Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Top Stories This Week

1. Patriarchy, comedy, and sex work; 
2. Abortion by telemedicine;
3. Porn in the age of coronavirus;
4. Public defenders;
5. Being HIV positive during COVID-19;
6. Using your body to reduce stress; and
7. Managing romantic relationships.

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 (Kaytlin Bailey)

Bringing Down the Patriarchy with Kaytlin Bailey (Woodhull Freedom Foundation) 

Stand-up comic, sex worker rights advocate, and whorstorian Kaytlin Bailey answers in-depth what inspired The Oldest Profession podcast and what we can learn from sex workers right now. “Studying things that have already happened is a way to familiarize ourselves with tactics that may be used again. Those are the themes I’m most interested in exploring with The Oldest Profession. What are some examples from history where sex workers did amazing things and how did they do it? And what are some dangerous things we’ve seen before that we might see again?” Check out the full Q&A and then watch her fascinating #SFS20 performance “U.S. History from a Whore’s Eye View.” Read more.


(Michelle Mishina-Kunz)

Abortion by Telemedicine: A Growing Option as Access to Clinics Wanes (The New York Times) 

Pam Belluck discusses TelAbortion, a program that allows people seeking abortions to have video consultations with doctors and receive abortion pills by mail: “Over the past year, the program [...] has expanded from serving five states to serving 13, adding two of those—Illinois and Maryland—as the coronavirus crisis exploded. Not including those new states, about twice as many women had abortions through the program in March and April as in January and February. [...] As of April 22, TelAbortion had mailed a total of 841 packages containing abortion pills and confirmed 611 completed abortions, Dr. Raymond said. Another 216 participants were either still in the follow-up process or have not been in contact to confirm their results.” Read more.


 (Josep M Rovirosa:Westend61 GmbH:Newscom)

People Stuck at Home Are Making and Watching Porn. Everybody Panic! (Reason) 

Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes about misplaced ire in response to porn consumption in the age of coronavirus: “Both the liberal and conservative iterations of the new porn freakout focus on pornography instead of addressing actual threats to vulnerable groups such as sex workers and those in abusive relationships (which are much more related to material resources than symbolic patriarchy or sex traffickers). Focusing on porn, in other words, lets anti-porn crusaders cosplay the ethical position while ignoring the actual contours of people's suffering or endeavoring to do anything about it.” Read more.


(Chang W. Lee:The New York Times:ReduX)

75 Percent of My Job is In-Person, But I Can Barely See My Clients (The Marshall Project) 

Chrissy Madjar, Kenneth Hardin, Eric Quandt and Nathan Wade share their perspectives on being public defenders now unable to meet their clients in-person. Madjar states: “Even in counties that are embracing technology amid the COVID-19 crisis, it is a poor substitute for in-person representation. A public defender’s job is 75 percent interactive. Normally, we are constantly in courtrooms. We are at jails and prisons several times a week meeting with our clients, and we spend multiple hours with the same person. We are negotiating with prosecutors and interacting with family members, witnesses, the court clerk, bailiffs and law enforcement agents, just to name a few. There is no virtual substitute for many of these duties.” Read more.


(Courtesy of Bruce Ward)

What It’s Like to Be HIV Positive During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Rewire.News) 

Reese Piper interviews Bruce Ward, who’s been living with HIV since the ’80s about COVID-19. Ward says: “It’s bringing up memories of feeling like a leper. In the early days of the AIDS crisis, I’d go on dates, and guys would leave as soon as I told them I’m positive. A guy made me dinner one night and when I told him, he was furious at me because I didn’t say anything before. But we didn’t even kiss; we didn’t do anything. We were just talking. The fear of catching a disease from someone is back. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I started wearing masks before everyone was wearing them. As soon as people saw me, they crossed the street to avoid me because they assumed that I must have the virus if I’m covering my face.”
Read more.


(Derek Abella)

7 Ways to Use Your Own Body to Reduce Stress (them.) 

With the help of somatic healing expert Andrea Glik, trainer Mar Keller, and massage therapist Rocco Foronda, Wren Sanders provides 7 tips on how to use your body to reduce stress, including pinpointing where your discomfort lives in your body: “According to Glik, a great first step to reducing stress is locating it and understanding exactly how it’s affecting you. ‘If someone is like, ‘I feel stressed,’ that’s not really a good enough answer for your body,’ she tells them. ‘Do you feel stressed because your heart is racing? Because your appetite is increased? Decreased? Because your palms are sweating? Because you don't want to get out of bed?’ Identifying how stress is manifesting in your body, the therapist explains, creates an opportunity to create distance between you and what you feel.”
Read more.


(Nicole Medina)

Love No Limit: Can a Relationship Survive a Pandemic? (Bitch Media) 

Josie Pickens acknowledges that we are a world in crisis and that some of us are privileged enough to be able to adjust to this “new normal” with relative ease, but no matter where we are, the pandemic is heavily impacting our relationships: “Our romantic relationships are likely being tested in ways we’ve never experienced before as we stay home with our significant others, and some experts are wondering whether many long-term, romantic partnerships will survive the coronavirus pandemic. As a soldier of love, I always believe that love will survive and endure, that this pandemic will give us the space and opportunity to dig deep into the love, compassion, and care we have for our lovers and ourselves. But the reality is the stress of trying to navigate a worldwide crisis is testing many love relationships that were already strained before this pandemic hit.” Read more.


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