LOS ANGELES—Students on the UCLA campus can hear from some bona fide experts on the subject of adult entertainment when Jessica Drake and Tasha Reign participate in a panel titled “Porn, Prostitution, and Censorship: The Politics of Empowerment.”
Wicked Pictures contract star Jessica Drake is well known for her work on sexual wellness and sex education. In addition to establishing herself as an adult star, Tasha Reign has built her own company, Reign Productions, to producer her own adult movies. Both are scheduled to be featured guest speakers on the panel, which will be held in Moore 100 Hall on February 18, from 7 to 10 p.m.
The academic panel is presented by the Social Awareness Network for Activism through Art (SANAA) in honor of Eve Ensler’s V-Day Organization. Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues is an annual presentation on the UCLA campus, serving as a catalyst for dialogue between students, educators, and media luminaries on women’s issues.
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
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“We are extremely thrilled to have Tasha Reign and Jessica Drake on board for our panel,” said Alec Moore, who is coordinating the event. “As a sex industry insider, and a Bruin, Tasha can provide us a unique perspective from her own epistemological standpoint, lending us her valuable insight into the politics of sexual representation.”
Reign is one of UCLA’s most high-profile students, as documented by her school paper, the Daily Bruin. “I’m extremely thrilled SANAA has invited me to speak on this panel,” Reign said. “As a UCLA women’s studies major, and a performer, producer, and director in the adult industry, I feel I can provide a unique view for students curious about how current media views of strong female sexuality can empower women. I’m looking forward to speaking with everyone attending the discussion and hearing all sides about this very important topic.”
A Penthouse Pet, adult performer, director and feature dancer, Reign pens regular columns on sex for OC Weekly and BroBible.com. In addition to performing, dancing, and writing, Reign produces her own movies thorugh Reign Productions.
“Jessica will also add great insight through her experiences as an adult actress, philanthropist, and sex educator,” Moore said of the Wicked contract star and director.
“I’m honored to be invited to speak with students on UCLA’s campus,” Drake said. “I absolutely love when I can speak with people, especially students, about the adult industry, its relationship with media and the general public, and how it can empower women in the new millennium. I am looking forward to meeting everyone at UCLA and discussing how we can all grow into strong, self-aware women.”
As a sexual health and wellness speaker, Drake lectures at universities, teaches seminars, and runs workshops around the world. Through her line of instructional DVDs, Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex, she teaches people to explore their sexuality in a fun, safe and responsible way. Her educational DVDs teach viewers how to set boundaries, emphasize consen, and still have wonderful sex while communicating effectively with partners.
Joining Reign and drake will be Jennifer Moorman and Dr. Christopher Mott.
Moorman is a Ph.D. candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA and a lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design. Her dissertation, Women on Top: The Work of Female Pornographers and (S)experimental Filmmakers, examines the gender politics of the adult video industry and associated marginal and experimental film production cultures, with a focus on the contributions and experiences of women filmmakers.
Dr. Mott is a Distinguished Lecturer at UCLA, currently teaching a seminar titled “Pornography and the Politics of Sexual Representation.”
“Every year during February at UCLA, we strike up a movement on our campus to celebrate women, take a stand against gender violence, and change our culture’s taboo against discussing sexuality,” says Kausar Mohammed, SANAA’s V-Day executive producer. “Having Tasha and Jessica speak on our panel allows us to discuss the effect of the porn industry on the everyday woman. Does it empower? Or does it objectify?”
“The discussion surrounding the power dynamics of prostitution, the accommodation of sex, and the objectification and censorship of the female body have long divided feminist theorists and activists,” continues Mohammed. “Through this panel, we hope to foster a dialogue about feminism and the porn industry, and are eagerly anticipating Tasha and Jessica’s participation on February 18.”
“(The porn panel) brings a more academic flavor to V-Day because we get to engage UCLA faculty in the movement with discussions like this,” adds Moore, who is a third-year art history and gender studies student and producer of SANAA’s The Vagina Monologues, in a Daily Bruin article. “Sex work is such a poignant and vilified facet of feminist theory, and it divides a lot of theorists as to who it empowers.”
Many events held during the SANAA V-Day campaign, including the “Porn, Prostitution, and Censorship: The Politics of Empowerment” panel, are free to attend, while admission to the production of The Vagina Monologues later in the week is on a donation-only basis. The proceeds will be given to two beneficiaries this year. Both organizations, A Window between Worlds and Peace over Violence, advocate for survivors of domestic violence. For more information on SANAA, click here or follow the organization’s Facebook page.
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For Wicked Pictures press information, email: DanielRoadsToMoscow@gmail.com or go to Wicked.com. For Guide to Wicked Sex press information, email email@example.com or go to GuideToWickedSex.com.