Mariko Passion, Educated Whore and Urban Geisha is a performance artist | activist | educator | singer |whore revolutionary. She sings and rhymes her experiences and reality over beats and produces auto-documentary videos. She educates the community and fights for social justice issues related to sex workers rights in LA, across the U.S and the world.
This community includes current and potential clients, current, former and previous workers; the queer community (proudly and loudly repping the B in LGBT), college classes, feminists, women of color, people of color, revolutionaries who think they know about us but don’t ask and more. She panels at conferences in the U.S and internationally and has been published in $pread, SF Examiner, interviewed on KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio, Shake Clear Channel’s LGBT Radio, and was featured in an Associated Press video spotlighting the Prop K campaign in San Francisco. She has performed at the International AIDS conference Global Village stage in Mexico City, a conference that drew 20,000. She tries to feature or open mic perform somewhere in her hometown of Los Angeles a few times a month.
She is available to create a workshop, presentation, or performance for groups. Her songs “Decriminalize Me” personifies prostitution in an electronic influenced song that speaks of the common threads that she has with everyone else. “Keep On” speaks on the intense drive and passion of certain born to be hustlers living in a sexist world.
Ms. Passion has 13 years of experience in various fields in sex work. She has worked as a stripclub stripper, private dancer, agency escort, independent escort, brothel prostitute, web model, Mistress/Dominant, and sensual masseuse. She is currently working as mostly an escort in LA. She founded the LA chapter of Sex Workers Outreach Project Los Angeles (SWOP-LA) which works on HIV prevention, harm reduction and advocacy projects on a shoestring budget. She worked on San Francisco’s historic Prop K to decriminalize prostitution which yielded 41.3% of the yes vote in 2009. Since 2009, Ms Passion has made the commitment to make her artistic career her primary focus over leadership in non profit work, education or activism for the movement. In 2011, she wrote and produced her first one woman solo show at Cal State Long Beach in January as well as creating a burlesque cabaret which hosted a variety of other sex worker artists and a live band which accompanied her repetoire of originals and jazz standards. Her music can be found on her Facebook page.
Yes Means Yes: Visions of Sexual Power and a World Without Rape , Seal Press, 2008
Authors: Mariko Passion, Saundra, Susan Lopez.
“Who’re You Calling a Whore?”: A Conversation with Three Sex Workers on Sexuality, Empowerment and the Industry
The Revolution Starts At Home , South End Press, June 2011
Authors: Mariko Passion, Miss Major, Jessica Yee, introduced and edited by Juliet November.
“It Takes Ass to Whip Ass: Understanding & Confronting Violence Against Sex Workers,” a roundtable discussion with the 3 authors listed. This is an excellent diverse social justice piece about how the 3 authors do and do not call the cops when shit goes down!
Ethnically half Japanese (and Chinese), Mariko the self titled “urban geisha” follows the tradition of being well versed in conversation, fine art, music, singing and story telling as it was with the geisha of traditional Japan. “Working as a call girl in the Wild west of LA, is a LOT different than a Kyoto tea house or even Tokyo a couple of centuries back or even now. Instead of reserving my musical and creative talents for my male customers, I use my arts to share knowledge about this work with all.”
An urban geisha takes the skillset, beauty and charm of a traditional geisha and places her with an urban working class Craigslist.com graveyard shift clientele. Mariko Passion is an “upper working class”, urban geisha [of color] in the sprawling police city state known as Los Angeles.
Mariko Passion struggles to live her life as an artist and a righteous whore; the Tupac of prostitution, an educated courtesan whose mission is to educate workers, clients, Facebook friends, and family members alike AND to create a bond, a mentorship, and a community resource for with those that are already part of the sex worker rights movement or who would like to be. Sex workers are part of every community. Our struggle permeates and intersects with your struggle for liberation, rights and visibility. We permeate and intersect with your pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.Ms. Passion works to create that connection between other social awareness and rights based movements with every project or performance that she does.