Sex Work Conferences and Events 2016


Hi all,

I will be updating this list. Please let me know if there are events you would like to be included. Always great to meet new researchers and catch up with familiar faces. I am on twitter @princessjack if you wish to connect. I list my papers here.

4th Postgraduate Sex Work Conference

Location: Social Sciences Building, Room 12.21/25, University of Leeds
Date: Tuesday 12th January 2016, 9am – 5pm

“Dr Teela Sanders will be hosting the 4th Postgraduate Sex Work Conference as part of the Sex Work Research Hub networking activities and supported by members of the Yorkshire Academic Sex Work Consortium.

The one day conference is open to students at any stage of their doctoral studies, to share ideas and findings in a respectful and supportive environment. Delegates are welcome to learn from new and innovative research activities and engage in current debate and discussions.

Enquiries and abstracts of 250 words should be sent to Abstracts to be received no later than 18th December 2015”.

I have previously blogged about this conference here. I recommend it to all Ph.D researchers in this area, as there is a very supportive network to be made with fellow Ph.Ders.

When Work is Sex: Bodies, Choices and Capitalism, 14th Feb 2016, 10-6

When Work is Sex: Bodies, Choice and Capitalism is an opportunity for sex workers, activists and academics who are interested in the politics of work and sex to come together to take stock of the sex worker movement and to consolidate and to strengthen the multiple campaigns, plans and struggles that are already in motion. It will also be a space to debate and discuss some of the different politics and perspectives that have developed in the sex worker movement. We are interested in asking questions and debating what the goals and orientation of the sex worker rights movement should be. What should a union for sex workers look like? How useful (or limited) is the language of rights? What demands are being made and which should be being made? How can we ‘scale up’ our activities? How can we develop a more robust anti-capitalist orientation? The conference is open to those who are interested in where the sex worker led movement has come from, where it is going and how we can develop a more radical politics of sex work.


Sex Work in the 21st Century– a stream at the 9th Biennial Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Keele, 29th June – 1st July 2016. Send abstracts by 1st November 2015.

This looks like a great event and I will be hopefully submitting an abstract.

AAG 2016 Annual Conference – San Francisco, 29th March – 2nd April

Really wish I was attending this one!

Special Session:
Sex and the City: Reactionism, Resistance and Revolt

Convenors: Dr. Paul J. Maginn (UWA) – @planographer
Dr. Emily Cooper (Northumbria) – @e_cooper2
Dr. Martin Zebracki (Leeds) – @zebracki
Prof. Clarissa Smith (Sunderland) – @DrClarissaSmith

Sponsored by: Sexuality and Space Specialty Group (SxSSG)

“The presence and regulation of sexualised bodies, sexuality, sex work/erotic labour, porn and BDSM/fetish in the city has taken an interesting turn in the 21st century. For some, it is argued that we have entered a period of hyper-sexuality whereby highly sexual imagery and ‘deviant’ sexual practices have given rise to a pornified culture where plastic bodies (and products) engage in ‘unspeakable acts’. This has led to calls for the filtering/banning of internet pornography and the criminalisation of the recording/distribution of certain sexual acts (e.g. face sitting, fisting and female ejaculation). Relatedly, anti-porn activists have pushed for the introduction of mandatory condom use in porn production in California. Simultaneously, adult entertainment performers/producers have resisted such proposals arguing that pre-existing testing regimes for STIs and HIV/Aids are more than sufficient and that overregulation will push the porn industry to relocate elsewhere.

In relation to sex work/prostitution various (conservative) politicians and radical feminist organisations have advocated the introduction of the ‘Swedish model’ proclaiming that it will ‘end demand and exploitation’ and ‘stop human trafficking’. Canada and Northern Ireland have recently adopted this regulatory approach. There have been high-profile raids and/or restrictions of brothels/massage parlours in places such as Soho (London) and Edinburgh (Scotland) and online escort websites such as Redbook, Backpage and Rentboy in the US, often under the glare of the media. The conflation of human trafficking and sex work as one and the same issue is challenged by International bodies such as WHO, UN AIDS, the ILO, Amnesty International, and sex workers/sex work advocacy groups who have all called for sex work to be decriminalised.

There have been calls for other forms of sexual imagery (e.g. Page 3 in The Sun newspaper and ‘lads magazines’ in newsagents) and adult entertainment (strip clubs/lap-dance bars) to be banned or closed down. LGBT relationships have also been under the spotlight in recent years. Whilst Ireland recently moved to legalise same-sex marriage via a referendum, Northern Ireland and Australia have steadfastly refused to move forward on this issue. Interestingly, despite the various calls to ‘stop porn/raunch culture’ an increasing number of people appear to be consuming and/or engaging in different forms of sexual practices. For example, BDSM/fetish/kink practices appear to have gripped suburbia if sales of 50 Shades of Grey and sex toys are any measure of society’s sexual inquisitiveness.

Ultimately, what we appear to be seeing is a kaleidoscopic (sub)urban sexscape wherein the tectonic plates of conservatism/feminism/religion and capitalism/individualism are locked in deep socio-political competition with one another in relation to all matters pertaining to sex and sexuality. This special session, then, seeks papers that speak to the ideas of (i) Geographies of Reactionism; (ii) Geographies of Resistance; and (iii) Geographies of Revulsion/Revolt as they apply to the social/cultural/economic/historical meanings, consumption/production/distribution and regulation of sexual imagery, sexuality, adult retailing/sex shops; sex work/prostitution; adult entertainment/erotic labour, pornography and BDSM/fetish/kink practices within urban, suburban, rural and virtual spaces”.

You can follow the previous proceedings for the AAG sex work strands here, at the wonderful Dr Emily Cooper’s blog.

I have been advised on twitter that there is sex work conference in Hamburg, Germany, 2nd to 4th March 2016. The page is yet to be translated into English, but it may well be of interest to some readers.