Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Exotic Goddess Night at the Penthouse!

The Penthouse Nightclub has historically been a safe place for both exotic dancers and sex workers to earn a living. In 1975, police began to push sex workers out of the clubs and onto the streets and by 1976 owners of the Penthouse were on trial for “keeping a common bawdy house.” Since then, the sex industry in Vancouver has been divided.

On Thursday, October 18, from 6 till 10 p.m., history will repeat itself and sex workers will once again be welcomed into the city’s most notorious strip club. But this time it won’t be to conduct business. This time, it is to support the women who’ve been pushed into the streets by laws and police initiatives that have made sex work the most dangerous job in Canada.

The Fourth Annual Exotic Goddess Night: A Sexpo for Women will raise funds for programs and services that directly benefit street-based, survival sex workers. Proceeds will go to Prostitution Alternatives Counselling and Education (PACE) Society – a by, for, and with sex workers non-profit organization in the Downtown Eastside. (I wrote most of the content for their website in 2006.)

This event has been successful in past years at bringing together sex industry members and allies with other open-minded, sex-positive women. Women of all ages rub elbows and take lessons from sex industry professionals – from pole and lap dance lessons to advice on how to give blow-jobs. It is an atmosphere of equality and respect that not only bridges the divide between sex industry workers, but the general female public as well.

I'm organizing the event again this year. We're thrilled about the venue. We are making history ourselves by working with the Penthouse to build awareness and raise funds for the women who were most impacted by police raids on the club in 1976.

Funds will be raised through a $30 door fee, a silent auction, and the sale of t-shirts that say “Working Girls are Working Women” – a statement that emphasizes sex work as an occupation, not a crime.

For more information or to reserve tickets, email pace-admin@telus.net

No comments: