FORUM SERIES: Is Sex Free?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 6:30pm

IS SEX FREE?  THE HIDDEN COST OF DESIRE

In American culture, there is no subject more complex, confounding, and, often, contradictory than our attitudes about sex. Opinions about the appropriate setting for, and consequences of, sex impact our politics and faiths; they color our consumption of fashion, pop-culture, and art. Yet, frank discussions about sex rarely escape the bedroom. Ranging from the dreaded coming-of-age conversations between parent and child to the oft-quoted mantra that “sex sells,” sex manages to be both taboo and ubiquitous. But, what are the personal and cultural consequences of this tug-of-war between modesty and salaciousness? Does our inability to talk about sex lead to a crisis for interpreting sexual consent? Do we commodify individuals based on their sexual appeal? How do tacit opinions about sex affect the way we interact with partners, children, co-workers, and strangers? Join our panel of experts to discuss how a complicated relationship with sexual desire impacts our homes, our workplaces, and everywhere in between.

MEMBERS OF OUR PANEL WILL INCLUDE:

BRIAN MILLER, ESQ. is the owner of The Miller Law Firm, which focuses on the areas of corporate law, probate law/estate planning, family law and worker’s compensation. Prior to attending law school, Brian worked as a social worker and a movie producer’s assistant reviewing scripts in Beverly Hills, California.  He received his law degree with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Notably, Brian provides legal advice to DDM Internet Marketing, LLC, which owns the website www.cammodeldirectory.com, an adult entertainment website marketing adult female webcam performers.  He provides corporate and compliance advice to the organization, including but not limited to, compliance with laws impacting the adult entertainment industry. His wife and partner, Melissa Miller, Esq. is very familiar with domestic violence laws and has been active for victims and defendants in the family court. During law school, she worked in the prosecutor’s office of Raleigh, North Carolina in the domestic violence court.

EMILY PIEROT was a victim of a sex crime when she was 17 years old and still continues to seek therapy for the PTSD from the event.  During college, she began working as a shelter volunteer and rape crisis volunteer at the Center for Women and Children in Crisis in Utah Valley, Utah.  Experiencing the work at the center combined with her own personal trauma, Ms. Pierot decided she wanted to one day advocate for young girls being trafficked domestically.  Years later, after relocating to South Carolina, she began to train as a pole dancer and began her career as a stripper.  At odds with most people’s expectation, her profession has actually helped her come to terms with her PTSD due to her ability to feel in control of her sexuality and empowered because of it.  She believes the more we become open to sex and desires, the better AND safer the world will be and has plans to use pole dance therapy as a means to help women who have suffered sexual abuse.

SHAUNA GALLOWAY-WILLIAMS (Med, LPC) is the Executive Director of Julie Valentine Center. Shauna has more than 19 years of experience in the field of mental health, specializing in the area of child abuse and sexual assault. As a licensed professional counselor, she conducts forensic interviews of children, provided expert witness testimony, conducts training the field of child abuse and sexual assault, and facilitates groups for non-offending caregivers. Shauna received her BA in Psychology from Winthrop University and her M.Ed. in Counseling from Clemson University. Shauna serves as a board member of the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA), a Cabinet Member on the Greenville County United Way Community Investment Cabinet, and a member of the Silent Tears Task Force. Shauna previously served on the board of the South Carolina Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers (SCNCAC) and the South Carolina Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (SCPSAC). She is an adjunct faculty member of the USC Upstate Child Advocacy Studies Program (CAST). Shauna is passionately committed to helping victims and their families navigate the storm of child abuse and sexual assault and to see an end to these crimes in our community.

COURTNEY ATKINSON is an experienced employment attorney, advising on all aspects of employment law, including non-compete agreements, employee handbooks, employment policies, prevention of claims of discrimination and harassment, unemployment benefits and other human resource matters.  In the course of her employment practice, she has represented employers in actions both in federal and state court, as well as before various federal and state agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC), the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Our moderator for the evening will be Jay Briggs, professional director and educator at Mill Mountain Theatre.

Remember, we will be starting at our new time again: 6:30pm.  And as always, this is FREE and OPEN to the public.

Image courtesy of Thomas Wolter.