July 27 – Last Sunday Social

Callin’ all the purple people to come together for an evening of snacks, socializing, art, and wine.

Free wine & soft drinks. Free snacks. Artsy stuff. A plush assortment of free female condoms and fruity/colored/tuxedo/ultrathin/ultrasensitive/ king lifestyles. Good music and good vibes…sounds good, no?


Location: Bridgeport, convenient to the Red Line AND Fed-Up Fest! RSVP to meg@swop-chicago.org for the address, bitte!

Time: Sunday, 7/27   6-9PM

***This social is only open to current and former adult/sexy-biz/erotic industry workers. Including but not limited to phone-sex operators, strippers, pro-doms, subs, fetishists, web-cam guys & gals, adult film stars, escorts, streetworkers, sugar-babies…ya know.***


Teaser – August’s Last Sunday Social will be in the Loop!


“SAVE” Bill would Help Traffickers and Hurt Youth, Homeless and Other Vulnerable Groups – Take Action!

Senator Kirk (IL) and Senator Feinstein (CA) recently introduced a bill (S. 2536) to the federal senate which would change requirements for placing adult advertisements, as well as record-keeping requirements for adult advertising websites.
The bill, titled the “Kirk-Feinstein Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act”  can be found here. The bill would impact any individual who places an online ad for any adult service (fetish, stripping, body rub, escort, and adult film), as well as all websites that contain sections devoted to adult services, even those that do not charge for ad placement.

Summary of S. 2536

  • Requires individuals placing ads to submit a valid government ID and telephone number.
  • Requires all individuals placing ads, whether free or paid, to submit valid debit or credit card information.
  • Prohibits payment with pre-paid cards, money orders, cash, or bitcoin.
  • Requires ad websites to maintain records of advertisers’ identification, phone numbers and financial information for at least 7 years.
  • Requires ad websites to share records with the attorneys’ general without a warrant or subpoena.
  • Ad website owners and administrators that fail to comply with new requirements would be punished with between $250-300,000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison.saveact2
How the Bill Would Impact Our Communities
  • Increase the vulnerability of adult workers to traffickers and third parties, increase street-based sex work: Requiring debit or credit cards and government IDs will bar the most vulnerable populations involved in the adult industry from using the web to work, thus forcing them into higher-risk street-based sex work or into the hands of traffickers, pimps and third parties.save4
  • Increase government surveillance of adult workers: New record keeping requirements will effectively create a database of all individuals involved in the adult entertainment industry, and increase surveillance of our community.
  • Compound discrimination against sex workers by the financial sector and reduce economic well-being and stability of adult workers: The financial sector has an awful track record of freezing, seizing and closing bank accounts of individuals who place adult advertisements using cards. Forcing individuals to use credit and debit cards to place legal adult advertisements will make individuals who place ads even more susceptible to these forms of institutional exclusion and violence, and would significantly reduce the economic well-being and stability of sex workers.
  • Increase work costs for adult workers and reduce economic well-being and stability of adult workers: New record-keeping requirements for advertising websites will be expensive. It is unlikely these new costs would of ad websites; rather, it is very likely they would be passed on to adult workers who advertise on them.chasebank

Take Action!

SWOP-Chicago encourages community members and allies to take action:

SWOP-Chicago has drafted a sign-on letter, and we invite you to sign it as an individual or organization and share the link of facebook, twitter, or within your email lists.

Sign as an Individual

Sign as an Organization or Group

We will collect organizational and individual sign-ons until Thursday, July 24 at 10AM.

July 23: Evening with ‘The Honest Courtesan’ MAGGIE MCNEILL

Discussion & Book Reading with ‘The Honest Courtesan’ Maggie McNeill

7/23: 7-9PM


1700 S. Loomis – Pilsen

Maggie McNeill, the popular sex worker rights blogger, retired librarian and retired call girl behind “The Honest Courtesan” just published her first short stories collection.

Ranging from fantasy to reality and from comedy to horror, the 37 stories’ heroines are quite different but have one thing in common: membership in the world’s oldest profession.

McNeill will be joining SWOP-Chicago for an evening of discussion, book signings and readings… we’re psyched – you should be too!

Free & Open to the Public *** Free snacks & refreshments *** $5.00 from book sales will be donated to SWOP-Chicago *** Additional Times & Locations on Book Tour Website!

Summer with SWOP-Chicago: July and August Calendar!

Recurring Events:

Every Thursday, 6:30-8:00 pm – Street-Outreach

Sacramento and Madison

Come for coffee, snacks, resource-referrals and condoms. Email meg@swop-chicago.org if you’d like volunteer.

Second Wednesday of the Month, 7-9:00 pm – Monthly Organizing Meeting


 Email info@swop-chicago.org for address.

**NEW** Last Sunday of the Month, Evening –  Sex Worker Social Mixers

Rotating Locations

SWOP-Chicago will start offering monthly social mixers for current & former adult industry workers this July. This event is only open to current & former adult industry workers. To RSVP, please email meg@swop-chicago.org

July Events

July 11-13 [Fri-Sun] Tabling @ Exxxotica!


Donald E Stephens Convention Center – 9291 Bryn Mawr Ave – Rosemont, IL 

Convention Website

Going to the 2014 Exxxotica conference? Drop by our Table!

July 23 – 7-9PM [Wed] – Discussion & Book Reading with ‘The Honest Courtesan’ Maggie McNeil


1700 S. Loomis – Pilsen

Maggie McNeil Book Tour Website

Popular sex worker rights blogger Maggie McNeill  just published her first short stories collection. Ranging from fantasy to reality and from comedy to horror, the 37 stories’ heroines are quite different but have one thing in common: membership in the world’s oldest profession. McNeil will be joining SWOP-Chicago for an evening of discussion, book signings and readings… we’re psyched – you should be too!

Free snacks & refreshments *** $5.00 from book sales will be donated to SWOP-Chicago

Additional Times & Locations on Book Tour Website!

July 26-7 – Tabling & Presenting @ Fed Up Fest

Fed Up Fest

SWOP-Chicago Seminar: Sat, 7/26 – 2:40 – 4:00pm

Co-Prosperity Sphere – 3219-21 S Morgan – Chicago, IL

Festival Website

Join SWOP-Chicago at Fed Up Fest, a three day, all ages, DIY music and workshop festival showcasing and celebrating queer and transgender voices in punk communities. SWOP will be tabling and giving a seminar at the event… details about our seminar time to come!

July 27 – Evening – Sex Worker Sunday Social

Location – Bridgeport

SWOP-Chicago will start offering monthly social mixers for current & former adult industry workers this July. This event is only open to current & former adult industry workers. To RSVP, please email meg@swop-chicago.org

August Events

August 7 – 6-8:00pm – Lecture: Our Fashion Year – Unraveling the Threads Between the Garment and Sex Trades**

Image_Our Fashion Year_websiteGallery 400 – 400 South Peoria Street – Chicago, IL

Event Website

Our Fashion Year, an exploration of international women’s labor in words and pictures, unravels the threads that weave together fast fashion and human trafficking in a brilliant series of full-color, non-fiction comic strips. This presentation, by cultural critic and comics creator Anne Elizabeth Moore (the first in Chicago, following a worldwide Ladydrawers tour) will look at the process, form, and impact of the Ladydrawers’ work on labor, gender, and compensation through the full spate of Truthout strips from the last year.


August 23 – Afternoon – [Sat] Slutwalk

Daley Plaza

Slutwalk Website

August 23 – 8:00pm-2:00am [Sat] Propaganda: SWOP-Chicago’s Annual Benefit


Multikulti – 1000 N Milwaukee

Get Tickets Here!

SWOP-Chicago Calls all Comrades Fighting for Economic and Social Justice To Unite With Us Against PROPAGANDA! Join us for a raucous evening of live music, DJs & dancing, and burlesque & performance art. Our 2014 benefit will also feature appetizers, libations, a raffle, private dances, photo booth by Glitter Guts… & more!

August 31 – Evening – Sex Worker Sunday Social

Loop – Near Harold Washington/Harrison/Lasalle CTA Stations

SWOP-Chicago invites folks currently or previously involved in the adult entertainment industry & sex trade to join us for a social mixer.

 To RSVP, please email meg@swop-chicago.org

My Redbook, Criminalization & Community

On June 25, My Redbook, a west coast adult service review site and discussion forum, was seized in an IRS & FBI joint investigation of money laundering and promoting prostitution.

Like most review sites, My Redbook not only served adult service consumers — it also provided free advertising for sex workers, community for an isolated and marginalized population, and a tool for avoiding dangerous clients.


My Redbook served as an online business district for thousands of marginalized and isolated workers and a centralized location for welfare, anti-trafficking, and HIV-Prevention services to reach geographically dispersed and hidden target populations. The IRS & FBI action against My Redbook resulted in the sudden loss of a resource thousands of west coast sex workers use to help build community, screen clients, stay safe, and attain economic stability and well-being.

The recent criminal actions against My Redbook’s did nothing to provide alternative economic opportunities for adult workers outside of the sex trade, decrease demand for adult services, or attack the trafficking of labor into the adult industry; they did not help individuals trafficked into the sex trade or individuals desiring to leave it–they they simply eliminated a source of community, safety, security and stability for thousands of vulnerable individuals.

The arrest of My Redbook’s owners and the site’s sudden closure epitomize the disruptive, destabilizing and harmful impact of criminalization on the lives of individuals involved in the sex trade. So long as this industry is criminalized, any marketplaces, networks, and community spaces its’ members work to create are subject to criminal proceedings and can easily disappear overnight…(and even if they grow into durable, trusted community institutions, they will likely be demolished eventually).

The sex trade is not going anywhere; individuals will continue to be involved in the sex trade, and until criminal laws against the sex trade are uplifted, these individuals will face insecurity, instability, invisibility and extreme vulnerability, and be precluded basic human rights.


SWOP Gift Shop!


Been jonesing after our tees, buttons & ‘zines?

Happy to announce:

Now you can move from coveting to owning without leaving your desk…

Check out our new Online Gift Shop! 



**Please Help Us Spread the Word!**

We’d be incredibly grateful for your support in helping us spread the word about the gift shop!!! Share a link of Facebook or Twitter. Tell a Friend. “Follow” or “favorite” items on Etsy.

**We’d love to expand the Variety of our SWOP-Chicago Schwag!**

If there’s an item you think we should have [totes, pens, hats, bumber stickers], let us know!

Shoot an email to meg@swop-chicago.org

**We’d love to support and celebrate the crafty & artistic in our community!**

We’re eager to feature handmade work created by community members in our shop.

Professional or amateur ‘zine/print/jewlery-maker, button-presser, photographer or artist? Interested in creating or selling work to support SWOP-Chicago?

We’d love to promote and celebrate artists who donate works to SWOP-Chicago! We’d also love to partner with and support community artists and craftspersons interested in donating a portion of profits from select sales to our organization.

Shoot an email to meg@swop-chicago.org if you’re interested in partnering up!

 etsy shop




Know Your Rights! Workshop for Sex Workers- Saturday, May 17

SWOP-Chicago will be hosting a Know Your Rights legal workshop for sex workers and people in the sex trade on Saturday, May 17 at 2pm. Location is in Ukrainian Village neighborhood.

Please RSVP to info@swop-chicago.org or call (312) 252-3880 for location details.    Image

SWOP-Chicago Know Your Rights Workshop
Saturday, May 17, 2:00-4:00pm

Come learn, discuss, and get advice on legal issues impacting sex workers. The workshop will provide information about current  laws, including recent updates affecting sex workers; criminal records and how to clear them; dealing with the police, what to do (or not to do) if you’ve been arrested, and how to negotiate the court process. The workshop will be presented by both SWOP’s new attorney, who will soon be available to provide free legal services to the community, and members who can speak from personal experience about these issues. 

Presentation will include useful handouts and Q & A with attendees


Lam Nguyen Ho is the founder and executive director of the Community Activism Law Alliance, a new non-profit legal services organization bringing free legal services for underserved populations directly into their communities.  He is currently also a staff attorney at Equip for Equality, where he defends the civil rights of people with disabilities. Prior to Equip for Equality, he was a Staff Attorney & Skadden Fellow at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, where he created and staffed several community­-based law clinics providing holistic legal services to youth and their families in most areas of civil poverty law. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was President of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau—the oldest student-­run legal services organization in the country, founded ROAD, a community lawyering clinical program for low income women activists, was an editor for the Harvard Civil Rights ­Civil Liberties Law Review, and completed over 3000 hours of pro bono legal services. He holds additional graduate degrees from Brown University, where he also completed his undergraduate studies, and the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar and a recipient of the Beinecke Scholarship.