We developed this guide with the help of experts in the field of sex industry health and safety (workers and business owners), as well as non-industry legal and health experts.
The Trade Secrets Community Group – an advisory committee convened for the purpose of representing diverse perspectives, vetted all suggestions made in the guide to this end.
The Community Group is made up of thirteen sex industry workers who span the adult industry, and includes the voices of street-based workers, trans individuals, hustlers, webcam workers, adult film performers and producers, exotic dancers, escorts, bdsm and fetish workers, and more.
Beyond the community group, we engaged forty-six sex industry workers personally and connected with forty-three more through focus groups:
- Three adult film performers;
- Four BDSM workers including two dommes, one submissive, and a switch;
- Five non-English-speaking, female Chinese massage parlour workers for which the questionnaire had to be modified and translated;
- Nine female striptease artists and one male striptease artist;
- Four male sex workers;
- Five webcam workers including two trangender, two female, and one male (with experience also doing peep show, escort, and/or phone sex work);
- Twelve indoor sex workers including independents, escort service workers, and massage parlour workers (female, male, and trans);
- Three street-based sex workers;
- We held five focus groups with forty-three street-based workers, among whom the transgender perspective was also shared.
We also engaged:
- Nine sex industry business owners including two dungeon Head Mistresses, two adult film distributors, two adult film producers, one exotic dance agent, one escort agency owner, and one adult website owner;
- Twelve coworkers including two booking girls, one doorman, one driver / security professional, two support agency workers from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, two photographers, two strip club DJ’s, and two strip club servers.
- Seven clients recruited through sex industry workers who participated, as well as an online invitation at nakedtruth.ca;
This is by no means an exhaustive resource for the sex industry. Due to a limited number of participants, we could not accurately represent the industry from every perspective across Canada. So, we included what was shared with us and left out what was not. For instance, in the chapter “Our Work,” we know a bit about what to expect in tips as an exotic dancer in BC or Alberta. But we do not have that information for other provinces.
Every bit of advice in this guide comes from sex industry workers across Canada. These words are your words. If you have advice to share that isn’t here, you can contribute your wisdom using the online guide by writing comments at the end of appropriate chapters.
Some of this advice will speak volumes and others won’t ring true for you. Take what works for you and scrap the rest. Come back to the guide whenever other pieces of information are more relevant.
The terms “sex industry worker,” “sex worker,” “adult entertainer,” “worker,” and “entertainer” are all used interchangeably throughout this guide.
This has been a labour of love for me – Trade Secrets. I hope it rocks your world.
aka Trina Ricketts