Monday, January 26, 2009

Trade Secrets: Health and Safety in the Sex Industry

This project is my baby. I'm currently taking the information collected in questionairres from sex industry workers, business owners, patrons, and other supportive staff in the industry, and turning all their wisdom and advice into a guide that will be distributed throughout BC and possibly across Canada. It's so exciting and I love writing (obviously).

If you would like to participate and you are Canadian, please email me at Here is some more info about Trade Secrets:

This project has been in the works for some time now, but due to funding issues it has started, stopped, started again and been revised in a way to substantially reduce the cost.

I am a member of the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities – a group of men and women activists with lived experience as sex industry workers. We feel that a health and safety guide would be an invaluable tool for Canadian workers.

Trade Secrets is a collaborative project engaging on and off-street sex workers from across Canada, exotic dancers, adult film workers, live no-contact sex workers (peep shows, phone operators, sex shows, etc), BDSM/fetish workers, hustlers (male sex workers), transgendered sex workers, business owners, support staff (DJ’s, drivers, etc), and patrons of the sex industry.

The result of this project will be a guide with information generally and specifically for all the industry groups identified above, including business owners and patrons.

This project will identify health and safety risks in the sex industry and offer advice to reduce those risks in the following areas (and any further identified areas of concern):

Among co-workers
In dealing with clients / workers
In negotiating with employers / agents etc
Personal wellbeing
Physical health
In relationships

Guides will also contain important information on sex industry workers’ rights, as well as resources and supports for sex industry workers in British Columbia.

Despite funding restraints, we have decided to go ahead with this project. We had originally planned to pay everyone we consulted with and had limited the participants to the British Columbia area. However, we are now asking for volunteer (unpaid) participation from industry members across Canada.

We feel that your expertise is valuable and you deserve to be paid for your time and knowledge. But we also feel that you will agree with us – that the guide needs to be produced for the health and safety of our colleagues, and we will not let lack of funding stop us from doing it.

The guide will be considered a “working document” so it will constantly be evolving to maintain relevancy. We hope that in the future, consultants can be paid for their advice.

Please consider filling out the questionnaire and returning it to so your expertise can be included in the guide. You are free to do this anonymously or be credited (have your name included as a contributor) in the document. Stage names and aliases are also acceptable.

Thank you for your willingness to improve the working conditions of workers across Canada by sharing your knowledge. Your courage and cooperation are deeply appreciated.

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