Friday, September 30, 2011

Porn Industry Featured in LA Weekly

LOS ANGELES — The adult industry is getting some mainstream attention, with a lengthyarticle in this week’s LA Weekly.

A brunette performer in a bikini graces the front cover of the magazine and inside is an in-depth profile of the adult industry titled “Porn Defends the Money Shot.”

The five-page article talks about several topics that are impacting the adult industry today such as the success of adult parodies, the ongoing campaign by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to enforce condoms on production sets to prevent HIV infections and where Cal/OSHA stands on the issue.

The article also interviewed several adult industry stakeholders such as director Axel Braun, AHF President Michael Weinstein, FSC attorney Jeffrey Douglas, performer Tom Byron and others to get their take on condoms in porn.

“We’re selling a fantasy,” Braun said. “If you make something illegal that has so much demand, you’re going to send it underground. You’re going to have people not getting tested anymore. I don’t think it’s the right approach.”

The article talked about how many porn performers engage in escorting, an activity that can be risky especially if the performer continues to work on adult productions.

“The dirty secret of porn isn’t crossover,” Weinstein said. “It’s taking escorting jobs.”


Behind Closed Doors: An Analysis of Indoor Sex Work in New York City

Urban Justice Center
666 Broadway, 10th floor, New York, NY 10012
Tel: (646) 602-5617 - Fax: (212) 533-4598


For Immediate Release: Contact: Juhu Thukral (646) 602-5690
Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Juhu Thukral (646) 602-5690 Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Indoor Sex Workers Are Isolated and Fear Violence
Urban Justice Center Interviews U.S.-Born and Immigrant Sex Workers About Police Contacts

(New York City, March 30, 2005) - The Sex Workers Project (SWP) of the Urban Justice Center (UJC) has released the first-ever in-depth report in the U.S. examining indoor sex work. Behind Closed Doors: An Analysis of Indoor Sex Work in New York City, released today, includes interviews with sex workers who work independently or for brothels, escort agencies, dungeons, and private clubs. The report highlights the extreme violence that sex workers experience from customers, and the dangerous effects of isolation and stigma.

According to the report, 46% of sex workers experienced violence in the course of their work, and 42% had been threatened or beaten for being a sex worker. Additionally, 14% reported violence at the hands of the police, and 16% encountered sexual situations with the police. Sara, a respondent in the report, describes a client "who came in and had a knife ... I was cornered and I was about to be attacked and raped ... I didn't go to the police because it would be coming out about what I've been doing." "Many people are unsympathetic to prostitutes," says Juhu Thukral, Director of the SWP, "however, this level of violence is unacceptable, even if they are engaging in unlawful activity."

Leticia, another respondent, adds, "Just find a way to help us with the police ... we need somebody to protect us when we get beat up. Around here, they don't arrest you, they just mess with you like they own you."

Eight percent of the report's respondents were trafficked into the country for prostitution. The trafficked women told of being threatened, beaten, raped, and having their money withheld by the traffickers. The respondents were ethnically diverse and included women, transgender women, and men. Sex workers interviewed ranged in age from 19 to 54. Forty percent were born outside the U.S. and its territories.

Shockingly, 67% of respondents got involved with sex work because they were unable to find other work which provided a living wage. Previous jobs included waitressing, retail, and domestic work. Immigrants without work permits saw sex work as their best economically viable option. The unlawful nature of most sex work often results in extreme isolation, which serves as a barrier to accessing legal, financial, educational, and other necessary services. Prostitutes explained that they feared arrest and its consequences, and expressed a need for peer support and substantive services.

New York City's quality of life initiatives have always caught prostitutes in their net. However, Thukral stresses that "these police operations result in arrests that destabilize the lives of many sex workers who are members of the working poor, and jeopardize other legal employment." "This activity comes at an extremely high cost to the public, and is a waste of valuable public resources," added Melissa Ditmore, a co-author of the report. "Stringent policing creates an environment of fear and isolation that prevents sex workers from coming forward when they are victims of violence and other crimes."

Thukral aims to have the City do two things: ensure that all violence against sex workers is taken seriously by law enforcement authorities; and offer in-depth and appropriate services that lead to long-term solutions. "There is clearly a need for a fact-based public discussion around the problems of police and violence that include the voices of sex workers themselves in order to effectively and productively address the needs of sex workers and the community's concerns."

The full report can be found at or

Sunday, September 18, 2011

January Seraph Discusses Adult Performers Association

LOS ANGELES — January Seraph, co-founder of the newly formed Adult Performers Association (APA), tells XBIZ that the organization has received a “really warm” reception in its first full week.

“We’ve been getting five to 10 emails a day with people wanting to be involved and to be kept abreast of the things we’re doing,” Seraph said.

A six-year industry veteran performer, producer and webmaster, Seraph started APA with producer/director Nica Noelle in an effort to provide assistance and resources to the adult talent community.

The Bay Area-native said she reconnected with Noelle through Twitter after realizing she was “talking about a lot of the same things that I was.”

“I’ve been joining in the discussion off and on for the last two years but I didn’t feel there was anybody committed to it,” Seraph said. “Nica was all about it though, so we compared ideas and we were pretty much on the same page with our core values.”

Seraph had already been privately compiling a list of “adult performer friendly” resources for some time. But as her concerns grew during the past two HIV scares and the problems caused by the rogue site Porn WikiLeaks, she was moved to act.

“I had the intention of starting a resource site about three years ago,” Seraph said. “I kept hearing stories about other women and the problems they’ve been facing. So we thought this was a really good time to start something like this. I feel that adult performers aren’t represented enough and I think there is a need for it.”

Seraph explained the APA is primarily about “harm reduction” and providing good information.

“We wanted to start something without causing more hatred, without looking like a labor union,” she continued. “We wanted to start just a supportive organization that assists you in how to get into adult, how to get through adult and how to segue out of it when the time comes.”

The APA Contact Form ( is discreet — it asks only for name/email/subject/message — so talent does not have to worry about possible “bullying,” Seraph noted.

She added that APA would soon be launching a KickStarter account to begin developing some educational videos targeting individuals who are thinking about entering adult and exiting the industry.

“It’s really exciting,” Seraph said. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback.”

For more information about the launch, click here.