Mission and History

See Intersectional Mission

The San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film & Arts Festival has provided a forum for sex worker film and video makers since 1999. The Festival has since expanded to become a vibrant venue for performances, workshops, visual arts, political organizing, skills sharing and ever expanding events for sex workers from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and from around the world. We proudly support our Bay Area communities as we welcome sex workers, friends, families and allies, showcasing the work of sex worker artists.
The Sex Worker Festival recognizes and honors prostitutes, dancers, porn performers and other sex workers from diverse communities, who have been dynamic and integral members of arts communities since time immemorial.

Each Festival season presents a full program of events including long running favorites such as 'Whores Bath' and 'the Institute of Sexworkology,' as well as political panels on a range of issues such as the impact of anti-trafficking policies. We also organize politcal actions and and opportunities for sex workers to interface with local government. The Festival also features spoken word events and theatrical events. We have presented workshops on a range of topics including intersectionality and theatrical peformance workshops. We partner with local organizations from the St. James Infirmary, SWAG, Red Light Legal, Sins Invalid and many more to produce events and screenings.

The San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival focuses on Bay Area sex workers and their communities, and supports sex worker artists and producers from the Bay Area. Our primary audience includes local communities, as well as a broad public audience within the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Sex Worker Festival shares our work on a national and international basis through an online movie archive, assistance curating festivals around the world and through distribution of literature about sex worker arts.

Visit this link for more about the 2015 Festival

Intersectional Mission

We are anti race, class, gender, age, ability, size and sexual identity oppression. We strive to increase the involvement of politically underrepresented sex worker communities such as trans folk, workers of color, street-based workers, and workers who transcend the racist, sexist, heterosexist, white-supremacist norms and standards of mainstream beauty.

We push the margins of the movement into the center, working to shift paradigms in joint struggle, we strive to cultivate leadership of sex workers that are marginalized within the sex workers movements. We highlight the artistic endeavors of workers in all aspects of the sex industry because whore culture is real, present and on a corner, in a bar, in a hotel or in a bedroom community near YOU.


We are extremely grateful to those who donate to our festival, even small amounts, just to know that you support us! Donate here!

Festival Director and Producers

Working group: Festival Director: Erica Elena; Producers: Erica Elena, Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot & Laure McElroy; Film Curator: Laure McElroy; Event Producers: Sex Worker Speakers Bureau
Event and Perfomance Curators: Gina Gold and TMI, Erica Elena, Kalash Ka, Sangria Red

Community Support

Sex Worker Community Group Supporters: St. James Infirmary, Desiree Alliance, SWAG, ISWFACE, BAYSWAN, Red Light Legal and SWOP-USA/SWOP Bay Area

The Sex Worker Festival is proud to include sponsors the East Bay Express; the San Francisco Bay Times (www.sfbaytimes.com); the National Queer Arts Festival (www.queerculturalcenter.org), the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival; the Center for Sex & Culture (www.sexandculture.org); Rainbow Grocery Cooperative (rainbow.coop); Media Alliance (www.media-alliance.org); Sex Worker Media Library (www.sexworkermedialibrary.org); International Sex Worker Foundation for Art Culture and Education (www.iswface.org), Sex Worker Outreach Project (swopbay.org); Desiree Alliance (desireealliance.org); the St. James Infirmary (stjamesinfirmary.or); SWAG;the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc.(http://www.thesisters.org), Red Light Legal and more. Community business sponsors including Rentboy (rentboy.com), Slixa (slixa.com), Cuties Tools (cuties-tools.com), Good Vibrations (goodvibes.com), Bondassage (Bondassage.com), Radical Being Bodywork (debmalkin.massagetherapy.com) and many more coming soon!