYK300dpi confessions

Sex Worker Literati: The Preacher & the Barker

Jesus, Big Dick, the Virgin Mary, & the Garden of Eden David Henry Sterry does a Preacher & a strip club barker battling for your soul & flesh.

 

Jodi Sh. Doff @ Sex Worker Literati on Hustling, Drugs & Death

Zoe Hansen Gets Fucked by a Trick @ Sex Worker Literati

X-madame Zoe Hansen makes love connection w/ trick who fucks her royally

Jessica Rabbit Dirty Dances for Santa @ Sex Worker Literati

Akynos Dances Extra Sexy

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A Conversation With the Naked Anthropologist About Sex Trafficking

When I first came out as an ex-sex worker, I started getting invited to prostitute and sex worker conferences. There are two distinct groups who inhabit this world: decriminalizationists and abolitionists. Decriminalizationist conferences are populated by academics, policy wonks and activists, plus a few current and former hos, hookers, call girls and rent boys. Abolitionist conferences are populated by much the same, plus politicians and law-enforcement. Both groups are evangelical, rhetorical and theoretical. Statistics are bandied about, dogma is flung and resolutions are passed. The decriminalizationists keep screaming “Decriminalize sex work!” The abolitionists keep screaming “Sex work is slavery!” and want human traffickers to be hunted down like dogs.

I first met Laura Agustín at a conference in Brussels and was immediately struck by how different she was from all the people I met on either side of the decriminalization/abolitionist divide. First of all, she had a sense of humor. This alone was shocking in either world. But she also had a calm reasonableness about her. She wanted to hear what other people have to say, basically unheard of in either camp. On top of that, the things she had to say were so smart and counter-intuitive. And they all made sense. What she had to say explained so much about why so much money is so foolishly wasted when it comes to actually pursuing traffickers. And why human beings with very few resources continuously get the short end of the stick when it comes to choosing where they live and work, and determining their own destiny. At these conferences, there are certain people you connect with in deep meaningful ways. Laura and I made just such a connection, and it has remained fertile. I read her book, Sex at the Margins, which challenged all the conventional ideas continuously trotted out about migration, sex work and trafficking. She’s one of the few people talking about this subject who will acknowledge the mind-boggling complexity of these issues, which everyone else seems to want to simplify to suit their own needs and grind their own axes. This book led to Laura Agustín — now known as The Naked Anthropologist — becoming an international expert in this emotionally charged arena. Her blog is now one of the go-to resources for well-researched, well-reasoned, sane debate about selling sex for money, crossing borders to work and the reality of what is and is not trafficking.

When she told me she had been invited by the BBC to participate in a debate at the EndHumanTrafficking event in Egypt, I just knew that the fur was going to fly. Sure enough, with her patented calm, unflappable, intellectual yet accessible style, she managed to invoke the wrath of many present and become the target of the wrath of an Academy Award winner in high hooker heels.

DHS: So, Laura, how did you come to be invited to this event?

LAURA: BBC Television was holding one of their World Debates there and invited me. The event itself was limited to particular UN agencies, business leaders and guests of the Egyptian president’s wife – plus several movie actors. It was the kind of event to which you only invite those who agree with you. But the BBC wanted to do a debate, which means they had to get in at least one person who would disagree.

DHS: Yes, those British have some crazy ideas about presenting different sides of an issue don’t they? Haven’t they learned anything from Fox News?

LAURA: Apparently not.

DHS: I saw who the other panelists were: the head of Interpol, an ex-victim of trafficking and a guy who personally saves sex slaves. Didn’t they all see trafficking as it’s traditionally and hysterically presented by the media?

LAURA: It was an incredibly stacked deck, four against one, so it was never going to be a real debate. But I went for the chance to reach the television audience. The BBC World Service is a 24-hour international news channel watched all over the planet, so in my head I was reaching people interested in trafficking issues anywhere who might have doubts about the way trafficking is usually talked about.

DHS: Doubts about what? Don’t we know human trafficking is the greatest scourge of the 21st century? Aren’t millions of people being trafficked as we speak?

LAURA: I try to break down these huge generalisations. Some people are working in conditions that look like traditional slavery, but a lot are undocumented migrants with debts to pay, workers under the age of 18 and people who would rather sell sex than do any of the other jobs open to them. People who say there are 30 million slaves in the world are including all those and many more.

DHS: Wait a minute, I thought we were talking about trafficking. Where does slavery come in?

LAURA: Originally the term trafficking referred to certain kinds of illegal moving of people across borders, but that has changed. Anti-prostitutionists have defined prostitution as violence, rape and now trafficking, but the new word is slavery. I realise some think this is a way to raise consciousness about injustice, but it is confusing to call everyone slaves and erases whatever ability to maneuver lots of people have.

DHS: The setting sounds unbelievable — the Temple of Luxor — how did you feel getting up on that stage?

LAURA: It felt surreal. Not long ago I was an NGO worker in Latin America – I didn’t seek out this kind of gig! But something about Sex at the Margins has struck a chord, I have been invited to talk all over the place to different kinds of audiences and I just finished three months as Visiting Professor in Gender and Migration in Switzerland. I had certainly never been in a situation where every single other person in the room was hostile, however. And I have never been attacked by a film actress before.

DHS: Okay, let’s talk about Mira Sorvino, now Goodwill Ambassador for Trafficking for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Was she wearing those hooker heels she loves?

LAURA: She was, but I am not sure she understands that she’s allied with abolitionists. I had only spoken a few times when she began waving her hand to get the moderator’s attention. She demanded to know what I was doing there, why I was being allowed to speak. She seemed to think she could over-ride the BBC. I don’t mind people having different ideas from mine but implying I don’t have the right to speak?

DHS: You mean she tried to stop you from talking? What did the BBC moderator do?

LAURA: She asked me if I wanted to respond, so I said in the British tradition debate means dissent, and the BBC invited me because I have a different point of view. Sorvino came across as wanting to censor me, which is shocking in a ‘goodwill ambassador’, isn’t it? I don’t know quite what they are supposed to do, but acting outraged every time I spoke, keeping up a running commentary to people near her (including Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore), is certainly not ambassadorial.

DHS: Was there any consequence for her breach of etiquette?

LAURA: People applauded, as though attacking me were a heroic act. Someone heard her use the term ‘holocaust denier’, too.

DHS: Wow, comparing trafficking to the holocaust! What do you think was going on?

LAURA: I think the event participants did not understand what the BBC was doing there and thought the panel should be just stating conclusions. Maybe they thought the BBC was there to cover the event! But that would be weird, since such go on all the time — they are hardly newsworthy. Someone had not explained, and they took it out on me just because I questioned some of the statements made.

DHS: What was the take-away for you, from the event?

LAURA: Beware movie stars who see themselves as crusaders.

DHS: I think lots of people misunderstand this whole issue and want to know what they can do to help. Do you agree?

LAURA: Anti-trafficking campaigns are now a popular form of social action, but many don’t know what kinds of abuses take place in the name of saving people. That information doesn’t get discussed at events like the Egyptian one — if it were, maybe things could improve.

DHS: Thanks, Laura, I’m glad you survived your attack from Hollywood.

Visit the Naked Anthropologist at http://www.lauraagustin.com/ to learn more about Laura Agustín’s views on migration, trafficking and commercial sex.

Craig’s List, Whoring & Murder on Daily Beast

Article on Daily Beast about sex work, Craig’s List & murder

Sex Worker Literati on Black Book Thanks Good Night Mr Lewis Sun Dec 19, 9PM

“They Walk Among Us” is something from a ‘50’s space invaders movie, a tag line from the McCarthy era, and an accurate description of sex workers in clubs. The oldest profession thrives in late night venues, where liquored-up potential Johns with about as much chance of scoring as the New York Jets are easy marks. Tables filled with big spenders invariably attract ladies of the evening, especially when they’ve already been agitated by waitresses who in some quarters have been described as “half-hookers.” The man who just laid out $5,000 on sticky liquids probably isn’t going to get laid after all, and there lies an opportunity.
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There are plenty of people looking for opportunity in this big city. After all that Beau Joie champagne, opportunities seem to present themselves. The girls, and sometimes the guys, walk among us. They are the models or actors who never get up early for a casting, are between agents. They are the beauties with no visible means of support other than the ones provided by Victoria’s Secret. It’s done with a whisper and a touch. It’s advertised by word of mouth. It’s everywhere. Some are actual escorts looking for one last score to top off the night. These working girls slip past door people with a wink and an air kiss. The door people wink back and watch them slip back into the night a half hour later with their prey in tow. There are unspoken and spoken rules of behavior, but the pros know how to handle business and the people working in clubs understand how things work.

In Vegas it’s all around, as obvious as the neon, but here you have to squint a little, ignore the lights and sound to see it. The clubs are filled with the unemployed, who wear nice shoes, live in apartments, and stay out late every night. Some actually have parental support or have their own money, but many depend on the kindness of strangers.

With that in mind, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas everywhere I ho. This Friday at 9pm at the Bowery Poetry Club, my pal Zoe Hanson will host her Sex Worker Literati Ho-Ho-Ho-Holiday Party. It’s readings from ho’s, hookers, call girls, and rent boys—with help from friends and allies. It is an xxxmas xtravaganza, with stories from Raff from Cycle Sluts from Hell, Michael Alago & Keith Caputo, and many more perverts or reformed perverts. Speaking of which, our favorite rabbit, Heather Litteer, is dancing. Zoe told me, “These monthly readings have picked up a rather nice following, and I enjoy hosting. I have a Sonny & Cher thing going with David Sterry, it’s rather amusing to take the piss out of him, which my audience finds hilarious! Of course done with kindness & just a touch of Zoe domination!” From the press release:

“Sex Worker Literati is the slutty child of the groundbreaking and internationally acclaimed anthology Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys, which shocked America by rocketing onto the front page of the Sunday New York Times Book Review, and gave voice to PhDs and high school dropouts, soccer moms and jailbirds, $5,000 a night call girls, $10 crack hos and hard-working rent boys. David Henry Sterry and Zoe Hansen will ride herd over an all-star lineup of the finest ho writer/performers money can buy.”

There will be a sex worker quiz and giveaway, and there’s no cover – the first time this crew hasn’t charged in decades. The press release comes with a tag line that sounds rather clever: “In the exchange of sex for money a window opens into the soul.” I will ask one of my ex-wives to explain it to me, they should know.

Besides David Henry Sterry, who is described as “Ex-teen manchild ho, ex-sitcom actor, Huffington Post muckraker, and author,” and Zoe “Ex-madame, ex-junky, ex-hooker, and memoirist,” readers will include Mary Raffaele, a former metal queen singer in Cycle Sluts From Hell, who wrote a memoir chronicling misadventures of a Midwestern girl who moved to New York to seek glamour in the lowest of places; Christina Cicchelli, a AVN nominee and Feminist Porn Award winner; Matthew Lawrence, a writer and curator who will tell tales of why he wasn’t a very good escort; Keith Caputo, ex-Life Of Agony front man who once worked with Flea & Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Björk, David Bowie, and the Pixies; and Michael Alago, who is famous for discovering Metallica. Michael is a talent scout, producer and writer who worked with Nina Simone, Johnny Rotten, Rob Zombie and Cyndi Lauper. He also turned to photography and put out the book “Rough Gods.” This event will of course attract all the unusual suspects including sweet, innocent me. http://www.blackbookmag.com/article/ho-ho-hos-sex-at-the-holiday-party/23976

New York Times Love, Heartache and Hollywood, & a Wild Thing Dirty Dancing

As 2010 turns into a bent shriveled old man, and 2011 prepares to be contracted out of the universe’s uterus, I’m filled with a profound sense of gratitude and happiness that I am not yet dead. Yes, it’s true, 2010 saw George Bush and Justin Bieber join Paris Hilton in the rank of best-selling authors. But on the upside, South Africa put on a glorious World Cup this summer, and I think it was a great sign that the beautiful delicate artistry of Spain triumphed over the rape-pillage’n’plunderism of the barbaric Vikings. Plus, California didn’t drop off into the ocean, and Olive somehow turned 3. So for me, that’s a good year.

The Essential Guide Pitchapalooza Tour is now halfway done, and while we had some soul sucking lows (the DC bookstore didn’t even know we were coming, and had 0 of our books on hand), we were lucky enough to end on a note of Xtreme triumph. In Huntington, Long Island of all places.

NY TIMES PITCHAPALOOZA ARTICLE: http://bit.ly/gw99nh

Book Revue is a very good bookstore. It has an astounding bookseller/event coordinator named Julianne Wernersbach. She hooked us up with a feature article in Newsday before the event. And a beautiful little mini-doc.

PITCHAPALOOZA MINI-MOVIE -TRY NOT TO CRY http://bit.ly/f8hH2F

WHITE KNUCKLES, CRIME & PUNISHMENT, & TRIUMPH IN LONG ISLAND: http://bit.ly/dVzatz

Which is all very odd because we’ve now done Pitchapaloozas from Dayton to Denver, Pittsburgh to Portland, Manhattan to Miami, Seattle to Tempe, Clinton to Pasadena, and Cleveland to Hollywood.
#1: The Essential Guide Rocks America Tour Kicks Off: http://bit.ly/dbk39k
#2: 1st Stop Washington DC: the Borders Incident: http://bit.ly/cQ11fj
#3: NPR Love in DC: http://bit.ly/9bCUcl
#4: Pat Conroy & Scarlet O’Hara On the Road to Pittsburgh: http://bit.ly/aVBAH5
#5: Death @ the Bookstore – The Murder of Joseph-Beth: http://bit.ly/dpYTnj
#6: Miss Ida, Daryl & Olive Chillin in Steel Town http://bit.ly/aLZS22
#7: The Beauty of Loganberry Books & the Universe’s Lollipop http://bit.ly/abOTPR
#8: Dawn Cracks Early in Cleveland http://bit.ly/axLCDP
#9: Finding Happiness @ Books & Co & the Dayton Airport Blues http://bit.ly/cwd6lo
#10: Stuck in Dayton on the Day That Would Never End http://bit.ly/cfipH1
#11: B & N Manhattan Pitchapalooza on Publishers Perspective. http://bit.ly/bcHFaZ
#12: I Love LA! –Hollywood Disaster & the Jewish Men-Skirt http://bit.ly/9Ci5dB
#13: Vromans Versus Dancing with the Stars, Riding a Dinosaur, & a Minnie Mouse Who Needs $ http://bit.ly/bXYdQ8
#14: Coming Home to Portland, Autumn Leaves, and Packing Them in at Powell’s http://bit.ly/fs326Q
#15: Seattle: Mexican Prisons, Sea-Salted Pate & Losing Your Innocence to Jimmy Carter http://bit.ly/fZKSiG
#16 Phoenix: Irving Berlin, Women Who Run With Wolves and a Random Act of Kindness http://bit.ly/gJRp0R
#17: Miami Book Festival: Versailles, Cheesecake Popsicles, and Sexo PARA Dummies http://bit.ly/dZsInz

We also did our first live Twitter event. Here it is on Huffington Post:

POPPING MY CYBER CHERRY ON TWITTER: http://bit.ly/dUtYck

We feel blessed to have met so many madly passionate writers and bravura booksellers. Already many of the writers who pitched to us are being wooed by agents and editors, which excites us no end. Because we are the Book Doctors, making books that are better one author at the time. We’re starting again on January 5. Here’s our schedule.

If you know of any group, association or venue with writers who’d like help getting successfully published, send them our way. We’re also offering this holiday special. For you, or as a gift for any writer you know, get a free consultation with the purchase of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. Either do it through our website and send us e-mail verification. Or call: 310-463-2068. Operators are standing by.

FREE $100 BOOK DOCTORS CONSULTATION W/ PURCHASE OF BOOK: http://www.thebookdoctors.com/buy-the-book/

SEX WORKER LITERATI: ZOE HANSEN’S HO HO HO HOLIDAY PARTY: http://on.fb.me/fA5lul.

Links for your viewing pleasure:
ROSABELLE SELAVY: WILD THING DIRTY DANCES http://bit.ly/i367iz
AIMEE DELONG: FANTASY BOOTH CHICK & MILITARY DUDE W/ GLOWSTICK UP HIS ASS http://bit.ly/f5HzO8
SCOTT UPPER: THE LONGEST HOUR EVER, TICKLING & THE TRICK’S MOM http://bit.ly/hysLrE
PUMA PERL & BIG MIKE: SCISSORS, CUTTING & WHORING http://bit.ly/eErCPO
DAVID HENRY STERRY: PAINFUL SEX@MY FIRST ORGY http://bit.ly/f7qBCt

Bonus material:
ME TALKING ABOUT SOCCER ON NPR. http://bit.ly/esGJrr

I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday, and a ravishing New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2011. xox D

Painful Sex @ My First Orgy from Chicken @ Sex Worker Literati

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“My Favorite Book: Chicken”

I’m an avid reader, but when trying to figure out something suitable for my favorite book entry, I had to think of something that I can read over and over again. My book shelf is overflowing with books that I love, and some of them I’ve read more than once. But most books, I read once, love, and then never read again. Other books I read, and then re-read some years later. But this book I’ve probably read a dozen times. This is the book I generally re-read when I run out of things to read.

It’s called (long title) Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent, by David Henry Sterry. I don’t even remember how I came across this book. I don’t know if I bought it or it was given to me, but I know that I’ve never loaned it to anyone or sold it, because I just can’t part with it. Around the time I came across it, I was probably 19 or 20, and I only wanted to read edgy things, whatever that means.

It’s about a guy that moves to Hollywood to go to college and gets caught up in the world of male escort services. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really. It’s hilarious. The sarcasm written into the pages is unparalleled to anything I’ve ever read. Every single chapter makes me laugh out loud. The characters are unique, and each one of them has their own quirk.

The best part? It’s non-fiction. I highly recommend it for a good laugh, and just a good read.

Find Chicken at your local independent bookstore:  Indiebound chicken 10 year anniversary coverAmazon

http://www.luuux.com/entertainment/day-4-my-favorite-book

 

Time Out NY: The Perfect Sunday, Nov 28: Whitney, Blue Note & Sex Worker LIterati

Time Out NY

Give a nice shout-out: The Perfect Sunday Nove 28: go to the park, the Whitney, a Broadway show, the Blue Note, & Sex Worker Literati, @ Bowery Poetry Club, 7pm.

Rose the Sex Worker, Steven, & His Shit-stained Tighty Whities

Rose, a sarcastic sex worker, gives some money back after Steven, in his shit-stained tighty whities, buys 2 1/2 Masturbation shows, read by writer poet Aimee De Long at Sex Worker Literati.

Aimee DeLong: Fantasy Booth Chick & Military Dude w Glowstick Up His Ass

A sarcastic fantasy booth sex worker chick services a military dude who puts a glowstick up his ass, and when he’s done, tells her: “You’re the real heroes.” By writer Aimee DeLong at Sex Worker Literati.

Sisyphus, Boy Prostitute in See-Through French Maid’s Outfit & Sexy Lesbians at Sex Worker Literati

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How Hos, Hookers, Call Girls & Rent Boys Ended Up in Bed with TV’s Friends Co-Creator

This story starts when I was 17, alone in Hollywood with $27 in the pocket of my nuthugging elephantbells.  I had just arrived to begin my collegiate career at Immaculate Heart College, where I planned to study existential under a bunch of radical nuns.  That night, while admiring Marilyn Monroe’s handprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, I was approached by a very charming man wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word: SEXY.  He invited me back to his place for steak.  Turned out to be the most expensive steak of my life.  The steak was drugged .  SEXY raped me.  I escaped with my life.  But the happy-go-lucky lad who breezed into that apartment died in that room.  SEXY killed him.  I sprinted out of there broken and bleeding.  Within the week I was in the sex business.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  The part of my brain responsible for emotion was engorged, and the part responsible for communication shriveled.  I was a living breathing fully-loaded semi-automatic weapon just looking for an excuse to go off.  So given my economic situation, (making minimum-wage frying chicken), my alienation from my parents, and my newly acquired mental illness, it seemed absolutely like my best option.  I was in the sex business for nine months.  One human gestation period.  But it changed me forever, and in ways I wasn’t even aware of for years to come.  Certainly I had great times in that world, and made gigantic money for a person my age and with my work experience.  But I also downloaded the sexual trauma I encountered in that world, and it infected me like a virus.

I became a sex addict and a cocaine addict.  Which is not nearly as much fun as it sounds.  In my mid 30s I realized that if I didn’t change I was going to die, or my penis was going to fall off.  I’m not sure which scared me more.  I knew I had to find a panic mechanic.  Fast.  Since I was living back in Los Angeles, naturally I found a hypnotherapist.  She gave me some tools to stop my sick twisted behavior, and helped me unraveled the huge gnarly knots inside myself.  I was a professional screenwriter at the time, so she suggested I write about my experiences.  Thus was born my memoir Chicken.  Writing down the most miserable things that ever happened to me helped me understand why I became a man child rent boy.  It helped me embrace my inner ho.  See myself as the survivor not the victim.  Accept responsibility and not blame everyone else.  Appreciate the good and not obsess about the bad.  Do things that made me happy and healthy instead of miserable than sick.

When that book came out it changed my life and I was so grateful I was overwhelmed by a fierce desire to help somebody.  Be of service.  So I decided to start a writing program for people who’d been arrested for prostitution.  For two years every Tuesday me and my ex-literary agent/current wife would go down into a basement of a nonprofit organization and run a writing group.  The hos, hookers, call girls and rent boys we worked with wrote shocking, funny, smart, mind-blowing, jaw-dropping stories.  And they always left the workshop in a better mood than they arrived.  As did we.  Part of my mission became to put a human face on these people who are glorified and stigmatized, worshiped and reviled, spat upon and paid outrageous sums of money.  Thus was born the anthology, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Boys.

One of the great things about prostitutes is that they are amazing networkers.  They pretty much have to be.  So I put out the word that I was looking for writing by people in the sex business.  Me and my partner Richard Martin were flooded with submissions.  I was already the author of a bunch of books by then so I started shopping the anthology.  I showed it to my agents.  Not interested.  I showed it to other agents.  Even less interested.  I showed it to publishers I knew at HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Random House, and lots of the big boys of publishing.  They laughed at me.  Or ignored me.  On to the small publishers.  Nothing.  University presses seemed like the next logical choice, since this is really a piece of American oral history.  No pun intended..  I actually got the head guy at Duke University on the phone.  He told me in a disdainful, dismissive, condescending, adenoidal and freezing cold tone that this was certainly not the kind of book published by Duke University.  He told me they preferred material that was much less vulgar, rude, crude and illiterate.  Finally I approached places like Joe’s Publishing Co., where you call the number listed on the website and a guy answers, “Hi I’m Joe, can I publish your book?”  Even Joe turned me down.

After a year my partner Richard was ready to give up.  I was furious.  I knew I had something valuable.  Even though “experts” from the top to the bottom of the food chain told me that I was a deluded, moronic ex-ho.  Objectively, in the face of universal rejection, I should’ve quit.  I did not.  Me and Richard worked our asses off to make the proposal better, refining, buffing and polishing.  Then I came up with the title.  I did it with this game that we use to come up with titles.  You get a bunch of your intelligent friends, if you have any, you get a bunch of drugs and alcohol, and you write down every single word you can think of related to your subject.  Then you just start mixing and matching.  That’s how I came up with Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Boys.  And I kept asking every single person I knew, wherever I went.  Finally I got connected to a guy named Richard Nash, who ran Soft Skull Press. A week later we had a book deal.  They gave us such a tiny advance that by the time we ended up paying all the writers, me and Richard lost money on the deal.  But we were ecstatic.

We were even more ecstatic when our Little Ho Book That Could, the redheaded step-child nobody wanted, ended up on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. I happened to be in Hollywood doing my Sex Worker Literati show to promote the book, when I got a call from my agent.  Marta Kauffman, co-creator of Friends, wanted to talk to me about the anthology.  I was excited yet slightly confused.  Why was someone in the center of American culture interested in our book, which was so rooted in America’s dark, dank, filthy underbelly? I tried to imagine a show about a group of perky, attractive, funny, fresh-faced BFF-sex workers trying to deal with life, love and turning tricks.  Sure, I thought, why not?  As I drove up to our meeting, I was expecting much Hollywood slickness.  But Marta was just like people I worked with in the theater for 20 years.  After we had our getting-to-know-you chat she told me how taken she was by Hos, Hookers.  How she had a vision of the characters and stories being brought to life as a modern dance piece, realized by some breathtaking choreographers.  Would I be interested in something like?

My eyes popped while jaw dropped.  I would’ve never imagined this scenario in million years.  But I liked it.  Sex is, after all, the ultimate primal dance.  And when sex is exchanged for money, a window opens into the human soul.  What a great way to let people to take a peek.

Yes, I said.  Yes.

Writing down the worst thing that ever happened to me was the final piece of my odyssey from out-of-control self-destruction, working at Chippendales, acting on Fresh Prince of Bel Air, writing screenplay for Disney, living in a fancy house in the hills; to getting my head cracked open, almost dying from a massive coke overdose, having my house stolen, and going bankrupt; to making Ross, Rachel, Joey and Chandler end up in the same sentence as Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Boys.

David Henry Sterry is the author, with Richard Martin, of the anthology Hos, Hookers, Call Girls & Rent Boys.  He runs the monthly reading series Sex Worker Literati, giving voice to sex workers telling their stories about the exchange of sex for money, at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC. The next show is November 28, 2010. https://davidhenrysterry.com/ http://www.facebook.com/sexworkerliterati

Anne Hanavan & the Cop/Pig Who Tried to Do Her (w/ Artporn)

How I Became a Whore @ Sex Worker Literati

Alex Kinney, Doctor of Pornolgy, Does WH Auden

Ontario Superior Court judge strikes down prostitution law

  • Amending prostitution law puts kids at risk, court told
  • In prostitution case, Crown’s witnesses characterized as liars and alarmists
  • Court challenge takes on sex work prohibitions
  • In a landmark decision striking down the core of the controversial law, Ontario Superior Court Judge Susan Himel said that the law forces women to operate their business furtively in an atmosphere of constant secrecy and danger. “By increasing the risk of harm to street prostitutes, the communicating law is simply too high a price to pay for the alleviation of social nuisance,” Judge Himel said in her 131-page ruling which took almost a year to produce. “I find that the danger faced by prostitutes greatly outweighs any harm which may be faced by the public,” she later added. The ruling means that the law can no longer be enforced in Ontario. If the decision were to be upheld on appeal, it would topple the use of the prostitution provisions across the country. In the short term, however, the Ontario Crown is expected to seek a stay of execution that would permit police to temporarily continue enforcing the law. Three prostitutes launched the challenge in an attempt to bring Canada into line with other nations that have relaxed their enforcement of prostitution, including New Zealand, Australia and Germany. In particular, the litigants challenged three key provisons relating to communicating for the purpose of prostitution, living off the avails and keeping a common bawdy house (brothel). The litigants would have viewed winning on one of them as a major triumph. They hardly dared to imagine gutting the law entirely. “We got everything,” the lawyer behind the challenge, Alan Young, yelped as he read the concluding portions of the decision. “We did it!” Mr. Young said that the judge refused to suspend the effect of her decision while the government moves to fill the legislative gap. “It takes effect right now,” he told reporters at Toronto’s downtown courthouse. If upheld on appeal, the decision will plunge Parliament back into the extremely divisive and complicated job of criminalizing an activity that is not itself illegal. Indeed, successive governments have been branded hypocritical for taking a legal act and erecting criminal impediments to every aspect of carrying it out. Judge Himel said that any doubt about the dangers to women was dispelled when serial killer Robert Pickton’s targeted women in a killing spree at his Vancouver pig farm. She heard evidence during a weeklong hearing last year that as many as 300 sex-trade workers, most of whom were street prostitutes, have disappeared since 1985. “It is estimated that street sex work makes up less than 20 per cent of prostitution in Canada, but they appear to account for more than 95 per cent of the homicide victims and missing women,” said a key witness for the litigants, Simon Fraser University criminologist John Lowman. Judge Himel stressed that several other provisions relating to the sex trade remain in effect. These include prohibitions against child prostition; impeding pedestrian or vehicular traffic; and procuring. She said that these are sufficient to give police the power to keep prostitutes from bothering passersby or turning neighbourhoods into sleazy dens of iniquity. Judge Himel also said that pimps who threaten or commit violence against prostitutes can still be prosecuted using other sections of the Criminal Code. “In conclusion, I respectfully reject the argument made by the (Crown) that a legal vacuum would be created by an immediate declaration of invalidity in this case,” she said. However, Judge Himel gave the Crown a 30-day window in which to make arguments against legalizing bawdy houses on account of a concern that “unlicenced brothels may be operated in a way that may not be in the public interest.” Mr. Young tried to prove that the women’s constitutional right to life, liberty and security were jeopardized by repressive laws that exacerbate the perils of a notoriously hazardous profession. The litigants argued that there is no harm to a sexual act between a consenting prostitute and her client. Sporadic attempts have been made over the years to chip away at aspects of the prostitution law, but the challenge was the first in two decades to aim for a broad sweep of its provisions. With the Charter challenge almost certain to reach the Supreme Court of Canada, both sides amassed a vast body of evidence, including dozens of witnesses. Lawyers for the federal and Ontario Crown focused on proving the inherent dangers of prostitution – whether it is conducted in a car, an open field or a luxurious boudoir. They also argued that prostitution is inherently degrading and unhealthy, and should not be encouraged as a ‘career choice’ for young women through a slack legal regime. The prosecutors urged Judge Himel not to intrude on the terrain of legislators who have studied and vigorously debated prostitution provisions. They said that, even if prostitution were made legal and moved indoors, it would still entail a high degree of danger its practitioners. “Any time you are alone with a john, it is dangerous,” federal Crown Michael Morris told Judge Himel. “There is no safe haven when you are involved in prostitution. There is overwhelming evidence that johns can become violent at any moment.” However, Prof. Lowman countered that prohibiting communication renders prostitutes unable to “screen” potential clients, hire security or move behind the relative safety of closed doors. He said that he purposely delayed his challenge until after the Pickton trial, cognizant that the Supreme Court insists on strong evidence of actual harm, rather than abstract arguments. Prof. Lowman also testified that, according to public opinion polls and research, a majority of Canadians believe that prostitution between consenting adults should be legal. “So do the Bloc, Liberals and NDP, according to the 2006 parliamentary report of the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws,” he said. “Clearly, Canadians are ready to end what one judge has characterized as the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ state of Canadian prostitution law.” Several cities – including Toronto, Victoria, Windsor, Calgary and Edmonton – charge fees to licence body-rub establishments despite the general understanding that many sell sexual services. “We have this strange situation where the biggest pimps in the country right now are municipal governments,” Prof. Young told the court. “It’s just another irrationality of the law.” The hearing grew heated when Prof. Lowman said that many of the Crown’s experts have a history of lying to foreign legislators, conducting simplistic research, fabricating scare stories and employing absurd rhetoric to help stall the global liberalization of prostitution laws. He accused them of travelling the world trying to convince permissive governments of their errors.

SEX WORKER LITERATI 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BLOWOUT SEPT 15 BOWERY POETRY CLUB

SEX WORKER LITERATI
HOS, HOOKERS, CALL GIRLS, RENT BOYS
(with friends & allies)
1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BLOWOUT
BOWERY POETRY CLUB
, 8pm 308 Bowery, NYC

Sex Worker Literati is moving uptown – and by uptown we mean the Bowery – for a lust-drenched 1 year anniversary cavalcade extravaganza. After packing them in downtown every month for year, Sex Worker Literati sheds its skin and reinvents itself at the great East Village landmark that has come to represent the finest in words: Bowery Poetry Club. Besides our usual collection of stranger than fiction tales from the seething underbelly of America’s sex trenches, we’re adding ultra-live music and brazen, bawdy burlesque. It hardly seems a year since the groundbreaking anthology Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys shocked America by rocketing onto the front page of the Sunday New York Times Book Review. Giving voice to an under represented population that is glorified and reviled, fetishized and stigmatized, worshiped and spat upon, from $5000 a night call girls to $10 crack hos to hard-working rent boys, Sex Worker Literati is the living breathing embodiment of this internationally acclaimed anthology. In the flesh. David Henry Sterry and Zoe Hansen will be riding herd over an all-star lineup of the finest ho writer/performers money can buy. & IT’S ALL STILL FREE!!!

In the exchange of sex for money, a window opens into the human soul. Take a peak. Cum laugh. Cum cry. Just cum.

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