Oh boy, this is a topsy-turvy time for sex in the big wide world. This past week offered up some real curve balls that will be felt, hard, for a long time. Yet, I can't just send you missive after missive of negativity. Let's acknowledge the bad week for sex in this week's Sex Stories We Love while also taking note of a few good things. It's all about balance.
War Draweth Nigh
Has the great Internet war on sex truly started? Despite a slow and steady roll-out, the big sweep may have finally taken notice as both Tumblr and Facebook announced massive changes to how they will deal with sex and sexual content. This is not a good situation. What was once a lawless and unfiltered medium, the Internet as we know it is changing significantly. This doesn't just affect those of us in the sex communities. It hurts here the most...sex workers have fought this hard for a long time. Now, it's caught up with all of us. These changes in policies will, no doubt, impact the LGBTQ+ communities, women, people of colour, migrants, and other marginalized groups. The power of the Internet, the most powerful global communication tools, is being seized. Tumblr and Facebook may be the first...but they certainly won't be the last. Everyone in the sex community should be backing up their content, creating mailing lists, and safeguarding their stuff. You never know when that connection might get cut.
Sex Work Rebound
Despite this bad news, will sex on the Internet ever really go away? Last spring, when the highly used Backpage sex work advertising site was shut down, a massive fear took hold that sex workers lost a major venue to promote their work. That closure certainly caused a significant impact on sex work. Yet, the thing with the Internet is that it is still wild. For every law that comes along, there are entrepreneurs and coders who stay six steps ahead. We need these people more than ever. These are the same folks who continue to keep sex work alive on the net. More sex work ads are posted now than before before Backpage's shut down. This upward trend allows sex workers freedom of work and can, when properly used, help law enforce find and help actual victims of sex trafficking. Can sex work on the Internet truly be stopped?
Human & Reproductive Rights Violations
People often look to Canada as a world-leader. It's a friendly place and often ranked as one of the best places to live. It is nice. I'm Canadian and I've lived here all of my life. However, I know it is nice for me because I am a white man. It is not nice for many others. It can be an absolute nightmare for indigenous women.
How can a country, one of the best in the world, remain complicit, at all level of government, to the systematic destruction of specific people? We've been learning, over the years, of different policies attempting to annihilate indigenous people, including treaty disregard, residential schools, and many, many more. Now, we're learning of the long-standing and potentially ongoing assault of indigenous women's reproductive rights. Forced, coerced, or pressured into sterilization is an assault on their rights. Here's hoping the UN takes this case seriously and sheds some global light on the awful treatment of indigenous communities in the "Great" White North.
That That Stage!
Take a look at these fierce queens and kings! Drag has always been a provocative art form meant to challenge perceptions. Behind the glitz and sequins are artists who are both inviting you into their world and presenting to us all. The performance is as much for themselves as it is for the audience. And the awesome folks and performers involved in Drag Syndrome are exploring, exciting, enticing, and enchanting. By breaking down the stereotypes about what it is to be a person with Down syndrome, the group is not just elevating themselves, but they're elevating the whole concept of drag to new levels. Please come to Toronto!
Homosapien, Like You
Rest in Peace and Power, Pete Shelley. In the pantheon of musical greats who affected the sexual world, the Buzzcocks punk powerhouse doesn't get as much recognition as he should. It's critical to remember that the band's seminal "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" is a bisexual love song. Shelley's passing last week makes us look back at the history of queer content in pop music and reminds us that this song, and his subsequent solo effort "Homosapien" (which featured decidely queer lyrics) were predecessors to our current cultural client. It is really hard to lose an open icon whose music was so damn good.
Finally, the queer world is on fire! If you found it hard to keep up with all of that goodness, check out some of the best queer moments in culture for 2018.