In this episode of Sex Is Medicine, learn how sex work is a caring, female dominated profession and a healing art.

Devi and her guest, Carmen Shakti, discuss the misconceptions and stigma around the trade and how this impacts sex work law and workplace safety. Plus the different ways that governments and lawmakers put ideology over human life with respect to ‘moral’ issues like sex work and drug use; for example, a commonly-quoted statistic that ‘the average age of entry into the sex trade is 14 years old’ was taken from a study about MINORS in the street-based sex trade.


Find out:

  • The difference between decriminalization, legalization, full and asymmetrical criminalization. SESTA/FOSTA and censorship and how these laws violate everyone’s right to sexual expression, and put sex worker’s lives and livelihoods at risk.
  • How sex trafficking is conflated with sex work, and other ways that statistics are intentionally misleading.
  • The ways that anti-sex-work feminists erase the agency of sex workers, and how they creepily intersect with the ideology of the religious right.
  • Examples of sex workers as healers and why our work is valuable.
  • How sex worker’s right intersect with the rights of other marginalized people who are overrepresented in the sex trade, and how you really can’t support the rights of economically marginalized people without supporting sex worker’s rights.
  • The old matriarchal religion of ancient Babylon, where the high priestesses were also known to provide sexual services, which were seen as sacred, in the temples. The biblical Whore of Babylon refers to the goddess Inanna, who I like to think of as a patron of sex workers.
  • The ways that we, as a culture, can treat sex workers better, and how that shift in our consciousness can help us learn to treat our environment better as well.


Carmen Shakti is a writer, visual and performance artist, sex worker and activist. In 2016, she co-wrote and starred in The Hooker Monologues, a theatrical production featuring the stories of sex workers and their allies. She sits on the Board of Directors of PACE Society, a sex worker’s support service organization and drop-in centre in Vancouver.

She holds certification in the healing modality of Authentic Tantra at the Institute of Authentic Tantra Education, and she weaves those healing arts into her sessions. She wrote a chapter about her journey of healing with Tantra for Joe Vitale’s Amazon bestseller The Abundance Factor. She has a long history of activism, including working on the SlutWalk organizing team, meeting with Canadian senators to talk about sex workers rights and the need to decriminalize sex work transactions between consenting adults. She is a guest lecturer in Women’s Studies at Langara College. She lives and works in the Greater Vancouver area.

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2 Responses

  1. Fabulous show and conversation!!! Thank you Devi and Carmen for shedding much needed clarification and light on this important Healing Art!!! I’m so grateful to know and love you both! This concection and conversation has helped ME to clear away a number of cobweb judgements around this topic, too!! Much Appreciation!!!

  2. Excellent, insightful interview on how this means of compassionate healing is suppressed to the detriment of society, sewing greater chaos by which social engineers warp us collectively into a model profiting the greed of a few. ‘The most sexually repressed societies are the most violent’ makes perfect sense! Can you provide a link to the interview you did with Dr. Ron Goldman?

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