From Working It:
Submission call for Summer/Fall 2018:
Getting by is hard.
Working It is interested in talking about how it’s hard and the specific ways it’s hard and how, as Bettie brought up when we discussed this, SESTA and the 2007-8 recession in some ways were/are more of the same for people of colour and black people especially: it was already and always a recession for black people, and black workers and workers of colour have NEVER been as welcome in online spaces as white workers (something I hope Jay St James will write about!)
Life is hard and getting harder: what’s it like to be working with constant reminders that men have gotten away with sexual assault coming in every single day now on the macro level, even if they’re sometimes losing some power, it’s a handful of men and some of them are already trying to make comebacks and we have all the entitled grasping men in our personal lives to deal with still. How are you dealing with managers, with old pimps or new boyfriends with notions?
Life is hard. What’s it like right now balancing sex work and trying to advertise online while some well off strippers developing Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brands that tell us we CAN and SHOULD be having it all: we’re Empowered™ women whom everyone wants to be and/or fuck so treat yoself and spend that money on that that purse, that book, that retreat, it’s girl power yo! without ever looking at the unchanged underlying structural inequalities most of us are still suffering under and struggling with: what’s wrong with us? Why aren’t we sexy and happy and financially fit?
How are you getting by right now, with the loss of life across the world and at home, the loss of rights in the United States rippling across the world, the loss of LGBT rights and abortion rights and healthcare rights in the states if you live here, the threat of End Demand in new and previously untouched countries? How are you staying sane and holding on or how are you losing it?
We do very minimal editing because this is about your voice and experience: if you want us to edit for spelling or grammar we will, but we also appreciate colloquial writing and want to preserve that. We welcome submissions from everyone but because of the way public narratives are skewed we are ESPECIALLY focused on publishing the voices and art of woc and trans women and trans woc. This is important!
Pays $50 for 2 time use rights.
(and as always the theme is a guideline, not strict)
The magazine, a mix of feature articles and short bits, with simple, modern typography, graphic elements and quote-highlights juxtaposed with sketches, is beautiful and readable. Reading it feels like being inside a cozy living room and listening in on a witty, funny conversation between sex workers - a nuanced, un-stilted conversation that becomes impossible when sex workers have to defend their own existence and human rights, and have to have the same conversations over and over.
Katherine Koster, "Working It: The Activist Art Magazine Fueling Labor Rights for Strippers and Other Sex Workers"
All STROLL designs available at our Redbubble store.
Working It is a compendium of all that makes the sex industry so fascinating, inside and out. Each issue features a recurring "worst tip ever" submitted by workers. (If you thought getting a fifty-cent tip as a waitress is bad, trying having a dirt-smudged coupon for a free McDonald's coffee tossed onto your stage, while a crowd stares deep into your vagina.)
While there's no shortage of sex worker blogs out there, a zine lends itself to the hours of downtime often available on the job to sex workers: in dressing rooms, dungeons, and brothels, there's a lot of time to read while waiting for clients to show up.
The jokes are what set it apart—"slut jokes are just whoreable," reads one comic caption—but the meat of the magazine is a serious focus on law enforcement, legislation, and the stigmas and struggles of everyday working girls.
The Summer 2015 issue of Working It features detailed advice from a labor lawyer who explains the murky "independent contractor" designation that allows most American strip clubs to charge dancers hundreds of dollars a night in fees and fines just for the right to occupy the stage. Another article delves into background checks, and whether someone's sex worker status can be revealed through a simple check online.
The personal essays are the most revealing, and not in a titillating way. Rather than telling torrid tales of erotic encounters for cash, the majority address everyday difficulties, like whether or not to come out as a sex worker at school or a "day job."