Body Autonomy: Decolonizing Sex Work and Drug Use

Regular price $ 23.95

by Riviera Justice

Synergetic Press

5/14/2024, paperback

SKU: 9781957869148


From erotic labor, to the rights of people who use psychoactive substances, to reproductive health and carcerality-we are living through a political moment when debates about bodily autonomy are at a fever pitch.

Body Autonomy: Decolonizing Sex Work and Drug Use is a bold and timely collection that confronts these charged issues at the intersection of social justice and public health. It reveals the histories behind the United State's ideological wars and illustrates their costs to all of us. It is a primer on healing-centered harm reduction, which presents a visionary framework and set of practical strategies to advance unity and care while working to transform conditions for communities that bear the brunt of interpersonal and systemic violence, overdose deaths, and health inequities. In the words of leading advocates, service providers, and the scholars whose lives and communities have been harmed by American neo-colonial policies, Body Autonomy offers promising, healing-centered interventions that represent a critical culture shift.

This collection features trusted voices on health and social policy reform, including Kate D'Adamo, Justice Rivera, Ismail Ali, Paula Kahn, and Sasanka Jinadasa, as well as respected healers like Richael Faithful, Amira Barakat Al-Baladi, and Mona Knotte. The articles, interviews, worksheets, and poems within are an offering to expand our collective understanding of survival, healing, and embodied freedom. Body Autonomy is a must read for anyone with a compassionate worldview, people seeking to know more about underground economies, and those who know that punishment doesn't lead to security. It is a liberatory design and a prayer for what's possible.


"Harm reduction means listening to the voices of sex workers and people who use drugs and changing the policies that cause damage. Justice Rivera inspires us to act by bringing these stories together, along with historical insight and practical information on how to move past racist, counterproductive and oppressive 'wars' on drugs and trafficking." -- Maia Szalavitz, New York Times bestselling Author of Undoing Drugs: How Harm Reduction is Changing the Future of Drugs and Addiction

"Brilliant, revolutionary, profound, and inciting, Body Autonomy is an essential and comprehensive manual for anyone seeking to design a compassionate future in which autonomy, justice, and human rights are written into the fabric of our culture. In order to accomplish this work together, we must dismantle the harmful paternalism, extractivism, and purity-morality cultures of white supremacy that use criminalization of the exploration of consciousness and sensuality as a tool of oppression and control. In Rivera's collaborative anthology, we learn that in order to effectively accomplish this shift, it is critical to understand the structures rooted in hierarchy and exploitation that control our present, to discern the nature and motivations of the opponents that threaten our wellbeing, to stand on the history and lessons of our collective resistance, and to collaboratively dream our sacred joy into being." --Angela Carter, ND, C

About the Author:

Justice Rivera's professional and artistic work is grounded in principles of harm reduction, anti-oppression, and healing justice. Her expressions seek to deconstruct carceral and punishment driven paradigms to race, gender, and bodily autonomy. She currently works to uplift compassionate community-led solutions to social injustices through her role as Partner with Reframe Health and Justice and through her creative offerings including Candy Coated: A Memoir and Body Autonomy: Decolonizing Sex Work & Drug Use. When she isn't working or writing, Justice loves to travel, dance to EDM, cook, shop, volunteer, cuddle with her cat, and laugh with friends and family.