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CHOCO
Nov 15th, 2002, 04:19 PM
Porn Stars Flock to Tucson Sex Fest
Tucson Festival That Aims to Destigmatize Sex Industry, Draws Cheers, Criticism


TUCSON, Ariz. Nov. 15 — Dancers, porn stars and gigolos were here for a festival aimed at destigmatizing the sex industry and removing some of the shame associated with those who work in it.

"It's educational, community-building, an attempt to take the silence away. Sex workers are marginalized. This is about unheard voices," said Juliana Piccillo, co-director of the 2002 Sex Worker Arts Festival, which started Thursday and continues through Sunday at various locations.

Besides applause, the festival, which includes documentary films about the sex worker industry, poetry, dance, photography and music, is drawing criticism.

At issue is a $2,700 grant from the Tucson/Pima Arts Council that the festival is using, plus the fact that two festival sessions take place on University of Arizona property.

"Universities make judgments on what to discuss everyday it's called curriculum; this trash has no place in one of our state's universities," said House Speaker Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix, in a prepared statement.

Sen. Dean Martin, R-Phoenix, said the fact that the festival was being held at the university was a problem for lawmakers who are having to explain budget cuts to constituents.

"I'm concerned about taxpayer resources going for it," Martin said Thursday during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in Phoenix. "They're using facilities and facilities cost money."

Martin added: "It really puts us legislators in a bind. It's not that these things can't happen. It's just why do they have to happen on campus."

The event isn't just drawing negative attention from Arizonans.

The national Cybercast News Service published a story Thursday on the Internet titled "University hosts sex festival activities." Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" debated the use of tax dollars for the event Thursday night.

UA spokeswoman Sharon Kha heard plenty of public concern about the event. But the university is not a sponsor, and it does not censor what people say on its property, she said.

"There is no basis for us to prevent dialogue from occurring," she said.

An event at the UA that took place Thursday was titled "Sex Slaves: The Truth About Trafficking." The forum included as speakers social worker and former exotic dancer Dawn Passar, and global sex-work activist Carol Leigh, who has worked as a prostitute, artist and activist in the San Francisco area for 20 years.

A citizens panel of the Tucson/Pima Arts Council on May 13 approved giving the sex festival $2,700 in grant money. The money comes from a blend of public and private funding, according to Wanda Poindexter, who is the public relations and marketing director for the local arts council. None of the citizen panel members could be reached for comment Thursday.

Kym Cutter, a Tucson poet who helped organize the event, said that although not all the sessions involve art, the event as a whole does precisely what art is intended to do: challenge.

"Anytime sex deviates from the norm it makes people uncomfortable. I can't think of anything in society that's judged more harshly," she said. "Art challenges and it is all about free expression."

Helen Lawson
Nov 15th, 2002, 05:36 PM
Do you think the chick from "Family Matters" will attend?

BritneySpearsIsHot
Nov 15th, 2002, 05:40 PM
It's only looked at as shameful because people are so uptight

niratti
Nov 15th, 2002, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Helen Lawson
Do you think the chick from "Family Matters" will attend?

LOL. :D <---big grin

Helen Lawson
Nov 15th, 2002, 06:11 PM
"Crave" was her XXX name. Someone in the Tuscon area needs to attend to see if "Crave" is in attendance.

CHOCO
Nov 15th, 2002, 09:10 PM
or perhaps the girl from Different Strokes...oh wait...she died.

kournikovafan13
Nov 15th, 2002, 09:12 PM
lol yes, I saw this on the news this morning...maybe I should go :P

Kiwi_Boy
Nov 15th, 2002, 09:56 PM
LMAO @ "sex fest"......sounds fun!!!! :D :D

CHOCO
Nov 15th, 2002, 10:00 PM
If there are porn stars, I will definitely make a trip there. ;)

King Satan
Nov 15th, 2002, 10:06 PM
Well, I live in the Capital of the porn industry, I'm so lucky :D

I just wanted to say that lol

G-Ha
Nov 15th, 2002, 10:18 PM
And I live in the capital of the gay porn industry...I'm so lucky!

CHOCO
Nov 16th, 2002, 03:27 AM
And I thought that Arizona was sooo consevative.

King Aaron
Nov 16th, 2002, 01:34 PM
:o

Car Key Boi
Nov 16th, 2002, 01:38 PM
Porn, for lack of a better word, is good.

Porn is right. Porn works.

Porn clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Porn, in all of its forms - porn for life, for money, for love, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind.

And Porn, you mark my words, will not only save Wtaworld.com, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.

Thank you very much.

Car Key Boi :cool:

Aloysius
Nov 16th, 2002, 01:44 PM
I saw a documentary on one of these sex fests once. The female porn stars would pull down their tops at the drop of a hat, and the male porn stars would whip theirs out on a whim. It was weird, to say the least, because you don't normally see people so casually showing off their "bits" like that. Imagine walking through one of these festivals and having men and women expose themselves for your titillation.