Review of Red Light Radio from Adelaide
Red Light Radio: Prostitutes On Air
Red Light Radio, 5UV (531 AM), Monday nights 10 to 11 pm.
Produced by PJ Rose and the Red Light Collective
Red Light Radio: Follow-Up
SIN: South Australia Sex Industry Network
"Loved ya since I knew ya,
I wouldn't talk down to ya....
I've told you once, won't tell you again,
It's a bad way."
(From "Roxanne" by the Police)
It seems that everyone can have a word or two to say about prostitutes these
days: politicians, concerned parents, paternalistic police, movie directors
and even rock stars. Everyone gets their chance to pop onto TV and radio and
speak of the dangers of prostitution, the moral decline, the crime, the vice
and even the "hooker with a heart of gold". Everyone gets their say except, of
course, for the sex workers themselves.
Red Light Radio is a weekly radio show run by sex industry professionals who
are tired of being told "It's a bad way." Going to air every Monday night on
radio 5 UV for 13 weeks from December 4, Red Light Radio challenges the
(un)comfortable stereotypes about prostitution by presenting the many
different facets of the sex industry and revealing what exactly is involved in
the exchange of sexual services for a negotiated payment. Helen Vicqua from
the Prostitutes' Association of South Australia, one of the groups
participating in Red Light Radio, revealed that "Prostitution is different for
everyone. People have myths and fantasies in their minds about what happens in
the transaction... and then there's the reality." Expect the unexpected! With
guest appearances by the highly informative yet marvellously frank Dr TY
(Trust Your) Lust, well-travelled transgender worker, Luke Streetwalker, and
the mysterious "Lady of Easy Virtue", Red Light Radio may well stretch your
fantasies to the limit.
PJ Rose, the producer of Red Light, believes that the show plays a number of
roles in Adelaide. Firstly, it provides a means for sex industry workers to
communicate amongst themselves, to share news and views, announce safety
information about the "ugly mugs", clients who are violent or badly behaved.
The show alllows workers to present positive notions of sex work in a culture
dominated by unrealistic and unrepresentative images of prostitution. The
images underlying "Roxanne" by the Police and "Pretty Woman" have already been
dissected on air.
Secondly, as PJ Rose commented in the first Red Light show, "Whatever your
personal thoughts or feelings about prostitution, the fact is that no law
anywhere at any time has succeeded in stopping prostitution. Prostitution
happens and we're here to talk about how." Red Light therefore presents to the
wider community the facts about prostitution, without taking any moral stands.
This is particularly important in South Australia where sex work is
effectively made illegal by the current system of law. As Rose says, "Current
South Australian Law tells us that sexuality which happens in a brothel is bad
enough to go to gaol for. Most brothels in South Australia are run by women
and most brothels provide a safe place to work because the worker has the
company and protection of other workers on premises. In South Australia, the
provision of sexual services for negotiated payment between consenting adults,
that is prostitution per se, is not illegal. What is illegal is to keep a
brothel, to be on premises frequented by prostitutes, and to consort with
known prostitutes." Sex workers in South Australia are pushed into the more
hidden, isolated and potentially more dangerous forms of sex work such as
escort work to hotels and private homes by this set of laws. Red Light radio
hopes to make the general public aware of how South Australia's legal system
discriminates against sex workers and pressure for progressive law reform.
Sex workers are safe sex and sexual health experts! Because of sex workers'
professionalism with clients there have been no cases of HIV transmission from
a sex worker to a client or vice versa. That is a record to be proud of and
Red Light Radio will allow you, the interested public, to discover the "tricks
of the trade"... all in the privacy of your own home. On air workshops will
include an introduction to the safe sex kit, safe bondage and discipline,
hooker hygiene and more.
Finally Red Light Radio Collective knows how boring Christmas day and the
summer holidays without Green Left Weekly can be! Tune in to Red Light Radio
on and be entertained by prostitutes FOR FREE! Christmas Day from 10 to 11.30
pm you can reach out to Red Light by calling radio 5UV. It will be a once in a
lifetime opportunity to air your deepest secrets and anxieties to
understanding sex industry professionals, all free of charge.
The Red Light Radio Collective is made up of sex workers, members of the
Prostitutes' Association of SA (PASA), the Sex Inustry Network (SIN) and
friends and supporters of the sex industry.