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.

KB

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!

Panelists

Christian

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 http://joy.org.au/thevixenhour

Anise
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: http://joy.org.au/thevixenhour/2013/03/is-sex-work-queer/

Riley
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 http://joy.org.au/thevixenhour/2013/01/sex-work-health/

Anastasia
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 www.joy.org.au/listenlive 

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

Also……………………………….

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.

 littleraven_frontcover

April Gathering: Gender? Where?

Posted in burlesque, education, events, gender, health, men, politics, queer, relationships, trans, women on March 20, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Our March gathering on Polyamory was indeed our biggest to date! For those who ventured out in the heat to hear the tales of wonder and then some, we salute you!
April coincides with our 3rd birthday at PFA, (counting from the night we officially started to launch with speakers. )PFA has grown over the 3 years into the event you know and love today that aims to fill the gap where conventional sex education just doesn’t go.
Completely unfunded, PFA survives on your door contributions and the generosity of the panelists, so we value your attendance each month and your support for the variety of topics we bring you.
Please note that our APRIL gathering is the first Tuesday of the month ( April 2, immediately after Easter) as Loop Bar is fully booked throughout the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

All funds raised from the APRIL gathering will go towards Kate Bornstein’s cancer treatment fund . Read her response in the Huffington Post article.

GENDER? WHERE?

Are you a man? or Are you a woman? or Are you someone inbetween? What does it mean to be a man or a woman and how will you know when you get there? Gender and even sex extend beyond genitals, but many of us get tripped up when what we see and what we’ve been taught about gender don’t necessarily play out as we expect!
For more and more people the prescribed versions of masculinity and femininity no longer fit, but we are left wondering what models are available to replace them. Can you be of one gender and attracted to the same but not label yourself accordingly? This night at PFA explores what gender is and can be from a pleasure and relationship perspective. Exploring cultural and social implications surrounding gender and the experiences of those who identify and trans, gender queer or just enjoy playing with gender stereo types ( and we’ll define and explore the difference), we’ll discuss how gender affects sex and sexuality and how your own concept of gender can be (re)defined.
Hosted by Cyndi Darnell this event will highlight and explore what gender can look like and why so many more people are questioning what gender even means.

Panelists

Sally Goldner
Sally has been actively involved in Melbourne’s queer community for the last fifteen years. This includes ongoing involvement with TransGender Victoria, 3 CR’s “Out of the Pan,” Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, and Bisexual Alliance Victoria.. She is the focus of an autobiographical documentary “Sally’s Story” and was noted in The Age’s Top 100 most creative and influential people in Melbourne in 2011. She is also a spoken word performer and stand-up comedian.
Aaron
Aaron is best known at PFA as our dashing door dude & he loves a good GenderFuck! He’s worked in the sex industry for about 6 years. His gender journey started at year 0 and after years of denial, he has now been on testosterone for about 14 months! He still considers himself a baby trans cub puppy feminist and is loving his gender journey that this lifetime has afforded him ( even with all the ups AND downs.) You can pretty much ask Aaron anything to do with his transition from sex and attraction, to life pre and post T ( testosterone )

Agent Cleave
Part pirate, part mermaid, part pony, part religious icon, AGENT CLEAVE stokes desire and blurs the gender line with his sharp and sexual performances. Grotesque and beautiful in equal measure, the AGENT has captivated audiences from all walks of life by evoking a sense of rock and roll sexuality that appeals to anyone wanting to have fun.
From hard working beginnings in Melbourne’s Queer party scene, AGENT CLEAVE has relentlessly carved a niche laying somewhere between Drag, stripping and rock and roll, this peculiar signature style culminating in an ongoing DJ collaboration with recording artist PEACHES that has allowed him international exposure at major music festivals and events, his work critically lauded for its high energy, intricate design and joyful exploitation of sexual stereotypes.
Jez Pez
Jez has been actively involved in the LGBTIQ community for over a decade. He is the creator and Editor of DUDE MAGAZINE. Jez is a passionate community organiser who has co-curated exhibitions about trans men and trans masculinity for Midsumma in 2008, 2009 & 2012. Jez also works as a consultant, providing gender diversity training to the health and education sectors.
Lisa Sinclair
Lisa is a genderqueer trans person who has rejoined the community after 10 years finding themselves. They should have just looked behind the couch. Lisa co-facilitates Genderqueer Australia, runs a freelance web and graphic design company, studies and also volunteers with another community organisation as IT support. This leaves Lisa with a couple of hours a week to sleep.

WHEN: TUESDAY APRIL 2. 2013

WHERE: LOOP BAR 23 MEYERS PLACE . MELBOURNE CBD

Loop Map

TIME: 7.30

COST $10

Agent Cleave

HELP

Posted in events on March 18, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

We need a camera person with a camera to help out at PFA over the coming months. Please email pleasureforumaustralia@gmail.com if this person is you 🙂

March Gathering

Posted in academia, education, events, open relationships / polyamory, relationships, safer sex on March 1, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Greetings all,
March is upon us which means it’s Autumn. I don’t know about you but I found those endless hot weeks just a little too much and am looking forward to the cooler days. Days which can mean cuddles and gluhwein, cuddles of many kinds, not just with lovers, but also friends.
Speaking of cuddles & friends and friends with benefits, our March gathering is looking at one of the 21st century’s hottest sex & relationship topics: Polyamory.
There has been a lot of discussion of polyamory in the media of late. Some of it curious and much of it affirmative, but it’s also easy to make a lot of assumptions when it comes to what Polyamory is and isn’t. This evening of discussion and insight hosted by Cyndi Darnell will provide an intro into what Polyamory can look like and we’ll explore some of the common pitfalls and celebrations that can come with integrating (a) polyamorous relationship/s into your life.
Presenters:
Anne Hunter is a Facilitator and Relationships Educator and has been polyamorous for two decades. She is co-founder of PolyVic, Melbourne’s polyamorous community, and has been significantly involved in the development of the wider poly community in Australia. She has facilitated numerous workshops, focus groups and discussion groups on the topic in several forums around Australia for the last decade and is a co-author (with Maria) of a chapter on poly parenting in a recently-published LGBT parenting handbook for health practitioners.
Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli is Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University. Her primary areas of research and activism are cultural, gender, sexual and family diversity. Maria is also a Founding Member of AGMC Inc (Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council). Her books include Someone You Know (Australia’s first AIDS biography); When Our Children Come Out: How to Support Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Young People, and Border Sexualities, Border Families in Schools (a recipient of a Lambda Literary Award, 2011). Her first novel, Love You Two was co‐winner of a 2010 Lambda Literary Award.
Robin Pearson is one of those people who should be rich, famous and universally adored, but isn’t. Robin’s core value is that every mature, competent human can decide who and how they love, and the role of society is to support that decision. Robin is Master of a beautiful slave, parent of three teenagers, trained in Information Management and Literature and has barely worked in various occupations including Catholic School Librarian, paint salesperson and sex worker. Robin is currently president of Poly Vic and enjoying a rural sabbatical.

Cassie Webb jumped in at the deep end of polyamory a year and a half ago with her first committed relationship. With the help of PolyVic discussions and socials she has maintained what little sanity she had to begin with. Most recently poly single and dating for the last six months, she is chasing the dream of an equal tribe set up rather than the primary/secondary model that is so common. Cassie’s part time retail position allows her space to better experience life and manage her depression.

When: Tuesday March 12
Time: 7pm for 7.30 start.
Where: LOOP Melbourne. 23 Meyers Place. CBD
Cost : $10

Loop Map

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 (pleasureforumaustralia@gmail.com) with you ideas.

UPDATES

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.
Bios:

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 mysexprofessor.com, 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

February Gathering 2013

Posted in events on January 29, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

We’ll be back for 2013 starting in FEBRUARY!

 

For 2013 we will be gathering on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Our next gathering will be Feb 12!

More info over the next few days! Stay tuned!

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