24th Sexual Freedom Awards Pre-Show Press Release
The Sexual Freedom Awards will for the 24th year shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes who make their livings through sexual services and stage shows, the campaigners and activists who support them and others in sexual expression. The Awards are a celebration of compassion, artistic talent and identity. However they do touch on the political.
At the moment there is an intense debate about sexual freedom. The Awards play their part by highlighting the rights of consenting adults to use their body for sexuality: safely, without violence, pain, stigma, shame, censorship or vilification from society. Whether able bodied or disabled or from any cultural background and from the spectrum of gender identity, the Awards acknowledge diversity. The people we are championing have strong morals and ethics that are more profound, when it comes to sexual freedom, expression and identity, than most. They do not want a society which is fearful of sexual harassment and sexual patriarchy.
About the ceremony
Kian de la Cour, a Certified Sexological Bodyworker, is Chair of the Judges. Also on the judges panel are: Stacey Clare (stripper, activist and writer), Professor Clare de Than (legal academic and Law Commisionner), Kim Loliya (somatic sex educator and editor), Seani Love (sex worker, teacher and activist) and Anita Kataraumbe (model and fashion designer). The various Award categories – from Activist to Sex Worker to Somatic Sex Educator – are judged by this expert panel.
Dan Glass, compère and Winner of Activist of the Year 2017, says of the Awards:
At a time when we see rising threats to civil liberties and sexual freedom in this political climate that emboldens bigotry, the Sexual Freedom Awards is nothing short of revolutionary and absolutely necessary. It is bursting full of life with pioneering, creative, daring, artistic, sex-positive and liberating people and social movements. It was an honour to receive the Activist of the Year award last year and be part of this fabulous community - I only wish the awards happened more than once a year.
This year we are commemorating the life of activist Laura Lee who tragically and suddenly died in February 2018. She was a tireless and much respected sex worker and campaigner for the rights of sex workers in the UK.
Friend and sex worker activist colleague Charlotte Rose and the Sex Workers Opera will perform a tribute at the Awards ceremony.
Laura Lee won Pioneer of the Year in 2015 for her outstanding contributions to debate around sex work, the media and legislation
A brief history of the Awards
The Sexual Freedom Awards were created in the early 90’s as the Erotic Oscars, were renamed the Erotic Awards and now known by the current name. The name changes reflect how societal attitudes have changed over time. The legendary campaigner Dr. Tuppy Owens, who founded the Awards, said they were originally held “to counter negativity about people who's work was erotic (including writers, artists, etc). Recently I wanted to award only those who do sex work, sexological bodywork and strippers as well as those who support these wonderful people.” These are the people she feels are still prejudiced against and vilified despite the positive contribution they give to society.
The Awards support and raise funds for The Outsiders Trust, a charity also founded by Dr Tuppy Owens. With this in mind everyone donates their time for free and have done so since the inception. A benefit is that the Awards remain uniquely independent to this day. Tuppy also awards a Volunteer of the Year award to recognise the continuing crucial role of the volunteers in the charity.
The Outsiders Trust has been a pioneer in the recognition of the emotional and sexual needs of disabled people since it was formed in 1979. Outsiders helps disabled people make friends, enjoy peer support and find partners via regular get-togethers and an online 'club house'.
The ceremony takes place from 7.30pm to 11pm (doors open 7pm) on Thursday 15th November at Hackney Showroom, Hackney Down Studios, Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT. Admission is strictly 18 and over only.
The venue is wheelchair accessible and disabled guests who may require assistance qualify for a 2 for 1 price so that a personal assistant can accompany them.
Contact the Awards team directly via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07900957393 for photos or further information.