Announcing the Finalists for the 23rd Sexual Freedom Awards!

 

 

The 23rd Sexual Freedom Awards – honouring practitioners, performers and activists who promote sexually positive attitudes – will be held in London, UK on Wednesday 29th November 2017.  These uniquely independent and inclusive international Awards – with their famous, hand-carved, 'flying cock' trophy – are presented in nine categories; Activist, Ally, Event, Pioneer, Publicist, Sexual Service Provider (formerly Sex Worker) and Somatic Sex Educator of the Year; plus Performer and Stripper of the Year which are chosen from the live acts taking place during the Awards ceremony itself.

A long-list for each Award category is compiled from nominations made during the previous year, then a short-list is selected by a panel of expert judges, who announce their choice of winners on the night. We salute all of the nominees. The finalists will remain featured here to reflect their outstanding contributions to the myriad worlds of sexual freedom and expression. Nominations for the 2018 Sexual Freedom Awards will be open soon after. The 2017 finalists may be viewed below.


Activist of the Year

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Basis Yorkshire

Basis Yorkshire works with sex workers who identify as women in Leeds. As a rights-based charity, our aim is for sex workers are able to access to services that address their safety, health and information needs in a non-judgemental way. Our evidence based approach enabled us to advocate for a change in approach to sex work by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police. This resulted in a much improved relationship between sex workers and the police; ultimately improving safety for sex workers in Leeds. Although this has come under intense scrutiny on numerous occasions, Basis has campaigned hard to ensure sexworkers and their safety remains at the heart of the approach to street and indoor sex work in Leeds. We continuously challenge inaccurate and stigmatising representation of sex workers in local and national media. We share sex worker voice in co-produced and other publications and through (social media) campaigns; we challenge stereotypes and highlight the diversity among sex workers, the stigma sex workers face, their opinion on policy and practice as well as their everyday thoughts. Through our training we share our evidence, experience and passion for improving services offered by other organisations, often not specialised in sex work.

For more info: https://basisyorkshire.org.uk/sex-work-project/ | @basissexwork


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Dan Glass  WINNER!

Dan Glass is a sex-positive, queer, healthcare and human rights activist. Dan founded the new Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) London chapter which has catalysed healthcare and sex-positive programmes, including PREP, HIV Blind Date, and protected the National Health Service as well as enabling HIV anti-stigma classes as part of the Beyond UKIP Cabaret in Nigel Farage's boozer.

2017 has been a landmark year as the 50th anniversary of the passing of the ‘Sexual Offences Act’. Along with countless of sex-positive movements Dan has made the most of this year to continue the journey for sexual freedom. With the East London Strippers Collective, he launched the year with Look Back in Pride to learn from our history. This led to Queer Tours of London - A Mince Through Time bringing forth the visibility of our incredible sexual revolutionary community, to harness our history for change today. Against the backdrop of the mass closure of LGBTQI, women's and sexually dissident cultural spaces and support services, he has successfully helped win back queer venues such as the legendary The Joiners Arms; called for a full apology not just a pardon for queers; paid tribute to the untold stories of those 'sexual deviants' of the 1930s; tore up the streets of London in drag on the Bang Bus - and so much more to commemorate the 50th anniversary.  www.queertoursoflondon.com / queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

 


 

Ally of the Year

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Amanda Gay Love  WINNER!

Amanda Gay Love is passionate about queers of all descriptions having great sex. Over the last 20 years she has been fairly obsessed with LGBT issues and queer sexualities. Amanda has extensive training in relationship therapy, women’s sexuality, queer theory, tantra, and BDSM practices. She creates Queer Hearted spaces so that people can explore and expand their sensual, sexual and spiritual potential. Ultimately she is all about pleasure and ensuring that people have a myriad of ways to get it.

She has been leading ritual and co-hosting The Radical Queer Love Rites since 2010. This space is a nourishing dose of sex chaos; where tantra meets BDSM, genderfuckery & elemental paganism, all bundled together with loving bliss. The Radical Queer Love Rite was founded to create a trans-centric sex and kink space and follows the principles of intersectional inclusivity. Recently Amanda produced and co-facilitated “Fuck Gender: a Queer Sex Workshop” (by H Howitt) , an event that explores the space between and beyond gender and sexuality with the aim of creating new and SAFE paradigms for marginalised bodies and the people that inhabit them, love them and fuck them.

Amanda is the UK producer for queer legend Barbara Carellas (Winner of a Sexual Freedom Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016) and gender outlaw Kate Bornstein (Winner of Writer of the Year in 2011), ensuring they have the support they need to offer their wisdom and genius here. She also holds love rituals for queer couples, coaching, support and supervision for sex workers and body workers. Find her at QueerHearted.com


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Emily Turner

Emily is an outreach worker at Basis Yorkshire. Over 5 years she has befriended, advocated for, and defended the rights of over 500 sex workers across Leeds including some of the most marginalised. When struggling to engage with migrant sex workers, she learnt to speak Romanian. She built a close relationship with a street sex worker who then asked her to be her birthing partner. She was out doing street outreach 24 hours after the murder of Polish sex worker Daria Pionko, 2 days before Christmas.

Emily is not afraid to challenge the police (for inappropriately inviting the media to film a trafficking operation) or the BBC (for putting the pioneering Leeds 'managed approach' and the women that work there at risk).

Emily has a passion for finding ways to get sex worker voices heard. She instigated the booklets, 'No Longer Invisible' & 'Our Voices' including the #sexworkersays twitter thread, where she collects funny and poignant sex worker quotes, aimed at challenging stigma and encouraging kindness and compassion towards sex workers. Emily has appeared on radio and TV, campaigning for the decriminalisation of sex work, including the Vic Derbyshire Show and BBC Radio Leeds.

Lately, Emily has developed an innovative sexual health partnership service, bringing screenings, treatment, and contraception to hundreds of sex workers in saunas and brothels, who were not previously accessing testing. You'll often find her with a nurse, putting in an implant on a brothel sofa, or hiding behind the kitchen door of an apartment, with her trademark purple suitcase of condoms, as a punter leaves unaware.


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Maggie O’Neill

Maggie O’Neill is Professor in Sociology/Criminology at York University, she co-founded the sex work research hub with Rosie Campbell (and co-chairs the network with Rosie & Teela Sanders), is a founder member of the Sex Work Forum North East and a former director of the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities at Durham University.  Maggie has worked as an ally and in collaboration with sex workers through participatory action research and participatory arts methods for 30 years.  Maggie founded the first multi-agency forum in Nottingham in 1990 that had sex workers as full and equal partners.  A committed advocate of de-criminalisation, she is currently a collaborator on the East London Project that examines how removing police enforcement practices against sex work could affect sex workers’ safety, health and access to services in East London.

She recently conducted a series of walks in Vancouver, London, Liverpool and Manchester documenting the lives and experience of current and former sex workers and spaces and places of sex work Click here to view She has taught a module on sex work at four Universities over the last 23 years and has published widely on sex work, moral censure and the importance of participatory action research working in collaboration to address sexual and social inequalities and achieve social change.


 

Event of the Year

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The London Porn Film Festival  WINNER!

The London Porn Film Festival is an annual festival celebrating queer, feminist, radical and experimental porn from around the world, most of it in London for the first time. 2017 was its inaugural year, held over three days at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury, and showing over thirty films from ten different countries.

The festival values porn as an art form that is able to question and challenge the power structures that limit sexual expression. Radical queer porn has not settled as an art form – it straddles the borders of visual art, performance art, erotica, political activism and many other genres – making it a unique vehicle for presenting new and radical ideas of sexuality. Beyond that, it can influence and reshape our notions of politics and society. London Porn Film Festival exists as a place to re-learn our notion of porn; to explore, reimagine, embrace and reconsider the boundaries of filmmaking itself – where sex and filmmaking meet without borders.

The next festival will be held on 11-15 April 2018, building towards becoming a supporting hub for the whole radical porn-making community in London, to inspire, make networking happen, pose questions and create an exchange of ideas. londonpff.com / @LdnPFF


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Quintasensual Festival

Sex is not always binary – to many there are many variations and combinations – Quintasensual grew from hearing the huge desire from many people to acknowledge and create a space where gender queer; where questioning, where allowing people to BE was forefront. In just four years, Quintasensual has become THE place for exploring sexuality, tantra and spirituality away from the old regime of the binary. With no “gender balance” regime, with our amazing sacred sluts, with an open and welcoming environment for those progressing past the old paradigm – Quintasensual is the future of sexuality…   quintasensual.org


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Summer Of Eros at Valle De Sensaciones

'Summer of Eros' was the prototype and starting point of the 'Eros Lab', a Laboratory of Love, Sexuality and Communal living, which after the amazing feedback is now turning into an ongoing activity. It was and still is taking place in the Ecovillage Laboratory 'Valle de Sensaciones', in southern Spain.

Valle de Sensaciones offers a little paradise, clothing optional and sex-positive, where tree houses, caves, artistic clay constructions, open air love spaces, natural pools, clay bath and a fire heated hot tub invite to step into sensual contact to nature, to all beings around and to one self.  On weekends specific workshops inject new inspirations and learnings into the field, while during the week the community can follow a free flow of individual initiatives and the authentic dynamic between the present circle. This way we offer a real live community experience, where participants of all backgrounds, polyamory, monogamy, tantra, sacred sexuality, kinky, gay, queer,... can step in for flexible extension of time. sensaciones.de


 

Performer of the Year

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Ant Smith

I am a man with a small dick, and that should make me a delight not a scourge. The poem about my own penis size anxiety and ultimate acceptance (Shorty) went viral in 2015. Just by daring to tell an intimate, personal, truth I accidentally connected with millions of people around the globe. I am not a campaigner, I never planned a campaign, but it turns out that a truth once told must be told again and again, for else a truth repressed will become a lie. It became incredibly important to me to prove that all bodies are beautiful, are lovable, by refusing to turn away from my own vulnerability: that I am a man with a small dick - but yet I am loveable, and I am loved.

I have taken this story to the frontline, to the dens of iniquity and the heartlands of masculinity by standing up in the pubs and clubs of London and England to say 'we are all of us afraid, we are all of us equalled by our fears - whatever they may be'. The truth it is, a hard master, but it is harder still if you do not serve it. So it has been with a stoic pride that this year I have taken all of these experiences to write and publish The Small Penis Bible, to take to the mainstream the impossible idea that - we are all of us deeply, deeply desirable.


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Ellie Mason  WINNER!

Ellie Mason is multi-talented performer and writer who identifies as having a learning disability and a physical disability. She draws on her own life experiences to create powerful, challenging work.

She has also been working for theatre company Spare Tyre as an artist for the last 12 years and has toured and devised many of their shows. Her work for radio A Gameshow with a Twist, was created in partnership with BBC Radio Drama. She tours her performances pieces across London for both learning disabled and non-disabled audiences at venues including New Diorama, the Roundhouse and the Albany.

Her most recent collaboration, Nights at the Circus (Fauve Alice and Spare Tyre), explores her relationship to sexuality. Through this piece of work Ellie has been breaking taboos on the relationship between disability and sex, finding ways to provoke the audience, questioning their own voyeurism and how they view her. In particular this piece also looks at masturbation, and also relationships between people with learning disabilities.

Her most recent collaboration, Nights at the Circus (Fauve Alice and Spare Tyre), explores her relationship to sexuality. Through this piece of work Ellie has been breaking taboos on the relationship between disability and sex, finding ways to provoke the audience, questioning their own voyeurism and how they view her. In particular this piece also looks at masturbation, and also relationships between people with learning disabilities.


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Nicole Henriksen

Award-nominated performer, writer, and producer, Nicole Henriksen, is a force to be reckoned with. A storyteller, theatre-maker, stripper, and performance artist, Henriksen continues to carve out a space for herself as an artist who is provocative, yet genuine and heartfelt.

Since 2012, Henriksen has crafted solo shows, which have toured all over Australia and UK, garnering award nominations, five star reviews, sold out shows, and standing ovations.

In addition to writing, directing, performing, and producing these solo works, Henriksen has also branched out into performance art burlesque, taking an often messy, and always tongue-in-cheek approach to sexuality and titillation within these performances.

Whether Nicole is bearing her soul in a theatre show, or baring her bum to a pop rock song, she's a charismatic, ever-watchable, and enigmatic concept who claims the stage, crafts a unique moment, and invites the audience along for the journey.


Photograph by Simon Yin

Paisley X

Being born in the wilderness near the Zimbabwe ruins in Africa, I am always aware of how unlikely it has been to become an international erotic performance artist and nude model. More than the geographical odds against me however – I have also had to overcome insurmountable emotional and psychological odds, due to having been a battered woman most of my life.

My recovery and career in erotic art began from my first artist modelling session 14 years ago. Though I was covered in bruises at the time, the artists still made me feel beautiful – a feeling I had never felt before. I felt that by shedding my clothes – I was able to shed my shame and I never looked back!

My journey in erotica has led me to conclude that the level to which one can experience deep passion of the body; corresponds directly to the level one can attain deep compassion of the spirit.

I believe that, paradoxically, true sexuality transcends the physical form; and sexual liberation is more dependent on the state of our souls rather than on our physical forms.

To me the Sexual Freedom Awards encapsulates all the above, and it is due to this I remain one of it's greatest advocates.   www.paisleyx.org


 

Pioneer of the Year

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The Cocoa Butter Club  WINNER!

The Cocoa Butter Club showcases and celebrates performers of colour within cabaret. With monthly showcases in Camden Town, the initiative welcomes new performers as well as established professionals to its stages. The mission of the Cocoa butter Club is to moisturise a thirsty performance scene with representations of 'The Other' in everything from neo-burlesque and poetry to drag, live music and voguing.

In its first year, The Cocoa Butter Club has appeared on the stages of UK Black Pride, Vaults Festival Waterloo, Jackson's Lane Theatre and has been invited to Roundhouse, Friday 24th November.  Featured on BBC THREE’s Queer Britain: Preference or Prejudice, The Cocoa Butter Club is a creative clap-back to cultural appropriation and black-facing in cabaret- allowing bodies of colour to reclaim their narrative in performance.

The Cocoa Butter Club was founded and curated by Sadie Sinner who has been described as a creative force, a velvet-toned songbird or powerhouse of a host, 'a bad girl with a good voice and a lot of loving to give…' Sadie practices activism in cabaret, addressing under-representation of QTIPOC and BAME bodies.


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Dominic Davies

Dominic Davies has been a pioneer in the field of sexuality for over 35 years as a psychotherapist and sexologist.  In the late 80's he trained 'buddies' to support people with HIV/AIDS across Merseyside & Manchester and ran Eroticising Safer Sex workshops in pubs in Liverpool.  

Dominic was the co-editor a trilogy British textbooks in working with LGBT people (in 1996 and 2000). In 1996 he also co-authored a book on the sexual experiences of people with disabilities. In 1999 he founded Pink Therapy whose Directory of Pink Therapists is the go-to resource for finding non-pathologising sex-positive therapists around the UK.  

The training courses he has conceived and promoted have changed the face of British therapy for queer people and those with diverse lifestyles and relationships (asexual, kinky and poly folk). In March next year, the 6th Annual International Pink Therapy Conference is called: Sex Works! Exploring the Intersection of Sex Work and Mental Health Professionals aimed at improving mental health support available for people who sell sex and helping talk-therapists know more about the ethical practice of various kinds of sexological bodywork. dominic@pinktherapy.com


 

Publicist of the Year

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Alix Fox  JOINT WINNER!

Alix Fox is a journalist/broadcaster/sex educator who presents The Guardian’s groundbreaking sex & relationships documentary podcast, Close Encounters (Podcast of the Year 2017: Silver, ARIAs), widely praised for discussing ‘taboo’ topics such as vaginismus, asexuality, penis size worry, polyamory and sex following paralysis with realism, sensitivity and nuance on a mainstream platform.

She’s also resident X-rated agony aunt on The Modern Mann (Podcast of the Year 2016: Silver, ARIAs), answering queries from the mild to the wild in an entertaining yet progressively educational manner, and guests on BBC Radio 1, where she’s brought in to consult on topics such as understanding fetishes and how individuals can be empowered to enjoy intimacy again after assault.

Foxy works as a Sex & Relationships Expert for Durex, engaging the public in safer sex campaigns (and fighting hard behind the scenes to get big pharma to improve their LGBTQ+ representation and cater better to differing sexualities and bodies); is a proud volunteer Ambassador for Brook, the young people’s sexual health charity; and is a spokesperson for Superdrug (who led the way in reducing morning-after pill prices this year) and Japanese adult firm TENGA, grafting to de-stigmatize the use of male masturbation toys and help develop pleasure aids for guys with impaired mobility.

The Family Planning Association nominated her for their Rosemary Goodchild Award for excellence in sexual health journalism this month, and she is also shortlisted in the Women Of The Future awards in the Media category, where judges noted her “compassion and non-judgmental attitude”.

A former editor of alternative culture magazine Bizarre for many years, her writing and video work can be found in The Guardian, Stylist, Marie Claire, Grazia, Glamour, Fabulous, Cosmo, Vogue, Time Out and more. See her Ted Talk here.


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Dr Kate Lister  JOINT WINNER!

Dr Kate Lister is a historian, author, lecturer, and intellectually slutty. She spends most of her time peeping up the skirts of history and posting what she finds to 105,000 followers on Twitter and to the online research project, Whores of Yore.  

Kate is the sole curator of Whores of Yore, a public engagement project that works to make research on sexuality and the history of sex work freely accessible. Whores of Yore features Kate’s research as well as articles from academics, sex workers, activists, artists, therapists and historians, in order to break down hierarchies and join up conversations around sexuality. 

Kate’s book, A Curious History of Sex, is being published next year with the Crowdfunded publisher, Unbound. The project has raised over £20,000 in one month and Kate is splitting the profits with Basis Sex Work Project in Leeds, an organisation that supports people across the sex industry.  

Kate is also a columnist for inews where she writes about the history of sex, covering such diverse subjects as medieval impotence tests and the forgotten custom of baking bread with your genitals. As well as her university work, Kate regularly gives talks on the history of sex at events such as the Secret Garden Party, Eroticon, Sexpression, the Edinburgh Fringe festival and the Cheltenham Literature Festival. https://twitter.com/WhoresofYore


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Mukee Okan

As we go to press, Mukee is in hospital palliative care before her crossing over.  Mukee is a publisher of the picture books depicting genital types Masculine Power and Feminine Beauty, an artist and a film-maker, most recently the creator of The Pussy Talks™. Mukee is also a certified Surrogate Partner in the western medical model of sexual healing and a Quodoushka Spiritual Sexuality teacher. She has been called "Your Orgasm's Best Friend".

Since 1992 Mukee has led educational programs around the world and guided thousands of couples and individuals from all walks of life - men, women, rabbis, executives, professional athletes, parents, retirees, and people with disabilities - in experiencing richer, more pleasurable lives in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

She can be seen as the sexuality educator in The Vagina Diaries, a documentary made for the Australian Broadcasting Commission investigating why so many women, especially young women, undergo cosmetic labiaplasty in Australia.

Mukee says “When a woman has educated and developed herself it makes a difference in the development of her whole community. Imagine a library. If you went to check out a book out on geography, there would be a whole section on that topic of education. There should be a whole section on genital anatomy. The Pussy Talks is ongoing multi-media education. The Cock Tales currently in production is also part of my work. This is just the beginning".  sexandthedivinedesign.com


Sexual Service Provider of the Year

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Matt-at-Lotus  JOINT WINNER!

Matt-at-Lotus is an escort in his retirement year after 24 years in the sex industry working mainly in Manchester, where he is very proud to be one of the most experienced in the business.

Matt’s sex work involves sexual massage and BDSM plus traditional escort services including the BFE (the Boyfriend Experience), dinner dates and partner practice. He has always been inclusive in his work and has a particular skill at working with people with bodies of difference (his preferred term for people with disabilities] and people with mild to moderate learning challenges.

He is passionate that sex work is a profession in its own right and believes that main-streaming sex work as it is - without needing to dress it up with fancy titles - is the way forward in challenging stigma and discrimination. He puts these beliefs into action through his work in various sex worker lead community initiatives, media engagement and participatory research.

Matt considers himself to be a heart-centered sex worker and believes that sexual services provide a safe space for clients to explore their emotional and physical needs. He feels that sex workers are informal therapists and sex coaches and that this needs to be valued in the wider context.  www.sex-worker.co.uk  & on Twitter


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Rosie Enorah Heart  JOINT WINNER!

Rosie Enorah Heart is a globetrotting sex worker and sex educator. She has worked as an escort, brothel worker, cam girl, and now runs her own business as a queer kinky tantrika. She specialises in journeying with her clients into their most secret fantasies, allowing them to integrate these beautiful shadow parts of themselves. Touch, breath, sensuality and sexuality are her most powerful tools for getting people back in touch with their body and the deliciousness it is capable of.

In her workshops Rosie teaches a wide variety of people how to touch others from an embodied and empowered place. Some of the workshops emphasise BDSM and shadow tantra; others are about (rec)onnecting with the archetypal slut and reclaiming the sexual empowerment that goes with it. But all of them have deep learning about consent and boundaries at their very core.

After teaching conscious kink workshops to all genders for a number of years, Rosie has also developed a women's edition of this workshop. This creates a magically safe space in which all people who identify as women can explore their kinks and desires.

Rosie also blogs on sexuality and sex work politics, combining her personal stories with a deeply political message about destigmatisation and decriminalisation of sex work. She dreams of a world where sex workers are respected for the amazing work they do, and sex, consent and desires are topics that can be freely discussed.  www.rosieheart.com 


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Sophie Mistress Saffron

Sophie is a lifestyle kinkster who has run the most popular monthly munch in Oxford for over 2 years.

She says "I love being as actively involved in the community as possible, and have been asked to teach workshops in advanced needle-play and fisting at Kinkfest this year. I have been invited to continue annually holding these, and have an ongoing and vested love for regularly attending events and workshops throughout the South of England".

She has recently begun ProDomming near Milton Keynes and plans on building her business while simultaneously providing free services and guidance to her local community.  mistress-saffron.com

 


Somatic Sexologist of the Year

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Meredith Reynolds

Meredith Reynolds’ vision is of a world abundant with joyful and restorative sexual expression. Meredith is a passionate and eloquent educator, teaching the power of pleasure and body awareness to transform our lived experience, and supporting people to recognise and honour their boundaries – and to celebrate them too as enablers of connection and generosity.

Meredith trained as a Certified Sexological Bodyworker (CSB) in the first UK-based training in 2014. Meredith has also trained with Dr. Betty Martin in depth on the Wheel of Consent; with Ellen Heed (Pioneer of the Year 2016 ) and Kimberly Ann Johnson on scar tissue remediation; with Deej Juventin (Somatic Sex Educator of the Year 2016) in embodied counselling; and with Caffyn Jesse and Katie Sarra on trauma-informed practice.

As a somatic sex educator, Meredith’s particular areas of interest and expertise are: the self-limiting effects of shame, the role of consent competency in sexual empowerment, and working with gender diversity. Meredith is also active in the CSB community, contributing to work on ethics and volunteering as creator and coordinator of the UK CSB peer learning and networking event (CSB PLAN). In support of efforts to increase understanding between the helping professions, Meredith will be presenting on somatic sex education at the 2018 Pink Therapy Conference for psychotherapists.

A written piece by Meredith titled ‘Developing Greater Capacity for Pleasure through Somatic Sex Education’ appears in the recently published anthology Healers on the Edge. Read more at www.meredith-reynolds.com


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Ruby May  WINNER!

Ruby May is a truth-seeking, earth-loving, edge-dwelling creative visionary and facilitator, for whom sexuality is a major gateway into growth and healing on both personal and collective levels and at the forefront of her activism. Nowhere else are we confronted with such core-touching topics: our relationship to shame, to pleasure, our connection to our bodies and who we are beyond them, our ability to communicate and show ourselves transparently, the topics of gender, power, and the reconciliation between men and women.

She brings over a decade of personal self-enquiry, research and experience working internationally as a sacred intimate, sexological bodyworker, Tantric domina and workshop facilitator. Since 2012 she has been co-facilitating Authentic Eros, an annual training for people of all genders and sexual orientations to explore the topics of sexuality, authentic relating and body literacy. Her sold-out workshop series In Love & Service, an enquiry into female erotic leadership and male service toured seven different countries in the Northern and Southern hemispheres last year and sparked her subsequent research into the womb and menstrual cycle as an enquiry into female empowerment and expression.

At the source of her motivation lies the creation of a new vision of power for a new world: the power of owning our shadows and all that we are, of having the courage to express ourselves transparently and authentically, of opening ourselves more and more to life: embracing the beauty and the pain, the chaos and all the magic. In this vision of power being connected to our most human, vulnerable selves, it is no longer something that separates us, but something that unites us, so that we can collaborate towards the creation of beauty and being in service to life. Ruby lives between Berlin and Portugal.


Stripper of the Year

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Hermes Glitz

True to the spirit of Moulin Rouge and Folies-Bergeres cabaret, Paris-born Anselme Glitz is a shining light of glamorous entertainment. Stage dancer, model and fierce stripper, he started his career as a life model, full body painting and performing as walkabout male entertainer. Quickly his passion for dancing took lead and he merged full body paint, edgy walkabout performances and boylesque into a glittery explosion of gold and passionate striptease.

He joined the East London Strippers Collective 2 years ago, performing at their unique shows in their London venues.

Trained by international dancers, he has performed at multiple UK festivals and London venues such as Ministry of Sound and the Coronet. Working alongside contemporary dance groups, his style is diverse and attractive, taking his audience into a journey full of sparkles, beauty and dance.


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Tequila Rose  WINNER!

Tequila Rose is a stripper, pole dancer, party girl, pole dance instructor and quite possibly the only albino stripper in the world.

She started her stripping career in the legendary, fantastically grim and much loved Flying Scotsman (RIP), and has done everything from writhing around on a filthy stage for a couple of quid, whilst being watched by some of London’s roughest punters to performing internationally for fetish clubs, cabaret shows, festivals, award ceremonies and private parties. As well as performing in a wide variety of UK strip clubs, she’s usually most at home slinking, splitting, and spinning round the poles in Sunset Strip, Soho. Her love and passion for pole dance, performing and sexual empowerment has always been the driving force behind her work, whether it’s stripping or teaching pole and exotic dance.

"Life is short, you have to have fun, take risks, keep trying, enjoy the ride, failure is an essential part of success, be true to yourself, respect others and remember you can’t take your money with you when you die so come and spend it with me."


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Tuesday Laveau

Tuesday Laveau is a Burlesque & Exotic Dancer and Renegade Stripper with 12 years experience performing in cities as diverse as London, Austin, New York, Little Rock, Atlanta and New Orleans.

She is the co-founder of the South West Burlesque Collective and the creator of CoochieCrunch, which is both Bristol’s Badass Burlesque Show and a website dedicated to all things Burlesque.

She also produces Bristol Burlesque Festival, a fiercely Queer, sex positive, showcase of diverse bodies from around the world. 

 


Volunteer of the Year Outsiders Award

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Val Clarke

Val Clarke has jumped into her role as producer of the Sexual Freedom Ball  with much grace and gusto. She has helped raise money for the Outsiders Trust by being incredibly generous with her time and energy. She is always ready to help out, even stepping in at the last minute to help out at the Awards. Well done & thank you, Val.


 

Lifetime Achievement Awards

These are discretionary awards given by the Judging Panel for long-standing dedication to sexual freedom, exploration and expression.


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JOHN CONSTABLE aka John Crow

John Constable is a playwright, poet and performer. His plays include Tulip Futures, the stage adaptation of Gormenghast, and his solo shows I Was An Alien Sex God and Spare. He is widely known as John Crow, the urban shaman who raised the spirit of 'The Goose', a medieval sex worker, at Crossbones, south London's outcasts' graveyard. This 'Goose Vision' inspired his best-known work, The Southwark Mysteries, which was performed in Shakespeare's Globe and Southwark Cathedral.

John founded the Friends of Crossbones in 1996 to raise awareness of Crossbones' historical, cultural and spiritual significance. In his John Crow persona he conducts The Halloween of Cross Bones and the vigils which are held at Crossbones gates on the 23rd of every month and have been since 2004. With his partner Katy, he curates a shrine at the gates and has established a community Garden of Remembrance there for sex workers and outsiders which since 2015 has been maintained in collaboration with Bankside Open Spaces Trust. For many years, John has campaigned for the human rights of sex workers, and was awarded Campaigner of the Year at the 2011 Erotic Awards. His Sha-Manic Plays, The Southwark Mysteries and Gormenghast are published by Oberon Books. His poetry is published in Spark In The Dark (Thin Man Books) and the Urban Shamanism anthology (Outsider Poets). His songs appear on several Hawklords albums. Website: www.crossbones.org.uk


Previous Lifetime Acheivement awardees have included:

Derek Jarman – Anthony Grey (leading English lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights activist) – Deborah Ryder (writer of erotic fiction representing female masochism) – Kathy Acker (author) – Berth Milton (photographer & founder of Private in 1965) – Charles Gatewood (photographer) – Betty Dodson (author, artist & educator) – William Levy (founder of Suck & International Times) – Irena Ionesco (photographer) – Derek Cohen (founder of SM Gays in 1981) – Jo King (founder of the London School of Stripping) – Sir Guy of The Tawsingham Community and The Other Pony Club – William Margold (porn actor, director and activist) – Dian Hanson (publisher) – Dolores French (author of Working: My Life as a Prostitute) – Empress Stah (Aerial Artist, Cabaret Theatre Performer, Show Producer) – Barbara Carrellas (author of the the world’s first LGBTQ and kink inclusive Tantric sex book, Urban Tantra) – Joseph Kramer (pioneering founder of The Body Electric School, EroSpirit & Sexological Bodywork) – Kenneth Ray Stubbs (quadriplegic sexual shaman & originator of modern tantric massage).