Archive for the sex work Category

May Gathering: Sex Workers and the Sex Industry

Posted in academia, education, events, gender, health, queer, safer sex, sex work on April 25, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

It feels like forever since I last wrote to you all, and I guess it was as we had a little lapse in our scheduling to coincide with the use of Loop bar for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We are now back to our regular schedule, ( 2nd Tuesday of the month).

Our April Gathering Gender? Where? was a warm and intimate exploration of the notions of sex, sexuality and gender. Thanks to all of your support  we were able to raise $1160 for Kate Bornstein’s cancer treatment fund. We sent off the funds to her 3 days later and you can see her tweet to us here.


Thank you Kate. We Love you! Huge thanks to all attendees and especially our panelists, door bitch Lauren and video dude extraordinaire Andy for all working FREE for the night to raise money for Kate!

May Gathering: Sex Workers and the Sex Industry

One of our most popular topics, the mysterious and sometimes misunderstood world of the sex industry and sex workers is hotly debated in the media and among feminists, academics and lay people. For the third year in a row, Pleasure Forum Australia brings together passionate members of the sex industry to explain through their own words and experiences how it is to be a sex worker; the good  the bad and the ugly. Poignant, intimate, challenging and powerful these four panelists will be discussing the sex industry as they see it and live it in an open and respectful public forum. Hosted by Cyndi Darnell this event will highlight and explore everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the life of a sex worker and more!



Christian is no stranger to Pleasure Forum Australia.  A long time sex worker and advocate for his community, Christian is highly active in promoting the human rights of sex workers. Having worked for over 15 years including on the street, for an escort agency and now himself.  He loves sex workers; they are his friends and his community and he wants you to love them too. His latest projects include producing and presenting the Vixen hour and the Festival of Sex Work.
You can check out the Vixen Hour here

Anise is a self-professed fierce high femme who celebrates queerness in all forms, body positivity, slut pride, Femme solidarity and polyamory. She is a career whore who takes a lot of pride in her work and has no intention to quit the industry any time soon. She is currently working on being staunch, and the politics of being “out”.
On the Vixen Hour, Anise discussed the questions, Is Sex Work Queer? You can isten to the podcast o that show:

Riley Alexander is a Melbourne based sex worker, who started out 12yrs ago doing erotic massage, then a few years later got into full service, and 3yrs ago became a private independent worker, where she feels she can give of herself in a way she really loves. Whilst being in the industry for 12yrs, she is only just cutting her teeth on advocacy. Taking part in the Vixen Hour on Joy 94.9, talking about Sex work and Health, as well as also being instrumental in organising a fundraiser for a colleague to fight an anti-discrimination case. Raising $20,000 in 3wks, with the help of clients and colleagues.”
Hear Riley on the Vixen Hour, talking about sex work and health here

Anastasia has worked in the sex industry for over 18 years; in her career as a sex worker, including being Mistress and a submissive, full service and erotic massage, stripping and pornography. She is also an 18 year survivor of mental illness. On the Vixen Hour, she discussed the issues surrounding mental health and sex work. A member of the VIXEN Collective, the peer-based, non-profit organisation for sex workers in Victoria, she is helping put together the Festival of Sex Work, to be held 30 May to 3 June this year.
Anastasia will be on the Vixen Hour on Monday the 22nd of April.  Tune in via 

When: Tuesday May 14. 2013
Where: LOOP Bar 23 Meyers Place. Melbourne CBD
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: $10

Loop Map

In other news…………………….

PFA Host Cyndi Darnell is presenting a seminar on another highly misunderstood topic, Female Arousal Anatomy. Come along to this gentle, tantalising and informative  expose on the not so mysterious mysteries of female genitalia. Bookings required.

book now


From the FABULOUS team that brought you our Erotica gathering at Pleasure Forum Australia in July last year we are proud to support  Little Raven’s first eBook anthology of erotic fiction – Little Raven One.
A poet muses on housemates and soundproof walls. Mr Sweet Tooth gets treats in a cake shop. Two friends find passion in a club, a taxi and a pizzeria. A lonely zombie gets lucky in a post-apocalyptic world. The beast is let off its leash.
Featuring stories and poems by Aimee Nichols, Sara Dalle, J.McLaren, Ana Malcolm, Koraly Dimitriadis, Jack Voltaire, John Bartlett, T.J.Minogue, Stu Lynch, Van Roberts, Megan, Thomas Caldwell, Steve Smart, Mardi O’Connor and Randall Stephens.


February Gathering 2013

Posted in academia, education, entertainment, events, health, politics, safer sex, sex work on January 31, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Greetings All

WELCOME to 2013. So we’re back………(from outer space…….♫♫♫)

And we’re looking forward to bringing you another year of PFA panels providing you with some of the most easily-digestible, informative and sex positive news and info in Australia all wrapped in a (school-night timed) night out!

Our panels for this year are already looking great with panels & presentations on a range of topics including (but not limited to) Polyamory, new Australian erotica, and even sex in the animal world, gender-fluidity and  Trans culture along with your favourites on local Australian pornography, Sex Workers and the Sex Industry, Tantra, Kink and (almost) everything you’ve ever wanted to know about orgasms, relationships and beyond.

PFA is created and hosted by Cyndi Darnell and aims to be an inclusive sex-positive space for folks of all genders and orientations to get the opportunity to discuss adult themed sex education and provide intros into worlds you may never have encountered before!

As usual we’re open to suggestions for topics and themes, so drop us an email ( with you ideas.


We have been warmly welcomed back to LOOP where we enjoy a warm and cosy atmosphere and delicious drinks & snacks provided by the oh-so-sexy staff, all in a wheelchair accessible and user-friendly venue. If you have concerns regarding accessibility please drop us an email.

AND for 2013 we will be gathering on the SECOND Tuesday of the month

( we had previously been the first ) but found we were clashing with too many other great Melbourne events, so we changed.

February Gathering: Are you a Sex Geek?

What is a sex geek you might ask? One definition is someone with a voracious desire to learn everything there is to know about sex and sexuality: from science, to folklore, to trivia, to nature.

The four members of this panel are all members of the group Sex Geekdom, a community for sex educators, researchers, and other folks who fall under the sex geek umbrella.

Louise, Gareth, Kate, and Alex each work in several different areas of sex by day, including HIV/STI prevention, sex education, abortion, sex blogging and sex toy retail. By night, you’ll find them geeking out over the latest sex research, or sharing new sex discoveries with other sex geeks over a beer.

Try your luck answering the panel’s Sex Geek quiz questions to win some sex themed prizes.

Louise Bourchier:
Louise is a confirmed Sex Geek. She is a sex educator who teaches workshops on a variety of different topics related to sexual health, sexuality and sexual pleasure. She is also a sex toy peddler at D.VICE, the sex-positive sex toy shop in Richmond. A further claim to her Sex Geekiness is that she has recently completed her Master of Public Health specialising in Sexual Health.

 Gareth Durrant:
Gareth has spent more of his adult life in Taiwan than at home, where he learnt how to say double-ended dildo in Chinese (among other things) Since moving to Melbourne, Gareth has enjoyed working on the front line of sexual health education, family planning and HIV/STI prevention as the local team leader for YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS), a youth-driven non-profit and at an abortion clinic in East St Kilda.

Kate McCombs:
Kate is a sex educator, blogger, and speaker, specializing in sex-positive approaches to sexual health promotion. Originally from California, Kate moved to Australia to get her Masters in Public Health, which she finished in 2011. Currently, Kate facilitates sexual health workshops and works as a teaching/research assistant and guest lecturer for Melbourne Uni’s School of Population Health. She’s also the managing editor for, a sex education blog, and is the founder of Sex Geekdom.

Alex Tanglao:
Alex found his way into sex geekdom-ness whilst studying Queer legal theory. It was through which, he fell in love with the nuances of sex, sexuality and gender, and the way they interact with the legal system. Alex’s love for sex geekiness also brought him to Melbourne, where he manages YEAH’s (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) national peer education program. He loves working with young people to champion locally-focused sexual health awareness, and to provide practical ways to make sex-positive choices.

When: Tuesday February 12

Time: 7.30pm

Where: LOOP bar. 23 Meyers Place. Melbourne CBD

Cost: $10

Loop Map

December Gathering 2012

Posted in anal, education, entertainment, erotica / porn, events, health, kink / BDSM, men, open relationships / polyamory, queer, relationships, safer sex, sex work, straight, swinging, women on November 26, 2012 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Greetings Pleasure Lovers

Tuesday December 4th  2012marks our final gathering for 2012 where we have invited back our panelists from throughout the year to give us a summary of their best work to date and whatever else they may have to share with us.

Come an experience some of the highlights from 2012 (and  even a few from bygone years)  and of course the usual shenanigans and door prizes from our wonderful sponsors! See you there!

When: Tuesday December 4th 2012

Time: 7.30pm

Where: Loop Bar

Price: $10

November Gathering

Posted in education, erotica / porn, events, politics, safer sex, sex work on October 17, 2012 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Our October gathering on Women Sex and Orgasm was quite possibly one of our finest yet. A packed house turned out to enjoy the banter and witty repartee of our extraordinary panelists, which made our October gathering one of the year’s highlights. If you didn’t make it, you did indeed miss out! However, rest assured the team we have lined up for you for NOVEMBER is sure to set you alight!

November Gathering: Sex Workers & The Sex Industry

(Please note this gathering is WEDNESDAY NOV 7 due to the Cup Day Holiday)

One of the most hotly debated and misunderstood industries in the world is the Sex Industry. The world’s ”oldest profession” is not just a title for those who ‘put out ‘ for a living. The Sex Industry is as diverse as its clients and its workers, and extends into the world of exotic dancers, BDSM practitioners, and even pornography. Our November Gathering brings you some of the country’s most progressive, forward thinking and intelligent sex workers to engage in a ”ho holds-barred” enlightening discussion about exactly what a sex worker does, how they feel about their work, and what they want YOU to know about what they do, how they do it and even WHY they do it! Hosted by Cyndi Darnell this event is going to be a vibrant and insightful discussion on one of the world’s most intriguing industries.

Panelists Sometimes, Christian Vega feels like the luckiest sex worker in the world. He’s been given the opportunity to explore sex work for the past fifteen years. He’s traversed various landscapes of the occupation, some dark and perilous, some whimsical and exuberant. Be they colleagues or clients or friends, he has met the most extraordinary characters, finding constant inspiration along the way. Learning and growing with each challenge, sex work has been an adventure for Christian, one that forged his sexual self, teaching him so much about what makes us all human: desire, intimacy, and control. Far from feeling like an outsider, Christian feels that sex work now connects him to others. By sharing knowledge, sex workers form a close and enriching community and he is grateful to be part of. Recognising that not everyone’s experience of sex work is as positive as his; Christian endeavours to make the world a better place for sex workers. Christian is the elected National Representative of Male Sex Workers for the Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers Association. He is also an active member of the Vixen Collective, the only active peer based sex worker organisation in Victoria.

 Nada Feleni worked as an erotic dancer, porn star, contortionist, bike messenger, crime scene cleaner, private escort, brothel worker, Tantric practitioner, shamanic journey sitter, stretching instructor, web designer, erotic model, and considers all of it as life as stage for performance art. She has shared stage with Annie Sprinkle, Carol Leigh, Dita Von Teese, and appeared in Alex Grey’s performance, “World Spirit” and modeled for erotic art of Michael Manning as her infamous alter ego, Jade-blue Eclipse. She is still passionate and devoted to art and sex work after 20 years of work in different countries. Currently, she travels with her Sanskrit books and can be found at or

Angela White has been working in the sex industry for over 9 years as a performer in pornography, an erotic dancer, a webcam host and a sexual activist. Angela recently completed her Honours Thesis in Gender Studies at the University of Melbourne in which she conducted qualitative research into the experiences of female performers in the Australian pornography industry. Angela owns and runs her own production company and has won multiple awards for her work in the pornography industry. Angela has also publicly fought for the rights of sex workers through her involvement with the Australian Sex Party. You can learn more about Angela by going to her website Her new website will be launched on January 1, 2013.

When : WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 7 : Please note this gathering is WEDNESDAY due to the Cup Day Holidaye

Where: LOOP 23 Meyers Place Melbourne CBD

Time: 7: 30 pm

Cost: $10

Special Announcement

Posted in education, events, kink / BDSM, men, open relationships / polyamory, relationships, safer sex, sex work, special events, straight, tantra / spirituality / ritual, touch, trans, women on September 13, 2012 by Pleasure Forum Australia

It is with great sadness that we must inform you that Barbara Carrellas  Melbourne event has been cancelled. This morning we received news of Barbara’s partner requiring surgery which means Barbara must be back in NYC for the time this event had been scheduled. Rest assured, Barbara is a very BIG fan of Melbourne and will be back sometime VERY soon

New Venue, New Days and February Gathering

Posted in art, erotica / porn, events, health, men, politics, sex work, straight, women on February 6, 2012 by Brian

Greetings all ……..and Happy New Year

Pleasure Salon Melbourne is back for 2012 with a fabulous variety of sex-positive, sexual  health, pleasure  and  adult information  evenings . Our nights still feature  Australia’s  best sex educators and activists to bring you some of the most up to date and progressive sexuality information available, all in a friendly and welcoming environment.

As you know we have been looking for a new home for some time now, and have finally found one  at the gorgeous

LOOP bar

23 Meyers Place

Melbourne CBD  (Off Bourke St,  close to Parliament Station.)

We are thrilled to announce this venue is WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE and has CAR PARKING  close by.

Next week our


from 6.30pm will be on



Forum starts at 7.30 pm

February Pleasure Salon Melbourne celebrates sex-positive erotic films, feminism and pornography

February PSM will be trialling a new PANEL format where our guests will be able to engage in dialogue with Cyndi and the audience to explore and detail their experiences as performers and producers of pornographic adult movies.

Our Feb line up includes the gorgeous and articulate Gala  known for her pioneering work with FECK,  stunning feminist pornster Liandra Dahl  an independent feminist pornographer and blogger who has recently worked with one of the world’s most well known sex educators ( Betty) Dodson and Ross,  alongside award winning  Australian production company, Adult Voyeur’s very own  Bourke Wills.


Gala is a mutli-purpose sex-positive sex worker who entered the industry through the pornhole.  Her career in alternative smutmaking started at a Melbourne-based company Feck ( one of Pleasure Salon Melbourne’s sponsors),  and her work appears on its sites,,, and  more recently she has appeared on, and she is currently preparing to launch a blog journalling her experiences in various facets of the industry.’

Liandra Dahl

Liandra has worked in the alternative pornography industry for 9 years. She first began work with the Australian adult websites run by Feck,  and as a contributor and then as the hostess of their masturbation site between 2003 to 2007. She has also worked with acclaimed European female adult film producers Erika Lust and Jennifer Lyon Bell as a performer. She currently runs her own pansexual independent reality sex site where she performs, produces, films, edits and codes for the whole project and website.

Bourke Wills

Bourke Wills started making high quality, uniquely Australian porn a long time ago as Adult Voyuer. Our first trial shoot was August 2008 and was either a dismal failure or incredibly steep learning curve, depending on which way you look at these things.

We continued shooting,  and learning until we felt we had a sufficient backlog of material. We launched the first version of our site in 2010 to a very good reception and relaunched in in 2011 the same year we  won the Eros Shine Award for the “Best Australian Adult Website”.

Adult Voyeur continues to grow  largely due to the fascination the rest of the world has with Australia and Australian’s eager to see Australian content. We are Australia’s only high production value, top shelf,  adult film company and are dedicated to showcasing beautiful Australians having great sex in gorgeous Australian locations. We feel Australian porn as a whole is unique, it is women and couple friendly, empowering,  sex positive porn.

In other news……………………………

Starting in March,  we will be meeting the FIRST TUESDAY of each month which means our March Salon will be on TUESDAY March 6th, and we will be continuing with TUESDAY gatherings for the rest of 2012 unless we have a special event.

We understand that may mean some of you won’t be able to attend, whilst for others it means a break from the weekend crazies and a day to recover before heading out again. Running such an event we try our best to keep everyone happy, but in the end decisions have to be made, and we hope this change causes as little disappointment and inconvenience as possible

LOOP bar have offered us the residency for the duration of 2012 and we look forward to sampling their fabulous food and drink selection and taking advantage of the fabulous tech set up in addition to the warm embrace of Pleasure Salon Melbourne’s values of open and honest discussion around the importance of pleasure and good sex.

We look forward to seeing you all again.

July Gathering

Posted in erotica / porn, events, kink / BDSM, men, queer, relationships, sex work, straight, women on June 16, 2011 by Brian

Our June gathering of Pleasure Salon Melbourne  went off with a bang as Christian and friends wowed the crowd with their saucy,  humorous and touching films about sex workers by sex workers. Door prizes from Bliss for Women, FECK and Adult Matchmaker marched out the door with more to come at our July Gathering. ( see details below)

As always HUGE thanks to our speakers, our fabulous attendees…  (that’s YOU) and of course the gang at our sexy host venue 24 Moons.


Erotica, sexy, steamy, and a little bit naughty tonight we will titilate your tastebuds with what we do, let you see into the world of how we do it and why.

With our varied backgrounds and influences, we all have a story to tell – it’s just that the telling might take you on a twisted journey or two …. ready for the ride?

Come along with erotica author  KL Joy & her friends and discover the world of erotica.

KL (Kyra-Ly) fell into writing accidentally about 7 years ago. Having been out and about on the BDSM Melbourne Scene for a number of years, it took her own Catalyst of being dragged along to a private play party to prompt her to begin writing. She self published that first book Catalyst: Stories of Awakening in 2009 and took it to the BDSM community that had inspired her. The support she got from with in the community was fabulous, but the surprising market were the housewives of suburbia who devoured that book and went on to look for others! To their delight, and many others, the second book Desire: Stories of Secret Longing is soon to be released!

Geoffrey Knight has been writing novels for 12 years, but found his greatest success when he switched from traditional mainstream genres to writing gay male erotica 4 years ago. In that time he has written seven gay fiction titles, two of which reached number one on Amazon’s Gay Fiction best-seller lists in the U.S., France and Canada. His latest gay best-seller, THE CURSE OF THE DRAGON GOD, will be released in the U.S. early July, and will be launched in Sydney later in the month.

Eva Sless is a Melbourne-based freelance writer who specialises in sex-journalism. She is a former (although still occasional) sex worker who began her writing career with a “Belle Du Jour” type column in Australian People Magazine. The column, Sophie Loves Sex, highlighting some of the more quirky and positive sides of the sex industry. With a blend of humour and a down-to-earth, chatty tone, Eva’s column was one of the most popular and longest running of its kind. Currently, Eva is a regular contributor to Mother and Baby magazine, providing useful information and humorous anecdotes for new parents about sex and relationships.  She is currently working on  her own book based on all the sex-related experiences she has had.

Aimee Nichols is an award-winning author whose erotic fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies including The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 6, Got a Minute?: Sixty Second Erotica, First Timers: True Stories of Lesbian Awakening, Sixteen of the Best,and Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2006.  Her writing has also appeared in magazines and online.  She was an editor of Eroticus magazine, and has always related more strongly to Rizzo than to Sandy.

WHEN:  Monday July 4th
Doors open for drinks, nibbles and mingling at 6pm
Speakers start at 7.30

WHERE: 24 Moons. AC/DC Lane. Off Flinders Lane. Melbourne

$10 at the door

See you there