Audacia Ray

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Audacia Ray
Audacia Ray 2.jpg
Born (1980-04-25) April 25, 1980 (age 39)
OccupationSex worker rights activist, blogger, author, media pundit
Known forFounder of Red Umbrella Project

Audacia Ray (born April 25, 1980) is an American human sexuality and culture author, who focuses on the influences of modern technology. She is a sex worker rights advocate and leads media skills workshops intended to train sex workers to deal with interviews.[1]

Ray's company, Waking Vixen Productions, which began as a personal blog in 2004, produces multi-media content in an effort to raise sexuality awareness taking advantage of social media technologies.

In 2010, Ray was named New York's Best Sex Blogger of the year by Village Voice.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Ray has a bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies from the Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts of New School University (2002) and a master's degree in American Studies from Columbia University (2007).[3][4]


After graduating from college, Ray chose to be a sex worker and would find clients through Craigslist.[4][5][6] She says she retired from sex work in about 2006.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

Ray founded a sex worker magazine, $pread Magazine, in 2004.[13] She was an assistant curator for the Museum of Sex in 2002.

In 2007, she authored Naked on the Internet in order "to make people less afraid of the internet and what's going on, especially with women's sexuality",[14] described as "a survey of what women are up to online" on the Internet television show Geek Entertainment TV hosted by Violet Blue.[15]

Since 2008, Ray has served as the Program Officer for the Online Communications and Campaigns division of the International Women's Health Coalition.[16] She was interviewed on CNN's Prime News regarding the sex scandal that resulted in Governor Eliot Spitzer's resignation from public office[17] as well as being sourced for an article by Elizabeth Landau[18] on the same issue. In 2010, she appeared on Fox News discussing the controversy over New York City schoolteacher and former sex worker Melissa Petro.[19]

In 2009, Ray was an adjunct professor of sexuality at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey.[20][21]

In 2010, Ray founded the Red Umbrella Project (RedUP), a New York City company that aims to give public voices to sex workers.[13][22][23] It has a podcast and hosts a monthly storytelling series in New York City, The Red Umbrella Diaries, where sex workers tell their personal stories. The Red Umbrella Project, which merged with Sex Work Awareness in 2011, also runs Speak Up! Workshops that train sex workers in media literacy and advocacy.

In 2010, Ray was involved with the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP).[24]

In 2014, a participant of Rays memoir writing workshop Nahshon Anderson, who for eight weeks in 2013 work-shopped a nonfiction manuscript Shooting Range won a 2014 Bronx Recognizes its own award (BRIO), given by the Bronx Council on the Arts.[25]


Ray is author of:

  • Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration, 2007, ISBN 1-58005-209-6
  • $pread : The Best of the Magazine that Illuminated the Sex Industry and Started a Media Revolution, 2015, ISBN 978-1558618725[26]


  1. ^ "Speak Up! » About Sex Work Awareness". Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "New York Best Sex Blogger – Audacia Ray – Best Of New York – Village Voice". Village Voice. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  3. ^ "Audacia Ray, Writer, Sex Worker Rights Advocate". March 28, 2006. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "official site". Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sex Workers Tell Tricks of the Trade". ABC News. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Fernandez, Manny (April 7, 2011). "Prostitutes' Disappearances Were Noticed Only When the First Bodies Were Found". New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  7. ^ FERNANDEZ, MANNY (April 7, 2011). "Prostitutes' Disappearances Were Noticed Only When the First Bodies Were Found". New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "profile". Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "Prostitution Advances In A Wired World". CBS News. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Gilgo Beach murders: 'Prostitutes don't trust the police'". Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "Guest Blogger Introduction: Audacia Ray". Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  12. ^ Merlan, Anna (June 7, 2013). "Sex Workers Pissed Off, Frightened by Acquittal of a San Antonio Man Who Killed an Escort". Dallas Observer. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Sex Workers Tell Tricks of the Trade in Memoir Class - ABC News". Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  14. ^ Regina Lynn (January 31, 1958). "Getting Naked on the Internet Is Risky, but Rewarding—Interview with Regina Lynn on". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  15. ^ "Sex Blogger Audacia Ray Gets Naked –". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  16. ^ "Audacia Ray, Program Officer, Online Communications and Campaigns". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  17. ^ "Audacia Ray on CNN". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  18. ^ Elizabeth Landau CNN (January 22, 2009). "What is virginity worth today? by Elizabeth Landau". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  19. ^ "Sex Worker Teacher and Tenure". Fox News. September 29, 2010. Archived from the original on October 1, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  20. ^ "Love, Sex, and Governor Sanford - The Takeaway". Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  21. ^ "Best Sex Blogger New York 2010 - Audacia Ray - Village Voice". October 16, 2010. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  22. ^ Fernandez, Manny (April 7, 2011). "The New York Times". Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  23. ^ "Red Umbrella Project | New York Women's Foundation". January 30, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  24. ^ "Denying Sex Workers HIV Funds | Mother Jones". Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  25. ^ "Nahshon D. Ratcliff | NEA". October 5, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  26. ^ "Audacia Ray Books". Retrieved March 4, 2015.

External links[edit]