LIVING IN COMMUNITY | BALANCING PERSPECTIVES ON THE SEX INDUSTRY
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BALANCING PERSPECTIVES ON THE SEX INDUSTRY

SEX WORK TOOLKIT

Tools for Customers

Visiting a Sex Worker

In Vancouver, sex workers have been subjected to acts of extreme violence and hostility. In order to ensure that sex workers are safe and to alleviate the possibility of violence, here are suggested guidelines and codes of conduct to follow:

  • Sex workers are human beings and should be treated with the same respect that you give to yourself and to others.
  • Pay up front and respect that prices are non-negotiable.
  • If you are paying for an hour but would like to stay longer, ask to renegotiate, but remember that only the scheduled hour may be available.
  • Condoms are non-negotiable and are worn for your own safety as well as for the safety of the sex worker.
  • In order to ensure a satisfying visit, be up front with what you want and how much you are willing to spend. Sex workers can not read minds.
  • Take a shower and clean all body parts thoroughly before your encounter with a sex worker.
  • Drugs and alcohol can diminish your capacity to have an erection, affect your judgment and may cause you to be aggressive. Limit usage or refrain from their use before your visit.
  • Sex workers might be comfortable doing certain things, but not others. It is imperative that you respect a sex worker’s limits and their right to refuse.
  • It is essential, during role-playing and domination, to have safe words. These are key words that indicate the limits that you or the sex worker may have. You must respect them as well. Words do not mean the same thing to everyone.
  • Be comfortable: if you have any questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to voice them at anytime.

On the Street

When you pick up a sex worker, you are likely in someone else’s neighbourhood. As you might guess, residents and business owners are frustrated by increased traffic, garbage and a general lack of respect.

Here are some suggestions to help you remain mindful of the residents who live in communities where there is street-level sex work.

  • If sex workers have places to take you, let them bring you there.
  • Most sex workers who are working on the street do not charge by the hour but by the service. Always pay in advance and do not try to bargain.
  • Not everyone on the street is involved in sex work. If you approach people who you believe are sex workers and they do not respond to you, do not harass them.
  • Respect the neighbourhoods you are in by not engaging in sexual relations in schoolyards and other public places where there may be children and families.
  • Do not throw used condoms, drug paraphernalia or other pieces of garbage in the street because they pose health hazards to residents, especially children.
  • Always leave your doors unlocked while the sex worker is in your vehicle.
  • When driving in residential neighbourhoods, keep to the legal speed limit.
  • Do not continue to circle the neighbourhood simply to observe sex work activity. Noise pollution in residential neighbourhoods contributes to unrest and frustration.
  • Never, ever, cruise children or approach them.

Respect and No Violence

Conduct yourself with dignity and respect. It is UNACCEPTABLE to be verbally or physically aggressive towards a sex worker. This behaviour is a criminal offence and carries the possibility of a criminal charge. If you assault a sex worker, you are no longer a client. You are a criminal and a perpetrator of violence. If a sex worker reports an assault to a law enforcement officer or sex worker organization, the specifics of the assault will appear on the Bad date report and will be updated as new information is collected. This report is also available to the community and can be accessed through sex worker organizations, drop-in clinics and neighbourhood houses throughout Vancouver and Metro Vancouver.

Know what assault is

It is an assault if…

  • you are verbally or physically aggressive towards a sex worker or if you threaten to inflict bodily harm
  • you use physical force to control or hurt, for example pushing down the head of a sex worker during fellatio
  • you touch a sex worker in a way that she or he is uncomfortable with and you’ve been asked to stop
  • you force a sex worker to perform a sexual act that was not negotiated in advance as part of a service, or a sexual act that she or he has not agreed to give
  • you steal money from a sex worker

Sexual assault is a criminal offence.