Sexworkers Band Together for Reddit AMA Tomorrow

Sexworkers Band Together for Reddit AMA Tomorrow
Melissa Santana

CYBERSPACE — More than 50 sex workers and experts — including educators, policymakers and researchers, among others — are coming together for an AMA on Reddit tomorrow, starting at 11 a.m. (PDT).

Reddit.com/r/IAmA is a subreddit that follows an interactive question-and-answer format. Previous AMAs have featured celebrities, ER doctors, porn stars and even President Obama.

Many participants, as well as industry peers, took to Twitter to spread the word and encourage questions. To join the AMA, one must simply visit IAmA.reddit.com tomorrow and look for the thread posted by Liara Roux, who organized the AMA alongside Ashley Lake.

"I periodically get asked probing questions by fans on Reddit, and I’ve told them to 'save it for the AMA' for years, honestly mostly as a way to brush off prying fans and even avoid legal liability," Roux told XBIZ. "Eventually they started asking when the AMA would be. Ashley came up with the idea of using that fan interest to spark a political event and here we are!"

Lake added, "The first few participants came about in the old fashioned way — probing contacts and asking them directly if they could participate. We prioritized people who could talk about their whole organization a little, and people who represented marginalized groups. We also wanted to get a couple allies in important political positions in there — it’s good to grill them! But we wanted to avoid gatekeeping and also worked to publicize the call as much as possible. It’s honestly not that hard to get 50 sex workers together on the internet — Liara follows over 1000 just on their own Twitter."

Roux, additionally, expressed that for those unable to visit Reddit.com, they could follow the hashtag #SexWorkerAMA on Twitter.

As for what questions the duo expects, Roux said, "I expect a lot of the questions will be titilating! But, Reddit actually has audiences that are very interested in politics and human rights. The event will be crossposted by the Reddit staff to r/politics and r/twoXchromosomes, which is the biggest woman’s issues community on the site. The audience is in the tens of millions, so expect diverse engagement!"

Lake concluded, "We do want people to be curious about bad laws like FOSTA/SESTA and their actual impact on us, but we also aren’t discouraging silly and banal questions! Humanizing sex workers is so so so important. We need to fight against stigma as much as any specific law. Talking about our personal lives and connecting directly with 'civilians' is important — that’s why we are fighting so hard to maintain our right to be on social media with the rest of society."

Picture courtesy of SpankChain.

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