Jessica Drake, Tasha Reign to Speak at UCLA Tuesday

LOS ANGELES — Wicked Pictures contract star, sexual wellness authority, and sex educator, Jessica Drake, and Reign Productions owner/producer and adult star, Tasha Reign, are scheduled to be featured guest speakers at UCLA this Tuesday night.

The panel, “Porn, Prostitution, and Censorship: The Politics of Empowerment,” will be held in Moore 100 hall  from 7 to 10 p.m. on the UCLA campus.

Drake and Reign were invited to be discussants on an academic panel presented by the Social Awareness Network for Activism through Art (SANAA) in honor of Eve Ensler’s V-Day Organization. Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” is an annual presentation on the UCLA campus, and includes additional dialogue between students, educators, and media luminaries to discuss women’s issues.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

“We are extremely thrilled to have Tasha Reign and jessica drake on board for our Panel,” said Alec Moore, who is coordinating the event. “As a sex industry insider, and a Bruin, Tasha can provide us a unique perspective from her own epistemological standpoint, lending us her valuable insight into the politics of sexual representation.”

He added, “Jessica will also add great insight through her experiences as an adult actress, philanthropist, and sex educator."

Reign has long been a well-known student at UCLA, as documented by the university's campus newspaper, The Daily Bruin. “I’m extremely thrilled SANAA has invited me to speak on this panel,” Reign said. “As a UCLA women’s studies major, and a performer, producer, and director in the adult industry, I feel I can provide a unique view for students curious about how current media views of strong female sexuality can empower women. I’m looking forward to speaking with everyone attending the discussion and hearing all sides about this very important topic.”

Drake remarked, “I’m honored to be invited to speak with students on UCLA’s campus. I absolutely love when I can speak with people, especially students, about the adult industry, its relationship with media and the general public, and how it can empower women in the new millennium. I am looking forward to meeting everyone at UCLA and discussing how we can all grow into strong, self-aware women.”

Through her series of workshops and seminars and her line of instructional DVDs, "Jessica Drake's Guide to Wicked Sex," Drake teaches people to explore their sexuality in a fun, safe, and responsible way.  

Joining Reign and Drake will be Jennifer Moorman and Dr. Christopher Mott. Moorman is a Ph.D. candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA and a lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design. Her dissertation, "Women on Top: The Work of Female Pornographers and (S)experimental Filmmakers," examines the gender politics of the adult video industry and associated marginal and experimental film production cultures, with a focus on the contributions and experiences of women filmmakers. Dr. Mott is a Distinguished Lecturer at UCLA, currently teaching a seminar entitled, “Pornography and the Politics of Sexual Representation.”

“Every year during February at UCLA, we strike up a movement on our campus to celebrate women, take a stand against gender violence, and change our culture’s taboo against discussing sexuality,” said Kausar Mohammed, SANAA’s V-Day executive producer. “Having Tasha and Jessica speak on our panel allows us to discuss the effect of the porn industry on the everyday woman. Does it empower? Or does it objectify?”

Mohammed continued, “The discussion surrounding the power dynamics of prostitution, the accommodation of sex, and the objectification and censorship of the female body have long divided feminist theorists and activists. Through this panel, we hope to foster a dialogue about feminism and the porn industry, and are eagerly anticipating Tasha and Jessica’s participation on February 18.”

Moore, who is a third-year art history and gender studies student and producer of SANAA’s “The Vagina Monologues,” said in a Daily Bruin article, “(The porn panel) brings a more academic flavor to V-Day because we get to engage UCLA faculty in the movement with discussions like this.

"Sex work is such a poignant and vilified facet of feminist theory, and it divides a lot of theorists as to who it empowers.”

Many events held during the SANAA V-Day campaign, including the “Porn, Prostitution, and Censorship: The Politics of Empowerment” panel, are free to attend, while admission to the production of “The Vagina Monologues” later in the week is on a donation-only basis. The proceeds will be given to two beneficiaries this year. Both organizations, A Window between Worlds and Peace over Violence, advocate for survivors of domestic violence.

For more information on SANAA, click here