Who We Are
Hacking//Hustling is a collective of sex workers, survivors, and accomplices working at the intersection of tech and social justice to interrupt violence facilitated by technology.
Redefining technologies to uplift survival strategies that build safety without prisons or policing.
Sex Work, Technology, and Social Justice
Hacking//Hustling is a collective of sex workers and allies working at the intersection of technology and social justice issues. We come from backgrounds of sex work, public health, data science, community organizing.
Hacking//Hustling works to abolish carceral technologies and build the capacity of sex workers and survivors to create new technologies that increase safety. Our work explodes the definition of technology to include harm reduction models: community-based research, mutual aid, organizing, art, and any/all tools sex workers and survivors develop to mitigate state, workplace, and interpersonal violence and thrive.
Hacking//Hustling Principles of Unity
- We understand technology to be more than the Internet and digital interfaces/devices.
- We understand sex workers to be originators of new technologies and methods of keeping each other safe. These new technologies include early adoption of online platforms, sharing of online and physical bad date lists, safe calls, protest safety protocols, street art, art and cultural ephemera, and all harm reduction strategies.
- We center the experiences, voices, and needs of people who trade sex by choice, circumstance, or coercion, and understand the overlap in these communities. We respect every person’s autonomy in defining their own experiences.
- We build connections between liberation struggles opposing racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, capitalism, and all forms of oppression.
- We promote shared leadership and collective decision-making. Using transparent structures for decision-making and conflict resolution, we work to be accountable to these principles not only in our public facing work but in our organizational practices.
As long as we have been working online and offline, sex workers have been policed, and people who are impacted by sexual violence and trafficking in the sex trades have not been made safer. We decided that it was time to infiltrate organizations with the power to shift the narrative. We began hosting events to flip the script and center people in the sex trades as producers of knowledge and expertise in the movement to create safety for our communities without policing.
Since then, our work has grown to meet the needs of those who are most marginalized within the sex trades. In 2020, Hacking//Hustling had planned to organize an international convening of sex workers at the Internet Freedom Festival, but the pandemic shifted our plans and our priorities: More people were relying on Internet-based sex work to make ends meet, subjecting sex workers and especially sex worker organizers to increased digital surveillance, and those who had always been most targeted and criminalized continued to be surveilled and policed under laws against loitering and prostitution as well as under increased pandemic-related policing that relies more on technologies like surveillance cameras in public spaces and neighbors weaponizing calls to the police to target street based workers. Hacking//Hustling responded by shifting our resources toward mutual aid efforts internationally and at home to support workers in meeting their immediate needs, funding public art to shift narratives, and continuing to organize virtually to support sex workers and survivors in abolishing carceral technologies and creating new technologies that increase safety for our communities.