Inside Outside

the sex industry in Scotland

Inside Outside – we have lift off!

The project has started….  Different services from the Encompass Network (  have been in touch saying that they have spoken with women and some are keen to take part in the Inside Outside project.  A lot of meetings and alot of coffee being consumed  up to now ( and no doubt much more to come!)

The next stage is to line up the 1-1 interviews with the women as well as planning the workshops. It will be a busy few months ahead but so exciting to meet the women, hear their stories and support them in telling these through photos.

Featured post

Why let your voice be tamed?

A message and request from Wendy

 “I often express myself through music so there’s a song I would like you listen to when you have a spare second.

The song sums up what I feel about the whole Inside Outside project including my own involvement and I feel it suits the other women who, like myself, have shared their story.

I hope you enjoy it and can see why it fits the project for me. ”

Read All About It by Emili Sande.

You’ve got the words to change a nation
But you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence
Afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?
So come on, come on
Come on, come on
You’ve got a heart as loud as lightning
So why let your voice be tamed?
Maybe we’re a little different
There’s no need to be ashamed
You’ve got the light to fight the shadows
So stop hiding it away
Come on, come on
I wanna sing, I wanna shout
I wanna scream ’til the words dry out
So put it in all of the papers,
I’m not afraid
They can read all about it
Read all about it, oh
At night we’re waking up the neighbors
While we sing away the blues
Making sure that we’re remembered, yeah
‘Cause we all matter too
If the truth has been forbidden
Then we’re breaking all the rules
So come on, come on
Come on, come on,
Let’s get the TV and the radio
To play our tune again
It’s ’bout time we got some airplay of our version of events
There’s no need to be afraid
I will sing with you my friend
Come on, come on
I wanna sing, I wanna shout
I wanna scream ’til the words dry out
So put it in all of the papers,
I’m not afraid
They can read all about it
Read all about it, oh
Yeah, we’re all wonderful, wonderful people
So when did we all get so fearful?
Now we’re finally finding our voices
So take a chance, come help me sing this
Yeah, we’re all wonderful, wonderful people
So when did we all get so fearful?
And now we’re finally finding our voices
Just take a chance, come help me sing this
I wanna sing, I wanna shout
I wanna scream ’til the words dry out
So put it in all of the papers,
I’m not afraid
They can read all about it
Read all about it, oh
I wanna sing, I wanna shout
I wanna scream ’til the words dry out
So put it in all of the papers,
I’m not afraid
They can read all about it
Read all about it, oh
Songwriters: Ben Kohn / Iain James / Peter Kelleher / Tom Barnes




Connections and committments

I was going through folders of photos today and found this beauty.

I love it.  With all the activity happening across the country to bring the women’s words and works out there – this seemed apt.

People’s energy, generosity and support for Inside Outside never fails to touch and amaze us.   It is not taken for granted but much appreciated so huge thanks for all you are doing for #insideoutsideborders to ….

Kerry, Andrea, Sarah, Viv, Karen, Joanne, Jenny, Kenny, Susi, Emma, Lisa, Susan, Amy, Wendy, Maired, Hazel, Jane, Natalie, Rebecca and many more!

wendy doll hands

(photo – Kathryn Rattray 2017)

Spreading the word …

A quick update from Kerry who is working away in the Borders to bring the women’s voices down there……

Thanks to her and all others who are developing ideas and supporting Inside Outside – we all appreciate it.




” Hi!

Just back from a long day at work…but ended on a high  getting 2 more displays ticked off!

First..Hawick library where I had a very warm  welcome from the librarian! He was quite intrigued and  queried whether ‘this’ goes on down here in the  sleepy Borders…so let’s say he learned something  tonight!

Next was an empty shop door in Galashiels..thanks to Helen for the keys!

The doorway was quite dusty and full of cobwebs so the  cleaning wipes and glass cleaner came out! Cleaning the  space felt important.

As I hung the masks I felt a real sense of responsibility towards  the women who are sharing their stories. People passed by as  I hung the eery faces in the dusk light…some visably  shocked ..not sure what they were seeing..lets hope they  explore the next time they pass…maybe by scanning the QR  codes to read the stories behind the masks of Katy,Levi, or  maybe Natalia?


I am now home..eating my husband’s home made bread and drinking a  warm cuppa!

2 more displays for me to do –  in my home town of Selkirk and then Kelso.

Then I am passing on the bunting and posters to  some friends who will spread the word in Innerleithen and  Eyemouth..


…..the countdown is on…lets do these brave women proud in the  ‘sleepy Borders’!”



Peebleshire press!

Great to see local coverage!



I love to open an email and see photos attached.  With #insideoutsideborders they are starting to come through and just how exciting is this all!

if you live in the Borders (or know anyone that does) – keep an eye out for all the pop – ups coming over the next few weeks!







Heading South

ioborders logo

Almost a year has passed since we really started Inside Outside.  Ideas had been floating around for a long time and many long conversations had taken place on how to safely give women the chance to tell their stories about what it was like for them inside the sex industry.   As with many things, there comes a time when talking has to stop and the work begin.  A decision has to be reached as to what is going to change and happen.

Making that decision can be tough.  All the ways things won’t work come to mind and its all too easy to focus on the reasons why something can’t happen.  Sometimes you have to go for it and just be committed to whatever choice has been made.

We booked our first exhibition space around this time last year too.  With no women on board, with no definite end point in sight and with no photos taken, the forms were filled in and sent off.  Some might call it a leap of faith, others may say it was fool hardy but there was always the belief that women would want to tell their stories and would want to share them.

Here we are approaching the autumn with a packed schedule ahead. Someone shared the delightful news on my facebook the other day about 16 weeks until Christmas. There is barley a week between now and then that doesn’t  have the photos and stories on show.  London, the Borders, Belfast, Perth , Stirling, Edinburgh and Ayrshire. That is quite a list and still growing.

Yet again we have been touched and impressed by how committed people have been who want to link with the project.  How creative they have been in bringing the women’s stories and work to their own areas, how they want to adapt everything we have to suit their own ideas and plans.  This is exactly how it can and should be.

The work across the Scottish Borders really highlights this. With 2 strong women at the helm {and anyone who has been involved in violence against women work in Scotland and in the Borders will know exactly who that could only be 🙂  } and an enthusiastic skilled group around then it is amazing what can be done.  Personal connections with businesses and groups have broadened what is possible for Inside Outside – well beyond anything the Encompass Network could hope to achieve.  The team have come to meetings with ideas and plans and most importantly actionned them.   I don’t want to jump ahead and share them just yet – this is a team effort after all and they have to agree what we say and when.  All I will say is that it is all exciting and you should go along and the promo materials are beautiful. The chance to see the women’s work and other pieces in whole new settings and surroundings will be pretty special.

This is all being done to show that the impact of the sex industry  is important throughout Scotland, needs to be discussed and those inside supported as much as possible.  As someone texted me last night – “Its a privilege to be part of it.”

As I type, I look around me with the piles of white masks getting ready to be sent with pins, needles, scissors and spools of thread. I know they are eagerly awaited, ready to be hung to invite people to link in and join us.  To step Inside.

Is it just me?


Do men actually see us as women or just a piece of meat they can pound for however long they have booked?!


Even within my personal life when the mask is off I still ask myself this question. Do men see me as a real person or do they see me as a piece of ass, a conquest, the next notch on their bed post?!

Is it just me or do others think the same? I’m starting to believe my journey through life had warped my mind… what does my future hold for me? Am I forever going to think like this… that men are no good, all they are out to do is cheat and drop you when something better comes along.

I know I’m a strong assertive independent woman but when do I let the walls down, even a little and let someone get close enough to know the real me,  I always believe there is a hidden agenda. Maybe I judge a man too brutally just from my experiences with others in the past? Paranoia is crippling.

This is a journey that I carry on with and slowly start to figure out who is worth my time and loyalty.


Keep reading ☺️



hello old friends

It’s been a while.  Have you missed us?

It may seem as if we have been very quiet of late and yep, in this blog we have.  There are about 7 draft blog posts waiting to be finished and posted and they will be.  One day very soon.

We have been trying to catch our breath, regroup and refocus for the year ahead.  I have the main evaluation report squawking at me everyday to finish it.  there is so much to capture and share that it is proving a more mammoth task than I planned.  I need a few days locked away in a quiet room or a drafty attic to give it the focus it needs.

We have been busy though – following up on all the requests to meet and talk through the exhibitions and getting he plans and calendar sorted for taking the women’s work and voices out there.

We will be back with you very soon.  Promise……………………………

Where next?

Anyone recognise this space?

Doesn’t it look like a nice staircase and open view?

Wouldn’t you like to see the women’s work displayed there?


We would and hopefully we will early next year…………………………………………







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